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When a peasant maiden has fixed her affec- ters of Professor Johnston's interesting work. tions upon a youth who may be insensible to Those on the “Odors we enjoy," and the her natural charms, she often proceeds to “Smells we dislike,” will be found to yield heighten them by the use of arsenic. If the some very striking information; and in the poison is used with caution, never exceeding latter case, the reader will be astonished to half a grain at a time, and gradually accus- learn how the most unsavory emanations may toming the system to its action, the effect is be converted into objects of great scientific perfectly magical. It adds to the natural importance. The author hints at the possigraces of her filling and rounding form, paints bility of compounding smells infinitely more with brighter hues her blushing cheeks and terrific than any which nature produces, and tempting lips, and imparts a new and winning of employing them in warfare either for purlustre to her sparkling eye.” Occasionally, poses of defence or annoyance. Some subhowever, the damsel may be in too great a stances are sufficiently atrocious in themhurry to extract beauty from the drug, and selves. Swallow a small pellet of powdered by augmenting the dose immoderately, she sulphur, and it will diffuse a noisome atmay fall a sacrifice to her passion or her mosphere around the individual for many vanity. Its use, however, is by no means days. Take a quarter of a grain of a prepaconfined to maidens. Though incapable of ration of tellurium, and though in itself exciting the mental pleasure which opium inodorous, it will impart such a disgusting and certain other narcotics produce, it is con- fetor to the breath and perspiration, that sumed very largely amongst the peasant the dearest friend of the victim will be population without occasioning any evil re ready to indict him as a public nuisance. If sults, provided the doses are adapted to the a single bubble of seleniuretted hydrogen gas constitution of the individual. But if the he permitted to escape into a room, it will practice should be abandoned, symptoms of attack the company with symptoms of se. disease such as would ordinarily follow the vere colds and bronchial affections, which reception of arsenic by uninitiated persons, will last many days. Indeed, it is only necimmediately appear, and the patient is com essary to read what is said about a ferocious pelled to renew the habit in order to obtain compound, known as the cyanide of kakorelief from the ailments which spring up to dyle, to obtain some idea of the resources of torment him. It is the same with horses, the chemist in the elaboration of detestable Arsenic is given to these animals to secure smells. The vapor of this terrible substance plumpness of body and a sleek glossy skin; is decomposed on coming in contact with air but if they pass into the hands of masters and moisture ; and two of the most deadly who do not patronize the practice, they lose poisons known to exist—white arsenic and flesh and spirits and gradually decline, unless prussic acid—are instantly engendered and the custom is resumed, when a few pinches dispersed through the atmosphere. We must, in their food will render them perfectly con- however, content ourselves with a simple valescent. Like coca, too, this substance but sincere recommendation of this ingenious possesses astonishing powers in enabling per- work. It belongs to a class we should wish sons to ascend bills without suffering from to see widely extended. Composed as it is want of breath-a small fragment placed in in a popular style, and studded with facts of the mouth before the attempt, and allowed the most curious and at the same time of the to dissolve slowly, being sufficient to qualify most practical description, it will be perused a man for very elaborate undertakings in this by ordinary readers without encountering line. Is it not marvellous to find that a any of the difficulties which scientific prodeadly material like this should yet be a ductions too frequently present; whilst its strengthener of respiration, an exciter of love, varied learning and philosophical breadth and a restorer of health ? Mithridates is fa- will commend it to the very highest rank of mous for the facility with which he digested thinkers. We can not pay it a better comhis poisons, but we never understood that he pliment than by expressing a hope that treattook them to improve his body, and work ises like this-plain, easy, and perspicuoushimself up into a handsome fascinating gen yet masterly and profound -may soon be tleman.

reckoned amongst the common things of com. Had space permitted, we should have been mon life. glad to draw upon some of the other chap

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From Hogg's Instructor.

ALEXANDER DUMAS.

