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wealth. At the same time, he has considerable | nerve, nationality, morality, and other peculipride and caution, which, with his interest, keep arities of every one of the writers. His success him honest as the world goes. If he were not was not partial, it was complete. There was an old bachelor I should think better of his not simply a preponderence of evidence, it was heart, and he would be less miserly. beyond a doubt. The directors did not question the fact; but how was it done? Some thought mesmerism could account for it, and others thought it miraculous.

"The Jew's signature is the most honest of the three. Timidity is the marked character of the man. He could not succeed in any department of roguery. It is physically, as well as mentally, impossible for him to have any connection with the forgery. He could be frightened out of his wits at the very suggestion of his complicity."

"And so, Mr. Sidney," said I, "you know all about these parties and the particulars of the forgery?"


Nothing whatever," he replied, "save by these specimens of their handwriting. I never heard of the forgery, nor of these men, till this hour."

To which I replied:

"I cannot believe that you can give such a perfectly accurate description of them (saving their moral characters, of which I know little) without other means of knowledge. It must have been that you knew Temple to be a German, Conway to be the most penurious old bachelor in town, and the broker the most timid. And how, in the name of all that is marvellous, could you have known Conway to be afflicted with dyspepsia ?”

"Then," answered Mr. Sidney, "you are not prepared to believe one other thing, more strange and paradoxical than all the rest. Listen! These notes are forgeries both of the maker and the endorser. And who think you are the criminals ?"

"The Jew?"

The first experiment was this. Each director wrote on a piece of paper the names of all the board. Eleven lists were handed him, and he specified the writer of each by the manner in which he wrote his own name. He then asked them to write their own or any other name, with as much disguise as they pleased, and as many as pleased writing on the same piece of paper; and in every instance he named the writer.

As an example of the other experiments take this one. The superscription of a letter was shown him. He began immediately:

"A clergyman, without doubt, who reads his sermons, and is a little short-sighted. He is aged sixty-one, he is six feet high, weighs about one hundred and seventy, is lean, bony, obstinate, irritable, economical, frank, and without a particle of hypocrisy or conceit. He is naturally miserly, and bestows charity only from a sense of duty. His mind is methodical and strong, and he is not a genius or an interesting preacher. If he has decided upon any doctrine or construction of Scripture, it would be as impossible to change him as to make him over again."

The company began to laugh, when one of them said:

"Come, come, Mr. Sidney, you are disclosing altogether too much for my father-in-law."

And now the supposed forged notes were handed him. He gave the characteristics of the signatures very nearly as he had before done in the office, but more particularly and minutely. He analized the handwritingshowed the points of resemblance, where before none could be discerned-showed that the writing, interpreted by itself, was intended to be disguised-explained the difference between the different parts of the notes-pointed out where the writer was firm in his purpose, and his nerves well braced, and where his fears overcame his resolution-where he had paused to recover his courage, and for a considerable time -where he had changed his pen, and how the forgery was continued through several dayswhat parts were done by Temple and what by Conway


"The cashier?"

"No, But, as sure as you are born, these notes are in the handwriting of Temple and Conway, and the signatures are not only genuine, but they are forgeries also; for both had formed a well-matured and deliberate design of disputing them before placing them on the paper. And, sir, from my notion of Conway's character and temperament, as expressed in his handwriting, I venture the assertion that I can make him own it, and pay the notes. He shall even faint away at my pleasure. Temple is another kind of man, and would never own it, were it ten times proved."

A meeting of the directors of the bank was to be holden at twelve o'clock of the same morning. None of them knew Mr. Sidney, cr were known by him. It was arranged that he should meet them, Mr. Conway included, and exhibit his skill, and if he should convince them of his power of divination, he should discuss the genuineness of the signatures of the supposed forgeries.

For several hours he was on trial before the board, with a very large number of specimens of handwriting of men of mark, and he astonished them all beyond measure by giving the occupa-citement ensued, during which Mr. Conway tion, age, height, size, temperament, strength of muttered incoherent sentences in condemnation

was brought so vividly and truthfully to mind, that Mr. Conway fell to the floor as if dead. The cashier, relieved from a pressure that had for weary months been grinding on his very soul, burst into tears. A scene of strange ex

"Till all the interim Between the acting of the dreadful thing And the first motion "

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proclivities of his nature by philosophy and the severest discipline.

