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Upra scd in my hand the keen falchion of Yemen ;

ler to a lapidary living at Elusium, who, from lack of faith, Then, fearless, I struck; and the spectre before me

set no value upon the relic, until a miracle opened his eyes Lay shapeless and prone on the earth at my feet.

to its genuineness. He presented it to a church, where it Depart,' so it groaned; but I answered, Await,

worked wonderful cures upon ailing believers. In 1473, Not threats can avail thee, nor guile set thee free.' Slow wore the long night, as I grappled the foe,

some sacrilegious rascal robbed the church of its treasure; Till morning shou:d show me what darkness concealed.

after which, as such things were wont to do, it increased Then gleamed to the dawn the green fire of its eye,

and multiplied, and was exhibited at divers churches in The jaws of the panther, the snake's cloven tongue;

different parts of Europe. Distorted the foot, - who the monster would know

In his " Book on the Common Prayer,” Wheatley call's May seek where I sought it, and find where I found.” the ring a visible pledge of the man's fidelity; " which, bę

the First Common Prayer-Book of King Edward VI., was This last-mentioned diabolical peculiarity, the distorted or accompanied with other tokens of spousage in gold and cloven foot, re-appears in every Arab or negro tale of the silver." This lets us into the meaning and design of the kind, from the earliest to the latest. By what law of ring, and intimates it to be the remains of an ancient cusanalogy or derivation this peculiar feature has been selected tom, whereby it was usual for the man to purchase the to identify the embodied power of evil in the popular myths woman, laying down for the price of her a certain sum of of almost every, if not of every nation, Turanian, Aryan, money; or else performing certain articles or conditions Celtic, or “ Semitic,” is a question to which Mr. Tylor which the father of the damsel would accept as an equivaalone can perhaps supply a satisfactory answer.

lent. Among the Romans, this was called co-emption or So far, however, as daring and violence carried to an purchasing, and was accounted the firmest kind of marriage almost preternatural degree are concerned, Ta'abbet-Shur- which they had. Pliny tells us it was customary to send ran himself seems to have deserved a place among the an iron ring without any stone in it, by way of present to worst ghouls of his day. I pass over the long list of plun- a woman upon her betrothal; a fashion probably springing dering excursions that fill page after page of Aboo-l-Faraj, out of another Roman custom, the giving of a ring as earnhis best chronicler, with lances, swords, and blood; nor est, upon the conclusion of a bargain. At her actual need his adventures in the southern "valley of tigers, marriage, the Roman bride usually received a ring bearing where, out of sheer bravado, he passed the night unarmed the figure of a key upon it, in token that henceforth she and alone, nor his cattle-drivings in Nejd, nor his vengeance would be charged with the keys of her husband's house; on the chiefs of Bajeelah, who hal, treacherously enough, and sometimes the keys themselves were handed over to attempted to poison him, be here related in detail. “ What her the same time. on earth do you want with the doings of Ta'abbet-Shur- When an Anglo-Saxon bachelor and maiden were beir thed ran?” said his own tribesınen of Fahm, some five cen- they exchanged presents, or “ weds;" and the gentleman turies later, to the inquisitive 'Omar-esh-Sheybanee, an gave his lady-love a solemn kiss as be placed a ring upon her annalist of some note, when he paid them a visit in their right hand, to remain there until he himself transferred it to remote encampments, on purpose to learn what memories her left hand when the second and final ceremonial took the clan might still retain of their equivocal hero; “Do you, place. In later times, wedding-rings were hallowed, before too, want to set up for a highwayman ? " An answer not being put to their proper use, by sprinkling with holy water, wholly without a moral. Nor need we wonder if, where and the offering of a special prayer for the benefit of the such was the general feeling, Ta'abbet-Shurran, however

When the bridegroom spoke the words endowing distinguished for personal bravery and poetical talent, was his bride with all his worldly goods, he put the ring upon yet, in spite of these recommendations, ordinarily so at- her thumb, saying, “ In the name of the Father; " then uptractive, no favorite with those whose good-will should on her forefinger, saying, “In the name of the Son ;” next have been the best reward of his exploits, the fair ones of upon her middle finger, “In the name of the Holy Ghost; " the land: nay, he has himself handed down to us in verse finally placing the ring upon the woman's fourth finger as be the refusal with which a Nedjee girl of high birth met his said, “ Amen!” and there he left it. Several reasons have proposals of marriage; though he consoles himself with been advanced for the selection of the fourth finger. “ An the ungallant reflection, that, after all, he was perhaps too opinion there is,” says Sir Thomas Browne, “which magnigood for her.

