+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

to be " approved and confirmed;" a ratification
which the Colonel was not slow to
give; for he was one of that class who are
in the habit of reconciling themselves to an
act of cruelty, by always asserting in their
defence that " an example is necessary." He
forgot, in doing so, that this was not the way
to preserve for the " Hundredth " the name
of a crack corps, and that the best example
for those in authority is Mercy.

With minds buoyant and refreshed by the
discharge of the judicial functions, for which
they were in every respect so admirably
qualified, Ensign Spoonbill and his
companions, giving themselves leave of absence
from the afternoon parade, and having
resumed their favourite " mufty," repaired to
an obscure den in a stable-yard at the back
of the Blue Boara low public house in the
filthiest quarter of the townwhich
Mr. Joseph Baggs made his head-quarters, and
there, for a couple of hours, solaced
themselves with the agreeable exhibition of the
contest between the badger and the dog Juno,
which terminated by the latter being bitten
through both her fore-paws, and nearly losing
one of her eyes; though, as Lieutenant
Wadding exultingly observed, "she was a
deuced deal too game to give over for such
trifles as those." The unhappy badger, that
only fought in self-defence, was accordingly
"dror'd," as Mr. Baggs reluctantly admitted,
adding, however, that she was " nuffin much
the wuss," which was more than could be
said of the officers of the " Hundredth " who
had enjoyed the spectacle.

This amusement ended, which had so far a
military character that it familiarised the
spectator with violence and bloodshed, though
in an unworthy and contemptible degree,
badgers and dogs, not men, being their subject,
the young gentlemen adjourned to the High
Street, to loiter away half an hour at the shop
of Messrs. Moses, Lazarus and Son, whose
religious observances and daily occupations
were made their jest, while they ran in debt
to the people from whom they afterwards
expected consideration and forbearance. But
not wholly did they kill their time there.
The pretty pastry-cook, an innocent, retiring
girl, but compelled to serve in the shop, came
in for her share of their half-admiring and
all-insolent persecutions, and when their slang
and sentiment were alike exhausted, they
dawdled back again to barracks, to dress
for the fifth time for mess.

The events of the day, that is, the events
on which their thoughts had been centered,
again furnished the theme of the general
conversation. Enough wine was drunk, as
Captain Huff said, with the wit peculiar to
him, "to restore the equilibrium;" the most
abstinent person being Captain Cushion, who
that evening gave convincing proof of the
advantages of abstinence, by engaging Ensign
Spoonbill in a match at billiards, the result of
which was, that Lord Pelican's son found
himself, at midnight, minus a full half of the
allowance for which his noble father had given
him liberty to draw. But that he had fairly
lost the money there could be no doubt, for
the officer on the main-guard, who had
preferred watching the game to going his rounds,
declared to the party, when they afterwards
adjourned to take a glass of grog with him
before he turned in, that " except Jonathan,
he had never seen any man make so good a
bridge as his friend Spoonbill," and this fact
Captain Cushion himself confirmed, adding,
that he thought, perhaps, he could afford next
time to give points. With the reputation
of making a good bridgea Pons asinorum
over which his money had travelledEnsign
Spoonbill was fain to be content, and in this
satisfactory manner he closed one Subaltern's
day, there being many like it in reserve.


THE indefatigable, patient, invincible,
inquisitive, sometimes tedious, but almost
always amusing German traveller,
Herr Kohl, has recently been pursuing his earnest
investigations in Belgium. His book on the
Netherlands* has just been issued, and we
shall translate, with abridgments, one of its
most instructive and agreeable chapters;—
that relating to Lace-making.

* Reisen in der Niederlanden. Travels in the Netherlands

The practical acquaintance of our female
readers with that elegant ornament, lace, is
chiefly confined to wearing it, and their
researches into its quality and price. A few
minutes' attention to Mr. Kohl will enlighten
them on other subjects connected with, what
is to them, a most interesting topic, for lace is
associated with recollections of mediæval
history, and with the palmy days of the Flemish
school of painting. More than one of the
celebrated masters of that school have selected,
from among his laborious countrywomen, the
lace-makers (or, as they are called in Flanders,
Speldewerksters), pleasing subjects for the
exercise of his pencil. The plump, fair-haired
Flemish girl, bending earnestly over her lace-work,
whilst her fingers nimbly ply the
intricately winding bobbins, figure in many of
those highly esteemed representations of
homely life and manners, which have found
their way from the Netherlands into all the
principal picture-galleries of Europe.

Our German friend makes it his practice,
whether he is treating of the geology of the
earth, or of the manufacture of Swedish
bodkins, to begin at the very beginning. He
therefore commences the history of
lace-making, which, he says, is, like embroidery,
an art of very ancient origin, lost, like a
multitude of other origins, " in the darkness
of by-gone ages." It may, with truth, be said
that it is the national occupation of the
women of the Low Countries, and one to