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like leaves from amidst the humbler bushes; and in the sun's rays transmit orange-coloured light-added much most obscure corners, over some decaying log, nods the to their beauty. A little Banana quit, that was peeping noble spike of the magnificent limodorum. Nothing is among the blossoms in his own quiet way, seemed now finunting or showy; all is solemn and subdued ; but all and then to look with surprise on the combatants ; but is exquisitely beautiful. . . The smaller wood consists when the one had driven his rival to a longer distance than largely of the plant called glass-eye berry, a scrophula- usual, the victor set upon the unoffending quit, which rious shrub, the blossoms of which, though presenting soon yielded the point, and retired, humbly enough, to a little beauty in form or hue, are pre-eminently attractive neighbouring tree. The war, for it was a thorough camto the long-tailed humming-bird. These bushes are at paign, a regular succession of battles, lasted fully an hour, no part of the year out of blossom, the scarlet berries and then I was called away from the post of observation.' appearing at all seasons on the same stalk as the flowers. Mr Gosse took several of these birds, and attempted to And here at any time one may with tolerable certainty domesticate them, sometimes with partial success ; but calculate on finding these very lovely birds. But it is in generally they quickly died. Amongst those which he March, April, and May, that they abound : I suppose I kept for some time, he observed much variety of temper; have sometimes seen not fewer than a hundred come some being moody and sulky, others very timid, and successively to rifle the blossoms within the space of half others gentle and confiding from the first.' 'He adds the as many yards in the course of a forenoon. They are, remark, 'I have noticed this in other birds also; doves, however, in no respect gregarious ; though three or four for instance, which manifest individuality of character may be at one moment hovering, round the blossoms of perhaps as much as men, if we were competent to apprethe same bush, there is no association; each is governed ciate it.' by his individual preference, and each attends to his own Wilson has already made us acquainted with the atfairs. It is worthy of remark, that males compose by mocking- bird; externally handsome, but with nothing far the greater portion of the individuals observed at brilliant about him; easy and animated in his movethis elevation. I do not know why it should be so, but ments, and possessing 'a voice capable of almost every we see very few females there, whereas in the lowlands modulation, from the clear mellow notes of the woodthis sex outnumbers the other. In March, a large num-thrush to the savage scream of the bald eagle.' His ber are found to be clad in the livery of the adult male, powerful notes silence all other birds, and he becomes a but without long tail-feathers; others have the character-substitute for all. 'A bystander destitute of sight would istie feathers lengthened, but in various degrees. . . . suppose that the whole feathered tribes had assembled One day several of these " young bloods” being together, together on a trial of skill, each striving to produce his a regular tumult ensued, somewhat similar to a sparrow- utmost effect, so perfect are his imitations. He many fight-such twittering, and fluttering, and dartings hither times deceives the sportsman, and sends him in search of and thither! I could not exactly make out the matter, birds that perhaps are not within miles of him. Even but suspected that it was mainly an attack (surely a birds themselves are frequently imposed upon by this most ungallant one, if so) made by these upon two fe- admirable mimic, and are decoyed by the fancied call of males of the same species, that were sucking at the same their mates; or dive with precipitation into the depths bush. These were certainly in the skirmish, but the evo- of thickets at the scream of what they suppose to be the lutions were too rapid to be certain how the battle went.' sparrow-hawk.' In the domesticated state, ‘he whistles
