Изображения страниц

devotion, which seemed to the happy fellow much of my valuable time I have sacrificed almost to border on idolatry, and which he to her-striving to illuminate her benighted himself secretly condemned. He got beauti- skull, that, being thus animated, she might ful, gilt-edged, rose-pink paper, in order to be capable of a nobler, truer existence. She reply properly; only he often lamented that also seemed to feel this; yet still

, still it is those fine French characters, which were as impossible for the Frenchwoman to charge delicately and beautifully rounded as if they her nature-impossible for her to get rid of were engraved, were sometimes very difficult the presumption, selfishness, and insolen to read, owing to the similarity of the letters. pretension inherent in her nation. Read far He had again been instructing the ladies, yourselves, with your own eyes, this sanand was joyfully expecting to meet them the dalous letter ; just read for yourselves this evening after at the house of the ambassador. vulgar impertinence. It would have been In the morning, while sitting at breakfast impossible for the very coarsest German to with some of his most intimate friends, he write thus, unless to some open enemy wbom received a long letter from his lady-traveller, he wished to humble to the uttermost. Read the elder sister. Joy sparkled in his eyes he at the commencement, you see there as he opened and read the letter, imparting are thanks, admiration, the finest French the contents to his friends. It seemed to be phrases ; and here-speaking of my good the old tale over again, with an admiration, nature—she grows quite sentimental; and if any thing, increased; and all were highly here—about my system-she shows berseli delighted that their teacher's greatness was not without insight; and then she says, only also recognized by foreigners.

one German-myself-could unite to such The lady began by expressing her satis- profundity-a stupidity altogether unes: faction that she was to meet the man, at the ampled! What do you say to it! Is bei ambassador's house that evening, who was this shamelessness also unexampled !" growing continually dearer to her heart and All were dumb. Each took the letter in mind: his presence would confer more true turn; each scrutinized and verified the of dignity on the assembly. When this pas- fensive line, and when all were convinced sage was read, the young Her Von Nettling that this abomination had actually been said remarked that she already began to think of their revered tutor, the manifold denials like a German, she could not have brought and pathetic exclamations by which every such a notion with her out of France. “So one sought to give vent to his rage, pro it is,” observed a young poet, “it will be by duced an uproar well nigh maddening. As means of us Germans, when they get to be soon as something like quietness was re better acquainted with us and with our litera- stored, the professor said, “ Believe me, this ture, that the French will become a true in- nonsense really contains a eulogium; that dividual rationality. These different travel is, such a eulogium as these insolents can lers, who are daily arriving, remind one of and will give. This is what they think of Joshua and Caleb, who announced the Prom us. They take us for bears and clumsy un ised Land to the dwellers in the desert." tamed creatures, and, with a sort of refined

“And,” said a third, “will not this young haut goût, which gives the very daintiest widow take a fine bunch of grapes back as relish to their sublimated brilliancy, thera sample ; thereby filling all her countrymen the finer souls—deign to learn of us rude, with delighted astonishment ?"

awkward things. It is a wonder to them This young, impetuous fellow had scarcely that stupid barbarism should produce pro uttered these words, when the professor, fundity--that a singular law of nature has growing pale as death, let the letter fall to so ordained that the deepest and most furthe ground, -—“Whatever is the matter with damental can only grow in this soil of stayou?” exclaimed all. The professor seated pidity ; that is to say, with us. I must, himself in his easy-chair, and, endeavoring however, repudiate such a eulogium, and to compose himself, said—in a voice full of will not allow either myself or my country emotion—"All of you, my friends, will bear men to be reviled in such a manner." me witness what true zeal, what kindness It has often been said that it is best to I have shown towards this haughty French- answer a letter immediately as soon as te woman, ever anticipating her wishes. How ceived, and that this insures the freest and


