waiters: foot-women as it were. I have weighed we read of the life of her contemporary, Madame both sides of the subject well in my mind, before de Sevigné, we see that impromptu expedients sitting down to write this paper, and my verdict were necessary in those times

, when the thought goes in favor of men; for, all other things being of the morning made the pleasure of the eveequal, their superior strength gives them the ning, and when people snatched their enjoypower of doing things without effort, and conse- ments from hand to mouth, as it were, while yet quently with less noise than any woman. The six-weeks invitations were not. Now, I have noquiet ease and solemn soundless movement of ticed that in some parties where we were all presome men-servants is wonderful to watch. Last cise and sensible, ice-bound under some indetinasummer I was staying in a house served by such ble stiff restraint, some little domestic contrelist-shod, soft-spoken, velvet-handed domestics. temps, if frankly acknowledged by the hostess, One day the builer touched a spoon with a fork; has suddenly unloosed tongues and hearts in a the master of the house looked at him as Jupiter supernatural manner :may have looked at Hebe, when she made that clumsy step. “No noise, sir, if you please;" and “The upper air bursts into life,” we, as well as the servant, were hushed into the solemn stillness of the room, and were graced more especially if some unusual expedient had and genteel, if not merry and sociable. Still, not to be resorted to, giving the whole the flabursts and clashes, and clatters at the side-table, vor and zest of a pic-nic. Toasting bread in a do disturb conversation; and I maintain that for drawing room, coaxing up a half-extinguished avoiding these, men servants



are better than fire by dint of brown sugar, newspapers, and Women have to add an effort to the pretty good-for-nothing bellows, turning a packnatural exercise of what strength they possess ing-case upside down for a seat, and covering in before they can lift heavy things—surloins of beef, with a stray piece of velvet; these are, I am saddles of mutton, and the like; and they can- afraid, the only things that can call upon us not calculate the additional force of such an ef- for unexpected exertion, now that all is arranged fort, so down come the dish and the mutton and and rearranged for every party a month beforeall, with a sound and a splash that surprises us hand. But I have lived in other times, and other even more than the Phillis, who is neat handed places. I have been in the very heart and depths only when she has to do with things that require of Wales ; within three miles of the house of the delicacy and lightness of touch, not struggle of high sheriff of the county, who was giving a

state-dinner on a certain day, to which the gen. And, now I think of it, Mademoiselle de Sablé tleman with whom I was staying was invited. must have taken the White Cat for her model; He was on the point of leaving his house in his there must evidently have been the same noise- little Norwegian carriole, and we were on the less case and grace about the movements of both point of sitting down to dinner, when a man -the same purring, happy, inarticulate moments rode up in hot haste-a servant from the high of satisfaction, when surrounded by pleasant cir- sheriff's came to beg for our joint off the spit. cumstances, must have been uttered by both. My Fish, game, poultry—they had all the delicacies own mouth has watered before now at the ac- of their own land; but the butcher from the nearcount of that fricassec of mice prepared especi. est market town had failed them, and at the last ally for the White Cat; and M. Cousin alludes moment they had to send off a groom a-begging more tlian once to Madame de Sablé's love for to their neighbors. My relation departed igno"friandises." Madame de S. avoided the society rant of our dinnerless state, but he came back in of literary women, and so I am sure did the great delight with his party. After the soup and White Cat. Both had an instinctive sense of fish had been removed, there had been a long what was comfortable; both loved home with pause (the joint had got cold on its ride, and had tenacious affection; and yet I am mistaken if to be re-warmed); a message was brought to the each had not their own little private love of ad. host, who had immediately confided his perplexventure-touches of the gipsy.

