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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 703 - June 16, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 703 - June 16, 1877" ***

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 703.      SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



A HOLIDAY IN THE LAKE-COUNTRY.


Let those who have not as yet made up their minds how or where to spend
their summer holiday, turn their steps towards Lakeland. There, beauty
ever changing and ever charming in all her multiform varieties, lies in
wait for them at every turn. Life too among the hills has a free hearty
zest, born of the invigorating mountain breezes, which you search for
in vain elsewhere. The wind, as it sweeps along the hill-side, recalls,
as it fans the weary brow, the quick glad feeling of existence, the
exuberance of gay animal spirits, which were natural and unprized in
careless boyhood, but which are too often extinguished by the cares
assumed with advancing years.

The steep roads, the green hill-slopes, the peaceful mossy boulders,
the picturesque nooks, in which nestle quaint little homesteads, and
the broad calm lake stretching out like a great embossed silver shield
at your feet, with the deep shadows of the hills shading into purple
gloom in its shining ripples--who that has once seen such a picture,
particularly in sunshine, can ever forget it?

In winter evenings, when the curtains are snugly drawn, and the howling
storm shut out, and the firelight tinges all around with its warm ruddy
glow, pleasant visions of the breezy fells, and the great hills with
their changeful lights and shadows, and the leafy copses running down
to the edge of the water, recur to the memory. You are again in the
swiftly gliding boat; you lean over to gather the water-lilies, or to
gaze into the clear pebbly-bottomed abysses of that softly yielding
flood. Again you see mirrored in its crystal depths the straggling
rifts of vapour, or the long rippling beaches of cloud. The sweet
do-nothingness of the hour, its gay insouciance, or its vanished
romance, are with you once more, and charm you as of old. It is with
a feeling of half-sad tenderness that you turn away from the mental
photograph, and leaving it safe in memory's keeping, go back to your
busy commonplace world.

Mr Payn, in his beautiful volume entitled _The Lakes in Sunshine_
(Windermere: J. Garnett), gives us a sparkling description of
Lakeland. He begins with Windermere, because, as he says, 'the scenery
of the northern lakes is unquestionably grander and wilder, and they
should therefore be seen after their southern sisters.' Almost every
one has seen Windermere, the queen of English lakes. Many have seen it
as Mr Payn says it is best seen--by a

    Fair couple linked in happy nuptial league
    Alone.

To such, a magic charm clings ever afterwards to each tree and shrub,
investing those never-to-be-forgotten days of delicious idling on its
pleasant shores with a glory peculiarly their own.

Among the distinguished people who have done Windermere and climbed
Orrest Head, to gaze from thence upon the panorama of lake and
mountain and wooded hill and sea which stretch around, was Beau
Brummel, who was, however, much too fine a gentleman to get up any
unfashionable enthusiasm upon the subject. 'Charles,' he would drawl
out to his valet, when he was asked which of the lakes was his
favourite--'Charles, which lake was it we liked best?'

Immediately beneath the tourist, as he stands on Orrest Head, is
Elleray, where 'Christopher North' spent so much of his time. He loved
the mountains around, and might be met upon them in all weathers, in
shine or shower; the shower of course, as is the case all throughout
Lakeland, predominating greatly. As a rule the weather is moist and
often wet, although the dalesmen do not like to have it called so,
or to have any exceptions taken to the lack of sunshine. They are
as irritable upon the subject as a certain Parsee grandee was, who
when his venerable ecclesiastical host, finding a dearth of topics of
conversation, fell back upon that standing British theme the weather,
and blandly observed: 'We have not seen the sun, Sir Jamsetjee, for
many a day,' shut him up abruptly with a stern: 'And what is that to
you, sir? The sun is my god.'

In like manner mist and rain, the tutelary genii of Lakeland, are under
the special protection of the aborigines. There are a number of pretty
houses in the vicinity of Windermere, and land for building purposes is
in great demand, and very difficult to be had; for a dalesman, although
seldom caring a straw about the beauty of the scenery, is passionately
attached to the little bit of land he has inherited from his father,
and tenaciously determined, as he will tell you, 'to hand it forat,'
that his son may be no worse off than he was himself. Unfortunately, he
has no ambition to make him better; and the authoress of the _Cottagers
of Glenburnie_, could she revisit the earth, might find work enough
and to spare amid the untidy and half-ruinous homesteads of the Lake
country.

Towards the southern end of the lake is Storrs Hall, where once upon
a time a brilliant company were wont to assemble, Canning, Sir Walter
Scott, Wordsworth, Southey, and Christopher North. Intellectual Titans!
All that of yore awoke your admiration is here, but not one of your
number lingers to admire! There still are the wooded coombs and knolls
rich in myriad shifting lights of beauty, the might of the silent
hills, the placid loveliness of the romantic lake; but ye have gone,
and the place that knows you no more preaches to the musing stranger an
eloquent homily upon the transitoriness of life, and even of that fame
which we fondly call immortal.

There is not in all Lakeland a more picturesque town than Ambleside.
Here, as most people know, is the Knoll, the pretty little villa in
which Miss Martineau spent the long tranquil autumn of her life. She
built it for herself, and was commended for the wisdom of her choice by
Wordsworth, who did not break into any poetic raptures over the lovely
scenery; but taking a commonplace view of the case, said shrewdly: 'You
have made a capital investment; it will double its value in ten years.'
He also gave her a piece of advice about her housekeeping, which
had more of calculating frugality in it than a superficial observer
would have expected from the poetic temperament. 'You will have many
visitors,' quoth the prudent bard of Lakeland. 'You must do as we do.
You must say to them: "If you will have some tea with us, you are
welcome; but if you want any meat along with it, you must pay for it as
boarders do."'

Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's home, is in the close vicinity of Ambleside,
a sanctuary which Mr Payn would have closed against all pilgrims except
those who can understand Wordsworth's works as well as quote them--a
too severe ordeal, which would well nigh make a solitude of this
classic spot. 'This intellectual winnowing-machine,' he says, 'would
exclude about ninety out of a hundred of the well-meaning but really
inexcusable folks who now request admittance at that sacred gate.'

Opposite the principal hotel at Grasmere, upon the roadside that leads
to the Wishing Gate, is the white cottage in which Wordsworth spent his
early married life, and where De Quincey lived after him, and filled
the little drawing-room with his library of five thousand books. Here,
invigorated by the mountain breezes, or absorbed in his books and the
beautiful scenery, the far-famed Opium-eater made a sudden descent from
three hundred and twenty grains (eight thousand drops) per diem of his
favourite drug to forty grains, and found himself, Mr Payn says, in the
novel position of a man with opium to give away.

One day when he was lounging among the June roses, a tawny stranger
beturbaned and travel-stained asked an alms of him in the Malay tongue.
Of this half-barbarous vernacular De Quincey was profoundly ignorant,
as indeed he was of all Eastern languages, the only two Asiatic words
he knew being the Arabic word for barley, and the Turkish name for
opium. So he tried the dusky suppliant with Greek, which he replied to
glibly in Malay. The end of the strange colloquy being that De Quincey,
divining from the stranger's aspect that he also was an opium-eater,
bestowed upon him a large cake of the precious drug; enough, he
calculated, to serve him a fortnight. The Malay took it, and without
more ado, swallowed it outright, leaving his benefactor transfixed with
horror, staring dumbly after him as he went upon his way.

For some days afterwards De Quincey was not unnaturally much exercised
in mind, and very curious to learn from all passers-by if a man with a
turban had been found dead on the road between Grasmere and Whitehaven.
He was not; but he might as well have been, as far as De Quincey was
concerned; for no shade returning from the ghostly shores of Avernus
to haunt a living foe ever exacted a more terrible vengeance for
unintentional wrong than did the Grasmere Malay. For months he haunted
with persistent animus the opium dreams of De Quincey, and was not
exorcised until he had run the gantlet of every unimaginable horror,
far transcending any atrocity of which a Malay in the flesh could have
been capable.

As a matter of course, in Lakeland there is, for those who like it,
climbing enough and to spare; but there are not a few sagacious
individuals who have no relish for this exercise, and are ready to
exclaim with Mr Payn: 'Of what use are photographs if they do not
convey so accurate an idea of the locality as to save us the trouble
and exertion of conveying ourselves thither! For what is the effect of
the barbarism of walking uphill until the human frame becomes somewhat
inured to it, just as it becomes inured to taking arsenic or any other
deleterious habit? Why, a trembling of the legs, excessive pain in the
knee-joints, determination of blood to the head, singing in the ears,
inordinate perspiration, and a desperate desire for liquids.' Let all
holiday wanderers, not being members of the Alpine Club, take note of
this. Leaving climbing to those adventurous spirits who love it, there
is no lack of beautiful walks for more humble-minded pedestrians, only
they must beware not of the dog, but of the bull. These formidable
quadrupeds abound or did abound; and to find yourself face to face in a
bowery glade with a huge bellowing brute, pawing the ground, distending
his nostrils, glaring at you with his fierce red eyes, and otherwise
unnecessarily exciting himself, is, to say the least, a situation in
which it would be very difficult even for a Sir Charles Grandison to
preserve an equable dignity of demeanour.

At Coniston you can, if a member of the Alpine Club, or qualifying
for that honour, do the Old Man of Coniston; 'but to recommend the
ascent of such a monster is altogether,' Mr Payn says, 'contrary to his
principles.' He rather recommends the ascent of Black Coomb, a sombre
but majestic hill, from which, said Wordsworth, 'there is the most
extensive sea-view in Britain.'

Perhaps, however, O weary tourist, your head may not be of the
steadiest at giddy heights, and it may be as well to pause in lowly
but safe obscurity at its base, and there solace yourself with a
description of its glories:

    Close to the sea, lone sentinel,
      Black Coomb his forward station keeps;
    He breaks the waves' tumultuous swell,
      And ponders o'er the level deeps;
    He listens to the bugle-horn
      Where Eskdale's lovely valley bends;
    Eyes Walney's early fields of corn;
      Sea-birds to Holker's woods he sends.
    Beneath his feet the sunk ship rests
      In Duddon sands, with black masts bare.

