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THE LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL.
in a very compendious way, for a stick is stuck into the centre of the corn, passing through the aperture at the bottom, and bent or inclined to one side by means of a piece of string attached to an immovable object. While the hopper revolves, the stick remains stationary, and describes an inverted cone or hollow in the middle of the corn; down the inner surface the grain trickles in an exact As the miller is so familiar with the and most elegant manner. description of a cone, I should feel surprised at finding no trace of not see this figure in the books of Chinese philosophers, did every reason to believe that this ancient nation never had a conception of any geometrical truth whatsoever. The device by which the sieve was made to librate in alternate motion was of kindred simplicity. A wheel, with long pegs for teeth, was placed so as to act upon one end of a beam, which played upon a fulcrum like the beam of a balance. Each stroke of these teeth depressed the end of the beam on which they acted, and, as a matter of course, elevated the other. This latter was connected by a cord to the sieve, It described, in and thus when elevated drew the sieve after it. mathematical language, the arc of a circle, and extended the string In this way the sieve was pulled hither, in a tangent to that arc. while the elasticity of another cord pulled it thither. An alternate motion was given in a way, however, simple in principle and practice, which shows, I think, some subtlety of thought. It is often said that the Chinese are ingenious people, and with great truth; and yet there is nothing in art or science that I deprecate more than general assertions. A writer may seem a wise man in wielding them, but the reader will never learn wisdom by giving heed to them. One instance of Chinese ingenuity in detail, is worth a thousand general affirmations about their cunning and sagacity. Everything about this mill bespoke ingenuity of contrivance ; nothing bore marks of neatness in the finish save the beam of the steel-yard. This was very large, made of the hardest wood, and graduated with lines of bright and elegant studs. A Chinese is a thorough tradesman, and knows full well that unless the "ephah," or standard of weight or measure, be exact and uniform, there can be no faith or certainty in the transactions of business. This beam, which is upon the same principle as what we call the Roman steel-yard, formed an instructive emblem of the native character in reference to that all-enlivening subject, trade. As I surveyed the various items upon the premises of this active and enterprising man, and took a glance now and then at his round and full-fed face, I said within myself, "This fellow would not care a fig for my books, and, perhaps, thinks me a very great fool for exposing my head to the scorching sun, for the sake of scattering a few among I left his such of his poorer neighbours as can read them." mill, therefore, determined not to say a word about my errand, but at the same time wishing with all my heart that the mandarins might not get scent of his prosperity, and so devise some pretext for putting their paws upon some of its results.
The next time I passed that way, I offered him a part of the New Testament without ceremony, which he accepted with the marks of the liveliest gratitude, though at his dinner, a true Chinaman can least brook interruption. Well, thought I, surmise after all is a bad companion-I shall have to pay him off very shortly.
POLITENESS is a just medium between formality and rudeness; it is, in fact, good-nature regulated by quick discernment, which proportions itself to every situation and every character; it is a restraint laid by reason and benevolence on every irregularity of temper, of appetite, and passion. It accommodates itself to the fantastic laws of custom and fashion, as long as they are not inconsistent with the higher obligations of virtue and religion.
To give efficacy and grace to politeness, it must be accompanied
with some degree of taste as well as delicacy; and although its
In society, it is the happy medium which blends the most discordant natures; it imposes silence on the loquacious, and inclines the most reserved to furnish their share of conversation; it represses the despicable but common ambition of being the most prominent character in the scene; it increases the general desire of being mutually agreeable; takes off the offensive edge of raillery, and gives delicacy to wit; it preservcs subordination, and reconciles ease with propriety; like other valuable qualities, it is best estimated when it is absent.
No greatness can awe it into servility, no intimacy sink it into coarse familiarity; to superiors, it is respectful freedom-to inferiors, it is unassuming good-nature-to equals, everything that is at the same time apparently disengaged and careless. charming; studying, anticipating, and attending to all things, yet
Such is true politeness, by people of wrong heads and unworthy hearts disgraced in its two extremes, and by the generality of mankind confined within the narrow bounds of mere good breeding, which is only one branch of it.—Lounger's Common-place Book.
INTELLECTUALITY OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS.
