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appeared as a cat. In a village near Riesenburg, in East Prussia, says one of these veritable legends, there was a girl who, unknown to herself, was every night transformed into a black cat; in the morning she used to feel exhausted as after a heavy dream, but the fact was that, in her transformed state, she used to go to her betrothed lover and scratch ånd torment him. One night .he caught the cat, and tied it up in a sack, in the which he found next morning no cat but his sweetheart. It is satisfactory to know that the parson of the parish cured her of her bad propensities, and that they lived happy ever after.

Ordinary cats are fond of milk, and, if they have he opportunity, will steal milk; but the cats of the old mythology, especially the witch-cats, were fond of, and by night stole, the beer. There was a countryman, saith the old German legend, whose beer was all drunk up at night whenever he brewed, so that, at last, he resolved to sit up all night and watch. As he was standing by his brewing-copper, up came a great lot of cats, and he called to them, “ Come, puss, pusscome and wash you a bit ;” so they all squatted in a great ring round the fire, as if to wash themselves. After they had sat there for awhile, he asked them if the water was hot. “Just on the boil,” said they ; and as they spoke, he dipped his long-handled pail in the wort, and soused the whole company with it; they all vanished at once; but, on the following day, his wife had a terribly scalded face, and then he knew who it was that drank up all his beer. Such is a story which is widely spread still over all the Netherlands and North Germany.

More dignified mythologies represent Friga and Hilda-very respectable and ladylike goddesses of the old northern mythology_as often disguised in the form of cats, or attended by maidens riding on cats. How such odd things grew as ideas in the strange old mind, who

But the exponents of the curiosities of mythology and tradition place by their side the notions which still have a hold upon many of our village populations, that cats are remarkably knowing about the weather. Good weather may be expected when the cat washes herself, but bad when she licks her coat against the grain, attempts to wash her face over her ear, or sits with her tail to the fire. If she sneezes, the cold runs through the house. In Germany, if it rain while women are washing it is a sign that the cats have a spite against them. In Holland, if it be rainy on a wedding day, it is a sign that the bride has not propitiated the cat. English sailors do not like to see a cat on board ship, and, if the cat should be unusually frisky, they say “she has a gale of wind in her tail; ” and even the “catspaw" on the water is an expression of homage to the knowledge which the cat is supposed to possess concerning the wind and the rain. So that puss has attained, through many ages and nations, traditions and ideas, a considerable reputation for cunning; and although, on the other hand, her powers in this way seem to have been underrated by many, think there can

be no doubt that she deserves

the reputation. As the Black Dwarf said to Scott, “She has poo'r."

In the interesting autobiography of Miss Cornelia Wright, the constant companion of the Princess Charlotte of Wales, we find the following curious story :—“An old woman died a few years ago She had a nephew, to whom she left all she possessed. She had a favourite cat, which never left her, and even remained by the corpse after death. The nephew was a lawyer, and while he was reading the will after the funeral the cat remained restlessly outside the door of the room, apparently adjoining that in which the old lady died. On opening the door, the cat sprang at the lawyer, seized him by the throat, and was with difficulty prevented from strangling him. The man died about eighteen months after, and on his deathbed confessed that he had murdered his aunt to obtain possession of her money." Yes, pussy is cunning.

Mr. Ross tells a story of a woman murdered at Lyons, and when the body was found weltering in blood, a large white cat was seen mounted on the corner of a cupboard, looking down upon the corpse with horror and affright. There, motionless, through the day and the night, sat the cat. The next morning came in the justice, gendarmes, and many other person, but no conversation, however loud, disturbed the cat. There still on the corner of the cupboard sat he; but presently the suspected persons were brought in. He rose, his eyes glared with fury, his hair bristled, he darted into the middle of the room, stood and gazed upon them, and then precipitately fied. For the first time the prisoners trembled, and showed signs of guilt. Other evidences were alleged against them. They were condemned, and before their execution confessed that they had committed the murder.. Puss is cunning!

