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Measurements (adult male): “Length, exclusive of plumes, fifteen inches; wing, eight inches; tail, eight inches; plumes, twenty-six inches. An adequate description of this royal bird would be an impossibility. Specimens are on exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution and several other museums, but much of the exquisite lustre is lost in preserved specimens, while the live ones, sometimes seen in menageries, are but caricatures of the bird as it appears in the free life of its tropical home. Ancient Spanish writers tell us that the Quezal was held in the hands of the Aztec high priests as they performed the mysterious rites of their now-forgotten religion. By the time our prize was tenderly placed in a bed of soft moss in my collecting-basket the sun was low in the west, and we commenced our walk down the mountainside. Darkness overtook us long before we reached the hut, but a good warm supper and smiling faces welcomed us. Full justice was done to the meal, after which Francisco related the wonderfui exploits of “El Diabolo” to an admiring and enthusiastic audience. My first Quezal was brought out, to the delight of the dusky señoritas, who damaged it somewhat by the handling; but it is hard to deny the ladies, if they are dusky. Since then that Quezal has been the subject of many an exclamation of delight from the fair ladies of the North as it stands on its gilded perch in the cabinet of
“THE GHOST OF M. SCARRON.”
IN 1694 a few copies of a libel, entitled “The Ghost of M. Scarron,” were circulated in Paris and Versailles. The pamphlet was adorned with an engraving which parodied the monument raised by Marshal Lafeuillade, on the Place des Victoires, to the glory of his master. Instead of having four statues chained at his feet, the King was represented chained between four women : La Vallière, IFontanges, Montespan, and Maintenon. It was among the princes of the blood and at the court that the “old woman,” as the Palatine Princess called her, had most enemies. This hatred defeated the vigilance of the police; before the prefect, M. de la Reynie, knew of the existence of the work, the King found a copy under his napkin at breakfast, and Madame de Maintenon received another copy at the same time and in the same Way. This outrage, inflicted, as it were, in the midst of his palace, exasperated Louis XIV. M. de la Reynie, the Prefect of Police, was immediately called to Versailles; the King bitterly upbraided him for what he called his guilty indifference, and ordered him to discover the authors of the libel and to punish them without pity. Either the persons who had given cause for royal anger were very powerful and clever, or the means of action of a Lieutenant of Police were limited, for the best agents of M. de la Reynie were unsuccessful. Still the King was as angry as ever ; he even seemed as vexed at the failure of his agents as at the insult, and whenever he saw the the lieutenant he did not spare his reproaches to that unfortunate official. At length chance smiled on M. de la Reynie, who saw his disgrace fast drawing near. One morning he was carelessly listening to the complaint of an artisan, from whose dwelling 5,000 livres had been stolen the day before. The poor fellow obviously took the lieutenant for providence itself, and, supposing that he could get
his money restored, he was loud in his lamentations. While he was speaking, the secretary of the lieutenant entered and hurriedly handed a letter to this magistrate, begging him to read it at once. The lieutenant had scarcely glanced at the paper than he jumped into his armchair with every sign of strong excitement. At his bidding the secretary went in quest of a police officer, while M. de la Reynie was feverishly writing a few lines on a piece of parchmert bearing the seal of the state. His emotion was so great that he altogether forgot the presence of a third party; and he did not notice that the despoiled artisan, who was standing within a yard of him, could read every word he was writing. The man was looking on with the candid confidence of one who is so convinced of the importance of his business that he cannot doubt but that the magistrate is engrossed by it; but the secretary, who had returned with an officer, roughly pulled him back. M. de la Reynie looked up, and appeared disagreeably surprised by the presence of the artisan. “Write down your name,” said he, in a harsh voice; “your affair shall be seen to.” Profound astonishment appeared on the face of the man; he hesitated for a few seconds, went to the table, took up a piece of paper and a pen, and then turning round : “Allow me to observe, monseigneur,” said he, “that I have had the honor to acquaint you with my name and occupation ; and further, that you remembered my words so well that I was marveling at the strength of your memory, when, a moment ago, I saw you writing my name down as correctly as I could do.” M. de la Reynie bit his lip, and made a sign to his secretary to draw closer to the artisan. “Your name is Jean Larcher,” said he to the latter. “It is, monseigneur.” “You are a bookbinder of the Rue des Lions-SaintPaul.” “Monseigneur is quite right,” answered poor Jean Larcher, who was smiling, while he crumpled in his fingers the piece of paper he was about to write upon. M. de la Reynie was smiling also, although in a different way. He took the police officer aside, whispered a few words in his ear, and then introduced him to the bookbinder: “This gentleman,” said he, “will accompany you to your house ; he will do all in his power to discover your thief, and we shall take care that you meet with such justice as is due to you.” The lieutenant laid stress on these last words, and the bookbinder, astounded at meeting with so gracious a
