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preparation of the plates, and the printing | of the bill-forms for the forgeries. By thus dividing their labors, and working each in a distinct department of the fraud, the gang hoped to evade discovery until they had made what they regarded as a sufficient haul, when they would doubtless have retired to foreign climes to enjoy the fruits of their labors. How much further they would have gone it is impossible to say, for they had already offered forged bills to the amount of £102,217, 19s. 7d., when a happy oversight led to their detec tion. Two bills for one thousand pounds each, professedly accepted by Messrs. Blydenstein, and payable three months after "sight," were not "sighted" that is, the date of acceptance was not inserted. A clerk of the Bank was sent to Messrs. Blydenstein's to get the omission rectified, and was met by the startling information that the bills were forgeries. With some little trouble, the whole of the gang were arrested, and after a trial lasting eight days, were convicted, and sentenced to penal servitude.
The cases we have described afford an unusually forcible illustration of the good old fashioned maxim, that “Honesty is the best policy." If dishonesty ever were a paying game, it should be in the case of such men as these, with so much ability employed, playing for such heavy stakes, and with schemes so carefully planned. And yet, what must the life of such a schemer be? Fauntleroy, we are told, did for years the work of three clerks, in order to conceal his frauds. Fare as sumptuously, entertain as lavishly as he may, the schemer must live with every nerve strained, in constant dread of detection, ever feeling the thief taker's hand on his collar, the steel of the handcuffs upon his wrists. In most instances, he does not derive even a transient benefit from his crime. Where there is a temporary success, as in the case of Fauntleroy, the proceeds of one forgery are perforce devoted to make good another, or the money gained by fraud is squandered in unprofitable speculations. And sooner or later, the end is sure to come. The most watchful of men cannot be always on his guard. Some day, a little slip is made, perhaps the mere omission of a date, as in Bidwell's case, or an incautious remark, as in that of Mathison, and then -the dock and a violent death, or, even under the present merciful régime, long years spent in the convict's garb, living on convict's fare, and herding with the very dregs of humanity.
From The Spectator.
GEORGE ELIOT'S HUMOR.
THE dramatic humor which has gained so much admiration for George Eliot's stories, and which is so conspicous by its absence from her letters and journals, seems to most readers to be of a kind which would have been likely to make itself visible in almost every hour and every personal action of her life. As a matter of fact, we now know that it was not so, that it was a sort of latent heat which was given out chiefly under the conditions of creative fiction. In her ordinary life, the reflective and elaborate considerateness of the woman so predom. inated over all she did and thought, that you observe nothing else, no sparkling colors of prismatic imagination, no vision of the scenes she had herself observed in one aspect, under the manifold lights in which the various characters she could create would have observed them. When you turn to her books, and consider how, in "Silas Marner," the good-natured, husky butcher at the Rainbow mildly resents the imputations of the quarrelsome farrier, and limits himself to contending that the "red Durham cow had turned out "a lovely carkiss," though he "would quarrel with no man;" when you remember in "Felix Holt "how Mrs. Holt, when she thought of the obstinacy of her son Felix in refusing to wear a cravat, and insisting on wearing a workman's. cap, mentally refers to these grievances even in chapel time, "with a slow shake of the head at several passages in the minister's prayer; or recall in "The Mill on the Floss" how the sister who "holds by a spot" on her tablecloths looks down upon the sister who held by "big checks and live things" on her linen, you can hardly believe that in three volumes of such an author's letters there is not a trace of that pleasure in looking at the world through all sorts of grotesque media, which you naturally ascribe to a writer with so great a command of the varieties of human limitation and human caprice. The fact, however, appears to be, that not only was this great command of dramatic insight not habitually used, and certainly not the resource of every idle hour, but that it was not habitually even usable, that George Eliot needed the sense of pressure belonging to the constructive work of a particular plot, and of particular local and personal details, before she was able to summon up before her the vivid life with which she so often delights us. When she got her imagination to the exact point
"Magnificat anima mea" on small occasions; and writes in this fashion page after page, and letter after letter, till one feels it quite an unexpected relief when she comes out in a letter to John Blackwood with so homely a sample of her own wisdom as this, "An unfortunate duck can only lay blue eggs, however much white ones may be in demand." On the whole, we should say that, while George Eliot is an author of singularly large humor, this quality is more completely latent in her correspondence than it is at all easy to understand.