ity to his guests, and put it to the vote whether The reason why I think Madame de Sablé they would wait for the joint, or have the order had this touch in her is because she knew how of the courses changed, and eat the third before “tenir un salon." You do not see the connection the second. Every one had enjoyed the merry between gipsyism and the art of being a good dilemma; the ice was broken, and all went on hostess,-of receiving pleasantly. I do ; but I pleasantly and easily in a party where there was am not sure if I can explain it. In the first rather a heterogeneous mixture of politics and place, gipsies must be people of quick impulse opinions. Dinner parties in those days and in and ready wit; entering into fresh ideas and new that part of Wales were somewhat regulated by modes of life with joyous ardor and energy, and the arrival of the little sailing vessels, which fertile in expedients for extricating themselves having discharged their cargo at Bristol or Livfrom the various difficulties into which their erpool, brought back commissioned purchases wandering life leads them. They must have a for the different families. A chest of oranges lofty disregard for "convenances," and yet a for Mr Williams, or Mr. Wynn, was a sure sig. power of graceful adaptation. They evidently nal that before many days were over, Mr. Wil. bave a vivid sense of the picturesque, and a love liams .or Mr. Wynn' would give a dinner-parof adventure, which, if it does not show itself in ty; strike while the iron was hot; eat while action, must show itself in sympathy with other's the oranges were fresh. A man rode round doings. Now, which of these qualities would be to all the different houses when any farmer out of place in Madame de Sablé ? From what planried such a mighty event as killing a cow,



to ask what part each family would take. Viso | tea-table in comparative darkness in the twilight iting acquaintances lived ten or twelve miles near the window, and helped ourselves, and came from each other, separated by bad and hilly roads; back on tiptoe to hear one of the party tell of the moon had always to be consulted before issu- wild enchanted spicy islands in the Eastern Aring invitations: and then the mode of proceeding chipelago, or buried cities in farthest Mexico; was usually something like this. The invited he used to look into the fire, and draw, and paint friends came to dinner at half-past five or six; with words in a manner perfectly marvellous, these were always those from the greatest dis- and with an art which he had quite lost at the tance, the nearer neighbors came later on in formal dinner-time. Our host was scientific; a the evening. After the gentlemen had left the name of high repute; he too told us of wonderdining-room, it was cleared for dancing. The ful discoveries, strange surmises, glimpses into fragments of the dinner, prepared by ready cooks, something far away and utterly dream-like. His served for supper; tea was ready sometime towards son had been in Norway, fishing; then, when he one or two, and the dancers went merrily on till sat all splashed with hunting, he too could tell a seven or eight o'clock breakfast, after which of adventures in a natural racy way.

The girls, they rode or drove home by broad daylight. I busy with their heavy kettle, and with their tea was never at one of these meetings, although making, put in a joyous word now and then. staying in a house from which many went; I At dinner the host talked of nothing more intelwas considered too young; but from what I ligible than French mathematics ; the heir drawlheard they were really excessively pleasant, soci- cd out an infinite deal of nothing about the able gatherings, although not quite entitled to be “Shakspeare and musical glasses " of the day; classed with Madame de Sablé's salons. the traveller gave us latitudes and longitudes,