The space is too short to enumerate all the instances of her cunning. In September, 1850, the mistress of a public-house in the Commercial Road, London, going at night into the taproom, found her cat in a state of great excitement. It would not suffer itself to be stroked, but ran wildly to and fro between its mistress and the chimney-piece, mewing loudly. The landlady, alarmed, summoned assistance, and presently a robber was discovered up the chimney. Upon his trial it was proved that he had robbed several public-houses by remaining last in the taproom, and concealing himself in a similar manner. Cases these which seem to indicate not only the cunning, but the faithfulness of the cat.

We have not dwelt at great length upon her more unamiable traits-upon the cunning cruelty of this lion or lioness of the mice—we have not touched upon the ingenuity with which she can torment her victims; the agony of a mouse beneath her spell attempting to escape-perhaps feeling certain that it has escaped-when, at a spring, the arch-feline inquisitor is upon him. A cat has been known to cripple two or three rats and keep them under surveillance for the sport and entertainment of her kittens.

We never read of these things without feeling how truly human they are. The stories of Venetian

shall say ?


and Spanish inquisitions are very like the cruel entertainments of the cat; and this remark justifies the expression we have seen from an enthusiastic apologist for cats—that when we speak of the conscientiousness and general morality of the cat we ought to remember that she has been badly educated, and the laxity of principle she too frequently manifests may be traced to the society in which she is usually found. This enthusiastic apologist says: “We have seen cats roaming at large, amid abundance of edibles of a cattish sort,

we should not entertain her in our house, we will give her no more than a passing notice in our paper. Grey has immortalised in his perfect verse a favourite cat who was drowned in a tub of gold-fish, from which he preaches a very pleasant little morality. But the longest and most laudatory poem upon the race is by old Huddesford, in

Monody upon the Death of Dick," an academical cat, in which he groups together and celebrates an immense variety of cats, and ventures to hope for Dick and all the companions of his tribe some happy immortality.

With such hopes, in which we will not say we permit ourselves to share, we will close for the present our talk concerning cats.

his "


The Days are Lengthening.



The days are lengthening—as by stealth,

The year's first miracle is wrought. The days are lengthening-ah, what wealth

Of promise lies within the thought ! Now sweetest hope awakening lifts

Her face above the clouds, and we All tender April's timid gists

And joys of laughing Spring foresee. For us the dewy odorous eves,

The long delight of Summer days, And every pleasure nature weaves

Is centred in that simple phrase.

without ever breaking trust, and this because they were well trained and regularly fed. Man has himself to blame for all the causes of dislike or anger he receives from cats."

We commenced this paper by remarking upon the absence of the cat from the great works of art and literature. There are some exceptions. If nct in our own country, yet in Switzerland, the cats have had their Landseer. Gottfried Minel is known to artists by the honourable if rather awkward designation of “the Raphael of cats." He was born and died in Berne. He would paint with his favourite cat Minette by his side, and sometimes with two or three kittens on his shoulder. He painted the fur of the cat with so admirable an imitableness that spectators have been known to stroke the apparently soft and silky coat. In the year 1809 symptoms of madness among the cats of Berne led the magistrates to issue an order for their universal destruction. Eight hundred cats fell victims to this feline reign of terror. Minel preserved his Minette in secret, but his heart was overwhelmed with grief at this massacre of the innocents. He died, and was buried in Berne in 1814. The only really distinct cat we remember to have played any part in the pages of fiction is that immortal Jacobina of Corporal Bunting in Lord Lytton's “Eugene Aram.” The tender regard of the old corporal for his feline companion, and the way in which, with exemplary subtle diplomacy, he talks over Peter Dealery, the parish clerk, to become the protector of his cat, the terror of the village, furnishes a very memorable scene, and gives the cat a characteristic place in the world of letters. almost as distinct as Dandie Dinmont's dog. The "Lady Jane” of old Croak, the Lord Chancellor of Dickens' “ Bleak House," does not present herself at all in amiable relations, and as we think

The days are lengthening. Do you know

Whose dainty footsteps have not stirred Beyond the pale of plenty's glow

How much that means to those who herd In darker paths of woe and want ?

When blustering winds sweep o'er the moor, What dreams of Summer-time must haunt

The cheerless dwellings of the poor. Too keenly Winter's cruel stings

On pinched and shivering toilers fall, But Summer, kindly Summer, brings

Her common bounties free to all.

