Page images

in the four corners, and in the centre of the four and paused for some time, revolving in my mind what sides of the room. We cannot afford to be very par- was to be done. I was hemmed in by the wood, except ticular on board ship as to noise, and by long habit, where it was bounded by the marsh, and to return we sleep through the scrubbing decks, or the tramp off to the forest again, would be only to get into a labya hundred men immediately overhead ; indeed I have rinth from which I might never be able to extricate known a man sleep undisturbed by a salute of cannon myself. Therefore I resolved to cross the marsh if pos. fired on the deck above him: but the screaming of sible, and to climb to the top of a mountain I saw in the eight fighting cocks, with the accompaniment of flap- distance, and from the summit of which I calculated ping of wings, and struggling to free themselves, was I must see the city of Panama. In execution of this beyond even a sailor's powers of somnolency, and I purpose, I loosed from the mule's neck a rope, which is rushed into the open air in despair.

used as a tether when those animals halt to graze on a I may remark that the love of cock-fighting amongst journey; and fastening one end of it to his neck, and the the Creole Spaniards amounts to a passion. At Santa other round my arm, I drove him into the marsh, which Martha, and Carthagena, and other places, I have seen no effort of mine could make him enter whilst I reheavy sums change hands at cock-fights; and judging mained on his back. The first plunge into the stagnant from the living ornaments of my sleeping apartment, morass was as deep as my waist, and I had not gone the passion for this species of amusement must have twenty yards, when my feet became so fettered by the been equally strong at Cruses.

rushes, that I lost my balance, and fell at full length. As soon as I found my friend the merchant, he very Before I could recover my footing, the mule had turned kindly acceded to my desire to proceed to Panama that to the place we had left; and being a large, powerful night. It having become known that we intended to brute, he dragged me after him like a well-hooked cross, four or five Spanish travellers requested to join salmon; and in his final bound to regain the bank, the us; and after some delay in procuring mules and a guide, rope broke, and he trotted out of reach, and resumed our cavalcade left the head inn, and took the road to his breakfast, casting a sly glance at me, as much as to Panama.

say, 'I hope you are refreshed by your cold bath.' It was a lovely night; the full moon literally flooded I now felt in a perfect dilemma; for the valise conthe landscape with her splendour ; but after riding taining the despatches was strapped behind the saddle, about a mile from Cruses, we entered upon the actual and all my efforts to catch the mule were ineffectual. road, and there the trees, and banks, and excavated Whenever I approached, his heels were ready to launch rocks on either side so perfectly excluded the moon's out; and if in desperation I rushed at him, he bounded rays, that it was impossible to see the road, which was off with an inconceivable agility and force, until at in a most ruinous state, never having been repaired length I was fairly exhausted ; and spreading my cloak since it was first made by the Spaniards some fifty upon the grass, I endeavoured to collect my thoughts, years before. At one moment the mule was stumbling and to realise if possible the true nature of my position. over a heap of stones, which the torrent of the rainy In the course of my experience I have been often struck season had piled together; and the next, he plunged with the difference of the state of mind under the prointo the hole from which they had been dislodged. spect of immediate, and apparently inevitable death, Of course our progress was very slow, and at seven and when the prospect of death is not so immediate, o'clock in the morning we were still ten miles from and apparently inevitable. I recollect, for example, Panama, having been eight hours travelling the twenty being once wrecked ; and when, in half an hour after, miles from Cruses.

