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shortness of human life, that can re-
5 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.
but which our Boyhood felt as if they would be endless-as if they would endure for ever-arose upon us the glorious dawning of another new life
Youth! With its insupportable sunshine, and its magnificent storms! Transitory, too, we now know, and well deserving the name of dream! But while it lasted, long, various, and agonizing, while, unable to sustain "the beauty still more beauteous" of the eyes that first revealed to us the light of love, we hurried away from the parting hour, and, looking up to the moon and stars, hugged the very heavens to our heart. Yet life had not yet nearly reached its meridian, journeying up the sunbright firmament. How long hung it there exulting, when "it flamed on the forehead of the noontide sky!" Let not the Time be computed by the lights and shadows of the years, but by the innumerable array of visionary thoughts, that keep deploying, as if from one eternity into another-now in dark sullen masses, now in long array, brightened as if with spearpoints and standards, and moving along through chasm, abyss, and forest, and over the summits of the highest mountains, to the sound of etherial music, now warlike and tempestuous-now, as "from flutes and soft recorders," accompanying, not peans of victory, but hymns of peace. That Life, too, seems, now that it is gone, to have been of a thousand years. Is it gone? Its skirts are yet hovering on the horizon
and is there yet another Life destined for us? That Life which we fear to face,-Age, Old Age! Four dreams within a dream, and then we may awake in Heaven!
At dead of night-and it is now the dead of night-how the heart often quakes on a sudden at the silent resurrection of buried thoughts!
"Thoughts that like phantoms trackless come and go!"
Perhaps the sunshine of some one single Sabbath of more exceeding holiness comes first glimmering, and then brightening upon us, with the
very same religious sanctity that fill ed all the air at the tolling of the kik-bell, when all the parish was hushed, and the voice of streams heard more distinctly among the banks and braes, and then, all at once, a thunder-storm that many years before, or many years after, drove us, when walking alone over the mountains, into a shieling, will seem to succeed, and we behold the same threatening aspect of the heavens that then quailed our beating hearts, and frowned down our eye lids before the lightning began to flash, and the black rain to deluge all
SACRIFICE OF AN INDIAN WIDOW. FROM BISHOP HEBER'S TRAVELS IN INDIA.
the time that I was at
Poona, from November, 1809, to March, 1811, there were four instances of women who burned themselves on the death of their husbands. The first two I witnessed. I desired to ascertain the real circumstances with which those ceremonies were attended, and, in particular, to satisfy myself whether the women, who were the victims of them, were free and conscious agents. The spot appropriated to this purpose was on the margin of the river, immediately opposite the house in which I lived.
the glens. No need now for any effort of thought. The images rise of themselves-independently of our volition-as if another being, study. ing the working of our minds, conjured up the phantasmagoria before us, who are beholding it with love, with wonder, or with fear. Darkness and silence have a power of sorcery over the past; and the soul has then, too, often restored to it feelings and thoughts that it had lost-and is made to know that nothing which it once experiences ever perishes, but that all things spiritual possess a principle of immortal life.
