« ZurückWeiter »
thoroughly sifted by some wholly unbiassed person, it attained the virtue of an axiom, to cut short all dismust be vain to hope for any permanent mitigation of cussion, silence all argument, I am only a plain man, the terror that now prevails.'
but that is my view,' all others being of course indirect P.S.--Since the above was put in type, several com and inconclusive, unworthy the attention of any clear panies have made statements which have allayed popu- unbiassed mind. And Arthur at last could hardly lar fears, and sent stock up in market: the exposition, refrain from laughing, as subject after subject was thus though perhaps not altogether what could be wished, is arbitrarily nipped in the bud, and as the ignorance or an example worthy of imitation.
prejudice of his companion took the tone of superiority,
and asserted the triumph of natural candour over proPLAIN PEOPLE.
fessional training and finesse.
He had not travelled many miles of his way when, It is hardly fair to introduce the hero of our tale as half repenting of his undertaking, he arrived at least belonging to the above-mentioned class, without in the at one conclusion—that the plain man by his side was a first instance ascertaining whereabouts the announce- tyrant at home, and that even his own independence ment will place him in the estimation of our readers. would be a doubtful matter while he ventured to reWe fear that with some who would not for worlds be main; he was accordingly quite prepared to see the classed under the same denomination-young ladies, household still as mice on his arrival, or ready to fly to for instance—he will be put down at once as an unfor the ends of the earth at the first sight of their master.
He was rather agreeably surprised, therefore, to find tunate being, afraid to take a peep at his own face in himself received in a comfortable dwelling, where the the glass, or venture a glance at his own shadow as it furniture, well-used and well-kept, seemed coeval with intrusively escorts him along the wall. Then, again, the house, and the house itself with the trees that surthere are others who perhaps know the world a little rounded it, and the quaint garden in front; and to find better, and they will pronounce him one who deems its mistress aptly representing the whole. Orderly and himself privileged to say all manner of disagreeable motherly, she exactly realised his ideas, and silenced all things under the aspect of candour ; while haply there his misgivings by her fearless cordiality towards him. are some who, not thinking too much of themselves, self
, and her glad welcome to her husband.
All is just as it should be, thought Arthur: The good not knowing too much of the world, will find some
man has been only showing off a little to bring down corner of the heart warming up at the phrase; some my conceit;' and he laughed at the conceit himself, regentle recollection of a quiet old aunt, or old bachelor membering that he had attempted to show off in the uncle, living long ago, and far away, in generous con- beginning; when his conclusions were again upset by tentment; always ready to do a good turn, or think a
the entrance of a lady, whom Mr Wilson at once introgood thought, without making a fuss about it.
duced as his sister, adding the somewhat unnecessary If such be the idea at last conjured up, we need not information, “A regular old maid.' Plain enough, again fear to proceed on our introduction, though far from thought Arthur, though, for his own sake, as well as the engaging that the present instance will in any degree lady's, he would just as soon it had not been so plainly equal the example we have recalled, or even that such expressed. He read at a glance that the individual in • plain people'exist at all in the world we have now. question included him in the annoyance such a remark Indeed when first we knew Arthur Murray—and that was likely to inflict; but he also read in the silence is not very long ago-he was the last person amongst with which it was received, and the imbittered expresour acquaintance to whom we should have thought of sion which now seemed habitually to rest on features assigning the character ; much more readily would we that once must have been pretty, that there was have supposed him sitting for the reverse of the picture; nothing unusual in the impeachment, and that the a young, and, as yet, untried lawyer, with more brains plainness of speech which had already so often discon: than briefs; dandified, elegant, exquisite, somewhat certed himself, had also perhaps, without intentional given to satire and paradox; ready to play on each unkindness, in a sort of rough jocularity, torn away word; to make the worse appear the better reason, and all the little illusions which might still have prolonged the better seem the worse. No one who then knew him her attractions, or at least made the inevitable transi. could either, in praise or in censure, have called him a tion more easy.
