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therefore as much as ever seats and sources of epidemic accompanied by such a prolongation of life, what must disease, unless we can employ compulsory means for have been latterly gained? It was clear that even the correction of the evil at the public expense. A at present the classes which formed the base of the paper by Dr Southwood Smith, on the prolongation of pyramid of society lost a great portion of life, and it human life, brought out in a striking manner what all was the duty and noble aim of this Association to must feel to be the great motive and encouragement remove-for it was removable—this crying disgrace to to sanitary improvements—namely, the fact that, our country, to bring this unhappy class within the under advancing civilisation, an improvenient in the pale of civilisation. Until that was done, the columns length of life is actually going on. In 1693 and of the registrar-general would give no fair result of 1790, a loan was raised for the state by what is called sanitary improvement. How far the time of life, tontine. Each person advancing L.100, was allowed however, in the aggregate could be extended, they did to name a life during which he and his heirs not know, but it was plain that it was not possible as drew a certain annuity. There was therefore the yet to assign a definite limit.' strongest inducement for each lender to name the Our narrow space forbids us to go into any more youngest and healthiest infant he could select. The details ; but we cannot quit the subject without a tontine of 1690 consisted of 408 females and 594 most emphatic congratulation of the members of the males ; and that of 1790, of 3974 females and 4197 Social Science Association on their auspicious commales. The latter tontine is not yet extinct, and it mencement of proceedings. If they only, by the was shewn that the 1st of January 1851, there still external facts of their meeting, reading, and speaking, remained alive, sixty years of age and upwards, 1312 call attention to the matters they have in view, they females and 977 males out of the original number; will do great good, for in our peculiar political organso that the difference between the mortality of the isation, as is well known, to get the ear and then the nominees of 1690 and 1790 was not yet so great as voice of the public are essential preliminaries to all it would ultimately be. Taking these data, Mr | improved legislation. It is a great and a sacred cause Finlaison, the government calculator, had worked out which they have in hand, and with true earnestness it in a very elaborate manner the means of making a cannot fail to prosper. At the same time, we may comparison between them; and the actual prolonga- take this opportunity of saying, that we contemplate tion of life in the nineteenth century was proved, first, the efforts of such an association as only the best that by the difference in the death-rate at the two periods, the circumstances admit of. It is very well for the and next, by the addition of an ascertained number of upper classes thus to interest themselves, work, and years to the life of each individual. It was thus spend in behalf of the humbler; but the results must shewn that in the year 1690, the expectation of life in needs be defective while there is—as there obviously a man, aged thirty, would have been 26:565, while in is-a want of motive on the part of the masses to 1790 it would have been 33.775; while the actual | improve and advance in their own life-economy. addition of the excess of years, which the persons Something is required to bring them out of antagengaged in the latter tontine had over the former, onism towards their employers, to give them similar proved that in 1790 the expectation of life was in- aspirations to those of the middle classes, the same creased by fully one-fourth ; that is to say, that if in inducements to saving and improving money—a hope 1690 a person, aged thirty, could expect to live thirty and aim in life. That given, we should see something years, in 1790, a person of the same age could reason in their case like what a great orator alluded to when ably expect to live thirty-seven years. An increase he spoke of the cheap defence of nations. We should in the duration of life,' Dr Smith went on to say, 'was then be at no trouble in improving their condition, for a proof of increased comforts, or increased enjoyment they would improve it themselves. of certain elements upon which human life is dependent, such as air, light, food, warmth, and shelter. In fact, what we called progress in civilisation, was an
