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d'arcs de triomphe, mais très peu d'enthou- tion, will predominate in the minds of men, siasme !" as, at the close of another half-century, they look back upon the conduct and career of Louis Napoleon, we cannot now venture to predict.
To the issue of events still unfolded in the womb of time, we leave the result of his daring policy, and for a faithful verdict on his character we must await the future decision of that vox populi, which sooner or later is sure to speak with impartial truth of the mighty dead!
Very little enthusiasm indeed there was throughout the vast concourse assembled on that day in Paris! Parisian women were pleased, because it was a gay scene, such a scene as they always love-and "il y aura tant de belles fêtes quand nous avons un Empereur!" Some old soldiers were pleased, because the hero of the day was nephew to their own Napoleon; and the prospect of a busy season won him some golden opinions from Parisian tradesmen. But among the great mass of the people, not one spark of true homage or genuine devotion glowed, as their future emperor rode through the streets of Paris; while in many a breast hatred as deep and as undying as that which followed the fallen queen to the scaffold, pursued the rising emperor to the Palace of the Tuileries.
T chanced that, some months ago, I was walking in one of the busiest thoroughfares of London, and a feeling came over me of my utter loneliness in the great city, and the absence of any links to bind me to the world of busy men and women who were passing and repassing me as I slowly sauntered along; and at last I said to myself, "It seems to me that I have been jostled, and kicked, and sworn at, for the last half hour, just to teach me that my duty in life is to go on my way as quietly and with as little delay as possible
in the strictest sense of the word to mind my own business, and leave others to mind theirs." Just, however, as I had come to this conclusion, some words, uttered by one of two women, close to me, in a sharp, clear tone, arrested my attention. "But," said she," you know there are some things we can never forgive.”
"There are some things we can never forgive," I repeated to myself, and fell into a fit of musing on the probable circumstances in which this woman had been placed: how, and by whom, she had been so sinned against, as to feel she could "never forgive" the offense-whether it was as wife, or mother, or sister, or daughter, that she had been wronged. And then the offense itself-What is there that we cannot pardon in those we love? What power we have of opening a fresh future by forgiveness of the past; and who among us would rashly close the doors of hope, and debar ourselves the joy of saying, "My love and trust in you make you all that I desire you should become?" And with such a feeling, what might we not forgive?-what neglect? what unkindness? what ingratitude ?—especially in those who are dear to us.
With what eyes posterity may glance back upon the 16th of October, 1852,
whether blame or wonder, pity or admira- | And what limits can there be to this self
The one quality of Louis Napoleon which, in the eyes of France, redeems his despotism, and casts a prestige about his person, is his undaunted courage-his almost reckless daring-“ Il n'a pas peur, ce gaillard là," was the exclamation of a stout-hearted Norman peasant, who did not seem in any other respect to entertain much reverence or affection for his new ruler.
"Il n'y aura pas d'attentât sur sa veie car il ne craint rien, cet homme là, et les Francais respectent le courage," was the observation of a Parisian gentleman, who acknowledged no other merit, save that of hardihood, in the future emperor.
And thus, amid the hollow plaudits of the populace, amid gay processions and brilliant illuminations, terminated the 16th October, 1852, whose sunny sky and gorgeous pomp offered a striking contrast to the mournful gloom of the same day in the month of October, 1793.
The fate of Marie Antoinette, despite her weakness, her follies, and her mistakes, has awakened emotions of pity and of regret, even in the minds of her bitterest foes; and we question whether there are any who can look back on that fatal 16th October, 1793, and think without a sigh on the degradation and misery which a fallen queen was then called upon to endure.
abnegation? for to forgive another is to forget self; who shall say the seventytimes seven have expired; this is the four hundred and ninety-first sin, which I cannot forgive; or, what crime committed against man can equal that against the Holy Ghost?-the only one which God can never pardon.
Then, too, from the words of this woman, her forgiveness must have been sought, perhaps in tears and heart-anguish; for she says, "But there are some things we can never forgive." The guilty one, then, had come to her, sorrowing and repentant, and begged for that which it seems to me each one may claim as a right; for do we not need it one from another, every day of our lives? and shall those who hope to receive it unasked, for a thousand faults of omission and commission, refuse it when sought by one whom they may elevate and ennoble, and over whom they may exert a good influence through life?