Pliny affirms that Apelles could trace the likeness of men so accurately that a physiognomist could discover the ruling passion to which they were subject. Dante's characters, in his view of Purgatory, are drawn with accurate reference to the principles of physiognomy; and Shakspeare and Sterne, particularly the latter, were clever in the art; while Kempf and Zimmermann, in their profession, are said seldom to have erred as physiognomists. Surely it is a higher authority, and more practical, which saith, "A wicked man walketh with a froward mouth; he speaketh with his feet; he teacheth with his fingers. A man is known by his look, and a wise man by the air of his countenance." And yet again, "The wickedness of a woman changeth her face."

If it be true, as Sultzer declares, that there is not a living creature that is not more or less skilled in physiognomy as a necessary condition of its existence, surely man, with all his parts fitly joined together, should be the most expert; and there are circumstances and conditions, as well as qualities of mind and body, which will conduct him more surely along the pathway of his research, and direct him onward towards the goal of perfection. Consider, then, the characteristics of Mr. Sidney, the circumstances by which he was surrounded, and the school in which he was taught, in order to determine if there were in him the elements of success.

of Temple and then of himself-now with penitence, and then with rage. Recovering his composure, he suggested the Jew as the guilty party. Mr. Sidney then dissected the handwriting of the Jew, and demonstrated that there was as great a difference between his chirography and an Englishman's as between the English and Chinese characters-showed how the Jew must heve been exceedingly timid, and stated the probability that he had left the city not because he had taken any part in the forgery, but because he had been frightened away. Then, turning to Conway, he gave him a lecture such as no mortal before ever gave or received. The agony of Conway's mind sô distorted his body as made it painful in the extreme to all beholders. "His inmost soul seemed stung as by the bite of a serpent.' When at last Mr. Sidney turned and took from his valise a small steel safe, which Conway recognized as his own, "the terrors of hell got hold of him," and his anguish was indescribably horrible. The little safe had been by some unknown and unaccountable process taken from a larger one in Conway's office, and was unopened. Neither Mr. Sidney nor the directors have ever seen its contents; but in consideration that it should not be opened, Mr. Conway confessed his crime in the very form of Mr. Sidney's description, paid the notes before leaving the bank, and remains a director to this day. As is often the case, the greater criminal goes unwhipped of justice.


Mr. Sidney, besides the faculty I have described, had another, less wonderful perhaps, but still quite remarkable, and which was of incalculable assistance to him in the prosecution of his Herculean labour. He was a most rare physiognomist. And by physiognomy is here intended, not simply the art of discovering the character of the mind by the features of the face, but also the art of discovering the qualities of the mind by the conformation of the bodyand still further (although it may not be a legitimate use of the word), the power of distinguishing the character, mental and moral, the capacity, occupation, and all the distinctive qualities of a person, by his figure, action, dress, deportment, and the like; for Sterne said well, that "the wise man takes his hat from the peg very differently from a fool."

The ancient Egyptians acquired the greatest skill in this science; and Tacitus affirms, not without reason, that their keen perception and acute observation, essential in communicating their ideas in hieroglyphics, contributed largely to their success. Certainly, few better proofs of the existence of the science have been furnished than that given by the Egyptian physiognomist at Athens in the days of Plato. Zopyrus pronounced the face of Socrates to be that of a libertine. The physiognomist being derided by the disciples of the great philosopher, Socrates reproved them, saying that Zopyrus had spoken well, for in his younger days such indeed had been the truth, and that he had overcome the

Chiefest among the essential qualities is to be named his astonishing strength of nerve. No danger could agitate him, however imminent or sudden. No power could deprive him of his imperturbable coolness and courage. Perils seemed to render his mind more clear and his self-reliance more firm. (And yet I have heard him say, that there was among the band of criminals before mentioned one woman of greater strength of mind and nervous power than any person he had ever seen, who alone of all created beings, whether man or devil, he dreaded to encounter). Had not Mr. Sidney been thus potently armed, he must, without doubt or question, have become almost a monomaniac; for, secondly, he was for years enraged almost to madness that his entire estate had been swept from his grasp, as he believed, by the torch of the incendiary; and he was to the last degree exasperated, and with a just indignation, that the merchant-princes who he supposed had occasioned his impoverishment yet walked abroad with the confidence of the coinmunity, and were still trusted by many a good man as the very salt of the city. Never theless, Mr. Sidney, solitary and alone, had arraigned them before a criminal tribunal. He was therefore driven to his own resources, and there was no place in his nature, or in the nature of things, for the first retrograde step. All his vast energies were thenceforth concentrated to, and concentrated in, the detection of crime. And from the time that he was refused