THE MIDNIGHT RITE. improvement in the means of securing regularly and THERE is a certain island, Anonyma, beautiful and unfailingly, in abundance and purity, those physical fruitful, enjoying a far purer air and warmer clime agents for the bulk of the population. The accom than ours, which does Great Britain the honour of plishment of this object was the main cause of all the being her ally, and of even forming an integral part activity and energy by which a state of civilisation of her empire, without copying slavishly her constituwas characterised. It was a matter of familiar history tion or her laws. The language which prevailed that an extraordinary activity reigned throughout the amongst us after the Norman Conquest still suffices, eighteenth century. Forests were cleared, marshes and and our Norman code is still in effect among the swamps drained, and from the more settled government Anonymese. Determined not to be indebted for new of the country, cities and towns being no longer for- ideas to any of their neighbours, and having little tresses, had extended beyond the walls of their fortifi- originality of their own, they have been content with cations. At this period, also, special attention began such political and judicial lights as gleam, as it were to be paid to the well ordering, cleaning, and paving of phosphorescently, from the decayed and rotten caput towns. The narrow streets were widened, slate roofs mortuum of eight centuries ago. The president of substituted for thatch, bricks for timber, and the Anonyma still wears a red gown; the thirty-six who manufacture of glass so much increased that glass make up the parliament, and are supposed to be windows, even in the poorer towns, became common. representative, are almost all of the same class, and Agriculture made a surprising advance, multiplying practically elect themselves, twelve priests, who sit a hundredfold the production of fresh vegetable food, in right of their cures; twelve squires, who are and increasing in a still more remarkable degree the legislators for life; and twelve mechanical lay-figures, amount of fresh animal food by the extension of the the popular element, returned by their respective comparatively new art of collecting and storing fodder parishes (or squires), and warranted to go for three for cattle in winter. The increase of manufactures years. Liberty means its right of rejecting any progave improved and cheap clothing to the people, not posed improvement emanating from Great Britain only conducive to warmth and health, but almost through the law-officers of the crown; and reform has no equally so to cleanliness, the texture compelling signification there whatever. Criminal justice is adminfrequent washing. Accordingly, disease assumed a istered with all the 'glorious uncertainty' of English milder form, and epidemics in particular became much law, combined with the former rate of procedure of less formidable.' Dr Smith concluded by asking if the our Court of Chancery; the accused person who might advancing civilisation of the eighteenth century was have been stigmatised by the original prosecutor
as a young reprobate, becoming, before his trial is this particular one; and as the wind beat against the ended, a middle-aged, if not a hoary sinner. After crazy walls, and battered vainly upon the grimy little & protracted inquiry of this description, by the time window-panes, I felt no inclination to quit my stool that all the depositions have been written down in two in the chimney corner. There were studies enough languages, and the court has adjourned the case for in that smoky, floorless cabin, beside my two comic the fourteenth time, it not unfrequently happens that gentlemen-sportsmen: men in dirty blouses and with the acute Anonymese tribunal has been concerning unclean hands were there, under whose tangled hair itself with the wrong man. It is not an easy matter lay foreheads heavy with thought; resolute mouths for one, however innocent, to get out of a medieval lurked under their shaggy moustaches; and light such prosecution conducted upon paper in an extinct as no brandy can bestow, gleamed forth from their tongue. I speak advisedly; and to the extreme length eyes. These were political refugees, each with a real or of its proceedings alone, and not at all to the sagacity a supposed wrong, and each counting upon not sitting of the court I am myself indebted for my life.
