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The French have from the first been
peculiarly felicitous in this dangerous talent.
Everybody at one time believed in Varillas,
the French historian, until some first-rate
scholars succeeded in the difficult task of
destroying his great reputation. Varillas
was famous, especially, for the exclusive nature
of his historical and courtly anecdotes; and
it was believed that he had the secrets of
every cabinet in Europe at his fingers'
ends. But notwithstanding his parade of the
most minute matters titles, correspondence,
memoirs, it became apparent, in the end,
that he had been indebted to his invention,
simply, for all this very exclusive knowledge.
Yet it is impossible to read him and to
withstand his plain, straightforward semblance of

Then there was the celebrated "Voyage
Round the World," written by a Neapolitan
nobleman, named Carreri, who, it has been
said, braved every peril of sea and savages
very comfortably in his own chamber, which
he never quitted for years, owing to a serious
indisposition. There is every probability,
however, according to more recent accounts,
that Carreri was unjustly accusedthat he
had previously visited the places he describes.
Still, for some years, his book was believed to
be an imposture. The Travels of Damberger,
which made a great sensation in their day,
differed from these last: they were un-
doubtedly genuineas a fiction.

Disraeli, the Elder, notices a singular
imposition wiiich has been practised by a variety
of authors, of announcing a variety of titles of
works "preparing for the press," but of
which nothing but the titles were ever
written. This system seems to have been
very considerably practised by Paschal,
historiographer of France, "for obvious reasons,"
as the phrase goes: he received a pension for
writing on the history of France, and was
obliged in decency to announce titles, at any
rate. When he died, it is stated that his
historical labours did not exceed six pages!

We find Gregorio Leti mentioned as an
historian of the same class as Varillas. "He
took everything too lightly; yet his works
are sometimes looked into for many anecdotes
of English history, which are not to be found
elsewhere; and which perhaps ought not to
have been there, if truth had been consulted."

Rabbi Benjamin, of Tudela, mystified a
vast number of persons by the circumstantial
and picturesome manner in which he wrote
his travels.  His book is said to be apocryphal;
but it is written with a wonderful
appearance of truth.

An anecdote of a very recent date will
coclude the listas far as we are at present in
a condition to extend itof the most curious
continental mystifications.

At the commencement of 1836, the French
and foreign journals announced that the
Greek translation of the Phœnician historian,
Sanchoniathon, bt Philon de Byblos, had
been discovered in a convent in Portugal.
This discovery astonished the whole learned
worldnot a very large body to astonish, by
the waybut they were truly astonished,
because nothing remained to them of the
work in question but fragments quoted by
Eusebius. Some months later, however, there
appeared at Hanover a German treatise,
purporting to be an analysis of the primitive
history of the Phoenicians, founded upon the
newly-discovered complete translation of
Philon, with observations by F. Wagenfield.
This publication contained, in addition, a
facsimile of the manuscript, and a preface by the
learned Grotefend, director of the Lyceum of
Hanover. But our "learned friend" last
mentioned, soon found that he had been
completely the dupe of Wagenfield, a young
student at Brema, whose work, however,
displayed considerable imagination, and profound
knowledge. In spite, however, of the pompous
announcements which were several times
made, the Greek text never appeared. The
fragments, of which Wagenfield has given
a German version, have been produced in
French, by M. Le Bas.

So much for the exploits of our continental
neighbours in this very fruitful field. How
far our own countrymen are prepared to
contest with them the palm of imposture, we
shall show upon an early occasion.


"WANTED, a master for the parish school
of Broad-Bumble; salary sixty pounds per
annum, besides the use of a house, coals, and
candles. None need apply who cannot
produce the most satisfactory testimonials as to
competency and moral character."

Such was the advertisement which set
forth the educational destitution of the little
town of Broad-Bumble,  Broad-Bumble was
one of those curious towns in which
butchers' shops are next door to houses once
tenanted by lords, bishops, and other such
people, and where the only approach to
"the Square" is through an avenue of
children, rag-shops, and small undertakers.
Like the generality of such parishes, it had
a big church of no architectural pretentensions,
and a very rich incumbent, who was
chairman to a great many societies for the
benefit of various things and people, and who
was neither a Puseyite, an Evangelical, or, in,
fact, anything that served as an excuse even
for a row in the vestry, or a word of pious
horror from an old maid.

Broad-Bumble was very populous; and,
as in most other places, all the people who
contibuted least to the parish rates were
most liberal in furnishing more than their
quota of children, and, as its educational
means were small, the number of people to
be educated was proportionately great.
indeed, the swarm of children who grew up

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