Large books are to be
The rector of a parish in the county of Sligo, at whose house I He has been of great value as a sporting dog; spent some days last September, has an English spaniel, now rather Now the advanced in years. and besides being remarkable for general sagacity, has acted as a playfellow, a guide, and a guardian to seven sons. credit to his parents, and a blessing to them and others. eldest had just gone out into life with every promise of being a honoured, and followed. But in the midst of his sacred labours, been ordained and appointed to a curacy, where he was loved, and in attendance on a sick-bed, he got a fever; during the progress of the disease, his parents were apprised of his illness, but not so as to communicate much apprehension; but still, In this interval the spaniel was observed being a distance of 140 miles, they were anxiously looking to have left the hall-door, where he usually basked during the day, and betake himself to a high ditch that overlooked the road towards Dublin. There he continued to howl at intervals, and though sometimes coaxed away, and sometimes driven by his master with blows, he returned, and for two days continued; when, without any apparent reason, he left the spot, and came back to his usual haunts. In the regular course of post, a letter brought the sad tidings that on the day on which the dog ceased howling the young man had breathed his last.
out for another letter.
Of all the sights under the sun, perhaps the most touchingly grievous is the spectacle of parents mourning over the death of
children that have arrived at maturity, and who just give the goodly promise of being the sure stay of their declining years. The parents I now allude to have been sorely tried in this way; for the year following, the next son, a youth of twenty, a fine manly fellow, with every quality of head and heart that a fond father could desire-he, also, was seized with fever. It is not for me to detail the alternations of hope and fear that possessed the minds of this much-tried family;-but what I must relate is, that the spaniel was found to have returned to his former station on the ditch, and there was uttering his melancholy howl. I can never forget the deep feeling with which the father told me how an aged female follower of the family, and who had nursed the boy-taught him to lisp Irish on her lap, came up and told him in an agony of tears, that it was all of no use-he might as well send away the doctor-for that yonder was the dog, and there he was howling, and it was all over with Master Edward, for God had called him away. And so it was. The youth died, and from that moment the dog ceased to howl; neither was he any more seen resorting to the place he had so ominously occupied. I have heard of many similar instances of dogs being acquainted with the coming death of those they love, but not with one so well attested as this. I tell what I believe to be true, and without drawing any superstitious or supernatural inferences from it. I can only conclude that there may be communicated to the acute senses of dogs and other animals (as, for instance, ravens and magpies), evidences of approaching dissolution which, to us, are altogether unexplainable; and that there may be in heaven and earth things not dreamed of in our philosophy.
In corroboration of the above statement, I give the following extract of a letter I received from a lady with whom I had subsequently conversed, and who, I am assured, would not knowingly assert what she thought was untrue :
"I hope you will accept the following statement, in return for the gratification I received from your lecture on the sagacity of animals.
"When I was a child on my dear mother's knee, she often amused me with stories of the affection and sagacity of Dick,' her father's favourite dog. One incident remained deeply impressed on my mind. My grandfather, Mr. Hm, of the county of Cavan, came to Dublin, on business; and shortly after, Dick repaired to an old lime-kiln, which he refused to leave, and then set up a dismal and incessant howl. The next post brought the news that Mr. H-m was seized with gout in his stomach; and before his son could reach Dublin he was no more. The dog ceased to howl exactly at the period of his master's death; and, having refused the food brought to him, was found dead before the funeral arrived at the family burial-place."
