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International Weekly Miscellany Vol. I. No. 3, July 15, 1850 by Various

Part 2 out of 2

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When they reached Madame de Bellefonds' he had the same sort of
questioning and scrutiny to undergo, till he grew quite impatient
under it, and betrayed a degree of temper altogether unusual to him.
Then everybody looked astonished; some whispered their remarks, and
others expressed them by their wondering eyes, till his brow knit, and
his pallid cheeks became flushed with anger. Neither could he divert
attention by eating; his parched mouth would not allow him to swallow
anything but liquids, of which, however, he indulged in copious
libations; and it was an exceeding relief to him when the carriage,
which was to convey them to St. Denis, being announced, furnished
an excuse for hastily leaving the table. Looking at his watch, he
declared it was late; and Natalie, who saw how eager he was to be
gone, threw her shawl over her shoulders, and bidding her friends
_good morning_, they hurried away.

It was a fine sunny day in June; and, as they drove along the crowded
boulevards, and through the Porte St. Denis, the young bride and
bridegroom, to avoid each other's eyes, affected to be gazing out of
the windows; but when they reached that part of the road where there
was nothing but trees on each side, they felt it necessary to draw
in their heads, and make an attempt at conversation. De Chaulieu
put his arm round his wife's waist, and tried to rouse himself from
his depression; but it had by this time so reacted upon her, that
she could not respond to his efforts, and thus the conversation
languished, till both felt glad when they reached their destination,
which would, at all events, furnish them something to talk about.

Having quitted the carriage, and ordered a dinner at the Hotel
de l'Abbaye, the young couple proceeded to visit Mademoiselle
Hortense de Bellefonds, who was overjoyed to see her sister and new
brother-in-law, and doubly so when she found that they had obtained
permission to take her out to spend the afternoon with them. As there
is little to be seen at St. Denis but the Abbey, on quitting that part
of it devoted to education, they proceeded to visit the church, with
its various objects of interest; and as De Chaulieu's thoughts were
now forced into another direction, his cheerfulness began insensibly
to return. Natalie looked so beautiful, too, and the affection betwixt
the two young sisters was so pleasant to behold! And they spent a
couple of hours wandering about with Hortense, who was almost as well
informed as the Suisse, till the brazen doors were open which admitted
them to the royal vault. Satisfied, at length, with what they had
seen, they began to think of returning to the inn, the more especially
as De Chaulieu, who had not eaten a morsel of food since the previous
evening, owned to being hungry; so they directed their steps to the
door, lingering here and there as they went, to inspect a monument or
a painting, when, happening to turn his head aside to see if his wife,
who had stopt to take a last look at the tomb of King Dagobert, was
following, he beheld with horror the face of Jacques Rollet appearing
from behind a column! At the same instant, his wife joined him, and
took his arm, inquiring if he was not very much delighted with what
he had seen. He attempted to say yes, but the word would not be
forced out; and staggering out of the door, he alleged that a sudden
faintness had overcome him.

They conducted him to the Hotel, but Natalie now became seriously
alarmed; and well she might. His complexion looked ghastly, his limbs
shook, and his features bore an expression of indescribable horror and
anguish. What could be the meaning of so extraordinary a change in the
gay, witty, prosperous De Chaulieu, who, till that morning, seemed not
to have a care in the world? For, plead illness as he might, she felt
certain, from the expression of his features, that his sufferings were
not of the body but of the mind; and, unable to imagine any reason for
such extraordinary manifestations, of which she had never before seen
a symptom, but a sudden aversion to herself, and regret for the step
he had taken, her pride took the alarm, and, concealing the distress
she really felt, she began to assume a haughty and reserved manner
toward him, which he naturally interpreted into an evidence of anger
and contempt. The dinner was placed upon the table, but Du Chaulieu's
appetite of which he had lately boasted, was quite gone, nor was his
wife better able to eat. The young sister alone did justice to the
repast; but although the bridegroom could not eat, he could swallow
champagne in such copious draughts, that ere long the terror and
remorse that the apparition of Jacques Rollet had awakened in his
breast were drowned in intoxication. Amazed and indignant, poor
Natalie sat silently observing this elect of her heart, till overcome
with disappointment and grief, she quitted the room with her sister,
and retired to another apartment, where she gave free vent to her
feelings in tears.

After passing a couple of hours in confidences and lamentations, they
recollected that the hours of liberty granted, as an especial favor,
to Mademoiselle Hortense, had expired; but ashamed to exhibit her
husband in his present condition to the eyes of strangers, Natalie
prepared to re-conduct her to the _Maison Royale_ herself. Looking
into the dining-room as they passed, they saw De Chaulieu lying on a
sofa fast asleep, in which state he continued when his wife returned.
At length, however, the driver of their carriage begged to know if
Monsieur and Madame were ready to return to Paris, and it became
necessary to arouse him. The transitory effects of the champagne had
now sub sided; but when De Chaulieu recollected what had happened,
nothing could exceed his shame and mortification. So engrossing indeed
were these sensations that they quite overpowered his previous ones,
and, in his present vexation, he, for the moment, forgot his fears.
He knelt at his wife's feet, begged her pardon a thousand times, swore
that he adored her, and declared that the illness and the effect of
the wine had been purely the consequences of fasting and over-work.
It was not the easiest thing in the world to reassure a woman whose
pride, affection, and taste, had been so severely wounded; but Natalie
tried to believe, or to appear to do so, and a sort of reconciliation
ensued, not quite sincere on the part of the wife, and very humbling
on the part of the husband. Under these circumstances it was
impossible that he should recover his spirits or facility of manner;
his gayety was forced, his tenderness constrained; his heart was
heavy within him; and ever and anon the source whence all this
disappointment and woe had sprung would recur to his perplexed,
tortured mind.

Thus mutually pained and distrustful, they returned to Paris, which
they reached about nine o'clock. In spite of her depression, Natalie,
who had not seen her new apartments, felt some curiosity about them,
whilst De Chaulieu anticipated a triumph in exhibiting the elegant
home he had prepared for her. With some alacrity, therefore, they
stepped out of the carriage, the gates of the Hotel were thrown open,
the concierge rang the bell which announced to the servants that their
master and mistress had arrived, and whilst these domestics appeared
above, holding lights over the balusters, Natalie, followed by her
husband, ascended the stairs. But when they reached the landing-place
of the first flight, they saw the figure of a man standing in a corner
as if to make way for them; the flash from above fell upon his face,
and again Antoine de Chaulieu recognized the features of Jacques

From the circumstance of his wife's preceding him, the figure was
not observed by De Chaulieu till he was lifting his foot to place it
on the top stair; the sudden shock caused him to miss the step, and,
without uttering a sound, he fell back, and never stopped till he
reached the stories at the bottom. The screams of Natalie brought the
concierge from below and the maids from above, and an attempt was
made to raise the unfortunate man from the ground; but with cries of
anguish he besought them to desist.

"Let me," he said, "die here! What a fearful vengeance is thine! Oh,
Natalie, Natalie!" he exclaimed to his wife, who was kneeling beside
him, "to win fame, and fortune, and yourself, I committed a dreadful
crime! With lying words I argued away the life of a fellow-creature,
whom, whilst I uttered them, I half believed to be innocent: and
now, when I have attained all I desired, and reached the summit of
my hopes, the Almighty has sent him back upon the earth to blast me
with the sight. Three times this day--three times this day! Again!
again!"--and as he spoke, his wild and dilated eyes fixed themselves
on one of the individuals that surrounded him.

"He is delirious," said they.

