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are deposited here; their bones are not exposed to view. A separate vault, closely walled up, contains the remains of the victims of each of these massacres. A brief inscription records the time and

manner of their death.

The spirit of collecting seems to have invaded even these dismal caverns. In the arrangement of the bones, a selection was made of such as exhibited peculiar formation; and they have been carefully preserved in a museum. The guide conducted us to this interesting collection. We found it carefully laid out on shelves, in a chamber cut from the solid rock. Here were certainly specimens of the most curious distortions; skulls of a construction to afford inexpressible delight to any node-fingering disciple of Gall; and I am not entirely satisfied that some of them may not even now be attracting the attention of the learned upon the upper earth; for one of our party, a student of medicine, appeared to me to betray a very suspicious interest in this exhibition; and I soon after observed him arranging the folds of his cloak in a manner that was far from dissipating any doubt I might have previously entertained of his intentions.

In a quarter remote from the stairway by which we entered, is a plan of the city and harbor of Mahon, with its fortifications, as they existed about the middle of the last century, cut from the rock by a soldier, who had been many years a prisoner of war in that town. He is said to have employed more than seven years in the execution of this wretched task, passing every day from ten to twelve hours in his solitary occupation. The work is rude, but is said to be exact. I confess that this spot excited my interest, for it spoke eloquently of the desolate misery of man. This poor hermit had served the better part of his life in the armies of France; he had been scarred, maimed, imprisoned, for years. He had hoped, perhaps, to pass the remainder of his days in his own beloved country, in ease and happiness, in the bosom of his family, descending full of honor to the grave. He returned; but alas! what a picture does this vain employment and hideous solitude not exhibit of ruined hopes, of disappointed affections, of bereavement, of utter nakedness and desolation of heart! What could man, or woman, or lisping childhood, or the sweet face of nature, have been to him, who, from no affectation of misanthropy, but from the mere impulse of the heart, could thus withdraw himself from the earth, to live buried in the frightful gloom of these unvisited vaults, amid death, and solitude, and eternal night! What a consciousness was here, of the emptiness of life, of the vanity of its ambition, of its labors and cares! What was the surly cynicism of Diogenes to this! What think ye of the poetical philosophy of the wisest of men is there such a lesson in the proverbs of the Jewish monarch? Which was blessed with the 'fortem animum, et mortis terrore carentem,' the poor hermit of the catacombs, or the king of kings?

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Turning in another direction, we passed a place where the earth had fallen in, and the broken rocks lay one upon another, as if the accident had occurred but a few days before. On a closer inspection, this appeared evidently not the case. I inquired with surprise why this breach had not been repaired; but the guide could give no ex

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planation of the reasons which had caused it to be left in so insecure a condition. Here and there I observed occasional marks of recent work; but I confess it did not strike me that much labor had been expended in any part of the vaults through which we passed, or that there was any danger attending a visit to them, sufficient to justify the exclusion of the public. I concluded it was in the vast quarries beyond the limits of the burial place, that the danger was to be found; and that there perhaps workmen were employed in rebuilding and strengthening the foundations of the city, There was no temptation to visit those dark passages, in which we should have had to scramble over blocks of loose stone, exposed perhaps to atmospheres of the most fatal gases; and I never ascertained the truth of my conjecture.

We still wandered on, among avenues lined with bones, built up with the same monotonous regularity. We perceived that our course led, with a rapid inclination, deeper into the earth. We had not proceeded very far, before we found ourselves at the top of a flight of broad steps; descending these, we discovered, at the extremity of a long passage, a spring of the purest water, collected in a basin hollowed in the rock. We held our tapers over its surface, smooth as glass, and counted the pebbles that covered its bottom. Not a breath of air had ever ruffled its placid surface; eternal darkness rested upon its waters, save when the glimmering lights of some wanderers like ourselves were mirrored in its bosom. The guide informed us that numbers of little golden-backed fish had been left in its waters; but they never long survived. The last time he had been here, there were still two or three remaining, of a half dozen left not very long before. But they were no longer to be seen; after some minutes, we discovered the body of one, probably the last to die, floating on the surface. No living thing could long breathe such an atmosphere of darkness and death. Its sunless waters reminded me of the fabulous rivers of the infernal world; and I almost persuaded myself, as I stooped over its brink, that one draught would have steeped my senses in a pleasing oblivion of the world. Perhaps the poor prisoner of Mahon had tasted its Lethean powers.

Our visit lasted several hours, during which we heard nothing of the upper earth, save the occasional rumbling of some heavily-laden wagon, as it passed directly over our heads. We returned along the route we had entered, and were not sorry to feel again the reviving coldness of the open air, and to find ourselves once more upon the earth; a sensation not completely realized, until we had locked the last door upon the catacombs, and were beyond the enclosures of this region of the dead.

