Графични страници
PDF файл



to be tall. He had a slouching figure, with large, bony, and prominent shoulders. He was pot-bellied. His skin was white; his hands were long and clammy. His legs were the same size all the way down, and in addition he was knock-kneed. He was very thin, and had a sickly and delicate complexion; but want and toil had served to harden him. He was ugly, and very disagreeable; his head was buried between his shoulders. His hair was coarse, black, and lank. His face was long; his forehead projecting and irregular. . His eyes were small, deep-set, and watery. His temples and cheek-bones were large, and his cheeks were hollow. His nose was flat, his chin sharp; his mouth large, and filled with black and ugly teeth. Naturally, his complexion was pale, and he rouged his face, to avoid looking like a corpse. His voice was like a woman's. His appearance contemptible. The general expression of his face was idiotic. He had the manners of a clown, and the gait of a fool. He had a scar on the left eyebrow, caused by a stone thrown at him; scars beneath both eyes, produced by the incision of a lancet. At his birth, his ears were attached to his head at the outer edges in such a manner as to make it necessary to separate them with a razor. He had marks of scrofula on his neck and legs, and a tumor beneath the knee, which had been punctured thrice. As a child, his great toe was lanced for inflammation, caused by the nail growing into the quick. His nurse had cauterized his left leg. At the back of his head there was a large pointed bone, which protruded in a very remarkable manner. His father, grandfather, and uncle, had each a similar peculiarity, which, indeed, was hereditary in his family. Finally, the son of Monsieur de Caille resembled his mother chiefly in his nose and the lower part of his face. He resembled Mademoiselles le Gouche and St. Etienne, his cousins; but above all, he was like Madame de Lignon, his aunt, and Mlle. la Coulette, his cousin. Such was the description of his person. As to his mind, he was, it was alleged, stupid, and rarely spoke without making some silly remark. It was found impossible to teach him either to read or to write. He was brutal, passionate, quarrelsome, without feeling, and always ili-treated children of his own age. He had a cringing aspect, and the manners of a groom, and fled from the society of respectable people to enjoy that of scoundrels.

This description was flatly contradicted by Monsieur Rolland's witnesses; and the soldier's counsel urged that, as Monsieur Isaac de Castellane could not have two noses, two mouths, in short, two faces and two bodies, his was the right portrait. Witnesses were brought who stated that Monsieur de Caille was never at his son's death-bed at all. Others swore that Isaac never could read or write; and to show that this was nothing extraordinary, several instances were cited of persons of good position who were then in the flesh whose education had been left in the same deplorable condition. Other instances of persons who had forgotten to read after they had learned were proved, in order to meet the evidence of those who appeared to remember that Isaac's learning had reached thus far.

Many witnesses swore that the soldier in no way resembled Pierre Mège, in stature, features, complexion, or voice. The attacks upon Monsieur Rolland were resumed. He was denounced as a mendacious conspirator, in league with the other members of the family. The evidence in the depositions of Monsieur de Caille was ridiculed as being utterly worthless, coming from a man who had fled from his country as a heretic; and it was urged that the majority of his relations were not to be believed for similar reasons.

On the other hand, Monsieur de la Blinière's witnesses knew nothing whatever of the numerous peculiarities said to have been visible in and upon Isaac le Brun. According to their testimony, Monsieur de Caille's son had fine eyes, a well-formed nose, a small rosy mouth, a remarkably well-förmed face, and a beautiful complexion. His figure was slight, but firmly and compactly built. He carried himself well, and had a most pleasing expression of counte

His manners were winning, and his disposition kind. He was a man of high character, and extremely liberal-minded. He was well-informed, full of wit and vi

vacity, yet at the same time gentle and unassuming. He spoke French perfectly, and was devoted to the exercise both of body and mind. He was much attached to his own profession of faith, was pure in morals, fair in his dealings. In fine, he was a scholar, gentleman, and Christian.

Four of Isaac's tutors deposed to his having learned to read and write, and to his having studied Greek and Latin at college. Duly attested certificates, signed by the French minister at Geneva, from five different professors, set forth that Isaac le Brun had attended their lectures at Geneva during three years. As it had been urged that he hail forgotten to read and write, Monsieur de la Blinière pointed out that the soldier had denied ever having been able to learn to write.

