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to their parents duty and a grace.
In order to know whether constancy merits the it has no regard to expediency; it enters into no barpraise of consistency, it is necessary to examine the gain of love for love. It pants indeed for a return of foundation on which it rests. We hear much, for its own feelings, but this is not necessary to its nourishinstance, both in history and romance, of the fidelity of ment. And wisely is it so ordered; for on family love dependents to their chiefs. This sentiment rests upon are based all the noblest virtues of social life. As for reciprocity of services. The lord protects, and the marriage, it is one of those natural ordinances which vassal defends. The one leans upon the other; and a society, for its own sake, respects. Even when affection change in their relative positions can only take place does not consolidate the bond, this is effected by a comthrough tyranny on the one hand, or treachery on the munity of interest; and the parties bear with each other. Let us suppose that the master is kind, and the other's faults as much from a spirit of selfishness as of servant grateful; that the attachment of the latter is generosity. bravely manifested through good and evil fortune, and If we look back only a score of years, what mad.inthat at length he seals his fidelity with his blood. Let consistency,' in the popular sense of the term, do we us again suppose that the moral compact is broken by find imbuing the whole mass of society! How many the lord; that he is cruel and tyrannical to his people, old dogmas have become obsolete! and how many new and ready on all occasions to sacrifice them to his sel ones have taken their place! The most sacred theories fishness; but that the vassal still loves on, still prides of government, the most universally recognised laws of himself on his hereditary fidelity, and still gives up his political economy, the most ancient customs of social life for his master. In these two cases the constancy is life-all have been broken in pieces, and cast anew in very different. In the one, it is the virtue of a man; in a mould which would have amazed the best intellects of the oiher, the instinct of a cur. But neither history the last generation. Yet the age is consistent, for all nor romance makes any distinction. It is constancy, its inconstancy. It is pressing forward, however untherefore it is consistency. Such is the tyranny of consciously, to a determinate goal, and its changes are names; so true it is that words are esteemed as things! but so many relays on the road, to expedite the journey.
Another great quality of romance, and occasionally Let us all help on the movement, but calmly and wisely. touched upon by history, is constancy in love. Devo- Let us not be satisfied with words, without inquiring tion, or devotedness, which is the name it receives in into their meaning. Let us bethink ourselves that, as fiction, is more especially attributed to women ; and no sane man will judge of a sentence in a book without it is impossible to read without a smile the absurdities comparing it with the context, so no earnest searcher that are gravely put forth with this title as the very after truth will be satisfied with insulated facts without sublime of feminine virtue. A woman must be faithful examining their general bearing and coherency. We in her affection even when the qualities that awakened shall thus be able to assist, each in his own sphere, in it have disappeared. When she has discovered that it all desirable progress, and at the same time avoid lend. is no living and breathing man she has loved, but a ing ourselves to that idle clamour which, in a few years phantom of her own imagination, she must still love on. hence, will be looked back upon with the surprise and She must be constant to the physical being after his pity we now bestow upon the delusions of the past. identity with the ideal one has disappeared ; and she must testify her faith in this kind of materialism by the sacrifice of wealth, station, life itself. Even indifference
NATURAL SANITARY AGENCIES. on the part of her hero must work no change in this At this period, when the sanitary question is by slow demarvellous constancy; and she must be reconciled to grees assuming the station of importance to which it has die, by the hope that the catastrophe may induce him a just title, and from which nothing but the most obstito think of her when dead whom he had neglected when nate unbelief has kept it back, the above subject claims living.
for itself no small degree of interest. The truth, impressed
by man's great preceptress in her handiwork, is, that all * Remember me-oh! pass not thou my grave Without one thought whose relics there reclino;
organised material, after accomplishing the object of its The only pang my bosom dare not brave,
existence, and perishing, must be immediately removed, Must be to find forgetfulness in thine.