My valued friend, Robert Ball, the devoted and able naturalist, to whom Dublin owes the establishment of the Zoological Society, on the 8th ultimo, concluded the lectures by a well-digested resumé of what had been delivered by those who had gone before him during the season. When he came to my effort, he thought it necessary to cull me out from the rest, as deserving of censure, for my story of the Sligo dog; thinking it proper, no doubt, to warn off the minds of the audience from the superstitious feelings which he assumed my narrative was calculated to engender. Now on this occasion I must, with great respect, say that I am neither convicted by his inference, nor converted by his explanation. And first, with respect to his inference that my story was superstitious, I don't consider that it was. I allow, it is to me (if true) unexplainable; but what of that—are we, at this day, to withhold circumstances that are well attested, because we cannot explain them? If thus afraid of FACTS, what would become of geology? No; fearlessness of investigation is the character of sound philosophy; and as Sir Philip Crampton rightly said in his lecture on the same evening, that it was the proper work of the scientific world not to deny a statement, however startling, because improbable, but to investigate dispassionately whether it were a fact. Well, but Mr. Ball is determined to take the sting of superstition out of the tail of my story—and he is right if he could-by explaining, in a very
common-place way, what I would make believe to be unaccountable, as follows. I don't say these are the words of Mr. Ball-I merely quote from memory. People superstitiously believe dogs know and announce the coming death of those to whom they are attached, by howling. But this is a vulgar error, and arises from the common practice of dogs howling by night, and persons, when any in a family are sick and dying, being then more watchful, or more liable to hear when dogs howl. I myself, says he, on one occasion, was witness to this superstition, and instrumental in removing both the cause and the feeling. I was in a house when an important member of the family was so sick as to cause serious apprehension for his life. One night, when thus dangerously ill, the dogs began to howl. Oh! all concluded, the man must diedon't we hear the dogs? But this was not Mr. B.'s conviction; for he went out to the kennel where the dogs were, and then found that a cat had interloped, and ventured to abstract some of the dog's food-that they hunted her, and she escaped through a hole, where they could not follow, and therefore they howled with vexation. Mr. B. put an instant stop to the howling, by stopping the hole through which the cat escaped; and so debarred the cat from future access to the kennel, and the dogs from their provocation. Moreover-what was better than all-his friend recovered. With this explanation, and this narrative, the secretary considered he had made my story "reading made easy" for all the young ones attending the lecture. But, begging his pardon, I think that he leaves my narrative as unexplained as ever; and I might as well say that I overthrew the credit of every circumstance handed down to us by strong and creditable testimony as having the appearance of being supernatural, because, the other night, I detected my servant-boy in the act of terrifying a chamber-maid into hysterics, by passing before her in a white sheet and a chalked face. Who denies that it is common for dogs to howl by night in town or country?-who denies that the watchful are vexed and pained when such noises alarm and disturb the sick? I wanted no expla nation on this point; but what I told as extraordinary, and which (if true) I demand a philosophical explanation of, is the fact, that a dog, not accustomed to howl, went on two occasions to a certain spot, whither he was unaccustomed to resort; that he there continued howling for two days, and could not, by force or entreaty, be driven away, up to a certain period,-and that that period was found to coincide with the death of the individuals to whom he was attached: and, what was still more extraordinary, that the first death took place at a distance of 140 miles. Now, I hope Mr. B. will hit off, before the commencement of another series of lectures, a more satisfactory solution; and to keep his hand in, I beg he will unriddle the following, as two instances amongst many of the same kind I could adduce, of dogs having a power of knowing circumstances through the medium of some sense not cognizable by us. A poodle dog, belonging to two ladies of the name of P-re, in the county of Mayo, was equally attached to both; his sagacity was remarkable, and his actions denoted sense common and uncommon. Now, the ladies, his owners, used to take in turn the pleasurable relaxation of visiting amongst their friends; and in this way they ranged through a wide circle of acquaintances. The day either was to come home-no matter whether the time was fixed previously or not, or was known to those at home,Poodle was seen to start forward to meet his coming mistress : and even suppose there were more roads than one by which she might return, the dog, with unerring certainty, was found to go forth on the very road the lady had taken.
The lady who has supplied me with the story of the tender goose gives the following narrative of a dog, which can be vouched for :-A gentleman of property had a mastiff of great size, very watchful, and altogether a fine, intelligent animal. Though often let out to range about, he was in general chained up during the day in a wooden house, constructed for his comfort and shelter. On a certain day, when let out, he was observed to attach himself particularly to his master; and when the servant, as usual, came to tie him up, he clung so to his master's feet, showed such anger when they attempted to force him away, and altogether was so
THE LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL.
particular in his manner, that the gentleman desired him to be left as he was, and with him he continued the whole day; and when night came on, still he staid by him, and, on going towards his bed-room, the dog resolutely, and for the first time in his life, went up along with him, and rushing into the room, took refuge under the bed; from whence neither blows nor caresses could draw him. In the middle of the night a man burst into the room, and, dagger in hand, attempted to stab the sleeping gentleman; but the dog darted at the robber's neck, fastened his fangs in him, and so kept him down that his master had time to call for assistance and secure the ruffian, who turned out to be the coachman, and who afterwards confessed, that seeing his master receive a large sum of money, he and the groom conspired together to rob and murder him; and that they plotted their whole scheme leaning over the ROOF OF THE DOG'S HOUSE!!!
