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tub; crops of grapes have been abandoned to
whomsoever chose to help himself, or have
been suffered to fall and rot on the ground,
because wine was (locally) so cheap that it
would not pay to gather them. The revolution
of eighteen hundred and forty-eight was
preceded and followed by five successive very
abundant and consequently very expensive
vintages, which crushed all but large
capitalists, and filled the cellars to overflowing.
The same state of things is sure to occur again.
The quantity of good second-class wines (as
good as any reasonable man wants), is capable
of incalculable increase in France. London
might drink claret (not burgundy), at a
cheaper rate than Paris does.

I now wish to post two great facts side
by side: Here, is a people who like wine,
who want wine, who will pay for wine, and
who have not wine: There, is another people,
just over the way, a friendly people, a convenient
people, who have often much more wine
than they want, who would be glad to sell it,
who cannot sell it. Such a state of things is
an unstable equilibrium, which must set itself
right, sooner or later, by the force of gravity


SOME years ago, more than I care to tell,
Mrs. Ruleit was at the head of a very select
ladies' school in Wriothesley Place, Russell
Square. I don't know what she termed it;
but she would neither have it called a school,
nor an establishment, nor a seminary, nor a
house. Such names she rejected, as low; or, to
use her favourite expression "twopenny." It
was simply Mrs. Ruleit's, Wriothesley Place.
On the same principle the girls were not
called young ladies, whatever their rank or
station; they were only "the girls." The
school had fallen off considerably before I
went. From twelve pupils, which was the
limit, it was reduced to five: there must have
been some prejudice at work somewhere;
for, before my going was quite decided, our
old friend, Mr, France, the clergyman took
pains to inquire from the family of one of the
pupils what they thought of the school, and
received for reply, "Oh, we like the school
very well, and the masters are very efficient;
but we don't think sincerity is taught there."
I suppose my father trusted I had learnt
sincerity before, though I never had a sincerity
master. At all events I went; but, with a
caution not to repeat what I had heard on any
account, and this secret lay like a load of
lead upon my mind, all the time I was there.

Mrs. Ruleit and her daughter, with the
teacher Miss Radley, and we five girls,
composed the household; Miss Radley slept in
our room, walked out with us, and never left
us. She was about thirty years of age, with
coarse red hair, white eyebrows, and a turn-
up nose. What a life she had with us! for
we were more frequently impertinent than
polite; and how lonely too! for she belonged
neither to us nor to Madame. At half-past six
in summer it was her duty to call us, and
about seven we came down stairs. One of us
was then sent off to the piano in the front drawing-
room, another to the piano in the back,
and a third to the piano in the parlour below,
to practise till breakfast. It was a long time
for growing girls to wait; but we often stayed
our appetites with a hard biscuit. At nine,
Madame came down, and prayers were read
by one of the girls; after that, breakfast of tea
and solid squares of bread and butter, which
was very good every morning except Mondays,
when it was a day old. We lived entirely in
the studya good room with a view of the
back walls of the mews. There was a long
deal-table with a form down each side in the
centre of the room, and forms all round close to
the wall. These forms contained lockers for our
booksno carpet,—only a hearth-rug before
the fire which was a forfeit to cross. We were
quite satisfied with our accommodation; for
the terms of the school were called high
two hundred a-yearso we felt very genteel
and select, and never missed the carpet.
Breakfast over, Mrs. Ruleit placed herself at
the head of the table and heard one of us
read French, which was all the teaching she
understood herself; except assiduous attention
to our deportment and carriage, to which last
task she was gradually falling a sacrifice,
according to her own account. She was very
short and very stout; but we were constantly
assured she was worn to a thread with
entreating us to hold upnay, to a ravelling.

Monday morning brought Mr. Gresley the
English master, whose lessons were held in
the deepest reverence; for Mrs. Ruleit wisely
considered that, to speak and write English
in purity, was far better than middling
French, or imperfect Italian. The idea of
German was never entertained. We should as
soon have learnt Runic. A tradition existed
that Mr. Gresley had sold his head to the
surgeons, and there was something imposing in
being taught by a head that was worth buying;
so we were all very attentive, and a little
awe-struck. We read poetry with him,
besides the grammar and parsing lessons, and
sorely tried he must have been at times. I
recollect a tall girl, nearly twenty, who had
been at various schools all her life, repeating
Young's lines:—

       "But their hearts, wounded like the wounded air,
        Soon close,—where past the shaft, no trace is

He interrupted her with, "Miss G., what do
you mean by the shaft?"—"Something
belonging to a cart, sir." How he grinned,
clapped his hands, and shuddered!

Our instructor in French was a little,
shrivelled, old emigrant without teeth, who
mumbled his language all to mash. He had a
perpetual cold, too, and was for ever using his