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capable of stupifying small animals, and preventing | also seems to be some mistake about Blumenbach's their escape. On this subject there is much difference statement, that an imitation of the hissing of serpents of opinion, for, while some contend that serpents have will lure rabbits, &c. to their destruction. Those best absolutely no odour at all, others contend that they acquainted with the habits of the Indians know nothing give out a most offensive odour from every part of the of this practice; but they speak of one, which is likely body, similar to that of flesh in the last stage of putre- to have originated the idea. The young Indians put faction, and extending to a considerable distance. It arrows across their mouths, and by the quivering mohas also been said that horses are sensible of, and greatly tion of their lips, imitate the noise of young birds, thus agitated by, this odour at the distance of forty or fifty bringing the old ones near them, so that they can be yards from the place where the snake is concealed, and readily shot at. In like manner the great shrike, hiding show their abhorrence by snorting and starting from the in a thicket, and imitating the cry of a young bird, road, endeavouring to throw their riders in order to often succeeds in seizing the old ones, which have been make their escape.

solicited by the counterfeited noise to the assistance of In Dr. Barton's memoir on the fascinating power of their young. It is also said that the titmouse will make serpents, published in the Transactions of the American a noise, by night, at the entrance of the bee hive; and Philosophical Society, the experiments of Vosmaer are when a bee comes out to see what is the matter, will quoted ; several birds and mice were thrown into a cage seize and devour it. In this way he will secure a dozen where a rattle-snake was confined ; the little animals in succession. immediately endeavoured to squat in a corner, and soon In endeavouring to trace to its source the origin of after, as if seized with deadly anguish, ran towards their this supposed mysterious power in serpents, Dr. Barton enemy, who continually shook his rattles.

was led to inquire, 1. What species of birds are most Any one looking at this experiment with his mind frequently observed to be enchanted by serpents ? and, preoccupied with the theory of fascination, would say 2. At what season of the year has any particular species that the little animals were fascinated by the serpent; been most commonly seen under this wonderful inothers, who had no particular theory to advocate, would fluence ? say they were impelled by the strong instinct of fear, Some birds build on the summits of lofty trees; others first to secrete themselves in corners, and finding these hang their nests from the extremity of a branch, or unsafe, would run or fly across the cage in search of a even on a leaf; others on the lower branches, among more secure retreat, when they would fall victims to bushes, and in the hollows of decayed and other trees. their enemy. So necessary is it, in order to observe Some species build on the ground, in cavities in stones, facts properly, to keep the mind free from prejudice. or holes in the earth, among the grass of fields and Dr. Barton well observes, “ Perhaps facts are never re- meadows, in fields of wheat, &c. Now, of all these lated in all their unadulterated purity except by those varieties, those most liable to the attacks of serpents who, intent upon the discovery of truth, keep system are ground nests, and nests built on the lower branches at a distance, regardless of its claims. The strong of trees and on low bushes, especially on the sides of democracy of facts should exert its wholesome sway." rivers, creeks, and other waters, that are frequented by

