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Science and Arts.

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

No. 185.

SATURDAY, JULY 18, 1857.

PRICE 13d.

flowers. The latter occupation is perhaps innocent, HINTS OF NATURE.

but rather tiresome. A man who can take a hint well, ought to be held in The foregoing remarks probably make apparent the esteem. He manifests a certain greatness as well as meaning I attach to the word 'hint;' but it may be refinement of soul, when he infers neither more nor as well to employ a few words in stating the meaning less than is meant, and acknowledges the courtesy of concisely. A hint,' then, signifies something from a friend's intention by prompt respect to his feelings. without, which diverts the mind from one train of We feel at ease with such a man; we know that any thought, and suggests another. In the perception, the topic of conversation mal-à-propos and unpleasant will mind is chiefly passive; but it becomes active in the be adroitly changed, or, if we are in a mood for soli- reflective process to which that perception gives rise. tude, our well-bred and sensible visitor will withdraw, It is clearly not enough that thought be interrupted; without offence on either side. Intimacy becomes it must be directed into a channel more

or less stronger and more congenial when the sin of boredom divergent. is judiciously avoided. It is an old story, that the I hardly know how to justify my saying so much of extremes of a virtue are akin to faults. One may bints in general, since the idea I am bent on expresssometimes meet with a man of such exquisite, or rather ing relates to hints dropped by nature and taken by morbid sensibility, as to be continually on the look- philosophers. If I were asked what mental property out for a veiled meaning, and awkwardly afraid of seemed to me of most service to a natural philosopher, ruffling the feathers of his acquaintance. On the my answer would be, capacity to take a hint; but as

other hand, there are men so obtuse and spiritually it is impolitic to ride a hobby too hard, I pause to purblind, that verbal intimations must be as plain make a large admission. Let it be granted, then, as a stage-aside, and expression of countenance as that logical acuteness, industrious research, fertility of unmistakable as a stage-hero's, or they will not be comparison, ingenious analysis and synthesis, ready comprehended : in other words, there are some men perception of consequences and conditions, and as many who put us under the necessity of giving a broad other such talents and accomplishments as occur to hint, to which even the coarse-grained nature of the reader, are essential to the development and enlargeour annoyer does not entirely reconcile us. Now, ment of a science, and, in a subordinate degree, to the just as prodigality is not

as avarice, I discovery of laws. The initial thought forming the think it is better to be thin-skinned than to wear a basis of elaborate processes, and giving the clue to rhinoceros's hide.

Baconian experiment, is generally due, I submit, to a Possibly, I give too much importance, in my estima- hint given by nature herself accidentally, and often tion of character, to this capacity of taking a hint, for I without emphasis. The qualities of mind necessary to judge of power of mind, as well as refinement of feeling, enable a savant to build up and fortify a theory and by observing to what extent the faculty is possessed. systematise phenomena, are frequently found where With a view to this generalisation, however, it becomes the rarer power of appreciating a delicate suggestion expedient to extend our cognizance beyond hints social, exists in a much lower degree. By confounding the to hints intellectual and imaginative. Your one-idead growth of a science with its beginning or birth, Lord man gives the cut direct to any thought, sentiment, or Bacon was led into somewhat extravagant notions fact not tending to his one idea. He does not love as to the effect of his philosophical process of putting digression, to which the appreciation of hints must nature to the question. He gave out, that in scientific needs tend. His remarks may be forcible, and, in the matters, genius would thenceforth be superfluous—that main, just, but they will certainly become prosy and an average intellect, working according to defined monotonous by virtue of being so rackingly relevant; method, would be fully adequate to the requirements of the nail will be knocked on the head until it is broken human knowledge. Experience has shewn that he was short off. Even when the one idea is a good one, you wrong. Indeed, it would be difficult to conceive how feel that truth has got into the wrong hands. On the a mind so sagacious and comprehensive could fall into other hand, I apprehend that similes, metaphors, and a plain error like this, were it not that the highest tropes arise from the poet's or the orator's delicate genius is apt to be overpartial to its own offspring. perception of hints. Laboured conceits and figures of Maximus temporis partus, as the great philosopher speech do not affect us pleasingly, because we see that styled his work, is certainly not an overmodest title; the mind went in search of them, and did not wait but then his real greatness of soul (in theory, not for a hint. It is one thing to pluck flowers by the practice) well carries off a little magniloquence. It is wayside, and another to go out of your way to pluck | not denied, then, that a great part of the bulk of our

