Page images

analysis of a bottle of cheap port wine;* spirits of wine, retribution in its train. Two-thirds of the instances of cider, sugar, alum, tartaric acid, and decoction of log- adulteration are referrible to this cause. Setting down wood!

the rest to the unprincipled cupidity of the evil human The high price of champagne in England is a sufficient heart, let us take our leave of a subject which it has temptation to fabricate imitations thereof. Even at our given us more pain than pleasure to write upon. juvenile entertainments, gooseberry wine has become the celebrated representative of this noble liquid ; and how

PUNISHMENTS OF AUTHORS. far and how frequently this homely guest is found under the former title at tables of a higher caste, had better not Among the Greeks and Romans, the burning of obbe conjectured. It is positively stated, that some years noxious books by legal sentence was not unfrequent. ago, some Frenchmen set up a champagne manufactory At Athens, all the copies that could be collected of the in the metropolis, having contracted for a large supply prohibited works of Pythagoras were burnt by the comof the freshly-expressed juice of the pears of Hereford mon crier. At Rome, the writings of Numa, which shire ; and we have the best authority for stating that had been found in his grave, were condemned to the cochineal, or strawberries, citric acid, grape wine, French brandy, and water, are very common ingredients fire by the senate, because they were contrary to the of sham champagne. We happen to have it within our religion which he had introduced. During the reign personal knowledge, that in this metropolis there is in of Augustus, 20,000 volumes were burnt at one time: full operation some most ingenious machinery for the among these were the books of Labienus. Cassius sole purpose of impregnating such wines with the gas Severus, a friend of Labienus, hearing the sentence which contributes so much of the brilliancy of appear pronounced, cried aloud that they must burn him too, ance and piquancy of flavour to the veritable fluid. for he had got all the books by heart. Labienus could Such wine is bottled in the proper champagne bottles ; and--will it be credited ?—the compressed appearance not survive his books ; so, shutting himself up in the of the cork of real champagne is imitated by corks cut tomb of his ancestors, he pined away, and was buried purposely of precisely that distressingly tumid appear- alive. Shortly after this, the writings of the very perance! Cover it with tinfoil, powder it with sawdust, son who had been the cause of the order for burning and the counterfeit may be securely committed to the Labienus's books, shared the same fate, being also pubgullibility and gullets of an unsuspecting world. Ardent licly burnt. Antiochus Epiphanes caused the works spirits are adulterated to an equal, in some cases even of the Jews to be burnt. Eusebius informs us that to a greater extent; and few but those who brew their Dioclesian caused the sacred Scriptures to be burnt. own pecks o' maut, can hope to have beer altogether The writings of Arius were condemned to the flames free from adulteration. We will close this part of our subject with an anecdote which passes for truth. at the Council of Nice; and Constantine threatened to George IV., in his days of early dissipation, possessed a put to death any person who should conceal them. At very small quantity of remarkably choice and scarce the request of the clergy assembled at the Council of wine. His suite, appreciating its value, and deeming it Ephesus, the Emperor Theodosius II. ordered the works forgotten, exhausted it almost to the last bottle, when of Nestorius to be burnt. Leo I. ordered 200,000 books they were surprised by the unexpected command, that to be burnt at Constantinople. the wine should be forthcoming at an entertainment on the following day. In the midst of their consternation, the copies were most industriously sought after and

On the first publication of 'Pasquillorum Tomi Duo,' they applied to a noted wine-brewer, who inquired, * Have you any of the wine left for a specimen?' There destroyed ; and no wonder, for never were the popes were a couple of bottles. He received one, took it home, and monks attacked with more poignant satire, wit, examined it, and the next day, shortly before the com- and ridicule, than in these celebrated pasquinades. mencement of the entertainment, a sufficient supply of the Owing to this destruction of the copies, it is extremely imitation was sent, and the cheat was never discovered.t rare. Heinsius cheerfully paid one hundred Venetian