Experiments similar to those of Vosmaer have been different kinds of serpents; and, on opening the stomachs made with different results. Birds put into a cage with of serpents, birds which build in the manner just mena rattle-snake, flew or ran from the reptile as though sen- tioned are most frequently found in them. sible of their danger. The snake made many attempts to The rattle-snake seldom or never climbs trees; it is catch them but seldom succeeded. When a dead bird found about their roots in wet situations. L'pon the was thrown in he devoured it immediately. He also lower branches of such a tree, it is very likely a bird or soon caught and devoured a living mole, an animal squirrel may have been seen exhibiting symptoms of much more sluggish than the bird. Dr. Barton con- fear and distress. Is this a matter of wonder? Nature has fined during several hours a small snow-bird with a taught different animals what are their enemies; and, large rattle-snake. It exhibited no signs of fear, but although the principal food of the rattle-snake is the peat hopped about from the door of the cage to its perch, frog, yet, as he occasionally devours birds and squirrels, and frequently hopped about on the snake's back. Its he is to these animals an object of fear. That the terrichirp was in no way tremulous, but perfectly natural, fied creature will sometimes run towards the serpent, and it ate the seed put in for it. The snake, it is true, then retire and return again, is not denied; but that it is was languid, and had not eaten for a long time, and it irresistibly drawn into the jaws of the serpent is denied. was somewhat early in the season for snakes. This ex- On the contrary, it is not uncommon for a bird to attack periment proves at least the absence of any mephitic a serpent and chase it away, in doing which, it may get vapour; indeed, if such existed, the natural haunts of a fatal bite from its eneny. The black snake, whose serpents would be fatal to other animals which frequent bite is harmless, has the power of climbing trees, and them, such as frogs and many species of birds. The feasts on the eggs and young of birds. Audubon has rattle-snake is often known to lurk for days together at given a vivid description of a Baltimore oriole attacking the bottom of a tree, or near a small bush, upon the the black snake, which sought to plunder her nest. branches of which the thrush or the cat-bird are rearing In general, serpents attack birds at the seasons of intheir young: Birds of the eagle and hawk kind will cubation, and of hatching and rearing the young brood, hover over the spot, and at length dart down upon the while the latter are defenceless. The cries and fears of reptile, and carry it off to their young If the animal birds, supposed to be under the influence of fascination, had the power of generating any mephitic vapour, it are but a strong expression of maternal solicitude for their would surely do so for its own protection in such a case young So also, when the parent bird is teaching her as this. Persons who have kept rattle-snakes in con- young to fly, there is great danger from the attacks of finement for months at a time have been quite unable serpents. Their flights are awkward and broken by to detect any odour in them.

fatigue, and falling to the ground, they often become vicSome writers suppose the instrument of fascination tims to their lurking enemy. The mother, attempting to in the rattlesnake to be the crepitaculum, or set of bells,' save them, will dart upon the serpent, but fear compels which the animal rings at dinner-time, and then its prey her to retire; she returns again, attacks him with wing comes running towards the reptile, as if to say, - eat and beak and claws. Should the serpent succeed in me !" "eat me!" It is unfortunate for this theory, that capturing the young, the mother is in less danger, for most writers state, that the rattle-snake in the supposed while engaged in swallowing them, the serpent has no act of charming keeps its rattles perfectly still. There power to seize the old bird; but the appetite of the

serpent tribe being great, and the capacity of the

stomach not less so, the snake having devoured the (1) Serpent à sonnetle is the French term for rattlesnake. young, attempts to seize the parent bird, and in doing


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so completes the catastrophe, which crowns the tale of it forms a part of a more extensive plan; the effects of fascination.

which, he will assert, are prominent and unequivocal, An anecdote, related by Mr. Rittenhouse, will further though its ways, he will confess, are incomprehensible illustrate this view of the subject. This gentleman, to mortal minds." walking out in the country, had his attention excited by the peculiar melancholy cry of the swamp blackbird, which led him to suppose that a snake was near,

FRANK FAIRLEGH; and that the bird was in distress. He threw a stone at

OR, OLD COMPANIONS IN NEW SCENES. 1 the place from whence the cry proceeded, which had the effect of driving the bird away. The poor animal, how

CHAPTER XI. ever, immediately returned to the same spot. Mr. R. now went to the place where the bird alighted, and to his great astonishment, he found it perched upon the easily

discovered, and having tied my horse up under a

The place of meeting appointed by Peter Barnett was back of a large black snake, and pecking it with its shed, which served the double purpose of stable and beak. The serpent was in the act of swallowing a young coach-house, I took possession of a small room with a bird; and from the enlarged size of the reptile's belly, it was evident that it had already swallowed two or three sanded floor, and, throwing myself back in a most unother young birds. After the snake was killed, the old casy easy chair, began to think over the interview I had bird flew away.

