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D'Estrades at Turin, and had the boldness to press | neighbourhood. The peasants observed that his teeth for payment of expenses incurred by him during and lips were seen, that he was tall, and had gray the late affair. Here he fell into his own trap: hair. The mask, to which he owed much of his fame, the application was craftily answered, and the parties seems to have been of black velvet, fitted to his face proceeded together to a place within the French with strong whalebones, fastened by a padlock behind territory, where Matthioli was instantly arrested. his head, and further secured by a seal. That his Though armed, he offered no resistance, but was features were ever actually cased in iron is a tale not carried that night to Pignerol; the leader of the to be believed. Still, it is painful to reflect on the sufparty alone (Catinat) knowing the prisoner, whom, ferings a dishonest man, of an active mind, must have for better concealment, he named L'Estang. From undergone in his tedious confinement, during which that period to the day of his death, a space of more the horrible order issued by Louis was, "That he than twenty-four years, Matthioli remained under the should have nothing which could make life agreeable." close and watchful custody of St. Mars, first at After an imprisonment of twenty-four years and Pignerol, next at Exiles, then at the Isle of St. Mar- a half, Matthioli's deliverance came upon him almost guerite, and lastly in the Bastille. as suddenly as his loss of freedom. On a Sunday in November, 1703, he felt a slight illness on going from mass, and died the next morning, without any apparently serious attack of disease, being then sixtythree years of age. He was buried the following day, in the neighbouring church-yard of St. Paul, and is registered in the books of that parish, as Marchiali, aged about forty-five years." Persons who died in the Bastille were frequently interred under false names and ages; and it is by no means surprising, in the case of such a notable state-prisoner, that his persecutors, who had adopted during his life every expedient to conceal his real name and history, should have resorted to this method of preventing discovery after death, especially as this happened while Louis and the Duke were still alive. On the decease of the pretended Marchiali, his keepers scraped and whitewashed his prison-walls; and not content with reducing to ashes even the doors and window-frames of his apartment, they melted down all the metal vessels, whether of copper, pewter, or silver, which had been used in his service. When the records of the prison were made public, in 1789, the register was searched in vain for any thing that could throw light on this affair: the leaf which contained it had been carefully removed.
It is needless to follow the poor sufferer through all his mean prevarications: his treason was clearly proved; and certainly a more ingenious plan of revenge was never resorted to, than that adopted by the capricious monarch in this remarkable case. After a confinement of nearly ten months at Pignerol, the prisoner began to show symptoms of a wandering of mind: he talked incoherently of unearthly visits and apparitions. This afforded an excuse for increasing his punishment, by placing him in the same room with a Jacobin monk, who was actually mad, perhaps from ill-usage, and who annoyed him by some outrageous attempts at preaching. A painful part of the story is, that Matthioli, on showing some obstinate resistance, was threatened with the cudgel; a treatment which he received meekly, as it appears he presented a valuable ring to the officer who had threatened him.
