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There is one more depreciatory extract A few from Miss Barrett (Mrs. Browning) which is too amusing not to give. Miss were worth publishing, and Miss Barrett Mitford is writing in 1853:
long continued one of Miss Mitford's Do you see the Times ? and if so, do you truest friends. It was genial John Kenremember certain letters signed “ An English- yon who brought them together and who man” abusing my dear Emperor? Those let- | also introduced Mr. Fields, the American, ters had a tone of authority which might have to Miss Mitford. In later life Mr. Fields's become not merely a judge or a bishop, but a untiring kindness was one of Miss Mit. cardinal or Lord Chancellor. Well, they were ford's greatest pleasures. He wrote to written by an undergraduate at Oxford, a lad her often, sent the different books he called Vernon Harcourt. . . . The letters were published, and never came to England intlated and bombastic enough for Tom Thumb'; without seeing her. Another American but there was an air of grandeur about them which must have taken in the Times. What a
correspondent she also had in Miss Sedg. fool the lad was not to keep his own secret !
wick, with whom she must have had much
in common, and whose reputation in But the old lady's story is not strictly America was not altogether unlike her accurate, for the “lad called Vernon Har
own. Mr. Ticknor, too, saw her when he was a Cambridge, and not an Ox. was in this country; but the American ford, undergraduate, and at this time was for whom she had the greatest literary not an undergraduate at all. Nor is it reverence, Dr. Holmes, she never met, certain he was the writer.
and we do not gather that she ever saw The letters addressed to Miss Mitford, Hawthorne, whom she also greatly adas here given to us, are extremely miscel. mired. In one of her letters, however, laneous. Some are good enough, but, there is a bit of nonsense about Hawothers were barely worth preserving as thorne which is perhaps worth knocking autographs, and many were not worth pre on the head. She writes, “ Miss Brewer serving on any ground. The most amus. [Miss Bremer, of course), who was two ing letter is one from an unknown young years in America, told Mrs. Kingsley that Irishman, who says, “ Dear Madam, ex- Hawthorne was mad.” Now Miss Brem. cuse my freedom, but I love you with all er's interview with Hawthorne (she only my soul;” he is full of admiration, and saw him once) has been described by indulges in a dream of how Miss Mitford herself :might be driven by a storm to take refuge in his mother's cottage, and, “Oh, de
I spent one evening with Hawthorne in an licious! to see you sitting at the fireside fault or mine I cannot say, it did not succeed.
endeavor to converse. But whether it was his cracking with my mother, while I would I had the talk to myself, and at length I became be ransacking the presses for everything quite dejected and felt I know not how. drinkable and eatable.” Rather a platonic sort of love, but no doubt gratifying, for Hawthorne's own account of this interMiss Mitford's friends were not in the view, as told to an English friend, quite babit of turning into lovers. Still, in 1829 explains Miss Bremer's discomfiture : there was a report that Miss Mitford had married a distant relative and been taken talks very fast and not very good English. I
Miss Bremer is an odd little woman ; she off to his beautiful place in Northumber- couldn't get on with her, for she threw me off land, and Mrs. Hofiand writes a gushing my guard at once and destroyed all my presence letter to tell Mrs. Hall the good news. of mind by saying, “I do so love you because But the good news is unconfirmed, and of The Great Stone Face'” (one of his Mrs. Hofland is obliged to ask Miss Mit- smaller stories). She told my wife, too, that I ford herself the delicate question: “I reminded her of “ The Great Stone Face.” have loved you too long and too well to sustain the solitude which belongs to un
It is distinctly hard upon “The Great
Stone Face " that, because the Swedish certainty any longer — are you married or not?"
novelist could not make it talk, it was to Of the other letters there are
be called mad! characteristic ones from Cobbett, chiefly
There is one story too good to be omitabout coursing, some really clever ones ted, and then we must close our extracts. from Sir William Elford, and some full Miss Mitforct is giving an account of a of pleasant gossip from Mrs. Trollope. conversation Mr. Fields had had with Then there are letters from Mrs. Hofland,
Carlyle : Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Opie, the Howitts, Tal- “So, sir, ye're an American?” quoth the fourd, Ruskin, and others of less interest. self-sufficient Scotchman. Mr. Fields assented.