just had, and endeavour to devise some practicable plan These, and similar instances by careful observers, illus- for the future. The first thing was to establish free trate the method adopted by these reptiles in procuring to accomplish by the assistance of Peter Barnett. I

means of communication with Clara, and this I hoped food, and indeed they often find it very difficult to do so. should thus learn Mr. Vernon's proceedings, and be able The rattle-snake lies insidiously in wait for his prey at the water's edge, employing no machinery of enchant- he should attempt to force on the marriage immediately,

to regulate my conduct accordingly. If, as I dreaded, ment, but trusting entirely to his cunning and his strength. The black snake, which is much more active would Clara, alone and unassisted, have sufficient courage than the rattle-snake, will ascend the loftiest trees in and strength of purpose to resist him? I feared not ; and search of its prey. If gifted with the power of fascina- how was I effectually to aid her? The question was more tion, why take so much trouble? why not remain

at the easily asked than answered. It was clear that her fortune

was the thing aimed at, for I could not believe either bottom of the tree and practise its enchantments ? A trustworthy observer describes a black snake climbing interested motives ; and it was to their avarice then that

Mr. Vernon or his nephew likely to be actuated by disa tree, in order to get at the young of a Baltimore bird Clara was to be sacrificed-had she been portionless she in a nest at the extremity of a branch, which was so slender that the serpent found it impossible to come at all sources of evil and misery money appears to be the

would have been free to marry whom she pleased. Of the nest by crawling along it; he therefore took advan most prolific ; in the present case its action was twotage of another branch which hung above the nest, and, fold,–Clara was rendered wretched in consequence of twisting a portion of his tail round it, was able, by possessing it, while the want of it incapacitated me from stretching the remainder of the body, to reach the nest, boldly claiming her hand at once, which appeared to be into which he insinuated his head, and thus glutted his the only effectual method of assisting her. appetite with the young birds. There is evidently no fascination here, for we see the reptile exerting all his arrival of my future privy counsellor, Peter Barnett,

My meditations were at this point interrupted by the ingenuity to obtain his prey. If the serpent really possessed this fascinating power, to his full height, which very nearly equalled that of

who marched solemnly into the room, drew himself up how does it happen that all the American serpents are

the the food of different kinds of birds? Even the rattle salute, and then, closing the door cautiously, and with

room, brought his hand to his forehead in a military snake, whose poison produces such alarming symptoms an air of mystery, stood at ease, evidently intending me in man and other animals, is frequently devoured by

open the conversation. some of the stronger and more courageous birds, such as the swallow-tailed hawk and the larger kinds of owl, for I felt the greatest difficulty in entering on the sub

“Well, Peter," began I, by way of something to say, Even the hen has been known to leave her affrighted ject which then occupied my thoughts before such an chickens and attack with her beak a rattle-snake, kill it, auditor. “Well, Peter, you have not kept me waiting and devour the greater part of the reptile's body. Nor long ; I scarcely expected to see you so soon : do you is this surprising, when it is considered how very small imagine that Mr. Vernon will remark your absence ? a stroke upon any part of its body disables it from run

“ He knows it already," was the reply. “Why, bless ning, and a slight shock on the top of its head is fol. lowed by instant death. The skull bone is so remarkye, Sir, he ordered me to go out hisself.”

“Indeed, how was that?" ably thin and brittle, that a stroke from the wing of

Why, as soon as you was gone, Sir, he pulled the the thrush or robin is sufficient to break it. In conclusion, we trust enough has been said to show Sir,' says I, 'certingly, only he's not at home, Sir. When

bell like mad. “Send Mr. Richard here,' says he. Yes, the absurdity of this common superstition. The pro; he heard this he grumbled out an oath, or sumthin' of gress of science and the cause of truth are sadly impeded that natur, and I was going to take myself off, for I see by the many superstitious notions which prevail in he wasn't altogether safe, when he roars out “Stop! natural history. Under their influence we fall from our dignity, and are often rendered unhappy. It should (You'd a said “halt” if you'd a been a officer or a genbe one of the principal objects of science to rear and tleman, which you ain't neither,' thinks I.) What do prop the dignity of the mind, and to smooth its way to orders to the contrary ? says he. Who was it as blowed

you mean by letting people in when I have given comforts and to happiness. The ills and infirmities of our earthly state of being are numerous enough. It is me up for sending away a gent, as said he wanted to folly, if not vice, to increase them. He who seriously That bothered him nicely, and he didn't know how to

see you on partiklar business, only yesterday?' says I. believes that a hideous reptile is gifted from the sacred be down upon me, but at last he thought he'd serve me Source of universal life and good with the power of one of his old tricks. So he says, ‘Peter, what are you fascinating birds, squirrels, and other animals, will hardly stop here. He may, and probably will, believe doing to-day? I see what he was at, and I thought ra much more. He will not, perhaps, think himself en plate, Sir," says I. This was enough for him : if I was a

ketch him in his own trap. Very busy & cleaning tirely exempted from this wonderful influence. He may cleaning plate, in course I shouldn't like to be sent out, suppose that the property belongs to other beings besides the serpents; and he will, perhaps, imagine that

