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tite, danced with undiminished spirit, rising diplomatist, and contrived to keep laughed quite as much as usual; in short, her cousins in a very good humour without she did not make herself a nuisance to every-making any sacrifices of a painful nature. body, and was, in consequence, totally unlike the engaged young lady whose friends are debarred by circumstances from anticipating the happy release of her speedy marriage.
It was in the course of the second week after the autumn festivities at Meriton had commenced, that Stephen Haviland told his wife he had been requested by Messrs. G—, the well-known engravers, to permit an arMadeleine was less exceptional in the tist in their employment to make drawings hearty and undisguised pleasure with which of the house and grounds of Meriton, for she received the tribute of admiration so the purpose of giving them a place in a generally paid her. It has occurred a few work designed to illustrate the architectural times to on-lookers at the game of life, to and landscape beauties of England, and observe that the most sentimental and even which was destined to be the finest work of lugubrious young ladies in the engaged con- the kind in existence. This was the sort of dition have no objection to flirtations more request that Stephen Haviland liked to have or less mild, and entertain liberal notions made to him. It flattered his sense of selfconcerning permissible friendships,' and importance and his pride in all his possesthe good which their influence is calculated sions. Julia did not care particularly about to do to impressible mankind. Madeleine the matter, but her invariable good taste had no theories upon this point; but her led her to a graceful acquiescence; and practice was to make herself very charming also to signify her assent to her husband's to all comers, and to let them take the consequences. If Verner Bingham had been present, she would not have made the smallest difference in her manner; in his absence she had more time to make herself generally agreeable, that was all. But it will be easily understood that the young-lady section of the community explained Madeleine's charming manner by declaring her to be a flirt; and would have described it still more harshly had they known the truth.
proposition that it would be well to offer some attention to the artist, who would probably arrive soon after the necessary formality of his reply. Madeleine, who had been listening with her usual lively interest, intervened at this point by saying:
'I wonder if he would give me some drawing-lessons while he is down here, uncle? Do you think he is too high and mighty, an artist on too grand a scale, for that sort of thing?'
'I don't know indeed, my dear,' answered Stephen; I am inclined to imagine not, however. A commission of this kind does not bespeak much importance. I can find out as soon as I see him.'
Thank you, uncle,' said Madeleine. will be so delightful if he should not object to giving me lessons. I was getting on so nicely with that dear old Colebrook-the only thing I really regretted leaving town for was my drawing. You don't object, do you, aunt?' she added, turning with a smile of security to Julia.
For all this, Madeleine was not generally unpopular with women. There were many sufficiently generous to like and admire the fair, bright young girl, and she was just as charming to the women who were her friends as to the men; while the dislike of her cousins troubled her not in the least. She had heard some of the strictures passed upon her conduct by Angelina and Clementina; and even a few of their prognostications of the inevitable evil termination of what they more tersely than elegantly called her goings on.' But she was too happy, as well as too generous, to care for anything of the kind, and would have been genuinely delighted if society would have accepted Angelina and Clementina according to the Haviland valuation. That fraction of so- Yes,' said Stephen, they do. I think ciety which formed the autumn party at I have the letter here, but I don't know the Meriton did not so accept them; but Made- name at all. Ah, yes, here it is '- he had leine exerted the tact which she possessed taken a letter from his breast-pocket, and in a degree calculated to be of much use to was looking hurriedly through it-bis her as the wife of a it was to be hoped-name is Horace Holmes.'
Certainly not, Maddy, if your uncle can manage it for Who is this person, Stephen? Anyone one knows anything about? Do the Messrs. G-name him?*
mischief, however, does not even stop here. The whole theory of swearing rests upon the notion that the person taking the oath believes in its binding efficacy; but we, it appears, have got hold of a set of misbegotten ceremonies which have no meaning at all to the Chinese or to any one else, but which we absurdly suppose to be binding on their consciences. Mr. Anstey declares that the ceremony of breaking a saucer and telling the witness that in case of perjury "his soul" (it used to be his body, but
MR. CHISHOLM ANSTEY has just published an interesting and even amusing pamphlet on the subject of the system adopted in our courts of law at home and in most of the colonies of administering judicial oaths to people who are not Christians. He proposes that such oaths should be altogether abolished, and we think that no one who reads his pamphlet can doubt"soul" was regarded as a more pious exthat, if his facts are correct—and he ap- pression). "would be cracked like the pears to have taken great pains to ascertain saucer" is a proceeding as idiotic in the their correctness his inference follows eyes of a Chinaman as in the eyes of an from them. Mr. Anstey very fairly says Englishman. He shows, indeed, by an inthat he objects to all oaths, promissory, vestigation which we have not room to folcompurgatory, or assertory, and whether low out, that the form was originally adopted the witnesses be Christians or heathens, on the strength of a cock and a bull story but, without entering upon so wide and told by one Antonio at the Old Bailey in well worn a discussion, his special objec- 1804 on the prosecution of a man named tions to oaths administered to heathen wit- Alsey for stealing money from a Chinese. nesses deserve the careful attention of all The form was completely unknown, and persons interested in the reform of the never used in China itself. In the treaty law. ports they used at one time to burn "paper of imprecation," which, says Mr. Anstey, always made the Chinamen laugh. The consequences were at once so absurd and so injurious that in the years 1856 and 1857 all judicial oaths were abolished by a Hong Kong ordinance, a warning as to the temporal penalties of perjury being substituted for them.
