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to the angler. On some of the broads there is still to be seen an industry fast falling into decay-decoys with decoy ducks and dogs.

These require to be worked with the utmost silence and caution. One winter night in 1881 Mr. Davies inspected in company with the keeper the decoy at Fritton Broad. The night was cold and dark, and each of the men had to carry a piece of smouldering turf in his hand to destroy the human scent, which would otherwise have alarmed the wary ducks. This made their eyes water; and the decoy-dog, a large red retriever, being in high spirits, insisted on tripping them up repeatedly, as they crawled along in the darkness bent almost double. The interest of the sight, however,. when at length they reached the decoy, fully made up for these petty discomforts. Peeping through an eyehole, a flock of teal were to be seen paddling about quite close to them; while beyond these were several decoy-ducks, and beyond these again a large flock of mallards. The decoy-ducks are trained to come for foud whenever they see the dog or hear a whistle from the decoy-man. The dog now showed himself obedient to a sign from his master, and in an instant every head among the teal was up, and every bright shy eye twinkling with pleased curiosity. Impelled by curiosity, they slowly swim toward the dog, which, slowly retiring, leads them toward the mouth of the decoy-pipe, showing himself at intervals till they were well within it. The keeper then ran silently to the mouth of the pipe, and waving his handkerchief, forced them, frightened and reluctant, to flutter forward into the tunnel. He then detached a hoop from the grooves, gave it a twist, and secured them by cutting off their return. This seemed the last act of the drama, and Mr. Davies took the opportunity to straighten his back, which was aching dreadfully. Immediately there was a rush of wings, and the flock of mallards left the decoy. There, now, you ha' done it!' exclaimed the keeper excitedly. All them mallards were following the dog into the pipe, and we could ha' got a second lot.' We.expressed our sorrow in becoming terms, and watched the very expeditious way in which he extracted the birds from the tunnel net, wrung their necks, and flung them into a heap." Few places now are suitable for decoys, for even life in the marshes is not so quiet as it used to be.-Chambers's Journal.

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a report to the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg on the curious fragments of the Old Testament, a short notice of which appeared in the Times last spring. The fragments consist of parchment rolls in the possession of certain Russian Jews, whose names, though well known to members of the Academy, are for the present suppressed. They had been obtained in the first instance from a Jewish sailor, who spoke Hebrew, and averred that they had come from Rhodes, where they had been discovered after a great conflagration some thirty years ago. He parted with them after considerable reluctance, in exchange for some oil paintings.

The story seems very suspicious. Jews are not usually sailors, and sailors do not usually speak Hebrew. The conflagration in Rhodes might well be the famous explosion of 1856; but we have no knowledge of any Rhodian Jews who employed a peculiar kind of writing such as these мSS. present, while we actually possess a Hebrew MS. written in the island in the usual way about the year 1420. With the Shapira forgeries in our mind, we might well be excused if we refused to examine the newlyfound Mss. any further..

Such scepticism, nevertheless, would be illfounded. Though Dr. Harkavy, with a wise excess of caution, refuses to pronounce a decisive opinion upon the subject, it is difficult not to admit the genuineness of the fragments when once they are examined. Forgeries are made in these days for the double object of profit and fame; the owners of the fragments have sought for neither. The fragments, moreover, contain no startling novelties in the way of variant readings, and lay no claim to antiquity of date. But above all, the characters in which they are written are such as only a few palæographical scholars could have invented. And these scholars are not likely to have undertaken the enormous trouble which the preparation of the Mss. for the mere sake of mystification would have occasioned. parchments are in various stages of preservation and legibility; some show signs of age and hard usage, which are more or less wanting in others.