It appears that, small and beautiful as they are, the for the dog—Cæsar starts up, wags his tail, and runs to humming-birds are excessively pugnacious. Near Mr meet his master. He squeaks out like a hurt chicken, Gosse's chamber window at Phænix Park, near Savanna- and the hen hurries about, with hanging wings and le-Var, there were two Malay apple-trees, covered with bristled feathers, clucking, to protect its injured brood. blossom, to which a Mango humming-bird had for several The barking of the dog, the mewing of the cat, the creakdays been paying his devoirs. One morning, another ing of a passing wheelbarrow, follow with great truth and came, and the manoeuvres of these two tiny creatures be- rapidity. While pursuing his imitations, 'he spreads came highly interesting. They'chased each other through his wings, expands his tail, and throws himself round the the labyrinth of twigs and flowers, till, an opportunity cage in all the ecstacy of enthusiasm, seeming not only occurring, the one would dart with seeming fury upon to sing but to dance, keeping time to the measure of his the other, and then, with a loud rustling of their wings, own music.' they would twirl together, round and round, until they Of this extraordinary bird Mr Gosse speaks 'as one of nearly came to the earth. It was some time before I could the commonest in Jamaica, bold and forward in his see with any distinctness what took place in these tussles; manners, of striking though not showy colours.' Many
their twirlings were so rapid as to baffle all attempts at a time has it caused disappointment to our naturalist. i discrimination. At length an encounter took place pretty Hearing the voice of, as I supposed, some new bird, or
close to me, and I perceived that the beak of the one some that I was in want of, I have found, after creeping grasped the beak of the other, and thus fastened, both cautiously and perhaps with some difficulty to the spot, whirled round and round in their perpendicular descent, that it proceeded from the familiar personage before me.' the point of contact being the centre of the gyrations, till, A friend of Mr Gosse has been at the pains to study the when another second would have brought them both on ordinary or proper song of the bird, and has ascertained the ground, they separated, and the one chased the other that it comprehends no fewer than eighteen notes. for about a hundred yards, and then returned in triumph It is in the stillness of the night,' says Mr Goose, to the tree, where, perched on a lofty twig, he chirped 'when, like his European namesake [the nightingale), he monotonously and pertinaciously for some time-I could delights Dot help thinking, in defiance. In a few minutes, how
" With wakeful melody to cheer erer, the banished one returned, and began chirping no
The livelong hours," less provokingly, which soon brought on another chase that the song of this bird is heard to advantage. Someand another tussle. I am persuaded that these were times, when desirous of watching the first flight of Urahostile encounters, for one seemed evidently afraid of the nia Sloaneus, I have ascended the mountains before other, fleeing when the other pursued, though his indomi- break of day, I have been charmed with the rich gushes table spirit would prompt the chirp of defiance; and when and bursts of melody proceeding from this most sweet resting after a battle, I noticed that this one held his songster, as he stood on tiptoe on the topmost twig of beak open, as if panting. Sometimes they would suspend some sour-sop or orange-tree, in the rays of the bright hostilities to suck a few blossoms, but mutual proximity moonlight. Now he is answered by another, and now Fus sure to bring them on again, with the same result. another joins the chorus, from the trees around, till the In their tortuous and rapid evolutions, the light from woods and savannas are ringing with the delightful sounds
their ruby necks would now and then flash in the sun of exquisite and innocent joy. Nor is the season of song i with gem-like radiance; and as they now and then ho- confined, as in many birds, to that period when courtship
vered motionless, the broadly expanded tail—whose outer and incubation call forth the affections and sympathies feathers are crimson-purple, but when intercepting the l of the sexes towards each other. The mocking-bird is
vocal at all seasons; and it is probably owing to his per- M. Krukaine looked at his watch and groaned; but manency of song, as well as to his incomparable variety, he knew by experience that to endeavour to hasten that the savannas and lowland groves of Jamaica are Madame Krukaine's preparations would only occasion almost always alive with melody, though our singing further delay: 80, after ascertaining once more that it birds are so few.