The days are lengthening. Yes, thank God I

The days are lengthening through the land ; And where our fathers groping trod,

We in the light of knowledge stand. The day of truth, the day of faith

Albeit some with outcry shrill Would hold the latter but a wraith

Have spread apace, are spreading still.
And heaven above, and earth below

Declare in one unerring voice,
The days are lengthening. As they grow,
Look onward, upward, and rejoice !


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N the north-eastern shore of Southampton

Water, adjacent to the site of Netley Abbey,

is the Victoria Military Hospital for Sick and Invalid Soldiers of the British Army. In site, size, architecture, accommodation, and management, there is no other hospital in the United Kingdom, or even in Europe, to surpass it. Including the outbuildings and subsidiary dwellings, steam laundry, gas works, cemetery, railway depôt, and other offices, the area of the ground occupied within the precincts is not less than a square mile -in fine, these form what may be termed a small independent township in requirements, extent, and population.

It was a bright sunny day in the autumn of 1882 when we left Southampton and drove along the lower road by the beach, then past the ivy-mantled ruins of Netley Abbey, and alighted at the entrance gate to the hospital grounds. Proceeding along the path by the shore, an extensive prospect of the estuary and its banks opened up to view, the Isle of Wight appearing picturesquely in the distance. Midway along this path is a substantial wooden jetty, where a number of convalescent patients were enjoying air and exercise. They were all clad in blue serge jackets, long coats, and trousers, with woollen nightcaps. Some were on crutches, others limped along, while a few had shades over their eyes; but the bulk of them, numbering several hundred, were evidently recovering health and strength as they strolled along the walks within bounds, or lay on the greensward.

These men, and many more within the wards of the hospital, were wounded and invalided soldiers returned from Egypt after the conclusion of the campaign, so short, sharp, and successful to British arms. We entered into brief conversation with several, who were frank and communicative. One poor fellow, with crutches, whose right leg had been shattered by a shot at the storming of Tel-el-Kebir, belonged to the 72nd Highlanders. He described the midnight march from Kassassin

in graphic language: how the movement of such a body of soldiers so silently across the desert seemed as if they formed a phantom army, until the dawn of day, when the enemy espied them, and then came, as sudden as a clap of thunder in a clear sky, an overwhelming discharge of rifles and ordnance. The march from the British camp to the strongly-fortified post of the enemy was the swiftest on record. He added that while not a light was allowed in the columns, they left the watch fires at the camp in full blaze as a ruse de guerre.

There were many ophthalmic cases, some of them caused by flies perching on the eyelids, carrying poisonous putrefaction from dead bodies. The plague of insects was the most worrying of the campaign's minor evils, particularly at night, when millions of mosquitos prevented sound sleep.

From the extremity of the jetty we had a full view of the hospital edifice, and the lawn in front, sloping to the beach, having a delightful southwest exposure. At this distance the eye takes in at a glance the whole façade, presenting a frontage from south-east to north-west of about a quarter of a mile in length. Looking along the vista of planks, the perspective reaches a vanishing point in the centre of the building, having a bold elevation surmounted by a cupola and clock tower. This section by itself forms an elegant structure on a granite foundation, only it is built of red brick with a profusion of white stone dressings, and so are the two long wings, which give the whole something of the appearance of a modern manufactory rather than a hospital. However, it was designed not for ornamental but practical purposes, and one excellence in architecture is fitness for the purpose of an edifice.

About midway in this view we saw the Union Jack hoisted on a high flagstaff. Around this groups of patients were assembled, some stretched on the grass under the trees, chatting quietly, or inhaling the healthy air, or reclining on the banks,

smoking and reading, after their dinner. Others were seated on benches listening to the refreshing sound of the rippling waves on the shingly beach. Altogether it was a scene of peace, quietness, and comfort, that must hare impressed the least sensitive patient as a delightful contrast to the horrors of war from which they had not long before suffered.

Approaching the central edifice, the details of its architecture augmented to the eye, these having been in a measure dwarfed in the view from the end of the pier, which shows the length better than the height. What looked like small windows are piazzas and corridors, rising three storey's high, which run along the whole length of the buildings. Outside the basement at the entrance the foundation-stone appears in the façade, guarded by a brass rail, and having an inscription recording the laying of the foundation-stone by the Queen on the 19th day of May, 1856. The cost of the land and building was £ 334,172, or £ 294 per man, for the number of patients the hospital is intended to receive. It contains 138 wards and 1,065 beds, with about 1,700 cubic feet of space for each inmate. Each wing has forty-five wards: that to the north-west for the sick and wounded, and the one to the south-east for convalescents. The centre contains the official departments and rooms for the officers and nurses.

