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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 715 - September 8, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 715 - September 8, 1877" ***

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Fourth Series


NO. 715.      SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]


At all the tourist-towns abroad British visitors are much looked
for; and it is amusing to see the mode in which inscriptions and
advertisements are drawn up in English, or what is supposed to be
English, for the sake of riveting the attention of possible guests or
customers belonging to the 'nation of shopkeepers.' Many tourists have
taken copies of these curiosities, which have afterwards found their
way into print in various forms.

Hotels are famous for these curiosities: the variety of languages
spoken by the visitors supplying a reason for this. The 'Drei Mohren'
(Three Moors) hotel at Augsburg has the following entry in the
visitors' book: 'January 28th, 1815; His Grace Arthur Wellesley, &c.
&c. &c.; great honour arrived at the beginning of this year to the
three Moors; this illustrious warrior, whose glorious atchievements,
which, cradled in India, have filled Europe with his renown, descended
in it.' At the 'Trois Allies' hotel, Salzburg, some few years ago, mine
host invited English visitors by the following announcement: 'George
Nelböck begs leave to recommand his hotel to the Three Allied, situated
vis-a-vis of the birth-home of Mozart, which offers all comforts
to the meanest charges.' The prepositions _at_ and _to_ are great
stumbling-blocks to such concocters of English sentences and phrases;
the pronouns _which_ and _who_ not much less so. An hotel-keeper at
Rastadt bestowed great pains on an announcement which with many others
was exhibited in the entrance passage or hall: 'The underwritten has
the honor of informing the public that he has made the acquisition of
the hotel to the Savage, well situated in the middle of this city. He
shall endeavor to do all duties which gentlemen travellers can justly
expect; and invites them to please to convince themselves of it by
their kind lodgings at his house'--signed 'Basil Singisem, before the
tenant of the hotel to the Stork in this city.' If the good man had hit
upon 'Savage Hotel' and 'Stork Hotel' he would have been a little more

The circular of an Italian host, printed in four languages, discourses
thus to English visitors concerning the excellences of the hotel
'Torre di Londra,' Verona: 'The old inn of London's Tower, placed
among the more agreeable situation of Verona's course, belonging
at Sir Theodosius Trianoni, restor'd by the decorum most indulgent
to good things, of life's eases; which are favored from every acts
liable at inn same, with all object that is concerned, conveniency
of stage coaches, proper horses, but good forages, and coach houses.
Do offers at innkeeper the constant hope, to be honored from a great
concourse, where politeness, good genius of meats, round table,
coffee-house, hackney coach, men servant of place, swiftness of
service, and moderation of prices, shall arrive to accomplish in Him
all satisfaction, and at Sirs, who will do the favor honoring him with
a very assur'd kindness.' No doubt 'Sir Theodosius' took some pride in
this composition.

The card of an old inn at Paris some years ago contained the
announcement, 'Salines baths at every o'clock;' and of another, 'The
wines shall leave you nothing to hope for.' In an hotel at Mount Sinai,
on the fly-leaf of the visitors' book, English travellers are informed
that 'Here in too were inscribed all whose in the rule of the year come
from different parts, different cities and countries, pilgrims and
travellers of any different rank and religion or profession, for advice
and notice thereof to their posterity, and even also in owr own of
memory, acknowledging.'

On one of the slopes of Mount Etna, at a height of more than nine
thousand feet above the sea, is a house built of lava, containing
three small rooms and a shed for mules. Up to that point tourists and
explorers can ascend on mules, but the remainder of the climb must be
made on foot. Hence the desirability of having some building in which
mules and muleteers may sojourn for a time, while their hirers or
employers are wending their laborious way up to the volcanic summit.
When an English force occupied Sicily in 1811, the three brothers
Gemmellaro, the most indefatigable of explorers and describers of
Etna, obtained from the commanding officer the aid of some of the
soldiers (probably sappers and miners) in building the lava house above
adverted to; giving it, in compliment, the name _Casa degli Inglesi_
or 'English House.' Provided with a few humble pieces of furniture, it
is placed at the service of visitors, who must bring their own food
and fuel with them, and bedding if they wish to pass a night there.
The key is kept at a house at the foot of the mountain, the residence
(lately if not even now) of a member of the Gemmellaro family; it must
be applied for when required, and returned when done with, accompanied
by a signed certificate declaring that the liberal accommodation has
not been abused. Printed notices are hung on the walls of the casa in
various languages; one of which, in English, informs English-speaking
visitors that 'In consequence of the damage suffered in the house
called English, set on the Etna, for the reprehensible conduct of some
persons there recovered,' certain regulations are laid down. Visitors,
when applying for the key, must give name, title, and country, and must
at the same time 'tell the guide's and muleteer's names, just to drive
away those who have been so rough to spoil the movables and destroy
the stables. It is not permitted to any body to put mules into rooms
destined for the use of people, notwithstanding the insufficiency of
stables. It is forbidden likewise to dirtes the walls with pencil or
coal. M. Gemmellaro will provide a blank book for those learned people
curious to write their observations. A particular care must be taken
for the movables settled in the house.... Persons neglecting to execute
the above articles will be severely punished, and are obliged to pay
damage and expenses.' A significant hint winds up the announcement: 'It
is likewise proper and just to reward M. Gemmellaro for the expense
of movables and for the advantages travellers may get to examine the