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payment for his loss, so far as my observation | his tricks. The affairs of this kind-hearted extended, he seemed to have been governed by grocer are troubling him. Were we within a no other purpose in life than the extermination yard of that round-shouldered man from the of that great gang of robbers which he subse- country, we should smell leather; for he works quently discovered. Add to these incentives and on his bench, and his unmarried. Here comes capacities his extraordinary perceptive faculties an atheist, who is a joker, and stubborn as a and power of analytical observation, together mule. There goes a man of no business at all: with his wonderful patience, and it must be very probably it is the best occupation he is granted that he was qualified to discover in any fitted for, as he has no concentrativeness. The incident connected with his pursuits more of its schoolmistress crossing the street is an accomcomponent parts than all other beholders, and plished teacher, is very sympathetic, and has had greater opportunities than almost any other great love of approbation. That lawyer is a man by which to be informed how it is that bachelor, and distrusts his own strength. This "the heart of a man changeth his countenance." merchant should give up the use of tobacco, and If I remember rightly, it was some two pay his notes before dinner, else he will become years after our acquaintance commenced that a dyspeptic. Here comes a man of wealth, 'who I became aware of Mr. Sidney's proficiency as a despises the common people and is miserly and physiognomist, and it was then communicated, hypocritical; and next to him is a scamp. I not so much by his choice as by a necessity, think it is Burke who says, When the gnawfor the accomplishment of one of his purposes. ing worm is within, the impression of the ravage The object of Mr. Sidney's visit to the city of it makes is visible on the outside, which appears L-, at that time, was nothing less difficult quite disfigured by it' and in that young man than the discovery and identification of an the light that was within him has become darkindividual of whom no other knowledge or ness, and how great is that darkness!'" description had been obtained than what could be extracted from the inspection, in another city, of a single specimen of his handwriting in the superscription of a letter. So much from so little. Within three days thereafter, with no other instrumentalities than that were suggested by Mr. Sidney's expertness in deciphering character in handwriting and his proficiency as a physiognomist, the result was reached and the object happily attained. In the prosecution of the enterprise, it was important, if not essential, that I should believe that the data were sufficient by which to arrive at a correct conclusion, and that I should confide in Mr. Sidney's skill in order that there might be hearty co-operation.

My office was so situated, that from its windows could most advantageously be observed. and for a considerable distance, the vast throng that ebbed and flowed, hour after hour, through the great thoroughfares of the city. For the part of three consecutive days I sat by Mr. Sidney's side, watching the changing crowd through the half-opened shutters, listening incredulously, at first, to the practical application of his science to the unsuspecting individuals below, till my derition was changed to admiration, and I was thoroughly convinced of his power. As my friends of both sexes passed under the ordeal, it was intensely bewitching. Hour after hour would he give, with rapidity and correctness, the occupation and peculiarity of character and condition of almost every individual who passed. This was not occasional, but continuous. The marked men were not singled out, but all were included. He was a stranger, and yet better acquainted with the people than any of our citizens. And this was the manner of his speaking:

"That physician has a better opinion of himsalf than the people have of him: he is superficial, and makes up in effrontery what he lacks in qualification. The gambler yonder, with a Loothpick in his mouth, has of late succeeded in

Of some qualities of mind he would occasionally decline to speak until he could see the features in play, as in conversation. Some occupations he failed to discover, if the arms were folded, or the hands in the pockets, or the body not in motion. Ite is not my purpose to specify any of the rules by which he was governed, though they differed materially from those of Lavater, Redfield, and others, nor the facts from which he drew his conclusions, but simply to give results.

I selected from the crowd acquaintances of marked character and standing, and obtained accurate descriptions of them. Of one he said, "He is a good merchant, and has done and is doing a large business. He carries his business home with him at night, as he should not. He has been wealthy, and is now reduced in circumstances. His disaster weighs heavily upon him. He has a high sense of honour, a keen conscience, and is a meek, religious man. He has great goodness of nature, is very modest and retiring, has more abilities than he supposes, and is a man of family and very fond of his children."

Another he accurately describes thus: "He is a mechanic, of a good mind, who has succeeded so well that I doubt if he is in active business. Certainly he does not labour. He is very independent and radical, can be impudent, if occasion requires, gives others all their rights, and pertinaciously insists upon his own." Here the mechanic took his hands from his pocket. "Hold! I said he was a mechanic. He is not, he is a house-painter."

