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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 714 - September 1, 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. 714 - September 1, 1877" ***

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Fourth Series


NO. 714.      SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]


In our youthful days in the early years of the present century, little
consideration was given to a systematic kindness to animals. Horses
were overwrought without mercy, when ill-fed and with wounds which
should have excited compassion. If they sunk down in their misery,
they were left to die, the chances being that, in their last hours,
they were inhumanly pelted with stones by boys;--no one, not even
magistrates or clergymen, giving any concern to the cruelties that
were perpetrated. All that we have seen, without exciting a word of
remonstrance. A wretch who habitually turned out his old, overwrought,
and half-starved horses to die on the town-green, never incurred
any check or reprobation. His proceedings were viewed with perfect
indifference. People, while passing along in a demure sort of way to
church, would see a crowd of boys pitching stones into the wounds of a
dying horse, and not one of these decorous church-goers endeavoured to
stop these horrid acts of inhumanity. Like the Pharisees of old, they
passed on the other side. Such within recollection is a small sample of
the unchecked atrocities of our young days. Cats were pelted to death.
Birds' nests were robbed. Dogs had kettles tied to their tail, and were
hounded to madness by howling multitudes. Oxen were overdriven to an
infuriated condition, and their frantic and revengeful career formed an
acceptable subject of public amusement.

Barbarous in a certain sense as these comparatively recent times were,
there had already been shewn instances of a kind consideration for
animals. The poet Cowper, it will be recollected, wrote touchingly of
the hares which he had domesticated. Sir Walter Scott's tender regard
for his dogs has been recently noticed in these pages. There was here
and there a glimmering consciousness that animals had some sort of
claims on the mercy of mankind. What strikes one as curious is that
society had retrograded in this respect. The oldest laws in the world,
found in the early books of the Old Testament, enjoin a kind treatment
of animals. If we see an ass fall which belongs to some one with whom
we have a cause of difference, we are to throw aside private feelings,
and hasten to help the animal. We are not to take a bird when sitting
on its eggs, or on its young; a most humane injunction. In various
texts the Hebrews were enjoined to have due regard for the comfort of
the ox, the ass, or any other animal which laboured for them. In these
venerable records, mercy is enjoined towards all living creatures.

The modern world, with all its pompous claims to civilisation,
strangely drifted into an entire neglect of these beneficent
obligations. Throughout Christendom, any laws enforcing a kind
treatment of animals are few in number, and of very recent date. Even
within our remembrance, clergymen were not usually in the habit of
inculcating that species of kindness to domesticated creatures which
we read of in the Old Testament; nor were children ordinarily taught
lessons of humanity within the family circle. The oldest statutory laws
concerning animals are those for the protection of game; but these
laws proceeded on no principle of kindness. They were intended only
to protect certain birds and quadrupeds during the breeding season,
with a view to what is called 'sport,' the pleasure of killing them
by licensed individuals--the license for indulging in this species of
luxury being, as is well known, pretty costly. It is not our wish to
hold up 'sport' of a legitimate kind to ridicule. The chief matter of
regret is the coarse way in which game is sometimes pursued and killed
even by licensed sportsmen: their operations in what is known as a
_battue_, when vast numbers of animals are driven into narrow spaces,
and shot down and maimed without mercy, being, as we think, no better
than wholesale butchery; and not what might be expected from persons of
taste and education.

Although in the early years of the present century there were no laws
for the specific purpose of preventing cruelty to animals, thoughtful
and humane persons were beginning to give attention to the subject. In
1809, Sir Charles Bunbury brought into the House of Commons a bill
for the 'Prevention of wanton and malicious cruelty to Animals.' Mr
Windham, a cabinet minister, little to his credit, opposed the bill,
and it failed to pass. The next attempt at legislation on the subject
was made by Lord Erskine in the House of Lords in 1810. His measure was
opposed by Lord Ellenborough, and had to be withdrawn. There the matter
rested until 1821, when Mr Richard Martin, member of parliament for
Galway, brought a bill into the House of Commons for the 'Prevention
of Cruelty to Horses.' It encountered torrents of ridicule, and after
passing a second reading in a thin house, was no further proceeded
with. Mr Martin, however, was not discouraged. He felt he was right,
and returned to the encounter. In 1822, he introduced a new and more
comprehensive bill. Instead of horses, he used the word 'cattle;' this
bill passed through all its stages, and became an act of parliament.
This act of 1822 was the first ever enacted against cruel and improper
treatment of animals. Let there be every honour to the memory of
Richard Martin for his noble struggle on behalf of defenceless
creatures. In 1825, he brought in a bill for the suppression of
bear-baiting and other cruel sports. Not without surprise do we learn
that Sir Robert Peel met the bill with determined opposition, and that
it was thrown out. To think that so eminent a statesman as Peel should
have been a supporter of bear-baiting! No fact could better present an
idea of what was still the backward state of feeling among educated
persons on the subject of cruelty to animals.

The year 1826 found Mr Martin still at his post. He framed a bill
to extend protection to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals
from cruelty. In this it might have been expected he would have been
successful. But no. His arguments to move the House of Commons were
unavailing. Mr Martin died in 1834. Not until 1835, when more enlarged
ideas prevailed, was there an Act to throw a protecting shield over
cattle in the market, on the way to the slaughter-house, and in the
roads and streets generally; over all such animals as dogs, bulls,
bears, or cocks, kept for purposes of baiting or fighting; over all
animals kept in pounds or inclosures without a sufficiency of food or
drink; and over all worn-out horses, compelled to work when broken down
with weakness or disease.

It was reserved for the beneficent reign of the present Queen to see
a comprehensive Act of Parliament for the prevention of cruelty to
animals. This was the Act of 1849 (which was extended to Scotland in
1850), that now forms the basis for prosecuting cases of cruelty, and
may be called the charter which conferred on domesticated animals
a right to protection. Lamenting the backwardness of England in
establishing such a charter, it is not without pride that one knows
that England was after all the first country in modern times to enforce
the principle that the lower animals are entitled to be protected by
law. That principle, as we have shewn, is not new. It was recognised
by the ancient Hebrews, and it is pleasing to feel that at length
modern common-sense has legislatively assumed its propriety. Latterly,
there have been several additional Acts of Parliament, chiefly as
concerns protection to sea-birds and small land-birds; but while well
meant, these Acts are very imperfect. The eggs of sea-birds not being
protected, the nests of these animals may be rifled with impunity. As
regards small birds, a number are left out in the list of protected
animals--the skylark for one. These deficiencies are unfortunate.
Sea-birds, though generally looked on with indifference, are of great
public utility. They benefit agriculturists by eating the worms and
grubs in newly ploughed land; they hover over parts of the sea and
point out where there are shoals of herrings and other fish; they are
useful to the mariner in foggy weather, by their warning cries near
the rock-bound coast. How beautiful that arrangement of Nature, in
making provision for birds to live on shelving rocks by the sea-shore,
there to act like beacons, in warning off the bark of the mariner from
a coast that would cause its destruction! Considering that wonderful
provision, how scandalous, how short-sighted the practice of rifling
the nests of sea-birds! A supplementary Act to protect the eggs of
sea-birds cannot, as a matter of public duty, be too soon passed.
Already, on some parts of the coast, sea-birds are said to be rapidly

As every one knows, dogs are often lost in large towns, and roam about
miserably in search of their master or mistress. A sight of them in
such circumstances is exceedingly pitiable. In the Metropolis, a
humane plan for succouring lost dogs has been established. Some years
ago, a benevolent lady, Mrs Tealby, was enabled, by the aid of public
subscriptions, to set on foot a temporary Home for Lost and Starving
Dogs, which has existed since 1860. It is situated at Battersea Park
Road. Any dog, when found and brought to the Home, is taken in and
succoured under certain necessary conditions. If a dog, after being
housed and succoured, is applied for by the owner (with satisfactory
proof of ownership), the animal is given up on payment of the expenses
of its keep. If no owner comes forward, every unclaimed dog is sold for
the benefit of the institution, or otherwise disposed of according to
circumstances. The Home is growing in usefulness. In one year recently
more than three thousand three hundred dogs were restored to their
former owners or sent to new homes. Many owners who recover their
favourites through the agency of this institution, not only refund the
expenses incurred, but assist the funds by subscriptions in the name of
their recovered pets--as for instance, 'In memory of Pup,' 'For little
Fido,' 'In name of darling Charlie,' 'The mite from an old dog;' and so
on. This deserving and well managed institution is well worth visiting.
Only, the visitor must be prepared to see painful demonstrations from
some of the unhappy inmates. On the approach of the visitor, each
animal eagerly hastens to see if he be his dear master. And when a
sniff and a glance render too evident the fact that you are not the
person wished for, something like a tear steals from the poor doggie's
eye. The happiness shewn when one of the animals finds his lost master
is equally expressive. Looking to the great good done in the cause
of humanity by this meritorious Home for Lost and Starving Dogs, it
may be hoped that efforts will not be wanting to establish similar
institutions elsewhere.

There is another admirable establishment worth referring to. It is
known as the Brown Institution, from having been founded by the bequest
in 1851 of a large sum of money by Mr Thomas Brown. Its design was the
advancement of knowledge concerning the diseases of animals, the best
mode of treating them for the purpose of cure, and the encouragement
of humane conduct towards animals generally. The Institution combines
the quality of an infirmary and a dispensary for animals belonging to
persons who are not well able to pay for ordinary medical attendance,
and therefore does not trench on veterinary establishments. Several
thousands of animals are treated annually. The Institution, which is
under the direction of the Senate of the University of London, is
situated in Wandsworth Road, near Vauxhall Railway Station. As an
hospital and dispensary for poor horses, dogs, and other animals, the
Brown Institution is unique of its kind. As far as we know, there is
nothing like it in the world. What a prodigious step in advance is the
Home for Dogs, and the Institution now described, from the condition of
things at the beginning of the nineteenth century!

In speaking of the improved treatment of defenceless creatures within
recent times, a prominent place is due to the Royal Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, located in Jermyn Street, London.
Standing at the head of all organisations of the kind in the United
Kingdom, this Society may be considered the watchful guardian of the
rights of animals, and without whose agency the laws we have enumerated
would, as regards England, stand a poor chance of being enforced. The
business of this Society is conducted mainly by the employment of
persons all over the country to find out cases of cruelty, and to bring
the offenders to justice. The Society diffuses hand-bills and placards
in places where they may come prominently under the notice of persons
likely to infringe the law. It further has issued various publications
calculated to stir up the feelings in behalf of animals.