With regard to the proofs of Isaac de Castellane's death, certificates were produced from the magistrates at Veray, establishing the fact. Other depositions were also forwarled, after having been authenticated by the authorities of Berne and the Marquis de Puysieux, the French ambassador in Switzerland ; amongst others, those of Monsieur le Sage, the minister who attended Isaac le Brun on his death-bed; of Monsieur Second, in whose house he lived; of the doctor, surgeon, and chemist who attended him; of the watcher who had been placed over his body, and who had laid it out; of the undertaker who had prepared the corpse for burial, and placed it in the coffin ; and of several others who had attended the sick man during his last illness, and who had subsequently followed him to the grave. Monsieur de Caille further obtaine the evidence of ttntynine other witnesses, who had known the deceased at Lausanne, and who gave an accurate description of the illness that had eventually carried him off, and of his general appearance. Three of Isaac le Brun's aunts gave similar evidence; and the vicar of the parish of St. Louis at Grenoble deposed that he was present when Madame Rolland received the news of her nephew's death in 1696. This was the principal evidence brought forward in proof of the death of Isaac le Brun; and certainly most people would consider it sutliciently convincing; and in the end it proved so. Other proof, however, was forthcoming to show who the soldier in reality was; and this was subsequently placed beyon.I doubt. Honorade Venelle came forward and swore unhesitatingly that Pierre Mêge was her husband, whom she had married in 1685, and with whom she had cohabited until 1699. Her reasons for keeping so rigid a silence since she first heard of her husband's villanous proceedings were perfectly valid and comprehensible. Hau she attempted to verity his statements, her position would have been that of pariceps criminis ; on the other hand, had she given information as to who he really was, she would in effect have been signing his death-warrant, and she determined to let things take their course, the more so as her position as a married woman was not imperilled until the marriage of Pierre Mêge with Mademoiselle de Serri. Her evidence, coupled with that of many other witnesses, established the identity of the soldier as Pierre Mège, who had enlisted seven times in the French army; against whom a warrant for violence against a clergyman had been issued; who had three times abjured his religion ; and who had been guilty of many other vile actions.

In this extraordinary case, which stands at the head of the French causes célèbres, no less than three hundred and ninety-four witnesses, who had almost all seen and known Isaac de Castellane, were examined on the impostor's side. Of these, one hundred and ten either swore positively that the soldier was the son of Monsieur de Caille, or that they believed him to be such. Of these one hundred and ten witnesses, twenty said that the impostor resembled Madame Rolland, although not the slightest likeness existed between the two. Sixteen were convicted of false hood out of their own mouths. One extraordinary fact was elicited during the trial : the journal of Monsieur Bourdin, Isaac de Castellane's maternal grandfather, contained an entry of the names of the five different nurses who had attended his grandson when a child; and these did not correspond with either the Christian or surnames of those examined during this trial; and it was provei


that one of them, Martine Esprit, could only have been ena are in progress. The Emperor Augustus used to suffer seven years old at the very time she swore she suckled the most distressing emotions when a thunder-storm was in Isaac le Brun.

progress; and he was in the habit of retiring to a low On behalf of Madame Rolland, one hundred and eighty- vaulted chamber under ground, under the mistaken notion four witnesses were examined : of these, thirty-eight swore that lightning never penetrates far below the earth's surthat the soldier was not the son of Monsieur de Caille ; face. Maj. Vokes, the Irish police-officer, - a man whose seven, at the Toulon trial, swore the same. All these wit- daring was proverbial, — used to be prostrated by terror nesses agreed with those at Lausanne and Vevay, in their during a thunder-storm. We cannot doubt that, in these indescription of Isaac le Brun. One hundred and thirty stances, nervous effects are produced which are wholly diswitnesses swore that the soldier was Pierre Mêge, whom tinct from the fear engendered by the simple consciousness they had known — some fifteen, others twenty, and, again, of danger. others twenty-five years.