the vessel struck, she began to fill, and death appeared As the road up to this time had been almost one con- unavoidable—the boats being either washed away, or tinued lane, running between banks more or less steep, destroyed by the falling masts; the water increasing I considered there could be no danger of missing the more and more in the hold; and there appearing not party if I dismounted to refresh myself, by bathing my a doubt but all hands must perish. On that occasion face in a clear brook which rippled across the road. 1 I found it impracticable to fix my mind for three miwas rather behind the rest, and my stopping was not nutes together-my imagination was so busy catching observed by any one, for all were jaded and silent with at straws, that it was impossible to collect my thoughts the tedious and laborious journey of the night. Having and meditate soberly ; but now, as I lay on the grass in finished my ablutions, I endeavoured to push on to over- the wild forest, I could deliberately plan, reject, and take the cavalcade ; and although I could not see any replan, with the thoughts perfectly under control. Not of them, I concluded that it was simply some turn of the but the possibility of death crossed my mind; for the road which concealed them from my sight. The beast want of rest in the canoe, the tedious journey of the I rode, however, was either knocked up, or had never night, and lack of any refreshment since the afternoon been accustomed to any pace faster than a walk. In vain of the preceding day, made me doubt whether I should I coaxed or flogged him ; flagellation seemed rather to be equal to crossing the marsh, climbing the distant retard than accelerate his movements : in vain I struck mountain, and then walking some ten or a dozen miles the spurs, with rowels the size of penny-pieces, into his to Pananra ; if even I could contemplate the idea of leavribs; I might as well have spurred a rhinoceros, for outing the valise containing the despatches, on the chance of a deliberate walk he would not move. After travel- of its being recovered afterwards. This, however, I felt ling about a mile in this way, I came to a large open I could never have done. We admire the heroism of plain nearly surrounded by a wood. I looked in all the soldier who, when he was picked up dead upon the directions, but could discover no trace, not even the field, was found to have the colours he liad borne stuffed print of a hoof, from which I might judge which way into his bosom; but I believe that the same spirit is my companions had gone. But as the sagacity of the very general amongst men accustomed to military life, mule is by some wise man said to be equal to his ob and subjected to military discipline. L'esprit de corps' stinacy, I threw the reins upon the neck of mine, and is the ruling principle, before which life and all other suffered him to 'go his own way ;' and he, crossing considerations become secondary. Hence it was that the plain in a straight line, entered the wood. At first I felt I could not abandon the despatches intrusted to the trees were so thick, and the branches so inter me, whatever else I might do. woven, that it was difficult to force a passage; but I suppose I had lain thus for half an hour, when I after a while the wood became more open, and having was suddenly roused from my reverie by an exclamaproceeded so far as to have lost all chance of finding tion of surprise, and a man's voice demanding who I the way out again, the mule suddenly stopped on the was, and what had brought me there? I started to my brink of a very extensive marsh, muddy and overgrown feet, and before me sat, on a stout Spanish pony, a with rushes. The spot upon which he stood was clear, muleteer. I soon made him understand my position, and the grass excellently good, to judge by the avidity when, in an incredibly short time, he secured my mule, with which my quadruped attacked it. I dismounted, shifted my saddle on to his own pony, being, as he

politely said, the more pleasant animal of the two for others, when placed in situations little in accordance me to ride, and mounting the mule himself—which, by with their birth, Charles de Valois had acquired notions the way, appeared perfectly to comprehend the differ- respecting the greatness of his ancestors which unfitted ence between his present and his late rider - he led him for steadily pursuing his avocations. Devoid of the way through the mazy intricacies of the wood, and that energy which is the basis of all self-advancement, brought me out on the Panama road, at the distance of he would remain for hours pondering on his ignoble about three leagues from the city.