was really a fine day, he glanced over the newspaper “ It is remarkable,” observes Mr Hill [Mr Gosse's with as much composure as he could preserve. This principal coadjutor], " that in those serenades and mid
was a great day in the life of the Krukaines, who had night solos, which have obtained for the mocking-biru long looked forward to it with keen anticipations of the the name of the nightingale, and which he commences pleasure it was to afford them. St Cloud is a pretty with a rapid stammering prelude, as if he had awaked, village on the banks of the Seine, at a short distance frightened out of sleep, he never sings his songs of from Paris. It possesses a palace and very handsome mimicry; his music at this time is his own. It is full gardens, which on the fête day of the patron saint of of variety, with a fine compass, but less mingled and the place are thronged with visitors, and offer a very more equable than by day, as if the minstrel felt that gay appearance. The Krukaines were retired grocers the sober-seeming of the night required a solemnity of in comfortable circumstances; their elder children were music peculiarly its own. The night-song of the mocking. settled in the world, but the youngest, Alexander Kru. bird, though in many of its modulations it reminds us kaine, a boy about nine years of age, still remained of that of the nightingale of Europe, has less of volume with his parents, who resided in the Rue de l'Arbre, in it. There is not more variety, but a less frequent re- near the Place Dauphine. As the heavy cares of petition of those certain notes of ecstacy, which give such life were over for them, M. and Madame Krukaine à peculiar character, and such wild, intense, and all- might have been considered very happy people, bat for absorbing feeling to the midnight song of the European the unlucky parsimony of their habits. Nothing lite. bird. Though the more regulated quality of the song of rally seemed so difficult to M. Krukaine as to spend a our nightingale is less calculated to create surprise, it is few francs for any purpose not strictly indispensable. the more fitted to soothe and console ; and that sensation To save money was his first consideration in every, of melancholy which is said to pervade the melody of the thing; and his contrivances to get cheap bargains, and European minstrel, is substituted in the midnight sing: conduct matters on all occasions cheaply, were most ing of our bird by one of thoughtful and tranquil delight." exemplary. Unfortunately, his cheap often turned out
* The nest of the mocking-bird is not so elaborate a structure as that of many birds. It is built with little better luck was hoped for next time; and failure ac,
dear purchases, when all the cost was counted; but attempt at concealment in some bush or low tree, often cordingly only led to new experiments. Madame had an orange near the dwelling-house. When young are in possession, their presence is no secret; for an unpleasant living in an atmosphere of economical devices, she at
not originally been a votary of cheapness; but from sound, half-hissing, half-whistling, is all day long issuing length rivalled her husband in saving, and after that it from their unfledged throats ; delightful efforts, I dare would have been difficult to say who was the cleverest say, to the fond parents. At this time the old birds are watchful and courageous. If an intruding boy or natu
in scenting out a bargain, or contriving means for holdralist approaches their family, they hop from twig to
ing in money. In carrying out their projects, they twis, looking on with outstretched neck, in mute Wut stoically deprived themselves of the most innocent pleaevident solicitude; but any winged visitant, though ever
sures, lest they should cause any expense. They declared so unconscious of evil intent, and though ever so large, is that
their means would not allow them to see company. driven away with fearless pertinacity. The saucy ani As every one knew this to be false, the Krukaines and tinkling instantly yield the sacred neighbourhood,
were soon called selfish, avaricious people ; but to this the brave mocking-bird pursuing a group of three or four they remained perfectly indifferent ; M. Krukaine, who even to several hundred yards' distance; and even the piqued himself on being a philosopher, remarking that John-crow, if he sail near the tree, is instantly attacked
as calumny was the usual reward of merit, they had no and driven from the scene. But the hogs are the crea
right to be surprised at the treatment they experienced tures that give him the most annoyance. They are ordi- from their neighbours. If the truth must be told, they narily fed upon the inferior oranges, the fruit being
were rather glad than otherwise at the turn which shaken down to them in the evenings; hence they acquire reports took against them. They had the pleasure of the habit of resorting to the orange-trees, to wait for a
thinking they were unjustly persecuted, and this plealucky windfall. The mocking-bird, feeling nettled at the sure they had the satisfaction of enjoying without cost : intrusion, flies down and begins to peck the hog with all it was a cheap way of getting amusement. his might. Piggy, not understanding the matter, but
Such being their disposition, it was not without pleased with the titillation, gently lies down, and turns
mature deliberation that the Krukaines had adopted the up his broadside to enjoy it; the poor bird gets into an
resolution of going to the fête of St Cloud; but the agony of distress, pecks and pecks again; but only in beauty of the weather rendered the temptation irresistcreases the enjoyment of the luxurious intruder, and is ible; besides, they determined to spend so very little, at last compelled to give up the effort in despair.'
that it would be scarcely worth mentioning. A circumstance which increased their wish of seeing the fête
was, that several lodgers of the house in which they THE CHEAP EXCURSION.
resided had resolved to go to it in a party, and spoke CHEAPNESS! What wonderfully clever things are done enthusiastically of the pleasures they anticipated from and thought of in thy name—what mighty sums saved the excursion. The Krukaines had been invited to join
- what pleasures realised ! We shall not, however, them, but had churlishly refused; for as M. Krukaine celebrate thy praises in an essay. The philosophy of prudently observed, 'What was the use of going with cheapness may be best detailed in a story—the story of other people, when you could gain nothing by them?' a terribly saving couple whom we lately heard of in They accordingly determined to go alone. Madame Paris.
