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not understand. I am aware that upon some subjects, scientific phraseology is necessary; but we need an Abernethy in our country, who will reduce the subject to a little more common sense standard.

The profession of medicine opens a wide field for the exercise of philanthrophy and charity. The poor are its subjects, for the most part, particularly in cities, where a large portion of the laboring population, debarred by their necessities from paying any attention to causes of disease, contract chronic disorders of inveterate strength. We say debarred : perhaps we should rather say, the evils of poverty, the miseries of vice, the pressing necessities of the hour, being the present great evil, they are insensible to the hints of nature, so easily discovered by those who have little to do but to think of their comfort and convenience. Here the physician has room to exercise all his charities, and they are not wanting. In times of epidemics, of the most malignant character, they are a bold, fearless, and philosophical class of men. At such times, often are they called to perform all the offices of nurse, doctor, minister, and undertaker; and hardly a sickly season has occurred of late, without depriving us of many of these most valuable men. Living as we do in what is called a refineil state of society, which often means nothing more than dressing better, consuming larger quantities of food, and deeper goblets of sparkling wine, it would be hard to look for an alternative in the medical profession ; and the fact that it draws its support from the miseries and sufferings of the world, is no objection to its respectability. Indeed, what profession is there, that does not draw its support from some suffering, necessity, or disability, unless it be that of the mountebank, who, after all, may be said to draw his support, too, from a suffering state of mind; a state of emptiness, we suppose, as unpleasant as hunger is to the body. The advantages to be derived from this walk in life, are few, in comparison to those of many others. In cities, many, to be sure, amass much wealth, but elsewhere, few acquire much property, as physicians merely. In its effect upon the mind of the individual, the natural result would seem to be, a hardening process. It cannot well be otherwise, than that the constant sight of pain, and disease, and death, should lead to philosophical inquiry, and these lead to theories calculated to stifle the feelings, and deaden the sensibilities. Here, however, a distinction is to be drawn between physical insensibilty of nerve, and moral sensibility. A man may acquire great strength of nerve, and yet possess great tenderness of heart. We usually find those young men enter upon the study of medicine, after the discipline of a college life, who have evinced a love for the physical sciences, a taste for natural inquiry, while the aspiring, the turbulent, the lovers of pleasure and fame, the moot court debaters, the gallants, the club-men, choose the law. The quiet, meek-eyed student, the poetic dreamer, the elegant bellelettres scholar, the man who loves solitary walks in the woods, or by the river's side, who gazes at the stars, not as the astronomer, but in mute wonder, and boundless awe, se the more retired labors of the divine, and kindles the lamp of his inspiration at the source of all knowledge.

Thus far, we have confined our remarks to those who labor in what are called the professions. In another and concluding number, we shall dwell upon the occupations of the mechanic trades.

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I too, old friend, when thou art gone,

Shall pensive to my casement go,
Or like the lonely Druid moan,

The blighting of the misietoe ;
But when young Spring, with matin clear,

Shall wake the bird, the stream, the tree,
Fain would I'mid the train arpear,

And hang my slender wreath on thee.
Hartford, Conn., Oct, 1838.

