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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 694 - April 14, 1877.
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 694.      SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



THE COMING OBELISK.


For more than fifty years we have heard of projects for bringing to
England the prostrate obelisk lying on the sandy shore of Egypt at
Alexandria, and popularly known as Cleopatra's Needle. Every successive
scheme of this kind has come to nothing. When the French army quitted
Egypt in 1801, the British officers, wishing to have some memorial of
the victories of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, claimed the prostrate obelisk
as a spoil of war, and formed a plan for bringing it to England. A ship
was obtained, a mode of stowage planned, and a jetty built between the
obelisk and the beach. The Earl of Cavan, in command of the troops,
headed the scheme; Major Bryce, of the Royal Engineers, worked out
on paper the details of the operation; while officers and men alike
subscribed a certain number of days' pay to meet the expenses. The
obelisk was to be introduced into the ship through the stern port, and
placed on blocks of timber lying over the keel. But difficulties of
various kinds arose and the scheme was abandoned.

Eighteen years afterwards the Pacha of Egypt, Mehemet Ali, presented
the prostrate obelisk to the Prince Regent; the British government
accepted the gift, but took no steps towards utilising it, being
deterred by an estimate of ten thousand pounds as the probable cost of
bringing the monolith to England. Thirty-three more years passed; the
Crystal Palace Company was organising its plan for the costly structure
and grounds at Sydenham; and a question was started whether Cleopatra's
Needle would form an attraction to the place. Men rubbed up their
reading to ascertain how the ancients managed to remove such ponderous
masses as this. It is certain that the stone must have been quarried
in Upper Egypt, and conveyed somehow down to Thebes, Alexandria, and
other places in that classic land. Pliny describes a prostrate obelisk
which was moved to a distance by digging a canal under it, placing two
heavily laden barges on the canal, and unloading them until they were
light enough to rise and lift the obelisk off the ground; it was then
floated down the Nile on the barges, and landed and set up by the aid
of a vast number of men with capstans and other apparatus. A plan was
suggested to the Crystal Palace Company for bringing Cleopatra's Needle
to England on a raft; but the idea was relinquished. Subsequently there
were several projects for importing the obelisk; but they also fell
through, after not a little eager expectation and talk. Thus, from one
cause or other, the famed obelisk was left undisturbed, and what may
be deemed British property still lies in a kind of buried state among
the sands on the coast of Egypt. Luckily, it has not suffered injury by
delay in removal. The stone is of a hard texture, and its entombment
has been rather an advantage than otherwise. Although first and last
there has been much said about Cleopatra's Needle, we shall attempt to
give some account of it and of a freshly conceived plan for bringing it
to England.

The ancient Egyptians excelled in the art of erecting magnificent
temples, pyramids, obelisks, and other works in stone, all of
which, or the ruins of them, fell into the hands of successive
conquerors--Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and finally the Turks.
Among the long roll of monarchs of the ancient Egyptians, one stands
out conspicuously for grandeur of character and the splendour of his
reign. That was Thothmes III., who flourished fourteen hundred and
forty-four years before the commencement of our era, that is to say,
three thousand three hundred and twenty years ago. He ordered to be
executed two obelisks of gigantic dimensions for the City of On,
or City of the Sun, the name of which was changed by the Greeks to
Heliopolis, a word signifying the same thing. During the lifetime of
Thothmes, the obelisks were cut out of the quarries of Elephantiné,
which consist of the rose-coloured granite of Syene, or Es-souan. These
obelisks were to be set up in front of the Temple of the Sun, and
in however mistaken a way, must be viewed as a pious tribute to the
Almighty, personified in the Sun as the author of Light and Heat, the
fructifier and sustainer of animal and vegetable existence.

The preparation of the two obelisks was the work of years. Before their
completion, Thothmes III. had passed away; and the honour of setting
them up in their appointed place belonged to one of his successors,
Rameses II., familiarly known to us as Sesostris. We can fancy the
imposing ceremonies which took place in erecting the obelisks in front
of the Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis. Both obelisks were inscribed
with hieroglyphics, signifying that they were erected to the god Ra,
or the Rising Sun, and to Tum, or the Setting Sun, which identify
them with the most ancient and perhaps most poetical superstition in
the world. To these hieroglyphics were added others by Rameses II.,
commemorative of certain military conquests.

And where is now Heliopolis, the City of the Sun, at which these
grand obelisks were set up and venerated by the ancient rulers of the
country? It is extinct. As in many other old Egyptian cities, its
dwellings, built of unburnt bricks, have long since crumbled into
heaps of dust. Its splendid monuments are destroyed or dispersed. When
the Romans took possession of the country, the two obelisks that had
been erected by Rameses II. in honour of the Sun were removed by the
celebrated Cleopatra to grace the Cæsarium at Alexandria about the year
40. There, near the shore, they were set up. One of them remains where
it was placed, and is a well-known landmark. The other fell, from what
cause is unknown, and there it has lain till our times.

Such in brief is the history of Cleopatra's Needle. It is upwards of
three thousand three hundred years old; and whether standing or lying,
it has been at Alexandria for at least eighteen hundred and thirty
years. How along with its fellow it was transported from Heliopolis
to Alexandria, can no more be known than how the Pyramids were built.
Doubtless, there would be an enormous expenditure of human toil; but
at the time that was not regarded. Unfortunate beings captured in
battle were condemned to slavery, and if they perished in dragging huge
stones, no one cared. If Cleopatra's Needle could speak, it would tell
of cruelties of which we can form no adequate conception.

The two obelisks were nearly of the same dimensions; and standing in
their original position in front of the Temple of the Sun, they must
have had a most imposing appearance. The prostrate obelisk, square
in form, measures sixty-eight and a half feet long, six feet eleven
inches wide on each side at the base, tapering to four feet nine inches
near the summit, whence it narrows to a pyramidal point called the
pyramidion.

We may have a pretty good idea of its appearance from that of the Luxor
obelisk, set up on a pedestal in the Place de la Concorde at Paris,
which is the same shape, and measures seventy-two feet three inches
in height, exclusive of the pedestal of fifteen feet, and weighs five
hundred thousand pounds. The cost of removing this obelisk from Luxor,
near Thebes, to Paris, was about two millions of francs, or eighty
thousand pounds. It is a handsome monolith, of reddish Syenite, but
unfortunately it is damaged near the top, and suffers from the bad
taste exhibited in the pedestal on which it was erected in 1836. In
Rome there are a number of obelisks of different sizes that had been
brought from Egypt by the Romans. Europe may be said to have come in
for a fair share of these ancient monuments. There is room, however,
for one more--Cleopatra's Needle, which, had matters been managed
rightly, should long since have been brought to England and set up in
the metropolis.

This brings us to the project now set on foot by Mr Erasmus Wilson, an
eminent surgeon in London, and who has munificently undertaken to be
at the entire cost of bringing the obelisk from Alexandria. The idea
of doing so arose, as Mr Wilson explains in a letter to a friend, in
having had a communication from General Sir James Alexander, C.B. 'He,
Sir James, recounted that he had paid a visit to the prostrate obelisk
at Alexandria in the spring of 1875, with the view of ascertaining its
state of preservation and the possibility of bringing it to London;
that he stripped it of its covering of sand, and found the column
uninjured, and that he felt assured that its transit might be safely
accomplished; that all that was needed were the means of defraying the
cost, and the determination to bring the undertaking to a successful
issue; that he contemplated for this object to obtain the interest
of the city of London and the government; but that, although he had
secured the co-operation of the Metropolitan Board of Works for a site
on the Thames Embankment, he had made no substantial progress.' Mr
Wilson goes on to explain what he did in the circumstances. 'On the
7th of December, I had a conversation with Sir James Alexander. He was
very anxious to succeed in his object, and he mentioned a plan proposed
by Mr John Dixon, C.E., whom I promised to see. At my interview with
him, I listened to his plan. He explained the position of the monolith,
within a few yards of the sea, and the ease with which it could be
inclosed in a cylinder, rolled into the water, towed to the harbour
for the purpose of putting on to it a keel, a rudder, and a deck, and
then ballasting it to a proper depth of flotation. The process required
care, nicety, and judgment, but was evidently sound and practicable.'
The professional advice Mr Wilson received helped to confirm this
opinion, and he finally resolved to enter into a contract for the safe
transport of the monolith. Mr Dixon was willing to limit the cost to
eight thousand pounds; but to leave no room for failure, it was agreed
he should receive ten thousand pounds on the safe erection of the
obelisk on the Thames Embankment within a specified period. A contract
was entered into on this basis; Mr Dixon undertaking all risks.

We gather from Mr Wilson's letter that he had serious misgivings
as to the success of a public subscription, and that after all it
was a shabby kind of proceeding, unworthy of so great an object. In
short, feeling he could afford the outlay, he took the matter in hand
personally, and the element of expense was therefore at an end. Any
other difficulty was removed by Mr Dixon receiving the concurrence of
the government and of the Khedive of Egypt. 'I have,' says Mr Wilson,
'the assurance from Mr Dixon that the cylinder ship with its precious
freight may be expected to float into the Thames in July next.'

So far as we can understand the proposed plan, Cleopatra's Needle is
to be fixed by cross divisions or diaphragms of wood in a cylindrical
vessel of malleable iron plates. There will be seven diaphragms, and
consequently nine water-tight compartments. For safety, the obelisk
will be inclosed in wood, and well packed, a little below the central
level of the vessel, which will be closed at both ends. When completed
with the obelisk inside, the vessel will be about ninety-five feet in
length and fifteen feet across. After being rolled into the sea, and
towed to the harbour, it will be ballasted, and be provided with a
keel, deck, sail, and rudder. For these operations, manholes will have
been left in the cylinder. These holes will be opened, so that access
may be obtained to all the compartments. There will be no part into
which a man may not enter if necessary, until the cylinder is finally
sealed up for floating.

When made thoroughly ship-shape and sea-worthy, then the vessel with
its precious freight will set off on its voyage, under the charge of
two or three skilled mariners, for whom a small cabin on deck will be
provided. It will be towed the whole way by a steam-tug; the sail being
simply for steadying the cylinder. The steam-tug, or with whatever
other assistance that may be necessary, will tow the vessel up the
Thames, and lay it alongside a convenient part of the Embankment.
Where its precise site is to be has not, we believe, been determined.
By the agency of hydraulic power, there will be no serious difficulty
in raising it to an erect position on its assigned pedestal. There
will, we think, be a concurrence of opinion, that no site would be
so universally acceptable as on some conspicuous point of the Thames
Embankment, where the effect towards the river would be particularly
striking. What more fitting place of permanent repose than the banks
of the 'Silent Highway' for the ancient symbol of contemplative
veneration, the Divine Architect of the Universe, Ra and Tum?

