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company, their faith and practice making them an outlying population from life real and life in earnest. Not that the Crying Philosopher is the true prophet, either. Heraclitus and Democritus must meet, and compromise, and make mutual concessions, nor refuse, if a joint dynasty is impracticable, to take turn and turn about, in a world where day and night alternate, and winter is as periodical as summer, and smiles come as spontaneously as tears.

“They say you are a melancholy fellow," quoth Rosalind to Jagues, in the Forest of Arden.

“ I am so,” he answers: “I do love it better than laughing."*

“ Those,Rosalind rejoins, that are in extremity of either, are abominable fellows; and betray themselves to every modern

censure, worse than drunkards.”+

To which clear ringing voice whose every accent tells, Now are we in Arden! add, in conclusion, the mild subdued tones, yet harmonious in tendency, of the pensive Recluse of Olney :I

66 "You forget,' cried Bolingbroke, 'that Philemon died of the laughing.'

Yes,' said Hamilton ; 'but if I remember right, it was at seeing an ass eat figs. Let us vow, therefore, never to keep company with asses.'

66 .Bravo, Count!' said Boulainvilliers, you have put the true moral on the story. Let us swear, by the ghost of Philemon, that we will never laugh at an ass's jokes-practical or verbal.'

" Then we must always be serious, except when we are with each other,' cried Chaulieu. Oh, I would sooner take my chance of dying prematurely at ninetyseven than consent to such a vow,'” &c. &c.Devereux, Book IV. ch. v.

* That Jaques could laugh, however, and profited by any rare opportunity for it, afforded him in the woods and forests, we know by his own previous avowal. Witness his report of the rencontre with Touchstone-of which the finale is,

When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep-contemplative;
And I did laugh, sans intermission,
An hour by his dial.”

As You Like It, Act II. Sc. 7. | Ibid. Act IV. Sc. 1.

| Melancholy man as William Cowper was, the notion that he was no laugher is an utter mistake-as it generally is, perhaps, in the case of melancholy people. Not merely was it his delight,

“ In life's morning march, when his spirits were young," to waste his own and his fellow students'” time in giggling and making giggle, but when his days were in the sere and yellow leaf, and himself a “poor creature," it did not take very much to set him “laughing immoderately." Reading Don Quixote in Smollett's translation made him, as his letters tell us, “ laugh immoderately.” And we all know the effect upon him of Lady Austen's narration of the tale of John Gilpin—that he lay awake half the night in convulsions of laughter,

Or take the case of Rousseau. Him many people assume to have been as incapable of laughter as a mummy, or a man in the dentist's grasp, or an old portrait of Tribulation Comfort. But Jean Jacques even boasts of his fits of 5 inextinguishable laughter,” verging on “suffocation :" "C'étaient des rires inextinguibles ; nous étouffions. Ceux qui, dans une lettre qu'il leur a plu de m'attribuer,” he adds, with cordial resentment at the notion of his being supposed to have laughed only twice in all his life, “m'ont fait dire que je n'avais ri que deux fois en ma vie, ne m'ont connu dans ce temps-là, ni dans ma jeunesse ; car assurément cette idée n'aurait jamais pu leur venir.”— Les Confessions, Livre VW.

social scene,

Let no man charge me that I mean
To clothe in sables

every
And give good company a face severe,
As if they met around a father's bier;
For tell some men that, pleasure all their bent,
And laughter all their work, is life misspent,
Their wisdom bursts into this sage reply,
“Then mirth is sin, and we should always cry.'
TO FIND THE MEDIUM asks some share of wit,
And therefore 'tis a mark fools never hit. *

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THE EUPHRATES AND THE WAR IN PERSIA.