As English travellers will go whithersoever there is anything to be
seen, hotel-keepers look out for them near buried cities as well as
near volcanic mountains. The following was copied by a tourist from a
card for English visitors, prepared by the host of an establishment
at or near the excavations of Pompeii: 'That hotel, open since a very
few days, is renowned for the cleanness of the apartments and linen;
for the exactness of the service; and for the eccellence of the true
French cookery. Being situated at proximity of that regeneration, it
will be propitious to receive families whatever, which will desire to
reside alternately in that town, to visit the monuments new found,
and to breathe thither the salubrity of the air. That establishment
will avoid to all travellers, visitors of that sepult city, and to the
artists (willing draw the antiquities) a great discordance, occasioned
by the tardy and expensive contour of the iron way. People will find
equally thither, a complete sortiment of stranger wines, and of the
kingdom, hot and cold baths, stables and coach-houses, the whole with
very moderate price. Now, all the applications and endeavors of the
hoste will tend always to correspond to the tastes and desires of their
customers, which will acquire without doubt to him, in that town, the
reputation whome he is ambitious.' The landlord's meaning is pretty
clear, in spite of his funny English, save in relation to 'the tardy
and expensive contour of the iron way,' which however, may have a vague
reference to railways.

A refreshment house at Amsterdam sells 'upright English
ginger-beer'--the Dutch word for 'genuine,' _opregt_, having led to a
muddling of the English.

Shopkeepers will naturally be as desirous as hotel-keepers to draw
the attention of possible customers who are more likely to read
English than any other language. A firm at Marseilles, claiming a
good repute for their preparation of the liqueur called _Vermuth_,
have labels on some of their bottles to the following effect: 'The
Wermouth is a brightly bitter and perfumed with additional and good
vegetable white wine. This is tonic, stimulant, febrifuge, and costive
drinking; mixed with water it is aperitive, refreshing, and also
a powerful preservative of fivers; those latter are very usual in
warmth countries, and of course that liquor has just been particularly
made up for that occasion.' It is quite certain that M. Lapresté, a
restaurateur at Versailles, said exactly what he did not mean in the
following announcement; by confounding the French _prévenir_ with the
English _prevent_: 'To Rendezvous of Museum, Arms Place, 9, Lapresté
Restorer, has the honor of preventing the travellers that they will
be helpt at his house, or a head, or at choice.' The original may
usefully be given here, to shew how perplexed the host must have been
in his attempted translation: 'Au Rendez-vous du Musée, Place d'Armes,
9, Lapresté, Restaurant, a l'honneur de prévenir MM. les voyageurs,
qu'on est servi, chez lui, à la carte ou par tête, au choix.' At Rouen
an announcement is remarkable for the odd way of expressing 'London
Stout'--namely, 'Stoughtonlondon.' A bath-keeper at Basle informs his
English visitors that 'In this new erected establishment, which the
Ouner recommends best to all foreigners, are to have ordinary and
artful baths, russia and sulphury bagnios, pumpings, artful mineral
waters, gauze lemonads, fournished apartmens for patients.' A French
advertisement relating to a house to be let, with immediate possession,
takes this extraordinary form: 'Castle to praise, presently.' Those who
know the twofold meaning of the verb _louer_ in French will see how
this odd blunder arose. A dentist at Honfleur 'renders himself to the
habitations of these wich honor him with their confidence and executes
all wich concarns his profession with skill and vivacity.'

At Frankfort-on-the-Main, 'M. Reutlinger takes leave to recommande
his well-furnished magazin of all kind of travelling-luggage and
sadle-work.' Affixed to a pillar outside the Théâtre Français, some
years ago, was a bill or placard: 'Hardy Cook, living to the Louvre
on the West Gate under the Vestibule, old emplacement of late M.
Kolliker. He will serve you with list, and he has parlours and privates
rooms, receives Society, and has always some Shoueroute and Disters
of Cancall.' Inscrutable words these last, certainly. At Havre, local
regulations for the convenience of visitors are printed in various
languages; English people are informed that 'One arrangement can make
with the pilot for the walking with roars.' 'Pilot' for 'guide' is not
far amiss; but 'roars' as an English equivalent for 'ramparts' (if that
is meant) is odd enough; and if not, the enigma is just as formidable.
The much-used French _on_ evidently increased the difficulty of the
poor translator.

A Guide to Amsterdam was published in Holland, in English, some years
ago; professing to be written, edited, or translated by an Englishman.
Its style may be judged from the following specimen, relating to the
manners and customs of many of the inhabitants on Sundays and holidays:
'They go to walk outside the town gates; after this walk they hasten
to free public play gardens, where wine, thea, &c. is sold. Neither
the mobility remains idle at these entertainments. Every one invites
his damsel, and joyously they enter play gardens of a little less
brilliancy than the former. There, at the crying sound of an instrument
that rents the ear, accompanied by the delightful handle-organs and the
rustic triangle, their devoirs are paid to Terpsichore. Everywhere a
similitude of talents; the dancing outdoes not the music.'