fate. One path lies open to me!' he would sometimes The honest muleteer explained to me, as we rode exclaim; “I shall become a soldier, and face the enealong, that the situation in which he had found me was mies of France!' In these reveries he was no longer one of great peril; for, independently of there being no the humble artisan, but in imagination one of the noble habitation but his own, which was several miles distant, of his race, regaining all the territory his ancestors had near to the wood, he said I might have remained in the lost. To put these dreams into execution, however, forest for ever, and no one would ever have thought of one thing was wanting-Charles de Valois had not the seeking for me there; and indeed this was confirmed, heart of a Bothwell. for as we approached the city, we met several persons Henry II., of whom he was a lineal descendant, had on horseback, who had been sent out in search of me; a son, to whom he bequeathed large territories—the but they declared that they would not have ventured most considerable being that of St Remy; but his to enter the wood, for fear of the hanging snakes with descendants gradually decreased in power and wealth, which it was said to be infested. My deliverer, it ap- and at length they sunk into such obscurity, that their peared, was a breeder of mules; one of which animals existence was almost doubted. A ray of sunshine would having strayed the night before, he thought it was just at times gleam on some member of their family, but, possible it might have entered the wood, and in seeking as if a fatality hung over their race, it was succeeded for his lost mule he fortunately discovered me.

by darker shadows. There is nothing particularly imposing or striking in During the reign of Louis XV., the Marchioness Bouthe appearance of Panama, as approached by the Cruses lanvilliers, wife of the Prevôt of Merchants, one day road. The country is flat, and uncultivated, and the passing between Rheims and Fontette, remarked a little city resembles most other cities built by the Spaniards girl by the road-side tending a cow, and, pleased with in those countries—large, heavy-looking houses, built the pretty countenance and figure of the child, called of stone, without any attempt at architectural orna her to the door of the carriage, and offered her a piece ment; but there is an esplanade, upon which the beau- of money. The young Jeanne de Valois spurned the tiful brunettes promenade, the head uncovered, and the proffered coin with the pride of a Spanish hidalgo; and jetty hair, floating in rich, unconfined luxuriance, save erecting her little person, she recounted to the marwhere the wearer prefers the braid; and then it hangs chioness her full genealogy—the only thing, besides her in three or more pendants, which often nearly brush paternoster, she had ever learned. On being questioned, the tiny feet, clothed in their satin shoes.

she gave sufficient proof of the truth of what she stated; The city of Panama is a comparative wreck of what and her listener, estimating nothing more than high it must once have been, but the magnificent bay is alone birth, though she herself was but the daughter of a worth travelling across the isthmus to see.

The sea

revenue officer, made the little cowherd get into the almost always maintains its name of • Pacific,' and looks carriage, which rolled off to Paris. like a gigantic parterre; whilst the numerous islands After having had her educated by the first masters, her with which the bay is studded resembles so many protectress introduced her to the fashionable world, and flower-beds —ever blooming, ever lovely. I will not even at court, where she was looked on as a sort of take the reader with me to visit some of these gems of curiosity. She was pensioned by the king, and afterthe ocean, nor will I detain him to inspect with me the wards married the Count de la Motte. The queen, process of making the curious gold chains for which Marie Antoinette, took her into favour, and employed Panama is celebrated, and many other curious things I her near her person ; but she repaid the royal kindness saw ; but merely add, that after ten days' residence, I | by the deepest ingratitude. By forging her majesty's left the city at peep of day, and the following afternoon signature, she procured large sums of money; and by was on board my ship, having bathed in the two seas the same means prevailed on Cardinal Rohan (who was within forty-eight hours.

at the time in disgrace at court, and glad of the oppor

tunity of regaining favour) to purchase a necklace, as if THE POOR RELATIONS OF KINGS.

for the queen, worth nearly two million francs, for the

payment of which the countess alleged that her majesty ONE morning during the last severe winter in Paris, a would give a note in her own handwriting, to be defrayed bier, on which was laid a wretched coffin, emerged from from the private purse. The necklace was given into one of the poorest streets of the faubourg St Marceau, the hands of the countess, who immediately sent her followed by two assistants, and a female, whose sole husband to London with it. But the period for payment protection against the heavy snow that fell was a wool being allowed to pass, the jeweller made his complaint len shawl, partially concealing features once beautiful, to the queen: Cardinal Rohan, and many others arrested though now changed by suffering and privation, yet on suspicion, were thrown into the Bastile, but were still beaming with resignation.

