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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 712 - August 18, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 712 - August 18, 1877" ***

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 712.      SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



AIR AND WATER POLLUTION.


We have been lately staying at a pleasant sea-side resort. The stretch
of sands on the beach is beautiful, the houses generally well built
and commodious, the accommodation for strangers excellent. With much
to commend, one thing struck us as very anomalous. There are several
factories, including one or two bottle-works, and from these are
almost constantly sent forth huge volumes of dense black smoke, which
according to the direction of the wind, pour across the otherwise
fair scene, and tend greatly to pollute the atmosphere. Now, this we
presume to think is a serious encroachment on public rights. Nature
beneficently provides a pure atmosphere, which all may enjoy, and
that will be favourable to vegetable growth. Despising this primary
principle, and acting only from sheer selfishness, certain individuals,
ordinarily known as capitalists, set up factories with tall brick
chimneys, from which are vomited those hideously dark masses of
coal-smoke, in defiance of good taste, decency, and common-sense. We
had almost said in defiance of honesty, because the air of heaven is
a universal inheritance, and the pollution of it for selfish ends
is, morally speaking, little better than picking a pocket. Yet, how
much of this aggressive dishonesty is habitually practised! The air
of towns and villages is polluted. Some of the most beautiful rural
scenes are polluted. Over charming dells, clothed in natural shrubbery
and flowers, to which one would like to flee and be at rest, is seen
hovering a pall of black smoke, projected from some sort of factory or
a paper-mill, and doing its best to transform beauty into ugliness.
Surely, to speak mildly, that is a public wrong.

Travelling through England, and entering what are termed the
manufacturing districts, we come upon the Smoke Demon in full blast.
Who, for example, can forget the revolting aspect presented by
Sheffield or Wigan? The sky hidden by dark smoke, the houses begrimed,
and the land blighted, as if saturated with coal-culm. Obviously,
there is a prevailing sootiness; and speculating as to how people can
possibly live amidst such horrors, we think with a feeling of relief
of the joy they possibly experience when on Sunday the chimneys cease
to smoke, the blue firmament is suffered to be unveiled, and children
are able to fill their lungs with air comparatively free from impurity.
Even in the neighbourhood of towns not absolutely of the manufacturing
class, the tourist is pained to observe what atmospheric deteriorations
are caused by smoke. In few places nowadays are there not tokens of
industry involving the application of steam-power. Tall chimneys are
apt to start up where least expected, with the usual results. These
brick chimneys are not usually an embellishment to the landscape; but
we raise no objection to them on this ground. Required for purposes of
manufacture, and valuable in connection with the employment of large
numbers of persons, they may be viewed as indispensable adjuncts in
promoting commercial prosperity, and increasing the national wealth.
Accordingly, it is not the chimney-stalks we find fault with; it is
the vast masses of smoke that needlessly issues from them, which at a
very small expense and a slight degree of care, could be effectually
prevented. For want of this reasonable amount of care, the green fields
in the vicinity of the chimneys cease to be green. The soot falling on
the pasturage, defiles the herbage; and the poor sheep and lambs, born
to experience the vicissitudes of weather, but at least to wear clean
wool upon their backs, are as dingy as professional chimney-sweeps.
Unmistakably, they have been besmirched by the Smoke Demon, who
in his iniquitous visitations respects neither man nor beast, and
is apparently indifferent to what becomes of the whole animal and
vegetable creation. Perish the comfort of everybody; let smoke in
any measure of density have its sway! That is the doctrine of greed
predominant in this wonderfully advanced nineteenth century, which some
people are never done eulogising.

We see a curious instance of the Smoke Demon's proceedings in a
reputedly fashionable part of a large city. A piece of land had just
been laid out in the building of mansions of a superior class--not
one of them valued at less than seven or eight thousand pounds--when
lo and behold the purchasers of the newly erected edifices find to
their consternation that the tall chimney of an unexpected factory
has begun to belch volumes of black smoke into their back-windows all
day long! The chimney--that of a perfectly respectable flour-mill, we
believe--is unexceptionable as regards chimney architecture. It is tall
and handsomely tapered; but what signifies these commendable qualities?
There, from morning to night, goes its smoke, polluting the atmosphere
in the bedrooms, killing the flowers in the conservatories, odious and
sickening in all directions. Very hard this on the purchasers of these
splendid mansions. They have got unexceptionably good houses, but with
what an atmospheric drawback!

Why, however, should municipal authorities tolerate such abominations?
Yes, why should they? There exist in many places police edicts designed
to quench the Smoke Demon. Through the vigilance of the authorities,
the smoke nuisance in London has been immensely modified within our
recollection. In some large provincial towns it has likewise been
materially abated. But taking the country at large, it is about as
bad as ever. The evil has little chance of being thoroughly mastered
by any local magistracy. The very authorities who should stamp out
the abomination are likely enough to be the evil-doers themselves, or
are at least so compromised by surrounding influences as purposely in
this particular to neglect the interests of the community. Besides, to
put existing and not very distinct laws in motion, a heavy expense is
liable to be incurred. And local authorities of all kinds do not like
to encounter litigation unless strongly urged by public clamour and
backed by persons of note, who do not mind to take trouble and share
part of the cost. We apprehend that no effectual remedy is obtainable
in present circumstances.

The true corrective would be to assign the conservancy of the
atmosphere and of rivers to officers directly appointed by and
responsible to the crown. To this opinion has come Dr Richardson,
one of the most eminent promulgators of the laws of health. In a
recent lecture on the subject at the Royal Institution, he says very
pointedly: 'In the future of sanitary science, the politician must
come forward more resolutely than he has done, in order to secure for
those he governs three requisites--pure water, pure food, and pure
air. It is utterly hopeless to trust to companies in a matter of such
vital importance as the supply of water. It is equally hopeless to
trust to the undirected action of local authorities.' Proceeding to
state that a remedy can be found only in the official action of a
supreme authority, he says: 'As to pure air, there is no practical
legislation of any kind. The air of our large towns is charged with
smoke and impurity. The air of our great factories is charged with
dusts which destroy life with the precision of a deadly aim. Dr
Purdon, one of the certifying surgeons under the Factory Acts, reports
that in flax-working factories under his care, the carders, who are all
females, if they get a carding-machine at sixteen years, generally die
at thirty years. Could anything be more terrible than such a fact, that
a girl of sixteen should have to live by an occupation that will bring
her existence to an end in fourteen years, and to that end with all the
prolonged wasting, sleeplessness, suffering, incident to the disease
consumption of the lungs? If it were the fate of these doomed workers
that at the close of fourteen years' work the majority of them were
taken forth and shot dead in an instant, their fate were infinitely
better than it is. The heart of the nation would thus be aroused, and
the law in all its majesty would be put in operation to arrest the
progress of the crime and to punish the offenders. Yet, year after year
as terrible an offence goes on, and because the result of it is hidden
in the sick-room, there is no arrest of its progress, no punishment for
its commission.'

In the same lecture, Dr Richardson speaks with equal vehemence on the
too prevalent practice of polluting rivers and wells by the influx of
sewage from large towns and various kinds of public works, dye-works in
particular. Here, again, the action of local authorities is generally
hopeless. Magistrates and town councils will complacently see a river
flowing past them loaded with impurities. 'The government,' he says,
'must either produce a process or processes for pure water supply,
and insist on every local authority carrying out the proper method;
or it must--and this would be far better--take the whole matter into
its own hands, so that under its supreme direction every living centre
should, without fail, receive the first necessity of healthy life in
the condition fitted for the necessities of all who live. By recent
legislation we had some security for obtaining fresh animal food, and
foods freed of foreign substances or adulterations. The penalties
that might be inflicted on those who sell decomposing, diseased, or
adulterated foods were beginning to have effect, and much good was
resulting.' Similar regulations ought to be applied to water. The
fouling of rivers by sewage must be rendered penal. What horrid ideas
arise on the consideration that a large part of the population of
London are daily using the water of the Thames, into which has been
poured the sewage of Oxford and a number of other places! The Clyde
below Glasgow offers an example of still greater pollution; but its
very badness saves it from use for domestic purposes; and in point of
fact this fine river, for the improved navigation of which so much
has been done, can now scarcely be spoken of as anything else than a
gigantic common sewer, on which ships of large burden are borne to and
from the sea. The Irwell at Manchester offers a specimen of an impure
river of a different type. Here much of the pollution seems to arise
from the liquid refuse of dye and other works. The last time we saw
the Irwell, it had all the appearance of a sluggish river of black
ink. Its colour, however, is liable to change with the predominating
dye-stuffs which it happens to receive. The droll remark is made, that
boys who indiscreetly take a fancy for bathing in it are apt to come
out blue. Its condition and qualities were some time ago commemorated
in a few comic verses in a newspaper, of which a cutting was sent to
us. We give them as being too clever to be lost sight of.


SONG OF THE IRWELL.

    'I flow by tainted, noisome spots,
      A dark and deadly river;
    Foul gases my forget-me-nots,
      Which haunt the air for ever.
    I grow, I glide, I slip, I slide,
      I mock your poor endeavour;
    For men may write, and men may talk,
      But I reek on for ever.

    I reek with all my might and main,
      Of plague and death the brewer;
    With here and there a nasty drain,
      And here and there a sewer.
    By fetid bank, impure and rank,
      I swirl, a loathsome river;
    For men may write, and men may talk,
      But I'll reek on for ever.

    I grew, I glode, I slipped, I slode,
      My pride I left behind me;
    I left it in my pure abode--
      Now take me as you find me.
    For black as ink, from many a sink,
      I roll a poisonous river;
    And men may write, and men may talk,
      But I'll reek on for ever.

    And thus my vengeance, still I seek
      Foul drain, and not a river;
    My breath is strong, though I am weak,
      Death floats on me for ever.
    You still may fight, or may unite
      To use your joint endeavour;
    But I'll be "boss," in spite of Cross,
      And poison you for ever.'