From The Pall Mall Gazette.
The theory upon which the use of oaths is justified is that the person who takes the oath is impressed with the belief that Divine vengeance will overtake him here or hereafter if he commits perjury, and no doubt the practice of taking oaths has been so much mixed up with our political and social arrangements that most people are more or less open to such impressions. But however this may be with European Christians, bred up to believe in one God, essentially holy and an enemy to falsehood, it is far otherwise with regard to the innumerable mass of heathens, who have no such belief. Amongst the people of China," says Mr. Anstey, oaths are utterly unknown except to such of them as may have visited our own courts of justice." Swearing, he says, is contrary to the principles of Buddhism, and according to the principles of the fol-portance to an oath, as they often do, their lowers of Confucius it is a mere absurdity. view of its character is just as abject as that It might naturally be supposed, however, of the ignorant English or Irish man who that it is at worst useless. Mr. Anstey kisses his thumb instead of kissing "the takes from us this rag of comfort. He calfskin of King James's Bible," as Mr. Ansays, and with the greatest plausibility, stey puts it. that it makes the administration of justice ridiculous in the eyes of the Chinese, and in particular conveys to their minds the natural impression that perjury is no crime in a temporal point of view, inasmuch as we trust to the efficacy of charms to ensure the truthfulness of our witnesses. The
There is one objection to the administration of heathenish oaths which Mr. Anstey works out with great force, and which would not probably occur to any one who had not had the practical advantage which he has enjoyed for many years of seeing the system at work. At best we take advantage of a degraded superstition which directly encourages the grossest idolatry; but, as a rule, we fail to get our mess of pottage. When ignorant heathen people attach im
The heathen's god is perfectly indifferent to perjury, unless it is committed in violation of a strictly prescribed formula. If you say pocus hocus instead of hocus pocus the oath is utterly null and void. Now it is almost impossible to ascertain whether hocus pocus or pocus hocus is the true charm, and "Asiatics in general and the Chinese in particular take a singular pleasure in evading and overreaching any law of ceremonial imposed upon them by
On Judicial Oaths as Administered to Heathen
Barrister-at-Law. (London: Maxwell and Sons.
foreigners from Europe or America." false witness ? " He very properly conWhat," says Mr. Anstey elsewhere, cludes that we ought to leave the charms are we to say to the wild tribes scattered alone, and rely upon the real, substantial over Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, sanction of temporal punishment. He and many another outlying dominion of the makes several good suggestions as to inQueen, swearing some by thunder and creasing the efficiency of this, the true lightning, some by the falling tree of the sanction; and he might in particular have forest, some by earth, some by old iron, added that perjury in England is not punsome by the missile of death and so forth, ished with nearly enough severity. It may each after their kind, yet one and all con- be doubted whether a judge should be sentient in two things only -1, that they allowed to pass a lighter sentence than that fear no other ordeal and are always ready of penal servitude for a crime so enormous, to swear with hilarity in whatsoever spirit- so mischievous, so difficult to detect, and, ual name they fear not; and 2, that they we fear we must add, so common. hold in the greatest dread the temporal power and its chastisements of the crime of
The pamphlet is in every way well worth reading.
From The Sunday Magazine.
THE GANG CHILDREN.
"Woe unto them that lay field to field till there be no place, that they may make themselves alone in the midst of the earth."- Book of the Prophet Isaiah.