plain person ;' and most assuredly he would not have And then came the children ; but here Arthur was admitted the impeachment himself. And yet there was again at fault, as during the whole of the next day, something in the way in which he went to pack up his when a down-pour of rain prevented his leaving the trunk for the journey he was now about to make with house, he had to endure their noisy companionship, and a country client whom he had obliged on some profes try to appreciate the advantages of a plain education, sional matter, and who in return invited him down to as exhibited with pride by the father of the family. "I his place during vacation, to have a shot at the snipe;' give them practical habits, and train them, like myself
, something hopeful in the tone with which he repeated to look straight at their object, speaking out their his friend's instructions—* Be ready by two o'clock, and minds at all times freely and plainly, without fear or we can travel together : just put up two or three shirts, reserve;' and then walking off with perfect complawith your shooting-jacket, and your powder and shot; cency, his guest had an opportunity of witnessing the you will want nothing else, for we are all plain people result of this one-sided lesson in polite speeches such as down there ;' and something in the manner in which these : That's a lie for you, Emmy;' and 'I hate you, he laid aside his dress-coat, and selected in its stead a Johnny ;' while screams, and scratches, and bloody garment beyond chance of injury from packing or use, noses, continually formed a running accompaniment to which might lead us to fancy that some trace of cha- the words; their aunt flying hopelessly from the room racter, such as we have glanced at, survived even amidst with her hands to her ears ; their mother flying in from his later acquirements.
her household duties with horror in her face ; and then In perfect ignorance of the locality he was to visit, the indignant narrative, and the equally indignant reand the people he was to meet, beyond the intimation tort, ending in the punishment of the entire lot. conveyed in the foregoing rather ambiguous phrase, • Miss Emmy, don't you play on that piano ?' said Arthur soon found himself trying to draw an augury Arthur after some time, good-naturedly hoping to cause from the discourse of his companion; and then inwardly a diversion, and relieve the eldest girl from her sulky repeating, ‘Plain people—if all the rest are like him,' sobbing in the corner. No answer at first; but when as he vainly endeavoured to give an agreeable turn to the question was repeated, there was the father's ownthe self-sufficient remark, or dogmatical opinion, follow- self in the reply—“No, indeed; I do not waste my time ing closely on the heels of each other, and always pre- with such nonsense.' faced or concluded by a phrase which seemed to have * Then who is it for? Who plays on it now?'
Oh, nobody; Aunt Milicent used, but papa said it ring to the words he had overheard, 'It is not the stunned him, 'twas a tiresome noise ; so she left it off , features, but the face.' and unless when Sydney is here, it is never opened He was just about to make some inquiries as to the now.'
person to whom the sentiment had been applied* And who is Sydney ?'
. What, who was Sydney ?'-when the sound of wheels "Oh, Sydney is a cousin of ours, that always comes announced that the object of his curiosity had arrived. here in the holidays.'
The children had been allowed to sit up, and apparently “Yes, and then you must behave yourself, Miss appreciating the indulgence, were quieter than usual ; Emmy; Sydney wouldn't let you or any one else play but once more, violent and demonstrative as ever when the tyrant,' muttered Johnny from the other corner, occasion came, they joined in a general rush to the where he had been imprisoned at discretion. To avert door, leaving Arthur in solitary possession of the firethe storm which was plainly gathering again, Arthur side. A noisy welcome Sydney got; shouts of recogcalled Johnny over to him, and showing him the book nition from each separate voice, screams and struggles, he had been reading, asked if he would like to hear a as one pushed the other out of the way, for a while story.
drowned every minor sound, until at last a clear, gay, No,' replied the still surly boy ; 'Papa says them ringing voice rose above the clanour, as if, pitched bestories are all lies ;' and back he stalked to his durance yond its ordinary tone, it was determined to make again, leaving Arthur to consider whether the plain itself heard. Arthur, who in the now deserted room people he knew long ago owed any of their excellence had been listening with some curiosity, felt a slight to having cultivated a little of the ornament, as well as twitch of disappointment as the clear treble met his the sweet charities of life; and how far it is possible to ear: he had somehow all along anticipated somewhat prevent the weeds and the briers from springing up in of companionship in Sydney-some pleasant associate our hearts, if some little attention be not given to the to take Mr Wilson's place in their shooting expeditions flowers.