"No," said the stranger! "What he says is true enough,--at least
in part;" and bending over the expiring man, he added, "May Heaven
forgive you, Antoine de Chaulieu! I was not executed; one who well
knew my innocence saved my life. I may name him, for he is beyond
the reach of the law now,--it was Claperon, the jailer, who loved
Claudine, and had himself killed Alphonse de Bellefonds from jealousy.
An unfortunate wretch had been several years in the jail for a murder
committed during the frenzy of a fit of insanity. Long confinement
had reduced him to idiocy. To save my life Claperon substituted the
senseless being for me, on the scaffold, and he was executed in my
stead. He has quitted the country, and I have been a vagabond on the
face of the earth ever since that time. At length I obtained, through
the assistance of my sister, the situation of concierge in the Hotel
Marboeuf, in the Rue Grange Bateliere. I entered on my new place
yesterday evening, and was desired to awaken the gentleman on the
third floor at seven o'clock. When I entered the room to do so,
you were asleep, but before I had time to speak you awoke, and I
recognized your features in the glass. Knowing that I could not
vindicate my innocence if you chose to seize me, I fled, and seeing
an omnibus starting for St. Denis, I got on it with a vague idea of
getting on to Calais, and crossing the Channel to England. But having
only a franc or two in my pocket, or indeed in the world, I did not
know how to procure the means of going forward; and whilst I was
lounging about the place, forming first one plan and then another,
I saw you in the church, and concluding you wore in pursuit of me, I
thought the best way of eluding your vigilance was to make my way back
to Paris as fast as I could; so I set off instantly, and walked all
the way; but having no money to pay my night's lodging, I came here
to borrow a couple of livres of my sister Claudine, who lives in the
fifth story."

"Thank Heaven!" exclaimed the dying man; "that sin is off my soul!
Natalie, dear wife, farewell! Forgive! forgive all!"

These were the last words he uttered; the priest, who had been
summoned in haste, held up the cross before his failing sight; a few
strong convulsions shook the poor bruised and mangled frame; and then
all was still.

And thus ended the Young Advocate's Wedding Day.

* * * * *



Quiet enough, in general, is the quaint old town of Lamborough. Why
all this bustle to-day? Along the hedge-bound roads which lead to it,
carts, chaises, vehicles of every description are jogging along filled
with countrymen; and here and there the scarlet cloak or straw bonnet
of some female occupying a chair, placed somewhat unsteadily behind
them, contrasts gaily with the dark coats, or gray smock-frocks of the
front row; from every cottage of the suburb, some individuals join the
stream, which rolls on increasing through the streets till it reaches
the castle. The ancient moat teems with idlers, and the hill opposite,
usually the quiet domain of a score or two of peaceful sheep, partakes
of the surrounding agitation.

The voice of the multitude which surrounds the court-house, sounds
like the murmur of the sea, till suddenly it is raised to a sort
of shout. John West, the terror of the surrounding country, the
sheep-stealer and burglar, had been found guilty.

"What is the sentence?" is asked by a hundred voices.

The answer is "Transportation for Life."

But there was one standing aloof on the hill, whose inquiring eye
wandered over the crowd with indescribable anguish, whose pallid cheek
grew more and more ghastly at every denunciation of the culprit, and
who, when at last the sentence was pronounced, fell insensible upon
the green-sward. It was the burglar's son.

When the boy recovered from his swoon, it was late in the afternoon;
he was alone; the faint tinkling of the sheep-bell had again replaced
the sound of the human chorus of expectation, and dread, and jesting;
all was peaceful, he could not understand why he lay there, feeling
so weak and sick. He raised himself tremulously and looked around, the
turf was cut and spoilt by the trampling of many feet. All his life
of the last few months floated before his memory, his residence in
his father's hovel with ruffianly comrades, the desperate schemes he
heard as he pretended to sleep on his lowly bed, their expeditions at
night, masked and armed, their hasty returns, the news of his father's
capture, his own removal to the house of some female in the town, the
court, the trial, the condemnation.

The father had been a harsh and brutal parent, but he had not
positively ill-used his boy. Of the Great and Merciful Father of the
fatherless the child knew nothing. He deemed himself alone in the
world. Yet grief was not his pervading feeling, nor the shame, of
being known as the son of a transport. It was revenge which burned
within him. He thought of the crowd which had come to feast upon
his father's agony; he longed to tear them to pieces, and he plucked
savagely a handful of the grass on which he leant. Oh, that he were
a man! that he could punish them all--all,--the spectators first
the constables, the judge, the jury, the witnesses,--one of them
especially, a clergyman named Leyton, who had given his evidence more
positively, more clearly, than all the others. Oh, that he could do
that man some injury,--but for him his father would not have been
identified and convicted.

Suddenly a thought occurred to him,--his eyes sparkled with fierce
delight. "I know where he lives," he said to himself; "he has the farm
and parsonage of Millwood. I will go there at once,--it is almost
dark already. I will do as I have heard father say he once did to the
Squire. I will set his barns and his house on fire. Yes, yes, he shall
burn for it,--he shall get no more fathers transported."

To procure a box of matches was an easy task, and that was all the
preparation the boy made.

The autumn was far advanced. A cold wind was beginning to moan amongst
the almost leafless trees, and George West's teeth chattered, and
his ill-clad limbs grew numb as he walked along the fields leading to
Millwood. "Lucky it's a dark night; this fine wind will fan the flame
nicely," he repeated to himself.

The clock was striking nine, but all was quiet as midnight; not a soul
stirring, not a light in the parsonage windows that he could see. He
dared not open the gate, lest the click of the latch should betray
him, so he softly climbed over; but scarcely had he dropped on the
other side of the wall before the loud barking of a dog startled
him. He cowered down behind the hay-rick, scarcely daring to breathe,
expecting each instant that the dog would spring upon him. It was
some time before the boy dared to stir, and as his courage cooled,
his thirst for revenge somewhat subsided also, till he almost
determined to return to Lamborough; but he was too tired, too cold,
too hungry,--besides, the woman would beat him for staying out so
late. What could he do? where should he go? and as the sense of his
lonely and forlorn position returned, so did also the affectionate
remembrance of his father, his hatred of his accusers, his desire to
satisfy his vengeance; and, once more, courageous through anger, he
rose, took the box from his pocket, and boldly drew one of them across
the sand-paper. It flamed; he stuck it hastily in the stack against
which he rested,--it only flickered a little, and went out. In great
trepidation, young West once more grasped the whole of the remaining
matches in his hand and ignited them, but at the same instant the dog
barked. He hears the gate open, a step is close to him, the matches
are extinguished, the lad makes a desperate effort to escape,--but a
strong hand was laid on his shoulder, and a deep calm voice inquired,
"What can have urged you to such a crime?" Then calling loudly, the
gentleman, without relinquishing his hold, soon obtained the help of
some farming men, who commenced a search with their lanterns all about
the farm. Of course they found no accomplices, nothing at all but the
handful of half-consumed matches the lad had dropped, and he all that
time stood trembling, and occasionally struggling, beneath the firm,
but not rough grasp of the master who held him.

At last the men were told to return to the house, and thither,
by a different path, was George led till they entered a small,
poorly-furnished room. The walls were covered with books, as the
bright flame of the fire revealed to the anxious gaze of the
little culprit. The clergyman lit a lamp, and surveyed his prisoner
attentively. The lad's eyes were fixed on the ground, whilst Mr.
Leyton's wandered from his pale, pinched features to his scanty,
ragged attire, through the tatters of which he could discern the
thin limbs quivering from cold or fear; and when at last impelled by
curiosity at the long silence, George looked up, there was something
so sadly compassionate in the stranger's gentle look, that the boy
could scarcely believe that he was really the man whose evidence had
mainly contributed to transport his father. At the trial he had been
unable to see his face, and nothing so kind had over gazed upon him.
His proud bad feelings were already melting.

"You look half-starved," said Mr. Leyton, "draw nearer to the fire,
you can sit down on that stool whilst I question you; and mind you
answer me the truth. I am not a magistrate, but of course can easily
hand you over to justice if you will not allow me to benefit you in my
own way."

George still stood twisting his ragged cap in his trembling fingers,
and with so much emotion depicted on his face, that the good clergyman
resumed, in still more soothing accents: "I have no wish to do you
anything but good, my poor boy; look up at me, and see if you cannot
trust me; you need not be thus frightened. I only desire to hear the
tale of misery your appearance indicates, to relieve it if I can."