At the Toulon trial, nine gave We have said that the danger is small when a thundersimilar evidence. They showed themselves to be thorough- storm is in progress. If we consider the number of persons ly conversant with his history to the most minute details. exposed during a year, in England, to the effects of lightMany of his comrades and superiors in the army, never ning-storms raging in their immediate neighborhood, and doubted for a moment that he was the same Pierre Mêge; compare with that number the small number of recorded in fact, on all sides, from those who had known him well, and deaths, we shall see that the probability of being struck by those who knew but little of him, the cry came that he was lightning is very small indeed. The danger we are exposed no one else but Pierre Mêge.

to in travelling along the most carefully regulated railway, It is to be observed that the whole of the members of the is many times greater than that to which, under ordinary family of De Caille rejected the soldier as an impostor from circumstances, we are exposed when a thunder-storm is rathe very first. Only one relation, who had never seen ging around us. Yet, in cases of this sort, men do not reaIsaac le Brun, said he believed in him; but this statement son according to the doctrine of chances; nor, indeed, is was afterwards withdrawn. Amongst the witnesses of the it desirable that they should. There are measures of presoldier, there were twenty beggars, subsisting on charity at caution which, small though the danger may be, it is well Manosque, and sixty workmen and peasants, who were un- to adopt. In a railway-carriage, it would be foolish to let able to read or write. Amongst the witnesses on behalf of the mind dwell upon the danger to which we are in reality Madame Rolland, more than two-thirds were burgesses, exposed, since we can do nothing towards diminishing it. lawyers, gentlemen, or clergymen, many of whom had But it would be as unreasonable to neglect precautious in studied with Isaac le Brun.

the presence of a heavy thunder-storm, merely because the On the 17th March, 1712, thirteen years from the date danger of being struck is small, as it would be to neglect upon which the impostor first came forward, the supreme the rules which regulate powder-stores, merely because the court of Paris decided that he was not the son of Monsieur instances in which fires have been caused by carrying de Caille, but was Pierre Mège. He was again thrown ciyar-lights in the coat-pocket, or by wearing iron on the into prison ; but the unfortunate Mademoiselle Serri, with sole of the boot, are few and far between. whom the impostor had gone through the ceremony of We have mentioned one precautionary measure adopted marriage, after the absurd decision of the Provençal Parlia- by the ancients. The notion that lightning does not penement, commenced a suit, conducted by Monsieur Jylouin, trate the earth to any considerable depth, was in ancient in which she sought to obtain an order to oppose the judy- times a wide-spread one. It is still prevalent in China and ment, which made her marriage illegal. This delayed a Japan. The emperors of Japan, according to Kæmpfer, prosecution for bigamy against Mège, which was to have retire during thunder-storms into a grotto, over which a cisbeen at once proceeded with ; but before Mademoiselle tern of water has been placed. The water may be designed Serri's case had been terminated, death had summoned him to extinguish fire produced by the lightning; but more before a higher tribunal.

probably it is intended as an additional protection from Although it is difficult, within the prescribed limits of a electrical effects. Water is so excellent à conductor of magazine article, to give a faithful account of such a pro- electricity, that, under certain circumstances, a sheet of tracted trial, we have endeavored to do so. Much of the water atfords almost complete protection to whatever may evidence has, of course, necessarily been omitted, together be below; but this does not prevent fish from being killed with the able speeches of the counsel ; but enough has been by lightning, as Arago has pointed out. In the year 1670, said to show that boldness and effrontery are principally lightning fell on the lake of Zirknitz, and kilied all the needed for successful imposture, and that the clearest and fish in it, so that the inhabitants of the neighborhood were most unimpeachable evidence is sometimes scarcely suffi- enabled to fill twenty-eight carts with the dead fish found cient to combat successfully the fraudulent designs of those floating on the surtace of the lake. That mere depth is no wbo possess such qualities.

protection, is well shown by the fact of those singular vitreous tubes called tulgurites, which are known to be caused

by the action of lightning, often penetrating the ground to a DANGER FROM LIGHTNING.

