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EDINBURGH

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CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR

THE PEOPLE, CIAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

No. 256. New SERIES.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 1848.

Price 11d.

PLAIN TRUTHS FOR ENGLAND.

of the same class so neat and decent here, they would

spend half their income in drams, and themselves and THERE used to be a conviction profoundly rooted in their children would be dirty and half naked. the English mind, that one Englishman was sufficient Switzerland might be described as almost wholly a to beat three Frenchmen. It has been outgrown by country of poor people ; at least, of people in very the common sense of the people; but there is still a moderate, if not pinched circumstances. The farms are pretty general impression that we tower high above the mostly small, and hard is the labour by which a livelihood continent in morals, and that our whole social state is is made." Resident gentry are not to be seen, nor any superior. I rather like the idea of a people having a other wealthy class to furnish profitable employment. good conceit of themselves; but it should not be carried The whole case is simply, poor human nature set to to a degree precluding their further improvement, or scratch a subsistence out of the soil with its ten fingers. indulged in at the expense of an unjust opinion of other Accordingly, the peasantry present few appearances of nations. When an unprejudiced Englishman becomes comfort: they have no luxuries and no leisure. But, personally acquainted with the foreign states nearest to while truly poor, the Swiss are a decent-living people. us, he can scarcely fail to have his opinion of them They appear in sound clothing, themselves and their exalted. He begins to see that, if they have not all children. Their houses are neat, even pretty. On our virtues, they have some of their own perhaps Sundays, they come forth en masse to church, all making equally good, and that in some points they excel us. a goodly appearance in each other's eyes. That beau.

Perhaps the most striking thing to a liberal-minded tiful and affecting sight, humble poverty priding itself Englishman of the present day on his first entrance into on keeping up a comely show before the eyes of God Belgium and Germany, is that there is not in those and man, is the rule there, as it is the exception here. countries any appearance of that vast class of irredeem- They may have little, but they always have something ably outcast people who now occupy so large a space in between them and stark-staring misery. One can look every British city. Long accustomed as he has been on such poverty, and love and honour it. to hear of such dismal hordes at home, and to see Seeing such things on the continent, the Englishthem wandering in irrepressible mendicancy into the man to whom they are new finds many of his old-estab. better quarters of all the large towns, where their lished ideas revolutionised. He begins to ask himself appearance serves as the skeleton at the Egyptian seriously, if his country can justly be said to be superior feast, he experiences a sense of blessed relief when, to all others, when the base of the social pyramid is after looking a little about him, he becomes assured there in comparatively so unsatisiactory a state. What that civilisation and all the symptoms of wealth cun signifies it, lie asks, that the English labouring classes exist without necessarily being attended by the rags have so much more wealth weekly distributed among and practical savagery which seem to be, as it were, them, if it results in their presenting generally a less their negative pole in this country. These lands have appearance of decent life? What signifies it that Engno Ireland to pour in ready-made wretchedness. They land can boast of her millions of active and ingenious have nothing analogous to the wynds of Glasgow, the sons-active and ingenious beyond all the people that cellars of Liverpool, and the sinks of filth which fester have ever been on earth-and whose many mechanical in Bethnal-Green. They may, indeed, have their forlorn works reach a grandeur of result such as lias never forpoor: no doubt some considerable proportion of each merly been known, if it be found that a simple people, population is poor. But the remarkable fact is, that with comparatively narrow resources, fulfil miore perthey have no such vast hopeless hordes of miserables fectly the conception we have of a moral community ? as we have. There is not with them, as with us, a con. Even respecting some of the noted failings of neighbour stant residuum of the people, large in number, wholiy nations, we may find that we have not been percipient sunk in vice and misery, and a threatening focus of of the whole truth. For example, while justly loathing moral and physical disease to all around them. In the indifference of the French to the matrimonial tie, city as in country, the humblest of the comniunity have we may have overlooked the fact that, after all this a neat, cleanly, and substantial appearance ; rags and drawback, there is a far less proportion of crime to squalor are rare. You may see indubitable tokens population in France than in England. With all their that certain persons are in slender circumstances—for warlike spirit and their unsettledness, they are substaninstance, a number of women at market, each with only tially a more innocent people than the English. We a little fruit to sell, and that of exceedingly small value ; regard the Spanish people with little respect, thinking yet these persons will be tolerably well clad. One can of them perhaps as little above the semi-barbarism of see that, however poor, they are frugal, considerate the middle ages ; yet the Spanish peasantry are allowed people, living within their means, and observing the by those who know them to be a people living in a decencies of life. We should not expect to see persons state of virtuous simplicity which would shame the

