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every respect, I proceeded to a second brew, hoping to retrieve the character of my breakfast equipage; when my guest, who was evidently imposed upon, like myself, by the elaborate get up" of the thing, requested to be allowed to operate. He was rather given to athletics, and he worked at the windlass so energetically that the strap, which was like a small saddle-girth, gave way after a turn or two, and the whole contents of the infernal machine were divided between my friend and the tablecloth. It was my first and last attempt at fancy coffeemaking.

It was even earlier in my novitiate that I was the victim of another diabolical invention. There are a good many people in these days who have come to the conclusion that scraping one's chin with a razor every morning is a very unnecessary loss of time and temper, and who would class the whole ceremony of shaving amongst the barbarisms of civilisation. This great question, like that of dress, I am content to leave untouched. But, as if the penalty of shaving were not in itself a sufficient daily mortification, there was actually an inventor, a few years ago (he has come to a bad end long since, no doubt, and therefore I forgive him), who proposed to give you a stone for a razor. He called it an axurite. It required no soap, no hot water, no strop, no apparatus of any kind; it was to do its work like a mowing-machine, smoothly and unfailingly, to be invaluable to tourists, and to keep its edge in all climates. It was a miserable weakness, no doubt, on my part; but, vexed by a succession of east winds and bad razors, I bought a patent axurite, and-as they say of other patent remedies-a single application was sufficient. It was a scarifier-nothing more or less. It took off small patches of the outer skin (and of course what beard was on them), and certainly put an end to all other shaving for a week. I don't approve, as I said before, of the old practice of burning all great discoverers; but I

should have liked to have put those two benefactors of the human race under treatment together for a month, and have had them both shaved every morning with the axurite, and then given them a dose of the machine-made coffee.

I am quite aware that it may be very fairly said, that if a man is green enough to be induced, by any representations of seller or advertiser, to make his coffee with a windlass and shave himself with a stone, the only verdict he can expect from an intelligent jury is, "served him right;" but look at another invention, under the tyranny of which we all groan more or less, but which very few have the strength of mind to resist. Has not the curse of steel pens swept over the land, until decent handwriting is almost unknown? Do not ninety-nine persons in a hundred use steel pens, and has more than one out of the ninety-nine the effrontery to say he can write with them? Lord Palmerston was quite right-the handwriting of this generation is abominable; and as new improvements in steel pens go on, that of the next will be worse. The fine Roman hand of the last century has died out; the steel can't do it. There is neither grace nor legibility in the angular scrawl that prevails now. Open any parish register of fifty years back, and see in what a fine legible hand, and scholar-like, too, in most cases, the parson of that day made his entries. Our present young parson, though he took a first class at Oxford, and wears a most correct waistcoat, doesn't do it, and couldn't do it, if his benefit of clergy depended on it. Even the overseers' account in the parish books, which you may find in the same iron chest, will show writing of a similar character. It was more difficult, perhaps, in those days to find an overseer who could write at all; but those who could write, wrote far better. The first downward step in the fall of pens was the introduction of a machine, now happily extinct, called

a pen-maker. Of course, it did not make pens ; but you could convert the thing it did make into a tolerable pen by the ancient process afterwards, with a very little extra trouble, so that it was rather a success for a patent invention. Even writing-masters, from laziness, adopt the miserable substitute that comes to them ready-made in boxes; and the consequence is, that the art of quill-pen making-and quite an art it is-is dying out; and the old village schoolmaster, who could mend you a bundle of real pens in half-an-hour into such perfect instruments that it was a positive pleasure to write your name with them, has long been superseded by a certificated coxcomb, who impresses upon his scholars that pen is derived from penna, a feather, which is a highly interesting illustration of the little dirty implement they are holding in their hands; according to a modern system of instruction which goes on what is called the rational plan, and which, as the last Educational Report tells us, is fast driving reading and writing out of the field.

In those dark ages, when people wrote with good pens, they had also good ink and good paper. It is the hardest matter in the world to get either now. Old ink used to be made with galls-at least we remember that great authority, Pinnock's Catechism, taught so. What they make it of now is quite impossible to say; but it is a totally different and inferior article. Whether the little insects have taken to make their gall-nuts (for there were millions of them on the young oaks last season) by some patent machine, which, of course, would account at once for deterioration in quality, or whether the human ink-makers have hit upon some valuable substitute," certain it is that the search for good ink is as hopeless as the pursuit of the philosopher's stone. So it is with paper, though in a less degree; they tell you that the reason is that good rags are scarce in the market; our linen has all become calico, and the substitute of which good paper

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VOL. XC.-NO. DXLIX.

is to be made, and which would be a real public blessing, is just what our modern inventors fail to find. For the curious fact is, not that in these cases you are tempted by a cheap article, and naturally find it bad, but that the good article appears to be driven out of the market altogether, and the old quality is not to be had even if you are willing to pay the old price.