We trust that the concluding threat of remaining for ever a poisonous
and fetid river is not true of the Irwell any more than the Thames or
the Clyde. The subject of river-pollution, as of air-pollution, is too
serious to be much longer neglected, and we trust that government,
setting aside private, selfish, and factious interests, will soon deal
with it in as peremptory a fashion as constitutional forms will admit.
As concerns the pollution of the air by smoke from factories, there is
not a vestige of excuse. We have shewn again and again with, we fear,
tiresome reiteration, that the consumption of smoke is a very simple
mechanical process, and has the advantage not only of keeping the air
unpolluted, but is attended with such a considerable saving of fuel,
as to render the first cost of the appliances of no consequence. If
such be the case, and we can prove it by many years' experience, the
proprietors of public works at the sea-side resort already mentioned,
and hundreds of other factory owners, are clearly chargeable with
a shameful degree of disregard to the rights and feelings of their
fellow-creatures.

    W. C.



THE LAST OF THE HADDONS.

CHAPTER XXXVII.--REST AND PEACE.


Time has run on since then, and my life has grown fuller and happier.
It was a great disappointment to Philip and Lilian to find what my
boasted good fortune really was; and nothing would reconcile them to
the idea of my remaining at the Home, although they were not able to
deny that the work there was congenial to me.

Marian Trafford never forgave me my one day's grandeur, and never again
addressed me as an equal when we chanced to meet. She and her husband
did not lead the happiest of wedded lives. On the evening of Lilian's
wedding-day, Arthur Trafford was found lying on the floor of his
dressing-room with an exploded pistol by his side. If he really meant
to destroy himself, he had attempted it in the half-hearted way with
which he did everything, having only grazed his temples and swooned
with fright, and so offended his wife to no purpose. Poor Marian, her
married life was neither a long one nor a happy one! No child's voice
was heard at Fairview; and the miserable bickerings between the husband
and wife were common gossip. She was not the kind of woman to try to
conceal her disappointment; and he was not the kind of man to spare
her the knowledge that she had never possessed his love. Could he have
foreseen, he would doubtlessly have adopted a different policy, and at
anyrate kept up some semblance of affection.

A neglected cold and improper clothing for the season brought on an
attack of inflammation of the lungs, to which Marian succumbed; and
after her death it was found that she had avenged herself. A lawyer
was hastily summoned to her bedside, and her will made as soon as her
illness was pronounced dangerous. After the funeral it was found that
the endeavours of Arthur and his sister to make up for the past by
extra attention at the last had been in vain. It was said that she
talked to them about the large fortune which they would inherit up to
almost the last hour; and their disappointment was bitter in proportion.

All Marian Trafford's wealth was left to Lilian's children. Not to
Lilian, as she in a characteristic letter informed her--'In case your
husband should die, and Arthur should get the property after all, for
he would be sure to marry you directly. Many and many a time has he
taunted me about his love for you; and as good as said I wasn't to
be compared! But if he married me for the sake of my money, he won't
have much to boast of now. His sister too, Caroline, will be in a fine
state; but she's only got herself to thank for what I have done. I
_did_ mean to leave something handsome to Caroline, till I overheard
her talking to her brother about me begging him to have patience a
little while longer, because the doctors said that I could not last
out many days unless a turn came; and saying ever such things about
what she had had to put up with! What she had to put up with, indeed!
When she has had such a home at Fairview, and lived upon the best of
everything, without its costing her a penny! And as to presents; no
one could be more generous than I have been to Caroline; and she knows
it, if she would only speak the truth. If I do not get over it, I am
determined that _they_ shan't be any the better off! I'd sooner leave
everything to Miss Haddon, though I should be loath to do that too.
Fortunately, there is you, dear; you are my sister after all, and your
Ma was not treated well; I have always said that. Besides, I can't
forget how kind you were to me, when you thought that it was _my_ Ma
who went wrong instead of yours. You never shewed off a bit; and it's
only right you should be rewarded. I haven't put Aunt Pratt into my
will, because one naturally does not care about its being known that
any of one's relations are common people; but I should like you to give
something handsome to her, and say it came from me;' and so forth, and
so forth; a letter we were all only too glad to put out of sight and
out of mind as soon as possible.

The Pratts were well taken care of, and not a little astonished at
Marian's liberality, as it was interpreted to them by Lilian. Arthur
Trafford made a great deal of protestation in the outset about his
repugnance to receiving the annuity which Philip offered; but of course
he _did_ receive it, and in time came to think that it was much less
than he ought to have, always forestalling it. But Philip remained
firm, and never increased the amount to more than was at first offered,
a sum which he considered sufficient for an idle man to live upon.

How shall I write of the married life of Philip and Lilian? I will only
say with the poet:

    Love took up the glass of Time, and turned it in his glowing hands;
    Every moment lightly shaken ran itself in golden sands.

They were not selfish in their happiness, finding plenty of room in
their hearts for those outside their own circle; which by the way was
now a not very small one. Need I say they held fast to 'Sister Mary;'
and though they could not be brought to allow that she had chosen the
life she was best fitted for, they did their best to impart to it as
much sunshine as they could; and I hope comforted themselves with
the belief that my happiness was owing more to their efforts than my
work. Was there a word of truth spoken in the jest, sometimes thrown
playfully at me, to the effect that I was imbuing my god-child Mary
with the notion that she had a mission, as her brothers term it? She
was a thoughtful earnest child of fifteen, who had spent a great deal
of her time with me, and sometimes said she would choose Aunt Mary's
life before all others. It did her no harm to think so for the time
being; but I knew that Aunt Mary would choose her mission to be a happy
wife and mother. Failing that, I could only hope she would be as happy
as Aunt Mary. For notwithstanding an occasional bit of sentiment, I
was as happy a woman as could be found in the three kingdoms, with a
larger circle of friends than I could well count. And very proud I was
of their friendship, though the majority of them could not be said to
belong to the upper strata of society. I had a large correspondence
too--letters which brought tears of joy and thankfulness to my eyes,
though they could not be quoted as elegant specimens of the art of
letter-writing; to say nothing of their being addressed in a somewhat
eccentric manner, occasionally sealed with a thimble, and so forth.

I imagined that the story of my life would run thus smoothly and evenly
on to the end; but the aspect of things changed. First, we lost dear
old Mrs Tipper, who passed peacefully away, lovingly tended in her last
moments by her children, as she called us. She left everything she
possessed to me. Shortly afterwards, Jane Osborne died, bequeathing
the bulk of her property for the future maintenance of the Home, and
what she termed a competence to me. Five hundred a year appeared to me
something more than a competence; and with my dear old friend's legacy
it made me a rich woman.

Philip and Lilian would now give me no peace, insisting that I had
not the shadow of an excuse for remaining at the Home. Moreover, Hill
Side was waiting for me. They had been long engaged in altering and
improving Fairview, and had at length taken up their abode there.
It was now a large estate, sufficient ground adjoining having been
purchased to make a good park; and the trees, planted fifteen years
before, were beginning to look respectable. The house itself has been
a great deal altered and _subdued_, as Philip calls it, a story being
taken away, and wings thrown out, &c.; very greatly to its improvement.
It now looks a fitting home for a family of good standing, and as
Philip's brother allows, a residence worthy of one who owns the name of
Dallas.

In truth they had outgrown Hill Side; two spirited boys and three
girls with the necessary arrangements for an education befitting their
accumulating wealth, were not contemplated in the first plans; and I
could not pretend to think that the change had been made solely on
my account; although they threatened to let the place fall to ruin,
if I would not go to it. Everything was left just as it was; Lilian
took nothing but her mother's portrait, and Philip a portion only of
his books; and to this also there was no demurring; Fairview being
furnished befitting its size. Whilst I was still hesitating, or fancied
that I was hesitating (for I found it very pleasant to dwell upon
the idea of ending my days at Hill Side), Robert Wentworth put in an
irresistible argument in favour of my yielding to their wishes, and
quitting the Home. He pointed out that I was preventing some poor
gentlewoman from earning the income pertaining to the situation. I was
not a little surprised at his going over to their side; but, I could
not, had I wished to do so, deny the reasonableness of his argument.
As soon, therefore, as a lady was found to undertake the office, I
resigned it.

My home-coming was made a fête-day in the village. Had a royal visitor
been expected, more could not have been done in the way of preparation.
The place was gay with flags and evergreens, whilst feasting and
bell-ringing were going on all day. And the approach to my future home
was arched over with flowers, and 'WELCOME' repeated wherever the word
could be put, but expressed more delightfully than all in the faces of
Philip, Lilian, and their children. It was a busy day too, as 'befitted
the coming home of Aunt Mary,' laughingly said the children. A dinner
was given to the grown-up people in a large tent on the green; and
later on a tea, to which children were invited, with a day's holiday
to all and sports between times. Of course Becky and her husband were
honoured guests with their eight children. He is now a flourishing
market-gardener, very proud of his little woman, though her happy
married life does not tend to decrease the size of her mouth, since
there is always a smile upon her face.

We had all been very busy, and were glad to take our tea on the terrace
in the cool of the evening--just sufficiently distant from the sound
of merriment in the village below. After tea, Philip and Lilian,
lovers still, stroll down to the green to watch the sports awhile, the
tired children electing to remain with Aunt Mary and Uncle Robert. My
eyes followed the two as they passed down the path under the flowery
arches, husband and wife in all the best sense of the words. Philip
was a stately, thoughtful, English gentleman, growing anxious and
ambitious for his two boys; a little too ambitious, I told him, in
certain directions, since they are but mortal. And his happy wife,
beautiful 'with all the soul's expansion,' was worthy to be the mother
of girls--confiding to me _her_ ambition to fit them to influence the
lives of honourable men.

My nieces, as they were called, were to live with me in turn. Lilian
says they are very pitiful to such of their friends as have no Aunt
Mary. Little Phil was very enthusiastically describing to me the
advantages of my new home.

'Look here, Aunt Mary; it's the best place for larks you can imagine;
beats Fairview hollow.'

'Larks, Phil?'

'Well, you know. Suppose you've got some one in the library you want
to make jump nearly out of his skin; just creep round the plantations,
and crawl under the bushes, and climb up over the stones--you must take
care though, for they are awfully slippery--and peep in at the windows
with your face made up like a brigand, and point a sham pistol at him!'

I expressed a doubt as to my capacity for crawling under bushes and
climbing over slippery stones; at which Phil proposed other larks,
which he considered to be more within the compass of my ability. But
with the dignity of thirteen, and the experience of three months at
Eton, Robert gave it as his opinion that Phil's larks were not worthy
of the name.