some relief from the dull truisms to which he was He had fallen deep into this reverie, and, for aught weary of being sole auditor; so now exclaiming petwe know, might have arranged an able speech on the tishly, “Why, Sydney must be only a child, a mere boy subject of national education, when his attention was after all,' he threw aside his book, and standing up bearoused by a conversation between Mrs Wilson and fore the fire, felt ready to take his departure on the Miss Milicent, who, taking advantage of the enforced instant. tranquillity, had established themselves at work, un- But with a sudden misgiving he listened again : the noticed by him as he abstractedly gazed out of the voice, lower and sweeter now, though still remonwindow. Now, however, a name, from which some strating, went on to say, 'Stay, Willy; stay a moment prospect of relief had already dawned, struck upon his until we get off this dripping cloak; no indeed, Johnny, ear as Miss Milicent exclaimed, “So, Sydney is to be you shall not drag me in while I'm such a figure ; here to-night; and plain as ever, I suppose: that sort I must get rid of all those spatters in mercy to aunt's of face never grows either better or worse.'
new carpet, to say nothing of my own appearance beAnother specimen of the genus, thought Arthur to fore the strange gentleman you tell me is within.' himself; but when, with a slightly - reproachful tone, And again the blithe laugh sounded through the and a glance to her sister-in-law indicating the presence half-open door, as the speaker seemingly resisted all of a stranger, Mrs Wilson replied, 'I cannot think so; Johnny's rough attentions. We said that Arthur listhe expression is ever-varying, and yet always so good tened with a sudden nisgiving : with a sudden though and so true, that in looking at the features, you forget involuntary movement, too, he raised his hand to his the face,' he at once felt his levity checked ; and men- coloured cravat, glanced downwards at his shootingtally applying the words of the speaker to herself, felt jacket, all unchanged since the vain preparations of the how redeeming, even to the homeliest features, was the morning ; but before the wish was half-formed that he kindly expression worn by hers at the moment.
had been more particular in his inquiries, less careJust then Mr Wilson coming in, announced that he less in his attire, or, above all, that the family had had ordered John to take over the tax-cart to meet for once adhered to their own fashion of plain speakSydney at the coach; and Mrs Wilson confirmed the ing, the door was flung open, and in came a young favourable impression she had made all along by lady, grasped on all sides by the children, shouting gently suggesting that the coach was late, the evenings Here is Cousin Sydney' at the top of their voices, and cold, and it would be much better to send out the quite superseding the necessity of a more formal introchaise; but her husband, in his own peremptory way, duction, when the elders of the party followed quietly cut her short, meeting the objection with his favourite into the room. phrase, “Pooh, pooh ; Sydney knows very well we are And so · Cousin Sydney' was a girl after all! When only plain people, and that I am an enemy to over the first shock had subsided, that instead of the ally refinement and self-indulgence in young people: the and companion he had made up his mind to expect, sooner they are broken in to rough realities the better presented to his view only a quiet little girl with a -eh, Mr Murray ?-instead of being allowed to think, countenance cold and repulsive, according neither with as they do now-a-days, that the world is made for Mrs Wilson's kindly remark, nor yet with the musical themselves.'