“Ah, that's a wretched nation of your ain. It's
From Chambers' Journal. all wrong. It always has been wrong from the
CARD-STORIES. vera beginning. That grete mon of yours, George” (did any one under the sun ever dream of calling Washington George before ?)—“your Irving, Bancroft, and Everett were chat.
On one occasion when Washington grete mon George was a monstrous bore, and wants taking down a few hundred pegs.” ting over diplomatic reminiscences, the
last named told how after he and the Nea. “Really, Mr. Carlyle,” replied my friend, “you are the last man in the world from whom I politan ambassador. had been presented should have expected such an observation. to her Majesty Queen Victoria, Lord Look at your own book on Cromwell! What Melbourne intimated that they would be was Washington but Cromwell without his per. expected to join in a game at whist with sonal ambition and without his fanaticism?” the Duchess of Kent. “I play but a very “Oh, sir,” responded Carlyle, “ George had poor game myself,” said Melbourne; “in neither ambition nor religion, nor any good fact, I scarcely understand it; but the quality under the sun. George was just Oliver duchess is very fond of it."
And 1,” with all the juice squeezed out.”
said the Neapolitan to Everett, Miss Mitford evidently tells this story very bad player; and should I chance to with some delight, for she did not like be your Excellency's partner, I invoke Carlyle. She says (in 1852):
your forbearance in advance ; to which
ibe American envoy replied that he knew In England his fashion is waning rapidly, and I have no doubt but that, like mostover: very little of the game himself. As he
put it, three dignified personages, clad in rated men, he will live to share the common fate of idols — knocked down by his former gorgeous attire, were solemnly going to worshippers in revenge for their own idolatry. play a game they imperfectly understood,
and for which none of their cared in the Of the editing of this book it is unfor- least. Upon reaching the duchess's apart. tunately impossible to speak in high ments the ambassadors were formally preterms. The letters seem fairly well ar- sented, and then, at her invitation, sat ranged up to a certain date, and then down to play. As soon as the cards were suddenly the reader passes from a letter dealt, a lady-in-waiting placed herself at of Bayard Taylor's in 1854 to one of Miss the back of the duchess, and the latter Edgeworth's, not addressed to Miss Mit. said : “ Your Excellencies will excuse me ford, in 1843. The fact seems to be that if I rely upon the advice of my friend a collection of letters belonging to Mr. here, for I must confess that I am really Starkey fell into the editor's hands, and a very poor player.” This was almost he has thrown them together at the end too much for Everett’s gravity; a gravity of the second volume. But the first thirty undisturbed for the rest of the evening, pages of this collection have nothing since he found playing whist under such whatever to do with Miss Mitford, and, conditions inexpressibly dull work. though no doubt of interest in Mr. Star- Cavour did not find playing an unfa. key's own biography, are here absolutely miliar game dull work when he lost a large out of place. Then we have an index, sum at double dummy whist to a member but an index so disgracefully incomplete of a Paris Club. He paid the money with that it serves only to mislead. The mis. the best grace imaginable, merely remarkprints we suppose they are misprints - ing that he thought he saw the game, and are rather serious; these are only a few it might not be such a bad investment of the more important: “ Lady Beecher" after all. The next night he met the same (ii. 12, 24) should be Lady Becher; “Judge antagonist, played high, played steadily, Family” (ii. 189) should be Fudge Fam- played long, and rose from the table a ily; "Mr. Payne" (ii. 113) should be Mr. richer man by thirty thousand pounds. Payn ; “Sefton Court” (ii. 219) should Bold as he could be when the game was be Ufton Court; “Mr. Nielson” (ii. 156) worth the candle, Lord Beaconsfield would should be Mr. Neilson; and “Gramont" never have been tempted to risk so much (ii. 232) sliould be Grammont. Then it on the cards; for knowing the weakness it was not “ A. Harvey,” but A. Ramsay, of his play, he carefully eschewed anywho wrote “The Gentle Shepherd; "and thing like high stakes. One evening, at Hawthorne's story is not "The Great the time when Parliament was agitating Stone Tale,” but “The Great Stone Face.” itself about the empress-ship of India, Lastly, Mr. Kenyon's poem is not " The Lord Beaconsfield sat down to whist with Rhymed Plea,” which suggests nothing, the Prince of Wales, and asked the latter: but “Rhymed Plea for Tolerance,” which “What points, sir?” “Oh, sovereign, means a good deal.