In 1681, St. Mars was removed to the command of Exiles, a few leagues from Pignerol; and the Count and his companion were carried with him in a litter, and under military escort. Owing, it is supposed, to the unwholesome air of this place, the monk died; and in 1687, St. Mars, who had become governor of St. Marguerite, reported of one prisoner only. This we are warranted in concluding was Matthioli, the man in the iron mask. He passed eleven years of his existence in the Isle of St. Marguerite. His chamber is described as lighted by a single grated window on the north side, in a wall nearly four feet thick, facing the sea... It is here that he is described by Voltaire as richly dressed, supplied with laces from Paris, served at table with silver plate, wearing a mask of iron, and occasionally amusing himself in solitude by plucking out the hairs of his beard with steel pincers. Here, too, it is said, Louvois visited him, and remained respectfully standing in his presence. After the particulars we have given, it is hardly necessary to point out the exaggerations which appear in these and other highly-coloured statements respecting him: and our readers will not be surprised to learn that the mysterious writing picked up by the fisherman was scribbled with "sorry stuff" by another person, not on a silver, but in reality a pewter, dish; that the interesting "young" prisoner, though tall and dignified, was in the downhill of life; and that his clothes, however rich and handsome they may have been at the commencement of his captivity, were ordered to last him three or four years together. But we approach the end of this strange eventful history, by tracing the governor, attended by his helpless burden, on his way to that memorable prison in Paris, the Bastille, which they entered in September, 1698. Matthioli travelled in a litter; and it is reported that on one occasion, when St. Mars halted in the neighbourhood of his own estate of Palteau, the unknown was seen coming out of his vehicle in a black mask; a circumstance still talked of in the 142-2
If it may appear strange, that a person of no greater consequence than the Duke of Mantua's agent should have been the object of these anxious precautions, it must be again observed, that fiction has thrown false lights on the history of his fate. That Louis the Fourteenth should doom Matthioli to captivity for life, and desire that no man should hear his story, or even look upon his face, is, under the circumstances, not surprising. His crime was peculiar; he had broken faith with the government of the great monarch, and exposed his baffled scheme to the courts of Italy. Pride and rage called aloud for vengeance, and that in a way not uncommon in France at the period in question. Matthioli was to be as one dead: and though the king's hand was kept from his blood, the whole transaction fixes a dreadful stain on the character of Louis. To invent means of effecting his design was the business of inferior agents: and the walls of old state-prisons, if they could speak, would, doubtless, record various instances of fantastic and curious persecution, harassing alike to captive and to keeper, displaying the very excess and refinement of cruelty; as if men aimed at perfection in the practice of oppression, as of nobler arts.
Such is the true story of the Iron Mask. It will not now be the astonishment of future ages: but it may still continue to instruct them, although its hero has descended from the rank of princes, patriarchs, and admirals, to that of a mean Italian adventurer, whose memoir may he concluded in the words of the poet ;
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell, I took thee for thy better! [Partly taken from an article in the Quarterly Review.]
THE GYMNOTUS, OR ELECTRICAL EEL. In our notice of the remarkable properties of the Gymnotus*, we did not attempt to account for them, though in the present state of human knowledge they are not perhaps inexplicable. We know that the galvanic or electric influence, whatever it may be, has a powerful effect upon living bodies, and is, perhaps, the instrument, in whole or in part, by which nervous energy is conveyed from one part of the frame to another; as when the brain actuates the limbs by means of the muscles through the nerves, or sensation is carried back from the limbs to the brain; and persons of weak and diseased habit are often powerfully affected by the electrical changes of the atmosphere, especially before a thunder-storm. But we have no distinct perception of the power of conveying or receiving galvanic influence, as developed in the case of the Gymnotus; and hence it has been conjectured by some persons, that that animal has a sixth sense wholly unknown to us. This was the opinion generally entertained when the electrical eel became a subject of curiosity many years ago, as we find stated in the following curious letter, written by the learned Sir William Jones, to his pupil Lord Althorp, in 1777.
I hasten, my dear lord, to impart to you the pleasure I received to-day, from seeing a series of experiments, exhibited by Mr. Walsh on the American eel, by which he clearly proved, that the animal has a sensation wholly distinct from any of the five senses. When he announced the proposition to be demonstrated, I thought it might possibly be true, but could not conceive how a new sense could be made perceptible to any sense of mine, as I imagined it would be like talking to a deaf man of harmonic sounds, or to one who has no palate of nectarines and pine-apples; but he produced the fullest conviction in me, that his position was in a degree just. His first experiment was by fixing four wires about two inches in the water where the fish was swimming, one in each quarter of the elliptical trough; each of these wires communicated with a large glass of water placed on a table at a little distance, though the distance signified nothing, for the experiment, had the wires been long enough, might have been conducted in another room; while the four glasses remained separate, the gymnotus, (for that is his technical name,) was perfectly insensible of the wires, but in the very instant when a communication was made by an instrument between any two of the glasses, he seemed to start, and swam directly to the wires which were thus joined, paying no attention to the others, till a junction was made between them also. This could not be sight, because he did not see the wires while they were insulated, though they were equally conspicuous; it could not be feeling, (at least not like our feeling,) because the water was not in the least agitated; still less could it be hearing, and least of all, smell or taste. It was, therefore, a distinct electrical sense of feeling, or power of conceiving any stronger conductor than the water around him, for which reason he did not perceive the wires till their junction, because they were still at the extremities of the tub, and so little in the water, that they were less-powerful conductors. Several other experiments were exhibited with equal success; one of them only I will mention. A triangular instrument of brass was held over the tub, and one of the legs placed gently in the water, to which the fish was wholly inattentive, though he swam close to it; but when the other leg was immersed to complete the circulation, he instantly started. It is by this faculty that the wonderful animal has notice of his prey and his enemies.
