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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 681, January 13, 1877.
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 681, January 13, 1877." ***

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 681.      SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



A WASTED EXISTENCE.


In every account of the French Revolution, there crop up names of
actors in that terrible drama, not to be forgotten. The very vileness
of these individuals has rendered their names imperishable. Execrated
by successive generations, it would never occur to us that a time
would come when, by a distortion of principle, literature would try
to gloss over the evil deeds of these infamous personages, and hold
them up to general admiration and pity. It would be imagined that
Robespierre, Marat, St Just, Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Hebert,
Couthon, and a number of others, were too bad--too persistently
wicked--to evoke sentiments of compassion. Time, however, brings about
unexpected changes. For anything we can tell, some plodding enthusiast
may be ransacking archives, and gathering traditions to represent
Robespierre as a noble-minded hero, whose character has been altogether
misunderstood. Marat, too, may possibly soon be spoken of with gentle
regret--as what a worthy young man he was when studying medicine at
Edinburgh, and living in modest lodgings in the College Wynd, and so
on; making him out to be a prodigy of excellence. As a commencement
to this new and undesirable literature, comes a biography of Camille
Desmoulins, by a French writer, Jules Claretie, purporting to be
founded on hitherto unpublished documents, and which appears before
us as an English translation. Not a paltry-looking book is it by any
means, but a handsomely printed octavo, of nearly five hundred pages,
embellished with a portrait of the hero Camille. After that nothing
will surprise us.

Unless for a hope of drawing some useful moral for the benefit of
young and ardent spirits, we should not have ventured on any notice
of this extraordinary production. What the moral is, will appear as
we go along. It may be worth while in the first place to say that
Claretie, the writer of the book, almost worships his hero. He sets
out by describing him as the '_gamin_ of genius, whom Paris attracted,
seduced, and kept for ever;' and then, to let us know the fullest
particulars of the wonderful _gamin_, he makes a pilgrimage to the
small town of Guise, in Picardy, where Camille was born, 2d March 1760.
The antique little town is gone through from end to end; and the house
in which Camille first drew breath, and spent his early years, situated
in the street of the Grand Pont, in front of the Place d'Armes, is
minutely described. Claretie was shocked to find that the inhabitants
of the town had no remembrance of his hero. 'They have forgotten
their unfortunate townsman, the generous fool, the madcap of genius,
who gave his life to the Republic--they have forgotten, after having
misunderstood, and perhaps calumniated him.'

Camille's father occupied a good position. Skilled in the law, he
was lieutenant-general of the bailiwick of Guise, and a grave and
industrious man, highly esteemed by all within his jurisdiction.
His wife had brought him a small fortune, which partly paid for the
education of his five children, of whom Camille was the eldest. As this
eldest boy grew up, great hopes were entertained of his intelligence
and general liveliness. He should receive a good college education,
and be brought up a man of law. Who knows but he might one day become
a member of the Parliament of Paris? With some financial scheming,
and the presentation of a bursary, Camille was entered a student at
the college of Louis-le-Grand. Here, studying with avidity, and quick
in apprehension, he attained a singular proficiency in a knowledge of
Greek and Roman classics. Unfortunately, the more deeply he became
acquainted with ancient authors, the more was his enthusiastic
temperament stimulated to uphold in its wildest form the cause of
political liberty. Nothing restrained his impassioned notions. Poring
over the Old Testament, he discovered, as he thought, in a passage
in Ezekiel that the Revolution was predicted word for word. Then, in
his perturbed imaginings he began to write poetry, full of frantic
allusions to the harangues of Demosthenes and Cicero. Completing his
education, he became a licentiate of law, and in 1785 was sworn in as
an advocate of the Parliament of Paris. His choice of a profession
was somewhat of a mistake; for in the opening of a speech he usually
stammered awkwardly, by involuntarily repeating the words hon, hon;
wherefore, in fun, he acquired the name Monsieur Hon. It was only at
the outset of an oration that he stumbled on hon, hon; for when once
fairly set agoing he spoke fluently and with precision. Yet, the hon,
hon was against him as a pleader, and he did not rise to distinction at
the bar. The truth is, he was more ready as a writer than a speaker;
and at the dawn of the Revolution he is found to be one of those
pamphleteers who inconsiderately helped to stir up the wildest passions
of the mob. To his relations in the antiquated town in Picardy he
offered a painful spectacle. It was felt that his education and his
brilliant talents had only qualified him to be a reckless demagogue.
Sad down-come to the hopes of old Desmoulins, who had not the slightest
desire to turn the world upside down.

Camille's infatuation was that of thousands, whose brains had been
deranged not less by the teaching of so-called philosophers, than
by the scandalous condition of public affairs. From causes familiar
to all who have read the history of France, abuses of every sort
had attained dimensions which nothing short of the most earnest and
patient consideration could peaceably redress. Patient consideration,
however, was the last thing thought of. The unfortunate Louis XVI. was
unable to allay the general effervescence; and his ministers, though
well-meaning in their way, were unfit to stem the political ferment.
In July 1789, on the exile of Necker, the popular wrath was great. The
great court-yard of the Palais-Royal, which we now see a picture of
tranquillity with its nurses and children, was crowded with vehement
orators. The most fiery of the whole is Camille Desmoulins, who jumps
upon a table, and for the instant overcoming his stammer, addresses
and adds fury to the surging multitude. The spark of armed revolt was
struck. A day or two afterwards (July 14), the Bastille was assaulted
and taken. In the midst of the hideous saturnalia, Camille is seen with
a drawn sword in his hand, joining in the popular triumph.

From this time Camille is one of the leaders of the Revolution, by
speaking at the clubs and using his pen freely. His work _La France
Libre_ (France Free) helped materially to give him notoriety. The
book, however, dealt too much with liberty in the abstract. He deemed
it necessary to hint at the advantages of doing summary justice
on suspected individuals. Here was a scholar and a gentleman so
carried off his feet by political frenzy as to write ironically of
assassination. His production, animated with a terrible demoniac
fury, was entitled _Discours de la Lanterne aux Parisiens_--in plain
English, the iron of the street lamps is invoked as a convenient
gallows on which to perform the atrocities of 'Lynch-law.' From this
extraordinary and disreputable production, Camille became known as the
'procureur-général de la lanterne;' a designation which he did not
dislike. Will it be credited? Claretie, who tells all this minutely,
expresses no horror at the revelation. Speaking of the work, he says:
'There was never anything more eloquent. Its wit, even when it seems
ill employed in deadly personalities, dazzles us.'

Conferring a feverish popularity on Camille, which was satisfying
to his vanity, these productions were, it appears, of little
pecuniary avail. He was now thirty years of age, with barely means of
subsistence; such was his extremity, that he was driven to ask doles
of money from his father, which could very ill be spared. From this
state of depression his fortunes rose by the exercise of his pen as
a journalist. His periodical was styled the _Révolutions de France
et de Brabant_. It was successful, but only by the vileness of its
lampoons and libels on private character, which brought him frequently
into trouble. In his wild indiscretion, he even cut libellous jokes
on M. Sanson, the public executioner, who, not inclining to submit to
his impertinence, raised an action of damages to the extent of three
thousand livres. Considering the way in which public affairs were
drifting, an attack on Sanson was very much like an act of madness. The
guillotine was soon to be in full swing.

Towards the end of 1790, Camille passed through what may be called the
romance of his existence. He formed an ardent attachment to Lucille
Duplessis, a young lady of a good family, handsome, beautiful, of
gentle temperament, and whom he called 'an adorable little blonde.' M.
Duplessis, the father, offered some opposition to the proposed match;
but in time he assented to what seemed the inevitable, and accepting
Camille as a son-in-law, gave him a good fortune with his daughter.
The marriage took place December 29, 1790, and we observe that among
Camille's friends as witnesses are inscribed the names of Petion and
Robespierre.

While still pouring out invectives in his journal, there occurred a
fresh theme for vituperation. Alarmed for his personal safety, the poor
king attempted to fly with his family, and was arrested, and brought
back (June 1791). Roused at the idea of the king's desertion of his
post, Camille's fury knew no bounds. He degraded his pen by writing of
the 'male and female Capets,' and in his fervour headed a deputation
to the municipality informing them of the project of deposing Louis
XVI. Shortly afterwards, under some apprehension of rough usage, he
dropped the publication of his journal, and for a time he resumed
his occupation of advocate at the tribunals. In these vicissitudes
he clung in a friendly spirit to Danton, and Danton liked him as an
associate. They lived in different floors of the same building, in the
Cour de Commerce, and betwixt their respective wives there was a kindly
intercourse, the account given of which comes soothingly amidst details
of public perturbation. Camille's son, Horace, was born July 6, 1792,
'the little Horace whom Robespierre danced so often on his knees'--a
fine point this for any biographer of Robespierre!

Soon came the terrible convulsion of the 10th August 1792, when the
Tuileries were sacked by a savage mob, and the royal family were
forced to seek refuge in the National Assembly. What part Camille
took in this brutal affair is not mentioned. We only know that he
was somehow engaged in the disturbance, and, to the consternation of
his wife Lucille, came home with a gun in his hand. The monarchy,
at which he constantly railed, was now substantially at an end. A
universal terrorism was let loose. Searching visits to private houses
having filled the prisons with suspected aristocrats, it was resolved
to massacre them _en masse_. The municipality taking in hand this
atrocity, hired a band of three hundred assassins, who began the work
of destruction on the 2d September. The massacre lasted five days,
during which eight thousand individuals, convicted of no crime, were
put to death with barbarous cruelty. Claretie indignantly denies that
Camille had any hand in this iniquity, and throws the blame on Danton,
who was now Minister of Justice and wished to strike terror into the
royalists. An authority which we consider to be as trustworthy as
Claretie, says distinctly that Camille, who was appointed secretary to
Danton, 'organised with him the massacres in the prisons.' At anyrate,
Camille was the confidant and associate of Danton, with whose designs
he could scarcely fail to be acquainted.