Dr. Harkavy asks for the opinion of palæographers on the character of the letters employed in the MSS. He compares them with letters belonging to old forms of the Semitic alphabet, and seems to regard them as constituting a new and peculiar branch of it. They are, however, merely cursive forms of the ordinary square Hebrew characters. They are ex

tremely interesting, as affording a species of Hebrew 'cursive which has never been met with before, their true nature and relative age are unmistakeable. Dr. Neubauer points out that the forms of the square characters on which they are based are those used by the Jews in the Greek-speaking countries of the East, and he suggests that they may have constituted the cursive hand of the Khazar Jews. In this case the MSS. cannot well be later than the eleventh century, A.D.-Athenæum.

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LOCKHART AND THE PRESS.-Lockhart was an eminent example, perhaps one of the most eminent, of a gentleman of the press.' He did a great many kinds of literary work, and he did all of them well; novel-writing, perhaps (which, however, he gave up almost immediately), least well. But he does not seem to have felt any very strong or peculiar call to any particular class of original literary work, and his one great and substantive book may be fairly taken to have been much more decided by accident and his relationship to Scott than by deliberate choice. He was, in fact, eminently a journalist, and it is very much to be wished that there were more journalists like him. For from the two great reproaches of the craft to which so many of us belong, and which seems to be gradually swallowing up all other varieties of literary occupation, he was conspicuously free. He never did work slovenly in form, and he never did work that was not in one way or other consistent with a decided set of literary and political principles. There is a great deal of nonsense talked about the unprincipled character of journalism, no doubt; and nobody knows better than those who have some experience of it, that if, as George Warrington says, "too many of us write against our own party," it is the fault simply of those who do so. If a man has a faculty of saying anything he can generally get an opportunity of saying what he likes, and avoid occasions of saying what he does not like. But the mere journalist Swiss of heaven (or the other place), is certainly not unknown, and by all accounts he was in Lockhart's time rather common. No one ever accused Lockhart himself of being one of the class. still more important fault, undoubtedly, of journalism is its tendency to slovenly work, and here again Lockhart was conspicuously guiltless. His actual production must have been very considerable, though in the absence of any collection, or even any index of his contributions to periodicals, it is impossible


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to say how much exactly it would extend. But, at a rough guess, the Scott," the Burns," and the " Napoleon," the " Ballads," the novels, and "Peter," a hundred Quarterly articles, and an unknown number in Blackwood and Fraser, would make at least twenty or fiveand-twenty volumes of a pretty closely printed library edition. Yet all this, as far as it can be identified, has the same careful though unostentatious distinction of style, the same admirable faculty of sarcasm, wherever sarcasm is required, the same depth of feeling, wherever feeling is called for, the same refusal to make a parade of feeling even where it is shown. Never trivial, never vulgar, never feeble, never stilted, never diffuse, Lockhart is one of the very best recent specimens of that class of writers of all work, which since Dryden's time has continually increased, is increasing, and does not seem likely to diminish. The growth may or may not be matter for regret; probably none of the more capable members of the class itself feels any particular desire to magnify his office. But if the office is to exist, let it at least be the obiect of those who hold it to perform its duties with that hatred of commonplace and cant and the popularis aura, with as nearly as may be in each case that conscience and thoroughness of workmanship, which Lockhart's writings uniformly display. National Review.

A £10,000 NUGGET.-At one of the tents sat four men June 10th, 1858-talking earnestly of their future and bemoaning the past. For several months these four men had worked together in the same claim, sometimes getting barely sufficient for daily wants; sometimes not even that. For several weeks, indeed, they had labored without any result. Not a speck of the precious metal had they seen. Their credit was stretched to the utmost limit but until this evening they had hoped, as diggers do hope, that on the morrow something would turn up. Now they had ceased to hope; the storeman had refused further credit, and here they were without either bread or tobacco. This," said one, "is the last straw." " True," replied another; we cannot work with empty pipes." "I vote," said a third, "that we go down in the morning for our tools and peg out in some other quarter." After a long and serious discussion this suggestion was decided upon; and early next day, long before the camp was astir, three of the men descended the old mine, the fourth remaining at the windlass. Down in the mine, the three looked gloomily