A great day for the metropolis will be that on which this vastly
interesting monolith is stuck upright in English ground! We can shew
some minor works of art of perhaps as great antiquity, such as the
stone axes of the pre-historic period, but nothing to compare with the
product of Egyptian civilisation something like four thousand years
ago. Trusting that no untoward accident may occur to derange the plans
for the maritime transport of this interesting object, there cannot
but be a universal feeling of satisfaction at the gracious manner in
which Mr Wilson has organised a scheme for effecting what has baffled
everybody since the beginning of the present century. When there is so
much begging of money for all sorts of objects, the heartiness of his
spontaneous generosity will be frankly acknowledged.



THE LAST OF THE HADDONS.

CHAPTER XVIII.--MARIAN'S GENEROSITY.


Marian was, I believe, genuinely disappointed at Lilian's decision to
leave Fairview and retire with her aunt to some cottage home.

'It will look so!' she ejaculated again and again; which words perhaps
best expressed her sentiments upon the point. 'People might think I
had not been inclined to behave handsomely towards you, you know; but
I'm sure no one could offer more fairly than I do. There's the run of
the place, and a carriage to ride out in, and your keep, and all that;
besides two hundred a year to spend as you please. _I_ had only two
hundred a year to do everything with, you know, before Pa died. And if
that isn't enough--well, I shouldn't perhaps mind saying'----

'It would be a great deal more than enough,' murmured poor Lilian.
'Only I must be with my dear aunt wherever she is, and she prefers
having a home of her own, however humble.--Do you not, auntie?'

Mrs Tipper was very decided upon that point; and Marian did not object.
'Auntie' was quite welcome to consult her own taste in the matter.
Indeed Marian was more ready to fall in with the little lady's desire
to leave Fairview than it was under the circumstances quite polite to
do.

'But for you, dear, it is altogether different,' she went on to urge.
'You are young, and have been brought up like a lady; and it really
seems quite cruel for you to be going to live at a cottage, when
there's such a home as this offered you.'

'I should prefer being with my aunt,' repeated Lilian, with flushed
cheeks, turning her eyes, full of tears, lovingly towards the little
lady, who nodded and smiled as though to say: 'Do not fear my being
wounded by anything that is said, my dear. I shall only be troubled
when you are.'

'You haven't tried it yet, dear,' sagely returned Marian; 'and you
don't know what it is to live like poor people. Think better of it; and
I will have a _distang-gay_ lady to go about with us; and we will fill
the place with company, and have lots of gaieties. Do, pray, think what
you will be giving up, before you make up your mind.'

But she found that Lilian was not to be tempted; and Marian was at
length brought to see that her arguments were of no avail. So I think
she satisfied herself with the reflection that she had done all
that could be expected of her, only stipulating that Lilian should
acknowledge her generosity to 'people,' as she indefinitely termed the
Fairview world.

'It is only fair that it should be made known that I was ready to act
generously, you know.'

Lilian promised that it should be made known. Moreover, when at length
matters were finally settled, Marian begged Lilian to take anything
which she had a fancy for with her.

'I mean, of course, the things that have been given to you, you know,'
she said a little hurriedly, as though afraid that her generosity might
be interpreted too literally; adding, with a little laugh: 'If you took
_everything_ you fancied, there would be nothing left at Fairview, I
expect! But there; just say what is yours, and I will take your word
for it!' she ejaculated, in another outburst of good-nature.

If it had been left to Lilian, very little would have been taken from
Fairview. But it was not left to her; and Mrs Tipper and I were more
business-like, and did not hesitate to secure for Lilian not a few
valuables. That little lady recollected a great many things which had
been named by Mr Farrar as gifts to his child. Fortunately for her, he
had been in the habit of talking about any new purchases which he made
to add to the glories of Fairview, as presents to Lilian. In fact, had
we kept strictly to the letter of Marian's offer, and taken whatever
had been given to Lilian, we might have carried away nearly everything
the house contained. As it was, we did not scruple to claim a great
deal. Her mother's jewellery; a nice little collection of pictures;
the grand piano, which had been a birthday present; and an endless
assortment of valuables, even to a new silver dinner-service. For the
last, we were indebted to Saunders, who reminded Mrs Tipper and Lilian
that Mr Farrar had mentioned at the dinner-table having ordered the new
pattern expressly for his daughter, by-and-by, naming the cost. Poor Mr
Farrar! it is pitiful to reflect how glad we were to avail ourselves of
his little ostentatious speeches, for the benefit of his child.

But in spite of herself, Marian began to look very grave and anxious
as one thing after another was eagerly named by the servants as 'Miss
Lilian's.' They had got scent of what was going on, and were eager to
give evidence of this or that having been given to her. She had made
up her mind to be generous, and strove hard with herself. But when it
came to be a question of a set of diamonds, she could control herself
no longer, nervously questioning as to the evidence of its having been
a gift to Lilian's mother. Was the inscription inside the case--'To
my dear Wife, on our wedding-day'--sufficient to make the diamonds
Lilian's; and would Lilian mind repeating his exact words when her
father put them into her hands on her last birthday.

'Of course I only want what is right; but she wasn't his wife, you
know; so it couldn't be their wedding-day,' anxiously ejaculated
Marian, her eyes dwelling fondly upon the jewels in their open cases.

Fortunately for us, Lilian fled at the first words, and we had Robert
Wentworth to help us, so we battled courageously for the diamonds, and
at length gained the day. Marian was obliged to yield, though she did
so with a sigh over 'Pa's extravagance.' 'He never gave diamonds to
Ma! Why, Lilian will have quite a large fortune to take away, with one
thing and another!' Then, in reply to some allusion from Mr Wentworth
about the fortune Lilian was _leaving_, he was sharply reminded that
it was not hers to leave. 'People seem to forget that it's only my
rights, and if it were not for my generosity things would be very
different for Lilian.' For she was, I think, beginning to feel that her
generosity was not sufficiently recognised, and it required some little
encouragement in the way of being appreciated to keep it alive.

Meanwhile, Mrs Tipper and I were quietly at work in search of a
cottage. We succeeded beyond our expectations; being fortunate enough
to secure a pretty little place on the outskirts of a neighbouring
village, at a very moderate rent, Robert Wentworth giving us material
assistance in the negotiations. Having overcome the dear little woman's
scruples about accepting half of my fifty pounds as my share towards
the first three months' housekeeping, we gave ourselves up to the
business of furnishing; and in this also Robert Wentworth was of much
assistance to us, though I do not think that any one besides myself
attributed it to anything warmer than friendship. Becky and I and a
couple of work-people were busily engaged from morning till night in
arranging and making ready, in order that no time might be lost in
getting away from Fairview before Marian's good-nature altogether
collapsed. Lilian was becoming very anxious to take her departure; and
it was evident that to Mrs Tipper herself the change would be a very
welcome one.

'To tell the truth, my dear, it will be a real blessing to me to live
in a small house and be able to go into my own kitchen again,' she
confided to me. 'You and the dear child will be the company in the
parlour; and I shall make the puddings and pies, and know what's in
them!' she ejaculated, enjoying her little jest.

Of course I did not mean to be idle, though I agreed that the dear
little lady should reign supreme in the kitchen. Becky was to be our
factotum; and very proud she was of the position, making it very
evident that Fairview had altogether lost its attractions for her now.
We began to plume ourselves upon having quite a little model home,
where nothing but love and peace would be admitted. Ah me! it was as
well we should think so!

It was a very pretty, if somewhat fantastically built cottage, which
had been erected for an ornamental lodge at the entrance of a fine
estate, the property of an old but impoverished family, which had
been brought to the hammer, and sold in separate portions. The house
itself--a fine old place, built in one of the Tudor reigns--stood on an
eminence some two miles distant, and had been taken on lease by some
benevolent lady, for the purpose of making a Home for girls who had
suffered imprisonment, with a view to prevent their further degradation.

Our cottage was situated just out of the village, which lay in the
hollow at the foot of the hill, on the side of which stood the house
which I have mentioned as being visible from one part of the Fairview
grounds, and which I so coveted for my married life with Philip. A
little to the left, at the back of our cottage, still stood a portion
of the fine old woods as they had been for many a generation of the
A---- family. The land on the other side of what had once been the
avenue, had been turned into hop-fields and so forth. In front of the
cottage, the space had been so much encroached upon that what had once
been a fine private road was now but a narrow lane. Branching from
that lane, on the right was the village, and on the left another lane
leading to a field, through which there was a right of way to the
railway station; and from the stile of that field ran two paths, the
lane I have mentioned passing the cottage and on to the village; and
another lane at right angles with it, leading through the woods.

There was some little talk of _my_ house soon being in the market,
said the work-people, to whom I was curious enough to put a few
questions about it. The lease was expiring, it seemed, and the present
residents did not intend to renew it. This was news indeed. If, by
good fortune, Philip arrived in time to secure it, how delightful it
would be; the two others I most cared for in the world living so near
us! How delightful to be able to shew my appreciation of the kindness
I had received in some better way than by words! Then I pleased myself
with another pretty picture of the future, in which Lilian and Robert
Wentworth were the principal figures.

That Lilian would very long remain as depressed as she now was, I
did not believe; her mind was a too healthy one for that. Indeed the
reaction had already set in. After the first shock was got over, she
was, I think, not a little astonished at the comparatively small amount
of regret she suffered on account of the loss of her lover. It might
be that she was beginning to realise the fact that her love for him
had never really been what she had imagined it. In one point she was
mistaken. She believed that he also had deceived himself, and was
firmly persuaded that he did not love her and never had.

_I_ knew that Arthur Trafford was in truth suffering the keenest
misery in his efforts to tear himself away from her. He loved her
better than all the world, except himself; and although he had not
sufficient manliness and moral courage to make an effort in the right
direction, I was glad to see he had the grace to be heartily ashamed
of the part he was playing. I could not help being a little amused by
Mrs Tipper's mild suggestions, in the midst of his wild ravings against
his miserable fate. Indeed her very practical advice about looking for
work, and never blaming Fate or giving up hope as long as he had youth
and strength and his two hands to use, was not the lightest punishment
he had just now to bear, Lilian being present, sitting white and silent
with downcast eyes. I think he was almost driven to the verge of
entreating her to share his poverty and challenge fortune with him; but
he did not get beyond the verge. Marian silently watched with keen eyes
and heightened colour, and it was not difficult to read her thoughts.
She still found her position at Fairview a somewhat anomalous one; and
would continue to find it so as long as Lilian remained there; the
latter being treated as mistress, and she herself as much as possible
ignored by the servants.