Camille was now appointed a deputy to the Convention by the city of
Paris, and as such he was placed in close connection with the leaders
of the Revolution. We have not space to follow him in this new line
of duty. As a Dantonist, he roundly abused the Girondists. To his
eternal disgrace, he voted for the king's death, and had not even
the good taste to refrain from facetiousness on the occasion. Deeply
and remorsefully did he pay for his obsequiousness to the vilest of
mankind. Already there was a Nemesis on his track. Batch after batch
of unhappy individuals were condemned by the Revolutionary Tribunal,
not only in Paris but all over France. Camille began to entertain the
notion that things had gone too far. His conscience was roused, and
roused in a remarkable manner. Walking out one evening, the rays of
the setting sun shining brilliantly, seemed to transform the waters of
the Seine into a river of blood. To his poetical fancy the phenomenon
was accepted as an appeal to mercy, and awakened him to a lively
sense of the horrors produced by the revolutionary mania. We are led
to understand that from this time he began to agitate for moderate
measures. The change of views, though morally commendable, was fatal
as regarded his own safety. Camille, who at first was thought to be
recklessly extreme in his views, was now reckoned among the moderates,
and was pointed at with the finger of scorn. He was chargeable with the
grave offence of dining with aristocrats. Repudiated by the Cordeliers,
of which club he had once been a shining light, he was in a sense a
political outlaw. Such was the reward of his frantic extravagances.
In his mortification he commenced a paper in numbers, the _Vieux
Cordelier_ (Old Cordelier). It was admirable as a brilliant effort of
genius, but was of no more avail than if it had been addressed to a
menagerie of wild beasts. The Old Cordelier advocated the institution
of a Committee of Clemency to stay the Reign of Terror. The proposals
for mercy were denounced at a meeting of the Jacobin Club, when
Robespierre suggested that the numbers of the Old Cordelier then
published should be burned. 'Burning is not answering,' said Camille.
'Well, your writings shall be answered,' replied Robespierre. The
answer was to be of a sharper nature than was implied by the words.
Robespierre resolved to get rid of Camille, as any further connection
with him would imperil his own safety.

From the fragmentary documents which Claretie has strung together, it
is learned that in the beginning of 1794 Camille was beset by fatal
presentiments. 'He was weary; he felt that all was lost; and that
he had brought about not his own destruction only, but that of his
family.' Bitter consideration! We wonder--for Claretie does not tell
us--whether Camille at this saddening period ever had a clear idea of
the error he had committed? Did he now see that while his theories
were possibly unchallengeable in the abstract, they had all along been
unsuitable for practical application in France, where the bulk of the
people were illiterate, and without any experience of the obligations
incidental to constitutional government? Likely enough, like others
about him, his head was too much in the clouds to see things in this
light. The 'generous fool,' as Claretie calls him, he had, ever since
commencing as tribune of the people, been contributing to widespread
ruin and his own cruel death. Possibly, he reckoned that the friendship
of Robespierre, who was now the arbiter of fate, would save him from
the guillotine. Vain hope, if it ever existed. Robespierre, the
'Incorruptible,' knew nothing of friendship, in pursuit of his grand
idea of cutting off three hundred thousand heads; and the heads of
Camille Desmoulins and his wife Lucille would help as well as others to
make out the tale. Besides, Camille's defection towards moderatism was
not to be endured.

It was not pleasant for Camille to find that he was at the mercy
of a man possessed with notions so very uncompromising; but he had
brought this awkward position on himself, and felt he must take the
consequences. Robespierre had no difficulty in finding a plea to ruin
Camille. Passages of the Old Cordelier were quoted to his disadvantage.
Camille foresaw his condemnation, and while anticipating his arrest, he
received a letter from his father intimating the death of his mother.
'Camille's grief was profound; his eyes were still red with tears
when the patrol charged with the duty of arresting him and Danton,
took possession of the Cour de Commerce. The first words that Camille
uttered when he heard the dull sound of the butt-ends of the muskets on
the pavement were: "They have come to arrest me." Lucille listened to
him, and looked at him bewildered. She felt as if she should go mad.
Camille was calmer than might have been expected. He dressed himself,
embraced his child, took from his library Young's _Night Thoughts_, and
Hervey's _Meditations among the Tombs_, and then pressing to his heart
his weeping wife, whom he adored, their lips met for the last time in
an agonising kiss made bitter by burning tears.'

Camille and Danton were carried off to the prison of the Luxembourg.
Friends endeavoured to interpose in Camille's favour. Lucille traversed
Paris trying to reach Robespierre's ear, that she might move him to
pity. All in vain. There was a trial, but it was little better than
a sham. Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Lacroix, Herault de Sechelles,
Fabre d'Eglantine, Westerman, and some others, fifteen in all, were
condemned. It was done! The Dantonists were to die. For the short
space they were in prison previous to execution, Camille crouched
down and wept over his wasted existence, and of what his young and
bereaved wife might have to endure on his account. He had committed a
double crime. By his folly two existences were blighted. And it was
agonising to think of being brought to a violent death at thirty-four
years of age, when full of life and vigour--hard to be sent to the
scaffold by a parcel of ruffians, for whom he had paved the way
to power by his writings, and who were glad to get rid of him, as
being no longer useful in their selfish designs. These were crushing
thoughts for Camille, at this terrible moment. Danton took things more
philosophically. He, too, had to leave a young wife, but besides being
less remorseful, he was of a manlier nature, and he stood firm at the
approach of death. When the executioner arrived at the prison with his
assistants to perform the toilet of the condemned, Camille struggled
unmanfully, and it was necessary to tie him to his seat while the
collar of his shirt and his hair were cut. He asked Danton to place
between his bound hands a locket containing Lucille's hair, which he
had hitherto worn next his heart. Danton complied; then gave himself up
in his turn to the scissors and cords of the executioner.

The condemned filled two tumbrils or carts. The cortège, environed by
an immense crowd, pursued its way along the quay of the Seine to the
Place de la Révolution. 'Wild with rage and despair, Camille tried to
break his bonds, and tearing his shirt to rags, so that his shoulders,
neck, and chest shewed through the tatters, he made a last appeal to
the crowd.' 'Citizens, your preservers are being sacrificed! It was
I who in '89 called you to arms; I raised the first cry of liberty!
My crime, my only crime has been pity.' Vain words. Danton requested
him to be quiet. It was a beautiful April evening in 1794, as the
two cartloads of victims were driven to the foot of the scaffold, on
which stood the hideous machine, which glowed in the setting sun.
All around, the taverns were full of men drinking, who enjoying the
spectacle, sung, and clinked their glasses. A few minutes sufficed to
put the Dantonists out of existence. At the last, Camille recovered his
composure, and died with the lock of Lucille's hair in his hand.

A terrible but just retribution, when we consider the part Camille
had taken to stimulate the popular fury! There was something less
justifiable and more heart-rending to ensue. Lucille had been seen
hovering near the prison, trying to get a glimpse of her husband;
and was seized on the preposterous charge of plotting to overthrow
the Convention. She had been only guilty of love and despair. Along
with eighteen other women, all under twenty-six years of age, she
was condemned. There was a grandeur in the death of the unfortunate
Lucille. She was a little pale but charming. Conscious of her
innocence, and animated with the pious hope of speedily joining her
dear Camille, her face bore a smile of happiness when placed under
the guillotine. 'The fair child-like head retained its expression of
profound joy and passionate ecstasy even after it lay bleeding in the
dreadful basket.' The family tragedy was complete; for little Horace
was too young to be beheaded. He grew up a fine boy in charge of his
mother's family, but died young at Jacmel, in Hayti, 1817. There is
some satisfaction in knowing that, in little more than three months
after the judicial murder of the Desmoulins, Robespierre perished by
the same violent death which he had fanatically meted to others.

For some not uninteresting particulars regarding the effects that
had belonged to the Desmoulins family, we must refer to the work of
Claretie, which at least deserves the praise of untiring industry and
enthusiasm; while it will be admitted that much pains must have been
taken with the translation.[1] In concluding his narrative, the author
offers a number of laudatory remarks on the Revolution, with which we
cannot possibly agree. A convulsion that destroyed the lives of upwards
of a million human beings, besides leading to military despotism, and
wars which for two-and-twenty years were the scourge of mankind, can
never, among well-regulated minds, be spoken of without abhorrence.
As eighty-six years have failed to give a settled government to
France, nothing can be more certain than that the disorderly excesses
promoted by Camille Desmoulins and others were an irreparable and
ever-to-be-lamented blunder.

    W. C.

[1] _Camille Desmoulins and his Wife._ By Jules Claretie. Translated by
Mrs Cashel Hoey. Smith and Elder, London, 1876.



THE LAST OF THE HADDONS.


CHAPTER II.--SUCCESS.

'Only a little hungry.'

Was it my voice making the humiliating confession? Had I lost my
self-command and self-respect to such an extent as that! The words
seemed to come from my dry lips independently of my will.

Sundry ejaculations in one voice, and 'I thought she looked a poor
half-starved mortal!' in another, brought my stray senses back, and
I looked about me. I was lying on a couch in a back sitting-room,
smaller, and more comfortable in appearance than that which I had first
seen, Mr Wentworth and his sour-looking servant watching me. A strong
unpleasant smell of burnt feathers pervaded the room. As I afterwards
found, Hannah knew of no better remedy for faintness; and her master
had hurriedly set light to a packet of quill pens, whilst she deluged
my face and head with water.

'Bring some wine and the best you have in the way of food, at once,'
said Mr Wentworth.

She quitted the room; and her master considerately went towards the
window, and stood there turning over the leaves of a pamphlet until she
re-entered carrying a tray, upon which were a glass of sherry, a small
basin containing something with a savoury smell, and some bread.

'Have you nothing better than that?' he asked.

'It's the strong gravy I was making for your chicken,' she replied.
'She couldn't have anything better than that upon an empty stomach.'

I tried to utter a little protest; but I soon felt it was no use; I
should never be able to get away decently without the little fillip
which the food and wine would give me. So I took a few spoonfuls of the
gravy and a little bread, trying to keep up appearances by saying that
I had foolishly taken a very light breakfast, and so forth.

He accepted the explanation in an easy, matter-of-course way; adding,
that he also frequently got into disgrace with Hannah on account of
his want of appetite in the early morning, and could quite understand
other people's shortcomings in the same way. Then he courteously
expressed a hope that I should rest there until Hannah had prepared
luncheon. 'There is no one in the house besides us three, and therefore
you will not be disturbed. Quietness is about the only thing this old
place has to boast of now.'

'You are very kind,' I murmured, at a loss for words.

'In an hour or two, when you have had luncheon, and feel quite sure
you are sufficiently rested, I will give you fuller particulars as
to the best way of getting to Fairview. We shall meet there very
shortly, I daresay, when I trust to hear that you approve of your new
surroundings, Miss Haddon.' Then, touching my hand, and bowing low with
old-fashioned courtesy, he quitted the room.

