yet as it is not an every day event for a fisher-boy to become a king, the story of Masaniello, of Naples, must be regarded with equal wonder and admiration, as exhibiting an astonishing instance of the genius to command existing in one of the humblest situations in life, and its ascendency with a rapidity of enterprise to which there is no parallel in history.


The following story was related by General Hulon, in the winter of 1816-17, one evening, at Sir Sydney Smith's, in Paris. The General stated that he had it from Marshal Junot, Duke of Ab. rantes, who was governor of Paris at the time it happened, and must, there fore, necessarily have been acquainted with all the circumstances attending it :

In the year 1805, as a poor mason was returning one evening from his daily labours, he was met in an obscure street in Paris by a well-dressed man, whose face he never remembered to have seen before, but who stopped him, and inquired of him to what trade he belonged. On being answered that he was a mason, the man said, that if he would walk up a certain street which would be shown to him, he should receive as his reward fifty louis d'ors. The stranger added, that he must submit to have his eyes covered, and to be carried in that state for a considerable distance. To all this the mason readily consented, partly from curiosity, and partly from the greatness of the reward offered to him for so inconsiderable a work. The stranger immediately placed a bandage over his eyes, and having led him by the hand for a few paces, they came to the spot where a carriage waited for them, into which they both got, and it drove rapidly off. They soon got out of Paris ; at least so the mason conjectured, from the noise of the wheels going over the stones having ceased. After having pro.. ceeded thus for about two hours, the rattling of the stones returned, and they seemed to the mason to have entered another town ; shortly after which they stopped, and the mason was taken out of the carriage, and led through several passages, and up a flight of stairs, till they came to a place where he heard the sound of voices.

Here his eyes were uncovered, and he found himself in a large room, the walls,

roof, and floor of which were entirely hung with black cloth, excepting a niche on one side, which was left open. By the side of it were placed a considerable quantity of stones and mortar, together with all the tools necessary for the work upon which the mason was to be employed.

There were also several men in the room, whose faces were covered with masks. One of these came up to the mason, and addressing himself to him, said, “ Here are the fifty louis d'ors which we promised you ; and there is only one condition to be exacted from you, which is, that you must never mention to any person what you may see or hear in this place." This the mason promised; and at this instant another man, who was also masked, entered the room, and demanded if all was ready. Upon being answered in the affirmative, he went out, and returned again in a few minutes with two other men, both masked, and one of whom, from the whiteness of his hair, the mason supposed to be an old man.

These three dragged in with them a very beautiful young woman, with her hair dishevelled, and her whole appearance betokening great disorder. They pushed her with great violence into the niche, into which they at length succeeded in forcing her, notwithstanding her struggles and resistance. During this time she never ceased alternately uttering dreadful screams, and crying for mercy in the most piteous manner. Once she got loose from her persecutors, and immediately prostrated herself at the feet of the old man, and embracing his knees, besought him to kill her at once, and not to let her suffer a cruel and lingering death, but all in vain.

When the three men had forced her into the niche, they held her there, and commanded the mason to commence his work, and wall her up.

Upon witnessing this dreadful scene, the mason fell on his knees, and intreated to be permitted to depart, with. out being accessory to this act of cruelty. The men however told him that this was impossible. They menaced him, if he refused to perform his promise, with instant death; whereas, on the other hand, if he complied, they said he should receive an additional fifty louis d'ors when he had completed his work.

This united threat and promise had such an effect upon the mason, that he did as he was commanded, and at last actually walled up the poor victim so as to render her escape im possible. She was then left to perish by slow degrees, without light or sustenance.

When the mason had finished, he received the fifty additional louis d'ors; his eyes were again covered; he was led through various passages as on his arrival; and finally put into the carriage, which drove off as before. When he was again taken out of it, his eyes were uncovered, and he found himself standing on the exact spot in Paris where he had first met the stranger. The same man now stood beside him, and address ing bim, desired him not to stir from the place where he then was for five minutes, after which he was at liberty to

return home; adding, that he was a dead man if he moved before the time prescribed. He then left him; and the mason having waited the five minutes, proceeded straight to the police officers, to whom he told his story; and they carried him immediately to the Duke of Abrantes. The duke at first imagined his account to be an invention ; but, upon his producing the purse containing the hundred louis d'ors, he was compelled to believe it.