To return to the fact that a slightly gipsy and and rates of population, exports and imports, impromptu character, either in the hostess or in with the greatest precision; and the girls were the arrangements, or in the amusements, adds a as pretty, helpless, inane fine ladies as you would piquancy to the charm; let any one remember wish to see. the agreeable private teas that go on in many Speaking of wood fires, reminds me of Mahouses about five o'clock. I remember those in dame de Sablé's fires. Of course they were of one house particularly, as remarkably illustrat- wood, being in Paris ; but I believe that even if ing what I am trying to prove. These teas were she had lived in a coal country she would have held in a large dismantled school-room, and a burned wood by instinctive preference, as a lady superannuated school-room is usually the most I once knew always ordered a lump of cannel dolefuil chamber imaginable. I never saw this coal to be brought up if ever her friends seemed by full daylight, I only know that it was lofty silent and dull. A wood-fire has a kind of spiritand large, that we went to it through a long gal- ual, dancing, glancing life about it. It is an lery library, through which we never passed at any elfish companion, crackling, hissing, bubbling: other time, the school-room having been accessible throwing out beautiful jets of vivil many-colored to the children in former days by a private stair- flame. The best wood-fires I know are those at casc—that great branches of trees swept against Keswick. Making lead-pencils is the business the windows with a long plaintive moan, as if of the place; and the cedar chips for scent, and tortured by the wind, -that below in the stable the thinnings of the larch and fir plantations yard two Irish stag-hounds sent up their musical thereabouts for warm and brilliant light, make Þays to mingle with the outlandish Spanish which such a fire as Madame de Sablé would have de. a parrot in the room continually talked out of the lighted in. darkness in which its perch was placed, -that the Depend upon it too, every seat in her saloon walls of the room seemed to recede as in a dream, was easy and comfortable of its kind. They and, instead of them, the flickering firelight paint. might not be made of any rare kind of wood, ed tropical forests or Norwegian fiords, accord- nor covered very magnificently, but the bodies ing to the will of our talkers. I know this tea of her friends could rest and repose in them in was nominally private to the ladies, but that all easy unconstrained attitudes. No one can be the gentlemen strayed in most punctually by ac- agreeable, perched on a chair which does not af. cident,--that the fire was always in that state ford space for proper support. I defy the most when somebody had to poke with the hard blows accomplished professional wit to go on uttering of despair, and somebody else to fetch in logs of " mots” in a chair with a stiff hard upright back, wood from the basket outside, and somebody else or with his legs miserably dangling. No! Mato unload his pockets of fir-bobs, which last were dame de Sablé's seats were commodious, and always efficacious, and threw beautiful dancing probably varied to suit all tastes; nor was there lights far and wide. And then there was a black anything in the shape of a large and cumbrous kettle, long ago too old for kitchen use, that article of furniture placed right in the middle of Icaked, and ran, and sputtered against the blue her room, so as to prevent her visitors from and sulphur-colored flames, and did everything changing their places, or drawing near to each that was improper, but the water out of which other, or to the fire, if they so willed it. I imamade the best tea in the world, which we drank gine likewise that she had that placid, kindly out of unmatched cups, the relics of several manner which would never show any loss of selfschool-room sets. We ate thick bread and hut- possession. I fancy that there was a welcome ter in the darkness with a vigor of appetite which ready for all, even though some came a little had quite disappeared at the well-lighted eight earlier than they were expected. o'clock dinner. Who ate it I don't know, for we I was once very much struck by the perfect stole from our places round the fireside to the l breeding of an old Welsh herbwoman with whom

I drank tea, –a tea which was not tea after all, -, well prepared for either lot. It might be that wit an infusion of balm and black currant leaves, with would come uppermost, sparkling, crackling, a pinch of lime blossom to give it a Pekoe flavor. leaping, calling out echoes all around; or the She had boasted of the delicacy of this beverage same people might talk with all their might and to me on the previous day, and I had begged to wisdom, on some grave and important subject be allowed to come and drink a cup with her. of the day, in that manner which we have got The only drawback was that she had but one into the way of calling earnest," but which term cup, but she immediately bethought her that she has struck me as being slightly flavored by cant, had two saucers, one of which would do just as ever since I heard of an earnest uncle." At well, indeed better than any cup. I was anxious any rate, whether grave or gay, people did not to be in time, and so I was too early. She had go up to Madame de Sablé's saloons with a set not done dusting and rubbing when I arrived, purpose of being either the one or the other. but she made no fuss; she was glad to see me, They were carried away by the subject of the and quietly bade me welcome, though I had come conversation, by the humor of the moment. I before all was as she could have wished. She have visited a good deal among a set of people ogave me a dusted chair, sate down herself with who piqued themselves on being rational. We her kilted petticoats and working apron, and have talked what they called sense, but what I talked to me as if she had not a care or a called platitudes, till I have longed, like Southey thought on her mind but the enjoyment of the in the Doctor, to come out with some interminpresent time. By and by, in moving about the ablc nonsensical word (Aballibogibouganorribo room, she slipped behind the bed-curtain, still was his, I think), as a relief for my despair at conversing. I heard the splash of water, and a not being able to think of anything more that drawer open and shut; and then my hostess was sensible. It would have done me good to emerged spruce, and clean, and graced, but not have said it, and I could have started afresh on one whit more agreeable or at her case than she the rational tack. But I never did. I sank into had been for the previous half-hour in her work inane silence, which I hope was taken for wising dress.