It was, I think, some little relief to us all when the cottage was
declared ready for occupation. Mrs Tipper and I contrived to spare
Lilian the leave-takings and final wrench of separation from the
home she had always been taught to consider her own. We invited her
to go to look at the progress of our work; and once there, we hinted
that she might just as well remain at the cottage. There need be no
returning to Fairview unless she desired it. As we had hoped, Lilian
was only too glad to avail herself of the suggestion; unconsciously
shewing how much she had dreaded a parting scene. So we three took tea
together in the little parlour, which was to serve as dining-room.
Our drawing-room, as we jestingly called it, on the other side of the
house, was left unfinished, for Lilian and me to arrange, according
to our own taste--in truth to afford some occupation for the former's
hands and thoughts, and to leave no time for dwelling upon bygones,
at anyrate for a while. Mrs Tipper and Becky had contrived to make
it appear quite a festive occasion; the tea-table being spread with
all sorts of little home-made dainties, which we felt bound to make a
demonstration of enjoying, and I verily believe did enjoy a great deal
more than we were conscious of doing, so pleasant was the contrast to
the meals we had latterly partaken at Fairview. We could now freely
shew our thoughts to each other, and that itself was no slight boon,
after being obliged to pick and choose our words, as we had been in
Marian's presence.

Afterwards I left Lilian with Mrs Tipper; I knew that she would put
aside her own feelings in her desire to please the dear little mistress
of the cottage, by shewing an interest in the arrangements which had
been made, &c. And I had to set forth for Fairview again, in order to
make the best excuses I could for Lilian's non-return.

I found Marian very much inclined to take offence at the method of
quitting Fairview. Of course she would have sent Lilian in the carriage
in a proper way; and she ought to have been allowed to shew people what
her feeling in the matter was. 'Going off in that way makes it look as
though I had not been inclined to treat Lilian handsomely; and I call
it very unfair towards me!'

I intimated that Mrs Tipper and I had hoped to spare Lilian's feelings
in leaving the home she had been taught to consider her own.

'But I think _my_ feelings ought to have been consulted too, Miss
Haddon. It's all very well to talk of Lilian's feelings; but it is
not fair to let people think I don't want to do right,' she repeated,
walking to and fro amidst her gorgeous surroundings. 'Of course they
will think so now she has gone off in that way, and all my generosity
goes for nothing! Besides, I was not prepared to be left alone in this
sudden way, the servants all as upstart and impertinent as ever they
can be. And I haven't been able to engage a lady-companion yet.'

In truth, Miss Farrar--I suppose I must give her the name now--had
found well-born ladies (she had made it a _sine qua non_ that the lady
she sought should be well-born as well as everything else that was
desirable in a companion) were either at a premium just then, or they
did not incline towards Fairview, for she had not as yet succeeded in
finding one after her own heart. In her difficulty, she extended the
olive-branch to me; beginning by a little pointedly reminding me that
the burden was already heavy enough upon Mrs Tipper's shoulders, and
opining that I should no doubt be glad of something to do.

'I shouldn't mind paying you a pound a week till I got suited; and,'
she was good enough to add, 'we don't know but what a permanent
engagement might come about, if we get on together.'

I declined with as good a grace as I could, politely but very
decidedly; and then went upstairs to label the boxes and parcels which
were to be sent down to the cottage, and make sundry other arrangements
for a final flitting.



THE JUNGLE AND ITS INHABITANTS.


In an interesting volume on the _Large and Small Game of Bengal_,[1]
Captain J. H. Baldwin presents us with a peculiarly striking picture
of field-sports pursued in the ample game-preserves of India. The
tiger, the tyrant of the Indian jungle, has, as is due, the precedence
over his feebler or less dreaded congeners. Skirting the base of the
Himalayan range, extending east and west for many hundreds of miles,
is a tract of land covered with jungle, called the Terai; this is his
chosen home. Cradled in the long feathery grass of the jungle, he
gambols about in his infancy playful as a kitten, and usually attains
when full grown the length of nine or nine and a half feet. Wild hogs,
deer, and all the larger species of game, are his usual prey; but
sometimes a pair of tigers will take up their abode within a mile of a
village, sallying out from their lair every three or four days to pull
down a bullock or a buffalo, always selecting the fattest in the herd.
The strength of their muscular fore-arms is enormous. Captain Baldwin
says: 'I remember in Assam a tiger in the dead of night leaping over a
fence nearly five feet high, seizing one of the largest oxen, and again
leaping back, dragging the bullock after him across several fields and
over two hedges.'

In his old age, when his teeth become worn, he not infrequently becomes
a man-eater; and such is the devastation he then occasions, that whole
villages are sometimes deserted, and extensive districts laid waste
from dread of these feline scourges. In these disastrous circumstances
the advent of an English sportsman with his rifle and elephants is
hailed as a godsend by the whole neighbourhood.

A tiger when brought to bay often 'spits' exactly like a cat. Contrary
to the received opinion, tigers seldom roar; but at night the forests
resound with the hideous din of their cries, which resemble the
caterwauling of a whole squadron of gigantic Tom-cats. In making a
charge the tiger utters a series of short vicious coughing growls, as
trying to the nerves as the most terrific roar. Tiger-hunting, even
from elephant-back, is always accompanied with danger. One day when
Captain Baldwin and a friend were out beating the bush for tigers,
one of his beaters, a fine young man, 'foolishly crept forward to try
and discover the actual spot where the tiger was hiding. He must have
approached within a few feet of the animal, for it struck but one blow
without moving or exposing its body, and dashed the unfortunate man
with great violence to the bottom of a stony ravine.' He was rescued at
once, but died the same evening, his skull having been fractured by the
blow from the tiger's paw.

In tiger-shooting, when you discharge your piece, whether you hit or
miss you must not move, but standing perfectly still, keep your eye on
the animal and put in a fresh cartridge. Many lamentable accidents have
occurred from sportsmen going rashly up to fallen tigers, erroneously
supposing them to be dead. One or two stones should always be thrown
first, to see what power of mischief is left in him, for it is quite
possible that he may require another ball as a quietus.

A tiger cannot climb trees, but he can spring to a considerable height,
and this should be remembered in shooting them from what are called
machāns, a sort of framework of poles resting on the higher branches
of a tree. An officer, some years ago, in Central India got into a
tree which overhung a water-course to watch for tigers. He was a
considerable way up the tree, but he did not advert to the fact that
the high bank of the ravine behind him was almost on a level with him.
In no long time a tiger came to drink, and he fired at and hit it, but
failed to kill it; when the enraged brute rushed up the bank to the
higher ground behind, and springing upon him, dragged him out of the
tree, and bit and tore him so frightfully that he died very soon after
he was rescued.

Powerful and ferocious as the tiger is, he is afraid of the wild-dog. A
pack of these ravenous creatures, finding strength in their union, will
set upon, kill, and devour a tiger.

In the opinion of some old Indian sportsmen, the panther is even more
to be dreaded than the tiger. He is a large, powerful, thoroughly
ferocious brute. In old age he also sometimes takes to man-eating, but
not so often as the tiger does. Our author, however, gives an instance
'of one in Gwalior who had devoured over fifty human beings, and was
the terror of the whole district.' One evening Captain Baldwin, along
with a friend, was perched in a tree in an open part of the jungle,
near the carcase of a cow, which had been killed as was supposed by a
tiger. The body was covered with birds of prey struggling and fighting
over it like so many feathered demons, when suddenly a great commotion
occurred among the noisy diners-out, and with a whish-h-h of their
heavy wings they left their dainty fare, and flew into the trees close
by, making way as it appeared for their betters, for very soon a huge
brute approached the carcase, and began to tear and gnaw at the flesh.
'A tiger!' whispered the captain to his companion. 'No; a very large
panther,' answered the other, firing as he spoke, but not killing
the animal. In a minute he recovered himself, and springing up, made
straight for the tree. It was an ugly situation, for although a tiger
cannot climb a tree, a panther can, as well as a cat. As he approached,
another shot was fired at him, which passed between his fore-legs, and
he paused and looked up. 'Never,' says our author, 'shall I forget the
devilish expression of that terrible countenance.' An awful moment of
suspense followed, during which Captain Baldwin contrived to give him
his quietus.

The leopard resembles the panther, but is smaller, and altogether a
less formidable animal. It never attacks man, and rarely shews fight
unless brought to bay, when, like all the felidæ, it is more or less
dangerous. The lynx, which is smaller than the leopard, is a rare
animal; and the cheetah or hunting leopard is also comparatively
seldom met with in a wild state.

The bear, which we are accustomed to associate with cold countries,
such as the north of Europe and North America, is also very frequently
met with in the very hottest parts of India. Here, as in colder
countries, he is a sagacious animal, and varies his carnivorous diet
with berries, sugar-cane, honey, and every kind of insect he can get
at. It is a mistake to suppose that they hug their victim to death;
they draw him towards them with their paws, and bite him on the face
or arm. A bear's paw, from the huge curved claws with which it is
garnished, is a very terrible weapon. They almost invariably strike a
man in the face; and Captain Baldwin tells us of a native named Dhun
Singh, 'who was a most enthusiastic follower of the chase, and always
joined our shooting-party in the hot-weather months, and who was, by
a single blow from the fore-paw of a bear, disfigured for life in an
instant, and left senseless on the field. He was afterwards such an
awful object that I never could look at him without shuddering.'

The striped hyena is a native of India. He is an ugly cowardly brute,
with an indescribably hideous cry. Goats, sheep, dogs, or a young
child who has strayed from home, are his favourite prey. He never
shews fight, but slinks away from the hunter's presence, much after
the fashion of the wolf, who is also credited with a large amount
of child-slaughter. A fearful loss of life is caused in this way in
some districts by these brutes; and in common with the rest of the
Indian carnivora, government offers a price for their destruction.
The wild-dog is lighter in colour and taller than the jackal. It is a
gaunt, ungainly, ravenous creature, of wonderful speed and endurance.
If once a pack get upon the track of any animal, its fate is sealed.
They even attack tigers and bears, and as often as not get the best of
it. In some parts of the jungle, the wild buffalo are very abundant;
they are always found in herds, which sometimes consist of eighteen or
twenty, but oftener only of five or seven. The bull is much larger than
the cow, and when old is always dangerous.