ultimately released on the real culprit being discovered. The young man whose remains were thus borne to The countess was publicly whipped, and branded on the common cemetery was one whose forefathers slept the shoulders; a sentence of imprisonment for life was in the vaults of St Denis, and who, by birth, was en- recorded against her; but after ten months' confinement, titled to wear the arms of the Bourbon family. In she effected her escape, and died in London in 1791. speaking of Henry II., or any other of the kings of Residing at Troyes, in Champagne, was an uncle of France, there was no fiction in this unfortunate being, Jeanne de Valois, and looked on as the head of her while living, calling them ' my ancestors. According branch of the family. In a thoroughfare of that town to the etiquette of courts, he had a right to be called might be heard, from morning until night, the noise of by the king my cousin ;' and equally so, by right of his hanımer, accompanied by merry songs, issuing from consanguinity, by the Bourbons of Spain, and the im- a frail wooden edifice, erected against the walls of the perial House of Austria.

bishop's garden, and under the shadow of the cathedral Charles de Valois de St Remy was, however, but a clock. Though aware of his genealogy, learned from poor journeyman bookbinder, employed by one of the his father, who died in the Hôtel Dieu at Paris in many of that trade who struggle for an existence in the 1759, it had inspired him neither with pride nor regret neighbourhood of the College of France. Even with-looking on human grandeur, as he did, with the most the assistance of his aunt, Marguerite de Valois, he philosophic indifference. Having never bestowed a scarcely earned enough to subsist on. Like many thought on claiming the rights of his birth, he worked,

slept, and sang, and appeared so really contented and the simile,' added he: 'I am sure the king's work will happy, that one would have been inclined to believe, be solid. I shall now retire, and inform his majesty of according to the old adage, 'that the king was not his your intentions. cousin.' This gaiety was not without merit, if it is The visitors had scarcely disappeared, when the old recollected that Henry de Valois, issuing from the man resumed his song, a proof that the perspective of reigning family of France, was a cobbler.

grandeur did not much trouble the mind of the cobbler, In 1778, while the countess was in favour at court, a who has been so well described in the songs of Beranger. detachment of the guards, after accompanying the queen A short time afterwards, heedless of the sarcasms to Chateau Vilain, received directions to return through and repartees which it occasioned, the king pensioned Troyes, and pay their respects to the illustrious artisan, Henry de Valois from the privy purse, and made him who had been already spoken of at Versailles as one of a count. His sons entered the service. One of them the remaining representatives of the branch of Francis was created Baron St Remy, and became captain of a I., along with the little cowherd of Fontette. As the corvette; but, as had been predicted by the old cobbler, guards approached the shed, over which a board was none of them added much to the honour of the family, fixed, with a boot painted in black, and the words, The affair of the necklace threw a sinister eclât upon *Henri

, reparateur de la chaussure humaine!' ('Henry, the name of Valois, and their relationship to the shoe-mender to the human race!') they heard a manly Countess de la Motte hastened their downfall. Abject voice singing a provincial ditty, while a bammer misery succeeded the perpetration of the crime. The beat time to the measure. The soldiers, dressed in Revolution arrived, and the descendants of Henry II. splendid uniform, advanced respectfully, their hats off, sank into greater obscurity than that from which they preceded by their lieutenant, the Ma de Nan- | had been taken a few years previously. touillet. The cobbler, little accustomed to such visi The St Remy de Valois had their origin in a royal tors, regarded them with surprise; but his looks being castle. The splendour of a throne was reflected on their mechanically directed to the officer's feet, and perceiving cradle. In three centuries afterwards what is their his splendid boots, laced with brilliants, he remarked - fate? The last male of their line, struggling with You are in error, monsieur; I mend only shoes. Ask poverty during his lifetime, has his ashes finally confor Christophe, the first street on the righit.'

