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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No.690 - March 17, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.690 - March 17, 1877" ***

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 690.      SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



THE BRITISH NAVY,

AS IT WAS.


The return of the Arctic Expedition to this country after many months'
sojourn amid the ice-floes of the mysterious Polar Sea, has once more
directed public attention to that gallant service which has been the
glory and safeguard of these islands.

Though unsuccessful in its main object, the voyage to the North has
again brought out in high relief those admirable qualities which
are the characteristic of British sailors; for if devotion to duty,
courage, skill, and endurance could have enabled Captain Nares and his
brave companions to plant the glorious old meteor flag of Britain upon
that Ultima Thule of geographers, the summit of the earth, it would
have been braving there the fierce arctic gales at this moment. As it
is, however, they have written a brilliant page for our island story
that will not soon be forgotten, by carrying forward, in the face of
almost insurmountable difficulties, to the most northerly point yet
touched by the foot of man, the Union-jack of Old England.

Whether the royal navy--for we are mainly speaking of the service under
the crown--will maintain its ancient reputation in new circumstances,
is a matter of serious concern. The glory of the service was achieved
when ships were of wood, and propelled only by the winds. And it is
perfectly marvellous what was done under these conditions by all the
great commanders. Things are now greatly changed. Steam-power is
relied upon, along with huge batteries moved only by machinery. Ships
have become a kind of floating factories, depending on the skill of
engineers, and involving such an immense attention to minutiæ as to be
almost beyond human nature. The pluck of the English sailor remains, as
is observable from the Arctic Expedition; but it is a serious question
how far pluck and the most brilliant seamanship in a commander will be
able to perform deeds like those recorded in our naval annals. Before,
however, entering on speculations regarding the future (which we shall
do in a subsequent paper), we propose at present to recall to the
memory of our readers a few of the naval deeds performed in past times.

The British navy may be said to date the commencement of its fame from
the days of Elizabeth, when, under the command and guidance of such
eminent sailors and navigators as Lord Howard of Effingham, Drake,
Frobisher, and Hawkins, it accomplished the destruction of Spain's
mighty but over-ambitious fleet. Up to this period, however, very
little information can be gleaned as to the kind of men who manned
our ships, but the principal nurseries of the navy were the towns and
villages that lined the coasts. This was but natural, seeing that
these places were constantly exposed to the fierce attacks of pirates
and marauders of every description. Many of the common sailors were
natives of Devon and Cornwall, two counties that have always possessed
a race of men as renowned for their strength and courage as they are
remarkable for their nautical skill.

In former days deeds of daring were of frequent occurrence amongst
the English seamen, and may be found duly noted in the chronicles of
the period, though no reward or incentive to courage, except (in rare
instances) a small sum of money, was ever bestowed upon the humble
heroes. It is recorded, for instance, in an old tome which gives the
details of the various encounters that took place between the English
fleet and the Spanish Armada, how a common sailor named Hampton leaped
from the English admiral's ship on to the deck of a Spanish galleon
which had run alongside, and although he was immediately surrounded
by her fierce-looking crew, gallantly maintained his ground until the
grappling-irons were thrown and the Spaniard was held fast in the
death-grip of the Briton. In the struggle he had succeeded in killing
three men and wounding two officers, and the moment assistance reached
him he dashed forward to the mast and hauled down the Spanish ensign.
For this heroic act the brave fellow received the sum of 'three pounds!'

In the year 1642 we find the officers and men of the English navy
declaring that they were ready with their lives and fortunes to
defend and maintain 'the glory of God; the purity of that religion
which is most agreeable to the Word of God; the honour, freedom, and
preservation of his Majesty; the privileges of parliament, and the
liberty of the subject.' This oath did not, however, prevent them from
espousing the Parliamentary cause in that great struggle which ended
in the death of the sovereign they had sworn to preserve, and the
establishment of the Commonwealth. At this period many sons of noble
families served as common soldiers and sailors, and even the great Monk
(afterwards Duke of Albemarle, an admiral and general too) once served
as a private soldier in the fleet.

Many signal instances of the courage and devotion of the English sailor
occurred during the later wars with the Dutch; but as we have no space
to record them here, we must pass on to that more glorious period of
our naval history when the greatest sailor the world has ever seen,
first breathed the air of heaven within our sea-girt isle. During the
century which intervened between Monk and Nelson the navy was subjected
to varying fortunes, but was ever engaged in doing good service for
England in all parts of the world.

Compared with the monstrous armaments of these days, the fleet which
existed in the year when Nelson was born (1758) was astonishingly small
and weak, for it numbered no more than two hundred and nine vessels,
manned by about forty thousand seamen--the annual cost of the whole not
exceeding five millions. To recruit these ships, however, all kinds
of tyrannical measures were resorted to, the worst of which was the
abominable system of the press-gang, by which the unwary citizen was
liable to be entrapped and sent to sea against his will. This nefarious
business was carried on to a very great extent, each ship, when below
its complement, having the power to send out its own press-gang; and
numerous were the deeds of cruelty and oppression to which such a
wretched system gave rise. The spread of enlightenment during the
present century has naturally put an end to this state of things; and
at this moment England possesses a fleet manned by between eighty and
ninety thousand sailors, who have _voluntarily_ chosen a seafaring life
as their profession.

In those days of press-gangs it was not to be wondered at that a cruel
tyranny should have been practised by most of the officers upon those
who were subordinate to them, and the consequences were the mutinies
at Spithead and the Nore. The British sailor began to feel that it was
time his splendid services to his country were rewarded with something
better than the 'cat-o'-nine-tails,' and the blows and kicks of those
whose lives were daily, nay hourly at his mercy, and he resented the
ill-treatment in his own manner when it grew too bad to be borne any
longer. But even in this sad hour of his history Jack's heart was
in the right place, and in the midst of revenge, he exhibited a
chivalrous love of justice and fair-play which redounded highly to his
credit.

At Spithead the crew of the _London_ mutinied, and Admiral Colpoys gave
the order to the marines to fire down the hatchways. The death of some
of their comrades so enraged the mutineers that they rushed upon deck,
and would have made short work of the officers (indeed the rope was
already round the neck of one), when the admiral, stepping forward,
told the men that it was he who gave the orders to fire, and that those
orders came from the Lords of the Admiralty. The rope was taken off
the officer's neck instantly, and the admiral was requested to produce
his orders. After a little delay he did so, and handed them to the
leading mutineers, who instantly retired to deliberate on the question.
They decided that the admiral _only obeyed his orders_ in doing what
he had done, and permitted him and the other officers to leave the
ship unharmed. The mutineers, however, although they permitted their
officers to escape with their lives, forfeited their own, as they were
afterwards condemned to be hanged at the mast-head.

A sketch of the British navy, however brief we may make it, would
be incomplete without some mention of the life and services of that
incomparable commander and matchless sailor, Horatio Viscount Nelson,
together with a few instances of deeds of daring performed by the brave
seamen that served under him.

Brought up in a rough manner upon that element which was the cradle
of his fame, and in the midst of wars and rumours of wars, Nelson's
boyhood was passed in sheer hard work, which nought but an enthusiastic
love of his profession could have enabled his weak and emaciated
frame to bear. Yet to him is due England's proud place as mistress of
the seas. His life stands out clear and bright upon her annals as a
noble example of self-sacrifice and unremitting devotion to duty--an
example which cannot be too often placed before the youth of Britain. A
stranger to fear and a strict disciplinarian, he was yet generous to a
fault, and as sensitive as a woman.

    His form was of the manliest beauty;
      His words were kind and soft;
    Faithful below he did his duty.

It is related of him that he never allowed corporal punishment to be
inflicted upon a seaman, except when it was made clear to him that it
could not possibly be avoided, and immediately on signing the sentence
he would bury his face in his hands and weep like a child.

Perfect sailor and brave man, he was ever the high-minded hero, and was
beloved by his officers and idolised by his men, inasmuch that they
were ever willing and ready at any moment to die for his sake. As an
instance of this, it may be mentioned that when the _Theseus_, a vessel
which had been in the mutiny at the Nore, joined his fleet abroad,
Nelson, who had just been appointed admiral, shifted his flag to her,
in order that nothing should be done to tamper with the dangerous
temper of the men. One morning, very shortly after he had done so, a
piece of paper, signed on behalf of all the ship's company, was dropped
on the quarter-deck, bearing the following words: 'Success attend
Admiral Nelson! God bless Captain Miller! We will shed every drop of
blood in our veins to support them, and the name of the _Theseus_ shall
be immortalised as high as her captain's!'

One of the crew of this ship, a sailor named John Sykes, was appointed
coxswain to the admiral's boat; and when Nelson, with a boat's crew of
only ten men, made a night attack on some Spanish gun-boats in Cadiz
harbour, this man actually saved the life of his great commander twice
by warding off with his cutlass blows aimed at the admiral, and at last
interposed his own head to receive a deadly blow directed at Nelson's
life. Had Sykes lived, Nelson had determined to make him a lieutenant,
for he declared that the man's manner and conduct was such that nature
must have intended him to be an officer and a gentleman.

The honour of the British flag is so dear to an English sailor, that he
has in many instances risked life itself to prevent the grand old piece
of bunting from becoming the 'property' of the enemy. In one notable
instance an attack was made on some shore batteries, and a force of
marines and sailors had been landed for the purpose. Having found,
however, that it was useless to sacrifice a number of valuable lives in
an attempt which had no apparent chance of success, orders were given
for a retreat to the boats. At the last moment it was observed that a
boat's flag, which had been planted on a garden-wall, as a signal to
the ships, had been left behind. A volunteer was instantly called for
to fetch the flag (which was waving defiantly on the breeze right in
front of the enemy's works), and a hero presented himself in the person
of a boatswain named M'Donald. This intrepid fellow went coolly back in
the midst of a heavy fire, seized the flag, waved it above his head,
and then carried it safely down to the boats, where he was received
with three hearty rounds of cheering by his comrades; and on the boats
reaching the ships the rigging of each vessel was manned in his honour.