fies the fourth finger of the left hand; presuming therein a

cordial relation, that a particular vessel, nerve, vein, or ar THE RING OF RINGS.

tery, is conferred thereto from the heart, and thereof that

especially bath the honor to bear our rings.” The fourth WHERE or when the ring was first adopted as a badge of finger was said to be the last to succumb to the gout, was matrimony, it is utterly impossible to say. We have a known among ancient physicians as the healing finger, and shadowy recollection of reading somewhere that Tubal Cain always used by them in stirring their mixtures, in the befashioned the first ring, and, not knowing what to do with it lief that nothing harmful to health could come in contact when he had made it, consulted Adam on the matter; and, with it, without its immediately making a sort of telegraphic by his advice, gave the ring to his son, that he might es- communication of the fact to the heart of the stirrer. Those pouse a wife with it. It is very doubtful, however, if the who disbelieve in any physical connection between the ancient Hebrews used marriage-rings, although the words fourth finger and the supposed seat of love, may take their of the Jewish betrothal service, " Behold, thou art betrothed choice of the following reasons why that particular digit unto me with this ring, according to the rites of Moses and should be the ring-finger. The thumb and first two fingers Israel,” almost assert that they did. An old writer says the being reserved as symbols of the Blessed Trinity, the reserancient Jews acknowledged the planet Jupiter to be a star Vation left the fourth finger the first available for the dishaving favorable influences; and it was customary among

tinction. The fourth finger is guarded on either side by its them for a newly-married man to give his bride a ring with fellows, and is the only finger on the band that cannot be exthe planet's naine engraved upon it, so that she might be tended without one or the other of them following its moredelivered of all her children under Jupiter's benign auspices. ments. It is the least active finger of the least-used hand, If the wedding-ring was indeed an Israelitish institution, it upon which the ring may be always in sight and yet subis strange that it is never alluded to in Holy Writ or men- jected to the least wear. Although the most commonplace, tioned by the Talmudists. Selden goes so far as to declare the last seems to us to be the best solution of the question ; the Jews were the very last people to adopt the use of it ; but, if the Roman ladies were the first to don the marriagenevertheless, the nuns of St. Anne, at Rome, believe them- ring, it is not unlikely that they merely imitated their lords selves blessed in possessing the marriage-ring of their saint, and masters, who wore their official rings upon the fourth the mother of the Virgin, - a rudely-made silver ring; finger. and, according to monkish legends, Joseph and Mary were Although the ring was always placed upon the fourth finmarried with a ring, onyx and amethyst. This ring was ger in church, it was not always allowed to remain there. found by somebody in 996, and given by a Jerusalem jewel- English ladies were wont, at one time, to transfer the golden

wearer.

vanes.

fetter to their thumbs; a custom perhaps originated by some One day the widow awoke to the fact that she wanted a high-born bride whose finger, like that of Suckliny's heroine, new pair of shoes, and set off with her daughter to the shoe

maker's. Seizing the opportunity when mamma was sitting Was so small, the ring

with one shoe off and one shoe on, the damsel slipped out of Would not stay on which they did bring It was too wide a peck.”

the shop, and hied her to the church, where, by a wonderful

coincidence, she found a clergyman, his clerk, and a young At Stanford Court, Worcestershire, may be seen the portraits gentleman with a license in his pocket. All went well until of five ladies of the Salway family who lived in the days of it was necessary to produce the ring, when, to every one's Queen Bess, all of whom carry their wedding-rings upon dismay, it was not forthcoming. The bridegrooin, however, their thumbs. Buller bears witness to the practice in bis was not daunted by such a trifle: he pulled off a glove, lines :

whipped out his penknife, cut a ring of leather, placed it “ Others were for abolishing

upon the lady's finger, and had the supreme felicity of That tool of matrimony, a ring,

being hailed a married man, just as the indignant widow With which th' unsanctified bridegroom

burst into the church, too breathless to give vent to her Is married only to a thumb!”

anger.