Here the young culprit's heart smote him. Was this the man whose house
he had tried to burn? On whom he had wished to bring ruin and perhaps
death? Was it a snare spread for him to lead to confession? But when
he looked on that grave compassionate countenance, he felt that it was

"Come, my lad, tell me all."

George had for years heard little but oaths, and curses, and ribald
jests, or the thief's jargon of his father's associates, and had been
constantly cuffed and punished; but the better part of his nature was
not extinguished; and at those words from the mouth of his _enemy_,
he dropped on his knees, and clasping his hands, tried to speak: but
could only sob. He had not wept before during that day of anguish; and
now his tears gushed forth so freely, his grief was so passionate as
he half knelt, half rested on the floor, that the good questioner saw
that sorrow must have its course ere calm could be restored.

The young penitent still wept, when a knock was heard at the door,
and a lady entered. It was the clergyman's wife; he kissed her as she
asked how he had succeeded with the wicked man in the jail.

"He told me," replied Mr. Leyton, "that he had a son whose fate
tormented him more than his punishment. Indeed his mind was so
distracted respecting the youth, that he was scarcely able to
understand my exhortations. He entreated me with agonizing energy to
save his son from such a life as he had led, and gave me the address
of a woman in whose house he lodged. I was, however, unable to find
the boy in spite of many earnest inquiries."

"Did you hear his name?" asked the wife.

"George West," was the reply.

At the mention of his name, the boy ceased to sob. Breathlessly he
heard the account of his father's last request, of the benevolent
clergyman's wish to fulfill it. He started up, ran toward the door,
and endeavored to open it; Mr. Leyton calmly restrained him. "You must
not escape," he said.

"I cannot stop here. I cannot bear to look at you. Let me go!" The lad
said this wildly, and shook himself away.

"Why, I intend you nothing but kindness."

A new flood of tears gushed forth; and George West said between his

"Whilst you were searching for me to help me, I was trying to burn you
in your house. I cannot bear it." He sunk on his knees, and covered
his face with both hands.

There was a long silence, for Mr. and Mrs. Leyton were as much moved
as the boy, who was bowed down with shame and penitence, to which
hitherto he had been a stranger.

At last the clergyman asked, "What could have induced you to commit
such a crime?"

Rising suddenly in the excitement of remorse, gratitude, and many
feelings new to him, he hesitated for a moment, and then told his
story; he related his trials, his sins, his sorrows, his supposed
wrongs, his burning anger at the terrible fate of his only parent, and
his rage at the exultation of the crowd: his desolation on recovering
from his swoon, his thirst for vengeance, the attempt to satisfy it.
He spoke with untaught, child-like simplicity, without attempting to
suppress the emotions which successively overcame him.

When he ceased, the lady hastened to the crouching boy, and soothed
him with gentle words. The very tones of her voice were new to
him. They pierced his heart more acutely than the fiercest of the
upbraidings and denunciations of his old companions. He looked on
his merciful benefactors with bewildered tenderness. He kissed Mrs.
Leyton's hand then gently laid on his shoulder. He gazed about like
one in a dream who dreaded to wake. He became faint and staggered. He
was laid gently on a sofa, and Mr. and Mrs. Leyton left him.

Food was shortly administered to him, and after a time, when his
senses had become sufficiently collected, Mr. Leyton returned to the
study, and explained holy and beautiful things, which were new to
the neglected boy: of the great yet loving Father; of Him who loved
the poor, forlorn wretch, equally with the richest, and noblest, and
happiest; of the force and efficacy of the sweet beatitude, "Blessed
are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy."

I heard this story from Mr. Leyton, during a visit to him in May.
George West was then head-plowman to a neighboring farmer, one of the
cleanest, best behaved, and moat respected laborers in the parish.

* * * * *



The Russian is eminently fitted for a soldier's life; his education
is almost as martial as if he had been brought up in a camp; for his
relatives and neighbors hold their lands by military tenure, and love
to talk together of the days when they served in the wars. All, from
the highest order to the lowest, look to the fulfillment of their
ancient prophecy, that "_All the world is to be conquered by the arms
of Russia_." Should some man of resplendent genius, like Suwarrow,
chance to command, there is no calculating on the position to which
the Russian army might attain. Suwarrow was not alone fitted to lead
an army, but was exactly the general to form one: his frankness and
generosity, and the manner in which his habits identified him with
his soldiers, endeared him to the army; while his religious feelings
and exercises, and the habit of participating in some of their
superstitions, sanctified him in the eyes of the men, and gave him
unbounded influence. Some of the anecdotes with which we have met
exhibit feelings for which we were but little inclined to give the
devoted warrior credit, for most certainly we should never have sought
in rude camps, and among wild Cossacks, for gentle affections and
tender emotions; and yet even there they may be found; and we see
that he whose whole existence was nearly an uninterrupted series
of military exploits, was by no means devoid of those congenial
sympathies which make up the charm of domestic life.... This is
the more worthy of observation, as he has been regarded by many
as something not far removed from an ogre--an impression which the
barbarous warfare carried on between the Turks and Cossacks, in which
he took such a prominent part, seemed to justify; coupled as it has
been, too, with the story of his having packed up in a sack the heads
of the Janissaries who had fallen by his hand, for the purpose of
laying them at the feet of his general. The spirit of the times,
and of those with whom his lot was cast, must be looked to as some
palliation for the savage conflicts in which he was engaged. That they
had not hardened his heart against all tender emotions is surprising.

Pierre Alexis Wasiltowitch, Count Suwarrow, was born in 1730, in
Moscow, according to his biographer, of a Swedish family. He began his
military career when but twelve years of age, having been placed in
the School of Young Cadets in St. Petersburgh by his father. He was a
mere boy when he entered the Russian service as a private soldier. For
some years he was not advanced beyond the rank of a subaltern. From
the earliest age the decision and originality of his character were
developed, and he was not long in perceiving his own superiority to
those by whom he was commanded. This conviction rendered the control
to which he was forced to submit extremely distasteful, and made him
determine to raise himself from a subordinate situation. To determine
was to achieve, in one possessed of his powers of mind and matchless
energy. The singularity of his bearing was very remarkable, and as
he lost no opportunity of rendering it conspicuous, it soon attracted
observation, which was all that was necessary for the discovery of the
extraordinary intellectual powers which he possessed. Thus recommended
by his superior abilities, his advancement was rapid. Before he was
twenty-nine he was a lieutenant-colonel. His reliance on his own
unaided powers was so entire, that he could ill brook the thought of
considering himself bound by obedience to any one. When speaking at a
later period on the subject, he said, "When my sovereign does me the
honor to give me the command of her armies, she supposes me capable
of guiding them to victory; and how can she pretend to know better
than an old soldier like myself, who am on the spot, the road which
leads to it? So, whenever her orders are in opposition to her true
interests, I take it for granted that they are suggested by the enmity
of her courtiers, and I act in conformity to what appears to me most
conducive to her glory." On some occasions he acted in accordance
with this declaration, and on a very remarkable one showed that he
was justified in the dependence which he had on his own judgment; but
whether his acting on it was defensible, must be left to the martinets
to determine. In the year 1771, during the campaign, when he held the
rank of major-general, he found that the Grand Marshal of Lithuania
was assembling the Poles at Halowitz, of which he directly apprised
the commander-in-chief, Marshal Boutourlin, and demanded leave to
attack them. Boutourlin, who was a cautious man, thought such a risk
should not be attempted, as Suwarrow had but a few hundred men under
him, and therefore decidedly forbade any attack. At the same time,
an account reached Suwarrow that the Regiment of Petersburgh had just
been beaten by the Poles, whose numbers amounted to five thousand men,
and were increasing every day. Fired by the intelligence, he at once
determined on action, and advanced at the head of a thousand men to
the attack. Every danger but excited him to additional exertion. In
four days he marched fifty leagues, surprised the Poles at dead of
night, and beat and dispersed them. He took the town of Halowitz
and twelve pieces of cannon. His victory was complete, but he had
disobeyed orders; and according to all rules of military discipline
he deserved punishment. It was thus he announced his success to the
commander of the army:

"As a soldier I have disobeyed--I ought to be punished--I have
sent you my sword; but as a Russian I have done my duty in
destroying the Confederate forces, which we could not have
resisted had they been left time to unite."

