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"The conclusion of a bargain for shawls, always takes place before witnesses; and having been asked to attend in that capacity, I went to the fair with the purchaser, the other witnesses, and a broker, who was an Armenian. We stopped at an unfinished stone house, without a roof, and we were ushered into a kind of cellar. Though it was the abode of an extremely rich Hindoo, it had no other furniture than eighty elegant packages piled one upon the other against the wall.

"Parcels of the most valuable shawls are sold without the purchaser seeing any more than the outside of them; he neither unfolds nor examines them, and yet he is perfectly acquainted with every shawl by means of a descriptive catalogue which the Armenian broker, with much difficulty, procures from Cashemere. He and his witnesses and brokers, for he sometimes has two, all sit down. He does not, however, say a word; every thing being managed by the brokers, who go continually from him to the seller, whisper in their ears, and always take them to the farthest corner of the apartment. The negotiation continues till the price first asked is so far reduced, that the difference between that and the price offered is not too great; so that hopes may be entertained of coming to an agreement. The shawls are now brought; and the two principals begin to negotiate. The seller displays his merchandise, and extols it highly; the buyer looks upon it with contempt, and rapidly compares the numbers and the marks. This being done, the scene becomes animated; the purchaser makes a direct offer, the seller rises, as if going away. The brokers follow him, crying aloud, and bring him back by force: they contend and struggle; one pulls one way and one the other: it is a noise, a confusion, of which it is difficult to form an idea. The poor Hindoo acts the most passive part; he is sometimes even illtreated. When this has continued some time, and they think they have persuaded him, they proceed to the third act, which consists in giving the hand, and is performed in a most grotesque manner. The brokers seize upon the seller, and endeavour, by force, to make him put his hand into that of the purchaser, who holds it open, and repeats his offer with a loud voice. The Hindoo defends himself; he makes resistance, disengages himself, and wraps up his hand, in the wide sleeves of his robe, and repeats his first price in a lamentable tone. This comedy continues a considerable time; they separate, they make a pause as if to recover strength for a new contest, the noise and the struggling recommence; at last the two brokers seize the hand of the seller, and, notwithstanding all his efforts and cries, oblige him to lay it in the hand of the buyer.

"All at once the greatest tranquillity prevails; the Hindoo is ready to weep, and laments in a low voice that he has been in too great a hurry. The brokers congratulate the purchaser: they sit down to pro

ceed to the final ceremony-the delivery of the goods. All that has passed is a mere comedy; it is, however, indispensable; because the Hindoo will by all means have the appearance of having been deceiv. ed and duped. If he has not been sufficiently pushed about and shaken, if he has not had his collar torn, if he has not received the full complement of punches in the ribs, and knocks on the head, if his right arm is not black and blue, from being held fast to make him give his hand to the buyer, he repents of his bargain till the next fair, and then it is very difficult to make him listen to any terms. In the affair in which I assisted as witness, the Hindoo had demanded 230,000 rubles, and came down to 180,000; and of this sum he paid 2 per cent. to the brokers.

"Our whole party, the seller, buyer, brokers, interpreters, and witnesses, sat down with crossed legs upon a handsome carpet, with a broad fringe, spread on purpose. First of all, ices were brought, in pretty bowls of China porcelain; instead of spoons, we made use of little spatula of mother-of-pearl, fixed to a silver handle by a button of ruby, emerald, turquoise, or other precious stones. When we had taken refreshments, the merchandise was delivered.

"The marks had been verified a second time, and all found right, new disputes arose about the time of payment; and, when every thing was at last settled, the whole company knelt down to pray. followed the example of the rest, and could not help being struck by the diversity of the faith of those who were here assembled; there were Hindoos, adorers of Brama, and of numerous idols; Tartars, who submitted their fate to the will of Allah, and Mahomet his prophet; two Parsees, or worshippers of fire; a Calmouck officer, who adored, in the Dala Llama, the living image of the divinity; a Moor, who venerated I know not what unknown being; lastly, an Armenian, a Georgian, and myself a Lutheran, all three Christians, but of different communions—a remarkable example of toleration.

"My prayer was fervent and sincere: I prayed to heaven to be pleased to cure the women of Europe, as soon as possible, of their extravagant fondness for this article of luxury. The prayer being ended, we saluted one another, and every one emptied his bowl; I never tasted a more agreeable beverage. We then separated, and each went his own way."

The Talisman.