A Jewish bridegroom could not have resorted to such an And according to the British Apollo, the brides of George expedient; for, according to Jewish laws, it is necessary I.'s time used to remove the ring from its proper abiding- that the ring should be of a certain value, certified by the place to the thumb, as soon as the ceremony was over. In officiating rabbi. It must also be the absolute property of the a translation of a French version of the story of Patient bridegroom, and not obtained either upon credit or by gift. Grisel, dated 1619, that much-enduring, benighted matron, The action of placing the ring upon the woman's finger is who had not the faintest notion of sexual equality, says to so binding, that if nothing more be done, neither party can her hard-hearted lord, when departing from his house in the contract a marriage without first obtaining a divorce. No scantiest of costumes : “Your jewels are in the wardrobe, Jewish marriage-rings are known to be in existence of an and even the ring with which you married me withal, in the earlier date than the sixteenth century. There are two chamber!” Was the leaving the ring in the chamber only Jewish wedding-rings in the South Kensington Museum. an additional sacrifice on the part of the over-patient wite ? One is a broad gold band, enriched with bosses in filigree; or may we inter that the married ladies of the time did not the other of gold enamel with an inscription running fround always carry the mark of their matronhood about with the broad margin in raised enamel letters, and having fixed them? We wonder much that the agitated sisterhood of upon one side a turret with triangular angles and movable our time have not yet raised their shrill protest against the

The late Lord Londesborough possessed a Hebrew sex wearing the wedding-ring at all; or, at least, rebelled ring of richly-enamelled gold, decorated with beautiful filiat its being worn upon the left hand, seeing that betokens gree-work; and attached by a hinge to the collet, in place the inferiority and subjectiou of the wearer; the right hand of a setting, was a small ridged capsule, like the gabled roof signifying power, independence, and authority, and the left of a house, and inside the ring two Hebrew words were inexactly the contrary.

scribed. Most Jewish rings bear a sentiment more or less Tertullian, despite of Pliny's testimony, was inclined to appropriate, a favorite one being, “ Joy be with you." believe that the Romans used gold wedding-rings, as more Posies or mottoes were generally inscribed upon the flat symbolical of the generous, sincere, long-lasting affection inner side of wedding-rings in the sixteenth century. The that ought to subsist between man and wite; but in this ring with which Henry VIII. wedded Ann of Cleves bore the matter we would rather take the pagan's word. Swinburne significantly appropriate prayer,“God send me well

to keepe.” says it is of no moment of what metal the ring is made, the Such inscriptions as,

“ Amor vincit omnia ;

“ Tout mon form being round and without end, importing that the love ceur; “Gift and giver, your servants ever;” “No gift of those it unites shall circulate and tlow continuously. But can show the love I owe,” although met with upon marriagea thirteenth-century bishop advances excellent reasons why rings, were surely intended rather for betrothal rings. Some the ring of rings should be of gold. He tells us that one sanguinely promise an eternity of connubial bliss : Protheus made a ring of iron, with an adamant enclosed therein, as a pledge of love ; because, as iron subdueth all

"Death never parts things, so doth love conquer all things, since nothing is more

Such loving hearts." violent than its ardor; and as an adamant cannot be broken, so love cannot be overcome; for love is strong as death. In course of time, golden rings, set with gems, were substi

Others are of an admonitory order, such as, – tuted for the adamantine ones of baser metal, because - the

“ Silence ends strife worthy bishop explains — as gold excelleth all other metals,

With man and wife.” so doth love excel all other blessings; and as gold is set off by gems, so is conjugal love set off by other virtues. With

" Where hearts agree, such thorough appreciation of the honor due to love and

There God will be." matrimony, we cannot help wondering how the writer of such warm words ever reconciled bimself to a celibate profession.