The strictest search was immediately made in and about Paris for the discovery of the perpetrators of this horrid murder ; but in vain. The Emperor Napoleon immediately interested himself in it, and special orders were issued by him to the officers of the police, to leave no means untried to obtain their object. Many houses were searched, in the hope of finding some place which had been lately walled up, and which answered to the account given by the mason ; but notwithstanding all these endeavours, nothing farther ever transpired respecting this dreadful mystery.

[How important is true religion, to bring into exercise and to cherish the social affections. How admirably will it check evil, and produce happiness.-Editor.]


[blocks in formation]

accomplishments being the only discipline she was called to endure. Her hands were white and soft as infancy, her step untroubled and elastic, her spirits joyous and gentle, her smile delicate as moonlight; she was a sweet creature, and her friends loved to lift her along the road of life without her touching the earth. Her experience after her marriage will be best illustrated by her letter.

“Quincy, Mass. Aug. 19th, 18—. “My dear Friend,

“ I have been some time intending to write to you, as I promised at parting, to give you a description of our establishment, and the beautiful scenery about this delightful region. I have but little excuse for my delay, and will make amends by a long letter.

"You recollect that when I left my dear maternal home, my mother provided me with excellent domestics, and every thing useful and elegant suited to our large fortune. Indeed, there seemed no deficiency throughout the whole establishment, and she departed for Eng. land, happy in the belief that the care and expense bestowed on my education had been attended with complete success; that I was fitted to adorn the fortune I inherited, and to preside over a family with grace and dignity. Alas! she had only seen me in my drawingroom, surrounded with taste and ele. gance, beautifully dressed, with an admiring husband, who studied every wish. But, my dear friend, I soon found my self involved in perplexities. Oh, how I wished you were here to enlighten me by your own experience!

The domestics I brought with me from Boston soon began to grow dissatisfied with the monotony of a country life, and to feel the want of those social pleasures to which all human beings aspire. My cook, an excellent woman, pined for her own minister. She had been a very respectable member of the Congregational church in her native town, and feeling the want of those re spectful attentions to which she had been accustomed on the Sabbath, it was always a melancholy day to her. In vain I took her in our comfortable coach to the Episcopal church, which was under the especial patronage of my husband, and seated her in a respectable pew; she said she did not like to hear prayers read, she wished to hear the minister pray from his heart, as she had been accustomed to hear.

“My chamber-maid Amanda, who was something of a coquette, and very fond of dress, complained that she "might as well be shut up in a prison; to be sure the house was well enough, and her wages were high, and she hadn't much to do, and got presents from the visitors ; but what did all that signify if she was to be moped up in a great castle of a place, with nobody to speak to ? Besides, she did'nt like the prospect from the kitchen winders, and Mr. Lawrence had not given her a rocking-chair -she had always been used to a rocking-chair in kitchens.

“ My own little waiting-maid, who knew nothing but how to dress me, and whose whole happiness consisted in making me look beautiful, was, except the coachman, the only contented one

in the establishment; her happiness was complete when my dear Henry came into my dressing-room, and admired my charms, and the taste with which Jane had adorned them.

“Complaints daily increased, although Mr. Lawrence cut down a fine tree to open the view from the kitchen, and provided a rocking-chair for Amanda ; and she soon left me, because, when a smart young gardener in our employ wished to stay with her, I would not allow them a separate room to court in.

“My footman was equally discontented; he was tired of a subordinate situation, and having accumulated a considerable amount in the savings' bank, decided to go back to the city and set up in trade; and this decision seemed accelerated by Mr. Lawrence offering him a second-hand hat, upon which he took up his own and departed.