The old woman watched him with astonished eyes, and then turned them
suspiciously upon me. I could not help fancying that she was mentally
repeating the words, 'Meet there very shortly.' How weak I must have
been to let this grim-looking, disagreeable old woman see the tears
which forced themselves into my eyes. I intuitively knew that tears and
weakness were the very worst weapons to use with one of her calibre. I
felt that she had in her heart declared war against me from the very
moment I succeeded in obtaining an interview with her master, and, so
to speak, set her at defiance. This was but an armed truce between us,
if truce it was. In course of time I learned that there was another
cause for her antagonism.

Her forbidding suspicious looks had very soon the good effect of
helping me towards recovery. Brushing away the tears which her master's
kindness had brought to my eyes, I drank the sherry, set to work with
the spoon again, and was presently able to eye her as steadily and
speculatively as she eyed me.

'You will do now, till lunch is ready, I suppose?'

'I shall do now without luncheon; in five minutes I shall be able to
go. Will you please tell Mr Wentworth so; and say if he will kindly
send me the further instructions he spoke about, I need not disturb him
again.'

'You are going to meet again?' I thought rather offensively.

'Yes; I hope so.--My bonnet, please. How wet you have made my hair!'

'I suppose it's most of it that new stuff, that can be easily dried or
replaced,' she ungraciously replied, presenting my bonnet. (I did not
take the trouble to vindicate my hair, simply using a towel which lay
near to press out the water as much as possible.) 'I am sorry there is
not a looking-glass in the room; but I can fetch one, if you like.'

I saw that this was meant for sarcasm, so pleasantly responded: 'Yes,
please.'

'It's at the top of the house,' she grumbled.

'In that case I will excuse you from fetching it,' I replied, with
amiable condescension.

She waited a moment to recover that, and then said: 'You are not going
to stop to lunch then?'

'No. Does that surprise you?'

'Yes; it does.'

'Ah, that shews you may be mistaken sometimes.'

She seemed to hesitate a moment as to whether she should carry on the
war or not; and then, I suppose, concluded to defer it, though she took
unnecessary pains to shew that it was only deferred, frowning angry
defiance at me as she went out of the room.

She presently returned with the message that her master thought I could
not be sufficiently rested, and hoped I would stay to luncheon; adding,
with a grim smile: 'He is not accustomed to ladies who are given to
fainting; and does not know how soon they can sometimes get over it.'

'Your master is very kind; but I must go now.'

'If you would not be persuaded, I was to give you this.'

'I am much obliged to him,' I replied, taking the letter she offered;
I really could not honestly add, 'and to you;' but bade her good-day
as pleasantly as I could. She opened the room-door, and then the
hall-door, still as it were under protest, and with the same expression
of disapproval on her face. 'I suppose it is a disagreeable manner that
is natural to her,' I thought, as I turned away.

I walked slowly to the Park, where I sat down and rested awhile; then
went on again towards home--if I could give the place I found shelter
in so euphemistic a name--trying to get used to the idea of my good
fortune, and to think over the arrangements that had to be made for my
flitting. But I was not yet equal to anything in the way of sustained
thought, only conscious, in a pleasant, dreamy kind of way, that a
heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders, and that life would now be
more endurable for the next few months.

The fresh air was doing me good; and by the time I had reached the
house where I lodged, situated in a by-street west of the Park, I had
begun to recover my mental equilibrium. But I fancy my first proceeding
after reaching my room made Becky, the small maid who occasionally did
errands for me, think that I had taken leave of my senses.

'A chop, and a sixpenny cake, and a quarter of a pound of best butter,
and an ounce of tea and sugar!' she repeated, staring at me with widely
opened eyes, while she ran over the items, pausing at each, as though
to remind me of what I was doing.

'I am expecting company, Becky,' I replied, with what was meant for a
reassuring smile.

But Becky was not to be so easily reassured. 'Then give them a
penny'o'th of shrimps, and keep the chop and the cake for yourself when
they are gone,' she earnestly advised.

'But it is some one I care very much for, Becky,' I replied; 'and I can
quite afford it now--I can indeed.'

Very reluctantly she took the money, and went off with a grave face to
do my bidding. Then I sat down with pencil and paper to make certain
calculations. I possessed fifteen shillings and sixpence in money,
my clothes, and a certain packet of my dear mother's old-fashioned
jewellery, with a few words written on the outside to the effect that,
in the event of either illness or death, the contents were to be sold
to defray expenses. I had spoken truly enough in alluding to my sore
need. I had had a hard fight for existence for five long weary months,
during which time I had been able to obtain no better employment
than such as was to be had from shops. Embroidery, screen-painting,
wool-work illuminating, I tried them all in turn, with very slight
success in the matter of remuneration; 'ladies' being, I found, looked
upon rather suspiciously as workers, and as a rule, expected to give a
great deal more labour for small pay than do the 'regulars,' as they
are called. This arises, or did arise--women are getting wiser in these
days--from the false delicacy of a few, who preferred keeping up the
fiction that they were only playing at work, and so deteriorated the
value of gentlewomen as workers. I soon found that it was hopeless
to expect to earn a living that way; and as I had not the experience
in teaching which I believed to be necessary for a governess to
have, there seemed little else to turn to than that of obtaining an
engagement as companion. After the expenses of my mother's funeral had
been paid, I found myself almost destitute; and though I had contrived
to exist since, it was a kind of existence which could not go on
much longer. And yet there was a bright future before me, if I could
contrive to get through the next eight or ten months.

Eight years before the commencement of this story, I was on the eve
of marriage with Philip Dallas, and we were to set out on a voyage to
Jamaica immediately afterwards. Certain plantations there, belonging
to his elder brother, were going to ruin for want of an interested
overlooker on the spot. Edward Dallas did not wholly depend upon the
property, and was not inclined to exile himself; but as he appeared
still less inclined to advance his brother's fortunes in England,
Philip and I agreed to go out and reside in Jamaica until he had made a
competency, which we had every reason to believe might be done in the
course of a few years. We were young (both one-and-twenty), and strong,
and energetic; and hoped, by careful living, to be able to return in
time to enjoy the best part of our lives in Old England. The one and
only thing which caused us to hesitate was the dread of leaving my dear
mother. But she would not hear of Philip sacrificing his prospects,
or of my remaining with her. Unselfish as she was clear-sighted, she
cheerfully assured us she would be more happy in the reflection that
her child was the wife of a good man, and well cared for, than in
keeping me by her side. She was so unmistakably in earnest, that we
felt we were really doing what would most conduce to her happiness in
obeying her. She had her small pension, which quite sufficed for her
needs; and as she pointed out to us, she was altogether better situated
than many mothers. There seemed every reason for hoping that she would
live to a good old age, and we persuaded ourselves that we should be in
England again in time to be a comfort to her declining years.

We had few friends, mother and I. Her limited means, and perhaps a
little of the morbid sensitiveness which the refined poor are apt
to acquire, prevented her moving in the society she was so well
fitted for; and as years went by, she gradually drifted away from old
associations without making new ones. By my father's family (in which
my father was the only son) she had never been much noticed; and after
his death, which took place when I was a child, they entirely ignored
her. She had accepted the position--which now entailed straitened
circumstances--and proudly kept aloof from them. It was perhaps natural
enough that the Haddons of Haddon should not approve the marriage of
their only son with the vicar's penniless daughter; the match was
perhaps not a very prudent one, but they ought not to have forgotten
that she was a gentlewoman. So little, however, did the loss of their
favour trouble us, that it had come to be a jest between my mother and
me to threaten each other with the Haddons of Haddon when any little
financial difficulty arose; a jest which made us more inclined to be
satisfied with things as they were. We could imagine nothing more
humiliating than being obliged to apply to the Haddons of Haddon for
aid of any kind.

My modest trousseau was prepared, and everything packed ready for
transport to the vessel in which our passage was taken. It was the
evening before our wedding-day, and Philip and I had been for a walk in
a quiet silent fashion of our own, taking farewell of the old country.
We walked through part of the city, at peace in the soft summer
moonlight after its day of unrest; and turning into a church where
evening service was going on, knelt down unseen in one of the high pews
to join in the prayers. Then we turned our steps homewards--it would
ever be home to us where my dear mother was--our hearts too full for
words.

I was to spend the remainder of this last night alone with her; and as
we had previously agreed to do, Philip and I parted at the door. Ah,
Philip! how good and true, how handsome you looked as you stood there
lingering to say a few last words, before I entered the house!

'Our last parting, Mary! God bless you, dear wife. Try to make our
mother believe what you will be to me; it will be her best comfort; and
remind her of our agreement. No tears to-morrow.'

Ah, me! had sorrow not been too deep for tears, there would have been
nothing else on the morrow. I ran hastily up-stairs--we had secured
comfortable lodgings with a respectable family for her--and opened the
door, looking towards her accustomed seat as I half-uttered some little
loving speech; only half-uttered it, and then broke down with a cry
of alarm. My mother was lying on the floor in what, for the first few
moments, I imagined to be a fainting-fit. Alas! it was more serious
than that. Whether the cause was physical or mental, I know not; it
is most probable that she had suffered more about the approaching
separation between us than she herself would allow; but she was taken
up a helpless and incurable invalid, who would never again be able to
move from her couch. That was the fiat issued by the medical men on the
bright May morning which was to have seen me a happy bride.

It was very hard for Philip; and as might naturally be expected, he
for a while found it difficult to accede to the sudden change in his
prospects. But I knew he was not likely to blame me for acting as I
did, after the first bitterness of disappointment was over. After a
hurried interview with his brother, in which the latter insisted upon
his keeping to his bond, and setting sail with or without me, Philip
entreated me to go through the ceremony with him, and let him at least
feel that he was leaving a wife. I might soon be left motherless, he
pleaded; and in that case, it would be so much easier for me to follow
him as his wife.

My courage almost gave way. I was sorely tempted to yield. But the
doctors had said that, though my dear mother might not live very
long, there was just a possibility that she might linger for years.
My mother might be excused for looking at the question only as it
affected her child; and she entirely sided with Philip in wishing me
to become his wife, since I insisted upon remaining with her. But I
had to think for him; and strength was given me to act according to
my perception. So long as my mother was spared to me, she must be my
care, and Philip must remain unfettered. That was my decision; and they
could not turn me from it by any amount of persuasion. The following
day Philip set forth alone, and I remained with my mother. But if, in
his disappointment, he was a little hard with me at the time, his first
letter shewed that he blamed me no longer.