if you please," was the answer. Seeing
the premier's look of annoyance, Mr. Ber- | distress her that her husband should gamnal Osborne observed : “ I think, sir, the ble, the candid old lady replied: “Not at premier would rather have crown points !” all, iny dear; he most always wins." The prince, taking the joke and the hint, The wife of Bishop Beadon loved whist altered the stakes accordingly.
so well, that when the prelate told one of Marlborough was not above playing for his clergy if he was able to sit up half the smaller stakes, though perhaps the great night playing whist at the Bath Rooms, captain did not play high out of fear of he must be well enough to do duty at his loving Sarah, who had a tongue, and home, the invalided one silenced him knew how to use it; like the lady whose with : “My lord, Mrs. Beadon would tell liege load contrived that she should not you that late whist acts as a tonic or remore than suspect the secret of his bad storative to dyspeptic people with weak hours ; until, coming home at six in the nerves. The bishop's better half would morning tired out with “attending on a have sympathized with Goldsmith's old sick friend,” he dozed at the breakfast lady, who, lying sick unto death, played table, and solemnly passing the bread, cards with the curate to pass the time said: “ Cut!” “ That's your sick friend, away, and after winning all his money, is it?" exclaimed the wife; and what fol. had just proposed to play for her funeral lowed may be imagined.
charges when she expired. A card-hating wife can upon occasion There have been stranger stakes still. set her scruples aside. Soon after the In 1735, when Henry and James Trotter close of the Secession War, General sat down at the Salmon Inn, Chester-leForrest and his wife stopped at an hotel Street, to play a game of cards against in Memphis, and upon examining their Robert Thoms and Thomas Ellison, the purses, found the sum-total of their wealth latter pair staked five shillings, and the amounted to seven dollars and thirty former a child, the son of a Mr. and Mrs. cents. The general being due that even- Leesh, who gave up their boy to the ing at a house where poker was sure to winners. A traveller in New Zealand, be played, proposed that he should tempt spending a night in a squatter's hut, was fortune to the full extent of his means, invited to cut in for a rubber of whist. and asked his wife to pray for his success. As he took his seat, he inquired: “What She would not promise ; but he felt she points ?" His partner responded in a was for him, and knew how it would be. tone significant of surprise at such a Let him tell the rest himself.
question: "Why, the usual game, of They had tables
one was a quarter- course - sheep points, and a bullock on dollar table, one a balf, and one a dollar the rubber." and a half. I wanted to make my seven Unless Espartero and his foe Marota dollars last as long as I could make it, so are much belied, more momentous issues I sat down to the quarter table. By din- were decided by the cards in a lone farmner-time I had won enough to do better; house at Bergara, where they privately and after we had eaten, sat down to the met to arrange a truce between their redollar-and-a-half table. Sometimes I won, spective forces. No sooner did Espartero and then again I'd lose, until nigh upon enter the room, than the Carlist chief midnight, when I had better luck. I knew challenged him to a game at tressilio, a Mary was sitting up anxious, and it made challenge the Christino commander acme cool.
I set my hat on the floor, and cepted with alacrity. Espartero first won every time I'd won I'd drop the money in all Marota's money, then his own condithe hat. I sat there until day broke, and tions for the truce, article by article, and then I took my hat up in both hands, finally the entire submission of the Carlist smashed it on my head, and went home. army. Within twenty-four hours, Marota When I got to my room, there sat Mary had paid his debt, and the first Carlist in her gown. She seemed tired and anx- war was at an end. ious, and though she looked mighty hard A Mr. Purdy, as the end of his bachat me, she didn't say a word. I walked elorhood drew nigh, let his old cronies right up to her, and emptied my liat right know it was his intention to forswear into the lap of her gown, and then we sat card-playing after perpetrating matrimony. down and counted it. Just fifteen hun. They thereupon put their heads together, dred dollars even, and that gave me a and a day or two after the wedding, in. start."