would condescend to mount the colt. But, ladies and gentlemen,
Surely I, who have seen bull-baiting and cock-fighting, and many other cruel and ferocious games discountenanced, and in a great measure disused, may anticipate a brighter day, when education, based upon the religion of our merciful Redeemer, will teach us to use, and not to abuse; when knowledge, true knowledge-knowledge founded upon the Gospel,-may teach us to treat kindly, consi. derately, inferior animals. I really do consider that there is much yet to be done for our benefit and their happiness; and benevo
great things; and so, knowledge and humanity going hand in hand, and the love of God in Jesus Christ presiding over all our views, that happy millennial period will come when the inferior animals may stand in the same relation to man as they did to Adam before the fall, when the Sovereign of heaven pronounced all to be very good; and the figurative language of the prophet be almost realised, when he foretold that the most ferocious animals would be so tame and domesticated, that "a little child shall lead them;" and "they shall not hurt nor destroy any more in my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."
It is now time for me to have done-done, I say, for I have not finished; for though I have satisfactorily proved, at least to my-lence, guided by experience, induction, and judgment, may achieve self, that inferior animals have intellectuality, I have not shown how the mere intimate observation and study of their capabilities can make them more happy in themselves, or more useful to us. But I think that it may be inferred, without any extended process of reasoning, that the more we study the character of animals, the more we shall respect and cherish them. It is want of consideration, rather than absolute cruelty, that makes us inflict the wrongs we do. To this also tends the bad education which young persons receive the vulgar errors they imbibe. I remember, when a boy of seven years old, squeezing a cat to death under a gate, in order to put to the test the philosophical theory of my father's stableboy, who assured me that a cat had nine lives. What, I say, has perpetuated the tyranny of man over the inferior animals but bad education? The vicious trainings of the nursery, in the first instance then the kitchen-then the stable-yard; and when Master Tom is grown in obstinacy, cruelty, and mischief-too bad to be borne at home,-then comes a public school to caseharden the youth in all his tyrannical propensities; and so in due course he becomes a reckless man, hunting, shooting, fishing, cock-fighting, and in all his sports abusing the creatures of God. Ladies who now hear me-mothers as you are, or may be, look to your nurseries; there are planted the first germs of cruelty. My mammy nurse set me the example of catching flies on the window, and tearing off their legs and wings; or, as it is better described as follows
"Who gave me a huge corking-pin,
That I might the cock-chafer spin,
"Who put me on a donkey's back,
Till its poor bones did almost crack ?-
But I shall say no more on this subject, except to recommend to your notice-and if this my lecture does no other good, it will do well in recommending to your perusal, and as it is not dear, to your purchase, a Treatise on the Rights of Animals, and Man's Obligation to treat them with Humanity, by our amiable townsman, Dr. Drummond, whose book on this subject, I can venture to say, is learnedly, feelingly, and persuasively written.
That the study of the habits of animals may enable us not only to domesticate many that are now wild, but also to improve the powers of those now in use, I think also may be shown. I am sure it will be found better to train a horse than to break him. In this respect I assume that the Bedouin Arab manages better than the Irish borse-breaker: the one makes his fleet courser his friend; the other, with the spur of whiskey in his head, and the iron rowel of another in his heel, extinguishes the spirit while he forms the gaits of the trembling creature he has subdued. I remember the first horse I ever had broken in. I was obliged to contract with the old ruffian (for want of better) I had to employ, to give him half a pint of raw whiskey as his morning before he
"This life is all chequered with pleasures and woes,
Reflecting our eyes as they sparkle or weep."-MOORE,
who had more taste than fashion, more beauty than fortune, and more intellect than either. I would have given anything to discover who she could be. It was most tantalising to my curiosity to see her so often take a seat beside me, and sit in perfect silence, with her quiet, sweet face unlightened by a smile of recognition.