A Dutch volume containing many views in the Netherlands, with
descriptions in three or four languages, claims credit for 'the
exactness as have observed in conforming our draughts to the
originals,' which (a hope is expressed) 'cannot fail to join us the
general applause.' Of one village we are told, 'That village was
renouned by the abandon of saulmons that were fiched there. That
village is situated in a territory that afford abandon of fruits and

A small guide-book for English visitors to Milan cathedral is prefaced
by the statement that, 'In presenting to the learned and intelligent
publick this new and brief description of the cathedral of Milan, i
must apprise that i do not mean to emulate with the works already
existing of infinite merit for the notions they contain, and the
perspicuity with which they are exposed.'




'Father, where do you go away all day?' It was Charlie who spoke,
clambering on his father's knee.

'I drive the coach, boy.'

'Coach? An' what is that?'

'Goodsooth, boy, thou hast seen a coach?'

'Ay, father--the coach an' four horses that runs to Grantham. You do
not drive a thing like _that_?'

'Ay. And why not?'

The boy blushed scarlet. 'Why, father, you are Sir Vincent Fleming.'

'An' what o' that?'

'Then is it not against your pride to be a _coachman_?'

'Poor men must pocket pride, Master Charlie, as thou must learn some

'Well, father, I like it not. Are you _so_ poor, dear heart?'

'Ay, sweet heart, am I.'

'What makes ye so poor?'

'Ill luck, Master Charlie.'

'What in, is your ill luck, father?'

'In all things.'

'Dear heart alive, I'm sorry for ye! When I'm a man, father, you shall
go no more a-coaching; _I_ will work for you.'

'Ay, ay, my brave dear lad. I coach to win ye bread. We're poorer than
the world thinks. But tell them not this, Master Charlie, or they will
dun me.'

'Then I'll dun _them_!' cried the boy fiercely. 'I hate those bailiff
fellows; if they come here, I'll shoot 'em!'

'We'll fight 'em together, boy. See that _thou_ never hast the bailiffs
at thy heels. Here is Deb, _Lady_ Deb by courtesy. Mistress, my rose,
say good-morning to me.'

But Deborah was already in her father's arms.

'Deb,' cries Charlie, 'father drives a coach!' Then seeing Deborah's
round eyes: 'Now don't you clack, Deb; don't you go an' tell it to all
the world, else they will dun father.'

'O me!' Then Deborah's eyes flashed. 'That they shall not--never again!
But I tell you, father; I will coach beside you, and try to drive the
four brave horses! I will not let you work alone!' Deborah's arms were
round her father's neck; she showered kisses on his face.

'Off with ye!' cried Charlie, somewhat fiercely. 'You know that if any
one should coach with father, I should--not a baby like to you.'

'Hush!' said Sir Vincent, laughing. 'Thou art ever ready to fight. I
have spoiled ye both sadly; so Master Vicar tells me. But Deb, I cannot
have thee to help me, little one. Get Dame Marjory to teach thee all
the ins and outs of household work, and to trick thyself out bravely,
so thou wilt be thy father's pride, my rose of Enderby!'

But Deborah laid her head on her father's breast, caressing him.
'Father, you love Charlie best--Charlie is your darling.'

'Who told thee so, sweet heart?'

'My own heart.'

'_Dost_ love me best, father?' asked Charlie; he pushed his curly head
up on to his father's shoulder, and looked up with arch eyes into his

Sir Vincent gazed at him. Ay, the father's rose lay upon his heart, his
'Lady Deb,' his darling; but that wilful rogue, that youthful inheritor
of all his own wild freaks and follies, that young ne'er-do-weel,
Charles Stuart Fleming, the plague of Enderby, was his own soul, the
idol of his darkened life. Sir Vincent pushed him roughly away, and
laid his hand on Deborah's fair hair. 'Love thee better? No; thou
graceless rogue!' he said. 'I love thee both alike. Sweet Deb, thou art
my darling too. Now be off with you both; and see that there is no more
gipsying or ruffling it while I am away; for Jordan Dinnage shall have
orders, if you disobey, to flog ye both with the rope's end; for nought
but that, I fear me, will curb the villainy of either one. Good-bye,
sweet hearts, an' see that ye stir not beyond the gates.'

The gipsies had vanished from that part of the country; not a trace
of them was left; for they knew Sir Vincent Fleming well, and fled
betimes. But Sir Vincent had not been gone three hours, when the
restless roving Charlie was scouring round the park on his pony, and
longing for some fresh adventure and wider bounds. Deborah and little
Meg Dinnage were running after him, and urging on the pony with many a
whoop and yell, with torn frocks and streaming hair.

'Deb,' cried the boy at last, pulling up, 'I am sick o' this. I am
goin' to ride to Clarges Wood, to look for Will; I shall cut across

'But you must not!' exclaimed Deborah; 'you have promised father not to
go beyond the gate.'

'I have never promised that,' said Charlie hotly; 'father asked me no
promise, an' I gave none. It is nothing o' the sort.'

'Nathless it was a promise,' quoth little Deborah stoutly, glancing
from Charlie to Meg Dinnage, and back in distress; 'for we said nought
when father said: "An' see you stir not beyond the gates;" but I kissed
him, an' I said: "I will not."'

'You did not say that, silly!'

'Nay, but to my own self I said it. Father has trusted us; so Dame
Marjory says.'

'I care not for Dame Marjory. I gave no promise; nor am I afeard of a
rope's end. If Jordan Dinnage beat me black an' blue, I'll go! But I'll
not see Jordan till father comes home. Father loves me too well to have
me flogged when he is by;' and with a laugh, Charlie turned his pony's
head; but Deborah sprang after and caught the rein. 'Charlie, Charlie,
stay!' she cried; 'father has trusted you to stay!'