I know now it never occurred to him that my mother's income might die
with her. He had been content to take a penniless bride; and if he gave
a thought to my mother's money, it was only to rejoice that she had
enough until he could more amply provide for her. Pride, self-reliance,
or perhaps a little of both, prevented my telling him at the last.

She lived nearly eight years after his departure. Philip, with whom I
had corresponded all that time, was beginning to write hopefully of
being able to return within a twelvemonth, and I tried to struggle on
unaided. What I should have done had things come to the worst, I know
not. There was Edward Dallas; but he was a hard man, who had taken a
great deal more kindly to the delay than he had to our marriage, and I
did not choose that he should know his brother's future wife required
his charity. And there were the Haddons of Haddon, I told myself, with
a forlorn attempt at the old jest.

Meantime, Philip's letters arrived regularly, full of life, and love,
and hope. He had succeeded beyond his expectations. The estate had
rapidly increased in value under his management. Before he had been
there a year, he was able to dictate terms to his brother, and had
since acted as managing partner, with everything in his own hands.
Before she died, my dear mother had the happiness of believing that
Philip and I would soon be united and living in affluence. It was her
greatest comfort to know that I never regretted my decision, and that
Philip had come in time to say that he loved and trusted me all the
more for having kept to it.

As years passed on, there had been observable in Philip's letters just
the growth of mind which might have been expected in the man I had
known at twenty-one. I on my side did my best to make my mental growth
worthy of his. But of late, when I looked at the portrait in my locket
of the fair, frank, almost boyish face of my lover, I was conscious
of a certain uneasiness slowly but surely taking root in my heart,
though I told myself that of course he could not look like that now.
Did _he_ also remember the years that had passed, when he looked at the
portrait he had of me? Did he reflect that a woman of nine-and-twenty
could no longer look like a girl? But these reflections disturbed me
only occasionally, and were soon put aside as unworthy of the woman he
loved. He loved _me_, so what mattered my age?



FAMOUS BRITISH REGIMENTS.

THE BRIGADE OF FOOT GUARDS.


This famous band of British soldiers has always played an important
part in the annals of this country, and its services afford an example
of what our army has been in the past, and what England hopes it will
be in the future. The brigade consists of the Grenadier, Coldstream,
and Fusilier Corps; the first having three battalions, and the others
two each. Each regiment is distinct in itself, and is possessed of its
own traditionary records, although the brigade has likewise traditions
common to the trio which extend over a period of more than two hundred
years; for these splendid corps have ever been inseparable, though each
is in possession of an orderly-room of its own at the Horse Guards,
where its affairs are conducted, and where are kept, amongst many
interesting souvenirs, its records and State colour or flag. The latter
is an elaborate standard, used only on special state occasions, such as
the coronation, mounting guard on the sovereign's birthday, &c.; and
is of crimson silk, richly embroidered with gold, and edged with gold
fringe, and bearing in the centre of its silken folds the names of the
battles in which the regiment to which it belongs has been engaged.

The oldest of the three regiments is the Coldstream, which, when the
brigade is paraded, takes up its position as such on the left of the
line; the Grenadier regiment comes next in point of seniority, and
occupies the right; while the Fusilier--the youngest regiment--forms
up in the centre. This formation may appear mysterious to non-military
readers, as, according to popular notions, the oldest regiment always
occupies the right of the line; but this is not so, for the true reason
is, that the Grenadiers occupy the right because of the particular
service which their title signifies, the grenadier company of every
regiment being the first company.

The proper designation of the three corps is as follows: 1. The
Grenadier or First Regiment of Foot Guards. 2. The Coldstream Guards.
3. The Scots Fusilier or Third Regiment of Foot Guards. This is the
order in which they stand when on the right of the army, and it will
be seen that although there is a first and third regiment of Foot
Guards, there is, nominally, no _second_, the Coldstreams never being
officially designated by any number. The reason for this will presently
appear; and in the meantime we will take the regiments in regular
order, and narrate, as briefly as possible, the history of each,
together with some deeds of daring performed by individual members of
them, and the collective achievements of the brigade.

The Grenadier Guards, as just mentioned, takes the right of the
British army when in line. It is looked upon as the premier corps
of our infantry, and was raised under the following circumstances.
In the year 1655, Cromwell having allied himself with Louis XIV.,
Charles (II.) quitted the French coast and joined the Spaniards in
the Netherlands against the king of France. The loyal English who
shared the prince's exile were enrolled in 1657, and formed into
six regiments. The first of these was called the 'Royal Regiment of
Guards.' There after a time it became disbanded, through the inability
of the exiled prince to maintain it intact; and its members were
compelled to wander about the continent, many of them being reduced so
low as to beg for their daily subsistence.

On the Restoration of Charles II. the regiment was again assembled,
and returned to its native land, where, under circumstances which will
be narrated in connection with the Coldstreams, it became the First
Regiment of Foot Guards.

At Waterloo, this regiment particularly distinguished itself by totally
defeating the Grenadiers of the French Imperial Guards, and thus won
a chaplet which will for ever be associated with its name, for after
the battle the Prince Regent conferred upon it the title of 'Grenadier
Guards' in honour of the event. Every Briton must remember with pride
the glorious charge of the Guards on that occasion, when, lying down
(to avoid the galling fire of the French artillery) until their
opponents were within a few yards of the supposed breach in the British
line, they sprang up at the magic and heart-thrilling words of 'Up,
Guards, and at them!'--ascribed to the Duke of Wellington; and after
pouring a tremendous volley into the devoted ranks of Ney's followers,
rushed madly forward to a splendid and complete victory.

The Duke of Cambridge is the present colonel of the regiment, and its
colours bear the words Lincelles, Corunna (at which battle it was the
only regiment of the Guards present), Barrosa, Peninsula, Waterloo,
Alma, Inkerman, and Sevastopol. The badge of the regiment is a grenade,
which is likewise borne on the colours, together with the royal cipher
within the garter, and the words, '_Honi soit qui mal y pense_.'

The Coldstream Guards was raised in the year 1650; but it was in 1660
that it marched from the little town of Coldstream (from whence it
derives its name), near Berwick-on-Tweed, to London, under the command
of its first colonel, George Monk (afterwards Duke of Albemarle), for
the express purpose of restoring the monarchy by placing Charles II.
on the throne. Monk was a general in the Parliamentary forces and an
admiral of the fleet, and owing to this latter fact the regiment is
permitted to bear upon its Queen's colour a small Union-jack, in honour
of its first colonel's naval rank; a proud privilege not appertaining
to any other regiment in the service.

The 'gallant Coldstreamers,' as they were called, materially assisted
in the happy restoration of the English monarchy; and while marching
to London they met with an enthusiastic reception in the towns and
villages through which they passed. In the meantime Colonel Russell,
an old loyalist officer, had raised a corps which he called the
'King's Regiment of Guards;' and on the arrival of Charles it was
united with the 'Royal Regiment of Guards' which came with him. After
the Restoration, the three regiments which now form the brigade of
Guards were assembled on Tower Hill to take the oath of allegiance to
the king; and as a sign that they repudiated the Commonwealth, they
were ordered to lay down their arms. Having obeyed this order with
the utmost alacrity, they were commanded to take them up again in
the king's service as the First, Second, and Third Regiments of Foot
Guards. The First and Third Regiments did so with cheers; but the
Coldstreamers, to the astonishment of the king, who was present, stood
firm.

'Why does your regiment hesitate?' inquired Charles of General Monk.

'May it please your Majesty,' said the stern old soldier, lowering
the point of his sword, 'the Coldstreamers are your Majesty's devoted
servants; but after the service they have had the honour of rendering
to your Highness, they cannot consent to be _second_ to any corps in
your Majesty's service.'

'And they are right,' said the king; 'they shall be second to none. Let
them take up their arms as my Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.'

Monk rode back to the line and communicated the king's decision to the
regiment. It had a magical effect. The arms were instantly raised amid
frantic cries of 'Long live the king!' Since this event the motto of
the Coldstream Guards has been '_Nulli Secundus_'--Second to None.

The regiment has had a part in every important campaign which has taken
place during the two hundred and twenty-six years of its existence,
and has on many occasions greatly distinguished itself. Its colours
bear the words Lincelles, Egypt (with the Sphinx), Talavera, Barrosa,
Peninsula, Waterloo, Alma, Inkerman, and Sevastopol. And the badge of
the regiment is the star of Brunswick with the garter and motto, '_Honi
soit qui mal y pense_.'

The Scots Fusilier Guards was raised previous to the Restoration, and
did good service as a part of the Parliamentary army. Though generally
believed to be of Scotch origin, such is not the fact, for the regiment
originally came from Ireland, and was an Irish corps, its name being
taken from its first colonel and founder, Scot; hence Scot's Fusiliers;
or as it now stands, Scots Fusiliers. The regiment has, however, for
many years past been composed principally of Scotchmen; and after
the Crimean War the Queen's permission was given to the appointment
of a band of pipers in Highland garb to each of the two battalions.
But, as we have seen above, the Coldstreamers are the genuine Scotch
corps. There is little known authoritatively about the movements of the
Fusiliers previous to the time when they took up arms in the king's
service as the Third Regiment of Foot Guards. Since that interesting
and important event its brilliant services have equalled those of its
sister regiments on every occasion.

The regimental badge is the star of the order of St Andrew, with the
thistle, and the words, '_Nemo me impune lacesset_' (No one touches me
with impunity). On its colours are the words Lincelles, Egypt (with the
Sphinx), Talavera, Barrosa, Peninsula, Waterloo, Alma, Inkerman, and
Sevastopol.

Here we must remark that time-honoured traditions are amongst the most
treasured possessions of British regiments, for there is hardly a
corps in our army without a history of its own. And by some means or
another, every soldier, from the colonel to the smallest drummer-boy,
who takes a pride in his profession, becomes acquainted with these
traditions, and cherishes them with jealous care; for in those tattered
colours which are borne proudly before him, he views the record and
visible embodiment of deeds of valour, and resolves, when in the
battle-field, that no action of his shall sully the proud history of
his corps. Nelson's celebrated signal at Trafalgar trebled the strength
and pluck of the force under his command; and so likewise, in the heat
of a battle on land, the magic words 'Coldstreamers!' 'Fusiliers!'
'Black Watch!' (whichever the regiment may be) have precisely the same
effect, by conjuring up in every man's breast that _esprit de corps_
without which a regiment would be an utter nonentity. The soldier of
every nation is, as a rule, very sensitive with regard to the name and
distinctive badges of his regiment, and none more so than the British
soldier. Take these away, as some have actually proposed to do; simply
number the regiments from right to left; give them a universal badge,
with clothing of the same pattern; or, in other words, destroy that
regimental organisation which has made the British army famous, and
much of the romance and heroism of the British soldier is gone.

