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silk appeared above the edge of the bosom, and formed a second sleeve, affording such relief to the sombre drapery as a painter would bestow. A splendid diamond ornament clasped the robe at the bosom, and a single row of the same brilliant gems was passed across the forehead, over the dark and redundant tresses, arranged with classic taste. This personage certainly bore no resemblance to the bead-braceleted, artificial-flowered nymph, tricked out in tarnished frippery, whom the military exquisite suspected of an intent to lay siego to his heart. The major's character being compounded of selfishness and vanity, the transition from abhorrence to an air of devoted attachment was perfectly easy. For a whole evening this latter feeling was read, in his countenance and manner, by scores who remembered well the extravagant antipathy he had lately expressed for Miss Grubb. Whispers were already afloat, to the effect that the major seemed inclined to reciprocate the compliment which he had only suspected Miss Grubb of being disposed to pay to himself; and in these whispers the inequality of the general and his lady, in point of age, bore a prominent place.' What was the mirthful surprise of the company, when, on Hawtry at length making up to the lady, and asking her in his most winning tones to dance, she gave him a scarcely civil refusal, and turned away with a contemptuous smile! The poor major vanished instantly; nor was he seen on parade for the two ensuing days.
When time and change of place had brought Mrs Bossinett into new society, she conducted herself with a graceful ease and kindness towards the ladies around her, which rendered her a general favourite. Her husband was also heard frequently to bless the day when he mistook the bonnet of Charlotte Grubb for that of Lady Harriet Spilsbury.
DUFAVEL'S ADVENTURE IN THE WELL.
One morning, early in September 1836, as Dufavel, one of the labourers employed in sinking a well at a place near Lyon, in France, was about to descend in order to begin his work, one of his companions called out to hin not to go down, as the ground was giving way, and threatening to fall in. Dufavel did not, however, profit by the warning, but exclaiming : Bah! I shall havo plenty of time to go down for my basket first,' he entered the well, which was sixty-two feet in depth. When about half-way down, he heard some large stones falling, but he nevertheless continued his descent, and reached the bottom in safety. After placing two pieces of plank in his basket,* he was preparing to reascend, when he suddenly heard a crashing sound above his head, and, looking up, he saw five of the side-supports of the well breaking at Greatly alarmed, he shouted for assistance as loudly as he was able, but the next moment a large mass of the sandy soil fell in upon him, precluding the possibility of his escape. By a singular goodfortune, the broken supports fell together in such a manner that they formed a species of arch over his head, and prevented the superincumbent sand from falling down
upon him; otherwise, he must have been smothered
It will be easy to picture the horror and despair of poor Dufavel, when he found himself thus buried alive in the bowels of the earth, and to all appearance for ever separated from the rest of the world, and doomed to perish by suffocation or famine! He had a wife and child ; and when his thoughts turned to these beloved objects, whom he was seemingly never more to behold,
* In the original French narrative, from which this is translated, the word benot is used, which, we presume, is a technical term for å species of basket in which workmen hold their tools.
and who were henceforth to be left without a protector, how must his heart have been wrung, and how bitterly must he have regretted his imprudent obstinacy in descending into the well, after being warned of the danger to which he was exposing himself! But although Dufavel regretted the past and feared the future, he did not, even in the dreadful situation in which he was placed, give way to despair. Calm and self-possessed, he adopted every precaution in his power to prolong his life, in the hope that his companions might yet succeed in saving him-improbable as such a deliverance appeared to be. His basket was fastened to the cord by which he had descended ; and when his comrades above began to pull the rope, in the hope of drawing him up to the surface, he observed that in their vain efforts they were causing his basket to strike against the broken planks above him, in such a manner as to endanger his safety. He therefore cut the rope with his knife, which he had no sooner done, than it was drawn up by those at the mouth of the well. The hole made by the passage of this rope was afterwards of great use to Dufavel. By it he received supplies of fresh air, and, eventually, of food and drink; while through it he was enabled to converse with those who descended into the well for that purpose, which it was still possible to do, as the mass of shot sand above lim had only filled up about fifteen feet of the well.