'Look here: I know a fellow;' &c. &c.; sinking his voice into a whisper
as the two boys drew closer together; their sister Jenny, who is
said to be developing a taste for larks, and is very proud of being
occasionally taken into their confidence, listening with bated breath
and dilating eyes. Then Mary whispers to me that if I want to enjoy
that bit out of _Midsummer Night's Dream_, and fancy myself in the
woods _really_, I must sit under the tree on the slope when the moon is
rising and the shadows are deep. And before she is carried off by her
nurse, Baby Lily solemnly presents me with a woollen lamb, which she
thinks enough to insure my future happiness and make me 'dood.'

'And so you have got your rest and peace at last?' said Robert
Wentworth, as he and I stood for a few moments together on the terrace
watching the sunset.

'Yes,' I replied, a little absently, my thoughts reverting to the old
dreams of peace and rest.

'Well, it's all _couleur de rose_ now. But how long will this kind of
thing satisfy you?'

'What kind of thing?'

'Being worshipped and fêted in this way.'

'I find it very pleasant,' I demurely replied.

'You will not for long, Mary.'

'Do you think I am not capable of appreciating rest and peace then?'

He smiled. 'I give you six months.'

'And yet you were as urgent as the rest about my giving up work,' I
said.

'Yes; I wanted to see you in an independent position, and so to
ascertain if certain theories of mine are correct.'

'Uncle Robert, is it true? Phil says he heard mamma tell papa that
she did not despair of your marrying Aunt Mary even now. Is it
true--_really_?'

I saw a swift flush pass over his face, and an expression in his eyes
which I had only once seen there before, as they turned for a moment
upon me. Then after a few moments he said, in a low husky voice: 'Ask
auntie!'

Robert Wentworth had never married, and I cannot affect to be ignorant
of the cause; but in all the long years that have passed he has spoken
no word of love to me. Now the child's words had stirred the depths of
his nature, and shewn me that time has worked no change in him.

'Is it true, auntie--is it?' asked Jenny, turning impetuously towards
me.

'Uncle Robert and I love each other like old friends, dearie,' I said,
replying _to him_ in a low faltering voice. 'But--I am too old to think
of--marrying;' laying my hand gently upon his, resting upon the back of
a garden-seat, as I spoke.

'Well, that's what Robert and I said,' frankly ejaculated Jenny. 'You
_are_ old, and old people don't marry;' and off she ran to tell the
others.

He recovered first, beginning to talk to me about a case he had in
hand, and very soon contriving to get me sufficiently interested in it
to enter warmly into the pros and cons with him. He was no longer a
briefless barrister, having made a name in the profession, and being
remunerated accordingly. I have the comfort of knowing that his life,
like my own, is on the whole a full and happy one, although we have
both had to bid adieu to certain things.

Before the six months he had given me expired, I began to find that I
required change of air, and commenced absenting myself occasionally
from my beautiful luxurious home for two or three weeks at a time and
sometimes even longer, much to the surprise of Philip and Lilian,
who could not understand why I should choose to go alone and be so
mysterious about the places I visited. But they became less anxious if
not less curious when they found that I always returned cheered and
refreshed by the change, and at length ceased to question me.

Robert Wentworth appeared to take it for granted that my trips were
in search of the picturesque; occasionally remarking that I must be
growing familiar with all the loveliest nooks in England. I flattered
myself that I had for once succeeded in keeping him in the dark, and he
did not suspect the real object of my journeys. But I was mistaken. I
might as well have taken him into my confidence at once, and he shewed
me that I might, in his own fashion.

During one of my absences from Hill Side, I was under the unpleasant
necessity of appearing at a police court. In obedience to a call for
Mary Jones, I stepped into the witness-box, as unwilling a witness as
had ever made her appearance there. I had just been trying to comfort
myself with the reflection that Robert did not take up such cases, and
was not at all likely to be there, when our eyes met; and from the
amused expression in his, I knew that he was about to examine me, and
something of what I might expect. As he afterwards informed me, he had
taken up the case for the express purpose of shewing me that he knew
all about my movements.

'Is Mary Jones your real name?'

'It is the name I am known by.'

'And you are a lodger in Biggs Court, Bethnal Green?'

'Yes; I have two rooms there.'

'And go out nursing sick people in the neighbourhood?'

'I have occasionally done so.'

'Is it a fact that you have musical evenings and readings to which you
invite the poor women in the neighbourhood; and that you lend money to
the deserving, and give lectures to them about the management of their
homes and children?'

'I do not call them lectures, sir,' I replied demurely. 'But I see that
you know all about my movements.'

'It is my business to know,' he replied gravely, going on with the
case, a charge of assault, not uncommon in the neighbourhood of my
town residence, to which I had been a witness, and was obliged to give
evidence.

Since then we have not met very frequently. He is always an honoured
guest at Fairview; but he is on the Bench now, devoted to the grand
earnest life of the upright judge, and has very little time for private
intercourse, although he is always ready to give us counsel and advice.
It is my pride to hear of the respect and honour he wins, and to know
that I have not been instrumental in impairing his usefulness in
the world. Meantime, we are beginning to talk sometimes of the life
beyond, with the yearning of those who have borne the heat and burden
of the day, and I listen with bowed head and thankful heart to his
acknowledgment that his life has not been lived in vain for himself any
more than for others. This may be said only to cheer and comfort me;
but I believe that it is truer than he himself thinks it to be. But I
am above all pleased with his occasional grim little attacks upon my
logic, &c., for that is to me the most convincing proof that we are the
best of friends; and we are highly amused when the children take my
part, and ask him not to be hard upon Aunt Mary.

THE END.



HYDERABAD AND ITS RULERS.


The dominions of the Nizam, of which Hyderabad is the capital, are
situated in the southern part of Central India, and are of considerable
extent--nearly five hundred miles from north-east to south-west, and
about three hundred and fifty in breadth. The Nizam holds a very high
place among the native sovereigns of India; his revenue is a large one,
and is yearly increasing, greatly owing to the wise administration
of the present prime-minister, Sir Salar Jung, a man of singularly
intelligent and enlightened views, with a remarkable capacity for
government. For upwards of twenty years this able and talented man has
powerfully swayed the councils of the Nizams; and since the death of
the last ruler, his young son and successor, still a minor, has been
entirely under his guidance and control.

The young Nizam is now a boy of nine or ten years of age; and until
he is fifteen he will not assume the reins of government. His health
is unfortunately not good; his constitution being naturally a feeble
one, and the enervating life led in the zenana has in no way tended to
strengthen it. He is said to have an amiable disposition and not bad
abilities; an English tutor has been provided for him, and he has every
facility for receiving a first-class education. This, in conjunction
with the wise counsels of his prime-minister, ought to make him a
liberal and enlightened ruler when the time comes for him to take the
authority into his own hands. Let us trust that it will be so.

Sir Salar Jung speaks English fluently; and on the not rare occasions
when he gives an entertainment to the élite of the European society,
his manners are those of a polished and high-bred gentleman, anxious
that his guests should enjoy themselves, and that none should be
overlooked. In his extensive and splendidly furnished palace are
several rooms fitted up entirely in the English style, with chairs and
sofas of every form and dimension, and tables covered with albums,
photographs, and all the innumerable ornaments and knick-knacks of
fashionable London drawing-rooms. Here the guests all assemble before
dinner; and when the announcement is made, Sir Salar offers his arm to
the principal lady present, generally the wife of the English Resident,
and conducts her to the dining-room, his own private band playing _The
Roast Beef of Old England_, while the company defile into their places.
Here, again, all is in the English style, or rather in that which is
known as _à la Russe_; a long table brilliantly lighted, and decorated
with flowers, fruit, and confectionery, all arranged in the most
tasteful manner, the band continuing to play at intervals. The dinner
is in precisely the same European fashion--one course following the
other; and the viands and wine all of the most _recherché_ description;
champagne in abundance, liqueurs, everything in short that can gratify
the most fastidious palate; Sir Salar himself being a man of the
simplest tastes and drinking nothing but cold water.

Dinner ended, all rise, the gentlemen not remaining behind the ladies.
Sir Salar again conducts the _burra bebee_, or principal lady, to a
terrace on the roof of the palace, where there are seats arranged for
the guests, tea and coffee handed round, a quiet cigar permitted in the
background, and where a fine exhibition of fireworks is witnessed. This
is the conclusion of a very agreeable entertainment, to which about a
couple of hundred people are usually invited, who are all received with
the most perfect courtesy by Sir Salar, his young sons, and the members
of his suite; and who quit his hospitable roof much impressed by the
large-mindedness and frank geniality that so greatly distinguish the
Nizam's popular prime-minister.

Sometimes while the company is arriving, a 'nautch' is held in a kind
of garden quadrangle, and the guests stroll out and look on for a
few minutes, just as they feel inclined. Ordinary nautch-dancing is
anything but the incorrect proceeding it is commonly supposed to be;
it is really rather a dreary entertainment, and a very few minutes
of it will be sufficient to satisfy the curiosity of most people. Be
this as it may, nautch-dancing is a very favourite amusement among
the high-class natives. When Sir Salar Jung gives a banquet to his
fellow-countrymen, there is a nautch on a very large scale; the viands
also differ considerably from those presented to his European guests,
and consist chiefly of curries of every possible kind and flavour,
sometimes more than fifty being served at a meal.

Though he has held the supreme power for many years, and has been
prominently before the public for a yet longer time, the prime-minister
of the Nizam is not much above forty years of age. He is of medium
height, with an air of great dignity, an intelligent expression,
and piercing dark eyes. His face is entirely shaven except a dark
moustache; he generally wears a tight-fitting dark robe and small
white turban, with the Star of India on his breast, and well-fitting
English boots. His two wives and his daughters are never seen out
of the zenana, but they receive visits from English ladies; and it
is generally understood that Sir Salar is more liberal in his ideas
regarding the treatment of women than is usual among Mussulmans; and
his daughters are well educated, and have had foreign instructresses.