The dense thick bush and tall reeds and grass which surround the
_jheels_ or solitary jungle lakes, are a favourite resort of buffalo.
There they feed on the rich herbage, and approach the water by long
tunnels in the grass and reeds. The extreme danger of encountering
these creatures is graphically described by Captain Baldwin, who one
evening, accompanied by a native, went down to one of these jungle
lakes, and hearing something move in the long grass, had the temerity
to enter a tunnel. Up to his ankles in mud, and with scarcely room to
move or turn, he was straining his eyes to discover the game, when
there was a sudden crash through the brushwood, and before he could
bring his rifle into position, 'I was hurled,' he says, 'to the ground
with astonishing quickness by a tremendous butt on the right shoulder,
followed by a pair of huge knees on my chest, crushing me down. The
buffalo then commenced butting me with his huge head. I was covered
with foam from his vile mouth: most luckily the ground was very soft,
or I must have been killed. I had fallen on my back, but managed, by
clutching the root of a small tree, to draw myself from under him;
but as I did so and turned over, he struck me a terrible blow on the
back with his foot, breaking two ribs; and then I was powerless, and
imagined all hope of escape to be over. He gave me a bad wound on the
left arm, another dangerous one under the arm-pit, a third on the
hip--all with his horns; and then I found myself lifted off the ground
and thrown a tremendous somersault in the air.'

Stunned and bleeding, our unfortunate sportsman was pitched upon his
head, and landed behind a low thorn-bush at the edge of the lake. More
dead than alive, he had yet sufficient presence of mind to remain
perfectly still. A few yards off he could see his shaggy foe, sniffing
all over the scene of the late tragedy. Satisfied with his victory,
the buffalo then raised his head, listened intently for a few minutes,
and to the inexpressible relief of his victim, trotted off in another
direction. Faint and dizzy, but feeling that he must make an effort to
escape, Captain Baldwin rose, staggered about thirty paces and then
fell over in a dead-faint. When he revived a little he found his Hindu
servant, who had been far too terrified even to try to help him in his
hour of need, crying over him, and trying to bind up his bleeding arm.
In a moment he remembered all that had happened; and motioning to the
man to be silent, he got him to help him to his feet, and with his
assistance, staggered fifty yards farther, when exhausted nature again
gave way, and he fell to the ground, able only to murmur in a faint
voice: 'Water; bring me water!' The Hindu ran down to the lake with
his master's hat, which he filled with water, and having given him a
little to drink, poured the rest of it over his head. He then cut his
linen coat into strips, dipped them in water, and with them bound up
the wounds as well as he could. 'Now,' said his master, 'put your rifle
at full cock on the ground beside me, and run for assistance as fast as
you can.'

He obeyed, and the captain in this almost helpless state was left
alone. Night was beginning to fall; and he could hear from time to
time some animal moving behind him through the undergrowth of matted
creepers and reeds; but he was too much exhausted either for curiosity
or fear, and at last, through sheer weakness, fell into a doze, from
which he was awakened by the glare of torches. A brother-officer, after
a long search, had found him; and although it was many weeks before
he could move hand or foot, he got at last all right again, and was
as dashing a sportsman as before; only he ever afterwards took care
to give a buffalo bull as wide a berth as possible--in which prudent
precaution he is imitated even by the tiger. This latter tyrant of the
jungle, red with the slaughter of scores of buffalo cows, is careful to
treat with profound respect the grizzled patriarchs of the herd.

Wild elephants, which were once abundant in the dense forests at
the foot of the Himalaya, are still plentiful in Assam and Burmah,
where many are yearly caught and tamed for the use of the government.
Elephant-shooting is prohibited, except when a wild elephant becomes
dangerous, and is transformed from a peaceable denizen of the forest
into the morose, sullen, and savage brute known as 'a rogue elephant.'
The Indian rhinoceros is plentiful in Assam and in the Bootan jungles,
and resembles an immense pig, with a long horn curving backwards at
the end of the snout. If unmolested, it is harmless; but if assailed,
it will make a furious charge, when its long horn is an ugly weapon to
encounter.

Wild hogs are very plentiful all through the scrub and brush jungle.
Old males are armed with large semicircular tusks nine inches long.
A more formidable antagonist than a wild boar with these tremendous
weapons in full play need not be wished for. There is no cowardice
about _him_; he is game to the backbone, and will fight to the last,
and sell his life dear. 'Sportsmen have frequently been mauled,'
Captain Baldwin says, 'in encounters with wild boars; and a European
in the Customs Department near Jhansi many years ago lost his life, so
fearfully was he gored by a hog which he had wounded.' The flesh of the
wild boar roasted and eaten cold is delicious.

Passing over the various species of deer, each of which our author
describes, we come to the Himalayan chamois and the thar, which
frequent the rocky fastnesses of the Himalaya, and the hunting of
which is quite as hazardous an amusement as hunting chamois among the
mountains of Switzerland. As among the European Alps, so among the
Himalayan Alps is the sportsman not only rewarded by the fascination of
the sport itself, but by the surpassingly beautiful scenery amid which
it is pursued. Above him rise the magnificent hills, dazzling in snowy
grandeur, cleaving the skies with peaks which tower nine thousand feet
higher than the highest mountain in Europe; below him in the distance
spreads a varied and splendid landscape of hill, forest, and river,
with distant plains luxuriant with ripening crops, shading beneath his
feet into shaggy stretches of woodland, penetrated by deep, well-nigh
inaccessible chasms and glens, abysses of pine, and precipices, and
foaming torrents, such as Salvator Rosa would have loved to paint.
Huge rugged crags tower like vast cathedrals above the giant trees,
their crests covered with gentian and stone-crop; while round their
base cling dark green clumps of rhododendrons, all ablaze with scarlet
beauty, their blossoms shining like points of flame against the foliage
of the splendid walnuts, and apricots behind, whose fruit at certain
seasons literally strews the ground.

Camp-life in such a spot is beyond all things enjoyable. The atmosphere
is clear and exhilarating; a sparkling streamlet gurgles across the
little meadow in which your tent is pitched, diffusing a pleasant
freshness around; radiant butterflies hover above the water, or alight
like living gems upon the long fronds of the magnificent coronets
which crown the giant tree-ferns. The ravine behind you, dark with
forest, is vocal with the mellow notes of unfamiliar songsters. The
eye, as you gaze, loses itself in a stupendous panorama of mountain
peaks, rocky ridges, winding valleys, glittering streams, populous
plains, and pathless fever-haunted jungles; while nearer, on the verge
of the wood, a herd of ravine deer are feeding; lazily you watch them
while you sip your coffee, all unconscious of the close proximity of a
splendid wild blue sheep, which is gazing intently down at you from its
bushy covert. Did you move? The motion was so slight as scarcely to be
perceptible to yourself; but the startled creature rushes like an arrow
down the grassy slope, and threading the ravine, rejoins the herd of
its companions, to whom it immediately imparts the intelligence of your
whereabouts, and in a moment they all make off, gliding shadow-like
and swift along the precipitous mountain side.

India presents a wide field for the researches of the ornithologist,
and is the native home of many of our feathered favourites, such as the
peacock. This lovely bird, superb in its native forests, is accounted
sacred by the Hindus. It delights in patches of jungle by the side of
rivers, where on moonlight nights its shrill discordant cry may be
often heard swelling the savage concert. The red jungle-fowl is very
like the bantam in appearance, but its plumage is more brilliant, and
like its _confrères_ of the poultry-yard, it is very pugnacious.

There are six different kinds of pheasants in the Himalaya, most of
them excellent for the table, and all of them more or less beautiful.
There are also many varieties of partridge. The quail, which is always
fat, is a _bonne bouche_ fit for an epicure. Captain Baldwin says of
it: 'A quail-pie or a quail-currie is a dish for a king.' There are
four varieties of grouse, the largest of which is the sand-grouse, a
very fine bird; but the monarch of Indian game-birds is the bustard.
'It is,' our author says, 'in my opinion the king of game-birds; and
the value of its feathers, its excellence as a bird for the table,
and last, though not least, the very great difficulty of shooting it,
render it a prize to be much coveted.' The oobara is a small species of
bustard; and to a certain extent a migratory bird. The floriken, one of
the finest of Indian game-birds, has beautiful black and white plumage,
and its flesh when cooked is peculiarly rich and delicate. There are
two varieties of it; and several kinds of plover, which, however, are
not abundant.

Different species of crane abound, as do wood-cock and snipe. Of the
latter, as many as fifty or sixty couples are sometimes bagged in a day
in a rice-field or by the edge of a swamp.

On the lakes and jheels in the north of India, below the Himalaya,
thousands of wild-fowl congregate about the beginning of October on
their way south. On the jungle swamps and lakes wild ducks of various
kinds abound; wild geese are also common, as are several varieties of
the shielsdrake. In company with these migratory wild-fowl arrives the
flamingo, a very beautiful bird, with brilliant rose-coloured feathers.
It has, however, little except its beauty to recommend it, for when
cooked, the universal verdict of the mess-table was, 'that it was a
very poor bird.' During the cold season the bittern is plentiful in
Northern India, and unlike the flamingo, is very good eating. On the
banks of large rivers the curlew is sometimes found, and several kinds
of green pigeons abound.

From birds, Captain Baldwin suddenly skips back to beasts, and gives
us a sketch of the Indian hare. Of this little creature there are
two varieties; and they seem to have as hard lines of it (especially
in the neighbourhood of barracks) as their well-known congeners have
at home. With a passing glance at this four-footed martyr, we bid
adieu to a book which is well fitted to inspire not only a love of
sport, but of natural history. Nowhere can this interesting science be
studied to greater advantage than in these wide-spreading Himalayan
jungles, where mountain torrents gurgling down the beautiful ravines,
temper the air to delicious coolness; where great trees grow stately
as masts, making a pleasant twilight with their lustrous unfamiliar
foliage; where gorgeous flowers bespangle the greenery, and round the
overhanging boughs our hothouse ferns cling with ample stems and giant
fronds, forming bowers through which lovely bright-hued birds flit, and
multitudes of insects find shelter, filling the otherwise silent noon
of the tropics with their shrill incessant hum.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Henry S. King & Co. Price 21s.



SUNSHINE AND CLOUD.

IN TWO PARTS.

PART I.--SUNSHINE.


CHAPTER IV.--MISS ANGELA FAITHFUL.

One evening in the fourth week of our hero's stay in town, he took up a
book while he was waiting for his chop, and a card fell on the floor.
This card he discovered was to admit the bearer to a ball about to be
held in the neighbourhood. When the landlady appeared, he asked if the
card belonged to her. She said she had been looking everywhere for that
card; they had had some to dispose of, and they had sold all but this
one; a customer had wanted it, but as she could not find it, he had
procured one elsewhere. Would Mr Webb like to buy it himself?