In these glorious days it was more a question of men than ships; yet
had England possessed one-half of her present fleet, she might have
been the sole arbiter of the world's destinies. Nelson was the type
of a true British sailor; and no finer tableau can be imagined, or
one more gratifying to the pride of an ancient maritime race, than
that scene on board of the Spanish ship _San Josef_, when the great
Englishman, having captured the vessel after exclaiming, 'Westminster
Abbey or victory,' received on the quarter-deck of the Spanish
admiral's ship the swords of its officers. Behind him stood an old
sailor of the _Agamemnon_, whom Nelson knew, and this man received the
Spaniards' swords from the admiral and coolly bundled them up under his
arm like so many sticks of wood, and within gunshot of twenty-two sail
of the enemy's line.

Nelson's generosity and indomitable courage were contagious, and made a
hero of every man and boy in his fleet. At Aboukir he received what was
thought to be a mortal wound over the only eye which he had left; and
when he was removed to the cockpit, the surgeon immediately left the
poor sailor he was attending, to wait on his distinguished commander;
but Nelson, though _himself_ still in the hour of supreme pain, waved
the doctor away: 'No,' said he calmly; 'I will take my turn with my
brave fellows.' Nor would he suffer the wound to be touched until all
who had been previously wounded were attended to.

On the blowing up of the French ship _Orient_ at the same battle, the
British sailors dragged all the drowning Frenchmen within reach into
the port-holes of the English ships. In this act of humanity in the
midst of the carnage caused by war, they had been preceded, however, by
their great captain, who, notwithstanding his wound, on hearing that
the French admiral's vessel was on fire, rushed from the cockpit to the
deck, astonishing everybody by his sudden appearance, and ordered the
boats to the 'assistance of the enemy.'

A sailor standing near Nelson suddenly recognised in the sea, just
beneath the bulwarks of the ship, the face of a Frenchman who had
treated him kindly while a prisoner of war in France, and without the
slightest hesitation, he leaped into the water and seized hold of the
drowning man. The lives of both would have been sacrificed, had not
Nelson, who had witnessed the brave act (without knowing the motive
which prompted it), directed one of the boats to the spot.

Acts of bravery and devotion to duty were of course not wanting on the
side of the enemy. Captain Casabianca had been wounded by a splinter,
and when the fire broke out, his son, a boy of ten years, refused to
enter the boats into which the men were crowding, but stayed beside
his wounded father, and with the help of one of the officers, when the
fire advanced, the father and the boy got on to a floating mast. They
were seen there just before the _Orient_ blew up, but must have sunk
immediately afterwards.

At Copenhagen, Nelson, wishing, to communicate with one of the ships
which had grounded in the shallow water, asked for a volunteer who was
willing to undertake the task. A dozen sailors stepped forward to do
his bidding. One was chosen; and this man, named Troubridge, swam the
distance between the two vessels notwithstanding the storm of shot and
shell which fell into the sea on all sides of him. He was rewarded for
his brave act by the personal thanks of his great commander, who shook
hands with him, and made him a handsome present.

When Sidon was captured by Sir Charles Napier, an incident took place
which was specially mentioned in his despatches. A party of sailors
were landed to act against the town in conjunction with an Austrian
force, and the English flag was intrusted for a few moments to the
care of a sailor named Hunt. It could not have been given into better
hands, for the man was a hero, and directly the order to advance was
made, Hunt, jealous of his country's honour, and seeing the Austrian
flag-bearer hastening forward, ran a race with the latter, and
succeeded, after a desperate struggle, and in the midst of a terrible
storm of shot, in planting the Union-jack _first_ upon the ramparts
of the city. He afterwards received a commission for his brave and
patriotic act.

When that splendid victory at Trafalgar was gained, and paid for at
such a terrible price, Britain may be said to have been in the zenith
of her glory. Neither before nor since has England held such a high
place in the councils of the world. Trafalgar was indeed all her own;
there were no allies, no assistance of any kind, but simply her own
beloved 'wooden walls' and her _invincible_ sailors. The celebrated
signal which Nelson ran up to his mast-head at the commencement of the
action has become a household phrase wherever the English language is
spoken; and wherever, in any part of the globe, danger is to be met
or honour won for Britain, the greatest incentive to courage and duty
in the breast of an Englishman is the knowledge that 'England expects
every man to do his duty.'

At this battle a sailor named Berryman, anxious to be the first on
board the enemy's ship _Santissima Trinidad_, instead of boarding her
in the usual manner, leaped through the quarter-gallery window, and
found himself face to face with the Spanish officers in council. They
fired point-blank at him, but he was not hit, and he dashed right
through their midst, and rushing to the deck instantly began hauling
down the Spaniards' flag. He succeeded in his brave though rash deed,
but it cost him his life.

Owing to the fact that the French and Spanish fleets were completely
crushed at Trafalgar, no foreign country has ever since been enabled
to defy the power of England upon the sea, and the principal duty of
the British navy has now, for more than half a century past, been the
protection of English commerce on the great ocean highway, and the
suppression of the slave-trade.

This peaceable duty was, however, broken during the Crimean War, when
England's sailors once more exhibited the old spirit, but failed to
gain the opportunities for distinguishing themselves which fell to
the lot of their predecessors. The Russian fleet was always prudent
enough to keep beneath the cover of stone walls, and when these failed
at length to protect it, sooner than risk the loss of a battle, its
commanders sunk it beneath the waters of the Black Sea. What the
sailors could not do at sea, however, they did on land; for instance,
one gallant fellow, Ferguson, gained that noblest of all distinctions,
the Victoria Cross, for seizing a live-shell in his hands and flinging
it over the parapet of the battery occupied by the Naval Brigade; thus
saving many lives at the risk of his own.

In the face of all obstacles, the navy rendered excellent service on
several occasions, notably at the bombardment of Sevastopol, which
it soon made too warm to hold the Russian army. The old _Agamemnon_
went right in beneath the Muscovite batteries, without, however,
effecting the desired result. She was led into position by an English
merchantman, whose captain volunteered to take the soundings of
the harbour as the two vessels advanced; and this he succeeded in
accomplishing under a heavy fire, which struck down all his crew but
one--he being wounded himself--and crippled the gallant little ship.

The officers and crew of the _Agamemnon_ exhibited the same noble
spirit and stern devotedness to duty which impelled Nelson at
Copenhagen, when told that the admiral was signalling a retreat, to
place his glass to his blind eye, and give orders to nail his colours
to the mast. 'Thank God, I have done my duty!' exclaimed England's
darling hero, as he lay bleeding to death for her sake in the hour of
his greatest triumph; and we may thank God too that England may ever
rest assured, when the hour of danger comes and the war-clouds break
over her shores, that her sons will be found at their posts, true and
steadfast as of yore, guarding from dishonour, as Nelson and his brave
seamen did, the flag that has 'braved a thousand years the battle and
the breeze,' and shewing to an astonished and admiring world that 'the
path of duty is the way to glory.'



THE LAST OF THE HADDONS.

CHAPTER XIV.--A REVELATION.


I was saying a few words to the housekeeper, when one of the maids
came running in to tell me that Miss Farrar wanted me in the green
room immediately. 'I am afraid Miss Farrar is taken suddenly ill, or
something serious has happened, Miss; for she could hardly speak, and
told me to beg you not to delay a moment.'

Lilian ill! I hastened up-stairs as fast as my feet would carry me. It
was the room in which her father had died, and it had been shut up ever
since. I had advised her to have it opened and the furniture changed,
in order to destroy painful associations; and she had at length yielded
to my persuasions. But we decided that she and I were first to give
a last look through the cabinet before it was removed, she having
resolved to keep that one memento of her father in her own room. She
had gone on, and I was only waiting to give some instructions to the
housekeeper before following her.

I found her standing near the cabinet, which was open, with her eyes
fixed upon a paper she held in her hand, and looking as though she had
been suddenly turned to stone. Quietly and quickly closing the door,
and turning the key in the lock, I went towards her.

'What is it, Lilian?'

Without a word, she put the paper into my hands, then knelt down before
her father's chair, burying her face in her hands. I knelt down beside
her, and passing my arm round her waist, turned my eyes upon the paper.

I was in a measure prepared for some kind of calamity. But this! I read
the lines slowly through a second time:

     I, JACOB FARRAR, take LUCY REED as my lawful wife, on
     this twelfth day of January 1839, at this place, Dunkeld,
     Perthshire, in the presence of the undersigned witnesses.

        DONALD GREY, _Shepherd_
        PETER FORBES, _Hostler_.

The date I knew to be three years previous to Mr Farrar's marriage with
Lilian's mother; and with that knowledge, something else broke upon me.
I myself had left that paper in the recess of the cabinet from which I
had taken the letters and little packet. I could even recollect having
had a moment's hesitation as to whether I should take it or not, when
I lifted the papers which lay upon it; but it looked so insignificant,
merely like a piece of blank paper folded together, that I let it
remain. From the moment my eyes fell upon its contents I recognised
that it was of vital importance to Lilian. Not a moment's doubt as to
its genuineness entered my head. Mr Farrar's anxiety to have those
papers destroyed was too vividly impressed upon my mind.

But my fear of what that paper might import, and my love for Lilian
notwithstanding, I strongly resented his having endeavoured to make me
an instrument to destroy it.

'Help me, Mary!'

Imagining that she was speaking in grief, instead of joy, I offered up
a mental prayer for strength to help her in the right way, then drew
her head on to my shoulder. 'I will, Lilian.'

'You think it is true?' she whispered, clinging to me.

As it happened, we had been lately reading about a much-talked-of will
case, in which a great deal depended upon the claimant being able to
prove a Scotch marriage; and both Lilian and I had taken sufficient
interest in the question to read up the evidence. We were therefore the
more startled by the discovery of the paper, and more ready to believe
in its genuineness than we might otherwise have been.

'I think there may be some possibility that it is genuine, Lilian,' I
hesitatingly replied; grieved as I was to say it, giving her my real
opinion.

'Ah, Mary, be glad with me!' she ejaculated, to my intense surprise;
for I still did not perceive what was in her mind. 'How could his child
have doubted him!' She rose exultant, adding with glowing cheeks and
brilliant eyes: 'Can I ever be thankful enough for his sake! No more
shame for me! Be glad with me, Mary.'

'I will, dear,' I returned, still a little bewildered at her joy,
'when--when I am quite sure there are good grounds for being glad.'

'Grounds? Do not you think it is genuine?' she asked eagerly. 'Look at
the dates--and names too.'