liveliest correspondence. As respects friendly acquaintance with him, he could show her-
epistles, this may be a true doctrine ; but however stupid he might be with what
when passion, occasioned by a letter, pos- profoundest contempt he could repel so
sesses a man, it were more advisable, per- presumptuous a creature. Inasmuch as stu-
haps, that he first let his anger cool down pidity and profundity might be united, so
somewhat, that in his answer he may observe respect might be compatible with the present
due moderation. However, these enraged explanation ; he therefore remained—80-
German philosophers did not think so. After and-so.
some conversation, they all approved of the All admired this weighty cpistle as much
professor's resolution, which was—to answer as if it were the masterpiece of some di-
the shameless document instanta, and in the plomatist, at once graceful and resolute. A
most stinging style; all courteous intro-man-servant took it to the lady's house im.
duction, all phrases of obligation or polite mediately.
ness were to be omitted. So the professor To the ambassador's house went the pro-
sat down, and, as quickly as his French fessor, accompanied by a few of his squires,
would permit, wrote a decided declaration and armed with all his dignity. Many
of war to her who had hitherto been his people of fashion, both ladies and gentlemen,
friend and admirer. Those who were around as well as some distinguished men, were
him furnished him with a phrase now and present. The professor was kindly wel.
then which they considered wittier or more comed by the host and his lady, and after a
biting, so the whole formed a choice bouquet while, the French ladies—who had been
of German invectives, drawn upon a sheet keeping up an animated conversation with
of common writing-paper ; the professor some of their own countrymen in a distant
being now ashamed of his gilt-edged, rose corner-came up to him.

“Good heavens, pink preparations.

my honored friend I” exclaimed the elder, in In bis reply, he declared himself on his her native tongue; “ what a most extraorguard against any further approaches on her dinary letter you sent me this morning! I part; and, as the enemy might perhaps try was in the country when it reached me. I to offer some explanation of her ill-bred had to get out of my carriage to make a phrase, he said, since the French had en- few calls, so I read it, and, as I have not deavored to infuse some courtesy and polite. yet recovered from the astonishment it ness into the Germans, she would not take caused me, I have brought it along with it amiss if he adopted her own letter as a me, Your excuses, my esteemed friend, model; trying, as far as was possible for will have to be both ample and clever, if I him, to imitate it. He must confess that ascribe this most incomprehensible occurthis her rudeness and unabashed impudence rence to a fit of hypochondria.” far transcended the unexampled stupidity "I have nothing to do with excuses !" which, in him, had so amazed her. His cried the German, in a state of great exciteGerman good-nature-which she had praised ment: “they ought to come from you; but somewhat too highly-was not, however, so how cleverly soever you may parade them, great that he could laugh at her vulgar they will make no impression on my firm. impertinence, or treat it as something par- ness.” She replied with some warmthdonable in a lady. His anger, also, was being naturally impetuous,—and as the prothoroughly German, both by nature and con- fessor scarcely took the trouble to keep his stitution, and his own consciousness, as well | temper, his voice gradually rose into a as the respect which every learned man scream, so that all the bystanders turned owed to himself, impelled him—his position their heads towards this group in amazein society, his reputation and his worth, ment. “Friends," said the minister, “come compelled him—from henceforth, and in the with me into the next room, lest this unustrongest and most unequivocal terms, to sual disturbance should draw all eyes on you. break off all acquaintance with so thorough If you think me worthy of being umpire in and inveterate a Frenchwoman. For the the matter, I trust I shall be able to reconrest, he should be at the ambassador's that cile such distinguished friends.” evening, and if, after the present declaration So the contending parties followed the on his part, she should still dare to claim | kind-hearted man, who was accompanied by

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

his daughter and two men of letters ; the clearly and distinctly—the unexampled staFrench lady was followed by two other pidity united to profundity." ladies, whose curiosity would not let them "Why,” said the minister—who could stay behind; and the professor was attended hardly speak for laughing—“bere it is, quite by his whole staff, their faces full of anger. plain: 'could unite to such profundity

“ Your excellency," said the professor, as sagacity altogether unexampled.!” soon as the door was shut, “shall now be With trembling hands did the German informed of the most outrageous circum- philosopher take the letter-he looked and stances that was perhaps ever announced. read; then read and looked again : his com Now that we have destroyed French tyranny panions examined it likewise, much as if it and frustrated their attempts at universal were a knotty passage in some half obliterdominion, they wish to trample our spirits ated manuscript. The French lady laughed under foot."

and loudly clapping her small white hande "Since the affair has become the subject exclaimed-with the tone of a pert child, of a judicial investigation,” said the French “What! you read stupidity instead of 3 lady, with a smile, “will you, count, read gacity! You the man of such prodigion this letter which the Herr Professor sent me insight! and all your friends there into the this morning ?” She handed the letter to bargain !" the ambassador with a courteous smile, in “The characters,” stammered the profeswhich the professor, however, could see noth- sor, “ are so very similar; so close together; ing but insolence and cunning.

so free and bold, yet so obscure vithal, that “I have to request that your excellency -I- I really beg pardon." will read it aloud,” said he; "it was occa He was silent, and immediately withdres sioned by a letter which the lady sent me, with his friends. The instant be left the and which I have with me at present. In room, the company-no longer under any due time that letter shall be read aloud also, restraint-burst into an uncontrollable fit that, seeing I have expressed my feelings of laughter. At last the count said. —-1 with some warmth, I may humbly endeav. request the ladies and gentlemen, if pagor to justify myself."

