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till he is used to them: and when
Alfred was relieved of these, his sleep was still driven away by biting insects
and barking dogs, two opiates provided in many of these placid Retreats, with a
view to the permanence, rather than the comfort, of the lodgers.
On the eighth day Alfred
succeeded at last in an object he had steadily pursued for some time: he caught
the two see-saw humbugs together.
"Now," said he, "you say he
intercepts my letters, and he says it is you who do it. Which is the truth?"
They were staggered, and he
followed up his advantage: "Look me in the face, gentlemen," said he. " Can you
pretend you do not know I am sane? Ah, you turn your heads away. You can only
tell this barefaced lie behind my back. Do you believe in God, and in a judgment
to come? Then, if you can not release me, at least don't be such scoundrels as
to stop my letters, and so swindle me out of a fair trial, an open, public
The doctor parried with a
formula. "Publicity would be the greatest misfortune could befall you. Pray be
Now, an asylum is a place not
entirely exempt from prejudices: and one of them is that any sort of appeal to
God Almighty is a sign or else forerunner of maniacal excitement.
These philosophers forget that by
stopping letters, evading public trials, and, in a word, cutting off all appeals
to human justice, they compel the patient to turn his despairing eyes, and lift
his despairing voice to Him, whose eye alone can ever really penetrate these
Accordingly the patient who
appealed to God above a whisper in Silverton Grove House used to get soothed
directly. And the tranquilizing influences employed were morphia, croton oil, or
The keeper came to Alfred in his
room. "Doctor has ordered a blister."
"What for? Send for him
"He is gone."
This way of ordering torture and
then coolly going irritated Alfred beyond endurance. Though he knew he should
soon be powerless, he showed fight; made his mark as usual on a couple of his
zealous attendants; but, not having room to work in, was soon overpowered,
hobbled and handcuffed: then they cut off his hair, and put a large blister on
the top of his head.
The obstinate brute declined to
go mad. They began to respect him for this tenacity of purpose; a decent bedroom
was allotted him; his portmanteau and bag were brought him, and he was let walk
every day on the lawn with a keeper, only there were no ladders left about, and
the trap-door was locked; i. e. the iron gate.
On one of these occasions he
heard the gate-keeper whistle three times consecutively; his attendant followed
suit, and hurried Alfred into the house, which soon rang with treble signals.
"What is it?" inquired Alfred.
"The visiting justices are in
sight: go into your room, please."
"Yes, I'll go," said Alfred,
affecting cheerful compliance, and the man ran off.
The whole house was in a furious
bustle. All the hobbles, and chains, and instruments of restraint, were hastily
collected and bundled out of sight, and clean sheets were being put on many a
filthy bed whose occupant had never slept in sheets since he came there, when
two justices arrived and were shown into the drawing-room.
During the few minutes they were
detained there by Mrs. Archbold, who was mistress of her whole business, quite a
new face was put on every thing and every body; ancient cobwebs fell; soap and
water explored unwonted territories; the harshest attendants began practicing
pleasant looks and kind words on the patients, to get into the way of it, so
that it might not come too abrupt and startle the patients visibly under the
visitors' eyes: something like actors working up a factitious sentiment at the
wing for the public display, or like a race-horse's preliminary canter. Alfred's
heart beat with joy inexpressible. He had only to keep calm, and this was his
last day at Silverton Grove. The first thing he did was to make a careful
The stinginess of relations, and
the greed of mad-house proprietors, makes many a patient look ten times madder
than he is, by means of dress. Clothes wear out in an asylum, and are not always
taken off, though Agriculture has long and justly claimed them for her own. And
when it is no longer possible to refuse the Reverend Mad Tom or Mrs. Crazy Jane
some new raiment, then consanguineous munificence does not go to Poole or Elise,
but oftener to paternal or maternal wardrobes, and even to the ancestral chest,
the old oak one, singing:
"Poor things, they are out of the
world: what need for them to be in the fashion!" (Formula.)