'Yes; I think--perhaps it may prove so. The signatures are in different
handwritings: it certainly looks like a genuine document,' I said
stupidly; 'but'----

'There must be no "buts!" Don't you see, dear slow darling that you
are, this proves Papa to have been an honourable gentleman, and takes
the shame of his wrong-doing from his child? Was not my shame greater
than hers, if he had wronged her mother?'

I saw now. But I saw too that another thing of terrible import to
herself had not occurred to her. After a few moments' reflection, I
said: 'Will you wait here five minutes for me, Lilian? I must send off
a letter I have written, to save the next post; but I will be back in
five minutes.' I really had a letter to send--an order to a London
tradesman, which the housekeeper wished to be attended to; but I should
not have thought of it at that moment, had I not been seeking about in
my mind for an excuse for leaving her a short time.

She looked not a little surprised; but replied: 'Of course I will wait,
if you wish it, Mary.'

'Promise me, Lilian--promise me that you will not leave this room until
I return?'

She gravely promised; and I hastened from the room and down-stairs,
my pulse beating tumultuously. Hurriedly throwing the letter on to
the hall table, I turned into the morning-room, where Marian Reed was
practising a new song. I was so far fortunate as to find her too much
occupied to notice my agitation, which must, I think, have been very
evident in my face. I found it difficult enough to command my thoughts,
much more the expression of my face. She did not notice my entrance
into the room, and that gave me a few moments to gather courage and
decide how I could best lead up to the subject I wanted to introduce.
I could think of no better way than putting a direct question. Catching
up a piece of Lilian's dainty embroidery, which lay in her work-basket,
and putting in a few random stitches, in the hope that it might appear
as if the idea had suddenly occurred to me whilst I sat working, I
asked: 'I suppose you have no recollection of your mother, Miss Reed?
Had she dark hair and eyes like your own--have you heard?'

'Ma? O yes; I recollect Ma perfectly well, Miss Haddon. Her eyes were
just a shade lighter than'----

'Some people have such wonderful memories. I have heard of people
recollecting things which occurred when they were quite babies,' I
put in; trying to speak lightly, as I dragged the needle through and
through, to the utter destruction of Lilian's delicate work.

'But I wasn't a baby when Ma died, you know.'

'About two years old, I suppose?'

'No; I was over five when Ma died, Miss Haddon.'

'You must be mistaken, I think. I recollect your aunt saying that you
were quite young--almost a baby,' I returned, bringing the words out
slowly and heavily.

'Well, five is almost a baby, isn't it?'--turning on the music-stool to
look at me.

'But I think you must be mistaken in fancying you were as old as
five. You could not have been much over two years and a half, or
three--perhaps three,' I pleaded. If what I feared was true, was I not
pleading for the good name of Lilian's mother?

'Well, I do think I ought to be allowed to know best about that, Miss
Haddon. I am over twenty, and Ma has been dead fifteen years.' Then
she added, with what was meant for satire: 'But if I can't be believed
about it, there's the register of my birth and Ma's death to be found,
I suppose; and it may not be _all_ stories on her tombstone, which
I must say Pa spared no expense about. It's in the churchyard at
Highgate, where Ma was staying for change of air when she died, if you
would like to go and see it.'

I folded the spoiled work carefully together, methodically replacing
it in the basket, first square, then corner-wise, as I tried to gather
up my scattered wits and prepare my face for Lilian's eyes again.
Fortunately, Marian Reed flattered herself that she had for once
succeeded in putting Mary Haddon down, and was in spirits accordingly,
singing away at the top of her voice again.

I quitted the room, and slowly made my way to the green chamber, where
Lilian was waiting for me.

'Well, Mary!' she ejaculated, turning a smiling happy face towards me
as I entered; 'have you come to set your prisoner free, madam?'

'Yes,' I replied, stupidly gazing at her.

'What makes you look at me like that, Mary?'

'How do I look?' I replied, with an attempt at a smile.

But her fears were aroused. 'Is it anything about this?' she anxiously
asked, looking down at the paper in her hand, and then into my face.

'I--I have been thinking the matter over, Lilian, and--I should like to
ask some one's advice.'

'Some one's advice?--About this, dear?' turning it over in her hand,
and then giving a wondering look at me.

'I mean as to its genuineness, Lilian.'

'I do not understand. These names are plain enough, and you thought
just now'----

'Oh, any one might have written these names without the document being
a binding one,' I said, catching at any hope. 'To be legal, it must
have been signed _in_ Scotland, you know; and there is no proof that it
was.'

'But you hope--Mary, do not you _hope_ that it is genuine?'

'I do not quite know what to hope, dearie,' I replied, with a would-be
careless air.

In her utter unconsciousness of the cause of my uneasiness, she could
not account for my want of sympathy, looking at me in some surprise.
Then, after a few moments' silence, she said in a low grave voice: 'I
know what to hope, Mary. I heartily hope that Marian's mother may have
been righted.'

Not once did it occur to her that it might be at the expense of her own
mother. How she would act when the whole truth broke upon her, remained
to be seen. I could not tell her whilst there seemed a thread of hope
to cling to; and I tried to persuade myself that my fears as to the
genuineness of that paper might yet prove to have been groundless.

'I think the best plan will be for me to write to Mr Wentworth, and
ask him to advise and assist us, Lilian. He will be able to ascertain
whether this is a _bonâ fide_ document, and represents a real marriage
or not. And until that is done, I strongly advise you to say nothing
about having found the paper.'

'Dear Mary, do you think there is so much necessity for secrecy about
it?'

'I do indeed, Lilian.' Then, seeing that she still demurred (it
seemed to her only natural and right at once to make known the
discovery of the paper, be the consequences what they might), I added,
diplomatically: 'I think it would be wiser not to raise Marian's hopes
until you are quite sure they will not be disappointed. It is a case in
which disappointment might be very terrible for her.'

'Yes; of course it would: I did not think of that. You are quite right,
dear cautious old darling that you are; and I will obey you, though I
do not myself fear disappointment.'

'Then it is understood that for the present it is to go no further; and
I will at once write to Mr Wentworth, inclosing him a copy of this;'
taking the paper from her reluctant fingers.

'You will be very careful of it, Mary? Recollect how much depends'----

'O yes; it will be safe enough,' I hurriedly replied, only anxious to
make my escape before she could change her mind.

Once in my room, with that paper in my own possession, I very quickly
had my nerves under command, and was ready for business, sitting down
to write my letter with a clear head and firm hand:

'MY DEAR MR WENTWORTH--In looking through a cabinet of her
father's, Lilian just now found the original of the paper which I
have copied, and inclose. _She_ sees in it only the vindication of
Marian's mother, and rejoices accordingly. Unknown to Lilian, I have
questioned Marian as to her age when her mother died. She insists
that she was over five years old, and that her mother has been dead
only fifteen years. If this be so, and this document is genuine, it
is not _Marian's_ mother who has been wronged; and the former will be
righted at the expense of our Lilian. You and I know that right will
be done, be the cost what it may to her. I need not say on which side
my sympathies are. I have not much hope; but hasten to send the paper
for your consideration, and beg you to act for her. Please go first to
Marian's aunt, Mrs Pratt, Green Street, Islington; and make sure about
the dates of Marian's birth and her mother's death before you take
measures to prove the validity of the marriage. I do not apologise for
asking this of you. To do our best for Lilian is a real privilege to
you and me, and I know that it is not necessary to beg you to lose no
time.'

A telegram was handed to me that night at tea-time--'_ROBERT WENTWORTH
to MISS HADDON--Letter received, and I am at work._' I shewed it to
Lilian, who returned it to me with a nod and smile.

Dear old Mrs Tipper looked somewhat surprised and Marian curious; but
surprised and curious they had to remain. Meantime the suspense was
terrible to me; I was so restless and unlike my ordinary self, that I
could do nothing, even in the way of occupying only my fingers. In my
discomfort I was impolitic enough to offend Marian Reed as I had not
yet done. The very sight of her irritated me, and her imperfections
seemed more glaring than ever. I think I should have grudged allowing
her credit for having a single good quality. A very slight event
brought my indignation to a climax.

'That is Lilian's box,' I sharply exclaimed, as she turned the key in
a little Indian box on one of the tables, and was turning over the
contents.

'I want some more of that purse-silk she gave me yesterday to finish
this chain with,' she carelessly replied, as she continued her search
roughly, or it seemed roughly to me in the frame of mind I was just
then, turning over Lilian's dainty little belongings. I was rude enough
to take the box from beneath her hands and lock it and take the key
out. I am ashamed to say that I was even conscious of feeling some
little gratification at arousing her anger.

'Well, I never! that's a polite thing to do!' she angrily ejaculated.

It was a very foolish thing to do; and on reflection, I knew that it
was; but for a moment it was very pleasant, and I persuaded myself that
it was almost necessary as a safety-valve to my spleen--to prevent a
more decided exhibition of my feelings.

When presently Lilian entered the room, Marian inquired in an injured
tone why she was not permitted to take a little more of the silk which
had been so freely given yesterday.

Lilian looked surprised. 'There is not the slightest reason why you
should not,' she replied, unconsciously taking the box up from where I
had placed it, and begging Marian to help herself.

'Thank you, dear. I knew _you_ would not be ill-natured,' said Marian,
with a toss of the head and triumphant glance towards me, as she placed
the box upon her lap and recommenced rummaging.

I was rightly punished for my little display of temper; although I was
aware that Marian would not consider my punishment sufficient. It was
an offence to be looked over for the time, but not forgotten as a thing
forgiven. However, as Robert Wentworth affirms, it may be just as well
that I should be occasionally taken down a little; and my lesson did me
some service in the way of making me more careful for the future.



THE GOOD TEMPLARS.


Who has not heard of the Good Templars, and the wonderful success of an
Order which bids fair to rival Freemasonry, and is already established
as an Institution in the country? The history of an organisation which,
within a few years, has enrolled within its ranks some two hundred
thousand persons in England alone, can scarcely be without interest,
even to those who may sympathise but slightly with its object or its
method of operation.

The almost universal desire to see some more efficient means adopted to
check our national curse, intemperance, and to promote true sobriety
among the people, must be our excuse for believing that every reader of
this _Journal_ will care to know something about the rise and progress
of this remarkable movement. We propose, therefore, to give our readers
a brief sketch of the history and principles of the Independent Order
of Good Templars, the members of which are all pledged to personal
abstinence from all intoxicating drink, and who are also associated
together with the avowed object of promoting the ultimate and universal
suppression of the liquor traffic, on the ground that its continuance
is incompatible with the social and moral well-being of the community.