"Gentlemen, if I had but time to discourse to you the miraculous effects of this, my oil, surnamed Oglio del Scoto; with the countless catalogue of those I have cured, the patents and privileges of all the princes and commonwealths of Christendom; or but the depositions of those that appeared, on my part, before the Signiory of the Sanita and most learned College of Physicians; where I was authorized, upon notice taken of the admirable virtues of my medicaments, and mine own excellency, not only to dispense them publicly in this famous city, but in all the territories that happily joy under the government of the most pious and magnificent," &c.-Volpone (Ben Jonson's Fox).

FROM his earliest childhood (this much | volvers; and as, notwithstanding the abovewe may gather from his memoirs) Dumas mentioned crackers, there still sat before him evinced the natural, nay, uncontrollable in- a daring and unscathed horseman, the doughstincts of his African blood-an excessive ty champion, missing his sword just at this love of physical display, a singular aptitude critical moment, most felicitously terminated for bodily exercise, an absolute worship, in the struggle by whisking his adversary from short, of that supreme of human perform- his saddle, transferring him cross-wise, to his ances, a feat! The feeling was hereditary. own, backing out of the melée, and returnHis father, the republican general, was ing thus double and unmolested to his own equally notorious for this constitutional pre- expectant outposts! Bonaparte, an unquesdilection. If he rode in the manége, and tionable judge of the picturesque, made a happened to be within reach of a joist or most characteristic use of General Dumas on hook of any kind there with connected, be their first landing in Egypt. Being informed felt irresistibly compelled to lay hold thereon that a party of mounted Arabs were to give and, serrying his legs on either side of his him the meeting, and aware how small would steed, lift and equilibrate both himself and be the impression of his own diminutive stathis charger. If he came upon a sergeant ure on these primitive warriors, he deputed beguiling the tedium of the bivouac by hold- a select body of horsemen provided with the ing, in presence of his admiring inferiors, a necessary requisite of flesh and muscle, commusket by the barrel, and at full stretch, pleting the ocular deception by expediting this metacarpal exhibition would straightway Dumas at their head. The effect was magirouse the lurking devil of display within the cal. The climate, however, says his chronbosom of the dark-skinned general, when, in icling son, produced a disastrous effect, if compliment to his military pre eminence, the not on the iron frame, at least on the hitherleader would throw his non-commissioned to buoyant spirits of the general. A deep rival completely into the shade-quadrupling and settled despondency took possession of the difficulty by a new and overwhelming his mind, which he could shake off in the combination, wherein a series of muskets hour of action, but which returned with tenwere seen to protrude in a direct and unde- fold gloom, when physical exertion was no viating line of rigidity from the iron digits of longer necessary. From a brilliant and daring the performer! Adventures compared to swordsman, he now degenerated into a moping which that of Horatius Cocles was but an malcontent, excited feelings of unconquerable old woman's tale, were performed by this disgust in the youthful adventurer, who, copper-colored Ajax. In a chance rencoun- then at the head of the troops, and anxious ter with a host of Austrian cavaliers in a to treat the soldier to the invigorating expernarrow pass, General Dumas threw, solus,iment of a march through the desert, thought his Telamonian bulk across the path, fired proper to dispen-e with the general's preshis holster, perhaps his duelling pist ls, we ence, though not without inflicting upon him, are now uncertain which, with the rapidity in the sequel, a most serious mortification. and death-like accuracy of your modern re- In the revolt of Cairo, General Dumas re