Boutourlin was in the utmost astonishment, and quite at a loss what
steps he should take. He laid Suwarrow's extraordinary dispatch before
the Empress, and requested her orders as to the manner in which he
should act. Catharine lost no time in addressing Suwarrow:

"Your commander, Marshal Boutourlin, ought to put you under
arrest, to punish military insubordination. As your sovereign,
I reserve to myself the pleasure of rewarding a faithful
subject, who by a splendid action has well served his

The Order of St. Alexander accompanied this gracious letter. Never was
commander more loved by his soldiers than Suwarrow. Like Napoleon,
he shared their hardships and privations as well as their dangers. He
would often pass the cold winter nights in their bivouac and partake
of their humble fare. In every difficulty he kept up their spirits by
his alacrity and cheerfulness. However tinctured with superstition, he
had deep devotional feelings; and it is stated that he never went to
battle without offering up a prayer, and that it was his first and
last occupation every day. Often when provisions were failing he would
order a fast to be observed by the troops, as a token of humiliation
for their sins: and he always set the example of the prescribed
abstinence himself. The noble self-denial which made him scorn any
care for himself which was beyond the reach of the common soldiers, so
thoroughly identified him with them, that all their tender sympathies
were with him, as much as their respect and veneration. He was never
seen on the long and heavy marches of his infantry but on foot by
their side; and in every advance of his cavalry he was at their head
on horseback. He worked indefatigably with them in the trenches, and
in all their military operations. When the war broke out afresh with
the Turks in the year 1785, he was surprised in the town of Kenburn by
an advance of a great body of Osmanli horse; his troops were scattered
through the adjacent country, and could not be brought together
without great difficulty--a successful attack had been made upon
one his generals. When the news was brought to him he betrayed no
agitation, but instantly repaired to the church, where he directed
that a _Te Deum_ should be chanted as for a victory. This he might
have done to show his firm trust in the prophesied success of the
Russian arms, even under discouragement. He joined in the chant with
animated fervor. As soon as the service was over he placed himself a
the head of a small body of troops which were in waiting, and hastened
to meet the enemy, who were coming on in considerable force. By a
most desperate onset he drove them back, but in the engagement he was
wounded; and his soldiers, no longer animated by his presence, became
disheartened, and fled in confusion. Suwarrow leaped from the litter
in which he was carried--all bleeding and wounded as he was--and
springing on horseback, exclaimed, "I am still alive, my children!"
This was the rallying cry--he led them on to victory.

Of all the brilliant achievements of Suwarrow, there was none more
wonderful than the conquest of Ismail. It had stood out against two
sieges, and was considered almost impregnable. The Empress, provoked
at its not having yielded, gave an absolute order that it should
be taken. Potemkin, who was then at the head of the Russian army,
dreaded Catharine's displeasure should she be disappointed the third
time. In his embarrassment he consulted with Suwarrow, who undertook
the conduct of the siege. Notwithstanding the great danger of an
enterprise which had failed twice, he felt confident of success; and
said, with earnest faith in the result, "The Empress wills it--we must

After a forced march of four days he reached Ismail at the head of
his troops. A few days were spent in the preparations necessary for
an assault. When all was ready, orders were given: the column marched
forward at midnight. At that moment a courier rode up at full speed
with dispatches from Potemkin. Suwarrow was no sooner apprised of his
arrival than he guessed with his usual quickness the nature of the
dispatches, and he determined not to receive them till the fate of
the enterprise was decided. He ordered his horse to be brought round
to the door of his tent; he sprang on it and galloped off, without
seeming to observe the courier. After a desperate resistance the Turks
at length gave way, and Ismail fell into the hands of the Russians.
With his staff gathered eagerly round Suwarrow to offer their
congratulations, the eyes of the Marshal fell upon the officer who
bore the dispatches.

"Who are you, brother?" said he.

"It is I," replied the courier, "who brought dispatches from Prince
Potemkin yesterday evening."

"What!" exclaimed Suwarrow, with affected passion,--"what! you bring
me news from my sovereign!--you have been here since yesterday, and
I have not yet received the dispatches!" Then threatening the officer
for his negligence, he handed the dispatch to one of his generals and
bade him read it aloud.

A more striking scene can scarcely be conceived. There was deep
silence as the dispatch was opened. Suwarrow and his companions in
victory listened with breathless interest. Every danger which they
had braved and surmounted was enumerated one after the other. It was
urged that an enterprise undertaken in the midst of a winter even more
than usually severe, must be disastrous, and that it was absolutely
preposterous to think it possible to make an impression on a fortress
furnished with 230 pieces of cannon and defended by 43,000 men, the
half of whom were Janissaries, with a force that amounted to no more
than 28,000--little more than half their number. The dispatch ended
with a peremptory order for the abandonment of the enterprise.

"Thank God!" exclaimed Suwarrow, as soon as the general had ceased
reading, raising his eyes to heaven and crossing himself with
devotion, "thank God, Ismail is taken, or I should have been undone!"

There was silence for a moment, as if all participated in the feeling
with which Suwarrow glanced at the different situation which would
have been his had he not succeeded; every eye was fixed on him, and
then a sudden shout of triumph burst through all the ranks. He then
penned the following brief reply: "The Russian flag flies on the
ramparts of Ismail."