One morning I observed that she carried with her a small, faded-looking portfolio. This was a new subject of speculation. What did that portfolio inclose?-not music, for it was too small-perhaps prints-perhaps drawings. But my conjectures afforded no insight into the truth, and I was forced to see her turn one way, while I proceeded another, without learning what her portfolio had to do with her history. From this time, I never met her without it; and one cold morning in December, my curiosity seemed in a fair way of being gratified. She was wrapped in a large shawl, and as she was stepping out of the cabin door, her foot struck the sill, while, in striving to regain her balance, she dropped her portfolio. It had been imperfectly closed, and fell open on the floor. I stooped to pick it up, and saw it contained paintings in water-colours, of fruit, flowers, and small landscapes. She thanked me with a quiet smile as I replaced the pictures and handed her the book, and we again parted. From that time I saw her no more in the steam-boat.
I had long ceased to meet with her, and-but that her surpassing beauty had formed one of the loveliest pictures in the chambers of my imagery-should probably have forgotten her. One day, as I was entering Stewart's, a lady glided out of the door, and stepped into a splendid carriage, while a clerk handed in a small parcel, which, from the extreme politeness of his parting bow, I took to be of considerable value. A rich velvet cloak concealed the lady's figure, and a blond veil shaded her face; but the transient glimpse which I obtained convinced me that I had seen her before. Not long afterwards, I was visiting a collection of paintings, and, seated before a remarkably fine Magdalen, I scarcely noticed that some person had taken a seat beside me. At length I turned, and saw again the purple velvet cloak and veil, but the face was no longer concealed, and, to my surprise, I beheld the lady of the portfolio. There was no mistaking that countenance, but when I remembered the little straw bonnet and coarse shawl, I could scarcely believe I beheld the same individual. There was a half smile on her beautiful lips as she caught my eye; she probably guessed my thoughts, and turned toward me, as if half inclined to speak, but my companions coming up, she rose and proceeded to another part of the room. While I was still thinking of her, my husband approached, and introduced me to his old friend, Charles Willeston, of whom I had often heard him speak as a college friend. They had not met for several years, and had entirely lost sight of each other, when they thus accidentally met in the picture-gallery. After a few minutes' conversation, Mr. Willeston said, "You do not know that I have been as lucky as yourself, and among my other successes, have obtained a wife; perhaps Mrs. will allow me to make her acquainted with Mrs. Willeston." So saying, he crossed the room, and immediately returned with the lady of the portfolio. I was so much surprised that I scarcely know how I received her. My first feeling was pleasure, my second, a strong impulse of curiosity. After a very agreeable conversation, we parted, with an understanding that I should call upon Mrs. Willeston the following day. My visit was the beginning of an intimacy which still exists, though an ocean rolls between us. I found her a light-hearted, joyous, contented creature, and learned from her own lips the history which had so long baffled my conjectures.
My mother," said she, "was the youngest daughter of the Dean of —, and the only one of a large family who remained unmarried at the death of her father. My grandfather, who had taken a second wife quite late in life, left his daughter entirely dependent on the will of her step-mother, with the exception of a small sum which she inherited in right of her mother. The widow was a woman of harsh and ambitious temper, who sought to extend her influence by the marriage of the Dean's daughter, so as to command success for her only son. My mother, who possessed a gentle
and quiet temper, together with good talents and extreme personal beauty, was by no means disposed to enter into her ambitious schemes. The dissimilarity of their views constantly gave rise to unpleasant scenes, until, at length, as a punishment, and in the hope that the monotony of her new home would give her a new zest for the gay world, my mother was sent to spend the summer with an old aunt, who resided in a remote village in the West of England. To my mother, the transition from the gaieties of London life to the quiet of a country village was indeed delightful. Wearied with a perpetual round of dissipation, disgusted with the frivolous pleasures of fashionable life, she had never been so happy since she left the nursery and school-room, as she was when occupying one corner of the little parlour in the old parsonage of Harefield. Her aunt, an old-fashioned body, who read her Bible, darned stockings, and made carpet-work, interfered but little in ber pursuits; and her uncle, an old-world clergyman, who divided his time between sermon-writing and backgammon, troubled himself still less about her. Her uncle's library afforded many resources to a mind so contemplative as hers, and her skill in drawing enabled her to occupy many hours in sketching the picturesque beauties of the little village. Perhaps the visits of the young curate had some effect in making her contented with her seclusion; for it is very certain that the summons to return to the gay world was a most unwelcome one. She, however, obeyed it, and found her home rendered more uncomfortable than ever, by a project which her step-mother now entertained, of marrying her to a rich and gouty old lord. A series of persecutions followed her refusal to aid in this scheme; and she was finally sent back to Harefield, where she no longer hesitated to obey the dictates of her own heart. The poor curate, who had long loved her in secret, was soon her accepted lover, and in spite of the threats of outlawry from her family and friends, they were married.