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around, with a kind of sulky regret at having to leave the scene of so much useless toil. Good-by," said one. I'll give you a farewell blow." And raising his pick he struck the quartz, making splinters fly in all directions. His practised eye caught sight of a glittering speck in one of the bits at his feet. Stooping, he examined it and the place he had struck when, with a loud exclamation, he knelt and satisfied himself that it was gold! He then commenced picking vigorously. His mates caught the meaning, and followed his example. In dead silence they worked onthey had discovered a monster nugget! Then a wild, glad shout sounded in the ears of the one at the windlass, who had sunk into a half-doze, feeling, probably, the want of his breakfast. To his inquiry, "What's going on?" the cry came 66 Wind up," and as he did so there rose to the surface a huge mass of virgin gold. When fully exposed to view, the men were almost insane with joy. After watching it through the day, and live-long night, they had it conveyed in safety to the bank. It was named the "Welcome Stranger," and yielded the fortunate discoverers of it £10,000. On the site of that spot within a few yards of which the writer himself resided-we now find a broad and busy street; a noble temple dedicated to public worship; a free library; and monster marts and warehouses, containing vast stores of the old world's merchandise. The forest and the scrub have disappeared, and their place is occupied by the finest city on the celebrated gold fields of Victoria-Cassell's Saturday Journal.

RISE OF MONTREAL.-I shall not attempt to describe Montreal. In the opinion of a bigoted Canadian like myself there is hardly a more beautiful city in the world. It has only 150,000 people, but Edinburgh had no more when, in the eyes of Sir Walter Scott and of almost every one else, it was the queen of cities. Though Champlain erected temporary structures and established a trading station on the island of Montreal in 1611, it was not till thirty years later that a permanent establishment was commenced. "La Compagnie de Montreal," formed in Paris, sent out an expedition under the Sieur de Maisonneuve to build a town and protect it against the Indians by means of fortifications. The town, under the name of Ville-Maire, which it long retained, was solemnly consecrated at a spot near the foot of the mountain, on May 17th, 1642. It soon became an emporium of the trade in peltries with

the friendly Indians, though its advanced position exposed it to many an Iroquois attack from which Quebec was saved by its strength and its remoteness from the enemy. In 1760, after the battle of the Plains of Abraham, Montreal became the last station of French

power in America. Here the capitulation was signed which gave over the whole continent to Britain. In 1776 it was taken and held during the winter by—

"The cocked-hat Continentals,

In their ragged regimentals;" but Franklin used press and plausible tongue in vain to induce the Canadians to join the revolt against the Empire. Up to 1810 it was an insignificant town; but from that date it rose into importance as the headquarters of the North-West Company that disputed the trade in furs of the great region over which the Hudson's Bay Company had claimed semisovereignty and the monopoly in trade. The North-West Company pushed the profitable business with far more energy than the older company had ever shown. They sought out the Indians by distant lake and river and in the depths of unknown forests. They planted posts to suit every tribe, and explored the whole of the vast territory from Lake Superior to the Rocky Mountains. The rival companies armed their agents, servants, and voyageurs, and many a time the quarrel was fought out in the old-fashioned way, in remote wildernesses, where there were no policemen to interfere, and neither courts nor laws to appeal unto. The fur-kings lived in Montreal. Their fleets of canoes, manned by sinewy Indians and half-breed voyageurs, started from Montreal, or Lachine rather, with supplies, went up the Ottawa, across country by Lake Nipissing, down French River, along the shores of the Georgian Bay and Lake Superior to Fort William, hard by Port Arthur, the present Lake Superior terminus of the Canada Pacific Railway.-Contemporary Review.