ble, not to mention this strange affair ; iEvery one was waiting anxiously, so the deed it were well if we all forgot it, in minister began to read the professor's letter order to avoid distressing the man who is in a rather unsteady voice. As he proceed otherwise so estimable.” ed, his embarrassment increased, partly on "Oh, he will get over it," said a young account of the strange French, but still lady; “the week will soon be gone, and more because he had to repeat phrases and then it will be equally forgotten, whether improprieties which are altogether banished we hush it up or noise it abroad." from society. When he had finished, the “Suppose,” said the lady-traveller, “1 professor said," Your excellency is, as I adopt his reading in the next edition of my see, astonished that I should write thus; letter; I should not be far wrong, should If but, since you have taken in hand this affair

She never saw him again, for soon after which has wounded me so deeply, I beg both sisters returned to their native country. you, also, to read aloud what the lady wrote to me."

“ You are utterly incomprehensible, professor !" exclaimed the French lady; "it is enough to make one believe in magic and THE WIND AND THE RAIN. witchcraft; for there cannot be any natural explanation of such conduct."

We can scarcely choose a better time than The minister then read her letter also, this for our projected discourse upon with a more cheerful look and a firmer wind and rain. First, because, at about this voice; for he saw in it nothing but friend. season of the year, people are usually mount ship, civility, and delicate flattery. When ing into hopeful spirits after a tolerable er: he got near the conclusion, the professor laid perience of both ; and secondly, because the his hand upon it and said, with a reddening wind has got into some little notoriety of face – Ngw, I beg you will read this out late, for not having blown down Mr. Pasten's

From Dickens' “ Household Words."


Crystal Palace in Hyde Park—which, it pattens go clinking by upon the pavingappears, it was bound to do, and ought by stones—when dripping umbrellas make a all means to have done. We have our mis- dismal dance all down the street when the givings that it is equally bound, by the cal. shining policeman stops at the corner to culations which convict it of this neglect of throw the wet off himself, like a water-dog duty, to blow away any man of ordinary -when all the boys in view go slinking stature who ventures out of doors when the past, depressed, and no boy has the heart to weather is not calm. But we have too fly over a post-when people wait under much respect even for the failings of the the archway, peeping ruefully out at splashwind, to do more than hint at these its little ed and draggled stragglers fagging along weakhesses.

under umbrellas; or at other stragglers who, Indeed, our readers are already so occu- having no umbrellas, are completely varpied with the wonders and beauties of the nished from head to foot with rain-when great Exhibition, and already read so much the chimney-smoke and the little church about them, that we purposely avoid the weathercock fiy round and round, bewildered subject for the present. Therefore, if our to find that the wind is everywhere—when discourse concerned only the grievous de- the flat little church bell seems vexed that fault and bankruptcy of the wind, in that the people won't come in, and tinkles disconnection, it would end here, and take its contentedly, while the very beadle at the place in literature by the side of Sancho door is quenched and querulous-does not Panza's untold story, and the condensed inspire a lively train of thought. Still, withEncyclopædia of information which Mr. out constantly measuring the rain-fall like Dangle ought to have perused in the nod of the enthusiasts who write to the newspapers Lord Burleigh. We have another range about it, or without asserting, like the oldest before us, however, and proceed.

inhabitant, (who has never been right in his The clown in “Twelfth Night” might life since his promotion to that elevation,) have been a good geologist when he sang— that it never rained before as it rains now,

we may find matter for a few minutes' talk, " A great while ago the world began, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain !"

even in such weather.

It is raining now. Let us try. for the wind and the rain have written illus- The wind to-day is blowing from the trated books for this generation, from which northwest, and it flings the rain against our it may learn how showers fell, tides ebbed window-panes. That boy, Tom, will be very and flowed, and great animals, long extinct, wet, for he is out in it without an umbrella. walked up the craggy sides of cliffs, in re- Here he comes, glowing like a forge to which mote ages. The more we know of Nature, the gale has only served as bellows! He in any of her aspects, the more profound is enjoys his dripping state, and tells, with the interest she offers to us; and even in enthusiasm, how this atom of knowledge alone, we might surely get somethiug to think about, out of

... “the wind began again with a burst

Of rain in my face, and a glad rebound a wet day. We do not defend a wet day.

