We were pleased to read that the Sergeant who took the lead in liberating Dr. Steiger left his family and the earnings of his thirty years’ service in the power of the Government he had braved. This shows that the spirit of the letter pervaded every part of the transaction. Those who are afraid that the God of Truth will be offended at researches which have truth alone for their object, if they jar their own impressions received from the Bible, find their brittle faith disturbed by Von Humboldt’s Cosmos, as it was a few months since by the “Vestiges of Creation.” Von Humbolt, indeed, writes in the most serene and reverent spirit, but that will not make men feel it safe to trust him to make his own conclusions. But all this is in vain! Truth will have its way, and no efforts of fearful men can hide long the necessary harmony of all truths with one another. In vain they bend the sunbeam to the service of their camera obscura; its living light cannot for ever be staid there!
In Pesth, Hungary, where famine is now terrible, children have been sold by their parents for small sums. The entreaties and tears of the little ones were vainly addressed to ears made callous by distress or perhaps by the feeling that they might suffer less any where than at home. But they have not always ascertained even the name of the buyer. One child clung to his father’s feet, promising never again to ask for bread if he might but stay at home. His pleadings were vain; he was sent with the stranger.
Vidocq is in London exhibiting a singular cabinet of curiosities. This consists of the various implements of his first trade as a thief and pickpocket, and the disguises he made use of in his second, when, as police agent and spy, he found his way unsuspected into the darkest and strangest nooks of Paris. Though 72 years of age, he still possesses the power of shortening his apparent stature by some inches, not only while standing, but while moving and even jumping.
The Paris correspondent of the Tribune mentions the forgery that caused the arrest of the Prince de Berg as an instance of monomania. But it was only an extreme case of a prevalent insanity. A weak young man, though immensely rich, and in family and position possessed of every shining advantage, and being seized with the passion for gaming which rages like a pest at Paris, could not satisfy it in any moderate way. He was the top bubble in the immature caldron.
The police, detecting one of the secret haunts of high play, found there a lady in man’s attire, a lady young, handsome, rich, and of high rank, but on whom the customary pleasures of a frivolous life had palled. She had been all the winter a visitor of this resort of sharpers, because there she could satisfy her thirst for high play.
A story is prettily told of humorous revenge taken by the Editors of a small daily print on the porter of their hotel. The porter, being angry with them, was often disobliging about their incomings and outgoings, and worse than careless in delivering letters and messages to their address. One day this porter found himself beset by persons insisting on seeing “the bear with the three heads;” in vain he assured them there was no such thing there. Morning, noon and night, new applicants thronged the man, deafening his ears, breaking his bell-rope, and at last so overwhelming his temper and spirits that he was forced to fly from his post. He has instituted a process against the editors for the advertisement that caused him this annoyance, and the public promises itself some amusement from the defence of the actors in this new farce of “The Biter Bit.”*
“Some Items of Foreign Gossip.” New-York Daily Tribune, 2 August 1845, p. 1.