PRZEVALSKY'S WILD HORSE.-Great interest is attached to the question of the origin of our domestic animals, and especially to that of the horse-which is generally supposed not now to exist in an aboriginally wild state. Every fact bearing upon this subject is of importance, and the discovery by the great Russian traveller, Przevalsky, of a new wild horse, more nearly allied to the domestic horse than any previously known species, is certainly well worthy of attention. This new animal was described in 1881 in a Russian journal by Mr. J.


S. Poliatow, and dedicated to its discoverer as Equus przevalskii. The recently issued German translation of Przevalsky's third journey enables us to give further particulars of this interesting discovery. Przevalsky's wild horse has warts on its hind legs as well as on its fore legs, and has broad hoofs like the true horse. But the long hairs of the tail, instead of commencing at the base, do not begin until about half-way down the tail. In this respect Equus przevalskii is intermediate between the true horse and the asses. It also differs from typical Equus in having a short, erect mane, and in having no fore-lock, that is, no bunch of hairs in front of the mane falling down over the forehead. Nor has Przevalsky's horse any dorsal stripe, which, although by no means universal, is often found in the typical horses, and is almost always present in the asses. whole general color is of a whitish gray, paler and whiter beneath, and reddish on the head. The legs are reddish to the knees, and thence blackish down to the hoofs. It is of small stature, but the legs are very thick and strong, and the head is large and heavy. The ears are smaller than those of the asses. Przevalsky's wild horse inhabits the great Dsungarian Desert between the Altai and Tianschan Mountains, where it is called by the Tartars Kertag," and by the Mongols Statur." It is met with in troops of from five to fifteen individuals, led by an old stallion. Apparently the rest of these troops consist of mares, which all belong to the single stallion. They are lively animals, very shy, and with highly-developed organs of sight, hearing, and smelling. They keep to the wildest parts of the desert, and are very hard to approach. They seem to prefer especially the saline districts, and to be able to do long without water. The pursuit of this wild horse can only be carried on in winter, because the hunter must live in the waterless districts, and must depend upon a supply of water from melted snow. As may well be believed, such an expedition during the severest cold of winter into the most remote part of the desert must take at least a month. During the whole time of his stay in the Dsungarian Desert, Przevalsky met with only two herds of this wild horse. In vain he and his companions fired at these animals. With outstretched head and uplifted tail the stallion disappeared like lightning, with the rest of the herd after him. Przevalsky and his companions could not keep near them, and soon lost their tracks. On the second occasion they came upon them from one side, yet


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BARGAINS.-It is the fashion to talk as if women were the only dupes of the sellers of bargains. Undoubtedly the glowing advertisements of Grand Sales" and 66 Astonishing Sacrifices" allure the feminine mind in a way they do not the masculine; but what about the horse that a friend wants to sell, or knows some one who wants to sell," privately, without all the bother of dealers, you know?" What of the house that was offered at such a reduction on such perfectly plausible grounds? Of the wine secured at a sale? Of the china picked up by the amateur at a shop in a country town, where the man did not know its value," which, as he obtained five times the fair price for his wares, it is charitable to hope was the case? No; the passion for bargain buying is too universal for any of us to throw stones at our neighbor's weakness in this respect. The richest share it with the poorest ; nay, the richest people are often the most zealous bargain hunters. A collector will pride himself as much on the low price paid for his treasure as on the treasures themselves. "I picked it up for a mere song" is a favorite boast, and perhaps, in many instances, this price was quite fair, as in the case of the lady who offered Garrick a tragedy" for nothing," to which he replied that the authoress had accurately estimated the value of her work. Very absurd stories might be told of the experiences of bargain buyers. There is a tale of a country parish, too poor to afford an organ or harmonium, the vicar of which secured, at a sale, a very large musical box, which played the "Old Hundredth," and other hymn tunes. Delighted with his bargain (the box had been sold cheaply), it was arranged that its music should accompany his singers on the ensuing Sunday; and the box played the hymn tune to the general satisfaction. But what were the feelings of the vicar when, instead of decorously stopping at the end of the last verse, the profané box struck up "The Blue Bells of Scotland!" The clerk hurried to the rescue, but, unfortunately, touched a wrong spring, and only converted the Scottish song into the yet more indecorous melody of" Drops of Brandy." Amid the stifled titters of the congregation,