Good Templary took its rise in the state of New York as long ago as
the year 1851; and its ramifications spread far and wide throughout
the Canadian Dominion, where our troops founded a branch called the
'Templar Sons of Mars.' But it was comparatively unheard of in this
country until 1868. A year or two earlier, a young man named Joseph
Malins had left Birmingham to settle in Philadelphia, where he became
connected with the Order. For domestic reasons, Mr Malins was compelled
to return to England; and having, soon after his return, conceived the
idea that Good Templary was capable of being made exceedingly useful in
his native country, he resolved to do his best to establish a 'lodge'
in Birmingham; which was accomplished with considerable difficulty
on the 8th September 1868. It was uphill work, for so slow were the
teetotalers of England to welcome the American importation, that twelve
months of hard work saw only four 'lodges' formed, the total membership
not exceeding a hundred persons.

The second year of the new society was also one of slow progress;
but Mr Malins, who had now become the Grand Worthy Chief Templar of
England, and to which post of honour he is annually re-elected, never
despaired of ultimate success, and with the usual characteristic
perseverance of an Englishman, 'kept pegging away' until his end was
attained.

At the last annual meeting of the supreme governing body in England, it
was reported that on the 1st May 1875 there were three thousand five
hundred and seventy 'lodges,' containing one hundred and six thousand
eight hundred and twenty-five male; and sixty-one thousand six hundred
female members; or a total of one hundred and sixty-eight thousand
four hundred and twenty-five; which has now increased to more than two
hundred thousand members. These statistics, however, do not include
Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Having thus stated the numerical strength of the Order, we will
furnish a brief outline of the principles which form the basis of its
government.

Every candidate for membership must give a solemn pledge of total
abstinence from all intoxicating drink, together with a promise to do
all in his power to promote the cause of temperance; another clause in
the obligation being, that he will not only take no part in knowingly
injuring a fellow-member, but will, if he is in distress, grant him
such assistance as will enable him to tide over his difficulties. In
this respect the Order is identical with the principles of freemasonry,
which seek to bind man to his fellow-man with ties of love and
gratitude.

The title of 'Good Templars' was chosen by the founders of the Order
as analogous to that of the 'Knights Templar' of the Crusades; thereby
indicating the stern and unrelenting nature of the moral war which was
to be carried on against the supporters of the liquor traffic.

Among the few preliminary tests to which candidates have to submit is
an inquiry as to whether they believe in the existence and power of
Almighty God as the Supreme Ruler and Governor of all. A committee
of inquiry having reported on the eligibility of a candidate, and
the ballot on his admission being favourable--four black balls being
sufficient to reject him--he is initiated with an impressive ceremonial
of some twenty minutes' duration, and thus becomes invested with the
rights and privileges of membership.

Singing and prayer form a principal part of the initiatory ceremonial,
the additional exercises being extempore, at the discretion of the
chaplain of the lodge, or else according to certain prescribed forms
contained in a book of ceremonies known as the 'ritual' of the order.
A password is framed quarterly, which enables a member to pass the
door-keepers, whose business it is to prevent the admission of
non-members at the weekly session of the lodge; and while the lodge is
sitting, each member wears the insignia of the order, the use of which
in public demonstrations is compulsory upon no one. A probationary
term of three months qualifies the new member for the second degree of
the Order, and a further term of three months to the third; certain
privileges, such as eligibility to sit in district or grand lodges,
being contingent upon the attainment of the higher degrees.

A subordinate lodge may be formed of any number of members not less
than ten, and each office is equally available to the male and female
members. Within certain prescribed limits, each lodge can, by its
by-laws, fix its own rate of subscription, minimum age of candidates,
&c.; while it has absolute control over its funds, using them for the
promotion of temperance principles in whatever way seems best to the
majority. Each lodge reports its numerical strength and other details
once a quarter to the district lodge with which it is connected,
and at the same time pays a tax of about twopence per member to the
district lodge, to the sessions of which it has the right of choosing
representatives in proportion to the number of members for whom the
tax is paid. Those who have worthily filled certain offices in a
subordinate lodge, are also deemed qualified to sit in the district
lodge, but not with the power to vote as representatives.

There are about seventy district lodges in England, most of which have
for their boundaries the limits of a county electoral division, such as
East, North, and South Devon, &c. There are also many Good Templars on
board our men-of-war, or in seaports much frequented by seamen of the
royal navy; and these naval lodges are formed into a district, of which
Captain Phipps, R.N. is deputy.

Each district lodge has a presiding officer bearing the title of
District Deputy; and the control of the business of the Order in the
district is vested in an executive chosen by the lodge, subject,
of course, to the votes of the representatives at the quarterly
meeting. From the several district lodges, representatives are chosen
to sit in the chief governing assembly for England, and which is
known as the Grand Lodge. The last meeting of this body was held at
Newcastle-on-Tyne during Easter-week 1876, and was presided over by
Mr Malins, the Grand Worthy Chief Templar of England, who is the only
paid officer of the order. His salary, or rather an annual grant in
recognition of his great services (for it has to be voted every year),
is five hundred pounds. On the occasion in question the representatives
or committee men at Grand Lodge numbered between five and six hundred,
and as the sitting was public so far as the members of the Order were
concerned, the capacity of the town-hall at Newcastle was tried to its
utmost. The session occupied four days, during which a vast amount of
business was done in connection with the Order, and many suggested
improvements discussed.

In 1875, Hengler's Circus, London, was used for the meeting of Grand
Lodge, and was filled to overflowing; while in 1874, St George's Hall,
Bradford; Colston Hall, Bristol, in 1873; and the Corn Exchange at
Preston in 1872 were crowded in like manner. But the assembly of each
succeeding year surpasses that which has preceded it both in numerical
strength and interest.

The internal affairs of the Order are carried on during the year by
an executive council of eight members, aided by a weekly consultation
committee. The offices of the Grand Lodge occupy a prominent position
in the centre of Birmingham; and a considerable staff of clerks is
required to conduct the enormous correspondence continually going on
with every part of the country, and to despatch temperance literature
and other matters requisite to carry out the business of district
and subordinate lodges. To meet the cost of this establishment and
other outlay, each district lodge remits a small quarterly tax, based
upon the number of the members under its direction. Scotland and
Ireland have each Grand Lodges with subordinate machinery similar
to that of England. Wales has _two_ such organisations, one for the
English-speaking, and the other for the Welsh-speaking portion of the
community.

Each state in North America has also its Grand Lodge, as also has
Canada, Quebec, Australia, New Zealand, India, &c.; representatives
from which meet yearly under the designation of the 'Right Worthy Grand
Lodge.' The last sitting of this supreme body was held in Louisville,
Kentucky, during the month of May last year. There are about sixty
Grand Lodges in all.

Since the order was introduced into this country, Mr Malins has had
the satisfaction of seeing the organisation for which he has done so
much extended to Holland, Germany, France, Portugal, the Mediterranean,
China, Japan, Ceylon, Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, British
Guiana, Barbadoes, British Honduras, Bermuda, the Argentine Republic,
and many other places too numerous to mention.

The statistical returns from the several districts in England are being
compiled, and it is understood that they shew satisfactory progress
so far as they have yet been examined. Some idea of the work which
is being carried on by the Independent Order of Good Templars may be
gathered from the following particulars, gleaned from one of the annual
Reports: 'Each lodge meets weekly, and over twenty thousand _public_
meetings were held during the year; an average of nearly seventy a day.'

Of the English members of the Order, about one half are estimated to
have become teetotalers on joining the order, the rest having been
abstainers previously; while careful inquiries shew from twelve to
fifteen thousand as the probable number of the Queen's subjects who
have been reclaimed from a life of intemperance. There is also a
juvenile branch, in which over fifty thousand children are enrolled as
members.

Foremost among the questions which now agitate this remarkable society
is that of the proposed admission of the negro to the rights and
privileges of a 'Good Templar.' Grand Lodge is believed to be in favour
of his admission to the Order; though it is scarcely to be wondered at,
perhaps, that many Templars should find themselves at variance with
their leaders on this subject. We think, however, that Good Templary
would be ennobled by acknowledging the rights of man all over the
world, be his colour what it may, to participate in any movement which
has for its object the moral and social improvement of mankind.

All honour and success to such a glorious movement for the benefit
of the human race! Of the incalculable good which has already been
bestowed upon thousands of families by the beneficent exertions of
these Good Templars it is impossible to speak; but its influence has
been felt throughout the land as if it were a message from Heaven
itself; while the ramifications of such a society in all parts of the
world, even though it fail to stamp out the demon of intemperance, will
surely at least mitigate the evil, and institute a beneficent medium
of charitable intercourse between man and man. Again we say, all honour
and success to such a glorious movement for the benefit of the human
race.



PORCELAIN-PAINTING.


Painting on porcelain has for some years past made such progress
amongst the amusements of fashionable life, that the homely joys
and destiny obscure of those who toil for a livelihood in this
department of the useful arts acquire a new interest. In the group of
Staffordshire 'pottery towns,' as they are called, which lie within a
mile or two of each other, and are connected by the somewhat exclusive
system of the North Staffordshire Railway, not far from the beautifully
wooded conical hill of Cocknage, and at an easy walking distance from
Trentham Hall, the magnificent seat of the 'Leveson-Gowers,' in one of
the most charming silvan districts of England, is Longton, formerly
called _Lane-end_, with its picturesque and quiet suburb of Dresden.
In 'Burslem,' Hanley, Stoke, and Longton itself, the atmosphere may
not be quite so pure as one could wish; but to find a bright and
translucent atmosphere requires but a slight exertion. From Stoke to
Newcastle-under-Lyme, and thence to Woolstanton, or to Chesterton and
Silverdale, or to Trentham--by Longton pool, shining like a mirror
in front of the handsome Hall, or by cool sequestered Blurton, with
its quaint churchyard and umbrageous trees--the wayfarer passes along
lanes of unrivalled beauty: in summer by rose-clustered cottages, and
meadows where the youthful _Archie Lovel_ may have gathered kingcups
and daisies; and in the clear cold days of winter, by hedges jewelled
with red berries.