dom. One of this set paid a relation of mine a There are a set of people who put on their profound compliment, for so she meant it to be, agreeableness with their gowns. Here, again, I" Oh, Miss F.! you are so trite!” But as it is have studied the subject, and the result is that I not in every one's power to be rational, and find people of this description are more pleasant “trite," at all times and in all places, dischargin society in their second-best than in their very ing our sense at a given place, like water from a best dresses. These last are new; and the per- fireman's hose; and as some of us are cisterns sons I am speaking of never feel thoroughly at rather than fountains, and may have our stores home in them, never lose their consciousness of exhausted, why is it not more general to call in unusual finery until the first stain has been made. other aids to conversation, in order to enable us With their best gowns they put on an unusual to pass an agreeable evening? fineness of language; they say " commence” in. But I will come back to this presently. Only stead of “ begin; " they enquire if they may “as- let me say that there is but one thing more tiresist" instead of asking if they may "help" you some than an evening when everybody tries to be to anything. And yet there are some, very far profound and sensible, and that is an evening from vain or self-conscious, who are never so when everybody tries to be witty. I have a disaagreeable as when they have a dim half-defined greeable sense of effort and unnaturalness at both idea that they are looking their best—not in times ; but the everlasting attempt, even when it finery, but in air, arrangement, or complexion. succeeds, to be clever and amusing, is the worse I have a notion, that Madame de Sablé, with her of the two. People try to say brilliant rather fine instincts, was aware of this, and that there than true things; they not only catch eager hold were one or two secrets about the furniture and of the superficial and ridiculous in other persons, disposition of light in her saloon which are lost and in events generally, but from constantly lookin these degenerate days. I heard, or read, late-ing out for subjects for jokes, and “mots,” and ly, that we make a great mistake in furnishing satire, they come possessed of a kind of sore sus. our reception-rooms with all the light and deli-ceptibility themselves, and are afraid of their own cate colors, the profusion of ornament, and fleck- working selves, and dare not give way to any ed and spotted chintzes, if we wish to show off expression of feeling, or any noble indignation or the human face and figure; that our ancestors enthusiasm. This kind of wearying wit is far and the great painters knew better, with their different from humor, which wells up and forces somewhat sombre and heavy-tinted back-grounds, its way out irrepressibly, and calls forth smiles relieving or throwing out into full relief the and laughter, but not very far apart from tears. munded figure and the delicate peach-like com- Depend upon it, some of Madame de Sablé's plexion.

friends had been moved in a most abundant and I fancy Madame de Sablé's saloon was fur- genial measure. They knew how to narrate too. nished with deep warm soberness of tone, light- Very simple, say you? I say, no! I believe the ened up by flowers, and happy animated people, art of telling a story is born with some people, in a brilliancy of dress, which would be lost now- and these have it to perfection; but all might aca-days against our satin walls, and flower-be- quire some expertness in it, and ought to do so, bestrewn carpets, and gilding, gilding everywhere. fore launching out into the muddled, complex, hesThen, somehow, conversation must have flown itating, broken, disjointed, poor, bald accounts of naturally into sense or nonsense, as the case events, which have neither unity, nor color, nor might be. People must have gone to her house life, nor end in them, that one sometimes hears. But as to the rational parties that are in truth sixth, I rose to come away, a burst of imploring, so irrational, when all talk up to an assumed indignant surprise greeted me: “ You are surely character, instead of showing themselves what never going before supper !” I stopped. I ate they really are, und so extending cach other's that supper. Hot jugged hare, hot roast turkey, knowledge of the infinite and beautiful capacities hot boiled ham, hot apple-tart, hot toasted cheese. of human nature — whenever I see the grave, se- No wonder I am old before my time. Now these date faces, with their good but anxious expres- good people were really striving, and taking sion, I remember how I was once, long ago, at a pains, and laying out money, to make the evenparty like this ; every one had brought out his or ing pass agreeably; but the only way they could her wisdom, and aired it for the good of the com- think of, to amuse their guests, was, giving them pany ; one or two had, from a sense of duty, and plenty to eat. If they had asked one of their chil. without any special living interest in the matter, dren, they could doubtless have suggested half a improved us by telling us of some new scientific dozen games, which we could all have played at discovery, the details of which were all and each when our subjects of common interest failed, and of them wrong, as I learnt afterwards : (if they which would have carried us over the evening had been right, we should not have been any the quietly and simply, if not brilliantly. But in wiser:) and just at the pitch when any more use- many a small assemblage of people, where the ful information might have brought on congestion persons collected are incongruous, where talking of the brain, a stranger to the town, a beautiful, cannot go on through so many hours, without audacious, but most feminine romp, proposed a becoming flat or labored, why have we not of game, and such a game, for us wise men of Go- tener recourse to games of some kind ? tham! But she (now long still and quiet after Wit, Advice, Bout-rimês, Lights, Spanish Merher bright life, so full of pretty pranks) was a chant, Twenty Questions, - every one knows creature whom all who looked on loved ; and these, and many more, if they would only not with grave hesitating astonishment we knelt think it beneath them to be called upon by a de. round a circular table at her word of command. spairing hostess to play at them. Of course to She made one of the circle, and producing a fea- play them well requires a little more exertion of ther, out of some sofa-pillow, she told us she intellect than quoting other people's sense and should blow it up into the air, and whichever of wisdom, or misquoting science. But I do not us it floated near, must puff away to keep it from think it takes as much thought and memory, falling on the table. I suspect we all looked and consideration, as it does to be “up” in the like Keeley in the Camp at Cobham, and were science of good eating and drinking. A profound surprized at our own obedience to this ridiculous, knowledge of this branch of learning seems in senseless mandate, given with a graceful imperi- general to have absorbed all the faculties before ousness, as if it were too royal to be disputed. it could be brought to anything like perfection. We knelt on, puffing away with the utmost in. So I do not consider games as entailing so much tentness, looking like a set of elderly mental fatigue as a man must undergo before he