laugh in the hall which first roused his suspicions, he Arthur bowed in silent answer to this appeal; there felt utterly disappointed, and hardly bestowed a second were some rough realities going on again at the far end glance on the unpretending figure that had been introof the room, which seemed to him to render any other duced with such acclamation: pale and cold she looked, comment unnecessary:
her dark dress fastening high round her throat, dark The evening turned out cold, squally, and showery; eyes and hair both making her paleness more conspiMrs Wilson had been many times at the window to cuous, without one otber colour to relieve the darkness watch the sky; and when at last the curtains were -the shadeless white: no waving ringlets, no spark. drawn, turned to stir up the fire, saying to herself with ling smile, no airy step, personified the Euphrosyne so a sigh, 'A bad night for Sydney; I wish so much the rapidly conjured up in his fancy by that laugh; no chaise had been sent.' And again, as Arthur watched gentle word, no cordial tone realised Mrs Wilson's the unpretending kindness of her little preparations, description; but passing him by with a scarce percepand looked at her good-natured countenance lighted up tible curtsy, and a very perceptible shiver, she turned by the kindling blaze of the fire, and the still kindlier eagerly to the fire, while he, muttering to himself, feelings within, he no longer wondered that her hus. Another of the plain people, and decidedly the worst,' band, even in his plainest moods, found nothing un- turned with an air equally chilling back again to his pleasant to say to her. He felt his own captious feelings book. passing away, and found himself involuntarily recur- But the ice began to thaw, and involuntarily he found himself attending while the sweet voice spoke existed a more favourable contrast than-her travelling again, in answer to Mrs Wilson's inquiries, regrets, and garb laid aside-her neat gingham dress, just circled apologies about her journey, and the weather, and the round the neck with its snowy linen collar, her dark conveyance; sweeter and kinder it seemed to grow, as hair always so smoothly braided, and her fresh happy each word tried to satisfy them all. 'Indeed, aunt, you face, presented, to the fluttering curls, the faded finery, need not say a word; I never travelled more comfort and the still more faded pretensions of Miss Wilson, ably—trusty old John took such excellent care of me, who always pitied her for her plainness, and yet whose and I was so delighted to drive in the tax-cart: it was beauty had never been to herself such a treasure as bringing back merry old holiday times again. John Sydney's unconsciousness of its want. said I sprang to the seat lighter than ever ; but I could With equal unconsciousness she had gradually be. not return him the compliment, for since this time last come an object of special interest to Arthur, whose year he is grown twice as stout again, and afforded me first impressions were quite obliterated, and who found as much shelter as if I sat beside a castle wall.' And her a far more effectual ally, a far more congenial for the first time since his arrival, Arthur heard the companion, than the imaginary one she had so sud. pleasant tones of domestic harmony, as young and old, denly set aside. Indeed a very slight shower made him without a dissenting voice, chimed in with her merry lighber gleam of sunshine made it quite suitable for A
now pronounce the day unfit for shooting, while a still laugh at burly old John.
He looked up from his book; there were no gurly social walk : and almost pleasanter still was it to sit faces; no one was exulting over another ; no one was within doors and watch the working of Sydney's innoprovoked ; and, wonder of wonders, two of the children cent spells: the pencil and the needle, the story and the peaceably occupied the same chair, keeping each other song, superseding boisterous quarrels and mischievous steady with encircling arms, that they might be all the words between the children; while enlisting on the nearer to Cousin Sydney, and not miss one syllable of her better side the habits of truth in which they had been • stories of the road.' Had a good fairy alighted amongst trained, and the discernment on which they had learned them, and suddenly transformed them with a sprinkling to pride themselves, her example showed them how of honey-dew, Arthur would as soon have expected much happier it was to dwell on the good qualities of pearls and diamonds—as the story runs—to fall from their associates than on their failings; that by placing their lips, as the courteous words and pleasant laughter things in a favourable light, they wore quite a different that now broke on his ear; and wondering and inquisi- aspect; and that the power lay within themselves, far tive as to the nature of the charm, he found himself more than they suspected, of bringing matters to their looking and listening as Sydney went on.
own standard, whether it was a high or a low one. • Half-smothered in cloaks, which John would wrap Many days had not passed when the house hardly round me, who should I meet when we were half-way seemed the same. It was no wonder that Sydney went but Mr Miller, your rector. How he knew me is a straight to the mother's heart; but even Mr Wilson mystery, for there was nothing to be seen but my eyes.' seemed to lay aside his bigotry to his own opinions ;
In spite of himself, Arthur could not help thinking his rough manners and maxims seeming to be unconthey were likely to be remembered ; and, whether his sciously tempered in the presence of her natural gentlelook said so or not, at this point the speaker seemed ness and grace. slightly disconcerted, and the eyes and the cheek cer- • You will spoil those young ones, Sydney,' said he tainly brightened a little, as she laughingly pro- one day with a half-indulgent smile, as he found them ceeded
all clustered round the table, engrossed in some occupa• He-Mr Miller--thought I had not defences enough, tion trifling in itself, but invaluable in its effects. “You and wanted to wrap his greatcoat round my feet: but are undoing all my work, creating artificial wants, and when I declined it, in compassion to his own wants, making them dependent on others for amusement.' what do you think he said? It was just such a reason Oh no, uncle; indeed we are only trying to amuse as you would give yourself, dear uncle—“ It did not ourselves. When we ask for help, send us away. But matter for him, but young ladies were made of diffe- come and join us, and you will see how successful we rent stuff."