or so disposed of as to render the inevitable consequences My fondest-faintest-latest accents hear:
of its putridity innocuous to the surviving races of ani
mated beings. Such is the simple truth, to which only Then give me all I ever asked--a tear;
man, in his indolent indifference, has offered so long and so stout a resistance; a truth which nature has in vain
endeavoured, from the beginning of creation to the present One would think that romances of this kind were the hour, by a series of the most interesting illustrations, to exclusive production of the male sex, who concocted the impress upon him. It is the design of the present paper absurdities for their own special benefit: but it is not to trace the methods by which she has endea roured to so. Women, still more frequently than men, desecrate enforce the lesson. in their writings a passion which, unless founded on
There are two classes of agencies engaged upon the reason, can only rank with the grosser instincts of our work of removing effete material. The first is a corps nature. Such devotion is called sentimental; but it is of natural scavengers ; and a very efficient body it really material. Such constancy is called consistency; constitutes : and, in the second, the chemical affinities but it is entirely the opposite.
of bodies are called into operation, more particularly In thus distinguishing constancy from consistency, those of the atmosphere. We shall deal with the zoolowe must not be supposed to forget that there are both gical scavengers in the first instance. It is a subject of natural and conventional laws which control and ought familiar remark, that rarely, if ever—the shrew-mouse is, to control—the dictates of abstract reason. To the for- we believe, the only exception-do we meet with the dead mer belong the parental and filial instincts, and to the carcase of a wild animal. Animals are endowed with a latter the tie of marriage. The devotion of children | peculiar instinct upon the approach of dissolution, which,
Grief for the dead not virtue can reprove;
The first-last-sole reward of so much love!
thus regarded, has an especial interest. Into the dens remotest points of the horizon. When engaged actually and caves of the earth, or into the deep recesses of the upon the work, the vulture executes it in a very workforest, or into some artificial retreat, far shut out from the manlike style, not leaving the carcase for some days busy world, the dying brute retires, and there breathes together, until it is completely stripped of its integuits last in solitude. Here the tissues which composed its ments, and nothing left but the skeleton with its connectbody can rot, and putrefy, and become gaseous, and liquid, ing ligaments. On the plains of Africa, where the huge
carcases of the giant herbivora would lie to poison the with injury to none, until, by the combined influence of surrounding atmosphere to an enormous extent, the time and weather, nothing remains but a mass of inodo- scavenger is an immense bird of the vulture family, rous bones, which are soon themselves to crumble, and to known as the sociable vulture, whose ferocity, activit; form a portion of the soil upon which they rest. The and appetite are commensurate with the arduousness of large heaps of animal remains often found in caverns, the labour which devolves upon it. Le Vaillant, the have no doubt in a great measure their origin in the celebrated French traveller and naturalist, writes that he impulse of concealment antecedent to death. Where this found upwards of six pounds of the flesh of a hippopo.
tamus in the stomach of one, which, after a long and law fails to act, it gives place to another, and a more ra
obstinate contest, he succeeded in killing. pidly effective one; or there may often be a combination That which the winged scavengers leave unconsumed, of the two, the destruction of the elements being united falls commonly to the share of the four-footed ones—the to the labours of the true natural scavengers. These are jackal and the wild dog. From time immemorial, these the carrion-feeders.