The Euphrates Valley Route appears to be fast passing from the stage of discussion into a reality. A concession has been at length granted in the face of deeply-concerted intrigues and of a violent opposition from nations inimical to the prosperity and grandeur of Great Britain, and to which it would scarcely be credited some Englishmen, with names familiar to their own countrymen, were yet sufficiently little patriotic as to lend themselves. This concession extends to the whole line of country from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, and embraces, we believe, a guarantee of six per cent. for the whole capital necessary to carry out so gigantic a project. It may be said to this that a guarantee from a power like that of Turkey does not possess the same solid basis for investment as a similar guarantee conceded by a more stable government. But with a few inconsistencies which had their origin in ministerial and party intrigues, the Ottoman government has always been found to be honest and upright in the main; the “sick man" exhibited at the onset of the late war, and throughout a very trying crisis, an amount of vigour and an extent of resources very little consistent with the moribund condition which some were pleased to apply to so vast an empire ; and, lastly, suppose any unforeseen changes were to happen in future times in the countries concerned, it would always be the interest of all parties to protect such regions as were subsidised to a railway from anarchy and despoliation, and the

very fact of giving to them such a protection would ensure to

It is fair to own, however, that Rousseau would fain be considered as past laughing in his old days. And probably there was no affectation in that. There is a form of melancholy, more than one form indeed, to which laughter is an utter stranger. La Rochefoucauld, a sufficient contrast in character to Rousseau, was, according to Madame de Sévigné, capable of distinguished feats in the art de rire; but his account of himself in early manhood includes this avowal: “ Premièrement, pour parler de mon humeur, je suis mélancolique, et je le suis à un point que depuis trois ou quatre ans à peine m'a-t-on vu rire trois ou quatre fois.” Portrait du Duc de la Rochefoucauld, par lui-même.

* Cowper's Poems: “ Conversation.”

† Memoir on the Euphrates Valley Route to India. By W.P. Andrew, F.R.G.S. London: W. H. Allen and Co. 1857.

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them—that which is so much wanted in some parts of the Turkish Empire -a stable and permanent government. The distinguished engineer, Sir John Macneill

, who has explored the Mediterranean terminus of the projected railroad during the past summer, under the guidance of General Chesney, ascertained, from the transport which takes place across the so-called “Iron Bridge” on the Orontes, that a railroad to Aleppo alone would be a paying speculation. According to the toll-books, more than 1200 laden camels and horses pass that bridge every day. Yet this bridge is not upon the main line of traffic between Aleppo and its seaport, Alexandretta, which is to the north of the Lake of Antioch. The price of transport of a ton is now 61. from Aleppo to the sea. The railway will be able to transport it at from 18s. to 22s., which will bring down a great number of goods, that are now lost for want of transport.

The same eminent engineer ascertained to his satisfaction that there is every facility for making a harbour in the Bay of Antioch, not far from the mouth of the Orontes, and at the foot of Mount Casius, and that by making a little détour, and gaining the uplands of North Syria by the valley of the Afreen river—the same line as that taken by General Chesney during the transport of the matériel of the Euphrates Expedition--no engineering difficulties present themselves, and that the railway may be constructed at from 60007. to 80001. per mile. By such a détour a rich settled country, dotted over with towns and villages, is also accommodated, and branch lines will be unnecessary:

But it is not Turkey alone which will feel the beneficial results which are sure, sooner or later, to follow the execution of such projects. Adjoining Turkey is a kingdom once as rich and nearly as powerful, but which through ages of misrule has become little better than a theatre for the disputes of diplomatists. Save as a means through which England can thwart Russia, or Russia irritate and threaten our Eastern empire, the existence of Persia has almost ceased to be a matter of consideration with European nations :

But this can no longer be the case where passenger steamers shall periodically traverse the Persian Gulf, and the electric cable be extended along its shores. The commercial intelligence and enterprise of Europe will then once more revisit its ancient haunts in the factories where Genoese and Venetians, Portuguese, Dutch, and English successively sought the custom of the “Grand Sophy of Persia," and his then wealthy subjects ; European civilisation will then insensibly pervade the Persian Empire by the same influences which are already at work in the ancient kingdom of the Mamelukes; and, as her interests become identified with ours, Persia will learn to take her place, as Turkey has already assumed hers, in the great federation of civilised nations.