working-classes of boastful England. The great con- of the masters of great works, and it must be to some sideration, however, is, that the continent, with per- extent true, is, that the men of large wages are usually haps the single exception of Paris, nowhere presents the most dissipated, and bring up their families in the those unsightly masses of a practically barbarous popu- least creditable manner. The usual report of the gentlelation, which nestle in immediate juxtaposition with artisans and the agricultural labourers, whose wages

men who conduct savings' banks is, that the poorer the affluent upper and middle classes of Britain, and also are on a low scale, are the chief depositors ; the from whose depths of degradation we occasionally hear well-paid workmen of towns are little seen at those estabsuch startling reports of filth, disease, and unheard-of lishments. Gentlemen have set themselves to gather criminality, notwithstanding all that poor-rates, chari- the statistics of dissipation, and we hear of Glasgow table missions, and private beneficence can do and sacri- with its three thousand taverns consuming a million's fice in their behalf.

worth of liquor annually ; Greenock its L.120,000 ; And why is all this? Simply, he in time perceives, nay, even a small country town of two thousand inbecause the foreign labouring populations, along with wealth, will be found to devote L.5000 annually to liquor,

habitants, and no sort of manufactures to bring in their slender gains, maintain frugal, temperate, and though it must be a mystery where all the money comes considerate habits. Our Englishman remembers with from. Then the estimate for the whole empire is well surprise, at the end of his tour, that though he has known to be sixty-five millions, or considerably more seen ten times more abundant appearances of enjoy- than the annual revenue. Why is there no Crabbe ment among the people than he ever did in the same among the living poets to give rhetorical force to these time in England, he never once saw a drunk person. facts, to paint the English working-men of these latter He knoweth well that universal England rageth times of inordinate wealth, and consequently elevated drunk,' which makes a mighty difference, for drink is wages, worse off as a class than their own narrow

circumstanced ancestors ; to show them actually less notoriously irreconcilable with decency and rectitude.

miserable in many cases with small than with large It is no doubt true that many other circumstances returns, with short than with full time, because then press with more or less force on the labouring classes, possessed of less means of ruining their health and and that these ought as far as possible to be altered; and corrupting that morality in which resides happiness ; it is not less true that a large portion of these classes to paint the swelter and reek of low public-houses, are entirely free from the vice here alluded to, while where men fall back to something worse than the many may be described as provident and careful men.

savage; to show women, and even children drawn into There is another exception having a regard to time, in pure or healthy in the poor man's home? Oh kind

the magic circle of debauchery, so as to leave nothing as far as crises of distress in the commercial affairs of Heaven, to think of so many who might be better if the country bear now and then very hardly on the they chose, thus left year after year to be their own welfare of the masses. What is meant, however, is destroyers! that, when all these exceptive considerations are al- The poverty of the labouring classes in this country lowed for, it remains still as a distressing charge is a fact. Another fact is the comparative comfort of against the labouring people of Britain, that they mis- the middle classes. It is a ready way of rationalising spend a large proportion of their gains in what induces the two facts, that the latter have their comfort at the idleness and degradation. On such a subject it is of what do we see? The middle classes full of care about

expense of the former. When we look into actual lise, course impossible to get any evidence that does not their little means, eager to satisfy engagements in the apply more or less partially. Yet when we find every first place, scrupulous about undertaking matrimonial body that has to do with working-people in any capa- obligations, or taking any ease or indulging in any city (always excepting those who write the newspapers luxury, till their prospects for the future are tolerably addressed to them) having his particular tale to tell of secure. All this time the working man feels himself the reckless and dissipated habits of individuals in the entitled to have any gratification he can obtain with class, it is impossible to doubt that these habits are of without an income, he claims the privilege of marrying,