I was so completely absorbed in these contemplations as not to notice a man and woman, who were talking together at the corner of a street, and who stood just in my way. I stepped back hastily to avoid knocking against them; and, being completely roused from my reverie, overheard the following words :
faces which spoke to him of the past, and made him believe that there could be no future for him. And then, this woman, in an after-life of suffering and regret, had learned the power of love, and the meaning of love, alas! too late. We all seem to learn the lesson of life too late. I think it is the want of charity, of love to all men, which keeps us so far apart, and makes the experience of each one more or less an unreality to every one else. How much might we learn, even from the poorest and most wretched creature whom we meet in our daily walks!
So, after all, I thought to myself, the main duty of each one may not be to go on his way quietly, and with as little delay as possible. It may be a good thing that some of us should stand as spectators, and report progress, and should say :
"See, how this common bond of humanity unites us all one to another; how the links of this chain, from the lowest to the highest, are unbroken; and how we are reminded of this every day and every hour, if we will but look into the faces and the eyes of our fellow men, and read the words which are written there. There are none so high as not to need our sympathy and our love, and none so low that we cannot reach them by means of it."
And thus it was that the wayside words
"He left his home the same night, and | of these two women taught a lesson worth has never been heard of since."
The speaker might have been forty years of age-perhaps fifty-it might be a very difficult task indeed to guess the age from a face which had been much reduced by poverty and care-or, perhaps,
the learning, and one which those who are still in ignorance of it would do well to get by heart as soon as possible.
IMPERISHABILITY OF HUMAN ACTIONS.Man's deeds are of an imperishable character. Not only are they recorded in the book There was an expression of sadness on of divine remembrance, but modern disher face, and the tone of her voice marked coveries of science have established a fact a force upon her words that made me peculiarly calculated to impress creatures marvel over her history. Surely she of sense, viz., that their every word and must have been deeply interested in the action produce an abiding impression on person who had thus left his home-per- the globe we inhabit. The pulsations of haps had mourned for him ever since the air, we are told, in Babbage's "Ninth and then I thought of the previous words Bridgewater Treatise," once set in motion, I had listened to, and which might help to cease not to exist; its waves, raised by explain his conduct. It may be that he each sound or muscular exertion, peramhad committed some sin which he be- bulate the earth's and ocean's surface, and, lieved would never be forgiven by those in less than twenty-four hours, every atom whom he loved, and preferred to leave his of atmosphere takes up the altered movehome and become a stranger in a strange ment resulting to it from that sound or land rather than to meet with eternal cold- action. The air itself is one vast library, ness and reproach. He would struggle with on whose pages are forever written all the evil within him, and conquer it; but it that man has ever said or ever whispered. must be away from the hard, unforgiving-Elliott.
CHINESE LADIES, DINNERS, AND LOVE-LETTERS.
HE constant intercourse now taking place between this country and China, naturally renders anything connected with the latter interesting. The subjoined remarks succinctly point out the characteristics of the women of the country, and give one an idea of their social habits. A Chinese dinner-party is a curiosity in its way. But hommage aux dames! Let the writer first speak of the ladies :
"The women of China, as in all other countries not blessed with Christianity, occupy a rank in society far inferior to that of the men. Nevertheless, their place in the social scale is higher, their influence greater, and their treatment better, than can be predicted of the sex in any other Asiatic nation. Of school education the mass receive none, though there are occasionally shining exceptions; but Gutzlaff ascribes to them the possession of a large share of common sense, and says that they make 'devoted wives and tender mothers.'
