Графични страници
PDF файл

tors. Small states of antiquity, sometimes in favor of their education of the lowest people, it is morally certain that
own citizens (generally at the expense of another nation), first England, next Austria and France, will follow, Par-
avowed a doctrine of each family having a right to land: tial interests, religious animosities, old prejudices, timid
even this was exceptional. No doctrine concerning land forebodings, will impede, but can only delay, the more
was propounded by moral philosophy ; no practical recog ment; though a century may be needed before it is strictly
nition of right in the cultivator, as such, was ever dreamed European. When it is established that there are to be do
of by great imperial powers; no dogma concerning it was slaves, no serfs, no dangerous class of citizens, the problem
put forth by a hierarchy, even after a Christian apostle had cannot be worked out with the vast masses of ignorant free-
written that the cry of those who sow and reap the fields, men. Hence general national education is one of the cer.
whose bire the powerful keep back by fraud, bad entered tainties of the future. It is the last contrast of modern and
the ears of the Lord of Hosts. When moral philosophy ancient times which it is expedient to treat in one article.
deals with the question of property in land, as it already
deals with that of property in human bodies, the effect on
all civilized nations will be immense; and it is now pretty
clear that such a development must come, and that shortly.

The English aristocracy will shriek and storm, as did the
American slaveholders. A marquis lately spoke of certain

IN SEVEN CHAPTERS. landed property as sacred, because it had been sanctioned

BY THE AUTHOR OF “PATTY." by Parliament. Just so it was pleaded that slaves were a sacred property because they had been bought, and because slave-owners had passed laws to sanction it. Such arguments are good enough for those wbo hold on by the law of

Monsieur FURET stands suddenly upright, and plants might, but are contemptible to all who appeal to the law of his spade firmly into the dry brown mould. right. They avail to show that it is prudent and equitable The church clock has just struck twelve; its quaint pictin the state to give an ample consideration whenever it dis uresque spire so overlooks his garden that he has only to possesses an individual; but never can establish that it is | raise his eyes to see how time is going. For though Monright to keep a whole nation of cultivators living from hand , sieur Furet bears all the marks of a well-to-do man about to mouth, without any fixed tenure of the soil, without roof

any fixed tenure of the soil. Without roof | him, he is his own gardener. or hearth of their own, or increased profit from increased He has the look of a rich, matter-of-fact, common-sense diligence in culture. If England were in this matter at the | citizen; but you need only glance at his garden to be sure head of Europe, existing inequalities might last for centu- | that Monsieur Furet, ex-avocat, present proprielaire of one ries longer. But since she lingers ignominiously behind

of the most charming little estates in the neighborhood of all the best known powers, — and wbile Ireland is her old Villequier, is also a man of taste. scandal, the Scottish and English peasants have no better | The centre bed of his garden is planted with small pyramsecurity whatever in their tenure, and are accidentally idal pear-trees, their graceful branches laden with young superior, chiefly through manufacturing and commercial fruit, and round about there is a perfect dazzle of scarlet wealth, — since, moreover, the English colonies entirely re geraniums and an edging of silvery leaves with white nounce that doctrine of land which English landlords have blossoms; the broad border which runs under the old gray set up, and finally, since in India the supreme power avows wall, overlooked by the church spire, is gay with China and enforces a widely different doctrine; the existing sys roses and bunches of rosy sweet-peas and blue larkspur tem is destined to a fundamental change. Precisely be and orange coreopsis, and the wall itself is almost covered cause those who claim reform feel towards the landlord with the purple blossoms of virgin's bower, over which the class as tenderly as abolitionists felt towards slave-owners, graceful leaves hang as if they were trying to get off the - making all allowance for their false position blamelessly wall and fall on the earth below. inherited, - desiring to make the change as gentle to them Monsieur Furet has been loosening the earth round the as public justice will permit; therefore the more decisive roots of his roses, and he stands with his back to the centre and unhesitating is the appeal to moral principle in the plot and also to a border parallel to the one at which he political argument. In this resolute appeal to morals is works; but there are no flowers here except those on the involved a great contrast to the state of things possible in althæa busbes, which show out rosily among a well-grouped any ancient power, where slavery, serfdom, or caste existed. array of evergreens. A claim of landholders which rests on the enactments of a On his right is the pride of Monsieur Furet's heart, his Parliament from which all but landholders were systemat. rocher ; to English taste a cockneyfied heap of stones, piled ically excluded for centuries, is signally destitute of moral together as nature would hardly pile them, and surmounted weight. They who use it do not know that they are court by a growth of lady-fern, with smaller varieties and some ing contempt. Unless they will undertake to establish that | rock plants nestling in the crevices; on his left is his house, the claim is morally just, they effect nothing but to show a plain, dull, square stone building, green with age and that, having stepped into legislative power, they have used