What could be more admirably adapted for a man inclined to Many people believe that a marriage cannot be legally embrace matrimony upon the principle of limited liability, Performed with a ring of any material save gold; and it and chary of undertaking to love and cherish a wife who was customary, not very long ago, in some parts of Ireland, might prove all worser and no better, than the couplet: to hire a gold ring for the occasion, and return it when the pair was sately bound. Marriages, however, have been cel

“As true to thee ebrated with nothing better than a brass curtain-ring; and

As thou to me”? stories are told of the church-key being pressed into service. The editor of Notes and Queries relates a strange But, in frankness, even this is surpassed by Bishop Thomas's tale of a bridegroom's readiness when he discovered he had motto for his fourth wife's ring: left the all-important circlet behind him. daughter of a certain widow, as young daughters are apt to

“If I survive, do, bestowed her affections upon a gentleman whese merits

I'll make them five.' the widow could not appreciate. Knowing, probably from experience, what head-strong creatures love-smitten young In 1659, some one advertised the loss of "a ring, which was folks are, the old lady kept strict watch and ward over the

a wedding-ring, tyed with a black ribbon, and two black misguided maiden; but, as inight have been expected, one

little ones, with a lock of hair in it: the "posie United old head was no match for two young hearts.

Hearts leath only parts." Within the last year or two,

The young

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posie wedding-rings have re-appeared; but whether the attempted revival has proved a successful one is more

MUMMIES. than we know. A more modern form of motto-ring is that wherein the words are formed by the initial letters of the A HORRIBLY grotesque proposal appears to have been stones arranged around the hoop, and for wedding " keep- made about the remains of Mazzini. Some of his admirers, ers” the gems are made to spell out the bridegroom's Chris- it seems, consider that it would be a fitting tribute to his tian name.

memory to convert his body into a mummy, preserved by Another and older kind of wedding-ring was the gimmal- some new scientific process. The corpse of the great patriot ring, in vogue when the ceremony of marriage was preceded would be handed down to posterity, in ghastly resemblance by that of betrothal. The gimmal was a double or triple to his former self, as a monument of the devotion with ring, formed of two or three links turning upon a pivot. At which he was regarded; or rather, it may be, of the physiothe betrothal, the parties concerned broke the ring asunder, logical skill of some of his disciples. There is something, it each retaining a link, to serve as a reminder of the engage- need hardly be said, which grates upon one's feelings in this ment until they ratified it at the altar, when the parts were unique suggestion; and yet we can imagine, without much re-united, and served for the marriage-ring. These rings trouble, that something might be said in favor of it by inwere usually ornamented with a pair of clasped hands en- genious advocates. We cherish the lock of hair of a closing a heart, a device in such favor that it was transferred departed friend; we value every insignificant object wbich to the ordinary wedding-ring. The fisher population of the has been sanctified to our minds by association with him. Claddagh still acknowledge no other pattern; and the wed- Why not preserve the body, which, to say the least, has ding-ring is with them an heirloom, regularly transferred been much more closely connected with him than any exterfrom the mother to the daughter who first aspires to wife- pal piece of property? Would there not be something hood. The brides of the Claddagh, in finding their own incomparably interesting, when once we had surmounted rings, reverse the rule obtaining everywhere else. It is the our present prejudices, in a national Valhalla, where, instead privilege and duty of the happy man to provide the binding of mere statues, the actual bodies of our heroes should golden hoop. When Lord Milton took unto himself a wife, receive our tribute of gratitude ? Suppose that in Westthe ring with which he wedded her was in its way unique; minster Abbey, Chatham himself, instead of his graven for he had, with his own hands, fashioned it from a nugget image, still gazed down upon us in the attitude in which he found by him in British Columbia, while staying at the dig- thundered his great orations; or suppose that the approach gings there, after overcoming the dangers of the north-west to the houses of Parliament was guarded by the actual passage by land.