(1) Continued from p. 263.


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so says he 'Go down to Barnsley, and see whether Mr. | plenty of money to keep it up with? won't that do to
Cumberland is there.' But the plate, Sir?' Never live upon?"
mind the plate.' ‘But it won't never look as it ought And do you imagine I could ever feel content to be
to do if I'm sent about in this way,' says I. 'Do as the creature of my wife's bounty ? prove myself a needy
you're ordered, and leave the room instantly,' says he, fortune-hunter, as that old man dared to term me?"
grinding his teeth reg'lar savage-like. So I took him exclaimed I, forgetting the character of my auditor.
at his word, and come away to see you as hard as I “Barstone Priory to live in, and more money than
could pelt; but you've put him into a sweet temper, you know what to do with, ain't to be sneezed at,
Mr. Fairlegh."

neither,” was the answer, " though I likes your inde-
“Why, that I'm afraid was scarcely to be avoided," pendent spirit too, Sir; but how do you mean to manage,
replied I, “as my business was to inform him that I then ?"
considered his nephew an unfit.person to marry his “Why, Mr. Vernon hinted that if his ward married

without his consent, her fortune was to be forfeited.” “Oh! did you tho'?—did you tell him that ?” cried my "Ah! I believe there was something of that nature companion, with a chuckle of delight;“that was right : in the will; my poor master was so wrapped up in old I wonder how he liked it !"

Wernon, that he wrote just wot he told him ; if he'd As he did not exactly agree with me in this opinion, only a lived to see how he was going to use Miss Clara, but, on the contrary, plainly declared his intention of he'd a ordered me to kick him out of the house, instead.” proceeding with his scheme in spite of me, it is neces- “Perhaps that pleasure may be yet in store for you, sary for me to consider what means I can best use to Peter," replied I, laughing at the zest with which he prevent him from accomplishing his object; it is in uttered the last few words, and an involuntary motion doing this that I shall require your assistance.' of the foot by which they were accompanied : " but

"And what does Miss Clara say about it, young this power, which it seems Mr. Vernon really possesses, gentleman ?" inquired the old man, fixing his eyes on of depriving Miss Saville of her fortune, removes my me with a scrutinizing glance.

greatest difficulty ; for in that case, if he should attempt “Miss Saville dislikes Richard Cumberland, and to urge on this match, I can at least make her the offer dreads the idea of being forced to marry him above of sharing my poverty: there is my mother's roof to everything."

shelter her, and, if her guardian refuses his consent to "Ah! I know she does, poor lamb; and well she our marriage, why, we must contrive to do without it, may, for there ain't a more dissipated young scoundrel that is all. And now, Peter, if you will wait a few to be found nowhere than Mr. Wernon's precious minutes, I will give you a note for your young mistress, ‘ nephew,' as he calls him, tho' it's my belief he might and then get to horse without further loss of time;" call him son' without telling a lie.”

and, calling for pen, ink, and paper, I hastily scribbled “Indeed! I was not aware that Mr. Vernon had ever a few lines to Clara, informing her of the events of the been married."

morning, and of my unalterable determination to save “No; I never heard that he was reg'lar downright her from a union with Cumberland, begging her at the married; but he may be his son for all tbat. Howsum- saine time to continue firm in her opposition, to acever, pr'aps it is so, or praps it ain't; I'm only a tellin' quaint me with everything that might occur, and to you what I fancies, Sir," was the reply. "But what I rely upon me for protection in the event of anything like wanted to know," he continued, again fixing his eyes force being resorted to. I then entrusted my note to on my face, "is, what does Miss Clara say to you? eh !" old Peter, begged him to watch master Richard Cumber