still for ever under its infliction. Anonymese fisherI am an artist, and spent the winter before last in men, bronzed and sturdy, made up the rest of the Anonyma practising my profession. Nature is dis- company, whose conversation, carried on in French, played in miniature, in that island, very beautifully, modern and Norman, was remarkably unconstrained. and has a nook-and-dell attire such as perhaps she One by one, these different parties dropped away, seldom wears elsewhere; the coast-line, too, is exceed- and at a very late hour of the night, I found myself ingly grand, and the surrounding sea has deeper the last man starting homeward and alone. colours, and rages with a more terrible wrath than The wind had almost lulled, still driving the dark is common to it about the shores of England. In clouds hither and thither over the wintry sky, but winter-time, in innermost Anonyma, you can hardly touching only the tree-tops of the island and the find a spot quite out of hearing of the stormy waves. summits of its little hills. I could hear the ocean, I had been sketching in one of its western bays one like some mighty watch-dog partially appeased, still December afternoon, while the wind seemed to be growl in its half slumber. There was moon, which goading the whole Atlantic to rise and submerge the now and then shone brightly for an instant, making little island, and ensconced as I was in as well-sheltered deeper the evening gloom; and my way lying for the a fissure as I could select, the spray got at me at most part through great avenues of trees belonging to last, wetted me through, and utterly destroyed the old ruined seigneuries, or dipping into curved valleys labour of four hours. Several miles lay between me with a stream, should have been just the road to and my lodgings, and a vision of possible rheumatism please a painter. Whether the strange characters of lending wings to my feet, I started at once homewards. the men I had just left, however, had impressed me In the second valley from the shore, however, I came too deeply, and their lawless anecdotes shaken my upon a spectacle which my professional eye was bound confidence too much in the local police, I certainly to contemplate at all hazards—to a poor caricaturist felt ill at ease, and by no means in the humour for like myself, the thing was worth at the least five appreciating the picturesque. It seemed a weird, pounds. In the road before me, and making signs for uncanny sort of night to be out in, and I began to me to stop and to be silent, were cautiously stealing wish that I had drunk more brandy, or else none at up a couple of men with guns. They were neither all. How much I would have given to have been in native nor English sportsmen; their gay apparel, their my own comfortable lodgings, under the protection of huge shooting-bags hung with tassels, their prodigious my charming old landlady, in the High Street, I daren't moustaches, at once proclaimed them to belong to one say, instead of feeling my way through Goodor other of those crushed nationalities that are in ness gracious! what was that ? Footsteps that knew the habit of making Anonyma their resort in evil the road a great deal better than I did, and some times. Their energetic gestures convinced me that heavy body being dragged along with them-probably they must be either Frenchmen or Italians; no others a corpse!' I shrank into the hedge to let them pass, could have so eloquently telegraphed that game of which they did at a full trot, laughing. some rarest species was in view, and that my advance *Just the night for a job like this,' said one. Why, would be dearly purchased at the escape of such a it reminds one of body-snatching in the good old noble quarry.
Chilled as I was, therefore, I remained times.' (Evidently a couple of resurrectionists, whose stationary to watch their sport. They had no dog occupation was gone, and who, like every body else .in with them, but as they neared the desired object
, trouble,' were now resident Anonymese.) they both sank down upon all-fours, and crept up the 'I suppose this would be a hanging business if we frosty road like wary pointers. I followed as well as were caught at it,' observed the other with a brutal I was able the direction of their eyes, which were unconcern that made my blood run colder than ever. elevated, with mine, but I could see nothing skywards “I believe you,' replied the first speaker; and the except one solitary blackbird upon a leafless tree. two together burst into such a guffaw as I should have Surely, thought I, they are never in pursuit of that thought peculiar to demons. The road, almost immeunoffending songster! An answer was given in the diately, got clear of the trees, and swept in a half-circle report of both their guns, followed by the hasty round a little meadow; but the two murderers dragged departure of the bird himself.
their victim over a gate and into the open space i Thousand thunders !' exclaimed the foremost without the slightest hesitation, although the moon sportsman; 'we have missed him again, mon ami!' was just then shining. I kept, of course, under the
Where is he gone ?' cried the other. “Regardez, shadow of the avenue, and watched their movements monsieur, what you call merk, if you please.'