Although in back slums of these towns, and amongst the dissipated,
the pallid father, wan mother, and emaciated child may, as elsewhere,
be occasionally seen creeping home; amongst the thrifty and orderly,
no such lugubrious picture is presented; but as a rule one sees
healthy-looking men and women, and rosy-cheeked urchins of the
true English type. Indeed the beauty of delicate features and
intelligence of expression, combined with physical vigour, are marked
characteristics of the whole district, and such as a stranger would not
be led to expect. While my metaphorical tent was pitched near a pretty
little rivulet at Dresden, my visits to the neighbouring towns and
places of beauty or interest were frequent, both in winter and summer;
and I had consequently the best opportunities of inspecting these
busy hives of industry, which have so marvellously sprung up from the
original germ-thought of one man, Josiah Wedgwood, whose brain-labour
has set all these hands in motion.

It would be out of place to enter into a fully detailed account of the
manufacture of the various wares known by the generic name of _china_;
but a few particulars may not be unnecessary, as an introduction to
the special process of embellishment. Most of us are familiar with
the earlier difficulties in the plastic processes--from the potter's
wheel to the mould--with which Wedgwood had to contend. We know the
components of the superior wares, and have at length discovered the
Chinese secret--that it is the ingredient of _bone_-dust which imparts
the semi-transparent quality; while the properties of the shining
surface are well understood; therefore it is with the _bisque_, or
unglazed ware that we shall commence, after it has been withdrawn from
the _bottle_-shaped oven to the _dripping_-house.

In this latter department, the fresh-baked ware is immersed in a
silicious solution, and thence conveyed, in bandbox-shaped _seggars_,
to the 'glost' (glaze) oven to be fired. But should it be desired to
ornament it with _printed_ paper patterns laid upon the surface, this
is effected before it is dipped. The ware is now _fired_ until the
glaze becomes transparent; after which it is removed to the 'glost'
warehouse, where the various articles are assorted by classification,
and then transferred to female artists skilled in the 'stencilled
ground-laying,' as the process is locally termed, of the metallic
colours, each of which is brought to a perfectly uniform tint with a
'boss' or pad.

Passing from their hands to the kiln, the ware is again fired, after
which it is transferred to the fair 'paintresses' (a local word), whose
superior intelligence, or taste, qualifies them to embellish it with
what they call 'enamel' paintings of birds, flowers, and other familiar
objects. It is then fired for eight hours; and finally transferred to
the gilders and burnishers, who, with their agate implements, bring the
process of ornamentation to its last stage.

But before this has been arrived at, many busy heads have been at work
in the selection of materials and in their manipulation; for in the
work of ordinary painters and 'paintresses,' rapidity of execution, as
well as artistic dexterity, is required in order to earn a livelihood.
On an average, one penny is the price allowed for the central floral
pattern of an ordinary plate--such as a pink-rose with buds and leaves,
a convolvulus, or any other simple flower. Each colour must be laid on
with firmness and precision; and where the light is to fall, as on the
convex petal of a rose, the effect must be produced by a rapid touch
of the finger removing the colour. With a convolvulus, however, it may
be remarked, the colour is dashed on rapidly, and with each dash the
hair-pencil is swept to a point, more or less fine, according to the
style of flower; and with _blue_ flowers especially, the rule well
known to watercolourists in painting an azure sky is never departed
from.

The bisque or unglazed ware is now but seldom embellished with
painting, for colours are found to have little brilliancy on its porous
surface; consequently, this kind of ware is chiefly used where _form_
alone is the paramount consideration.

In the manipulation of metallic colours, the superior porcelain-painter
has to calculate the ultimate effect with the same care as the fresco
or destemper painter; and yet it is surprising how limited is the fame
of those who decorate our drawing-room and dessert ware with their
artistic work, in which a few masterly touches in birds and flowers,
figures and landscapes, give life to the cold clay; for with certain
exceptions these artists are not allowed even to add their initials to
their work.

Considerable nicety, only to be acquired by practice, is requisite in
mixing the metallic colours; and for this purpose spirit of turpentine,
combined with a thick oil obtained from exposure to the air for a
certain length of time, of ordinary turpentine (called _fat_), is used;
but should more _body_ be required, tar is added. The mixed colour
is then applied to the porcelain in the same manner as in ordinary
oil-painting, but with one marked and important difference, namely,
that in porcelain painting the colour must never be _worked_, but must
be applied with a _full_ brush, carried with a clean and precise sweep
to lighter gradations of tint. Thus, the greatest depth of colour
indicates the first impact of the full charged brush. Inattention to
this dominating rule would be productive of clogginess and opacity.

Lastly, the brush or hair-pencil does not seem to be regarded as of
such importance as one would imagine by the ordinary artists of our
'pot-banks;'[1] and it is not a little surprising, even to one long
accustomed to the use of the pencil, to observe with what dexterity
the most apparently intractable tuft of hair on the end of a quill can
be brought into subjection by those who can get no better, and whose
living depends upon their ingenuity.

Various kinds of brushes are used. Fine lines are expressed with a
very long-haired thin camel-hair; while ordinary subjects are readily
mastered with a medium size. But for more careful and minute work, such
as heraldic-painting--as less liable to clog--the mounted sable (No. 1,
2, or 3) is the best.

Having satisfied myself that to a certain extent the art of painting
on porcelain may be readily acquired by any one of ordinary
intelligence; its _niceties_, like those of wood-engraving or any
similar accomplishment, are nevertheless to be learned only by long
practice. The mere application of colour within prepared outlines is
often supposed to constitute 'the art of painting,' and there can be
no doubt that, according to dictionary definition, it is _painting_;
but as there is no _art_ in it, so is there no credit due to the
purely mechanical action of the painter's hand. As an amusement, where
practised on artistic principles, porcelain-painting might, amongst
amateurs, lead to pleasing results; but to 'take it up' merely as a
fashion of the day is scarcely worth the trouble, and would be of
comparatively little benefit to those who contribute materials.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] China and earthenware manufactories in Staffordshire are invariably
called _Banks_.



THE STRONG-MINDED WOMAN.

IN TWO CHAPTERS.--CHAPTER I.


'Do you mean to go to the Woman's Rights affair, Earle?' asked one
young man of another from out a cloud of smoke. The two were sitting
one evening in December in the smoking-room of Wilfred Earle, a rising
young artist of the modern school of figure-painters.

'Yes, I do,' replied the one addressed, a fine-looking man of some
five-and-thirty years, with thoughtful dark-blue eyes, a good forehead,
from which the curly brown locks were departing fast, and a fine tawny
beard and moustache. 'I shall go out of mere curiosity though, for of
all offensive articles, to my taste a strong-minded woman is the worst.
Just imagine the horrible bore of being tied for life to a woman who
travelled about the country spouting on woman's rights! As if all
women were not tyrants by nature, without developing the art into a
system. Ugh!' and Earle shuddered.

'I should like to see your ideal woman, Earle,' said his companion.
'You are such a fastidious fellow.'

'Well, I suppose every man _has_ some sort of ideal; mine is a very
vague one. I should not like a heroine of romance, but a comfortable
everyday wife.'

'To darn your stockings, let you smoke all over the house, give you
good dinners; eh?'

'That's rather a low standard, my good fellow. If that were everything,
why not take a good-tempered domestic servant? No, I should like my
wife to be intelligent at least; if not intensely intellectual, well
read, graceful, feminine. I don't mind so much about beauty. I can get
paid models when I want them. One thing she must have--some sense of
humour. That's what I complain of in these spouting females--they are
so grimly in earnest! In short I want a jolly, unaffected, sensible
girl, who will believe in me, make my friends welcome, my house
comfortable, and be a pleasant companion to me after hard work. That's
what my ideal comes to, Jack--not a very lofty one after all.'

'I don't know but that the clever women make the best housewives after
all,' remarked Roberts, puffing thoughtfully away. 'My brother now--he
married a girl just because she was a sweet, soft, amiable little
thing; thinking that after knocking about the world a good deal, he
should like a quiet comfortable home. He was not violently in love
with Amy, but had a notion of settling down to domestic life. Well,
she turned out the most incapable idiot; is given over to nerves,
hysterics, all sorts of fancies; cries when he's out after ten, faints
if he finds fault with her. It isn't her fault--there's no vice in her;
she hasn't the _stuff_ in her, that's all. My sister Maude, again--you
remember her, Earle?'

'Yes. A fine girl; lots of go in her.'

'Rather too much, we thought. She was a bit of a flirt--but as clever
as she could be. Well, she married a quiet, steady-going fellow we all
said she would henpeck. I tell you, Will, they are a model couple!
Maude makes a splendid wife, and it's the pleasantest house to stay
in that I know. The husband always says the "clever women" are the
cleverest all round.'

'Well, it's time we were off. Let's postpone the discussion _sine die_.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Shortly after the foregoing dialogue, Wilfred Earle and his friend
found themselves in the midst of a pretty considerable number of people
entering the doors of a certain Literary Institute in one of the Surrey
suburbs of London. The audience was mostly composed of well-dressed
people; but there was also a tolerable gathering of trades-people and
artisans in the back of the room. Earle and Roberts took their seat in
a corner of one of the windows, intending to be unobserved; but they
soon perceived a little lady, of a lively appearance, with bobbing gray
curls and very small hands, which she kept in perpetual motion. One of
these hands--incased in an exquisite glove--was waving and beckoning
to them in an agitated manner. Simply bowing in return was no avail,
the waving got more energetic, and Earle perceived he would have to
obey the summons. The little lady was not going to lose the chance of
catching even an incipient lion; and Earle was a rising man, and was
beginning to be talked about.

'Bother it!' he murmured; 'there's that bore, Mrs De Lacy! I shall have
to go to her. She is the most persistent woman I know, and the most
crotchety. I believe woman's rights and wrongs are her latest craze.
Come along, Roberts, and protect me.'

So the two men made their way to the front row, where sat Mrs De Lacy
and her satellites. As for Mr De Lacy, no one ever thought about him.
He was Mrs De Lacy's husband, and did very well at the foot of the
table at dinner-parties, offering good wine to his guests. This, by the
way, was the sole point where he dared act independently.

Mrs De Lacy was a rigid teetotaler, as well as a spiritualist,
mesmerist, anti-vaccinationist, phrenologist, all the rest of it--a
woman of theories; worked upon by every novelty, and the easy prey of
any plausible adventurer. She had her virtues, shallow, conceited,
egotistical as she was. She was kind-hearted and benevolent, only,
unfortunately, her benefactions were generally wrongly directed.