loathsome creatures have been regarded by the eastern The Vulturido, among birds, have long enjoyed a nations, who neglected the lesson their example incul. high celebrity for the vigorous manner in which they cated, as the benefactors of their communities. Mr Bell, apply themselves to this important task. Unless pressed lieve that the wild or half-wild dogs were the common
in the ‘History of British Quadrupeds,’ is inclined to beby hunger, the vulture is stated by some naturalists to scavengers of the camp of the Israelites—an office which refuse to partake of untainted food; but when the their successors still hold among the cities of the East. putrefactive process has once commenced, it flies upon Him that dieth in the fields shall the fowls of the air it with the utmost avidity, and gorges itself almost to eat,' but ‘him that dieth in the city shall the dogs eat, suffocation. The assistance of these birds in the re
was the awful curse which hung over some of the royal moval of noxious matter very naturally increases in houses of the Israelites; and it seems to afford an indiimportance with the nature of the climate in which labourers. Not less efficient is the shrieking jackal. It
cation of the respective functions of these two classes of they abound. The vulture, and its kin, would be in follows in the rear of the weary caravan, being certain of imminent risk of entire starvation in the gelid north, success when thirst, weariness, and disease have begun while almost daily dainties lie ready for them in the their work among the travellers. southern regions. Mr Swainson writes of them, that they The waters of the ocean, just as the wide extent of the are the great scavengers of nature in hot latitudes, where air and earth, must likewise be preserved from contamiputrefaction is rapid, and most injurious to health ; and nation. A striking provision exists in a considerable the disposition of numbers is regulated by an All-wise number of instances for this end: it is the luminosity of Creator according to their needfulness. They are sparingly of putrefaction; on the contrary, a dead fish is only
dead fish. It is a mistake to believe this to be the result scattered in Europe ; in Egypt they are more numerous ; | luminous until the putrefactive process commences, when but in tropical America, although the species are fewer, the light disappears. It would seem probable that, very the individuals are much more plentiful.' Travellers have shortly after death, the gas known as phosphuretted on many occasions commemorated the activity of the hydrogen was produced on the surface of the body of the operations of these birds in Egypt, more particularly in fish ; but when, as a further step in decomposition, amthe large cities of that country, where they remove de- monia is evolved, the latter substance combines with the
This composing material of every sort, the carcases of animals, luminous gas, and the phosphorescence ceases. and the débris of all kinds which the inhabitants, with a
appears to us the simplest solution of a phenomenon stupid confidence in their filth-consuming allies, cast the guide to the prey so long as it is most proper for con
which has perplexed many philosophers. The light is forth into their streets. They have even come under the sumption ; after that it disappears. The scavengers of protection of the legislature, and laws are in force at the the great deep are its multitudinous inhabitants, which, present hour which impose penalties upon any who shall from the voracious shark and his relatives downwards, to be guilty of molesting or destroying the regular filth-con- the smallest thing which traverses the waves, are all tractors of the East. These birds, in order to adapt them banded together in this common cause. more effectually to the task which nature has appointed for
Nature has, however, an agent at hand, before which them, possess an astonishing faculty of receiving and con- these sink into a comparative unimportance: it is the reying to one another the tidings of a far-off feast. Mr observation of Linnæus, that three flies (Musca romi
race of insects. Every one is familiar with the startling Darwin believes that their rapid congregation around taria) would devour a dead horse as quickly as would a their prey is to be accounted for by their possession of lion! It is not beyond the truth. The whole tribe of the senses both of sight and of smell in an extraordinary flesh flies, from which our feelings turn with disgust, are, degree. All naturalists are not agreed upon the ques- nevertheless, among the most eminent benefactors of mantion, but none deny that it is little less than miraculous kind, more serviceable far than the gaudy flutterer or to observe the apparently instantaneous communication tinctured butterfly in whose behalf our admiration is of the intelligence to the scattered members of this carrion more generally and naturally enlisted. Wilcke, a Swefamily. Condors and vultures before altogether invisible capacity of a single species, that each insect can commit