signed to the common city burying place-unknown The marquis, with many forced compliments, having and forgotten. She who followed his remains was the explained the cause of his presence, the cobbler, lifting great-granddaughter of the old cobbler, and the only his cotton cap from his head, cleared a cumbrous bench known survivor of her race. of three or four pair of old boots, and made a sign to the Our advancement in life depends mainly on our own officer to be seated: the other soldiers not being able to exertions and energy. Whatever assistance we may find room, had the felicity of contemplating his august derive from others, if without corresponding exertions visage through some tattered sheets of paper, substi- of our own, is too limited to be of permanent advantuted in the window for glass.

tage; and the prospects of those on whom kings lavish * The king bas learned, monsieur,' said the marquis, their favours, like the sun preceding a storm, are never as he accepted the seat, that you are in a position little more uncertain than when they appear most dazzling. beseeming your illustrious origin, and his wish is to Amongst many who stand pre-eminent for self-adchange this state of things. Your niece is already a vancement, may be mentioned Amyot, Vincent de Paul, convincing proof of the royal solicitude.'

and Sextus V. The one, picked up dying on the public And I have many doubts,' replied the old cobbler, road, became archbishop of Sens, and preceptor to the whether this royal solicitude will much benefit the girl. king of France; the other, the son of poor parents, unAs for me, monsieur, I am aware that if Henry II. had certain from day to day of the bread they ate, shows wished, he could have converted this bench that I sit a career of virtue and good actions, and was enabled in on into a throne, this hammer into a sceptre, and that his old age to retire in affluence; the third, from being instead of this cotton cap, I might wear a brilliant head. a swineherd, became pope. Colbert, Chevert, Catinat, gear of gold and diamonds, though much more weighty.' all owed to themselves the dignities to which they were

The marquis was somewhat startled at this liberty raised. of language, but concealing his astonishment under a Our elevation is but the result and the recompense of courtly smile, the cobbler continued— Eh, well, mon- persevering industry, and a steady adherence to the sieur, I have no regret at seeing our cousin of Bourbon path of rectitude and justice. We are all more or less arrive at the crown of France. Think you that I envy the creatures of circumstance; and fortunes made by Louis XV.? Not I. I am my own master; no person honourable pursuits are ever the most durable. has an interest in deceiving me; all the world are contented with me, and I with them. Can the king say 80 much? This reminds me that my work presses-will you permit me?' And the old man, who seemed There are two kinds of suspension-bridge common in to take delight in treating without ceremony the king the mountainous districts of South America--namely, the of France and his envoy, busily resumed his employ-puente de soga and the huaro, which are thus described by ment.

Dr Von Tschudi the Peruvian traveller:-The soga bridges * You had better reflect,' remarked the officer.

are composed of four ropes, made of twisted cow-hide, and

about the thickness of a man's arm. The four ropes are * I have no need of reflection; I require nothing.' * But you have children, monsieur'; accept for them connected together by thinner ones of the same material,

fastened over them transversely. The whole is covered what you refuse for yourself, and allow your sons to fill with branches, straw, and roots of the agave tree. On that rank to which they are entitled.'

either side a rope, rather more than two feet above the The old man scratched his ear, as if undecided how to bridge, serves as a balustrade. The sogas are fastened on act; at length, pulling his cap over his gray locks, he each bank of the river by piles, or rivetted into the rock. replied, 'It is my frank opinion, monsieur, that the boys During long-continued rains, these bridges become loose, will not reflect very much honour on the family ; but and require to be tightened; but they are always lower in that is their affair; so, in their name, I shall accept the the middle than at the ends, and when passengers are king's generosity. The old proverb says that it is crossing them, they swing like hammocks. It requires some needless to upset good sauce with the foot.” But per- practice, and a very steady head, to go over the soga bridges haps you could not guess what are my thoughts ?' con

unaccompanied by a puentero or bridge-guide. However tinued Henry de Valois in a tone of raillery. "I think strongly made, they are not durable ; for the changeable

ness of the climate quickly rots the ropes, which are made the king is about doing what I do daily—to patch an

of untanned leather. They frequently require repairing, old boot, which never lasts long!'