A TRAVELLER,

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LITERARY NOTICES.

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ECONOMY. Illustrated by Observations made in England, in the year 1836. By THEODORE SEDGWICK. One volume. pp. 210. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.

If this book, in its specific object, were entirely useless, which it is far from being, still it would effect the valuable purpose of showing, that a subject which most people suppose to be confined to high conclaves, abstract thinkers, and Adam Smith, may be naturally, simply, and clearly treated, without any solemn mystification, and learned nonsense. The reader is supposed to be acquainted with things in America, and our author takes him over to England in a packet ship. No sooner is he embarked, than he begins to examine the principles of the facts about him. He journeys through much of England, and his mind is active all the while. He is teaching his pupil political economy at every step; and the man who can read his remarks of sailors, packets, temperance, roads, dress, Christian equality, productive labor, ornament, etc., and find nothing to assent to, or much to blame, will disagree with us. It is an easy book to read. Some, on this account, may think it trite. Some people, not a few, have the idea that every thing which is called learned and useful, a science, must be hard to understand. They think 'the hardest way is the rightest way;' as the man who, ignorant of spelling, trying to spell Peter, did it thus, Pe-a-t-o-u-r, triumphantly; as much as to say, 'Find a harder way than that, if you can!' Now this man, in his lamentable views of orthography, is like many in their notions of religion, science, and art. With them, the hard is the right. But it is generally just the other way. Many persons will read this book, who never would nor could read Adam Smith. If it were possible for people to read it without thinking they were learning political economy, it were better. Our author places productive labor and temperance as the ground work of our national prosperity. These are to bring about that republican, Christian equality, which is the proper destiny of nations. While a man is manufacturing useless trinkets, he is paid for his work, but is not, beyond this, benefitted by his employment. His time is lost to society. But if he be employed in making a road, here too he is paid for his labor, but he has the privilege of using the road; the expense of carriage of produce is lessened; prices are equalized, and so the poor man is benefitted. The trinket is unproductive labor; the road is productive labor. Apply this principle to dress, food, etc. If a man wear garments that do not protect him comfortably, or subserve a good taste, or show off, by their adaptation to his employment, his manliness and dignity, this is unproductive dress. A productive dress is that which keeps him in the best health; suffers him to move with the least fatigue, or one which, by its cost, does not infringe upon his other wants. So too of diet. A productive diet will give him most strength, the best heart, the clearest judgment. Wine and stimulating drinks, which addle the brain, are very unproductive affairs. Simplicity in dress, and temperance in eating and drinking, are no less a man's interest than his Christian duty; indeed the

duty is founded upon the fact of their being for his interest. There is hardly a page of the book where our author does not speak of the temperance principle; and to us the subject seems not to be dragged forward, but to come in, like all his other remarks, from the nature of the case.

There are many good thoughts, upon many subjects, in this book. We might quote many beautiful passages, many sound opinions, many philanthropic notions; much religious, republican, patriotic feeling. We must content ourselves, however, with advising the reader to purchase the work; especially the laborer, and packet owners, over-dressy people, and those who eat dinners at five dollars a plate, or any larger sum.

SKETCHES IN LONDON. By James Grant, Author of ‘Random Recollections of the Lords and Commons,' The Great Metropolis,' etc. In one volume. pp. 408. London: W. S. ORR AND COMPANY. New-York: WILEY AND PUTNAM.

THE first and only copy of this work, which has reached America, lies before us; and 'at the present writing,' it has not even been published in England. We have perused portions of the book with very considerable interest and pleasure. In narrative and description, Mr. GRANT seldom fails in placing his pictures vividly before the reader; but his attempts at dialogue, and at making his personages reveal themselves, after the manner of the Pickwickians, by their bearing and conversation, are much less felicitous. He is sometimes tediously minute, and writes as if he were conscious of the solemnity of an oath, by which he is bound to 'state the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.' He pads out his sentences, too, occasionally, with unnecessary epithets, as in the following, where he takes the trouble to explain what could not but be clear to the dullest reader, and takes a score of words to say that a man slapped his thigh: ''On that I am resolved,' said he, laying a particular stress on the word 'resolved,' and giving a forcible stroke with the palm of his right hand, to one of his legs, a little above his knee!' Now and then, moreover, our author seems to labor under an absolute epilepsy of the fancy; and in the merely sentimental parts of his work, he not unfrequently exhibits a little fadeur and insipidity. Yet with all these blemishes, the volume is, as we have said, one of much general interest and cleverness; describing at large the begging impostors of the Great Babylon, its debtors' prisons, the VICTORIA parliament, penny theatres, metropolitan and city police and police-offices, work-houses, lunatic asylums, Bartholomew and Greenwich fairs, gaming-houses, gamblers, etc.