L 2

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NO SITUATION in society is more laborious and more irksome than that of common teachers, and no class of men is held in less public estimation, considering the important station they occupy. It is no small disgrace to our country, that men whose time and talents are exclusively devoted to the training of youth should be so ill recompensed for their valuable services. Parents in general calculate on nothing but the paltry pittance they pay for the education of their offspring, and reckon as an equivalent for their "trash" only the visible attainment of common-place accomplishments. They shut their eyes to the minute and multifarious details of duty no less incumbent on the teacher, than the more palpable branches of his profession. They seldom reflect, that thousands of their sons and daughters are probably kept from being wilful, hardened, and habitual liars, during their whole lives, by the salutary admonitions and corrections of their instructors; that the hand of the covetous has been kept from theft, and that of the fierce from violence and outrage; that natural perversity of understanding, has acquired a sense of right and wrong, and wilful wickedness been checked before it had become habitual, and before it has blasted the character of its possessor; and that every individual son and daughter that belongs to them is more or less indebted through life to the unseen but effective operation of the moral and religious principles which it is the peculiar province of the teacher to inculcate. "What is your child learning at school?" says one parent to another: "Reading, writing, and arithmetic," is perhaps the reply, as if these common attainments made up the sum total of the teacher's duties; and the reply is probably accompanied with a niggardly grumbling at the extravagant amount of the school fees.

These same persons who grudge the poor man his miserable means of subsistence, will not grudge the absurdly extravagant charge of the dancing master, for teaching their beloved sons and daughters what the professors of dancing call a genteel and polite deportment. They will ungrudgingly pay any sum to have their offspring stripped of their natural modesty; to have them trained to duck and bow, and nod and scrape, according to the fashionable mode of ducking, bowing, nodding, and scraping; to teach them ingresses and egresses into and out of parlours, dining-rooms, and ball-rooms; together with all the lacka-daisical formalities of salutation and invitation, any breach of which is, in their stupid understanding, more heinous than a breach of any article of the decalogue. It is a miserable state of things, when children are made up for sale, and handed about for inspection, as if they were articles of merchandise; when they are estimated by

their parents, not for what they will bring of the riches of the grace of God, but of the mammon of unrighteousness. This is the age of lackered brass and bronzed impudence; and the poor dominie need not expect that the avaricious will cheerfully part with their gold, which they so much require to overlay and conceal their own earthly and earthward baseness of disposition.

But leaving the teacher of the present day to struggle with his own difficulties, let us look back to the village Dominie of the olden time, with his free house, his cow's grass, his pitiful salary, and his more pitiful school fees! The intellectual light of a whole parish had perhaps emanated from him, and yet his ill-requited drudgery held out to himself no prospect but that of continual poverty, and the dismal anticipation of being cut off in the midst of his days by the blighting unhealthiness of his profession. Intended for the church too, perhaps days, months, and years of intense study-probably eight or ten years at college, and contributions levied from a host of poor relatives to keep him there. And all comes to this at last a Dominie! mercy on us-Poor soul! Let your imagination look back some fifty years into the eternity of the past, and take his picture. Look at him with his pale wrinkled forehead, bald, almost to the crown-his eyebrows knitted to overshadow and screen his weak grey eyes glimmering feebly through his spectacles—his long thin nose, at whose point a snuff-drop is continually wagging—his nether lip habitually hanging down, as if in sympathy with his own misery-his bloodless complexion, whose unchanging colour even the frosty breath of a winter day cannot bite into a hectic flush-his wasted body, whose articulations are starting through his clothes and his clothes thread-bare, and grey with the eternal cloud of dust that rises from the patting feet of his pupils, and floats around him in a dense and suffocating mass. What an atmosphere to live and breath, and move, and have a being in! It is worse than the corrupted atmosphere of a mule-twist cotton mill. Even the round and rosy cheeks of the lively little innocents themselves are blanched at the end of a six hour's drilling, and the blood stagnated in the veins of the most mercurial of them. Reader, did you ever put your nose into a pentup school in a clear frosty day? If you have, you will recollect the heavy putrid air that rushed into your lungs, clogging the machinery of your body, and sinking your soul far below zero! Poor wretch! to labour in the mines of Siberia, or in any other mines, may be bad enough; worse than this it cannot be. Trembling of a morning to put the razor to his beard, lest he should, without any good reason, or rather without any reason at all, cut his own throat-his mind filled with wild and hypochondriacal fancies-nausea tug-tugging at his stomach, vertigo spinning in his brain, and the first symptoms of

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