This arrangement keeps the bump
of self-esteem down, especially in women, and so cooperates with many other
little arrangements to perpetuate the lodger.
Silverton Grove in particular was
supplied with the grotesque in dress from an inexhaustible source; whenever
money was sent Baker to buy a patient a suit, he went from his lunacy shop to
his pawnbroker's, dived headlong into unredeemed pledges, dressed his patient as
gentlemen are dressed to reside in cherry-trees; and pocketed five hundred per
cent. on the double transaction. Now Alfred had already observed that many of
the patients looked madder than they were—thanks to short trowsers and
petticoats, holey gloves, ear-cutting shirt-collars, frilled bosoms, shoes made
for, and declined by, the very infantry; coats short in the waist and long in
the sleeves, coal-scuttle bonnets, and
grandmaternal caps. So he made
his toilet with care, and put his best hat on to hide his shaven crown. He then
kept his door ajar, and waited for a chance of speaking to the justices. One
soon came; a portly old gentleman, with a rubicund face and honest eye, walked
slowly along the corridor, looking as wise as he could, cringed on by Cooper and
Dr. Bailey; the latter had arrived post-haste, and Baker had been sent for.
Alfred came out, touched his hat respectfully, and begged a private interview
with the magistrate. The old gentleman bowed politely, for Alfred's dress,
address, and countenance left no suspicion of insanity possible in an
But the Doctor whispered in his
ear, "Take care, Sir. Dangerous!"
Now this is one of the most
effective of the formulae in a private asylum. How can an inexperienced stranger
know for certain that such a statement is a falsehood? and even the just do not
love justice—to others—quite so well as they love their own skins. So Squire
Tollett very naturally declined a private interview with Alfred; and even drew
back a step, and felt uneasy at being so near him. Alfred implored him not to be
imposed upon. "An honest man does not whisper," said he. "Do not let him poison
your mind against me; on my honor I am as sane as you are, and he knows it.
Pray, pray use your own eyes, and ears, Sir, and give yourself a chance of
discovering the truth in this strong-hold of lies."
"Don't excite yourself, Mr.
Hardie," put in the Doctor, parentally. (Formula.)
"Don't you interrupt me, Doctor;
I am as calm as you are. Calmer; for, see, you are pale at this moment; that is
with fear that your wickedness in detaining a sane man here is going to be
exposed. Oh, Sir," said he, turning to the justice, "fear no violence from me,
not even angry words; my misery is too deep for irritation or excitement. I am
an Oxford man, Sir, a prize man, an Ireland scholar. But, unfortunately for me,
my mother left me ten thousand pounds, and a heart. I love a lady, whose name I
will not pollute by mentioning it in this den of thieves. My father is the
well-known banker, bankrupt, and cheat, of Barkington. He has wasted his own
money, and now covets his neighbor's and his son's. He had me entrapped here on
my wedding-day, to get hold of my money, and rob me of her I love. I appeal to
you, Sir, to discharge me; or, if you have not so much confidence in your own
judgment as to do that, then I demand a commission of lunacy and a public
Dr. Bailey said, "That would be a
most undesirable exposure, both to yourself and your friends." (Formula.)
"It is only the guilty who fear
the light, Sir," was the swift reply.
Mr. Toilet said he thought the
patient had a legal right to a commission of lunacy if there was property, and
he took note of the application. He then asked Alfred if he had any complaint to
make of the food, the beds, or the attendants.
"Sir," said Alfred, "I leave
those complaints to the insane ones: with me the gigantic wrong drives out the
petty worries. I can not feel my stings for my deep wound."
"Oh, then, you admit you are not
treated unkindly here?"
"I admit nothing of the kind,
Sir. I merely decline to incumber your memory with petty injuries, when you are
good enough to inquire into a monstrous one."
"Now that is very sensible and
considerate," said Mr. Tollett. " will see you, Sir, again before we leave."
With this promise Alfred was
obliged to be content. He retired respectfully, and the justice said, "He seems
as sane as I am." The Doctor smiled. The justice observed it, and not aware that
this smile was a formula, as much so as a prize-fighter's or a ballet-dancer's,
began to doubt a little: he reflected a moment, then asked who had signed the
"Dr. Wycherley for one."