with a curiosity that almost overmastered fear. They But I could not mark; I was so overcome with threw the body-it was a body-carelessly upon the merriment that I could only sit down and laugh. They frozen ground, and then set to work collecting sticks : were pleased, however, with my stopping for them, it was easier to burn it, it seemed, than to dig a hole and proposed to have some refreshment with me in a for it, and in a very few minutes they had collected roadside cabaret close by. I was in need of warmth, quite a funeral pyre. Placing the corpse upon this, internal as well as external, and agreed at once. and kindling the brushwood which they had set at Brandy is very cheap in Anonyma, and very good; bottom from a match-box one of them carried, the and the Anonymese are far from being neglectful of fame began to spread apace, and soon lit up the their opportunities in that respect. The taverns of the faces of the two men, so that I could have sworn to island have the worst looks and the best liquors of any them again anywhere. One was a stout fellow of taverns I know. There was a good sea-weed fire in about forty, not ill-looking, perhaps, if I could have
separated him in my mind from his occupation; but nice-spoken, well-conducted young man.' My counsel whenever his eyes chanced to fall upon the fast-con- could only say that it was absurd to suppose that a suming corpse, I saw them gleam with unmistakable landscape-painter, however devoted to his art, could hatred. The second, although almost a boy in years, go the length of burning a man in a lone valley, at exhibited also no trace of pity for his victim. They midnight, to produce effects. On the other hand, the had lit cigars, and were getting so merry in their situation in which I was found, with the skull in my fiendish way, that I could scarcely believe my eyes. I very fingers—the words I used to myself, and the tried in vain to think that, after all, it might be some admissions I made, in the first instance, to those who dead monkey or other animal they were burning, and seized me, combined with the extreme improbability of not a human creature. Whatever it was, the smell the story I had to tell in my own defence, were of from its consuming carcass filled all the little valley, course very convincing proofs of my criminality. That and drove up with the wind into my hiding-place, so a crime had been committed, who could doubt, with the as almost to turn me sick. I longed, like Robinson human head and ashes still in existence, to appeal to Crusoe when he saw the savages at dinner, to run in Heaven for vengeance upon a murderer! Still, who upon these wretches, and destroy them at their abomin- had been murdered ? In any other place but Anonyma, able entertainment; and had I had a Friday with me that question would perhaps have stayed the hand of and half-a-dozen others, I might perhaps have made the executioner; but there, where so many strangers the attempt: as it was, I confined myself to making a dwell whose object it is to keep themselves unknown solemn resolution to leave the island of Anonyma, by and aloof fro others, the fact that nobody was the next packet, to its smugglers, its refugees, and missing was not deemed at all extraordinary. I its body-burners, for ever. I positively felt as if my say, if it had not been for the providential delays of hair was turning gray. At last the horrid rite was the criminal court, the time that was taken up in over; and the performers, kicking about the ashes, repeating the depositions again and again, in confusing and laughing—always laughing-after their frightful English and Norman-French together, and in adjournmanner, left the place, and came up the road again. | ing the proceedings, I, the writer of this adventure,
He'll never bother me in this world again,' said the which is, in its main details, a perfectly true statement, elder, as he passed by my ambush ; 'but we've had should have been hung. trouble enough and to spare in getting rid of the old After six weeks, however, Captain Debandeur came Methuselah. It was an old man, then, that they had back from England, where he had been spending his disposed of in this awful way, thinking that no eye Christmas, and saved me. He was a naval gentleman could see them!
of the old school, and didn't like to be contradicted. When their footsteps had died away, I crept out into When anything bothered him, a servant or an umbrella, the little field, and discovered among the dying embers he would kick the one out of the house, and break the a skull. I had studied anatomy for some time, for the other across his knee, without a moment's warning. better knowledge of my profession, and I knew at once He had brought over, in one of his voyages, a certain that the skull was that of a man. Ashes to ashes, great curiosity from the east, and very soon got tired dust to dust-a smouldering heap, which the breeze of looking at it. He offered it to the new Anonymese was already carrying hither and thither, was all which museum, and that accepting it, although with some now remained of that human form.