Opposite Wallabarrow Crag is the hamlet of Newfield, where lived in
days gone by a worthy clergyman, who was known far and near throughout
the little world of the Dales by the name of Wonderful Walker. In a
worldly sense, less blest than he of whom the poet sings, 'that he was
passing rich with forty pounds a year,' for he had but eighteen, he yet
with the help of this slender income maintained and educated a family
of twelve, and died at the age of ninety worth two thousand pounds!
This of course was not all saved out of the eighteen pounds a year. He
acted as doctor, schoolmaster, and lawyer for his parishioners, and
lent a hand besides at sheep-shearing and hay-harvest; for all which
diverse services he exacted and obtained a modest fee.

Furness Abbey, with its vast piles of splendid ruins, with its lonely
aisles, and roofless dormitories deserted and time-stricken, appeals
to the gazer with a sense of beauty so full and exquisite in its calm
decay, that content with the loveliness that remains, he scarcely
cares to recall the glories that have gone by. Dire have been the
alternations of fate through which this magnificent house of Our Lady
of Furness has passed. In the spacious building which is now used
as the railway hotel, Rogerus Pele, the last abbot, held his state.
Here he was so unwise as to countenance a local rising against Henry
VIII.; and here, when that Defender of the Faith had triumphed over
all his enemies, he received from the ecclesiastical commission a list
of questions, one or two of which bothered him not a little. Had not
he, vowed as he was to the stern Cistercian rule, two wives? Had not
one of his monks one, and another five?--an excess of blessing which
Henry perhaps wisely thought ought to be included in the special rights
of kings only. How did Abbot Rogerus answer these questions? Did St
Bernard aid in his hour of need this degenerate son? It is to be feared
not; for from this splendid house--and sure never was poor Cistercian
more richly housed--the abbot and his monks, obeying the monarch's
stern decree, went forth for ever.

Hawes-water, a lonely secluded lake, with no good inn accommodation
near it, is visited by but few tourists, which is rather a pity, as it
is one of the grandest of the sisterhood of meres, although inferior in
picturesque beauty to Ullswater, of which Mr Payn says, contrasting it
with Windermere, 'that Windermere is very homelike, and makes one wish
to live for ever (or even die) in one of its many pleasant dwellings;
but for grandeur, it is certainly not to be compared to its northern
sister.'

Thus one by one the sweet smiling lakes pass by, the bright summer
days fade away, and the pleasant holiday season comes to an end. The
long shadows lengthen lovingly over Lakeland; the giant hills, like
sleepy Titans, nod a last adieu; the darkling copsewood grows shadowy
and indistinct; the sweet sunny mere in the hollow glimmers in the
distance; the purple haze creeps up the well-known glens, golden with
happy memories; and the lofty mountains we have or have not climbed,
gloom with deeper shadows. What thanks do we not owe to all, lake,
river, forest, and mountain, for many delightful hours and pleasant
memories! Again would we recommend our holiday-making friends to point
their route to Lakeland, commencing say at Windermere.



THE LAST OF THE HADDONS.

CHAPTER XXVIII.--CONGRATULATIONS.


I walked slowly back towards the cottage, taking myself to task for
the foolish doubts and fears which had so oppressed me. How could I
have been so disloyal as to have a moment's doubt? Philip was right: it
was not fair to him! As though the love of a man such as he was, would
depend upon a woman looking more or less blooming!

No doubt I had looked my very worst, standing there in the wood, pale
and fagged and travel-stained, in my shabby old bonnet and mean-looking
cloak; a great contrast to Lilian, in her fresh white pique dress,
and with her delicately beautiful colouring of eyes and hair and
complexion. Of course it was perfectly natural that he should be sorry
to see me looking so worn and faded; all the more sorry because he
loved me. Should not I have felt pained to see him looking in any way
worse than I had expected to see him; and so forth; until I had argued
myself into a state of perfect content again, quite convinced that I
was the happiest of women.

Lilian met me at the gate with outstretched arms. 'Dear, darling,
naughty Mary; if this were a night when scolding were possible! Why did
you not tell us?'

'Dear Lilian, it was wrong, I know. But in truth I was longing to tell
you, only--many things prevented my doing so.'

'But the wonder is how in the world you could contrive to avoid talking
about him! So grand, and noble, and good; I am sure he is good.'

'Yes, dear, he is good;' beginning at last to find it pleasant to talk
about him.

'The idea of your having such a lover hidden up in your thoughts all
the time we were worrying your life out with our troubles! How could
you have so much patience and sympathy with us--with me?'

'Perhaps, Lilian, for the very reason that he _was_ hidden up in my
thoughts.'

'Well, perhaps it was: yes; I can understand that, Mary;' adding with a
little sigh, 'and I think I can guess now why you did not like talking
about your happiness to me, dear kind sister that you are!'

'I am glad that you like Philip, Lilian.'

'Like him! Of course I do; though there is not much credit in liking
one so nice as he is, I suppose. He knows how to pay compliments too.
Do you know he paid me such a nice one, Mary? He said that I reminded
him of you, and that he could trace the influence of your mind upon
mine. I stupidly all the while never guessing the truth! The idea of
your having been engaged for ten years, and once so nearly married,
without your sister knowing anything about it!'

Afterwards there were dear old Mrs Tipper's congratulations to listen
to. But although she was quite as ready as Lilian to say kind things,
and evidently wished to make me understand that she was pleased for my
sake, there was the shadow of a regret in her eyes, and I thought I
knew the reason why.

Pleasant as it all was, it was even pleasanter to be once more alone
with my thoughts. I sat by the open window half through the summer
night, my elbows on the sill and my chin in my hands, trying to get
used to my happiness. 'Tired nature sunk into repose, scarce told of
life;' but a light breath of sound--the faint twitter of a bird--the
whispering of the air amongst the roses clustering round the window--or
the soft rustle of a leaf, seemed to hint that it was dreaming
musically, as befitted a world watched over by the 'silent sentinels
of the night.' It was early dawn before I was sufficiently sobered to
betake myself to bed and attempt to sleep.

When at length sleep came, it was no love-visions which visited me,
only a miserable distortion of what had taken place, as though some
evil spirit were mocking my hopes. I rose pale and unrefreshed. The
blooming process had certainly not commenced yet, I jestingly informed
myself, as I tried to smile at the heavy lack-lustre eyes and white
face which my glass reflected. I could afford no more star-gazing;
requiring all the proverbial beauty-sleep I was able to compass. But I
made the best of myself; and in my pretty fresh morning-dress was, I
flattered myself, somewhat brighter and pleasanter to look upon than I
had been the night before. Lilian came in before I had quite finished,
to 'see after me,' she said, with a tender greeting.

'To begin with: I will not have that beautiful throat so muffled up;
and I will have a bow in your hair and this flower in your dress. Now
don't be obstreperous. Where is the use of being a sister, if I may not
have such little privileges as this, I should like to know!' busily
putting a little touch here and a little touch there to my toilet.

'Yes; that is certainly better--now you look kissable, my dear;' with
a gay little laugh at my consciousness. 'It shews beautifully now!'

'What shews, goosy?'

'The love and happiness, and all the rest of it, child. Only look like
that when he comes in, and I shall be _quite_ satisfied. And remember,
Mary, not that mean old bonnet again--not for the world! Did you order
a new and fashionable one as I bade you, madam?'

I murmured something about a new bonnet being on its way, but could not
speak positively as to its pleasing her.

'If you have ordered another old-fashioned-looking thing, it will have
to be taken back to the place from whence it came; that's all, my dear.
And until it comes, you must wear your garden-hat; it is twenty times
more becoming than that old dowdy thing of a bonnet; and I have been up
since five o'clock, if you please, making it pretty with new ribbon and
a few poppies.'

'Dear Lilian--sister!'

'Tears! Good gracious, Mary, what _are_ you thinking of? Pray, consider
your nose; pray, do not spoil the effect! Yes; that's better; that will
do, my dear;' with a grave little nod of approval, as I broke into a
smile again.

It certainly was rather amusing. To judge by her tone, and without
looking at her, she might have been supposed to be an elder sister
admonishing and encouraging a shy young girl. Ah me! the diffidence I
felt arose from a very different cause, and was of a very different
kind from the diffidence of a young girl. It was nevertheless very
delightful to have her hovering about me thus; her love so palpable in
every word, and look, and tone. It was doubly precious to me just now;
and perhaps she guessed that it was. By the time we were summoned to
breakfast, she had succeeded in chasing away some of my morbid fancies;
and she did not allow me to fall back again, keeping up a constant
patter of merry speeches; at which her aunt and I wore forced to smile.

Whether Lilian was beginning to see deeper into my mind than she had
heretofore done, I know not; but one thing was evident: she could see
the kind of treatment I required, and talked no sentiment. Mrs Tipper
looked a little surprised at her unwonted gaiety, but very agreeably
surprised. Lilian never appeared to greater advantage than in these
playful moods.

'Of course you and I must be considerate when Mr Dallas is here, aunty;
in the way of finding our presence required elsewhere, and making
occasional discreet little disappearances, you know.'

'Nonsense! as though I would allow such a thing!' I replied laughingly.

'And as though such an experienced person as I did not know the right
and proper thing to do!' She could even jest about her experience.

'Then I mean to shew you that the most experienced people may sometimes
err in their notions as to what is right and proper,' I rejoined
lightly.

But when, just as we had finished breakfast, Lilian descried Philip
coming down the lane, she ran off with a gay look over her shoulder at
me. Mrs Tipper was already in the kitchen, in solemn consultation with
Becky over the contents of the larder, intent upon making Philip an
honoured guest. Of course I very quickly had Lilian in with us, and
allowed no more discreet disappearances. Indeed in the first moments of
my happiness it was sufficient to me to feel that Philip was present.
There was even a kind of relief in having Lilian with us; and he
soon found that anything which interested him and me might be freely
discussed in her presence.

It was a glorious morning, and we betook ourselves to the
'drawing-room.' The windows were flung wide; and it was delightful to
look from the cool shaded room to the lovely scene beyond, bathed in
sunshine, the shadows of the light fleecy clouds sailing in the bright
blue sky chasing each other up the hillside; whilst an occasional
sound, the few-and-far-between strokes of the blacksmith's hammer,
or the laugh of a child at play, floated lazily towards us from the
village; even the proverbially busy bee seemed to hum drowsily in the
perfume-laden air.

We agreed that it was a morning expressly intended to be spent in the
half-idle wholly enjoyable way we spent it: renewing acquaintance with
bits from our favourite authors, trying scraps of songs, &c., Lilian
now accompanying him, and now me. Then there were our sketches to be
examined and criticised--have I said Philip was no mean artist?--and
our studies to be talked over, which brought us to Robert Wentworth.