The hand-bills and placards deserve special notice. Sheep salesmen
are reminded that convictions have been obtained against persons for
ill-treating sheep by cutting and lacerating their ears, as a means of
identifying them from sheep belonging to other consigners. Shepherds
are warned, by a cited example, to abstain from a specified mode
of treating sheep for certain maladies; because pain is inflicted,
which a veterinary surgeon knows how to avoid, but which an ignorant
though well-meaning shepherd may not. Farmers are reminded that it
is a punishable offence to crowd too many sheep together on going
to market; instances being cited in which eleven sheep were crammed
into a small cart, with their legs tied tightly together. Captains of
freight steamers are informed that penalties have been enforced against
a captain for so overcrowding his vessel, on a voyage from Holland to
the Thames, as to cause the sheep much pain and suffering; carriers and
cattle-barge owners are under the same legal obligations.

In regard to cows, one placard cautions persons sending them to market
with the udder greatly distended with milk, and from which the poor
animals evidently suffer much pain. Cattle rearers are told that
penalties have been enforced against one of their body for sawing off
the horns of fourteen heifers so close to the head as to cause blood to
flow in considerable quantity, and to make the animals stamp and moan;
the object of such a mode of cutting being to increase the market value
of the horns. Butchers are reminded that it is a punishable offence
to bleed calves to death merely for the sake of giving additional
whiteness to veal. Consigners and carriers are alike reminded that
the Act of 1849 imposes fines or imprisonment as a punishment for
conveying animals in such way as to subject them to unnecessary pain or
suffering; the neglect to give proper food and water to the animals,
whether coming to market, at market, or in removal from market, is
announced in another hand-bill to be an infringement of the same

Drovers, by another hand-bill or placard, are cautioned against urging
on cattle which by lameness are unfitted to travel along the roads and
streets; and against striking animals on the legs so violently as to
lame them: both are practices to which drovers are too prone, and both
are punishable. Farmers, graziers, and salesmen are alike warned that
the season of the year should be taken into account in the transport
of shorn sheep. 'It is hardly conceivable that respectable farmers and
graziers, merely for the sake of profit, can in the months of December,
January, February, March, or April, cruelly strip a dumb animal of
that warm woollen coat which the goodness of God has provided more
abundantly in winter to protect it from the cold weather; or that any
English salesman will lay himself open to a criminal charge of aiding
or continuing the offence by exposing shorn animals for sale at such
inclement seasons.'

Horses and donkeys find a place in the safeguards which the Society
endeavours to provide, by disseminating placards and hand-bills
pointing out the penalties for cruelty or neglect. It is an offence
against the laws to work a horse in an omnibus, cab, or other vehicle
when in an infirm or worn-out state. It is an offence to beat a horse
in a stable with a degree of severity amounting to cruelty, merely to
make it obedient, or still worse, through an impulse of angry passion.
It is an offence to set a horse to drag a cart or wagon loaded with a
weight beyond his strength; many coal-merchants and their carmen have
been prosecuted and fined for this unfeeling conduct. It is an offence
to cruelly beat and over-ride poor donkeys; useful animals which seem
fated to be the victims of very hard treatment in the world. It is a
significant fact that one placard is addressed to 'excursionists and
others:' those who have witnessed the treatment of donkeys by their
drivers, at Hampstead Heath, Blackheath, and the humbler grades of
sea-side places where holiday people assemble, will know what this
means. The Society aid the inspectors of mines, or are aided by them,
in bringing to justice truck-drivers and others for working horses and
ponies in an unfit state in coal-pits.

It was not likely that dogs would be left out of sight by the
Society; the maltreating of such animals is the subject of some
of the cautionary placards, especially in localities where rough
persons, prone to dog-tormenting, are known to be numerous. Cats are
the subjects concerning which other warnings are given, in regard to
torturing or cruelly worrying. Fishmongers are reminded that it is
a punishable offence which many persons commit of 'putting living
lobsters and crabs into cold water, and then placing them on a fire
until the water is heated to boiling temperature, thereby causing them
to endure horrible and prolonged suffering.'

That the feathered tribes should share the protection which the issuing
of these placards is intended to subserve, is natural enough; seeing
that the Sea-bird, Wild-bird, and Wild-fowl Acts were due in great
measure to the Society. One placard states that it is a punishable
offence to kill or wound any such birds (including the young in nests)
within the prohibited period; and that those who sell such killed birds
are also punishable. Another placard administers a similar warning
in regard to wild-fowl, enumerating thirty-six species, all of which
are to be safe from the gun, the snare, and the net from the 15th of
February to the 10th of July, under penalties which are prescribed
in the Act of 1876. Bird-fanciers are reminded that one of their
fraternity was imprisoned for fourteen days for depriving a chaffinch
of its sight as a means of improving its singing. Poultry-dealers are,
in another hand-bill, cautioned against plucking live poultry, a cruel
practice which, if proved, subjects the offender to three months'
imprisonment. Carrying live fowls to market by their legs, with their
heads hanging downwards; and exposing fowls to hot sunshine with their
legs tied together--have brought the offenders into trouble. In another
placard the patrons of pigeon-matches are warned that occasional
cruelties practised by them or their servants come within the scope
of the law. In one of the Society's publications, the cruelty of
bearing-reins for carriage-horses is significantly pointed out.

The Society has been encouraged in its benevolent exertions by a letter
from Her Majesty the Queen, addressed in 1874 to the Earl of Harrowby,
in his capacity as President. There was an assembly in London of
foreign delegates representing similar associations, on the occasion
of the holding of the half-century jubilee of the parent Society. Her
Majesty requested the President to give expression publicly to her warm
interest in the success of the efforts made here and abroad for the
purpose of diminishing the cruelties practised on dumb animals. 'The
Queen hears and reads with horror of the sufferings which the brute
creation often undergo from the thoughtlessness of the ignorant, and
she fears also sometimes from the experiments in pursuit of science.
For the removal of the former the Queen trusts much to the progress
of education; and in regard to the pursuit of science, she hopes that
the advantage of those anæsthetic discoveries from which man has
derived so much benefit himself, in the alleviation of suffering, may
be fully extended to the lower animals. Her Majesty rejoices that the
Society awakens the interest of the young by the presentation of prizes
for essays connected with the subject, and hears with gratification
that her son and daughter-in-law shew their interest and sympathy by
presenting those prizes at your meetings.'

Looking to the distinguished patronage of the Society from Her Majesty
downwards, its vast array of supporters, and the large number of
Societies which it has helped to originate at home and abroad, we
naturally rely upon it for promoting a consolidation and expansion
of the laws against cruelty to animals. These laws, as has been
seen, are composed of shreds and patches, brought into existence with
difficulty, and in many respects imperfect. The time appears to have
come when the whole should be combined in a statute applicable to all
parts of the United Kingdom. That certain actions should be deemed
cruelties punishable by law in England and not in Scotland, is anything
but creditable, and not a little ludicrous. This is a point to which
the attention of legislators should be seriously invited. From the
fragmentary and confused condition of the statutes, we have experienced
much difficulty in ascertaining what, as a whole, the law really is.
This chaotic state of things detracts, we think, not a little from the
glory which may be freely claimed by the English for their legislation
in behalf of animals. A consolidated Act with all reasonable
improvements, would be something to point to with satisfaction, and
probably go far to insure a legalised system of kind treatment of
animals all over the globe.

    W. C.





Every man loves the land where he got life and liberty. The heart of
the mountaineer is chained to his rugged mountain-home; he loves the
wild and whirling blast, the snow-storm and the brooding clouds. Every
true heart beats truly for country and for home. Thus the 'children of
the peat-bog' and the fen cling to the illimitable wolds and the 'level
shining mere,' beautiful even now.

Beautiful _then_, when long ago, primeval forests clothed the land.
When in later times the bells of minster towers sounded far and near,
and the deep bay of the Bruneswald hounds awoke the echoes of the
wold; when old Crowland's towers gleamed through mist; and the heights
of that far-famed isle, the Camp of Refuge, where, amidst blood and
battle, and beneath the 'White Christ' uplifted, the gallant Saxon
fought the wild Viking; where the Saxon made his last dread stand for
England's liberty, while men fell dead, and bones lay bleaching on
every island and valley of the fen.

Beautiful _now_, O Fen-land! where still I seem to hear the wild shout
of your outlaw hunters, hunting the red-deer and the wolf; where still
I seem to hear the war-cry of the men of Danelagh, or imagine the great
fires sweeping the boundless plains. Wide are your marshes still, and
dark and deep your woods; the keen winds bring the driving snow; dense
fog and mist and drenching rains sweep strongly from the sea; dark
and capricious are the autumn days, and full of storm; yet overhead
stretches a free heaven, boundless and open; underfoot stretch the
free plains, wide and open; and over all sweeps the magnificence of
the cloud-scenery, unbroken and unopposed; and the splendour of the
sunrise and the sunset lights the low isles like flame.



Thus did the suns rise and set in glory across the level lands of
Enderby; old Enderby manor, where the Flemings had dwelt for centuries;
old Enderby, with its 'clanging rookery,' its grand timber, its
turrets and its towers. Under that arched gateway has swept many a gay
cavalcade with hawk and hound; has passed slowly many a hearse with
sable plumes and horses; has stepped many a brave bridegroom leading
his blushing bride, while the far-famed bells of Enderby pealed out
loud and clear.

It is nearly two centuries ago, and it is evening; the sun is setting.
Sir Vincent Fleming stands under the gateway; he is booted and spurred;
his jaded horse stands in the court-yard, and has been ridden fast
and far. Sir Vincent puts a whistle to his lips and whistles loud and
shrill; he is looking across the wide holt with a smile--his eyes laugh
under his thick black brows, and his long white hair is flowing free
in the wind. He opens his arms wide, and there come flying towards him
two little dark figures neck and neck, shrieking with laughter and with
glee. Panting, breathless from their long run, a boy and girl rush
through the gateway, and leap boisterously into Sir Vincent's arms.

'My two little pets of Enderby!' he cries, and there is a wail in his
voice, half of sorrow and half of joy.

'An' what have you brought us, father?' asks Deborah, leaping and
dancing in her gladness. 'I see your flaps are full!--Nay, Charlie; get
away; you shall not have father all to yourself!'

But the boy fights hard. 'You are a greedy Deb!' he cried. 'Your
thoughts are ever o' sweetmeats an' o' toys.'

'Nay; it is not so,' retorted Deborah shrilly and scarlet as a rose. 'I
am glad when things come.--But father, I am gladder to have _you_ come.'

