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said Gaudissart, exultingly, " the wine trade
will be well worth travelling in."

"I am much puzzled to understand that,"
I said.

"Listen," said Gaudissart, with the air of
an oracle. " If we take sugar of you, of course
you will take wine of us without loading it
with impossible duties. That is understood
without saying a word (cela va sans dire).
Now, although you may not know it, many
of our wine-growers are imploring our government
to let them have your sugar, as the
means of enabling their wine to stand the journey
to England better. Monsieur the Editor
will correct me if I am wrong, but the whole
C├┤te d'Or is fermenting with the sugar
question. At ordinary vintages in ordinary
vineyards there are produced, not so much in
that department as elsewhere, whole rivers
and floods of grape-juice with every quality
requisite to make good and well-keeping wine,
except the sweetness. In fact, sugar is the
element in which French wines are most
deficient. Green, unripe grapes are known as
'verjus;' the sourest of the sour. You
have seen the caricature of the Northern
Fox making wry faces at a bunch of verjuice,
simply because it is labelled, 'Constantinople?'
It is curious, however, that when
Bonaparte, by the bribe of a million of francs,
set people searching after sugar in all sorts of
materials, grapes should have been driven out
of the field by beet-root, as a source of supply.
Grape sugar was all very well, and rendered
useful service in its day; but it only could be
had in grains, and obstinately refused to
crystallise. New wine, then, often absolutely
wants sugar: there are many who say that
a little sugar always does good; and to
confirm them, distinguished chemists have advised
the systematic sugaring of wines, as a mode
of softening and preserving them. Second
and third-rate wines may, by this simple
addition (which cannot be called an adulteration),
be raised almost to the rank of the first."

"But doctors differ," said the editor. " There
are two sides to the question. Many
proprietors of vineyards protest strongly against
the practice."

"I know they do. But you also know
that, protest as loudly as they can, feeble
wines will be sugared all the same, if not at
home, certainly as soon as they get to Paris
and the Halle aux Vins. Nothing can prevent it;
and I do not see why anything
should. Honey, even, has been used for the
purpose. In the sugar you provide a
sustenance for the wine to feed upon and
maintain its vitality. You infuse into it a conservative
principle which prolongs its existence
beyond the period which its own native
strength would enable it to attain. Again,
we cannot increase the quantity of our very
first-class wines, which are tasted only by
aristocratic lips; but our second-rate can
be multiplied indefinitely; and, with sugar,
we can raise them to a degree of excellence
which will satisfy any reasonable and moderate-
palated man, seeing that he will have
them for a moderate price. Sugar, too, in
indifferent years, will make the difference
between profit and loss to the wine-grower.
He will be enabled to produce wine instead of
vinegar. So that not only shall we sell our
wine, to buy sugar as well as bread, but the
more cheap sugar we can get into the country
the more good wine we shall send out of it.
We shall grow wheat where we now grow
beetroot. Instead of converting corn into
alcohol, as we have done, we shall be able
always to make it into bread ; because we
shall then find no difficulty in procuring

"I see what you are aiming at. France
and England are not independent of each
other, but have mutual requirements which
must be mutually supplied. We are no more
than distinct parts of one great machine, which
is meant to act in harmony and union, wheel
within wheel."


"If you let our sugars in before next
summer, there is one French wheel will be
set in motion which," I urged, "you little
suspect. With abundance of most delicious
fruits, you hardly know what to do with
them. They are eaten by the pigs, or are
sold half-rotten to the poor in large cities;
helping you sometimes to cholera. But,
with sugar, you will be able to make them
into exquisite preserves: you will create a
trade with foreign countries whose extent
you cannot even guess at; and you will confer
an immense benefit on the whole class of
French gardeners and owners of fruit-orchards,
which in many cases will be the means of
raising them from poverty to easy circumstances.
Much of their fruit, now unsaleable,
will be eagerly bought up. Then look at our
West Indies,—is not Jamaica in a starving

"Bravo! " said Gaudissart, filling his own
glass, the Editor's, and mine. " Let us drink,
messieurs, to the triple alliance and permanent
good understanding between wine, wheat,
and cane-sugar."

"With all my heart! And may France
and England ever keep good time together,
with well-oiled steady-going clock-work,
wheel within wheel."


DEATH was holding high revelry in the
good city of London, in the year fifteen
hundred and sixty-five. At that time, there
dwelt in Cheapside, a certain silk-mercer,
named Mark Hansel, who was a substantial,
rich old citizen; and a very respectable one
after his sort, which was a sort that does
not include any strong feelings, or highly
sensitive perceptions, but has a drowsy, cash-
box sense of right and wrong, and loves Virtue
most when she is comfortably seated by the

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