covered, for an instant, all his wonted elastic- | courtesan, with the fantastic and half-crazed ity, dashing. gallantly and almost naked into "Hernani," joint productions of Hugo's drathe deadly strife, and turning the tide of matic muse, the latter written in eight, the battle by such deeds as alone can speak home former in twenty-seven days' time. These, to the breasts of the fatalist Mussulmen. with Alfred de Vigny's almost literal transA picture commemorative of the scene was lation of "Othello," were the startling foreto be painted by Gorodet, wherein the gene- runners of the portentous change contemral was to figure as the leading character, plated in the hitherto tame and classic drama and with all the pictorial deference due to of France, by these bold disciples of the his complexion and athletic form. The pic- English Shakspeare, the man who, in Dumas's ture was painted; the terrific game of revolt, reckless language," has next to God created with its rush, and shock, and bloodshed, was most largely." The temperament of Dumas, admirably simulated, but with a shameless savoring so remarkably of those well-fed violation of historic truth, General Dumas conditions advocated by Cassius in his first was omitted-at whose intimation or request memorable dialogue with Brutus, enabled it is by no means difficult to divine. The him to take as well as keep the lead in the republican general (thus is Dumas, senior, dramatic race; while certain ungallant ferocever designated by his dutiful son) hence- ities evinced in his flirtings with the historical forth stood aloof, sharing in none of the muse, and summed up in the following coarse glories of the imperial campaigns. The truth and brutal apology: Qu'il est toujours peris, he remained unemployed and unpensioned, mis de violer l'histoire pourvu qu'on lui fasse maugre his early services to the state; thus un enfant, at once supply us with a key to maintaining, perforce, no doubt, those pre- his peculiar process, as well as mode of suctensions to unflinching republicanism on cess. His sentiments on poetical training, as which his son dwells with such ostentation, drawn out in connection with the humorous and to which, ever and anon, even he lays portrait of one of his fellow-laborers in the such ludicrous claims. Thus descended and romantic vineyard, are too preciously sugorganized, blessed, that is, with a constitu- gestive to be omitted in so personal a sketch tion and animal spirits which have fallen to as this. "De Vigny," says Dumas, in the the lot of few writers, Dumas's first and ear- 14th volume of his " Memoirs," date of remliest feat was the high dramatic position he iniscence, 1829, "had not much imaginawon by his historical drama of "Henri III.," tion, but great correctness of style. He was performed on the 13th February, 1829, on known by the romance of Cinq Mars,' the highest stage in Paris, and in presence which would have met with slender success, of his patron, the Duke of Orleans, with if it appeared now, but which, at that time a whole knot of diplomatists and titled of literary dearth, had great vogue. Bepersonages. Up to this date, and for a year sides Cinq Mars,' De Vigny had written or two longer, Dumas held the very subor- delightful little poems, five or six, among dinate situation of copying clerk in the office which Eloa' and Dolorida.' In short he of the Palais Royal, a situation to which he had just published a very moving elegy on had been preferred by reason of an excellent two hapless youths who had committed suihandwriting, which, in the language of Ham- cide at Montmorency, within earshot of the let, did him most yeomanly service, the ball music. De Vigny was a singular man, more so, as he then had no other staff or polite, affable, affecting the most complete reed to lean upon for support, being burden- immateriality, which was in perfect harmony ed with a mother, but poorly bred, and most with his charming, small-featured, and intelimperfectly educated. His triumph on the lectual face, and head of curling fair hair. first stage, the Theatre Français, was shortly De Vigny never touched the ground but after repeated on the second, the Theatre de when absolutely necessary; when his wings l'Odéon; while the sale of the manuscript were folded, and he happened to take his of " Henri III." for six thousand francs, and stand on the craggy peak of some mountain, that of "Christine" for twelve thousand, nat- it was a piece of condescension on his part urally struck our adventurous dramatist as towards humanity. What particularly surtwo very remarkable achievements. The prised Hugo and myself was, that Vigny banner of the romantic host now flutters in seemed not in the slightest degree subthe breeze, and bore, within a few months ject to those coarse necessities of our naafter, the additional emblazonments of " Mar- ture which certain amongst us (Hugo and ion Delorme," the first of the lamentable myself were among these) satisfied not series of dithyrambic plays in honor of the merely without shame, but even with a