damp. it for their private benefit; while, by excluding all but Monsieur Furet's house is pleasantly placed, but it is at their own order, they betrayed their own consciousness of the bottom of the steep hill, on which both the château and malversation. This, in part, relates to past generations, the mill stand ; a green ditch runs behind the shrubberied but of course the alleged rights are hereditary only. The wall, and in the field behind the tall sycamores which evil deeds of predecessors have wrongfully enriched the overshadow the rockery is a deep and stagnant pool. present holders. In every case, it is by moral argument Looking at the dismal moss-grown house, and then going that they will bave to be established, if established they into the field and seeing the pool half filled with branches can be, against the consensus of all Europe, the American fallen from the trees above, over which water-weeds are Union, the other British colonies, and the Anglo-Indian clinging in shroud-like fashion, you begin to dream of empire.

secret murder committed sometime and hidden in the VII. Last, perhaps not least, of the general moral con silent pool, and of pale ghosts who walk the lonely house; trasts wbich will make a signal difference between the an- / but your ghostly thoughts fly at the plump round figure cients and the moderns, is the elementary education of the | that has just advanced to the back door, and stands there masses of every community. This education, no doubt, is filling up the entrance, with a broad, stumpy, brown hand as yet chiefly in the future. In the late American civil | planted on each hip. Only her red face, her hands, and war the “mean wbites” of the South were so ignorant that her snowy cap, with its strings pinned across each other only by seeing and feeling the force of Northern armies over her forehead, relieve her from the dark passage becould they learn that there was any greater power in the hind; for both gown and apron are black, or rather of world than their own State. Germany and the American that greenish hue which indicates thrift and also cleanliUnion having declared for, and vigorously carried out, the ness in the wearer. Yes, Marguerite's black gown has

been wasbed many a time, and looks none the fresher for | sides her charming face and figure." And a smile wrinkles it as to color.

round his mouth — a smile that does not suit with so old a Her fat double chin waggles as she watches Monsieur | face, or rather a smile which is incongruous because it has Furet.

in it the mingling of age and youth. “ But what then has he — to leave off work half an hour “Is madame at home ?” he says to the boy with the too soon ? Aha! Maitre Joseph I there is something going sunny face. on thou art keeping from Margot !"

" Alais oui, monsieur.” The boy pulls off his black cap Monsieur Furet turns and comes towards her. He is a with much show of respect ; to himself he says, as Monsieur tall, erect man, who would be good-looking, spite of his Furet passes on, wrinkles, if his face were not so stern. It might be carved “As if every one does not know that the mistress is in wood or stone, it is so hard and expressionless, except always at home. Allez! She could not be spared.” for the wrinkles on his forehead and round his mouth; The cocks and hens are scared by monsieur's stick, which there is an absence of flesh, the smooth yellow skin seems he strikes against the ground at every step, and they set strained on the small bones. Also you must be a very keen up a crowing and cackling duet. A huge dog, chained ohserver indeed if you can note any intelligible change in out of sight behind the fagot stack, barks furiously, and those dull gray eyes which gaze at you so steadily ; they

the miller's wife comes to the top of the flight of stone steps are in color like steel over which one has breathed. Per that lead up to the house. haps they were bright once, when Monsieur Furet was Madame Rousset was, perhaps, pretty, twenty years ago. young and poor and active in the race of life.