Among the institutions of Hyderabad evidencing an enlightened spirit
both among the foreign residents and the natives, is the successful
establishment of an American female doctor, a lady distinguished
alike by professional skill and charm of manner, and who commands an
excellent practice among the female portion of the community. She is
also frequently summoned to attend at the zenanas, a very great boon to
the poor secluded inmates, whose maladies are very frequently wrongly
treated, owing to the imperative strictness of the rule which prohibits
the physician from ever seeing his patient; the most that is allowed
in the case of a male practitioner being the extension of the hand or
tongue through a slit in a curtain, the face all the time remaining
perfectly invisible.

Hyderabad, with which is closely connected the large Anglo-Indian
station of Secunderabad, is in many respects a very pleasant residence.
The society is good, for in addition to a considerable sprinkling of
civilians, occupied in various ways, Secunderabad is an important
military centre, and the district enjoys many advantages in a social
and sanitary point of view. Only about twenty-four hours' journey from
Bombay by rail, it is thus brought into easy communication with one of
the great mercantile and social centres of India. Its real distance
from Madras is not much more; but as there is no direct line, a detour
has to be made in order to join the main line from Bombay at Sholapore,
which nearly doubles the time consumed in travelling between the two
places. This, however, may probably be amended by-and-by; when Madras
will be about equidistant with Bombay, and Hyderabad will then rise
into even greater importance. The climate is, generally speaking,
excellent: its situation, nearly two thousand feet above the level of
the sea, conducing much to its salubrity; while it is fortunate in
having two monsoons or rainy seasons, one between June and September,
and a shorter one later in the year. These rains are not of the
ordinary violent character, but more resemble April showers; the entire
depth of fall not usually averaging beyond twenty inches, while it is
more genially and beneficially diffused, rendering the air delightfully
cool and pleasant.

The cost of living is perhaps rather under the recognised rate of most
Anglo-Indian stations. Certain things are to be had very reasonably
indeed, while others are high-priced, especially the generality of
European articles, which are charged nearly double what they would
fetch at home. Strangely enough, tea is very dear; nothing drinkable
can be got under about six shillings a pound; lower-priced kinds being
perfect trash. But eggs, poultry, and even very tolerable mutton can
be bought very cheaply; a rupee (about two shillings of our money)
will purchase three or four fowls, certainly rather skinny ones; while
three rupees is an ordinary price for one of the small country sheep,
and the mutton is not bad, though of course it is not 'gram-fed,' as
they call the kind specially fattened for the table, and which costs
three or four times the money. There is much sociability among the
English residents; and the cooler nature of the climate enables them to
have a greater variety of al-fresco entertainments than is customary
in the tropical temperature of most parts of India. Perhaps partly
in consequence of this, combined with its higher and more salubrious
situation, the district round Hyderabad is generally very healthy; and
people have lived there for many years and enjoyed excellent health
without ever coming home at all. One well-known old Scotch gentleman
has resided chiefly there for fifty years without ever returning to
his native country; and to judge from his active habits and hale
appearance, he will live there for many years to come.

Among the native population, however, the repulsive disease of leprosy
is very prevalent; but Europeans seldom or never suffer from it.
This dreadful malady is of two kinds: in one the type is exceedingly
malignant; the afflicted persons are not permitted to go abroad, but
are secluded in buildings specially set aside for their reception, and
to all intents and purposes they are dead to their fellow-men.

The supply of water in the locality is excellent, mainly owing to the
enormous reservoirs that have been constructed in the vicinity of
Hyderabad, used principally for bathing both by the natives and by
Europeans. The largest of these is about twenty miles round; and they
are reached by numerous flights of steps, which are generally thronged
by the natives at all hours of the day, for the double purposes of
ablution and washing their clothes.

Cotton is the staple production of the country; but its other products
and resources are being rapidly developed by Sir Salar Jung, who has
organised large public works of various kinds, and is opening new
roads through the less frequented portions of the Nizam's territory.
If he could be induced to impose more taxes, a very great, and also
a justifiable increase of the revenue could be easily effected; but
to this measure he has an invincible objection, alleging that it is a
system to which the subjects of the Nizam have been little accustomed,
and which would be unpalatable to all classes alike. This may be
true; but so enlightened a ruler will probably ere long be brought to
acknowledge the necessity for a moderate adoption of this system, both
in the interests of his master and in those of the real prosperity of
the noble dominions he has so long and so faithfully governed.



'PRENTICE-LIFE AT SEA.


The sea is one of the most beautiful objects in nature, whether we
watch it breaking in playful ripples on the pebbly beach, or shrink
from it aghast when it rushes along the shore in the full thunder of
its wrath, seething, tortured, convulsed, struggling in the clutch of
the storm-fiend. To us in England who owe it so much, to us who have
for centuries reaped our harvests on its pathless plains, and made of
its trackless billows a highway to fame and fortune, the sea has always
been an object of intense, almost passionate interest. Hence there
have never been wanting among us volunteers for the wild sea-life of
freedom and adventure. The boy intended by fond parents for quite a
different fate, dreams of the unknown sea as he creeps reluctant to and
from school, devouring it may be the while some well-thumbed novel of
Marryat's, instead of mastering the intricacies of a Latin verb; until
at last, the passion growing with his growth, he leaves all else behind
him and finds his way to the shore, and looks wonderingly at the great
ships lying in the harbour. Blissful Edens these, which have fought
many a battle with the mighty ocean, although they are lying now so
quietly in dock, with their rigging stretching aloft like a network of
twine, and piles of cable lazily laid up on deck like so many coiled
snakes. Gradually he finds his way on board, and then discovers that
the rose has thorns; that sea-life, in other words, is by no means an
Elysium.

Such a career is sketched for us in an amusing book, _Two Years Abaft
the Mast_, by F. W. H. Symondson. The author was an apprentice on
board the _Sea Queen_, a sailing ship, bound for Sydney with a general
cargo. The ship was a good one, registered A1 at Lloyd's, and carried
a crew of twelve able-bodied seamen, four ordinary seamen, and three
apprentices besides himself. There were also three mates--the first,
second, and third.

Naturally life at sea is made up very much of routine, and the routine
on board the _Sea Queen_ was after the following fashion. A sea-day
commences at mid-day, when we must suppose the starboard watch, to
which our apprentice belonged, to be below. At twelve o'clock (eight
bells) he comes up along with his watch, to relieve the port watch,
who then have dinner. The second mate, who has charge of the starboard
watch, then sees that every one goes to his proper work. He gives an
eye to the steering of the ship, and carefully notes any shifting of
the wind. A fresh helmsman relieves the man at the wheel, and receives
directions as to steering from him; and our apprentice being the
youngest, looks after the time and strikes the bells. At half-past
twelve he strikers one bell, at one o'clock two bells, and so on. At
four o'clock, eight bells are struck, and the port watch is called;
and as soon as the man at the wheel is relieved, the starboard watch
go below, and smoke or read or spin yarns until tea-time, which is at
five o'clock. They then receive a pint of the pale inky coloured nectar
which does duty for tea on board ship, and along with it salt pork or
junk. This is cooked in different ways; chopped up with biscuit, water,
and slush, by which is meant the grease from salt meat, it forms a
sea-delicacy called sconse. Another _bonne bouche_ is dandy-funk, which
is compounded of powdered biscuit, molasses, water, and slush; while
dogsbody, composed of pea-soup, powdered biscuit, and slush, is also
considered to form a savoury and refreshing compound. At six o'clock
the other watch come below, and have their tea. During the first
dog-watch, from four to six, no regular work is done, but no larking is
allowed; but the second watch, from six to eight, is given up to fun
and frolic of the maddest and merriest description, such as chasing
rats with belaying-pins, or trying to turn the cook out of his galley,
while he defends himself with boiling water. At eight o'clock the wild
scrimmage ceases as if by magic, the starboard watch turn into their
berths, and nothing is heard but the measured tread of the look-out on
the forecastle head, and the soft murmur of the wind and sea, as the
night-breeze fills the sails, and the _Sea Queen_ glides onward to her
destination through the rippling water.

At midnight the port watch is relieved, all hands muster on deck, and
the mate in charge sings out: 'Relieve the look-out! Relieve the man at
the wheel!' and then all is silent again until four o'clock, when the
starboard watch go below, and the port watch come up.

The cook is called at four; and from half-past five to six the men
have their coffee, and then comes the order: 'Brooms and buckets aft,
to wash the decks;' which shews that the work of the day has begun.
While the decks are being scrubbed, the captain generally makes his
appearance, and after inspecting the compass and the sails, sits
down in his favourite arm-chair on the poop with a book. On Saturday
afternoons each watch are allowed an hour to wash their clothes, and at
half-past four or five the stores for the week are served out: these
consist of articles such as sugar, vinegar, &c.

In the little world of the ship, the captain is an irresponsible
autocrat; his word is law; to refuse to obey him is mutiny. The sole
command of the navigation and working of the ship rests with him, and
the weather-side of the poop is his private property when he chooses
to come on deck. In the ordinary daily work he seldom interferes
personally, but transmits all his orders through the chief mate, who
is a very important officer, and who superintends everything. When
the cargo is stowed, he must give an acknowledgment for it and for
all goods in the hold, and must make up any deficiencies. He must
also keep the log-book, which is a very important trust. The officer
of each watch marks upon the log-slate the courses, the distance run,
the winds, and any subject of interest; and these at the end of every
twenty-four hours are copied into the official log-book by the chief
mate. The duties of the second and third mate are less onerous; but
they must always be addressed by the prefix of 'Mr' and answered with
'Sir.' The third mate has to dispense the stores--a very unpopular
office, and one which does not fail to call down a shower of anything
but blessings upon his devoted head. A boatswain is in general only
carried by large ships, and his sole duty is to look after the rigging
and all that concerns it. The carpenter is both an important and
independent personage on board ship; the captain alone gives him his
orders, and he has nothing to do with any of the three mates; his usual
sobriquet is 'Chips.' The steward is in point of fact the captain's
servant, and although he is well paid, he is generally looked down upon
by the crew, who call him 'Flunkey.'