“You put home questions, my friend," replied I, land closely, told him that upon his care and vigilance
colouring slightly, “ however, as Miss Saville tells me depended in great measure the happiness of his young
you are faithful and trustworthy, and as half-confidences mistress's life; tipped him handsomely, though I had
are never of any use, I suppose you must hear all about some trouble in making him take the money, and,
it." I then told him as concisely as possible of my love mounting my ill-disposed horse, rode back to Hilling-
for Clara, and my hopes of one day calling her my own; ford, on the whole tolerably well satisfied with my
pointing out to him the difficalties that stood in the morning's work.
way, and explaining to him that the only one which I found two letters awaiting my return: one from my
appeared to me insurmountable, was the probability of mother, to say that she should be at Heathfield Cot-
Mr. Vernon's attempting to force Clara into an imme- tage on the following day, and begging me to meet her;
diate marriage with Cumberland; being thus situated, the other from Ellis, telling me that at length he hoped
I showed him the necessity of establishing some means Oaklands was in a fair way to recover, it having been
of communication between Clara and myself, as it was ascertained that a piece of the wadding of the pistol had
essential that I should receive the earliest possible in- remained behind when the ball was extracted; this had
formation in regard to Mr. Vernon's proceedings. now come away, and the wound was healing rapidly.

“I understand, Sir,” interrupted Peter, "you want to As his strength returned, Harry was growing ex-
be able to write to each other without the old 'un tremely impatient to get back to Heathfield, and Ellis
getting hold of your letters ; well, that's very easily concluded by saying that they might be expected any
managed; only you direct to Mr. Barnett, to be left at day, and begging me at the same time to remember,
the Pig and Pony, at Barstone, and anything you send that from the first he had always declared, in regard to
for Miss Clara I'll take care and give her when nobody his patient, that it would have killed any other man,
won't be none the wiser for it; and any letters she but that it could not kill him.
writes, l'll put into the Post myself. I'd do anything Days glided by, the absentees returned, and matters
rather than let that young villain Cumberland have fell so completely into their old train again, that the
her, and make her miserable, which his wife is safe to occurrences of the last eight months seemed like the
be if ever he gets one; and, if you likes her, and she unreal creations of some fevered dream, and there were
likes you, as seems wery probable, considering you times when I could scarcely bring myself to believe
saved her from being burnt to death, as they tell me, them true.
and is werry good-looking into the bargain,—which goes Harry Oaklands had recovered sufficiently to resume
a great way with young ladies, if you'll excuse the his usual habits, and, except that he was strictly forbid-
liberty I takes in mentioning of it,—why, the best thing den to over-exert or fatigue himself, (an injunction he ap-
as you can do, is to get married as soon as you can." peared only too willing to obey,) he was nearly emanci-

Very pleasant advice, friend Peter," returned I, pated from medical control. Fanny had in great “but not so easily acted upon; people cannot marry now- measure recovered her good looks again ; a slight delicacy a-days without something to live upon."

of appearance, however, still remained, giving a tone of "Well, ain't Miss Clara got Barstone Priory, and I spirituality to the expression of her features, which was

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not before observable, and which to my mind rendered called in his doctor's lingo, the flexor metatarsi of every her prettier than ever : the listlessness of manner which animal he found there, which, being interpreted, means had made me uneasy about her in the autumn had neither more nor less than hamstring all the hunters." vanished, and her spirits seemed good; still she was in a “Well, that would be better than allowing you to do degree altered, and one felt in talking to her that she was any thing which might disturb the beautiful process of a child no longer. Like Undine, that graceful creation granulation going on in your side-I remember when of La Motte Fouqué's genius, she appeared to have I was a student at Guy's changed from a "tricksy sprite,” into a thinking and “Come, Doctor, we positively cannot stand any more feeling woman.