have been without any foreign aid.' And playfully Mr Wilson laughed, and yet coloured a little. Per squeezing him in between Emmy and herself
, she led haps some memory of the morning's discussion about him, half in spite of himself, to enjoy that dearest plesthe chaise rose up to remind him that, however similar sure to a father's heart-fellowship in the gladness of in expression, he was very far behind Mr Miller in his children; creating gladness in himself, even though consideration; and he was honestly about to make some he had to draw upon sources long despised and neconfession of the kind, when Mrs Wilson came to his re- glected—the quick invention, the play of fancy—which lief by exclaiming, Dear Mr Miller, always considerate; alone could enable him to keep pace with the gay circle deeds, not words with him: most probably, Sydney, in he had joined. his humble estimation of himself he quite intended a On Arthur the effect was different, though almost as compliment when he said you were of different stuff: powerful. To him Sydney still remained one of the that he intended a kindness we may all be sure.' And plain people ;' but then she soon became the connectArthur, as again he looked up, could not help feeling ing link between his own fastidious notions and the some slight curiosity as to whether his glance had a habits he had learned to despise — wisest, virtuousest, second time anything to do with the brightened colour discreetest, best.' His satirical tendencies fell asleep that flitted so suddenly over her face.
for want of aught to arouse them ; his ambiguous But, strange to say, Sydney had never noticed the speeches lost their point before her literal interpretayoung lawyer's glances at all. Unaccustomed to admi- tion; and his habit of mystifying, or, as it is vulgarly ration or attention, she neither expected nor sought for called, .quizzing,' disappeared beneath the searching, it, and was now entirely occupied with her long-parted wondering gaze of her clear dark eyes ; until at length relations, and with all the little changes that had oc- he felt himself becoming as matter-of-fact as their fre. curred since they met; and Arthur soon discovered, in quent guest Mr Miller, and would have relinquished this forgetfulness of self, in the warm sympathy she felt the applauses he confidently expected to follow his next for others, and the kindly construction she put on all display of eloquence for the tearful smile with which they said or did, the secret of their improvement under Sydney reiterated a cottager's praises of the sermon, her influence, and her hold upon their hearts. Per- summing them up in one sentence, 'Ah, dear! he puts fectly unpretending herself, even plain in appearance it before a poor body so plain!' and attire, there was still an appropriateness in every And so Arthur had just arrived at that state of feeling word and movement that made one feel as if no altera- which we scarce venture to whisper to ourselves, much tion could improve. She should be altogether different, less like to let others discover, when one day, in referor exactly such as she was; and perhaps there never ence to some holiday party, Miss Wilson, in Sydney's absence, commented with some flippancy on her anxiety Wilson innocently; it would be a thousand pities to to go, adding, 'I wonder what pleasure she finds in disappoint an old friend.' going into society, plain-looking and plainly dressed as • Dear me,' exclaimed Miss Milicent, 'what has a she always is!'