Mr Webb thanked her, but declined.

'Oh, well,' said she, 'it will be of no use now to us, as the ball
begins at nine o'clock this evening. Perhaps you will accept this
ticket, and make use of it?'

This, after a little consideration, Isaac was happy to do. It would
pass away a few hours, and it would lead to no expense, as he observed
that the ticket included refreshments. He did not suppose he should
dance; he never had done such a thing, but there was no telling, if
once his blood was up. So at eight o'clock Isaac donned a clean paper
collar, took his well-tried friends, his gray thread gloves, and walked
leisurely to the place of entertainment. He arrived there about nine;
and on presenting himself and his ticket, he was directed to the Master
of the Ceremonies, a dapper little man with a short dress coat and very
tight pumps, who did not seem capable of standing still for a minute.
He received Isaac's name and ticket, and danced off with him to the
ballroom; and throwing open the door, announced in a very shrill voice,
'Isaac Webb, Esquire, ladies and gentlemen.'

The ladies and gentlemen addressed consisted of an antique female in
black silk mittens, and two youths elegantly attired in suits from
Moses's establishment, one of whom was whistling a 'fast' tune, and
the other sauntering about with his hands in his pockets. Each of
them seemed particularly careful to give the mittened lady a wide
berth, thus testifying to all whom it might or might not concern that
they were not all members of the same party. Now these persons were
evidently not _au fait_ with the usages of polite society; for of
course they ought not to have been in their places at the time named
on their tickets, but should have been there at half-past nine at the
earliest. But here they were, listening to the tuning and consequent
grating of two violins and a harp, placed on a small platform at one
end of the ballroom. A violoncello was also expected (so the Master of
the Ceremonies in a whisper through the door informed the company), but
had not yet arrived.

In the course of the next quarter of an hour several more squires
and dames were announced; and the arrivals kept on increasing until
half-past nine, by which time (the violoncello having put in an
appearance and all things being ready) the Master of the Ceremonies (Mr
Hoppe by name) opened the ball by the announcement of a polka. That
individual seemed to take a particular interest in Isaac; perhaps on
account of his countrified appearance, for Mr Batfid's productions had
not been designed or intended for a ballroom; or perhaps because he was
a complete stranger. At all events, he now suggested that Isaac should
lead out the antique lady, to whom Mr Hoppe would be happy to introduce
him, and polk with her. But Isaac declined the honour, saying that
he 'was much obliged, but that he would wait a bit;' so the lady and
himself were among the few who kept their seats.

Almost immediately afterwards the door was opened, and Miss Faithful
and her niece Miss Angela Faithful, were announced. Miss Faithful
looked about fifty-five or sixty years of age; she was tall and slight,
and had evidently been a beauty in her day. Such was her niece now;
there could be no two opinions about it. Even Isaac, who had no great
appreciation of feminine charms, was sensible of it the instant she
entered the room. She was tall, and her figure was beautifully shaped;
she had dark hair and eyes, a brilliant complexion, and features almost
faultless. Moreover, she was dressed quietly, but in excellent taste.
Before Miss Angela Faithful had been in the room many minutes, Isaac
became aware of a peculiar sensation wholly unknown to him. Unqualified
admiration it certainly was; but anything more? Well, he could hardly
tell. He certainly felt interested in her, and desirous of a better
acquaintance. But he did not know how this was to be done. Of course
the most natural and proper thing to do was to obtain an introduction,
and ask her to dance; but for the first time in his life Isaac Webb did
not feel unlimited confidence in his own powers. And the feeling was
reasonable; for to attempt to dance in public without having learned
either a step or a figure, is, to say the least, a hazardous and
serious undertaking.

The two ladies did not remain alone many minutes, for while Isaac was
observing them (at all events one of them), a young man advanced, with
whom they were probably acquainted, for he took a seat beside them,
and at the next dance--a quadrille--walked off with Miss Angela on his
arm to join the set. Isaac watched them take their places, and watched
her through every figure of the (to him) incomprehensible dance; and
when it was ended, his eyes followed her round the room and back to her
seat. Her partner then left her; but his place was almost immediately
filled by a lean young man with yellow hair, who was brought up and
introduced by Mr Hoppe. Again Isaac watched her take her place by her
partner--this time in a waltz; and as he put his arm round her waist,
and she placed her hand on his shoulder, Isaac thought he should like
to be in a similar position; and as the yellow young man did not
excel in the mazy dance, Isaac fancied he could make quite as good a
performance of it. But he let the next dance begin; and towards the
end of it he made his way to Mr Hoppe, and requested the favour of an
introduction to Miss Faithful.

'Do you mean the old lady?' asked the Master of the Ceremonies;
'because if you do, I warn you she is as deaf as a beetle, and if you
talk so as to make her hear, you will have all the people in the room
stand still to listen to you.'

'I mean the young lady,' said Isaac; 'and just tell me,' he added, 'the
proper thing to say when you ask a person to dance.'

'We commonly say,' replied Mr Hoppe: '"May I have the honour of dancing
this quadrille with you, if you are not engaged?" But gentlemen may
vary it according to taste.'

'All right; of course,' returned Isaac. Whereupon they walked to where
Miss Angela Faithful, just left by her last partner, was sitting. Mr
Hoppe went through the introduction; and Isaac, who, to tell the truth,
felt very ill at ease, repeated the formula given him by the Master of
the Ceremonies. Angela looked at her list of engagements, hoping to
find she was bespoken for this dance, without remembering the fact; but
such was not the case; so with a whispered 'With pleasure,' she took
his arm, and they stood up in a polka.

When the dance commenced, Isaac never felt so uncomfortable in his
life. Where to put his feet he didn't know, and where to turn he
didn't know. If he turned one way, it was evidently contrary to his
partner's expectations, for they pulled different ways; if he turned
another, he ran a-muck into another couple; and this on one occasion
was nearly attended with serious consequences; and it was only by
tearing a rent in his partner's dress that he was able to save himself
a sprawl upon the chalked floor. To the spectators the performance
was very diverting. To see this long clumsy yokel floundering about
with so handsome and graceful a girl and so good a dancer, put one in
mind, as a gentleman remarked to his neighbour, of the Beauty and the
Beast. At length, after two or three turns round the room, Isaac was
obliged to give in; not indeed through any feeling that he was making
an exhibition of himself (for of that he was wholly unconscious), but
from sheer inability to keep his footing any longer. With his head in a
whirl, he conducted his partner to a seat and fell into one himself. At
the end of a few minutes, she retired from the ballroom to get the rent
in her dress made whole; and when she was gone, Isaac sought out Mr
Hoppe, and asked him if he could tell him who the lady was and whence
she came.

Mr Hoppe could only inform him that she lived somewhere in Holloway
with her deaf aunt, her present chaperon; that her father and mother
were dead; and that the only relative she had nearer than the aforesaid
aunt, that he knew of, was a brother living abroad.

Isaac hinted about money.

'Oh,' said the little man, rather amused, 'she is not badly off in
that respect; for she has a nice little bit from her mother, and
considerable expectations from her aunt, I have heard.'

O Isaac, you are a deep dog! But you had no idea that on the other side
of the canvas partition by which you were standing were a pair of ears,
intently taking in every word that passed--the possessor of those ears
being Miss Angela Faithful. No, Isaac; you simply thought that here
was the very object you were in quest of, and that you must pursue the
subject further.


CHAPTER V.--OUR HERO IS FULFILLING HIS DESTINY.

In a few minutes after the foregoing conversation, the fair subject
of it returned to the ballroom somewhat flushed, thereby heightening
the effect of her charms, as Isaac acutely observed. She returned to
her original seat beside her aunt, and in lieu of conversation smiled
once or twice upon that lady. It was indeed of no use to talk, as Mr
Hoppe had remarked, and the usual medium of communication--a slate and
pencil--had been forgotten and left at home.

Isaac arose from his seat in order to obtain a better view of his
charmer; for as certain reptiles are said to be influenced by dulcet
sounds, so was that wily creature Isaac Webb under the spell of female
beauty. And not merely beauty. 'A nice little bit' from a mother, and
'considerable expectations' from an aunt, formed a most delightful
_tout ensemble_ and subject for reflection. So he stood and watched
her for a few minutes with his hands in his pockets, and nervously
balancing himself first on one leg and then on the other, until at
length he began to flutter himself, as it were, towards his siren;
just as a sombre moth beats about a strong light ere it offers itself
up, a willing victim, on the pyre of its own supineness. Besides,
Isaac was the more attracted towards her by reason of the furtive
glances which the young lady cast in his direction; for although
she was surrounded by a number of young men--other moths of varied
hue--still their attentions did not seem to satisfy her; and so it
happened that Isaac finally took unto himself what appeared to be (even
to his unsophisticated mind) a half-bashful, yet a wholly meaning
and appealing glance, and joined the circle of admiring swains. He
speedily, with Miss Angela's co-operation, found himself near her, and
when opportunity offered, volunteered to conduct her to the refreshment
buffet--an invitation that was promptly accepted; so he in triumph
led her off, to the no small surprise and vexation of his jealous
rivals. Arrived at the buffet, he handed, with the most feeble attempt
at graceful politeness, such comestibles and beverages as his fair
partner would partake of, with no further mishap than the breakage of
a wine-glass and the imperilling of a large glass epergne by collision
with his elbow, and the consequent vibration of the structure to its
very foundation. The light repast now under discussion brought to
his recollection the more important one of supper; and our hero, who
had become quite a gallant by this time, broached the subject to his
companion, assuring her with all the warmth of which he was capable
that 'he was certain he wouldn't be able to swallow a morsel unless she
was by him to give his food a relish,' and as he beautifully expressed
himself in metaphor, 'sharpen his appetite like a strop does a razor.'

How could any young lady take upon herself the responsibility of a
hungry gentleman's enforced fast? Angela felt that _she_ could not, so
promised to accompany Isaac to supper; reminding him, moreover, that he
must engage her for the dance immediately preceding that gastronomic
event. This her admirer pledged himself to do; swallowing with a gulp
the fears that would intrude themselves as to what the effect of the
dance would be upon his appetite. All he hoped was that it wouldn't
be a waltz, a polka, or a schottische; and in this frame of mind he
returned with his partner to the ballroom.

'I have been looking for you, Angela; will you sing a song?'

Isaac turned round, and recognised in the speaker the young man who
had been Angela's partner in her first dance that evening. He bowed
slightly to her companion as he paused for her reply.

'With the orchestral accompaniment?' she asked.