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certain sensuality. None of us had ever detected De Vigny at table. Dorval, who for seven years of his life had spent several hours a-day in his company, confessed to us, with an astonishment almost bordering on terror, that he had never seen him eat any thing but a radish!" Dumas's visible preference of the showy or slapdash process, so perfectly in unison with his instincts, is so cleverly worded in the onslaught he makes on Casimir Delavigne as a successful poet and dramatist, that we can not forbear giving the passage almost in extenso. It is has a subsidiary value besides, being, like the preceding quotation, indirectly illustrative of our author's constitutional creed in all questions of literary power or produce. "I knew C. Delavigne well as a man, and have studied him a good deal as a poet. I never felt much admiration for the poet, though I entertained the highest esteem for the man. As an individual, and barring indisputable and undisputed literary honesty, C. Delavigny was a man of mild, nay, polite address. His head, much too large for his small person, struck one as disagreeable at first sight; though his large forehead, intelligent eyes, and the benevolent expression about his mouth, soon obliterated first impressions. Though a man of much wit, he was of those whose wit flows only pen in hand. His conversation, gentle and affectionate, was tepid and colorless; as he had nothing grand about his gestures, nothing powerful in the tones of his voice, so he was deficient in power and grandeur of language. Standing in a drawing-room, he attracted no attention; to have noticed him at all, one would have required to know he was C. Delavigne. One of his special characteristics, and in our opinion a most unfortunate one, was his submission to the ideas of others, which could only proceed from want of confidence in his own. He had (rather a strange fact) created round him a sort of Admonition Office, or Checking Com-(the name of the above-mentioned editor,) mittee, whose business it was to see that his aware of that gentleman's ready and unimagination should not go astray! a some- questioned powers of handling, supplied him what superfluous precaution, as Delavigne's with certain learned notes on Palestine, refancy stood more in need of the spur than questing he would therefrom gather and get the bridle. The consequence of such derelic-up for his review a series of attractive and tion of his own will was, that Delavigne, interesting articles, by the title of " Impresswhen his talent was in all its strength, and ions de Voyage au Sinai." This our author his fame at its highest, could venture on set about digesting with his usual celerity, nothing either of or by himself. The idea sending in, among other imprimatur proofhatched in his brain was submitted to the sheets, one containing rather a novel piece of committee before assuming either shape or information, couched in the following terms: plan. The plan again, when terminated, was "La pile de Volta, ce minerai qu'on a second time laid before the committee, which trouve dans les entrailles de la terre!" This commented, discussed, corrected, and return-blundering excess of information, Buloz

ed it to the poet, with a bon pour l'exécution. The plan transformed into a play was read, always in presence of the same assembly; and one with a pencil, another with scissors, a third with a compass, a fourth with a ruler, set about the work of emasculation, so that the comedy, drama, or tragedy, was pruned, clipped, and cut on the spot, not according to the author's notions, but in accordance with those of Messrs. So-and-so, very conscientious folks, no doubt, all men of note and wit among themselves, good professors, honest men of science, respectable philologists, but sorry poets; who, instead of allowing their friend to soar aloft under the influence of a powerful afflatus, clung desperately to his legs, lest he should take his flight into regions beyond the ken of their purblind vision." Were our author's statements at all times trustworthy, it would be no uninteresting study to mark the dawn of his own expanding intellect, to witness, above all, by what obstinate and persevering labor he contrived to break through all but the Cimmerian ignorance under which, even by his own avowal, he suffered at the outset. Here, however, we are compelled to think, from what we know of his mental tendencies, and despite his ever-recurring assertion on the question of deep and sustained application, that his studies were pursued for the nonce, and that his acquirements, be they of what seeming order or magnitude they might, sometimes fell short of, though they also occasionally outstripped, the exigencies of the moment. Of this latter assertion we possess a rather burlesque confirmation, furnished by a late courteous passage-at-arms between our dramatist and the respectable editor of that widely-known periodical, La Revue des du Mondes. At a period when Dumas was still thought a literary chieftain, and while his name yet enjoyed that share of literary influence it has since so justly forfeited, M. Buloz,