where a butcher's feelings about the "carkiss" of a "red Durham" are wanted, the butcher's feelings about that carcase came to her in the most vivid and complete way. When she had to ask herself how the pious widow of a quack medicine vendor would defend her husband for selling those quack medicines, and mix up irrelevant texts from the Bible with her pious commemoration of the deceased quack, George Eliot could reproduce the widow's feelings with a delightful fertility that gives one the highest sense both of her realism and of her humor. But, so far as we can judge, when the necessity If we were to hazard a very bold confor calling up these figures, under the jecture, it would be that George Eliot's special conditions of time and place, was imagination was the real origin of her not upon her, George Eliot did not pos- humor; and that only through the exersess a fancy that created them merely for cise of her imagination, which was delibher own behoof and amusement. She erate, and more or less a matter of will, — had an imagination that required prepar- though, when she had made the effort, she ing by special effort, by a careful combi- had, as she herself said, no power to connation of concurrent elements, before it trol the play of her own faculty, did her indulged her with these lifelike visions. humor come to the surface. When she She did not suddenly see a political situa- had got Mrs. Poyser well before her mind tion, as Mr. Brooke would have seen it, she could invent Mrs. Poyser's witty say. and burst into laughter at his naïf slip-ings almost ad libitum; when she had shodness; she did not suddenly get a got Mr. Brooke, with his hesitating and glimpse of life through the Dodson mind, good-natured incoherence before her mind, and become convulsed at the spectacle of she could make him blunder into stultifi its grotesque narrowness and arbitrari- cations of which only Mr. Brooke could ness. She seems to have gone through have been capable; when she had Mrs. life with a view not less monotonously Pullet or Bob Jakin before her mind, she individual and personal, — perhaps even could prose about the medicine bottles or somewhat more monotonously individual the keys, or boast of the advantages which and personal, than other persons greatly a pedlar may derive from a broad thumb, her inferior in ability; while the magnifi- as only these admirable characters could cent humor which she could on occasions have done it; but she is dependent on a command, was almost as rarely put in distinct vision of the figure itself for the requisition for ordinary purposes as is the humor which the figure brings with it; spectroscope of the chemist or the tele- she has none of Charles Lamb's delight in phone of the electrician. It appears from the rapid interchange of associated ideas reading George Eliot's letters, that there on her own account; she is not a humorist was a want of life and variety in her ordi- first and a dramatist afterwards, but a nary view of the world; that she arranged humorist only because she is a dramatist. her impressions too elaborately in certain And then she was a dramatist only when uniform patterns; and that, barring the she had all her spells in full working order, occasional use of a little labored irony, and had distinctly realized the figures she wrote to all her friends in exactly the which she had to create. Then, and not same style, on exactly the same class of till then, her humor flows in a large stream. subjects. For example, she talks of An- But otherwise her humor appears only in thony Trollope's "wholesome Wesen," the form of a pale irony, that is, in the though Anthony Trollope suggested noth- light which is cast on general views by ing less than a German word for "es- the large knowledge she has of the consence; she speaks of her own "per- fusions and littlenesses of human nature. turbed health," as if "disturbed" were Thus it is perfectly characteristic of her quite too common an adjective for her own style when she remarks that "the use; describes her favorite thoughts as Dissenters solemnly disclaimed any lax "altars where I oftenest go to contem- expectations that Catholics were likely to plate; " declares herself "completely up- be saved;" or when she tells us that "the set by anything that arouses unloving Independent chapel began to be filled emotions;" cries out "Ebenezer" or with eager men and women to whom the
exceptional possession of religious truth was the condition which reconciled them to a meagre existence, and made them feel in secure alliance with the unseen but supreme rule of a world in which their own visible part was small." Again, she is entirely in her own vein when she speaks of the "sense of that peculiar edi. fication which belongs to the inexplicable." But George Eliot's irony is not true humor. We may even say that there is in it a thin tone of triumph over the inconsistencies of human nature which is in a totally different key to the hearty laughter of the true humorist. And, therefore, we seldom enjoy that sensation of pins and needles with which she often regales us in the reflective portions of her novels, the openings of her chapters, certainly not as we do that large dramatic humor in
which she soon loses herself when once
she is speaking for characters which have laid a hold of her imagination. Take, for instance, Mrs. Pullet's gloomy reflections as to the incapacity of her husband to unravel the mystery of her keys, in case of her decease:
with the broad ties - -not the narrow-frilled uns-is the key o' the drawer in the Blue Room, where the key o' the Blue Closet is. You'll make a mistake, and I shall niver be worthy to know it. You've a memory for my that of you; but you're lost among the keys.” pills and draughts wonderful, I'll always say This gloomy prospect of the confusion that would ensue on her decease was very affecting to Mrs. Pullet.