dish naturalist, states, that so great is the productive seem to pounce down almost by magic upon their banquet. more ravages than could an elephant. A single female Mr Darwin conjectures, and the solution appears simple of the fly called the Sarcophaga carnaria will give birth and natural, that it is to be attributed to their high- to about twenty thousand young; and others are not soaring habits; that thus out of the field of vision wanting, the green flesh-fly particularly, to add their ordinarily swept by the eye of the spectator when walking thousands in countless numbers to the mass of labourers. or on horseback, aloft in the air the vulture may be float- To these busy myriads is the work committed. In a few ing, looking down with keen interest upon the earth be days the larvæ of the flesh-fly attain their full growth, neath, and instantly dropping upon its quarry when it and before this time it has been proved, by weighing them, is perceived. This rapid stoop, he adds, is the sig. that they will devour so much food, and grow so rapidly dal to the rest, which then hasten to the field from the in twenty-four hours, as to increase their weight nearly
two hundredfold! Thus an approximative estimate can round the dead body of the other, as if to get correct be conceived of their value as sanitary agents. The ideas of its dimensions. In the space of twelve hours one carrion beetles rank next in consequence, and take the frog had altogether disappeared, and the soil was laid place of the flies in the consumption of the remainder. smoothly over him. A linnet was then laid upon the The great rove beetle does an incredible amount of earth, and this was a severer duty by far; only two work in this way, and will commit ravages upon meat undertook it, a male and a female. After a little time, left within its reach, which are not likely to pass from they quarrelled over their work, and the male drove the the momory of the housekeeper. Kirby and Spence female away, and set to by himself. For five long hours inform us that there is a small cockroach which gets the poor labourer continued his operations, digging a into the hut of the unfortunate Laplander, and will in cavity close to the body of the bird. He then got out of one day annihilate all his stock of dried fish. It is a it, and for a whole hour lay down by the bird, as if to remarkable fact, that many kinds of perishable animal rest. In a little time afterwards the linnet was dragged niatter have a peculiar insect appropriated to them. into the grave, and its body, which would only lie half Each to its own-a law which has a broader range in in, was covered with a layer of soil, somewhat like a nature than that under which it is here contemplated— newly-made grave. In short, at the end of fifty days, the seems to be the commission by which these winged four beetles succeeded in burying twelve carcases : of powers go forth to their labour. Next to these come the these, four were frogs, three birds, two fish, one mole, two termites, the ant tribe; and their importance swells with grasshoppers, and part of the entrails of a fish, and of the the fervid nature of the climate. In tropical countries lungs of an ox. they almost supersede the other creatures in the work of The debris of the vegetable world, which is often as destruction: they are consequently of a large size, are pestiferous, if not more so, than that of the animal creaproduced in vast multitudes, and possess a prodigious tion, must likewise be removed ; and this is the appointed voracity. They will attack, in whole armies, the dead task of insects. It was to be expected that these agents body of an animal, and in a surprisingly short space of should exist in greatest rigour where the circumstance of time will denude it of every particle of muscular and climate produces most work; and this is what we find to adipose material, leaving behind only the ligaments and be the case. No sooner does a giant tree lie prostrate bones. There is in these labours an amusing succession on the earth, than it is at once the object of attack to of workmen, which is exceedingly curious. First come myriads of insects. Ants, and the boring-beetles, begin the skin-removers, then the sarcophagous insects, then the work, and are rapidly assisted from other quarters, the carrion beetles and ants, and these are followed until the mighty mass is reduced to a small heap of finally by the smaller carrion insects—the corynates and crumbling material, whose final destruction is accomnitidulæ: when they have left off work, nothing remains plished by rain and weather. Travellers inform us that to pollute the atmosphere. The trogide consume the it is not uncommon to meet with whole villages which cartilage. They were found by Ballas removing the last have bee deserted by their inhabitants, having been perishable substance from the dry carcase on the skele- almost swept from the face of the earth by the sole instrutons of animals which had perished in the arid deserts of mentality of these insects, nothing remaining of the teneTartary. The desert, indeed, with its heaps of bones of ments which once formed the village. In two or three men and animals bleaching in a burning sun, while it is years' time there will be a thick wood grown up in its a melancholy scene, yet