I desired to be informed by what indications he judged him to be a painter. He replied, that he so judged from the general appearance and motions, and that it was difficult to specify. I insisted, and he remarked that "the easy roll of his wrists was indicative."

After obtaining similar correct descriptions of men well-known to me, I spied one whom I did


not know, and who was dressed peculiarly. I inquired his occupation, and Mr. Sidney, without turning a glance towards me, and still gazing through the half-opened shutters, replied, "Yes! you never saw him before yourself. He is a stranger in town, as is evident from the fact of his being dressed in his best suit, and by the manner of his taking observations. Besides, there is no opportunity in these parts for him to follow his trade. He is a glass-blower. You may perceive he is a little deaf, and the curvature of his motions also indicates his occupation."

Whether this description was correct or not I failed to ascertain.

he was offered a premium on the bills he had collected. At St. L- he obtained known genuine bill of the bank in question, and in company with a broker proceeded to examine the two with a microscope. The broker pronounced the supposed counterfeits to be genuine. In the meantime the gambler had left the city. Two days after Mr. Sidney had overtaken him. So great were his excitement and vexation that he could scarcely eat or sleep. In a fit of desperation, without law and against law, he pounced upon the suspected man and arrested him. He beat a parley. It was granted, and the two went to the gambler's apartments in company. In a conversation of several hours, Mr. Sidney extracted from him the most valuable information relating to the gang he was so pertinaciously prosecuting, and received into his possession forty-seven hundred pounds in counterfeits of the aforesaid bank, some of which I now have in my possession, and which have been pronounced genuine by our most skilful experts.

It would be gratifying to all lovers of science to be informed that the practical knowledge acquired by Mr. Sidney had been preserved, and that at least the elementary principles of the arts in which he became so nearly perfect had been definitely explained and recorded. I am not aware, however, that such is the fact, but am persuaded that his uniform policy of concealment has deprived the world of much that would have been exceedingly entertaining and instructive. That this knowledge has not been preserved is owing mainly to the fact that he considered it of little importance, except as a means for the accomplishment of his purposes, and that those purposes would be most effectually achieved by his withholding from the common gaze the instrumentality by which they were to be attained. That he intended at some future period to make some communication to the public I am well assured, and some materials were collected by him with this view; but the hot pursuit of the great idea that he never for an hour lost sight of would not allow sufficient rest from his labours, and he deferred the publication to those riper years of experience and acquirement from which he could survey his whole past career.

A man of very gentlemanly appearance was approaching, whom Mr. Sidney pronounced a gambler, and also engaged in some other branch of iniquity. His appearance was so remarkably good that I donbted. He turned the corner, and immediately Mr. Sidney hastened to the street and soon returned, saying he had ascertained his history that he was in the counterfeiting department, that his conscience affected his nerves, and consequently his motions, that he was a stranger in town, and was restless and disquited, that he would not remain many hours here, as he had an enterprise on hand, and was about it. I remarked, that, as the contrary never could be proved, he was perfectly safe in his prophecy, when Mr. Sidney rose from his chair, and, approaching me, slowly said, with great energy "I will follow that man till it is proved." The next day but one I received a note from Mr. Sidney, simply saying, "I am on his track." He followed the supposed counterfeiter to R, where he ascertained that he had passed bills of the bank of -. Mr. Sidney obtained the bills the gambler had passed to compare with the genuine. Failing, however, to find any of the same denomination, he presented the supposed counterfeits to a broker skilled in detecting bad bills, and was surprised to be informed that they were genuine. At B-he repeated the inquiry at the counter of a well-parties therewith connected. They also have the known banker relative to other similar bills, and consolation, if there be any, of knowing that he received the same response. So again in W- was sent prematurely to his grave by a subtle D—, C——, and several other cities whither poison, administered by unknown hands and in he had followed the suspected man, and invariably an unknown manner and moment, and that he the reply of the cashier would be, "We will died in the firm faith of immortality. exchange our bills for them, sir." In some cities


It may be comforting for all rogues to know that he left behind him no note of that vast amount of statistical knowledge which he possessed, whether appertaining to crimes or criminals in general or particular, and that with him perished all knowledge of this organized band of robbers, etc., and the names of all the

Mr. Sidney contended that any man of ordinary perceptive faculties need never mistake a gambler, as the marks on the tribe were as distinct as the complexion of the Ethiopian,that, of honest callings, dealers in cattle could be most easily discovered, that immorality indicated its kind invariably in the muscles of the face, that sympathetic qualities, love, and the desire of being loved, taste and refinement, were among the most perspicuous in the outline of the face.