But Charlie was across the boundary and far away; his laughter echoed
back. Deborah flushed, the tears almost started as she gazed after him,
but she kept them proudly back. Little Mistress Dinnage went up to
her playmate and took her hand ('Mistress Dinnage,' as she was called
for her little upstart ways and proud independence) and eyed Deborah
curiously. 'Don't cry,' said she.

'_Cry!_' echoed Deborah scornfully; 'I'm not cryin'.'

'He's a bad boy,' said Mistress Dinnage gravely, with a nod of her head
that way.

Deborah half rebelled at that, then: 'Charlie has broken his word!' and
she flushed again. 'God will never love Charlie. The evil one will take
Charlie to the bad place;' and the bright eyes glistened, but again the
tears were stifled back.

'Not if my dad beats him,' said Mistress Dinnage consolingly; 'then he
will be a good boy, and God will love him again.'

Deborah shook her head. 'Ah, Charlie will only be bad the more. He
laughs at Master Vicar, and cares for nought. But don't tell your
father, Meg, that Charlie's gone away; he will not be good the more for
that; God will not love him better. Charlie must himself tell father,
and that will make it right. So see that you don't tell Jordan, dear,
for I am afraid to see my brave one beat; I had rather have Jordan beat
me than him; it makes me _fear_ to see Charlie beat.'

'An' me too,' said Mistress Dinnage, with infinite relief. 'We will not
tell on Charlie; Charlie would call us "Sneak." Come an' play.'

And the two, putting aside their sorrows, cast care to the winds and
danced away.


A year or two have passed and there was joy in the bells of Enderby,
and joy in the sun and flowers. Winter and summer, storm and sun,
how sweetly the days fled by--the wild sweet days of childhood. The
streams; the dark green woods; the blue and cloud-swept skies; the
clear lagoons; the carol of birds in the gay early morning, from wood
and field and holt; the father's call beneath the window, and then the
long, long sun-bright day; the games; the 'make-believes;' tracking the
wild Indians in the forest, hunting the chamois on the mountains--happy
days, these!

Time passed on; Charlie was alternately sent to a public school and to
a private tutor; he was expelled from the former, and ran away from
the latter. The tender, but proud and stubborn heart was never reached;
so the dogged will and headstrong passions remained uncurbed and
uncontrolled, and Charlie Fleming too surely went from bad to worse.
Three distracted governesses in succession gave up Lady Deb; their
reigns were short and eventful.

Upon a certain day stood Deborah Fleming, watching for Charlie's
coming. For a week past Charlie had daily ridden over to the
neighbouring university town to 'read' with his cousin Kingston
Fleming, who had just entered there, and being somewhat of the same
stamp as himself, imagine how much 'reading' was accomplished! The
lads came and went at all hours; sometimes at Enderby, sometimes away.
To-day they were late. Deborah was weary. She wandered into the garden,
between the high sunny walls, and threw herself on the warm grass
amongst the daisies; she plucked a daisy idly, and grew intent over
it, filliping away the leaves: 'He loves me, he loves not me!' and so
forth. While thus musing, a tall fair youth, with a face browned by sun
and wind, stole behind her, his whole countenance brimming over with
merriment. Deborah instinctively turned her head. All her heart's blood
rushed over her face, and her gray eyes flamed and dilated like a stag
at bay; for one moment she glared at the youth, and then, before he
could speak, was up and away. A peal of laughter followed her as she

'Hi! what's the matter, King?' cried Charlie Fleming, swaggering up in
his riding-gear. 'What is the cause of this immoderate laughter? Deb
has flamed by me like a whirlwind; I tried to catch her.'

Still, for some moments, Kingston Fleming shouted with uncontrollable
mirth, rolling on the grass. When he could speak, he said: 'You will
never guess, Charlie! Yet it is a shame to tell you. And yet it is too
rare a joke to keep! _Little Deb hath got a lover!_' And with that,
Kingston went off again.

'I came up unawares,' said he, 'an' my Lady Deb sat on the grass. "He
loves me, he loves not me!" she said; not like Deb proud and haughty,
but quite tender and subdued over it. She turned and saw me. Egad! how
she blushed, and what a glare! Poor little Deb, she was distraught for
shame and anger. I was a brute to laugh!'

'I will roast her,' said Charlie. 'Deb a _lover_? Ha, ha, ha!'

'No; you shall not speak of it,' said Kingston, laying a heavy hand on
Charlie's shoulder. 'On peril of your life, you shall not.'

Charlie laughed. 'Under that threat I must succumb. Perchance Deb has a
sneaking liking for you, old King!'

'For _me_?' And Kingston had a fresh fit of laughter. 'Nay; Deb hates
me like poison, and I think her the maddest little fury that ever
stepped. Deb and I shall ne'er run together.'

