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OUR LIBRARY TABLE.
Ws opened The Masonic Press with something like a feeling of awe, not being initiated ourselves into a craft which is as distinguished for mystery as it is for brotherly love and unity. The first thing we came on was a groon slip of paper with a cryptogram so transparent that any reader of tho puzzle-pages of a juvenilo magazine could decipher it in half a minute.
The opening article is entitled "Number One "—rather an odd title for the organ of a society which professes to decry selfishness. The next article, "Live and Let Live," is still more singular. It describes how Brother A. tried to cheat Brother B., and how they went to law, and then to a compromise; and how one Brother gave tho other Brother promissory notes, and didn't meet them, and was sold up: further, how one Brother being about to start The Masonic Press, tho other Brother sets his lawyer, Brother C. Horslet (described as 30°, but it is not stated whether of latitude or longitude), at him, and how writs and threats and bad spirit are flying about among the members of this most fraternal body. Why even tho printer is Wauh!
When we had finished this paper we thought that at last wo should come to smooth sailing—but not a bit of it. There follows a letter on "Masonic Reform," which is very warm on tho topic; speaks of discontent, and fierco denunciations a lusut nalura (sic) and a dead donkey—which our readers will admit is strong language. Presently wo come to an article on "Conservatism in Freemasonry," whero wo read about " upholders of Fogeydom and Radicals." Then there is a space alloted for "Correspondence," in which the Editor is evidently prepared for such fierce controversies that he takes great pains to explain that ho is not responsible for what occurs between corresponding brothers. By and by we have a bit of verse, described as poetry, in which an attack is made on tho Masons of a certain district because they won't allow smoking in their Hall; and lastly, in "Notices to Correspondents," we find tho Editor defying the thunder :—
"P.M. and See.—The report of your lodge meeting having appeared in a local newspaper, shall, if you will send us a copy of the paper, be transferred to the columns of Tub Masonic 1'eekh. We have in this number inserted one such announcement which was sent us anonymously—perhaps ax a trap—for the purpose of giving the official you mention an opportunity to put his threat into execution, of ' having us expelled from the craft,' if we dared, even, to reprint what had appeared in any paper."
Altogether, from beginning to end, we find nothing but wangling and litigation, which are anything but creditable to a brotherhood professing love and unity.
A glance at tho wrapper informs us that tho editor is " P. M. 30°." To our unonlightcned mind this would seem to mean that he is something after noon, in which caso ho ought to know tho time of day better than to exposo the weaknesses and squabbles of the craft to the sneers of the uninitiated.
We have received tho third volume of tho Autographic Mirror, for which a far more handy form has been adopted than was selected for the earlier volumes. The book is excellently turned out, and will form an ornament for tho drawing-room table, where it maybe opened to beguile the leisure minutes of a morning caller—or it can hold its place in tho library, where it will be studied as it deserves to be. Very little falling off is observable—indeed, there are some autographs in the volume more curious and valuable, perhaps, than any in the previous ones; but in one or two cases the editor has not been stern enough to prevent third and fourth-rate celebrities from getting little puffs of themselves, by the loan (from their "collections") of letters addressed to them by other third and fourth-rate celebrities. The work is such a noble one, and has been so admirably managed, that we feel sure when this is pointed out it will not occur again. If small people want to get notoriety by publishing their private correspondence, they should bo allowed to do so, at the usual charge, in the advertisement pages of the Mirror, which would be cut off in the binding.
The Frog's Parish Clerk (Low and Mauston) is an amusing fable for young—and old—with somo exquisite illustrations by a German artist. There are a groat many vulgar errors evidently running about in tho world touching "King Log and King Stork," and "The Frog that would a-wooing go." These Mr. Archer has taken the greatest pains to point out, and he has laid the real facts of the caso clearly beforo his readers in a manner which completely rehabilitates the frog-raco in general, and Rowley in particular. History is full of misrepresentations which need the labour Mr. Archer has bestowed on natural history, and his book may therefore be placed in the hands of our children to teach thorn not to give too ready a credence to the accounts of biassed chroniclers. They will learn to balance facts, and to refrain from condemning even a Rowley as a disobedient child until thoy hear both sides of tho story.