It is not to our purpose to follow the victorious steps of Suwarrow
through the campaigns in which he was engaged; they are now a part
of history, and won for him that military glory after which his heart
panted from his early boyhood. Decoration after decoration, honor
after honor: title after title, marked the high estimation in which
the services of this intrepid soldier were held by his sovereign;
and never did ruler dispense favors with a more munificent hand than
Catharine. What most attracted us, and from which we most wished to
make a selection, were those characteristic traits which brought us in
a manner personally acquainted with Suwarrow. In person Suwarrow was
unlike what the imagination would picture. He was but five feet one
inch in height, and of a fragile form; his mouth was large, and his
features plain; but his countenance was full of fire, vivacity, and
penetration. When he was moved, it became severe, commanding, and even
terrible; but this seldom happened, and never without some powerful
cause. His brow was much wrinkled, but as it seemed to be so from deep
thinking it gave still greater expression to his face. Though of a
form which appeared delicate and feeble, no one could endure greater
fatigue. This may be attributed to his active and temperate habits,
and to the wonderful energy of his mind. He was most certainly able to
use more exertion and undergo more hardship and toil than most people
of a robust frame. The spirit "which burned within him" was indeed
equal to any effort. The only weak point in his character was the
horror which he had of being reminded in any way of his age as he
advanced in life: he most carefully avoided everything which could
make him think of it. All the looking-glasses in his house were
either removed or so completely covered that he could not catch even
a transient glimpse of his face or person. He often joked about his
personal appearance, but said that he had all his life avoided looking
at himself in the glass, solely that he might not perceive the change
which years bring, and which might perhaps make him suppose himself
growing too old for military pursuits. Be this as it may, he never
would look near a mirror. If he happened to go into a room where there
was one, the very moment he perceived it he shut his eyes, made all
manner of odd faces, and ran by it at his utmost speed out of the
room. When a chair chanced to be in his way he jumped over it, to show
that he retained his activity; and for the same reason he always ran
in and out of the room. It was but seldom that he was seen to move at
a slower pace. When in the company of strangers he even quickened the
speed of his motions, and exhibited the most droll antics to impress
upon their minds that he was still equal to take the field. It was the
custom to rise early--never later at any time of the year than four
o'clock, and often even at midnight--to the end of his life. As soon
as he rose he was well drenched with cold water, even in the depth of
the most severe winter. He generally dined in winter at eight o'clock
in the morning, and in summer at seven. Dinner was his principal meal.
Though his cookery could not have been very tempting, as it was made
up of ill-dressed Cossack ragouts, nobody ventured to find any fault
with it, and his good appetite made it palatable to himself. He never
sat down to a meal without a thanksgiving or an invocation for a
blessing. If any among his guests did not take part in the grace by
responding "Amen," he would say, "Those who have not said amen shall
have no _eau de vie_." He never took any refreshment through the rest
of the day, but a few cups of tea or coffee. He never exceeded at
table, but was fond of sitting long after dinner. This habit he wished
to correct, and gave his aid-de-camp, Tichinka, directions to order
him from table whenever he thought he was remaining too long; and
this was to be managed after the fashion which he prescribed. When the
injunction was obeyed, he would ask, "By whose order?" When Tichinka
made reply, "By Marshal Suwarrow's order," he immediately rose
from table, and said, with a smile, "Very well: the marshal must
be obeyed." According to his desire the same ceremony was gone
through when he was too sedentary, and as soon as he was told by
his aid-de-camp that Marshal Suwarrow had ordered him to go out he
instantly complied. As he was unlike every one, so he dressed like
nobody else. He wore whole boots so wide that they fell about his
heels. His waistcoat and breeches were of white dimity; the lining
and collar of the waistcoat were of green cloth; his little helmet of
felt was ornamented with green fringe. This was his military dress
throughout the whole year, except when the weather was intensely cold,
and then he substituted white cloth for the dimity. His appearance was
still more strange from his frequently leaving the garter and stocking
hanging loose upon one leg, while the other was booted; but as the
boot was thus occasionally discarded in consequence of a wound in
the leg, it was nothing to laugh at. His long sabre trailed along
the ground, and his thin dress hung loosely about his slight person.
Equipped in this extraordinary manner it was that Suwarrow reviewed,
harangued, and commanded his soldiers. On great occasions he appeared
in his superb dress as field-marshal, and wore the profusion of
splendid ornaments which had been bestowed on the occasion of his
victories. Among them was the magnificent golden-hilted sword, studded
with jewels, and the gorgeous plume of diamonds which he had received
from the hand of the Empress, among other marks of distinction, for
his extraordinary services at Aczakoff. At other times he wore no
ornament but the chain of the order of St. Andrew. He carried no watch
or ornaments with him, save those which commemorated his military
exploits. On these he delighted to look, as they were associated in
his mind with the most gratifying events of his life--his glory,
and the favor of his sovereign. He would sometimes show them to a
stranger, exhibiting them one by one, and setting his stamp of value
on each, as he would say, "At such an action I gained this order--at
such another, this;" and so on till he had told the remarkable
occurrence to which he owed the possession of each--a pride that
was natural in one who had earned them so bravely. His whole style
of living was marked by the greatest simplicity. He preferred the
plainest apartment, without any article of luxury: he scarcely ever
slept in a house when his troops were encamped; and he not only stayed
in his tent at night, but for the most part of the day, only entering
the house appropriated to his staff at dinner-time. Throughout his
whole military career he had never passed an entire night in bed. He
stretched himself, when he lay down to rest, on a bundle of hay; nor
would he indulge himself in a more luxurious couch, even in the palace
of the Empress. He had no carriage, but a plain kibitk, (a sort of
chariot,) drawn by hired horses, for he kept no horses; but when he
required one, as on the occasion of a review or some other military
operation, he mounted any which chanced to be at hand. Sometimes
it belonged to one of the Cossacks, but oftener was lent to him by
his aid-de-camp, Tichinka. He was without servants, keeping but one
attendant to wait upon himself, and employing some of the soldiers
in the service of his house. This mode of living arose not from
parsimony, but from an utter indifference to any kind of indulgence,
which he considered beneath a soldier's attention. He had a contempt
for money as a means of procuring gratification, but valued it as
often affording him the pleasure of being generous and kind. He gave
up his entire share of the immense booty at Ismail, and divided it
among his soldiers. He never carried any money about him, or asked
the price of anything, but left all to the management of Tichinka. His
strictness in doing what he considered just, when he conceived himself
in the slightest degree accountable, was very remarkable. On one
occasion an officer had lost at play sixty rubles, with which he had
supplied himself from the military chest. Suwarrow reprimanded the
officer severely, but refunded the sum from his own resources. "It
is right," said he, in a letter to the Empress, in which he alluded
to the circumstance, "it is right that I should make it good, for
I am answerable for the officers I employ." One of Suwarrow's odd
peculiarities consisted in keeping up the appearance of a soldier
at all times. When he saluted any person, he drew up, turned out his
toes, threw back his shoulders, kept himself quite erect, and turned
the back of his hand to his helmet, as soldiers do when saluting their
officers. He was greatly attached to Tichinka, an old soldier, who had
once saved his life. From that time he never separated from him: he
made him his aid-de-camp, and gave him the sole management of all his

Suwarrow was very remarkable for his directness; and so great was
his aversion to an evasive or unmeaning expression, that he never
could bear the person who made use of such, and was sure to give him
the name of _Niesnion_, which may be translated, "I don't know,"
"possibly," or "perhaps." He would take no such answer; but would
say, in an emphatic tone, "try," "learn," or "set about it." Indeed,
the abhorrence in which he held any mode of expression which was not
dictated by the most perfect frankness was so great, that he could not
endure the flattery and unmeaning civility of courtiers; and he never
hesitated to mark his displeasure by bitter satire, regardless of the
presence of those against whom it was directed, even if the Empress
herself made one of the company. This caused him to be feared and
disliked by many at court. His acquirements were considerable. He
spoke eight languages--French, like a native. He composed verses
with facility; he had read much, and was particularly well-informed
in history and biography. Notwithstanding his remarkable frankness
and all his oddities, his manners were engaging and polished: his
conversation was original, energetic, and lively; he would often
indulge in sallies of pleasantry to amuse the Empress, and as he was
an excellent mimic, he would take off the uncouth manners and accents
of some of the soldiers to the life. He had a dislike to writing,
always asserting that a pen was an unfit implement for a soldier. His
dispatches were laconic, but not the less striking on that account.
Once or twice they were couched in concise couplets. His brevity
was laid aside when he addressed his soldiers. It was his custom to
harangue them at great length, sometimes even for two hours at a time,
and in the very depth of winter.

"I remember," says M. de Guillaumanches, "that one day, in the
month of January, he took it into his head to harangue a body
of 10,000 men drawn up on parade at Varsovia. It was bitterly
cold, and a freezing hoar frost came down from the sky. The
marshal, in a waistcoat of white dimity, began his usual
harangue. He soon found that the coldness of the weather
made it seem long; accordingly, he stretched it to two hours.
Almost all the generals, officers, and soldiers caught cold.
The marshal was nothing the worse, and was even gayer than
usual. His quarters rang with continued fits of coughing,
and he seemed to enjoy hearing it. He had the satisfaction of
thinking that he had taught his army to disregard fatigue, and
winter with all its frosts."

M. de Guillaumanches speaks of the veneration which Suwarrow had for
the ministers of his religion. He would often stop a priest on the
road to implore his blessing. He loved to take part in their religious
services and to join in their chants; but it is on the goodness of his
heart that his biographer most delights to dwell. He tells us, "he was
a kind relation, a sincere friend, and an affectionate father." In the
midst of all his triumphs, it has been said that he was touched with
pity and with sorrow for suffering humanity. "I asked him," says Mr.
Tweddel, "if after the massacre of Ismail he was perfectly satisfied
with the conduct of the day. He said, he went home and wept in his
tent." Though Suwarrow spared but little time from his military
avocation for social intercourse, his tenderness for children was so
great that he could not bear to pass them without notice. He would
stop, embrace, and bless them whenever he met them: that he fondly
loved his own is sufficiently proved by the following anecdote:--

While on his way to join the army, thoughts of home were in his mind.
He felt it might be long before he should see it in, if indeed, he
_should ever_ see it. He was seized with the most intense longing to
look on his children once more. The desire became so irresistible,
that he turned from the road he was traversing, and took that to
Moscow. He rested neither day nor night till he got there. It was the
middle of the night when he reached his house; he sprang lightly from
his carriage, and knocked gently at the door. All the family were
asleep. At length he was heard by one of the domestics, and let in. He
stole on tiptoe to his children's room, and, withdrawing the curtains
cautiously, for fear of disturbing them, bent over them; and, as he
gazed on them in delight, they slept on, unconscious of their midnight
visitor. Then throwing his arms gently over them, he held them for a
moment in his fond embrace and left them a father's blessing, and then
went away to join his troops.