difficulty, for it was by this time broken and imperfect 'Poor murdered wretch!'cried I aloud, still holding and worth but little, he was appeased, or otherwise the skull in my hand, and beginning to philosophise he would have probably destroyed the great curiosity like another Hamlet, "how little couldst thou have out of hand. The new museum failing, this precious guessed'
wonder came back again to its original proprietor, who Murder was he ?' said a gruff voice close was wild with indignation at its reappearance. He and beside me, while a heavy hand fell upon my shoulder his son, therefore, after many attempts to annihilate and clutched it like a vice.
it, which were frustrated by the other members of the No, gentlemen,' cried I, trembling like a reed, in family, fixed at last on burning old Methuselah' in the belief that the two wretches had come back again the open air, on the night before starting for England -'no, not murdered, only put out of the way very for a six weeks' holiday. If he had taken seven weeks, tenderly; and in the highest and noblest sense of the I should have been a dead man. word, most justifiably, I am sure.'
Now old Methuselah was a mummy. What a cold blooded villain!' ejaculated a second voice.
• Tie his hands, and march him away to jail at once,' A RAMBLE IN A PARISIAN SUBURB. cried a third.
It is a fine clear warm day, in what we should call in My dear sirs,' exclaimed I, 'pardon me; I took you London the late spring, but here in Paris, where the for robbers, murderers; I did indeed. Allow me to bright green buds on the trees have burst into bright assist you in detecting the real offenders—they took green leaves, is better described as the early summer. that road to the left, yonder, through the wood.' I have been lounging and wandering about the Boule
And so, at two o'clock in the December morning, vard de la Madeleine nearly all the morning-now I found myself at last going homeward, to the Police- reading the Débats in company with a silent synod of office, with my hands tied, and in the custody of three black beards—now sipping sugared ice-water, by way pudding-headed Anonymese. The smell of the burning of a change-now speculating on the character and corpse, it seems, had penetrated to their farm upon the destinies of the garçon whose property for the time hillside, and they had come down just in time to secure being I have become—now listening dreamily to the me and to miss the perpetrators of the crime. So murmur of the flower-market, which goes on under horrified were they with its revolting character, that the shadow of the Madeleine, and gladly drinking in they would not so much as touch me with their hands; the delicious fragrance of its blossoms as the breeze but having placed the skull in my pocket, drove me wafts it past. The fact is, that I have been endeabefore them with sticks, as though I were an ox; and in vouring to keep an appointment with an unpunctual that fashion I was escorted past the cheerful fire-light friend, who, it appears, has forgotten his engagement, which still streamed from the windows of my lodgings, and does not come---and at last I have given him up, to the prison-cell.
wondering what his conscience is made of, that he has Being much addicted to a roving life, I had few kept me waiting so long; and have turned my back stationary friends, and none at all in Anonyma. My upon the place of rendezvous, and addressed myself to landlady, of course, could only attest to my being a the pleasures of a solitary ramble.
Within half an hour, and without intending it, I sight of the church-spire, a rather dumpy affair, just find myself standing among a group of stragglers at surmounting the tops of the trees; and then, ascending the south-west corner of the Place de la Concorde, a few steps to the green on the left of the road, am awaiting the arrival of that long-bodied omnibus standing in front of the church itself, a composite and which plies incessantly between Paris and Auteuil. rather fantastic structure, but a very model of primOf all the omnibuses that ever were conceived, this ness and propriety. The door stands invitingly open, alone has an indisputable title to the designation. and, accepting the invitation, I walk in, and take a Though drawn but by two little cob-horses, it carries a seat in the cool, dim-lighted nave. There is not a soul community of not less than threescore persons, who to be seen-all is still as death; solemn sallow faces are the representatives of the three principal classes look down upon me from a dark picture, and beneath that constitute the social body. There is the inside, the dusky shadow of the roof, a few old and tattered with its seats of cushioned plush, for the gentry; the banners hang motionless. I wonder what is become outside, with its hard benches, for the middle classes ; of the