Now her round peach-colored cheeks show a brick-dust red Margot never questions her master, but she feels very through their floury coating; and her blue eyes are dimmed inquisitive to-day. There has been a restlessness about by the floury condition of her long light eyelashes. She is Monsieur Furet, and Margot wonders — more with a half a little soft bundle of a woman, with a mouth only made to contempt at her own credulity than in combat with any say Yes. real belief – whether Jacques Mouton was in earnest when « Mon Dieu ! it is then Monsieur Furet who does me the he teased her on Sunday after vespers.

honor to climb the hill to pay me a visit !” Then in a “But Jacques is an ill-natured old cripple,” she says; shrill cry, “Marie! Eugénie 1 ” Madame Rousset has the “ folks who have lost something themselves are willing customary briskness of a small woman, spite of her soft enough to put the fear of losing something into their looks, and she turns round to see if her call is heard. A neighbors' noddles. My master is the cleverest man for freckled, sandy-haired girl, with a close linen cap and a miles round; it is not likely he will turn fool at sixty, just wide-grinning mouth, comes out of a low green door on the for the fine eyes of a chit like Eugénie Rousset. Bah, bah, right of the steps. bah! Jacques is one ape, and I am another to listen to * Tenez, madame." Marie is wiping her hands on her his nonsense.”

apron while she speaks. “Ma'm'selle Eugénie has not yet Marguerite!” Monsieur Furet has that voice which come back from Bolbec ;” and then, having dried her seems peculiar to Frenchmen; a voice with a certain greasy bands, she plants them on her hips and stands with arms readiness in it, as if the speaker kept his words in his a-kimbo, gazing at her mistress as if this piece of forgetfulmouth, and tumbled them out one over another in his ness were something unusual. eagerness to utter them.

Madame Rousset claps her fat pink palm on her fore« Marguerite, I will have my bread and radishes at once. head. I have to make a visit of ceremony."

" It is true. Tiens, Jeanneton, but thou art of a foolish“A la bonne heure !The housekeeper's curiosity is at ness! and when the dear child has even said she should fever-heat, but she keeps down any outward show of it. not come back till three o'clock — my memory is like the “ Monsieur will then want his holiday suit and his new flour. Eh bien, Marie.” She looks sharply at the gaping boots ?

gowk, who is as much like a scarecrow as a girl. “ Set two Monsieur Furet's dull eyes close at each corner, as if he chairs out here and dust them ; dust them twice, hearest were enjoying a joke and meant to keep it to himself. thou? so that no flour may stick to the tails of monsieur's

* My friend," he says quietly, “ I asked but for radishes coat." and bread, and those I want at once.”

By this time monsieur is within hearing, and it is inconHe pushes by the ménagère into the long dark passage, ceivable that Marie should set up that shout of laughter at and Marguerite can only vent her feelings by shrugging her her mistress's words. Madame has become as red as a shoulders and by an expressive grimace lavished freely on cider apple by the time the ex-avocat greets her. the scarlet geranium bed.

“Be welcome, monsieur, I beg of you.” She smiles with

hearty courtesy. “But it is desolating that neither MonII.

sieur Rousset nor my daughter should be at home.”

Monsieur Furet stands, hat in hand, waiting for his exThe mill of Villequier has a reputation. It is no mere citable hostess to seat herself; but she does not understand ordinary windmill, with picturesque sails signing the four his hesitation. Instead, she spins round like a cockchafer. winds with the cross as they put them in motion. Neither “Ah, but then it is possible that monsieur has made the is it a watermill, with treacherous smooth green pool and ascent to see the mécanique ? But it is wonderful - the tiny cascades foaming off the mossy, grotesque old wheels. mécanique.The mill of Villequier looks like a substantial brick house, She darts up the stone steps again into the house. standing in green orchards, near the top of the lofty côle. Monsieur Furet is perplexed, but he is glad to be able to There is nothing outside to give token of the occupation wipe his forehead with the huge yellow handkerchief he carried on within except in the huge pile of empty sacks | keeps in his hat. He has hardly finished when madame under an open shed some little way down the slope. There | comes back with a key. She speaks eagerly from the top is a cider press in this shed, and a sunny-faced country lad of the steps: in a blouse is sweeping the trough of this with a broom. “ Tenez, monsieur. I can now show you all, from the There are brown and white cows grazing peacefully under mécanique, which is subterraneous, to the rooms above. the apple-trees, scenting the air with their fragrant breath, Ah, but it is wonderful! Does monsieur know why the and on the narrow upward path to the mill cocks and hens | flour of the mill of Villequier has a so great reputation ? strut as if they were on parade and wished to be looked at. It is because, monsieur, it grinds seven times. I can show The path itself is only marked out in the grass by cart ruts, to monsieur flour of seven different degrees. The first. and ihe ascent is somewbat steep. Monsieur Furet stops well understood, is brown, and the last -ah, mon Dieu ! it to breathe when he reaches the open shed and looks about / is only fit for the angels. Tenez, monsieur, here is a sack him with complacency.