depth of thirty or forty teet. And instances have been

known in which lightning has ascended from the ground to When we hear that so many persons are struck by light- the storm-cloud, instead of following the reverse course. ning in the course of a year, we are apt to regard the dan- From what depth these ascending lightnings spring, it is ger from lightning as greater than it really is; and thus the impossible to say. feelings of awe and terror which many experience during Still, we can scarcely doubt that a place under ground, or the progress of a thunder-storm are too often increased. In

near the ground, is somewhat safer than a place several reality, the danger to which we are exposed during such stories above the ground floor. storms is far from great, more especially in towns. It is Another remarkable opinion of the ancients was the belief well that this should be known, because the cts produced that the skins of seals or of snakes afford protection against on persons of nervous temperament by the vivid tlashes of lightning. The Emperor Augustus, before inentioned, used lightning and the resounding peals of thunder, are sulfi- to wear seal-skin dresses, under the impression that he ciently painful, without that additional and even more dis- derived safety from them. Seal-skin tents were also used tressing terror which the apprehension of real danger by the Romans, as a reture for timid persons during seiere commonly produces. Instances have been known of death tlunder-storms. In the Cevennes, Arago tells us, the shepbeing occasioned by the dread which a thunder-storm has herds are still in the habit of collecting the cast-off skins of excited, when the seat of danger was in reality several snakes. They twist them round their hats, under the belief away:

that they thereby secure themselves against the effects of There are, however, persons, not otherwise wanting in lightning courage, who experience an oppressive sense of terror Whether there is any real ground for this belief in the apart from the fear of danger — when electrical phenom- protecting effects due to scal-skins and snake-skins, is not known; but there can be no doubt that the material and up in the centre of the room. We do not think that such color of clothing are not without their importance. When precautions as these are likely to be commonly adopted the church of Châteauneuf-les-Moutiers was struck by light- during a thunder-storm, nor does it seem necessary or desirning during divine service, two of the officiating priests able that they should be. We have not even the assurance were severely injured, while a third escaped, — who alone that they greatly diminish the danger. A stroke of lightwore vestments ornamented with silk. In the same explo- | ning which fell on the barracks of St. Maurice at Lille, in sion, nine persons were killed, and upwards of eighty injured. 1838, pierced the mattresses of two beds through and But it is noteworthy that several dogs were present in the through. church, all of which were killed. It has also been observed That glass is a protection from lightning is an opinion that dark-colored animals are more liable to be struck which has been, and perhaps still is, very prevalent; vet (other circumstances being the same) than the light colored. there have been many instances tending to prove the conNay, more; dappled and pie-bald animals have been struck; trary. In September, 1780, Mr. Adair was struck to the and it has been noticed, that after the stroke, the hair on ground by lightning, which killed two servants who were the lighter parts has come off at the slightest touch, while standing near him. The glass of the window had not only the hair on the darker parts has not been affected at all. It offered no effective resistance to the lightning, but had been seems probable, therefore, that silk and felt clothing, and completely pulverized by it, the frame-work of the window thick black cloth, afford a sort of protection, though not a remaining uninjured. Again, in September, 1772, lightning very trustworthy one, to those who wear them.


pierced through a pane of glass in a window on the ground The notion has long been prevalent that metallic articles floor of a house in Padua, “making a hole as round as if should not be worn during a thunder-storm. There can be drilled with an auger.” no doubt that large metallic masses, on or near the person, It seems to have been established that if a thunder-storm attract danger. Arago cites a very noteworthy instance of is in progress, a building is in more danger of being struck this. On the 21st July, 1819, while a thunder-storm was in when many persons are crowded within it, than when fer progress, there were assembled twenty prisoners in the great are present. This points to the danger of the course some hall of Biberach jail. Amongst them stood their chief, who times followed by the inmates of a house during a thunder had been condemned to death, and was chained by the storm. They appear to think that there is safety in society, waist. A heavy stroke of lightning fell on the prison, and and crowd into one or two rooms, that they may try, ty the chief was killed, while his companions escaped.