I had already made Philip acquainted with him, so far as it could be
done by letter, and unfortunately, as I now felt it to be, I had given
more than one hint of my hopes and expectations respecting Lilian and
Robert Wentworth. It was therefore natural enough that Philip should
watch her a little curiously when the other's name was mentioned.

'He must be a fine fellow!' heartily said Philip, when Lilian quoted
some remark of Robert Wentworth's.

'He is good,' simply replied Lilian. 'Not very fine, but good.'

'If you interpret what I say so very literally as all that, I shall
have to be very careful in the choice of my words, Miss Maitland,'
laughed Philip.

'I do not want you to be disappointed in him, even at first; and he is
plain, and rather old.'

Plain, and rather old! That was _not_ Robert Wentworth to me; but I
recollected that I was not a girl between seventeen and eighteen, and
made no comment.

Lilian looked flushed and nervous as she slipped her hand into mine,
and went on in a low grave voice to him: 'Could not Mary's sister
be--Lilian?'

He bowed low, with a murmured word or two about his appreciation of
the privilege; and seeing that her face was still shadowed by the
recollection which his use of her mother's name had called up, he
presently contrived to lead to less embarrassing subjects.

After early dinner--Philip had begged that no difference should be
made in the hour on his account--we went into the woods, to pass the
afternoon under the grand old trees; taking with us books, needlework,
sketching materials, and what not, with the persuasion that we did not
mean to be wholly idle. Philip said that it was done for the purpose of
impressing him with due reverence for our talents; but declared that it
was only idle people who could not enjoy being idle. He spread all the
aids and appliances picturesquely about us.

'There; that ought to do, I think. The most conscientious of workers
ought to be satisfied with that--no one would venture to call you idle
now!' he ejaculated, throwing himself on to the turf beside us, his
hands clasped at the back of his head and his gray eyes full of fun and
mischief.

'The idea of your thinking you will have nothing to do but watch us!'
said Lilian. 'We shall want lots of help; shall we not, Mary? water
fetched, and pencils cut, and'----

'No, no; I am sure you are above that sort of thing. Isn't it becoming
the fashion for ladies to be independent?'--persuasively.

'We are old-fashioned, and like to be waited upon.'

He laughed. 'I should like to be useful, of course. But wouldn't
you find me useful to point a moral? Suppose you were to illustrate
the evils of laziness, for instance, and make me the example; eh,
Mary?'--tossing a bit of twig on to my work.

'As though I would encourage you that way!'

'Shew that dimple again, if you please, Miss Haddon!'

'You absurd person!'

'Thank you.'

'I feel an inclination to be discreet coming on,' whispered Lilian.

'Repress it at once,' I replied very decidedly.

Ah, what pleasant nonsense it was! The woods rang out with many a merry
laugh at our quips and cranks and gay _badinage_ that afternoon. Philip
affirmed that our lives had been too sombre and severe, and that he had
only arrived just in time to rescue us from becoming 'superior' women.
The brightening-up process devolved upon him. We could not deny that he
had the power. Lilian altogether got rid of her shyness, and was almost
as frank and outspoken with him as with me. She gaily claimed to be
considered his sister by-and-by; and drew an amusing picture of herself
in the future as a model old maid. 'Not prim and proper, you know--no,
indeed; I intend to be a nice little round woman, to go about loving
and comforting people.'

Philip confessed that he did not greatly affect old maids, but gravely
opined that being round might make a difference.

I defended them as a 'worshipful body,' round or square; though I did
not believe that Lilian would be allowed to be of the guild.

Lilian thought she would use her own judgment about it; but I
recommended her asking Mr Wyatt's advice. At which I was pelted with
bits of grass.

And so passed the hours away until Becky came to summon us to tea. She
gazed so long and so curiously at Philip, who happened to be talking
to Lilian whilst she gave Mrs Tipper's message, that I touched his arm
and explained in a little aside that this was the Becky I had told him
about, and that Becky's good opinion was worth something.

O yes; he had not forgotten; she was my protégée, he replied; going
on to address himself to her, asking her whether she approved of his
coming to take me away by-and-by.

Perhaps it was his jesting manner which she could not understand;
perhaps it was some defect in herself--whatever might be the cause, I
saw that Becky was not so much impressed in his favour as the others
had been. Her quiet decided 'No, sir!' highly amused him.

'Not if Miss Haddon wishes to be taken away, Becky?'

But he could not get her to say any more. When he asked for reasons,
she only shook her head, turning her eyes from him to me.

He tried banter. 'I understood that Miss Haddon was a favourite of
yours, Becky.'

She did not appear to be at all anxious to defend herself to him,
and she knew that it was not necessary to me. She stood aside for
us to pass without a word; though I saw she eyed him steadily the
while. Moreover, I found Becky a little cross-grained, when later I
made occasion to ask what she thought of Mr Dallas. 'He is not so
nice-looking as Mr Wentworth, Miss, to my mind,' was all she would say;
and as I knew that those whom Becky liked were always good-looking,
and those whom she did not affect were plain, I could draw my own
conclusions. I was foolish enough to be a little annoyed, replying
somewhat sharply: 'If you do not like Mr Dallas, you yourself, and not
he, will be to blame for it, Becky.'

'Very well, Miss.'

Something in the expression of her eyes as she turned away made me add:
'Do not you think you ought to be inclined a little favourably towards
the gentleman I am going to marry, Becky?'

'Yes, Miss; I know I ought;' in a low faltering voice. And that was all
I got out of Becky.



RUSSIA AND HER PEOPLE.

A SKETCH.


The outbreak of war in the east of Europe has directed the attention of
the English people to Russia, with a pretty generally expressed desire
to become more acquainted with a country which may be destined in the
future to play a greater part than it has yet done in the history of
the world. This desire is a commendable one, for when two nations shew
a mutual longing to become better known to each other, the risk of
quarrelling is eventually reduced to a minimum, and as in the case of
England and France, a free, hearty, and unchecked intercourse removes
in a wonderfully short time whole ages of prejudice and ill-will.

Russia is, however, a difficult country to become acquainted with, for
the traveller finds himself in an unfamiliar land, peopled by a race
of whose thoughts and feelings he knows as little as he does of their
language; and the information he receives from the persons he questions
is either meagre or untrustworthy.

Her police regulations are vexatious; and on entering an hotel the
traveller is bound, under awkward penalties, to give an exhaustive
account of himself in a book kept for the purpose, and not only to
enter into intimate relations with the authorities, but to have his
mind made up as to his plans, and to purchase a _permis de séjour_ or
_de voyage_ for a certain number of days; and this leave must not be
exceeded without an authoritative extension of it.

The travelling arrangements for those who choose to use rail or
steamer are pleasant, if one does not object to a rather oppressive
atmosphere in the carriages, for during the greater part of the
year the Russian's chief idea is to protect himself against the
inclement climate; and as he keeps the windows and doors of the
public conveyances hermetically closed, involuntary contact with him
becomes anything but agreeable. But if the traveller wishes to gain an
intimate acquaintance with Russia, and to see what is the real life
of the people apart from towns and highways, he must be prepared to
take many a long and tedious journey in a kind of lumbering cradle on
wheels, or peasant's springless cart; for in some vehicle of this kind
he will have to be bumped and jolted the livelong day, plagued with
dust and heat in the summer, and in winter liable to frost-bite and
snow-blindness; while he will probably be unable to get any food beyond
what he carries with him except black bread, pickled cucumbers, and
sometimes eggs. He will also have to sleep at night in fusty rooms,
which are often without beds, and are almost invariably teeming with
insects.

The northern portion of Russia consists chiefly of forest-land and
morass, plentifully supplied with water, and broken up by numerous
patches of cultivation; and the villages are generally composed of gray
huts built on each side of a straight road which at times becomes a
river of mud.

The big white church with its fine pear-shaped cupolas rising out of a
bright green roof; the meadow in the foreground, through which meanders
a sluggish stream; the whitewashed manor-house, with a verandah in
front, standing on a bit of rising ground, and half concealed by a
cluster of old rich-coloured pines: none of these details are beautiful
in themselves, but all combine to form a very pleasant picture when
seen from a distance, especially in the soft evening twilight. Every
little household in these villages is a kind of primitive labour
association, the members of which have all things in common, and submit
to the arbitrary will of the Khosain or head of the family; while the
wife of the Russian peasant is a very unromantic style of female,
with very little sentiment in her otherwise kindly nature; but she
manages to bring up her children on what is the veriest pittance of a
wage, in a manner that would do credit to many better situated English
peasant-women. In the north-eastern provinces of Russia the peasant
has an extremely hard fight to maintain against the hostile forces of
Nature, his field-labour sometimes resulting in no gain at all. He
makes a living in various ways; and for whole days he wanders through
the trackless forests in search of game; or he spends a month away from
his home, fishing in some distant lake; or else devotes the summer to
deep-sea fishing, bringing home, if he is lucky and frugal, enough
money to tide him and his family over the winter.

In the excellent work, '_Russia_, by D. Mackenzie Wallace, M.A., 1877,'
from which we derive many of our facts, the author presents us with
a 'family budget,' which will give a good idea of the expenditure of
a peasant household in the far north. Its income during a tolerably
prosperous year was L.12, 5s., chiefly obtained from the sale of game
and fish. The expenditure was L.7, spent on ryemeal (2240 pounds),
to supply the deficit of the harvest; L.3 on clothes, tackle, and
ammunition; and L.2, 5s. paid in taxes.

As the peasant family of the old type is a kind of primitive
association in which the members have their goods in common, so the
village may be described as a primitive association on a larger scale.
It has an administrator at its head, whose power is limited by the
will of the heads of households themselves, forming a kind of village
parliament, which is directly responsible to the state for the due
and timely payment of all tithes and taxes. Various are the matters
with which this village parliament has to deal, from the election of
office-holders and the periodical collection of the taxes up to the
redistribution of communal land--a subject which is often the occasion
of lively scenes. But when once a decision is given, it is respected as
scrupulously as any of the 'Acts' of our own House of Commons.

Thus we see in Russia the 'commune,' or 'mir' as it is called there, in
full working order; and in a country ruled over by a despotic monarch
it is perhaps the nearest approach to municipal or constitutional
institutions that can with safety be attempted. The mir was instituted
by the present Emperor or Czar, when he carried out that wise and
humane act which will for ever be associated with his name--namely the
emancipation of the serfs; and it has scarcely been long enough in
existence yet to predict what form it may ultimately assume.