dear a gem, too costly a pearl, to be won or worn by one in a hurry to live, and live in splendor. Not Falstaff's obesity and passion for sack were more insuperable bars to his climbing the heights of honor, than is Dumas's love of opulence and vulgar display to his breasting the steeps of originality. Accordingly we see him stoop at a cheaper and surer quarry-the place of improvisatore and caterer for the pleasures of the multitude. The situation was vacant; he assumed its functions at once, and entered on the manifold duties of the office with a readiness, facility, and fertility of resource perfectly unparalleled. It is true there were detractors, nay, even contemners of the office; what then? The official snapped his fingers in the face of the hypercritical, or calling up a braggart air, challenged them to a trial of conclusions. He could build a novel or run up a five act play in less than a week, and while thus employed, eat, drink, digest, and sleep, besides supplying some half-dozen papers with feuilletons, harrowing, or divert

states, he had the singular good fortune to remark in time, and kindly erase, in expectation of the writer's everlasting gratitude. To the editor's unmitigated surprise, M. Dumas, instead of testifying thankfulness for such timely interference, warmly protested against the irreparable injury done to his mineralogical discovery-so amazingly and so amus ingly did he, Dumas, ignore even the existence of the naturalist Volta; so ingeniously did he expound, or rather impound, that philosopher's pile or galvanic battery! When reminded by Buloz, in a late angry discussion, of this most unlucky trespass on the domains of science, Dumas indignantly repelled the charge, as far as the obnoxious fact was concerned, though he had no hesitation in admitting the general reproach of uncommon ignorance. The admission had its advantages; what it took from the extent of his information, it added to that of his intellect; thereby superinducing among groundlings the flattering belief, that if Dumas stood so high in the rolls of fame, the secret must lie, not in the nature of things, but in the independent qual-ing, to order. Which of all, or any, of his ities of his indomitable personality. The disparagers could perform the like? The seven or eight hundred volumes which bear office had its disagreeables, no doubt, disahis name attest the wonderful fact, that, as greeables involving the twin exhibition of the some men eat and drink, so does Alexandre kindred and cognate faculties of quack and Dumas write; nay, they may be adduced as buffoon. What then? Was he not devoted an argument in favor of velocity being as heart and soul to the people, and the peomuch a criterion of power in the sphere of ple's cause? And wherein consists devotedmind, as steam in that of mechanics. This ness, if not in self debasement in presence of celerity, however, this most agile skimming the idol? But let this self-denying servant of the streams of fiction, says but little in of the multitude speak for himself; let him favor of depth. It may tell magnificently of mount the stage, and expound his mission, continuous speed, but it is the speed of the part at least of the paramount duties of his swallow-sixteen hours on the wing-a pro- office. Lamartine," says he, " is a dreamer, digious exertion of the muscular power, Hugo, a thinker, 1 a vulgariser. What is too unquestionably, but then unfortunately dis- subtle in the dream of the one, a subtlety played in the pursuit and capture of flies! which sometimes prevents its being approved; Dumas must have long since awakened from what is too deep in the thought of the other, the glorious dreams of excellence which at a depth which prevents its being understood, one time allured his aim and animated his I take possession of, I the vulgariser. I He must be painfully conscious of the give body to the dream of the one; I grovelling level to which he has brought his give perspicuity to the thought of the once aspiring faculties. Yet who will assure other; I serve the public up the twofold us of this? Who will assert that the man dish, a dish which from the hand of the first has any such consciousness, or that the indis- would not, from its excessive lightness, have tinct and occasional glimmerings he has of been sufficiently nutritious; from the hand of his debasement are aught else but so many the second, owing to its excessive heaviness, dim yet useful lights enabling him to discern would have given the public a surfeit; but more surely the primary and earthly point- which, seasoned and presented by mine, ings of his nature; the better to collect, mass, agrees with the generality of stomachs, the and centre the remains of a once divine affla- weakest as well as the strongest." If he is tus in the pursuit of notoriety, in the gratifi- thus skilful in cooking and serving up his cation of necessities whose princely propor- friends for the public digestion, he is not less tions are but a miserable offset to their more eminently so in serving up himself; nor does than plebeian meanness? Originality is too the extent to which he carries the feast at all

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