bodily cases of Fox and Burke and Falkland and Hampden: Lost wedding-rings have sometimes been strangely recov- would not the impression upon an unsophisticated intellect ered. A matron of East Lulworth lost her ring one day: be far keener than at present? What is the philosophy of two years afterwards she was peeling some potatoes, brought the disgust which relics excite in us, at least in this wholesale from a field half a mile distant from her cottage, and upon form, whilst the fragmentary relics of ancient saints bave dividing a double one, came upon the lost matrimonial cir- long excited the affectionate reverence of vast multitudes of clet. & Mrs. Montjoy of Brechin, when feeding a calf, let it believers ? suck her fingers; and, on withdrawing her hand, discovered, We have no objection to admit that to us personally the to her dismay, that her wedding-ring and keeper had both proposal appears to be disgusting. Whenever Mr. Gladdisappeared. Believing the calf was the innocent thief, she stone or Mr. Disraeli may pass from amongst us, there is refused to part with it; and after keeping the animal for nothing which we would less desire than to have their three years, had it slaughtered; and, sure enough, the long- bodies petrified or embalmed, or subjected to any other absent rings were found in its intestines, as clean and bright scientific process, and put up in glass cases, like the stuffed as when their owner last saw them on her finger. A animals in the British Museum. Beautiful as they may be wealthy German farmer living near Nordanhamn employed in life, we suspect, without meaning any personal imputahimself one day, in 1871, in making flour-balls for his cattle; tion, that even Mr. Disraeli would be rather a comic than a when he had finished his work, he found his hand minus tragic spectacle as a mummy. But then it must be admitted his wedding-ring, bearing his wife's name; it being the that in all such matters custom goes for much, if not for German custom for bride and bridegroom to exchange every thing; and that we may really be under the intinence rings. Soon afterwards, the farmer sold seven bullocks, of some degrading prejudice. Perhaps the true theory of wbich the purchaser shipped to England on board the the matter is given in the immortal grave-digging scene, Adler cattle-steamer on the 26th day of October. Two which in some respects is the most powerful in Shakspeare, days afterwards, an English smack, the Mary Ann, of who, by the way, is always great amongst the tombs. It Colchester, picked up at sea the still warm carcass of a exhibits the contrast between the imaginative and the bullock, which was opened by the crew obtain some fat thoroughly vulgar nature, under the most impressive situawherewith to grease the rigging. Inside the animal they tion. Hamlet was, unfortunately for himself, a person of found a gold ring, inscribed with a woman's name and the ill-regulated mind, and given to questionable jesting when date 1869. Capt. Tye reported the circumstance as soon his feelings were deeply moved. Horatio was, no doubt, as he arrived in port, and handed the ring over to an offi- quite justified in telling him that he considered too curiously, cial, who sent it up to London. The authorities set to work and that he had no business to run off into wild speculations to trace its ownership, and found that the only ship report- about Alexander because he was looking at so commonplace ing the loss of a beast, that could have passed the Mary an object as a human skull. The grave-digger looked at Ann, was the steamer Adler; from which a bullock, sup- the matter in a much more sensible and cool-headed manner, posed to be dead, had been thrown overboard on the 28th when he endeavored to form scientific theories as to the of October. Meanwhile, the Shipping Gazette recording the time during which a body would last in the earth : he had finding of the ring had reached Nordanhamn, and one of its became thoroughly steeled by custom to the disagreeable readers there recognized the name inscribed upon it: com- experiences connected with his trade. There are few, if munications were opened with the farmer; and in due time any, representatives of Hamlet at present; whereas the he and his wife rejoiced over the recovery of the pledge grave-digger has, to all appearance, left a numerous body of they thought lost forever. That they should have recov- descendants, inheriting the ancestral peculiarities. That ered it, under the circumstances, was certainly surprising ; Hamlet possessed the finer intellect is undeniable; but but there was nothing so very wonderful in a ring being which of the two looked at the matter from the more found in the inside of a bullock, that“ comic” writers should reasonable point of view ? Ought we to regard the relics treat the story as the pure invention of some penny-a-liner. of humanity with a rising of the gorge, and oscillate Any slaughterer of cattle would have told them that such between horrified disgust and a certain morbid attraction “ finds” are by no means uncommon; and we know for a for the objects which revolt us? or should we contemplate fact that the wife of a London slaughterman displays upon them with the indifference of a scientific observer walking her hand two rings thus found by her husband.