The uniform of the Guards has undergone many changes since the
Restoration, at which time it was of a very neat and picturesque
character. The bearskin head-dress of the present day is a
comparatively modern adoption, and was introduced into the English army
by the Duke of Wellington, in imitation of those worn by Napoleon's
Imperial Guard; while the present pattern tunic and waist-belt
superseded the swallow-tailed coats and clumsy cross-belts which were
in use so recently as the year 1855.

The three regiments, although doing duty principally in London, have
at all critical moments in the nation's history been ordered abroad,
to share in the glorious task of facing the foreign enemies of their
country; and we find them acquitting themselves nobly beneath the
banners of Marlborough, Moore, and Wellington. At the battle of
Fontenoy occurred that ever-memorable scene, when for the first time
the English and French Guards found themselves face to face, and
both corps hesitated, from a noble sense of chivalry, to commence
the attack. At length, Lord Charles Hay, a captain of the English
Guards, called out: 'Gentlemen of the French Guards, fire!' But with
characteristic courtesy and _sang-froid_, the French commander replied:
'Gentlemen, we never fire first; fire you first!'

The Coldstreamers and Fusiliers in 1801 proceeded to Egypt, where,
beneath the shadow of the Pyramids, they gained fresh laurels against
the French; and the former so distinguished themselves as to win the
distinctive badge (a red plume) which they wear to this day on the
right side of their bearskin caps. For their services in Egypt both
corps were permitted to bear upon their colours the word 'Egypt' with
the Sphinx above it. Again, all through the Peninsular War the Guards
did gallant service, which culminated in that noble and irresistible
charge at Waterloo which crushed Napoleon's power, and placed England
upon the pinnacle of fame.

Many are the deeds of daring which have been done by individual members
of these famous regiments, both officers and men; but as those of the
former rarely fail to be blazoned forth to the world, it will be our
pleasant task in these pages to record a few instances of the deeds
performed by heroes of humbler rank. Unrecorded deeds are like hidden
jewels, and it is not until they are exposed to the light of day,
that the world marvels at their value and worships them accordingly.
At Waterloo the defence of Hougoumont was intrusted to the flank
companies of the brigade of Guards, for it was the key of the English
position, and orders were issued that it was to be defended until not
a stone was left of it. It consisted of an old farm-house and outlying
buildings composed principally of wood; and no sooner were the Guards
posted there, than they began to loop-hole the walls and make every
preparation for its defence. Against this place Napoleon sent the
finest of his troops, who, to the number of many thousands, made a
desperate attack upon it, which lasted nearly the whole day. Again and
again were the French repulsed, only to renew the onset with greater
vigour and determination; but those five or six hundred Guardsmen were
invincible in their dogged tenacity, and would not yield even when the
buildings were blazing around them. In the midst of the mêlée, a young
sergeant of the Grenadiers approached his commanding officer, and with
tears in his eyes asked for a few moments' leave to perform a brotherly
duty. The astonishment of the officer was great, for but a few moments
before he had occasion to remark the bravery of his subordinate's
conduct.

'It must be something very important to take you away from your duty at
this critical moment,' said the officer with a gesture of impatience
and a reproachful look.

'See!' said the sergeant, pointing to a building which was in flames
from top to bottom; 'my brother lies there severely wounded, and in
a few moments more the roof will fall in: am I not, sir, to make an
effort to save him?'

'Go!' said the officer; 'and may you be successful.'

Away sprung the young soldier; and dashing into the midst of the
flaming pile without the least hesitation, he emerged in a few seconds,
singed and scorched all over, but bearing upon his shoulders a precious
burden--his wounded and still living brother. Scarcely had he left the
building ere the roof fell in with a terrific crash, that was heard
above the crackling of muskets and the booming of artillery. Bearing
his brother to a protected spot, he laid him gently down, and instantly
rejoined his company, where he arrived just in time to save his
captain's life!

In another part of the old farmyard of Hougoumont stood the heavy
wooden gate, which, of course, became a special object of attack on
the part of the French; and after several hours of hard and desperate
fighting (during which many useless attempts to open the gate had
been made), they at last succeeded in forcing it. The moment was a
critical one for the little garrison, and for a second or two, the
defenders of the gate seemed stupefied; but there is, seemingly, a hero
for every occasion, and a stout-built sergeant of the Coldstreams,
named Graham, stepped forward just as the enemy began to push in at
the gate, and placing his shoulder to the heavy structure, he, with
almost superhuman energy, shut it against the foe. The shoulders of
twenty or thirty stout men were instantly laid against the gate until
it could be barricaded more strongly than before; and when the battle
of Waterloo was won and lost, Hougoumont, though razed to the ground,
remained untaken. In addition to this brave act, Sergeant Graham had
also saved his captain's life several times during that eventful day;
and when, some time afterwards, the Duke of Wellington was made trustee
of a legacy of one hundred pounds left for the bravest man at Waterloo,
and had sent it to Captain Macdonald (the commander at Hougoumont),
the latter immediately returned it to the Duke with the reply, that
Sergeant Graham was the hero of Waterloo, for he had by his own
strength saved the British position. The sergeant eventually received
the legacy and a commission.

At the battle of the Alma, on the 20th September 1854, numerous
instances of bravery occurred in the ranks of the Guards, foremost
amongst which was the act of Sergeant Davis of the Scots Fusiliers,
who, when the officer who was carrying the regimental colour was
surrounded by the Russians and shot down, seized the sacred emblem of
his regiment's honour, and battling his way forward single-handed,
planted it triumphantly on the summit of the hard-won height.

At Inkerman, the soldiers' battle, the brave Coldstreamers--George
Monk's _Nulli Secundus_ men--made heroes of themselves, and
immortalised their name. They went into action with sixteen officers
and four hundred men; and of this small number they had thirteen
officers and more than two hundred men killed and wounded. Eight
of these officers were killed, amongst them being Colonels Cowell,
Elliott, and Mackinnon, who fell in the act of leading their men on to
the charge. At length the Grenadiers and Fusiliers, after much severe
fighting, cut their way to the spot where their gallant comrades were
being annihilated. Thus united, the three regiments bore down upon the
enemy in a line of _single file_ (so fearfully had they suffered), and
beat them back down the ravine.

When peace was proclaimed the Guards returned home to receive the
well-earned reward of their prowess. All London turned out to welcome
them, and a right hearty welcome it was. Her Majesty the Queen and the
Prince Consort witnessed the march of the three regiments from the
balcony of Buckingham Palace, and the former waved her handkerchief to
the brave fellows, as they passed on their way to Hyde Park, with their
ranks broken by the people, who, in their enthusiasm, demanded to shake
hands with the popular heroes. In Hyde Park, they were received by the
home battalions with military honours, and were afterwards reviewed
by the Queen, when, as a mark of high honour, the Crimean battalions
were permitted to march past their sovereign with their tattered
ensigns _flying_ instead of being lowered in the usual way. They had
nobly shewn their fidelity to Queen and country, and those _flying
colours_ was a simple but touching acknowledgment of the fact. Indeed,
the reception of these regiments was quite an ovation; and never had
soldiers better deserved the honours bestowed upon them.



A RAILWAY TRIP IN JAPAN.


Five years ago the only means by which communication was kept up
between the rapidly growing settlement of Yokohama and the capital of
the empire, Yedo, was by the Tocaido--the great main road--or by sea.
As the steamers on the latter route were under Japanese guidance, and
as blowings-up and runnings-ashore were unpleasantly frequent, the
majority of travellers chose the land-route. And even by this way the
annoyances and accidents were so serious and so frequent, that few,
except those who had pressing business on hand, or who were ardent
explorers, chose to leave the security of the European settlement
at all; so it may be said that until the introduction of railways,
Yedo remained almost unknown to Europeans. A rackety four-horse van,
barring accidents, made the journey and returned every day. The
road was execrable, and the people of the villages along the route
generally ill-disposed to 'white barbarians.' A week of fierce sun
converted the track into a bed of dust, a day of rain turned it into
an almost impassable quagmire. Overturnings and break-downs were of
daily occurrence; and the safe arrival at the capital was hailed as an
unlooked-for pleasure and surprise. English enterprise, however, backed
by English gold, has changed the order of things; and the pilgrimage
which formerly occupied five hours and cost ten dollars may now be
performed in forty minutes by _rail_ at the comparatively reasonable
price of one dollar.

The Yokohama terminus is admirably suited to the requirements of
the public, and it is difficult to stand there, surrounded by
waiting-rooms, cloak-rooms, refreshment-rooms, and ticket-offices,
jostled by diminutive natives clad in the orthodox British porter
costume, reading by-laws, advertisements, and notices in English, and
realise the fact that one is in the mystic land of Japan, fifteen
thousand miles from Ludgate Hill, King's Cross, or Edinburgh.

Everything is British belonging to the railway itself. The locomotives
are Sheffield built, and are driven by brawny specimens of the
Anglo-Saxon race, aided by native stokers. The carriages are from
Birmingham--constructed on the American principle--that is, with a
passage running from end to end, so that the guard may walk through
the train. Every signal-post, switch, and lamp comes from England. The
officials are almost without exception 'Samourai'--men of good birth,
and have taken wonderfully to their change of profession; the guards
are even learning to jump in and out of the trains when in motion with
the precision and agility of those at home. In fact during the short
journey between Yokohama and Yedo one is transported for a while into
the old country; and one only has to shut the eyes to the quaint forms
and faces of the passengers and the peculiarity of the scenery, to make
the illusion complete.

Leaving Yokohama, the train crosses the spit of land connecting the
settlement with the promontory known as Kawasaki Point, passes through
the pleasure part of the town--a sort of suburb, consisting entirely of
large tea-houses and places of entertainment, and stops at the first
station, Kanagawa. This was originally intended to be the foreign port,
but objections were raised by the European merchants that the depth of
water was insufficient to admit of large vessels anchoring conveniently
near, so that, in spite of government opposition, the present port of
Yokohama was chosen. To this day, however, all official documents are
dated from Kanagawa, and not from Yokohama.