of your Chronicles of the Charnel House' this morning; One morning Oaklands and Ellis came to the cottage you have horrified Miss Fairlegh already to such a together, the latter in a great state of joy and excite- degree that she is going to run away. If I should stroll ment, produced by a most kind and judicious exercise of down here again in the afternoon, Fanny, will you take liberality on the part of Sir John. About a month be compassion on me so far as to indulge me with a game fore, the grave and pompous Dr. Probehurt had been of chess? I am going to send Frank on an expedition, seized with an illness, from which in all probability he and my father and Ellis are off to settle preliminaries would have recovered had he not steadily refused with poor Mrs. Probehurt, so that I shall positively not to allow a rival practitioner to be called in, in order have a creature to speak to. Reading excites me too that he might test a favourite theory of his own, much, and produces a state of what is it you call embodying a totally novel mode of treatment for it, Doctor?" the complaint with which he was attacked. Unfor- “ I told you yesterday, I thought you were going into tunately, the experiment failed, and the doctor died. a state of coma, when you fell asleep over that inteSir John, who had been long anxious to evince his gra- resting paper of mine in the Lancet, “Recollections titude to Ellis for the skill and attention he had be of the Knife,' if that's what you call excitement," restowed upon his patient, the moment he heard of the turned Ellis, laughing. event, determined to purchase the business: he had that Nonsense, Ellis, how absurd you are," rejoined Oakmorning completed the negotiation, and offered the prac- lands, half-amused and half-annoyed at Ellis's remark; tice to Ellis, stating that he should consider his accept- “but you have not granted my request yet, Fanny." ing it in the light of a personal favour, as in that case he “I do not think we have any engagement-mamma would be always at hand, should Harry feel any lasting will, I am sure, be very happy,"began Fanny, with a ill effects from the wound. Ellis's joy was most amusing degree of hesitation for which I could not account, but, to witness.

as I was afraid Oaklands might notice it, and attribute “ I tell you what, Sir,” he exclaimed, seizing me by a it to a want of cordiality, I hastened to interrupt her button of the coat, I'm a made man, Sir! there isn't a by exclaiming, “ Mamma will be very happy-of course better practice in the county. Why, poor Probehurt told she will—and each and all of us are always only too me himself, old Mrs. Croaker Crawley alone was worth happy to get you here, old fellow-it does one's heart 100l. per annum to him :-four draughts and two pills good to see you beginning to look a little more like every day - prescription very simple – R. Pil, panis yourself again. If Fanny's too idle to play chess, I'll compos. ij

. nocte sum.--haust. aqua vitæ , aqua pura , take compassion upon you, and give you a thorough saccar. viij. grs. pro re nata. She's a strong old girl, and beating myself.” on brandy-and-water draughts and French-roll pills may “ There are two good and sufficient reasons why you last for the next twenty years. Noble thing of Sir John, will not do any thing of the kind,” replied Oaklands.very; 'pon my word it has quite upset me—it's a fact, “in the first place, while you have been reading matheSir, that when Mr. Oaklands told me of it, I sat down matics, I have been studying chess, and I think that I and cried like a child; I'm not over tender-hearted, may, without conceit, venture to pronounce myself the either; when I was at Guy's, I amputated the left-leg of better player of the two-and, in the second place, as I a shocking accident, and dissected the porter's mother-in- told your sister just now, I am going to send you out on ! law (whom he sold us cheap for old acquaintance' sake) an expedition.” before breakfast one morning, without finding my appe. "To send me on an expedition,” repeated I, “may I tite in the slightest degree affected; but, when I learned be allowed to inquire its nature where I am to gowhat Sir John had done, I positively cried, Sir.”- when I am to start-and all other equally essential

" I say, Ellis,” interrupted Harry, “ I am telling Miss particulars ?" Fairlegh I shall make you take her in hand-she has “ They are soon told," returned Oaklands, “I wrote grown so pale and thin I am afraid she has never re- a few days since to Lawless, asking him to come down covered all the trouble and inconvenience we caused for a week's hunting before the season should be over, if her."

and this morning I received the following characteristic “ If Miss Fairlegh would allow me, I should recom


answer:~Dear Oaklands, a man who refuses a good offer mend a little more air and exercise," replied Ellis : “ are is an ass, (unless he happens to get a better one,) now, you fond of riding on horseback?"