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the offending instrument was hurried out of church, and was heard at intervals in the churchyard cheerfully carolling a succession of lively airs. The bargain-loving vicar was afterward content to manage without music as heretofore. There was an old method of making an April fool," by giving the victim of the hoax a letter containing the words "send the fool on." These credentials having been duly delivered, the recipient of the epistle wrote a similar message to some one else, till the unfortunate letter carrier had made the tour of the parish. A somewhat similar custom prevails among buyers of bargains. They are generally extremely eager to share their good fortune with their neighbors, and readily hand on their bargains to another dupe. "How could you crack up his preaching so much?" said a Scotch elder, reproaching a friend whose high laudations had induced his congregation to elect a very unsatisfactory minister. Oh," said the other, dryly," you'll be ready enough to crack him up if you see a chance of getting rid of him-we were !"— Ladies' Treasury.

A NARROW ESCAPE FOR THE HOUSE OF COM MONS. A student of history once regretted that Guy Fawkes did not blow up Parliament, because there was lost to the world the interesting problem, what would be done without King, Lords, or Commons. Those responsible for the appointment of revising barristers during the summer circuits would seem to have done their best to bring about such a crisis so far as the House of Commons is concerned. Following the recommendation of the judges, the Order in Council made on June 26th last directs that "the names of all the judges of the Supreme Court shall be placed in every commission." The Parliamentary Registration Act, 1843, s. 25, provides that "the senior judge for the time being in the commissions of assize for every county shall, during the summer circuit in every year, appoint" the revising barristers. As senior judge of the Supreme Court the Lord Chancellor is this year the senior judge for the time being in the commissions of assize for every county," and yet, forgetful of the change, the senior judge who actually went circuit in each county has made and signed the appointments of revising barristers, as in the days when he was senior judge in the commissions. The consequences might be disastrous. The lists now about to be

revised will operate from December ist next, and no person not on those lists will be entitled to vote during the ensuing year. Should there be a dissolution next year, and the defect in the appointment of revising barristers. should not be cured, the whole English and Welsh constituency will find itself disfranchised. The Irish and Scotch members would be the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, and England would have to appeal to them and to the House of Lords to pass a remedial act so as to allow them to take part in that House at all. Fortunately the matter can be set at rest by the Lord Chancellor countersigning the appointments which have been made, but these few strokes of the pen must be made while the circuits are still in existence, otherwise the continuity of the House of Commons will be threatened by a technical flaw almost as dangerous as the Gunpowder Plot.-Law Journal.

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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN FRANCE. At length it is beginning to be recognized in France that the brain of a decapitated criminal lives, and consciousness is maintained, for an appreciable time, which to the victim may seem an age, after death-an opinion we strongly expressed many years ago. This ghastly fact -as we have no doubt it is-being perceived, it is beginning to be felt that executions cannot any longer be carried out by the guillotine. Prussic acid is now proposed. If instantaneous death be desired, this is clearly inadmissible. The period taken to terminate life by poison of any kind must needs vary greatly with the individual. In not a small proportion of instances we fancy death by prussic acid would be considerably protracted, and although long dying is not so horrible as living after death-so to say-yet it is strongly opposed to the interests of humanity to protract the agony of a fellow-creature dying by the hand of justice. Electricity is another agent suggested. We doubt the possibility of applying this agent so as to destroy life instantly. We confess that, looking at the matter all round, we incline to think that hanging, when properly performed, destroys consciousness more rapidly and prevents its return more effectually than any other mode of death which justice can employ. It is against the bungling way of hanging we protest, not against the method of executing itself. That is, on the whole, the best, we are convinced.-Lancet.

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