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Cuvier. Very like the writing of Charlotte Corday, but not so strong and compact.

Danton. Wilful, daring, without method or care. George the Fourth. Not at all the very gentlemanly hand most people would expect—rather like a housemaid's. Pope. Very bad, small, full of indecision; a very hedge-row of corrections and erasures.

Cardinal Wolsey. A good hand, disturbed only by nervous energy and self-will.

Porson. Correct and steady; the reverse of his personal appearance and habits.

Shakspeare. A very bad hand indeed, confused, crowded, crooked in the lines, and scarcely legible.

Napoleon. Still more illegible. No letters formed at all; the signature a mere hasty "scrimmage" with the pen.

A few words of general gossip on the subject. Of women's handwriting not so much can be said, at least in our own day, when the system of writing a fine hand of a particular kind renders so many of them all alike-hands which seem to be very beautiful and legible, but which are often not at all so, from the letters m, n, u, i, and very often a, s, and r, being a mere series of up and down elegancies, which are indistinguishable. But among those which display character, it has often been of a very different kind to the one expected. On the other side, see what Shakspeare's experience has noticed

Malvolio. By my life, this is my lady's hand!-These be her very c's, her u's, and her t's; and thus makes she her great P's. It is in contempt of question my lady's hand-Twelfth Night.

It was a forgery! Still the fact of imitation showed there were characteristics to imitate, though whether

answering to the actual character of the lady is the great point at issue.

Here are two very characteristic observations of two very celebrated men. Locke says, in a letter to Benjamin Farly, that "the quicker a man writes, the slower others read what he has written !-this," he pointedly adds, "being a remark that may concern the writers of books as well as letters." Lord Chesterfield says in one of his letters to his son"Every man who has the use of his eyes, and of his hand, can write whatever hand he pleases."

I had made notes at the Museum for many more remarks, but, on returning home to Knightsbridge, I found that the little black Virginian boy, with feathers, who hangs on the left-hand side of my door, had been stolen, which has so disheartened me with the study of human nature, for the present, that I shall drop my pen. I will merely conclude with a story from a French historian I have lately read, which I think admirably to the point, and will now translate.

In the early part of the reign of Louis the Fourteenth, a Bolognese, named Primi, who possessed a handsome face, and was a man of wit, and an adventurer who had no objection to make his fortune by the best means that offered, came to France to see what good luck might befall him. During his journey from Lyons to Paris he made the acquaintance of one Claude Duval, a particularly clever enterprising person, who on their arrival presented him to the Abbé de la Baume, afterwards Archbishop of Embrun This reverend personage suddenly conceived the idea of playing off a novel and ingenious hoax, which has been called une singuliére mystification. Finding in the boldness and finesse of Primi, together with his dialect, made

up of Italian and French, his adroitness and personal address, all the qualities desirable for the execution of his project, he shut himself up with him for six weeks, seeing nobody else, excepting the Duke de Vendôme, and the Grand Prior of France, his brother, to whom he presented Primi. All three employed the whole of this time in teaching Primi the private history of persons of the Courttheir intrigues, their friendships, their loves, their hatreds, &c. As soon as they considered him sufficiently indoctrinated, the Abbé de la Baume spread it abroad that he knew an Italian from whom nothing in the past or future was hidden, the moment he set eyes on the handwriting of any person concerning whom any thing was sought to be known. They took care that the first signature should be that of a person whose history was fully known to Primi, by their instructions. Lords and ladies, all the wealthy middle-class, men and women, the court and the city, hurried to Primi with autograph letters and signatures in their hands, and all came away dumb-foundered at his answers! From what he told them of the past, they fully believed all he told them of the future. The Countess of Soissons, above all, took him under her patronage. From her he incidentally extracted all sorts of intrigues of the Court, the whole of which he most promptly turned to good account. From the wonderful things that Primi told her about herself, she described him to the king as a man of preternatural gifts, and begged his majesty to allow Primi to examine his handwriting. After some hesitation the king sent a letter, apparently in his own hand, which the Countess immediately took to Primi. The Italian examined it carefully, and informed the Countess that this writing was that of an old miser, a usurer, a sort of old pawnbroker,—a fellow incapable of any good action. The lady stood con

founded.

She assured him that this once he had blundered most stupidly; but Primi persisted in assuring her that he had made no mistake. The Countess took back the letter to the king, and in courtly language conveyed to him Primi's interpretation of the character of his Majesty's handwriting. His Majesty was astonished, for the letter was, in fact, not his handwriting, but that of M. le President Rose, his private secretary, who so closely imitated the king's handwriting, that Louis continually made him write letters that he wished to be supposed in his own hand. This fact Primi had previously learnt from one of his instructors, the Duke de Vendôme, together with the private character of M. le President Rose. The king was determined to fathom the mystery. It was too deep and perplexing to be endured. The next morning he ordered his chief valet de chambre to bring the Italian to him in his private cabinet. Primi," said his Majesty, "I have only two words to say :-your secret!—for which I will give you a pension of two thousand pounds :-if not, the gallows!" It is hardly necessary to say which of the two was chosen by the Italian.

66

The Mysteries of a Cea-Kettle.

Α'

T one of Mr. Bagges's small scientific tea-parties, Mr. Harry Wilkinson delivered to the worthy gentleman a lecture, based principally on reminiscences of the Royal Institution, and of a series of lectures delivered there, by PROFESSOR FARADAY, addressed to children and young people. For it is not the least of the merits of that famous chemist and great man, PROFESSOR FARADAY, that he delights to make the mightiest subject clear to the simplest capacity; and that he shows his mastery of Nature in nothing more than in being thoroughly imbued with the spirit of her goodness and simplicity.

This particular Lecture was on Natural Philosophy in its bearings on a kettle. The entertainment of a "Night with Mr. Bagges" was usually extemporaneous. It was so on this occasion. The footman brought in the tea-kettle. "Does it boil?" demanded Mr. Bagges.

"It have biled, sir," answered the domestic.

"Have biled, sir !" repeated Mr. Bagges. "Have biled! And what if it has 'biled,' or boiled, as I desire you will say in future? What is that to the purpose? Water may be frozen, you simpleton, notwithstanding it has boiled.

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