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the midst of sweet smelling odours; we
lotus-eaters encamp, affixing each a hammock
between a couple of trunks of trees.
Here, we see nature under her brightest
and sunniest aspect, and, divesting our
imagination of oil and canvas landscape,
arrive at the conclusion, that trees and
plants are very green indeed, and of an
endless variety of shade; that stones do
not glitter, save where water damps them;
and that a Cuban sky is far bluer than
the most expensive ultramarine on a painter's


OF the things which men manufacture
for their use or gratification, how many
survive the short-lived maker, and remain
in existence long after he has ceased to
require them! That this should be so with
regard to the more solid and imperishable
structures of wood and stone which we use
as residences or public institutions, is intelligible
enough, but that it should also be
the case with some of those more frail and
perishable articles of luxury which may be
looked upon as the ephemera of manufacture,
is much more surprising.

Some reflection of this sort will suggest
itself to the mind of any person of a
speculative disposition who visits the curious
Fan Exhibition recently opened at the
South Kensington Museum. Here is a
collection of objects of the frailest and
most perishable nature which have, some
of them, lasted for a couple of centuries,
and which remain now, sound and in good
preservation, long after the hands which
formerly handled them have mouldered
into dust.

What hands, belonging to all sorts of
renowned persons, may not have held and
manœuvred the pretty playthings which are
exhibited in this collection! We find here
fans full of historical suggestions, some of
which have a real story attached to them,
while to others our imagination can supply
one without much stimulating. Here, for
example, is a fan representing the " Toilet
of Madame la Marquise de Montespan," old
enough to have been described by Madame
de Sevigné (who was born in 1626, and
died in 1696), in one of her celebrated
letters. It is painted very elaborately
on ivory, and shows us the Marquise
sitting out of doors, grinning from ear to
ear, while two attendants touch up her
coiffure, and another, kneeling in front,
holds up a mirror in such a position that it
is impossible for the lady to get a glimpse,
even, of her reflection. On this simple composition
how many eyessome of them
bright and mischievous enough no doubt
must have been cast since the artist sent it
out of his atelier; eyes, whose owners
thought less of the labour and ingenuity
displayed in the work they looked at, than
of the effect of their own eyelashes as they
glanced downwards. And other fans there
are, among those exhibited in the South
Kensington Galleries, which are apt to set
one thinking. There is one, numbered one
hundred and thirty-nine, the sticks of which
if the gorgeously carved and decorated
ivory handle which sustains the mount,
must be so calledare said to have
belonged to Madame de Pompadour. A similar
legend attaches to a fan-mount, number
two hundred and eighteen, decorated with
some extraordinary lace, cut out in paper,
fine as a cobweb, and much more intricate
in pattern, and having medallion pictures
in water-colour, introduced here and there
with excellent effect.

There are some fans among those exhibited,
which bring before us the image
of the unfortunate Queen of Louis the
Sixteenth. Three or four are reputed to
have belonged to her, and one to have
been painted in commemoration of her
marriage with the Dauphinthat first act
of the drama which was to have so tragical
a termination. It is remarkable, by
the way, in how many cases the motives
of these fans have been inspired by the
marriages of persons more or less illustrious.
Besides this one, and another
described as having been presented by
Queen Anne to her goddaughter on her
marriage with John Harvey, of Ickwell,
there is one " symbolical of the marriage of
Louis the Fifteenth and Maria Leczinska;"
another, " produced for the marriage of
the Duchess d'Orleans, in 1837," and
others descending to still more modern
times, commemorative respectively of the
marriage of " La Comtessede Paris" and of
the " return of the Prince of Wales from
the marriage of his sister-in-law to the
Cesarewitch." And, passing from these
to persons of less illustrious condition, we
find a fan belonging to Lady Wyatt, which
was presented to that lady's grandmother
"on her wedding," and no less than three
others presented, in the same way, to
"Miss Raymond, on her marriage in

But other and less genial events than