Brenu, a sarcastic widow who lived on the same landThe morning of the fète of St Cloud shone brighting with them, and who was to be one of the pic-nic and beautiful, and Monsieur Krukaine, who had set party, did indeed make some malicious and spiteful himself on enjoying a holiday, was anxious to be off. remarks about stingy and unsociable people ; but as 'I think, my dear, it is time to start,' said he to his Madame Krukaine loftily observed, in emulation of her wife; 'as we mean to walk, it will be wise for us to go husband's philosophy, 'She was above such things, and before the heat comes on.'
should treat the woman's impertinence with the calm *Well, Monsieur Krukaine,' screamed a shrill voice contempt it merited.?. from an inner room, you may be off if you like; but Though M. Krukaine, after waiting a very long time, Alexander's face is not washed, and my things are not ended by thinking madame would never be dressed, she on yet, and I shan't hurry either.'
was ready at last, and appeared in the full glory of a
bright yellow bonnet and brick-red shawl, which, though Krukaines soon discovered that they were hungry. somewhat out of date, were still as good as new. On Their first care, therefore, was to select a convenient one arm she carried a large and heavy basket, well spot where they might take a slight repast. They were stored with provisions for the day, whilst in her other quarrelling on the subject-for Madame Krukaine wanted hand she brandished an old blue parasol. Madame to remain within sight of the fête, and her husband as Krukaine was a thin, little woman, with pinched features, energetically remonstrated against this course — when and a long shrewish nose. Behind his maternal parent the good lady suddenly gave a shriek of horror, and excame Alexander Krukaine, a dull, sleepy-looking boy, claimed, in a tone of the deepest dismay, “The basket!' whose face now shone with uncommon brilliancy, owing M. Krukaine turned hastily round, filled with proto the recent application of soap and water. M. Kru- phetic dread: the basket, which should have been on kaine needs no description : he was a thick, common- his wife's arm, was gone. place-looking man, possessed of a tolerable share of In the cart!' screamed madame; ' you left it in the good-nature; but long habit had enabled him to lay cart.' this superfluous quality under such remarkable con- I think, my dear, it would be more correct to say trol, that few persons could have suspected its exist. you left it. What had I to do with the basket?'
He now sooner perceived his wife and •I say you left it, Monsieur Krukaine : had I not son, than, not withstanding the philosophic spirit on Alexander to mind? You ought to be ashamed of yourwhich he priiled himself, he betrayed his impatience self—a new basket I bought only the other day, besides to be off by immediately leading the way down stairs. a cold roast capon, a pâté, a bottle of wine, a porcelain Madame Krukaine followed him, secretly hoping they dish, and a damask cloth. Well, I do compliment you might leave the house without being seen by Madame on your day's work. Oh you may sneer away!' Brenu. But the watchful widow had been waiting for M. Krukaine here suggested that the cart might not them the whole morning; and they no sooner appeared be gone yet, and he accordingly ran back to the spot on the landing, than she opened the door of her apart- where they had alighted; but vain hope! no trace of ment, and thrust out her head, observing with a sar- it remained-cart, basket, cold capon, wine, and pâté, castic sneer, 'So you are going! I hope you may en- all had vanished. This was the more provoking, that joy yourselves. I know we shall, for Monsieur Theo- it was very rarely the Krukaines ventured to indulge dore, the lawyer's clerk, is to bring his flute, and Mon- in such luxurious fare as they had promised themsieur Ledru, the first floor lodger, his guitar. Then we selves for that day. M. Krukaine's hunger silenced his each take something to eat with us; I have a fine philosophy for a while, and he slowly returned to the melon for my part. But bless me, Madame Krukaine, spot where he had left his wife in a very bitter mood, you are not going to carry that heavy basket, and which the thought of the capon on which the countrysurely you do not mean to walk in this heat? We man was going to feast rendered particularly despondhave hired a char-à-banc, which is to take us there and ing. bring us back again for a very reasonable sum indeed. *Well, sir,' triumphantly exclaimed Madame KruBut I suppose you would be too proud to go in a char- kaine, where is the basket ?-your basket, sir!' à-banc?'
