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Thus far the chronicle of a traveller's first
night in the Low Countries, down among the



A CORRESPONDENT, referring to our recent
article on this poet, sends us the following:

"Among the many things on which we ask
questions about celebrated men, is
handwriting. In this particular there is very
little to say about Waller. There is none of
his penmanship in the British Museum, so
rich in the manuscript department. At least
there was none five years ago. There are,
however, two of his signatures known to me.
The first is in the possession of a well-known
bibliographer, the second belongs to myself.
I have it now before me, with a good tracing
from the first, and each proves the other.
The first is Edm. Waller, the second is
Edmond Waller very clearly; showing how
the poet spelt his name. It is the owner's
handwriting in a copy of J. A. Borelli's
Euclides Restitutus, published in sixteen
hundred and fifty-eight, when Waller was
fifty-three years of age: but it bears marks
of being written by aged fingers. The first
signature is much younger. The style is
large, bold, and clear, but not regular. No
doubt this copy of Euclid has passed before
many eyes which have rejected the notion of
the signature belonging to the great poet.
And with good presumptive reason. This
signature, it would be argued, never could
have felt romantic passion for Sacharissa; it
might, perhaps, have fallen as much in love
as such common-place could do with Joan or
Sally, and have married her; but nothing


OCCASIONALLY a favourite pastime with me
ishow shall I express it?—striding up the
broad River of Time like a stalwart traveller
from Brobdingnag; taking a whole generation
in a single giant step, and so getting
rapidly by half-a-dozen zig-zags over the
distance of two or three centuries. All this,
moreover, being accomplished in the most
natural way conceivable, by the homeliest
exercise of memory, and not simply by what
might be termed any mere stretch of the

An ordinary memory, indeed, is really, I
take it, about the only endowment in any
way positively requisite for the complete
enjoyment of this new species of intellectual
recreation. An ordinary memory meaning
nothing more than the average memory, of
any moderately educated individual.
Endowed so far and no farther, any oneyou,
reader, or I, writermay, in another sense,
not less than Julius Caesar himself, according
to Shakspere's definition of him,

Bestride this narrow world like a Colossus.

To afford testimony at once of the literal
truth of what I assert, by a few simple
illustrations, accompany me, dear reader, while I
take one of these same Titanic strolls back
towards the fountain-head of antiquity. And
so, without further parley, as they say in the
story-books, let us begin with the beginning:


IT is about four of the clock upon an
afternoon in the early part of this autumn,
that I am sauntering along the pavement in
front of Whitehall, over against the Horse
Guards, directing my steps in a leisurely
stroll down Parliament Street towards
Westminster. I know the precise time, less by
means of the dingy clock-dial over the way
a sort of a tantalising, opaque transparency,
neither white by midday nor bright by
midnightthan by a casual glance on either
hand at my fellow–footpassengers.

Honourable gentlemen straggling from the
clubs to what may be designated the rival
Commons of BritainandBellamy. The
choicest residue of the session, bearing
somewhat the same relation to the House that
pure gold does to the well-rocked cradle of
the Californian. Legislators who have been
gradually sifted down in the cradle of debate.
Everybody is familiarly acquainted with
them, who knows anything about the
precincts of St. Margaret's. They are what
that Junius of St. James's, the mysterious
and illustrious author of the Court Circular,
would term the habitués of the House of
Commons. Honourable gentlemen, right
honourable gentlemen, and noble lords, who
stick to the benches with as much tenacity
as Theseus to the diabolical chair originally
handed to him (no doubt with a polite
flourish) by Radamanthus. The limpets (to
say nothing of the Barnacles) of the state
vessel. A select few, who begin the dreary
fun of the session by chasing Black Rod to the
bar of the Lords in February, and end it
by meekly shaking hands with Mr. Speaker
in August. A wonderful set of indefatigables
grinding away, systematically, on
committees with a stolid perseverance worthy
of the Brixton treadmillstold out into one
or other of the lobbies on every division
haunting the doorkeeper like the memories of
an evil consciencecontributing ever a certain
majority to every uncertain minority upon
every count-out recorded in the newspapers.
Everybody else has long since pulled on his
fishing-boots, or donned his tweed-jacket, off
to the trout-stream, or to the heathery region
of the deer-stalker. With these it is otherwise:
the only battue they care for is the one known
in parliamentary slangas the Massacre of
the Innocents. Yet, look at them! these men
who may be regarded as the pick of the