'Here you are at last, naughty man!' she cried, giving Earle both her
hands at once, to his no small embarrassment, as he did not know what
to do with them, and would gladly have passed one on to Roberts, who
was trying to hide a smile. 'What have you to say for yourself? I am
very, very angry with you!'

'Indeed! I am deeply grieved! What have I done now, Mrs De Lacy?'

'Need you ask? Pray, how long is it since you were in Pembroke Terrace,
sir?'

'You must really forgive me. I have been very much pushed with
finishing a commission picture.'

'Well I will on two conditions, grant you pardon.'

'Pray name them.'

'One is that you dine with us to-morrow; to meet--but I won't tell you
whom.'

'Is that a punishment? It is a very merciful one.'

'Ah, you have not heard the second condition. Mr De Lacy is foolish
enough to want to have a portrait of my poor faded face, and I only
agreed on condition that _you_ painted it.'

It was as much as Earle could do to keep up an expression of
complacency. He could not refuse; but it was no light penance to
him--who disliked mere portrait-painting at the best--to be condemned
to make a picture of Mrs De Lacy's little foolish face. However, he
consented, as he could not well get out of it.

'Now that is settled,' continued the lady, 'sit down here and be
charmed. Stay; I do believe you are one of the unconverted--of the old
school in that respect, though your pictures are of the new. Well then,
prepare to be converted. I shall give you up for ever if you are not
enchanted with my Silvia.'

'Your Silvia! May I ask who she is?'

'Look at your prospectus, sir: "Miss Stirling will address the
meeting."'

'And is Miss Stirling your Silvia?'

'Yes; to be sure. She is staying with me, and---- Oh, I have let
out the secret of whom you are to meet! She is the dearest, most
delightful---- Hush! It is time to begin. The chairman is rising. Now
allow your stubborn soul to yield.'

Earle felt at once amused and annoyed. He savagely determined to detest
Mrs De Lacy's 'Silvia.'

The chairman made a few introductory remarks; then another gentleman,
who persisted in talking of 'females;' then a certain Mrs Leighton, who
spoke well and pleasantly, as even Earle could not but acknowledge.
She did not say anything strikingly new; but her manner was easy and
ladylike, and she was sensible and straightforward.

When she had sat down, the chairman rose and announced that: 'Miss
Stirling will now make some remarks on another aspect of the
question--on the effects that the extension of the franchise to women
might be expected to produce on the community.'

Earle had identified Miss Stirling with a tall slight figure sitting in
the background. 'Now for a display of extraordinary self-possession,'
he thought.

The lady came forward simply, but not with that air of coolness which
he looked for. Miss Stirling might be six or seven and twenty. She
was handsomely and becomingly dressed in rather a picturesque style,
though not in the least _outré_, in black velvet trimmed with gray
fur, made very plainly, and falling in heavy graceful folds round her
slender figure. A black velvet hat and long gray plume suited her
face to perfection; and that face, Earle could not but acknowledge,
was a striking one. It was perhaps not actually beautiful, though the
deep soft brown eyes and the sweet curved mouth were undeniably so;
but full of character, and womanly withal. What struck Earle most, as
being least expected, was the perfect simple unconsciousness of her
manner. She was nervous; that was plain enough; her hands trembled, her
colour was high, and she spoke rather falteringly at first; but there
was a noble directness in her honest open glance that said volumes
for the simplicity of her motive. She evidently spoke not to display
her powers nor to impress herself upon her audience, but because she
had a love for and belief in the cause she was advocating. After
speaking a minute or two, Miss Stirling threw off her nervousness. Her
voice--a singularly pleasant one, with the intonation of a well-bred
lady--strengthened and grew animated; her words were well chosen and
to the purpose. Each one told, and yet there was not the slightest
oratorical display or straining after effect.

'Very well done. Yes; very well,' thought Earle. 'But I should like
to see her at _home_, if such an exploded word forms part of a
strong-minded woman's vocabulary.'

There was a slight good-humoured sarcasm and irony underlying the
seriousness of Miss Stirling's speech, if speech it could be called,
which prevented it from becoming wearisome, and no one was anxious for
her to bring what she had to say to a close. She ended amidst quite a
storm of applause.

Mrs De Lacy turned to Earle in a high state of delight: '_Now_, Mr
Earle, what do you say to her? Surely, surely you are converted now.'

'To what, Mrs De Lacy?'

'Oh! to--to--woman's right to the suffrage.'

'I did not doubt before that she had a right to the suffrage.'

'Did not you? Well, now, I thought you were an enemy to woman's
progress.'

'I assure you, you thought quite wrong.'

'Really! Well, then, what is it you object to?'

'I have an objection--a very decided objection--I own, to women
speaking in public,' said Earle emphatically.

'Hush, hush!' breathed Mrs De Lacy; and turning round, he saw Miss
Stirling close behind him. She must have heard him; and indeed a slight
arch smile told him she had.

'Mrs De Lacy,' she said quietly, 'are you ready? If you are, would you
be so kind as to let me go now? I have such a headache.'

'To be sure, dear one!--Good-night, you bad prejudiced man!' she
whispered to Wilfred. 'Remember to-morrow.'

Earle watched the velvet dress out of the doorway, admiring the
graceful walk of its wearer, and then he and his friend returned
through the cold foggy streets to their respective homes.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next evening, when Wilfred entered the De Lacy's drawing-room,
he found a party of about twenty persons assembled. The room was
furnished, as might be expected from the character of its mistress,
in a heterogeneous and peculiar manner--a little of every style,
marking different periods of taste. Mrs De Lacy herself was bobbing
about in the excited way that always reminded Earle of a canary-bird
hopping from perch to perch--a resemblance heightened by the cap
with yellow ribbons and feathers she wore, perched jauntily on one
side. After having paid his addresses to the host and hostess, his
eye involuntarily sought for Miss Stirling; she sat rather behind the
rest, and was well dressed as on the previous evening. Her costume was
of silk, of a cloudy aquamarine colour, with square-cut bodice. Her
hair, coiled up in a large knot, was adorned with natural flowers; the
bracelet and necklet she wore were of plain dead gold.

'She looks uncommonly well in evening dress,' thought Earle; 'not much
of the coat-and-waistcoat style there! What finely formed arms and
shoulders. I should like to paint her.'

Ponderous, stiff-looking Mr De Lacy bore down upon him and whispered
mysteriously: 'You are to take Miss Stirling in to dinner. Come and be
introduced.'

'But isn't she rather formidable?' remonstrated the artist.

'Formidable! Dear no; one of the pleasantest girls I know.'

In another minute Earle found himself part of the procession filing
down to dinner, with a shapely hand upon his arm. After his remark of
last night he felt unaccountably ill at ease, and was racking his brain
for something to say; for 'I daren't talk weather to a strong-minded
woman,' he thought; but when they were seated at table she relieved him
by saying in her straightforward way: 'Are you Mr Earle the artist? Mrs
De Lacy runs on so fast one does not carry away clear ideas from her.'

'Yes, I am. You did not hear then that I am pledged to paint her
portrait?'

As he spoke he made so rueful a face that Miss Stirling laughed
outright, but checked herself, saying with compunction: 'It is not nice
of me to laugh at my hostess! And she really has been very kind to me.'

'O yes, she is good-natured enough! Still--in this instance allow me to
say--the obligation is more on her side than yours.'

'Why? I don't see that.'

'Have you not found out then, yet, that our friend has a weakness for
collecting celebrities at her house?'

'But then I am not one; so that does not apply. I suppose,' she added,
looking up at him with an arch expression, he was quite ashamed of
finding most winning, 'that accounts for _you_ being here!'

'Do you really mean you do not consider yourself a celebrity?' he asked
rather sarcastically.

'I don't say what I don't mean,' she answered coldly. 'You think, I
suppose, whenever a woman "speaks in public" it is to shew herself off?'

'So you bear me a grudge for the unlucky speech you heard last night?'

Miss Stirling coloured. 'It is small of me to be vexed, I know,' she
said, after a moment's pause, in her frank direct way; 'but we get a
good many snubs, you must know, and we--or I, rather--are stupid enough
to feel somewhat sensitive.'

'Well, please to forgive me. I spoke principally out of contradiction
to Mrs De Lacy.'

'But you _did_ disapprove. I saw it in your face. I believe most of
your countrymen share your prejudice.'

'_My_ countrymen? What! are you not my countrywoman?'

'I was born and bred in America. My mother is an Englishwoman; and we
came over seven years ago, when my father died. So you did not detect
the Yankee twang, then?'

Earle was taken aback. This young lady seemed determined to unsettle
his old prejudices. If there were one thing he disliked more even than
a strong-minded woman, it was an American. She was both, and yet he
found it hard to dislike Silvia Stirling.

'An American!' he said.

'Yes;' and she smiled at his expression. 'Isn't that dreadful? Almost
worse than public speaking! I see I am lost in your good opinion.'

'Miss Stirling,' Earle said honestly, 'I won't conceal from you, even
if I could, that I have a prejudice against women taking part in public
affairs; but I am quite willing to have it dispelled. I must tell you
too, that though I came last night to scoff, I ended by admiring.'

'You are not flattering me?'

'Indeed I am not. You are the last woman I should dare to flatter!'

The beautiful clear eyes fell under his earnest gaze, and the colour
rose into her face, which Earle thought at that moment almost a perfect
one.

After a pause she said: 'Now, _I_ think that both men and women
would get on better if they helped each other more on common ground.
The sense of superiority on your side produces aggressiveness and
self-assertion on ours. Why not leave off quarrelling about who is the
best, and agree to be different and yet friends?'

'People say friendship is incompatible between men and women.'

'People talk a great deal of nonsense,' she said a little positively:
'_I_ have several men-friends.'

Somehow Earle felt nettled at this assertion, and would gladly have
done battle with all these disagreeable men-friends at once. He only
said, however: 'I hope one day to be happy enough to make one of them;
but meanwhile, how am I to see you again?'

'Are you not coming to paint Mrs De Lacy?' said Silvia, with her eyes
on her plate, but the faint trace of a smile on her lip. 'I am staying
here, you know!'

'To be sure!' he cried eagerly; 'I forgot that. I'll come to-morrow and
begin. But after you leave here?'