'I believe thee, sweet heart!' and Sir Vincent, lifting little Deborah
to his shoulder, and taking his boy by the hand, turned towards the

In those days many a care pressed hard on Sir Vincent Fleming. His
beautiful wife, the mother of his children, lay dead in the little
churchyard. For a short time the children had run wild; then for a time
Sir Vincent gave them a hard, hard step-mother, and the children went
from bad to worse. Little Deborah cut her hair like a boy, and the two
ran away from home. But ere long the hard step-mother died, leaving Sir
Vincent free and the children like two mad colts. Sir Vincent tried the
experiment no more. He could not cope with his two wild ones; they were
beyond him; they were given over entirely to old Dame Marjory, and she
voted them 'a handful.' Never wilder youngsters trod the earth. The
hot blood of the Flemings and the Stuarts, with a dash of cast not so
easily pedigree'd, coursed in their veins, and they could not brook a
word of opposition or reproof. Dearly did they love their father, and
dearly loved they one another--in a wild way more intensely than either

One day they were running in one of their mad games, 'Hare and
Hounds,' with all their village crew behind them, when their course led
straight through the churchyard of Enderby. Vaulting over the low wall,
they rushed bounding over the graves with yell and whoop and laughter.
Soon the whole gay thoughtless throng passed away. But an hour after,
in the twilight, a boy and girl came gliding back alone hand in hand;
half-wistful and half-scared, they opened the churchyard gate, Deborah
urging forward Charlie.

'What do you want?' asked the boy half sullenly. 'I'll not come!'

'I do want,' said little Deborah, 'to go to mother's grave! Dost know
what we did, Charlie? An' my heart has ached ever since, nor could I
hunt the hare for thinkin' of it. We trampled over mother's grave! When
we jumped over yon wall, I tell you, Charlie, we ran on mother's grave!
Come with me, Charlie, an' kneel down to her to forgive you an' me!' In
the highest state of excitement, the little child caught his unwilling

'But she won't hear us,' said the boy; 'mother's gone to heaven,
Marjory saith. Thou art a girl!' he cried, as they stood beside the
grave. 'These be bones that lie here. It is like your fancies! Mother's
gone to heaven, I tell you.'

'That's true,' said Deborah; 'but mother sees her grave, an' she
looks down an' has seen us run over it this day, an' laugh! Maybe she
thinks we have forgot her; maybe she thinks we have forgot the prayers
she taught us.--O mother, it is not so!' With unconscious and most
exquisite fervour, the little Deborah fell on her knees, and raised her
eyes and clasped hands to heaven: 'We are naughty, but we've not forgot
you, sweet mother. Charlie has not forgot you, mother; an' Charlie an'
me look up to you as you are lookin' down, an' ask you to forgive us
for treadin' on your sweet grave. Mother, dear mother, forgive us!'

The boy stood looking on in dogged silence, knitting his brows; but
when he saw Deborah's tears, tears rushed to his own bright eyes.
With a cry of passionate sorrow and remorse, he flung himself on
his mother's grave and cried as if his heart would break. Charlie
Fleming had idolised his mother. He was two years older than Deborah;
he remembered the mother better. He never forgot her memory. Proud,
reserved, and shy, he hid that memory in his heart, and would let no
hand drag it forth. In his mad freaks, when old Dame Marjory, driven
to distraction, solemnly upbraided him about his 'poor dear mother'
and what _she_ would have thought, he mocked, and ran away shouting
his derisive laughter. Seldom would a tear dim those bright roving
eyes; neither rod, nor threat, nor lecture made Charlie Fleming quail;
clenching his teeth and his hands, he stood his ground like a little
demon: his stubborn heart would have broken rather than yield a whit.

And what of Deborah Fleming? she who, at eight years old, cut her
flowing locks like a boy, and ran away from home. She was not behind
her brother in mischief, wit, or daring; wondrously bold was the spirit
of the little Fleming. But the caprices of the child shall speak for


One afternoon Deborah was playing by the lodge-gates with little
Margaret Dinnage, the bailiff's child, when a tall gipsy woman strode
to the gate and looked through. Meg ran away with a scream of terror,
but Deborah stood and stared up at the gipsy.

She was a tall woman, dressed in faded red, with a yellow and scarlet
shawl tied over her head; long glittering rings in her ears, and black,
black eyes. Deborah never all her life forgot that woman looking
through the gate; the vision was riveted on her childish memory.

'Come to me, pretty one,' said the woman, tossing her head backward;
then imperiously: 'Come!'

'Where?' asked Deborah.

'Over yonder--to the camp. We want a pretty one like thee. I am gettin'
old, child, an' I want you to come run arrands an' tell the fortunes o'
the qual'ty.'

'_I_ am the quality,' said Deborah gravely.

'_You!_' retorted the gipsy, with sudden and savage scorn. 'You are o'
the scum o' the airth!' Then in a moment the wild passion passed, she
resumed her half-coaxing, half-imperative manner: 'Come, come, pretty

Deborah had been half startled; now she knew not what to make of the
gipsy woman. Did the gipsy really like her, and wish to be kind?
Deborah had never moved her large wondering eyes from the gipsy's face.

'I will not come,' she said, 'without Charlie.'

'Well, fetch Charlie, quick!' answered the gipsy with intense
eagerness, and stooping forward to whisper the words. Deborah drew
back; something within her rebelled; the woman was too imperious and
too bold.

'Charlie will not come,' she answered; 'he hates gipsies.'

'Then _thou_ shalt come alone.' Quick as thought the long arm was
thrust through the half-open gate and the iron hand round Deborah's
wrist, as if to draw her out, when Deborah cried at the top of her
voice: 'Jordan, Jordan, Jordan!' An old man in a red waistcoat and his
shirt sleeves came running round the lodge from the wood, and at the
same moment the gipsy woman, pushing Deborah violently backward, darted
away. Deborah was thrown on the back of her head; she got up at once,
and stood looking up at old Jordan in silence, with her hand at the
back of her head.

'She hath hurt thee, the jade!' said the old man indignantly. 'What has
she been a-sayin' and a-doin' to thee?'

Deborah gazed at her fingers: there was blood on them; she raised her
clear gray eyes to Jordan's face.

'Why, she hath cut thy head open, my lassie, and badly too! I know
them cussed gipsies! Spiteful demons! See ye never meddle with them
agen. This comes on it.' And assuming a scolding tone, the old man
took Deborah's hand and hurried her angrily into the lodge. He was
frightened, very pitiful and very angry, all in one; now he coaxed, now
he threatened.

'Let me bind up thy broken head, my lassie; it is broken badly. But
thou'rt a brave little lady! This comes o' meddlin'; thou'rt all too
inquisitive by half. Leave them gipsies alone; or sure as thou'rt
alive, I'll tell the master. Now then, thou'rt a brave little lady.
Doth it pain thee, Lady Deb?' He stooped to peer anxiously with his old
gray eyes into his little mistress's face.

Deborah was sitting on a high chair in the middle of the table,
looking very white and grave. 'I should think it doth,' she said; 'you
are a gaby to ask it, Jordan Dinnage. Finish to tie my head; and see
that you do not tell father who cast me down,' she added with dignity.

The little Margaret was standing below, gazing upward at the operation
in affright, with her round eyes and mouth wide open.

'_Tell thy father!_' retorted old Jordan with supreme disdain as he
finished his surgery. 'Why, he would burn the camp and all the varmin
in it for this. Fine times there'd be for Enderby with them revengeful
cats. They'd be burnin' Enderby. Where wouldst thou be then?'

'In the flames, Master Dinnage,' said Deborah coolly.

Old Jordan Dinnage laughed loud and long. 'Thou art a little bold
wench!' he said; then turning to his little daughter, added with mock
gravity: 'Mistress Dinnage, well mayst thou gape an' stare. Thy young
mistress will be the death o' me; for floutin' an' for scorn, I never
knew'd her equal.'

The little maiden went quietly home, rather proud of her bandaged head
than not; and the sight was so little novel to Dame Marjory's eyes,
that well as she loved the child, she scarcely asked a question. That
night Deborah tossed in her little bed and could not sleep. The pain in
her head she heeded not; her wild and fitful fancy was conjuring up the
gipsy camp. A hundred tall figures went trooping by, all with yellow
and scarlet shawls tied over their heads; and tall men with black eyes,
and little children, little boys with beautiful black eyes and curly
hair. Dogs were lying about, and great pots full of meat were slung on
poles over fires, and the red watch-fires blazed over all. She fancied
all these men, women, and children came and kneeled to her, and said
she was their queen. One little boy, more beautiful than the rest,
said he was destined for the king, and she would be his wife. Then
they hung about her necklets and bracelets, and set a crown upon her
head, and the little maiden saw herself queen of the gipsies. Deborah
loved power, and knew the power of beauty. She fancied herself dancing
before the gipsies, in the light of the fires, in a glitter and blaze
of beauty.

On the other side of the room slept Dame Marjory; she was snoring
loudly. Deborah, hot and excited, sat up and gazed round; she could
not rest. She started up, and sped like a little ghost into the next
room, to Charlie's bedside; she seized his arm, and shook it: 'Charlie,
Charlie!' The boy gave a cross snort. 'Charlie, art well awake? I have
somewhat to tell, love. The gipsy camp is out on the fen, an' to-morrow
I am goin' to visit them! You will come too Charlie, for there be dogs
an' horses in plenty. An' mayhap you will be made the king. _I_ mean to
be the queen; for the gipsy woman has been to the gate this afternoon,
an' invited me to go an' bring you along.'

Charlie stared in the dim light, well awake then, yet very cross.
'_You!_ You are always "bringin' me along," forgettin' you are the
youngest by two years. You are very wise an' grand. _I_ am not so fond
o' gipsy folk; they are sneaks and cowards.'

'Nay; they are not! If you are afeard, I'll go alone; an' I'll ride on
the vans from one end o' the world to the other. So good-e'en.'

'Stay!' cried the boy. 'You say I am afeard. Then you know it is a
_lie_! A Fleming never knew fear. So father tells you. Dost say I am

But Deborah, feeling the grasp of his hands on her arm, cried: 'Nay,
nay; you are not afeard! Belike you are wise, an' that is why. But I
will go alone.'

'Nay; that you shall not!' cried the boy, glad to see a way to change.
'Why, they would kill you,' he said, with an air of superior wisdom
and scorn. 'If you _will_ go, I go too. I will take my big stick, an'
(say not a word) a knife under my clothes, for the gipsy folk be sly
as foxes, an' in one minute might stick you through. I must be fully

'An' so must I,' quoth Deborah.

'_You!_' said the boy in loud derision; 'you are a _girl_; though I
ne'er knew the like for tomboyin'. Run to bed; an' we will see what
to-morrow brings.'