his wages, whatever may come of the future: with or extensive prevalence. The chaplain of Preston jail leaving all consequences of his slighted duties to the speaks in one of his Reports of the extent to which humanity of society.* So far from thriving at the the insane fondness for drink prevails among the whole expense of the poor, it rather appears that the middle working part of the people.” “An opportunity,' he classes only thrive by their frugal and industrious comsays, 'presented itself, which enabled me to estimate, or duct, in spite of the burdens which the poor are comirather to ascertain, the weekly expenditure in liquor of tinually throwing upon them. all the men-hard-working labourers and skilled arti- It is surely most piteous that, in a country where sans-employed by one master.' [He gives tables of labour is better remunerated than anywhere on eartb, particulars, and goes on.] We see there that, taking the gains of the labouring classes should have so little any 100 or 150 well-employed workmen, each of them, effect in promoting their actual benefit. " The great on the average, devotes to the pleasures of drink more bulk of all the fruits of industry in this country goes to than 25 per cent. of his earnings ; that many married the labouring classes ; and at the end of the year the men thus squander 40 or 50 per cent.; and that some account they have to give of it is-nil. All has been are so infatuated as to throw away weekly, in drink, eaten and drunk, and yet with a less effect in making 35s. out of 40s. wages. The same gentleman has life comely, decent, or comfortable—not to speak of surascertained that 15,000 persons were brought up before rounding it with exalting and refining influences-than the magistrates in Lancashire in 1846, charged with is found to accrue from the labours of infinitely lessdrunkenness. An examination of the records, which he favoured nations. The real wealth acquired or set by has kept for many years, shows that the offences for in Britain is little compared with what might be. The which distress is pleaded are exceeded by fivefold those very heart and pith of the country may be said to be in which drunkenness is admitted! Another jail chap- in a great measure destroyed as soon as it has been lain avers, ' without fear of being charged with exagge- formed. Under a changed system, the labouring classes ration, that about four-fifths of the inmates of our prisons might be the possessors of large wealth, to the enorowe their first fall from virtue, as well as their present mous increase of the productive powers of the country. disgrace, to this brutalising vice.' * The ordinary tale

* As an instance illustrative of this kind of recklessness, one of

the unemployed ' labourers maintained last winter in Edinburgh * Thirteenth Report of the Inspectors of Prisons ; IV. Northern by public

charity at a half-fictitious labour paid with 91. a day, District, pp. 5, 20.

married on the strength of that aliment !

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This is an idea not familiar to them, and to which they rooms. The entrance to the little garden led over a are apt to turn a deaf ear; but the only thing wanting few planks thrown across the streamlet. This garden for it is will. Poorer people than they generally are, surrounded the cot, while before it was a primitive well save and thus protect themselves from many evils, of pure and crystal water; sun-flowers, hollyhocks, wall. Why should this not be a Money is the universal leverage of the social world flowers, and daisies in abundance, bloomed around; but to have none is simply to be powerless there. With the principal part of the ground was occupied by herb this in store, it is unspeakable what might be effected and lavender beds. The pride of the demesne, however, by the labouring classes for their own benefit. They consisted in a cherry-tree, whose trunk grew against might provide themselves with handsome dwellings, in the side of the wooden tenement, and whose branches lieu of the unhealthy hovels which too many, now spread protectingly far over and above the thatched inhabit; they might insure themselves and their de- roof. Well and appropriately might it be called Cherrypendants against all the contingencies to which assur: Tree Hut,' for in spring-time it was a gorgeous sight to ance is now applied by the middle classes, and against look on those luxuriant white blossoms, no less than pauperism besides. There is nothing to prevent vast numbers of them from taking a share of the business when the marvellous-sized cherries were ripe : it was of the country as masters, in some modification of the king of cherry-trees-no wonder that old Adam the system of copartnery, if they would only con- Page loved it so fondly. The cot, the well, the garden, descend to take the common- sense means of attain the beautiful tree, all were his own; and here he had ing such ends which they see adopted by the middle lived a life-time with his only child, a daughter, now classes — namely, sobriety, frugality, and integrity. rather beyond middle age. As a herbalist of sagacity England, in short, might become the paradise of the and experience, he realised sufficient means for all their masses, if the masses so willed. But the masses in humble wants, Tabby Page adding not a little to their England are unfortunately an ignorant body, the dupes of their own self-conceited and self-indulgent habits. store by her skill in concocting lavender and other disTheir technical ingenuity and industry have been suf- tilled waters.