There is nothing unreasonable in the notion that there may exist among the inferior animals, senses unknown to man. The habits which many kinds of fishes and birds display of migration, as if under the direction of a process of reasoning, has by some persons been supposed to be in each case the result of a peculiar sense. Even the bat's facility of avoiding obstacles as it flies in the dark, has by some writers been conjectured to arise from a distinct • See Saturday Magazine, Vol. IV., p. 144.
faculty t; but the actual existence of any such sense has not been demonstrated, nor is it proved that a considerable acuteness of one or other of the known five senses might not be sufficient to account for the facts. In the case of the bat, any one of the senses of seeing, hearing, or feeling, might be so modified and increased, as to enable the creature to perceive
Some blind men can discover that they are approaching a wall by the echo, the confinement of the air, and other minute circumstances, though instead of having six senses, they have but four. Gymnotus, in like manner, might, by a peculiarity of feeling, or even by taste, discover when the circuit between the wires was formed.
Take a piece of silver and another of zinc; place the one under the tongue and the other over it; and let a third person complete the circle by making the extremity of the one plate touch the extremity of the other, and the person who is thus galvanised, will be sensible of a metallic taste, though he sees not the junction of the metals. If sufficiently powerful, he might also feel a shock through his tongue. There is nothing, therefore, incredible in the notion, that the Gymnotus could, by its delicate galvanic organs, ascertain the junction of the wires, without any new sense; and our present knowledge of electric and galvanic power, the latter of which was wholly unknown in the time of Sir W. Jones, it would even be easy to imitate the experiment upon a person placed in a tub of water, and made part of the circuit of this subtile energy.
+ See Saturday Magazine, Vol. V., p. 53.
A HARE, closely pursued by the hounds, was suddenly lost sight of; she had plunged into a deep ditch overgrown with briers; and, after running some distance along its bottom, crept slowly up the bank and stretched herself, breathless and almost dead with terror and fatigue, beneath the legs of a group of school-boys, who had there seated themselves, watching with deep anxiety and interest the fortunes of the chase. As soon as the astonishment excited by this unexpected appearance of poor puss had somewhat subsided, an animated debate arose amongst the youngsters, respecting the disposal of the exhausted creature. The majority, allured by the hope of reward, voted for the prompt surrender of the unfortunate refugee to her merciless pursuers. One boy, however, declared loudly against this meditated act of perfidy,-the violation of sanctuary; and avowed himself resolutely bent, if need were, upon wager of battle in the cause of humanity. The intrepid fellow was, at length, joined by one or two of his more generous associates. After a brief, but stormy altercation, the voices of honour and of mercy prevailed: and, although many an anxious and eventful year has since passed over us, we have not yet forgotten the glow of exultation which lighted up the eyes, and expanded the hearts of the youthful defenders of the persecuted creature, when they heard the voices of dog and man, after a short pause, grow fainter upon the breeze; and saw the poor hare herself, recruited by a few minutes' respite, limp off to rest in safety, or at least to die in peace, beneath the sheltering underwood of an adjacent coppice.-Field Naturalist.
THE circumstance of the very general diffusion over the surface of the globe of the remains of the elephant, would indicate either that the climate of our planet was more equal in temperature at the time these animals inhabited the earth, or, which is now rendered more probable by the recent speculations of scientific men, that some very gradual changes have modified the temperature of different portions of the earth's surface in succession, so as to render each habitable by animals now exclusively confined to the warmer regions; but whether those species of animals which no longer exist were destroyed by similar changes, rendering the countries they inhabited unfit for their existence, or by some violent convulsion, is probably a question which, with our limited means of knowledge, we may never be able to answer.
