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stance of a man who, being neither a conqueror, a discoverer, nor an inventor, has, by the pure force of benevolence, become so notable a figure, that large portions of history cannot be written, or at least cannot be understood, without the narrative of his deeds and efforts being made one of the principal threads upon which history is strung. In early American history, Las Casas is undoubtedly the principal figure. His extraordinary longevity has something to do with this pre-eminence. Very few men can be named who have taken so active a part in public affairs over such an extended period as nearly seventy years."

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HE time when everybody-even if provided by nature with a rich crop of hair round the head and temples-wore a thick, long, curly wig, which enveloped the whole head, was sprinkled with powder, and ended in a long pig-tail which hung down behind the neck and was tied up with a black ribbon-the age of perukes-has long since passed away, and there is probably no one alive now, who remembers it when it was in the height of its glory. It was a stiff, singular period, when half the world. bowed beneath the iron rule of an absurd fashion ; but it was an age of fame for wig-makers, when they reaped a rich harvest, when they were unrestricted lords and masters over the heads of men, which they dressed and arranged with artistic hand. Whoever among them had not studied the deep science of perukes and pomades in Paris, Vienna, London, or Berlin, soon lost his customers, who forsook him for some empty braggart who could boast that he had visited one of

those capitals. No trade rose and fell so completely with the reigning and deposed fashions, as that of the wig-maker.

Thus an old master of this art, whose name was Johann Daniel Falk, and who lived in the seaport of Danzig, felt it to be. In his youth he had prospered well enough, but because he had not followed the progress of wigs, because he kept to the old form which he had been accustomed to in his early days, he lost all the custom of the upper circles of society, and had to confine himself to serving old bachelors who passed their time in dark back streets, from which they rarely emerged, and old-fashioned burghers, who prided themselves on wearing their wedding coat and wedding wig to their graves, as the most honourable of decorations—a class, however, which naturally was quickly vanishing. Thus it came to pass that wigmaker Falk became very poor. Still never a word escaped him against—not his trade, for he never called it that—but his art; to him it was the first in the world, for had it not to do with the noblest part of man- -his head?

Falk was a married man; his wife belonged to a Genevese family who had settled in Danzig. She was a member of the Moravian Church; Falk, too, professed the Reformed faith. Their eldest son, who in baptism received, after his father, the names of Johannes Daniel, was born on the feast of SS. Simon and Jude, 1768. A rigid piety reigned in the Falk household; the boy was very strictly brought up, and

strenuously guarded against the influences of the world. His bright enterprising spirit often rebelled against this severe discipline. In those times it was not the custom, as often now-a-days, for the son, if his father's profession does not suit him, or if he wishes to rise a step higher in the ladder, to choose another, to which the father himself is glad enough to help him. Then sons almost always followed their father's trade; if they did not, they were regarded as wild, peculiar, and discontented beings.

It was Master Falk's fixed determination that his son Johannes should appear before the world as the most skilful among wig-makers; the gentle, talented boy knew this was to be his fate, and he did his best to look forward to it with composure.

Old Master Falk thought very little indeed of learning and knowledge, for he had himself gathered no treasures from them, and, as he thought, had got on well enough through life without these needless tormentors of the brain. With such views accorded well his dim suspicion that the outside of the head, with which the wig-maker had to do, was the more important part, and the clear conviction that he wanted the means to give his son that education which the lad desired.

The boy was sent to school. He soon displayed his superior talents, far surpassing most of his schoolfellows; but when he was only eleven, had just learned to read and write tolerably, and knew how to cipher a little, his father took him away from school and

placed him in his workshop. Johannes had to help his father, mend or dye his customers' old wigs which had become red or yellow through age, apply the powder brush, and plait the pig-tails. Here the boy suffered unspeakably. His father did all in his power to damp his ardour for knowledge, but he could not succeed in this; the few pence which customers gave the little fellow when he brought home their wigs he employed in borrowing books from a lending library, which he would read behind his father's back. his mother discovered him reading, but she was too kind-hearted to disturb him. She could not perceive any danger in the boy reading books, if he liked so to employ his time.


When the poor boy had no light, he would stand under a street lantern to read his books, even in the severest winter, when his fingers were so frozen that he could scarcely turn the leaves. They had given him Wieland's translation of Lucian, which he eagerly devoured. “He, too, was poor, and the child of humble folk,” he wrote to his cousin, 66 as I am, and stood in a workshop, as I do; yet afterwards he became a learned and famous man. I felt when I read this, my heart beat for joy."

An accident happened to him; he was run over by a cart and confined for some weeks to his bed; then he could read to his heart's content, and after he got well, and was obliged to go on with his work as before, how often he longed for that time to come over again. Love of music and the skill with which he played the

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