The present crisis of affairs in Persia shows how important such a state of things would be to the interests of India and of England. Utterly devoid of any substantial power, and secure in her remoteness, Persia ventures to put a slight on our ambassador, and attempts to purchase the support of Russia by disturbing our Affghan frontier. To bring this feeble and faithless power to her senses may require some palpable exhibition of our power in the shape of expensive expeditions, whose best result can only be an apology for an insult, or the retraction of an unfounded claim. No one can doubt for a moment but that our differences with Persia might have been settled months ago had the Euphrates Valley Railway and Electric Telegraph been in operation. Persia would then have seen that we possess the means of landing, at a few weeks' notice, upon

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>> FIED MAY NOT BE A PEACE SECURED.

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further ag.

her coast, a force as large as we sent to the Crimea, and the leading nations of Europe would have felt that they possessed an interest in putting an end to a misunderstanding which they now doubtless regard as affecting none of their number save England and Russia. It is the want of a speedy means of communication by the Euphrates Valley route which allows this very paltry dispute to be prolonged through months and years, and threatens our Indian exchequer with a burden in comparison with which all the possible expenditure on both railway and telegraph may prove a very trifle. .

It had been thought that the dreams of conquest of the successors of Peter the Great had ended with the destruction of the forts and docks of Sebastopol. Nothing can be more illusory. The late war repelled Russian aggression for a time, but a premature peace has reserved to that colossal

power all its Asiatic conquests, and all that it wanted besides" breathing time.” As it is, Russian conquest has only changed its direction; foiled on the shores of the Euxine and the Sea of Azof, she now turns to the Caspian and the regions of the Aral: Russia may pause to gather strength, but she is still Russia, and a “ PEACE RATI

So far as the present security of the Ottoman Empire is concerned, no one disputes that the objects of the war have been, to a certain extent, attained. The neutralisation of the Black Sea—the demolition of Russian fortresses-the reduction of Russian armaments, which once existed in dangerous proximity to Constantinople-each of these is unquestion. ably a concession of no trifling moment. The restoration of Ismail—that bloodstained trophy of the ambition of Catherine the Second and of the ferocity of Suwarrow-affords an important security to the Sultan against any gressive movement from Bessarabia. The residence of European consuls at Šebastopol and Nicholaieff will effectively prevent the sudden appearance of a Russian fleet in the waters of the Golden Horn. Of still greater consequence is the admission of the Ottoman Empire to the dignity of a place in the general councils, and a participation in the benefits of the international code of Europe. But the question still returns, whether, even allowing that much has been done, much more might not easily have been effected—whether all has been insisted upon, which would certainly have been conceded—whether the concessions actually obtained are such as under existing circumstances the Allied Powers were not only entitled, but bound by the clearest rules of policy to demand. The late war, like wars of a less recent date, has shown convincingly that Turkey, formidable in her means of defence upon the Danube, is essentially weak on her Asiatic frontier, and that her vulnerable point can be most easily reached, not by armies menacing Widdin or Silistria, but by armies defiling through the passes of the Caucasus. On this side, there is still no material guarantee afforded against Russian aggression. Deprived of its Asiatic provinces, it is plain that the Ottoman Empire could not for six months together hold its ground as an independent power, or be prevented from falling by a general insurrection of the Christian races under its dominion. The security of Asiatic Turkey should therefore have formed an indispensable condition of the Treaty of Paris. As it is, if ever a new cause of quarrel brings the Muscovite and Ottoman armies once more into mortal collision, we may be assured that the former, taught by experience, instead of attempting that front movement which has again and again been frustrated, will confine their operations to attacking that flank of their adversaries which is still left unprotected, and which, under existing circumstances, it would perhaps be impossible successfully to defend. Let us add to these considerations the consideration no less important to England, that Persia is still as much exposed as ever to the march of the Russian forces, and that Tiflis commands not only the road to Teheran, but the readiest route to the gates of Herat. If British India was ever endangered by the ambition and intrigues of the successors of Peter the Great, it may be imagined whether the peril is less, now that Russia, barred from further development of her power in Europe, is compelled