Indeed her delicious scents were celefered to go beyond their general intelligence, their brated throughout the country, and sought for by many morals, and their discretion. In these circumstances a dainty belle, who, leaving her luxurious carriage, they have become the sport of crazy theorists and de- tripped down the declivity to visit the pleasant home signing adventurers, and seem as if, so far from im- of Adam and Tabby Page. proving their own circumstances by just means, they

This home was a picture of simplicity and conwould gladly see all besides reduced to their own miserable level. The only conceivable outlet from such tentment; everything was clean, orderly, and well a barbarous dilemma, is the diffusion of a real civilisa- arranged : it carried you back in imagination to a tion among the humbler orders. They require true and hundred years ago, so quaint and old-world were all honest instruction, that they may be enabled to ascer- its domestic details. Adam himself belonged not to tain their own just interests, and learn how to guide this age, but to the far past; and he heartily detested their affairs to good and worthy issues. The question all innovation and change, inventions and improvefor the rest of the community is not now, Shall we ex- ments, and considered most of them as a mere tempttend education to the masses ? but, Shall we permit the masses to live uneducated ? For verily it is a threatening of Providence. Newspapers travelled not down ing problem, this perpetual misuse of all the gifts of Pro- Love Lane; letters were as rare as angels' visits are vidence by the labouring poor, attended by a standing said to be; and Adam abominated the sight of those conviction of self-love, that the consequent sufferings new-fangled Queen's heads,' and would by no means are the guilt of another portion of the community. Did patronise the penny-post. The police he looked upon England know her true interests, she would not wait with suspicious eyes, regarding them as intruders, and for the machinery required to convey knowledge and of foreign origin; he mourned for the watchmen of the reason to these benighted intellects, till the settlement olden times, and their nocturnal warnings, with tidof certain points of arrangement which have been matter of dispute for ages, and will be so for ages to come, but ings of a rainy night,' or 'a starlight morning ;' he determine to take the salvation of her institutions into yearned after the four-horse coach and guard's horn; her own hands. From all appearances, it cannot be done he mourned for old trees cut down, old houses levelled, too soon.

old things done away with, and new ones established. His inveterate prejudice and obstinacy amused some

persons, whilst others felt pained to see an aged man so CHERRY TREE HU T.

positive and presumptuous, thinking and talking as if

nothing could move him or his, as if earthly vicissitude Frou one of the breezy heath-covered commons of had no power over his individual lot. Thus when he

merry England,' a long and winding lane led to a quiet heard of this or that undergoing alteration, he would scattered village, and also to a ruinous ivy-covered exclaim, "Thank God, this cot is my own; here the church. This lane was very narrow, and steep at the hand of the spoiler cannot come whilst I live; that is extremities, running down into a deep valley, through impossible !' 'Not impossible, dear father,' ventured to which bounded a sparkling streamlet ; it was, moreover, suggest the gentle Tabby, but very improbable cershaded by trees, so that when the summer sun burnt tainly.. : Impossible, I say, girl' (she was still a girl with

; - impossible !' vehemently urged old Adam, strikup the grass on the common to a dark thirsty-looking ing his oak staff on the ground; * for if it was burnt brown, here refreshment and shelter from the glare down, are we not insured ? and could we not build it were sure to be found. Here many song-birds congre- up again, stock and plank the same? No-no! change gated, and towards the end of May, the concert of comes not here! No Naboth shall purchase my vineyard nightingales, when the stars were glittering overhead, at any price.' was perfectly ravishing; to say nothing of early prim

A favourite haunt of Adam was the churchyard, with roses, violets, and wild roses, loading the air with deli- | its numerous monuments, surrounding the mouldering cious fragrance. It had been called Love Lane' from and deserted house of prayer, at the head of the valley.

Many unknown and nameless mounds were there, and time immemorial, and memories of happy days and many records of the departed; but towering above all youthful companionship lingered around the spot. In other memorials was a marble obelisk, on whose sides the heart of the green valley, and in the middle of the were traced, not Egyptian hieroglyphics, but heraldic lane, stood a low wooden cottage, containing three devices, equally difficult for the uninitiated to decipher ;

and there, amid the quaint English lettering of past are living, Adam, and it is unchanged, I shall indeed be
centuries, might be distinguished the time-honoured grateful and rejoiced.'
name of 'Elvin,' knight and baron, dame and ladye. • If we are living, madam,' quoth Adam Page, this
It is very certain that Adam Page had never heard of spot will be unchanged; be sure of that: change comes