"Fools !” No! my dear sir. I was going to is qualified to decide upon dishes. I once noticed say elderly cherubim. But making fools of our the worn and anxious look of a famous dinerselves, was better than making owls, as we had out, when called upon by his no less anxious host been doing

to decide upon the merits of a salad, mixed by I will mention another party, where a game of no hands, as you may guess, but those of the host some kind would have been a blessing. It was in question. The guest, doctor of the art of good at a very respectable tradesman's house. We living, tasted, paused, tasted again,

and then, went at half-past four, and found a well-warmed with gentle solemnity, gave forth his condemnahandsome sitting-room, with block upon block tory opinion. I happened to be his next neighof unburnt coal behind the fire ; on the table bor, and slowly turning his meditative full-inoon there was a tray with wine and cake, oranges face round to me, he gave me the valuable inforand almonds and raisins, of which we were urged mation that to eat a salad in perfection some one to partake. In half an hour came tea; none of should be racing from lettuce to shallot, from your flimsy meals, with wafer-bread and butter, shallot to endive, and so on, all the time that soup and three biscuits and a half. This was a grave and fish were being eaten ; that the vegetables and serious proceeding : tea, coffee, bread of all should be gathered, washed, sliced, blended, eaten, kinds, cold fowl, tongue, ham, potted meats — I all in a quarter of an hour. I bowed as in the presdo n't know what. Tea lasted about an hour, ence of a master ; and felt, no wonder his head and then the cake-and-wine tray was restored to was bald, and his face heavily wrinkled. its former place. The stock of subjects of com- I have said nothing of books. Yet I am sure mon interest was getting low, and, in spite of our that if Madame de Sablé lived now, they would good will, long stretches of silence occurred, be seen in her salon as part of its natural indis. producing a stillness which made our host ner- pensable furniture; not brought out, and strewed vously attack the fire, and stir it up to a yet here and there when “ company was coming," greater glow of intense heat ; and the hostess but as habitual presences in her room, wanting invariably rose at such times, and urged us to which, she would want a sense of warmth and

eat another maccaroon." The first I revelled comfort and companionship. Putting out books in, the second I enjoyed, the third I got through, as a sort of preparation for an evening, as a the fourth I sighed over, the fifth reminded me means for making it pass agreeably, is running 3 uncomfortably of that part of Sterne's Senti- great risk. In the first place, books are by sucks mental Journey, where he feeds a donkey with people, and on such occasions, chosen more for maccaroons — and when, at the sight of the their outside than their inside.' And in the next they are the “mere material with which wisdom which contained engraved and authentic por(or wit) builds ;' and if persons don't know how traits of almost every possible person ; from king to use the material, they will suggest nothing. I and kaiser down to notorious beggars, and crimimagine Madame de Sablé would have the vol. inals; including all the celebrated men, women, umes she herself was reading, or those which, and actors whose likenesses could be obtained. being new, contained matter of present interest. To some, this portfolio gave food for observa