• It is useless to talk of it now, my dear; the quesWithout heeding this impertinent speech, the Kru. tion is, what shall we eat?' kaines passed loftily on, and deigned her no reply. The • You may eat what you like, Monsieur Krukaine; day was fine, but uncommonly warm. M. Krukaine, but surely you cannot be very hungry, or you would who carried his wife's heavy basket, soon discovered not have left your basket behind you.' this, and they had not proceeded far, when he observed Without heeding this taunt, M. Krukaine immeto madame, 'I think, my dear, we shall be very much diately proceeded to a restaurateur's, where, on paying fatigued by the time we reach St Cloud: had we not a very high price, he procured some cold meat, a loaf better ride there? Perhaps this countryman, who of bread, and a bottle of wine. With these provisions secms to be going our way, might give us a lift.' the family made a very indifferent meal, the relish it
The countryman was indeed willing to take them to might otherwise have afforded them being destroyed St Cloud in exchange for a small sum, which, by dint of by the consciousness of their loss. When the repast haggling, Madame Krukaine reduced to a very trifling was over-and, as Madame Krukaine bitterly observed, one. The whole family accordingly got up, M. and it did not last long-M. Krukaine proposed that they Madame Krukaine exchanging looks of congratulation should take a walk; his wife sullenly consented; and on their excellent bargain. They soon discovered, how they accordingly went over the gardens, looked at the ever, that the cart went rather more slowly than they fète, and endeavoured to admire the fine prospects could have walked. As this would not answer, the around them. But it was in vain they sought to be countryman urged his horse, which went off at a smart amused; disappointment and vexation damped their trot; but the cart not happening to be upon springs, the joy, and a cloud even came over M. Krukaine's philoKrukaines were in consequence so unmiercifully jolted, sophic spirit every time he thought of the cold capon. that they soon asked for a respite. They still felt much As though to increase their annoyance, it so happened cramped, for there was only very scanty room in the that, in going through one of the pleasant woods near cart; but this they bore with the heroism which belongs the gardens, they came to a grassy spot which had to true economy, when, as ill luck would have it, a light been chosen by the pic-nic party for their restingplace. and handsome char-à-banc, containing the pic-nic party, A large tablecloth had been spread on the grass; the passed by them. Madame Krukaine devoutly hoped meal was laid out upon it, and though a somewhat they might not be recognised, but her yellow bonnet heterogeneous one, it looked sufficiently tempting to was too conspicuous not to attract Madame Brenu's eye. awaken keen feelings of regret and envy in the KruThe widow not only saw them, but drew the attention kaines. It was also remarkably aggravating to see in of the whole party upon them, and gave them an ironical what good spirits the whole party seemed to be. M. nod as the light vehicle passed swiftly by, and left the Theodore's flute and M. Ledru's guitar were giving slow, jolting cart far behind. Though the Krukaines forth sweet sounds for the amusement of the company, were greatly mortified, they affected to treat the matter and to the great delight of a few children who were lightly. M. Krukaine, especially, took a very philoso- amongst the pic-nic party, and danced on the grass phic view of it, and was at great pains to prove to him with a glee which showed their entire satisfaction. self and to his wife that a cart was by no means inferior This siglit produced a great effect on Alexander Kruto a char-à-banc; but although madame agreed with kaine's feelings, which had hitherto been in a dormant him, and went so far as to say that she preferred the state; he perceived at a glance the enjoyments of cart, they both got down very willingly from the vehicle which he had been deprived, and insisted on joining as soon as they had reached St Cloud. They had come the party forth with. His parents peremptorily refused; so slowly along that it was now about twelve, and the and as they had fortunately escaped Madame Brenu's
eye, they hastened to leave the spot whilst still unseen. parasol in the vain hope of sheltering her bonnet ; but Alexander felt aggrieved ; this feeling increased when the only consequence of this arrangement was to transMadame Krukaine positively forbade him to go near fer to it some of the blue of the parasol. She fortuthe stalls, temptingly covered with toys and sweets ; nately remained unconscious of this unlooked-for result, and snappishly declared that too much money had and entertained herself by lamenting the loss of her already been thrown away on that day for her to think husband's basket, as she persisted in terming it. M. of squandering any more by the most trifling purchase. Krukaine was thoroughly fatigued and hungry. These There was a good deal of stubbornness in Alexander were sufficient evils even for a sage, and he accordingly Krukaine's disposition; he was, moreover, accustomed fell fast asleep, heedless alike of madame's scolding and to great indulgence, and on the present occasion he of the rain which poured upon him. It was not until thought himself extremely ill-used. To show a proper the fiacre stopped that he wakened with an alarmed sense of his wrongs, he spared no pains to render both start; but he immediately recollected the necessity of himself and his parents thoroughly uncomfortable. silence, and alighted noiselessly. His next task was to This was easily effected. Whenever they wanted to take down Alexander, who was still in the embrace of rest, he insisted on going on; and when, on the con- Morpheus, and to rouse Madame Krukaine, who had trary, they wished to walk, he declared himself too followed the example of her husband and son. These fatigued to proceed. Madame Krukaine scolded, M. delicate proceedings were conducted with so much disKrukaine remonstrated and threatened by turns; but cretion, that neither the tenant of the fiacre nor the nothing could produce the least effect on Alexander, coachman suspected what was going on. Whilst there who was now roused to a state of dogged resistance. was a chance of detection, the Krukaines prudently reThe Krukaines were heartily glad when evening came mained within the deep shadow of one of the neighbour.