The morrow saw Master Fleming and Mistress Deborah speeding along the
fields. Charlie carried a mighty stick, cut from a tough ash-tree,
and a knife beneath his skirts; Deborah too, secretly, had a long
blade concealed, to her own heart's satisfaction. Drawn to danger like
moths to candle-flare, these little hardy Flemings sought an adventure
after their own hearts. When they reached the level downs and the
long expanse of shining water, the gipsy camp burst full on view. It
was a sight familiar to their eyes; the dauntless Charlie knew it
well. Many an hour, when Dame Marjory, shut in with her pickles and
preserves, thought Master Fleming intent over his books, he was riding
a bare-backed pony on the downs amidst a ragged crew. Many a raid on
those same camps had Master Fleming dared; and twice, hunted by them,
had the bold boy fled for liberty, or life. So that, knowing the gipsy
nature, he did not approach the camp with Deborah without misgiving or
unprepared for flight.

'Now see; if the gipsies curse or hunt us,' he said to Deborah, as they
paused, 'that you do not lay hold on me, but run for your life; you can
run like a hare; so can I. They may not be best pleased to see us.'

With a heart that beat somewhat faster at her brother's words, Deborah
gave assent, and they advanced hand in hand. But in another moment
their approach was seen by one ragged sentinel, and with shrill cries
of delight they were surrounded by a weird elfin band. Their eyes were
beautiful and black, as in Deborah's vision; but upon close quarters,
they were all rags and dirt. They swarmed round their old playmate,
staring in dumb amaze at Deborah's fair loveliness. Charlie clutched
his stick.

'Now stand back!' he cried, in a loud authoritative voice, 'an' I will
give you copper pence.' He struck his stick on the ground, and the
ragged boys and girls all started back and stood in a circle round
them. Deborah was abashed and overwhelmed with admiration at her
brother's potent sway; her eyes were riveted upon him. The youthful
captain was aware of this, and with added dignity turned upon his
troop: 'First, first,' quoth he, 'you must catch two ponies for
Mistress Deborah an' for me, the biggest an' the best, an' we will race
you. The first one who wins gets the prize; an' if _I_ win or Mistress
Deborah wins, we win the prize, an' give it to the first man in: an'
that is fair play, seein' our ponies must be the biggest an' the best.
But stay. Come on the common, and let them not see us in the camp.
After the race is done, we will go an' speak to your grandam, old Dame
Shaw, and stay the night mayhap.'

With yells of glee the whole troop rushed hooting over the common,
tearing hither and thither after colts as tameless. Deborah's hat was
off and her hair flying, the soul of glee was dancing in her eyes. They
caught one restive steed; in a moment she was across his back like a
boy, and in another minute they were off! Thus the hours fled away,
all too fast for them; all the largess of the young captain was thrown
away and scrambled for. Deborah's dress flew in tatters round her; she
looked the wildest gipsy of them all.

Night came, and vainly through the shades of evening did old Dame
Marjory, shading her eyes in the doorway, look for her truants. Sir
Vincent was out, and not likely to return. At last she sought Jordan
Dinnage, her ancient lover and Enderby's right hand. 'Jordan, hast seen
Master Charlie and Lady Deb? A pretty kettle o' fish to fry if they
return not to-night, an' the master comes home i' the mornin'. Go seek
them, for heaven's sake, man. I am distraught!'

'Why, this comes, Mistress Marjory, o' lettin' the young Master run
wild; he's a handful for thee! I know'd how 'twould end, when he's day
an' night out gipsyin'. _There's_ where they be, Mistress Marjory, with
the gipsies; an' thank yer stars if ye ever set eyes on them agen!'

Old Marjory turned as white as her apron. 'Now, don't ye be goin' to
frighten me, Jordan. But if ye speak truth, man, run with all the men
you can get along, an' hunt them gipsies down, an' find my two poor
dears. O their poor mother! O Jordan, Jordan, Jordan Dinnage!' And
Marjory, with her apron to her face, cried as if her true heart would

This was too much for Jordan; he was arming already. Snatching a short
rusty sword from the wall, and with one comforting hand-thud on Dame
Marjory's back, and a 'Comfort thee, my lass!' the active old man was
off. The hue-and-cry was raised--all Enderby rang with it. But behold
the gipsy camp was gone! Smouldering fires blackened the common; no
other trace of the fugitives was visible. But old Jordan rode and rode,
with all his men behind him; some on horseback, some on foot, they
scoured the country far and near. In vain did Dame Marjory and the
servants sit up till morning dawn. It was only late on the following
day that the bailiff rode up the avenue with another horseman, one
carrying a boy before him, the other a girl; the dresses of both men
and children were torn and travel-stained, and the head of Jordan
Dinnage tied up. At this sight Dame Marjory ran forward and screamed,
and all the women screamed.

'Here be thy childer,' said Jordan; 'an' a hard fight we made for it.
Keep a tight hand on 'em, Dame Marjory; but no scoldin' _yet_.'

So Charlie and Deborah, looking penitent and demure, but rejoicing
madly in their hearts at seeing home again, ran in. They were feasted
royally in the servants' hall that day!

       *       *       *       *       *

For many days Sir Vincent did not return, and Jordan Dinnage kept a
sharp watch on the gate, to see that the children did not stir beyond.
The old vicar called on the little culprits; he looked to daunt them
by his words and presence. He was a sad-looking man with a long sallow
face; yet some quaint humour lurked in his nature too. Severely he bade
Dame Marjory send 'Master and Mistress Fleming' to him. The boy stoutly
rebelled; but at last hand in hand, scrubbed and ruffled, they were
ushered into the room where the awful vicar sat. Charlie was dressed
in a little black velvet doublet and hose, with silk stockings and
buckle-shoes, and ribbons at his knees; his long red-brown hair was cut
square on his white forehead, and flowed loose on his shoulders; his
lips were set firm, his brown brows were knit, and his eyes, large dark
and sombre like a stag's, glowered defiantly beneath them. Mistress
Deborah was dressed in pale blue silk, pointed to her fairy shape,
and trimmed with rose-coloured ribbons; her hair was in hue like her
brother's, and cut the same in front, but falling lower behind, and
tied at the end with a bow; her lips were apart, and her white teeth
gleamed with irrepressible humour; her large bright eyes, gray like a
falcon's, gleamed with laughter too; she half hung behind her brother,
with her head upon his shoulder, saucy yet shy.

The vicar, in his long black clothes, gazed upon the pretty picture
from a high-backed chair, stern, melancholy, resigned. The little
Flemings stood before him just as they had entered. 'Children,' quoth
the vicar of Enderby, 'it hath afforded me great grief to hear of
thy misdeeds; they have been reprehensible in the extreme. Thou hast
encouraged vagabondism, and run near becoming vagabonds thyselves; in
fine, thou hast outraged propriety and set all social laws at defiance.
To thee, Charles, I should have looked, in thy father's absence, to
set an example to thine inferiors, to guard the house, and to protect
thine infant sister (or little better than an infant, either in years
or discretion). Thou hast proved thyself, Charles, incapable of either
charge; indeed, if thou art not sent to school, to feel a master's
rod, I entertain great fears for thy future, and so I shall inform thy
father. To thee, Mistress Deborah, I say little; thou art young and
inexperienced, though much given to vanity, it is said, both in dress
and person; but though thou art as yet incorrigible, I would have thee
reform, and entertain some hopes of thee. Thou art the future mistress
of this house; how then, when thou comest to years of discretion, wilt
thou fulfil thy duties of mistress and of hostess, if thou dost now run
wild amid grooms and gipsies? Mistress Fleming, Mistress Fleming, I
have much against thee! What induced thee the second time to run away
from such a home as this?'

But Deborah only hung her head and smiled.

Then quoth Charlie sturdily, glowering with his red-brown eyes: 'She
loves the gipsies, like to me.'

'Charles, Charles!' said the vicar, 'I will not bandy words with thee.
Forsake such evil company, and stick to thy Latin more.'

'I don't love Latin, Master Vicar, an' never shall.'

'Goodsooth, thou wilt and shall. What wouldst thou be? Wouldst idle
here all thy days?'

'I'd be a soldier.'

'A soldier? An ungodly set!'

'Father says the priests are the ungodly ones.'

At this the vicar held his peace in despair.

'I'd be a gipsy queen,' chimed in Deborah's treble voice. 'Dost not
love the gipsies, Master Vicar? When I am a woman grown I'll run off
and travel over the world--I will! Charlie does not love Latin; no more
do I love Dame Marjory's lessons.' And forgetting her fear, she nestled
up to the vicar's side and gazed up with her laughing dauntless eyes.
At that moment the clank of horse's hoofs resounded on the stones of
the court-yard.


Many and varied are the calamities to which those people are exposed
who have their abodes among the grim mountain fastnesses of Switzerland
and the Tyrol, or indeed who live in any similarly situated region,
where Nature still reigns in undisputed majesty, and manifests her
power by those swift and awful catastrophes which strike terror to
the hearts of all who come within their influence. In winter the snow
falls heavily and constantly, and forms a huge overhanging mass, that
overtops the often narrow pass below, and is suspended, like the sword
of Damocles, by the slightest possible retaining hold; a trifling
noise, such as the discharge of a rifle or even the prolonged blast
of the Alpine horn, being sometimes sufficient to dislodge the vast
snow-wreath, and send it gliding on its silent but deadly course
towards the valley beneath. The destruction caused by the overwhelming
avalanche is too well known to need description. Scarcely a Swiss
hamlet or mountain pass but has its record of some sad calamity caused
by the resistless force of those fatal snow-falls. Single travellers,
parties varying in number, châlets, and even entire villages, have on
different occasions been buried under the snow; no warning having been
afforded to the hapless victims till the icy pall of death descended
relentlessly upon them, and hid them, sometimes for long months,
sometimes for ever, from their fellow-men.

Those who live on the banks of the narrow, swift-running torrents that
intersect the valleys, have another danger to encounter. Those little
streams, greatly swollen in summer by the melting of the snow on the
higher ranges of the mountains, frequently overflow their boundaries
and spread destruction and death around. If, as occasionally happens,
the stream becomes choked by débris from the overhanging precipices, it
is turned aside from its natural channel, and flows in quite another
direction; sometimes forming in its progress a lake or a small tarn,
which never again subsides, and which may destroy in a moment the long
and arduous labour of the husbandman.

A third and even more tremendous catastrophe is that known as a
berg-fall or mountain land-slip; when an overhanging portion of
some steep precipice becomes loosened from its foundations, and on
some unusual impetus being given to it, topples suddenly over and
hurls itself upon the plain beneath it. These berg-falls occur very
frequently in the Tyrol, sometimes occasioning comparatively little
damage, and even adding an element of picturesqueness to the great
natural beauty of the region; while on other occasions they are
followed by widespread havoc and destruction.