Milk, coffee, honey, cream, mustard, and a thousand ducats for a copy, which he considered to be the only other articles of domestic consumption, are frequently one in existence. In the present day, copies of it sell and extensively adulterated. The miserably poor, for from three to eleven guineas. Fox, the historian of colicky-looking milk, so called by an insane mistake, the martyrs, relates that in May 1531 Bishop Stokeswith which this metropolis feeds her children, has a ley 'caused all the New Testament of Tindal's translareputation as extensive as the world. In no instance, tion, and many other books which he had bought, to be however, is this hateful practice so sinful, or so lament- openly burnt in St Paul's Churchyard,' where heaps ably common, as in the adulteration of medicines. We of books were thus destroyed on several occasions of may laugh at such tales as those we hear, of a gentle-grand ceremonial. In June 1599, by order of Archman taking six ounces of castor-oil in succession in bishop Whitgift and Bishop Bancroft, nearly all the vain; but the case puts on a far different aspect when copies of Christopher Marlow's translation of Ovid's it is remembered, that to the half-efficacy of a sophis- Elegies, with Sir John Davies's Epigrams (1596), were ticated drug may be committed the lives of our nearest condemned to be burnt at Stationers' Hall. The few and dearest friends. The native exporters adulterate, existing copies of the little volume containing these the importers adulterate, the retailers adulterate; and, two performances are worth from six to eight guineas with thrice-diluted energies, the medicine is placed in each. An old writer tells us that, by command of the the practitioner's hand, 'a bruised reed, upon which, if pope, and with the consent of the whole clergy of Enghe leans, it will surely break and pierce him.'

land, the Bishop of Rochester preached in St Paul's We believe this paper will do good. If it will show Churchyard against Martin Luther and all his works, in any fresh light the short-sighted folly which seems and denounced those persons as accursed who kept any the characteristic passion of the present age—the rage of his books, of which many were burnt during the for cheapening everything-it will do both the state and sermon. In 1617, James I. published his famous Dethe people some service. In this Journal, again and claration to his Subjects Concerning Lawful Sports, again has this subject been referred to; the present sanctioning the public enjoying certain recreations and article may give some force to the previous remarks, pastimes on the Sabbath, and positively ordering all by exhibiting, and in no over-wrought colours, one of parochial incumbents to make his permission kuown the inevitable consequences of this cruel, hard-hearted, in their respective churches, on pain of the king's bargain-seeking spirit, as carrying its own measure of displeasure. On March 10, 1643, twenty-six years

after its publication, this royal book of sports was * We suppress the quantities.

burnt by the common hangman in Cheapside, in pur† Beckman. Tiistory of Inventions. Bohn's Ed.

