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preacher at St. Mary's, Bryanstone Square, often passing along Blandford Street, but feel sure the learned librarian of Althorpe never dreamed of entrusting even a small paper copy of an insignificant book to the mercy of Riebau, an honest man doubtless, but as ignorant of Grolier, Kalthoeber, Lewis, and extra-binding, as Dr. Jones is innocent of Russian and Morocco, gold or “blind” tooling.
Faraday was particularly adroit with paste and paper, knowing well in his experiments how to handle gold-leaf ; but it is doubtful if he ever arrived at the art of gilding leather efficiently.
Amongst the philosopher's papers at the Royal Institution are a few volumes, said to have been bound by Faraday ; they are very humble specimens of bibliopegestic art, and could not have been the work of a skilled handicraftsman. Faraday never knew what a well bound book meant, in the sense of a connoisseur au fait at all points, though there exists in the possession of a friend a “ Manuel de Relieur," Roret, 1827, bearing his book plate and signature, M. F. In early life Faraday was apprenticed to a stationer, who bound books, after a fashion, an inferior workman ; he afterwards became subsidised by the Royal Institution, with what glorious results the world knows.
Dr. Jones' contribution to the “Life of Faraday,” though no portrait memoir, has much of the dry material hereafter, with caution, to be utilized.--Your Obedient Servant,
BIBLIOTHECARUS. Feb. 1, 1870.
THE CHRISTIAN VAGABOND.
BY BLANCHARD JERROLD.
THE WALL WHEREON THE FRUIT GREW.
HILE the Christian Vagabond unbuckled the wallet
from which he was never separated, the old man shuffled, and hobbled, and limped to a circle about
him ; and peered, and wondered while he searched amidst the layers of paper and parchment with which it was filled.
He dived almost to the bottom of the wallet where the papers were yellowest ; and with a direct hand that told the method that lay in the seeming confusion. Pocket editions of Bossuet, St. Vincent de Paul, Saint François de Sales, Bienfaiteur des Pauvres, martyrologies, and his beloved and bethumbed classics, were jealously folded in the papers. A perfume of herbs, gathered in many fields, stole from the treasures; and had a sweeter savour than that which the trading monks of Fécamp have distilled for centuries from the scented growths of their Norman downs. At length the Vagabond picked a grey coarse paper from a bundle ; closed the wallet, laid his staff across his knees, and said :
My brothers, it was in God's house, in a little Flemish town, that an old, worn-out, unfortunate scholar who had become an inmate, gave me this. It was, he thought-and I thought with him-a bit of wisdom drifted to a corner where he found it, up a peasant's lips. His varied experience of men and things had led him to the conclusion—which is here picturesquely put-recommending it to
Vol. IV., N. S. 1870.
the uninformed or half-informed mind. “The horn-book is the cornerstone of society,” he would say while he polished his spectacles, and ground bits of chocolate between his gums- a habit which he had contracted while professor at a French provincial lyceum. Turn we, brothers, to the paper which he prized, and which, I see, is called,
“THE WALL WHEREON THE Fruir Grew." The way is tangled through a forest. The path is full of holes. The briars trail across, gins to catch the feet of the traveller. The heavy, moaning trees, upon the crowns of which the wind is playing far over head, cast a dull shadow. The timber, black and gnarled, crosses, in the leaden distance, in harsh lines. If a bright streak glitters by the sandy edges of the path, it is the outline of an adder. Slow and slimy movements of hideous creatures, enliven the bark of the trees. The weeds are vigorous and rank. The hemlock flourishes exceedingly. The air is charged with the noxious vapours of vegetable death. The toad is at home. It is here all venomous things charge their fangs with poison.
As the centre of the forest is neared, the trees are of darker hue, the shadows become funeral curtains, the steamy underwood is a net of thorns; the animal life affrights the most robust heart. place ends the bare indication of a path. Over its broad expansesay a cannon-shot in length and breadth-riots a world of weeds and vermin. Pestilence exudes from the pores of reptile and plant. The jungle is higher than the head of man : highest towards the line which traverses the open space, parting it in two equal divisions. Towards this line the rank growths tend, like the waves of the sea to a stubborn, upright shore-resolved to bear over it and efface it. Through the briars, the dock leaves, and slothful stir of reptiles, an umbre wall is just perceptible. It is well-nigh choked. The crawling plants and creatures have bored it in every direction. Fungus is lifting it from its base.
A man of wild aspect appears upon the dismal scene: his arms folded, and with a sickle in his right hand. He takes his chin between his thumb and fore-finger, and ponders over the waste rankness, the wall glistening with slime, the poisoned air, the swamp underfoot. In his bright eye, his ruddy skin, his broad and open chest, and square hands, health and strength are seen. Tenderness and kindness are in his smile. He is a benign giant, bent on the noble use of his force. Scanning the breadth of matted tares and grasses, at his feet, emotion stirs in the corners of his mouth, and his hand grips the sickle. Then slowly, and pensively he bares his
throat, and chest, and arms ; plants his feet firmly in the earth, stoops, and, with a mighty swing, settles to his work. The sickle whistles and hisses through the tares and briars : and about the worker's head, the steam of the bruised and bleeding vegetation rises on the sunlight. It is whispered that the white vapours which rise about the plough, and over the reaper, are only the gossamer wings of millions of good little fairies who are blessing and encouraging the labourer. If he who toils in the fruity vineyard should be blessed, how much greater should his reward be, who clears the wilderness; and, where the hemlock grew, plants the vine ?
While the sickle gleams and flashes, the vermin retreat and scatter. Beads break upon the brow of the lusty reaper, as, pausing to contemplate the space he has cleared, he shades his eyes from the sun. The weeds before him lie thicker than those he has laid low. A scorpion crosses his foot, and he casts it far behind him with the point of his hatchet. And then his cautious fingers run along the edge of the new weapon he has lifted.
“ This is work for the axe, not for the sickle,” he says. And, by the wall, there will be matter for the pick and the shovel. The weapon suited to the work, is one of Labour's profoundest secrets."
While the mild giant stood, taking breath, and still running his fingers along the edge of his tool, there stole to his side the spare shadow of a man,—too light to make a foot-print upon the ground.
“Lay by the axe: shoulder your weapon and begone," said the lean one.
Quietly the Giant answered, as though he had expected the intruder and his question,
“ The wilderness shall ring with the blows of this steel: and all shall be sweet and fruitful where now the air is poisoned, and the sun is outraged with corruption-in answer to his warmth."
“Begone," said the Shadow of a Man. “I am of the place. Turn up the rotten earth and it will stifle you. The adder will sting your hand: the damp vapours will rack your limbs with pain; the scorpion will hide, in wait, in your working-shoes while you rest at the end of the day. Leave the waste as it has lain from the immemorial time. Break not the crust of the earth which is the foul grave of things that have crawled through ages. To stir it is death to you and to me. We know where the grape grows; where the peach may be plucked, soft to the touch as a damsel's cheek: where the corn is red and heavy. There are to be fruitful places, and there are to be pest-holes. Begone."
“Stand back, and take thy faint heart, to where the bank is
mossed, and flower-freaked ready to thy slumber. Go, pluck the fruit that has ripened to the music of thy snoring. Lap the wine of which not a grape has been plucked by thy hands. Stand away! or it may be, my back-stroke will graze thy shins."
"I go-for you are clearing your own graveyard—and mine."
The air vibrated with the blows of the Giant's axe: the deadly berries fell tremulously from their stalks, and the petals of the weedy plants were spilt over the wreck which fell about the footsteps of the woodman. The veins rose upon his temples; the blood glowed in his hands-while he pushed forward-making through the everthickening tangle, to wall. The sun was upon the shoulder of the hills, and the shadows of the trees were fantastically long, when for the first time the axe smote the brick, and was shivered in the hewer's hands.
The resounding blow brought the Shadow of a Man back, gliding through the shady labyrinth of the trees. He stood at the outer edge of the expanse the Giant had cleared. This one turned, with the splinters of his tool in his hand, and, smiling, waited for the timid Shadow to speak.
“ Back, while you are sound : back, in the name of God!” cried the Shadow.
But the Giant only folded his arms, and stood at rest. Then, after a pause--" It is in the cause of God, wan and wretched creature that thou art, I have bared my arms this day; and, it being His will, shall bare them next sunrise."
“I tell you there is corn more than we shall ever bake : grapes more than we shall ever press : wool more than we shall ever spin. Nature must have her way—and Nature meant this for the toad, the adder, the scorpion, the hemlock, the carrion fly, the fungus, and all the lowest growths of the morass. I say again-come backwhile you are whole. A newt is shifting across your arm, while I speak. Back, man-back.”
The Giant lifted a pick, and laying it daintily in a barrow, threw his garment over his shoulders, slowly advanced from the splintered wall, to the Shadow of a Man-speaking as he came :
"It is a wilderness, and I shall make it the garden of my Prince.
“Dites-moy, les Jardiniers des grands Princes ne sont-ils pas plus curieux et diligens à cultiver et embellir les jardins qu'ils ont en charge, que s'ils leur appartenoient en proprieté ? Mais pourquoi cela ? Parce sans doute qu'ils considerent ces jardins-là comme jardins des Princes et des Rois, auxquels ils desirent de se rendre agréables par ces services-là. Ma Philothée, les possessions que nous avons ne sont pas nôtres, Dieu nous les a données à cultiver, et veut que nous les rendions