No. III. BLACK GANG CHINE. THE mild and genial climate of this island, added to the variety of its picturesque attractions, has long rendered it a favourite resort during the summermonths. In every direction, some new and peculiar feature arrests the eye: here, it calmly dwells upon the unobtrusive beauties of some cultivated and retired valley; there, it is bewildered by the wild and frowning aspect of masses of rock, that betray by their confusion the effects of some fearful convulsion of nature, in times beyond the reach of human record. Hill and dale, the swelling promontory, and the lowly glen, appear in quick succession, to animate and give interest to the prospect. The land, almost entirely round the south coast, is high and precipitous, the cliffs very steep, and huge fragments, torn from their summits, lie scattered in wild and irregular masses along the shore. Many of these are of great extent, and are known by the name of the Undercliff, forming, as the term indicates, a lower terrace, that extends to the very edge of the sea. A wild scene of confusion is thus produced: masses of the sandstone, of which the lower strata consist, project in uncouth and beetling crags, combining in a thousand fantastic forms with the luxuriant foliage, .to which the deep dingles between the terraces afford a shelter.
On the northern coast, the ground slopes to the water in easy declivities, excepting towards the Needles, or western extremity, where the rocks are bare, broken, and precipitous. The height of the cliffs of which the Needles form the extreme point, is in some places upwards of 600 feet, and when viewed from a short distance at sea, these huge bulwarks have a grand and stupendous effect. These rocks, (which, like the neighbouring cliffs of Freshwater,
afford shelter to immense flocks of wild-fowl*,) derive their name from a lofty pointed one, somewhat resembling a needle in shape, which had been disjointed with the others from the main-land, whether by the force of the waves, or in one of those convulsions of nature, which have so distorted the strata of the whole island, it is impossible to say. This rock rose to a height of 120 feet above low-water mark; but about fifty years since, its base having been undermined by the action of the waves, it gave way, and totally disappeared.
At Alum Bay, to the north of the needles, the cliff is beautifully variegated, for the distance of about 3000 feet, by the different strata, or beds of earth, which are here almost perpendicular, and very numerous, succeeding each other in narrow, well-defined stripes. These strata present a great diversity of colour, some consisting of layers of red and yellow ochre, others of fuller's earth, and others, again, of several kinds of sand, of almost every hue. The bay derives its name from the alum found there, which was an article of commerce so far back as the reign of Elizabeth. Sir R. Worsley, in his history of the island, gives the copy of a curious warrant from that queen, empowering an ancestor of his own to search for alum on this spot. This document bears the signature of the lord treasurer, Burleigh, and is dated the 7th of March, 1561.
The climate of the Isle of Wight is very salubrious, and highly favourable to vegetation; its genial qualities, and near approach to the climate of more southern latitudest, is sufficiently evidenced by the
Puffins, razor-bills, gulls, cormorants, Cornish choughs, daws, starlings, wild pigeons, &c + For the cause of this temperature see page 34 of the present
luxuriance of the foliage, which flourishes even to the very shore; myrtles and geraniums being found, of enoromous growth, almost within reach of the waves. The central parts of the island are subject to frequent rains, from the vapours attracted by the high range of hills that traverse it from east to west; and in the winter-months these rains prevail to a great extent. The general fertility is, however, so little affected, and the produce of the soil so abundant, that this island has long been styled "The garden of England."
Springs of clear water are very numerous, and are in general very pure and transparent, from the natural percolation they undergo through the limestone, of which all the higher portions of the island are composed.
Mineral springs have, from time to time been discovered in different parts. At Shanklin, one of the most romantic spots in the island, a spring was discovered by Dr. Frazer, physician to Charles II., the waters of which are slightly tinged with alum. Pitland, there is another, containing sulphur. And of those impregnated with iron, that at Black Gang Chine, under Chale Cliff, is the most celebrated.