'We live at Eaglemore Gardens,' she said simply. 'I will be glad to see
you, if you like to call.'

This calm invitation slightly astonished Earle; he forgot that in
America young ladies receive visitors in their father's house.

'Thank you,' he got out in some confusion.

Silvia seemed to read his thought. '_My mother_ too, I daresay, will be
glad to see you; but I suppose you have very little time for calls,'
she said haughtily.

He recovered himself. 'You are very, very good,' he replied. 'It would
be the greatest pleasure to me.'

For a few minutes there was a trace of stiffness in her manner, but it
soon passed away; and the rest of the time they spent at the table was
taken up with animated talk on all sorts of subjects.

In the drawing-room up-stairs there was music; and very soon Mrs De
Lacy pounced upon Silvia, who was comfortably ensconced in a corner
with Wilfred.

'Dear child,' she cried, 'it is your turn now. Don't waste more time on
converting that prejudiced mortal.'

Silvia looked a little bit annoyed, and getting up quickly, moved to
the piano, while Mrs De Lacy murmured: 'Sweet girl! Always so obliging!'

Wilfred stood behind her.

'What shall I sing?' she said, half to herself, looking round.

'You have _Love and Death_ there, I see,' Earle said, stooping down.
'Please, _not_ that.'

'Why not? It is a great favourite of mine.'

'So it is of mine. That is the reason I didn't want you to sing it to
all these people. Some day I shall ask you for it.'

Without replying, she put the _Sands o' Dee_ before her and sang.

Earle waited almost breathlessly for the first note. He was
passionately fond of music, and he felt somehow as if an untrue or
unsweet note from Silvia Stirling would have jarred him more than
he could bear. But the voice and the manner of singing satisfied
his fastidious ear absolutely. The sympathy which made her face so
interesting thrilled in the pathetic tone of her voice, and Earle had
never been affected by music before as he was now by her rendering of
this simple song.

As she rose from the piano, she raised her eyes a moment to his: that
strange meeting glance that strikes down into the soul, and in which
thought seems to answer thought, passed between them like a revelation.
It was only an instant, but it was a momentous one to each.

Wilfred Earle walked home through Dreamland. He was fascinated past
control, and yet was angry with the fascination, and half wished for
the spell to be broken. What strange fate had attracted his life
suddenly towards this other, against whom all his prejudices revolted?
Why did those clear eyes haunt him so? Had he, after all his sham
fancies, struck on the true vein of love? _Was_ this love, or only
a half-willing fascination, that had changed the face of the world
to-night?

'This is too absurd!' he exclaimed angrily. 'Here I have met just
with what I most disapprove of--a public speaker and an American,
and I can't get rid of the idea of her! I must go to-morrow and be
disillusionised.'



ON WASTE OF LIFE.


What is our life given us for? If this inquiry were addressed to each
one of our acquaintance, what curious diversities of opinion would be
evinced by the replies, differing as they all would according to the
various characteristics of each individual. Some would say their lives
were given them for enjoyment, and by their actions lead one to believe
that they value them exactly in proportion to the amount of pleasure
they can obtain. Others, again, seem to think life is a necessary evil,
which must be endured with philosophy and resignation; and to these
it never appears to occur that there is a higher purpose in life than
merely to exist.

A few there are--but these are unhappily very few--who regard life as a
precious gift, every moment of which it is their bounden duty to turn
to good account. To these last, the waste of life they see around them
is perfectly inexplicable, and many are the quiet unobtrusive efforts
they make, amongst their own acquaintance, to lead them to take higher
and nobler views of the duties of existence. This, however, is a most
thankless and generally most useless task. If the wish for superiority
is not implanted by nature, it is almost impossible to supply the
deficiency by art or argument. Those who are content to spend their
lives in idleness and frivolity, can seldom be persuaded to alter their
mode of life by the most powerful logic that can be used.

The present age no doubt can boast of greater progress in science
and learning than can be claimed by the past generation, and yet it
cannot be denied that the wish for mental superiority, and the industry
necessary to attain it, is only possessed by the comparatively few,
and that far too many persons are content with a kind of dead-level
of existence--without ambition or desire to excel in any way. It is
nevertheless true, and a fact for which we ought to be thankful,
that the means for intellectual cultivation are now more than ever
within the reach of all, and are eagerly taken advantage of by vast
numbers; that schools of art, music, science, &c. are established in
many places, and every encouragement given to study. And yet there are
hundreds who voluntarily and systematically neglect every opportunity,
and are content to spend their lives in ignorance and uselessness.

It is curious to note the line of demarcation that always seems to
exist between those who habitually waste their lives and those who
endeavour to redeem the time, and are ambitious of cultivating and
improving their talents to the utmost of their opportunities. The
former often allude to the latter with a kind of pitying scorn, and
declare that 'life would not be worth having, in their opinion, if they
had to spend it in that way.'

There is also a numerous class of persons who appear to consider that
intellectual pursuits, and a desire to excel in them, ought to be left
to those who prefer to spend their time in such (to them) laborious
and uninteresting occupations, and that there is no law, human or
divine, which requires them to fulfil the duties of existence in any
other way than that which is recommended to them by their own frivolous
inclinations. Their argument is probably one which they consider
unanswerable--namely, that their parents 'got on very well without all
those ideas, and why should not they.'

Certainly, if living day after day in one hum-drum round of existence,
without one spark of ambition, or one idea elevated above the most
ordinary intelligence, can be called 'getting on,' such persons succeed
admirably. Surely, however, the promptings of Nature are sufficient to
prove that life is given us for some better purpose than to be spent
in contented ignorance and mental inactivity, or in a hollow round of
gaiety and amusement?

Many times we have been surprised by an observation or a wish from
one who, to all outward appearance, was entirely devoted to a life of
uselessness and gaiety, without a thought beyond. By that one remark or
wish, a gleam of light is thrown upon the inner workings of the mind,
and we cannot help regretting that in so many cases these promptings to
do something different from their ordinary life--these first symptoms
of intellectual life and activity, first sparks of ambition, which
would, if carefully fanned, develop into a passion for excellence
and utility, should so often be quenched by the fear of the ridicule
and discouragement that they will inevitably meet with in the world.
Nothing causes so great an isolation from human companionship as a
consciousness of mental superiority. The sources of enjoyment and
interest to some are weariness and disgust to others whose aims are
higher, and whose thoughts are deeper, and who regard life as a gift to
be spent in noble labour, and in improving the talents God has given
them.

How often do we witness the sad spectacle of a mind deteriorated
by indulgence and weakened by excess and frivolity; the saddest
kind of waste of all! How often does one see in one's own circle of
acquaintance the vigour of the intellect gradually declining under the
adverse influences brought to bear upon it? But here the grave question
ought to arise in our minds: Have we had anything to do with this
deterioration? Has our want of sympathy and encouragement accelerated
the fall of the lofty edifice? Could we not by timely advice,
encouragement, and perchance by the much-needed assistance, have saved
the tottering pillars of the mind from crumbling into dust at our
feet? Let us remember that we have two important duties in life that
we ought to fulfil: one is, to cultivate the intellect to the utmost
extent in our power; and the other, to guide, assist, and encourage
any who, less fortunate than ourselves, may be struggling under want
of sympathy, want of advantages, and consequent depression. Mental
cultivation increases our appreciation of every enjoyment of life. The
more educated the mind, the greater our appreciation of higher forms of
enjoyment. With what a different eye, for instance, does the botanist
look upon the beauties of nature, to the country farmer, who has no
idea beyond the probable price of wheat at the coming harvest! How
interesting to an entomologist the various forms of insect life, which
are regarded with apathy by those who are ignorant of their ways and
habits. A cultivated mind renders its owner independent of many of the
outward circumstances of life; and if his time is spent in useful and
elevating pursuits, its tranquillity will be less disturbed than in the
case of those who are dependent upon exterior amusements. _An aim in
life makes ennui a thing unknown._

It seems scarcely necessary to remark that this part of our argument
applies only to those whose circumstances have placed them above the
necessity of manual labour. We each have our duties in life to fill
according to our different stations; and it would be as wrong and
absurd in the tradesman, clerk, or mechanic to insist on spending the
whole of his time in intellectual pursuits and scientific studies, as
it is for those who perhaps have the greater part of the day at their
own disposal, to waste its precious hours in uselessness and idleness.
At the same time, it redounds greatly to the credit of those whose
avocations allow them but little time for self-culture, that the few
leisure moments they have are in numerous cases devoted to useful study.



LION KINGS, QUEENS, AND TRAINERS.


The craving for excitement which shews itself in so many grades
of society, and under such manifold forms--some innocent and some
vicious--is strikingly displayed in connection with exhibitions of
wild beasts. There is eagerness to see them because the animals are
savage and dangerous in their native forests and jungles; eagerness
to know how far they can be tamed when caged; still more eagerness to
watch the perilous exploits of those performers who assume the majestic
designations of lion kings and queens.

The training of wild beasts for exhibition purposes is an art requiring
much patience and discretion to insure success. The trainer commences
by feeding the animal from the outside of the den or cage; then
ventures to enter, keeping his face steadily towards the animal,
and avoiding any violence. Rough usage is abstained from as much as
possible, as it rouses the 'dormant demon' in the creature. Lions like
tickling and stroking, and may be tickled into submission when they
could not be compelled. An old trainer once said: 'To get a lion to lie
down and allow the trainer to stand on him, is difficult. It is done by
tickling the beast over the back with a small whip, and at the same
time pressing him down with one hand. By raising his head, and taking
hold of the nostril with the right hand, and the under lip and lower
jaw with the left, the lion by this pressure loses greatly the power of
his jaws; so that the man can pull them open, and put his head inside
the beast's mouth. The danger is, lest the animal should raise one of
his forepaws and stick his claws in the venturesome trainer. If he
does, the man must stand fast for his life till he has shifted the paw.'