suance of a resolution of both Houses of Parliament,

which commanded all persons having any copies of that George Withers the poet was imprisoned for several work in their hands to deliver them forthwith to be months in the Marshalsea, as a punishment for the burnt according to the order. For writing his · Altrare offence he gave by his satires, in a little book entitled Christianum' (1637), and Sunday No Sabbath,' Dr Abuses Stript and Whipt' (1633). In James II.'s Pocklington was deprived of all his livings, dignities, reign, Richard Baxter, the eminent divine and nonconand preferments, disabled from ever holding any place formist, was committed to the King's Bench, by a waror digvity in church or commonwealth, and prohibited rant from the detestable Judge Jeffries, who treated from ever coming within the verge of the king's court, this worthy man, at his trial, in the most brutal manand his works were ordered to be burnt by the common ner, and reproached him with having written a cart-load hangman. 'I am afraid,' says Southey, that this act of books, every one as full of sedition and treason as of abominable tyranny must mainly be attributed to an egg is full of meat.' Bussy Rabutin, maliciously Archbishop Williams, who revenged himself thus for betrayed by the Marchioness of Beaume, as the author the manner in which Dr Pocklington had foiled him in of `Amours des Illustres de France,' published at Coa controversy.' On August 27, 1659, all Milton's books logne in 1717, was sent to the Bastile, and then exiled were burnt by the common hangman, according to an seventeen years on his own estate. order altogether worthy of the prince who had Crom Thomas Wilson, who was seized at Rome, and thrown well's mouldering bones taken up and exposed on a into the Inquisition, in consequence of the heresies conscaffold. Dr J. Drake's very curious . Historia Anglo- tained in his · Arte of Rhetorique, for the Use of all Scotica, or Impartial History of the Kings and King- such as are Studious of Eloquence' (1553), would have doms of England and Scotland from William the Con- been burnt, if the prison itself had not taken fire; for queror to the Reign of Queen Elizabeth' (1703), was the people then broke open the doors, that the priordered to be burnt by the common hangman. The Scot soners might save their lives if they could, and Wilson tish parliament having pronounced William Attwood's made his escape. Henry Stephens the printer was work, entitled “The Superiority and Dominion of the condemned to be burnt for publishing a work entitled Crown of England over the Crown of Scotland' (1704), Introduction au Traité de la Conformité des Merto be scurrilous and full of falsehoods, commanded it to vailles Anciennes avec les Modernes' (1566), which is be burnt by the hangman of Edinburgh. When Lin- so full of amusing anecdotes and satire against monks, næus first published his works, the pope ordered them priests, and popes, that many authors have been to be burnt; but some time afterwards, his holiness un- tempted to extract from it without acknowledgment. seated a professor of botany for being ignorant of the While Charles II. had the portrait of Hobbes on the writings of that illustrious Swede. In France, in 1790, wall of his bedroom, in reverence of his aristocraabove 4,194,412 books were burnt, which were in the tical principles, the bishops were strongly urging the suppressed monasteries. Two millions were on theology, necessity of burning him, in abhorrence of his religious and 26,000 were manuscripts. In the city of Paris alone, doctrines. 808,120 volumes were burnt.

For writing 'An Appeal to Parliament, or Sion's Plea A gentleman named Collingbourne was executed on against the Prelacy'(1628), Dr Alexander Leighton was Tower IIill for the following couplet, alluding to Catesby, twice publicly whipped and pilloried in Cheapside, his Ratcliff, and Lovel giving their advice to Richard III., ears cut off, his nose twice slit, his cheeks branded with whose crest was a white boar :

a red-hot iron, and he was also eleven years imprisoned The cat, the rat, and Lovel our dog,

in a filthy dungeon in the Fleet. William Prynne lost Rule all England under a hog.'

his ears for writing Histrio - Mastix; the Player's

Scourge, or Actor's Tragedie' (1633), a scarce and The unfortunate versifier having been hung, was cut famous work, in two volumes. The recent recommendown immediately, and his entrails were then extracted dation of his works in the Oxford Tracts have brought and thrown into the fire; and all this was so speedily them again into considerable demand. performed, that Stow says, when the executioner pulled Queen Elizabeth being enraged at a book that was out his heart, he spake, and said “Jesus, Jesus!”