The Russian peasantry are, for the most part, grossly superstitious,
and this may be owing in no small degree to the very inferior religious
teaching to which they are accustomed; for we are told that they have
not the faintest conception of anything like an inner religious life,
but are the slaves of mere rites and ceremonies. For example, though
a robber will kill a peasant on the highway, such are his religious
scruples, that he will not eat a piece of cooked meat which he may
find in his victim's cart, because perhaps it is a fast-day; and an
artisan when about to break into the house of an Austrian attaché in
St Petersburg, first entered a church and commended his undertaking
to the protection of the saints, then killed the attaché in question.
It is a species of grim fanaticism which binds the masses in Russia.
The shrines in the public places are crowded with worshippers, who
cover with their kisses the gilded pictures, while showers of small
coins or copper money rattle into the boxes, which the priests hold in
their hands. From these and other circumstances, we are warranted in
saying that the Russo-Greek Church is about the most debased form of
Christianity.

Not very high above the working classes of the towns in the matter of
intellectual culture, come the traders. Many of them are very rich, but
exceedingly ignorant, and do not bear a high character for honesty; but
like every other class in Russia, this one also is being affected by
the great changes which are taking place, and by which the old spirit
of caste is dying out; while a number of nobles are infusing new ideas
into mercantile circles.

Far above the trading classes stand the members of the official
circles, who spend their days at their desks, and while away their
evenings at card-playing, which is carried on to an extent unsurpassed
in any country in Europe. This is doubtless owing to the eternal
dullness which pervades Russian towns, but which one of their poets has
declared to be the essential characteristic of Russian provincial life.

We come now to the _nobles_ of Russia, of whom there is a very
considerable number; but very small value is attached to a mere title,
and there are hundreds of princes and princesses who have not the
right to appear at court, and who would not be admitted into what is
called in St Petersburg _La Société_, or for the matter of that, into
refined society in any country. For instance, not long ago a certain
Prince Krapotkin gained his living as a cabman in the Russian capital.
The only genuine Russian title is Knyaz, which is commonly translated
'Prince.' The bearers of this title are the descendants of Rurik, of
the Lithuanian Ghedimin, of the Tartar chiefs who were officially
recognised by the czars, and of fourteen families who adopted it
by imperial command during the last two centuries. Peter the Great
introduced the foreign titles of Count and Baron, he and his successors
conferring the title of count on sixty-seven families, and of baron on
ten. Of the noble families, very few are rich, and none of them possess
a shadow of political influence.

There are more than a hundred thousand landed proprietors in Russia,
but it must not be inferred from this that they are equal in point of
wealth to our landed gentry at home. Such is very far from being the
case, for many of them are in a state of poverty, the wealthy ones
not exceeding four thousand in number. This latter class includes two
distinct schools of landowners, so to speak; those of the old school
being described as 'contented, good-natured, hospitable, but indolent,
apathetic, and dull;' while those of the later are a roystering
boisterous set, fond of drinking and dissipation, and possessing
a morbid passion for sport of all kinds, however demoralising or
degrading it may be.

All travellers in Russia, from Dr Clarke downwards, have been
astonished, and not a little disgusted with the depravity of official
life. The taking of bribes by persons in authority seems to be
universal, and has been represented as arising in some measure from
the inadequacy of salaries. From whatever cause, this forms a blot on
Russian society, and which we hope may disappear with the progress of
education and intelligence.

In Russia, it is somewhat satisfactory to learn, Mohammedans and
Christians get on very well together, and not only help each other,
but take it in turns to be at the head of their several communes. This
shews that under a tolerably good government the two races may enjoy
a great amount of good-fellowship and freedom, without any reference
whatever to religious differences.

All are loyal subjects of the Czar, to whom all Russians, of whatever
rank or religion, yield an unhesitating and child-like obedience.
But even this great measure of loyalty does not prevent them from
occasionally resisting his authority when great interests are at
stake, as is proved by the existence through many centuries of a
secret society called the 'Raskol,' which all the power of the Russian
emperors has failed to dissolve. So long as the Czar, however,
identifies himself with the enthusiasm of his subjects, and especially
the religious portion of them, his authority within his dominions is
irresistible; but should his policy ever come into collision with
the teachings of the clergy and the feelings of their flocks, the
reverence paid to his sovereignty might be rudely shaken.

The saddest sight in Russia to a traveller is the manner in which civil
prisoners are treated. It is a common spectacle to see three or four
hundred poor wretches on their way to Siberia under a military escort;
for most of them are chained together in couples, while the women and
children who have elected to share their bread-winners' lot have also
to submit to be treated as criminals. Poorly clad, and apparently
half starved, the wonder is that any of the party should ever survive
the dreadful journey. A Russian criminal condemned to exile is sent
away with very little ceremony; but when an officer of the army or
other person of note has been sentenced to banishment for life, he is
dressed in full uniform, and led to a scaffold in some public place.
In the presence of the crowd he is made to kneel while his epaulets
and decorations are torn from his coat and his sword broken over his
head. He is declared legally dead; his estates are confiscated, and his
wife can consider herself a widow if she so chooses. From the scaffold
he starts on his journey for Siberia. His wife and children, sisters
or mother, can follow or accompany him if they choose, but only on
condition that they share his exile.

Mr Arnold in his book entitled _Through Persia by Caravan_, relates
how, when passing through Russia, he saw a party of prisoners
embarked on board a steamer on the river Volga. They were positively
caged amid-ships, so that every part of the interior could be
seen, just as in the lion-houses of the Zoological Gardens, with
this difference--that in the case of the prisoners there was no
overhanging roof to prevent rain or sunshine from pouring in upon their
wretchedness. At the back of the cage there was a _lair_ common to all,
without distinction of sex or age. And when all were secured, including
the guiltless women and children, fights occurred for the places least
exposed to the east wind. This is a system which must surely fade away
beneath that public opinion which is fast becoming too strong for even
autocratic monarchs to despise; for we are told that the emancipation
of the Russian serfs has made a vast legal, social, and material
improvement in the lower orders of the people; and it is to the people
that the world will look for that much-needed reform, which will enable
Russia, perhaps at no distant day, to take an honourable place amongst
civilised nations.

An anecdote is related by Mr Wallace, who, upon one occasion when
travelling on the great plain which stretches from the Sea of Azov to
the Caspian, observed on the map the name _Shotlandskaya Koloniya_
(Scotch colony). Being curious to ascertain why a village was so
called, he made a pilgrimage thither and made inquiry. No one could
tell him; but at last he was advised to ask an old Circassian, who
was supposed to be learned in local antiquities. To this man he put a
question in the Russian tongue, explaining that he was a Scotchman, and
hoped to be able to find a fellow-countryman in the village; whereupon
the old Circassian replied in broad Scotch: 'Why, man, I'm a Scotchman
too!' He explained, however, that he was only a 'Circassian Scotchman,'
being a native of the Caucasus; and as a child, had been purchased and
brought up by the Scotch missionaries, who were then patronised by
Alexander I., but were suppressed in the year 1835 by Nicholas.

Those of our readers who may wish for detailed information as to the
general condition of Russia and her people, may safely be referred to
Mr Wallace's interesting work.



THE DUKE'S PIPER:

A STORY OF THE WEST HIGHLANDS.

IN FOUR CHAPTERS.--CHAPTER I.


It was an unfortunate business--most unfortunate; for the Duke's piper
and the Duke's game-keeper were the best of friends; they never met
at the Glengolly clachan but they had their 'glass' together; nay,
when friends met, such as they--and it was astonishing how often
accident led the steps of both men to the smoky chimney-cheek of Betty
MacDonald's clachan--the glass had to pass to and fro pretty often
before the men parted. And as Betty knew full well that John Cameron
the piper, and Donald MacTavish the game-keeper, her best customers all
the year round, were critics upon whom no adulterated or diluted fluid
could impose, Betty was careful that to them at least nothing but the
best of whisky and stoup-measures--erring, if they erred at all, on the
roomy side--should be served. The natural result of such companionship
and mutual consumption of frequent gills was that John loved Donald
'like a vera brither;' while Donald frequently assured John, as they
stumbled over the moor together in the gloaming, or more often when
the horned moon was high, that not one of his own eight brothers was
to be mentioned in the same breath with John--as regarded his, the
game-keeper's, emotions towards him.

What then were Betty's feelings, late one unlucky autumn evening on her
return from the byre, where she had gone to milk her solitary cow, to
find the two friends in the midst of a hot argument, loud-mouthed both,
and looking at each other across the table, on which stood the almost
empty measure and glasses, with expressions on their honest gnarled
faces that could hardly by any interpretation be termed mild? And this
before a third guest too, a hairy-visaged gentleman whom Betty reckoned
half-daft, seeing that he had spent the last three weeks 'splashin' a
bit o' auld canvas wi' paint, and ca'ed it Ben Sluaigh,' but to whom it
nevertheless behoved her to be polite, taking into account the liberal
rent he paid for her best room. The gentleman sat in his chair with
a tumbler of whisky-and-water before him, taking little part in the
discussion, but smoking diligently with a broad grin, as Betty noted
indignantly as she went 'ben' with her knitting, sorry to hear the
voices of the disputants waxing louder and louder. Betty had a feminine
dislike of argument; arguments in the clachan were generally the
prelude to blows. Her idea of a 'good crack' admitted only of varying
shades, not differences of opinion, softened by frequent application to
the bottle--a good story being not one whit the less welcome because
oft-told. But here were John and Donald glaring at each other with knit
brows, and John, who could never brook contradiction, bringing his
massive fist down on the table so that the stoup-measure and glasses
swayed.

'Ye're wrang, Tonald, I tell ye again ye're wrang--it _wass_ biled!'

The game-keeper thus addressed, only shook his bald head slowly from
side to side, remarking after a pause, with a smile of superior
knowledge that seemed to fan the flame of his friend's anger: 'Na,
John, na: it iss nefer biled.'

'But it _iss_ biled, and iss aye biled, I'm telling ye, and biled in
sweet milk too.--I'm not like some folk, sir,' said the piper, turning
to address the stranger in the arm-chair, 'that talk a lot o' nonsense
apoot what they ken naething apoot.'