The Pays stated last week, in referonco to tho extradition treaty, that " Leicester-square must be put down." It can't bo very much lower than it is.
CONTINUATIONS OF DRAMATIC HISTORIES.
The Duke Op Aranza paid dearly, indeed, for his idiotic scheme. His friends had long suspected his sanity, and his concluding act of folly in pretonding to his beautiful and high-minded wife that he was only a poor rustic, and that his title was an empty assumption, confirmed them in their suspicions. If anything were still wanting to prove that the unfortunate Duke was a drivelling idiot, it would be found in tho fact that he selected the most preposterous servant in his household to represent him during his seclusion with Julian A. His excellent wife boro with his eccentricities as long as she was able, but eventually she found herself compelled to get a lunacy commission to sit upon the unfortunate man, and he was formally declared incapable of taking care of his affairs. He did not long survive the deprivation of his liberty, but died at an early age in an obscure lunatic asylum, a hopeless idiot.
Juliana, his excellent wife, was not guilty of the hypocrisy of pretending to grieve very seriously for the loss of a husband who had played so contemptible a trick on her. Within three months of his death she was quoted as the merriest widow in all Madrid, and at the expiration of Bix months she gave her hand and heart to her husband's old dependant, the faithful and intelligent Jacques, who, in consideration of the aptitude he had shown in the temporary disoharge of the Duke's duties, had been created Duke of Aranza. They lived long and happily together, and had many children.
In marrying Zauoua, Rolando was severely punished for his wearying tirades against women at large. No man who knew anything at all about women would have been such a fool as to marry a forward girl, who, unknown to him, and disguised in male attire, had followed him to the wan as his serving lad. Such a young lady must necessarily have beoome much too familiar with barrack-room conversation and habits to have made a modest and ladylike wife, and in marrying Zamora, Captain Rolando married one of the most boldfaced and unblushing young minxes of that or any other time. She soon appeared in her true colours. Her taste for masquerading never left her, and there was not a bal masqui in all Madrid at which she was not a conspicuous figure. This gave Rolando much pain, and for many months his life became a burthen to him. At length, however, she eloped with Lopez, and eventually became known as a successful sensation novelist.
That cowardly sneak, the Count Montalban, whose disgraceful dodges to get at his love's opinion of him must stamp him with the contumely of every right-thinking man or woman, never lived happily with his cunning wife Volants. A woman who could be meanspirited enough to marry a man whom she had discovered firstly in the disguise of a monk who had come to confess her, and subsequently in ambush behind his own picture in order to hear her apostrophize it under the impression that she was alone, was not the sort of woman who would bo likely to make a valuable wife. In point of fact she only married Count Montalkan for his titlo, and he married her for her money. He became very suspicious of her, and was perpetually engaged in laying traps to detect her in some act of backsliding. Eventually he was killed by an indignant hidalgo who had discovered him in the act of listening at a keyhole, while ho (the hidalgo) was engaged in conversation with Volante.
Lampedo, the apothecary, never got over his annoyance at being invariably cut out of all the acting editions. He made this grievance the subject of a petition to tho local Lord Chamberlain, representing that by his repeated excision he lost a most valuable advertisement. However the Lord Chamberlain refused to interfere, so ho emigrated to Italy, and in defiance of all chronology, was tho very apothecary who eventually supplied Romeo with his deadly draught.
THE CABMAN'S CHILD.
A Very Pretty Little Ballad.
"Mother—oh! mother—you're pale with fear!
The night is over, the dawn is here.
You have wept and watched, but he comes not yet,
And the morn is dreary, and cold, and wet.
The rain falls fast and the wind blows wild;
I dare not sleep," cried the Cabman's Child.