On the first occasion, the pile was in preparation when I arrived. It was constructed of rough billets of wood, and was about four feet high, and seven feet square. At each corner there was a slender pole, supporting a light frame, covered with small fuel, straw, and dry grass. The interval between the pile and the frame, which formed a sort of rude canopy, was about four feet. Three of the sides were closed up with matted straw, the fourth being left open as an entrance. The top of the pile, which formed the bottom of this interval, was spread with straw, and the inside had very much the appearance of the interior of a
small hut. The procession with the
widow arrived soon after. There were altogether about a hundred persons with her, consisting of the Bramins who were to officiate at the ceremony, and the retinue furnished by the government. She was on horseback. She had garlands of flowers over her head and shoulders, and her face was besmeared with sandal wood. In one hand she held a looking-glass, and in the other a lime stuck upon a dagger. Her dress, which was red, was of the common description worn by Hindoo women, called a sarce. Where the wife is with the husband when he dies she burns herself with the corpse; and in those cases where the husband dies at a distance, she must have with her on the pile, either some relic of his body or some part of the dress he had on at the time of his death. In this instance, the husband had been a soldier, and had been killed at some distance from Poona. His widow had with her one of his shoes. She had quite a girlish appearance, and could not have been more than seventeen or eighteen years old. Her countenance was of a common cast, without any thing peculiar in its character or expression. It was grave and com
posed; and neither in her carriage, manner, nor gestures did she betray the slightest degree of agitation or disturbance. She dismounted, and sat down at the edge of the river, and, with the assistance of the Bramins, went through some religious ceremo nies. She distributed flowers and sweetmeats; and although she spoke little, what she did say was in an easy and natural tone, and free from any apparent emotion. She did not seem to pay any attention to the preparation of the pile; but when she was told that it was ready, rose, and walked towards it. She there performed some other ceremonies, standing on a stone, on which the outline of two feet had been traced with a chisel. In front of her was a larger stone, which had been placed as a temporary altar, and on which a small fire had been lit. These ceremonies lasted about five minutes, and when they were over, she, of her own accord, approached the pile, and mounted it without assistance. From the beginning to the end of this trying period, she was, to all outward appearance, entirely unmoved. Not the slightest emotion of any kind was perceptible. Her demeanor was calm and placid; equally free from hurry or reluctance. There was no effort, no impatience, no shrinking. To look at her, one would have supposed that she was engaged in some indifferent occupation; and although I was within a few yards of her, I could not at any moment detect, either in her voice, or manner, or in the expression of her countenance, the smallest appearance of constraint, or the least departure from the most entire self possession. Certainly, she was not under the influence of any intoxicating drug, nor any sort of stupefaction; and from first to last, I did not see any person persuading, exciting, or encouraging her.
She herself took the lead throughout, and did all that was to be done of her own accord. When she was seated on the pile, she adjusted her dress with the same composure that she had all along maintained, and taking from the hand of one of the attendants a taper, which had been lit at the temporary altar, she herself set fire to some pieces of linen, which had been suspended for the purpose from the frame above, and then, covering her head with the folds of her dress, she lay quietly and deliberately down. No fire was applied to the lower part of the pile; but the flames soon spread through the combustible materials on the frame. The attendants threw some oil on the ignited mass; and the strings by which the frame was attached to the posts being cut, it descended on the pile. The weight of it was insufficient either to injure or confine the victim; but it served to conceal her entirely from view, and it brought the flames into immediate contact with the body of the pile. At the same moment a variety of musical instruments were sounded, producing with the shouts of the attendants a noise, through which no cries, even if any had issued from the pile, could have been distinguished. The flames spread rapidly, and burned fiercely; and it was not long before the whole mass was reduced to a heap of glowing embers. No weight nor ligature, nor constraint of any kind was used to retain the woman on the pile; nor was there any obstacle to prevent her springing from it, when she felt the approach of the flames. The smoke was evidently insufficient to produce either suffocation or stupefaction; and I am satisfied that the victim was destroyed by the fire, and by the fire only.
LONDON FASHIONS FOR FEBRUARY, 1828.
DRESS of white satin, trimmed with two rows of ornaments representing rosaces formed of satin rouleaux; each row divided by a rouleau across the skirt, and another rouleau concealing the hem next the shoe. The sleeves long, and, fitting almost close to the smaller part of the arm, are confined at the wrists with very broad gold bracelets, fastened by a cameo-head, set round with rubies. The hair arranged a la Madonna, with a bandeau of pearls crossed obliquely over the left side of the tresses, in front on the right, is a full cluster of curls, forming a bow, and so elevated, as to appear like an ornament on the turban, which is of celestial blue and silver-lama gauze. Over the dress is worn a cloak of Parma-violet-coloured velvet, trimmed with chinchilla, forming a very broad border round the bottom of the cloak and down each side of the front. A Russian mantelet-cape of plain velvet, falls as low as the elbow, and over that is a pelerine-cape, entirely of chinchilla. This superb mantle ties in front of the throat from two antique medallion ornaments, with rich silk cordon, terminating by large tassels, which depend as low as the knee. The ear-rings are not pendant, but are composed of clusters of rubies.