Pursuing the narrative presented to us by the _Sea Queen's_ apprentice,
we find that the cook, if he is a good one, is a very important
personage on board ship; he answers generally to the name of 'Slushy'
or 'the Doctor,' and requires to be, and indeed almost always is,
an individual of some resource, for he practises his calling amid
difficulties such as would utterly dismay a _chef de cuisine_ on
land. His kitchen, to begin with, is such a mite of a place that the
wonder is that he can fry, roast, or boil anything in it; then it is
provokingly subject to sudden inundations, partial deluges which come
tumbling in as if in sport, playfully extinguishing his stove, and
sending his provisions, cooking utensils, and seasonings sliding and
spinning all around him; while if he is worth his salt he will still,
in spite of all these difficulties, turn out such a meal for the cabin
table as Soyer under the circumstances need not have blushed to own.
As is befitting in the case of such a superior being, he has certain
social advantages; he can smoke in his galley whenever he chooses; and
he slumbers peacefully all night in the best bunk of the forecastle,
blissfully unconscious of the existence or claims of port or starboard
watches. The apprentices are not so well off, although a premium of
from thirty to sixty guineas is sometimes paid for their term of four
years; the only advantage they have is living apart from the crew.
Their duties are the same as those of a forecastle boy, and they share
the same food, which is sufficient in quantity, but often very bad as
to quality.

On the 9th March the first Australian sea-birds were sighted; and on
the morning of the 16th they cast anchor in Sydney Harbour, which,
with its wooded hills sloping gently down to the sea, seemed to our
apprentice a perfect paradise of beauty. At Sydney they remained a
fortnight, enjoying the luxury of very good and very cheap dinners, for
meat only cost from twopence to fourpence per pound. After discharging
their cargo, they sailed to Newcastle, sixty miles distant, to take in
a cargo of coal, with which they sailed on the 23d April for Hong-kong,
where they arrived on the 15th of June.

While at Hong-kong they had abundance of buffalo-meat, eggs, fruit,
and soft bread, and plenty of hard work too, in washing out the hold
of the ship, which had been much begrimed by the coals, to fit it for
a cargo of tea. This the captain was unable to obtain, and was in
consequence obliged to sail to Foo-chow, on the river Min, where, on
the 13th of July, they arrived at Pagoda anchorage, so called from an
old pagoda built on an island in the river, which widens out here to
the dimensions of a small lake. Here also they waited in vain for a
freight of tea, and the captain at last resolved to take a native cargo
of poles to Shanghae, and try for better luck there.

On the 14th September they entered the Yangtze-kiang, where they found
the scenery flat and uninteresting, but yet home-like, for the river
reminded them of the Thames below London.

In the course of a week they unloaded their timber, but still no
freight of tea could be procured; and the captain, after some delay,
resolved to return to Foo-chow, taking as ballast native goods and
medicines, two dozen sheep, and two dozen passengers. On the voyage
back to Foo-chow, the cook having abandoned his post in disgust at
the sharpness of a new Chinese steward, our apprentice was induced to
volunteer his services, and was formally installed in his new office
at four o'clock one fine morning. He began his arduous task by trying
to kindle a fire, which for more than an hour obstinately resisted all
his efforts to make it burn. At last he succeeded in evoking a tiny
blaze, and thankful at heart even for that small mercy, he placed upon
his fire the copper with water for the breakfast coffee, and marched
off elate to get the rations for the day. It chanced to be a pork
and pea-soup day; and having got his supplies of pork and pease, he
returned to his galley, and was horror-struck to find that the sea was
washing into it every few minutes, sometimes sportively rising almost
as high as the precious fire which had cost him so much trouble. In his
anxiety to preserve this cherished flame, the little tub of pork, which
he had put out of his hands for a moment, capsized, and its contents
were washed swiftly round and round the galley, to the surprise and
disgust of the unfortunate amateur. At last, giving chase, he succeeded
in capturing them with a considerable admixture of cinders; and having
placed the tub and its heterogeneous contents out of harm's way, he
concentrated his energies upon the question of the moment, which was
coffee.

Tired of waiting for the water to boil, he threw in the coffee, and
then, to while away the time, he began to pare some potatoes, which, by
some unaccountable fatality, as fast as they were pared rolled out of
the basin in which he placed them, upon the floor. Whish! away went the
ship, lurching heavily, and away went the tub of pork again; and pork,
tub, and potatoes began chasing each other round the galley in gallant
style, being kept in countenance by a couple of buckets, which went
frantically clanging and clanking against each other and everything
else that came in their way. Despair shews itself in many ways: at this
crisis our apprentice laughed; and he was still grinning over his own
mishaps, when the watch arrived, sharp set for their coffee.

They were by no means in a laughing humour when they learned how the
land lay, and neither was he, for that matter, when they left him.
Convinced that at all risks he must make the water boil, he frantically
heaped upon the fire odd bits of rope and canvas; but the water had a
will of its own, and boil it would not. Eight o'clock struck, and again
they came, each holding out an empty hook-pot, which he filled with by
no means the best grace in the world, trying, as he ladled out the vile
mixture, to sink the coffee, which floated like dust upon the surface.
It would not do. First one man came growling back, and then another,
and then the steward arrived to ask after the captain's potatoes. The
captain's potatoes! He had forgotten all about them, and they had
meanwhile been having a rare lark of it on deck, rattling first into
one hole and then into another, until at last the greater number of
them had scuttled overboard. What had he done? Had he been guilty of
mutiny, insubordination, or gross carelessness as bad as either, on the
high seas? In his panic he stepped back into the galley, which, for a
wonder, happened to be free from water, and a hot coal falling out of
the stove, burned his foot; and so ingloriously ended his career as
cook.

At Pagoda Island the captain became seriously ill; and notwithstanding
the most careful nursing on the part of his wife and our sailor
apprentice, he passed away without ever having recovered consciousness,
and was interred in the English cemetery at Foo-chow.

On the 6th November, the _Sea Queen_ having loaded up, and being ready
to start, a new captain came on board, the crew standing by the break
of the forecastle and keenly eyeing him as he stepped on deck. There
was not much to look at in him. He was a middle-sized man, with a
moustache and whiskers of a sandy red hue; and that he did not despise
his creature-comforts was evident from the quantity of provisions that
came on board next day. He was, however, not illiberal with his good
things, but from time to time presented the apprentices' mess with some
little delicacies. As for the question of questions always asked by a
crew with regard to a new captain: 'Does he carry on?' that is, does he
risk a large press of sail in a stiff wind, it had to be answered in
the negative. He was, in fact, as timid as his predecessor had been,
but from a different cause--he had always formerly commanded a steamer,
and his new duties were strange to him.

They had now been at sea for several weeks, when one lovely evening our
apprentice was with his watch on deck, and had just lain down for an
hour's nap, when the after-bell was struck hurriedly three times. As it
was his duty to keep the time, and as the three strokes had, moreover,
nothing to do with the proper hour, he suspected that something was
wrong with the helmsman, a Swede, Edghren Andrews, and was just about
to verify his suspicion, when the man rushed up to him and said: 'Will
you take the wheel for a minute? I feel very sick; perhaps a swig of
cold tea will set me up.' He went to get it; and in a few minutes
returned to his post, where he had scarcely been a quarter of an hour,
when the bell was again struck twice. A second time he went to the
helmsman's assistance, and on the poop met Andrews, who said he was
worse than ever; whereupon our apprentice offered to finish up his time
for him.

Next morning the Swede took him into the forecastle and related the
following curious story. The evening before, while at the wheel, he
had suddenly seen the late captain on the weather-side of the poop,
anxiously looking up at the sails and sky; and while he stared at him
in mute surprise, he turned round angrily, and looked at him with such
a horrible expression of face, that he dropped the wheel in a panic
and rang the bell. In Sweden, he said, ghosts were supposed to have
a special dislike to a knife and to the Bible; so he rushed below to
procure them, by way of charm; but although he could have got a whole
bucketful of knives, he could not lay his hands upon a single Bible;
and so he took instead a Swedish novel, thinking that as the late
captain had not understood Swedish, it could not make much difference.
He soon found, however, that he had reckoned without his host. He
was no sooner set down to the wheel than the ghost reappeared, and
approaching the binnacle, looked at the compass, and made angry signs
to him to alter the vessel's course. So much for sea superstitions.

On boxing-day the ordinary routine of ship-life was broken by a
terrible accident. The port watch had just finished tea, and had turned
into their bunks for a smoke and a read, when a frightful clamour and
trampling of feet got up overhead. In a moment every one was on deck,
where all was in the wildest hurry and confusion. 'A man overboard!'
was the cry. 'Who is it? Who is gone?' asked half-a-dozen voices.
'Johnson!' answered the second mate, excitedly hauling at a rope. 'Haul
up the mainsail!' shouted the mate, in tones that rung clear and high
above the uproar. 'Slack away the sheet, lads! Bear down on the clew
garnets.' All was in vain: the sea was so high that the ship could
not be brought round to the wind, and the captain would not hear of a
boat being launched. 'It would only,' he very justly said, 'put more
lives in jeopardy.' With breathless excitement the look-outs at each
mast-head strained their eyes into the darkness of the wild night. The
black waves were tumbling mountain high, and there, like a cork upon
the billows, was their drowning messmate, slowly drifting astern to his
doom. A cold shudder ran through the veins of the breathless watchers.
Could nothing be done to help him? Nothing! The helmsman threw him a
life-buoy as he passed; perhaps he seized it, perhaps he did not: he
was never seen again.

On the 26th February they reached New York; and after unloading their
tea, took in a cargo of grain and resin, and sailed for London on
the 15th of March. It was a bad season of the year, and the ship was
overladen with grain, which makes a peculiarly heavy and unelastic
cargo. The weather, stormy from the first, grew gradually worse
until the 23d of March, when the gale freshened into a tempest, and
that again into the wildest conceivable hurricane. Some frightful
hours followed; the waves rolled along the bulwarks like mountains
of blackish green water; the roar of wind and sea was inconceivably
fearful, and suggested to the shivering crew the idea of something
demoniac. At last it became evident to all, that unless the sails
could be got rid of, the ship would founder. Who was to risk his life
in the attempt? What hero would be found to do this deed of courage?
As usual the hour brought the man in the person of Jack Andersen, a
Swedish sailor. With his open knife between his teeth, this brave
fellow sprang along the encumbered deck undaunted by a heavy sea which
broke over him; and soon a loud explosion told of his success; the last
sail was gone, and the _Sea Queen_ lay like a helpless log upon the
waters. At three in the morning a lull occurred, and the wind and sea
gradually went down; but the vessel continuing to sink deeper in the
water, it was necessary to lighten her, and fifty tons of cargo were
thrown overboard. The sacrifice saved her; and on the 1st of April they
sighted the welcome Lizard light. As for the suffering and discomfort
on board subsequent to the storm, it was simply inconceivable. Our
apprentice's chest floated bottom up for days; and his log-book, which
was locked up in it, got a thorough soaking, which fortunately did not
render it illegible, else we should have missed a very graphic and
interesting narrative of life at sea.