"Courage—oh! courage—Atolphtjs, dear,
Though morn be rainy, and cold, and drear;
For your father loveth to ride by night,
But ho seeks the pillow by morning's light."
Cried the Cabman's Child, "What a cheerless life!"
"Right, right you are" said the Cabman's wife.
"Mother—oh ! mother," Adolphub cried,
The Kino Of Greece is expected shortly at Copenhagen. Of course he comes to sympathise with the Kino Op Denmark, who, after the thumping he got in Schleswig-Holstein is the King of Whacks.
THE LATEST PARIS FASHION.
Miss Menken is in Paris, it is stated, having bid adieu to the English stage without taking a farewell o'dress. The reason is obvious—she bade good-bye to it on her first appearance in Mazeppa.
Going to Bath with a vengeance!
The Morning Star had, the other day, an article, apropos of the interpretations put on Mr. Bright's speech, headed, "Attempt to Stifle Reform." What does the Star say to an attempt to drown it— or, at the very least, to damp it? Such an attempt has been made, according to a report in the Times of the 13th, entitled, "Parliamentary Reform in Lambeth." Here is the passage :—
"A meeting of the electors and non-electors of the borough of Lambeth, convened under the auspices of the National Reform League, was held last night to consider the subject of Parliamentary Reform. The meeting was held in the Lambeth Baths, Westminstor-bridge-road. At eight o'clock, when the ehairmtn, Mr. Thomas Hughes, M.P., took his seat, the large area used as the plunging-bath during the summer months was about one-thirdfilled."
And yet the Conservatives say that Reform won't wash!
The Widow Married.
A Native widow was married a second time at Bombay, on the 23rd of November. Tho relicts of defunct Hindoos having come to the Christian opinion that it is better to marry than burn, are Betting their faces against Suttee, and are looking about for Suttce-ble seconds.
Tho author of Beauties of Tropical Scenery has added to the latest edition, Lays nearer Home—goose eggs, we presume. Wo see announced a book entitled How to Get Money Quickly or Thirty Ways of Making « Fortune. One of them is, we believe, to publish a worthless guidebook to prosperity.
A RATHER WILD BORE. A Tunnel through the St. Gothard between Switzerland and Italy has been proposed, and a company is being formed to cany out the undertaking. Considering that it will be more than nine miles Hi length, we wish them " well through it."
MRS. BROWN RETURNS FROM THB COUNTRY.
I Don't think as ever I felt more glad for anythin' than when I see that pony-shay draw up at Mrs. Bumherry's door Monday mornin', for to tako us to the train, for I'd said to her, "mrs. Bumrerry, mum, you will excuBo me^but get into your shay-cart agin I will not was it ever so." She says, " Mrs. Brown, it's not my intentions for to ask you, seein' as you broke the springs a-comin' and the mare is much knocked about."
I says, "As to your springs, they could not ho much for to break like that; and I'm sure I never laid a finger on your mare, as is a wiciouB brute in my opinion, as will tako human life some day with its wagaries, mark my words." She says, "I don't think as you knows much about horse-flesh."
I says, "Probable not, through not a-bein' in the cat's-meafline," as shet her up pretty quick, and seemed for to sour her like, for aho wasn't pleasant no more. I heard her with my own ears a-sayin' to the man as I must go to the rail tho time as suited her, for she wasn't goin' to have her cattle dragged to death for nobody. So off I was by a little after nine, for Brown he would walk by the fields. I didn't break my heart to wish that old skin and grief good-bye, as I hopes my gal will get on with.