But as for the maiden, she fled to her room like a little tempest, and
lay along the floor half dead for shame. She could scarcely think,
for when she thought, the blood rushed in eddying torrents to her
head, and made her mad for anger and for shame; for more than aught on
earth, was Deb shy of the dawn of love and Kingston's raillery. All day
she kept her room. She watched from behind the curtains Kingston and
Charlie ride away; she had not kissed Charlie that day or spoken to
him; she heard him call out 'Good-bye, Deb.' Then he would not return
that night. O Charlie, Charlie! And then she peered out, and heard
Kingston's laugh, and saw his fair hair blown by the wind. The girl
leaned out and watched them through the gateway. 'I love him,' she said
to herself with mingled fire and softness; 'I love Kingston. But he
will love _me_ never--never!'

Kingston laughed no more about Deborah's daisy: he was generous. The
next day he was teasing, laughing, tormenting about a hundred things;
and the child Deborah was chaffering and defying him in the wildest
animal spirits. Dame Marjory shook her head; there was such a flying,
scurrying, shouting, and such peals of laughter, not only from those
three, but from the usually demure Mistress Dinnage who joined them,
that the Dame could make nothing of them; they got worse and worse.
Kingston Fleming was a wild youth, not one indeed calculated to steady
his kinsman Charlie. Yet Kingston had good, and even noble impulses
in those days: he was ambitious too; and at odd hours and by fits and
starts, he worked hard, with the idea of fulfilling those ambitious
dreams. But Charlie never worked at all; _his_ dreams, if he had any,
were not known. Himself caring little for any man, who cared for
Charlie? Why, all who knew him loved him; they could scarce tell why.
Old Jordan Dinnage, who had given him many a rough hiding, idolised
the boy; young Margaret Dinnage, who had received many a rough word
from him--well, young 'Mistress Dinnage' did deign to open the gates to
Charlie Fleming's horse, though she would do so with a toss of her head
and an assumed air of disdain. The maiden resented even then, though
still a child in years, the full-blown compliments of the lad Kingston;
but would redden, and her dark eyes would glow, when the boys passed
by, if she only met the swift, shamed, furtive glance from two full
red-brown eyes--the eyes of Charles Fleming.

       *       *       *       *       *

On sunny mornings, when the lads rode unexpectedly into the courtyard
of Enderby, there would be a whir-r-r-r of pigeons, lighting on the
gabled roof; a blaze of sunshine on the great wych-elms; a murmur of
bees; a smell of fruit and flowers; white-haired Sir Vincent standing
in a stable-door; over the garden wall, Deborah and Margaret flying
along the garden walk with arms linked in the 'maddest merriest dance,'
set to the music of boisterous laughter. Those were happy days.



'Hath he gone, Lady Deb? Hath Finton gone?' It was Dame Marjory who
spoke, treading cautiously as she entered the young mistress's presence.

Deborah tossed her head, and gave a short laugh. 'Ay; he blustered,
though. It is the third time he has come to dun father. My dame, these
are hard times; but all may yet be well. Look you, I have saved _so_
much for father; if Finton could see it, how his eyes would glitter
like a wolf's. I hate that man; I hate all money-hunters. I care not if
it be the law or not; it is dirty work! Take you this gold, dame; hide
it well, lest I covet to buy a new gay scarf like Mistress Dinnage's.
Away with it! and let me see the stuff no more.'

Dame Marjory took the gold, but she looked back over her shoulder, and
her old eyes gleamed: '_Thou_ to want for what Jordan's daughter has
for askin'!' she said. 'What right has Mistress Dinnage to flaunt in
silken scarfs--and _my_ child, my mistress, my lady "rose o' Enderby"
to pine and pine? My child'--and the old woman faced Deborah, and the
hot fierce tears welled into her eyes--'I was wont to dress thee better
than a queen; now, look at thy dress! What right, what call hath Sir
Vincent Fleming's daughter to wear such dress as thine? A gipsy hag
would scorn it! An' thy poor mother would have cursed the day that saw
thee in this strait.'

'Hush, Marjory--hush!'

'I will not hush! It is thy father's an' thy brother's sin. I will not
hush! O child, child, my heart is harried for thee!' And the old woman
fell from her vehemence, and began to weep most bitterly.

Deborah softened at that; she flew to her nurse's side in wonderment,
and kneeled at her feet in tender trouble. 'Dame, dame!' she said, 'it
is not thy habit to give way to tears--and all for me, for _me_, dear
dame, who am not worthy to have thee shed a tear! Hearken! Do you think
I care to flaunt in silks? Do you think indeed Sir Vincent Fleming's
daughter would wear fine feathers while _he_ owed a penny? You might
_then_ weep for shame. But I am too proud for that. Now kiss me; and do
not weep, oldest, truest friend. I cannot have thee weep!' Impossible
to describe the tenderness of tone in those last words. Some thought
Deborah Fleming cold, hard, haughty; they would not have thought so

Left alone, the girl resumed her gay debonair air. She gazed at
herself in one of the long mirrors; she smiled and courtesied low, in
mockery; then drawing herself up, she gazed again. Now Deborah would
utter her thoughts aloud; it was a way she had. Regarding herself, she
said: 'Nay; you are not fit; you cut a sorry figure in the world. She
says truly. Yet what would you have me do? Beg borrowed plumes? Use
ill-gotten gains? Would Deborah Fleming be the fairer for _that_? The
fairer, perchance, but not the nobler. Oh, you are a sorry bird, Deb!
The old barn-hen has a richer dress than _you_.' Then again, jerking
her head upward once, twice, thrice: 'No wonder Kingston Fleming does
not love you. "Master Kingston Fleming!"' she added--and her lip curled
with superb scorn--'loves fine dresses and silk shoes. He loves to
see "beauty go beautifully." _I_ am not a "Mistress May" or "Mistress
Blancheflower."' With that, Deborah shot off all her satire; and
laughing, tripped from the room.