your's being the best offer down in my book at present, “Oh, yes!" replied Fanny, smiling, and blushing I say “ done, along with you, old fellow,” thereby clearly slightly at thus suddenly becoming the topic of con- proving that I am no ass. Q. E. D.--eh? that's about versation, " that is, I used to delight in riding Frank's the thing, isn't it? Now look here, Jack Bassett has pony in days of yore, but he has not kept a pony asked me down to Storley Wood for a day's pheasant lately."

shooting, on Tuesday: if you could contrive to send any That is easily remedied,” returned Harry; "I am kind of trap over about lunch-time, on Wednesday, I certain some of our horses will carry a lady. I shall could have a second pop at the long-tails, and be with speak to Harris about it directly, and we'll have some you in time for a half past six o'clock feed, as it is not rides together, Fanny; it was only this morning that I more than ten miles from Storley to Heathfield. I obtained my tyrant's permission to cross a horse once wouldn't have troubled you to send for me, only the more," he added, shaking his fist playfully at Ellis. tandem's hors de combat-I was fool enough to lend it

The tyrant will agree to that more willingly than to Muffington Spoffkins, to go and see his aunt, one fine to your first request. What do you think, Fairlegli," day. The horses finding a fresh hand on the reins, becontinued Ellis, appealing to me, " of his positively gan pulling like steam engines—Muffington could not wanting to go out hunting ?"

hold them---consequently they bolted—and after run“And a very natural thing to want, too, I conceive," ning over two infant schools, and upsetting a retired replied Harry,“ but what do you think of his declaring grocer, they knocked the cart into “immortal smash" that, if I did not faithfully promise not to hunt this against a turnpike-gate, pitching Spofkins into a horseseason, he would go into the stables, and divide, what he pond, with shrimp a-top of him. It was a regular


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sell for all parties : I got my cart broken to pieces, | all the quips, cranks, bams, banters, and buffoonery he Shrimp was all but drowned, and Muffington's aunt can rake together, to divert the immense concourse who cut him off with a shilling, because the extirpated come to hear him. He has no need to be nice and squadron of sucklings turned out, unfortunately, to have squeamish, let them be of what kind they will, however been composed of the picked infants of her own village. filthy, beastly, or indecent; for it is well known that If you could send to meet me at the Feathers' public every thing passes upon this day ... The Father house, which is just at the bottom of Storley great wood, Preachers who have brought a droll lay brother with it would be a mercy, for walking in cover doesn't suit them for their companion (for some have brought such my short legs, and I'm safe to be sown up.--Remember an one) have ordered the lay-brother to get up in the us to Fairlegh, and all inquiring friends, and believe pulpit and preach a burlesque sermon, with all manner me to remain, very heartily, yours, George Lawless.'" of Merry-Andrew tricks. In general, these sermons end

I comprehend," said I, as Oaklands finished reading with a mock act of contrition, and instead of a crucifix, the note," you want me to drive over this afternoon the lay-brother brings out from under his habit a pye, an and fetch him; it will be a great deal better than merely hock of bacon, or a bottle of wine, which he addresses sending a servant.”

with a thousand amorous expressions in the tone of Why, I had thought of going myself, but, 'pon my repentant sorrow, making the audience ready to die with word, these sort of things are so much trouble, at least laughter." to me, I mean,-and, though Lawless is a capital excellent From this specimen of the character of the clergy, as fellow, and I like him extremely, yet I know he'll talk described by one of themselves, we may well imagine about nothing but horses all the way home-and not that the popular writers of the period would be unbeing quite strong again yet, you've no notion how that sparing in their burlesque and satire upon the priestkind of thing worries and tires me.”

hood. The trouveres, a portion of the minstrel class, " Don't say another word about it, my dear Harry ; I who composed their poems and plays, as well as sung shall enjoy the drive uncor

commonly. What vehicle had them, laughed at the edicts issued to prevent the degraI better take?"

dation of the Latin language, and wrote numerous pieces, " The phaeton, I think,” replied Oaklands, “and then full of life and originality, abounding in bitter personyou can bring his luggage, and Shrimp, or any of his alities and cutting sarcasm. Leaving grave subjects to people he may have with him."

the erudite, they threw their whole genius with singular So be it,” returned I, “I'll walk back with you to exuberance into their plays. These plays were, in fact, the Hall, and then start as soon as you please.”

what popular lectures are now, a means of communicating information to large numbers of hearers at once, but relieved and highly seasoned with the author's wit.