Old Mortality,' so that he could not be suspected of not here.'
imitation ; while the simple and original feeling which * This is the old song to the same tune,' thought I;
prompted him to use his best endeavours to preserve and involuntarily, for I know not what possessed me
this identical monument from decay, was coupled with to say so much, I answered, 'You speak too positively,
stronger associations than respect for antiquity or re- my good friend; nothing is impossible, and you may be
membrances of youth. Tabby's mother had been the living when we meet again, but not here. He laughed
favourite handmaiden of the last lady of Elvin, and she in derision, shook his head, and said, pointing to the
had died after two years of perfect wedded happiness, beautiful tree, the Pride of the Valley,' as it was called,
leaving this only child ; so that, as Adam often said, I shall die beneath its shadow; Tabby will die beneath
he had been both father and mother to poor Tabby. its shadow. But he added not, If it is God's will.'
Cherry-Tree Hut, with its productive garden, was the The old man forgot to say that, but Tabby did not; and
dower bestowed on the youthful bride by her grateful so we parted. I felt oppressed, and glad to leave the
mistress, in consideration of long and faithful family shaded lane for the open common, now bathed in silver
service.

light; it lay so hushed and peaceful in holy splendour, All were scattered and gone now-scarcely one of the that as I gazed on the waving trees I was leaving, and ruined and degenerate race left ; what they had been on the familiar landmarks around, I too fervently hoped was here alone recorded : to Adam Page they had re- that change might not be permitted to visit these wellpresented indeed the best nobility of earth. Still he loved scenes of my childhood and youth. pointed out the spot where the fine mansion with its A few months ago, after an absence of ten years, cir. moated slopes had stood; rows of stuccoed houses occu- cumstances enabled me to visit these dear old haunts pied its site now--and supreme was the contempt with again, and of course the railway, as the only means of which he looked upon them all. Here he pointed to the transit with ease and expedition, was resorted to. I vestige of a pathway under a low arched passage, which was indeed scarcely aware that we had diverged on a had led through a portion of the forest-like grounds; newly-formed branch-rail conducting to the heart of but where were all those grand ancestral trees now the country where lay our destination; but in the midst where the pleasant woodlands-the rookery and pre- of the whirl and crash, surely, I thought, those disserves ? All gone, disappeared, built over; a thousand tant hills, and in particular that strangely conicalhouses and gardens, where the gray mansion, in ter- shaped one, are familiar. Then came houses elustering raced solitude, had stood for ages. Ah! no wonder that together, and the well- known ugly steeple of Elvin Adam Page sought the churchyard with its mementos Church. Ah! we were in the beautiful valley, and we of departed greatness : often might he be seen carefully must pass our favourite lane, and good Adam Page's cleansing the sides of the marble obelisk, obliterating all rural dwelling. Look out for the cherry-tree,' I ex. damp and mould, and gazing lovingly on his handiwork. claimed; 'perhaps we may even see old Adam himself If you addressed him then, he would perhaps tell you by the well-side ; for it is his evening hour for lounging how a lady of Elvin, whose name he read aloud, used to there. The words were scarcely uttered, when the come every night, at the hour of twelve, to pray beside rushing motion seemed accelerated; and at the same her young warrior husband who slept here-how she moment that the infernal machine,' as Adam Page had mourned for him two years thus-how Tabby's used to call the then new invention, gave a wild and great-great-grandfather used to watch his lady from a prolonged yell, I became aware that we were actually respectful distance-and how, on a wintry night, when cutting through the identical spot where the Pride of she had knelt longer than usual, he became alarmed, the Valley' had stood the noble old cherry-tree. Where and ventured to advance; but the lady moved not, was it? Where was the hut, the well, the scented garspoke not-she was dead! her broken heart had ceased den? All vanished like the phantasmagoria of a dream. to beat, and she was laid by her husband's side: few Had Adam and Tabby Page vanished from the face people knew these circumstances, for the affair was of the earth also ?—for they had ever appeared to formi little spoken of. Elvin Hall was a hermit's home, and part and parcel of the spot. We looked at each other the pastor of the church belonged to the noble stock; in blank amazement, we stretched our necks out of the now the tower was a ruin, the vaults rose in heaps, and windows; but by this time we were just clearing the a new edifice, in the worst style of modern architecture, valley, and about being swallowed up in a long dreary stood not far off. Never could Adam Page be persuaded tunnel. We gasped for breath, closed our eyes, and to enter that. He had never crossed the threshold of a murmuring, Are we sleeping or waking, or has the house of prayer since Elvin Church had fallen into dis- fairy wand of enchantment been here!'. Alas! we did use: he still continued to worship at the solitary shrine, not sufficiently consider that ten years' absence can amid the forgotten dead of past generations.