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to turn her attention to Central Asia, and to substitute in her visions of future conquest the southern coast of the Caspian for the southern coast of the Euxine Sea-now that, in addition to her long-standing jealousy of England as her great rival in the East, she is further excited against this country by the remembrance of a serious injury, and the shame of an open defeat. To France and to Austria it is of little consequence whether Circassia is free or dependent-whether Georgia is occupied by the troops of Abdul Medjid or the troops of the Czar Alexander. But the statesmen of England may yet live to lament the day on which an invaluable opportunity was lost of protecting the shores of the Indus by an alliance with the warlike tribes who command the banks of the Terek, and of making the ridge of the Caucasus the advanced line of defence of our empire in Hindostan.

With a railway along the Euphrates connected by efficient steamers in the Persian Gulf

, with a railway along the valley of the Indus, the veteran armies of India might be wielded with a rapidity and a force that would be felt in Europe as well as Asia, at St. Petersburg as at Teheran :

“In these days, the connexion between events in the East and in the West is far better understood than it was at the beginning of the present century, and news travels infinitely faster; but even at the beginning of the present century we may remember that it was the superiority of the arms of France in Europe that induced Tippoo to rise against us, and led to the contest with him, which ended in the taking of Seringapatam. Indeed, there is no one who really knows India that is not aware how greatly even the extremities of our empire there are agitated by the slightest appearance of a reverse in any quarter, so sensitive is the bond by which those vast subject populations are held.

“We did not relish the idea of the Czar at Stamboul, and we may find his influence not quite agreeable at Teheran ; neither must we close our eyes to the fact, that Persia is insidiously and perseveringly advancing her outposts both in Central Asia and along the line of the sea-board of the Gulf of Oman. She has already taken Herat, formerly regarded as the key of India, from the Affghans, and has wrested Bunder Abbass in the Persian Gulf from the Imaum of Muscat. Had the British minister at the Persian court been under the immediate orders of the Governor-General of India, the Shah would speedily have recoiled before the remonstrances of an authority backed by 300,000 men. We do not fear a Russian invasion of India, but we must guard our prestige of invincibility with the treacherous and semi-barbarous courts of Asia, as the best means of protecting our Indian dominions from the dire effects of internal commotions, and from the hostile incursions of the turbulent and warlike tribes on our north-west frontier. While the ancient seat of empire of the Cæsars in the East is in the hands of the soldiers of the West, and while British enterprise is surely, though gradually, adding the Sultan's empire to the area of its wide exertions, his dominion in Asia Minor, and our name in the East, have received a shock by the capitulation of Kars. We owe India a victory in Asia;' we owe it a victory that shall efface from the standards of Russia the record of our heroic misfortunes at Kars. But now that the temple of Janus is closed for a season, let us stamp on Asia the impress of our genius and our power ; let us render the invasion of Asia Minor by Russia for ever impossible, by throwing open to the world, by the irresistible power of steam, the rich and forgotten plains of the Euphrates and Tigris—the once-famed granaries of the East-and subduing to industry their wild inhabitants. This would be a greater triumph than the recapture of Kars, and at once a colossal and enduring monument of our science and enlightenment, as well as of our energy and might as a people.

“The Indian army has not only fought the battles of England in India and Central Asia, but the Sepoy of Bengal and Madras has crossed bayonets with the best soldiers of Europe, in Java and the Mauritius, while their brethren of Bombay marched to oppose the same gallant enemy in Egypt. Notwithstanding this, our tried and magnificent army in India has been practically ignored in the late war.

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