conversation and mutual encouragement, to'shake off the It is not quite so clear that small metallic articles are feeling of danger which oppresses them. They are in reality sources of danger. The fact that, when persons have been adding, and that sensibly, to any danger there may be. struck, the metallic portions of their attire have been in “ There is,” says Arago, * a source of danger where large every case affected by the lightning, affords only a pre- assemblages of men or animals are present, in the ascendio sumption on this point, since it does not follow that these currents of vapor caused by their perspiration." Lite metallic articles have actually attracted the lightning- water, moist air is a good conductor of electricity, and stroke. Instances in which a metallic object has been lightning is attracted in the same way — though not, of struck, while the wearer has escaped, are more to the point; course, to the same extent — by an ascending column though some will be apt to recognize here a protecting vapor, as by a regular lightning-conductor. It is on this agency rather than the reverse. It is related by Kundmann, account, probably, that flocks of sheep are so frequently that a stroke of lightning once struck and fused a brass struck, and so many of them killed by a single stroke. bodkin worn by a young girl to fasten her hair, and that she Barns containing grain which has been housed before it is was not even burned. A lady (Arago tells us) had a brace- quite dry, are more commonly struck by lightning tha let fused from her wrist without suffering any injury. And other buildings, the ascending column of moist air being we frequently see in the newspapers accounts of similar probably the attracting cause in this case, as in the forn". escapes.

If it is conceded that in these instances the metal When we are overtaken by a thunder-storm in the oped has attracted the lightning, it will, of course, be abundantly precaution is more necessary than within a house. It is clear that it is preferable to remove from the person all well to know, especially when no shelter is near,

what metallic objects, such as watches, chains, bracelets, and the most prudent course to adopt. rings, when a thunder-storm is in plogress. If, on the other It has been stated that there is danger in running agains hand, it is thought that the lightning, which would in any the wind during a thunder-storm, and that it is better tv case have fallen towards a person, has been attracted by the walk with than against the wind. One should even, it 3 metal he has worn, so as to leave him uninjured, the con- said, if the wind is very high, run with the wind. The trary view must be adopted. Mr. Brydone considers that a rationale of these rules seems to be this: a current of air is thin chain attached in the manner of a conductor to some produced when we run against the wind, the air on be metallic article of attire, would serve in this way as an effi- side turned from the wind being rarer than the surrounding cient protection. Our own opinion is, that, in general, air. A man so running “ leaves a space behind him in metallic articles belonging to the attire are not likely to which the air is, comparatively speaking, rarefied: have any noteworthy influence, but that such influence as Lightning would be more likely to seek such a space for its they do exert is unfavorable to safety. We may agree

with track than a region in which the air is more dense. An Arago, however, that “it is hardly worth while to regard instance is recorded in which, during a gale, lightning the amount of increased danger occasioned by a watch, a actually left a conductor which passed from the mastu! buckle, a chain, pieces of money, wires, pins, or other pieces a ship to her windward side, in order to traverse the spell of metal employed in men or women's apparel.”

of rarefied air on the ship's larboard side. Franklin recommends persons who are in houses not pro- It is quite certain that trees are very likely to be strick tected by lightning-conductors, to avoid the neighborhood by lightning, and, therefore, that it is an exceedin: of the fire-place; for the soot within the chimney forms a dangerous thing to stand under trees in a storm. No com: good conductor of clectricity, and lightning has frequently sideration of shelter should induce any one to aliopi $ been known to enter a house by the chimney. He also dangerous a course. The danger, in fact, is very mud recommends that we should avoid metals, gildings, and mir- greater when heavy rain is falling, since the tree, loaded

The safest place, he tells us, is in the middle of a with moisture, becomes an efficient lightning-conduct room, unless a chandelier be suspended there.