about, as they would naturally be. I could tion, meditation and conversation. It brought also fancy that her guests would not feel bonnd before them every kind of human tragedy,-every to talk continually, whether they had anything variety of scenery and costume and gossiping in to say or not, but that there might be pauses of the background, thronged with figures called up not unpleasant silence—a quiet darkness out of by their imagination. Others took them up and which they might be certain that the little stars laid them down, simply saying, “ This is a pretty would glimmer soon. I can believe that in such face!" “Oh what a pair of eyebrows !” “Look pauses of repose, some one might open a book, at this queer dress !” and catching on a suggestive sentence, might Yet, after all, having something to take up dash off again into the full flow of conversation. and to look at, is a relief and of use to persons But I cannot fancy any grand preparations for who, without being self-conscious, are nervous what was to be said among people, each of whom from not being accustomed to society. Oh Casbrought the best dish in bringing himself; and sandra! Remember when you with your rich whose own store of living, individual thought gold coins of thought, with your noble power and feeling, and mother-wit, would be infinitely of choice expression, were set down, and were better than any cut-and-dry determination to de. thankful. to be set down, to look at some paltry vote the cvening to mutual improvement. If engravings, just because people did not know people are really good and wise, their goodness how to get at your ore, and you did not care a and their wisdom flow out unconsciously, and button whether they did or not, and were rather benefit like sunlight. So, books for reference, bored by their attempts, the end of which you books for impromptu suggestion, but never books never found out. While I, with my rattling tinto serve for texts to a lecture. Engravings fall selly rubbish, was thought "agreeable and an under something like the same rules. To some acquisition !" You would have been valued at they say everything; to ignorant and unprepared Madame de Sablé's, where the sympathetic and minds nothing. I remember noticing this in intellectual stream of conversation would have watching how people looked at a very valuable borne you and your golden fragments away with portfolio belonging to an acquaintance of mine, 'it, by its soft resistless gentle force.

From Bentley's Miscellany. gentleman seemed only to deepen his lethargic THE ANT-EATER.

slumbers. At length the clock strikes four, and

the door opens. At this moment the bundle of What a curious beast! Which is his head, hay unfolds itself, and out stalks monstrum horrenand which is his tail ? Surely he has got no dum informe ingens, which monster, nevertheless, mouth! Is that what they call a Python? has been dubbed with the high sounding title of Such were the exclamations I heard when pres- Myrmecophapa jubata, which, being interpreted, ent at one of the first levees given to the British meaneth, the Maned Ant-Eater, púpuns, an ant, public by Seignor Ant-Eater. The man who gayw, to eat. Jubata, from juba, a crest, which thought he was looking at a Python (it was Mon- little lesson reminds us forcibly of former days day, and therefore a sixpenny day) had seen when, trembling with fear of the schoolmaster's outside the building the words "To the Pythons" rose-wood ruler, we mechanically committed to posted up in gigantic type, the card of the stran- our infantine memory the meaning of the word ger not being at that time ready, and therefore Geography. he came fully prepared to see a python, and Being a distingue among animals, like great nothing but a python. Had he looked at the folks among ourselves, he has more names than “ Times” that morning he would have been one. The Indians of Brazil (who rejoice in the aware that an adult example of the giant Ant- crack-jaw appellation of Q juarani) call him the Eater had been added to the collection."

" Youroumi," which D’Azara tells us signifies in Certainly he has been added to the collection, Spanish “ Boca Chica," or little mouth. The but the addition will appear to those who don't Portuguese call him “Tamandua," a name equivgo at the proper time very much like a bundle alent to ant-bear; the French of Cayenne, by the of hay tumbled into the corner of the den. The clegant name of Tamanoir ; and, lastly, his inant-eater receives not the public indiscriminate-dulgent keeper at the Zoological, trusting to inly, he is “at home” only at dinner time, at timate acquaintanceship, takes the liberty of adwhich time, like most of ourselves, he is wide dressing tinis many-titled quadruped by the faawake and ready for action. The opening of miliar term of “ Tit.” a name which his higliness the keeper's door, and the cracking of sundry is condescending enough to "answer to," as the egg-shells on the side of his tin soup plate, is dog-dealer would say. his dinner bell, and it is quite astonishing to see The appellation of maned, would well suit the how soon these welcome sounds awake him, animal, if, like the horse at the country fair, his though but five minutes before all the hists, and tail were where his head ought to be. The mane the heys, and the umbrella stampings of yon old is developed, not on his neck and along his back,

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