So great was the number of saints' days and holidays in THE DRAMA IN THE MIDDLE AGES. the period of which we write, that it would, perhaps,

have been difficult to keep the turbulent population in

good humour, without some such recreation as that In a recent notice on this subject, we briefly sketched afforded by the half-serious, half-comic dramas. The the history of the drama down to the fourteenth century, holidays were not unfrequently made the subject of comillustrated by a few specimens of the religious plays, or plaint : all work being forbidden on those occasions, Mysteries. In the present article, we propose to show some of the artisans remonstrated that the loss of so the further changes which the drama underwent until it many days' work was a serious injury to them. Vol. finally merged into the historical plays of the Eliza- taire has left on record a curious account of a gentlemanbethan period. With the progress of language, and the farmer, ruined by the priest for preferring to plough his spread of intelligence, the people began to grow tired fields on a saints' day to drinking in a tavern. of the grave and tedious Mysteries, and a new kind prodigious number of holidays," it was said, “is the of dramas, called Moralitier, made their appearance; contrivance of tavern-keepers : the religion of peasants which, although frequently of a tragic character, were and artisans consists in intoxicating themselves on the generally interspersed with scenes of gallantry or satire; festival of a saint whom they know only by this means. and, notwithstanding the decrees of the Councils forbid. It is on these days of idleness and debauchery that all ding the employment of any but the Latin language in sorts of crimes are committed : it is the holidays which dramas at all related to sacred suljects, they were fill the prisons, and support the guards, notaries, criwritten in the popular idiom, and performed on tempo- minal officers

, and executioners. Catholic fields are rary stages, erected wherever an audience could be scarcely tilled; while those of the heretics, cultivated brought together. The jongleurs and minstrels began to every day, produce abundant harvests." take a part in the performances which became the chief Plays of the character above described, were frequently attraction at the festivals, and plenary courts of the acted at the festivals of St. Nicholas, the patron saint nobles; and, as the popular element increased in power, of children and scholars. This was one of the occasions and the knowledge of Latin was lost, so did the popu- on which the church relaxed a little of her discipline. lace at markets and fairs delight in plays written in the From the sixth century downwards, St. Nicholas had vulgar idiom.

been celebrated by songs and games, sometimes of a The minstrels and players began to find it as profit dramatic character, held either within the convents to able to amuse the rising class of artisans as to divert the which schools were attached, or in their immediate nobles. They lent themselves to the growing spirit of neighbourhood, by the schoolmaster and his scholars. the age, and their plays were the vehicle by means of One of these, written by Hilary, is—"Concerning saint which the lower orders vented their grievances, or sati- Nicholas and a certain Jew.” The latter bad confided his rized the vices and tyranny of their superiors. The treasure to the keeping of the statue of the saint; laxity of manners among the clergy was made a standard during the absence of the over-confident Israelite, a subject of reproach and ridicule: the popular eye was party of robbers found and carried off the deposit. The quick to detect any dereliction of principle, and the Jew on his return, enraged at his loss, lays violent hands popular tongue to speak its rebuke. That, in many on the statue, and overwhelms it with the most opproinstances, the public sarcasm was not unmerited, may brious insults. The saint, to avenge his compromised be inferred from a description of the ceremonial to take honour, appears to the thieves at night, and forces them place on Easter Sunday, by Father Isla, one of the clerical to return the money. fraternity. “ The Sermon of Pleasantries,” he says, The Jeu de Saint Nicolas, or Play of Saint Nicolas, “ will be preached at 5 o'clock in the morning. In is a piece full of life and movement, and bacchanalian this sermon, it is necessary for the preacher to have all gaiety. The discourse, intermingled with gibes and the merry tales, droll fancies, jests, jokes, and witticisms; jest3 of gamblers and drunkards, now very obscure,

“ The

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