'Certainly, if you prefer it,' he answered; 'but a piano has been
brought in, and your voice may possibly feel more at home with that.'

'But I do not like to be the first to begin,' she urged diffidently.

'Oh, never mind about that; there is no one here can do it better,
I'll engage; and if it will add to your courage, I will play the
accompaniment, or turn over the leaves for you, whichever you like.'

'O no; you must accompany me. But it was the merest chance that I
brought any songs with me.' With that, she bowed to her late partner,
took the young gentleman's arm, and walked over to the piano.

In a few minutes her voice rose above the chat and murmur of the
ballroom, and the purity of its tone and the unaffected and pleasing
manner of the singer, enforced silence even among those who were not
music-lovers. Among these Isaac might certainly be included; for
beyond the performances on a harmonium in Dambourne End church on
Sundays and an occasional German band or barrel organ on week-days,
his opportunities of hearing music had been exceedingly limited. But
perhaps it was this very ignorance of the subject that caused him
now to drink in with the greatest delight--an almost exaggerated
delight--every note and every word that fell from the charming
songstress's lips. The composition itself was of no particular merit;
it was simply a melodious English ballad; but the voice and manner of
the singer, assisted by the tasteful execution of the accompaniment,
seemed to fascinate all present, and a unanimous burst of applause at
the conclusion testified to their appreciation of the performance.

And now dance and song followed each other in quick succession, and
Isaac was unable to get near Angela, or even to catch her eye, for she
had been so much sought after, and had joined in almost every dance.
She was indeed the belle of the evening; and many eyes other than those
of Isaac followed her as she threaded the intricacies of the Lancers or
Caledonians, or was whirled along by her partner in the giddy waltz or
polka.

As for Isaac, he had, to his great comfort, remained quite unnoticed,
except on one or two occasions, when his fascinated gaze had led him
from his vantage-ground against the wall, and he had found himself
among the dancers. On each of these occasions he had suffered much,
having been severely jostled by one couple, his favourite corns
trodden on by a second, and himself finally sent back with a bound to
his former position against the wall by a third. Nor did he obtain
sympathy from any of them--nothing but scowls.


CHAPTER VI.--A PRESSING INVITATION.

At length Mr Hoppe, in obedience to a previous request from Isaac,
came to inform him that at the conclusion of the next dance--a
quadrille--there would be an adjournment for supper. Our hero took this
opportunity of asking about the gentleman by whom Angela's song was
accompanied.

'I can give you no account at all, sir,' said the Master of the
Ceremonies; 'though there are not many gents in this neighbourhood that
I have not some knowledge of.'

Isaac meanwhile looked about for Angela, and soon discovered her
sitting with her aunt and the unknown gentleman.

'You come to claim your engagement,' she said, as she rose and took his
arm.

'You look tired,' remarked Isaac, feeling he must say something, and
the fact of her looking tired and flushed having struck him first.
'Besides,' he thought, 'women like to be told they look tired.'

'Do you think so?' she replied with a slight blush, as they walked
round the room. 'I should scarcely have thought you would have noticed
it; but I _am_ rather tired,' she continued, 'as I have been dancing
a great deal; and besides that, I feel excited as well, for I have
had a very unexpected pleasure to-day. My dear brother, who has been
abroad for some years, returned to London to-day without giving us any
notice of his coming. He arrived at our house a very short time before
we started here, and as he would not hear of my giving up the ball, he
came too.'

'Was it your brother who played for you when you sang?' asked Isaac.

'Yes,' she replied. 'It is an old song we learned together many years
ago; and as he is a very ready player, it was no trouble to him to
accompany me.'

While they thus conversed, the quadrille had been formed, and now the
dance was just about to begin.

'Shall you mind very much if we do not dance this time?' inquired
Angela of her companion.

'Not at all,' answered Isaac, much relieved; 'not if I may talk to you
instead,' he added shyly.

He had committed himself now to a task far more difficult to him than
even dancing a quadrille; for of what topics to choose as conversation
with the fair creature by his side, he had not the slightest idea. So
they walked on in awkward silence.

'Would you mind making me known to your brother?' Isaac at length asked.

'I will with pleasure,' she returned; and seeing him approach in their
direction, she caught his arm, and introduced him to Mr Webb as her
brother Herbert, from abroad.

'Very pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr Webb,' said he. And then,
after a pause, and with an almost imperceptible glance at Isaac's
clothes and general appearance, he continued: 'If it is not a rude
question, are you a resident in London, or merely making a short stay
in it?'

Isaac hated to be questioned; but he _must_ answer; there was no help
for it. 'I am staying for a time here,' he said vaguely, 'but my
regular home is in the country.'

'Staying with friends, I suppose?' pursued Mr Faithful, not at all
abashed.

'No,' answered Isaac; 'I am staying at a coffee-house.'

'You must find it dull sometimes,' said his irrepressible questioner;
'but I presume you have friends in the neighbourhood, or some business
to occupy your time and attention?'

Isaac thought it might save further questioning if he gave a little
voluntary information.

'I am staying in London for a few weeks for a little change,' he
replied. 'I have no friends here, nor any particular business; but I am
used to being much alone, so that I do not find it dull.'

'That will not, I hope, prevent me improving my acquaintance with you.
I am at present staying with my aunt; in fact, I only arrived in London
this afternoon, so have had no time to seek other lodging, even if I do
so at all. But speaking in my aunt's name as well as in my own, I hope
you will favour us with a call. You will excuse my card, for I have
not one with me; but I daresay aunt has her case in her pocket, as she
seldom used to go anywhere without it.--Do you mind feeling for it,
Angela?'

She presently returned with a card, to which her brother added his
name. 'We shall be glad to see you at any time,' he said, handing it
to Isaac; 'but possibly the evening may suit you better than any other
time, and if so, you will be more likely to find me in.'

Really, notwithstanding his questions at the commencement of their
conversation, he was, Isaac considered, a very agreeable person;
for he had given him the very opportunity he sought, the difficulty
of obtaining which had exercised his mind during his sojourn by the
ballroom wall. He did not consider it singular in the least that
Herbert Faithful should have pressed such an invitation upon him, a
total stranger. No; he was evidently a man of quick discernment, and
had at once probed through, with his mind's eye, a portion of the crust
of Isaac's reserve, and had discovered some of the precious metal
beneath.

Any further conversation at the time was prevented by a general move
towards the supper-room; and Herbert, asking his two companions to
wait for him, presently brought up the aunt, and the four went into
the supper-room together. During the meal, Herbert made himself
particularly agreeable; so much so, that Isaac threw off a little
more of the crust of his reserve, even going so far as to mention
Dambourne End, and to give out a slight glimmer of his own importance
in that place as a landowner. The supper, after the manner of such
entertainments, was not a protracted one, and passed off, so far as our
party was concerned, with no further contre-temps than was occasioned
by Isaac, in the exuberance of his feelings, inadvertently tilting his
chair so that he came in contact with the back-comb of a middle-aged
lady who was sitting back to back with him, thereby forcing that useful
ornament into her scalp. A loud scream was the result; but the lady was
more startled than hurt, and after apologies more or less awkward from
Isaac, she regained her composure and her appetite, and harmony was
restored.

After supper, Angela danced but once, and after singing a duet with
her brother, came with him to Isaac to say good-night. He accompanied
them and their aunt to their cab; and after promising to call upon
them very soon, they drove off, and he returned to the ballroom. But
the place was now without any interest for him; so after wondering
within himself that his heart should have been so easily and speedily
reached, and with a new and indescribable feeling of loneliness upon
him, he bade Mr Hoppe good-night, after an ineffectual attempt on that
individual's part to get at Isaac's habitation and business; and having
made no other acquaintance whatever in the room, he obtained his hat
and departed to his coffee-house.



A MEDIUM'S CORRESPONDENTS.


The Americans usually plume themselves upon being the 'smartest' people
under the sun; but as an acute writer observes, the very admiration
they bestow upon shrewdness shews that the quality is really rare among
them. Your ideal American, spry as a fox, supple as an eel, 'cute as a
weasel, would have a bad time of it if his countrymen generally were
equally spry, supple, and cunning. Charlatans and impostors can only
thrive in a credulous community, and in no country in the world do
the pestilent creatures ply such a profitable trade as in the Great
Republic. In almost every newspaper and popular periodical published in
America, wizards, fortune-tellers, clairvoyants, and seeresses 'born
with a veil,' advertise their readiness to supply psychometrical,
phrenological, and planetary readings, or solve all difficulties
relating to business, love, trouble, and disease, for some fifty cents
or so; while mediums of every variety offer their services to any one
requiring spiritual help--and willing to pay for it.

One of these tricksters, practising in New York, lately came to grief
in a curious way. Prudently dispensing with the paraphernalia usually
affected by the craft, Medium Flint adopted a simpler and less risky
method of swindling, merely undertaking for a fee of two dollars to
act as a medium of communication between his patrons and their friends
in the spirit-world. Any one desirous of obtaining news or advice from
that mysterious debatable land had only to send him a letter addressed
to a spirit and securely fastened; unless that were done, it would not
be answered; Flint's agency being only efficient when his mind was
blank and passive to both questions and answers, and delivering in his
own handwriting simply and precisely what was dictated to him by the
spirit communicating. Of course the recipients of these proxy-written
spirit-replies never doubted their genuineness, especially as they came
accompanied with their own epistles with their covers _intact_.

Unfortunately for himself, Mr Flint gave his wife--'a spiritualist
herself, but not of the same kind as her husband'--good cause to
leave his house; and the abused lady carried away with her not only
the little apparatus by whose aid he unsealed the communications
of his dupes, but the book in which the rascal copied them and the
answers he manufactured; and to make matters worse for the unlucky
medium, Mrs Flint thought proper to publish a selection from his
correspondence, 'to warn people against quack spiritualists,' and serve
for the entertainment of all not concerned. It serves to shew too how
widespread the belief in spiritualism is in the States; for Flint's
customers are of all grades, from the humble individual whose highest
ambition is to occupy a clerk's stool, to an ambassador-elect, anxious
to settle a doubtful point respecting his pedigree, before leaving his
country to represent it at the Court of St James.