About sixty years ago, when Ballard's Menagerie was halting on the road
one night near Salisbury, a lioness escaped from one of the caravans,
and before she could be recaptured, attacked and tore one of the
horses of the Exeter mail; but she _was_ recaptured nevertheless, by
the coolness and daring of the keepers. Soon after this, Ducrow, the
accomplished equestrian, engaged Atkins's lion, tigress, and hybrid
cubs as an additional attraction to his circus. This achievement of
rearing the progeny of a lion and tigress was much talked of at the
time. The novel family were exhibited before royalty at Windsor Castle,
and then at Bartholomew Fair; where a keeper lay down in the den, with
the lion on one side, the tigress on the other, and the cubs disporting
near him, ending by lying down on the lion, with the tigress lying on
the man. The next excitement of the kind, which from its cruelty could
not be endured now-a-days, was connected with the once-renowned _Nero_
and _Wallace_. Wombwell advertised, when his menagerie was at Warwick,
a combat between his lion Nero and six bull-dogs. It was a poor tame
affair, for none of the animals shewed any desire for the encounter.
A second attempt, with Wallace, gave rise to more of that morbid
excitement for which such exhibitions are got up; the lion killed or
disabled all the dogs, the last of which he carried about in his mouth
as a rat is by a terrier or a cat. The affair brought money for a time,
and then gave place to other sensational exhibitions. A trainer and
performer known as 'Manchester Jack' was wont, at Bartholomew Fair, to
take visitors with him into Nero's cage; many persons invested sixpence
each in this risky adventure; but the poor beast had had his native
spirit so quelled that the danger was perhaps not much after all. This
Manchester Jack was rather a notable fellow in the profession; he
trained Wombwell's lions to suffer him to sit upon them, keep their
mouths wide open, &c. The newspapers more than once announced his death
as a victim of some savage animal; but he belied them all, and died
quietly in his bed as a taverner--notwithstanding that he had been
credited by one paragraphist with having had his head bitten off by a
lion.

The historically famous 'Lions in the Tower' gradually ceased to be a
source of wonderment when Zoological Gardens became familiar; and the
collection was dispersed about forty years ago. It had been a custom
in the old times to name the Tower lions after the reigning sovereigns
of Europe; and indeed the lion has generally been regarded as a royal
beast. Lord Mahon, in his _History of England_, quotes a passage from
the Earl of Chesterfield, tending to shew that there was a bit of
superstition mixed up with this matter. Under date 1758 the Earl wrote:
'It was generally thought His Majesty would have died, and for a very
good reason; the oldest lion in the Tower, near about the king's age,
died about a fortnight ago.' But the king outwitted the lion, by living
two years longer. A printer of ballads, not many years back, tried to
make a little money by a smart bit of April Fooling. Knowing that many
country people are still ignorant of the fact that the lions have long
been removed from the Tower, he printed penny tickets purporting to
admit the holder to witness the annual ceremony of washing the lions in
the Tower on the First of April; how many ninnies were taken in by the
trick, the record does not say.

Van Amburgh, the most renowned, perhaps, of all the lion-kings, came
to England a year or two before the beginning of the reign of her
present Majesty. He was a native of Holland, well-formed and handsome;
and his collection of trained lions, tigers, &c. drew immense numbers
of spectators. Van Amburgh's cool daring was remarkable; and when
Edwin (afterwards Sir Edwin) Landseer exhibited at the Royal Academy
his picture of the lion-king in the midst of his trained quadrupedal
pupils, the excitement spread to a class of society above that which
is usually supposed to be weak on such points. Van Amburgh's career in
England continued on and off for some years. One of his exhibitions
included a black tiger, a colour rarely met with in that animal; and a
sort of drama was got up in which the lion-king personated Moroff, a
brute-tamer. Among the bits of gossip which cannot well be traced to
an authentic source, is one to the effect that the Duke of Wellington
(who is known to have had a liking for the performances of Van Amburgh)
once asked him whether he was ever afraid; to which the brute-tamer
replied: 'The first time I am afraid, your Grace, or I fancy that my
pupils are no longer afraid of me, I will give up.' Van Amburgh was
killed more than once by the newspapers, as 'Manchester Jack' had been;
but Mr Frost (whose curious volume, _The Old Showman_, is a veritable
storehouse of gossip on these subjects) states that the hero retired
with a competency, and lived till a recent date.

About the time of Van Amburgh the visitors at a country fair were
invited to witness a man-and-tiger fight; but by all accounts it
was a poor tame affair--it being somewhat doubtful whether the
quadruped really was a tiger. Almost in the same year too, a bit of
sensationalism was got up in the form of a spectacle, in which a Greek
captive was thrown into an arena to be devoured by wild beasts, with
(of course) the due accompaniment of terror and agony. Carter the
lion-king, who was little if anything behind Van Amburgh in coolness,
daring, and presence of mind, played in a drama as a lion-tamer, drove
a pair of lions in harness, and maintained a 'desperate combat' with a
tiger.

Directly it was found, that the public were willing to pay
for admission to displays of this kind, menagerie-keepers and
circus-proprietors sought about for lion-kings wherever they could
find them; and as a demand usually creates a supply, so was it in this
instance: heroes sprang up in various obscure corners, each tempted by
the high salary offered. A solatium of ten or fifteen pounds a week
is no trifle to a man in a humble station. Crockett, who had been a
bandsman at Sanger's Circus, won fame at Astley's Amphitheatre, not
only by his performance before the public, but by an exercise of great
courage at a perilous moment. One night the lions got loose. Crockett,
to whose lodgings a messenger was quickly despatched, came and hastened
into the arena. The lions were roaming about the auditorium, and had
just killed one of the grooms. Crockett went amongst them, and with
only a switch in his hand, drove or enticed them into their cage
without receiving a scratch. The rumour of this bold and successful
achievement brought him offers at an augmentation of salary. Just
about a quarter of a century ago the proprietor of Manders's Menagerie
wanted a lion-king to increase the attractiveness of his exhibition.
A gingerbread stall-keeper offered; but proved to be not worth his
salt, and the manager was disappointed in his hope of eclipsing a
rival exhibition. One day a black sailor came to him and asked for
employment as a brute-tamer; he was accepted; and soon afterwards the
visitors at Greenwich Fair were invited to witness the heroic deeds
of Macomo the African lion-king. Macomo (whatever may have been his
real name) appears to have been a daring fellow, well adapted for the
work he undertook. On one occasion an unusually savage tiger, newly
purchased, was put into a cage already tenanted by another tiger. The
animals began to fight furiously. Macomo, armed only with a small
riding-whip, entered the cage; both tigers turned fiercely upon him
and lacerated him severely; but (covered with blood as he was) he
continued to whip them into submission. Not for one instant did he keep
his eyes off them, and they knew it. Macomo had other narrow escapes;
but like most of the lion-kings, he died quietly in his bed at last.
Not so Macartney, an Irishman, whose habits were not sufficiently
temperate for this perilous kind of work. He often turned his back on
the animals, and was lacerated by them more than once. At length, when
exhibiting at Bolton about fifteen years ago, he attempted to imitate
Macomo's lion-hunt. He chased several lions around a large cage; one
sprang at him, seized him by the right hip, and dragged him to the
ground; then the others joined in the attack. The unfortunate man
endeavoured to beat them off with a sword, but lost his life in the
attempt.

These exhibitions have varied in some of their characteristics from
time to time. In one instance hyenas and tigers were trained as
performing animals--a feat not often ventured upon, as these animals
are less to be trusted than the lion. After the death of Wombwell, his
extensive menagerie was divided into three sections--each of which
claimed, of course, to be the real successor to the original. One
section gloried in a lion-king known as Lorenzo. A drama was got up,
with Lorenzo and a lion as the performers, representing the classical
story of Androcles. We all know the story. A Greek slave, flying from
the cruel tyranny of his Roman master, plunged into a forest; he
encountered a lion who was pained by a thorn in his foot. Androcles
extracted the thorn, and won the animal's gratitude. Being recaptured,
Androcles was condemned to be torn to pieces by a lion. The veritable
lion which he had befriended happened to be the one caught and brought
to the amphitheatre for this dread purpose. The lion knew Androcles
instantly, came up to him, licked his hand, and shewed unmistakable
signs of satisfaction. This bit of classicality was in a humble way
imitated by Lorenzo and the menagerie lion. A lion-keeper, not a
lion-king, was killed at Astley's some fifteen or sixteen years ago.
A lion that had been honoured with the name of _Havelock_ one night
wrenched off the bars of his cage, and with three others escaped into
the arena. Havelock sprang at the unfortunate keeper, and killed him
instantly.

It is one feature in exciting exhibitions that if men are attractive
when placing themselves in much peril, the so-called pleasure is
enhanced when women are the possible victims. As it is in _trapèze_ and
acrobatic performances, so is it in those connected with the exhibition
of wild or semi-wild animals. It is among the gossip of the theatres
that one visitor attended night after night, in order that he might not
be absent when Van Amburgh's head was bitten off (as many expected it
would be) by a lion; and so the idea that something fatal might happen
to one of the gentler sex lends an additionally unhealthy interest to
the scenes we are now considering. As soon as lion-king exhibitions
were found to be profitable, the proprietor of Hilton's Menagerie
bethought him of bringing forward his niece as a lion-queen; he paid
her well, the public paid him well, and thus an impetus was given to
a new kind of speculation. A rival soon appeared at another circus
or place of exhibition, and two lion-queens were starring before the
public at one time. A third aspirant tried the enterprise once too
often. Miss Blight, daughter of a member of Wombwell's band, was one
evening in 1850 managing a performance of trained animals at a fair.
One of the tigers was sullen and wayward; she incautiously struck him
with a whip; the animal sprang at her, seized her by the throat, and
put an end to her hapless existence before effective aid could arrive.
The authorities prohibited such exhibitions after this melancholy
catastrophe. Yet such is the contagion of ambition and love of a good
salary, that other women were willing to offer their services as
successor to the poor girl. A very tame lion was at another menagerie
taken out of his cage and taught to crouch at the feet of a lady who
personated Britannia.

Some of the animals thus exhibited are rather valuable. When a
menagerie was sold by auction at Edinburgh in 1872, the lions brought
individually eighty pounds, ninety pounds, one hundred pounds, one
hundred and forty pounds, two hundred pounds, and one as much as two
hundred and seventy pounds. One of these had performed with Lorenzo
in the spectacle of Androcles. The highest-priced lion was purchased
for the Bristol Zoological Gardens; he was regarded as the largest and
finest at that time in England. A magnificent tigress was an object of
eager competition; and an unusually fine elephant--very much renowned
as a 'performing' elephant--brought six hundred pounds. Another
menagerie was sold by auction in London more recently; the chief
interest centred around two lion-cubs born in the menagerie eighteen
months previously; they brought one hundred and fifty pounds.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._





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