After the death of Catharine, in the year 1796, there was a sad change
in the fortunes of her faithful soldier. He served her successor with
the same heroic devotion with which he had promoted her interest and
glory. In 1799 he effected one of the most brilliant retreats that
stand in the annals of history. Opposed in Italy by Moreau with an
overwhelming force, when a retreat was resolved on he was so afflicted
that he wrung his hands and wept bitterly. He led his troops over the
heights of Switzerland into Germany with such consummate skill and
undaunted energy as added fresh honors to his name. The dangers and
difficulties of this memorable operation were such as would have
been considered absolutely insurmountable by one less daring, and a
commander less beloved could never have encouraged his troops to hold
out against surrender. But they followed him in the midst of winter
snows, through unknown and intricate paths and deep ravines; sometimes
passing in what haste they could along the edge of frightful chasms
and awful precipices, such as the weary traveler would tremble but to
look at. Here they were frequently exposed to the fire of the enemy,
who lay in ambush among the rocks, and ofttimes had to fight their way
at the point of the bayonet. But still, even in retreat victorious,
he achieved his object, and never yielded to the foe. He is the
only general, it is stated, except Marlborough and Wellington, who
was never defeated. The title of Prince Italisky was conferred to
commemorate the glory of his having led his army unconquered in his
retreat from Italy. He died the next year at St. Petersburgh. A broken
heart was alleged by many to have been the fatal disease which ended
his days. The indomitable spirit which is proof against danger, toil,
and privation, may yet be borne down by the stings of ingratitude. The
death of Suwarrow, so soon following his recall, and the indignities
which he received at the hands of the emperor, tells in itself a tale
of outraged feeling that needs no comment. It has been truly said
that ridicule is more bitterly resented and more rarely forgiven than
injury. The indulgence of a satiric humor, in some words spoken in
jest by Suwarrow, is said to have piqued Paul so much that he took a
cruel revenge. The rage of the emperor for the introduction of German
fashions was so great, that he determined to have the German uniform
adopted in the army.

When old Marshal Suwarrow got orders to introduce this uniform, and
received little sticks for measures and models of the soldiers tails
and side-curls, "Hair-powder," said he, "is not gunpowder, curls
are not cannons, and tails are not bayonets." This, in the Russian
language, falls into rhyme, and soon spread as a saying through the
army: and having reached the emperor's ears, is said, in _The Secret
Memoirs of the Russian Court_, to have been "_the true_ cause which
induced Paul to recall Suwarrow and dispense with his services."

The genius of Suwarrow was superior to every difficulty, and led him
to fame and honors such as few have ever attained. Though born of a
good family, he had neither money nor interest to advance him, but
pushed his own fortunes from his boyhood. He rose to the rank of
colonel when he was but twenty-nine. He was nominated general-in-chief
for having compelled the Tartars to submit to the Russian arms. He was
created a count, and obtained the surname of Rimnisky for a victory
over the Turks near the river Rimnisky, by which he saved the Prince
of Saxe Coburg and the imperial army. For his services in Poland he
was made a field-marshal, and received the grant of an estate. In the
year 1799 the title of Prince Italisky was conferred. This was the
last favor shown: the following year saw him laid in the grave.

* * * * *




"Just under an island, 'midst rushes and moss,
I was born of a rock-spring, and dew:
I was shaded by trees, whose branches and leaves
Ne'er suffered the sun to gaze through.

"I wandered around the steep brow of a hill,
Where the daisies and violets fair
Were shaking the mist from their wakening eyes,
And pouring their breath on the air.

"Then I crept gently on, and I moistened the feet
Of a shrub which infolded a nest--
The bird in return sang his merriest song,
And showed me his feathery crest.

"How joyous I felt in the bright afternoon,
When the sun, riding off in the west,
Came out in red gold from behind the green trees
And burnished ray tremulous breast!

"My memory now can return to the time
When the breeze murmured low plaintive tones,
While I wasted the day in dancing away,
Or playing with pebbles and stones.

"It points to the hour when the rain pattered down,
Oft resting awhile in the trees;
Then quickly descending it ruffled my calm,
And whispered to me of the seas!

"'Twas _then_ the first wish found a home in my breast
To increase as time hurries along;
'Twas then I first learned to lisp softly the words
Which I now love so proudly--'_Press on!_'

"I'll make wider my bed, as onward I tread,
A deep mighty river I'll be--
'_Press on_' all the day will I sing on my way,
Till I enter the far-spreading sea."

It ceased. A youth lingered beside its green edge
Till the stars in its face brightly shone;
He hoped the sweet strain would re-echo again--
But he just heard a murmur--"_Press on!_"

* * * * *




I address you, gentlemen, as an humble individual who is much
concerned about the body. This little joke is purely a professional
one. It must go no farther. I am afraid the public thinks
uncharitably of undertakers, and would consider it a proof that Dr.
Johnson was right when he said that the man who would make a pun
would pick a pocket. Well; we all try to do the best we can for
ourselves--everybody else as well as undertakers. Burials may be
expensive, but so is legal redress. So is spiritual provision; I mean
the maintenance of all our reverends and right reverends. I am quite
sure that both lawyers' charges and the revenues of some of the chief
clergy are very little, if any, more reasonable than our own prices.
Pluralities are as bad as crowded gravepits, and I don't see that
there is a pin to choose between the church and the churchyard.
Sanitary revolutionists and incendiaries accuse us of gorging
rottenness, and battening on corruption. We don't do anything of the
sort, that I see, to a greater extent than other professions, which
are allowed to be highly respectable. Political, military, naval,
university, and clerical parties, of great eminence, defend abuses in
their several lines when profitable. We can't do better than follow
such good examples. Let us stick up for business, and--I was going to
say--leave society to take care of itself. No; that is just what we
should endeavor to prevent society from doing. The world is growing
too wise for us gentlemen. Accordingly, this Interments Bill, by
which our interests are so seriously threatened, has been brought into
Parliament. We must join heart and hand to defeat and crush it. Let us
nail our colors--which I should call the black flag--to the mast, and
let our war-cry be, "No surrender!" or else our motto will very soon
be, "Resurgam;" in other words, it will be all up with us. We stand in
a critical position in regard to public opinion. In order to determine
what steps to take for protecting business, we ought to see our
danger. I wish, therefore, to state the facts of our case clearly to
you; and I say let us face them boldly, and not blink them. Therefore,
I am going to speak plainly and plumply on this subject.

There is no doubt--between ourselves--that what makes our trade so
profitable is the superstition, weakness, and vanity of parties.
We can't disguise this fact from ourselves, and I only wish we may
be able to conceal it much longer from others. As enlightened
undertakers, we must admit that we are of no more use on earth than
scavengers. All the good we do is to bury people's dead out of sight.
Speaking as a philosopher--which an undertaker surely ought to be--I
should say that our business is merely to shoot rubbish. However, the
rubbish is human rubbish, and bereaved parties have certain feelings
which require that it should be shot gingerly. I suppose such
sentiments are natural, and will always prevail. But I fear that
people will by and by begin to think that pomp, parade, and ceremony
are unnecessary upon melancholy occasions. And whenever this happens,
Othello's occupation will, in a great measure, be gone.

I tremble to think of mourning relatives considering seriously what
is requisite--and all that is requisite--for decent interment, in a
rational point of view. Nothing more, I am afraid Common Sense would
say, than to carry the body in the simplest chest, and under the
plainest covering, only in a solemn and respectful manner, to the
grave, and lay it in the earth with proper religious ceremonies. I
fear Common Sense would be of opinion that mutes, scarfs, hatbands,
plumes of feathers, black horses, mourning coaches, and the like,
can in no way benefit the defunct, or comfort surviving friends, or
gratify anybody but the mob, and the street-boys. But happily, Common
Sense has not yet acquired an influence which would reduce every
burial to a most low affair.