"The generality of Chinese ladies cannot boast of great beauty. They make a free use of rouge, and this article is always among the presents to a bride on the occasion of her nuptials. The distinguishing marks of personal attractions among the Chinese, in a gentleman, are, a large person, including a corpulency, a full glossy face, and large pendent ears-the latter indicating high breeding and fortune. In females it is nearly the reverse, delicate forms are in them highly esteemed: having slender willow waists.' The eyes are termed 'silver seas.' The eye-brows are frequently removed, and in their stead a delicately curved pencil line is drawn, resembling the leaf of the willow, 'Lew shoo,' a species of palm which is considered beautiful, and used metaphorically for 'pleasure.' Hence the saying 'deceived and stupefied by willows and flowers;' ir e., by dissolute pleasures.
"In what circumstances the 'golden lilies,' the highest of personal attractions, originated, is not known. The distortion is produced by turning the toes under the soles of the feet at birth, and confining them in that position by tight bandages, till their growth is effectually checked. The bandaging is continued for several years, during which the poor child suffers the most excruciating tortures. This is no doubt an absurd, cruel, and wicked practice; but those who dwell in glass houses should not throw stones. It is not a whit worse, nay, I maintain that it is less irrational and injurious, than the abomination of tight-lacing. No vital part is here attacked, no vital functions disordered; and on the score of taste, if the errors of Nature are to be rectified, and her graceful lines and proportions improved, I see not why the process of amendment may not be as reasonably applied to the feet as to the waist. Almost every family in China, however poor, has one daughter with the small feet.
"Head dresses of natural and artificial flowers are always worn. 'No woman,' says Sir George
So much for the women of China. Let us now take peep at a Chinese "spread."
The ceremony attending an invitation to dinner is somewhat formal, and may be interesting to many of your readers. The invitation is conveyed some days before, by a crimson-colored ticket, on which is inscribed the time appointed; and the guest is entreated to bestow" the illumination of his presence." At other times, the phrase is, "I have prepared pure tea, and wait for your company to converse."
The following description of a Chinese dinner, from the pen of Captain Laplace, of the French Navy, is given with so much of the characteristic vivacity of his countrymen, and so well conveys the first impression of a scene not often witnessed by Europeans, that I introduce it without further apology:
"The first course was laid out in a great number of saucers of painted porcelain, and consisted of various relishes in a cold state, as salted earthworms, prepared and dried, but so cut up that I fortunately did not know what they were until I swallowed them; salted or smoked fish and ham, both of them cut into extremely small slices; beside which there was what they called Japan leather, a sort of darkish skin, hard and tough, with a strong, and far from agreeable taste, which seemed to have been macerated in water for some time. All these et cæteras, including among the number a liquor which I recognized to be soy, made from a Japan bean, and long since adopted by the wine-drinkers of Europe to revive their faded appetites or tastes, were used as seasoning to a great number of stews, which were contained in bowls, and succeeded each other uninterruptedly. All the dishes, without exception, swam in soup; on one side figured pigeons' eggs, cooked in gravy, together with ducks and fowls, cut very small, and immersed in a dark colored sauce; on the other, little balls made of sharks' fins, eggs prepared by heat, (of which both the smell and taste seemed to us equally repulsive,) immense grubs, a peculiar kind of sea-fish, crabs, and pounded shrimps.
"Seated at the right of our excellent Am
phitryon, I was the object of his whole attention; but, nevertheless, found myself considerably at a loss how to use the two little ivory sticks, tipped with silver, which, together with a knife that had a long, narrow, and thin blade, formed the whole of my eating apparatus. I had great difficulty in seizing my prey, in the midst of these several bowls filled with gravy; in vain I tried to hold, in imitation of my host, this substitute for a fork, between the thumb and the two first fingers of the right hand, for the chopsticks slipped aside every moment, leaving behind them the unhappy little morsel which I coveted. It is true that the master of the house came to the relief of my inexperience (by which he was much entertained) with his two instruments, the extremities of which, a few moments before, had touched a mouth, whence age, and the use of snuff and tobacco, had cruelly chased its good looks. However, I contrived to eat, with tolerable propriety, a soup prepared with the famous birds' nests in which the Chinese are such epicures. The substance thus served up is reduced into very thin filaments, transparent as isinglass, and resembling vermicelli, with little or no taste. At first I was much puzzled to find out how, with our chopsticks, we should be able to taste of the various soups which composed the greater part of the dinner, and had already called to mind the fable of the fox and the stork, when our two Chinese entertainers, dipping at once into the bowls with the little saucer placed at the side of each guest, showed us how to get rid of the difficulty."