In 1771 a terrible calamity of this nature befell the little village
of Alleghe, situated on the banks of the river Cordevole, not far
from the town of Caprile in the Tyrol. The district was a fertile and
beautiful one, with several scattered villages surrounded by orchards
and corn-fields, and protected from the fierce blasts of winter by
the range of high mountains, which were at once its safeguard and its
peril. At the base of one of the loftiest of this great range, called
Monte Pezza, stood the little village of Alleghe. In the month of
January, when the mountains around were all covered with heavy snow,
a charcoal-burner was at his work in the woods of Monte Pezza, when
his attention was suddenly arrested by a distinctly tremulous movement
of the ground, and by the frequent rattling down of stones and débris
from the rocky precipices behind him. These were sufficient indications
of danger to the practised ear of the mountaineer. He knew too well
the portents of those overwhelming catastrophes that are continually
to be dreaded; and on listening more attentively, he became convinced
that serious peril was impending. Even as he watched, several large
boulders became detached from the face of the mountain, and rolled
down to a considerable distance; while at intervals the trembling
motion of the ground was too evident to be mistaken. It was growing
late in the afternoon, and darkness would soon fall on the valley; so
hastily quitting his work, he made the best of his way down to the
nearest village, and with the excitement naturally caused by anxiety
and fear, he told the inhabitants of the alarming indications he had
just witnessed, and urged them to make their escape without loss of
time from the threatened danger. Strangely enough, they seem to have
attached no value to the signs of approaching mischief which the man
described to them; and it would appear that they considered the falling
débris to be attributable to some accidental snow-slip, caused possibly
by the warm rays of the noonday sun.

Whatever they may have thought, they paid no heed to the warning; and
the charcoal-burner having done all he could to save them from the
threatened calamity, went on as fast as possible to carry his terrible
news to three other villages, which were all directly exposed to the
like danger. But they also utterly disbelieved in it, and laughed at
the fears of the poor man, whose breathless and agitated condition
clearly testified to the truth of his conviction that a very great
peril was close at hand. One and all, they refused to quit their
dwellings; and the charcoal-burner, having vainly endeavoured to
awaken them to a sense of their danger, quitted the spot himself, and
sought shelter elsewhere. Hours passed, and no further disturbance
of any kind taking place, the villagers concluded the whole thing to
have been a false alarm, and at night all retired to rest as usual,
without apparently a shadow of misgiving. Suddenly, in the midst of
the silence and darkness, a fearful crash of falling rocks sounded far
and wide through the valley; and when the first rays of the sun lighted
up the mountain peaks, a terrible scene of ruin and death was revealed.
The four little hamlets had entirely disappeared; two of them, those
that lay nearest to the slopes of Monte Pezza, were completely buried
under an immense mass of fallen earth and rocks; the other two were
submerged beneath the waters of the river Cordevole, which had been
driven from its coarse by the berg-fall, and had spread out into what
is now known as the Lake of Alleghe. None of the unhappy victims had a
moment's time for escape, even had escape been possible. The rushing
down of the mountain was instantaneous, and buried them as they lay
sleeping; and the water flowed with impetuous rapidity into the
unprotected villages, not one inmate of which survived to relate the
experiences of that awful night.

Some months passed; and the first horror of the catastrophe had a
little faded, when another berg-fall took place, again followed by
lamentable consequences. It occurred in the month of May and in
daylight; but a much smaller loss of life was the result, though
the destruction of property was even greater than on the previous
occasion. Owing to the tremendous force exerted by the falling débris,
the waters of the lake, which had never subsided since its formation,
instantaneously rose into an enormous wave, and rushed violently
up the valley; wrecking houses and farm-buildings, destroying the
flourishing orchards and corn-fields, and carrying away a portion of
the parish church of a village which had been re-called Alleghe, after
the submersion of the first of that name. The organ of this church was
forcibly swept to a considerable distance; and a tree borne along on
the mighty wave was dashed into an open window of the curé's house,
while he was sitting at dinner, the servant who was attending on him
being killed on the spot. Many lives were lost during this second great
berg-fall, and terrible consternation was created in the minds of the
inhabitants of the district, which seemed to have been so specially
singled out for misfortune.

Since that time, however, no other serious disaster has befallen
them; the huge mountains of the neighbourhood have not again hurled
death and ruin on the smiling valley at their feet; and the little
lake of Alleghe, the principal memorial of the catastrophe, is only
an added beauty to the lovely scenery which surrounds it, and lies
there in serene tranquillity, all unconscious of the beating hearts
for ever stilled beneath its waters, of the happy homes rendered dark
and desolate by its cold cruel wave. More than a hundred years have
passed since then; many generations of villagers have lived and died,
and the recollection of the great berg-falls of 1771 has faded into
a mere tradition of the place; but yet, looking down into the clear
depths of the lake, on a day when there is no wind to raise ripples on
its surface, the outlines of the submerged villages can be distinctly
traced. Roofs and walls of houses can yet be distinguished; it is even
said that the belfry of the church is visible, flights of stairs, and
many other relics of the past life of the drowned inhabitants.

On the 21st of May in each year, the date of the second of those great
disasters, a solemn commemorative service is celebrated in the little
church of Alleghe, and masses are performed for the souls of those who
perished in the two fatal berg-falls of 1771.


People are already to a certain extent acquainted through the
newspapers with what is called the Telephone, or instrument for
transmitting musical sounds to a distance. We wish to say something of
this novelty. The conveyance of sound by means of an electric wire, has
been practised through the instrumentality of the _bell telegraph_,
used occasionally, though much less frequently than apparatus of a
different kind. The signaller does not himself ring a bell, but sets
in vibration a bell at the further or receiving end of the wire. The
electric current, passing through the wire, acts upon a small magnet,
and this in its turn acts upon a small bell or its hammer. By a
preconcerted arrangement, one single sound is understood to denote a
particular letter or word; two denote another letter or word; three
quickly repeated, have a separate meaning; three separated by unequal
intervals of silence, another--and so on. The receiver must have a
quick ear, and much practice is necessary for a due fulfilment of
his duties. Although the plan has an advantage in enabling him to
understand a message in the dark as well as in the light, it has more
than equivalent disadvantages; among which is the fact that it leaves
no permanent record.

But talking by electricity conveying the actual sounds of the voice
for many miles--what are we to think of this? And a song--the words,
the music, and the actual quality of the singer's voice; does not this
seem almost beyond the powers of such a mode of transmission? Who first
thought of such a thing is not now known. Very likely, as in most
great inventions, the same idea occurred to many persons at different
times, but was laid aside because the mode of realising it was not
sufficiently apparent.

It was about 1860 that Reis invented a contrivance for employing
a stretched membrane vibrating to a particular pitch or note; a
contact-piece was adjusted near the membrane; and a series of rapid
contacts sent a series of clicks along an electric wire to an
electro-magnetic receiver at the other end. But the apparatus could
only convey one note or musical sound.

Four or five years ago, Mr Edison, a telegraphic engineer at Newark in
New Jersey, made an attempt in this direction. It is known that, in
one form of automatic chemico-electric telegraph, signals are recorded
by sending an electric current through prepared paper saturated with
a chemical agent which changes in colour wherever the current touches
it; the paper is moved on equably, and a pen or stylus rests upon
it, conveying the impulse received from the electric wire. Mr Edison
has tried to devise an arrangement for producing sound as well as
discoloration, something for the ear to hear as well as something else
for the eye to see. We are not aware whether his experiments have been
sufficiently successful to produce a practically useful result.

In 1874, M. La Cour sent audible signals from Fredericia to Copenhagen,
by means of a tuning-fork, a contact-piece, a telegraphic wire, and a
key to set the fork in vibration.

Mr Elisha Gray appears to have made a more definite advance in this
direction. He has transmitted the pianoforte sounds of a concert
through the wire of an electric telegraph. The performer played at
Philadelphia, to an audience at New York, ninety miles distant. The
apparatus may be called a telephonic piano; it transmits the sounds
of that instrument, but of no other. Public performances of this kind
were given in the early months of the present year. On one evening the
instrument was played at Chicago, and the music heard at Milwaukee,
eighty-seven miles distant. _The Last Rose of Summer_, _Yankee
Doodle_, _The Sweet By-and-by_, and _Home, Sweet Home_ are named as
the tunes thus played. On a second occasion the apparatus triumphed
over a distance of no less than two hundred and eighty-four miles,
from Chicago to Detroit; not much was attempted in actual music, but
the sounds were audible at this great distance. Two instruments are
required, a transmitter and a receiver. There is a keyboard of two
octaves (available therefore only for simple melodies), a tuning bar,
an electro-magnet, and an electric circuit. The play on the keys
with the fingers produces vibrations, thuds, molecular movements, in
rhythmical succession; these are transmitted by the electric wire to
the receiving apparatus at the other end. This receiving apparatus is
a large sounding-box, on which is mounted an electro-magnet. The box
intensifies the sounds by its sonorousness, through the medium of the
slight touches which the magnetised iron gives to the box at every
expansion or elongation which the electro-magnetism gives it. Delicate
experiments have shewn that there is a minute difference in the length
of a bar of iron when magnetised and demagnetised; and Mr Gray appears
to have taken advantage of this property in causing his magnetised bar
to give a succession of taps to the resonant box. We believe that the
apparatus requires wholly new setting for each tune. If so, the system
bears the same relation to real pianoforte playing as the barrel organ
does to the church organ; it does not lend itself to the spontaneous or
extempore effusions of the player.

More comprehensive, so far as the scientific descriptions enable us
to judge, is Bell's _telephone_, for the transmission of talk and
sing-song as well as of instrumental sounds. If present indications
should be really justified by future results, the imagination can
scarcely picture the number of practical applications that may ensue.
The inventor, Mr Graham Bell, went to America in 1871. He is the son
of Mr Alexander Melville Bell, whose system of 'Visible Speech' has
attracted a good deal of notice on both sides of the Atlantic. Both
father and son have been practically engaged in perfecting a system for
teaching the dumb to speak; and Mr Graham Bell set himself the task of
accomplishing something which would justify him in saying: 'If I can
make a deaf-mute talk, so can I make iron talk.'[A]

Mr Bell, when at Salem in Massachusetts, began to turn his attention
to this subject, the telegraphy of sound, or _telephony_, in 1872; but
three years elapsed before the matter assumed such a form as to enable
him to send a little musical message through a two-mile wire. Securing
his invention by a patent, he gave his first public exhibition of the
system in the autumn of 1876. The talk or speaking of an operator
at Cambridge, Massachusetts, was heard at Boston, in the ordinary
conversational tones. It does not appear that the actual quality or
_timbre_ of the voice was distinguishable, but only a voice, speaking
certain words. Early in the present year, however, further improvements
were made in the apparatus which enabled it to shew even this kind of
delicacy; that is, it transmitted not merely the words in sound, but
also the tones and inflections of different voices. Singing being, in
regard to acoustics, only one variety of speaking, it follows almost
as a matter of course that if the apparatus can talk it can also sing.
Accordingly, a lady sang _The Last Rose of Summer_, and was distinctly
heard at the distant station; the sounds 'had about the same effect as
if the listeners were at the rear of a concert-hall, say a hundred feet
from the singer.' The sounds of laughter and applause were similarly
transmitted, with the proper rhythm and key or musical pitch. In
instrumental music a violin could be distinguished from a violoncello;
a test more delicate than would be supposed by many persons.