ready to go up to the château.* If Rousset does not fritter away his money in machin She comes quickly down the steps, her well-floured face ery. Mademoiselle Eugénie will have a good portion, be- | so far in advance of her body that it is wonderful she does not topple over, runs to the foremost of a row of sacks be- | with your respectable husband ? I believe," he smiles, “it yond the low green door, unties it, and comes back with is the mamma wbo really decides these questions." a handful of exquisitely white flour.

A look of doubt comes into madame's eyes; but they are She lifts her handful to the nose of Monsieur Furet be still full of flour, so their expression is not noticeable, as fore he sees her intention, and in an instant the subtle they blink every instant and are swimming with water, but powder spreads, and his face is as white as that of Ma Madame Rousset is desirous to maintain her prerogative dame Rousset.

in the eyes of her daughter's suitor. Hat, face, spotless coat and waistcoat, all receive more “Yes, yes, monsieur is quite right,” she says quickly, or less, and monsieur's countenance is rueful to behold. “the mamma decides."

" Ah, mon Dieu, how giddy I am! Ah, monsieur, I am Then Monsieur Furet offers his thanks, settles next day in despair! But wait an instant; I know a method.”

for a formal presentation to his future wife, and after a She claps both hands together to free them of four, little more talk takes his leave and departs. thereby enveloping her visitor in a fresh white cloud, rung

III. up the steps, and is again beside him with a huge brush, before he has time to get out a word.

Two hours pass by, and then comes the grate-grate of " Ah, madame, I thank you a thousand times, but it is cart wheels on the stony road. enough. I will not give you this trouble."

Sainte Vierge !The miller's wife runs to an upper " C'est ça, c'est ça.. This in accompaniment to the window which commands a view of the road. “Is this the vigorous brushings, under which Monsieur Furet's shculd father or Eugénie ? and how am I to tell them what I ders shrink not a little. “Monsieur is quite another thing have promised ? It is possible they may not consent, and now." Monsieur bows, but for some moments her tongue then what shall I do?" goes on click-clack, keeping time with the brush; she She comes down to meet her husband with a very scared gives him no chance of getting a word in. And now she face. seats herself, brush in hand, with a long gasp of fatigue. The miller is a broad-cheeked, jolly Norman, with a halfHer visitor gladly follows her example. “ It is possible shut corner to each of his blue eyes. He looks genial and that monsieur will not care to mount to see the mécanique | good-tempered, but he also looks capable of making an up above, as I bave had the maladresse so to incommode excellent bargain. His face is more serious than usual as him, and there is no denying that the stair-ladder is he comes up the steps, and his wife sees this and feels yet floury. Still, if monsieur has the slightest desire to go up more nervous. - the view from the top is wonderful, all the way — all He does not come into the house; he stands lounging the way to Le Trait.

against the door-post. There is discontent on his face. She makes a movement to rise from her chair ; but at His wife looks at him anxiously. She waits till he has this, his first opportunity, monsieur lays his hand on her lit his pipe. " What is it then, Jacques ?arm and clears his throat.

“ Ah, what is it, Jeanneton ? It is always tbe same “Madame," he bows profoundly,“ do not disturb your want. I have seen to-day at Bolbec an improvement on self, I beg. My business is with you absolutely, and not our mécanique. Monsieur le Baron de Derville bas just with the mill. I have no sister, madame, no female rela procured it from England. Ah! but it is an improvement tive; so it is necessary that I speak for myself. Madame,” that I must have at any price. In a year's time I would he bows again, “ I ask your permission to pay my court to count my sacks by sixties where I now count twenties, if I your daughter Mademoiselle Eugénie Rousset."

could find the money to obtain it for the mill." Madame Rousset's eyelids have winked so rapidly dur Madame Rousset could not have said why she had felt ing this precisely spoken proposal that she has shaken anxious that Monsieur Furet's suit should find favor with some of the flour from her light eyelashes into her eyes. her husband. Certainly it would be pleasant to hear her This sets them smarting, and she rubs them with her pink daughter called “the richest woman in Villequier," but knuckles.

this is only a new and temporary idea ; for she worships This demonstration puzzles the suitor. He has risen Eugénie, and shrinks from the thought of losing her. and removed his hat, and now he stands with it in his Why then does her weak nature leap up in joy at hearing hand, half sheepish, half angered.

her husband's words? Madame Rousset looks at him and she smiles.