In a few moments more she was running with the fleet foot of her
childhood across meadow and holt, gay as a skylark. Presently she
stopped, for in her course, with her back to a tree, stood a tall gipsy
woman, with a red and yellow scarf upon her head. 'What do you here?'
asked Deborah haughtily. The old scene in the camp came back; the
fugitive retreat at night; she and Charlie and the old beldam huddled
in a covered cart together; and outside, the tramp, tramp of horses
and of men, and the mysterious jingle of pots and kettles, and the
angry blows received from the old beldam for the noise she and Charlie
made. The gipsy too recognised Deborah: this was not the child, though,
who eyed her through the gate, but a proud imperious lady. In spite
of the plain rough dress, the woman, with the nice discernment of a
peasant and a gipsy, knew the lady, and the Lady of Enderby to boot.
With unabashed impudence the gipsy stepped forward: 'I was waitin' to
see ye, pretty lady.'

'And what do you want with me?' asked Deborah. 'This place is not for
such as you. Honest poor folk may seek me here, and welcome; not gipsy
vagabonds and thieves. If you have a petition, refer it to the back
door and the cook, not to Mistress Fleming.'

The woman turned aside her head; for the moment her dark face was
distorted by impotent rage and passion; but when again turned on
Deborah, it was calm. She darted forward and clasped her hands, for
Deborah was passing on.

'I am no thief,' said the woman, with shortened breath. 'I am an honest
woman, lady, an' honester than many folk that live in great housen,
like yonder. Pretty lady, don't be so hard on the poor gipsy. I've had
troubles I tell ye, to which yours are nought--an' I don't ask yer

'Then what do you ask?' asked Deborah, turning full upon her.

'Yer hand--to let me see yer hand.'

'For the sake of gold! I have no gold to give you.'

'Nay, for no gold,' said the woman eagerly; 'but to read yer fate. A
silver piece will do it. There! I will tell ye yer fortune for that.'

'And to what end? Have _you_ an interest in me? in one whom you would
have gladly lured away to a life of sin and misery? or as a hostage
for my father's gold? You have done me grievous wrong. You take too
much heed by half to the interests of the Flemings, woman; it is for no

'Yes,' said the gipsy, in a strange low tone, 'I take interest in
ye, but _more_ in yours. Lady, let me see yer hand. I tell ye I have
interest in yer fate, and in the fate o' one yer soul loves. Come!'

'You shall not wheedle me into it,' said Deborah. 'If I consent to let
you, it will be of mine own free-will and after thought, not from words
of yours. Some tell me it is vain; some say that fortune-telling sells
you to the evil one--that it is grievous sin to seek your fate by signs
and stars. _I_ am not of these opinions.' The girl seemed talking to
herself; the gipsy watched her keenly.

'Yes,' said Deborah, looking up and full at her, 'you shall tell my
fortune. But can you trust me for the money?'


'And why?'

'Because ye can't tell a lie.'

'That is well. I believe in witchcraft; this is why I hear you. Had you
not come here, I would sooner or later have sought you, because time is
slow, is slow, woman, and I want to know my fate! I will not say God
forgive me: it seems almost mockery to ask forgiveness on what my heart
knows to be wrong.'

'_Wrong_, lady?'

'Yes, wrong!' cried the maid, striking her foot on the ground. With
that she held out her hand, a pink palm and tender lines, for the
witch-woman's mystic reading. They both stood silent--the gipsy gazing
downwards; Deborah gazing on the weird countenance before her, while
the rich blood spread and deepened on her own with timidity and with
shame. 'What do you see?' asked Deborah at length, with curling lip. 'I
scarce believe you; it seems too vain!'

Then answered the gipsy woman, in low strange tones: 'You will be a
great lady yet--ay, greater than Mistress Fleming. Ye will not go far
to find yer greatness, either--it will meet ye at yer own gates; love
and greatness will come hand in hand.'

Deborah's eyes sparkled. Then she said: 'Woman, that cannot be!' Then
with the blood mounting to her brow like flame: 'What did you say--of
one whom my soul loves? Who is he?'

'A fair tall youth. I know his title; but the title, look ye, will
never be yours.'

'Then I care for nought!' said Deborah Fleming, and she flung away the
gipsy's hand. 'Your craft is wanting. It is a vain, lying, deceitful
craft! Look ye, Deborah Fleming will never be your great man's wife!
You lie! I love power and riches; but I scorn them as _you_ would
foretell them to me. Gipsy, I have had enough of your fortunes and of

She was gone--that proud young Mistress Fleming, whose will had never
been crossed or curbed; tall beautiful young ash, that would yield
neither to breeze nor tempest, but held its head so high.