written against her, and which she did not believe was W. Thomas, author of 'A Historie of Italy, a Boke Ex- penned by the person whose name appeared on the cedyng Profitable to be Redde' (1549), enjoyed the con title-page, declared that she would have him racked to fidence of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., but was hanged discover its real author. 'Nay, madam,' said Bacon, by order of Queen Mary, for the bitterness he evinced he is a doctor; never rack his person-rack his style. towards the pope and others in that curious and now Let this pretended author have pen, ink, and paper, and very scarce book. The printer of a work entitled 'Dole help of books, and be enjoined to continue his story; man's Conferance about the next Succession to the and I will undertake, by collating the styles, to judge Crown of England,' imprinted at N. with license (1594), whether he were the author or not.' Voltaire, when at was hung, drawn, and quartered; and it was enacted Berlin, wrote an epigram on his patron and host, the by the 35th of Elizabeth, that whoever should have this king of Prussia, for which he was rewarded with a flogbook in bis house, should be condemned as guilty of ging on his bare back, administered by the sergeant-athigh treason. Cardinal Allen, Sir Francis Englefield, arms, and was compelled to sign the following curious and Father Robert Parsons the Jesuit, are supposed to receipt for the same:– Received from the right hand have written this work, the object of which was to sup- of Conrad Bachoffner, thirty lashes on my bare back, port the title of the Infanta against that of King James, being in full for an epigram on Frederick the Third, after the death of Elizabeth. It is now so very rare, king of Prussia. Vive le Roi.' that as much as fifteen pounds has been paid for one of The present king of Prussia, conversing with George the few copies that exist; and even an imperfect copy Kerwegh, a celebrated poet of very liberal opinions. has been sold for L.1, 108. Archbishop Laud was said, 'I have to be faithful to my mission as a king, and beheaded for compiling Charles I.'s 'Book of Sports' I desire that you may be faithful to yours as a poet, for (1633). Jacques Boulay, canon of St Pierre en Pont, I do not like want of character. A warm opposition, wrote Le Vigneron Français' (1723), containing an ex- founded upon conviction, pleases me; and I therefore cellent account of the French vineyards, and so faith- like your poetry, although it sometimes contains a bitter ful an exposure of the frauds and adulterations prac- dose for me.' tised by the growers and sellers, that tradition says Milton, in his “Treatise for Unlicensed Printing, he was found one fine morning hung up in the midst shows that in Greece and Rome no books were prohiof his own vineyard, as a public warning to those who bited which did not blaspheme the gods or were not make people too wise by telling the tricks of trade. libellous. And passing on through the times of the Campbell the poet called Bonaparte the literary execu- emperors, after Christianity had been publicly estabtioner, because Palm the bookseller was executed in lished, he finds a similar indulgence of all books not Germany by order of the French,

blasphemous or calumnious ; for even heretical works

were not prohibited till they had been condemned by a

HEART TESTS. general council. Bat about the year 800, he finds this course altered, and the origin of the invention of li

It is in the relaxation of security, it is in the expansion censing books. At one period in France, it seems that of prosperity, it is in the hour of dilatation of the heart, works on any subject, no matter what, were obliged and of its softening into festivity and pleasure, that the to be written in a religious strain, to insure the quiet in them, it appears then or never. Even wolves and tigers,

real character of men is discerned. If there is any good publication of them. Addison, writing from Paris in when gorged with their prey, are safe and gentle. It is at 1699, remarks, that “as for the state of learning here, such times that noble minds give all the reins to their goodthere is no book that comes out that has not something nature. They indulge their genius even to intemperance, in it of an air of devotion. Dacier has been forced to in kindness to the afllicted, in generosity to the conquered ; prove his Plato a very good Christian before he ven- forbearing insults, forgiving injuries, overpaying benefits. tures upon his translation; and has so far complied with Full of dignity themselves, they respect dignity in all, but the taste of the age, that his whole book is overrun they feel it sacred in the unhappy. But it is then, and with texts of Scripture, and the notion of pre-existence basking in the sunshine of unmerited fortune, that low, supposed to be stolen from two verses of the prophets.' sordid, ungenerous, and reptile souls swell with their Dr Johnson justly observes, that if nothing may be hoarded poisons; it is then that they display their odious published but what civil authority shall have previously splendour, and shine out in the full lustre of their native

villany and baseness.-Burke. approved, Power must always be the standard of Truth.' It is rather remarkable, however, that the doctor never

NECESSITY OF TRUTH. theless advocates the punishment by law of authors We are so constituted, that obedience to the law of who murmur at the government, or are sceptical in veracity is absolutely necessary to our happiness. Were theology.