“It could not have come at a better time," she thinks, ! but monsieur must pardon the flour, for it is in my with prodigious relief. “Monsieur Furet will lend him eyes at this moment. Monsieur must not tbink I am in the money, no doubt, if Jacques consents to the marriage." sensible to the great honor he wishes to confer on our “I have had a visitor,” she says shyly. daughter, only," she puts her head on one side and screws Jacques feels aggrieved. He is accustomed to sympathy up the suffering eyes, “ I ask myself if monsieur knows how | from the foolish little woman. He gives a twist with his young is our Eugénie. She is but seventeen, monsieur.” shoulders, turns away sulkily, and goes on smoking.

“Madame," monsieur says coldly, “ if you object I with “ Yes indeed, a suitor for our Eugénie, who wishes to draw my pretensions. I am willing to make your daughter see thee on business, and to join his interests with thine. the richest woman in Villequier and to join my interests What dost thou think of Monsieur Furet ?with those of Monsieur Rousset in his building schemes. Jacques takes his pipe out of his mouth and looks at his I make no objection to your daughter's youth, and your wife to see if her wits are straying. husband, who is a sensible man, will make none either. I “Yes, Monsieur Furet ; " Madame Rousset bridles, and am not young, but I am hale and hearty, and I have never smooths down her apron with both hands; " and he prohad a day's illness.”

poses to make our Eugénie the richest woman in Villequier, Monsieur Furet puts on his hat and looks sternly at the if she will be bis wife." She gives a quick glance in her little bundle of a woman; his profession has taught him husband's face and sees a shrinking there." I said Euhow to deal with Madame Rousset.

génie is too young, but Monsieur Furet said she was old “But indeed, monsieur, a thousand pardons, but mon- | enough; he bade me ask thee when he could talk to thee sieur does not understand. I could not intend to make about business." any reflection on the suitability of monsieur as a husband “ The agent who brought the machinery goes back to for my little girl ; it is only that Eugénie is so young and | England next week,” says Rovsset to himself; the struggle 80 much of a child that she is hardly suited to be a com of dislike that came at the thought of his lovely little panion for monsieur, and” –

daughter and Monsieur Furet yields as he pictures to himMonsieur seats himself again and waves his hand with | self the results to his mill. dignity.

“ Aha!” he says, aloud, "the miller of Caudebec will * I am the best judge on this point, madame. Then I learn to laugh the other side of his mouth when he sees my may suppose that you are willing for this alliance, and sacks everywhere. Why, I shall be king of the countrythat I am at liberty to make the business arrangements side !”

Eh bien, Jacques, mon homme, when?

Eugénie has been looking earnestly at the miller, and Jacques turns and slaps her gayly on the shoulder: - she sees that be avoids her direct glance. She is simple

“When, my girl ? Why, there's no time like the press and sweet, but she has inherited some of her father's ent. I'm going to see Monsieur Furet now.”

sbrewdness ; besides, she is Norman born, and she recalls He turns away to go down the steps and stops suddenly. | the scared look with which he greeted her.

At the foot of the steps is a young girl, blue-eyed and “Father, is it only because thou wishest to see me well fair-haired like her parents, but with the liquid softness in married? There is another reason, is it not so ?. her eyes and the exquisite bloom on her skin of sweet sev Jacques Rousset is keen and skilful at a bargain, but he enteen. Eugénie is much taller than her mother, and has is very inferior to his wife in the art of equivocation. A a well-shaped, well-rounded figure; she wears a sprigged flush mounts to his forehead, and he looks troubled. cambric gown, a black jacket, and a white muslin full bor “Tell me everything, I ought to know everything," Eudered cap, tied under her chin.

génie says coaxingly; and she kisses each of the broad “ Thou art home first, my father,” she says merrily. cheeks. “ Well, I was so tired of Madame Giraud's cart, that I “ Well, my little one, I do not want to force thy inclina. slipped out and came across the fields. Pierrot will bring tion, but it seems to me that thou dost not care for any of my marketing. Why," she goes off into a ringing laugh, our bachelors, even for Sylvestre or Victor” – Eugénie “ mother, what hast thou done to our father? He looks as shakes her head, a little curve of disdain on her pretty lip if he saw a ghost !