exhibits to us, in a striking de- place; nor will a vestige of any structure, unless of gree, the wonderful efficiency of the instruments which stone, remain to indicate its former position. While, are in the hands of the Creator for the expurgation and then, we can sympathise with the dolorous tales we hear wholesomeness of his creation. The shard-borne beetle, about the destructive effects of the boring insects of the with its drowsy hum,' is the type of another class of in- tropics, we should not forget that these are only minor sects which consume these excrementitious materials evils compared with what would result were no such that might otherwise contaminate the air. In a moment agency in operation. a thousand shining insects will be seen busily devouring Though the remainder of our subject deserves a better such matters, and depositing eggs for the future produc- place than the end of a paper, it must be introduced tion of larvæ which are likewise to feed upon them. here. The atmosphere being the hourly recipient of
The strangest feature of our subject remains behind. impurities of every kind, from a thousand ceaseless It will be a surprise to most who peruse this paper, to be sources, it is necessary that means should be taken to informed that there are natural grave-diggers creatures guard against its too great contamination : and such which perform this remarkable office in obedience to a means exist. From the accumulated population of our wonderful instinct which animates them. There are few great cities, from the tens of thousands of our furnaces, of the marvels of nature that come upon us so unex. from the vast masses of rotting, putrefying material our pectedly as this. There are some tribes of beetles (the wasteful negligence allows to collect, and from innumerNecrophori, or burying beetles) which perform this task, able other sources, there is a mass of noxious matter the most familiar example of which is the N. Vespillo. cast into the air which it is completely staggering to Two or more commonly engage in the work. They select think of. This has all to be disposed of, to be rendered a proper spot for the sepulture of the body, generally as innocuous, and to be returned to the earth again. The near to it as possible. The cavity is then dug, and the principal impurities to be dealt with are sulphuretted dead animal is, by dint of unwearied labour, laid in its hydrogen, sulphurous acid, carbonaceous particles, and a tomb, and covered with soil ; the beetles previously de- medley of substances known as organic matters. Atmopositing their ova in the carcase. But the experiments of spheric oxygen is the grand remedy for most of them. Gladitsch, who seems first to have commemorated them, | This wonderful gas, possessed of a range of affinities are so enchanting, and exhibit the insects to us in such an equalled by few other chemical elements, attacks such amusing light, that we make no apology for quoting the impurities, and shortly reduces them to the not only results from a popular work on entomology, in which they innoxious, but directly beneficial compounds — ammonia are translated. His attention was first drawn by the dis- and water. The decomposition is strangely progressive : covery, that the dead bodies of moles which he had ob- it proceeds from complex to simpler combinations, until served lying in the garden beds disappeared in a very the simplest has been attained, and at this point it ceases mysterious and unaccountable manner. He determined altogether. To rain and wind is assigned the task of to watch the corpse-stealers, and he found they were none disposing of the heavier particles, such as soot, and some other than the burying beetles we have mentioned. of the minute molecules of animal matter above alluded Having obtained four of them, he put some earth in a to. Ammonia, the product of putrefaction, is also brought box, and covering it with a hand-glass, he laid two dead down by rain, and placed at the disposal of the vegetable frogs upon it, and left the industrious beetles to their world. Lastly, upon the entire vegetable world itself task. Two out of the four set themselves to the inter- is devolved the greatest of all nature's sanitary operament of one of the frogs, while the others occupied them- tions—the restitution of the oxygen to the atmosphere selves, undertaker-like, with first running round and | by the deoxidation of its carbonic acid.
Such is the impressive lesson before us; and such are ‘But I say, cousinsome of the illustrations which enforce it. Nature has Don't call me cousin : call me Jemima.' appeared to us as an instructress teaching by example: . Well, Jemima; mother do say this is a desperate it must not be forgotten that she wields the rod as wicked place. She says I am not to believe a word that well. Man may despise her instruction ; but he pays comes out of a human mouth.' the penalty in a retributive entailment of disease and * No more you are,' said Jemima. "You will hear the suffering.
truth from nobody but me; and if I hear anything but the truth from your lips, I will send you back to your
mother by the fly-wagon that moment. But hark ! THE SCHOOL FOR LIARS.