"Dr. Wycherley? that is a great
"One of the greatest in the
"Oh then one would think he must
be more or less deranged."
"Dangerously so at times. But in
his lucid intervals you never saw a more quiet, gentlemanly creature."
"Very. He is my most interesting
patient (Formula), though terribly violent at times. Would you like to see the
medical journal about him?"
The inspection then continued;
the inspector admired the clean sheets that covered the beds, all of them dirty,
some filthy; and asked the more reasonable patients to speak freely and say if
they had any complaint to make. This question being with the usual sagacity of
public inspectors put in the presence of Cooper and the Doctor, who stuck to
Tollett like wax, the mad people all declared they were very kindly treated: the
reason they were so unanimous was this; they knew by experience that, if they
told the truth, the justices could not at once remedy their discomforts, whereas
the keepers, the very moment the justices left the house, would knock them down,
beat them, shake them, strait-jacket them, and starve them: and the Doctor, less
merciful, would doctor them. So they shook in their shoes, and vowed they were
very comfortable in Silverton Grove.
Thus, in later days, certain
Commissioners of Lunacy inspecting Accomb House, extracted nothing from Mrs.
Turner but that she was happy and comfortable under the benignant sway of
Metcalf the mild—there present. It was only by a miracle the public learned the
truth; and miracles are rare.
Meantime, Alfred had a misgiving.
plausible Doctor had now Squire
Tollett's ear, and Tollett was old, and something about him reminded the Oxonian
of a trait his friend Horace had detected in old age:
Vel quod res omnes timide gelide
Dilator, spe longus, iners, etc.
He knew there was another justice
in the house, but he knew also he should not be allowed to get speech with him,
if by cunning or force it could be prevented. He kept his door ajar. Presently
nurse Hannah came bustling along with an apronful of things, and let herself
into a vacant room hard by. This Hannah was a young woman with a pretty and
rather babyish face, diversified by a thick biceps muscle in her arm that a
blacksmith need not have blushed for. And I suspect it was this masculine charm,
and not her feminine features, that had won her the confidence of Baker and Co.,
and the respect of his female patients; big or little, excited or not excited,
there was not one of them this bicipital baby-face could not pin by the wrists,
and twist her helpless into a strong room, or handcuff her unaided in a moment;
and she did it too, on slight provocation. Nurse Hannah seldom came into
Alfred's part of the house; but, when she did meet him, she generally gave him a
kind look in passing; and he had resolved to speak to her, and try if he could
touch her conscience, or move her pity. He saw what she was at, but was too
politic to detect her openly and irritate her. He drew back a step, and said,
softly, "Nurse Hannah! Are you there?"
"Yes, I am here," said she,
sharply, and came out of the room hastily; and shut it. "What do you want, Sir?"
Alfred clasped his hands
together. "If you are a woman, have pity on me."
She was taken by surprise. "What
can I do?" said she, in some agitation. "I am only a servant."
"At least tell me where I can
find the Visiting Justice, before the keepers stop me."
"Hush! Speak lower," said Hannah.
"You have complained to one, haven't you?"
"Yes. But he seems a feeble old
fogy. Where is the other? Oh, pray tell me."
"I mustn't; I mustn't. In the
noisy ward. There, run."
And run he did.
Alfred was lucky enough to get
safe into the noisy ward without being intercepted, and then he encountered a
sunburnt gentleman, under thirty, in a riding-coat, with a hunting-whip in his
hand: it was Mr. Vane, a Tory squire and large landowner in the county.
Now, as Alfred entered at one
door, Baker himself came in at the other, and they nearly met at Vane. But
Alfred saluted him first, and begged respectfully for an interview.
"Certainly, Sir," said Mr. Vane.