I never did see such a hill as we went up; it's lucky as it was dark when wo come down it, for I'm suro I should never have got to the bottom alive. As to that I didn't think as ever we should get up it, and I do believe as I should be thero now stickin' in a rut if it hadn't been as a man as was ploughin' come and helped ns out. I had to walk up nearly all the Bteepest part with a thick gownd, two Bhawls, and my velvet cape, let alone carryin' my bandbox, as had my new bonnet and cap in, as I couldn't trust in that shay, as everythin' kep' a-tumblin' out on, and that's the way as my umbrella come to be miasm', for the way that pony took that shay up tho hill were surprisin', he kep' a-walkin' zig-zag like and over heaps as turned everythin' out twice. •
It's a mercy as I was walkin', or I should have been pitched out over and over agin on that hill, and there wasn't nothin' for to keep you from rollin' from bottom to top. I novcr see such foolishness not a-cuttin' it down, as is growed up out of all reason for a thoroughfare, but what can you expect from them poor half-starved creeturs with nine shillins a-week for eight to livo on. "Why, I calls it murder, and so it is, whatever they may say, and wonders the poor stands it, when I sco some of them grand houses where the squires lives, with their 'osses and their 'ounds a-tearing all over the place artera poor bit of a fox, as might be shot easy liko a dog, and was nearly my death, as wo come upon 'cm in a lano in their red coats and shoutin' liko mad, and them 'ounds like wild boastes, and a fellow como slap over the edge, 'oss and all, that mudded as was disgraceful.
I says, "Well, if you was to come over my place liko that I'd make you pay for it;" for I was a-restin' by a gate just as they come on me all of a bounco juBt as I was a-sayin' a few words to a old party as was breakin' stones, though seventy-nine, not as I could make out much as he said through never havin' been taught to speak proper, as however could he in that outlandish place; but, bless you, ho seemed to bo quite pleased at the sight of them 'untcrs and their 'ounds, and begun a-shoutin' too. *
It's a mercy as we wasn't both tore to bits, for however should them dogs know whether you're a fox or a Christian, as the sayin' is. "When they was gono I was all of a-tremble for the pony, shay, and the boy as was drivin', but law, the boy if ho didn't climb up a tree and keep a-watchin' them 'unters ever so far. So I says, "We shall miss tho train." He says, "That you won't," a-grinnin'.
"Well, we got on pretty well arter that to the station, and if we hadn't got a hour and a-half to wait, as I calls downright shameful in Mrs. Bdmbekry, as tho boy said did it a-purposo through wantin' of him back. You never see such a station; nothin' but a shed to set under outside and a thorough draft insido through the fire bein' between two doors, as was opened constant.
The boy he went back in course, and wherever Brown had got to I couldn't think; it was only just ten, and the train wasn't till a quartor to twelve.
I don't think as ever I was so uncomfortable, for, though not cold, it was raw and damp, as my feet was likewise, through a-walkin' so much.
I asks the young man for the refreshments, as only stared and said somethin' as nobody couldn't make out. I'd enough to do for to keep my eyes on my packages, as I kep' a-fancyin' wasn't all right, and waB that chilled I didn't know what to do.
It was just half-pa9t eleven when Brown turned up all of a-glow, sayin' as he'd had a delightful walk, and had fell in with the 'ounds.
I says, "It's a mercy you're alive for to tell tho tale; for I'm suro it would have been my death to havo fell in with thorn, it was quite enough to sec and hear 'cm," as made Mr. Giles, as is Mrs. BumBerry's brother, bust out a-laughin', as he'd been and walked with Brown for to show him the country, as I'm sure is plain enough for
any ono to see without no showin', and no great sight arter all, only there's a deal too much on it to be pleasant, as wants buildin' over, and how they gets on without gas or pavin'-stones I can't think. So Mr. Giles ho says, "Wo must havo you down here in the summer, Mrs. Brown, wo'll show you life."
I says, "I thank you kindly, but summer wouldn't never suit me down hero with no shady side of tho way, and dust as must poison, and all along them pebbly paths. I couldn't walk was it ever so."
I'm glad as the train was a-startin', for I was dyin' for a drop of somethin' for to tako the chill off me, and Brown had got a wickerwork bottlo in his pocket.