there is a double knock, and your service begins. Away, Love, they say, “dwindles down with the meal-poke;' and open the door boldly; throw it back to the very but this was not the case with the love of Jacob's mas-wall, and don't sneak out your head, like country serter and mistress. They were a young, careless, and, vants, as if you were afraid of a bailiff. Remember, notwithstanding their perplexities, as yet happy pair. master is not at home.' They had married without thought, confident that Not at home?' Unele John would come round as soon as the thing was *Not at home-remember that for your life.' When done, and could not be helped ; and even now, although Jacob, after a nervous glance at the glass, had dissomehow or other their resources were becoming appeared up the staircase, Jemima remained for some scantier and scantier, and the prospects of the world time in an attitude of listening; but at length, anxious looking colder and drearier, they neither could nor to know how her protégé would acquit himself, she would believe in the old man's obduracy. How was it ascended a few steps, and heard him, to her unspeakpossible for them to do so? They were his nephew able alarm, let in the forbidden visitor. and niece, and had been brought up in the idea that his What is this you have done ?' cried she, half draglarge fortune was one day to be divided between them. ging him down the stair by the arm. • Did I not tell They had never yet set their hearts upon anything in you master was not at home?' vain, if it was in Uncle John's power to get at it; and * All's right!' replied Jacob smiling ; 'don't you be now, was it to be thought that, because they had merely uneasy.' helped themselves to one another without his sanction, Oh you little wretch !' cried she, flinging away the he would seriously turn his back upon them?
arm of the youth, who was at least a foot taller than But Uncle John had good cause to be vexed, though herself. “What ever is to be done?' and she wrung her perhaps little cause for irritation. Under his mis- hands in real dismay. This made Jacob chuckle outchievous indulgence they had grown up wild, thought right. less, and extravagant; and his only consolation had 'I tell you,' said he, 'it's all right. Master was in, been, that it was still in his power to neutralise his after all! I heard him cough in the parlour; and opening error, by providing them each with a proper helpmate. the door quietly, saw himn peeping through the blinds. Their marriage, therefore, came upon him like a thun- But don't take on, Jemima : it was not a lie you told der-clap; and their very unconsciousness of its being me: bless you, you didn't know it!' Jemima had no possible for them to have sinned beyond his forgiveness, time to storm, for they now heard the street-door shut; and the evident incredulity with which they listened to and presently the parlour bell rang violently. his determination to leave them to their fate, made Now I shall catch it!' said she. Master would not matters, if possible, still worse. But affairs at length have seen Uncle John this morning for a thousand became so serious, as to stagger even the young couple, pounds. Stand out of my way, you country lout!' and and they determined to grow prudent forth with, and she swept past the astonished Jacob like a whirlwind. look warily about them. Since they had no fortune at Jemima did. catch it,' and to some purpose ; and she all-not a shilling—but what belonged to Uncle John, was warned that the very next instance of disobedience it was necessary to cut down their establishment. They on the part of lier cousin would close this chapter in parted, therefore, with the cook; Jemima expanded into his metropolitan adventures. the maid-of-all-work; and the man shrunk down into * But after all, dearest,' said the young wife, when Jacob.
she was alone with her husband, why were you so Jacob was a raw country lad of seventeen, who, at anxious to avoid Uncle John this morning, and how is the invitation of his cousin Jemima, had månfully left it that he made his visit so short ?' his mother, and come up to London to push his fortune. • The why is, that I am a fool ; and the how, that he As for Jemima herself, she had been in the family from is another. The truth is, I was so elated by his appearinfancy in one capacity or another, and although a year ing to come round yesterday, and so confident that or two older than Jacob, she was still young enough to matters would subside forthwith into their usual chanfind amusement in the vicissitudes of her lot. The nel, that-that-I gave way to temptation.' marriage of her young mistress was a great event in Mercy on us! You did not play?' Jemima's life ; so was her taking upon herself the entire No; worse than that: for if I had played, I might ministerial duties of the household; and so was her have won. I bought the Piccolini vase. introducing into the family a relation and protégé of * You?-without a shilling ! and to involve yourself her own. She was now full of the cares of the world; in a debt, such as Uncle John would never forgive in she talked of her trials, and occasionally sighed deeply. this world, for a piece of mere trumpery! Oh what But to do her justice, she worked hard for all that, and insanity!' indeed was rarely idle for a moment in the day.