'ONLY TRIFLES.'


When tempted to scorn the little duties of our calling, let us think of
such sayings as the following. One day a visitor at Michael Angelo's
studio remarked to that great artist, who had been describing certain
little finishing 'touches' lately given to a statue--'But these are
only trifles.' 'It may be so,' replied the sculptor; 'but recollect
that trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.' In the
same spirit the great painter Poussin accounted for his reputation
in these words--'Because I have neglected nothing.' It is related
of a Manchester manufacturer, that, on retiring from business, he
purchased an estate from a certain nobleman. The arrangement was that
he should have the house with all its furniture just as it stood. On
taking possession, however, he found that a cabinet which was in the
inventory had been removed; and on applying to the former owner about
it, the latter said: 'Well, I certainly did order it to be removed;
but I hardly thought you would have cared for so trifling a matter
in so large a purchase.' 'My lord,' was the reply, 'if I had not all
my life attended to trifles, I should not have been able to purchase
this estate; and excuse me for saying so, perhaps if your lordship had
cared more about trifles, you might not have had occasion to sell it.'
'Oh, what's the good of doing this and that?' we say in reference to
departments of our business where quick returns are not forthcoming,
or where success does not at once stare us in the face. When Franklin
made his discovery of the identity of lightning and electricity,
people of this baser sort asked with a sneer 'Of what use is it?' The
philosopher's retort was: 'What is the use of a child? It may become
a man!' Apropos of this remark, grown-up people should remember while
doing improper things in the presence of him who is 'only a child,'
that he will one day become a man just like themselves.

Mr Careless Nevermind and Miss Notparticular think that great men
only deal with great things. The most brilliant discoverers were of
a different opinion. They made their discoveries by observing and
interpreting simple facts. When fools were walking in darkness, the
eyes of these wise men were in their heads. Galileo's discovery of the
pendulum was suggested to his observant eye by a lamp swinging from the
ceiling of Pisa Cathedral. A spider's net suspended across the path
of Sir Samuel Brown, as he walked one dewy morning in his garden, was
the prompter that gave to him the idea of his suspension bridge across
the Tweed. So trifling a matter as the sight of seaweed floating past
his ship, enabled Columbus to quell the mutiny which arose amongst his
sailors at not discovering land, and to assure them that the eagerly
sought New World was not far off. Galvani observed that a frog's leg
twitched when placed in contact with different metals, and it was
this apparently insignificant fact that led to the invention of the
electric telegraph. While a bad observer may 'go through a forest and
see no firewood,' a true _seer_ learns from the smallest things and
apparently the most insignificant people. 'Sir,' said Dr Johnson to a
fine gentleman just returned from Italy, 'some men will learn more in
the Hampstead stage than others in the tour of Europe.' Certainly the
power of little things can never be denied by Englishmen who reflect
that the chalk cliffs of their island have been built up by little
animals--detected only by the help of the microscope--of the same order
of creatures that have formed the coral reefs.

Perhaps it is not too much to say that England owes her reputation of
being the best workshop in Europe not so much to the fact that she is
rich in coal and iron, as because her workmen put or used to put a
good finish on their work. A country must become and continue great
when its labourers work honestly, paying attention to detail, putting
_conscience_ into every stone they place and into every nail they
drive. There is no fear of England declining so long as it can be said
of her workers what was said of the Old Masters in statuary, painting,
and cathedral-building:

    In the elder days of art,
      Builders wrought with greatest care
    Each minute and unseen part,
      For the gods are everywhere.

How much of this honest workmanship, that careth for little things and
not merely for the large and showy, is to be seen on the roof of Milan
Cathedral! Here the smallest and least visible statue of the statue
forest that tops the building, is carved with quite as great care as
the largest and most conspicuous.

It has been remarked that we cannot change even a particle of sand
on the sea-shore to a different place without changing at the same
time the balance of the globe. The earth's centre of gravity will be
altered by the action, in an infinitely small degree no doubt, but
still altered; and upon this will ensue climatic change which may
influence people's temperaments and actions. Of course this is an
absurd refinement; but it illustrates the undoubted fact that the
most trivial thought and act in our lives carries with it a train of
consequences, the end of which we may never guess. The veriest trifles
become of importance in influencing our own or other people's lives and
characters. One look may marry us. Our profession may be settled for us
by the most trivial circumstance. 'A kiss from my mother,' said West,
'made me a painter.' Going into an inn for refreshment, Dr Guthrie
saw a picture of John Pounds the cobbler of Portsmouth teaching poor
ragged children that had been left by ministers, ladies, and gentlemen
to go to ruin on the streets. The sight of this picture hanging over
the chimney-piece on that day, made Dr Guthrie the founder of ragged
schools.

On a clock in one of the Oxford colleges is inscribed this solemn
warning to those who fancy that killing time is not murder: _Periunt et
imputantur_ (the hours perish and are laid to our charge). But is not
this equally true of those 'odd moments' during which we say it is not
worth while commencing or finishing anything? Mr Smiles tells us that
Dr Mason Good translated Lucretius while driving from patient's house
to patient's house; that Dr Darwin composed nearly all his works in
the same way; that Hale wrote his _Contemplations_ while travelling on
circuit; that Elihu Burritt while earning his living as a blacksmith
mastered eighteen ancient languages and twenty-two European dialects in
'odd moments;' that Madame de Genlis composed several of her volumes
while waiting for the princess to whom she gave daily lessons. Kirke
White learned Greek and J. S. Mill composed _Logic_ as they walked to
their offices. Many of us get into a fuss if the dinner be not to the
moment. Not so did D'Aguesseau, one of the greatest Chancellors of
France, act. He _used_ this _mauvais quart d'heure_, for he is said to
have written a large and able volume in the intervals of waiting for
dinner. Wellington's achievements were mainly owing to the fact that he
personally attended to such minutiæ as soldiers' shoes, camp-kettles,
biscuits, horse-fodder; and it was because Nelson attended to detail in
respect of time that he was so victorious. 'I owe,' he said, 'all my
success in life to having been always a quarter of an hour before my
time.' 'Every moment lost,' said Napoleon, 'gives an opportunity for
misfortune.' Well would it have been for himself--as his bitter end
proved--had this European bully known another fact--that every moment
selfishly employed is worse than lost, and 'gives an opportunity for
misfortune!' However, he attributed the defeat of the Austrians to his
own greater appreciation of the value of time. While they dawdled he
overthrew them.

It may be said that 'it is the pace that kills--that people nowadays
are more prone to wear themselves out by overworking than to rust
unused.' But is it not over-anxiety and want of method, rather than
overwork, that kills us? Methodical arrangement of time is like packing
things in a box; a good packer will get in half as much again as a bad
one.

Little words and acts far more than great ones reveal the manner of a
man. No one--in Great Britain at least--could be such a Goth as to rest
his heels on the mantel-piece or to spit when sitting in the company
of ladies round a fire. It is not, however, given to all to continue
sinless as regards those many little things that mark the naturally
refined man. Women are said to be better readers of character than
men, and perhaps the reason is this: character is shewn by minutiæ,
and the fine intuition or mental sharp-sightedness by which these are
discerned, belongs to women in a greater degree than to men.

Without caring in the smallest degree for goodness, we may avoid crime
and gross sin because of the police, or because we desire to get on in
the world, or because we are afraid of ridicule. The test, therefore,
of a fine character is attention to the minutiæ of conduct. Nor does
the performance of those large duties which are almost forced upon
us prove our love to God or to man nearly so convincingly as do the
little commonplace services of love--the cheerful word, the cup of
cold water--when rendered not grudgingly or of necessity. By little
foxes tender grapes are destroyed, according to Solomon. Little foxes
are very cunning and most difficult to catch; and so are those little
temptations by which our moral natures are gradually eaten away. The
tender grapes of many a Christian branch are destroyed by such little
foxes as temper, discontent, avarice, vanity. Many who could resist
much greater sins yield to these. There is an excitement in the very
greatness of a trial or temptation which enables us to resist it; while
the chase after little foxes is dull and uninteresting. No wonder that
when we analyse the lives of those who have ruined themselves morally,
we generally discover that

    It was the little rift within the lute
      That, ever widening, slowly silenced all;
    Or little pitted speck in garnered fruit,
      That, rotting inward, slowly mouldered all.

How many people are _almost_ successful, missing their aim by 'Oh, such
a little!' Minutiæ in these cases make or mar us. 'If I am building
a mountain,' said Confucius, 'and stop before the last basketful of
earth is placed on the summit, I have failed.' The examination is lost
by half a mark. One neck nearer and the race would have been won. The
slightest additional effort would have turned the tide of war. 'Thou
art not far from the kingdom of God,' were solemn words, marking the
terrible difference between almost and altogether.



A MASONIC INCIDENT.


When the Territory of Kansas applied to the government at Washington
for the privilege of adding another star to the national flag--now
nearly twenty-five years ago--conflicting interests were involved in
the very important question as to whether she should enter the Union
as a free or a slave state. Some of the foremost abolitionists of the
North were determined that no territory should be added to the Union
as a slave state; Southerners were equally resolute that the limits
of slavery should no longer be circumscribed; while others, affecting
a more moderate temper, offered to leave the settlement of the matter
to the people themselves who sought the more extended national
relationship. At this time the public mind was in a highly excited
condition. The effect of the iniquitous 'Fugitive Slave Law'--passed in
a spirit of conciliation towards the South, and for assisting which,
by his vote, the illustrious Daniel Webster sacrificed much of his
well-earned reputation--had not died away when, in 1852, the statute
was suddenly put into practical operation in the city of Boston, and
a scene was there enacted which is without a parallel in American
history. A negro named Burns having escaped from bondage, settled in
Boston, and for some years had earned an honest living as a waiter at
hotels and in sundry other occupations in which men of his race were
accustomed to be engaged. The Fugitive Slave Law empowered slaveholders
to follow runaways into free states and remove them therefrom; and
Burns' owner having discovered the fugitive's whereabouts, resolved
on the exercise of his newly-acquired rights. Burns was arrested
and lodged in jail. The news spread with the speed and effect of an
electric shock. The whole city was moved. With youthful ardour many of
the students of Harvard College (located at the neighbouring suburb of
Cambridge) assailed the prison, with a view to the forcible liberation
of the captive. So quickly had the riot assumed a portentous aspect,
that a large force of police and soldiery was called into requisition
to quell the disturbance. The representatives of the law succeeded in
at once restoring peace and in placing in custody many of the students
and other citizens who had attempted, though in vain, to render a
humane service to an oppressed fellow-creature.