through an anatomical museum, and prepared, when a great

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man dies, to measure bis skull, weigh his brain, and put a neat- formality of mutes and hearses, penetrated to the core with ly-ticketed preparation of him in a case for the benefit of vulgarity and sham solemnity. "It must give an instant's future investigators ? Bentham apparently took this last pleasure to a man who is in the act of being lost at sea, or view of the question. He thought that the tenderness ingulfed in a crevasse, that a: least his friends will not have which people felt for their bones and tissues, after they to accompany his remains to Kensal Green. Under any had ceased to perform the vital functions, was a piece of un- conceivable circumstances, the ceremony could not be prereasoning sentimentalism to be discouraged as much as pos- cisely exhilarating; but the studied and artificial gloom sible. He accordingly left his body to be dissected, and with which it is surrounded jars upon our feelings more afterwards made into a mummy; and, if we are not mis- harshly than even an absence of natural observances. The taken, he was for a long time kept in the hall of a surviving worst of it is, that the cemeteries appear to have been laid friend, and is now on view for anybody who has a taste for out by the undertakers themselves. To visit the restingsuch exhibitions, in the museum of University College. place of a friend is to expose one's self to a revival of all There is in this proceeding a certain heroic defiance of the dismal associations connected with the funeral. The popular prejudice, and an adherence to logical conclusions, average taste of the monuments is the same which has which challenges our respect, though we may not feel inclined determined the whole apparatus of hearses and funeral to imitate the example. It had, moreover, a certain meaning coaches; and they would appear to have been designed by as a protest against the theories which then obstructed a dissenting tradesman, in order to keep his mind properly the supply of subjects for the medical schools. But, con- in tune during the spare hours of a puritanical sabbath. sidered by itself, the practice is certainly not likely to become In this respect the Americans have the advantage of us. popular. Botanizing on one's mother's grave is bad enough; In their towns the cemetery is generally laid out as a cheerbut the most rigid of philosophers will shrink from allowing ful garden, and is probably the most picturesque piece of the scientific inquirer to penetrate to the interior.

ground in the neighborhood. The sentiment which would And yet there is something not quite pleasant in the associate flowers and sunshine with the graves of one's opposite theory, which attaches a special interest to the friends is surely healthier than that which places them bebody. In a quiet village in the Italian valleys of the Alps, neath a ghastly collection of New Road statuary and stumpy one may often come upon a scene which appears to have trees, caked with London soot. The idea in one case is been arranged for the special edification of mute, that the body should return as soon as possible to the earth inglorious Shakspeares. The remains of the rude fore- whence it came, and that the inevitable melancholy fathers of the hamlet, instead of reposing beneath the should at any rate be associated with nothing like a feeling turf, are piled in hideous stacks, open to all spectators. of disgust. In the other, the idea seems to be that the Sometimes the gratuitous exhibition goes further, and a proper tribute to a friend's memory is to assume an appearcouple of complete bodies may be seen watching like ance of gloomy respectability, and that thinking of him ghastly sentinels on each side of the church - door. It should produce upon us the same effect as a slight attack of is a rough but powerful mode of appealing to coarse indigestion. It is the difference between making the asso natures. The old English epitaph, which tells us, with an ciation as ethereal or as material as possible. The logical unpleasant air of insulting triumph, “ As I am now, so you result of the British method would, no doubt, be attained by must be," receives additional emphasis when the present preserving the body in the state of mummy. In many cases condition of the departed is open to actual inspection.

the difference between life and death would then be exPerhaps the ordinary effect upon the population is simply ceedingly small. The solid Briton, arrayed in his Sunday to induce the grave-digger state of mind; but the intention suit of rusty black, could not look much more dismal when is, of course, to encourage meditations appropriate to a he was stuffed, than he generally did when his internal certain phase of religious feeling. The hideous monitors organs were discharging their vital functions. Set up in a are told off to preach the transitory nature of the world; clock-case, after the fashion of Bentham, he would harmonand it may be that they do it more effectually than a good ize with a set of old-fashioned furniture; though he should many pulpit commonplaces. Whether or not the lessons not be too much exposed, as there would be a danger of thus impressed are edifying to the people immediately con- visitors mistaking him for a waiter. The general adoption cerned, is a large question; but the effect upon the British of this plan would evade the difficulty of the burial of Distourist is undeniably disagreeable. We are quite conscious senters. Every man would keep his own ancesters ranged enough that we are not going to live forever, without around his room, and when they became too numerous, they having these offensive symbols of our mortality thrust in might be disposed of to anthropological museums. But, our faces. We have become too delicate for these vigorous well adapted as the plan seems to be to the tastes of a parappeals to the senses; and the sort of curiosity which ticular class, we do not yet consider it to be suited for genimpels visits to the Morgue at Paris, or to the collection of eral adoption. If any thing, we fancy that, as it is, we make decaying relics on the St. Bernard, does not precisely har- too much of the material associations of death. We could monize with modern religious sentiment.