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
But the attraction of this wild spot consists rather in the romantic grandeur of the cliff, than in the virtues of the chalybeate. Chale Bay, which extends from the southernmost point of the island towards the west, is about three miles in extent, and has at low water a fine broad beach, separated from the high country above by a continued range of perpendicular cliffs, extremely dangerous to shipping. This is the Undercliff before mentioned, and here is situated the
chasm represented in our engraving. The pathway
With the wild flocks that never need a fold
THE practices of the best men are more subject to error than their speculations. I will honour good examples: but I will live by good precepts.-BISHOP HALL.
ON WILLS. No. V. WILLS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY CONtinued. § 8. On Bequests of Annuities.
IN our last paper we explained the nature of legacies, and pointed out the difference between general and specific legacies. We will now say a few words on a particular sort of legacy: viz., on bequests of annuities.
There are several ways in which a testator may bequeath an annual sum to a legatee, to be paid during his life, or some other period. He may direct his executors to purchase an annuity of the proposed amount and duration, from an insurance office, or from government. Or he may direct his executors to set apart a portion of his property, which will yield the intended amount, and to pay the income arising from that portion to the legatee during his life, or during such other period as may be proposed: and proceed to declare what shall be done with the portion set apart when the annuity shall have ceased. Or, thirdly, he may bequeath the annuity in general terms; and then his whole property will be liable to the payment, and his executors must take care, at their own peril, to retain a sufficient part of it for the
Of these three modes, the first will generally be found the best. The gift is satisfied at once, and the testator's property is for ever discharged from it. In adopting the second mode, there is danger of the portion directed to be set apart falling in value, and not yielding enough to pay the annuity. And the third plan exposes the executors to too much hazard, and might prevent timid or cautious men from distributing any part of the property until the annuity has ceased to be payable.
9. Of the Residue. WHEN a testator has made all the particular bequests out of his property which he intends to do, he usually gives the remainder of it to some person, who is called the residuary legatee. If he omits to do this, he is said to die intestate as to the residue; and the surplus then goes to his next of kin in the same manner as the whole of his property would have gone, if he had made no Will at all.
The residue may be disposed of in the same form as was recommended in our last paper, for the disposition of the whole of a testator's property; except that, instead of bequeathing "all his personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever," he will bequeath "all the residue of his personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever, not otherwise by
disposed of." The same caution, too, which is there given against mentioning particular articles by name in a bequest of the whole, applies equally to a bequest of the residue.
Some testators will omit to make any disposition of the residue, believing that they have exhausted all their property in particular legacies, and have nothing left to dispose of. But this ought never to be depended on; both because a Will operates on the personal property which the testator has at the time of his death, and he cannot therefore tell, when he is making his Will, what the amount of it will be; and also, because some of his particular legacies may fail by the objects of his bounty dying in his lifetime, and may thus create a residue to be disposed of.
§ 10. Of the Appointment of Executors and Guardians.
In cases of complicated disposition of property, it becomes necessary to introduce in a Will various clauses and provisions, some of which we may shortly
notice in a future paper. But in ordinary cases, when a testator has bequeathed all his particular legacies, and disposed of the residue, nothing remains to be done but to declare who shall execute his Will.
Such a declaration is not necessary. The Will is not rendered less valid by the omission of it, but may be executed by any of the persons who are interested in carrying it into effect. But a testator would seldom wish to leave this to chance, and would prefer selecting those who are to distribute his property. Any form is sufficient for this purpose; for instance, "I nominate C. D. (or C. D. and E. F.) to be the executor (or executors, or executrix, if a woman) of this my Will."
It is very useful, if convenient in other respects, to appoint as your executor the person whom you have made your residuary legatee. You thus prevent the necessity of a general account, which is the chief source of dispute and litigation. For all that your executor has then to do is, to pay your debts, and to satisfy the particular legacies given by your Will; and if he discharges these duties, he is accountable to no one for his dealings. Whereas, if your executor and residuary legatee are different persons, the former must account to the latter for every fraction of your property, and for all his acts and dealings as executor; in the course of which it is easy to conceive that much difference of opinion may occur. As a general rule, therefore, the residuary legatee is the most proper person to be appointed executor.