Kanagawa, a long straggling village on the Tocaido or great road, has
always been a hotbed of disaffection towards foreigners. Many a bloody
record still tells of the days when the proud 'Samourai' or officers
felt that they were scarcely doing their duty towards their country
in allowing a European to pass unmolested on the road; and even now,
though feudalism, Samourai, and all have been swept away by the march
of civilisation, one cannot ride or walk along the narrow street
without being saluted as a 'beast' or 'foreign invader.' The temples
which were the first residences of the foreign consuls still exist, but
the natives have carefully wiped away all traces of foreign occupation,
and they are now used, as formerly, for purposes of Buddhist or
'Shinto' worship. From Kanagawa the railway passes under the great
road, and enters a broad fertile plain ablaze with many tinted crops,
fringed on the left hand by a picturesque range of hills, and bounded
on the right by the sea. The peasants are becoming accustomed to the
sight of the locomotive and its string of carriages, and rarely stop on
their path or rest from their work to gaze at what was but a few months
back a wonderful phenomenon. But the pack-horses are less tractable,
and dance and pirouette in all directions till the noise is over.

Tsurumi, a little village, also on the Tocaido, is the next station.
It is the centre of the snipe district, and on Saturdays and Sundays
the little platform is crowded with knickerbockered Britons with their
dogs; Frenchmen, fantastically arrayed in sporting costume; Israelites;
sailors and soldiers from the men-of-war in harbour, armed with every
variety of rifle, musket, or blunderbuss, all bent on wading through
the 'paddy' mud in the hopes of making some sort of a bag.

From Tsurumi, the train glides through a delicious stretch of
scenery--on the one side little villages nestle amidst the trees, and
the deep blue ocean glitters away into the distance; on the other, all
is a romantic jumble of hill, and wood, and dale. Here and there a
red temple roof breaks the sombre verdure of the hill-side, and at a
certain point a depression of the hills affords the traveller a peep
at the distant goblin-haunted range of mountains of which Oyama is the
chief, behind which the pure white cone of the sacred mountain Fuji
rises, solitary and grand, like a monarch in repose. All around is
pure unadulterated rusticity. The iron road cuts remorselessly through
pleasant vales and wooded hills, but nothing is changed; and if the
visitor will take the trouble to explore on either side, he will find
the old-world life of Japan still existing as it did centuries ago,
when the only Europeans in the land were a few Portuguese missionaries
and a small colony of Dutch traders cooped up in an island at Nagasaki.

After a fifteen minutes' run through this charming country,
Kawasaki--exactly half-way between Yokohama and Yedo--is reached. Here
the down-train from the capital meets us, and there is a stop of a few
minutes.

Kawasaki was in the old days one of the most important towns on the
great road. On their way from Kiyoto to Yedo, from the western capital
to the eastern, the great lords made Kawasaki their last halting-place,
and one may yet see the shadows of the great feudal age of Japan in
the magnificent tea-houses scattered through the town. Like the old
coaching inns on our great main roads in England, these tea-houses have
lost almost all their ancient prosperity, as the turmoil of revolution,
and above all the accomplishment of the railway, have diverted almost
all the traffic from this part of the Tocaido. In one or two of the
houses, however, splendidly adorned and painted suites of apartments,
pretty gardens, and huge ranges of out-buildings, still attest the
former splendour of the age; and although fowls and half-wild curs have
made the stabling and out-houses their home, and although the numerical
strength of the domestics is not sufficient to keep the dust and
cobwebs away from the gaily screened rooms, the proprietors still shew
the remains with some pride, and at the instigation of a cup of 'saké'
will tell many a quaint story of the doings in those half-forgotten
days and sigh that they can never return.

Moreover Kawasaki is the starting-point for pilgrims to two of the most
celebrated shrines in this part of the country, so that notwithstanding
the decay of its prosperity, Kawasaki is still sufficiently full of
life and animation, well fitted to repay a visit from the student of
Japanese life and manners. Within ten minutes' walk rises the huge
fane of Kobo-Daishi, a Buddhist saint of great renown and the reputed
originator of the syllabary now in common use. Hither repair on certain
days annually, from all parts of the empire, troops of pilgrims of both
sexes and all ages, attired in holiday costume, and though nominally on
devotional exercise bent, from the exuberance of their spirits and the
time they pass in the surrounding pleasure-houses, not at all inclined
to forego the enjoyment of a holiday.

Farther away from the town is the almost equally celebrated shrine of
Ikigami, dedicated to Iyeyas, the great self-raised priest who founded
the Tokugawa line of emperors, beautifully situated on a solitary
deeply wooded hill. This is one of the sweetest spots near Yokohama.
The most complete calm reigns over everything, only broken occasionally
by the tinkle of the old temple bell and the monotonous drone of the
officiating priests, or by the wind murmuring through the great trees.
Scattered about around a pagoda of quaint proportions are the tombs of
many of the old feudal lords--quaint curious examples of that reverence
for the dead so characteristic of the Japanese as of all oriental
nations. Except during the pilgrim season, until the opening of the
railway, one might wander about these solitudes for hours without any
chance of being disturbed. Now, however, that the railway has brought
Ikigami within easy access of Yokohama, the graves on the hill have
become a favourite resort of picnic parties and pleasure-seekers from
the great foreign settlement. New tea-houses have sprung up around the
base of the hill, and the place is rapidly assuming the tea-garden
character which has too often degraded beautiful spots near Yokohama.
At Kawasaki, the river runs which nominally is the boundary beyond
which foreigners may not explore. The law insisting on this, however,
is far more honoured in the breach than in the observance, and not a
day passes without scores of foreigners crossing the new bridge.

From Kawasaki the train speeds through huge apple-orchards, till the
houses become more frequent and less detached, and now skirting the
sea, one visibly approaches a large city, close to which are anchored
men-of-war, merchant-vessels, and junks.

The train stops at Shinagawa, the last station, at which, from its want
of interest, there is but little temptation for the visitor to alight.
The only pleasing bit to break the monotony of dull-coloured hovels is
the stately demesne and foreign-built mansion of one of the most ardent
supporters of the 'Advance' School of Japanese politicians. Soldiers,
coolies, and low-class women seem to compose the street population of
this suburb; whilst every other house is either a 'rowdy' tea-house
or a 'buvette' of the commonest type. Equestrians and pedestrians
therefore, if Europeans, may look out for a repetition of the scowls
and abuse of Kanagawa. Leaving the station, and proceeding towards
the terminus within the city gates, the train passes the temple,
formerly the seat of the British Legation, where the murderous attack
was made by hired bravoes of the anti-European party in Japan on Sir
Rutherford Alcock and suite, some years back. Farther on a collection
of hovels--for otherwise they cannot be designated--situated on a high
hill, was, till a year ago, the seat of English diplomatic power in
Japan.

The train passes on over the sites of old 'Yashikis' or palaces, and
through the once extensive hunting-grounds of the great prince of Tosa,
skims the vast barren tract which still marks the disastrous fire of
1871, and finally enters the Yedo terminus. The station is the exact
counterpart of that at Yokohama, and is situated in the busiest part
of the capital, close to the 'Foreign Concession,' where the Europeans
chiefly reside, and within ten minutes' walk of the celebrated 'Nihon
Bashi' or Bridge of Japan, from which all distances in the empire are
measured. Outside the station are waiting carriages, 'Jinrickishas'--or
chairs on wheels dragged by coolies--breaks, and even a Hammersmith
built omnibus; so that the traveller has but to take his choice and be
taken anywhere. The Japanese and, strange to say, the Chinese (who have
only just permitted a line to be made on their sacred soil) have taken
wonderfully to travelling by railway. All classes avail themselves
of it; and it is sometimes amusing to observe how Young Japan tries
to assume an air of nonchalance, and endeavours to appear as if he
had been accustomed to railways all his life. Every train is crowded,
especially on Sundays; and the pilgrims bound for the capital from
Mount Fuji or Oyama, hail the foreign engine and train waiting for them
at Kanagawa as a godsend and a saving of many hours of weary travelling
and, what is more important, much cash. The childish delight of the
natives at being rattled over the ground at twenty miles an hour is
ludicrous; and although the novelty has worn off, there are still
numbers who simply travel up and down the line for the sake of the
sensation.



A CURATE'S HOLIDAY.

IN FOUR CHAPTERS.--CHAPTER II.


Mr John Williams, landlord of the _Ship and Anchor_, Lleyrudrigg,
had not deceived the little minister and myself with regard to the
qualifications of his horse. It was a high-stepping thoroughbred;
and notwithstanding that the roads were heavy with the rain of the
previous day, we bowled along next morning at a famous rate on our
way to Twellryst. Clouds of a somewhat suspicious character floated
overhead, occasionally depriving us for a space of the sunshine, and
the wind was perhaps too high to be altogether agreeable. But on
the whole the weather was favourable; and enlivened by Mr Morgan's
instructive and cheerful conversation, the day's trip promised to prove
a pleasant one. For some time after leaving Lleyrudrigg we followed
the regular coach-road, which, though running for a little way on a
line with the coast, very soon turns inland. Then quitting it for one
upon which was much less traffic, we found ourselves, at the close of
three hours' quick driving, again coming within sight of the blue ocean
with its foam-flecked billows, and were told by Jonathan Williams, our
hunch-backed, sinister-looking little driver, that we were nearing the
Spike Rocks. The Spike Rocks! how I shudder at the bare mention of
that name, recalling as it does---- But I will not anticipate. Drawing
up before a five-barred gate which led into an extensive piece of
meadow-land bordering the shore and, as I afterwards found, crowning
precipices which for nearly a mile in length descended in sheer walls
to the sea, Jonathan rose in his seat, and pointed out with his whip
the two rocks which we had come hither to visit. They stood at some
distance from the land--small, conical-shaped islands, bleak and
sharp-pointed--their interest consisting, as we had been told, in
their being a peculiarly favourite resort of a species of sea-bird. At
certain seasons of the year, of which the present was one, the birds
would collect here in thousands, covering the rocks from base to summit
with a compact living mantle of whity-brown feathers. From the point at
which our carriage stopped, however, the rocks were too far away for
their clothing to be clearly visible; and we accordingly set off for a
nearer inspection, warned by a shout from our driver, when we had taken
a few steps, to beware of the 'Devil's Holes.' (So Mr Morgan translated
the barbarous-sounding Welsh word he used.) 'Devil's Holes! Why, what
can _they_ be?' I inquired. But my companion was no wiser with regard
to the matter than myself, as he confessed with a shake of the head; so
we walked on, trusting to our observation for enlightenment.