"Am I my brother's keeper?"— The Saying of
"The principal seats of the agrarian evil which threatens to extend itself over a considerable portion of the rural districts of England are Norfolk, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, but especially Lincolnshire, which may be considered, in an agricultural sense, as almost a new creation; a great part of it, which was within the memory of living man a waste, has been brought into a state of the finest cultivation, and has added at least 230,000 acres to the corn-producing area of England. The low level of Norfolk, which was a hundred years ago but one vast bed of sedge and sallow bushes, now glows with red clover and the golden mustard and gladdens the eye with the verdure of turnip-fields and heavy crops of grain. In this reclaimed portion of England, farmhouses, barns, stables, and all that is required for agricultural prosperity, have been erected, but no thought has been taken for the labourer. No cottages have been built for his accommodation; in many cases, he must walk miles to his work; even on estates where he had been so fortunate as to se
cure an humble shelter he has been dispossessed of it lest he should become a pauper and a burden to the parish, and has been driven to find a home where and how he could. In the eastern districts of England many farms of 300 acres do not possess a single resident labourer."- The Quarterly Review, July,
Eight appears to be the ordinary age at which children join the agricultural gangs; in some instances, they have been known to do so even at four. It is a common practice with parents to stipulate that if the elder children are hired to the gangmaster he must take the younger ones too. The distances they have to walk, or rather run, before the labours of the day begin, are astounding; sometimes eight miles a day, as in a case near Peterborough. They leave at five in the morning, under the care of the gangmaster, and return at five at night. They work eight or nine hours; and during the last hour they are at work they will ask, said an old gangmaster, forty times what o'clock it is.
The atmosphere of moral corruption which surrounds agricultural gang-work is such as can be paralleled only in the interior of Africa; the behavfour and language of the girls and women is such that no respectable man can speak to them or even look at them without being shocked, and any decent female would shrink from meeting them as they walk homewards from the fields.
In a parish of Cambridgeshire, consisting of 18,000 acres, the whole of which is the property of the Duke of Bedford, labour for its cultivation can only be obtained at the distance of seven or eight miles.
EARLY, early, they rise,
In the twilight cold and grey
"Is it morning so soon?" they say.
And yet they are not merry nor wise,
Late, late, in the evening grey,
They woke at the voice of the bird;
In the fields, the whole day long,
The lark from the grassy sod,
That soars to the throne of God.
So to idle their precious time.
They come to the fields to work :
In our world of sorrow and sin,
The little children begin.*
*At a meeting of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, on Saturday, October 11th, 1867, Mr. C. S. Read, M. P., said: "The employment in which women and children employed in agriculture were occupied was light, and the hours during which they were employed were not long. A great deal of what might be called sentimental twaddle had
They have been in the fields all day, Where the vetch and the orchis grow, Yet these children do not play,
Nor the dandelion blow
Seed after seed away,
The hour of the clock to show; Yet often the children ask to know What is the time of day.
Some things perhaps they may miss,
And the ride on daddy's knee;
By a mother's loving care, For at night they lay down their heads And sleep-just anywhere.*
Perhaps they have never heard
Of Christ or of God, nor could tell Who made them; not a word
Can the children read nor spell; Yet they are not dull nor slow
Though they've gone to no village school, There's many a thing they know
That is not learnt by rule.
They play at no little games,
But they've learnt the wicked song,
been talked on this subject. Some gentlemen said that when a poor girl went to field-work she was contaminated and spoiled, but he contended that, in all probability, she was contaminated and spoiled before she got there. He thought a girl of eleven or twelve was as strong as a boy of about that age, and he contended that there was no good farming without this juvenile and female labour. There were certain fiddling operations on a farm for which the nimble fingers of children were particularly adapted. With regard to the educational part of the question, he knew that some thought it desirable that children should not be employed in work before nine years of age. He was sure, however, that unless a boy went to work when he was nine or ten years of age, he would not make a good labourer. It was important to remember that all restrictions as to the employment of children would fall heavily on their parents; the farmers would hardly feel them. The farmers were not opposed to education; on the contrary, they wished their labourers to be educated for, all other things being equal, the educated labourer was certainly the best. He did not think the guardians of Norfolk could be charged with having neglected the education of pauper children. The charge of 1d. per week was so trifling it did not enter into their calculations. With regard to school attendance on alternate days or weeks, such a system for children employed in agriculture would be useless to the farmer; it must be something like so
many hours in the years. We must still look to the
Sunday-Schools and night-schools for perfecting and keeping up education among our rural population."
It is occasionally the practice of private gangs, organized and superintended by the farmers, to pass the night on the farms where they work; they then sleep in a barn or stable. One farmer used to turn in fifty boys and girls together, like so many sheep into a pen, and lock the door upon them for the night. But then," observes Mr. C. S. Read, M. P.. in the speech already quoted from, "you cannot go into any village street at nine or ten o'clock at night without seeing great boys and girls larking about, and in all probability some of these great girls and boys slept in the same room when they got home."
And with each of earth's nameless shames
They've been acquainted long. They've heard no sweet story told By the fire as the shadows fell, But of evil-new and old
They can give you the chronicle; For they've learnt, and more quickly too, For oaths, and for jeers, and for blows, All that the pagan knew,
And all that the savage knows.