vited him to a little dinner at Delmonico's, Mr. Clay's devotion to cards did not at which he was to receive a three-hun. disturb his wife's equanimity in the least. dred-dollar silver service. Dinner done, Asked by a Northern belle if it did not and the presentation made, the party
made themselves and their guest merry gentleman who, looking over a pretty over some excellent wine, and when they girl's shoulder while she was playing thought the time had come, proposed a cards, observed : “What a lovely hand!” game of poker; and after a little hesita. “You may have it, if you want it,” mur. tion, Purdy gave in “just for this once. mured she; and all the rest of the evenHis hosts had fixed things nicely, and ing he was wondering what her intentions calculated upon winning the price of their were. wedding gift, the dinner, and the wine. The game went on till long after daylight appeared, but by that time the intended victim had cleaned every one of them out, besides retaining lawful possession of the
From The Spectator. silver service.
THE FRENCH IN MADAGASCAR. Even the sharpest of sharpers may THE French government have evidently meet more than his match. Robert Hou- determined to occupy the time during din happening to saunter into a Continen- which they are paralyzed in Europe in care tal casino where a Greek was reaping a rying out a policy of colonial expansion. rare barvest at écarté, looked on quietly It is, too, a well-considered and, from their until a seat became vacant, and then point of view, an able one. They have dropped into it. The Greek, dealing dex. revived the old policy of the monarchy, terously, turned a king from the bottom and instead of establishing colonies in of the pack. When the deal came to the English sense, which, with their staHoudin, he observed : “When I turn tionary population, they do not want and kings from the bottom of the pack, I al cannot fill, are seeking to acquire popuways do it with one hand instead of two; lated dependencies which will pay at once, it is quite as easy, and much more ele- and yield abundantly the semi-tropical gant. See! here comes his majesty of produce after which French economists diamonds ;” and up came the card. The always hanker. They have a notion that cheat stared at the conjurer for a moment, India, and not_north England, is the and then rushed from the place, without source of the British wealth.
It is a waiting to possess himself of his hat, coat, commercial marine, too, as much as a or stakes.
colonial empire, which the colonial divis. Another of the fraternity, after winning ion of the French Admiralty is seeking to ten games at écarté in.succession, tried build up. The government is aware that his fortune against a new opponent; and the French peasantry, though bitterly opstill his luck held. He had made four posed to any enterprise which can propoints, and dealing, turned up a king and duce European war, either do not dislike
'My luck is wonderful,” said he. or do not notice the acquisition of distant “ Yes,” said his adversary; "and all the dependencies; and besides seizing Tunis more wonderful since I have the four an act which, owing to the disgraceful kings of the pack in my pocket!” and the mismanagement of the hospitals, irritated professor of legerdemain laid them on the the voters — they have ordered expeditable.
tions against Tonquin on such a scale, ** I remember,” said a gentleman who that the wakeful Chinese Cabinet has behad travelled in Russia, “ being at a ball gun to watch them in an ominous way, given by the empress to the late emperor, and an official denial as to the arrival of on his birthday." I was playing at écarté, remonstrances from Pekin has been pubwhen the emperor, who was wandering lished in Paris ; have despatched a staff about, came behind me to watch the game. of engineers, guarded by soldiers, to lay My adversary and I were both at four, down a railway from Senegal to the Niand it was my deal. Now,' said the ger; have annexed Tahiii, which was emperor, let us see whether you can only protected before; have, it is reported, turn up the king?' I dealt, and then opened and failed in negotiations for the held up the turn-up card, observing: purchase of the Philippines; have listened • Your orders, sir, have been obeyed.' A favorably to a project for acquiring the dozen times afterwards, the emperor valley of the Congo; and are now intent asked me how I managed it; and he never on commencing a conquest of Madagaswould believe that it was a mere hazard, car. They have nibbled at this plan for and that I had taken the chance of the two hundred years, and now they not only card being a king."