From the heart beneath, as if, God speeding me, We know that a wet Sunday in a country I entered his church-door, Nature leading me.” inn, when the rain falls perseveringly, be. tween the window and the opposite hay. But we pack him off to change his clothes; stack-when rustics lounge under penthouse and stop his quotation summarily. roofs, or in barn or stable doorways, fes. We saw, the other day, how winds were tooning their smock-frocks with their pock- caused, like currents of the sea, by inequal. eted hands, and yawning heavily-when we ities of temperature. The heated air expity the people sitting at the windows over pands near the equator, rises and runs over the way, and think how small and dark towards either pole in two grand upper their houses look, forgetting that they, prob- currents, under which there flow from north ably, pity us too, and think no better of and south two deluges of colder air, to octhe Griffin, where we have put up-is not cupy the space vacated. These currents do promotive of cheerfulness. We know that not flow from due north and due south, bethe same Sunday in a town or city, when cause, as the earth rolls every day once round itself from west to east, air that has or water over which they blow. But the acquired slow movement at the poles, finds scene of collision, as we said, forms a broad the globe travelling too fast for it at the zone always north of the equator, which is equator, and is obliged, therefore, to drop called the zone of the variable winds and more and more behind.

calms. Here it is that a great ascending The current from the north becomes a current strikes off the antagonists on either northeast wind ; that from the south is not band; and then if we are in the current, we due south, but southeast. These winds are perceive no wind; and if we hold a lighted constant, where there is no local interference, candle in the air, its flame ascends unyawithin about twenty-eight degrees on each vering ; but a few feet from the groupd se side of the equator, being, in fact, the north- can feel nothing of the upward rush which east and southeast trade-winds. Why do we denominate a calm. With this current they not blow all the way from pole to rises a vast mass of vapor, and the sun's tropic ?

decline, or a touch from the trade-wind, or There, you have the upper current to con- the coldness of the upper air, condenses sider; the hot air that ascended at the equa- | this; and down come sheets of rain, attendtor has been gradually cooling, and becoming ed with electrical explosions. How the trade therefore denser-heavier-as it ran over winds, when they come together, tvist and the cold current below. The cold air from twirl, and generally how two winds cause the pole, too, had been getting warmer, an eddy, and a veering of the weathercock therefore lighter, on its travel ; so that in when they come down upon each other, any temperate climates, to which we belong, it man may understand who ever sat by a becomes a disputable point between the two brookside. Currents of water coming upon currents which shall have the upper, which cach other, round the stones, from different the lower seat. In these regions, therefore, directions, act upon each other just as the there is no uniform wind; but as the cur air-currents act : carving miniature gales rents from the equator generally succeed in and model whirlwinds from a kindred elemaintaining that it is now their turn to go ment. below, winds from the south prevail outside Within this zone of variable winds and the trade-winds north of the equator, which calms, vapor ascends perpetually, and raia are, of course, represented by north winds falls almost every day; the rainy season beon the other hemisphere. Southwest and ing distinguished only by a more determined northwest these winds are, because they are drench, just as a doctor, paid by items, pours fast currents, which started from the earth forth more bottles in the season of an epiwhere it was rapidly revolving, and vote demic, though he at all times is unmercifully polar regions slow. Winds from the south liberal. That vapor rises from water and from west then prevail in Europe ; and the south every moist body under the influence of heat, wester now blowing whistles with immode- any body knows. The greater the beat the rate exultation at a victory over some polar more the vapor; but even in winter, from current with which it has for the last few the surface of the ice-field, vapor rises. The days been exchanging blows.

greater the heat, the greater the expansion of Well, you say, there must be a pretty the vapor. It is the nature of material things clashing of cymbals when the great trade to expand under heat, and to contract under winds from the north and south run against cold; so water does, except in the act of freezone another; and they must do that some ing, when for a beneficent purpose it is constiwhere near the equator. Yes, the scene of tuted an exception to the rule. Vapor rises their collision occupies a broad band about freely from lakes, rivers, and moist land; but six degrees north of the equator, more or most abundantly, of course, it rises from the less. The trade-winds of the southern bemi- sea, and nowhere more abundantly than where sphere encroach over the line at all seasons, the sun is hottest. So it rises in the zone of owing to peculiarities of land and water; variable winds and calms, abundant, very but the limits of the trade-winds are not much expanded, therefore imperceptible marked out by a fixed straight line. They There comes a breath of colder air on the vary, in extent, with the season, and their ascending current ; its temperature falls ; it outline varies with the nature of the earth | bad contained as much vapor as it would

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »