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and apparatus complete; thus prov- He has come from his own home ing beyond a doubt that it was not visiting, and has lost his way. On a trained or tame reptile he had this account he got down a wrong been treating like a plaything. hole, and I was enabled to pull him

Doubts still arose in my mind, out. Nasty neighbours and abomihowever, about the genuineness of nable visitors, these cobras ! I will the performance, for I could not take this snake home and feed him bring myself to believe that a man and make him tame.' would willingly place himself in However, we insisted upon seeing such close proximity to certain

him made harmless, or comparadeath.

tively so, and directed the man to A fowl was now obtained and remove his fangs. This he agreed placed about a foot from the reptile, to do, and performed it in this manwhich was again set free. With ner: a piece of wood was cut about the same movements it raised itself an inch square, and held by the & foot from the ground, spread out charmer to the head of the snake. its hood, and with a loud hiss, ap- The reptile seized it as he had done parently of satisfaction, darted upon the fowl, and with a dexterous twist and seized the fowl by the back of of his hand the most primitive perits neck. Hanging there for a few formance of dentistry was accomseconds, it let go its hold, and the plished. The four fangs sticking man at the same instant seized it, into the wood were extracted by the as he had formerly done, by the roots and given to me. I have them head. The fowl almost instanta- now, and look upon them as more neously became drowsy, its head suicidally' pleasant than a pint of falling forwards, and the beak strik- prussic acid or a cask of white ing with considerable force into the arsenic. ground. This convulsive movement Another fowl was now brought lasted ten seconds, and then the and attacked by the snake as before, bird lay down as if completely co- but without any effect; it shook matose and powerless. In fifteen itself, rustled its feathers, and walked seconds it gave a sudden start, and away consequentially. It is alive fell back quite dead. This was the still, unless some enterprising culifirst time I witnessed death from a nary agent has converted it into snake bite, and it is unquestionably 'curry' or 'devil.' a sudden, quiet, and overpowering So it was proved beyond any poison.

doubt that an Indian snake-charmer As no deception could have been was not a 'humbug and swindler,' practised in this instance, I was as many suppose, but a strongmost anxious to see the reptile minded, quick-eyed, active, coukilled; but the charmer said he rageous man. The cool determinawould not have it destroyed; that if tion and heroism of the charmer in it were injured the power he had the present instance was rewarded over the snakes would be interfered by the sum of two rupees (48.); and with, and the next one would no he left the compound with an extra doubt bite and kill him. He ac- snake in his basket, thankful to his counted for his easy capture by say

preservers and feeders of his chiling that this was a great holiday dren,' as he styled us, and to whom, for the snakes, and they had been he said, he owed his life and his enjoying themselves. This one,'

existence. said he, 'is not living in this house.

| J.J. P.

THE GULLIBILITY OF MAN. Nobelore sincerar case of

swindling lity of the world, we shall find, 9a made known the fact that a livery- to one of two distinct principles. stable-keeper -a man with some The first is, that the standard of opportunity of learning the habits probability is at fault; the dupe is of society-had actually lent a man a poor observer of reality and a bad five shillings and paid for two glassss judge of truth. The vraisemblance of gin and water at eleven o'clock in of the French, or the verisimile, the the morning, on the representation truth-like' of the Romans, are more that he was Lord John Russell in a expressive words than our word 'progreat hurry to hire a carriage to go bable.' These words remind us that down to Windsor.

probability depends on resemblance A humorous friend of ours while to the truth; and, naturally, persons boasting of the success of some ab- who have an imperfect knowledge of surd poem he had published, gravely the real must also be bad judges of said the Queen Dowager was so much the counterfeit. They may argue rapleased with it that she sent him a tionally, but from wrong data, which very friendly note, to say she should lead them to ridiculous conclusions. like to make his acquaintance, and The second cause of credulity is, if he came near Bushy Park, she that the greed of money, or other trusted he would slip in and take a violent passion or affection of the glass of sherry.

mind, makes us see through a deluThis, of course, was a jest; but sive medium. We see only one side the following, which would betray of the matter, the mind being no less ignorance of the manners and dragged so forcibly in one direction customs of the royal family of Eng- that we cannot see the other. land in the middle of the nineteenth In the latter case, it matters not century, was no jest at all; but we how 'sensible and sane on other can honestly venture to record it as points' may be the victim of the temevidence of the extraordinary degree porary hallucination, for it is not a of ignorance which is compatible question of wit but of attention; and even with age, experience, and tair Bishop Butler very wisely observed, standing in society.

'though a man have the best eyes A retired naval officer, apt to in the world, he can only see the boast at the expense of truth, a man

way he turns them.' of good property and standing in the In all the notable instances of imsociety of North Devon, who also posture on the one hand and of crepossessed landed property in the dulity on the other, we shall find the Isle of Wight, actually described two sources of error centering in over a dinner-table a half-hour's one and the same person.—We may haggle he pretended to have carried trace a degree of ignorance of men on face to face with her Majesty and manners and of the way perabout some fields adjoining Osborne, sons in any given state of society, which fields, he alleged, her Ma- rank, or character, act under partijesty wanted to buy too cheap; but cular circumstances. Wemay trace, he plainly told her Majesty that also, a state of mental delusion, an happy as he should be to oblige her, impatience of testing a made-up • land was land now-a-days, so we story even by the little experience parted without a deal.'

that the victim happened to possess. The remarks we have to make In the last novel* by the author of upon man's gullibility we preface 'Twenty Years in the Church,' the with these instances of ignorance be- plot turns on the clever devices of cause where such ignorance is possi- one Hannah Hengen, a very reble, credulity and imposition must markable adventuress. The scheme of course be possible to the same ex- Dragons' Teeth. By the Rev. James tent. And whenever anything Pycroft. 2 vols. At' Booth's, Regent occurs to startle us with the credu- Street, and all libraries,

*

is so remarkable, that the author the world is made of; you know vindicates the probability of his business is business: there are some story by saying that he pledges ordinary forms and precautions in himself that, from his own limited use among men of the world, and experience, he could name no less therefore, not that I really suspect than three adventuresses who seve- anything for a moment, all is so rally victimized gentlemen of good sim and artless; but the long and standing and worldly experience by short of the matter is, I must just, stories yet more easy to detect. pro formâ, have the satisfaction of

Having reason to believe-espe- hearing the sad case you relate, and cially from some remarks in the asking a few questions of the lady press while reviewing this popular also. story—that some curiosity has been The story of the fugitive lady excited on the subject, we are happy seemed to the openhearted M.P. as in being favoured with the following simple, as ingenuous, and as transaccount of the three facts stranger parent as that of the gentleman; and than fiction' to which the novelist -as a striking corroboration of the referred.

description which the officer had

given of the suddenness of the deI. A friend of the author one day termination to elope—the lady had told him that an extraordinary ad- no luggage of any kind! Young venture in real life, with which runaway ladies do usually secrete a members of his family had been bundle by help of the waitingnearly connected, happened in the maid, but one pocket-handkerchiet manner following:

and one parasol formed the complete One day, about twenty years since, inventory of the lady's superfluities. at the end of the session, as Mr. The officer related that he met the Salter, an Irish Member of Parlia- lady of his love that very morning ment, was returning home by the in Rotten Row, attended, as usual, London and North-Western Rail- by her maid, and from painful inforway, he became much interested in mation from that maid received, he the conversation of two of his fellow- had hurried the ill-used lady all in travellers—a young officer with a a moment to fly from the cruel delady companion. When the train signs of her most unnatural father stopped at the Wolverhampton sta- on the wings of love and the Lontion, the officer came up to Mr. Sal- don and North-Western Railway. ter and said, that, however strange The Irish gentleman was quite it might seem, he was encouraged excited by the tale. He was also, by his profession to reveal to Mr. like his countrymen in general, Salter circumstances personal to delighted at the dash of adventure himself and lady friend. The fact and the romance of the movement. was, they were both on their way to What Irishman's sympathies ever Gretna Green: the lady was flying failed to take part with those who from a brute of a father who, be- show themselves superior to the cause she would not be persuaded stupidities of order or of law? to sacrifice herself and fortune to My purse,' he said, “is at your some very objectionable suitor, had command, but unfortunately, at the used her so ill that she did not dare present moment, there is nothing to return to his house again; while in it. All I can say is, come over the young officer was fired with love with me to Dublin, I then can get ennobled by pity, at once to rescue a at my money. This unavoidable charming girl from the extremity of delay, however provoking, will, at misery, and (of course he promised all events, baffle all imaginable purhimself) to raise her to the serenest suit, and Gretna will be reached altitudes of mortal bliss and joy without further impediments of any without end.

kind.' Well, well!' said the M.P., 'no The officer and lady accepted the man alive is more ready than I am kind proposal, accompanied this to help a fine fellow in a strait friend in need to Dublin, and received like this. But-but-you know what cash quite equal to their necessities,

The good friend's wife also volun- II. The second case of successful teered her assistance, and lent articles imposture to which the author of from her warılrobe to obviate the in- 'Dragons Teeth' alludes, he has conveniences of so precipitate an ex- related thus: pedition.

Some years since, while living in As soon as we had heard the the city of Chester, I became acstory so far, we naturally antici- quainted with a Mr. Buller (this pated that the end of the matter name will serve), an Oxonian, about would prove to be, that the Irish three-and-twenty years of age—& gentleman never saw his money, member of an excellent family, who and that his good lady's wardrobe was reading for holy orders. He remained minus all the garments so was a man of excellent character, kindly supplied. But not so.

The of some accomplishments, especially money was punctually repaid and music, and was generally much the wearing apparel was as honestly esteemed as a man highly honourreturned. That there was a dupe able and utterly incapable of deceit in the case was true enough; but by all who knew him. After about that dupe was the officer, not the a year, he went to visit his father friend.

and mother-persons of middle age For the officer conducted his and of ordinary intelligence and bride to his father's house; and as worldly experience; and during his soon as time had been allowed for absence, a report reached Chester some kind of overtures to the rela- that Mr. Buller was engaged to be tives of the runaway lady, to appear married to a ward in Chancery, & only reasonable, all parties were sur- lady of noble family and of immense prised at observing that there was a estates in England, with chateaux continued refusal on the part of the and wide domains in Italy also. lady, who every day found some In course of time, Mr. Buller refresh reason for delay when offers of joined his Chester relatives, but only intercession were forced upon her. for a visit of a few days, and brought At last, some one remarked that his intended wife and introduced never once, in the morning's distri- her to my family as among the most bution of the contents of the letter- intimate of his friends in that city. bag, had there been a single epistle The morning after, he visited us for the brido-albeit, a lady of for- alone, was very communicative, and tune with a wide circle of family related incidents in the lady's history connections. 'Surely all her rela- more like a romance than sober tives and friends could not be so truth. However, the more strange implacably offended ; and if so, dis- this adventure, we felt, the more impleasure finds its vent in words as possible that he could be deceived; often as in emphatic silence.'

for, as to staring improbabilities, When suspicion is once excited, where we believe the narrator, we the days of imposture are few in- naturally think, no one would dare deed, and the bride was soon com- to mention them if not true. Still, pelled to confess that she had no everything seemed to set at defianco father, cruel or kind; that she had

the experience of our lives as also no fortune, and-it was readily con- the evidence of all our senses. cluded-she had no character; and 1. The lady, he said, wanted a few her pretended lady's maid ' as little weeks of being of age, although she as herself.

seemed to us five-and-thirty at least; And what became of the unhappy but-she had survived an illness officer who had linked himself to an so remarkable, and had also an acciabandoned woman for a life?

dent which resulted in diminishing Most fortunately, a rigid investi- the bloom of her youthful features. gation of her antecedents elicited 2. The lady was an accomplished that she had another husband living; musician; her singing and playing so the second marriago was void; were the envy of professors; butand the threat of a prosecution for just at that time there was a reason bigamy gave the family little trouble that she could not give even her for the future.

intended husband a sample of either. 3. She was an excellent linguist, the mirth or the malice of a female but-when some ladies from the relative--Mrs. Clyde--who deterContinent addressed her in French mined to practise on his credulity as naturally as they would speak by taking advantage at the same English, she drew back at once; she time both of his vanity and his did not deem it consistent with the greed. etiquette of high life to parade her It was well known to the meraccomplishments by talking French chant that an heiress of large estate in English society.

was living in Steep Street. With In short, a mystery hung over this lady, Mrs. Clyde pretended to everything: if Lord Eldon (he was have become acquainted; and, being then Chancellor) knew-for so she quite her confidante in affairs of tho persuaded Mr. Buller—what he was heart, gladdened the ears of the merdoing with so wealthy a ward, abovo chant with the news that the heiress all, if. he dared to marry her before had set her affections upon him, she was of age, he would be impri- fired by his mere looks-a case of soned for contempt of court.

love at the very first sight. It so happened that the Mar- The only personal communication chioness of Conyngham was at that the bridegroom-elect could be altime announced as spending a few lowed, was on one occasion to kiss days in Chester; whereupon the the hand of the lady through a halflady exclaimed at once, 'I must opened door. avoid all the leading streets, for if the The connection between Mrs. marchioness only catches a glimpse Clyde and the heiress, who in reality of me, she will tell Lord Eldon to a was quite a stranger to her precertainty and we shall be undone.' tended confidante and go-between, The end of all was, Mr. Buller was was established to the satisfaction tricked into marrying a woman whose of the gentleman in a very ingenious connection with the peerage and ex- way. While Mrs. Clyde and the tensive estates will best be under- gentleman were passing the lady's stood if we say she had once been a house on one occasion, the lady was servant in the family of Lord

observed at the window. In an inThis adventuress deceived not stant Mrs. Clyde said she would only one young man but all his just run in and bring him a few family, carrying on the imposition words in the lady's handwriting. over a period of many months. She Accordingly, she knocked at the was even working coronets on a door, ran in past the servant, as if baby's robe when the imposture was quite intimate, saying, 'Your misdiscovered! Mr. Buller and his tress, I see, is in the drawing-room,' family were as select in their society pretended that she and the clergyas most country gentlemen, so it has man of the parish were collecting always been unintelligible how this for coals for the poor, and with an woman ever attained a position even apology for the sudden intrusion, to attempt so audacious a: decep said that the loan of pen and ink

for one moment would oblige. Pen III. The third instance of marry- and ink were produced, when Mrs. ing under a mistake, which the au- Clyde's hand, she said, was too thor of 'Dragons' Teeth' had in view, numbed, and would you be so happened about twenty years sinco kind as to write these few words for in the west of England, and at that me? From that hour all chance of time supplied points for repeated suspicion was obviated, in this vital application to the law courts for point, at all events. setting aside the marriage, but we The end of all was that the merbelieve without effect.

This case

chant met at the altar, and plighted may be more briefly told, though it his troth, 'for better, for worse, till resembles the plot of the novel afore- death us do part, to a bride ensaid more nearly than either of the veloped in a thick veil, which veil

was no sooner thrown off than it A merchant of middle age had, revealed the well-known features of unhappily for him, provoked either

- a fishwoman!

tion.

other instances.

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