"Totally ignorant of the value of money, because she had never known its want; unused to any kind of household occupations, my mother was little suited to the humble life she had chosen. But, with a willing heart and great energy of character, she set herself to the task she had undertaken, and, though several years elapsed before she had fully learned her duties, and though her health was broken down in the painful study, she persevered nobly to the end, and my father never had cause to repent his imprudent marriage. Her family, exasperated at what they deemed a low connexion, refused to hold any intercourse with her; they paid over to her her mother's legacy of five hundred pounds, and then cast her off for ever.
"During the first year of her married life, she was too happy to think of the future. Her uncle's house was a secure asylum from the evils of poverty, and notwithstanding her husband's paltry stipend of forty pounds a year, she felt no anxiety about pecuniary matters. But the death of her uncle soon deprived her of her chief reliance. The living passed into other hands; the new incumbent had his own friends to serve; a new curate was appointed, and my father was thrown upon the world penniless. It was under these circumstances that I was born. I have heard my mother narrate the story of their sufferings at that time, and the recital almost broke my heart. Imagine, if you can, the situation of two persons, brought up amid the refinements of taste · and luxury, with talents cultivated to the highest degree, and feelings rendered doubly sensitive by habitual indulgence, now reduced to absolute want-destitute of the means to procure a morsel of bread. I cannot bear to dwell upon the particulars of their misery; suffice it to say, that my father was compelled to labour with his hands in the meanest of all occupations, in order to provide food for his perishing wife and child.
"In the midst of their distress, however, they were most unexpectedly relieved. An eccentric relative, who had quarrelled with all his immediate connexions, died, leaving a small but independent fortune to my father, whom he had not seen since he was a boy. Of course a new mode of life was immediately adopted. My parents, who never could learn the value of money, soon established themselves in a handsome house, richly furnished, and filled with
obsequious servants. Their equipage and plate were unexceptionable their dinners exquisite-their balls splendid, and they consequently soon found themselves the centre of a circle of summer friends. This kind of life suited both my father and mother. Both were naturally indolent and luxurious in their habits; and the contrast between past privation and present abundance seemed to add new zest to their enjoyment. I was so young at the time of this change, that I retained no recollection of our poverty, and my life now seemed to pass like a fairy tale. Everything that affection could suggest, or wealth procure, ministered to my gratification. An education befitting a lady of the highest rank was bestowed on Teachers and governesses were multiplied to aid me in my progress, for my parents had resolved that I should outshine all the loftier scions of the old family stock. The only thing that saved me from being utterly spoiled, was the influence of my old nurse. She was a shrewd and kind-hearted Scotchwoman, who had been my earliest attendant. She had learned enough of our early circumstances to be aware of the total change in our present prospects; and she was too sensible, not to fear the future results of my parents' headlong career. I possessed, naturally, a most cheerful, happy temper, and this she endeavoured to strengthen by her judicious management, so as to fit me for any station I might hereafter be called to fill. I am indebted to nature for that happy mental vision which enables me always to look upon the bright side of life, but I think I owe to her the strength of mind which ported me in the midst of adversity and disappointment.
my father was a bankrupt. All our splendour vanished in an instant. My father fled to America to avoid an arrest, and with the money raised by the sale of our jewels, my mother and myself were, soon after, enabled to join him. When we arrived in this country, I learned that Willeston was in Virginia, engaged in the practice of his profession. I wrote to him of our misfortunes, reiterated my promise to him, and besought him not to attempt to rejoin us till he could do so without detriment to himself.
'My father obtained a situation as assistant in a school, and I sought to establish myself as governess in a private family. I could tell you some droll stories of my life as a governess. My youthful appearance was a very great disadvantage to me, for few persons were willing to entrust their daughters to such a mere girl as I then seemed. However, I lived several years in that capacity in various families. One house I left, because I would not consent to wash and dress the little children, and sleep with the chambermaid; another, because the lady's brother became too fond of sharing his nieces' studies in the school-room; another, because it was matter of grave offence that I was mistaken for one of the family. Oh, if ever I write a book, it shall be the Adventures of a Governess."