find reason to doubt whether the habit of bringing back the In fact, Hamlet and the grave-diggers were both in an remains of distinguished men from great distances, or even objectionable frame of mind. The poet may extract some of depositing the actual bodies in Westminster Abbey, is elevating thoughts even from a decaying skull; but he can- altogether desirable. The monuments serve as well when not be too intimate with such images without polluting his they do not cover a coffin ; and after a very short time imagination. When saturated with the associations of nobody asks whether the tombs are occupied or empty. decay, it becomes either hardened or morbidly stimulated; Without, however, discussing that question, we are quite and either condition is unhealthy. Our bodies are becoming clear that we are content with a national portrait-gallery, terribly in our way. They are very awkward appendages without having the originals preserved by the side of their at the best, and have a tendency to produce gout, tooth

likenesses. Shakspeare, to return to our great authority, ache, indigestion, and other abominations which materi- showed his sense, as well as an almost prophetic insight, when ally interfere with the serenity of our souls. When we he had himself quietly buried at Stratford, and put up the have once done with them, we are inclined to think curse which will preserve his bones from grave-diggers and that the sooner we put them fairly out of sight, the antiquaries. But for it, there are, no doubt, some people who better. Probably nobody ever attends an English funeral would be glad to dig him up, and exhibit him for the without forming a resolution, which, like other resolutions, admiration of an intelligent public. Prince Henry, as we is made only to be broken, that he will not do it again remember, proposed to embowel Falstaff, probably regarding for the sake of his best friend. In spite of the surpassing him, with characteristic coolness, in the light of a natural beauty of the English service, the undertakers have got the curiosity; but he did not throw out any hint about treating better of us. They have taken advantage of our best feel- Hotspur in the same fashion. The precedent may be deings, and of the unfortunate difficulty that exists in satisfac- cisive of the question; and, though we have no objection to torily disposing of our bodies. We cannot resist with making occasional preparations of a giant or a dwarf, we decency, and we are obliged to submit to the disgusting cannot desire to see the admirers of great men eclipse

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on

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Madame Tussaud's Exhibition by one of a still more start- prince appeared exceedingly amused at the extraordinary ling character.

appearance presented by Mr. Saker, and pointed him out with evident glee to his partner.” It is quite touching to

have Royalty so easily amused. FOREIGN NOTES.

This is Miss Hawthorne's preface to the English reprint

of her father's posthumous romance, “ Septimius Felton.” GEORGE Sand has just written a new comedy in five The following story is the last written by my father. It is acts.

printed as it was found among his manuscripts.' I believe it is Nilsson receives a thousand dollars per night at the

a striking specimen of the peculiarities and charm of his style,

and that it will have an added interest for brother artists, and Drury-Lane Theatre.

for those who care to study the method of his composition, from

the mere fact of its not having received his final revision. In It is considered the thing in London, for a lady to wear any case, I feol sure that the retention of the passages within a smelling-bottle attached to her belt.

brackets (e.g., p. 37), which show how my father intended to

amplify some of the descriptions, and develop more fully one MATTHEW Arnold is said to have an article in the or two of the character studies, will not be regretted by appra current number of The Cornhill, though his name does not ciative readers. My earnest thanks are due to Mr. Robert appear in the magazine.

Browning for his kind assistance and advice in interpreting the

manuscript, otherwise so difficult to me. Lieut. SYDNEY S. H. DICKENS, R.N., of H.M.S. “ To

Uxa HAWTHORSE. paze," fifth son of the late Charles Dickens, died on the 20 of May at sea, when on his way home from Bombay.

The reigning Sultan proposes to alter the existing law

of Royal succession to one more consonant to the general EDMUND Yates and the versatile George Augustus practice of Western Europe. As matters now stand, on Sala have entered the lecture field, — the former in Dublin, the death of a sovereign he is succeeded by the eldest male

“ Good Authors at a Discount;" the latter in London, of the blood royal at the time of whose birth his father “ Waxwork as a Fine Art."

was actually on the throne. It seldom happens that a Sul

tan is succeeded by his eldest son, 'and Abdul Aziz, the A Russian printer has invented a type-setting machine

reigning monarch, succeeded to the exclusion of the sons of which, the St. Petersburg papers assert, far surpasses all bis

elder brother. Having profited by the rule himself, he similar machines that have hitherto been produced. It sets

is desirous that his eldest son should not be damaged by it, in an hour thirty thousand letters; it costs five thousand

and he therefore proposes that the Crown should devolve rubles, and one thousand letters set thereby cost only five according to the ordinary principles of hereditary right. cents.