The enlightenment came sooner than we anticipated, and was accompanied
for me by a great shock. Under the influence of my new friend's
inspiriting society, I was feeling a light-heartedness to which I had
long been a stranger; and upon observing before me a small round hollow
in the field we were crossing, I was seized with a momentary impulse
to run forward, as I might have done when a boy, and let the impetus
of descending the near side carry me up the sloping grassy bank which
I saw upon the farther one. Had I followed out that impulse, however,
I should not now have been writing this story; for when close upon it,
but not before, I perceived to my horror that the innocently seeming
indentation of the ground was in reality an awful natural pit. Where
the grassy slope terminated, instead of the green level I had expected
to see, yawned a black chasm; and looking downwards, I positively
trembled as my eye sank into an abyss some hundred feet in depth, at
the bottom of which, as though it had been a gigantic caldron, appeared
a seething mass of water, rolling and dashing itself against the rocky
sides, and sending up a booming sound like the explosion of cannon.

An exclamation of horror burst from my lips as this unexpected
phenomenon met my sight, and drawing Mr Morgan backwards, I nervously
entreated him not to stand so near the edge. That 'Devil's Hole' had
filled me with the strangest sensation of creeping dread; and when
presently we came upon a second hollow in the meadow, I shrank from
approaching it. The little minister, however, would not be deterred
from doing so; and from the manner in which I saw him walking round
and round, curiously peering over its side, I was prepared for the
announcement which he made upon rejoining me, that that too was a
'Devil's Hole'--larger but in other respects similar to the one I
had seen. An involuntary shiver was almost the only comment I made
upon this communication; and as we continued our course, I looked
apprehensively in all directions for further suspicious undulations of
the ground. But none presented themselves; for like the Spike Rocks,
these holes are but two in number; and when we had taken a survey
of the Rocks--to my mind the lesser curiosities of the district--we
returned to our dog-cart.

Words can scarcely express the relief I experienced as I felt myself
being carried swiftly away from the neighbourhood of these horrible
pits. The state of my health possibly may have had something to do with
it; but my imagination certainly had been powerfully impressed with
what was perhaps an exaggerated idea of their danger, and throughout
the remainder of our drive I could talk of little else. Interested only
in a lesser degree than myself, Mr Morgan joined me in conjectures
as to the way in which they had been formed; the probable depth of
water contained in them; the manner in which they were connected with
the sea, and so forth. But though each of us endeavoured by turns to
draw Jonathan into the conversation, in order to extract information
from him, our dwarfish driver either could not or would not afford us
any. He did not know, he said, whether or not there had ever been an
accident at the spot, and replied to all our questions with a shortness
which--considering that he had chattered incessantly during the former
part of the journey--made me think that for some reason or other the
subject must be distasteful to him.

Upon reaching Twellryst the little minister and I separated, with the
understanding that we were to meet again at the inn at which we had
put up, at four in the afternoon--that hour being as late a one as we
thought it wise to appoint, on account of the necessity of getting back
to Lleyrudrigg that night.

A careful exploration of the ruins, which turned out to be very
interesting; a walk in the country; and a saunter round the town,
filled up my time very agreeably; and arriving exactly as the clock
struck the appointed hour, I found Mr Morgan already at the rendezvous.
Our conveyance was then called for; but to our annoyance, the driver
was not forthcoming. He had strolled away from the hotel some time
ago, we were told; and when, eventually, the search for him ended in
his discovery in a neighbouring public-house, he appeared to be a good
deal the worse for liquor. The delay thus occasioned in starting upon
our backward journey was the more vexatious because of the threatening
aspect which during the last hour the weather had been assuming. Thick
dark clouds had gradually spread themselves over the entire sky, and
the wind, as it moaned amongst the trees of a neighbouring orchard
or whistled round the corners of the inn, had a decidedly stormy
sound. Naturally I am rather a passionate man, and at the time of
which I write my private troubles made me more than usually prone to
irritation. It is scarcely to be wondered at then, that when, upon my
friend's calling Jonathan's attention to these signs of the times,
I observed an impish look of satisfaction stealing over his face as
though he were inwardly rejoicing in the anticipation of our getting
a good wetting, in return for the scolding we had given him. Indeed,
I had some difficulty in restraining my inclination to seize his
horse-whip and lay it across his shoulders. I did restrain it, however;
and when ready at length, we set off at full speed. This was so well
kept up by Mr Williams's excellent horse, that although we could not
hope to escape a drenching, we began to congratulate ourselves that
after all we might get to Lleyrudrigg before very late in the evening.

We had been for more than an hour upon the road and had made first-rate
progress, when on a sudden the looked-for storm broke upon us with the
utmost violence. In a few moments the wind had risen to a hurricane,
rendering our umbrellas entirely useless; and it was only by enveloping
ourselves in a large horse-rug with which the landlord had provided
us, that the little Welshman and I had any chance of keeping dry.
Taking off our hats, we passed the rug over our heads, and had been
riding in this way for a considerable distance, when my companion
observed that the vehicle was jolting very much; and removing the
covering from my face, I saw that we had turned off the highway into
a narrow lane. On being questioned by Mr Morgan, to whom I uneasily
communicated this fact, Jonathan declared that the lane was a short
cut which would presently bring us out again upon the road we had
quitted. I can scarcely tell why, but from the very first I doubted the
correctness of this statement; and when, after twisting and turning
times without number, the lane appeared yet as far as ever from its
promised termination, my suspicions became confirmed. That our driver
was purposely taking us in a wrong direction, I could hardly think,
since I could conceive of no object for his doing so; but that he
had, either through drunkenness or carelessness, lost his way, I felt
assured. Bending forward, I angrily charged him with the mistake;
and though at first holding doggedly to his former assertion, he
admitted by-and-by that he thought he must have turned up the wrong
lane--adding, however, that as I might see for myself, he could not
get his horse round in so confined a space, and would be obliged
therefore to drive onwards. That obligation I was of course forced
to allow; and muttering something as like an anathema as my clerical
character would permit me to use, I re-covered my head and resigned
myself, along with my more even-tempered associate, to the inevitable.
But our misadventures were not to end with this contretemps. We were
still in the lane, and had been going more and more slowly on account
of its increasing roughness, when all at once the dwarf affirmed that
something was wrong with the horse's right fore-foot, and precipitately
descended to examine it. The examination occupied a long time; and
peering from beneath the sheltering rug, I noticed Jonathan's arm
working about as he bent over the hoof he had raised, and thought I
distinguished, mingling with the roar of the wind, a faint sound as of
grating metal. I remarked upon this to Mr Morgan, and we both called
out to inquire what was the matter. But the fellow would vouchsafe
us no reply until he had remounted to his seat, when he informed us
sulkily that the shoe upon that foot was coming loose, and that he had
been trying to refasten it. Apparently, however, he had not succeeded
to his satisfaction, for he shortly got down to look at it again, and
kept on repeating the action at intervals. At length just as we emerged
from that seemingly interminable lane, the horse stumbled slightly; and
once more descending from his box, the hunchback, with an ejaculation,
in which it struck me there was a tone of triumph, brought forward the
shoe, which had now indeed come off.

For a few moments the little minister and I sat in silence
interchanging glances of dismay, which it was becoming almost too
dark to read. Then simultaneously, we inquired of Jonathan what was
to be done. The driver's answer was prompt and decisive. We must, he
said, stop at the first house we came to and beg a night's lodging,
since upon no account dared he proceed towards home at the risk of
laming the horse. His cousin, he added, would be furious should any
harm come to it, as it was very valuable, and he was, besides, much
attached to it. Recognising its necessity, we acquiesced in this plan
without demur, and in fact without unwillingness, the idea of a speedy
shelter from the still violent storm being by no means ungrateful. But
where, the question remained, could that shelter be found? We rose
in the dog-cart, looked eagerly to right and left, but could discern
no habitation. Jonathan, however, after applying himself to a similar
scrutiny, declared that he perceived, just beyond a small plantation
or orchard, about a hundred yards distant, what he felt sure was the
corner of a building; and taking the horse by the bridle, he led it in
that direction. His keener sight, as we shortly found, had not deceived
him. When upon stopping again, we displaced the rug in which we had
once more enveloped ourselves from head to foot, we saw in front of
us, through the battering rain and gathering gloom, a low straggling
farm-house.

A small garden, entered by a wicket-gate, led to the door; and begging
us to sit still, Jonathan ran towards it, returning almost immediately
with the information that we could be accommodated here for the night.
Blessing our good fortune, we accordingly alighted, and were met, as we
passed into the house, by a hard-featured elderly man in a smock-frock
and leathern gaiters, who after bestowing upon us a gruff welcome,
shewed us into a large sanded kitchen. An unpleasant odour of bad beer
and stale tobacco greeted our entrance, and my first impression, in
the uncertain light which filled it, was that the apartment contained
a numerous company. Upon candles being produced, however, as they
speedily were by the farmer's direction, its occupants resolved
themselves into seven. These were, a stout red-visaged woman, the wife
of our host; and six tall strongly built young men, varying in ages
from sixteen to thirty-five--his sons. With much courtesy the whole
family proceeded at once to busy themselves for our comfort--one of the
sons placing chairs for us in front of the peat-fire, another assisting
to remove our damp coats and hang them to dry, whilst a couple more
accompanied Jonathan to an out-building, where our horse and carriage
were to be disposed for the night. The woman, upon her part, hastened
to prepare us something to eat; and grateful for all this attention, Mr
Morgan (whom I began by this time to look upon as quite an old friend)
chatted away to our entertainers in his usually pleasant manner. I too
for a while exerted myself towards their amusement, giving them an
account of our day's excursion, and speaking of other matters which I
thought calculated to interest. But with the exception of the woman,
who had a harsh disagreeable voice, and was sufficiently loquacious,
none of the party possessed much conversational power, and the talk
gradually flagged.