I confess I was never witness to this slovenly manœuvre, as the Chinese tables are generally supplied with a species of spoon, of silver or porcelain, sufficiently convenient in shape.
"To the younger guests, naturally lively, such a crowd of novelties presented an inexhaustible fund of pleasantry; and, though unintelligible to the worthy Hong merchant and his brother, the jokes seemed to delight them not at all the less. The wine, in the mean time, circulated freely, and the toasts followed each other in rapid succession. This liquor, which to my taste was by no means agreeable, is always taken hot; and in this state it approaches pretty nearly to Madeira in color, as well as a little in taste; but it is not easy to get tipsy with it, for, in spite of the necessity of frequently attending to the invitations of my host, this wine did not in the least affect my head. We drank it in little gilt cups, having the shape of an antique vase, with two handles, of perfect workmanship, and kept constantly filled by attendants holding larger silver vessels like coffee-pots.
of the party the whole disappeared, and the table was covered with articles in pastry and sugar; in the midst of which was a salad composed of the tender shoots of the bamboo, and some watery preparations, that exhaled a most disagreeable odor.
"Up to this point the relishes, of which I first spoke, had been the sole accompaniment of all the successive ragouts; they still serve to season the bowls of plain rice, which the attendants now, for the first time, placed before each of the guests."
"After all these good things served one upon the other, of which it gave me pleasure to see the last, succeeded the second course, which was preceded by a little ceremony, of which the object seemed to be a trial of the guests' appetites. Upon the edges of four bowls, arranged in a square, three others were placed, filled with stews, and surmounted by an eighth, which thus formed the summit of a pyramid; and the custom is to touch none of these, although invited by the host. On the refusal
It must be remembered that this was a formal dinner; rice forms a much more integral part of an every-day meal.
"I regarded with an air of considerable embarrassment the two little sticks, with which, notwithstanding the experience acquired since the commencement of the repast, it seemed very doubtful whether I should be able to eat my rice, grain by grain, according to the belief of Europeans regarding the Chinese custom. I therefore waited until my host should begin, to follow his example, foreseeing that, on this new occasion, some fresh discovery would serve to relieve us from the truly ludicrous embarrassment which we all displayed; in a word our two Chinese, cleverly joining the ends of their chopsticks, plunged them into the bowls of rice, held up to the mouth, which was opened to its full extent, and thus easily shoveled in the rice, not by grains, but by handsful. Thus instructed, I might have followed their example; but I preferred making up with the other delicacies for the few attractions which, to my taste, had been displayed by the first course. The second lasted a much shorter time, the attendants cleared away everything. Presently the table was strewed with flowers, which vied with each other in brilliancy; pretty baskets, filled with the same, were mixed with plates which contained a vast variety of delicious sweetmeats, as well as cakes, of which the forms were as ingenious as they were varied. Napkins steeped in warm water, and flavored with attar of roses, are frequently handed to each guest by the servants in attendance. This display of the productions of nature and art, was equally agreeable to the eyes and the tastes of the guests. By the side of the yellow plantain was seen the litchi, of which the strong, rough, and bright crimson skin defends a stone enveloped in a whitish pulp, which, for its fine aromatic taste, is superior to most of the tropical fruits; when dried, it forms an excellent provision for the winter. With these fruits of the warm climates were mingled those of the temperate zone, brought at some expense from the northern provinces; as walnuts, chesnuts, apples, grapes, and Pekin pears, which last, though their lively color and pleasant smell attracted the attention, proved to be tasteless, and even retained all the harshness of wild fruits.
"At length we adjourned to the next room to take tea-the indispensable commencement and close of all visits and ceremonies among the Chinese. According to custom, the servants presented it in porcelain cups, each of which was covered with a saucer-like top, which confines
and prevents the aroma from evaporating. The boiling water had been poured over a few of the leaves, collected at the bottom of the cup; and the infusion, to which no sugar or cream is ever added in China, exhaled a delicious fragrant odor, of which the best teas carried to Europe can scarcely give an idea."