plain man like him to do with flowers ?' Arthur's first impulse was to utter an indignant dis- And that, too, was Arthur's first thought; and then sent; the next moment old habits suggested a more he looked at Sydney, and then he understood it all qualified reply, and hesitatingly he had just commenced, exactly as she meant he should—knew what had re• Sydney is decidedly plain, but'- He would have stored the momentarily-disturbed brightness to her face added, one never thinks of that;' when, before the knew that nothing now could cloud its serene happiwords had found utterance, a light step at his elbow ness, or make her mistrust her own attractions any made him turn to see Sydney herself crossing the room. more. The tale of affection returned and avowed was For half a second she paused, and when their eyes met, in those smiling eyes : the secret of her sudden beauty there was something of mournful surprise in her look, lay in her gladdened heart; no need to speak more something beyond what the mere words could have plainly—he knew it all ; and even in his first disappointcalled up; and though chased away in an instant by ment, there arose a feeling of gratitude for the candour a mirthful glance at his own fallen countenance, it that had sought to spare his feelings at the expense of awakened a hope, almost as instantaneous, that it was her own. because the words had been spoken by him. But before He profited by the little lesson ; for he not only told he could finish the sentence or rally his thoughts, she Sydney plainly all that had been in his heart when he was gone: and with some effort restraining his anger appeared to depreciate her merits, but from that time towards Miss Wilson, whom he could hardly consider forth he never shrank from the honest avowal of his the innocent cause of his dilemma, he left the sentence sentiments for the sake of some questionable advantage as it was, determined to take the first opportunity of to himself. He has long been what is called ' a plain explaining its intention, and thus bring back sunshine sort of man ;' but he has become an eminent man too, to a face that he had never seen clouded before. Cruel and he dates his first advance in his profession from man !-cruel words ! how often he reproached himself the time that his clients discovered he had the courage throughout the rest of that day; how often he vowed always to tell them the plain truth, while the circumto speak out his feelings more plainly in future ; how stances under which he had acquired the habit preoften he recurred to that troubled glance, wondering vented his ever making it unnecessarily painful. if it had ended in tears, or if it would be turned into anger when he met her again! Vainly he watched and waited through the afternoon hours: whether angry or
BERNARD PALISSY. busy, Sydney did not make her appearance until, when This ingenious man began life as a poor boy, and his all were assembled in readiness to set out, she entered earliest recollections were those of turning a potter's the room, dressed simply as usual, but never more be- wheel. From turning a wheel he was promoted to the comingly, in plain white muslin, with a scarlet geranium making of pottery. His native village was Saintes, in in her hair. “Arthur approached her, with a look half- France; and he lived about three hundred years ago. At penitent, half-admiring, to offer a beautiful rose which that period the art of making earthenware was in a rude he had managed to provide for the occasion. With an
state in France, but enamelling was much advanced; and ingenuous blush, undoubtedly arising from recent recol- young Palissy thought he would try to find out how the lections, Sydney frankly accepted it; but he rashly, not finish of enamelling could be applied to pottery. contented with this concession, would remove the ge every spare moment he devoted to study. But when he
First he set about instructing himself in reading, and ranium from her hair, and place the rose in its stead, had improved himself in these respects, he was greatly at had not Sydney, evidently thinking this was going too a loss for money. This, however, he cared by his trade, far, retreated a step, throwing her arm above her head and by drawing plans, for which he had a taste. This to defend the ornament she had placed there.
money was spent in experiments. While still a very young There was so much of natural grace in the move- man, and without any proper means of supporting a family, ment; the soft rounded arm formed so fair a frame to he married. This was worse than an imprudence ; he the blushing, smiling face, and the expression of that did not only himself, but others a serious harm. In the face was so arch, yet so conscious, that even her uncle, midst of great difficulties he carried on his experiments; for once uttering a flattering truth, exclaimed, • Really, and these absorbed the means which should have main
tained his family. Sydney, you are growing downright pretty at last!'
The slightest improvement he suc
ceeded in making in the process was sufficient to inspire * Oh yes !' added Arthur manfully ; ' you are very him with the hope that he was at last about to reach pretty now ; but you would look prettier still, I assure the goal ; and this hope nerved him to fresh endurance. you, with my rose in your hair!'
In vain did he endeavour to inspire others with similar Strange to him was the smile, untinctured with the confidence. Every day bitter complaints burst from his slightest shade of reproach, with which Sydney received wife, and frequently did his children join in their mother's a compliment so diametrically opposite to his speech of supplications, and with tearful eyes and clasped hands the morning; but for that passing glance, he might implore of him to resume his former occupation, and give have concluded she had not heard it-but her face them bread. Palissy met the reproaches and prayers of always spoke every feeling as it rose-and so, though his wife, and the tears of his children, with inflexible
resolve and the most imperturbable composure, apparently perhaps slightly disappointed in not having an oppor
as insensible as the earth which he was moulding. But tunity of testing the proverbial consequences of a certain class of quarrels, he was fain to believe the offence over: when despair was at his heart!