The quiet of the following day--Sunday--failed to allay the excitement
which had seized the public mind. As the people issued from the various
places of worship the proceedings of the previous day formed the
general theme of conversation; groups of eager citizens were to be seen
here and there discussing the outrage which had been perpetrated in the
very 'cradle of liberty' itself.

Those who had been placed under arrest were, however, liberated
shortly afterwards; and so soon as the necessary legal preliminaries
were settled, arrangements were made for the transfer of the negro to
his owner. Early on the morning of his removal, the streets in the
neighbourhood of the jail were strictly closed against all traffic, by
ropes, guarded by police, traversing their approaches. A cannon was
placed in position on the court-house steps; and, still further to
secure the captive against any probable attempt at rescue on the part
of the populace, the police, supported by cavalry in the rear with
drawn sabres, lined the thoroughfares through which he had to walk to
the harbour, where a vessel was in readiness to convey him southwards.
To add significance to this extraordinary scene, a coffin was suspended
in mid-air on ropes running diagonally from the upper windows of the
four corners of Washington Street, where it is intersected by School
Street on the west and State Street on the east--the avenues through
which Burns would pass--and most of the buildings in this locality
were draped in mourning. Such space as was available for spectators
was filled to overflowing with expectant citizens. The surging masses
swayed to and fro with excitement; and when the slave appeared in
charge of the officials, the murmured execrations of an indignant but
law-observing multitude arose as incense. The ship lying in the harbour
received him on board, and a fair wind soon wafted him beyond the reach
of any manifestation of Northern sympathy.

Such, then, was the state of public or, rather, Northern feeling when
Kansas, as already stated, applied for admission into the Union. The
slaveholders of the South, and all in sympathy with them, adopted
measures for influencing and, indeed, of controlling public opinion
in Kansas on this great question; and to achieve this end, mercenary
agents were employed to foster such 'slave' proclivities as might be
apparent, and to instil them into the minds of the people, if their
political sentiments were found to be tinged with 'free' tendencies.
Not only was this virtually acknowledged, but it was discovered that
preparations had been made for the exercise of physical force if need
be. The Northerners, and more especially the abolitionists of the New
England States, impelled by a righteous impulse to neutralise, as far
as lay in their power, every unscrupulous endeavour to extend slave
territory, sent arms to the inhabitants, to enable them to meet force
with force. Jealousy of political ascendency culminated in aggressive
measures being adopted by the pro-slavery party. Espionage, with
its attendant evils, was organised: men were tarred and feathered,
and ridden on a rail or lynched, until the 'border warfare' was an
acknowledged fact.

At this juncture, a literary gentleman named S----, strongly imbued
with Northern zeal, but lacking the discretion which should accompany
every important and worthy undertaking, decided on venturing into the
midst of the disturbance, for the purpose of advocating anti-slavery
principles by establishing an 'abolition' newspaper. He took a
printing-press, type, paper, and such appliances as were required.
His wife, not deterred by the length of the journey or the dangers
which attended it, insisted on accompanying him on his perilous
enterprise. After a journey of about one thousand five hundred miles,
he settled near Fort Leavenworth, not far from the Missouri river, and
soon completed his arrangements for starting his paper. Considering
his surroundings, it was not likely that any great length of time
would elapse before he acquired a reputation as a dangerous political
intruder. His first issue startled the people immensely; but whether
his anti-slavery vagaries, as they were considered, should be resented,
or laughed at as an evidence of playful temerity, was for the moment
a moot-point. The times, however, were not laughing times, and he was
speedily a marked man. Intimations were conveyed to him by the process
known as 'underground' that he had better relinquish his undertaking
and hurry home to the east; and that in the event of his non-compliance
with these hints, he would be waited upon by certain parties who made
such matters their special vocation. In spite of these warnings, he
continued to publish his unsavoury journal.

Amongst those who assumed the surveillance and guardianship of the
public weal, political _and moral_, was one Dick M----. Dick was
reputed to have been of respectable parentage, and to have spent his
early days in peaceful circles; but the allurements of a desperado's
life charmed him away to the sphere of action in which he was now
engaged. His belt was amply supplied with the means of offence or
defence, just as his 'appurtenances' might be required; and whether
accompanied in his inquisitorial migrations by his followers or not,
never failed to make his presence felt. In short, Dick was one of the
most daring and blood-thirsty ruffians that could be encountered, and
wherever he presented himself, dismay was widespread.

Very early one morning, as S---- was printing his paper preparatory
to its distribution, his office door was opened and several men
entered. The ceremony of a formal introduction was dispensed with; his
printing-press was smashed, his property destroyed, and the office
itself quickly demolished. Dick--for it was he--and his comrades
arrested S----; but his wife was permitted to take leave of her husband
on promising to return eastward without delay. The parting, under such
circumstances, may readily be imagined; but in the absence of efficient
protection to life and property, no reasonable alternative was left;
the separation must be.

S---- was speedily marched by his ignominious escort towards the
Missouri. It was usual in such cases to 'string up' the delinquent
to the first tree the parties met with; but on this occasion it was
intended to convey the prisoner to such a place as might enable them
to invest their proceedings with more than the customary spectacular
effect. Such desperadoes considered it beneath their manly dignity to
travel far without refreshment; they therefore soon stopped at a tavern
to satisfy their conventional thirst. S---- was placed in an arm-chair
at the end of the saloon, while the masters of the situation lounged
around the bar. Presently, Dick sauntered up to his captive and entered
into conversation with him.

'Wal, stranger,' said Dick, 'I reckon you had better ha' stayed at New
York, instead of coming to Kansas with them abolition notions o' yourn;
we don't want no abolition out at Kansas.'

'I did not come out here,' S---- mildly answered, 'for the purpose of
creating discord, for it already existed; but simply and honestly to
promulgate views which, in my conscience, I believe to be right; and I
did it _because it is right_.'

'Wal,' blustered Dick, 'that kind of talk may do away at New York, but
I cal'late it won't amount to nothin' out here. I can't believe any man
would be sech a fool as to do sech a thing 'cause he believes it right.
I don't believe you, nohow.'

'Well,' replied S----, 'if you were a member of a society I belong to,
you would believe me.'

'What do you mean, stranger?' asked Dick with an air of wonderment.

S----, conscious of the hopelessness of his position, and fearing
almost momentarily to be put to death, ventured: 'If you were a
mason'--accompanying the remark with a certain sign usual in such
emergencies--' you would believe me.'

To his utter amazement and infinite satisfaction, this chief of
villains proved to be a freemason, having joined the fraternity in
his reputable days, and fortunately for S----, still respected his
obligations.

'Wal, brother, this is a kind o' awkward,' said Dick, in an altered
and friendly tone; 'but I reckon I must save you. The boys will be
mighty ugly though, when they see how things is. Now, when you hear
the steamer whistle as she comes down the river, keep close to me, and
follow me on board. I'll lock you in a cabin on deck, and as I know the
cap'n, I'll make it all right. But look alive when she comes.'

They had not to wait many minutes before a shrill whistle announced the
steamer's arrival. All left the tavern together, Dick marching ahead,
and holding S---- by the arm, as if leading an unwilling captive.
As these two stepped on the plank thrown out for passengers to walk
on from bank to deck, the 'boys' intuitively perceived the state of
things, and made a rush towards the plank. Dick was equal to the
occasion.

'Now, boys, make tracks!' said he in a tone and manner that made
obedience other than impossible. They accordingly withdrew, muttering
threats of vengeance at the loss of their prey.

Dick hurried S---- into a deck cabin, and without waiting for any
expression of thanks for the service he had rendered, locked the door,
and hastened to make all right with the 'cap'n,' according to promise.
In a few moments the engines moved, the paddles revolved, and the
steamer was under weigh for St Louis. Here S---- disembarked; and again
taking steamer for Alton, and thence cars to Cincinnati, was not long
in meeting his wife in New York.

S----'s anti-slavery sentiments continued to the last as strong as in
his early days, though, having an ever vivid recollection of his visit
to the south-west, his utterance on this particular theme grew somewhat
feeble. There was one topic, however, on which he waxed eloquent, and
that was his gratitude to freemasonry for having, under Providence,
preserved him from certain death.



FIGHTING FOR LIFE.

A STORY OF A WELSH COAL-MINE.


In all parts of the habitable globe wherever the English language is
spoken, a thrill of admiration must have passed through every English
heart at the brave deed which was, in the earlier part of this year,
accomplished in the Welsh coal-pit at Troedyrhiw.

There are times when a display of national pride is not only
justifiable but necessary; and it is a splendid victory gained for
humanity when we see a whole nation, heedless of every other event
which is taking place around her, hanging breathlessly and with
anxious face over the mouth of a pit in which a few poor miners are
engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle with Death; tortured with doubts
as to whether the imprisoned miners in the Troedyrhiw Colliery would
endure their fearful hardships long enough to enable themselves to be
snatched from a living grave. Happily, they did so, and _were_ saved
by the indomitable bravery of their fellow-miners. The whole story is
one more splendid instance of the noble qualities which are innate in
the breasts of those who form the sinew and the backbone of Britain;
qualities that have won for her undying glory in war or peace, and by
flood and field. How bravely death can be faced, and how bravely fought
even in moments of doubt and despair, and at the risk of terrible
perils deliberately encountered, is shewn by this story.