"Take care, Sir; he is
dangerous," whispered Baker. Instantly Mr. Vane's countenance changed. But this
time Alfred overheard the formula, and said, quietly: "Don't believe him, Sir. I
am not dangerous; I am as sane as any man in England. Pray examine me, and judge
"All, that is his delusion," said
Baker. "Come, Mr. Hardie, I allow you great liberties, but you abuse them. You
really must not monopolize his Worship with your fancies. Consider, Sir, you are
not the only patient he has to examine."
Alfred's heart sank; he turned a
look of silent agony on Mr. Vane.
Mr. Vane, either touched by that
look, or irritated by Baker's pragmatical interference, or perhaps both, looked
that person coolly in the face, and said, sternly: "Hold your tongue, Sir, and
let the gentleman speak to me."
page 637 we publish an
illustration of the RUSSIAN FRIGATE "OSLIABA," now lying in our Bay. This is the
first Russian man-of-war-that ever visited the United States, and her advent has
created considerable stir. Her officers have been officially invited to accept
the hospitalities of the city; and Mrs. Lincoln, General Dix, commanding the
Department, and other leading personages have visited her. We condense the
following account of the 0sliaba from the Herald report:
The Osliaba is a first-class
forty-gun frigate, but does not now mount her full complement of guns. She
carries at present thirty-three 8-inch guns (64-pounders), one of which is
mounted as a pivot on the forecastle deck. The gun is reinforced with more metal
than the other guns, but is of the same calibre.
In regard to the science of naval
gunnery, the Russians have adopted what is known in this country as the "Unity
Battery;" that is, all the guns in a vessel are of the same calibre, and
consequently, in time of action, there is no confusion arising from a variety of
cartridges and projectiles.
The rigging and sparring of the
Osliaba do not materially differ from vessels of the same class in our own navy.
She looks taut and trim, and good seamanship is every where displayed. The ship
herself is well built, and looks as if she might stand a deal of hard fighting.
Among her various appointments we noticed that she has a beautiful little steam
screw launch, which is a very valuable acquisition to the ship. It saves time
and much hard work for the men.
The Russian navy has been for
some time past in process of reconstruction, rendered necessary by the strides
of naval progress, which are so rapid and so different from a few years ago.
The latest data of the naval
forces of Russia say she has in the Baltic, Amoor River, White, Caspian, and
Black seas, and Lake Ural, one hundred and twenty-two vessels —nine being
ships-of-the-line, and thirteen frigates. Together they mount 2246 guns, and are
manned by 335 officers, 453 sub-officers, and 20,485 seamen. Before the war with
the Allies Russia possessed two squadrons, of about equal power, one stationed
in the Black Sea and the other in the Baltic. Each carried about 20,000 seamen,
and about half that number of marines and artillerymen, and the aggregate number
of guns was between 8000 and 9000. Since the Crimean war Russia has been alive
to improvements in her naval force. Mr. Webb, of this city, has built for them
one of the finest screw frigates afloat, and they have added largely to their
navy by vessels built at their own navy-yards.
The iron-clad excitement in this
country aroused Russia, and she is now engaged in building a fleet of iron-clads.
In March of this year no less than four million pounds sterling had been
appropriated for that purpose.
The personnel of the Russian navy
includes sixteen admirals, thirty vice-admirals, thirty-nine rear-admirals, one
hundred and eleven first-class captains, ninety-five second-class captains, two
hundred and fifty-seven lieutenant-captains, six hundred and seven lieutenants,
and three hundred and ninety-six midshipmen. The marine artillery comprises
about three hundred officers. The Emperor has a naval staff consisting of two
rear-admirals, three lieutenant-captains, a chief and deputy of ordnance, a
master of naval artillery, an inspector of naval architects, a chief of marine
chancery, and four vice-admirals. The ministry of marine includes a council of
ten admirals, a president, and ten clerks.
But to return to the Osliaba. She
is manned by four hundred and fifty men and marine artillerymen, who look
hearty, and as if when called upon they might be able to do good service for
their country. They are a pleasant-looking set, and no doubt will be the lions
of our harbor for some days to come.
The following is a list of the
officers of the ship:
Ermolaioff, Valitzky, De Livron, Palmgren, Eremeioff.