Suisse, who ought to be there to shew the and its two ends, without any seat at all, where the lions—to lead me to the tomb of D’Aguesseau-to poorest may stand and ride, and save their weary talk about Boileau, Racine, La Fontaine, Molière, bones and their shoe-leather, at a cost of something Count Rumford, and the rest of the celebrities who less than a farthing a mile. Presently, there is the lived at Auteuil, and either were or ought to have report of a blast blown through a cow's horn, and up been buried there--and to tax me twenty sous in rolls the leviathan machine, and from its roof and return for his information. Why does not the man entrails a crowd descends and emerges, and disappears come and earn his franc ? Suddenly I hear the at all points of the compass; while the cow's horn creaking of a door near the altar-the panel is pushed blows, and blows, and blows, and a new cargo climbs forward, and out pops the round bald head of a very the roof, fills up the body, and crushes into the stand- jolly-looking priest; the eyes are turned towards the ing places, which are as much receptacles for heavy open door, where they see nothing; then a not invoburdens as for their bearers. Meanwhile, the horses luntary motion on my part fixes a surprised glance on are taken out and harnessed to the other end—the me, and for a moment or two our eyes meet. Am I machine being incapable of turning round and the right or wrong in suspecting that the merry-souled driver and conductor change places. Thinking I can't owner of those eyes is very considerably inclined to do better, I mount the roof, with about a score of burst into a laugh? I don't know. If so, he withoutsiders, half of them of the military profession, and stands the temptation, and suddenly withdrawing his in three minutes, off we dash at a ten-mile-an-hour head, disappears, closing the door. pace, towards Passy. The fat little horses are full I begin to think that, though I am alone in the of spirits and frolic, and make nothing of the little church, I may be one too many notwithstanding, monstrous load, for the simple reason, that the wheels, and accordingly I make for the door. I happen to be which are cast of solid iron, run in a tramway sunk just in time. There comes the Suisse across the green beneath the level of the road. Carts and wagons in full fig, with laced sky-blue coat, laced cocked-hat drive across its track at their convenience, but scuttle bedecked with a rose of white ribbons, and carrying out of the way with remarkable activity at the his ponderous gilded mace before him, from which also sound of the cow's horn. The way runs for nearly a white favours are dangling. At his heels follow, with mile through an avenue of trees, the sunlight flashing remarkable gravity and solemnity of demeanour, & among the emerald leaves and dappling the sandy train of fifteen or twenty persons, all evidently the road with flickering shadow. Then we come out upon members and retainers of one family. The first, who the bank of the river, gleaming like a broad disk of walks alone, is an aged patriarch bowed with years, fire, with a surface broken into innumerable ripples, upon whose bare head above fourscore winters have every one of which is a mirror to the sun. As we shed their snows. His face is florid with the rose-hues approach Passy, the guard comes round and exacts a of second infancy, and clear and pure in tint as a young penny from every outsider, with the exception of the maiden's; and his long white locks, which have not military, whom he accommodates at half-price—the been shorn for more than a lustre, hang in shining fee for insiders, he tells us, is three-halfpence; and waves upon the shoulders of a coat of newest gloss, those who stand in the bows and the stern are assessed cut after the fashion of the ancient régime. Crosses, at a half-penny. At Passy, we stop for a couple of medals, and ribbons glitter on his breast; but there is minutes, and make an exchange of passengers—then no consciousness of the scene in which he plays a part on again towards Auteuil. As I look across the river, in his lacklustre eye; he has been painfully got up I can see the flashing of arms in the Champ de Mars, for the occasion, and longs to return to his cushioned and catch a distant echo of the bray of trumpets; but chair, the retreat of his old age, the cradle of his second the sound is soon lost in the noise of our own wheels, childhood. Next to him walks a gentleman of fiftyand the glint of the steel fades out in the distance. A five, in official costume, wearing a handsome sword at few minutes bring us to the outskirts of Auteuil, his side: he also is bareheaded and clad in a courtwhere, for the present, the tramway terminates, and I dress, and his grizzled hair is fresh from the hands of alight, after a ride of about half an hour.
