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hunt with my father-in-law, who keeps a pack, and return to Quebec by the afternoon boat."-Fergusson's Notes on a Visit to the United States and Canada, in 1831, in Journal of Agriculture.
This is undoubtedly an improvement upon Melton Mowbray. No occasion for the hack to cover, or the carriage and four: booted, spurred, on his horse, ready to throw off, the sportsman mounts his hunter, and his ship is a moveable stable, he and his steed are floated half across a country into the very centre of the most secret haunts of his game. This is certainly as far removed from the English as the Indian chase. In this very same land, and not many years ago, the red aboriginal,
"When wild in woods the noble savage ran,"
lived by what is now the white colonist's relaxation. What tracking and studying of footsteps was there, and marking of trees! How often did the savage hunter anxiously gaze upon the sky, and steer his path by the stars! His family were left for months, while he dived into the pathless wilds, and pursued his game, like another creature of the desert, differing only in form, and excelling only in craft. Now careless, perhaps blundering, with senses dulled for want of exercise, and with a body, to clothe which all the world has contributed, the Anglo-American goes to the same business, scarcely depending for his guidance on a single faculty of his own, and not trusting, either on land or water, to himself. By land, he mounts another animal, of the existence of which the Indian was utterly ignorant; and by water he is borne by a power which the Red Hunter was even incapable of comprehending the nature of. A main distinction between savage life and civilization seems to be, that in one, man does every thing individually, and in the other, every thing collectively,in bodies.
The changes effected by steam deserve another illustration from the splendid dream of an author on North America, who has scarcely gained the attention he deserved-Mac Taggart :
"The town of Nootka (!) is likely yet to be as large as London, and ought to be laid out on an extensive plan, as the trade between it and the Oriental world may become wonderfully great in a short time. Then, when the steam-packet line is established between Quebec and London, as it soon will be, we may come and go between China and Britain in about two months. The names of the stages will be London, Cove of Cork, the Azores, Newfoundland, Quebec, Montreal, Kingston, Port Dalhousie, Maitland, Erie, Huron, Superior, Rocky Mountain, Athubasca, Nootka, and Canton. Can this be called a foolish prophecy or an idle dream? It is perfectly practicable. The magnitude of the whole may, probably, be too much for the minds of the generality of mankind to grasp. But what signifies that? Were the work absolutely finished, millions would not believe it. Pagans consider the sun in a different light from astronomers: the eyes of both are dazzled by his beams, while his real nature is unknown-as far beyond the understanding of man as he is in miles from the earth, and probably farther."
A CLASSICAL SCENE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF COIMBATOOR:
"A family of the Burghers had assembled, the head of which was about to commence ploughing: with them were two or three Curumbars, one of whom had set up a stone in the centre of the spot on which they were standing, and decorating it with wild flowers, prostrated himself to it, offered incense, and sacrificed a goat, which had been brought there for this purpose by the Burghers. He then took the guidance of the plough, and having ploughed some ten or
twelve paces, gave it over, possessed himself of the head of the sacrificed animal, and left the Burgher to pursue his labours."
This passage, which seems descriptive of an antique gem, is from Captain Harkness's lately published account of an aboriginal race of people who inhabit the Neilgherry mountains in the Carnatic. It abounds with curious vestiges of manners and customs, which carry us back to the remotest antiquity.
JUDGE-LAW. In the trial of a gamekeeper, for shooting a poacher, at the current Assizes, the Judge (Vaughan) observed:-"The witnesses were living by poaching, but they were still entitled to the protection of the laws which they were engaged in violating." This is a maxim of law not of universal application. Very different has been the language of other judges-Lord Eldon, for example-who held, that in the case of the piracy of " Cain," and other works of Lord Byron, the author, or his assignee, was entitled to no protection from the law which he had himself violated.
THE STATE OF THE METROPOLIS.-The Bishop of London, in his sermon on the Fast-day, made the following pointed remark, which is worthy of the attention of those who see in the Cholera an instrument of Divine vengeance. After alluding to the disease now prevailing, and which had occasioned their assembling for religious worship that day, the Right Reverend Prelate exhorted his hearers to charity and the alleviation of the sufferings of the poor,-observing, that the prevailing sins of this country were the covetousness and luxury of the rich, while the visitations of disease, as well as of other calamities, had fallen principally upon the children of poverty.