Browtzin, Elchaninoff, Tudeer, Stramiloff.
Lieutenant of Artillery—Bogdanoff.
Engineers —Policarpoff, Tihanoff,
Teteshoff, Ivanoff, Murray.
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
WE devote pages
632, 633, and
to the Army of the Potomac. Mr. Waud, the author of the sketches which we
"CULPEPPER, Friday, September 18.
"Your artist was the only person
connected with newspapers permitted to go upon the recent advance to the Rapidan.
An order of
General Meade's sent all the reporters back. It was a very wet and
uncomfortable trip part of the time. I did not get dry for two days; and was
shot at into the bargain, at Raccoon Ford, where I unconsciously left the cover
and became a target for about twenty of the
sharpshooters. Luckily I was not
touched; but I did some tall riding to get out of the way. We have doubts here
whether we shall advance further. Meade keeps his own counsel; but the general
idea is against moving further on this line.
"ADVANCE OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
"On Sunday, September 13, 1863,
soon after our troops advanced from the Rappahannock, they became engaged with
the enemy. Skirmishing on toward Culpepper, that place was captured after a
General Custer, by a brilliant charge up hill, taking three of
the rebels' guns. We came very near capturing a railroad train, with, it is
said, Stuart or Hampton aboard. About four miles from Culpepper the fighting
ceased for the night, but early in the morning the advance was pushed to the Rapidan, and at this river the rebels prepared with infantry and guns in
earthworks to resist our further progress. General Buford made an attack to
unmask their force at Raccoon Ford, while another cavalry division was doing the
same at Somerville Ford; since which time shelling and sharp-shooting has been
constantly kept up on the river banks. General Custer charged right up a hill to
the enemy's battery, taking three guns and a number of artillerymen.
"General Gregg's division was
very hotly engaged at the point shown in the sketch. The rebels threw their shot
and shell with great precision, dismounting some of the General's escort, and
badly wounding some of the gunners in Butler's battery of light twelves before
they were defeated. Butler's and Wollaston's are the only horse batteries of
light twelves in the service. Both did good service. Wollaston's battery is
shown in the view of Raccoon Ford.
"The signal station on Pony
Mountain was built by our officers with Pope last year. It was occupied by the
signal officers in advance of our lines in the recent engagement."
page 636 we illustrate
SWORD PRESENTATION TO GENERAL MEADE.
Mr. Waud writes: " Sword
presentations, during the occupation of Mexico by our troops, were reduced to a
system, the present being quite a secondary matter, its on, object the bountiful
collation and attendant spree for which it afforded an excuse. Field-officers
gave swords to their generals, the line-officers did the same for the field, and
the rank and file for the line. In the latter case the opening of a barrel of
whisky was considered the right thing. It is on record, indeed, that one
gentleman did actually invite all his friends—no small assemblage—to an affair
of this kind, when, in a neat speech detailing his manifold virtues and good
qualities, he presented himself there and then with a handsome sword, and
farther, did return thanks in a most feeling manner for the same!
"With no desire to draw any
comparison between the above and the presentation made to General Meade, which
was a well-deserved compliment to one of our best officers, it may not be out of
place to ask why so much money—the sum variously stated from fifteen hundred to
twenty-two hundred dollars—should be spent upon a sword which it is not likely
the General will wear? A neatly-inscribed sword worth fifty dollars, and the
balance of the money in gold eagles, would be a much more sensible present.
However, the affair passed off to the satisfaction of all concerned, and General
Meade's was a very good and appropriate speech. Colonel Roberts, of the
Reserves, also made a speech abounding in rich humor touching the refreshment
question. Of the other speakers, it can be said that they had a tendency to
reduce the occasion to the complexion of a political caucus. The grounds were
nicely decorated with triumphal arches and evergreen bowers, and lighted with
Chinese lanterns in the evening. The sword is richly carved and embossed, the
sheath inlaid with enamel and diamonds, the hilt rich and heavy with gold and
garnets, or rubies."