'Whether his oil-cake was boiled or not boiled,' said the stranger,
'the bull is as fine an animal as I have seen in the Highlands; though
I was not sorry, as I sketched him, to have the stream and a good steep
bank between us.'

'Noo, John, you are trying to impose on the ignorance o' the
shentleman; that iss what ye are trying to do, John, and that iss no
like ye. It iss verra pad to let the English shentleman go away, and
it iss savages that he'll pe thinkin' we are in the Hielants, to pe
feeding oor young bulls' (pronounced bills) 'wi biled oil-cake, as if
oor young bulls needet oil-cake when they hef cood green grass and
plenty; or allooin' they do need it, to hef it biled, and them wi'
teeth that if they wanted wad crack whinstanes. Oh, but it iss a fine
joke to hear ye talk o' biled oil-cake, John Cameron!'

'I'm telling ye, ye're wrang,' said the piper hotly; 'and it iss
nonsense ye're talking apoot, Tonald MacTavish!--Though, sir,' again
appealing to the stranger's intelligence, 'it iss not muckle that a
game-keeper can ken apoot the rearing o' young bulls; they can tell a
grouse from a partridge in a stubble-field on a dark nicht, I'll alloo
that,' in a tone implying that he conceded the utmost; 'but the rearing
o' young bulls iss oot o' their line; and for a man that has nefer peen
oot o' his ain county from the tay he wass born till the tay o' his
death, to teach anither man wha has peen roond the whole world moreofer
wi' his Grace the Teuk--to tell _him_ apoot savages'----

'I alloo,' interrupted Donald with a friendly wave of the hand, having
filled and emptied a glass while John was speaking--'I alloo that
there iss no petter piper in the county--no, nor in the whole Hielants
moreofer, than yoursel', John Cameron; and it iss the Teuk himself I
hef heard say as muckle many's the time that; and prood I hef peen
to hear it; and I hope it iss to this shentleman and me that ye will
pe giving a tune afore we pairt the nicht; but I canna alloo that ye
are petter acquaint wi' the subject on hand. And ye can ask Sandy the
Deuk's grieve yoursel' apoot it, and he wass in the byre when the bull
was calfed, and he will'----

'Teffle a tune ye'll get from me this nicht; and it iss a obstinate
mule ye are, Tonald MacTavish, and always wass; and as for Sandy
MacIntyre, the Teuk's grieve, it iss all the parish that kens him for a
foolish ignorant liar!'

The two men pushed their respective chairs a foot or so farther apart,
and looked at each other in no amiable mood. John the piper was a tall
thin Celt with fiery eyes, that flamed out from a mass of tangled hair
as brown as heather, covering a low square brow; he was of a much more
inflammable temperament than his friend, whose high cheek-bones, wide
surly mouth, and cheeks that seemed to have gathered black forests of
hair at the expense of his crown, which was of the shiny bald order,
indicated a vein of Saxon blood in some progenitor, although his accent
and fluency in Gaelic proved that he was a native of the west. Under
the chair of the piper, Fingal the piper's collie, almost as excitable
as his master, lay asleep; and in a corner by the game-keeper's gun,
Jet, Donald's placid pointer, lay stretched at full length. Betty laid
down her knitting in some trepidation when the argument reached this
point, and came in to see if she could not pour oil on the troubled
waters. She found the piper on his feet with his bagpipes under his
arm, evidently much offended, looking about in the dark for his bonnet.

'It iss anither gless o' whusky ye'll pe taking now, Mr Cameron, pefore
ye tak' the road this cauld nicht?'

'And it iss verra pad whusky ye hef peen giving us the nicht, Mrs
MacTonald, eneuch to tak' the temper away from any man,' said the piper
in his severest tones.

'And ye are quite richt there, Mr Cameron,' said Betty timidly, willing
to appease her guest at the expense of her own reputation; 'and it iss
myself that iss glad ye mentioned it, for I had to offer ye some o'
the Cawm'lton-still the nicht, cass the gentry when they wass on the
moor yesterday shooting took every drop o' the rale heather-watter away
in their flasks, and left no a drop wi' me. But I'm sure, Mr Cameron,
ye'll no pe so angry wi' me as that comes to as to go away angry like
that.'

'The whusky iss cood eneuch, if taken wi' a thankful spirit, Mrs
MacTonald,' said Mr MacTavish. 'But when a man iss prood and stuck-up
cass he has travellet at the heels o' his betters--but the Teuk's dog
has done as muckle--while his own neibors have bided at home, he thinks
maype that naepody kens the tifference atween a reel and a hornpipe
but himself! Gif me another gless, Mrs MacTonald.--Cood-nicht, John; I
drink to your petter manners.'

John was at the door, having found his bonnet, but came back to say,
shaking his fist in Donald's face: 'It iss an ignorant prute ye are,
Tonald MacTavish, and I scorn to pit my fingers upon ye; but nae doot
ye'll want me to bring my pipes to the clachan anither nicht; and nae
doot your son Angus will pe wanting me to learn him to play the pipes
too; and nae doot, when he comes for that purpose, he will look to have
his crack wi' Maggie! Ye will live, Tonald, my man, to ken it wass an
ill nicht when ye thocht fit to drink to _my_ petter manners!'

With which flourish, wound up by an emphatic and defiant snap of the
piper's fore-finger and thumb in close proximity to the nose of the
calmer game-keeper, the piper marched with what dignity he could
muster, seeing that he carried half a pint of fierce whisky beneath his
belt, from the clachan to the pathway across the moor, homewards; and
so absorbed was he in cherishing his anger, that he would not indulge
himself on his solitary way with one of his favourite Jacobite lilts,
lest the sound of the pipes might charm away his wrath. And his collie
Fingal followed sadly at his heels.

The game-keeper sat for only a short time after his friend was gone; he
gave utterance to a low hard laugh as the piper disappeared, and then
relapsed into sulky silence. Presently he said, rising to leave: 'I'd
petter pay ye for my share o' the whusky, Mrs MacTonald.'

'Na; that can remain. Ye will pe here the day after to-morrow or so, I
daresay, to make it up.'

'Take the money,' said Mr MacTavish firmly; 'he will peg my pardon
pefore I drink another drop in his company.'

'A bad job!' said poor Betty, with tears in her eyes, as she slowly
counted out to him the change.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the afternoon of the same day, Maggie Cameron the piper's daughter
was in her father's dairy busily at work. The piper's cottage and small
farm-steading stood white and solitary at the mouth of Glen Heath,
barely half a mile from Inversnow. The score of sheep that strayed
about the glen with the red mark J. C. branded on their woolly sides
belonged to the piper; so also did the three or four cows that stood
cooling their feet in the heat of the day, in the peat-brown burn
that coursed through the heart of the glen past the piper's fields
and garden, to the loch. He was in a moderate way a prosperous man,
and after the manner of men conscious of a bigger balance than their
neighbours at the local bank, he thought he had a right to dogmatise on
occasions. Folks who knew the piper knew that whoever ultimately was
lucky enough to win the hand of his only daughter Maggie, would not
take her dowerless; and that the dower would be something by no means
to be sneezed at, was evident when the Inversnow intellect began to
reckon on its finger-ends the various sources of the piper's income.
There was first and foremost the farm; the piper's crops were ever the
earliest and the heaviest; his mutton was always prime, and the piper
knew well when and to what market to send. Nor on the Duke's whole
estate were better turnips grown. Then what milk was to be compared
to that which came from the piper's byre; and as for the piper's
butter--churned by Maggie's own pretty hands--why, better butter was
not to be had in or out of the parish for love or money. Besides which,
the piper's white cottage, built on the slope facing the loch on one
side and looking towards the glen on the other, within a few minutes'
walk of the best scenery, the best shooting, and the best fishing in
South-western Scotland, fetched--well, Inversnow did not know how
much per month. Let to the 'gentry' during spring, summer, and autumn
of every year, it was in itself another tap of gold flowing into the
piper's pockets.

For several months in each year the Duke entertained guests at
Inversnow Castle; and it was the piper's duty, as it was his pleasure,
to march daily (Sundays excepted, and he grudged Sundays) for two hours
to and fro in the hall of the castle while the Duke and his guests
dined, the sonorous bagpipes discoursing appetising and digestatory
music; and he was indeed a mean or thoughtless guest who departed
without remembering the piper in some shape tangible to the piper.
Dearly he loved his money. Nor was he a man likely to let money readily
slip from his grasp when he once fingered it, and no man in Inversnow
was more fertile in resources for adding to his store. But dearly as
he loved gold, dearly as he loved his sheep, his cattle, and horses,
his dram and his bagpipes, his one primary treasure was his winsome
daughter Maggie. Rough he might be, but beneath the hard shell was a
true human heart that beat warmly and tenderly towards her.

Maggie stood, as has been said, busily at work on the clean paved
floor of the dairy, her burnished milk-pans full of creamy richness,
arranged on shelves along the walls. The dairy was cool and shady, and
the sweet fragrance of the fresh milk mingled sweetly with odour of
late honeysuckles and fuchsias clambering in at the window. Between
the leaves of honeysuckle there was to be seen from the window, far
off across the sloping fields, a peep of the loch, the blue sky, and
the heather-clad hills in the distance. The door was open, and the
afternoon light fell upon no more pleasant sight than the bright
shapely Highland lassie, whose sleeves were tucked up to the elbow,
her dress pinned behind, while her hands were deftly shaping butter
with the aid of a pair of wooden 'clatters' into tempting rounded
pats, each pat being dropped, by a quick graceful turn of her skilful
hands, into a dish of clear spring-water beside her. Maggie hummed in
a sweet low treble as she worked, an old Gaelic air that had a touch
of melancholy in it, her sole audience the piper's monstrous bull-dog,
that lay all her length in the sunshine asleep on the threshold.
Presently the formidable-looking animal raised her head, pricked her
ears and growled; then, at the sound of footsteps, rose and bounded
down the path; and Maggie, as she paused in singing, heard a well-known
voice cry: 'Down, Diana; down, I tell ye; keep down!' The Highland girl
went on with her work, with perhaps a tinge of crimson shewing through
the sun-browned face, while a man's voice rang out 'Maggie!' from the
kitchen door, and then the steps turned to the open dairy door.

'Well, Angus,' Maggie said in a tone of surprise that was hardly
meant to be taken as real; 'and iss it you again? I thought you said
yesterday that the yacht was going to meet some of the castle-folks at
Sheepfell?'