It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good," says the old proverb. After the exposure of the starvation, penury, and destitution which enormous masses of the people of London are hourly suffering from, it is not possible but that relief of a permanent kind will be thought of and extended to them. Mr. Trench's letter, describing his visit, in company with Mr. Doyle, the Roman Catholic clergyman of Southwark, to the poor Irish in that district, is a document which will be preserved as a memorial of shame upon this age, and a warning to all others:
"By far the greater number of families whom we visited occupied but one single apartment, in which all lived and slept. In many of the rooms were young and strong-built men, crouching over a few miserable sparks of fire, and quite haggard from want. There was something deathly and corpse-like in their countenances, and despair was evidently among them. Many were labourers, accustomed to hard work at the river side. A large portion had been out of employment since Christmas, some since November last. They said they had often known suffering before, but never any thing equal to the present. In one dark and damp apartment, on the ground-floor, two men were sitting on two old boxes, which were absolutely the only articles of furniture. No table, no chair, no bedding. Every thing had gone to the pawnbroker's to obtain food. We asked them where they slept, on which they opened a kind of recess, or cupboard. A small piece of an old sack formed the only pretence to bed-covering, and this, with the exception of the two boxes, was the only moveable article in the tenement. Another apartment in the roof of a house was exactly in the same state, with the exception of a few bed-clothes on the floor, on which a woman was lying in sickness. In some abodes were widows with large families. At present, however, the want of employment is so prevalent, that families with a large number of labouring hands are scarcely better situated than those containing none. A woman, who kept a lodging-house, pointed to several stout young
men, and bitterly complained of the time during which she had been obliged to maintain them at her own cost. In vast number of instances, the blankets of the family were in pawn. The appearance of the people was the best possible test of their destitution as to food. So far from being loud in their complaints, these poor unfortunate people, in several instances, showed an unwillingness to display their real state of privation."
Such are but a few of the appalling facts which this gentleman has thought it his duty to present to the attention of the proprietors of the soil of Ireland-the inhospitable land that has driven these poor creatures to seek abroad the chance of a livelihood, and the certainty of misery and wretchedness. If Ireland does not soon see the necessity of Poor-laws, England must.
THE STREET-KEEPERS. (Scarabaeus trivialis !)—That very curious insect, which may have been long observed in the streets of London -colour, blue, fringed with gold-bearing a reed in the right-feeler, proboscis red and large, gait strutting and pompous, known by naturalists under the name of Scarabæus trivialis, is, we hear, likely soon to become extinct. This insect is of the same genus as the Scarabæus ecclesiasticus, which indeed it closely resembles in appearance. Swainson has, however, pointed out the difference with his usual acuteness: the head of the Scarabæus ecclesiasticus, as he observes, in his Entomological Commentaries, is surmounted by a triangular-shaped organ, of a soft, elastic substance, and fringed with the same species of golden-looking lamina that edge the other parts of the loose, robelike covering whereas the Scarabæus trivialis, though possessing a similar moveable prolongation of form, has it entirely round. In other respects, too, the same author has observed a difference. The Scarabæus ecclesiasticus is lower in stature, less pompous in demeanour, and is altogether, for a reptile, of a grave and reverend aspect. It is thought by many that the species Scarabaæus ecclesiasticus will not long survive its kindred the Scarabæus trivialis.
It is astonishing what a very vulgar mode the Best Possible Instructors have of communicating scientific facts: we observe the above interesting particulars thus announced in "The Times." It must be observed that the Scarabæus trivialis, or Road Beetle, is vulgarly called Street-keeper. See Macleay, in his great work on the "Scarabæi:"
"The race of street-keepers, with their gold-laced coats and hats, are about to be extinguished in their last strong-hold, the City. They are to be superseded by a new police "force," which is to patrole the streets by day only, and which is to be paid and regulated on the model of the county police. A hundred men have been chosen, and measured for their suits of blue. It is supposed the 'swell-mob' will speedily be routed."
PENNY PAPERS.-Every thing in this country, at this moment, seems to be falling between two stools. The Theatre is going to the ground, between monopoly and contraband plays: so are the gloves, they say, and commerce generally. Trade languishes, because we have neither Reform nor Anti-reform; and even Cholera assumes no decided character, it seems to be dying between the true Asiatic and the real English. The Tories tell us the Constitution is getting a fall between the two Houses of Parliament; and assuredly the Press is going to the dogs between the stamped and the unstamped publications. The expensive newspapers are to be ruined in sale on account of their dearness, and the low-priced papers are good for nothing by
reason of their cheapness. Thus the superior papers will not be able to pay good writers because they are undersold, and the inferior papers can only sell a very inferior commodity at a non-remunerative price. This is the race of ruin; and if the present Government are not to be blamed for any thing else, this mischief must at least be laid at their door, until they have put into accomplishment their former promises in regard to the Press.