Flint warned his patrons of the necessity of putting their questions
briefly, clearly, and distinctly, 'the mixed kind defeating the object
of the investigation.' The hint was thrown away upon most of them.
A young lady signing herself 'Miss Fany Crosby,' with a confusing
contempt for the rules of spelling and punctuation, thus addressed
her dear mother: 'Can you tell me if I will be developed the time you
told me I Wold thrue Mr Foster if not tell me When if you can Will I
be a good Medium Will I wright impressnoley or Makonakley Will I be a
seeking Medium Will I ever see you the same as eny spiret While in the
body can all of our dear Spiret Friends controle me When I am developed
as Will I be controled by a Guid to home they will Dicktate will Ida
alwayse Treate me as she does now will she Mary and do well will Dear
Mattei Ever have Meny children. Will they be Gurls or Boys where can I
Find Some of Aunt Rachels Boys is she with you and is she hapy is Gand
Mother on your sid yet will Liddia out live Harry Can she Be developed
as a Medium Will I ever be welthy can Amandy be a Medium how long shall
we stay in this house will I go into the country this Summer to Liddias
is Ida going to Die soon.'

Miss 'Fany' is but one of many aspirants to the doubtful honours of
mediumship, who, anxious as they may be to receive an affirmative
answer to the question, 'Shall I become a medium?' are not prepared
to accept it as a full equivalent for their two dollars. A would-be
clairvoyant writes to his father: 'I would like to know how you are.
What have they done with your property in Bray? Will I ever get any
portion of it? Please give me advice on business matters. Give me
all the help you can.' Another affectionate son asks his father for
'points' in the patent business. Nathan Crane is desired to instruct
his nephew whether it were best to sell his business or hold on. Fred
Felton wants his brother to tell him if his partner may be trusted,
and if the firm would do wisely to decline giving credit to customers;
while a gentleman 'engaged in making Nature's Hair Restorer,' entreats
Brother William to give his personal attention to the matter, and
inform him what is the best plan to adopt to make the Restorer pay
a profit very soon; although he betrays a sad want of faith in the
virtues of that article, by pestering a number of denizens of the
spirit-world for recipes for the manufacture of hair restoratives,
in the expectation of obtaining valuable information at a trifling
cost; like a litigant who asks the shade of Daniel Webster for legal
assistance concerning certain lawsuits; as if it were likely that even
a disembodied lawyer would give professional advice gratis!

A lady sends a loving greeting to her departed cousin Phœbe, fully
believing the lost one watches over her, and asks: 'Can you see mamma
and I in our daily life here? Can you see my dear loved George? How
long before he will be free from the unlawful bond now entangling
and oppressing him? Will Georgie return to me this autumn? How soon
will we be wedded?' A widower propounds a few 'live questions' to
his dead 'wife in heaven,' and wants to know if she is happy; if she
can come back to earth, or desires to do so; if dear little baby is
with her; and if she can find any medium in Philadelphia through whom
he could communicate with her. Another widower, not without hope of
finding consolation for his loss, wishes his lamented wife to tell him
if he had better sell his business and go to Europe with his patent
rails, or remain where he is and marry Miss Boyd. Jealousy is not
supposed to exist in the spirit-world, or Camilla Stick would scarcely
invite her defunct husband to enlighten her as to the intentions of
a certain gentleman by informing her whether Mr W---- loves her and
will marry her, or whether he rather inclines to 'Cora,' and will
visit that damsel when he goes to Philadelphia. Less excuse for his
inquisitiveness respecting other folk's feelings has Mr Key, who writes
to his brother: 'Can you tell me if my niece Marie will recover and
be a well and strong girl; and who she is in love with? What are my
prospects in New York, and had I better remain here, or go home to my
father? Also if my tickets in the Louisville lottery will gain me a
prize, and what do you think of cotton declining? Will Mr Zoborowski do
anything for me, and does he really like me? Does my sister feel sorry
for what she has done? Will Anna Zoborowski marry a foreigner? Does
she love any other person? Does Alexander love Marie? and does Alores
love Anna? Good-bye, my dear brother. Can you give me the names of some
friends in the spirit-world?' The credulity demonstrated in these and
such other ridiculous questions almost exceeds belief. And this in a
country boasting of its education and its shrewdness!



AN IRISH MISTAKE.


For more than twenty years it has been my custom to recruit myself
every autumn with a walking tour of over a month's duration. By
this means I have seen more of these islands than any one of my
acquaintance, and have had peeps into the inner life of the people such
as few tourists obtain.

In doing this, I never overstrained myself, as is now too often the
fashion. I walked just so far as I pleased, and rested when nature or
my inclination gave me the hint. Sometimes my journeys were made in the
cool of the evening, sometimes in the early morning; often I slept in
the cabin of some labourer, and not once or twice, but a dozen times,
have been forced to make my lodging under the lee of some friendly
hay-rick.

One of these autumns, over ten, and less than twenty years ago, I made
the west of Ireland the field of my operations. Starting from Galway,
in a little less than three weeks' time I beheld the broad waters of
Corrib, Mask, and Conn--had lost myself in the wildernesses under the
shadow of Croagh Patrick--and looked with awe at the bold headlands of
Mayo, against which the restless Atlantic beats with a ceaseless roar.

By the evening of the twenty-first day, I found myself at Ballina, my
mind full of indecision as to how I should occupy the week or ten days
I had yet to spare. To go back over the same ground, I looked on as a
waste of time; to plunge inland was to doom myself to days of weary
trudging through rather uninteresting country. After deliberation, I
decided to head for Sligo, feeling sure that the beauties of Lough Gill
would well repay me my long walk thither.

Next morning I was up early, and, knapsack on back and stick in hand,
started off on my journey.

For the first mile or two, the road was level and easy; but presently
its character changed, and the country around grew poor and wild. It
seemed a land drenched with constant showers, and beat upon by constant
gales. There was nothing to charm me in anything I saw, so I hurried on.

After ten hours' almost constant walking, the country began to improve,
and presently I found myself in the little village of Ballysadare. Here
I halted, for, as may be expected, I was both tired and hungry.

A good dinner, however, soon made a wonderful change in me for the
better. There were still a couple of hours to pass before dark, and how
better could I employ them than by attempting to cover in an easy way
the five miles yet between me and Sligo? Once there, I could make up
by a day's idleness for this day of extra exertion. So, after a short
rest, I shouldered my knapsack, grasped my stick, and started off again.

Once clear of the village, the country began rapidly to improve, and
the scenery at one or two spots was so pleasant, that I was tempted to
loiter. I was not more than half the way, when I suddenly wakened to
the fact that night was beginning to fall about me fast.

'I cannot reach Sligo now before dark; that's certain,' I muttered, as
I hoisted my knapsack an inch or two higher, and began to cover the
ground at my best rate. 'However, the sooner I get there the better.'

Presently, I reached a spot where four roads met, and while I stood
doubtful which to take, a gig driven by some one singing in a loud key
overtook me. At sight of my lonely figure, the gig was halted suddenly,
and the driver ceased his song.

'Ah, thin, may I ask, is your honour goin' my way?' said a full round
voice. 'It's myself that's mighty fond of company o' nights about here.'

'I don't know what _your_ way may be,' I replied. 'I wish to go to
Sligo.'

'Ah, thin, an' it's that same Sligo, the weary be on it, that I'd be
afther goin' to myself,' answered the driver. 'But your honour looks
tired--manin' no offince--an' perhaps you'd take a lift in the gig?'

'Thank you; I will take a lift,' I replied, as I stepped forward and
sprang quickly to the seat. 'The truth is, I feel rather tired, as you
say.'

'An' has your honour walked far?' asked the driver, as the gig rolled
on towards the town.

'I've walked from Ballina since morning,' I replied quietly.

'From Ballina! There, now, the Lord save us!' cried the man, as he half
turned in his seat and gazed at me in astonishment. 'Why, that's a
day's work for the best horse in the masther's stables.'

'Your master must keep good horses, if I may judge by the one before
us,' I answered.

'The best in all the county, your honour, though I say it. There isn't
a gossoon in the three baronies but knows that.'

'Your master's a bit of a sportsman, then?'

'Yes, your honour; an' if he'd stick to that, it's himself'd be the
best liked man from Ballina to Ballyshannon. You wouldn't find a better
rider or a warmer heart in a day's march. But thim politics has been
his ruin with the people.'

'Oh, ah; I have heard that Sligo is rather a hot place during
elections,' I replied. 'But surely the people don't turn upon their
friends at such a time?'

'They'd turn upon their own father, if he wint agin them,' replied the
driver solemnly. 'See now, here I am, drivin' the masther's own gig
to town just be way of a blin', ye see, while he's got to slip down
the strame in Jimmy Sheridan's bit of a boat. Ah, thim politics, thim
politics!'

'Oh, then, there's an election about to take place, I presume?'

'Thrue for ye, your honour, thrue for ye,' replied the man dolefully.
'There nivir was such a ruction in Sligo before, in the mimiry of man.
Two lawyers a-fightin' like divils to see who's to be mimbir.'

'Then I'm just in time to see the fun.'

'Fun, your honour?' echoed the man. 'It's not meself that'id object to
a bit of a scrimmage now an' agin. But it's murther your honour'll see
before it's all over, or my name isn't Michael O'Connor. Whist now! Did
ye hear nothin' behin' that hedge there?'

At this moment we were about the middle of a rather lonesome stretch of
the road, one side of which was bounded by a high thin hedge. The dusk
of the evening was fast giving way to the gloom of night.

'I--ah--yes, surely there is something moving there,' I replied. 'It's
some animal, most likely.'

'Down in the sate! down, for your life!' cried the driver, as in his
terror he brought the horse to a halt. 'I'----

His speech was cut short by a couple of loud reports. A lance-like line
of fire gushed from the hedge, and one if not two bullets whizzed close
past my ear.

As I sprang to my feet in the gig, the driver slid down to the mat, and
lay there in a heap, moaning. 'Are you hurt?' I asked, as I strove to
get the reins out of his palsied hands.

'I'm kilt, kilt intirely!' he moaned.

'Aisy now, aisy there, your honour!' cried a voice from behind the
hedge just as I had gained the reins. 'It's all a mistake, your honour,
all a mistake!'

'Give the mare the whip! give the mare the whip!' cried the driver, as
he strove to crawl under the seat; 'we'll all be murthered!'

Instead of taking his advice, however, I held the mare steady, while a
man pressed through the thin hedge and stood before us, a yet smoking
gun on his shoulder.

'What's the meaning of this?' I asked coolly, for the new-comer's
coolness affected me. 'Did you want to murder a person you never saw
before?'

'I'm raale downright sorry, your honour,' replied the man in just such
a tone as he might have used had he trod upon my toe by accident; 'but
ye see you're in Wolff O'Neil's gig, an' I took ye for him.--Where's
that fellow Michael?'

As he said this, the man prodded the driver with the end of his gun,
while I--I actually laughed outright at the strangeness of the affair.