L. H. S.






Not all the luxury and brilliancy of this fascinating capitol, of whose intoxicating pleasures I had drank deeply enough, could reconcile me to the thought of being compelled to abandon a visit to the great catacombs, which undermine the south-eastern quarter of the city. I had, when a child, got possession of an old Galignani, which a connexion had brought from Europe, in those days when to have travelled beyond the Atlantic was a distinction for life, and my boyish fancy was deeply worked upon by the mysterious terrors of that subterranean city of the dead. Those long walls of leg and arm bones, piled with such curious regularity, with their layers of sculls at regular distances — ghastly ornaments in this architecture of death — still to be seen in the clumsy engravings that adorn the twentieth edition of the 'Guide,' filled my imagination with inexpressible terror. And though, at the period of my residence in Paris, these vaults had long ceased to be opened to the public, and consequently, to figure among the great curiosities of the capital, the de. sire I had always felt to explore them myself, retained as strong a hold upon me as ever. I communicated my wishes to a gentleman, then the Vice Consul of the United States,* and I was not a little discouraged on hearing that he had been, for several years, in vain soliciting permission to visit them himself. This favor, though so long denied, I have reason to believe, was at last accorded to him. An acquaintance I had fortunately formed with a gentleman holding a very high office under the government, in the engineer service, was the means of procuring me the leave I was so anxious to obtain. As a precaution against the danger of being lost among the intricate and intersecting passages of which this vast labyrinth is composed, and to guard against the possibility of a whole party being destroyed, for the want of the means of sending for relief, in the event of the sudden sinking of any part of the irregular archworks which supports the ground above the excavations, I was informed that it would be necessary to procure several persons to accompany me, in addition to the guide. To prevent confusion, the number was limited, the person deputed to accompany us having received instructions to admit a party of eight. I was told it would be necessary to descend by night, to avoid attracting attention, or giving any unnecessary publicity to our visit. It was generally understood that the dangerous condition of the catacombs, which had been excavated with little skill, or attention to render them secure, was the reason which led the government, several years before, to prohibit the admission of visiters; and that a large number of workmen were constantly engaged, under the direction of the engineer department, in repairing and strengthening the walls and pillars which sustain the portion of the city built above. Much uneasiness had been felt among the inhabitants of that quarter of the capitol, in consequence of one or two alarming accidents; and it was hoped that, by entirely closing them to the public, the alarm would sooner subside. The apprehensions of the people were not entirely unfounded. The sudden sinking of a house, some seventy feet under ground, an occurrence which left a fearful impression on the public mind, was a more real cause for alarm, than is generally to be found at the bottom of a popular panic.

* This amiable and accomplished young gentleman, Mr. BRADFORD, of New-York, had, greatly to his own credit and the public benefit, acted for some time as Consul, previously to the appointment of Mr. BRENT, the present popular officer; he subsequently discharged the duties of the office of Vice Consul. His untimely death, (which occurred during the last winter,) will be long regretted by the large circle of friends, composed of Americans from every quarter of the Union, which he had formed during his official residence in Paris. His attentive politeness and unaffected kindness of heart, will not be the less gratefully remembered, for its contrast with the rudeness, heartlessness, and vulgarity, which, 1 blush to confess, has but too frequently disgraced our own agents and ministers abroad. Lest this language should appear unwarrantably harsh, I will, at the risk of extending this note beyond the patience of the reader, mention one of many circumstances of a similar character, which have come within the limited sphere of my own knowledge. A young American, an artist, of small nieans, but of great worth and promise, was in - prosecuting the study of hisprofession. Some accident unexpectedly reduced him to the most distressing want. While waiting for remittances from his friends in this country, his slender resources became entirely exhausted; he was reduced to his last franc. A few dollars were sufficient to relieve him. In this state of almost literal starvation, he applied to the American Charge for temporary assistance. His character was unblemished, and his connexions of the most respectable character, and affectionately attached to him, as the letters in his possession abundantly proved. The reply he received, from one who should be, officially, the friend of every American abroad, was, 'that any man who couldn't make his own living, ought to throw himself in the -,' and with this recommendation he was turned from his door. To those who are aware that every American sailor has a right to demand assistance from any consul of his own country abroad, whenever he may find himself in want, and who know how frequently the nets which are dragged through this river bring up the bodies of men who have sought death in one form only to avoid it an another more terrible, that reply will exhibit in a far more atrocious light the spirit of this wretched agent, than it can appear to persons who have never lived but in our own abundant country. The refusal of assistance was niggardly and disgraceful, but the language in which it was conveyed, was more than inhuman it was brutal.