The public are in general so little acquainted with the history of the newspaper they have eternally between their hands, that the following analysis of the expenses of a daily paper per year may be interesting to them:
To the Subscriber,
By deduction, there remain for Editing,
£ S. d.
£2 0 0
THE FAST.-Persons of all parties agree that never did fast-day pass with so little reverential observance as the last. Even classes of that quiet and orderly character which receives every thing stamped with authority with a degree of reverence, received the fast ordonnance with a most unusual levity of spirit. Is this a sign of the times, or does it originate in the consciousness that the whole affair was a piece of hypocrisy forced on the Government by a fanatic or a madman? "In whose name is it that you titter?" We apprehend it was the name of Perceval that prevented the good people of England from piously composing their countenances with prescribed solemnity. It has been said, that a Government that ordains a fast and is laughed at, proves its deficiency in moral force; but what shall we say of the position of a Government that ordains a fast against its own conviction, through fear of the denunciations or machinations of a small party of fanatical factionists ?
THE WANT OF ACCOMPLISHMENT IN ACTORS.-It is a striking fact that the pretenders to public approbation on our stage seem none of them, or with few exceptions, educated to their profession: the Stage is a kind of pis aller-when either man or woman can do nothing better, and will do nothing worse, they become an actor or actress. This is owing to an unjust, and indeed absurd odium, which lingers about the Theatre, from the nature of its origin in England, and its supposed connexion with the Devil. If people were brought up to the Theatre as to any other profession, as assuredly they might be without discredit, and with the hopes of a livelihood, they would assuredly know more than one thing, and that imperfectly. The instant it were decided that a child should be brought up to the Drama, the education of the form, and the voice, and the countenance, should immediately be begun, so that at nineteen or twenty we might
expect to see an artist, instead of an escaped apprentice or a rejected dressmaker. If an actress can sing now-a-days, she can never dance; if she can dance, she can neither sing nor speak-it seems as if the liberty of the toes threw a constraint upon every other organ of the frame and, on the other hand, if the author, under an idea that his heroine would be able to exhibit grace of form as well as sweetness of voice, introduced a dance, it is always on our stage turned over to some one else, awkwardly enough-almost as awkward as it is to see Wrench, who never sang a note, play Count Almaviva, and get his valet to sing for him. In the "Belle's Stratagem," the heroine is expected to dance a kind of minuet in the masquerade-now, though Lætitia Hardy is represented as a most accomplished actress of real life at all points, and Doricourt, her lover, the pink of all perfection; it always turns out on the stage that one or the other cannot dance, and a substitute is to be sought among the figurantes. The time will come when young persons will be as regularly bred to the Stage as the Bar, and when there will be as little evil reputation at one as at the other. We throw a load of rubbish on a piece of vegetation, and then wonder that it does not flourish: the Stage has sprung up in spite of obstacles, but it is with a twist-just as the acanthus did under the tile that was placed over the pot in which it grew, and from which the idea of the capital of a Corinthian column is said to have been taken.
ONE OF THE BEAUTIES OF LEGISLATION.-Let us add to the list of anomalies in which this extraordinary country is indulging in its old age of luxurious vice-the prosecution of cheap laws. The Printer of the Acts of Parliament is actually applying for an injunction against, or prosecuting for damages, those who dare to infringe his privilege of printing Acts of Parliament, and in a portable form communicate to the world the laws passed by the legislature, at a more moderate rate than himself. Thus people are every day hanged, transported, and fined for not knowing the laws, but yet the King's Printer is the only legitimate channel of information, and they may hang or drown, but he must have his legitimate profits. Now we challenge any country in the world to produce a parallel absurdity to this. The King of Spain, it is true, burned till the proper officer came to pluck him out of the fire; but here is a whole people, who are not permitted to hear of the laws by which their fortunes or their lives may be forfeited, until the proper officer comes forward, in a most awkward and expensive manner, to tell them in what manner their best and dearest interests have been regulated by their own
THE BOY KINg for Greece.-The value of Monarchical Government is not likely to be better understood anywhere than in England, where we have experienced it through nearly all the gradations of the scale from the fever-heat of tyranny, through the temperature of a Constitutional King, to pretty nearly the Zero of nominal chief magistrate. And we surely ought to know better than that, however useful a royal head may be, still royalty is not a panacea for all the evils of a wretched and distracted country. But it seems to be a common idea, that, in order to appease the storms of a troubled state, all that is necessary to be done, is to clap a king upon it--a boy