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But fortunately the great majority of cases
at Berck result in cures, ever since the
adoption of the maritime treatment of
scrofula in childhood.


BARDS of ancient time were bless'd with visions,
Did not Dante see again his Beatrice
On the broad golden steps of Heaven at sunset,
Calm in serenity of changeless peace?

Grub-street now, alas! has lost such seers,
Bailiff- harpies vex its garret dwellers;
No more nectar from bright Hebe's beaker,
Fills the rich hogsheads in the poet's cellars.

And yet, kind angels, how I flaunt my falsehood,
Lo, there descends a gracious vision. See!
Where the huge bow of the proud crescent Quadrant,
Bends with such power and stately majesty.

Yes! look in yonder gravely rolling chariot,
In Roman triumph to a poet's seeming,
There sits a very queen; but, nay, a goddess,
The Venus of my fifty years of dreaming.

How like the face of her from whom I parted
In anger thirty weary years ago;
Ah! she regards me not: yet would she know me,
Poor, old, and worn with life's rough ebb and flow?

Unchanged her face, ye gods of old Olympus!
The brow of Dian, bright, serenely chaste,
The neck of Hebe, eyes of Ariadne,
The zone of Venus girding round that waist.

And what a form! Oh, never Grecian sculptor
Shaped out a Nereïd from the marble stone
Half so divinely fair, and in a moment
Dead love returns and claims his fallen throne.

From a high mountain you have seen a sunset
Show for a moment through the parting gloom,
So came that vision, and so swift its passage,
Then deeper, darker spreads the boding gloom.

So fades the rainbow and so fall the roses,
Life's joys are only shown us and withdrawn;
Once more the weary tramp, the lonely meal,
The drudging labour till the grey of dawn.


OUR grandfathers, or perhaps it would
be better to say, our great-grandfathers,
were rollicking boys in their time. They
were good at hunting, good at fighting,
and more than good at drinking. They
lived much in the open air, did not smoke
to excess, and were rough, ready, honest
people, who despised effeminacy, scorned
the milk-sops, or, as they sometimes called
them, the Jenny Jessamies, for preferring
the ladies' chamber to the fields of Diana
or Mars, or the festivals of Bacchus. Even
so recently as fifty years ago hard drinking
was the rule, and abstinence the exception.
Not that our grandfathers got very drunk;
it was a point of honour with them to
drink a great deal without becoming
intoxicated, and to "carry their wine" like
gentlemen, none the worse for an extra
bottle. But our great-grandfathers, a
hundred years ago, drank harder than their
sons who came after them, and thought it
the test of a good fellow to be what was
called a " three-bottle man," to " leave
no heel-taps," never to shirk the liquor,
or be the first to propose joining the
ladies. In the words of Robert Burns,
he was considered a coward loon who set
the example of breaking up the party;
and he who could imbibe the most liquor,
and remain erect on his chair after all
the rest of the company had fallen
helpless under the table, was "king among
them a'." In those days, in default of
conversation, which was sometimes too apt to
degenerate into quarrelsomeness and
unpleasant personalities, a song was found
extremely useful to keep the company in
good-humour. He who could sing, and would
not contribute in this way to the
conviviality of the company, had to drink a
glass of salt and water as a penalty for
contumacy, or was expected to give a toast
or sentiment.

This ultra-bacchanalian period of English
social history may be said to have
commenced with the Cavaliers, during the
Revolution, and to have been continued by
them during the Protectoratenot only
because it was the fashion, but because
it was opposed to the practice and the
teaching of the Puritans and Roundheads.
It remained the fashion of the upper and
middle classes for the whole of the
eighteenth century, and so late as the Regency
and the close of the reign of George the
Third, when the first symptoms of a much
needed reform became visible. How long
the fashion lasted, and how hard it was to
uproot, appears from references and
allusions in the literature of the time. Dean
Ramsay's amusing Reminiscences of
Scottish Life and Character are full of it.
" No-thing," says the dean, " can more powerfully
illustrate the deep-rooted character of
intemperate habits in some families, than
an anecdote which was related to me as
coming from the late Mr. Mackenzie, author
of The Man of Feeling. He had been
involved in a regular drinking party. He
was keeping as free from the usual excesses
as he was able, and as he marked
companions around him falling victims to the
power of drink, he himself dropped off
under the table among the slain, as a
measure of precaution. Lying there, his attention
was called to a small pair of hands
working at his throat. On asking what it
was, a voice replied: ' Sir, I'm the lad
that's to loosen the neckcloths.' '

"There was," adds the dean in another