In all the earlier experiments of Professor Bell, he employed galvanic
batteries to produce the current; but these were afterwards dispensed
with, and their place supplied by permanent magnets. With this improved
arrangement, sounds were conveyed through a wire to a distance of a
hundred and forty-three miles, from Boston to North Conway in New
Hampshire. Last February a lecture was delivered, on the subject of
Telephony, by Professor Bell at Salem, and was audible, word for word,
at Boston. In order to shew that the transmission is equally available
in both directions, provided the proper apparatus is at both ends,
the lecture from Salem to Boston was followed on the same evening by
singing and speech-making from Boston to Salem.

From the patent specifications and from the descriptions in American
scientific journals, it would appear that a phonographic reporter
of some skill is needed, to translate the audible sounds into words
and write them down. We must first comprehend, however, the mode in
which the sonorous transmission through the wire is brought about; for
this it is which really constitutes the principle of the telephone.
Ordinary telegraphic coils of insulated wire are applied to the poles
of a powerful compound permanent magnet; and in front of these is a
thin vibrating diaphragm or membrane, with a metallic contact-piece
cemented to it. A mouth-piece or trumpet mouth, fitted to collect and
intensify waves of sound, is placed near the other surface of the
diaphragm. It is known that the motion of steel or iron in front of
the poles of a magnet creates a disturbance of electricity in coils
surrounding those poles; and the duration of this current will coincide
with the vibratory motion of the steel or iron. When, therefore, the
human voice (or any other suitable sound) impinges through the tube
against the diaphragm, the diaphragm itself begins to vibrate, and
the contact-piece awakens (so to speak) electrical action in the coils
of wire surrounding the poles of the magnet; not a current, but a
series of undulations, something like those produced by the voice in
the air around us. The undulations in the coil produce a current in
the ordinary telegraph wire with which it is placed in connection. A
similar apparatus at the other end is hereby set in action, but in
reverse order; that is, the wire affects another coil, the coil another
diaphragm, and the diaphragm another tube, in which the sounds are
reproduced in audible vibrations.

It is said that even a whisper can in this way be reproduced at a
distance, the maximum extent of which may possibly be much greater than
has yet been achieved. At one of the exhibitions given to illustrate
this system, Professor Bell stationed himself in the Lyceum at Salem;
Mr T. A. Watson at Boston. An intermittent current, sent through
the eighteen miles of telegraphic wire, produced in the telephone a
horn-like sound. The Morse alphabet was then transmitted in musical
sounds, audible throughout the lecture-hall. Then the sounds of an
organ were made to act upon the apparatus, and these in like manner
were transmitted; two or three tunes being distinctly heard in
succession at Boston. Professor Bell then signalled to Mr Watson to
sing a song; this was done, and the words as well as the tune of the
song heard. A speech was then made at Boston in the simple words:
'Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to be able to address
you this evening, although I am in Boston and you in Salem.' This
speech was heard distinctly in the Lyceum at Salem, and was followed by
many questions and answers sent to and fro.

If monotones be adopted instead of those variations in pitch which
belong to ordinary music, it is believed that several telephonic
messages may be sent through the same wire at the same time. It would
be agreed on beforehand that all sounds in C (for instance) shall be
intended for one station alone; all those in D for another station,
and so on; each diaphragm would vibrate in the manner belonging to
the sound-waves impinging upon it; but each station would attend only
to those in a particular pitch. Such is the theory. Whether it can be
practically carried into effect, the future must shew.

Mr Cromwell Varley, during his researches in duplex telegraphy,
produced an apparatus which he is now trying to apply to telephonic
purposes. A limited amount of success was achieved in July of the
present year, through an electric wire connecting two concert-halls in
London; but the apparatus requires further development. It comprises
among other details a series of tuning-forks, one for each note.

There does not, so far as description goes, appear a probability that
telephones would be so applicable as the machines already in use for
ordinary telegraphic purposes; for reasons which we need not detail
here. The conveyance of sound is the novelty; and whimsical suggestions
have been put forth concerning the possible results, such as the
following: 'One of the first steps which a young couple, upon their
engagement, would naturally take, would be to have the speaking-wires
laid down to their respective rooms, and then, at any time, far from
the curious eye of the world, they would be able to indulge in sweet
converse.' Another: 'The extension of the system might not prove so
pleasant in other cases. Thus, for example, university authorities
might take it into their heads to attach an instrument to every room in
the college, in order that the young men might report that they were
steadily at work every quarter of an hour.' Another: 'It is hardly
going too far to anticipate the time when, from St James's Hall as a
centre, Mr Gladstone will be able to speak to the ears of the whole
nation collected at a hundred different towns, on Bulgarian atrocities,
or some other topic of burning interest. Nor need we despair of seeing
Herr Wagner, from his throne at Bayreuth, dispensing the "Music of the
Future" in one monster concert to St Petersburg, Vienna, London, New
York--in short, to all the musical world at once.'


[A] The subject of 'Visible Speech' is not unfamiliar to the readers
of _Chambers's Journal_. In the number for May 12, 1866, a succinct
account of the system is given--a system intended to remedy the utter
want of agreement between the appearance and the sound of a letter or a


The two small volumes which give the title to this article, afford an
amusing account of the troubles that befell Mr Burton in ten days,
during which he somewhat rashly undertook the supervision of his sister
Helen's Babies, the best children in the world (so their mother assures
him), and of the vicissitudes through which his young wife subsequently
passed, while endeavouring to manage 'Other People's Children.' To
many, the incidents will appear too ridiculous; but it is to be kept in
mind that the children are American, who for the most part are allowed
to do pretty much as they like, and who, amongst other tastes, possess
an untiring voracity for 'candy.'

When we first make his acquaintance, Harry Burton, a salesman of white
goods in New York, is a bachelor aged twenty-eight, and is in some
doubt as to where he shall spend a short holiday, so as to secure a
quiet time for reading; when he receives a letter from his married
sister, Mrs Lawrence, asking him to go to her house, while she is
absent with her husband on a few days' visit to an old school-fellow.
She admits that she is not quite disinterested in making the request,
as she shall feel easier about her two small boys Budge and Toddie,
aged respectively five and three, if there is a man in the house; but
promises him undisturbed quiet, and leisure for improving his mind.

Mr Burton accepts with alacrity, having a vivid recollection of a
lovely house, exquisite flowers, first-rate horses, and unexceptionable
claret and cigars; to which the remembrance of the pure eyes and
serene expression of his elder nephew (whom he has only seen on flying
visits to his sister) lends an additional charm. It occasions him
a slight misgiving when the driver of the fly in which he proceeds
from Hillcrest Station to Mrs Lawrence's house, alludes to his young
relatives as 'imps;' and it is not without some heart-sinking that he
meets them on the road, in torn and disreputable garments, each bearing
a dirty knotted towel, which Budge promptly informs his uncle are not
towels, but 'lovely dollies.' Mr Burton is self-sacrificing enough to
hoist the boys into the carriage; and it is rather hard on him that,
just as Toddie raises an awful yell, on being forbidden to try and
open a valuable watch, they should meet another carriage containing
Miss Mayton, a charming lady, whose presence at Hillcrest, we imagine,
may have had something to do with determining Mr Burton's movements.
However, the lady is gracious in spite of the dusty and heated
appearance of her admirer, caused by his contest with Toddie, and he
arrives at his destination in a celestial frame of mind.

He is rather dismayed when left alone with his nephews at the
supper-table, feeling that he will get nothing to eat while he is
called upon to supply the inexhaustible demands of the two young
cormorants; and at the conclusion of the meal he hastily rids himself
of them, as he fondly hopes, for the night. Vain hope! As he strolls
in the garden smoking a cigar, dreaming of Alice Mayton, enjoying
the fragrance of the roses, and above all the perfect stillness of
everything around, he is roused from his reverie by hearing Budge's
voice overhead, and is met by a demand from a little white-robed figure
for 'stories.' Mr Burton is too tender-hearted to resist the wistful
expression of Budge's countenance, and he complies; but he fails to
compare favourably as a _raconteur_ with the absent papa; and Budge
assuming the position of narrator himself, gives _his_ version of
the history of Jonah. We cannot help laughing at his description of
the prophet, who 'found it was all dark inside the whale, an' there
wasn't any fire there, an' 'twas all wet, an' he couldn't take off his
clothes to dry, cos there wasn't no place to hang em.' Songs succeed to
stories, and at length Uncle Harry thinks he is free; but he reckons
without his host. Budge insists that his uncle shall hear him say his
prayers in the exact manner in which 'papa always does;' concluding
his devotions by an immediate and pressing request for candy. But
Toddie's prayer must be said first, in which a special petition
is offered for the welfare of his 'dolly.' Then, the candy being
forthcoming, there arises a clamour for pennies, drinks, and finally
for the 'dollies;' which tiresome objects being found, Uncle Harry
once more beats a retreat, and settles himself for a little serious
reading, experiencing, however, one more interruption from Budge, who
appears before him and requests his blessing before he finally turns
in. Papa says 'God bless _everybody_,' persists the boy, when his uncle
endeavours to satisfy him with a simple 'God bless you;' and we fully
echo Mr Burton's sentiment: 'Bless your tormenting honest little heart,
if men trusted God as you do your papa, how little business there'd
be for the preachers to do!' The remainder of the night is tranquil
enough, for we pass over such minor incidents as shrieks from Toddie
for his dreadful 'dolly,' which has been mislaid among the bed-clothes,
and the very early rising of Budge, who is up with the lark, doing his
best to rouse his uncle (whose room communicates with that of the boys)
from his morning sleep. Who could find the heart to be angry with the
small sinner who apologises for his misdeeds by saying: 'I was only a
lovin' you cos you was good an' brought us candy. Papa lets us love him
whenever we want to--every mornin' he does.'