Our cook, who was a woman of principle, gave us formal notice of her intention to go away, and really seemed to feel for my situation ; but she said her conscience would not let her stay. She remained, however, until we were accommodated with such domestics as the country afforded.

“The mistakes which occurred the first few days after her departure we ascribed to accident; and, as we were without company, they rather amused us. The waiting-man, John, on his first debut, placed the dinner service on the table, putting a small dish of vegetables at the head, a piece of roast beef at one corner, and deliberately moving the pickles in front of my carver. I followed him, and gave him directions, to which he paid very respectful attention. As we seated ourselves, he took up a newspaper, and sat down by the window to read. Mr. Lawrence was exceedingly annoyed, because he could not instantly decide whether he was impudent as well as ignorant. After some embarrassment he said, “Young man, it is not customary for a person employed to wait at table to sit down.

“ John started up with alacrity, and said, “Oh, isn't it? Well, I'd as lief stand, I ain't the least grain tired. You havn't a power of work for a hired man to do.'

“ We felt some comfort in the idea that we had only ignorance to contend with, though that was bad enough, considering our inexperience. Henry very good naturedly instructed him in his business; and although it seemed very strange to him that two persons should require a third to stand and watch them while they were eating, yet finding the work easy and profitable, he soon acquitted himself to our satisfaction.

As we lived at some distance from town, I was frequently without the common necessaries for cooking, from my total ignorance of what ought to be furnished beforehand. My new cook, though perfectly obliging, knew nothing of her business, and it was deplorable to see ber serve up a dinner. It happened, perhaps unfortunately, that we had no company for several weeks, and Henry and myself were too much engrossed with each other to observe the gradual decline of good order which had taken place since the departure of our city help ; but we were at length aroused by a letter from Henry's uncle and former guardian, announcing that as we had been at housekeeping long enough to have every thing in fine order, he would pay us a visit. We were delighted at the prospect of seeing him, and it did not occur to us immediately that he was very particular, and our domestics very ignorant.

“When he arrived, I felt some anxi. ety that he should have a comfortable dinner, and went into the kitchen for the first time to consult with the cook. I confess, with all my inexperience, I felt shocked and alarmed at the dirt with which I was surrounded, and at the singular appropriations of the various articles of kitchen furniture. One of the best tin pans was on the hearth, full of ashes; a fine damask towel had been used to wipe the dishes ; the oil. can and rags stood in a chair ; and a pair of Henry's good boots were thrust under the sink with some iron pots, in which were the accumulated skimmings of weeks.

“ I found that the butcher had left a leg of veal, and nothing else; but recol. lecting that my uncle was very fond of stuffed veal, I told the cook to stuff and roast it. She asked if I had any sweet herbs. I told her that I believed the herbs in the kitchen were used, but that my mother had put me up several bags of sage, catnip, &c., which I supposed would do as well, and ordered her to put in plenty, as my uncle liked his food highly seasoned.

" My husband invited two neighbour ing gentlemen to take a family dinner.

When the veal was carved and tasted, I leave it to your imagination to conceive of my distress and Henry's mortification, on finding that our only dish was ruined. A half-picked ham-bone was summoned from the store-room, on which our guests satisfied the cravings of appetite.

“ The foilowing day we made more elaborate preparations, and Mr. Lawrence asked me, in the most gentle manner, just to look into the kitchen, and see that every thing was going on right. Being sincerely desirous to please my dear husband, and discharge my duty, I determined to spend the morning in the kitchen. But there I was in every body's way, and only worried by trying to hurry my unskilful domestics; indeed, I was wholly incompetent even to advise them.

“I began to feel some trepidation as the dinner-hour approached, and when I saw the heterogeneous mass on the table, in a style so different from our former elegant dinners, I had scarcely courage to take my seat. My uncle sat next to me, and offered to carve a pair of roasted chickens. When he cut off the wing, out dropped from the crop (as I have since heard it is called) corn, and beans, and grass, just as they had been eaten by the fowl. I perceived by his countenance that something was wrong, but he adroitly concealed the unsightly objects from our visitors, and refrained from making any remark.