What matter! the world grows old,
Is a story so often told
It never need make us sigh. What is it? a girl and a boy— They are poor - they were never meant To be the light and the joy
Of the homes to which they were sent. In our nation's mighty schemes,
In the world's great working plan,
Let them sink to the earth like weeds,
"What shall it profit a man,"
And the harrow that grinds and rolls
Oh! cruel lords of the soil,
No wonder your harvests glow
When the earth is so fat below;
Flung in with heedless scorn,
And love, and all that was lent
Ye have trampled back to the clod!
Then look o'er your lordly plains,
And go to your crowded mart, And when ye tell o'er your gains, Fling in many a broken heart And blighted life, with the aches And pangs of a childish frame, With the waste and the loss that makes The tale of a woman's shame; With another cry in the streets,
And another ruffian jeer,
Far sadder than is the tear.
That fell with the stones that fell, When ye shook down the cottage wall To build up the felon's cell! Go number the weary feet
That roam on an aimless track Of ruin and wrong, nor meet
With aught that can lure them back; Because they have never known
What comfort meant since the day That left them naught for their ownWhen ye took their homes away. When the little daisy died
That the cottage garden grew, Withered a nation's pride,
With the rosemary, thrift, and rue. Hollow the harvest joy
Of the land where the reapers mourn; Where the poor man's girl and his boy Count for less than the rich man's corn. DORA GREENWELL.
WITCHES AND THEIR CRAFT.- Considering how fearfully and inevitably witches were punished, it does seem astonishing that any, much less such myriads, should have professed them of the craft. But, on the other hand, it must be borne in mind that the acquisition of power to inflict storm and devastation, disease and death-in short, to wield all the weapons of destruction at will was an irresistible temptation to the savage nature that then predominated in the lower classes, but not in the lower classes only, especially as the credit of that power was fraught, for a time at least, with very substantial results. For everybody sought the fraternity. Those who suffered, or who apprehended suffering, bought their services equally with those who desired to have suffering inflicted. The latter, however, were by far the more numerous, and the witches had very singular means of gratifying them. One of the strangest was to fashion an image of the hated individual during the celebration of certain infernal rites. The simulacrum was usually of virgin wax; but when it was meant to make the work of vengeance thoroughly sure, the clay taken from the depth of a well-used grave was generally preferred. The image being moulded according to rule, and baptised by a properly qualified priest, whatever injury was inflicted on the model, was believed to have a similar effect on the original. Did they tie up a member of the effigy, paralysis attacked the corresponding limb of the person represented, and continued to fetter it so long as the ligature retained its place. Intense pain and fearful mutilation were thus assumed to be produced. Nor was even death itself beyond the wizard's reach. To secure this fatal result there were many approved recipes. Some pierced the heart of the statuette with a new needle; others melted it slowly before a fire; a third set interred it at dead of night in consecrated ground with horrible burlesque of the burial service; and a fourth gathered the hair into the stomach of the model, and concealed it in the chamber if possible under the pillow of the intended victim. Such images
were prepared by Robert of Artois for the destruction of his principal enemies. In this way Euguerrand de Marigny was said to have slain Philip the Fair. Thus, too, Eleanor Cobham, wife of Duke Humphrey, was held to have attempted the life of Henry VI., and was supposed by a good many to have enfeebled his intellect. So also certain seminary priests were accused of working against Queen Elizabeth in Lincoln's Inn. And thus one of that monarch's courtiers, Ferdinand, Earl of Derby, was generally believed to have been murdered. "He died thinking himself bewitched," says our authority, "an opinion in which very many, and some of them very learned men, concurred. During his last sickness a homely wise woman was found mumbling in a corner in his chamber, but what, God knoweth. About midnight was found by Mr. Hallsall an image of wax, with hair like unto the hair of his honour's head, twisted through the belly thereof. And he fell twice into a trance, not able to move hand or foot, when he would have taken physie to do him good. In the end he cried out often against all witches and witchcraft." Of course the witches had counter-spells for this, as for every other contrivance; and these were as precise, disgusting, and blasphemous, too, as anything they were intended to neutralize. But the image was not always shaped to work destruction: it was accounted equally infallible in exciting love. Indeed, the licentious freaks of every high-born dame that way given, were invariably set down to the credit of these contrivances, and the sinner herself was excused and pitied as the unfortunate victim of some malignant hag or unprincipled lover; a theory which was marvellously convenient to the demi-rep, but by no means so to her admirers and confidants. Leicester is said to have wrought thus on Queen Elizabeth, Bothwell on Mary Stuart, half a score of her lovers on Margaret of Navarre, a long line of Spanish favourites on a succession of Peninsular queens, &c., &c. Cornhill Magazine.