So mean

knowledge, the improvement of its arrangement and In several of the above instances, the experimentum instruments, and much theoretical and practical crucis seems to have been furnished by nature herself advancement, are due to steady and orderly argu- -that is, by a combination of circumstances, humanly mentation and experiment. A great deal, too, depends speaking, fortuitous. In some cases, the mind of the on extending research into those fields where nature observer was already engaged on kindred topics, which is most likely to be suggestive. Any accumulation of circumstance no doubt increased its sensitive appreobserved phenomena will probably contain intimations ciation of any suggestion from without bearing on which genius may lay hold of and utilise. By these the subject of thought. Probably a great many other means, also, we are more likely to encounter striking facts, lying at the foundation of different arts and suggestions, which, even without the aid of extra- sciences, were similarly noted, being stumbled over ordinary mental endowments, will not escape the rather than hunted after and found. It is likely, for notice of disciplined intellect.

instance, that the directing power of the magnet was Practical arts necessarily existed, and have often accidentally remarked. been considerably developed, long before the corre Man, however, is not content to stumble over his sponding sciences can properly be said to have information, and make the best of it he can ; he originated. In several instances, the occasions are peers here and there in search of particular knowledge, recorded on which great accessions and improvements and, ten to one, misses it after all; but then he is of practical skill came to be made; and it will be put in the way of obtaining other knowledge, perhaps observed, that in most of these, nature took the no less important, and such as it had not entered into

initiative—that is to say, our knowledge was acquired, his heart to conceive of. not by directly questioning nature, but by cross The amount of scientific acquisition made in this examining her upon some little information casually way is surprising. In the middle ages, and since, men given. In fact, mankind are not so much in the sought for the elixir of life and philosopher's stone. position of counsel, endeavouring to extort suspected They were not more successful in the direct object of truth from an examinant, as of counsel cross-questioning their labour than the daughters of Pelias, when, acting upon some point which takes them by surprise, but on the prescription of Medea, they cut their aged which they skilfully turn to account. Critics,' says father to pieces, in order to renew his youth by the Shenstone, must excuse me if I compare them to process of boiling. The alchemists, however, were the certain animals called asses, which, by gnawing vines, founders of chemistry. We owe to them gunpowder originally taught the great advantage of pruning (abritomen), and many of the most common and useful them. I do not quote this for the sake of the senti- drugs. It was once as needful for men of high and ment, but of the simile, which in some measure low degree to have their horoscopes taken, as it is illustrates my meaning.

now to sit for photographic likenesses. To that end, I have made one considerable admission, and now the astrologers studied the grammar of the stars, and have to make another. No illustration this theory made sorry progress. Yet, whilst meditating on these

of hints can be produced that shall not be an illustra- things, they rocked the cradle of modern astronomy. tion of some other truth as well; for no faculty exists It is extremely common for philosophers to light upon

by itself and independently of others—all results and one truth while in search of another. Whoever has all processes of thought are by their nature complex ; attempted original investigation, knows how apt the yet, in some of the examples I shall adduce, the faculty mind is to be led into collateral thought, and how of taking a hint seems sufficiently predominant for my often the more important results of research are due purpose. The doctrine of specific gravity was forced to those digressions. upon the attention of Archimedes on his entering a We easily see that success would be highly improbbath, and finding that the immersion of his body caused able if men set about inventing sciences mero motu, the water to overflow-no very remarkable incident, and depended for the discovery of occult agencies on and one doubtless commonly observed, but he took the direct investigation. The connection between light, hint which others overlooked. Some merchants, having heat, electricity, and magnetism would never have been lighted a fire on the sea-beach, remarked among the discovered by theory or experiment. Through chance embers a curious crystalline substance, produced by the coincidences, the existence of such a connection came fusion of sand and the ashes of sea-weed: some practical to be suspected; and thus the prosecution of this mind among them seized upon the incident, and gave, branch of inquiry was brought within the province or rather restored to modern science and civilisation, of systematic thought. The researches of Professor one of their most important coadjutors-glass. A Faraday on these subjects are models of experimental chandelier swinging from a church-roof, set Galileo skill and sagacity. Who knows but that accidental thinking about the theory of oscillation, and as a phenomena may ultimately lead to the discovery of result, we have the pendulum. The wife of Galvani, the law governing this connection, and enable us by being an invalid, was indulged on one occasion with theory to account for the different manifestations ? At a dish of frogs; Galvani observed a convulsive motion present, speaking mathematically, the theories of light, in one of these on being touched by a knife, and heat, &c., are distinct, and nothing appears from them making note of the fact, succeeded, on further inquiry, indicating such a connection as really exists, or, indeed, in establishing the science to which we owe the electric any connection at all. Again, the theory of gravitatelegraph. A boy was employed to work the valves of tion, as it at present stands, does not answer the inquiry a steam-engine, and, getting tired of his monotonous whether or not that force and other forces are merely occupation, ingeniously connected them with the engine modifications of the same central energy; and to itself

, which became self-acting. We, observers after prove the negative or the affirmative, seems beyond the fact, wonder so simple a contrivance did not occur human power. Chance may, some time or other, before to maturer minds. The high-pressure steam- furnish a clue. For what we know, gravitation may engine was itself probably a result derived from a be en rapport with the imponderable agents. We cannot very commonly observed phenomenon. The fabrica- at present modify the force of gravity. However much tion of fire-balloons originally occurred to the brothers we change a body chemically or mechanically, gravity Montgolfier in a similarly accidental way. I may acts as before. Yet there is nothing to shew that it mention too-bearing in mind that other faculties may not be varied just as electricity, heat, &c. are, by besides ability to take a hint combined to produce the some complex and unknown arrangement. There may result—the story of Newton and the apple. Whoever be, and probably are, other agents—some, perhaps, will take the trouble to look over a history of the arts included in the vague category of chemical forces — and sciences, can easily enlarge the list.

susceptible of theoretical and even mathematical

IN

representation, besides those already within man's ken; and we think of the old saying, “There is nothing but an attempt, even by the highest genius, directly new under the sun.' Man pants for knowledge as the to discover whether or not such agencies exist, would hind for the water-brooks. No wonder he sometimes fail. When genius has a clue, it may follow it; but becomes impatient of growth, and longs for some nature will not be forced.

California in the fairy fields of science, where know. Of course, and as I intimated before, all our know- ledge may be picked up in nuggets. Well, if we ledge is certainly not due to hints from nature. A cannot know as fast as we wish, we can speculate good many important results have been obtained by to our hearts' content; and we do speculate on the fortunate guessing. If I were inclined to stretch a conservation of forces, the correlation of forces,' point, I would say that in such cases the hint given is and the central law. If coming knowledge casts infinitesimal. Thus, the discovery by Franklin of the its shadow before, perhaps that shadow is speculative identity between electricity and lightning, looks very thought. much like a guess; indeed, the principal credit is due to the ingenuity of the means by which that philosopher established the fact. In the history of science,

KRASINSKI: A TAL E. we find many happy guesses, which for long periods

CHAPTERS.-CHAP. III. remained merely barren speculations, because the guessers could not test their conjectures.

FOUR

EMMA'S LETTER.

For many discoveries, credit must of course be MY DEAR BROTHER—I do not wonder that you given to direct inference. Mechanical improvements, blame me; everybody must do so. But what makes especially, are often made by the adaptation of means me more miserable than I otherwise would be--for to ends, and some of them possess much scientific I am now intensely wretched-is, that I fear I shall inportance. For instance, in the working of voltaic never be able to account rationally for my conduct; batteries, it was found that the bubbles of gas adhering for if I were to make known the real cause of to the positive metal impeded the chemical action. the alteration that mamma has told you of, I should Mr Smee conceived that if the surface of the metal subject myself to ridicule as well as blame. You know were rough, the gas would pass off more freely. He how I loved Krasinski, and what happiness I anticiaccordingly precipitated on the positive metal the pated in being his wife; and you can hardly suppose black powder of platinum, and the result justified that his not having saved that poor infant—though his expectations. The sustaining battery of Daniel is I own it did surprise and pain me-could be the sole also due to elegant reasoning. I have said that cause for my acting as I have done. I am aware discoveries lying in the direct line of development of mamma and others think it is; and I do not undea science are often-it may almost be said generally | ceive them, from the fear of ridicule, as I have said,

- due to direct logical processes. When once the and because mamma, who always frets when Arthur is fundamental laws of action are discovered, it becomes long silent, would be alarmed by my story, which might a matter of mathematical analysis to find out related make her very ill, and she is by no means strong at phenomena. The theory of light, perhaps, has been present. Even to you, dear Everard, I could not tell most fruitful in these species of results. Some of the my secret, were you here, but writing it is different; more intricate and beautiful phenomena of polarisation and I can't bear that you should think me so weak were detected by the interpretation of mathematical and capricious as I see by your letter you do. So I formulæ deduced from the undulatory theory. I must am going to tell it to you; and, indeed, it will be a not omit to mention a great triumph of this kind relief to me to tell it to somebody, for I think of it all recently achieved. The discovery of the planet day. Besides, it may induce you to make inquiries Neptune by Leverrier and Adams was made by purely about Arthur. Do write to the consuls and everybody abstract investigation proceeding on the known law likely to know about him--that is, if you have not of gravitation and the ascertained motions of other heard from him since you last wrote. De Rosny is planets. Astronomers were well aware that certain the name of the gentleman he told us he was going perturbations of Jupiter remained unaccounted for. to travel with ; and Krasinski says they were to meet The inference was natural, that another planetary at Rome, which agrees with Arthur's last letter. You body occasioned them. That inference was made. will wonder what all this means, and why I am Leverrier and Adams, skilfully applying the machinery unusually anxious about dear Arthur-well, you shall of modern analysis, or, to speak profanely, 'putting hear. x into a mill,' established the fact, and determined Mamma has told you about the drowning of that the approximate elements of the disturbing sphere. poor, dear, little child. You may imagine how that The degree of scientific tact and learning requisite to accident shocked me! The little face and outstretched grapple successfully with such a problem, is certainly arms rising from the water, were before my eyes all high; at the same time, the amount of genius required day-I could not shut them out; and then I was vexed, is perhaps not very extraordinary. It was a matter of surprised, and mortified at Krasinski's conduct. But development, a working according to known methods I tried to excuse him, and to think what a dreadful and by known instruments. Newton's analysis of the thing it would have been if he had been seized with moon's orbit remains unapproached. He invented the cramp-as he says he was the last time he went to instruments by which he worked, and the process in bathe--and drowned too; though I should have been which he used them.

80 proud of him, and loved him a thousand times In spite of the great expansion of old knowledge and more if he had tried to save her; and, O Everard ! if accession of new, of which the nineteenth century is he had been drowned, I should have adored his excusably boastful, it remains a singular fact, that memory, and, I am sure, been much happier than I science cannot jump, however we may spur it on. am now with this horrid idea that has taken possession The human mind must come very close to a new truth of me, and that I cannot, cannot shake off. before it can lay hold of it, and make that truth its I went to bed that night with my mind oppressed own. Even in trivial matters, the same law prevails. to the greatest degree with what had happened. I Our very fashions grow. Modern costume is the reverse generally go to sleep the minute I lie down, but that of picturesque or comely, yet we cannot invent a dress night I could not. If I did begin to doze, I woke with to supersede it on any ground of indisputable superi- a start and the horrid recollection of what I had seen; ority. Now and then, a preposterous 'mode' or a new till at last, irritated and weary, I began to cry, which philosophical theory comes up, but we shortly find you will think very childish; but I believe it did me that both are merely revivals of ideas old as the hills; good, for I fancy I cried myself to sleep.

Now, you know I have often said that I never searchingly, that at last I confessed that I was much dream, and Dr D-says it is because I sleep so very troubled with disagreeable dreams. He said he had no sound; and Mrs C- says, that doubtless I do dream, doubt that they were caused by some derangement but that when sleep is profound, we do not remember of the stomach; and looked at my tongue, and attriour dreams; and I incline to this opinion; because, buted my depression of spirits and the dreams to what sometimes at the moment of waking, it appears to me he calls nervous dyspepsia. He may be right. I have as if a scene of some sort was slipping away from me, certainly lost my appetite entirely, and feel a dreadful like a dissolving view or a diorama; and I try in vain languor that I cannot account for. Of course, he to catch at it: it is gone like a breath; and this has ordered me some medicine, which I took for a forthappened several times lately; and now I think that night; but I got worse instead of better, for I bad I had had this dreadful dream before, but did not the dream every night. I thought Arthur looked recollect it.

more mournful than ever, and that he reproached me Well, I at last cried myself to sleep, and dreamed bitterly for not obeying him, and said I should repent that I was in bed, just as I really was, and that the it when too late. I positively dreaded going to bed; door opened, and Arthur came in, and walked slowly and Krasinski's visits, instead of giving me pleasure,

up to the foot of the bed, and stood looking at me with actually made me miserable; and if I had not been such a sorrowful face ! oh, so sorrowful! 80 pale too! ashamed, when I saw him coming up the gravel-walk, and his hair looked wet and dripping with water. I should have run away, instead of going joyfully to

And I thought I sat up in bed, and asked him if he meet him, as I used to do. So, at last, I grew desperhad saved the child, and he said: 'No; the child is ate, and resolved to act for myself without consulting with us.'

anybody. And I said: "Where is that?'

Mamma had broken the ice a little, by telling 'In the other land,' he answered. Then he shook Krasinski that she feared I was falling ill, and that the his head reproachfully, and said: 'She is happy; but marriage must be deferred; but he would not hear

if you will not attend to what I tell you, you will of it, and urged, on the contrary, that we should be keep me in darkness and trouble.'

married without further delay, in order that I might Then I said I would attend, and asked what he get to a better climate. He said he had no doubt wanted me to do.

that the moist air of this place was killing me, and "To promise me,' he said, that you will not marry that he was beginning to feel the effects of it too. Krasinski till I can be present at the wedding, and This alarmed mamma; and as I saw she was inclined give you away;' and I said: 'I promise.'

to coincide with Krasinski, there was no time to be Then he bowed his head, and said, he hoped I would lost. So I commenced the conversation by saying, keep my promise, and went away out at the door that it was very strange we did not hear from Arthur. slowly, as he had entered; and when he turned round, I must tell you that this was a subject that always I saw inscribed on his back, ‘Drowned at Venice, 9th wearied Krasinski; for though, since my dream, I April 1847

had never mentioned Arthur's name, scarcely a day Then I awoke, and I was so impressed with the passed that mamma did not remark on his long reality of this dream, that I was dreadfully frightened silence; so he made no answer, but began singing a —though I was not frightened at all in my sleep- favourite song of mine-you know he has a fine and I buried my head under the clothes, and lay in voice—and sat down to the pianoforte: but I had terror till I saw a gleam of daylight; and then I screwed up my courage, and was determined to go on. ventured to uncover my face and look about; and Don't play now,' I said ; 'I want to speak to never was I so glad as when I heard the servants you.' getting up, and I could ring for Bella to come and He turned round on the music-stool, still keeping dress me. I rose directly, and went into the garden, the fingers of his right hand on the keys, and said with where I walked on the terrace till the bell rang. a look of impatience: When I went into the breakfast-room, everybody said 'Bien; parlez! Qu'est-ce que c'est?' how ill I looked, attributing my appearance to what This manner of his rendered it more difficult for me had happened the day before, and I did not contradict to go on, but I said : 'I should like to know if Arthur them.

really went to the east with Monsieur de Rosny.' No one but myself can judge what the dream of *Ah!' said he, shrugging his shoulders, and beginthat night was—how like reality. I afterwards dreamed ning to play again, who knows?' it again and again, with slight variations, and Arthur This made me rather angry; and I said drily: 'I am looked more mournful and reproachful every time, aware this subject is not an agreeable one to you;' till I felt, let people think what they would, I must but this seemed to offend him, and turning sharply do what he told me, and that I never could be happy round, he said : in my marriage if I did not.

• Comment? Que voulez vous dire ?' I assure you, my dear brother, that I struggled 'I do not mean to say anything to displease you, valiantly against this weakness, as you must think it; but I know you are weary of mamma's wonderings and but the time fixed for the wedding was at hand, and questionings about Arthur; but the truth is, I am every day my new things were arriving from London, getting very anxious myself.' Here he shrugged his and my aunt and cousin, and Colonel Gordon, who shoulders again, and made a gesture with his lips and was to give me away, were coming; so I plucked up eyebrows, as much as to say that he could not help courage, and told mamma that I did not feel at all my folly. well, and that I should therefore request Krasinski to I thought this unkind, for he might have shewn defer our marriage till the spring, as I was quite more sympathy with my feelings, and I continued unequal to undertake the journey to Rome. This was hastily: 'In short, Krasinski, I am so uneasy, so just after mamma's last letter to you.

seriously alarmed indeed, that I cannot think of being I saw very well that she did not believe that this married till I hear some satisfactory news of Arthur. was the whole truth; but you know I durst not tell I have more cause for alarm than I choose to tell her of the dream, she would have been so dreadfully mamma-I have had dreadful dreams about him. You frightened about Arthur. However, she said if that smile'-and he did smile contemptuously, though he was the case, she must send for Dr F- I begged looked very pale, and in a manner amazed—but you her not to do so, but she did ; and accordingly he would not smile in my case. I see him every night

I am sure she told him that she feared I had in my dreams, I mean; but I see him as plain as I something on my mind; for he questioned me so see you now; and he tells me'

led.

came.

* Assez, mademoiselle,' he said, interrupting me; berries, and the fact of their appearance placed and he rose from his seat and took up his hat.

beyond the possibility of doubt. I rose too, and laid my band on his arm. 'Listen, Still, they heard nothing from Arthur; and, midst Krasinski,' I said. 'I have never believed in dreams-- the pleasant parties and jovial meetings to which but this seems more than a dream: you can have no Everard introduced his new acquaintance, he would idea of it. It is that that has made me so ill.-so sometimes exclaim : It is certainly strange that we depressed—so changed in everything. I can scarcely have no news of my brother!' help believing that it is Arthur himself that comes 'Suppose we go to Naples !' said De Rosny one day nightly to my bedside and tells me' Krasinski, to Everard, shrugging his shoulders, as if in half who could not contain his indignation at my folly, contempt of the proposition he was making; "it will here attempted to leave the room; but I was between be all in my way; and a little change will do you no him and the door, and held his arm fast, for, now harm.' I had begun, I was determined to go through with it. "Well, things are getting rather slack here,' answered ' He tells me we must not be married till he can be Everard. 'I don't care if I do go so far with you, if I present at the wedding, and give me away, and I have can get leave for a couple of months.' promised to obey him.'

The leave was applied for and obtained, and with "A votre plaisir, mademoiselle,' said he, bowing, the first opportunity, they took ship for Naples. with an attempt at calmness, but evidently fearfully agitated; and he laid his hand on the latch of the

AN INTERESTING ACT OF PARLIAMENT. door.