‘reception from a high magistrate, could scarcely find
words to express his thanks and gratitude. He left the residence of the Lieutenant of Police without any apparent escort than that obligingly tendered by M. de la Reynie. On the way the police-officer questioned the bookbinder, who furnished him with all the information he had already given to the lieutenant, not omitting to give the topography of his house, concerning which his companion seemed particularly interested. Master Jean Larcher was overjoyed at the great attention shown by M. de la Reynie's man ; he did not doubt but that his 5,000 livres would soon be returned to him, and he insisted on regaling his companion with the best wine they could procure in a wine-shop. After this halt they went in the direction of the Rue des Lions-Saint-Paul. Soldiers and policemen were standing around the bookbinder's house. The good man
manifested more satisfaction than surprise at this military display. He observed to his companion that if his house had been as well guarded on the preceding night, so many good people would not have to be troubled now. The house inhabited by Larcher was narrow, but rather deep. It consisted of a ground floor composed of two rooms, one on the street side which was used as a shop and a dining-room, the other being a workshop. An alley led to a staircase which communicated with the first floor, composed of two more rooms. One of these was Master Larcher's bedroom; the other contained the books and papers reserved for binding To this last room the police officer asked to be taken. But while Larcher was showing the cupboard wherein his money had been secreted, M. de la Reynie's man took quite another direction, and climbing up to the top of another cupboard, he brought down a small bundle of pamphlets upon which a commissaire, who suddenly turned up, pounced like a vulture. Master Larcher, greatly astonished that so much attention should be given to what appeared to him of no import concerning his own business, was pulling the officer by the sleeve to show him how the cupboard had been forced open. But this last gentleman's manners toward him had considerably changed ; he scarcely listened to the man who, a few moments before, was treated by him as an intimate friend. However, the commissaire began to question the bookbinder. He showed him the pamphlets, and asked if they were his property. In his impatience, Master Larcher answered with some rashness that all that was in the house belonged to him or to his clients. The commissaire then untied the bundle, took a copy of the pamphlet, thrust it under Larcher's eyes, and asked where it came from. When he read the title of the pamphlet, “ M. Scarron's Ghost,” of which he, as well as others, had heard, he turned white, trembled, took his head in his hands, and for a few moments remained quite stupefied. He, however, recovered his powers of speech, and swore that he had no knowledge of the presence of the fatal pamphlets in his shop, and that he now saw them for the first time. M. de la Reynie's people shrugged their shoulders disdainfully. In vain did he repeat his assertions and try to exculpate himself by reminding them that he himself had brought the police to his house with the calmness of a faultless conscience. The officers told him he could explain himself before his judges; and they prepared to take him away. In a corner of the apartment Jean Larcher's wife, concealing her face in her apron, was weeping, and giving every token of violent grief. As Larcher was crossing the threshold he begged the officer with whom he had been at first on friendly terms to allow him to say farewell to the woman he scarcely hoped to see again. Hardened as he was, the policeman could not refuse this slight favor; he signed his men to relent, and the unfortunate husband exclaimed: “Marian, Marian l’ But Madame Larcher's sobs became more violent, and she did not seem to hear her husband's call. Those who stood around her pushed her toward the prisoner; she hesitated, and then rushing into Larcher's arms, slue embraced him with many demonstrations of grief and tenderness. Jean Larcher appeared alone at the bar. He was tortured three times, and he suffered with more firmness than might have been expected of a poor man already advanced in years. He constantly refused to name his accomplices. When questioned, he said that the death of one innocent man was enough fox his judges, and that he
had no wish that, through him, the latter should have to answer for more blood.