'The Teuk changed his mind, or had a telegram or something. But are ye
not glad to see me, Maggie, that ye won't shake hands wi' a body?'

'Deed and I am fery glad to see yourself, Angus, and well ye ken that;
but my hands are wet wi' the watter and the butter; and indeed ye must
excuse me.'

'But it iss a cold greeting to gif a body, that iss what it iss, no to
shake a hand, Maggie,' said Angus; 'or maybe,' plucking up courage from
the laughter in Maggie's eyes and the pose of Maggie's cheek, 'maybe
_that_ iss what you wanted!' And Angus boldly bestowed a kiss upon the
girl's cheek.

'Oh, Angus MacTavish, and how could ye do the like o' that, when ye see
I could not protect myself wi' my hands among the butter?'

'Then gif it to me back again, as the song says,' said Angus, taking
his own again, before Maggie could make any show of resistance.

'But it iss a wild fellow ye are, and no deserving this drink o'
new-drawn warm milk I am going to give ye!'

Maggie wiped her hands in the long white apron she wore, and turned to
fill a tumbler full of milk from one of the pans.

'Well, Maggie Cameron, it iss maybe more than I deserve,' said Angus,
as he took the tumbler from her hand and raised it to his mouth; 'but
here iss to your ferry good-health, Maggie!'

'I believe ye would rather it had been a dram,' said the girl, as she
watched the milk swiftly disappear down the young sailor's throat. But
Angus declared that in saying so she libelled him.

'And now, Maggie, ye must put on your hat and come with me,' said Angus
seriously, when he had emptied the tumbler.

'Go with you, Angus! You're joking. Wass it not for your lesson on the
pipes ye came? But dad iss not at home this afternoon--he went the
clachan-way with your father--but he will be disappointed to hef missed
you.'

'I want you to come to the shore with me, Maggie; I have something to
shew you, and I will take no denial for this once.'

'To shew me, Angus? But dad might not be pleased, if he came home when
I wass out, to find I wass away trifling with you on the shore.'

'I will answer for that, Maggie Cameron.'

'Well, it iss true my churning is over, and the baking o' the scones
can be done when I get back, but'---- The maiden hesitated.

'But there'--and Angus lifted the dish of butter-pats and marched off
with them, followed by Maggie, to the kitchen. 'Now put on your hat and
come with me.'

While Maggie went to her room, Angus turned the key in the dairy-door,
and hung it on a nail in the kitchen; and leaving Janet the maid
to bring in the cattle and milk them, the couple started on their
expedition with light hearts.

They were a winsome couple, and Janet--a goodly lass herself--stood
admiring them from the door-step, not without certain longings on her
own account, as they walked along the pathway that skirted the meadow,
to the bridge at the gate; and from thence over the stile and across
a field, towards the loch. Margaret Cameron was a tall well-built
girl, yet her head was just on a level with her companion's shoulder.
Her face was fresh and sunny, light and shadow playing on it in quick
responsive movement to the mental mood that happened to rule her. She
was young, not yet out of her teens, full of youthful impulse, that
expressed itself in frequent peals of merry laughter easily roused;
with a tender heart too, as the sweet blue eyes told, by the quick
rush of tears when she was moved by any tale of woe, or touched by the
chill finger of disappointment. Angus was a broad-shouldered six-foot
sailor, stooping slightly as he walked, with a bronzed cheery face,
and the kindest of honest eyes, that looked you straight in the face
fearlessly. He had been for many years one of the most trustworthy
'hands' on board the Duke's yacht, _The Curlew_, and was looked up
to by the fishing-folks of Inversnow with all the respect due to a
favourite of the Chief's, and to one whose ideas had been expanded by
frequent visits to the Mediterranean.

'Where are we going?' asked the girl by-and-by, as Angus struck into
a road leading to the town. 'It iss nefer into Inversnow we are going
like this together!'

'And are ye ashamed to be seen walking with me, Maggie Cameron?'

'Ashamed? No! But it iss not well to be having folk talking idle
gossip apoot us in the daytime, when maybe I ought to be at home
working.' Maggie was made the more jealous of her reputation as a
good housekeeper by receiving a surprised nod at that moment from Mr
M'Alister the grocer, who stood lazily on the door-step of his shop.

'Nefer mind what folk say, Maggie. This iss the way;' and Angus turned
off the main street to the pier.

'Eh, Angus, what a pretty little poat--what a fery pretty poat!' said
Maggie as they reached the end of the pier and looked down on a tiny
boat resting placidly on the loch.

'And ye think her a pretty poat now, do ye, Maggie?' looking proudly
from his achievement to his companion's interested face.

'I nefer saw anything prettier. She sits on the water like a sea-gull,'
replied the girl warmly.

'And you can read her name on the stern now, can't you, Maggie--eh?'

The maid looked down fixedly and, as she looked, changed colour. Angus
was watching her with beaming eyes. Painted in distinct blue letters on
an oak ground were the words, 'MAGGIE CAMERON--INVERSNOW.'



RAILWAY ACCIDENTS.


The fact that during last year (1876) no fewer than 1245 persons were
killed and 4724 injured upon the various railways of Great Britain, is
sufficiently startling; for these numbers, we need hardly remind our
readers, exceed those of the killed and wounded in many a great battle.
The average number killed per annum during the last five years has been
1295, and of those injured 4333.

Fortunately, however, for the peace of mind of the average British
passenger, these numbers are not quite so alarming as they at first
sight appear. That this is so, we shall shew by an analysis of the
causes which led last year to the above-mentioned losses. Of those
killed, no fewer than 305 were trespassers upon railway lines; and
between thirty and forty of these were trespassers with the deliberate
intention of committing suicide. Again, more than one half of the
total number of persons killed were railway servants; and the same
class furnished no fewer than 2600 of the 4724 cases of injury
recorded in the returns. From their own misconduct or want of caution,
101 passengers lost their lives, and 604 sustained injuries. Level
crossings are each year a very fertile cause of accidents, and to them
no fewer than fifty-nine of the deaths of 1876 must be apportioned. We
come now, however, to that which is undoubtedly a fact of the utmost
gravity, namely, that thirty-eight passengers were killed and 1279
injured from causes over which they had _no_ control, upon the railways
of Great Britain.

In 1874, a Royal Commission was issued at the request of parliament
to inquire into the causes and cure of railway accidents in Great
Britain. For two years and a half the Commissioners pursued their
labours; and their Report now lies before us. From it we gather that
the Commissioners examined several hundreds of witnesses, including
officers of the Board of Trade, general managers of railway companies,
traffic managers, superintendents and assistant-superintendents of
railways, inspectors and sub-inspectors of various classes, foremen
of shunters, station-masters, engine-drivers, guards, brakemen,
shunters, plate-layers, signalmen, pointsmen, boilersmiths, porters,
and clerks. The Commissioners likewise arranged for a most valuable
series of practical experiments upon the merits of the various systems
of applying brake-power to trains, to be performed before them upon a
portion of the Midland Company's railway near Newark. Of the important
results disclosed by the elaborate system of experiments thus performed
we shall have something to say presently. In addition to all this,
the Commissioners personally inspected railway premises and works in
various places throughout the kingdom, and investigated upon their
own behalf certain 'typical cases' of railway accidents. Whatever
conclusions, therefore, they may have arrived at claim at least the
respectful consideration of all interested--and who is not?--in the
prevention of railway accidents.

Regret has, we observe, been freely expressed in certain quarters
that the Commissioners have not seen fit to advise the establishment
of a government department which should exercise a general control
over the practical administration of British railways. To have done
so would, however, the Commissioners say, not have been in their
opinion 'either prudent or desirable.' A government authority placed
in such a position would, they remark, 'be exposed to the danger
either of appearing indirectly to guarantee work, appliances, and
arrangements which might practically prove faulty or insufficient,
or else of interfering with railway management to an extent which
would soon alienate from it public sympathy and confidence, and thus
destroy its moral influence, and with it its capacity for usefulness.'
Whilst, however, the Commissioners are thus strongly of opinion
that any change which would relieve the railway companies from the
responsibility which now rests upon them to provide for the safety of
their traffic would be undesirable, they are nevertheless disposed to
believe that legislation--by which the adoption of certain recognised
improvements, and the construction of certain necessary works for the
greater safety of the traffic, should be made compulsory upon the
railway companies--would be a public gain. Amongst these improvements
and necessary works are included by the Commissioners the compulsory
adoption of the block and interlocking systems. The object of the
block-system, we may here remark, is to preserve an arbitrary interval
of space between all trains which are moving in the same direction
upon the same line of rails. This is accomplished by dividing the line
into sections; and not until a telegraphic message has been received
announcing that a train has passed out of one section, is another
permitted to enter that section. If properly carried out, this would
prevent the possibility of one train running into another from behind,
which as we all know has been a frequent cause of accidents.

We are not quite certain whether the Commissioners have done well
in advising that 'increased facilities be afforded to the public to
obtain redress by cheap and summary process when trains are late.' In
the first place the Commissioners have not attempted to define when a
train shall be held to be unpunctual; that is, whether one or five or
fifteen or fifty minutes is to be held to constitute unpunctuality; and
also whether the distance which the train has run is, or is not, to be
taken into account. If every passenger by the Flying Scotchman from
Edinburgh to London is to have a right to an action against the railway
companies, in the event of that train being, say five minutes late upon
its long journey of four hundred miles, the prospect of litigation
thereby opened is sufficient to appal the hearts of shareholders in the
North British, North-Eastern, and Great Northern Railways, and to make
glad those of lawyers. Moreover, the Commissioners do not attempt to
define what they mean by 'a cheap and summary process' being afforded
to passengers of bringing actions against railway companies. At present
such actions are occasionally brought in the County Courts, and it
would be difficult, we think, to imagine 'a cheaper or more summary
process' than they already afford.

At present, as most of our readers are aware, every passenger train
which runs a distance of twenty miles without stopping is bound to
carry with it some means whereby passengers can communicate with
the guard or engine-driver of the train. The Royal Commissioners,
however, have resolved to recommend that every train which runs for
even eight miles without stopping is to be provided with a means of
communication between the passengers and the servants of the company.
Why this limit of eight miles has been arbitrarily fixed upon can only
be left to conjecture. If some simple method could be devised whereby
a passenger could instantaneously communicate with the servants of
the train, an important benefit would be secured; but so long as the
railway companies continue to call a small cord hidden away somewhere
or other _outside_ of the carriages, 'a means of communication between
passengers and the servants of the company,' we confess that we do not
attach much practical importance to this last recommendation of the
Royal Commissioners.