The gipsy gazed after her; fierce passions made the woman's breast
pant. 'I hate her!' she gasped between her clenched teeth--'I _hate_
her! I hate all thy black race, my lass. But ye shall lick the dust,
proud Mistress--I see it on yer palm. Ye shall have the pale-faced
sweetheart, but it shall be across ruin and disgrace; an' by settin'
yer foot on the two dead bodies o' them ye love like yer own soul,
ye shall climb to yer lad. Take him! I wish ye joy o' him _then_! I
care not, so long as I ha' vengeance, vengeance, vengeance!' and the
wild woman's eyes glared with a fire like madness. She turned towards
Enderby, and shook her clenched fist that way. 'I will have vengeance
_then_, for all the dark hours thou hast caused me, pretty daughter o'
mine! I will see thy boy dabbled in his blood; an' may thy dead eyes be
opened to see it too. Heaven's malison light on thee!'


Whenever England is engaged in a naval war or any war including
maritime operations on an extensive scale, a difficult problem has to
be solved--how to man the ships? In the army, every regiment has a
sort of corporate existence; it never dies--the exceptions, the actual
disbandment of a regiment, being very rare indeed. The number of men
varies according to the peace-footing or the war-footing at which
the regiment may stand at any particular date; but at all times many
hundreds of trained men belong to it. Not so in regard to a ship of
war. When not wanted for warlike, cruising, or other service, it is
'out of commission;' all the officers and men are paid off; and the
ship, moored at Portsmouth or some other naval station, is stripped
of most of its paraphernalia, ammunition, and stores, and 'laid up
in ordinary,' with a few dockyard or harbour men to take care of it.
When wanted again for active service, it has to be 'put in commission'
again; commissioned officers and crew have alike to be engaged anew,
just as though the ship were fresh from the builder's hands. Officers
are always plentiful enough, the number on half-pay in peace-time being
very large--nearly the whole of them desirous of engaging in active
service on full pay. With the sailors, the A.B. (able-bodied) and
common seamen, the case is different; competition for their services
being kept up by the owners of large commercial vessels.

The difficulty of suddenly obtaining a large additional number of
seamen was seriously felt at the commencement of the Crimean war;
but the Admiralty solved the perplexity by organising a _Royal Naval
Reserve_, and obtained the sanction of parliament for the necessary
outlay. The Reserve was to comprise men who, provided they attend
drill a certain number of days in each year, may follow any avocation
they please at other times; it being a well-understood matter of
agreement that they shall be ready for active service on the breaking
out of war. Of course ship-owners did not at first relish this scheme,
seeing that it established a new kind of competition against them for
hands; but in practice no particular inconvenience has resulted. The
men are permitted to take their drill whenever it best suits them;
twenty-eight days per year all at one time, or in periods of seven,
fourteen, or twenty-one days. Certain qualifications are insisted
on before enrolment, including a medical examination in regard to
health. The 'retainer' which the seaman receives, and the prospect of
pension, operate as inducements to steadiness and against desertion;
and it is known that this is exercising a beneficial effect on the
mercantile marine, seeing that ship-owners now give a preference to
Royal Naval Reserve men whenever they can get them. Mixing with the
regular men-of-war's men during the one month's drill is also found to
be beneficial; and some of the Reserve go through all their exercises
with as much steadiness as a regular crew. The Admiralty are empowered
by parliament to engage thirty thousand men in this way; the Reserve
now comprises twenty thousand; and it is believed that there would be
no great difficulty in making up the full complement.

In a recently published Report by the Admiral Superintendent of
the body, the following remarks occur: 'After all the expense the
country has been put to, and will have to bear prospectively, for the
organisation and maintenance of the Royal Naval Reserve, will the men
be forthcoming when wanted? This can only be tested in the day of
trial, when the Queen's Proclamation will call the Reserve out for
active service; but I hold that we have as reliable guarantees that
the men will present themselves, as under any system that could be
devised on the basis of voluntary service. The men have entered on
an engagement to serve, they have received drill-pay and retainers
under this engagement, and without being branded by public opinion,
could not shrink from the fulfilment of their duty. It would be doing
an injustice to the _élite_ of the merchant service to suppose that
they are entirely devoid of patriotism, and would not desire to serve
in defence of their country. Their prejudices against service in the
royal navy have been in a great measure removed; and they would feel
themselves competent from previous training to work the guns and handle
a rifle and cutlass.'

Very little has yet been done to take the Reserve on a cruise for
rehearsal or practice. A merchant seaman, to fit him for the Reserve,
requires chiefly to be made familiar with the great-gun exercise, to
handle the sword and rifle, to be steady and silent under instruction,
and to obey implicitly the orders he receives. This training he will
receive on board the drill-ships especially set apart for the purpose,
or at batteries representing the section of a ship, quite as well as in
a man-of-war. The Reserve of the first class (for the force is divided
into classes) have already been seamen in the merchant service, and do
not require instruction in seamanship.