* That is all owing to your want of taste : if it had Some moments, however, she did lose in gazing been a set of jewels, you could understand it. But proudly at Jacob, when he had squeezed himself into what was I to do? I must have bought it yesterday, his new livery, and stood before her with his arms or lost it for ever; and you know how long I have sticking out from his sides like a couple of radishes. hungered and thirsted after it, and how completely it His face, no longer dirty with tear-channels, was was understood among all our acquaintances that it polished as brightly as soap and water could do it; was to be mine. I felt as if I should not have enjoyed and the expression of alarm with which he had looked Uncle John's fortune without it!' round him at every unaccustomed sight and sound, was But how is Uncle John a fool as well as you?' now to some extent controlled by the feeling of youth 'Because--and I am ashamed to tell it-he believes ful confidence inspired by new clothes.
me to be now incapable of such extravagance; and I What would mother think?' said he, with a bashful am to meet him presently at his solicitor's office, to look towards the glass.
enter into an arrangement which will end all our ‘She would think it a good thing,' replied Jemima troubles.' loftily, 'to have somebody to take her son by the hand.' • Oh how delightful! And you were terrified to let
Uncle John in, lest he might stumble over that un as suddenly and silently as a ghost?' What do you lucky vase? The catastrophe would have been awkward want?' certainly.'
"I only wanted,' said Jacob, to see if I could hear *Only by being premature. I hate myself for such what you were saying, you spoke so low.' mean concealment, and am determined to act at least • Indeed! And was that all?' in some degree the part of a man of honour. As soon *No. There's a young woman at the area door with as all is settled between us, I shall confess this last caps, and she calls you Miss Jemima-he! he !—and lapse of virtue; and, to prove the sincerity of my re- says you must go down to her, please, as quick as ever pentance, make him a present of the vase. --But how you can.' now, sir? What do you want?' This question was *Jacob,' said Jemima authoritatively ; remove this addressed to Jacob, who had been standing within the wause,' room for some minutes, turning his staring eyes and . This what?' open mouth from one interlocutor to the other.
* This wause--this here thing on the table-to the 'I only wanted to hear what you were saying, sir,' china closet; and if you break, or chip, or injure it in said he, abashed ; ' you spoke so loud.'
anyway, my advice to you is, just to take two cords, Oh you did, did you ? And was that all that brought and hang yourself with one, and send the other to your you up stairs ?'
mother. Do you hear?' Oh dear no. But there is a man at the door with a • To be sure I do; but there is no occasion for the piece of crockery on his head, and Jemima said I was cords, for I could carry half-a-dozen crocks like that to ask whether he was to bring it in.'
any day, without letting one of them fall. When * These wretches will drive me distracted!' cried the Jemima had gone down to the area, Jacob took the husband. "Standing on the steps, in view of the whole opportunity of examining not only the vase, but the street !' and he rushed out of the room, and opened the other articles in the room, and more especially the picdoor with his own hands-Jacob vanishing in alarm at tures. He in fact, though this was only his first day, the same moment down the kitchen stairs.
felt himself growing well up into a domestic, and flatWhen the magnificent vase was safely placed upon tered himself that his awkwardness was fast polishing the parlour table, the difficulties of the thoughtless pair away by the friction of experience. At length, howseemed at an end.