was he really thus indifferent? No; there were moments
• Nevertheless,' we quote looked in unlimited reliance on his word, whatever it his own words, the hope that I cherished made me work might declare, and in the pleasure of finding the un- on with so manly a courage, that often I forced a laugh favourable opinion so readily retracted. But Sydney's when I was inwardly sad enough.' next sentence sent his thoughts in a different channel - Derided, treated as a madman, suspected of being now a * I believe I never much cared about my looks until coiner and now a sorcerer, he was proof against all. At to-day, when a doubt arose to be almost instantly satis- length a new combination made him believe himself on fied again. I am quite content with them now," added the very point of succeeding, when a potter engaged in his she, laughing, and blushing still more brightly; and service suddenly demanded his discharge and his wages. in spite of your acknowledged good taste, Mr Murray, sacrifice part of his wardrobe to pay
him ; then, impatient
Palissy, having neither money nor credit, was obliged to shall even stay as I am, the more especially'-—and for of the interruption, returned to his furnace, which he had the first time in her life Sydney spoke the truth with constructed in his cellar-returned to it to find that it an effort, as it was Mr Miller brought me this ge- wanted fresh fuel, of which his stock was exhausted. What ranium to-day, and he will expect to see it here.' was to be done? Upon the baking of this new essay his
' And you are quite right, dear Sydney,' replied Mrs last hope depends. He rushes out to the garden, tears
LAND OF PLENTY.
EEL FASCINATED BY A SYAKE.
away the trelliswork, breaks it up, and the furnace is again the exception of the entradoes of the arches, which are heated. But the heat is not to the proper degree of inten- composed of a blue sort of brick, the whole structure is sity, and in desperation Palissy throws into the furnace built of beautiful stone, if not as durable, at least eqnal in his furniture, the doors, the windows, nay, even the floor- richness and brilliancy to Darlydale. The viaduct las an ing of his house. Vain are the tears, the intreaties of his inclination from end to end of ten feet, and connects that family; wood is wanting for the famace, and everything part of the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway between combustible that he can lay hold of is remorselessly sacri- Rhos-y-Medre and Chirk. Viewed from beneath, the vast ficed. But now one prolonged cry of joy echoes through structure presents a noble and truly grand appearance, and the cellar; and when the wife of Palissy, startled by the its bold proportions, with its height, cannot fail to call unwonted sound, hastens to her husband, she finds him forth admiration from the most indifferent beholder. The standing, as if in a stupor, with his eyes fixed on the bril viaduct has been erected by Messrs Makin, Mackenzie, and liant colours of a vase which he held in both hands. Suc- Brassy, contractors, at a cost of upwards of L.100,04,0, cess had crowned his efforts.
being upwards of L.30,000 more than the Stockport via. Rapidly now did his circumstances change. His success, duct. The cost of the timber required to form scaffolding, 80 dearly bought as it had been, was followed by still &c. for its erection was L.15,000, and between 300 and 400 greater advances in the art, and he was now at the head of masons alone were employed during the whole time of his profession. Wealth flowed in, and his fame spread far construction.---Liverpool Miercury. and wide. He had several patrons at court, amongst whom was the Constable de Montmorency, who employed him to execute for him some rustic pieces, as they were called,
In Singapore, with the exception of children and bedconsisting of figures of animals in earthenware. He resided ridden adults, it would be impossible to suffer from starat the Tuileries, opposite the Seine, and was surnamed vation; privations are the lot of all; but it must be said for Bernard of the Tuileries. Nor was he content with the this our tropical region, that an all-kind Providence seems fame of a mere artist, but turned his attention to almost to have opened her stores most lavishly for the use of every branch of natural history and philosophy, and is said man; he needs neither to toil nor spin, and yet, like the by Fontenelle to have made as much proficiency as genius lilies of the field, he can be fed and clothed. Every cleared without learning could make. He was the first person who spot that is allowed to run into jungle furnishes leaves of formed a collection of specimens of natural history, and various kinds that can be used in carries or in stews. The gave lectures upon them, to which the public were ad- common Ubi kayu gives a delicious arrowroot, and this mitted on payment of half-a-crown, which he engaged to plant is found as a weed, and used as a fence; in all parts, return fourfold should anything he tanght be proved false. the clady (Arum esculentum) that springs up indigenous to He wrote several treatises on a variety of topics, full of our marshes and ditches, though possessed of a poisonous original and striking thought. He was the first who