-"and Monsieur Furet is excellent in every way -- and Madame Rousset slips past her husband, comes down - and — well, my child, thou hast guessed it,” for Eugénie the steps, and kisses Eugénie on both cheeks and then on is smiling slyly into his eyes, “some of Furet's spare cash her forehead, to give Jacques time to recover himself. would enable me to buy the new mécanique, and that would

He stands with his mouth still open ; but by the time I make my fortune.” his wife has ended her kisses he stuff's both hands, pipe and “Would it make thee happier ?” she laughs mischievall, under his blouse into the pockets of his trousers, and ously. She is too full of youth and brightness to realize clears his throat.

that she is jesting about her life's destiny. “ Allons, Jeanneton," he says, “I am going into the “But yes, Eugénie.” Jacques stands erect, holding his kitchen, and thou canst bring Eugénie there. The child head rather higher than usual. “ The man at the top of must not be kept in the dark.”

the ladder and the man at the bottom are equally content; It is an effort to say this, for the new machinery draws but the man who has got half-way looks down and sees him like a magnet; but spite of his love of money-makicg, what he has done, and looks up and sees what is yet to do; Jacques Rousset loves his little girl better than any other there is no happiness until he reaches the top; and I am part of his life.

half-way up my ladder, my little girl.” He seats himself in a broad-backed easy-chair, and beck But still Jacques feels in a false position, and makes no ons to Eugénie as soon as she appears.

attempt to caress his daughter. " Tiens, la pelite.He winks at her pleasantly with his Eugénie stands thinking. sly eyes. “What dost thou say to a husband ? tiens !“It is all new and sudden, my father,” she says. “I and he goes off into a suppressed laugh.

cannot say at once that I will marry Monsieur Furet. I But Madame Rousset's sense of fitness is outraged. cannot even say,” she goes on quickly, for an ea ger hope

Tais-toi donc, maladroit !She frowns her dusty eye shoots into her father's eyes, “that I will ever marry him ; brows at the miller, and sidles up to Eugénie.

but I will try and think of it; and thou knowest, my father, " Ah, but it is no wonder the dear child blushes and I would do very much to please thee.” looks frightened — just a busband. Mon Dieu ! He The sweet blue eyes are so tender as she says these might be any vaurien. Look up then, my lily, and listen; l words that Jacques turns away suddenly, and draws the thy father should have said that a gentleman, a distin- ' sleeve of his blouse across his eyes. guished gentleman," — here Eugénie raises her drooping

(To be continued.) head, and looks interested, "the best parti in Villequier,"

- madame smooths down her apron and simperg — “80 admires our Eugénie, that he will not be happy till she consents to become the richest woman in the neighborhood."

FUN IN FUR. Eugénie's face clouds.

“ The richest ? she thinks. « Ah, it is only the old! A stuffed Animals' Company (limited) is a comical who are rich." Aloud, she says saucily, “ My mother is ' notion in itself, and the result of its operations, on view telling fairy tales. Who is this wonderful suitor ?

just now at the Crystal Palace, is odd and interesting to a Jacques opens his mouth, but his wife claps her hand | degree which mere description cannot adequately convey, over it.

because the collection will strike people differently accord“It is the owner of the beautiful garden, Monsieur Furet. | ing to their tastes. Every one must be impressed by the Aha, my Eugénie! thou wilt always wear silk, and eat | advance in the art of Taxidermy evidenced by the tenants white bread, and drink wine instead of cider. Mon Dieu ! | of the two long galleries, which are about equally divided what good fortune!".

into serious and comic subjects, and are entirely unlike the She runs on as fast as she can, for her daughter's pale | stiff, dull, staring.eyed, stark-coated stuffed beasts of former face frightens her.

days, which, beginning with those at the British Museum, Eugénie turns her back on her mother and puts her hand - where even the big rhinoceros looks mean, and the on the miller's shoulder. “My father," she says, simply, golden eagle is only a bird of straw, - were the deadest “ Monsieur Furet is an old man, and -1 do not want to of dead things. To attune his mind perfectly to the marry."