ever, when he was just about to execute the orders he *But we must get it out of the way,' said the gentle- had received, a double knock called him to the door. man, at least for this day. The china closet will he • Have you moved the wause?' cried Jemima from the safest place; for there it will be under lock and below, just as his hand was upon the latch of the door. key. But I shall have barely time to dress, and get to Jacob was flurried. He ought to have done it long ago; the solicitor's by the appointed time. May I trust to and would do it the moment this new customer was you, my dear? Will you move it with your own hands? gone. It would be the same thing in the end. The for I should faint at the bare idea of a careless servant London people, it appeared, said anything that was touching it.'
most convenient. • Yes, yes; you may trust to me: but do now go, like • Yes, Jemima,' he replied steadily ; and then opened a dear; for you know you are always too late.'
the door to Uncle John. * But will you move it with your own hands? Do *Is your master at home?' said Uncle John. Jacob you promise me?'
was puzzled; for this time he had received no instruc‘I will—I do. Now go;' and, paying the carriage tions on the subject. in advance upon her lips, the young husband ran away *I'm a new boy, sir,' said he at length, prudently to dress.
resolving not to commit himself; .but if you will step The vase was not too heavy for a lady to carry ; and into the parlour, I'll speak to Jemima. when Jemima in another minute made a hasty en When Uncle John saw the vase staring him in the trance into the room, her mistress had actually raised face from the table, he seemed thunderstruck; he stared it from the table.
at it in turn for more than a minute, silent and motion. •Goodness gracious! put down that great thing, less; but soon began to stride rapidly up and down, mem,' said Jemima; “put it down without thinking looking every now and then as if he was about to twice!'
demolish it with his cane. * What is the matter?' asked the lady hastily, doing • Here, you!' said he suddenly to Jacob, who stood as she was bidden.
eyeing him and the vase alternately with open mouth; • The matter is, mem, that the milliner is here at put it down behind that screen. There. Now take last! Such a gown! such flounces! such thingumbobs! care you don't tell any human being that I know anyOh my! But she has not an instant to wait; and unless thing about it. Will you be silent?' she can try it on this moment, you will not be able to • If they ask me whether you have seen it?' set eyes on her again for a week.' The mistress had half "Say no! There is a crown for you. Will you say bounded towards the door, when, stopping suddenly, no?' she turned back a glance of irresolution at the vase. 'I suppose I must,' said Jacob, pocketing the crown,
'I was going to take that vase,' said she, 'to the and feeling as if he was the virtuous victim of an inchina closet.'
scrutable fatality. When about to descend the kitchen • You take it, mem ?- you! Oh, excuse me-- that stairs, he saw his mistress steal on tiptoe across the belongs to my department.'
hall. So it does,' said the mistress ; ' though I pro Send up Jemima,' said she pantingly. Oh, Jemised –– But here a shrill impatient cough from mima,' she continued, in an agitated whisper, as the the hall decided the question. You will carry it more girl appeared, there is Uncle John! Did you do what safely than I, added she; 'but it must be with your you promised ? Have you removed the vase to the own hands. Promise that, Jemima ;' and as Jemima china closet ?' promised, off the lady flew to the milliner.
'Surely, mem!' said Jemima, indignant at the doubt. When the waiting-maid was left alone, she examined 'I of course did as I said. Do you take me for athe vase with a look of sovereign contempt.
Oh, you are a dear, good, trustworthy girl! And What fancies some people have!' muttered she. with your own hands, Jemima ?' How irrational to lay out money on a piece of useless •I rather think so, mem! For my part I don't know trumpery like this! And I must carry it with my own that there are any other hands in the house than the hands forsooth, as if it was made of gold! Well, a maid-of-all-work's. But I hope I know my duty, and maid-of-all-work, I suppose, has no choice; and I must do it. I trust not to sink till you are provided with take this with the other hardships of my lot.-Ah! somebody stronger. That I do, mem.' what are you doing there, you great oaf, appearing *My life!' cried the husband softly from the other