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are in fastidious glass-case order. After
dodging the rain-drops which filter through
the ceiling, down among the solemn injunctions
of the dead, Mr. Wallace is able to examine
one or two bundles. Mildew and rot are so
omnipotent in this damp depository, that
the shelves have, in some places, broken and
crumbled away. A moment's comparison
between the relative powers of wood and
paper, in resisting water, will give a vivid
idea of the condition of the wills in this
Archdiaconal shower-bath. The corners of most
of the piles are as thoroughly rounded off, as if
a populous colony of water rats (the ordinary
species could not have existed there) had
been dining off them since the days of King
Stephen. Others are testamentary
agglomerations, soddened into pulp,—totally
illegible and inseparable; having been converted
by age, much rain, and inordinate neglect, into
post-mortem papier maché.

All these, are original wills: no such copies
of themwhich Registrars are enjoined to
providehaving been made by the predecessors
of the present pluralist. In order that the
durability of parchment should be of no avail
in arresting the most complete destruction
within the scope of possibility, it is the sheep-
skin testaments of this collection that are
regularly shredded to bind up the modern
wills ranged in books below.

The very sight of this place, shows the
futility of anything like research. Mr. Wallace
examines a few of the documents, only to see
their extreme historical as well as local
importance; turns away; and descends the
stairs.

"Thus, then," says Mr. William Wallace
solemnly, as he takes a parting look at the
ancient Gate-house, "are documents, involving
the personal and real property of Seven
English Counties, allowed to crumble to
destruction; thus, is ruin brought on families
by needless litigation; thus, do Registrars
roll in carriages, and Proctors grow rich;
thus, are the historical records of the great
English nation doomedby an officer whom
the nation pays the income of a prince to be
their conservatorto rottenness, mildew, and
dust."

Mr. Wallace having added nothing to the
object of his pursuits and inquiries, in the
Registry of this Cathedral number one, departed
at once for Cathedral number two. How he
fared there, the reader shall soon learn.

GENTLE WORDS.

USE gentle words, for who can tell
The blessings they impart!
How oft they fall (as manna fell)
On some nigh-fainting heart!

In lonely wilds by light-wing'd birds
Rare seeds have oft been sown;
And hope has sprung from gentle words,
Where only griefs had grown.

ZOOLOGICAL SESSIONS.
(EXCLUSIVE.)

A PRODIGIOUS number of complaints and
other noises at unseasonable hours, from that
large class of our fellow-creatures of the earth
so erroneously called "dumb" animals, having
seriously disturbed the habitual good order
and peaceful content of the Zoological Gardens
in the Regent's Park, during the last week or
two, the Secretary, Mr. Mitchell, considered it
necessary to institute a close inquiry into the
cause. He was not long in discovering this.
Some of the "dumb" creatures did not at all
mince the matter with him, but spoke out
boldly at once.

The complaints and disturbances took the
usual form of growls, roars, bellowings, barkings,
chatterings, gruntings, gnashes, squeaks,
hootings, hisses, yells, screams and squawks;
but each and all of them had direct reference
to the same special cause of grievance. The
nature and tendency of this having been
ascertained, Mr. Mitchell, not being able to remedy
the alleged evil, saw no alternative but to
convene an extraordinary meeting of the Members
of the Council to a Special Court of Sessions to
be held in the Gardens, with a view to giving a
full and dispassionate hearing to the causes of
dissatisfaction and complaint from the different
plaintiffs inhabiting the Gardens, or
those deputed to appear professionally in
their behoof.

The day being fixed, and eight o'clock in
the morning named as the hour most suitable,
because no visitors are admitted till nine, the
Members of the Council duly repaired to the
Zoological Gardens, and entering the
marquee erected for the occasion, in the enclosure
of the Elephant's house, took their seats in
regular form. Lord Bumbleby had already
arrived, and was unanimously voted into the
chair, in virtue of his position as a man of
science, no less than in deference to his great
legal knowledge and experience. Professor
Owen, by the express wish, it was understood,
of His Royal Highness Prince Albert,
attended to take notes for certain learned
societies in Paris and Berlin. We also observed
Mr. Justice Broderip of Westminster, author
of "Zoological Researches," in company with
Mr. Yarrell, and close to them Mr. Thomas
Bell, on the part of the Royal Society,
and Mr. John Edward Grey, head
naturalist of the historical department of the
British Museum. The editors of all the
chief journals of natural history soon after
entered, together with Mr. Edwin Landseer,
and several other artists of eminence, among
whom were Doyle and Wolf, as matter of
course. In company with these we also
noticed Mr. Van Voorst, and Messrs. Reeve,
Benham, and Reeve, who all took their seats
with very grave countenances. We should
not forget to mention that Mr. Poot, the
great pigeon-fancier, was present, evidently in
a somewhat perplexed state of mind in

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