The Emperor of China has imported a pair of elephants In reporting Count Beust's speech at the Literary Fund to assist at the ceremony of his marriage." His future condinner, a reporter represented the ex-Chancellor of Austria

sort is undergoing a careful training in the etiquette of as saying that he could not “ aspire to the eminence of the

Court life. For three years the looms of Nankin, HongBelgian minister," instead of, “ though the youngest of the

chau, and Canton have been engaged on the silks and satdiplomatic body, he could not aspire to the eminence of a

ins for her bridal trousseau, and just now they are announced Benjamin."

as completed, at a cost of nearly a million and a half of It is said that "

While the bridegroom, who has the sun for his em

money. Erewhon,” the allegorical romance which has attracted a good deal of notice in England, is the

blem, goes forth in a car drawn by elephants, his bride, who production of Mr. Butler, who was for some years a settler

represents the moon, is to be borne to her palace in a pain New Zealand, and who is tolerably well known in Lon

lanquin composed entirely of strings of pearls. don artistic circles. The idea and manner of the book are

One might be disposed to conclude that French women of quite in Mr. Helps's fashion. He was supposed to be the

the present time are any thing but good mothers, it one were writer.

to judge from the number of children sent out to wet-nurses In a lecture by Father Hyacinthe, delivered in Rome

as returned in official reports. In Paris alone 21,958 babies the other day, he surprised those who heard him, by the

are farmed out every year, and the middle and higher classlength to which he went in denouncing several of the dis

es are responsible for more than one-half of the total. tinctive doctrines of the Church of Rome, such as the invo

These figures are so much the more striking in that French cation of saints; and he attackel also the celibacy of the

families, as a rule, are not nearly so numerous as American

or English ones — clergy, and spoke of the doctrine of the real Presence as

seldom exceeding four children, and paganism.

reckoned at an average of two. Maternal insensibility and

fashion are the two causes, the latter perhaps more than The Dean of Chester was recently offered the proceeds the former. It is the fashion, or rather the custom, in all of a circus performance in aid of the restoration of the ranks of French society, that mothers should intrust their cathedral, but declined the same with thanks! He said children to strange hands: the baby is hurried away to the that he could not conscientiously accept the donation, when country with its wet-nurse, and does not re-appear at home he had refused to countenance a bazaar for the purpose of until it has reached its third year. After this there is nothaugmenting the fund. We almost hope the conscien- ing astonishing in the fact that the rate of mortality among tious dean will be some time in getting his cathedral re- children from one to three years should be so high as it now paired.

unquestionably is in France. The Court Journal records the following remarkable The London Morning Post, in a preliminary notice of event: “ A rather amusing incident occurred at the fancy Prince Poniatowski's “ Gelmina,” lets us into the secret of dress ball in St. George's Hall, Liverpool. Amongst the the final effect on which the composer of “ Don Desiderio" company was Mr. Saker, lessee of the Alexandra Theatre, and “ Pierre de Medicis" seems much to rely. Gelmina who had contrived to present a sort of embodiment of two dies, as many operatic heroines have died before her; but, single gentlemen rolled into one; for while his left side was “ instead of singing a long phrase, or shrieking wild melodlies that of an ordinary every-day English:nan, his right side at the last moment, the inspiration of the author has led him was that of a British officer in full military uniform. Mr. to make Gelmina die to a pianissimo of the orchestra, Saker, while watching the prince dancing, attracted the which stops as she breathes her last.” Now, it may be very notice of the latter. When first seen by the prince he pre

unnatural for a dying person to “ sing a long phrase," or to sented the civilian side of his character, but imme liately “ shriek wild melodies;” but it is not more unnatural than alafterwards turned round and appeared as an officer. The most every thing else which takes place in opera and in the

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