effect more startling changes, both on animate and inIt is ten years since I paid my last visit to Cherry: animate objects, than an enchanter's wand; and we soon Tree Hut; it was on an evening towards the end found that the branch-rail of B, on which we had of June, and the sun was sinking behind the dis- so unsuspiciously been travelling, was indeed the real tant hills: Adam Page was seated in the front of his and powerful sorcerer, by whose irresistible means dwelling, beside the bright well-side, and overshadowed every trace of the humble but happy home in Elvin by the patriarchal cherry-tree; he leant his chin on a Valley had vanished away for ever-its very memory stout oak staff, and complacently gazed around ; satis- faded from amidst the crowded and changeful occufaction and contentment were visibly portrayed on the pants of the numerous modern houses in the vicinity. old man's fine open countenance; a little pride was ex- However, there were still some yearning hearts left, hibited there also, tinged with a good share of determi- clinging to and mourning over .bygones; ' and it was nation, or, as some persons might term it, obstinacy. not long ere. I heard a lady, resident in the neighbour Tabby was nimbly trotting here and there, in the hood, lamenting the loss of the walk, the lane, the fine cheerful fulfilment of her numerous avocations ; but she old cherry-tree, the hut, the garden, and all. Poor old was ever ready for a friendly gossip, and ever ready Adam Page, she told me, had to be turned out by force with a kind and cordial greeting. Now I had come at last, for they fairly pulled his house down about his to bid them farewell for an indefinite period, uncertain when, if ever, I might look on fair Elvin Valley On inquiry, I found that he had sought a sheltet again.

with his daughter Tabby, at a retired farmhouse a * If I am spared to revisit my native land, I will few miles distant; and there eventually I saw the old assuredly seek out this dear spot,' I said ; and if you | man again, after an interval of so many years. He

1

ears.

looked shy, and somewhat downcast, on first recognising late all-engrossing changes, have led to the abandonme, and then suddenly said, 'Thee seest the foolish old ment of further trials. Still, the subject is worthy of Adam - the short-sighted, presumptuous old Adam attention, and we trust that its entire character will Page properly schooled, madam! Ay, but the rod has ultimately be ascertained. been a heavy one!' Tears rolled down his furrowed The Cannabis Indica, or hashish, has long been cheeks as he pursued painful reminiscences; however, known in the Levant, as producing what is there called when the first agitation subsided, aided by the en- a fantasia. Our English travellers in Egypt, especially deavours of the pious, ever-cheerful Tabby, other topics Lane, have devoted some attention to it, but rather as were introduced, other interests discussed ; and ere my a matter of curiosity, than with a view either of trying visit came to a conclusion, I looked on the venerable it themselves, or learning what was the experience of locks of snow before nie, and on the extreme age of that others. The French savans who accompanied Napoleon bowed head, with a sense of deep humility. The lesson paid more attention to the matter. M. Virey, in a methus forcibly impressed had shed so salutary and puri moir published as far back as 1803, in one of the scien fying an influence on the old man's mind, that when I tific periodicals, gave a medical view of it, and attempted witnessed his present submission and resignation, under to prove that it was the Nepenthes of Homer. Sylvestre a conviction of error, I could not help inwardly desiring de Lacy has taken a vast deal of pains to learn the that all presumptuous and dogmatical persons might ancient history that is to be gleaned relative to it, and profit thereby': only, if the lesson were taught in early has demonstrated that the word assassin is derived youth, it might prove pleasanter for themselves, and from the word haschichin, which was given to the Ishless irksome to others--but still, according to the com- maelites who committed murder under its influence. mon adage, “it is better late than never.'

He produces several Arabic texts, which bear out his

interpretation, and then quotes the authority of Marco THE HASHISH.