We have already mentioned that the Royal Commissioners caused an
extensive series of experiments to be performed in their presence upon
a portion of the Midland Company's system near Newark, in order to test
the various methods which have been invented for applying continuous
brake-power to trains. Before, however, the trials of the various
continuous 'brakes' were made, trials of the amount of brake-power
_usually_ supplied to the trains of some of the chief railway companies
in Great Britain were made. From these experiments it appeared that
with the amount of hand brake-power usually supplied, a train going
at between forty-five and fifty miles an hour could not as a rule
be brought to a full stop in much less than half a mile. During the
trials at Newark, the merits of eight different kinds of 'continuous
brakes' were tried; and 'amply proved the necessity for some greater
control over fast passenger-trains than that hitherto provided in this
country.' Speaking approximately indeed, it was shewn conclusively at
these trials that a good continuous brake will reduce the stopping
distances of fast trains to one-third of the distance within which they
can be stopped by the present ordinary means. With regard to the effect
upon passengers of any sudden stoppages by means of these continuous
brakes, it is satisfactory to know that 'by none of the systems used in
the trials could the brakes be applied too powerfully or too suddenly
for the safety of the passengers.'

As the result of these Newark trials, the Royal Commissioners recommend
that it should be made obligatory upon railway companies to provide
every train with sufficient brake-power to bring it, at the highest
speed at which it may be travelling and upon any gradients, to an
absolute stop within five hundred yards. They also advise that a
large proportion of the brake-power should be in the hands of the
engine-driver. He is usually the man who first espies danger; and as
when a train is travelling at the rate of sixty miles an hour, it
passes over eighty-eight feet per second, it will easily be seen, that
however slight may be the interval necessary for the driver to attract
the attention of the guard, and for that official to apply his brakes,
it may be sufficiently long to cause a serious accident.

Every newspaper reader must have remarked the frequent accidents
which occur through passengers (whilst entering or leaving railway
carriages) falling between the steps and the platform. This being so,
it is satisfactory to remark that the Royal Commissioners have resolved
to recommend that the adoption by railway companies of continuous
foot-boards of sufficient width should be made compulsory wherever, in
the opinion of the officials of the Board of Trade, 'the circumstances
of the traffic are such as to render them necessary for the safety of
passengers.'

As regards the important subject of the compensation which the
railway companies are at present obliged to make whenever a passenger
is--through no fault of his own--killed or injured whilst travelling
upon their lines, the Royal Commissioners have not thought it necessary
to make any special recommendations. They appear indeed to think that
the principle of self-interest will be sufficient to make the companies
introduce all reasonable improvements and take all possible means to
secure the safety of their passengers. Mr Galt, however, one of the
Royal Commissioners, dissents from this view of his colleagues, and
we think with reason. He asks in connection with this subject the
following very pertinent question: 'Does the sum paid in compensation
by the companies exceed the expenditure that would necessarily be
incurred for the avoidance of preventable accidents?' This question Mr
Galt proceeds to regard from two points of view. First, the effect of
accidents on the market value of railway shares; and second, the cost
which the companies would have to incur in order to introduce various
well-known means for the prevention of accidents, which have often been
pressed upon their attention by Captain Tyler and other officials of
the Board of Trade. The effect of an accident upon the market value of
railway shares, even when it is one of exceptional severity, Mr Galt
shews is only temporarily and never permanently to lower the value
of the shares in the particular railway company upon whose system it
occurred. The first cost, moreover, of introducing improvements upon
their lines, Mr Galt points out, is felt very severely by railway
companies; whereas the compensation which they pay for personal
injuries does not at present amount to one per cent. of their total
expenditure. Mr Galt indeed asserts that the saving which the companies
would effect by the use of every available means for the prevention of
accidents would 'scarcely amount to a shilling in the hundred pounds.'
Hence he arrives at the very disagreeable conclusion, that so far as
the _pecuniary_ principle--apart from all higher considerations--is
concerned, the railway companies' interests and those of the general
public are diametrically opposed to each other!

We shall conclude this article by giving a brief epitome of the
principal points upon which the Royal Commissioners have made formal
'recommendations' either for the consideration of parliament or of the
railway companies. 1. They have recommended that discretionary powers
should be conferred upon the Board of Trade to enforce the extension
of stations and sidings wherever the accommodation provided for the
traffic is so inadequate as to endanger safety. 2. To enforce the
adoption of the block and interlocking systems on all lines or portions
of lines where the introduction of these improvements is necessary for
the safety of the traffic. 3. To restrict the speed of trains upon any
line or section of a line which is in a condition to render a high rate
of speed unsafe. 4. To require companies to provide their passenger
carriages with continuous foot-boards. 5. To impose conditions upon
companies in certain cases in sanctioning the opening of new lines. 6.
To require companies to provide foot-bridges or subways at stations
where the absence of such accommodation is proved to be a source of
danger. 7. To require a lodge to be maintained at public crossings for
foot-passengers wherever circumstances render it necessary for safety.
8. That railway companies shall be required by law, under adequate
penalties, to supply all trains with sufficient brake-power to stop
them within five hundred yards under all circumstances. 9. That in
order to produce greater punctuality in the conduct of the traffic on
railways, additional facilities be afforded to the public for obtaining
compensation when trains are late. 10. That the 31st and 32d Vict. c.
119, s. 22, relating to intercommunication in trains, be amended in the
manner which we have indicated above. 11. That the civil liability of
railway companies for accidents to their servants, and of the criminal
liability of persons in railway employment for acts of negligence
endangering life, be extended.

Some at least of these proposals of the Royal Commissioners will
doubtless be adopted by Her Majesty's government, and will be proposed
to parliament, with all the weight of their authority, during the next
(1878) session of parliament. That the government measure which will
embody these 'selected' recommendations of the Royal Commissioners will
satisfy all parties--directors of railways, railway servants, and the
general public alike--would of course be too much to hope. But this may
at least be confidently predicted--that if the chief recommendations
of the Royal Commissioners be adopted by parliament, and be loyally
carried out in practice by the railway companies, they will tend in no
inconsiderable degree to render railway travelling in Great Britain in
the future both much safer and much pleasanter than it has been in the
past.



DROLLERIES OF THE AMERICAN BENCH.


Droll things are reported of the bench and bar in the United States.
Perhaps all that is said of them in the newspapers may have a tinge
of exaggeration; but we do not doubt that there is a considerable
substructure of truth. What, indeed, but odd sayings and doings can be
expected from judges who are appointed by universal suffrage, and may
in many cases be little better than the boon-companions of the culprits
who are apt to come judicially before them. We cull a few drolleries of
the American bench for the amusement of our readers.

Wearied beyond endurance by the tediousness of a long-winded pleader,
a Kentuckian judge put himself out of his misery and his tormentor out
of countenance by suddenly exclaiming: 'If the court is right, and she
thinks she air, why then you are wrong, and she knows you is. Shut
up!' Almost as rude in speech was Judge Dowling, who after serving as
fireman and police-officer, became by election one of the magistrates
of the Empire City. 'What are you reading from, sir?' asked he of a
counsel.

'From the statute of 1876, your Honour,' was the reply.

'Well,' said Dowling, 'you needn't read any more; I'm judge in this
court, and my statutes are good enough law for anybody!'

This worshipful gentleman plumed himself upon deciding 'according
to the equities of the case,' law and precedent to the contrary
notwithstanding; they went for nothing with him.

They did not go for much more with the western administrator of the
law, Judge Alec Smith. A divorce case being called on, he, addressing
the plaintiff's representative, said: 'I don't think people ought to be
compelled to live together when they don't want to do so. I will decree
a divorce in this case;' and the parties concerned were thereupon
declared to be no longer man and wife. Presently the defendant's lawyer
appeared, and was not a little surprised to find all was settled,
that the judge had decided without hearing one side, much less both.
He protested against such over-hasty proceedings, and appealed to
the court to redress the wrong it had committed. The court not being
inclined to own itself in fault, he was informed it was too late to
raise objections; the decree had been pronounced; but if he wanted to
argue the case 'right bad,' the court would marry the parties again,
and let him have a crack for it.

When Miss Amelia Donnerschley claimed two hundred dollars from
faithless Augustus Berker for breach of promise, the gentleman
justified his conduct on the plea that after dwelling under the same
roof with the young lady and her mamma for eight months, he found it
so impossible to live comfortably with the one, that he was compelled
to cry off with the other. The judge inquired if the mother purposed
living with her daughter after marriage, and receiving an affirmative
answer, asked the defendant whether he would rather live with his
mother-in-law or pay two hundred dollars.

'Pay two hundred dollars,' was the prompt reply.

Said the judge: 'Young man, let me shake hands with you. There was a
time in my life when I was in the same situation as you are in now. Had
I possessed your firmness, I should have been spared twenty-five years
of trouble. I had the alternative of marrying or paying a hundred and
twenty-five dollars. Being poor, I married; and for twenty-five years
have I regretted it. I am happy to meet with a man of your stamp. The
plaintiff must pay ten dollars and costs for having thought of putting
a gentleman under the dominion of a mother-in-law.'

The much-married dignitary was not so susceptible to the charms of the
sex as his brother of Iowa, who refused to fine a man for kissing a
girl against her will, because the complainant was so temptingly pretty
that nothing but an overwhelming sense of its dignity prevented the
court kissing her itself.

It is lucky for an offender when his judge puts himself in his place;
justice is sure then to be tempered with mercy, as in the case of the
snatcher of spoons brought before a Georgian court many years ago. Bela
Brown, who then went the circuit as judge, was an able man, in equal
repute as a lawyer and as a boon-companion. The night before the court
was to open at Dayton, his Honour went to a tavern kept by Sterrit,
and had such a good time of it with his legal friends that by midnight
he was not quite so sober as a judge should be. Somebody cleared the
table of all its spoons, and put them into the unconscious gentleman's
pocket. He was greatly perturbed at finding them there next morning.
They were Sterrit's spoons without doubt, for they bore the landlord's
initials.

'Polly,' said the judge to his wife, 'was I tipsy when I came home?'

'Yes,' said she. 'You know your habits when you get among those
lawyers.'