It must not be rashly concluded, because I fell such an easy victim to some of these delusive contrivances, that in my maturer years I am still dragged along unresistingly with the march of invention. I am proud to say, for instance, that I still possess for my own use and that of my friends, a corkscrew-I mean a real corkscrew, that can draw corks; not one of those complicated engines with cog-wheels and levers, which merely pretend to draw corks, like the raven in Barnaby Rudge. But I have seen an instrument the last patent invention- -on a friend's sideboard, which was most ingeniously contrived to render the drawing of a cork impossible. It would break it, twist it, take out a quarter of it and leave the rest in, or vice versa -or come out itself altogether and leave the cork behind, according to the way in which you arranged it; but draw the cork fairly was what it would not do. The patentee declared that it could be used with facility by "ladies and children." What should ladies and children want to draw corks for? They could use it, no doubt, and with much the same effect as anybody else; in point of fact, my friend's children always did use it whenever they could get at it, thinking, very naturally, that it had been brought home for their special amusement, and were playing at drawing corks all day, which I consider was a very demoralising recreation. But what, in the name of the great Fiddlefaddle, does a man want with a system of wheels and levers for so simple, not to say delightful, an operation as drawing a cork? Did

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you ever see a cork worth drawing that you couldn't draw, and wouldn't feel it a pleasure so to do, with the good old implement ? or, at the very worst, can't we knock the head off the bottle? You may take it from me, as the judges say, that there are very few corks drawn in that house-if it be a lady's establishment it is quite proper it should be so-where the host proceeds by such a very circumbendibus route to the operation. A man must be uncommonly fond of his corks who is so delicate about extracting them. Nor did I ever invest in a patented convenience which some readers may remember, called a Reversible Coat, which was to be a portable wardrobe in itself; one side waterproof, to be worn when it rained, and the other of excellent broadcloth, in which the wearer was to make his appearance, upon his arrival at his journey's end, as spruce as if he had just walked out of his dressing-room. That garment did not meet with any large share of public patronage. It was understood that the only unfortunate individual who tried it, having reversed the wetted side, and sat through a very long morning call, looking perfectly dry and comfortable, has paid the penalty of that one false appearance as a rheumatic cripple ever since.

One class of inventors there is, unhappily fast increasing upon us, which would have justified any amount of persecution which could have been brought to bear upon them in the ages which we call barbarous, and which do seem to come direct from the fountain of evil. It is those which profess to give you all the good things under the sun without trouble, and at no expense worth mentioning-asking you to believe that certain clever impostors have reduced the essence of nature into powders, and can sell them, out of pure love to mankind, at a mere trifle per box. Does your linen wear out at a very unaccountable rate? Depend upon it, your washerwoman has got a miraculous

powder, which contains in itself, extracted and compressed (perhaps from the dust of departed washerwomen), all the virtues of good honest scrubbing at a tithe of the

cost.

Are you staying for a few days with some hospitable friend in the country, over whose farm you have been content to march with him, propitiated by the usual excellence of his butter; and do you find put upon your plate at breakfast, upon this last visit, something which at the first glance you take for some unknown foreign preparation? It is butter, nevertheless. You stumble on in great confusion with your usual panegyric upon the excellence of the dairy arrangements, which has hitherto burst from your lips in all honesty, and the recitation of which you had already begun; and the excellent lady who is making tea accepts the compliment, with the explanation, that the product which you are now hesitating how to dispose of with any decency, was "made in two minutes" that very morning: "you put a powder into the churn," &c., &c., and it is "such a saving of labour to the dairy woman." You don't like to quote Scripture loosely, yet it would seem to you scarcely irreverent to observe, that if the rule of the great economy was that man should" eat bread in the sweat of his brow," much more would it probably apply to butter; and that this simplification of nature's processes is likely, even from a priori reasoning, to prove a very questionable success; while you have a strong argument on the same side from facts in the nasty mess before you. Taking advantage of an unobserved moment, you offer a large lump on a bit of toast to Floss, who sits up begging at your side; but Floss, a spaniel of great taste and discernment, has given up butter since the patent manufacture was introduced; so there it lies on your plate all breakfast-time in dreadful evidence of your hypocrisy. There is another of these miraculous powders, which, unless some timely