Still, people think no more than they did, and in proportion as they
do think, the worse it will be for business. I consider that we have
a most dangerous enemy in Science. That same Science pokes its nose
into everything--even vaults and churchyards. It has explained how
grave-water soaks into adjoining wells; and has shocked and disgusted
people by showing them that they are drinking their dead neighbors.
It has taught parties resident in large cities that the very air they
live in reeks with human remains, which steam up from graves; and
which, of course, they are continually breathing. So it makes our
churchyards to be worse haunted than they were formerly believed to
be by ghosts, and, I may add, vampyres, in consequence of the dead
continually rising from them in this unpleasant manner. Indeed,
Science is likely to make people dread them a great deal more than
Superstition ever did, by showing that their effluvia breed typhus and
cholera; so that they are really and truly very dangerous. I should
not be surprised to hear some sanitary lecturer say, that the fear of
churchyards was a sort of instinct implanted in the mind, to prevent
ignorant people and children from going near such unwholesome places.

It would be comparatively well if the mischief done us by Science,
Medicine and Chemistry, and all that sort of thing--stopped here. The
mere consideration that burial in the heart of cities is unhealthy,
would but lead to extramural interment, to which our only
objection--though even that is no very trifling one--is that it
would diminish mortality, and consequently our trade. But this
Science--confound it!--shows that the dead do not remain permanently
in their coffins, even when the sextons of metropolitan graveyards
will let them. It not only informs Londoners that they breathe and
drink the deceased; but it reveals how the whole of the defunct party
is got rid of, and turned into gases, liquids, and mould. It exposes
the way in which all animal matter as it is called in chemical
books--is dissolved, evaporates, and disappears; and is ultimately, as
I may say, eaten up by Nature, and goes to form parts of plants, and
of other living creatures. So that, if gentlemen really wanted to be
interred with the remains of their ancestors, it would sometimes
be possible to comply with their wishes only by burying them with a
quantity of mutton--not to say with the residue of another quadruped
than the sheep, which often grazes in churchyards. Science, in
short, is hammering into people's heads truths which they have been
accustomed merely to gabble with their mouths--that all flesh is
indeed grass, or convertible into it; and not only that the human
frame does positively turn to dust, but into a great many things
besides. Now, I say, that when they become really and truly convinced
of all this; when they know and reflect that the body cannot remain
any long time in the grave which it is placed in; I am sadly afraid
that they will think twice before they will spend from thirty to
several hundred pounds in merely putting a corpse into the ground to

The only hope for us if these scientific views become general, is,
that embalming will be resorted to; but I question if the religious
feelings of the country will approve of a practice which certainly
seems rather like an attempt to arrest a decree of Providence; and
would, besides, be very expensive. Hero I am reminded of another
danger, to which our prospects are exposed. It is that likely to arise
from serious parties, in consequence of growing more enlightened,
thinking consistently with their religious principles, instead of
their religion being a mere sentimental kind of thing which they never
reason upon. We often, you know, gentlemen, overhear the bereaved
remarking that they trust the departed is in a better place. Why, if
this were not a mere customary saying on mournful occasions--if the
parties really believed this--do you think they would attach any
importance to the dead body which we bury underground? No; to be sure:
they would look upon it merely as a suit of left-off clothes--with
the difference of being unpleasant and offensive, and not capable of
being kept. They would see that a spirit could care no more about
the corpse it had quitted, than a man who had lost his leg, would for
the amputated limb. The truth is--don't breathe it, don't whisper
it, except to the trade--that the custom of burying the dead with
expensive furniture; of treating a corpse as if it were a sensible
being; arises from an impression--though parties won't own it, even
to themselves--that what is buried is the actual individual, the
man himself. The effect of thinking seriously, and at the same time
rationally, will be to destroy this notion, and with it put an end
to all the splendor and magnificence of funerals, arising from it.
Moreover, religious parties, being particular as to their moral
conduct, would naturally consider it wrong and wicked to spend upon
the dead an amount of money which might be devoted to the benefit
of the living; and no doubt, when we come to look into it, such
expenditure is much the same thing with the practice of savages and
heathens in burying bread, and meat, and clothes, along with their
deceased friends.

I have been suggesting considerations which are very discouraging, and
which afford but a poor look-out to us undertakers. But, gentlemen,
we have one great comfort still. It has become the fashion to
inter bodies with parade and display. Fashion is fashion; and the
consequence is that it is considered an insult to the memory of
deceased parties not to bury them in a certain style; which must
be respectable at the very least, and cost, on a very low average,
twenty-five or thirty pounds. Many, such as professional persons and
tradespeople, who cannot afford so much money, can still less afford
to lose character and custom. That is where we have a pull upon the
widows and children, many of whom, if it were not for the opinion of
society, would be only too happy to save their little money, and turn
it into food and clothing, instead of funeral furniture.

Now here the Metropolitan Interments Bill steps in, and aims at
destroying our only chances of keeping up business as heretofore. We
have generally to deal with parties whose feelings are not in a state
to admit of their making bargains with us--a circumstance, on their
parts, which is highly creditable to human nature; and favorable
to trade. Thus, in short, gentlemen, we have it all our own way
with them. But this Bill comes between the bereaved party and the
undertaker. By the twenty-seventh clause, it empowers the Board of
Health to provide houses and make arrangements for the reception and
care of the dead previously to, and until interment; in order, as
it explains in a subsequent clause, to the accommodation of persons
having to provide the funerals--supposing such persons to desire the
accommodation. Clause the twenty-eighth enacts "That the said Board
shall make provision for the management and conduct, by persons
appointed by them, of the funerals of persons whose bodies are to be
interred in the Burial Grounds, to be provided under this Act, where
the representatives of the deceased, or the persons having the care
and direction of the funeral, desire to have the same so conducted;
and the said Board shall fix and publish a scale of the sums to be
payable for such funerals, inclusive of all matters and services
necessary for the same, such sums to be proportioned to the
description of the funeral, or the nature of the matter and services
to be furnished and rendered for the same; but so that in respect of
the lowest of such sums, the funerals may be conducted with decency
and solemnity." Gentlemen, if this enactment becomes law, we shall
lose all the advantages which we derived from bereaved parties' state
of mind. The Board of Health will take all trouble off their hands, at
whatever sum they may choose to name. Of course they will apply to the
Board of Health instead of coming to us. But what is beyond everything
prejudicial to our interests, is the proviso "that in respect of the
lowest of such sums, the funerals may be conducted with decency and
solemnity." Hitherto it has been understood that so much respect could
not be paid in the case of what we call a low affair as in one of a
certain style. We have always considered that a funeral ought to cost
so much to be respectable at all. Therefore relations have gone to
more expense with us, than they would otherwise have been willing to
incur, in order to secure proper respect. But if proper respect is to
be had at a low figure, the strongest hold that we have upon sorrowing
relatives will be taken away.