On entering the north-west wing we saw at once the utility of the long corridors, for here the patients obtain air and exercise in wet or cold weather. The corridor in the basement of this wing, excepting some prints on the wall and stands of flower-pots in the corners, has no benches or other furniture to relieve the long vista, but a large room with bagatehe and billiard tables opens at the side. It is in the upper wards where the most serious cases are treated; th'ough we observed many weak patients walking feebly back and forward in the lower corridor.

Ascending a wide staircase, we came to the central wards facing the south-west, which are the most light, warm, and airy. Here the beds were mostly occupied, and visible through the glass doors, but we refrained from intruding; though a sergeant of artillery acting as guide could have got a pass for us. We observed sufficient to show that these wards are models of sanitary arrangement and comfort; and so is the accommodation for medical assistants, nurses, and the Army Hospital Corps, a body of smart young soldiers, numbering two hundred, selected for their knowledge of wounds and the use of ambulances.

At the time of our visit the wards were nearly full, but chiefly by convalescent patients. Peeping into some of these, it was pleasant to see them grouped around the fire, chatting and reading the newspapers their friends had sent them, or discussing the pictures of the war in the illustrated journals. There is a little library for those who are studiously inclined to choose books from. The reading-room has a proscenium and stage, where amusing performances are acted, both by itinerating players and amateur soldiers. Then there is a museum of natural history in the great staircase, with preparations of curious animals

collected by the surgeons abroad. Behind is a chapel of rather a sombre interior, where services are held on Sunday by clergymen of different denominations. Then last, but not least, come the kitchens on the back area, where a strong staff of cooks prepare the meals of sometimes twelve hundred inmates. The dietary is liberal as to quality and quantity, and is daily checked or signed by the medical officer in charge, and the canteen contains a good and cheap supply of malt liquors.

Every department in this comprehensive military hospital is conducted under special regulations, and the details carried out like clockwork. General Sir C. K. Pearson is the governor and commandant, with a staff-captain, adjutant, and paymaster, two lieutenants of the Army Hospital Corps, and one quartermaster of the Commissariat Department, the medical staff being under the superintendence of Surgeon-General M. F. Manifold and Mrs. J. C. Deeble, Lady-Superintendent of Nurses. According to a new Army Medical Warrant, the medical officer in charge of the hospital has full disciplinary power over all persons connected with the departments, combined with freedom of administrative details. However, he refers to the local authority whenever he deems a court-martial necessary. Thus the medical officer in charge is invested with all the authority of an officer commanding a regiment. The directorgeneral, Sir W. M. Muir, besides having control over the officers of the Army Medical Department, exercises command over the officers of the Army Hospital Corps, all patients in hospital, and all such non-commissioned officers and men as may be attached thereto without their own officers for hospital duty. The officers of that corps relieve the medical officers of all responsibility as regards stores, pay, and other contingencies connected with “ Bearer Companies” and field service.

Besides the practical purposes of a hospital, this establishment comprises an army medical school, governed by a senate, consisting of the director-general, surgeon-general, four professors, and the principal medical officers. The professor of military medicine is Inspector-General W. C. Maclean, M.D.; Surgeon-General T. Longmore, military surgery ; Surgeon-Major F. S. de Chaumont, M.D., military hygiene; and W. Aitken, M.D., professor of pathology. To each of these professorships there are assistant professors. Adjoining their offices, on the north-west wing, there is a hall, where lectures are delivered by the professors and students enrolled from other colleges in England, Scotland, Ireland, and India. The winter session had just commenced when Inspector-General Maclean, Professor of Military Medicine, delivered an address, chiefly in reference to the medical department of the army in Egypt. The senate has the power of granting diplomas to successful candidates, some of whom appeared in the hall with neat and becoming medical staff uniforms, At the examinations the successful candidates are eligible to compete for the highest medical prizes in London, several of the gold medals having been won by the Netley Hospital students.

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