Saturday, the of January, was fixed for the evening of our descent. It was a cold, clear night, of unusual brilliancy, for the latitude of Paris. A couple of fiacres were ordered to be in attendance at seven, and we rose from the dinner table to prepare for our visit. It was the night of the first great ball of the season at the Tuilleries; and as we drove through the Place du Carousel, the brilliant illumination of the vast suite of apartments, which extend the whole length of the palace, made me almost regret that I had given up so splendid a spectacle, for the gloomy visit on which we were bound. Crossing the Seine, we directed our course through the Quartier Latin and the Faubourg St. Jacques, toward the Barrière, beyond which, at a house the number of which had been given to us, we were directed to inquire for the person appointed to accompany us to these regions of the dead, to which we were hurrying with an impatience seldom exhibited, even by those whom an inexorable necessity compels to such a journey. Descending the principal street of one of those villages of laborers to be found at almost every gate leading from the city, we drew up in front of a neat three story building, which bore the number we were in search of. One of our drivers gave a pull at the bell. In a few minutes the guide made his appearance. He requested us to drive a few hundred yards to a shop farther on, at which we quitted our carriages, leaving them with orders to the coachmen to await our return. Here we procured a supply of wax candles, of the peculiar construction used by workmen, and others visiting the catacombs. Proceeding some distance farther down the principal street, now become an open road, we turned to the left, and entered a narrow alley, enclosed on either side by high walls. We were now some distance beyond the village ; we had left the last houses and lights behind us; and began to feel, as we entered this lonely and desolate avenue, that we had already passed from the region of the living. Not a tree nor a house was to be seen; nothing but the two long, unbroken walls, which stretched before us across the fields, dead and cold, and presenting an appearance in perfect keeping with the spot to which they led. The moon itself seemed to throw an unearthly light over the uncultivated waste. We walked with rapid steps, which the coolness of the evening made necessary to our comfort, a few hundred yards along this alley, when the guide suddenly stopped, unlocking a door in the wall on our left. We entered an uncovered yard, some sixty feet square,

in one corner of which was a small brick house, covering the entrance to the catacombs. The door of this little building being unfastened, we entered a small unplastered apartment, and were not displeased to exchange the nipping cold of the open air, for the comfortable warmth proceeding from the vaults below. The door being carefully locked from within, as soon as the necessary preparation of lighting our candles was completed, we commenced the descent, the guide preceding us. A winding stairway of stone, scarcely wide enough to admit a single person of extraordinary size, leads, by a flight of some eighty or ninety steps, to the vaults. We found ourselves, on reaching the bottoin, in a broad, irregular passage, with a black line, painted on the rough ceiling of stone, pointing out a direct course to the entrance of the great city of the dead. It is supposed that the bones of more than three millions of people are collected in this vast charnel-house, but the space occupied by them forms a very small portion of the quarries under the city. These excavations compose a series of passages, from fiftcen to twenty feet in width, and ten or twelve in height, running in every possible direction, and intersecting each other so frequently, and at angles so irregular, as to render it absolutely impossible to find one's way, but by the aid of some such contrivance as a line painted on the ceiling. We proceeded some distance along one of these passages, before reaching the portal of the great cemetery. An appropriate inscription reminded us that we had arrived at the awful limits of this dread abode of the dead. We passed within. Piles of human bones, several feet deep, reached on either hand from the floor to the ceiling. A peculiar but not offensive smell, which I fancied to proceed from ihese great masses of mouldering bones, ossa non inodora, left an impression on my nerves I shall scarcely ever forget. We wandered through these passages, examining, with a curious attention, that quite exhausted the patience of our guide, every object that we passed. Innumerable inscriptions, from Latin and French poets, among whom Virgil and J. B. Rousseau seemed the greatest favorites, some full of tenderness and regret, others of a more philosophizing but equally melancholy turn, caught our eyes wherever we turned.

The air of this subterranean world was of balmy softness; the surface on which we walked dry and smooth ; and if one could be reconciled to the mute society of this unliving multitude, and to the endless night which pervades a region where the sun never shone, and from which the face of heaven is for ever shut out, it would be difficult to select a more enviable habitation. For some time I found it absolutely impossible to rid myself of the strange feelings excited by so novel a situation. Enclosed in the very bosom of the earth, deep buried beneath the possibility of human assistance, our little party was surrounded by three millions of the dead ! I felt that the most frivolous curiosity had led us to violate, with irreverent steps, the solemn repose of the grave. I looked upon myself as a .criminal; and shuddered as I thought upon the dreadful punishment that might await our impious rashness. 1 amagined every instant that I should see the long buried ghosts of the millions around me, rising from the dead, to avenge our sacrilegious presence. overwhelmed with terror; I strained my ears to catch the faintest sound ; I fixed my eyes upon a skull, to see if its hideous features changed their fixed grin of death. Not a sound was heard ; nothing moved; the silence of the vaults was unbroken, save by the distant footsteps of our party, who were by this time some distance before

I was safe. The iron hand of Death held down the vast multitude around me! How mighty is his power!

The great mass of bones in these catacombs were brought from the cemeteries within the walls of Paris, before the first revolution. It has never been a place of private interment. The remains of those who were murdered on the memorable tenth of August, and in one or two other of the more dreadful massacres of the revolution,


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