inspection of the curious collection, the visitor ought to “Go away, Jeanneton,” says the miller, angrily, and in begin with a peep into Mr. Wilson's office, where he will his heart he mutters, “ It is that chattering fool who has see a bull-dog, sitting by the wall, so exceedingly natural done the mischief.”

and so appallingly ugly, that he will start first, and then Madame retreats in frightened silence, and then Jacques expect to see “ Brummy” under the adjoining table; Rousset puts his arm round his daughter's waist.

but the “bull” is only a model, which produces an illusion “My little one,'' — there is a wonderful tenderness in as complete as does the kennelled mastiff among the the rough man's voice, a tenderness which no one but Eu frescoes in the Wiertz Gallery at Brussels. It would be génie knows of — “Monsieur Furet is of middle age — but well if, in the arrangement of the Wurtemberg collection, he is a hale strong man, and he is kind and good also. See a more jungly effect could be produced. At present the how near his house is to our mill; it will hardly be like platform is a little too apparent, and there is too much leaving home. He can do more for thee, my beloved, than sameness in the trees, with one wild beast crouching on thy father can.'

each, while his or her companion is pulling down the

quarry at its foot. This repetition gives the appearance

Were a tyrannous, triple band; of an assemblage of individual groups, each having been

Lion-king, and desert throne, constructed on a similar plan, rather than the effect in

All the region was his own;" tended to be produced by the entire collection, — that of

| a lion concerning whom one asks, looking at him, “When a vast space in a land where the fierce creatures have it , he sent his roaring forth. fell not silence on the earth ?" all their own way, with specimens of them in pursuit of

The family groups are very charming: the little wild swine, their prey. If the Crystal Palace could have accom

all striped, like young deer, when they are born, but who modated the Wurtemberg people with a pond, planted a

grow up with common, coarse, gray coats, like their parents ; jungle round it, roofed it over, hung the roof and the sides

and the fluffy cub-bears look so cozy and happy, and so with the climbing growths of the tropical forests, and then

surprisingly small, as they nestle snugly round their mothdropped the great carnivora here and there, set elephants

ers. There is one delightful group, consisting of six Euroand camels drinking, hippopotami floating in the water, —

pean brown bears; the maternal satisfaction of the mother, whence should have protruded a saurian snout or two,

the gambols of the four youngsters, and the careful pride of with herons and flamingoes among the reeds, kingfish

Bruin père, who is returning with a lamb for his young barers perched amid the rock-work, and vultures brooding, gorged and gloomy, on the tree tops, the collection would

barians' supper, are so admirable that this family party

more properly belongs to the Comic department of the colhave had real justice done to it.

lection. Smaller creatures are scattered all over the But even under the restricted actual circumstances, the assemblage carries one fascinated into the life of the forest

ground, innumerable birds perch in the trees; there is a

fine collection of hawks and vultures, with all their characcreatures. The attitudes are conveyed in many instances so perfectly, that watching the glide, the subtle serpentine

teristics perfectly preserved ; and a nest of horned owls in

a rock-cavity, who have thrown themselves on their backs curve of the spine under the sleek, striped, tawny coat, the

to repel an intruding wild-cat, and are fighting desperately pounce of the powerful paws, one almost listens for the

with their claws, the talons protruded like four spokes of a low, fierce, satisfied growl. This is on the serious side of

wheel from the centre, — after the fashion of owls, — which the gallery, where tigers, who might be the untransmi

makes them as difficult to dislodge, when they are fixed, as grated Cleopatra and Antony of Mr. Story's poem, leop

fish-hooks or harpoon-heads. The pounce and clutch of ards, pumas, bears, elks, and Indian deer, — all worthy to

the huge mother-bird on the wild-cat's breast are really have fallen to the ritle of the Old Shekarry himself, —

superb. Scaly serpents lie curled up in the mimic grass, or hunt, or fight, or feed, or watch, or rest; each with mar

hang in listless festoons from the trees, suggesting the vellously life-like action and curiously individual expres

siesta of tropical forest life, or they are stretched upon the sion, the triumph of the taxidermist's art. The stuffer, in

ground, with lifted head and glittering eye, so true, so these cases, has considered the subject as a character in a

haracter in a | treacherous, that we listen for the rattle or the stealthy little drama of strong passion and decided action, and

clash of the scales. there is not a suggestion of the straw bolster and glass

Here is a neat, paddling crocodile, whose cuirass is abeyes to-be-fitted-in-anyhow kind of handiwork which lends

surdly like that of Saint George down below in the trana' forlorn dreariness to such things in general. These heads are alert, these eyes keep watch.