fluid in its leaves and epidermis of the root, yet furnishes tanght the true theory of springs, and who ventured to in the latter, when boiled, a wholesome food for man, and assert that fossil-shells were real sea-shells deposited by fattening nourishmeut for pigs in its leaves. The sea and the waters of the ocean. He also was the first to perceive rivers teem with fish, and the beaches with molluscs and and recommend the use of marl and lime in agriculture. edible sea-weeds. If any part of a ditch is dug, in three His ardour and strength of character were not less conspi. or six months it will be filled with fish, and daily from it cuous in his attachment to the religion he professed. He you will see superannuated women and young children was a Protestant, and became exposed to persecution drawing out small yet tasty fish to season their dry rice or during the time of the League. In 1584 he was appre- insipid clady.—Journal of the Indian Archipelago. hended and committed to the Bastile. The weak King Henry III., who rather favoured him, having told him that if he did not abjure his religion for the prevailing one, le slowly extending his coils, raising his head, and stead
On approaching an almost dry drain, I saw a snake should be constrained to leave him in the hands of his fastly gazing on what I saw to be an eel of about a foot in cnemies, the intrepid Palissy replied, Your majesty has length. The ecl was directly opposed to the snake, and often condescended to say that you pity me; for my part glance seemed to meet glance, when the snake, having I pity you for uttering the unkingly words, “I shall be gained the requisite proximity, darted on the cel and constrained ;” but I tell you, in more royal language, that caught it about an inch behind the head, and carried it neither the Guises, nor your whole people, nor yourself
, off; but the captor was soon himself the captive, for with shall constrain me, a poor potter, to deny my conscience.? Thus was the same zeal and indomitable firmness which
a blow on his head I secured both.-Journal of the Indian marked his career as an artist carried by Palissy into his
Archipelago. devotedness to his higher interests as a Christian. Of his
EXCELLENCIES OF KNOWLEDGE. religion and his trade he was wont to say, “I have no other
There are in knowledge these two excelleneies: first, property than heaven and earth.' He dicd in the Bastile that it offers to every man, the most selfish and the most in 1589, at the age of ninety.
exalted, his peculiar inducement to good. It says to the former, Serve mankind, and you serve yourself;' to the
latter, 'In choosing the best means to secure your on? THE GREAT VIADUCT ACROSS THE DEE, IN THE VALE
happiness, you will have tlie sublime inducement of proOF LLANGOLLEN.
moting the happiness of mankind." The second excellence One of the most daring and stupendous efforts of skill of knowledge is, that even the selfish man, when he has and art to which the railway has given rise, is the great once begun to love virtue from little motives, loses the viaduct now in course of completion across the Valley of motive as he increases the love, and at last worships the the Dee, in the Vale of Llangollen, the dimensions of which Deity, where before he only coveted gold upon its altar.-surpass anything of the kind in the world. It is upwards Bulwer. of 150 feet above the level of the river--being 30 feet higher
INDUSTRY than the Stockport viaduct, and 34 feet higher than the Menai Bridge. It is supported by 19 arches of 90 feet span, lent one. If you ask me which is the real hereditary sin
If industry is no more than habit, it is at least an excel and its length is upwards of 1530 feet, or nearly one-third of of human nature, do you imagine I shall answer pride, or a mile. The outline of the structure is perhaps one of the luxury, or ambition, or egotism? No; I shall say indo, most handsome that could have been conceived, both as lence. Who conquers indolence, will conquer all the rest." regards its chaste style and attractive finish, and its gene- Indeed all good principles must stagnate without mental ral appearance is considerably enhanced by the roundness of the archies, which arc enriched by massive coins, and the
activity.-Zimmerman. curvilinear batter of the piers. This style of architecture imparts a grace and beauty to the structure without im- There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than pairing its strength. The greatest attention seems to have to know little; and therefore men should remedy sasbeen paid to the abutments--the only part of the erection, picion by procuring to know more, and not to keep their in reality, where any decorative display could be made. suspicions in smother.-Lord Bacon. In the middle of both, on each side, there are beautifullyexecuted niches in the Corinthian order, in addition to some highly finished masonry. The piers are neatly wrouglit Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also
sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, at the angles, and at the base of nearly each there is a
147 Strand, London; and J. M'GLASHAX, 9 D'Olier Street, bedding of upwards of 460 square fect of masonry. With Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.