the barber. He holds his arms horizontally in front A short, shaded, and comparatively unfrequented of his breast, and on them lies a new-born infant but road, winding between the blank brick rears of a day or two old, buried in long-clothes of the finest gentlemen's houses and the high stone enclosures of lace, and apparently sleeping, Next comes a young private gardens, leads up into the village. There is officer-whom I take to be the father of the babenot a footfall audible in the place, and scarcely a with an elderly lady, who may be his wife's mother, figure visible at door or window. The very houses leaning on his arm. Then follow several young seem to have fallen fast asleep in the hot sunshine, people richly dressed, looking charming in flowers and and, with the exception of the regular blows of an white favours, and walking with solemn demureness axe wielded by some invisible being who is chopping in couples. The train is closed by the domestics of wood, and the gurgling notes of an invisible caged the family to the number of eight, all characterised thrush, not a sound is to be heard. The roads, the by the same sobriety of expression. Beyond these, pathis, the little patches of wayside grass, are all there is not a single follower—the rabble, if there exquisitely neat and trim, and every house and stone be any rabble in Auteuil, are without a representawall, innocent of placards and posters, presents the tive; and the procession passes on without any other cleanest imaginable face that brick and wood, stone recognition from the inhabitants than a courteous and mortar, can be made to put on. By and by, I catch gesture of obeisance from the few who, standing at
their doors or windows, watch it go by. Slowly the crossing his paws over his nose in a way most preposopen church receives them, until the last domestic terously touching, for which he gets rewarded again. has vanished within the portal. I am half inclined When the landlord brings in the poulet, I question to go back and witness the ceremony of the baptism; him as to Pompe's abilities and education. He tells but seeing that although the church-door continues me the dog is of a rare breed, and asks me if I ever open, nobody sets me the example, I doubt the pro- before saw a poodle of a chestnut colour, which I priety of doing so, and therefore go on my way. Not certainly cannot remember to have done. As for his far from the church, I pass the open gate of the château tricks, he has been taught them by the young men of from which the baptismal procession started. I peep the place, who make a pet of him; and he will learn in. The mansion is large and roomy, with a handsome anything readily ; which, after the specimens I have entrance; the garden and grounds are exquisitely laid seen, I can easily believe. But Pompe is a true dog of out and cared for; the green grassy lawn is smooth as the world; though, in return for his performances, I velvet, and the shadows of fine old trees stretch darkly feed him well, I no sooner rise from table, and go to across it. The dwelling seems deserted; but I know settle my account, than he slinks off, and a moment that is not the case, for there is a glorious odour of after is repeating his exhibition before a party of delicious soup, and I feel that somebody is working peasants regaling themselves with a ragout in the miracles in the kitchen, and that, however demurely common room: he has not been educated for nothing, the christening begins, it will end in feasting and and knows how to earn his livelihood. merriment.