For similar reasons, it is dangerous to seek the shelter of 2 His next rule is not a very useful one. He recommends lofty building (not protected by a lightning-condic or La that we should avoid contact with the walls or the floor, a thunder-storm. One of the most terrible cata: t uphry and points out how this is to be done. We may place our- known in the history of thunder-storms occurred to a croei selves in a hammock suspended by silken cords; or, in the of persons who stood in the porch of a village churches not unlikely absence of such a hammock, we should place waiting till a thunder-shower should have passed away. ourselves on glass or pitch. Failing these, we may adopt In the open air, when a heavy thunder-storm is propria the plan of placing ourselves on several mattresses heaped ing, and no shelter near, the best course is to place



self at a moderate distance from some tall trees. Franklin penses, 1,000,000 francs ; deficit to be made good by the considered a distance of about fifteen or twenty feet the Khedive, 723,000 francs. Opera doesn't pay in Cairo. best. Henley also considered five or six yards a suitable distance in the case of a single tree. But when the tree is

The author of that wonderfully successful child's book, lofty, a somewhat greater distance is preferable.

“ Alice in Wonderland,” and of the equally popular one pubThe reader need hardly be reminded, perhaps, that the

lished this year called “ Through the Looking-glass,” who necessity for taking these precautions only exists when the

writes under the name of " Lewis Carroll,” is Canon Lightstorm is really raging close at hand. When the interval foot, of Christ Church, Oxford. which elapses between the lightning-flash and the thunder- CHARLES READE and Anthony Trollope are at work peal is such as to show that the storm is in reality many on a humorous drama for one of the London theatres. miles away, it is altogether unnecessary to take precautions The subject chosen for dramatizing is Mr. Trollope's of any sort, however brilliant the flash may be, or however • Ralph the Heir,” which was published in St. Paul's about oud the peal. It must be noticed, however, that a storm

a year ago

There is one superb comedy character in the often travels very rapidly. If the interval of time between

novel, — Mr. Neefit, the tailor. he lightning and the thunder is observed to diminish narkedly, so that the storm is found to be rapidly ap

At Geneva, this summer, on the occasion of the Congress proaching the observer's station, the same precautions

of Schoolmasters, to be held in that city, July 27 to Aug. 5, should at once be taken as though the storm were raging

there will be exhibited a collection of school manuals, maps, inmediately around him. So soon as the interval begins plans, globes, school furniture, and other materials used in o grow longer, it may be inferred that the storm has passed

the work of instruction, not only in Switzerland, but in

other countries as well. ts point of nearest approach, and is receding. But the aws according to which thunder-storms travel are as yet At Paris they are seeking to repair the loss of the library very little understood ; and it is unsafe to assume that of the Hôtel de Ville, burned during the last days of the because the interval between flash and peal has begun to Commune, by collecting a new one at the Musée Carnavancrease after having diminished, the storm is therefore let. This is said to contain already a great many works, certainly passing away. It must be in the experience of among

which are as many as two thousand volumes relating ill who have noted the circumstances of thunder-storms, to the Franco-German war, and the communal insurrection. chat when a storm is in the neighborhood of the observer, he interval between the flash and the thunder-peal will

Rizk Allah Hassoun EFFENDI, the well-known Araoften increase and diminish alternately several times in

bic poet, author of the “ Tarikh al Islám,” &c., has estabuccession. It is only when the interval has become con- lished a printing-press in England, for the production of siderable, that the danger may be assumed to have passed

standard Oriental works. The types, which have all been way.

cut under Hassoun Effendi's personal supervision, are very elegant, and much more simple than those ordinarily in use.

THE world can boast of at least one man who was insensible to political ambition. An old sergeant-major

named Leroy died lately at Lyons, after refusing to avail FOREIGN NOTES.

himself of an opportunity to become a legislator. Leroy was elected for Lyons in 1849, but would not accept the

mandate, preferring the less dangerous but more tranquil Ar Milan a dramatic novelty, entitled “ Beethoven,” has occupation of a gardener, which he fulfilled to his death. ately been performed with success.

At a sale at the Hotel Drouot, of the collection of A VINCENNES photographer advertises: “Babies taken stringed instruments left by the late M. Durand-Dubois, an ind finished in ten minutes;” which is rough on the rising undoubted Amati-violin was sold for 810 francs, and a maggeneration.

nificent alto, by Stradivarius, for 4,800 francs. This last

had been brought several years back from Italy by M. Victor Hugo is to receive a franc and a half a line for

Tarisio, a dealer well known to the luthiers of Paris and his new romance, “ Peuple Souverain.”