and travellers have sometimes no alternative but to wait Very good! very good !' exclaimed the courtier, several days until a bridge is passable, or to make a circuit laughing boisterously. Permit me, however, to finish of twenty or thirty leagues. The puente de soga of Oroya


is fifty yards long and one and a half broad. It is one of continue to enjoy a peculiar protection, and a sort of prithe largest in Peru; but the bridge across the Apurimac, vilege, inasmuch as they are exempt from the greater part in the province of Ayacucho, is nearly twice as long, and it of the conditions imposed upon other proprietors? If we is carried over a much deeper gulf.

forbid the sale of arsenic, &c. why do we allow a host of The huaro bridge consists of a thick rope, extending over wretched beings to famish by slow poison in the unwholea river or across a rocky chasm. To this rope are affixed some habitations in which they are necessarily confined ?a roller and a strong piece of wood formed like a yoke, and Ducpétiaux on the Mortality of Brussels. by means of two smaller ropes, this yoke is drawn along the thick rope which forms the bridge. The passenger who has to cross the huaro is tied to the yoke, and grasps it

SERENADE. firmly with both hands. His feet, which are crossed one

[FOR MUSIC.] over the other, rest on the thick rope, and the head is held

'Tis now the hour when blushing Day, as erect as possible. All these preliminaries being com

Like youthful bride, to rest is stealing ; pleted, an Indian, stationed on the opposite side of the

But coy to go, and loath to stay, river or chasm, draws the passenger across the huaro.

One doubtful smile is yet revealing. This is altogether the most disagreeable and dangerous

But go, sweet day! I would not woo mode of conveyance that can possibly be conceived. If

Thy stay with one poor verse of minethe rope breaks, an accident of no unfrequent occurrence,

Go, and thy veil of deepening hue the hapless traveller has no chance of escaping with life, for, being fastened, he can make no effort to save himself.

Will hide a brighter blush than thine! Horses and mules are driven by the Indians into the river,

And hark! the twilight minstrel now and are made to swim across it, in doing which they fre

Sings to the lonely star of even: quently perish, especially when, being exhausted by a long

So falls the music, faint and slow, journey, they have not strength to contend against the

To youthful fancy's dreaming given ! force of the current.

But hush, sweet bird ! I would not buy

Thy lay with one poor verse of mine

Hush ! lest thy murmured minstrelsy The West Briton' newspaper gives the following interest

Drown a far sweeter note than thine! ing snatch respecting the early days of Mr Adams, the co

L. R. discoverer of the new planet Neptune :—The traveller who has come into Cornwall by the north road must remember a long moorland tract between Launceston and Bodmin.

PROGRESS. If his journey was performed on the roof of the coach against a sleety, biting south-wester, his memory will not

In the flow of a century the world has changed in science, need any refresher. The recollections of such an excur

in arts, in the extent of commerce, in the improvement of sion are not to be effaced even by the consolations of the navigation, and in all that relates to the civilisation of man. Jamaica Inn. A more desolate spot can scarcely be found. But it is the spirit of human freedom, the new elevation of Yet nature sometimes grows men where she grows nothing individual man, in his moral, social, and political character, else ; and on this bleak moor she has produced at least one

leading the whole long train of other improvements, which such man as, with all her tropical magnificence, she never

has most remarkably distinguished the era. Society, in produced within ten degrees of the equator. A few years

this century, has not made its progress, like Chinese skill, ago a small fariner named Adams, resident on the moor, by a greater acuteness of ingenuity in trifles; it has not had a boy who, if we are correctly informed, disappointed merely lashed itself to an increased speed round the old his father's hopes of making a good agriculturist of him. circles of thought and action ; but it has assumed a new His fits of abstraction and dreamy reverie were held to character—it has raised itself from beneath governments to be very unpropitious. He had somehow got a taste for a participation in governments; it has mixed moral and mathematics; and the highest happiness of his life was to political objects with the daily pursuits of individual men ; pore over

and, with a freedom and strength before altogether unBooks that explain

known, it has applied to these objects the whole power of The purer clements of truth, involved

the human understanding. It has been the era, in short, In lines and numbers.'