This reflection that Mr. Pullet would make a mistake about the keys, and that niver be worthy to know it," has the sort Mrs. Pullet, in her spiritual life, “would of humor in it that Shakespeare himself would have enjoyed to the utmost. But Pullet, and not Mrs. Pullet of the sense of humor. In George Eliot's own life it is only in the thinner irony with which
the humor comes of the vision of Mrs.
she mocks at human limitations that we see the secondary effect of her dramatic feeling. She herself takes life gravely, monotonously, sometimes almost drearily; little value she attaches to the significance and certainly not the less drearily for the
of most human convictions. Her dramatic power plays into the hands of her intellectual scepticism, and of her compre
"I don't know what you mean to do, sister Glegg, but I mean to give him [Tom] a table-hensive forbearance with all the forms of cloth of all my three biggest sizes but one, besides sheets. I don't say what more I shall do; but that I shall do, and if I should die to morrow, Mr. Pullet, you'll bear it in mind, though you'll be blundering with the keys, and never remember as that on the third shelf of the left-hand wardrobe, behind the nightcaps
human error; but otherwise her dramatic power does not play at all a conspicuous part in her own life. It does not even often succeed in breaking through the rather artificial sweetness and elaborate. ness of her journals and epistles.
THE YOUNG OF THE LOBSTER. - The early of their birthplace, and the area of their dislife history of the lobster is most interesting. tribution would be extremely limited. NaThe eggs are, upon extrusion, found attached ture here, however, as in the case of the great to the "swimmarets" of the abdomen (the so- majority of marine invertebrate animals, has called tail of the lobster), and constitute what provided her offspring with special facilities is generally known as the "berry" A single for becoming distributed to long distances, female lobster will have from twenty to thirty their bodies being so lightly constructed that thousand eggs as nearly as possible the their specific gravity scarcely exceeds that of same as the female salmon. Attached to this the fluid medium they inhabit, while they are "berry" form, the eggs remain for some three additionally provided with long, feather-like or four months, and then the young are hatched. locomotive organs, with which they swim at "No nutritive or other than a purely mechan- or near the surface of the water. As such ical relationship subsists all this time between essentially free-swimming animals, they now the parent and its egg-clusters, the passing of spend the entire first month or six weeks of its small brush-like claws among them to rid their existence, in which time, it is scarcely them of any extraneously derived substances, necessary to state, they may be carried by the and the occasional fanning motion of its swim-tides and currents many miles away from their marets to increase the stream of oxygenated places of birth. During this interval, howwater through and among the eggs, represent-ever, the little lobsters by no means retain ing the sum total of attention they receive." The young animals that issue from the eggs of the lobster are distinct in every way from the adult. If, on the contrary, they were like their parents, they would at once sink to the bottom of the water in the immediate neighborhood,
their primitive shape; their delicate skin, the
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CHARLES GORDON. ("We trusted it had been he who should have delivered Israel.")
GREAT Soul, that scorned ignoble ease,
War's swift occasions as they came,
We hoped he could not fail to save;
We hoped, but under alien skies, Far off, within his bloody grave,
Struck by the traitor steel he lies.
Is this the end? Forbid the thought!
The Saviour dies, betrayed, alone,
His Israel unredeemed; but still Grows to a mightier world-wide throne The felon Cross on Calvary's hill.
Nor thou, great soul, was spent in vain, Though noblest of our later days; While from the tropic, Nile-washed plain, The echo of thy deathless praise
IN a hollow of the dunes
Its wings were closed in rest, And the florets of the eyebright Stood guard around its breast.
The glorious light and sun
No more its easy pinions
Once nimble on the turf.
No ruffle marred its plumage,
The happiest of the dead.
So could I wish that Death
FROM NATURE TO MAN. TIME was when Nature's every mystic mood Poured round my heart a flood of eager joy; When pageantry of sunsets moved the boy More than high ventures of the great and good; When trellised shadows in the vernal wood,
And little peeping flowers, so sweet and coy, Were simple happiness without alloy, And whispered to me things I understood. But now the strange sad weight of human woe, And all the bitterness of human wrong, Press on my saddened spirit as I go,
And stir the pulsings of a graver song: Dread mysteries of life and death I scan, And all my soul is only full of man. Spectator.
W. WALSHAM BEDFORD.