appear to be in earnest, but they have The czar was as much astonished at devised a scheme which, if immoral, is the result of his remark as the young decidedly clever, and which unites the
maximum of chance with the minimum reinforced, both from Pondicherry and of draft upon the military resources of Saigon, and the island could, under wise France. To conquer Madagascar cheap- management, be turned into a smaller ly, it is necessary to have the aid of a India. native people who can fight, who have no That this is the plan devised, and at hope of conquering the island for them. least partially adopted, in Paris, is evi. selves, and who have a permanent griev. dent from the semi-official statement that ance against the Hovas, the dominant M. Grévy will refuse to receive the Hova race, who occupy the lofty and healthy envoys, unless they acknowledge from the plateaus of the centre, within and above beginning that the Sakalavas are indethe marshy coast line and its belt of pendent of the Hova queen, and that the deadly forest. There is such a people in French possess an exclusive and legal Madagascar, the Sakalavas, who claim, protectorate, either of the Sakalava terriand more or less hold, the whole north. tory, or - a still more dangerous claim – west of the island; who, like their rivals, of all the Sakalava tribes. The envoys the Hovas, are of Malay extraction, and cannot make the latter concession, which speak a dialect of that tongue, but who, would girdle the Hova possessions with probably from some remote cross in the protected enemies, and will not make the blood, are bigger, braver, and wilder men former; and whether they do or not, will than their more civilized rivals. The ac- make no difference. If they accept the counts of their number differ, but that terms, France reigns in Sakalava terripatient and well-informed statist, Dr. Mul. tory, and will conquer from thence; and lens, who surveyed part of the island and if they reject them, France will land traversed three-fourths of it, and who had troops in that territory, which the Hovas unrivalled experience in the study of half. cannot defend from their plateaus, and civilized staiistics, rejected the popular then declare the Sakalavas independent accounts as foolish, and estimated the of all but herself. If France means conwhole population of Madagascar at two quest, the negotiation is a farce; and we million, five hundred thousand, of whom regret to believe she does mean it. We the Sakalavas make five hundred thou- say we regret, because she will spend a sand. If that estimate is correct, the great deal of energy for a very doubtful Sakalavas can produce one hundred thou. result, because the French do not manage sand fighting men. The Hovas dread their tropical possessions in a vivifying them, for their valor; while the Sakalavas manner - they over-govern to an absurd though unable to conquer the plateaus, or degree, and though not naturally cruel to wholly to resist their better organized the obedient, destroy the disobedient with adversaries, despise the Hovas individu- too little scruple — and because the Hoally, and call them by a whimsical nick- vas have a considerable interest for huname compounded of dogs and pigs. manity. They are not such nice people These people, who are, of course, thor: as Mr. Ellis painted them, being extremely oughly acclimatized, the French have cruel and oppressive; but they are ener: gained over by promises of protection, getic, teachable, and accumulative, and and with a little drill, one hundred thou. possess an autochthonous civilization sand chassepôts, some mule batteries, and which has advanced with a certain stead. five thousand men, they can if they please iness for five hundred years. They have conquer Madagascar. It would be a mag- built cities, though only of wood; they nificent possession. It is nearly as large have displayed a readiness to adopt Chrisas France the precise size arrived at tianity; and though all the Malagasy re. by Dr. Mullens and Mr. Sibree, from a tain the African curse, the tribal form of comparison of many maps and journeys, government, the Hovas have for two cen. being an average of eight hundred and turies shown a capacity to rise to the fifteen by two hundred and fifty, or a su. Asiatic form, - a despotism supported perficial area of two hundred and three by an army and by a regular administraihousand, seven hundred and fifty square tion, but tempered by popular feeling. miles – it is, excluding the malarious for- Their admirers believe that this might be est belt, quite bealthy, it will grow any improved into the European form, and at thing from wheat to pineapples, it is as all events, the Hovas have codified their rich in fine woods as Honduras, and there laws; and the missionaries, who know is geological reason to believe that it is them best, say they will adhere to treaties. full of minerals, besides the iron in which It seems a pity that an indigenous and it is known to be rich, and which the Ho- advancing, though low, civilization should vas work. The thin population could be be broken up by violence, as it will be, if