when the social principle has triumphed over the feudal And this passion so grew upon him, that he was at length principle ; when society has maintained its rights against abandoned to its impulses, and allowed to take his own hereafter to be shaken, its competency to govern itself.

military power, and established, on foundations never way, in despair of a better. It was clear that he would

Daniel Webster. never pick up prizes at a ploughing-match or a cattle-show; that the lord of the manor, or squire of the parish, would

PHOSPHORESCENT FUNGI. never have to stand up and make a solemn oration over him, showing him to wondering spectators as the man who passing along the streets of the Villa de Natividade, !

One dark night, about the beginning of December, while had improved the breed of rams, or fattened bullocks to a

observed some boys amusing themselves with some lumi. distressing obesity. Yet, as the path to such fame was closed, there were still some small honours awaiting him. fire-fly; but on making inquiry, I found it to be a beautiful

nous object, which I at first supposed to be a kind of large After 'a school training, he entered at St John's College, phosphorescent fungus, belonging to the genus Agaricus, Cambridge, where, at the end of his under-graduateship, and was told that it grew abundantly in the neighbour, he became senior wrangler. He is now one of the mathe- hood on the decaying leaves of a dwarf palm. Next day I matical tutors at that college, and one of the discoverers obtained a great many specimens, and found them to vary of the planet Neptune.

from one to two and a-half inches across. The whole plant A STRANGE ANOMALY.

gives out at night a bright phosphorescent light, of a pale People will perhaps urge, as an objection to our plans greenish hue, similar to that emitted by the larger firefor the improvement of the condition of the houses of the flies, or by those curious soft-bodied marine animals, the poor, the necessary interference with the rights of property. Pyrosomæ. From this circumstance, and from growing on But is our respect for the rights of property to be carried

a palm, it is called by the inhabitants. Flor do Coco.' The so far as to endanger the public health and security? The light given out by a few of these fungi, in a dark room, rights of the proprietor are necessarily limited by the rights was sufficient to read by. I was not aware at the time i of society. I'hat limit is inscribed upon nearly every page

discovered this fungus that any other species of the same of our law. Why does it not also exist

for the speculator the case in the A. olearius of De Candolle ; and Mr Drum

genus exhibited a similar phenomenon ; such, however, is who lets his houses to the workman and indigent? We mond of Swan River Colony, in Australia, has given an impose rigorous conditions on the sale of commodities; we confiscate, without hesitation, meat of bad quality, putrid account of a very large phosphorescent species occasionfish, adulterated liquors, and bread below the legal weight;

ally found there.-Gardner's Travels in Brazil. and we not only confiscate these things, but we punish Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also their owners. By what strange contradiction do the pro

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, prietors of these hideous dens, these infectious holes-to

147 Strand, and Amen Corner, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, inhabit which is at least as dangerous as the use of the 21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHANBERS, most unwholesome food—not only remain unpunished, but Edinburgh.



No. 175. New SERIES.

SATURDAY, MAY 8, 1847.

Price 11d.


for judgment. Better confess to having been a fool,

than, from a sham consistency, live the life of a knave. No one affects to misapprehend the distinction between The real matter, then, for the moralist to complain of, firmness and obstinacy. The former is recognised as is an invariable condemnation of change in sentiment. the virtue of a great mind; the latter as the vice of a It should be remembered that movement is the natural little one. The former proceeds from Resolve, that state of the human mind, and that this, beyond all • column of true majesty,' as Young finely says, which others, is the age of progress. In every new stage of life is founded upon reason ; while the latter is a dogged we abjure the sentiments of the previous one as illusions. adherence to a particular course, entered upon without The boy is as different in his ideas from the child, and conviction, and persisted in without reflection.

the youth from the boy, and the man from the youth, as But the distinction between Constancy and Con- the wrinkles of age are different from the smooth skin sistency, though really as well-marked, has attracted of infancy. But in the midst of all this change, this considerably less attention. A man may be constant, metamorphosis of the very stuff of which the mind is yet inconsistent; and consistent, yet inconstant. He made, we expect a man to be constant to some politi. may advocate, for instance, a particular measure which cal or social dogma which he once entertained. Nay, he supposes to be conducive to the interests of society; the oddity is, we expect him to be constant to herediyet if he continue that advocacy after circumstances tary dogmas. It is a bitter reproach to say of his senhave changed, so as to render the line of conduct unad- timents that they are different from those entertained visable, though true to the measure, he is false to his by his family and ancestors. Even in matters of taste principles. Nothing can be more obvious than this and custom, he is expected to be consistent.' I fact when enunciated; and yet nothing is less likely to have seen the day,' mutters one shaking his head at a suggest itself spontaneously. When a statesman changes parvenu, 'when he was glad enough to eat out of a his opinion of a public measure, he is straightway com- wooden spoon !' It is criminal, it appears, for the man, plimented with the name of apostate. No one thinks of now that he is rich, to prefer a silver one. It may be inquiring why he has changed his opinion, or whether that, since the family opinions were formed, a new conthe circumstance involves a change of principles. He dition of things has arisen which renders them-wise has deserted the cause; he has betrayed his friends; he and proper though they might have been in their day has gone over to the enemy. What is the cause ? A and generation-unwise and improper now: but this is certain political question, or the good of the country no excuse for the deserter of his family dogmas. It may for which that question was originally agitated? Who be that the parvenu had been accustomed to the comare his friends and enemies ? Certain noble and honour- parative luxuries of his new fortunes till they became able individuals, or those who entertain right and wrong nécessaries to him. But this is no excuse for the conviews of the national affairs ? It may be that the temner of wooden spoons. If we hint that the opinions charge is correct, that the deserter is really a traitor of the one and the tastes of the other are both conand a coward; or it may be quite the reverse, that he sistent in principle, that they are both the result of is a hero and a martyr-the outcry is the same. existing circumstances, and both consonant with rea

What we would wish to see in such a case as the son and nature, the insensate clamour only becomes the above, is a little impartial investigation of circum- louder. stances. When a statesman startles the country with We may be told, however, that all this is soon at an a new confession of faith, let him be judged by the end; that a single generation is enough to establish the circumstances and the motive by which he is likely to new tastes and sentiments as securely as the ancestral be influenced. For example, when a man of education ones. This is the very thing of which we complain. and experience of the world stands up in his place in par. We desire no liberty for ourselves that we would not liament, and tells us that, till within the last three weeks, transmit to our posterity. We demand that men's words he never recognised the truth of Adam Smith's theory and actions should be measured by principles, not preof trade, there is the greatest reason to doubt his vera- judices; that the inquiry should be, not whether they city. And when we find that he proclaims this new adhere to any particular dogma, but whether they exopinion with the view of supporting, or of being sup-ercise their judgment to the best of their ability. When ported by a party, the doubt assumes almost the charac we adhere to old sentiments, it should not be because ter of certainty, all his representations to the contrary they are old, but because they are conducive to the innotwithstanding. When, however, the announcement terests of the present race of mankind. And there are is made under no prospect of individual or party gain, plenty of such ancient novelties, such new antiquities. but apparently in all singleness of heart, honour instead There are sentiments that never grow old, that are of disgrace ought to be his portion. The acknowledg- never inapplicable. There are rules, both of public and ment of error is noble, even though it lower a reputation private virtue, which are instinctive in all noble natures:

« PreviousContinue »