It is all very fine to say that we are a necessary class of tradesmen,
and if this Bill passes must continue to be employed. If this Bill
does pass we shall be employed simply as tradesmen, and shall obtain,
like other tradesmen, a mere market price for our articles, and common
hire for our labor. I am afraid that it will be impossible to persuade
the public that this would not be perfectly just and right. I think,
therefore, that we had better not attack the Bill on its merits, but
try to excite opposition against it on the ground of its accessory
clauses. Let us oppose it as a scheme of jobbery, devised with a view
to the establishment of offices and appointments. Let us complain as
loudly as we can of its creating a new rate to defray the expenses of
its working, and let us endeavor to get up a good howl against that
clause of it which provides for compensation to incumbents, clerks,
and sextons. We must cry out with all our might upon its centralizing
tendency, and of course make the most we can out of the pretense that
it violates the sanctity of the house of mourning, and outrages the
most fondly cherished feelings of Englishmen. Urge these objections
upon church-wardens, overseers, and vestrymen; and especially din the
objection to a burial rate into their ears. Recollect, our two great
weapons--like those of all good old anti-reformers--are cant and
clamor. Keep up the same cry against the Bill perseveringly, no matter
how thoroughly it may be refuted or proved absurd. Literally, make the
greatest noise in opposition to it that you are able, especially at
public meetings. There, recollect a groan is a groan, and a hiss a
hiss, even though proceeding from a goose. On all such occasions
do your utmost to create a disturbance, to look like a popular
demonstration against the measure. In addition to shouting, yelling,
and bawling, I should say that another rush at another platform,
another upsetting of the reporter's table, another terrifying of the
ladies, and another mobbing the chairman, would be advisable. Set to
work with all your united zeal and energy to carry out the suggestions
of our Central Committee for the defeat of a Bill which, if passed,
will inflict a blow on the undertaker as great as the boon it will
confer on the widow and orphan--whom we, of course, can only consider
as customers. The Metropolitan Interments Bill goes to dock us of
every penny that we make by taking advantage of the helplessness of
afflicted families. And just calculate what our loss would then be;
for, in the beautiful language of St. Demetrius, the silversmith,
"Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth."

* * * * *



Observing an old branchless trunk of the largest size, in a striking
position, where it looked like a broken column, we walked up to
examine it. The shaft rose, without a curve or a branch, to the height
of perhaps forty feet, where it had been abruptly shivered, probably
in some storm. The tree was a chestnut, and the bark of a clear,
unsullied gray; walking round it, we saw an opening near the ground,
and to our surprise found the trunk hollow, and entirely charred
within, black as a chimney, from the root to the point where it was
broken off. It frequently happens that fire steals into the heart of
an old tree, in this way, by some opening near the roots, and burns
away the inside, leaving merely a gray outer shell. One would not
expect the bark to be left in such cases, but the wood at the heart
seems to be more inflammable than the outer growth. Whatever be the
cause, such shafts are not uncommon about our hills, gray without,
charred within.

There is, indeed, much charred wood in our forests; fires which sweep
over the hills are of frequent occurrence here, and at times they do
much mischief. If the flames are once fairly kindled in dry weather,
they will spread in all directions as the wind varies, burning
sometimes for weeks together, until they have swept over miles of
woodland, withering the verdure, destroying the wood already cut, and
greatly injuring many trees which they do not consume. Several years
since, in the month of June, there was quite an extensive fire on
the eastern range of hills; it lasted for ten days or a fortnight,
spreading several miles in different directions. It was the first
important fire of the kind we had ever seen, and of course we
watched its progress with much interest; but the spectacle was a very
different one from what we had supposed. It was much less terrible
than the conflagration of buildings in a town; there was less of power
and fierce grandeur, and more of treacherous beauty about the flames
as they ran hither and thither along the mountain-side. The first
night after it broke out we looked on with admiration: one might have
thought it a general illumination of the forest, as the flames spread
in long winding lines, gaining upon the dark wood every moment, up
and down, and across the hill, collecting here and there with greater
brilliancy about some tall old tree, which they hung with fire like
a giant lustre. But the next day the sight was a sad one indeed: the
deceitful brilliancy of the flames no longer pleased the eye: wreaths
of dull smoke and hot vapors hung over the blighted trees, and
wherever the fire had wandered there the fresh June foliage was
utterly blasted. That night we could no longer take pleasure in the
spectacle; we could no longer fancy a joyous illumination. We seemed
rather to behold the winding coils of some fiery serpent gliding
farther and farther on its path of evil: a rattling, hissing sound
accompanying its movement, the young trees trembling and quivering
with agitation in the heated current which proclaimed its approach.
The fresh flowers were all blighted by its scorching breath, and with
its forked tongue it fed upon the pride of the forest, drying up the
life of great trees, and without waiting to consume them, hurrying
onward to blight other groves, leaving a blackened track of ruin
wherever it passed.

Some fifty years since a fire of this kind is said to have spread
until it inclosed within its lines the lake and the valley, as far as
one could see, surrounding the village with a network of flame, which
at night was quite appalling in its aspect. The danger, however, was
not so great as it appeared, as there was everywhere a cleared space
between the burning forest and the little town. At times, however,
very serious accidents result from these fires: within a few days we
have heard of a small village, in the northern part of the State,
in St. Lawrence county, entirely destroyed in this way, the flames
gaining so rapidly upon the poor people that they were obliged to
collect their families and cattle in boats and upon rafts, in the
nearest pools and streams.

Of course, more or less mischief is always done; the wood and timber
already cut are destroyed, fences are burnt, many trees are killed,
others are much injured, the foliage is more or less blighted for the
season; the young plants are killed, and the earth looks black and
gloomy. Upon the whole, however, it is surprising that no more harm is
done. On the occasion of the fire referred to in these woods, we found
the traces of the flames to disappear much sooner than we had supposed
possible. The next season the smaller plants were all replaced by
others; many of the younger trees seemed to revive, and a stranger
passing over the ground to-day would scarcely believe that fire had
been feeding on those woods for a fortnight only a few seasons back.
A group of tall, blasted hemlocks, on the verge of the wood, is the
striking monument of the event. The evergreens generally suffer more
than other trees, and for some cause or other the fire continued busy
at that point for several days. We repeatedly passed along the highway
at the time, with the flames at work on either side. Of course, there
was no danger, but it looked oddly to be quietly driving along through
the fire. The crackling of the flames was heard in the village, and
the smell of smoke was occasionally quite unpleasant.

A timely rain generally puts a stop to the mischief; but parties of
men are also sent out into the woods to "fight the fire." They tread
out the flames among the dry leaves by trampling them down, and they
rake away the combustible materials, to confine the enemy to its
old grounds, when it soon exhausts itself. The flames spread more
frequently along the earth, than from tree to tree.

* * * * *



Dear friend, love well the flowers! Flowers are the sign
Of Earth's all gentle love, her grace, her youth,
Her endless, matchless, tender gratitude.
When the Sun smiles on thee--why thou art glad:
But when the Earth he smileth, _She_ bursts forth
In beauty like a bride, and gives him back,
In sweet repayment for his warm bright love,
A world of flowers. You may see them born,
On any day in April, moist or dry,
As bright as are the Heavens that look on them:
Some sown like stars upon the greensward; some
As yellow as the sunrise; others red
As day is when he sets; reflecting thus,
In pretty moods, the bounties of the sky.

And now, of all fair flowers, which lovest thou best?
The Rose? She is a queen more wonderful
Than any who have bloomed on Orient thrones:
Sabaean Empress! in her breast, though small,
Beauty and infinite sweetness sweetly dwell,
Inextricable. Or dost dare prefer
The Woodbine, for her fragrant summer breath?
Or Primrose, who doth haunt the hours of Spring,
A wood-nymph brightening places lone and green?
Or Cowslip? or the virgin Violet,
That nun, who, nestling in her cell of leaves,
Shrinks from the world, in vain!

Yet, wherefore choose, when Nature doth not choose?
Our mistress, our preceptress? _She_ brings forth
Her brood with equal care, loves all alike,
And to the meanest as the greatest yields
Her sunny splendors and her fruitful rains.
Love _all_ flowers, then. Be sure that wisdom lies
In every leaf and bloom; o'er hills and dales;
And thymy mountains; sylvan solitudes
Where sweet-voiced waters sing the long year through;
In every haunt beneath the Eternal Sun,
Where Youth or Age sends forth its grateful prayer,
Or thoughtful Meditation deigns to stray.

* * * * *

French Eulogy has always been prone to run riot. One M. Philoxene
Boyer, in a grave work which has just published, in Paris, thus
addresses Victor Hugo:--"You, Victor Hugo, will become not only
President of the French Republic, but President of the Universal
Republic, Chief of the Oecumenic Council of Nations, Intellectual Pope
reigning in your Paris, whilst the Pope of Religion, united with you
and Jesus Christ, the common master, will continue to reign in his

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