A dress of white taffety, with two full puckerings round the border, in distinct rows; these are of tulle, and over them are laid in bias, rouleaux of satin, of the colour of the young holly-leaf, or of a bright ceruleanblue, according to fancy: these ornaments are headed by a rouleau of the same colour, and by a row of clochettes, reversed, which are formed also of narrow rouleaux. The body is finished in front with fichu-robings, which are edged with a double range of narrow rouleaux, of the same colour as those on the skirt; and the sto
macher part is gathered full across, with the fullness confined up the centre of the bust by a narrow double rouleau. The sleeves are short, plain, and very full, and are confined round the arm by a narrow band of green or blue satin, and the waist is encircled by a ribbon of the same tint. The hair is arranged in curls round the face, over which is a beret of blue or green: bows of one of these colours, in chequers, on a white ground, ornament this head-dress under the brim, next the hair, where is also placed, on the right side, near the centre of the forehead, a bird-ofParadise plume; another is placed over the beret, on the summit of the head, and waves gracefully over the left side. The ear-pendants are short, round, and of fine gold.
A dress of pink satin, trimmed with a broad puckering of tulle, or gauze, round the border of the skirt; on which are laid pink satin leaves, edged round with a narrow black rouleau. Body made plain, and low; round the tucker part of the dress is a row of Spanish points, edged with a quilling of white blond, or tulle. Head-dress formed of long puffs of gauze of saffron-colour, and white gossamer aigrettes. Ear-rings and necklace of pearls, the latter elegantly set in delicate festoons; and in front of the hair is a superb jewelry ornament, in the diadem style, consisting of large pearls, surrounded by fillagree, and finely-wrought gold.
A dress of painted Indian taffety, with a full broad fluting of white tulle at the border, crossed over in treillage work, by rouleaux of white satin, edged on one side with blue and yellow satin, narrower rouleaux; one, very broad, and wadded, conceals the hem next the shoe. The body is a la Circassienne; and where the drapery across the bust is partially left open, before it wraps over, is a
THE HE laws against intoxication are enforced with great rigour in Sweden. Whoever is seen drunk is fined, for the first offence, three dollars; for the second, six; for the third and fourth, a still larger sum,— and is also deprived of the right of voting at elections, and of being appointed a representative. He is, besides, publicly exposed in the parish church on the following Sunday. If the same individual is found committing the same offence a fifth time, he is shut up in a house of correction, and condemned to six months' hard labour; and if he is again guilty, to a twelvemonth's punishment of a similar description. If the offence has been committed in public, such as at a fair, at an auction, &c. the fine is doubled; and if the offender has made his appearance in a church, the punishment is still more severe. Whoever is convicted of having induced another to intoxicate himself, is fined three dollars, which sum is doubled if the drunken person is a minor. An ecclesiastic who falls into this offence loses his benefice; if it is a layman who occupies any considerable post, his functions are suspended, and perhaps he is dismissed. Drunkenness is never admitted as an excuse for any crime; and whoever dies while drunk, is buried ignominiously, and deprived of the prayers of the church. It is forbidden to give, and more explicitly to sell, any spirituous
bow, is a coronet ornament of white and gold enamel. The ear-pendants are a l'antique, en girandoles; and are composed of three drops in rubies: the necklace is formed of three rows of pearls and rubies intermingled, with three valuable drop-rubies in the centre. Bracelets of dark hair, and cameos, worn over the gloves.
liquor to students, workmen, servants, apprentices, and private soldiers. Whoever is observed drunk in the streets, or making a noise in a tavern, is sure to be taken to prison, and detained until sober, without, however, being on that account exempted from the fines. Half of these fines goes to the informers (who are generally police officers), the other half to the poor. If the delinquent has no money, he is kept in prison until some one pays for him, or until he has worked out his enlargement. Twice a year these ordinances are read aloud from the pulpit by the clergy; and every tavernkeeper is bound, under the penalty of a heavy fine, to have a copy of them hung up in the principal rooms of his house.
Mr. Nollekens left £240,000 behind him, and the name of one of the best English sculptors. There was a great scramble among the legatees -a codocil to a will with large bequests unsigned, and that last triumph of the dead or dying over those who survive hopes raised and defeated without a possibility of retaliation, or the smallest use in complaint. The king was at first said to be left residuary legatee. This would have been a fine instance of romantic and gratuitous homage to majesty, in a man who all his life-time could never be made to comprehend the abstract idea of the distinction of ranks, or even of persons. He would go up