M. Krukaine, who felt a most unphilosophic appe. ing houses ; but as soon as the fiacre drove away, M. tite, hinted something about having dinner; but madame Krukaine, who felt uncomfortably cool about the head, sharply observed that they had already dined; and exclaimed, 'My dear, will you be kind enough to give though her husband felt this to be a most lamentable me my hat?' fiction, he was compelled to acquiesce. The question Your hat!' indignantly echoed his wife ; 'what was now how they were to go home. They endeavoured have I to do with your hat, sir?' to secure some conveyance, for fatigue had so far con- M. Krukaine was stupified by this new misfortune. quered their feelings of avarice, as to make them willing Though he had evidently lost his hat whilst sleeping to sacrifice a few francs to comfort. But this was the behind the fiacre, he refused to believe in this melanhour when every one was returning-the most insignifi. choly truth, and repeatedly declared there must be cant vehicle suddenly rose in importance, and extrava- some mistake, that it could not be. Madame Krukaine gant sums were asked and given for a seat.
listened to her husband's lamentations with bitter • We will walk home,' indignantly exclaimed Madame triumph, and sarcastically asserted that she felt deKrukaine, on beholding this deplorable state of things ; lighted at what had occurred. This was extremely and as her husband seconded the heroic resolve, they aggravating, and her spouse took it in very ill part; he set out immediately. The evening was close and sultry, and madame therefore quarrelled on the subject until and before they had walked a quarter of a league, Alex- they grew tired of it; after which they began to think ander Krukaine, exasperated by this forced march, sat of going home. But though they knew they ought to down by the roadside, and expressed his solemn deter- be within a very short distance of their dwelling, they mination of not going one step farther. His parents could never succeed in finding the turn which led to walked on, pretending to leave him behind ; but Alex it: they at first ascribed this to the darkness of the ander, who had grown accustomed to misfortunes, re- night. mained insensible to this one, and was fast asleep by • Most extraordinary, to be sure !' exclaimed M. Kru. the time they returned near him. What was to be kaine, rubbing his eyes to ascertain that it was not in done ? M. Krukaine suggested a sound whipping as them the mistake lay. Will you be kind enougla soon as they should reach home. But as this afforded to tell me the name of this place ?' he asked of a man no present relief, his wife sharply bade him hold his who happened to be passing by. peace, and began a long recriminating speech, by which * Place Dauphine,' was the answer. she clearly proved that all their sufferings originated M. Krukaine breathed freely, and next inquired for in M. Krukaine's loss of the basket. They were still in the way leading to the Rue de l'Arbre. this dilemma, when a fiacre drove up to the door of a I don't know the street.' villa, near which they were then standing. A gentle- M. Krukaine's doubts returned. Perhaps this was man came out of the house and stepped into the coach. not the Place Dauphine ; but the man reiterated his • Place Dauphine,' said he to the coachman, who nodded assertion. Then where was the Rue de l'Arbre? The and took his seat.
man again declared he did not know, M. and Madame Krukaine exchanged a rapid look of *But, my friend,' coaxingly observed M. Krukaine, intelligence. Place Dauphine was close to their abode ; let me tell you it must be very near this spot.' the seat at the back of the fiacre was wide; the night * And let me tell you,' testily answered the man, was dark, no one could see them. In short, after a very there does not exist such a street in all Versailles.' brief hesitation, they seized on the slumbering Alex- • Versailles !' echoed M. Krukaine in a hollow tone. ander, and sprang up stealthily on the convenient seat, • Versailles !' screamed Madame Krukaine. whilst the unsuspecting coachman drove off.