'Go away with ye, go away!' moaned the driver. 'Murther! thaves!
murther!'

'Get up with ye, an' take the reins, you gomeril you,' said the man, as
he gave Michael another prod that brought him half out. 'You're as big
a coward as my old granny's pet calf. Get up, an' take the reins, or
I'll'----

'Oh, don't; there, don't say nothin', for the love of heaven!' cried
the driver, as he scrambled into his seat again and took the reins in
his shaking hands. 'I'll do anythin' ye till me, on'y put that gun
away.'

'There,' replied the man, as he lowered the gun till its mouth pointed
to the ground; 'will that plase ye? Now, tell me where's Squire O'Neil?'

'He's in the town be this,' replied the driver. 'O thim politics, thim
politics!'

'Hum; so he's managed to get past us, after all. Well, tell him from
me, Captain Rock, that if he votes for the sarjint to-morrow, it's an
ounce of lead out of this he'll be after trying to digest. Now, mind.'

'I'll tell him, captain, dear! I'll tell him,' replied the driver, as
he fingered the reins and whip nervously. 'But mayn't we go on now?
mayn't we go on?'

'Yis, whiniver the gentleman plases,' replied the man. 'An' I'm raale
sorry, as I told your honour, I'm raale sorry at the mistake.'

'Well, I'm pleased, not sorry,' I replied, laughing, 'for if you'd hit
me, it wouldn't have been at all pleasant. But let me advise you to
make sure of your man next time before firing. Good-night.'

'Good-night, your honour, good-night,' cried the man, as Michael
gave the mare the whip, and sent her along at the top of her speed
to the now fast-nearing lights of the town. In less than a quarter
of an hour we had dashed through the streets, and halted opposite a
large hotel. Here Michael found his master, as he expected; and here
I put up for the night, very much to the astonishment of every one.
Soon after my arrival, I asked to be shewn to my room; but it was one
o'clock in the morning before the other guests ceased their noise and
allowed me to go to sleep. Next day I slept rather late, and might
have slept even later, but that I was rudely shaken out of a pleasant
dream by a wild howl, as of a thousand demons just let loose. Starting
up quickly, and looking out on the street, I saw that it was filled
with a fierce-looking crowd, out of whose many mouths had proceeded
the yell that wakened me. Dragging on my clothes, I rushed down to
the coffee-room. There I learned that the people outside had just
accompanied Squire O'Neil back from the polling-place, where he had
been the first to vote for 'the sarjint.' Now that this fact had become
generally known, they were clamorous that he should be sent out to
them, 'to tear him limb from limb.' Presently, while their cries rose
loud and long, the squire entered the room--a tall, military-looking
man, with a little of a horsey tone, nose like a hawk, eyes dark, yet
glowing like fire.

'They don't seem over-fond of me, I see,' he said with a smile, as he
bowed to those in the room, and advanced to one of the windows and
coolly opened it. Waving his hand, the crowd became instantly silent.

'Now, don't be in a hurry, gentlemen,' he said in a clear voice that
must have been distinctly heard by every one. 'You shall have the
honour of my company so soon as my horse can be harnessed, I assure
you.'

'Eh, what! what does he mean?' I asked of a person next me. 'Surely he
will not venture out among these howling fiends?'

'That is just what he is going to do,' replied my companion. 'There is
no use talking to him. He has given orders for the mare and gig to be
got ready, and it's as much as any one's life is worth to try to stop
him. Wolff by name, and wolf by nature; he's enraged at having to steal
down here last night like a thief. Ah, there the fun begins! Look out!'

As my companion spoke, he griped me by the arm, and dragged me close
against a space between two windows. Next moment, a shower of stones
crashed through the windows, leaving not a single inch of glass
unbroken. Then, at longer or shorter intervals, volley followed volley,
till the floor of the room was completely covered with road-metal
and broken glass. Presently, there was a lull in the storm, and the
crowd became all at once as silent as the grave. In the hush, I could
distinctly hear the grating sound of the opening of some big door
almost under us. I looked inquiringly at my companion.

'It's the entry doors being opened to let the wolf out,' he said in
reply. 'Ah, there he is.'

I glanced out of the window, and saw the squire alone in his gig, a
smile on his face, his whole bearing as cool and unconcerned as if
there was not a single enemy within a thousand miles. Then I heard the
great doors clang to, and as they did so, the crowd gave vent to a howl
of delighted rage.

At the first appearance of the squire in his gig, the people had swayed
back, and left an open space in front of the hotel. Now they seemed
about to close in on him, and one man in the front stooped to lift a
stone. Quick as lightning, the hand of the squire went to his breast,
and just as the man stood upright to throw, I heard the sharp crack
of a pistol. The man uttered a wild shriek of pain, clapped his hands
to his cheeks, and plunged into the crowd. The bullet had entered at
one cheek and gone out at the other, after tearing away a few teeth in
its passage. The man was the very person who had made the mistake in
shooting at me over-night.

'A near nick that for our friend,' said the squire in his clear voice,
while the crowd swayed back a pace or two. 'But the next will be nearer
still, and I've nearly half-a-dozen still left. Now, will any of you
oblige me by stooping to lift a stone?'

He paused and glanced round, while every man in the crowd held his
breath and stood still as a statue.

'No? you won't oblige me,' he said presently, with a sneer. Then
fierce as if charging in some world-famous battle: 'Out of my way, you
scoundrels! Faugh-a-ballagh!'

At the word, he jerked the reins slightly, and the mare moved forward
at a trot with head erect, and bearing as proud as if she knew a
conqueror sat behind her. Then, in utter silence, the crowd swayed
to right and left, leaving a wide alley, down which the squire drove
as gaily as if the whole thing were some pleasant show. When he had
disappeared, the crowd closed to again, utterly crestfallen. Then for
a short time the whole air was filled with their chattering one to
another like the humming of innumerable bees; and presently, without a
shout, and without a single stone being thrown, the great mass melted
away.

Next morning, at an early hour, I left Sligo as fast as a covered
conveyance could carry me. I did not care to wait for the slower means
of escape by foot, fearful that next time a mistake was made with me
the shooting might possibly be better than it was at first.



PROCESSIONARY CATERPILLARS.


'While out for a walk the other day we came across a curious incident
in natural history. At Cap Martin, about two miles from Mentone, our
attention was attracted by something by the roadside which looked at
a little distance like a long thin serpent. At first we thought it
best not to go very near, but curiosity prevailed, and upon closer
inspection we found it was a long line, consisting of ninety-nine
caterpillars, crawling in single file close after one another. Our
curiosity led us to remove one from the middle, a little distance from
the others, and we found his place was soon filled up; but he crawled
back to them and edged his way into the line again. Then we removed the
leader: this brought them for a time to a standstill. After a little
while they began to move on, and then we put the original leader in his
proper place, but this brought them again to a standstill; and from the
way they moved their heads from side to side, a great deal of talking
seemed to be going on, and they decided their original leader was not
fit to lead, and they chose another, while he had to make his way
into the line lower down. A little farther on we saw another line of
forty-four coming up in the opposite direction, and we were curious to
see what would happen when they met, imagining they might perhaps have
a fight; but such was not the case: they joined the others by degrees,
and so made a much longer line and marched on.

'We have since heard they climb some particular kind of trees, and make
their nests in them, which has a very injurious effect, and often kills
the trees, unless the branches are cut off which hold the nests.'

In an interesting little work on _Insect Architecture_, published in
1830, mention is made of these social caterpillars, the construction
of their nests, and their processionary habits. The writer says: 'It
is remarkable that, however far they may ramble from their nest, they
never fail to find their way back when a shower of rain or nightfall
renders shelter necessary. It requires no great shrewdness to discover
how they effect this; for by looking closely at their track it will
be found that it is carpeted with silk, no individual moving an inch
without constructing such a pathway both for the use of his companions
and to facilitate his own return. All these caterpillars, therefore,
move more or less in processional order, each following the road which
the first chance traveller has marked out with his strip of silk
carpeting.' Further remarks are made of two species 'more remarkable
than others in the regularity of their processional marchings.'
'These are found in the south of Europe, but are not indigenous in
Britain. The one named by Réaumur the Processionary (_Cnethocampa
processionea_) feeds upon the oak; a brood dividing, when newly
hatched, into one or more parties of several hundred individuals,
which afterwards unite in constructing a common nest, nearly two feet
long and from four to six inches in diameter. It is not divided into
chambers, but consists of one large hall, so that it is not necessary
that there should be more openings than one; and accordingly, when an
individual goes out and carpets a path, the whole colony instinctively
follow in the same track, though, from the immense population, they
are often compelled to march in parallel files from two to six deep.
The procession is always headed by a single caterpillar; sometimes
the leader is immediately followed by one or two in single file, and
sometimes by two abreast. A similar procedure is followed by a species
of social caterpillar which feeds on the pine in Savoy and Languedoc,
and their nests are not half the size of the preceding; they are more
worthy of notice from the strong and excellent quality of their silk,
which Réaumur was of opinion might be advantageously manufactured.
Their nests consist of more chambers than one, but are furnished with
a main entrance, through which the colonists conduct their foraging
processions.'

The lady whose remarks are recorded above has since written that the
species she observed feeds upon the pine-trees in the neighbourhood of
Mentone.--S. W. U. in _Hardwicke's Science-Gossip_.



THE TOMB AND THE ROSE.

(TRANSLATION, FROM VICTOR HUGO.)


    The tomb asked of the rose:
        'What dost thou with the tears, which dawn
         Sheds on thee every summer morn,
    Thou sweetest flower that blows?'
    The rose asked of the tomb:
        'What dost thou with the treasures rare,
        Thou hidest deep from light and air,
    Until the day of doom?'

    The rose said: 'Home of night,
        Deep in my bosom, I distil
        Those pearly tears to scents, that fill
    The senses with delight.'
    The tomb said: 'Flower of love,
        I make of every treasure rare,
        Hidden so deep from light and air,
    A soul for heaven above!'

    A. J. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Conductors of CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL beg to direct the attention of
Contributors to the following notice:

    _1st._ All communications should be addressed to the 'Editor,
    339 High Street, Edinburgh.'

    _2d._ To insure the return of papers that may prove
    ineligible, postage-stamps should in every case accompany them.

    _3d._ All MSS. should bear the author's full CHRISTIAN name,
    surname, and address, legibly written.

    _4th._ MS. should be written on one side of the leaf only.

    _5th._ Poetical offerings should be accompanied by an
    envelope, stamped and directed.

_Unless Contributors comply with the above rules, the Editor cannot
undertake to return ineligible papers._

       *       *       *       *       *

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._





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