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penny-wedding. There was nothing royal or
aristocratic in a penny-wedding, to which
any one might come who chose to pay a shilling.
The significance and rationale of the
penny-wedding was this : '' We are a couple
of young people who think it better to marry
than to do worse, and we deem it foolish and
wicked to begin the world with debt. We
therefore invite you, good neighbours, to
amuse yourselves by dancing at our marriage,
and, by paying as generously as may be
convenient for the amusement, help us to begin
the world with a fair chance of making
both ends meet." A common argument in
favour of the penny-wedding was: the
young man wants ten pounds of his share
of the boat, and many persons gave their
money who never went to the dances. The
canvas for the penny-wedding took place
among the carpenters, coopers, and sailors
of the port; and employers, shopkeepers,
ship-owners, and captains had generally a
half-crown to spare for the young couple.
The dinner at a penny-wedding consisted of
abundance of meat and Scotch broth, served
in broad pewter dishes. After dinner, the
party adjourned to the links or downs, to
dance " the shame dance; " and then they
danced until they were tired. Known bad
characters were inexorably excluded, decorum
rigorously maintained, and "liberties"
would have been indeed dangerous in a
community in which every woman lived under
the protection of "a flag and at least half-a-
score of hard fists. A severe critic of
propriety would not probably have approved the
amount of public kissing at a penny-wedding.
Indeed, in this respect, Footdee resembled
more the Court of the Neva than the
Courts of the Thames or of the Seine; but
in regard to the moral essentials of the
problem of life, if there be a word of truth
in court chronicles, the courtiers and
courted of all the three royal rivers might
have learned lessons from the Coast Folk of



THE forcible mode in which debates are
conducted in the parliament of the United
States, and the personal encounters which
sometimes follow them, are believed by the
present generation, to be novelties and
only recently brought to a culminating
point by the Honourable Preston S. Brooks's
life-preserver, upon the head, face, eyes, and
body of Senator Charles Sumner. This is a
mistake. Fifty years ago, exciting debates
often ended in a regular stand-up fight in
the lobby of the House of Representatives.
The combatants stripped, a ring was formed,
bottle- holders appointed, and the battle
fought and reported quite in the style of
Moulsey Hurst and Bell's Life in London.

In corroboration of this statement we
present to our readers the following paragraph
copied from the New York Evening Post of
December the thirteenth, eighteen hundred
and five, into the Annual Register for eighteen
hundred and six :—

On Friday last, the well-known Leib, one of the
representatives of Pennsylvania, and the leader of the
Duane party, and Joseph H. Nicholson, one of the
representatives of Maryland, met in the Congress
lobby about one o'clock, when Leib immediately called
Nicholson a liar ; and, thereupon, commenced one of
the best fought battles recorded in the annals of
congressional pugilism. The fight continued till the sixty-
fourth round, when Leib had received such blows as
deterred him from again facing his man. He
protracted the fight ; falling after making a feeble hit.
In the round which ended the fight, those who backed
him advised him to resign ; which he did after a
combat of one hour and seventeen minutes. The
combatants were both very much beaten.


THERE are few foreign trips, for English
holiday-makers, that answer better than a
run into Belgium. Belgium is easily got at,
and easily left. Its features are varied and
not vast. You can explore its interior,
inspect its circumference, and take the whole
of it in, without being tired. It is a pocket
kingdom. Instead of wearing your patience,
as France does, when you are in a hurry to
get from one end of it to the other, you can
dart across it with the ease of a swallow
skimming over the Isle of Wight. Moreover,
Belgium is rich in matters of interest
considerably beyond the proportions of its size.
It gives you the idea of an originally extensive
country, which has been subjected, like
an ungainly truss of hay, to hydraulic pressure.
For its area, it feeds a very large
population. The district of St. Nicholas,
near Ghent, carries five thousand two
hundred and ten souls per square leaguethe
space required, in savage life, for the
maintenance of a single individual. The large
towns lie so close together, that, as soon as
you have done with one, by entering a railway
carriage you are landed in another in
two, three, four, or five quarters of an

A lovely May morning blesses, with its
lucky omen, our approach to the frontier.
All nature smiles as we glide along. The
orchards are bedecked in white, pink, and
green. Get ready your tubs, O cyder-drinkers,
the apple-trees promise you a plentiful
supply! Remember, however, that there's
many a slip between the apple-blossom and
the lip. The sower strides over the well-
powdered earth with measured step, and
with white apron heavily laden. " Take
that, old lady," he mentally exclaims, as
each handful is scattered, "and give me
fifty-fold back again." The cows in the
meadows lie basking in the sun, with

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