London, and was purchased from him by M. Vuillaume, the The death of Señora Bonita Moreno, in a village in

violin-maker, who disposed of it to the late owner, now deEstramadura, at the age of eighty, is announced. She and

ceased. The present possessor is M. Maulaz, an amateur, her sister were the prime donne who introduced Italian

of Paris, well known for his extensive accumulation of fine

instruments. operas into Spain.

A GOOD story is told of M. Taine. Max Muller, it is In its news from the Diamond Fields, the Cape Standard

said, went to the dining-room of a hotel in Oxford, and there says that diamonds are drugs now, and that drugs are dia

saw Taine sitting with a dish of roast beef and vast quantimonds : that is to say, a very small quantity of quinine is ties of buttered toast. The learned German was surprised worth a big precious stone.

at the combination, and at the large quantities of the


“Is that a French dish ?” he asked. • No," said Taine; The Illustrirte Zeitung states that for the prizes instituted by King Ludwig for the best dramatic work, to be per

“but they keep on bringing it to me, in spite of all I can say formed at the Munich Volkstheater, fifty-one pieces have

to the contrary.” “What did you ask for?” observed his been sent in.

friend. “Why," replied Taine, “I keep telling them to

bring pollertos, and each time they bring me a fresh dish of Mr. DISRAELI is said to be at work upon another novel, toast. Mr. Taine's pronunciation of “potatoes” was so which will be published before the close of the season. much like “buttered toast," that the astonished waiter could

not be blamed. It is said that Mr. Swinburne has written a poem on the death of Mazzini, which will appear in one of the April

The treasures of Notre Dame, which already comprise a magazines.

number of precious objects, are about to be increased by

the addition of a veritable historical relic, in the shape of Five of the leading Paris publishers are making efforts the cossack worn by Monseigneur Darboy on the day of his to secure the copyright of " The Memoirs of Talleyrand,” death. It is a violet vestment, well worn, stained with dirt which will shortly be given to the world, and published in

and blood, and showing distinctly the marks of bullets. five languages simultaneously.

The curious, who visit the church of Notre Dame, may now

see the cassocks of the three archbishops of Paris, who died The following is the balance-sheet of the Cairo Opera by assassination, - of Monseigneur Attré, killed on the barfor the season just passed: Receipts, 277,000 francs ; ex. ricade of St. Antoine; of Monseigneur Sibour, killed in the

relate the facts connected with them succinctly, forcill: and elegantly. As we knew him well, we are delighted to see from this notice that he still retains, in great perfectili. his intellectual vigor.”

A French inventor has patented an apparatus for suidmers ; but we think that any frog might bring an actica against the man for infringement of a device secured to the batrachians by endowment of nature. For the hands Le has a large membranous fin, which is held in its place hy loops passing over the fingers and a strap around the wrist

. The surface presented to the water by these fins is so larre as to add greatly to the effectiveness of the strokes of the arm, but not so large as to exhaust the muscular power. Their effect is to reduce very much the effort required to swim without them. But the greatest ingenuity is die played in the form and fitness of the fins for the lets, which are attached to the ankles, and are so formed that the act upon the water, both in the movement of bringing tă: legs together and throwing them back. They act so fize. in “ treading water," as swimmers call it, that one can really walk, if not on the water, at least in it. The difference between swimming with this apparatus and without it is very much like the difference between rowing a boat win the handle and the blade of an oar. The old swimmer has no trouble in using the fins at first trial, and is surpria! to find with what ease he can swim without exhaust He easily swims twice as fast with the apparatus as wika it, and he can sustain himself for hours upon the water, u swim miles with it.


church of St. Etienne du Mont; and of Monsigneur Darboy, killed in the prison of La Roquette.