“When our guests departed, he took me aside, and said, "My dear child, you had materials enough on your table for twenty persons, but your cooking is deplorably deficient. Your mother neglected a very important part of your education. You will spend your fortune to very little purpose if, amid the abundance with which you are surrounded, you cannot procure a wellcooked dinner.'

“ I felt at that moment as if I would have given up all my French, German, and every accomplishment, in exchange for the knowledge which would make me a good housekeeper. Every young married woman, who is ignorant of her duties, will meet mortifications at every step; an elegant establishment, an am. ple fortune, and even a devoted husband, will not secure her happiness.

“You may suppose that my nerves became considerably excited ; indeed, I could not always control my feelings

during my uncle's visit. The day before his departure Henry again had company, and had been at some pains to procure a brace of partridges for dinner. They looked very well, for I studied a cookery book that morning; but when my husband cut them, they were nearly raw; he gave a glance at me, I burst into tears, and was so much agitated that I was obliged to quit the table. He followed, and said every thing he could to console me; but utterly unable to command myself, I begged him to carry my apology to his guests, and I sobbed away the afternoon.

“My uncle has promised to look out for an experienced housekeeper for me, and I have engaged to take lessons of her, so that when he comes again I can show him my own cookery. I told him I should be more proud of serving up a well-dressed turkey for him, with all the accompaniments in good order, than in performing the most difficult piece of music. Both he and Henry smiled

encouragingly on me, and said, that with such a disposition to do right, I could not fail of succeeding. But how much better would it have been to have been taught these things under the eye of a mother! My husband is very social in his disposition, and frequently brings home guests unexpectedly, and I often see his brow clouded and his temper disturbed by the total ignorance of his wife. Not that he complains, for he knows how desirous I am to please him, and he never says a word to wound my feelings; but I can perceive that he is anxious, and, instead of feeling lighthearted with his guests, is dreading blunders which will make me ridiculous.

“And now, my dear and respected friend, let me ask you to come, and counsel and teach me. I find that wealth cannot produce order and comfort, and I long for your example and advice in the absence of my mother. “ Affectionately yours,



BROTHERLY LOVE. Instead of occupying this department, hardened child, when his brother (Paul) which belongs to our young readers, with came forward, and entreated that he a theoretical lesson, we present them might bear the punishment in the place with the following beautiful practical ex- of his brother. Mr. Kilpin remarked, hibition of a brother's love. We hope “My dear Paul, you are one of my best that if there are any who possess the boys, you have never needed chastiseunamiable traits of character which be ment, your mind is tender, I could not longed to James, they will forthwith do be so unjust as to give you pain, my all in their power to get clear of them; precious child." The dear boy said, “I and that they will all strive to attain the shall endure more pain to witness his character for kindness and affection to. disgrace and suffering than any thing wards their brothers and sisters which you can inflict on me; he is a little boy, rendered Paul so lovely, and so loved by and younger and weaker than I am ; his teacher. No sight is more beautiful pray, sir, allow me to take all the puthan that of a family of affectionate nishment, I will bear any thing from brothers and sisters :-Behold, how you. O do, do, sir, take me in exchange good and how pleasant it is for brethren for my naughty brother!" "Well, to dwell together in unity."

James, what say you to this noble offer In Mr. Kilpin's school were two boys, of Paul's?” He looked at his brother, brothers, from eleven to twelve years but made no reply. Mr. K. stood silent. old. One of these children had, after Paul still entreated for the punishment, repeated admonition, manifested a de that it might be finished, and wept. termined obstinacy and sulky resistance. Mr. K. said, “Did you ever hear of any Mr. Kilpin told him that the result of one who bore stripes and insults to such conduct would be a chastisement shield offenders, Paul?” “ ( yes, sir, that would not easily be forgotten. He the Lord Jesus Christ gave his back to was preparing to inflict it on the still the smiters for us poor little sinners,

« VorigeDoorgaan »