In the utter darkness of his melancholy prison-house, Dufavel was enabled, in a curious enough manner, to keep a reckoning of the progress of time. A large fly found its way into his cell, and continued to keep him company all the time that he remained there. When he heard this insect buzzing about, he understood that it was day; and when it went to sleep, he concluded that night had arrived. This winged time-keeper boarded as well as lodged with him, as he was made aware by the circumstance, that, in lifting his food, he frequently disturbed the fly, which had been seated upon it, lielping itself without ceremony, and which, when thus interrupted in its repast, flew away buzzing, as if intending to reproach
him for his unkindness in refusing it a share. He afterwards confessed, that the company of this fly had been a great consolation to him during his sufferings, and that he liad often envied the facility with which it could pass and repass through the narrow opening between his dark dungeon and the upper world.
While Dufavel was tenanting his lonely prison, his fellow-workmen were doing everything they could to effect his rescue.
At first, they feared that he had perished; but when they drew up the rope, and saw that it had been cut through in the manner already mentioned, they knew that he must yet be alive, and redoubled their exertions in liis behalf. But more skilful persons than these poor labourers were soon engaged in the same good work; for the municipal authorities of Lyon, on being informed of the situation of Dufavel, procured the assistance of a band of military miners, who, under tho direction of experienced officers, began to form a subterranean passage for the purpose of reaching him. In the ineantime, his singular fate had become a subject of general interest. Prayers for his safety were offered up in the churches of Lyon; and the inhabitants of that city and the places adjacent thronged in such numbers every day to Champvert, the name of the place where the accident happened, that it was found necessary to erect a barricade, and station a guard of soldiers round the scene of the accident, to prevent the crowd from obstructing the operations of the miners.
Meanwhile, the situation of Dufavel was daily becoming more deplorable. The cavity in which he was enclosed liad at first been seven feet deep, but by the third day of his confinement, it had become so much smaller, in consequence of the accumulation of the falling sand at the bottom of the well, and the gradual sinking of the mass above, that he could no longer stand, nor even sit upright, but was crushed upon the ground in a peculiarly inconvenient and painful manner. He was pressed down on his back against the bottom of the well, while the upper part of his body was bent forward by the planks on which it rested. His right leg was doubled back below his body, while his left was extended at full length, and the foot squeezed in between two planks. His head was bent over on one side, and pressed down against his left shoulder. His arms, however, were free, and he availed himself of this fortunate circumstance to cut away with his knife such parts of the broken wood-work as particularly incommoded him, and to widen the hole by which he communicated with the exterior.
Such was the dangerous and difficult nature of the ground, that nearly a week elapsed from the time of Dufavel's imprisonment, before the miners had formed an excavation to a depth equal to that of the bottom of the well, although they worked night and day. On Friday, the 9th of September, having now descended several feet lower than the level of Dufavel's cell, they began to form a slightly ascending passage or gallery towards it. At this time, the officer who directed the operations expected they would be able to reach Dufavel in about twenty-four hours; but the increasing obstacles presented by the treacherous nature of the soil, soon shewed the fallacy of this hope. So unsafe was the ground, that the miners durst neither use pickaxes nor shovels, lest they should be overwhelmed by the loosened sand. In a passage two feet and a half in height, and two feet in width, the foremost miner worked upon his knees, inserting cautiously, with light blows of a hammer, a flat piece of wood into the ground, and afterwards gathering up with his hands, and passing to those behind him, the sand which he thus detached. The progress made by such means was necessarily very slow, and did not in general amount to more than about two inches per hour, exclusive of the delays occasionally produced by partial fallings-in of the ground. Considerable obstruction was also experienced from the difficulty of keeping lamps burning in so contracted a passage, and a pair of forge-bellows had to be used from time to time, for the purpose of supplying fresh air.
All this time Dufavel was bearing up bravely. A