We draw a veil over Mr Burton's feelings when, on the following
morning, it becomes manifest that Toddie (whom his mother believes to
have an artistic and poetic soul) has been seized with a passion for
investigation, and has dived deep into the mysteries of all his uncle's
most precious belongings, the result being--chaos. That after this
Mr Barton should insist upon locking the door of communication, can
scarcely be a matter of surprise; and accordingly an expedition is made
into the neighbouring town to obtain a new key--Toddie having dropped
the one belonging to the door down the well--during which the conduct
of the two boys is simply angelic. The more spiritual part of their
nature comes to the surface; their childish imaginations are impressed
by the lovely panorama of the distant city which lies outspread before
them glistening in the sunshine; and as the pure young voices speak
familiarly of the other world and of the dead baby-brother Phillie
who is up there with God, we feel how near those white souls are to
heaven. The uncle finds their conversation so improving that the drive
is prolonged to the 'Falls,' where, suddenly becoming all boy again,
they nearly madden their unhappy guardian, who has turned away for a
moment to light a cigar, by hanging as far as possible over the cliff,
trying hard to overbalance themselves. As he drags them away, his
heart is in his mouth. Budge screams: 'Oh, Uncle Harry, I hunged over
more than Toddie did.' 'Well, I--I--I--I--I--I hunged over a good deal
_anyhow_,' says Toddie in indignant self-defence. To chronicle all the
sufferings inflicted by the two dreadful yet irresistible young 'imps'
on their unfortunate uncle, would be impossible. Our deepest sympathies
are aroused when he despatches to Miss Mayton a box containing a
lovely bouquet, and he finds it is delivered to her containing only
Toddie's remarkable 'dolly,' which he has contrived to substitute for
the flowers. We groan in concert with Mr Burton when his nephews dance
frantic war-dances on his chest, a proceeding which with cruel sarcasm
they call a 'froolic;' and our pity follows him through the day, as he
is alternately ordered by those imperious young gentlemen to produce
candy and pennies, to tell them Scripture stories (the imaginative
Toddie evincing a decided leaning towards the ghastly), to sing songs,
to cut whistles, and to gather 'jacks,' a plant which grows where
there is plenty of mud, and whence they all emerge with their Sunday
splendour considerably dimmed, in which condition of course they meet
Miss Mayton.

In spite of their incessant mischief, their overpowering activity of
mind and body--which must have induced the feeling in Mr Burton of
being permanently located on a barrel of gunpowder lighted match in
hand--it is impossible not to love the honest little souls, whose worst
sins often proceed from the very best intentions; and accordingly we
do love Budge dearly, when, on the following day, he surpasses all
his previous achievements and covers himself with glory. Uncle Harry
announces his intention of taking the boys to see Miss Mayton, and
adjourns to the garden to arrange another bouquet, which Toddie is to
present as a propitiatory offering. The children take great interest
in the proceedings, and learning that Miss Mayton is the destined
recipient of the nosegay, Budge asserts that she is 'just like a
cake;' and announcing that he 'just loves her,' puts to his uncle the
embarrassing query: 'Don't _you_?' 'Well, I respect her very highly,
Budge,' replies that individual; and in answer to his interrogator,
explains the meaning of the word respect as applied to Miss Mayton
in such fashion, that that dreadfully acute infant comes to the
conclusion that ''spect and love means just the same thing.' Mr Burton
at this point judges it prudent to break off the conversation, and
the trio start on their expedition. The bouquet is delivered without
_contre-temps_; Miss Mayton is graciousness itself; and the visit
proceeds so satisfactorily that they agree to remain to dinner. Uncle
Harry has his misgivings; but beyond the upsetting of the contents
of a plate into Miss Mayton's lap, his nephews' conduct is so very
blameless, that it is with no feeling but that of lover-like ecstasy,
that he finds himself seated in the deepening twilight by the side
of the woman he adores, his eyes making confession of his weakness.
Suddenly a voice from between them murmurs in sweet tones: 'Uncle Harry
'spects you, Miss Mayton.'

'Suspects me! Of what, pray?' asks the lady.

'Budge!' exclaims the horrified uncle--and we can well believe his
statement that his voice rose nearly to a scream--'Budge, I must beg of
you to respect the sanctity of confidential communications.' But Miss
Mayton's curiosity is aroused; and Budge is not to be silenced, even
when his uncle explains to her that 'respect' is what the boy is trying
to say, owing to his endeavour to explain to him the nature of the
respect in which gentlemen hold ladies. 'Yes,' says Budge; 'only Uncle
Harry don't say it right. What he calls 'espect, _I_ calls love.'

After this, what can happen but that the confession should pass from
the eyes to the lips? And Budge is forgotten and left out in the cold,
until, waxing impatient, he gives his version of how he would behave
under the like circumstances: 'I--I--when _I_ loves any one, I kisses

We feel that from this moment the lives of those blessed boys will
be made all sunshine by their grateful uncle, and so doubtless they
would have been but for one persistently wet day, during which we
are sure no mortal power could have sustained Mr Burton, had it not
been for the recollection of Budge's recent good deeds. How he lives
through the rainy day--how Toddie twice places his own life in imminent
peril--how Mr Burton provides employment for his restless nephews--how
the artistic Toddie evinces a decided talent for wall-decoration--how
he scalds his arm, and devours the curative poultice--and how on the
following morning poor little Budge lets us peep into his childish
heart and see the yearning for the mother who is away (being comforted
by his uncle in a manner which induces us to offer to Miss Mayton
our warmest congratulations), we advise our readers to discover for
themselves. That Budge should be the first to inform Mrs Mayton of her
daughter's engagement, we, knowing that young man, find only natural;
and we are glad to be able to state that it is done with the same tact
which distinguished his efforts to bring the young couple together.
Toddie once more endeavours to put a period to his existence by
swallowing a bottle of paregoric, but is fortunately cured in time to
meet his father and mother at the station on their return, by a process
which causes him more to resemble the whale than his favourite Jonah.

For a time Mr Burton has been too busily occupied to chronicle any
more of the doings of the amusing 'babies.' He has married, bought a
house, and settled in the neighbourhood of Tom and Helen Lawrence.
We feel sure that Mrs Burton will prove no less admirable than Miss
Mayton; indeed, recently breaking silence, her adoring husband has
assured us that so it is; but as there are spots on the sun, so do we
find that Mrs Burton has one slight weakness--namely, a conviction that
she thoroughly understands how to manage 'Other People's Children.'
Entirely disapproving of the manner in which her husband had allowed
those two ridiculous children to tyrannise over him, and turning a
deaf ear to his energetic assertion that all his time was occupied in
saving their own lives and their parents' property from destruction,
that admirable woman announces her views on the subject of their
training. 'You should have explained to them,' she says, 'the necessity
for peace, order, cleanliness, and self-restraint. Do you imagine that
had you done so, their pure little hearts would not have received it
all and acted upon it?' Mr Burton seems doubtful; but his scepticism
only makes her rejoice still more in the prospect of speedily having
Budge and Toddie under her own hands, during their mother's unavoidable
seclusion in her own room on business of the utmost importance. Budge
and Toddie presently arrive with the exciting news that there is a new
little sister-baby at home, and that they have come to stay a few days.
Mrs Burton is determined that her system of education shall begin at
once, being anxious to prove its efficacy to her lord and master; but
the boys have immediately disappeared, probably in pursuit of the dog
Jerry (who has judged it prudent to retire into private life on their
advent), and are discovered pickling tomatoes for their aunt by means
of 'Mexican Mustang Liniment' and 'Superior Carriage Varnish.' We
imagine Budge may have had some reason for his remark: 'I don't think
you act _very_ nice about presents and surprises.' Toddie spends the
morning in a praiseworthy effort to hatch some chickens; but although
he sits down 'ever so soffaly' because he 'hasn't got fessers,' the
result is such as to necessitate a visit to the bath-room.

Undismayed by these beginnings, Mrs Burton, on preparing to go out
in the afternoon, leaves the boys as it were in charge of the house,
appeals in touching words to their sense of the beautiful not to
disarrange anything, telling them that people should always try to make
the world prettier, and departs with a quiet mind. Whether she thinks
her method is attended with unequivocal success when she finds, on her
return, that they have acted on her hint, and endeavoured to 'make the
world prettier' by manufacturing--of stones, road-dust, and a noxious
smelling weed--a fernery in her best drawing-room (it narrowly escaped
being watered), we will not too curiously inquire.

Our author's account of her numerous encounters with
Toddie--theological and other--from which she invariably issues
worsted, and with increased respect for the force of character which
Mr Burton had long since recognised in that young gentleman, is most
laughable. She tells the boys interesting anecdotes and stories full
of moral purpose, containing hints for their guidance, which the young
logicians never fail to act upon in a way which leaves her powerless to
reprove (if she does not wish to have her own lessons quoted against
her), and with a dismayed sense of failure. She eulogises generosity,
and forthwith the boys steal some hot-house grapes from a neighbour
with which to present her on her birthday. She gives them lessons on
the duty of making others happy, and they try to please her by lighting
a bonfire in the cellar; a proceeding which disperses her birthday
party. She sends them out of the room with a lecture on being quiet
when Uncle Harry has the toothache. 'Even the sound of a person talking
is annoying to him,' she says. 'Then you's a baddy woman to stay in
here an' keep a-talking all the whole time,' says the irrepressible
Toddie, 'when it makes poor old Uncle Harry supper so. G'way.'

She gives them instruction on the duty of working for others, the moral
of which is pointed by two small itinerant Italian musicians, who,
she informs the children, with beautiful enthusiasm, are doubtless
toiling for sick parents who are far away; the result of which lesson
on the dignity of labour is, that the two young monkeys perambulate
the streets with Uncle Harry's precious violin and a whistle; and earn
nearly a dollar with which to buy him a horse and carriage, which they
have been told he cannot afford to purchase. It is with a sorrowful
heart that Budge complains in his evening devotions that he has 'been
scolded again for tryin' to do somethin' real nice for other people;'
and that Toddie expresses his opinion that 'Aunt Alish ought to be
ashamed of herself;' adding a hope that she may be made so. Poor Aunt
Alice is gradually beginning to understand, having arrived at the
knowledge by a thorny path, how very little she really knows about the
management of other people's children. She tries to find out from Budge
why their uncle succeeds better with them than she does, and learns a
lesson on the art of making other people happy in their way and not in
ours, which she takes to heart, if we may judge by the buns and candy
which are manufactured by two small cooks in the Burton establishment,
not without many perils to life and property. Perhaps the creature
most to be pitied during the visit is the dog Jerry, who suffers many
things at the hands of the boys. At all events he seems to be the only
rejoicing member of the family at their approaching departure. Aunt
Alice begs for another day, in which they distinguish themselves by
ascending a precipice to get her a fern as a parting gift. Fortunately
a kind Providence watches over them, and nothing worse occurs than a
sprained ankle for Toddie. They are returned comparatively safe and
sound to their father and mother, for which mercy we should imagine Mrs
Burton offered a devout thanksgiving.