Much relieved in his mind, the judge declared he could understand how
the spoons came into his possession. 'That fellow keeps the meanest
liquor in the States; but I never supposed it would make a man steal.'

A day or two afterwards, a man was arraigned for larceny; he pleaded
guilty, but urged he was intoxicated when he committed the offence.

'What's the nature of the charge?' inquired Judge Brown.

'Stealing money from the till at Sterrit's tavern,' replied the clerk.

'Young man,' said the judge solemnly, 'are you sure you were tipsy when
you took this money?'

'Yes, your Honour; when I went outdoors the ground kept coming up and
hitting me on the head.'

'That will do. Did you get all your liquor at Sterrit's?'

'Every drop, sir.'

Turning to the prosecuting attorney, the judge said: 'You will do me
the favour of entering a _nolle prosequi_; that liquor of Sterrit's
I have reason to know is enough to make a man do anything dirty. I
got tipsy on it myself the other night, and stole all his spoons.
If Sterrit will sell such abominable stuff he ought not to have the
protection of this court.--Mr Sheriff, you may release the prisoner.'

Like the sailor who objected to his captain preaching and flogging too,
offenders generally do not appreciate being suitably admonished as well
as punished; and no doubt the Californian felt annoyed when, through
incautiously demurring to the magistrate reproaching him with having
no ambition, he found himself put to the question with: 'Where is it,
sir? Where is it? Did you ever hear of Cicero taking free lunches? Did
you ever hear that Plato gamboled through the alleys of Athens? Did you
ever hear Demosthenes accused of sleeping under a coal-shed? If you
would be a Plato, there would be a fire in your eye; your hair would
have an intellectual cut; you'd step into a clean shirt; and you'd hire
a mowing-machine to pare those finger-nails. You have got to go up for
four months!'

The Honourable Kiah Rodgers, commonly called Old Kye, presiding in a
Louisiana court, thus spoke his mind to a delinquent named Kettles:
'Prisoner, stand up! Mr Kettles, this court is under the painful
necessity of passing sentence of the law upon you. This court has no
doubt, Mr Kettles, but what you were brought into this scrape by the
use of intoxicating liquors. The friends of this court all know that
if there is any vice this court abhors it is intoxication. When this
court was a young man, Mr Kettles, it was considerably inclined to
drink, and the friends of this court know that this court has naterally
a very high temper; and if this court had not stopped short off, I
have no doubt, sir, but what this court, sir, would have been in the
Penitentiary or in its grave.'

Still more communicative was Judge Kye respecting his young days when
summing up in an action brought by an overseer for wrongful dismissal
from his situation.

'The jury,' said his Honour, 'will take notice that this court is well
acquainted with the nature of the case. When this court first started
in the world it followed the business of overseering, and if there
is any business which this court understands, it's hosses, mules,
and niggers; though this court never overseed in its life for less
than eight hundred dollars. And this court in hoss-racing was always
naterally gifted; and this court in running a quarter race whar the
hosses was turned, could allers turn a hoss so as to gain fifteen feet
in a race; and on a certain occasion it was one of the conditions of
the race that Kye Rodgers shouldn't turn narry of the hosses.' Surely
it must have been Old Kye who upon taking his official seat for the
first time, said: 'If this court know her duty, and she thinks she do,
Justice will walk over this track with her head and tail up.'

Prone as he might be to discursiveness, we fancy the Louisiana judge
would have laid down the law a little more lucidly than the worthy to
whom a Minnesota juryman appealed for aid, when his ideas as to what
constituted murder had been confused by the arguments of counsel.

'Gentlemen of the jury,' said this legal luminary, 'murder is where a
man is murderously killed. The killer in such a case is a murderer. Now
murder by poison is just as much murder as murder with a gun, pistol,
or knife. It is the simple act of murdering that constitutes murder
in the eye of the law. Don't let the ideas of murder and manslaughter
confound you. Murder is one thing, manslaughter is quite another.
Consequently, if there has been a murder, and it is not manslaughter,
then it must be murder. Don't let this point escape you. Self-murder
has nothing to do with this case. According to Blackstone and all the
best living writers, one man cannot commit _felo de se_ upon another;
and that is clearly my view. Gentlemen, murder is murder. The murder
of a brother is called fratricide; the murder of a father is called
parricide, but that don't enter into this case. This case is murder,
and as I said before, murder is most emphatically murder. You will take
the case, gentlemen, and make up your minds according to the law and
the evidence, not forgetting the explanation I have given you.'

When an English judge has passed sentence upon a criminal, he has done
with him. It would never enter his head to visit a man he had condemned
to death. Judge Smith of Cincinnati had different notions of judicial
etiquette. One Samuel Covert, about to be executed at Lebanon, had just
taken his last meal, when the judge looked in, inquired how he felt,
and asked for his autograph. Having obtained the autograph, and learned
that Covert was pretty well, considering circumstances, the judge shook
his hand warmly, saying: 'Good-bye, Mr Covert; I shall not see you
again.'

'Good-bye, Mr Smith,' was the reply. 'Remember my last words to you:
you have passed sentence of death upon an innocent man.'

'That is so, is it, Sam?' queried the visitor.

'Yes, sir.'

'If that be true, you've nothing against me; have you, Sam?'

'No, sir; you did your duty under the evidence.'

'Well, Sam, if you are an innocent man, it is a great calamity.'

'I am innocent,' repeated Covert.

The judge then departed, and Covert was marched to the scaffold.

Judge Smith hardly felt so easy in his mind as a Californian sheriff
did after being interviewed by a self-confessed murderer, who desired
to be sent to New York to answer for the crime he had committed in that
city.

'So your conscience ain't easy, and you want to be hanged?' said the
sheriff. 'Well, my friend, the county treasury ain't well fixed at
present, and I don't want to take any risks, in case you're not the
man, and are just fishing for a free ride. Besides, those New York
courts can't be trusted to hang a man. As you say, you deserve to be
killed, and your conscience won't be easy till you are killed, and
as it can't make any difference to you or to society _how_ you are
killed, I guess I'll do the job myself!' and his hand moved to his
pocket; but before he could pull out the revolver and level it at the
murderer, that conscience-stricken individual was down the road and out
of killing distance.

When lawyers behave in such a free-and-easy way, it is not surprising
that a prisoner presumes to enter into familiar conversation with
the bench. 'An old tippler,' asked by a Nevadan court whether he was
rightly or wrongly charged with being intoxicated, pleaded, 'Not
guilty, your Honour. Sunstroke!'

'Sunstroke?' queried Judge Cox.

'Yes, sir; the regular New York variety.'

'You've had sunstroke a good deal in your time, I believe?'

'Yes, your Honour; but this last attack was most severe.'

'Does sunstroke make you rush through the streets offering to fight the
town?'

'That's the effect precisely.'

'And makes you throw brickbats at people?'

'That's it, judge. I see you understand the symptoms; and agree with
the best recognised authorities, who hold it inflames the organs of
combativeness and destructiveness. When a man of my temperament gets a
good square sunstroke he's liable to do almost anything.'

'Yes; you are quite right--liable to go to jail for fifteen days.
You'll go down with the policeman at once.' With that observation the
conversation naturally closed, and the victim of so-called sunstroke
'went down.'

The bench does not always come off so victoriously. A prisoner before
the court of Keatingville, Montana, neglecting to remove his hat, the
sheriff was directed to do it for him, and obeyed instructions by
knocking the offending head-gear off with his rifle. The owner picked
it up, and as he clapped it on his head again shouted: 'I am bald,
judge!' A repetition of the performance followed; at which, waxing
indignant, his Honour rose and said: 'I fine you five dollars for
contempt of court--to be committed until the fine is paid!'

The offender walked up to the judge, and laying down half a dollar,
remarked: 'Your sentence, judge, is most ungentlemanly; but the law is
imperative, and I will have to stand it; so here is half a dollar; and
the four dollars and a half you owed me when we stopped playing poker
this morning, makes us square!'

The card-playing administrator of justice must have felt as small
as his brother-judge when he priced the cow. Being at Little Rock,
Arkansas, on business, that judge strolled into the market, and seeing
a farmer with a cow, stepped up to him and asked what he wanted for
her. 'Thirty dollars,' said the farmer. 'She'll give you five quarts of
milk if you feed her well.'

'Why,' quoth the judge, 'I have cows on my farm, not much more than
half as big as yours, which give twenty quarts a day.'

The cow-owner eyed his new acquaintance very hard, as if trying to
remember if he had seen him before, and then inquired where he lived.
'My home is in Iowa,' was the reply.

'Yes, stranger,' said the farmer, 'I don't dispute it. There were heaps
of soldiers from Iowa down here during the war, and they were the worst
liars in the whole Yankee army. Maybe you may have been an officer in
some of them regiments?'

Without satisfying his interlocutor's curiosity on that point, the
judge, we are told, 'slid for the court-house.'



THE FAIRIES.


    Where are the wonderful elves, and the fairy creatures bright?
    Where are the tiny things that danced in the pale moonlight?
    Danced in a magic ring, and fluttered in robes of white,
    Like motes in the sunbeam whirled, like leaves in the forest hoar.
    _Hark to the sound of the sea, and the cry of the waves on the shore._

    Where are the dusky gnomes who toiled in the golden ground?
    So that the miners trembled hearing their hammers' sound,
    Hearing them tapping, tapping, delving in darkness bound,
    A thousand tapping hammers, beneath them hammering.
    _Hark to the muttered thunder, the voice of the hidden spring._

    Where are the forest fairies, the elves in Lincoln green,
    Deep in the forest hidden, and never in cities seen,
    Sought for by timid maidens, on sainted Hallowe'en,
    The joy of all true lovers, a merry band were they!
    _Hark to the hum of the bee, in the scented blooms of May._

    Where are the household fairies, who loved the embers' glow,
    Who played at games with the shadows flickering to and fro,
    But left no track on the sanded floor, no trace on the fallen snow,
    And filled up the little slippers the children left behind,
    _Hark to the howl of the tempest, the moan of the stormy wind._

    The elves are waiting, waiting, for the golden days to come,
    When grief shall be known no longer, nor faithful love be dumb;
    Till the figures all are added up, and finished the mighty sum.
    Ah yes, they are waiting, waiting, till grief shall be no more.
    _Hark to the rustle of raindrops, that kiss the deserted shore._

       *       *       *       *       *

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._ Manuscripts 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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