ALL Paris is at present laughing over a clever smuggling device which the vigilant French octroi men have just detected. The heavy duties on spirits have of course made the smuggling sisterhood (most of the smuggling nowadays is by women) doubly eager to bring into Paris an extra quantity of the precious liquors; and this they have accomplished in a most ingenious manner, viz., by wearing zinc corsets,“ provided with rotundities which can easily contain four or five gallons of brandy.”. For a time the trick succeeded admirably; but at length the officers began to be suspicious of the magnificently developed busts, which contrasted oddly in some of the ladies with the “inadequate necks and faces.” A staff of female searchers was enrolled, and the cheat discovered.

One of the most striking features in French political persecutions is their surprising thoughtlessness. ** Alarmed,” says a Paris paper, “by the number of Communalists who have been set at large, the Préfecture de Police has just decided that all men having taken a part in the insurrection of 1871, shall be debarred from exercising, the professions for which a police license is needed; such as cab-driver, commissionnaire, scavenger, hawker, &c.” It is difficult to perceive what can be the object of such an order as this, unless it be to drive the liberated men into rebellion again. By all accounts, the Communalists do not find it very easy to get employment in private houses; but if they are to be prevented from earning their bread honestly in public careers, what is to become of them? It looks as if M. Thiers hoped to settle the “question sociale” by starving all the troublesome classes into emigration.

Prof. HEINRICH WEISHAUPT, of Munich, author of several treatises on lithography, and one of the inventors of chromolithography, he having produced the first chromolithographs in Germany, at the time when Engelmann was doing the same thing in France, writes as follows to a gentleman of this city, who sent him some specimens of the publications of L. Prang, & Co.: “ These exquisite productions of American color-printing, from the world-renowned establishment of Mr. L. Prang, are of very great interest to me; and I have seen from them that they do indeed by far excel the best European color-prints. It is obvious that this process has reached the highest summit of its development in America, and in view of such perfect reproductions of oil paintings it only remains to be wished, that the classical works of our most eminent German and other painters be widely distributed by these means, so as to aid the cause of general intellectual culture, and of a true love for art." Prof. Weishaupt being an expert in these matters, his testimony is certainly very flattering to L. Prang & Co., and ought to convince all who persist in lauding European chromos and decrying those published by the firm just named.

SPEAKING of Dr. Shelton Mackenzie's “Life of Scott," the London Spectator remarks: “The enthusiasm of our friends on the other side of the Atlantic about some of the literary celebrities of the old country,' is giving us some very good books. Such is a work which we noticed two or three months ago, - Mr. Hunnewell's · Lands of Scott,'and such, though of a less elaborate kind, is the volume before us. It gives, taking Lockhart's life as its basis, in a moderate compass, as good a biography of Scott as we have seen. The criticisin is appreciative, without being extravagant; and the writer avoils the idolatry of his subject, which is the too common fault of biographers. At the same time, he has carefully collected all available materials, employing some that have not before been published.” “ Dr. Shelton Mackenzie,” says the Liverpool Daily Post, in quoting the above paragraph, " was formerly connected with the Liverpool press, and is now the editor of one of the most distinguished newspapers in Philadelphia. He exceis all the men we ever knew in his perfect knowledge of modern literature and modern authors. He knew the whole story of both minutely; and, when necessary, he could

A COUNTRY wind is in the street;
'Tis blowing soft, 'tis blowing sweet;
How fresh it falls on cheek and eyes !
"Tis kissing us from paradise.
Oh, it has travelled sca and height,
On thymy flowers, the red and white,
O'er golden gorse, and rosy bells
That spread their splendor to the dells;
It slumbered all a perfumed night
On hundred hues of blossoms bright;
And shook its wings in glowing skies
Where lost in blue the planet dies;
And sped away to farm and told,
All touched with morning's carly gold.
It rustled through the leaf-hung deeps
Where'er the shy-eyed squirrel leaps,
And out on grass and plough in line,
With song of birds and low of kine;
And now 'tis in the mist blue strect,
But newly thronged with passing feet!
Why blows it here so light and glad
On many a forehead dark and sad ?
It is that God's immortal love,
From radiant plains in heaven above,
Has suddenly, in pity, come
To visit man's o'erwearied home,
And breathes a breath of hope and life
On scenes of sorrow, care, and strife.

[blocks in formation]
« ПредишнаНапред »