Upon lapsing into silence, the men's faces naturally fell into their
ordinary expressions, and as my gaze now wandered from one to another,
a feeling of dislike and mistrust of the entire group seized upon me.
The feeling was one that I could not well account for, and for which
indeed I blamed myself severely. Nevertheless, far from diminishing
as the evening wore on, it increased to an almost painful degree; and
upon my mind suddenly reverting to the large sum of money carried by
my companion, I took an opportunity of anxiously whispering him to
beware of any allusion to it. The suggestion implied in this warning
appeared to startle the little minister; but his nature was eminently
trustful, and as I could see, a short cogitation ended in his mentally
condemning my suspicion as uncalled for. Shortly after it had been
uttered, however, he proposed, to my satisfaction, that we should go to
bed; whereupon the farmer (whose face and figure, though I knew I had
never seen him before this evening, seemed somehow familiar) slipped
from the room, and returning directly with a black bottle in his hand,
pressed us before retiring to rest to take a glass of spirits. Being
a teetotaler, I declined for myself the proffered hospitality. But
thinking, as he remarked, that it might prevent his taking cold from
the wetting he had sustained, Mr Morgan accepted a somewhat stiff
tumbler of whisky-punch. This, in order not to keep me waiting, he
drained almost at a draught; and our host then preceding us to an
upper story, pointed out the rooms in which we were to sleep. They
were situated at each end of a long passage; the first, which opened
at the head of a rather steep flight of stairs, being assigned to my
companion, and the farther one to myself. Upon following Mr Morgan
into his chamber for the purpose of bidding him good-night, I noticed
with astonishment that he staggered slightly in crossing the floor.
He complained too, as we shook hands, of feeling 'terribly sleepy;'
and smiling to myself at the rapidity with which the whisky-punch
was taking effect upon the little Welshman, I recommended him in an
under-tone to lock his door; and leaving him to his slumbers, betook
myself, under the farmer's guidance, to the apartment appointed for my
own occupation.



SOME UNCOMMON PETS.


Proud Wolsey, it will be recollected, was on familiar terms with
a venerable carp; Cowper doffed his melancholy to play with his
hares; and Clive owned a pet tortoise. Less noted folk have taken
kindly to snakes, frogs, lizards, hedgehogs, and other animals not
usually included in the category of domestic pets. The driver of a
London Hansom was wont to carry a little cub fox on the top of his
cab, to their mutual enjoyment, until returning from the Downs one
Derby-day, the cab overset, and the cabman and his odd companion
were both killed. Mr G. F. Berkeley made a household pet of a young
stoat, rendered motherless by his gun. Totie soon accommodated himself
to circumstances, and would leave his cage to wash himself in a
finger-glass on the dinner-table, trotting back again as soon as his
ablutions were performed, taking a piece of sponge-cake with him.

Sir John Lubbock contrived to win the affection of a Syrian wasp; but
the game was hardly worth the candle, or sufficiently entertaining to
encourage others to follow suit; although it is said that, strong in
the new feminine faith that what man does woman can do, three maiden
sisters sought to relieve the tedium of single-blessedness by devoting
their leisure to the domestication of English-born wasps. Before a
week was out, one fair experimentalist wore a large blue patch over
her left eye, another carried her right arm in a sling, the third was
altogether lost to the sight of anxious friends, and all had come to
the conclusion that wasp-taming was not their forte. Better taste and
greater discretion were shewn by the lady, who, becoming possessed of
two butterflies of different species in a chrysalis state, resolved to
try how far they would be amenable to kindness, and placed them for
security in a glazed cabinet in her well-warmed bedroom. A few days
before Christmas she was delighted by the appearance of a little yellow
butterfly, but was puzzled how to cater for the delicate creature.
Taking a fairy-rose then in bloom, she dropped a little honey and
rose-water in a blossom, and put the plant in the cabinet, and soon
had the satisfaction of seeing the butterfly take its first meal. In
a fortnight it would leave the rose to settle on her hand when she
called it by its name Psyche. By-and-by a peacock butterfly emerged
into active life from the other chrysalis. The newcomer accepted the
sensation of active life at once, and like its companion, delighted
in being talked and sung to, both especially enjoying being waved in
the air and danced up and down while quietly resting upon the hand of
their mistress. Upon the coming of summer the cabinet was moved close
to the window, and its doors thrown open. For some days neither of
its tenants cared to venture beyond the window-sill, but one bright
afternoon their protectress 'with many bitter tears' beheld them take
wing and join some wild companions in the garden; at night, however,
they returned to their lodgings. Next day they took the air again,
and were not seen until September. One afternoon there came a heavy
thunderstorm, and when it was over a yellow butterfly was found dead on
the window-sill--which the lady, with some warrant, lamented over as
her own particular one; the 'peacock' too would seem to have met a like
fate, for it was never seen again.

The butterfly tamer had an eye for beauty, but ugliness is no bar to a
lady's favour, so far as animal pets are concerned. It would be hard
to find a more repulsive-looking reptile than the iguana, nevertheless
the society of one afforded much pleasure to an American lady residing
in Brazil. Pedro, as he was called, was well provided with raw meat,
bananas, and milk; allowed to bask in his mistress's room in the
daytime, and to make himself cosy between the mattresses of her bed
when the sun went down, he cheerfully accepted the novel situation,
like a wise iguana. His loving lady was wont to carry him abroad in her
arms--a practice that kept acquaintances at a respectful distance--for,
however they might pretend to admire Pedro's beadlike spots of black
and white, his bright jewelled eyes, and elegant claws, they were
careful not to make any near approaches. Nothing pleased Madame so
much as to drop her pet without warning at the feet of unsuspecting
gentlemen, and elicit from naval officers symptoms of terror such as
would not have been drawn forth by an enemy's broadside or a lee-shore.
Of course Pedro came to grief. Rambling one day unattended, he came
across 'a marauding Frenchman,' his owner's maid arriving only in time
to rescue his lifeless body. It was sent, wrapped in black crape, to a
neighbour with a weakness for fricasseed lizard; but having seen this
especial one fondled and caressed, he could not find the appetite to
eat it; and so Pedro was consigned to the earth instead of the pot.

De Candolle tells of a fair Switzer who, unmindful of Red Riding
Hood's sad fate, made a companion of a young wolf, and had the
melancholy satisfaction of seeing the fond beast fall dead at her
feet in a paroxysm of joy at her return home after a long absence.
But although one wolf was faithful found, it does not follow that the
fair sex are justified in going to the forest or jungle for pets. The
proprietress of a loving leopard that came regularly to her chamber
door in the dead of the night, and howled loudly enough to wake the
Seven Sleepers, until its mistress turned out of bed and quieted her
disturber with an offering of warm milk, might well doubt if she had
bestowed her affection wisely. Such favourites, however kindly they
take to domestication, are very undesirable additions to an orderly
establishment. When Captain Burton was domiciled in Syria, the famous
traveller left the management of his live-stock to his wife, and under
her fostering care that department assumed formidable proportions.
Not content with horses and goats, a camel, turkeys, geese, ducks,
fowls, and pigeons, Mrs Burton must have her own especial pets--a
white donkey, a young St Bernard dog, four English terriers, a Kurdish
puppy, a snow-white Persian cat, a lamb, and a leopard. The last-named,
according to the lady's account, became the pet of the household; which
it deserved to be, if the household abhorred a quiet life, for the
leopard behaved much after the manner of the gazelle whose owner sang:

    He riled the dog, annoyed the cat,
      And scared the goldfinch into fits;
    He butted through my newest hat,
      And tore my manuscript to bits!

Mrs Burton, with pretty good grace, confesses her husband had fair
cause for saying his happy family reminded him of the House that Jack
built; for the fowls and pigeons ate the seeds and destroyed the
flowers; the cat fed upon the pigeons, the dogs worried the cat; while
the idol of the household harried the goats until one of them drowned
itself in sheer disgust, and frightened the donkey and camel by jumping
upon their backs, and indulging in a shrieking solo, horrible enough to
scare any animal of a well-regulated mind into madness.

Lady Hornby, while ambassadress at Constantinople, obtained, as she
thought, a Turkish street dog, with whom she was soon on the best of
terms. Introducing her pet to a gentleman who knew a dog when he saw
one, he exclaimed: 'That's no dog; it is a common brute of a wild
jackal!' 'Well,' rejoined the enlightened lady, 'anyhow, I have tamed
him, and dog or jackal, don't mean to part with him!'

It was to her husband that Mr Frank Buckland was indebted for the
Kurdish dog, whose prowess delighted him, despite the trouble entailed
by its exhibition; for Arslan, imbued with the notion that he was
created to rid the earth of his kind, conscientiously tried to fulfil
his mission by killing every dog so unlucky as to cross his path.
Fortunately for his master's serenity, Arslan's unkind attentions
were confined to his own species; otherwise there would have been
anything but joy in the house of Buckland, since that general lover
of animal-kind was never yet without pet bears, beavers, or monkeys,
calculated to excite the ire of a brave dog; and priding himself upon
the brown rats, black rats, piebald rats, and white rats with pink
eyes, which swarmed to the door of their cage to welcome his coming,
and allowed him to handle them as he listed, while at the advent of a
stranger they were up on their hind-legs in fighting position instanter.

Much, however, as he loved them, they increased and multiplied so
quickly that Mr Buckland was by cruel necessity compelled, now and
again, to carry a bagful away wherewith to regale the snakes of
the Zoological Gardens; a method of riddance unavailable to the
gentleman who tried his hand at porcupine-petting, and found the
creature thoroughly deserved Shakspeare's epithet of 'fretful,' its
inquisitiveness and restlessness rendering it the most unpleasant of
all quadrupedal pets.

Strange pets usually come to some untimely end; as Miller Luke says,
'Things out o' natur never thrive.' But your animal lover need not
go far afield for worthy objects upon which to expend his kind care,
for he was a wise man who wrote, 'If we were to pet our useful and
hard-working animals, we should find it both to our credit and
advantage.'



THE LEAF PROPHETIC.


    _This year--Next year--Some time--Never._
      How I laughed at some one's folly,
    As in play he read my fortune,
      On a leaf of shining holly.

    'NEXT YEAR!' said the leaf prophetic;
      'Next year,' softly whispered some one,
    While I said, with voice coquettish:
      'I shall wed next year with no one.

    'Christmas comes, and Christmas goeth;
      You shall see--for I have said it--
    When the next year's Christmas cometh,
      It shall find me still unwedded.'

           .       .       .       .       .

    But the Spring-time came with blossoms,
      Left a bud so sweetly hidden,
    Which the perfumed breath of Summer
      Fanned into a flower unbidden.

    And when Autumn's golden glory
      Gleamed o'er fields and purple heather,
    Then our love reached its fulfilment
      When two hands were clasped together.

    And the frosts and snows of Winter
      Brought us not one thought of sadness,
    For the outer desolation
      Made more bright the inner gladness.

    Christmas came! and some one fastened
      In my hair a leaflet golden:
    'Wear this as a penance, darling,
      For the sake of memories olden.'

    H. K. W.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paternoster Row, LONDON,
and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH.





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