Alas, they were indeed in Versailles, which possessed The Krukaines actually chuckled with exultation at a Place Dauphine as well as Paris! The unhappy the success of their stratagem. There was something couple, forgetting all their causes of dissent, looked on so truly delightful in the idea of riding home for no- one another in mute despair. Versailles was much thing, that it made them forget the miseries of the day. farther from Paris than St Cloud; the rain still fell It is true that they were rather uncomfortably seated, heavily; a neighbouring clock struck twelve; in short, and that Alexander, who seemed determined to drown their misery seemed complete. M. Krukaine, whose the remembrance of his woes in sleep, was every minute imagination seemed affected by the misfortunes of the in danger of falling off; but, as M. Krukaine wisely day, scrupled not to declare that they were persecuted remarked, “What would be the use of philosophy, if it by an inexorable fatality. One moment he felt tempted did not teach us to bear patiently such trifling incon- to defy his destiny; but on second thought, he reveniences ?'
solved to delay doing this until he should be safely home They accordingly bore their trials with exemplary ---an event which, as he bitterly observed, did not seem fortitude, until they discovered, to their dismay, that it likely to occur for some time yet. In the meanwhile, was beginning to rain, or, as Madame Krukaine bitterly Madame Krukaine, who, according to her own assertion, declared, “ to pour.'' The unhappy lady opened her had been prepared, since the loss of her basket, for
everything which had occurred, learned from the indi- But even this soothing delusion was not granted to the vidual who had apprized them of their melancholy Krukaines; for as Madame Brenu took good care to situation, that they would find a little inn in one of the inform them of the exact sum which had been spent by neighbouring streets, where they might probably gain the whole pic-nic party, they soon perceived that there admittance for the night. It was not without much are two methods of economising—one by which pleasure difficulty that the unhappy Krukaines succeeded in dis- can be procured at a moderate expense, whilst serious covering this place of refuge, and in rousing the in- loss and inconvenience are too frequently entailed by mates, who, on beholding their pitiable condition, con- the other. The effect produced by this discovery is sented to receive them, although they were unprovided not yet known; but it is thought that the fit of rheumawith a passport. But even when they found themselves tism from which M. Krukaine suffered shortly after the in a comfortable room, and to all appearance safe, M. fête of St Cloud, considerably softened the rigidity of Krukaine remained sceptical, and refused to believe his economy, whilst the loss of her yellow bonnet prothat their misfortunes were over.
duced a similar effect on Madame Krukaine's feelings. * Don't think yourself safe yet, my dear,' he gravely. Though the Krukaines have not yet had the magnaobserved to his wife, as they retired for the night; 'we nimity of acknowledging their mistake, they have lately are the victims of fatality.'