I said I would go to Liverpool. But at that time I might as well have ordered the captain of the royal yacht to steam me up the Nile, or have sent for Mr. Macgregor's little "Rob Roy" canoe to take me a voyage round the world; or chartered the Cremorne balloon on an excursion to the man in the moon. It is easy enough for a poor mortal to say he will do a thing: doing it is rather more difficult. Circumstances will go against him, In any case "circumstances" meant health, money, and opportunity. I am not a slave, nor a pauper, nor a bed-ridden individual; and yet these three things, sometimes by turns and sometimes altogether, ordained that I should stay at home. When I had been less extravagant than usual, and was able to afford a journey, I found that I I could not get away; and when my time happened to be my own, bodily ills were sure to pay me a visit. In their case it was useless to say "Not at home." But notwithstanding all this, I gave it out wherever I went that I was going to Liverpool; and I was much amused at the remarks my assertion provoked. A city friend said that I ought certainly to see Liverpool, and make South Castle-street my point of observation. "There are men there, sir, worth half-a-million, who commenced life by sweeping the office floor." I told my intention to a child of Thespis, who had been playing Richard and Macbeth in the provinces, but soon found himself amongst the general utilities when he was engaged at a London theatre. He was enthusiastic about the city on the Mersey. "No hiding talent under a bushel. Managers give a fellow a chance. True, they generally come to grief; but what matters the bankruptcy of a manager, if the public get a chance of seeing genius in a leading part." A seafaring acquaintance tried to give me some idea of the Docks, but he found the subject too vast for description. "See 'em yourself, my boy. Saint Katharine's, the London, and the Commercial Docks all joined together would be nothing in comparison." And, lastly, a wicked friend hinted that I wished to see the Lancashire Witches.


Why did I wish to go? Well, it was not a very great many years ago that I became really acquainted with the First City in the Land; for, though London-born and bred (snobs would be ashamed of owning themselves Cockneys; not being a snob I glory in the honour), my youth was spent in the suburbs, and fourteen years had glided peacefully over my head (as I should say were I writing a novel) before I was familiar with the streets that are paved with gold. True, I had often been "taken" to the Modern Babylon on visits to friends and relations, but though not quite so ignorant as a friend who thought Cheapside the West End,

and took the Duke of York's Column for the Monument, my ideas of metropolitan geography were fearfully hazy. And what jolly times I had on Wednesday and Saturday half-holidays! Other boys played cricket and football. I studied the Post-office Directory Map, and took the train to London. There is nothing so delightful as first times. Who does not remember with pleasure his first visit to a theatre; his first ball; or his first love? Such things happen over and over again in a man's lifetime: but, alas! often pall sadly on repetition. At first I was as confused as a foreigner fresh from La Belle France; but it was not long before I found my way about as easily as a London errand-boy; and at last a time came when I had seen everything, and, like the warrior of old, sighed for fresh worlds to conquer. The West-End, with its Rotton Row, drawing-room days, swells, cafés, and operas; the East with its cheap theatres, penny gaffs, Victoria Park on a Sunday, poverty and misery; and the City itself, with its money-making crowd, Exchange, luncheon-bars, Tower, and Custom-house Quay, were as familiar to me as the scenes of childhood. So I thought what a nice thing it would be if I could find myself in a large city, where everything would be fresh and new. And that was why I wanted to go to Liverpool.

After church one autumn Sunday evening I took a long country-walk, and rested for a time at a roadside-inn. Sitting there I suddenly made up my mind to go to Liverpool the next day. People thought me mad (some folks have an idea that a long journey requires about three weeks' preparation). I let them think so. The Monday was fine and warm-just the sort of day for travelling; and with the least possible amount of luggage, I found myself at Euston Square, waiting for the train. Unfortunately, soon after we started it became dark; so that I was able to see very little of the country. A thick fog was rising over the fields and lanes, making it seem as if we were rushing through immense sheets of water. And I soon began to experience the miseries of a long railwayjourney on a cold evening. As there were ladies in the carriage, smoking was out of the question. I tried to read, but after straining my eyes for ten minutes, gave it up as a failure. As my travelling companions were all asleep, conversation was impossible; so not being able to sleep myself I had nothing to do but keep wondering where we were. Then I had the cramp. First it seized me in the left leg, and I was obliged to stand up and do a few steps of the " Cure;" then my arms suffered, and during the gymnastic exercises that followed, I very nearly pummeled an old gentleman on my left; and at last I was seized all over, and had

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