we to lose either our feeling of obligation to tell the truth, A modern writer very truly remarks that, ‘Notwith- or our disposition to receive as truth whatever is told to standing the vast increase of knowledge in the depart- us, there would at once be an end to all science and all ments of physical science, and the partial demolition knowledge, beyond that which every man had obtained by and decay of some ethical errors (the causes of great could profit by the discoveries of his contemporaries, much

his own personal observation and experience. No man practical unhappiness), the cause of intellectual indeless by the discoveries of those men who have gone before pendence is not yet gained. The right of free thought him. "Language would be useless, and we should be but is not so firmly established, that we have nothing more little removed from the brutes. Every one must be aware, to learn or to suffer in its behalf. There is, it is true, upon the slightest reflection, that a community of entire no room to doubt that the Reformation in religion, by liars could not exist in a state of society. The effects of relieving mankind from the incubus of one sole infal- such a course of conduct upon the whole, show us what lible authority, has materially improved the condition is the will of the Creator in the individual case.-Dr Way of society morally, scientifically, and politically, no less land. than in its relation to the point originally at issue. We

A FRIEND IN NEED. are in no immediate likelihood of such a crusade against science, as that directed by the church in Galileo's time in our remembrance, took place before our door on Satur

An instance of animal sagacity and humanity, unequalled against the Copernican system; but though knowledge, day. An unfortunate dog, in order to make sport for some or rather the improved moral feeling that knowledge fools, had a pan tied to his tail, and was sent off on his brings with it, has gained this triumph, yet is the travels towards Galt. He reached the village utterly exhuman mind itself a combination of the same passions, hausted, and lay down before the steps of Mr Young's obeying the same laws, and ready at any moment to tavern, eyeing most anxiously the horrid annoyance hung manifest, we fear, the same passions, whenever the op- behind him, but unable to move a step further, or rid himportunity arises for the assertion of self-interest. We self of the torment. Another dog, a Scotch colly, came ask ourselves whether, all things considered, there is up at the time, and seeing the distress of his crony, laid not as much evil disposition manifested in the in- I himself down gently beside him, and gaining lis confidence tolerance with which rival sects persecute and plague the noisy appendage was attached to his friend's tail

, and

by a few caresses, proceeded to gnaw the string by which each other, in this much-lauded nineteenth century, as by about a quarter of an hour's exertion, severed the cord, was displayed by the persecutors of the Galileos in the and started to his legs with the pan hanging from the string sixteenth? The fagot and the cord, it is true, are no in his mouth, and after a few joyful capers around his friend, longer permissable instruments of religious or political departed on his travels, in the highest glee at his success. controversy, as in the times of Huss and Servetus; but Galt Reporter. the ingenuity of power, whether lodged in church, state,

NATURAL GAS JETS. or public opinion, has employed other methods of enforcing silence scarcely less painful to the mind of the

A correspondent informs us that at the village of Wigsufferer. In fact, the law no longer pillories an author more in Herefordshire, there are fields which may be, and who writes to the distaste, or, like poor Defoe, above the This vapour, with which the subjacent strata seem to be

two houses which really are, lit up with a natural gas. comprehension, of the powers that be, because it no charged, is obtained in the following manner :- A hole is longer pillories any one; but the imprisonment and the made in the cellar of the house, or other locality, with an fines remain in force.

iron rod; a hollow tube is then placed therein, fitted with a burner similar to those used for ordinary gas lights, and

immediately on applying a flame to the jet, a soft and THE HUMANISING INFLUENCE OF CLEANLINESS. brilliant light is obtained, which may be kept burning at A neat, clean, fresh-aired, sweet, cheerful, well-arranged, sive smell, and does not stain the ceilings, as is generally

pleasure. The gas is very pure, quite free from any offenand well-situated house, exercises a moral as well as a the case with the manufactured article. Besides lighting physical influence over its inmates, and makes the mem