The chapter upon the mendicant impostors of the town, commences with the begging letter-writers, who it seems are a very numerous corps, conducting their ramified operations on business principles, and keeping a regular diary of their proceedings, to prevent subsequent mistakes, and some of them even retain an active recording secretary. Mr. GRANT believes that a thousand letters are written daily to the nobility, and persons of known benevolence in the middle ranks of life, by these ingenious rogues, and often with incredible success. Sometimes the writers assume to be themselves men of substance, soliciting additions to their own subscriptions, in aid of some unfortunate person, in whose sad fate they have been made to feel a deep interest. Great was the surprise of a benevolent divine, on one occasion, on meeting at dinner a hale and hearty brother clergyman, with whom he was slightly acquainted by reputation, to whose numerous wants, as a bed-ridden pauper, in a distant suburb, he had long been contributing, through the medium of one of these disinterested epistolary philanthropists. Great delicacy was observed, in

inquiring how long since he had got about, and whether his circumstances were now really quite comfortable! Here is a skeleton of the letters of one of these chevaliers, minus the pathos, flattery, and 'gammon.' The writer mentions, it will be seen, first, the name of the party applied to, secondly, the name assumed in the application, thirdly, the fictitious case of distress, and lastly, the result. It will remind the reader of the memoranda of the Boston thief, to go to New-England Museum, scrutinize, get things; go to book-store, get pen-knife, gratis,' etc :

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'Feb. 6.- Marquis of Bristol. Mary Cole; blind; seven children; three cripples. 'Feb. 8. Admiral Curzon. Ship Pallas; Sam Bowden, mate; seized for 4l. 4s. rent; paralytic stroke. Result, 27.

Feb. 15. Admiral Curzon. Ship Douglas; Powden, Mackey, and Bill Stroud, cripples, and two stone blind. Received 21.

Feb. 26. Sir Peter Durham, Lieutenant Spratt; leg off; hard up. Result, 201. 'March 12. Countess of Mansfield. Widow; nine children; hooping cough; cholera morbus; measles; croup. Result 102.

'March 14. Lord Melbourne. Jane Simpson; father blind; mother dead; no money to bury her.

March 18. - Countess of Mansfield. Daughter supporting mother and grandmother by needle-work; lost use of both hands; furniture seized for 6l. 10s. Received 31. 'March 24. - Earl Fitzwilliam. Goods seized for 41. 4s.; no fuel; no bed; wife just lying in. Result 21.

The information requisite to assume the character of a disabled sailor, was easily obtained, by visiting Greenwich Hospital, and entering into familiar conversation with some veteran pensioner, over an eleemosynary pot of porter. These 'epistolarian impostors,' as Mr. GRANT terms them, exhibit for the most part admirable tactics, and often impose upon the most shrewd and wary persons, by the adroitness of their styles, and the character of their hand-writing. They do not always succeed, however, as the annexed extracts from the journal of one of their number will show :

'June 20.- Addressed the Duke of Richmond under the name of John Smith; case, leg amputated, out of work for six months, and wife and seven children starving. "Twould n't do.

'June 25.- Letter to Bishop of London; name, William Anderson; case, licensed clergyman of the Church of England, but unemployed for four years, and wife dead three weeks ago, leaving five motherless children. Result, no go: too old a bird to be caught with chaff; but try it again, next week.

'June 28. Try Sir Peter Laurie; case, industrious Scotchman, but no employment; lived on bread and water for eight days, but no bread nor any thing to eat for the last three days; name, John Laurie. Result, referred to the Mendicity Society, Sir Peter being too far north to be done; no gammoning him.

'July 3. Address Lord Wynford; name Samuel Downie; case, ruined by attachment to Toryism; have often detected treasonable conspiracies, and been a proscribed man by former acquaintances in consequence; great hater of Reform, which means revolution; ready to shed my blood in defence of Church and State. Result, long letter, enclosing half a sovereign. Miserable work this; wont pay for consumption of time and paper; Wynford a stingy customer; stingy old boy to deal with; cut the connexion, at once.

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'July 4. Wrote to Lord Brougham; directed to apply to the Mendicity Society; particularly obliged to his Lordship for his advice, but would have preferred a sovereign or two; have no wish to make the acquaintance of these Society gentry; wonder how his lordship himself would like their bone-gruel, which they dignify with the name of soup, and to be kept to hard work at the mill into the bargain?

Most fertile are the tricks of the street-beggars, many of whom amass large fortunes. Thirty English shillings, it is affirmed, have frequently been the result of one day's skilful prosecution of street mendicity. The 'law and the profits,' how ever, do not seem to have favorable affinity, since the latter have evidently declined, if we may judge from a little circumstance mentioned by our author. A young man and an old one meeting accidentally one afternoon in the streets, the first inquired of the latter what success he had met with that day. 'Ah!' said the old

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