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"Ireland," said the prophet, " is getting over
her difficulties;";and " I shall not wonder if
we hear of some lady in high life greatly
annoyed by her unfaithful lover." As we
are not favoured with a large confidential
correspondence among ladies in high life,
we cannot say which lady was annoyed, or
whether all had lovers who were faithful.

For the year 1849, Francis Moore, Physician,
did not venture to commit himself to
very much more than the safe prophecy that
"Our cabinet will be frequently engaged in
matters relative to the great struggle and
contention " (or, the bustle of a friendly and
benevolent nature?) " in European states."

When the time really came for a safe hit
at Russia, the stars missed fire. Mr. Francis
Moore, in wandering about the world after a
far-fetched prognostic, did not stumble upon
California or Australia; the gold discoveries,
which promise to effect a small revolution of
their own, came heralded by not a breath of
portent in the Almanack.

Serious inquiry of this kind may seem very
absurd to the thousands who know well what
ground there is for astrological pretensions;
but, there are many in this country, and there
may possibly be some among our readers, to
whose profit it will be, to see distinctly that
even Francis Moore, the safest of astrologers,
who sticks to generalities as much as possible,
and feels his way and takes great pains never
to get out of his depth, errs as grossly as it
is possible for a man to err whenever he
attempts to tell what lies behind the blanket
of the dark. Other prophets who attempt
to tell more, err more, and would appear
even more ridiculous if brought to the same
test by which we have now tried ten years
of Moore's Almanack.

UMBRELLAS.

"WOULD M. Garnerin have astonished the
denizens of St. Pancras, by alighting among
them in a parachute liberated from a balloon,
half a century ago?—would he have had many
imitators, successful and unsuccessful, at all
sorts of Eagles and Rosemary Branches and
Hippodromes?—and, lastly, would Madame
Poitevin, the only real, genuine Europa of
modern times, have dropped down from the
clouds on an evening visit to Clapham Common?
would all these events have occurred if
umbrellas had never been invented? What
should induce the aeronaut to think of such
an expedient, unless he had seen how nicely
and suddenly the cloth of an umbrella
expands into its curved form by the sliding action
of the stretchers I When M. Blauchard
lowered his little dog in a parachute over
Li├Ęge, in 1785, he had studied an umbrella
well beforehand. Our umbrellas usually
have eight ribs or meridians on their
spherical surface, and, of course, eight gores of
cotton, or silk, or alpaca, to connect and
cover them; but M. Garnerin's umbrella-
parachute had no less than thirty-two gores,
and expanded to twenty-three feet in diameter
surely a sufficient shield against two
showers of rain rolled into one, or two suns
burning at once with double July power.

But it is with umbrellas proper, and not
umbrella-parachutes, that we are here dealing.
And, in touching upon umbrellas, we must
perforce include parasols; for they are so
nearly related by family ties, that, although
in European countries the parasol is generally
the lady sister of the umbrella, yet in the East
they are one and indivisible. Or rather, the
umbrella, in its character as a rain-guard, is
very little known in the East, for no one with
his wits about him thinks of stirring abroad
in the rainy season.

Great is the honour of holding an umbrella,
or rather parasol, over an Oriental potentate.
Among the sculptures at Persepolis is a
bas-relief of a king or chief, over whose
head an umbrella is held by an attendant.
At Takht-i-Bostau, another spot in Persia,
is a bas-relief representing a chief witnessing
a boar hunt, with an attendant umbrella-
bearer. Dr. Layard has met with umbrellas
among his bas-reliefs at Nineveh, which
seem to have been very smart productions.
"It " (the Nineveh sun-shade) " resembled
in shape very closely those now in common
use, but it is always seen open in the
sculptures. It was edged with tassels, and
was usually adorned at the top by a flower,
or some other ornament. On the later bas-
reliefs a long piece of embroidered linen or
silk, falling from one side like a curtain,
appears to screen the king completely from
the sun. The parasol was reserved exclusively
for the monarch, and is never represented as
borne over any other person." The Sangsters
of Nineveh, therefore, six-and-twenty centuries
ago, must have had rather a limited circle of
customers. In ancient Egypt, as in ancient
Assyria, these sun-shields appear to have been
used; for Sir J. G. Wilkinson has copied
from one of the Theban pictures a delineation
of an Ethiopian princess travelling in a car,
to which is attached an umbrella or sun-
shade, bearing a strong resemblance to the
chaise umbrella which Mr. and Mrs. Smith
take out with them on their Sunday's ride to
Epping Forest.

The parasol is still an appendage of
ceremonials in the East. Among the numerous
titles of the Bang of Ava .is that of " lord
of the twenty-four umbrellas." In Siam, the
chief officers of state use umbrellas nearly
resembling those of Europe; but the king
Loubere tells ushas an umbrella three or
four tiers in height; and the umbrellas which
he presents to ambassadors and his favourites
indicate the degree of his favour by the kind
of hangings or trimmings. Among tiie
Mahratta tribes in India, the chattrapati or
"lord of the umbrella," is an officer of very
high rank; and Sir John Malcolm is of
opinion that the Persian, title of satrap is

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