A miner's life is at all times a subject for grave study, for he must
by mere necessity be a brave man, knowing as he does that every time he
descends the shaft he literally carries his life with him in his hands.
Indeed this thought must cross the mind of the most hardened man; and
when he reaches the pit, the feeling must be intensified, for here his
responsibility increases with every step he takes along the glistening
black galleries of the mine. Not only has he his own life, but also the
lives of others, now in his hands; and the striking of a match may in
an instant consign hundreds of his fellow-creatures to a fearful death
in the bowels of the earth.

It was the writer's privilege, some few years since, to pay a visit to
one of the largest and finest coal-pits in England--the Sheepbridge
Colliery, near Chesterfield; the galleries of which extend in several
directions for a long distance, covering altogether about three miles
of ground, and passing in one place beneath a small lake. The sensation
one experiences on descending the shaft, and seeing the light of day
fading rapidly from view, is almost indescribable; and is only equalled
by the exquisite feeling of relief which pervades the mind on once
again returning to the surface.

An amusing incident occurred during our visit, which, though it was the
cause of much hilarity at the moment, would seem on reflection to be,
perchance, the innocent cause of many great disasters in coal-mines. As
is probably well known, the miners in many pits, especially in those
which are considered free from fire-damp or gas, work by the light of
candles, which are stuck here and there against the walls of coal, a
reserve of candles lying near at hand. These candles, the rats--the
only living companions of the miners--make free use of when they can
get a chance; and while we were watching the digging of some coal, one
of these creatures came stealthily up to the spot and ran off with the
lighted candle in its mouth. A volley of coal and curses flew after the
robber; but it kept on its course until both rat and candle disappeared
from view. But to our story.

It was on the evening of the 11th April, when the miners in the
Troedyrhiw Colliery were leaving their work, that a roar of rushing
waters was heard. The sound is one that is too well known to the ears
of experienced pitmen, and the men at once fled to the shaft and were
raised to the surface; but on arrival at the pit's mouth, fourteen of
their number--men and boys--were seen to be missing. In an instant
and without the slightest hesitation, volunteers nobly stood forward
to undertake the task of rescue, and immediately descended the pit
again, for the purpose, if possible, of bringing their fellow-miners
to the 'bank' in safety. It was found that the water had broken into
the mine through some old abandoned workings, and was flowing into all
the stalls, headings, and galleries into which the mine was divided.
The volunteers found also that all the workings within a few hundred
yards of the bottom of the shaft were filled with water up to the roof,
and it was at first concluded that all the fourteen missing ones were
drowned. A knocking was, however, heard, as if some of the men were
confined behind a wall of coal accessible from the outside; and the
volunteers at once determined to cut through this wall, which they
believed to be about twelve yards thick. The imprisoned men worked from
their side too; and in a few hours the obstruction was so far removed
as to enable the two parties to speak to each other. The tale of the
imprisoned men was, that the water was rapidly gaining on them, and
one of them struck through the coal to escape from the rising water.
But from one peril they immediately passed to another, for a violent
explosion followed, and one poor fellow, Thomas Morgan, was found
jammed to death in the hole which had been cut. This sad accident was
caused by the sudden escape of air which was pent up in the 'stall' in
which they had stood out of the way of the water, and the act of making
the hole through the coal in so sudden a manner was equivalent to
applying a match to a heap of powder or pulling the trigger of a gun.
It was fortunate they were not all killed by the explosion.

After this, knockings were heard farther on in the mine; and it was
soon made evident that the position of the other nine men was worse
than that of the miners just reached. The wall behind which they were
imprisoned was in a heading that was entirely flooded, and they could
only be reached after part of the water had been pumped out. Divers
were here employed, who went boldly into the flood, and gallantly
endeavoured to proceed through the half mile of water which lay between
the shaft and the imprisoned miners; but these were unwillingly
compelled to relinquish the attempt. On Monday, however, four days
after the flooding of the mine, the water was so far reduced as to
allow the work of cutting through the coal to be commenced. And here
we must pause to mention that this was done with a powerful pumping
apparatus, which, with all its appliances, had to be properly and
cautiously fitted up before it could be put into successful operation.
The poor fellows below had been without food for some five days now,
and it thus became a question of patient endurance on the one hand and
of unceasing labour and noble efforts on the other. And never did men
work more nobly than did those who were thus doing all that lay in the
power of man to save the lives of their devoted comrades.

In spite of their indefatigable efforts, however, day after day passed
by without any apparent result, for they had to cut through _forty
yards of solid coal_, and the difficulty increased as the intervening
wall became thinner. The anxiety of all concerned may be imagined when
we remind our readers that this immense block of coal could only be
penetrated at the rate of a yard per hour. But relays of men worked
night and day with unremitting zeal until at length their efforts were
rewarded with success. The imprisoned men were heard, and were able not
only to speak to their deliverers, but also to give directions as to
the course of the cuttings. 'Make haste! make haste!' was the plaintive
cry which now nerved the hands and arms of the heroic workers, for it
was like a voice from the grave which thus reached their ears.

Questioned as to their mode of existence in the mine, the prisoners
said they had eaten absolutely nothing, that they were all very weak,
and two of their number were completely prostrated. There were only
four men and a boy there, the other four having been cut off from
their fellows, and had, as since ascertained, perished. The little boy
piteously implored the workers to make a hole for him to creep through
to his mother. But in spite of their willing hearts, the brave toilers
were compelled to proceed more slowly and cautiously than before, in
order to prevent the recurrence of a second disaster, by the too sudden
escape of the pent-up air. And in addition to this, there was great
danger of themselves being engulfed in the waters or killed by the gas,
which soon began to make its unwelcome presence felt. Food was passed
along a tube to the imprisoned men; but the tube did not work well, and
it was eventually found that they had not received the much-desired
refreshment. At the last moment, when the hole had been made and the
compressed air was let out, a rush of gas took place which put out
all the lamps and compelled the workers to return to the 'bank.' What
must have been the horror of that moment to those poor fellows within
the mine when they heard the retreating footsteps of their anxiously
awaited deliverers!

Gloomy indeed was the prospect at this critical moment, for it had now
become a question of life and death to either party; but were the men
who had been rescued thus far to be left after all to the death which
seemed to hunger for them? Perish the thought! and perish rather every
Englishman who stood at the pit's mouth than that no attempt should be
made to complete and crown the splendid story of those past _eight_
days. The danger of carrying lights in the gas-charged mine being too
great to be ignored, brave men came forward and volunteered to go down
_without lamps_ to the rescue of the five miners whom it was now known
were the only ones who had survived that fearful time. Down they went
into the black pit, carrying food with them, and on making another hole
a gallant collier went into the mine and fed the poor fellows. All
honour to him! It was a greater deed than the capture of an enemy's
colours on the battlefield.

The rescued men and the boy were then brought to the surface, and
placed under the care of experienced doctors, who pronounced favourably
on their condition. For _ten_ long weary days they had languished in
the darkness of what seemed to them a living tomb, yet they murmured
not, but lifted up their united voices in prayer to the great Creator
of all.

The entombment of nine men, five of whom were known to be in a certain
place, and could be saved by cutting through some forty yards of coal,
made the question one of time and dogged perseverance on one side,
and of hunger and patient endurance on the other. It is just on such
occasions as these that the really splendid qualities of the collier
shew themselves in bold relief, and turn a pitman into a hero.

Such a deed as this was certain to attract the sympathy of the
gracious Lady who has ever the welfare of her people at heart; and the
Queen hastened at once to give expression to the national feeling of
admiration for these brave men, by extending the institution of the
Albert Medal for saving life at sea to similar acts performed on land,
and giving directions that these humble Welsh miners should be the
first recipients of the honour.

A national subscription was also opened by the Lord Mayor, and a large
sum collected for the rescued and their rescuers, sufficient to place
them beyond the reach of poverty, and shew the world that England will
not willingly let die the remembrance of as noble and heroic a deed as
ever graced the annals of a Christian people.



QUACK MEDICINE.


Our ably conducted contemporary, _The Queen_, has the following useful
remarks on the use of Quack Medicine:

'The belief in quack medicine is one which exists in strength
proportioned to the ignorance of the persons who take it. There are
certain charms, to some minds, in being able to "doctor" themselves,
and to do without the properly authorised medical practitioner. There
seems to be with these persons a sense that, in not having paid a fee
for advice, they have in a manner gained something. There appears to be
also a love of experiment, with a sense behind it that, if their own
experiment fails, they can at worst fall back on the skilled physician
to amend their mistakes, and to set them up again according to the
known and acknowledged rules and practices of medical science. Moreover
there is a kind of belief in empirical treatment, which is probably a
"survival" from the ancient belief in charms and witchcraft; else how
can people possibly put trust in medicines which are advertised as
being adapted to cure all manner of diseases of thoroughly differing
characters?

'But even among quack medicines there are degrees. There are some of
which ordinary medical men readily avail themselves, and which under
proper direction may be found really useful. The danger with regard to
them is that persons finding such to be useful in the doses prescribed
by their medical advisers, take doses on their own responsibility,
which prove hurtful, sometimes even fatal in their effects. On the
other hand there are a few--though we must confess very few--whose
virtues chiefly arise from the faith with which they are taken; and
these are as innocuous to the patient as they are profitable only to
the vendor. But a very large class--in fact by far the largest--are
really positively hurtful. They are described by titles which give no
real idea of their character and composition, and they are taken by
people much to their harm.

'In a recent number of the _Lancet_ the public were warned against a
seemingly harmless preparation, from the effects of which a medical
man had found some of his patients seriously suffering. He found that
lozenges called "castor-oil lozenges" were being largely used among
his patients, who were under the impression that they were taking
castor-oil in a form slightly less disagreeable than the usual one.
On examination he found that each of these lozenges contained three
grains of calomel; and it is not a matter of astonishment that he
found some persons who had taken them suffering from severe mercurial
salivation. He has found these lozenges sold by grocers, oilmen,
chandlers, and even by surgeons and chemists, and the mischief done has
been very great. The writer of the letter asks whether the Adulteration
Act cannot be brought to bear upon those who sell this "pernicious
confectionery;" but the bringing an Act to bear upon an evil is a slow
process. The true preventive of mischief from the use of quack medicine
is entire abstinence from its use.' Who can doubt the propriety of this
advice? Let quack medicines be universally abandoned.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note--the following changes have been made to this text:

Page 525: he to be--be waited upon.





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