I took the opportunity afforded me by the merry laugh which interrupted my new friend's tale, to ask her whether she never gave way to depression and low spirits, when compelled to ensup-counter such degradation and absurdity. "Never, never," was her reply. "Hope has always been my attendant spirit, and she did not desert me even at that moment. It is true, there was a season when my heart almost broke under the accumulation of sorrow, and that was, when I looked upon the death-bed of my father. He died after an illness of several months, and we were left alone in a strange land. To crown our misfortunes, my mother was taken ill with a rheumatic fever, and I was obliged to strain every nerve to preserve her from the horrors of want. For change of air, I procured apartments in the village of, and there we resided when I was accustomed to meet you on board of the steamboat. My mother was then able to sit up, but she continued a helpless cripple, and my time was divided between the care of her and the labour that was required to keep us from starving. By my skill in drawing I was enabled to provide my mother with every comfort: it is true, my works were not of a very high order-fire-screens, card-racks, and such nicknacks, were all I was expected to adorn; but they sold well, and that was all I then sought.
"I had reached my sixteenth year without ever having known a sorrow. My debut in the world of fashion was characterised by the most complete success; a crowd of admirers soon surrounded me; and I was becoming quite intoxicated with adulation, when I happily met with your husband's friend, Charles Willeston. He at first attracted my attention simply because he was an American; but there was a frankness of manner-a dignity of character, and a strength of principle in all he said and did, which quickly riveted my regard. He possessed a large estate in Virginia, and without instituting any inquiry as to my prospects, he offered me his hand, and was accepted. The time of our marriage was fixed, the bridesmaids selected, the preparations all in progress, when suddenly a change came o'er the spirit of our dream.' Willeston had inherited his estate from an old uncle, whose only son had left home many years before, and had never been heard of afterwards. The father vainly endeavoured to recover some tidings of the fugitive, but even to the last he retained a hope of his return, and when making his will, bequeathed his property to his nephew, to be delivered up to his son if ever he should be found. This seemed so improbable a thing, that Willeston regarded the property as his own, but in the midst of our bright anticipations he received news that the rightful claimant had returned. He was obliged immediately to leave England, and hasten home to investigate the affair. He found it to be too true. The prodigal son, broken down in health, and crushed in spirit, had wandered home. Whatever might have been his early vices, all now seemed merged in the absorbing one of avarice. Willeston unhesitatingly transferred the estate to his cousin, who was mean enough to demand the accounts of the income which had been consumed since his father's death. He was paid to the uttermost farthing, and Willeston wrote to me stating his poverty, his determination to devote himself to his profession for a subsistence, and relinquishing his claim upon my hand. The tone of his letter convinced me that, in giving me back the faith I had pledged, he had made a sacrifice of his happiness to his sense of duty; and I resolved, under all circumstances, to consider myself still plighted to him. This I wrote to him, and assured him that whenever he was ready to claim my hand, it should be his.
"Now came another change, and I hope the last. Just when my health began to fail from constant exertion, I was rescued from all further care by the return of my lover. His cousin had sunk under the effects of early excesses, and Willeston was now heir-atlaw to his princely fortune. On my twenty-fourth birth-day we were married. My infancy was wrapped in the garments of poverty, my childhood decked with the rich gauds of wealth, my youth folded in the coarse garb of humble industry, and my womanhood again displays the costly trappings of affluence. I am happier than I ever was before, but my contentment has never failed me. I have been satisfied with a simple meal in a poor cottage, and can say no more than that when I sit down to the richest viands in my own bright home. I love my husband most devotedly, and do most heartily enjoy the comforts and luxuries of his present station; but should another revolution of fortune's wheel place us again on the humble level of poverty, I think I should still find courage to endure and contentment to meet our lot."
Such was the story of my light-hearted friend, and as I listened, I felt that the wise man was right when he said, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."
A periodical writer, whose entertaining papers appeared about the middle of the last century, tells us of a lord-mayor's ball, that was thrown into great confusion by a dispute for precedence between a watch-spring maker's lady and the wife of a watchcase-joint finisher.