rooms, &c. it has been used for cooking; and indeed seeins bers of a family peaceable and considerate of the feelings capable of the same applications as prepared carburetted and happiness of each other; the connection is obvious hydrogen. There are several fields in which the phenobetween the state of mind thus produced and habits of menon exists, and children are seen boring holes, and setrespect for others and for those higher duties and obliga- ting the gas on fire for amusement. It is now about twelve tions which no laws can enforce. On the contrary, a filthy, months since the discovery was made; and a great many squalid, noxious dwelling, rendered still more wretched by of the curious have visited, and still continue to visit, tho its noisome site, and in which none of the decencies of life

spot. can be observed, contributes to make its unfortunate inhabitants selfish, sensual, and regardless of the feelings of Published by W. & R. Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh. Also each other; the constant indulgence of such passions renders them reckless and brutal, and the transition is natural

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, to propensities and habits incompatible with a respect for

147 Strand, and Amen Corner, London; and J. M'GLASMAX, the property of others or for the laws.— Topic, No. 32.

21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHANBERS, Edinburgh.





No. 188. NEW SERIES.


PRICE 11d.


and wayworn the precious missive looked ! With what

dignity it was delivered, and the heavy postage deI HAVE now attained that age when there is some manded, and thankfully paid ! With what trembling dignity in remembering—when it is in vain to conceal eagerness was the large, closely-filled, well-crossed sheet from myself or others that my recollections carry me glanced over! It could not be read till the anxious back to a time when they had not entered on this mother had ascertained that all was well ; and then, bustling, scrambling scene, and that what is matter of when from her inmost heart she had blessed God for tradition to them was reality to me. But so changed this mercy, the family were assembled to study it at is all around and about me, that I sometimes say, and leisure. It required some ingenuity to decipher the often think – Are my recollections real ? — did all this strange names of the localities: the first syllables were happen ?-are persons, and places, and manners so diffe- variously read; but it seemed likely they were not far rent from what they were half a century ago ? Many wrong if the latter were rendered by pore or gunge. sad and bitter remembrances dispel the doubt, and tell Before the day had closed, first one neighbour, and then me that, though customs are altered, gigantic improve another, had dropped in to inquire the news from India ; ments made, and many dear ones lost to me by death, that is to say, the news of their young townsman. and others as much so by circumstances, I am still the Was he a general yet? Had some Hindoo rajah made same; and that this is still the same world of trial, him a present of countless treasures? Had an Indian perplexity, and anxiety, though war is removed to princess, or · Begum,' as they knew they were called, remote and distant parts of the globe, though steam bestowed her hand and kingdom on him ? For that a has almost annihilated time and space, and though free letter which had travelled so far, should only tell that trade is established.

perhaps the writer had got a step in his regiment—that Great as are the changes which every one of my age he had been conveying treasure from one station to experiences here, I don't know that to one who, like my- another-had been in at the death of a tiger-or, it self, has passed many years in India, any changes are might be, what was more important still, that a spinster so great as those which have taken place with regard to had arrived by the last fleet—that as there were now our connections with that country. Perhaps it may not three ladies, they had serious thoughts of getting up a be uninteresting to the reader to trace some of these fancy ball, each individual female to sustain three diffeimprovements. So many are now connected with India rent characters in the course of the evening, &c. &c.-in one way or another-by marriage, by relationship, or was inconceivable even to the good folks of those days, by friendship—that they may like to hear some of the and was nearly as uninteresting as the politics, or prodifferences between India in the beginning of this cen- spects, or geography of that vast empire. Whether the tury, and India now; not that they must expect any war was carrying on against the Great Mogul, or the very learned disquisition on the subject: I only pretend nabob of Oude, or that monster of cruelty, Tippoo to give a simple account of every-day matters, as ex- Saib, they knew not, till the recollection of the inteperienced by every-day gentlemen, and especially ladies, resting print of the sons of the latter being delivered to bound for the East.