The last chapter is devoted to a conversation in which Mr Lawrence
favours us with his views on the bringing up of children. Surely he is
right when he says that 'love never faileth.'

We feel certain that, to those who have babies like Helen's to manage,
and who have wit to read between the lines, these two little volumes
will prove as instructive as they are amusing. We can accord them no
higher praise.


The author of an anonymous tract printed in 1689, and obtainable gratis
'up one pair of stairs at the sign of the Anodyne Necklace, without
Temple Bar,' rather anticipated events in describing tea to be the leaf
of a little shrub growing plentifully in the East Indies. No Indian tea
found its way to Europe at that time, when haters of innovation were
beginning to complain that through drinking of tea Englishwomen were no
longer equal to eating beef of a morning. It was not until 1823 that a
Scotsman, bearing the historical name of Robert Bruce, discovered there
were tea-drinkers in Assam, who brewed their beloved beverage from the
leaves of a native tree growing to a height of forty and even sixty
feet; of which a few plants and seeds were subsequently carried by his
brother, Mr C. A. Bruce, to Calcutta, to excite a transient curiosity,
and that was all.

Time, however, brought Mr C. A. Bruce his reward. In 1834 a committee
was appointed to consider the question of introducing tea cultivation
in British India, and a scientific party under Dr Nathaniel Wallich--a
Danish gentleman, whose botanical industry had won him the post of
Superintendent of the Botanical Gardens at Calcutta--was sent to
explore the newly acquired province of Assam, and make special inquiry
respecting the tea-growing there practised. The result was that the
committee reported favourably as to the feasibility of cultivating tea
in John Company's dominions, Mr Bruce being selected to superintend
the formation of government nurseries; and with the aid of Chinese
seeds, Chinese plants, and Chinese cultivators, he set the possibility
of producing good tea in India beyond all doubt. One consequence of
the happy experiment was the establishment in 1839 of the Assam Tea
Company, which took over the greater portion of the government gardens,
started new ones on a larger scale, set about the cultivation of tea
in good earnest, and after various vicissitudes, is now a flourishing

The profitable industry is now fairly established in several of the
provinces of the Indian empire, but Assam still maintains its pride
of place, being credited with one half of the tea produced; the
tea districts of Cochin and Tibet supplying twenty-six per cent.,
Darjeeling thirteen per cent., the Himalayan districts six per cent.,
and British Burmah the remaining five per cent. Darjeeling prides
itself upon the superior delicacy and aroma of its leaf; but the rough,
pungent, malty flavoured product of Assam, which owes its character
to the use of native in place of Chinese seed, is the recognised
standard Indian tea. If the Assam planters may congratulate themselves
upon overcoming the old-time prejudice in favour of Chinese seed, they
have equally good reason to rejoice at having found a way to dispense
with Chinese labour, once a grievous necessity. By offering high wages
and constant employment, they are able to tempt Bengalese coolies to
leave their beloved villages, and by providing comfortable huts with
garden-ground in which they can install their wives and families,
insure their staying in their new home. That they may not be saddled
with useless hands, the tea-growers employ native foremen familiar with
the work to act as recruiting officers.

Twelve or thirteen years ago a violent tea-growing mania suddenly set
in. Companies were formed by the dozen. The value of available land
rose beyond all reason. Some unscrupulous schemers sold uncleared
forest-lands as plantations; others, more unscrupulous still, obtained
payment for plantations utterly non-existent in any shape, and genuine
'gardens' of forty acres fetched from twenty to thirty thousand pounds.
Things have long since found their level again; but the possession of
a tea-garden even now presupposes the possession of a capital of at
least three thousand pounds, a smaller sum being deemed insufficient
to start with, since no return is to be expected from a new plantation
for the first three years, and it takes six years for the plants to
attain maturity; then they will allow of eight or nine gatherings being
made in a year, and yield four hundred pounds of leaves per acre. They
improve with age; but planters of seedlings have little chance of
seeing their trees at their best, if the Chinese and Japanese speak
truly when they say the tea-tree lives to be five hundred years old,
and grows better as it grows older.

For very many years after its introduction into England, tea was the
subject of a double monopoly. The Chinese were the only manufacturers,
the East India Company the only importers. The opening of the trade
deprived the consumer of the benefit of the strict supervision
exercised by the Company's agents, and left the Chinese merchants
master of the situation. A deterioration in the quality of the teas
sent into the English market quickly followed; and every reduction in
the duty tended to the same end, by encouraging the importation of
low-priced leaf of little use save to mix with that of better class;
and so it is almost impossible to obtain at any price what those who
can remember it call 'old-fashioned tea.' At a late meeting of the
Indian section of the Society of Arts, Mr Burrell, after remarking that
India produced tea superior to any in the world in flavour, strength,
and purity, complained that it was rarely used in this country except
to mix with the inferior growth of China; and urged his hearers in
their own interests and as a duty they owed to their countrymen in
India, who had long toiled and struggled to meet their wants, to a
more direct and extended use of Indian tea, and thereby afford a fair
harvest of profit to its cultivators, for which nothing was now wanting
but an increased consumption of their produce in this country.

Mr Burrell, we think, should rather have appealed to the sellers of
tea; for unless they bestir themselves in the matter, but few of the
millions of British tea-drinkers can have the chance of tasting
pure Indian tea. We are aware that 'the trade' declare pure Indian
teas unsuited to the national palate; but we have no faith in their
judgment. If dealers in adulterable articles are to be believed, the
British public's taste is a monstrously depraved one, preferring
chicory to coffee, publican's to brewer's beer, turmeric and flour
to mustard, and clever concoctions of all kinds to the things they
pretend to be. It may be taken for granted that the Yankee vender of
wooden nutmegs was ready to swear his customers preferred the ingenious
imitation to the genuine article.

The tea-growers of India, however, have a hopeful prospect before them.
The consumption of the produce of their gardens has risen prodigiously,
since the arrival of eight chests of tea from Assam caused such a
sensation in the London market that the importers obtained from sixteen
to thirty-four shillings a pound for it, or an average per pound of
twenty-four shillings and sixpence. In 1851 the exportation of Indian
tea amounted to 262,839 pounds; by 1863 it had risen to two and a
half million pounds; in 1876 English buyers were found for 28,126,100
pounds. Every year sees an increase in the consumption of Indian tea;
and unless their Chinese competitors look to it, they will gradually
be beaten out of the field, for India possesses vast reserves of land
fit for conversion into tea-gardens, and could, if need be, supply the
wants of the whole world.


We copy the following from our able contemporary, _Nature_. The views
propounded have been already noticed in our paper on the 'Germ Theory.'

'In proposing a vote of thanks to Dr Corfield for his recent lecture on
Infectious Diseases, Professor Tyndall paid a high compliment to the
lecturer for the thoroughly sound instruction which he had so clearly
conveyed. He had made it plain that contagion consisted, not of gas or
vapour, but of definite particles, sometimes floating in gas, in the
air we breathed, or in the water we drank; and that, like organic seeds
in the soil, they multiplied themselves indefinitely in suitable media,
the great probability being that these disease-producing particles
were living things. A close study of the subject, extending now over
several years, enabled him to agree entirely with the lecturer in the
parallelism which he had declared to exist between the phenomena of
contagious disease and the phenomena of ordinary putrefaction. The
case of flies, for example, to which the lecturer ascribed the power
of communicating disease from one person to another, was exactly
paralleled by phenomena in putrefaction. Chop up a beefsteak, steep it
in water, raise the temperature a little above the temperature of the
blood, pour off the water, and filter it; you get a perfectly clear
liquid; but that liquid placed in a bottle and exposed to the air soon
begins to get turbid, and that turbid liquid, under the microscope,
is found to be swarming with living organisms. By suitably heating
this perfectly clear beef-tea, it can be sterilised, everything being
killed which is capable of generating those little organisms which
produce the turbidity; and by keeping it from coming in contact with
the floating particles of the air, it might be preserved transparent
for years. He had now some sterilised beef-tea of this sort which had
been preserved for eighteen months in a state of perfect transparency.
But if a fly dipped its foot into an adjacent vessel containing
some of the turbid fluid, and then into the transparent fluid, that
contact would be sufficient to infect the sterilised infusion. In
forty-eight hours the clear liquid would be swarming with these
living organisms. The quantity of the turbid liquid which attaches
itself to the finest needle-point suffices to infect any amount of
the infusion, just as the vaccine lymph taken up on the point of a
surgeon's lancet spreads disease through the whole body. Here, also, as
in the case of contagious disease, there was a period of incubation.
In proof of what the lecturer had stated that the contagion of these
communicable diseases was not gaseous or liquid, but solid particles,
he would describe an experiment he had made only a few weeks since.
Eighteen months ago he had a chamber prepared from which all floating
particles of dust were removed, and in it he placed a number of
vessels containing animal and vegetable refuse which soon fell into
putrefaction, and also two or three vessels containing perfectly
clear beef-tea and mutton-broth, as transparent as water, in which
the infective particles had been killed by heat. Although all these
vessels had stood for eighteen months side by side there had been no
communication of contagion from one to the other. The beef-tea and
mutton-broth remained as transparent as when put in, though the other
vessels emitted a most noisome stench. But if a bubble were produced in
one of the putrefying masses by blowing into it, and if on rising to
the surface and bursting, the spray of the bubble was allowed to fall
into the transparent beef-tea or mutton-broth, in two days it became as
bad as its neighbours.

'Referring to another point on which the lecturer had insisted--namely,
that there was no power of spontaneous generation of the germs or
contagion of diseases, Professor Tyndall said that, though at present
great names were opposed to that view, he would venture to predict that
ten years hence there would be very few great names opposed to the
lecturer on that matter. With regard to the power of specific contagia
to be generated in decomposing animal matter, he would say that for the
last twenty-one years he had been in the habit of visiting the upper
Alpine valleys, where, amongst the Swiss châlets, there was the most
abominable decomposition going on from day to day, and exceedingly bad
smells, but there these contagious diseases were entirely unknown. If,
however, a person suffering from typhoid fever were transported there,
the disease would spread like wildfire from this infected focus, and
probably take possession of the entire population. It might be taken,
therefore, that any of these special diseases required its special
germ or seed for its production, just as you required a grape-seed
to produce a vine. He entirely agreed with all that Dr Corfield had
stated as to these diseases 'breeding true.' He never found the virus
of small-pox producing typhoid, or _vice versâ_. The subject was one of
the most important which could engage the attention of the scientific

       *       *       *       *       *

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 554: Milwaukie to Milwaukee

Page 558: tomatos to tomatoes

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