amendment is made in the Poisons Act, and a clause inserted to embrace it specially, threatens, if I may so express it for indignation makes us poetical, says the Roman satirist to turn the staff of life into a broken reed, piercing the hand (it should be the stomach, but that spoils the metaphor) that leans on it. To the adulterations of bread we are all pretty well accustomed. Heaven only knows, (though, in truth, such knowledge comes rather from the other quarter) what we eat, or what we do not eat, in the baker's loaf. To the unfortunate man who has just made a London breakfast, Dr Hassall's revelations must almost serve as an emetic. Bones, beans, alum, plaster of Paris, with a miserable modicum of flour of wheat! Well may the London boys call the small newmade loaf a "twopenny buster." A sensitive person would burst sometimes if he knew what he was eating. But of all these, it may be said that they are in a certain sense bona fide adulterations. The perpetrators have the grace to deny them flatly; and no baker who has any sense of professional decency advertises alum as an attractive speciality of his establishment. But there is an invention called Baking Powder.. It is to supersede yeast, and remove all those difficulties complained of by inefficient housekeepers. It is a very painful subject, for it has destroyed my faith in home-made bread. I know ladies who boast of it, openly and shamelessly. In how many families it is used secretly I am afraid to think. It is impossible, in practice, to ask every mistress of a family on whom you depend for the time for wholesome food, in the searching formula of Mrs Wedlake before named, "Do you use Baking Powder yet?" and it poisons all one's innocent enjoyment to fancy you detect it in the delusive hot rolls and buttered cakes of which you thought you knew the whole manufacture to be above suspicion. Fortunately it has an aroma which

is seldom mistaken. The same inventor has also a preparation which he declares is "Instantaneous Destruction to Insect Life." It is merely the Baking Powder, of course, under another name. That would kill anything, if they could be induced to take enough of it. There is another patent compound, also in powder, of which I would not even write the name (if I could remember it), lest I should contribute to spread the knowledge of such an abomination. Enough that every ounce of it professes to contain "the virtues of twelve eggs' (addled). I have never eaten custard since I saw the advertisement. But it is sad to think that the hospitable matrons whom you have known so long, otherwise wellmeaning women, should be thus at the mercy of improvements where everything was so good before. One lady drove me from her house long ago, to her eternal loss, by the use of gelatine; another by the patent brandy. When a woman even deliberates upon these things she is lost-so far as my society is concerned-irreclaimably.

These are some few of the reasons why it seems to me, there being no immediate prospect of a new infusion of the barbarian element into European society, that a "Society for the better prevention of Inventions and Discoveries" might put in a fair claim for public support. Even some of the greatest discoveries seem to have been strong in the elements of evil. What a world of unpleasantness would have been saved to us here in England if Columbus had never discovered America! It is a great question whether cotton (or even tobacco) has been anything like an equivalent. It is only very impatient people, like Alexander, who want new worlds. The worst of the inventive principle is, that it never knows when to stop. Archimedes, not satisfied with puzzling schoolboys with his forty-seventh proposition, would have coolly pitched the whole creation into a vacuum (if

he could only have found a place to stand on, which fortunately he did not) just to show his power of leverage. Does any one wonder, after that, to find the world fighting very shy of natural philosophers? There is a great deal of good, as was before observed, in the instinct which shows itself originally in all nations, to consider such people as knowing more than they ought; and it deserves to be encouraged, in a modified form, in our own generation. I am not an advocate for any sudden reaction, but shall be content for the present with a pause in this mad race after

inconveniences, confident that when society has a little time to think, it will come to the conclusion, that in our preparations to make this journey of life as easily and as pleasantly as we can, there are two ways in which it is possible to proceedone is, to cram your portmanteaus and imperials with every article that can and cannot be wanted, and take with you as many useless servants as you can afford, and find yourself hampered by these aids to travelling at every stage; and the other, to shoulder your knapsack, packed on homoeopathic principles, and go where you will, a free man.

THE DEMISE OF THE INDIAN ARMY.

AFTER long delay, doubtless very trying to the patience of all concerned, but not greater than any one knowing the magnitude of the work to be done and of the difficulties to be encountered might have reasonably anticipated, the orders for the "amalgamation" of the old local armies of India with the Line have been officially notified in the Gazette. And we have now before us, in those orders issued by the Governor-General of India, and in the correspondence of the Secretary of State for India in Council, sufficient information to guide us to a right understanding of the general scope and tendency of the measure. Some details of the scheme are, as we write, still subjects of reference between the two Governments; but even these reserved questions will probably have undergone final solution before this number of Maga is in the hands of our readers.

We make no premature announcement, therefore, when we say that the Indian army is now dead. It lives only in the traditions of the service and the history of the nation. A little while ago, when arguments and apologies were sought to justify the destruction of an insti

tution but recently so lusty and full of life-so honourable, and so honoured-it was the fashion with speakers and writers of a certain class to traduce the character of the Indian army, and to declare that not only had the "faithful sepoy" become a rebel and a murderer, but that the European soldier had developed into a rioter and a mutineer, and that the European officers of the whole Indian army had shown themselves to be wanting in discipline and in the power of command. But this cry, having served its purpose, is now, it seems, permitted to die away into occasional indistinct mutterings not of a very complimentary character, but still not broadly condemnatory of the whole service. The justificatory plea has subsided into a vague expression of compassion, indicating that the old local army may have had its uses, and may have been not wholly without merit, but that its day had gone by, and that its death was only a necessary consequence of the extinction of the Government which had called it into existence. But it is not after this fashion that such an institution as the old local army of India ought to

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