Lord Cornwallis made it quite clear, even to the lady Now, indeed, connection with India is so rapid and who thought the Mysore was in Calcutta, that Tippoo so certain, that the Indian mail arrives with as much Saib was dead, so that there was no use in making regularity as if it were from some port of Britain. But war against him, or those pretty gentle boys in their it was not so in my young days : six months, instead of long white robes who were being taken as prisoners six weeks, was an average passage. The Indian fleet to be lodged in the dungeons of the English. What a was looked for with anxiety by the few whom it con- cruel blow to the romance of the hardships they were cerned for several weeks before it was due. In the to undergo, could she have seen the large and elegant small country town, it was the distinguishing charac-house, the spacious grounds, numerous retinue, highteristic of one of the many Mrs Smiths, that she had a bred horses, English carriages, and luxurious pleasures son in India-now, almost every Mrs Smith has one, if that awaited them there; or, some years later, could not two, thus conveniently provided for—and when an she have met one of these identical pretty youths, transIndian letter reached the post-office in those days, it formed into a fat burly man, driving along the New could be for no one but the Mrs Smith. How peculiar Road, London! But we have wandered far from the was the colour and manufacture of the paper on which long-expected welcome letters. When every word was the said letter was written! for when the Honourable known by heart, when a sound was assigned for every Company monopolised all trade, none but the magnates place, then came the question, When will the next could afford any other than China paper. How brown ships be due ? The next fleet may make a better was the ink! made after a precious receipt communi- voyage: we may hear again in three months. But if cated by the doctor of the regiment. How travel-soiled | hope whispers thus, a louder voice will be heard, which

tells of French frigates that may intercept—of distant rity, that whatever fortune awaited the errant damsel stations where there is no post-of other contingencies in India, the government there should not be burdened and so they must hope on for six weary months longer. by her. Then, instead of opportunities at least once

But if hope deferred maketh the heart sick,' so a-month via the Cape, in a swift vessel, or by steam 'familiarity breeds contempt;' and now, in this year once a-fortnight, arrangements must be made to suit 1847, an Indian letter is neither so honoured nor so the fleets, which left England at intervals of about important; maybe it is hardly welcome. There is no four or five months; and when it was imprudent to longer the dignity of a fleet; no longer the precarious calculate on a shorter voyage than half a year, the outness of wind and weather ; of war or peace. All the fit deemed necessary can scarcely be imagined. In adexcitement of uncertainty is removed. The mail is dition to the countless dozens of under-clothing, a very due: it is telegraphed. All important public events | large stock of full dress was considered essential; for as are known by this mode ; and since the Cabul tragedy, all articles of European produce, before the opening of public events have become important; before that, they the trade, bore extravagantly high prices in India, it were as little attended to as the affairs of the moon. was thought most unwise not to provide against all Then the Marseilles Express still further blunts the contingencies; and a young lady's wardrobe was geneedges of expectation ; and lastly, almost to a day, the rally so large, that much of it was frequently destroyed Southampton budget is distributed.

by white ants and cockroaches before it had been put No doubt it contains many a welcome packet, many on. Then what an array of trunks was required for balms to lull the pangs of absence, much to make up these treasures, which were to be transported to Portsfor the misery of separation. But now that hot-pressed mouth in the heavy wagon—a work of many days! sentimental letter-paper, the most approved steel pens, And here I must be permitted to regret those picand the finest ink, are almost as cheap on the banks of turesque monster vehicles, with their eight stately the Ganges as in London, whilst the mail starts regu- horses, and good-tempered, ruddy-faced driver, in his larly once a-fortnight, the contents, as well as the ap- clean white gabardine. How many visions did I conpearance of the letters are changed; for it serves to jure up, in my happy childhood, of the possibility of while away the interminable forenoon of a long hot day, travelling from one end of England to the other, with to bestow some of its dulness on friends at home; and all near and dear to me, in one of these moving habitaso even distant connections, if they have nothing to tell tions, stopping now and then for a few days to explore of themselves, often indite a closely-written sheet with