manifested signs of improvement in a more liberal style M. Krukaine's first act on awakening the next morn- of living. What must be considered a good sign of ing, and on ascertaining, though he declared himself approaching common sense, was an observation which astonished at such an escape, that he had not been madame made the other day to a neighbour, ' that she spirited away during the night, was to send for a hatter, was afraid there is no way of getting a franc for a cenin order to replace the indispensable article of wearing time;' or, as this wise saw may be Anglicised for geneapparel he had unfortunately lost. Of course he was ral benefit, .THERE IS NO GETTING A SHILLING FOR A dreadfully cheated ; the hatter knew that he lay at his SIXPENCE.' mercy, and made the most of his advantage ; but M. Krukaine was now prepared for anything, and he bore
THE BREAKWATER AT PLYMOUTH. the imposition with a kind of desperate resignation. Madame Krukaine did not yield so readily to the de- An account of this great work, the most successful of crees of fate; she gazed with unutterable dismay on her the kind ever executed in this country, which involves bonnet, to which her parasol, through the agency of the so many important principles in theory, and displays rain, had imparted a green tint; and like those struck so much skill in the construction, can scarcely fail of by some sudden calamity, she remained incredulous, and being generally interesting. A large book, just publong refused to believe in the reality of this lamentable lished, at the expense of an eminent engineer, puts metamorphosis. When the Krukaines had breakfasted us in possession of authentic documents from which -and they now felt a sort of recklessness at whatever we may compile a connected narrative of the proexpenses they might incur—they secured a vehicle, of ceedings from their commencernent.* From the earliest which the owner engaged to take them to their own periods of our history, Plymouth has been a much door for what M. Krukaine termed an enormous sum ; frequented port, well situated for trade, and the headbut this was of little consequence, as he had made up his quarters of government expeditions. The town stands mind to submit to all the exigencies of destiny until he at the inner end of the inlet known as Plymouth found himself at his own door in Paris. There they Sound, of which the two extremities to seaward are arrived at length, after undergoing, as he observed the Lizard and Start Points. Properly speaking, the in a melancholy tone, a series of unparalleled misfor- Sound comprises an area of three miles in length and tunes. They had indeed the appearance of travellers width, receiving the waters of three rivers. The shores returning from a disastrous voyage. Madame Krukaine's are hilly, and in some places project, so as to diminish features were haggard and fatigued; Alexander looked the width to a mile and a half, and form bays more or stupified and dirty; and though M. Krukaine had suf- less secure, which, before the erection of the breakwater, fered least in outward appearance, his startled air were the only refuge for vessels. The Sound is exposed plainly bespoke the unhappy victim of fatality. to winds, ranging easterly and westerly over twelve
The family had no sooner alighted from their con- points of the compass. The south-westerly are the veyance, than they perceived the sarcastic countenance most prevalent, and drive in waves from the Bay of of Madame Brenu looking down on them from her win. Biscay and the Atlantic with a force that appears altodow.
gether irresistible, and is often productive of disastrous Why,' she screamed out, where have you been all effects. Notwithstanding these risks and inconvethis time, we were so uneasy? I hope you enjoyed niences, and the commercial importance of the station, yourselves. We had quite a delightful day of it I assure nu attempts were made to remedy its defects during a you; dined in the wood, and came home just in time to long course of years; and although one of the most escape the rain. I hope you did not get wet. But dear capacious harbours in the kingdom, it was really useful me, what is the matter with your bonnet? Green! I only in fine weather, or with the wind off shore. At declare ; surely it was yellow yesterday? And where is length, in 1806, the idea of a breakwater was suggested your basket ? Ah! empty of all the good things by this, by Earl St Vincent; and in the same year Mr Rennie, Í daresay? And so the provoking woman went on, architect of the Bell-Rock lighthouse, and Mr Whidbey, whilst the unhappy Krukaines, now resigned to any- a naval officer of great experience, were ordered by the thing, did not even attempt to retort, but retired to Admiralty to make a survey, and draw up a report on their apartment.
the subject. Proposals had been made to construct For several days the Krukaines could think of no- piers running out from the land on either side of the thing but the disasters which they had met with in the Sound, as a practicable means of affording protection to pursuit of pleasure ; and M. Krukaine clearly proved to shipping; but these were disapproved of by the sur. his wife that a more unhappy couple had never gone to veyors, as favouring the deposition of shoals, and at the the fête of St Cloud. His next act was to ascertain same time taking up the deepest water. Their recomthe precise sum they had spent in their unlucky expedi- mendation was for a detached mole or embankment, to tion. After a good deal of nice calculation, he found that, be built on a line of shoals, known as the San Carlos including the loss of the basket and hat, besides the and Shovel Rocks, already existing in the middle of the total ruin of the bonnet and parasol, their expenses channel, which would shut in an area of about 2000 amounted to fifty-seven francs twenty-five centimes. acres as a secure anchorage, and accommodate from Madame Krukaine raised her eyes and clasped her hands as she heard this lamentable result, from which she concluded that it was perfect ruin to think of pleasure water in Plymouth Sound.' By Sir John Rennie, F.R.S., &c. Folío.
* A Historical, Practical, and Theoretical Account of the Break. a sentiment in which her husband entirely acquiesced. London: 11. G. Bohn, and J. Weale. 1843.