sept, and conveys just the same uncomfortable tight-sleeved The deer are lis

effect; and near bim is a pangolin, a mysterious creature, tening, or calling, or challenging, or their strong, grace

graceful of shape, but clad in scales precisely resembling ful limbs have but just been checked into stillness; the

artichoke-leaves, and of which “ natives" make gala coshuge American bison, with blood-injected eyes, grinds the

tumes. The jackal, - concerning whom our early notions writhing jaguar beneath his enormous frame with sheer

are dispelled, for instead of being the “ Lion's Provider," crushing strength ; but the great cat's comrade has seized

we now know he only sneaks after him, and, so to speak, the lord of “ the Barrens,” and with ripping claws, rending

licks the plates, - the ocelot, the fox, the wolf, the otter, the teeth, and lashing, swollen tail, is tearing the life out of

great boar-hound, and his fierce, brave enemy, — grandly the huge beast, whose size and weight avail little against

displayed, with a disabled meute around him, and charging the lithe ferocity of Felis Onca. Two splendid striped tigers seize a harmless Arabian camel, in the vicinity of

furiously, — a group of dainty, delicate, quick-eared cha

mois, taking counsel of the wind and of the echoes, — these his familiar date-palm and prickly pear. The creature

are only a few of the objects on which the eye rests as one shrinks and bends under the weight of the prowling brute

passes down the gallery, towards the great group at the end. who has just flung himself upon him; and the leopards in

About the middle one's attention is caught by the slow a neighboring group, who are rending a bontebok, are

swaying in the air, from the open ceiling, of a huge albastartling in their intent and greedy blood-thirstiness.

tross, its swooping form, with widely extended wings, bent Another moment, and surely these brutes, with their lissom

downwards, and its duck-like bill open, as though it were muscles strung into the tension of whip-cord, and their

screaming over the waves. This is an unrivalled specimen, growling mouth distended into crimson and black streaks,

and à propos of it we learn a curious fact. A bighly eswill be at each other's throats; and the sly lynx yonder,

teemed kind of pipe being made by sailors from the wingwith peering muzzle and soft, uplifted, tentative paw, will

bones of the albatross, – those which answer to the human have his chance of a quick, furtive snatch.

fore-arm, between the elbow and the wrist, - Mr. Wilson Here is a magnificent lion ; and under his forepaws lies

gave a commission to some men who sailed northwards a panting negro, with watching, agonized eyes, and raised

with the whaling and sealing fleet last year to bring him hand, ready, when the dreadful, roaring, red-hot mouth

some albatrogs wing-bones. Undeterred by Coleridge, they shall snarl down nearer to his bare, black breast, to strike brought them, to the number of 1000 wing-bones, which that sharp, jagged knife between the stretched, foam-dab.

have been made into pipes and are being sold in London. bled jaws, into the deep chest of the royal brute. A grand

There are also three great condors from the Andes, at animal must have stalked, and hunted, and roared in the

which one cannot look, though they are standing over their jungle, prowled over sands tawny as his own hide and as

prey, a dead lamb, in a cavity of a rock, and their great his topaz-tinted eye, drunk at pools in the night, scaring

| wings are furled, without thinking of them calmly swaying the lesser creatures from the brackish water, under the l in the still. clear atmosphere cleft by Chimborazo's peak, black and yellow skin of No. 35, when he lived at home in



keeping their motionless lookout over ten thousand miles South Africa, and exulted in the storms which made his

is of space, at the height which brings their wonderful inflathunting easy work, frightening the folk of forest and

ing apparatus into action, enabling them, like the gannet desert into panic-stricken, ready prey. He was not afraid,

and other sea-birds – all insignificant beside the brooding, not he! but just such a lion as William Hewitt taught us

roc-like grandeur of the condor, whence so many myths to believe in forty years ago, a lion —

have been derived — to fill their whole structure, even to " made to dwell

the quills, with hot air, and so to rest passive upon the airIn hot lands intractable,

wave, surveying the world from their height of 21,000 feet Where himself, the sun, the sand

above it.

« ПредишнаНапред »