Sentenced to be hanged, he was led to the gibbet on Friday, November 19th, 1694, at six o'clock in the evening. He was seated in a cart with a man named Rambault, a printer of Lyons, convicted of a similar crime. Larcher was fidgety, and seemed filled with thoughts not relating to his approaching end. He, however, behaved with courage, and died protesting his innocence.
Before dying he earnestly begged Sanson, the executioner, to take a seapulary he had, and to give it to his son if he claimed it. Some years after, Sanson had an opportunity of accomplishing the poor man's wish. It led to a fearful tragedy, and at the same time to the demonstration of the bookbinder's innocence. The scapu. lary contained the name of a man who was Master Jean Larcher's assistant. Nicholas Larcher, the son, who had been in England, discovered that his mother had, immediately after the execution, married the man designated by his father as a culprit. Seized with frenzy, he broke into their house in the dead of the night, and murdered both his mother, who confessed her crime, and her second husband. The young man was arrested, but died in prison of brain fever.
CHARLEs MATHEws used to tell, with great glee, a little story of Charles Lamb, which he vouched for as authentie, and believed to be unpublished. One evening Mary Lamb took a sudden and violent fancy to have some Stilton cheese for supper—an article of which they had not a scrap in the house. It was very wet, and getting rather late; but Charles, with that self-denial which showed itself in a lifelong devotion to his sister, at once volunteered to try whether any could be got. He sallied forth, and reached their cheesemonger just as the shutters were being put up. In reply to his demand, he was assured that he had some fine ripe Stilton ; and the shopkeeper proceeded to cut off a slice. As it lay on the scales, Lamb's attention was forcibly arrested by the lively gambols of a number of maggots which came to the surface of the “fine, ripe Stilton.” “Now, Mr. Lamb,” said the cheesemonger, “shall I have the pleasure of sending this home for you ?” “No, th–th-thank you,” said Charles “If you will give me a bit of twine, I cou-cou-could p'rhaps 1-1-1-lead it home '''
CHARLEs I. was the first English sovereign who had a statue raised to him in London. It stands in Whitehall, the work of Hubert le Seueur in 1638. London next stood indebted to Tobias Rustat, a page of the back stairs, for statues of Charles II. and James II. There are two of Charles II., one in front of Chelsea Hospital, by Gibbons, and one at Windsor. One of James II., by Gibbons, the best of the royal statues, stands in a quiet spot at the back of Whitehall Chapel. William III. next finds an equestrian statue in St.James's Square, by Bacon, and Queen Anne three, one in front of St. Paul's and two in the squares called after her. George I. stands on the campanile of Bloomsbury Church, and there are two of George III., a very effective one by Bacon in the courtyard of Somerset House, and an equestrian one by Wyatt in Pall Mall. George IV., by Chantry, finds place on one of the pedestals in front of the National Gallery, William IV. in Cannon Street, and Queen Victoria on the Royal Exchange. There are two of Prince Albert, one by Bacon, on the Holborn Viaduct, and one under the canopy opposite Albert Hall, by the Irish sculptor Foley, which is greatly admired.
BY ETTA W. PIERCE.
CHAPTER XXV.- DARK DAYS. GODFREY GREYLOCK, returning from a late dinner in the "Hold ?" he called to his driver. “What can that be ?" town, had just reached the rising ground near the salt- “Lord only knows, sir !" answered the servant, in conpits, when that first cry of agony met him in a curve sternation. “It came from the pits—the ghosts are walkof the road-amazed him, too, and chilled his blood. Ting, most likely."
Vol. XVIII., No. 1-5.