Other visits of ceremony are conducted with much pomp and formality. When a gentleman proceeds in his sedan to pay a visit, his attendants present his ticket at the gate, consisting of his name and titles written down the middle of a folded sheet of vermilion-colored paper, ornamented with gold leaf; and sometimes there is enough paper in one of these to extend across a room. According to the rank of the parties, the visitor and his host begin bowing at stated distances; though among equals the ordinary mode of salutation is to join closed hands. Only mandarins or official persons can be carried by four bearers, or be accompanied by a train of attendants. Soon after visitors are seated, an attendant brings in porcelain cups with covers, with a small quantity of fine tea-leaves in each, on which boiling water has been poured, and the infusion is thus drank without the addition of sugar or milk; fruits are also brought in on beautifully japanned trays. In some Chinese apartments there are broad couches, called " kangs," as large as a bed. In the center of these, small tables are placed, about a foot in height, intended to rest the arm upon, or place tea-cups. On the conclusion of a visit the host conducts his guest to his sedan.
Corpulency, and small, delicate, taper fingers, are much esteemed, as indications of gentility. Also a goodly rotundity of person, and smallness and delicacy of hands. The carefully-cultivated and well-braided cues-so long in some instances as almost to trail upon the ground, and affording admirable "handles" to an antagonist in a passion-form a curious subject of observation. The history of this singular appendage affords a remarkable illustration of those revolutions which sometimes occur in national taste and manners. Previously to the conquest of their country by the Tartars, the Chinese permitted the hair to grow over the whole head. Shunche, the first of the Tartar emperors, issued an imperial edict, requiring the conquered people to conform in this particular to the custom of their victors. So stoutly was this decree at first resisted, that many of the nobles preferred death
to obedience, and actually perished by command of the conqueror. At the pres ent day, however, the loss of this very badge of servitude is considered one of the greatest calamities, scarcely less dreaded than death itself. To be deprived of it is one of the most opprobrious brands put upon convicts and criminals. Those to whom nature has been sparing in respect to the natural covering of the head, supply her deficiencies by the artificial introduction and intermingling of other hair with their own, thus seeking to "increase it to a reputably fashioned size."
The Chinese put faith in the external developments of the skull, and are therefore, to a certain extent, phrenologists. They look for the principal characteristics of a man in his forehead, and of a woman on the back of her cranium.
We complete our Chinese sketch by two love-letters-a literal transcript, from the Panama Herald. It will be seen therefrom, that the great point required in the lady lover is to have her "hair dressed;" while her ardent swain must first "wash his head clean," and then give himself a few "knocks" on the seat of knowledge. The lady is, by her father, called "despicable;" and her lover says he is "mean, and ashamed of himself!" These mutual confessions made, the young folks carry on the war much as we do. The poetry of course comes first; and, as usual, it gradually subsides into respectable prose. On this we need NOT dilate. So now for the curious document :—
"We think we might safely venture on a wager that perhaps not half a dozen, if any, of our readers have ever seen a genuine Chinese love-letter. We have, though! Recently, in Amoy, a marriage was concluded between a son of the ancient family of Tan,' and a daughter of the equally old and respectable house of 'O;' and the annexed productions, we are assured, are literal translations of the letters that passed on the occasion between the fathers of the young couple. Here we have the proposal of the father to the bridegroom:—
"The ashamed young brother, surnamed Tan, named Su, with washed head makes obeisance, and writes this letter to the greatly virtuous and humble
gentleman whose name is O, old teacher, great man; and presents it at the foot of the gallery. At this
season of the year the satin curtains are enveloped
in mist, reflecting the beauty of the river and hills. In the fields of the blue gem are planted rows of willows close together, arranging and diffusing the commencement of genial influences, and consequently adding to the good of the old year.
"I duly reverence your lofty door. The guest of the Sue country descends from a good stock, the origin of the female of the Hui country likewise (is so too). You have received their transforming influences, resembling the great effects produced by rain. Much more you, my honorable, nearly-related