Don't be so hard upon me, Krasinski,' I said, Reader, did you ever read an act of parliament ? bursting into tears, for I could keep up no longer. Perhaps you remember, once upon a time, lighting Heaven knows what I have suffered! I could not

upon a document which began, 'Whereas it is expetell mamma; I was ashamed to tell you ; but this dient to .... Be it enacted by the Queen's Most dream speaks to me like a voice from the dead. Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent fear something dreadful has happened to Arthur; cannot help believing that he was drowned at Venice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in - drowned on that 9th of April, the very day that you Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the said you came away together! Was he?—was he? same.' Then you looked at the interpretation-clause, Confess the truth!'

and found that, 'for the purposes of this act,' 'land' Krasinski evidently thought I had gone out of my shall mean ‘houses,' and a church a chapel; that the senses, for he stood looking wildly at me, with the word “bishop' shall comprehend and apply to an 'archstrongest expression of fear and horror on his coun- bishop;' or, as appears by one example of legislative tenance whilst I uttered these words ; and then facetiousness, that the word coals shall include exclaiming: 'Grand Dieu ! est-il possible !'he rushed cinders' (which, by the way, we learn this last every franticly out of the house.

day from our coal-merchants, without the aid of an act Mamma, who happened to be at her bedroom- of parliament); that man shall mean woman, and window, saw him flying down the garden, and sus many men mean one; and so on. These statutable pecting that something had happened, came in search equivalents you felt disposed to acknowledge as rather of me, and found me lying on the floor in the drawing. amusing preludes to the study ; but when you proroom. I had fainted. The next day I received a letter ceeded in your inquiries, and came upon words of from Krasinski, saying that he could only explain my unknown meaning and un-English aspect-estates extraordinary conduct by supposing that I wished to tail, pur autre vie, tenants in common, pleas, demurrers, break off the engagement; that he was the last man and replications—your glazed eyes passed speedily in the world to claim the hand of a lady under such over the mass of type, till the delightful apparition of circumstances, however strong his attachment and the final clause, 'this act shall apply to England only,' deep his regret; and that since he had remarked for almost drew from you the exulting cry of Diogenes, some time that his presence was rather a source of on a similarly dull occasion: Courage, lads; I see pain than pleasure to me, he should leave Ambleside land!' immediately. It was a calm, gentlemanly letter; but Of course the study of acts of parliament, like all he is evidently very indignant, and I cannot wonder other studies, has its difficulties, and a good deal must, at it; for my behaviour must be utterly incomprehen- we suppose, be left to the lawyers; and you are persible to him. I often fear I have destroyed my own haps very well content to leave all, with a parting happiness and his by yielding to an unpardonable benediction of much good may it do them.' First, weakness.

however, bear a word of remonstrance. Imprimis, it I have but one consolation—the dreadful dream has is of no use abusing the lawyers, as is often done, for left me. Only once since Krasinski went have I seen monopolising that of which you give them the monoArthur in my sleep, and then I thought he looked poly; Secondly, You are ignorant at some peril, for the cheerful, and bent over my bed, and kissed me, and law of England presumes that all Englishmen know said : Good girl ! Good girl!' And now, dear the law, and will certainly deal with them as if they Everard, lose no time in making every inquiry about knew it; and Thirdly, Acts of parliament offer a not Arthur, and write without delay to your unhappy but uninteresting means of studying the manners, political ever affectionate sister,

EMMA EDMONDS. movements, and predominant thoughts of the various

eras in our national history, This letter, which had been looked upon as nothing Now, it is not our intention to touch the first but the weak effusion of a nervous girl, could hardly two points above mentioned, or even to illustrate, fail, when taken in conjunction with De Rosny's at any great length, the third in order ; but there strange experience, of making some impression on happens to be an act of parliament, passed not long the young men, unwilling as they were to attach any since, which has the rare virtue of being not only serious importance to ghostly admonitions. They useful-for we fear there are some acts of parliament discussed the subject over and over again, generally which are not entitled even to the praise of utilityconcluding, however, that, notwithstanding the sin- but also interesting. Let us look together at this gular coincidence of the vision and dream, it would interesting' act of parliament. be absurd to attach importance to them, because, if It is known as the 19 and 20 Vict. c. 64, and is people could come back from the other world to tell entitled, “An Act to repeal certain Statutes which are their wrongs, "ghosts would be as plenty as black- not in Use;' and it enacts in the usual form, that the

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