It is four o'clock when, having left Auteuil behind Further on, I accost a damsel standing at the door me, I pass through the gate of the fortifications, and of a wood-shop adorned with a capital work of art, enter the Bois de Boulogne. I find the outskirts of representing a pile of fuel and the instruments for the wood pretty well populated by parties of Parisians, cutting and sawing it, and request her to direct me picnickers and others, lounging on the benches beneath to some place where I can dine-the odour of the the willows, reclined on mossy banks, or feeding the baptismal soup having awaked an unusual appetite. gold-fish in the reedy lakes. I hear their merry She points to a low cottage-looking auberge, a little voices when I cannot see them; and again, in recesses higher up, and in two minutes I enter it. The hostess, where all is shadowy and silent, I catch the bright a brisk, active dame, of uncertain age, and jauntily hues of their gay dresses shimmering through gaps in dressed, shews me into a little parlour, one window of the leafy umbrage. Innumerable pathways winding which opens upon the garden in the rear, while the through the hollows, cross and intersect each other other looks into the front shop or salon, where she sits in every direction, and more than once, without know. at the receipt of custom. The garden is well stocked ing it, I trace the same track twice over, in a vain with fruit and the commoner sorts of vegetables and attempt to penetrate to the centre of the forest. roots, and a party of pigs are feeding audibly in a sty at Now, when I flatter myself that I have reached a the further end. The waiter, whom I suspect to be secluded spot, a peal of laughter from a family of cook, garçon, and landlord all in one, says he will get my children dissipates the illusion; and again, in a darkdinner ready in half an hour. Would I like to walk some glen, that seems a fit haunt for a lone hermit or till then? I can walk in the garden, or Jean shall go a gang of banditti, I stumble upon a solitary artist, with me and shew me Boileau's house, and the house with his colours spread around him on the grass, occupied by the great Franklin—of course, that is, if silently transferring to his canvas the deathlike repose I choose. I do choose, for I see the man wants to get of the scene. I may have spent an hour beneath rid of me, to have the dusty parlour put in order. So I the leaves, and may have left nearly a league of the sally out with Jean, who is a scrap of a boy in a collar- wood behind, when I emerge suddenly upon a broad less gray blouse, and who is attended by a knowing old road track, torn into deep ruts by the passage of wheels, poodle twice the boy's age. Jean leads the way to the and bordered on each side by a wide sward, in places Rue de Boileau, and points out Boileau's house, about even as a carpeted floor, and indenting the wood in which there is nothing remarkable; and then he takes areas a rood or two in extent. The road winds over me to a garden-door, by peeping over which I get a bold swell of the ground, and presents at various sight of a couple of verandahed windows, which he tells points picturesque views both of the near and distant me are the quarters of Franklin, but which I suspect scenery. The spot has evident attractions for holiday. to be a piece of sophistication on the part of Jean makers, who spread their picnics on the grass, and find and the other good people of the place. The boy has convenient seats on the felled trunks of a few trees nothing more to talk about but the merits of Pompe which the timber-wagons have not yet carried away. the poodle, who, according to his version, has reached In one place, a party of photographers have pitched a the summit of canine intelligence, and is a miracle of yellow-canvas tent, and are pursuing their cunning sagacity, of which I do not care to express my strong craft with the alacrity that characterises the profession. doubts.
In another, lads and lasses are vociferous and explosive When I get back to the little parlour, I find it in a game at hide-in-the-wood. In a third, there is neat and tidy, and the cloth laid ; and by the time I dancing going on to the music of a couple of fiddles am seated, the soup is on the table. I dine agreeably, played by boys in blouses, who, I have a suspicion, but not alone. Pompe has forsaken Jean, and attached have not been brought to the spot on purpose; but, himself to me, and has plainly made up his mind to like spirits of mirth as they are, habitually haunt the dissipate the contemptuous opinion I have formed of wood in expectation of votaries. And in one of the him. He gets upon a chair to see me eat the soup, at cleared recesses above mentioned, a vigorous sport is which he looks on approvingly. When the cutlets going on, signalised at a distance by shouts from manly come in, he assumes the begging posture; that not throats, and the repeated and rocket-like ascent into having an immediate effect, he looks me seriously in the air of a black globe some ten inches in diameter. the face, and stretches out one paw in the attitude of I make my way towards this up-and-down meteor, to an orator making a speech. I am inclined to see how solve the mystery of its dancing flights. Upon a far he will go, and still take no notice of him; he smooth area, of about an acre in extent, but twice the changes his position, begs with his back towards me, length of its breadth, I find a dozen or more of athletic and looks appealingly over his shoulder. I cannot young fellows, stripped to their shirts, and playing stand that, and he gets a piece of the cutlet, which a curious game-with a ball as big as a warming-pan he catches in mid-air, and in an instant resumes -of what is neither foot-ball nor fives, but is yet a the successful posture. It will not do a second time, modification of both. The ball, which is perfectly and he tries a third experiment by squatting and globular, is formed of a thick case of India-rubber,