Polo, who tells us that the Old Man of the Mountains,

so mysteriously known by our forefathers, educated Amongst several subjects of scientific inquiry in France, young men, the most robust of his tribe, to execute his placed for the meantime in abeyance by the revolution barbarous decrees. To those who delivered themselves of February, one of the most remarkable was the peculiar up entirely to his will he promised future rewards of influence of certain drugs upon the human mind, and eternal happiness, of which he gave them a foretaste the alterations which they produce upon the perceptive by placing them in delicious gardens, adorned with all powers, the imagination, and the reason. The attention that Asiatic luxury could imagine of rich and brilliant,

and where every sensual gratification was at command. of the French public was brought to this consideration The young men, after having swallowed a certain beby Dr Moreau, physician to the hospital of the Bicêtre, verage, were placed in temples within the gardens; in Paris, who, in the year 1841, published a short me. and there, while under the influence of intoxication, moir upon the treatment of Hallucinations by the indulged to the utmost in their degrading passions, till Thorn-apple, or Datura stramonium.' Whilst discussing such was their rapture, that at a word they would the nature of eccentricities, of funtasias, and illusions, throw themselves from the summit of a tower, rush he was led to describe the singular power of a drug, the through flames, or strike a poniard in the heart of their

dearest friend. produce of the Indian liemp, called Hashish, of awaken

Of those who have experienced the effects of the ing in the mind a train of phenomena of the most ex

hashish in France, some have described their sensatraordinary character, entrancing the senses in delicious tions in print. Amongst these is Theodore Gautier, réveries, and modifying the organic sensibility. So in- one of the most distinguished writers of the day. He vitingly did lie paint the nature of the new impres- has, in the newspaper edited by Emile de Gerardin, 'La sions which arose from its use, that in a short time all | Presse,' given the following testimony of its singular inthe physicians and medical students were indulging influence : The Orientalists,' says he, have, in consedoses of this new addition to the charms of life. From quence of the interdiction of wine, sought that species

of excitement which the western nations derive from them it rapidly spread to the poets, the idealists, and alcoholic drinks. The love of the ideal is so dear to all the lovers of novelty. Each had a different tale to man, that he attempts, as far as he can, to relax the recount. Some saw phantasmagoric figures dancing ties which bind the body to the soul; and as the means more exquisitely than Taglioni; others heard sounds of of being in an ecstatic state are not in the power of all, music vibrating on their ears more impressive than one person drinks for gaiety, another smokes for forgetJenny Lind can produce; some the simple vibrations of fulness, a third devours momentary madness-one under a few chords of the harp plunged into the sweetest the form of wine, the others under that of tobacco and melancholy; others felt a happiness such as language after swallowing some of the preparation, a sudden

hashish.' He then proceeds to say, that a few minutes failed to describe-an exaltation of feeling, which raised overwhelming sensation took possession of him. It apthem to joys far beyond what this sublunary world can peared to him that his body was dissolved, that he had offer. The opium-eater, and the devotee to the wine. become transparent. He clearly saw in his chest the bottle, declared that their favourite means of enjoy. hashish which he had swallowed, under the form of an ment possessed little power in comparison to the emerald, from which a thousand little sparks issued. hashish.

His eyelashes were lengthened out indefinitely, and In the year 1845, Dr Moreau gave to the world a turned with an inconceivable rapidity. Around him

rolled like threads of gold around ivory balls, which work entitled “Du Hashish et de l'Aliénation Mentale

were sparklings of precious stones of all colours, changes Etudes Psychologiques,' in which we are furnished with eternally produced, like the play of the kaleidoscope. the results of his experience upon himself, upon his He every now and then saw his friends who were round friends, and upon patients suffering under mental him disfigured-half-men half-plants, some with the alienation. Since that period the drug has been sub- wings of the ostrich, which they were constantly shaking. jected to various analyses, and the plant has been reared So strange were these, that he burst into fits of laughter; in France and in Algiers with a view of ascertaining and to join in the apparent ridiculousness of the affair, its botanical character ; but the ill effects that have he began throwing the cushions in the air, catching and

turning them with the rapidity of an Indian juggler. followed upon its long.continued use, the uncertainty One gentleman spoke to him in Italian, which the of the result that succeeds its employment, and the hashish transposed into Spanish. After a few minutes usual fate that attends upon the production of a novelty he recovered his habitual calmness, without any bad that every one at first talks about, together with the effect, without headache, and only astonished at what

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