Where a testator leaves infant children, he may choose to appoint some one to be their guardian. This may be done in the simplest form; but it is necessary, in order to give the guardian full power as such, that the Will be attested by two witnesses.
§ 11. Of the Date and Conclusion.
It is usual, after appointing executors, to conclude a Will in some such words as the following; "And I hereby revoke all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made, and declare this to be my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof, I, the said A. B., have hereunto" (or, if the Will consists of several sheets, "to each of the three sheets hereof) signed my name this 1st day of August, 1834." And then follows the signature.
Sometimes a testator will seal, as well as sign, his Will; either for greater solemnity, or to tender it a valid appointment under some power which requires that formality. And in such a case, if the Will consists of several sheets, he usually signs and seals the last, and contents himself with signing only the former sheets. He should then conclude his Will thus: "In witness whereof, I, the said A. B., have subscribed my name to each of the two first sheets of this my Will, and have set my hand and seal to the third and last sheet thereof, this 1st day of August, 1834.
It is hardly necessary to state that these forms are of no essential importance, and are recommended only for their convenience and on the ground of prudence. It is, however, of the highest consequence that the date of a Will or Codicil be distinctly given in some part of it, as upon that, the whole validity of the instrument may depend. We happen to know a case in which the want of a date caused the greatest perplexity.
A testator left a Will regularly drawn up and dated, and also a paper, written by himself, bequeathing several legacies, but without a date. If this paper was written before the Will, it was revoked by the Will but if after, it was good as a Codicil.
It became, therefore, of the utmost importance, to learn the time when it was written; and the parties used every effort to discover that fact, but in vain. The question was at length decided by a test, which has been applied in other cases, but is, we believe, by no means a sure one. The residuary legatee named in the Will, whose interest it was to set aside the other paper, examined the watermark on the latter document, and found that it bore a date later than that of the Will. He had the generosity to communicate his discovery, and to allow the disputed paper to be established as a valid Codicil. W.
[To be continued.]
Arise, thou sluggard: thy death is near!
ON one of the mightiest of those mighty streams which flow across America, and with which our largest rivers are in comparison but little brooks, is the noblest fall of water known in the world. The width of the river, and the enormous volume of water which comes roaring and splashing down an unbroken height of 100 feet, make it impossible for any boat to shoot the fall without being torn to atoms in the "hell of waters" below, nor is ever any vestige found of the vessel which has once plunged into the unfathomed and unfathomable gulf.
Above this frightful scene, two or three miles up the stream, an Indian canoe was one day observed floating quietly along, with its paddle upon its side. At first, it was supposed to be empty: no one could imagine that a man would expose himself to such well-known and imminent danger. But a turn in the current soon gave the travellers a sight of an Indian, lying idly asleep at the bottom. They were shocked. They called aloud, but he did not hear: they shouted in an agony of pity and alarm; but he was deaf to their saving cry. It chanced that the current, which was now hurrying along with increased speed as it neared the fatal precipice, drove the little boat against a point of rock with such violence, that it was whirled round and round several times. He's safe! He's safe! cried the spectators, joyfully: the man is safe; that shock must wake him. But, alas! No! Fatigue or drunkenness (to whic savages are particularly addicted) had so oppressed his senses, that it seemed more like death than sleep which held him ;-it was, indeed, the sleep of death. All chance was gone, and they hurried along the shore, more in alarm than hope, to see the end. It soon came; for the torrent was now rolling so rapidly, that they could scarcely keep pace with the object of their interest. At length the roar of the water, which had been hitherto almost buried within the high banks below, by a sudden change of the wind broke upon them with double violence. This dreadful noise, with which the Indian ear was so familiar, did at last arouse him. He was seen to start up, and snatch his paddle. But it was too late: the same dinning sound which had roused him from insensibility, told him at the same time that it was in vain to seek for safety now by rowing: nor, indeed, had he time to try-upright, as he stood, he went over the precipice, and the boat and its occupant were seen no more.
Reader, the river is the current of life-the falls, are man's end-the travellers, the ministers of the Gospel: listen thou to their call, for the boatman is, perhaps, thyself! D. K.
THE gift of prayer may have the praise of men, but it is the grace of prayer that nas power with God,