The drop as I took made me foel more comfortable certainly, and on we went for to kotch the train at Exeter, where I wanted refreshments, as wasn't possible through boin' late, and tho train for London a-waitin'*
"We did stop everywhere, but only once for ten minutes, and I got a cup of tea with a bit of cold beef; but just as I'd took a sip if they didn't ring a bell, and wo was all hurried back to the train, and got in; but, bless you, we didn't start for quite long enough for me to have swallowed my tea, as I had to pay for, with nothin' but one mouthful of beef and a bit of bread and butter, and obligated for to take a little out of the wicker-work bottle.
It was just on eight when wo got to the station, and I do think the cab home was tho wust of the journey, though glad to see Lorni'i agin. When we got to our door the cabman he give a ring, and I says, "Let me out," and give a look up at the house nat'raL ""Well, to be sure," I says, "they've got gas enough, as I suppose is hard at work a-clearin' up, as will always put things off till the last, and not expectin' me home till the Tuesday."
As they didn't answer the bell I walks up the steps to the front door, and hears 'cm a-sfaigin' and a-stampin' like a madhouse. So I ups and gives a knock at the door that loud as soon stopped their singin', and then a voice says, ""Who's there P"
I says, "Open tho door this moment;" but I only heard a scufflin'. So I says to Brown, "Just see if that kitchen-winder's fastened," as it did not prove to be, so he throwed it up, and was in in a instant, and opens tho kitchen-door for me. So I bustles up the stairs and meets Mrs. "wallis full butt, as was that far gono in liquor enough to knock you down.
I says, "Whatever is the meanin' of such goin's-on?" She only gives a scream and tumbles candle and all for'ard on to me, and if Brown hadn't been a-follerin' close behind would have swep' mo down the kitchen-stairs. So I gives her a shove as made her get out of my way, and walks into my parlours, as was a sight, for if there wasn't three fellars in clay pipes, and one layin' on tho sofa, as was the pot-boy, and two other parties, one elderly, as tho sayin' is, and Mary Ann, as busts out a-screamin', and sayin' as it warn't her doin', but all Mrs. "wallis and only her mother.
I'm suro the sight of that room and the company give me that turn as I couldn't get no words out till I heard Brown a-orderin' them fellars for to step it.
At last I says, "mary Ann TorsETT," as wero her name, "leave this houso you do this night; and if it is only your mother sho can take you;" and then tho old lady begun for to beg and pray, but I says, "Bo off with tho wholo lot. Send for your things in the mornin'."
As to Mrs. "wallis, she'd stept it somehow, I rather think through the pot-boy, as was her nephew.
It nearly broke my hearf to see what they'd been and used, to say nothin' of wreck and ruin, and my bright copper kettle full on the firo burnt as black as a coal, and tho tilings as was on tho table you nover did, black puddins and sprats, with baked potatoes and beef sausages, with odds and ends, and the smell of rum and baccy frightful. "Well, it give me such a turn as I couldn't touch nothin' but a crust with somethin' warm.
I says, "Brown, look round as all is safe, and let's get to bod," and so wo did.
I must have been fast asleep through boin' tired when I hears a hammerin' as woke me up. Up I jumps, thinkin' it was that lot como back. I goes to the winder, and heard tho hammerin' a-goin' on, and sees a policoman lookin' up.
So I goes to tho door and says, ""Whatever is it?" Says he, "I don't think it's thioves, but it's in your house."
"Well, we listens, and suro enough it was down below. So I lets in tho policeman and he goes to the cellar, as Brown had bolted up tight, and if there wasn't Mrs. "wallis, as had slep' off her liquor on the coals, and woke up not a-knowin' where she was, as had took refugo there in her fright at seein' me.
So I give the policeman a glass of somethin', and sent him home with the old faggot, as shan't never darken my doors agin; but I will say as them as has homes didn't ought to lcavo them.
The Latest Thing Out.—Tho policeman.