some spot of surpassing beauty! But these visions have public news. For now that an interest is excited, it long since vanished, and much, I fear, the subject of seems impossible that it should ever flag; and if Akbar them has disappeared too, for years have passed since Khan, and Dost Mahommed, and the Ameers, are ex I saw a heavy wagon. hausted, is there not Lahore, and Goolab Sing, and the But to return. Instead of taking a seat in a firstRanee and her favourites ? Amongst other precious class carriage, and whistling to Portsmouth between treasures in the epistolary way, a few pairs of marriage- dinner and tea, as would be the case now, in those cards, tied together with silver cord, and without any days the journey must be made in a post-chaise; for further explanation, may be put into your hands, and stage-coach travelling was eschewed by ladies. Seventy set your wits to work to discover which of the dancing miles was too much on a stretch, and so a night was beauties who fitted before you at the balls of the last passed on the road; and this leisurely mode of beginseason has, on her return to the land of her birth, be- ning continued to the end. All the ships might not stowed her charms on the glittering Captain Firefly, or have arrived; the convoy of his majesty's frigates which on the stately Mr Bigwig.

might not be ready; the last despatches from the The importations of children are now so numerous, | India House not made up; and somehow it seemed as that the returns must be in proportion. Many years if many ships required more fair wind than one; for ago, marriage was never thought of till the Company's certain it is, the fleet often lay between three and four servants had reached the higher grades of the service, weeks at Spithead, waiting for what would not come. and till they contemplated following their delicate off. During this time many of the passengers lived on board, spring home. Now, the judge's assistant, perhaps not to avoid the expense of living at an inn. This added come to years of discretion, or the lieutenant at a half to the discomfort and length of the voyage ; but necesbatta station, thinks himself entitled to set up house, sity compelled them to submit. In fact, the time rekeeping; and before he is quite prepared, is surrounded quired to reach India by steam now is not greater than by a numerous band of olive-branches, seldom the har- that often required formerly between embarkation at bingers of peace in any sense of the word. By and by Portsmouth and making Madeira, at which island the these must be sent to Britain for education. Girls are fleets invariably stopped to take in wine for the Indian much more manageable than boys: accomplishments market, then an immense article of trade, though change are attainable for them; and when they are finished, has taken place even in this matter, and sherry is the they look forward to returning to India, for which they white wine now preferred, so that there is no longer any have been specially prepared, and where they hope a motive for stopping here. It was, however, a delightful life of joyousness awaits them. Some may have been break, after the horrors of the English Channel and Bay so fortunate as to have a foretaste of gaiety, by a winter of Biscay, to explore the luxuriant vineyards, visit the at Bath, Brighton, or one of the capitals; but others convents, and take leave of Europe on sunnier shores are shipped off direct from school; and in no more time than our own island can boast. But to those who did than the bare voyage out would have required in the not land, the delay added to the weary length of the beginning of the century, their marriage-cards may be voyage, and glad were they when they were once more put into your hands, to announce that they are settled. under weigh. Then, when many of the passengers had

In bygone days, if the exportations of young ladies been at least six weeks on board, the voyage might be returning to their homes were less, those setting out in said fairly to begin. The tedium of the daily routine search of one were greater; and, sooth to say, it was soon became felt; the heat made the confinement more far to go for such a purpose. True, India was as near irksome; and any variety was welcome, even that occathen as now; but when we call to mind the obstruc- sioned by the ceremonies attendant on passing the line tions to getting there, the actual distance was, as it a saturnalia now falling into disrepute, and a custom were, doubled. The first step of all was to procure an more honoured in the breach than in the observance: invitation ; for however urgent the wishes of the young however, six months of monotony make strange things ladies, all attempts to proceed to the East were vain endurable, and so this was tolerated. without this. The East India Directors were not very The most effectual mode of killing time was usually scrupulous in ascertaining the cordiality with which the found in the enacting of a play. Charades were not. invitation was given, but they were peremptory in re- Some days were pleasantly consumed in selecting such quiring two respectable householders to become secu a drama as suited the performers and audience; several

« PreviousContinue »