The drill-ships and the practice-batteries are distributed pretty
well around the coasts of the United Kingdom at about forty different
stations--eight in Scotland, seven in Ireland, and the rest in England
and Wales. There are nearly always some men on drill at every ship and
battery; but it is noteworthy that in the fishing season in certain
parts of Scotland and in the Isles the drill is pretty nearly in
abeyance--herrings being more important just then than big guns and
cutlasses. The first-class men are far more numerous than the second,
shewing that the main body are already fairly good seamen before they
enter the Reserve. As to numbers in different places, the drill-ships
near busy ports are naturally more frequented than those off a thinly
populated coast. The _President_ in the Thames, the _Eagle_ at
Liverpool, the _Unicorn_ at Dundee, the _Netley_ at Inverness, the
_Castor_ at North Shields, the _Dædalus_ at Bristol, are among the
drill-ships which receive the greatest number of enrolled men for drill
during the year. Liverpool takes the lead in the number of outsiders
(seven-eighths of whom, however, are already merchant seamen) who apply
for enrolment. Half the whole number in the force are under thirty
years of age, young men with plenty of health and strength in them.
Rather less than half are at home or in the coasting-trade; rather more
than half voyaging in foreign seas, mostly, however, on short voyages
that will end within a month. More of these voyages are to the Baltic
and the North Sea than to any other waters; the next in numbers are
those to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

The officers who command or control the body comprise lieutenants,
sub-lieutenants, engineers, assistant-engineers, and midshipmen. The
lieutenants must have served as sub-lieutenants one year or upwards;
most of them have been duly qualified masters of merchant-ships.
Midshipmen are promoted to the rank of sub-lieutenant on the fulfilment
of prescribed conditions as to efficiency, &c.

The men of the first-class now receive a grant of a suit of clothing
on enrolment and re-enrolment--an arrangement which they much relish,
as an improvement on the plan at first adopted, when each man was left
to dress pretty much at random, provided he looked something like a
sailor. Nearly all the A.B.s in the mercantile marine have joined or
offered to join the body; thus affording proof that it is popular.
The second-class Reserve are mostly fishermen, who are unacquainted
with square-rigged vessels, and are unaccustomed to long absence
from their homes; but they are fitted for coast-defence service. In
Scotland and especially in the Shetlands, the second-class serves as
a stepping-stone to the first. Their pay is less than that of the
first-class, and they have no claim for pension; therefore they have
an inducement to try for promotion. The authorities have had under
consideration the question whether to establish a third-class, to
consist of boys belonging to the mercantile training-ships; but no
decision appears at present to have been arrived at.

In a discussion which took place at the Royal United Service
Institution some time back, it was generally admitted that our band
of hardy fishermen might be made to form an excellent Naval Reserve
irrespective of regular seamen of the mercantile marine. 'There are,'
it was urged, 'one hundred and fifty thousand men and fifteen thousand
boys employed in the fisheries of the United Kingdom; besides the
large number in the Canadian Dominion and Newfoundland. It would not
be difficult to raise from among our large population of _bonâ fide_
fishermen a Reserve equal to the full standard originally recommended.
The drill could be taught in the most efficient manner and with the
least expense to the government by sending a gunboat to visit the
fishing-boats at the slack season. The local knowledge possessed by the
fishermen would be of immense value in coast-defence; and there is an
advantage in their having fixed places of residence and never sailing
under a foreign flag; added to which is the value of their physical
strength, hardy and domesticated habits, and good character.'

And now a few words for the _Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers_, another
body intended for defensive purposes in the event of war. There is a
corps known as the _Coast Guard_, to fulfil service on the coast in
case of invasion; and under the same kind of control are the _Royal
Naval Coast Volunteers_. These two bodies together comprise nearly
twenty thousand men, all good seamen, and receiving liberal pay. But
there is something more peculiar about the _Royal Naval Artillery
Volunteers_ likely to interest general readers. They are virtually an
offshoot or supplement of the Volunteer Rifles, intended solely for
defence against invaders. Who the invader is to be we do not know;
haply and happily we may never know; but a thought on the subject now
and then is reasonable enough. Our coast-line is very extensive, and
needs watching at a considerable number of unprotected spots. Besides
regular troops, Volunteer infantry, and cruising war-ships, it has
long been felt that a naval artillery corps would be a useful addition
for serving in gunboats and mortar rafts, and operating in the new
art of torpedo-defensive warfare. A small Marine Volunteer Corps was
raised at Hastings about 1863; others were afterwards raised in London,
Liverpool, and Bristol; and at length, in 1873, parliament passed an
Act sanctioning the formation of a body to be known as the _Royal
Naval Artillery Volunteers_. So far from being men who are paid for
their services, these Volunteers have to provide their own uniform and
to pay a small subscription to a corps fund; they really enter into
the matter _con amore_, giving time, exertion, and some money for a
purpose which may eventually be valuable to our common country. The
government provide ships, great guns, rifles, pistols, cutlasses, and
other gear for practice. Whether artisans, yachtsmen, or rowing-men
would join the corps in any considerable number, could only be known by
awaiting the result; but it turns out that clerks--mostly in commercial
firms--come forward more readily than any other class. They like the
bodily exercise and the open air after many hours of desk-plodding.

The idea is to render these Volunteers handy in the defence of rivers
and estuaries, by the management of floating-batteries, armed rafts,
and torpedoes. In practising with big guns at such places as London,
Liverpool, and Bristol, there are of course neither real shot nor
blank cartridges actually propelled from the weapon; a flash and a
slight report are all; to run out, point, fire, and re-adjust are the
exercises practised; and this is no small work with a sixty-pounder
gun. After this big-gun drill, the Volunteers go through their rifle,
cutlass, and pistol drill; and the young men are all the better for
two or three hours of muscular exercise and ocular training. They wear
a useful blue-and-white uniform while thus engaged. The _Rainbow_
gunboat in the Thames off Somerset House, the _President_ in the West
India Docks, and two similar vessels at Liverpool and Bristol, are
set apart by the Admiralty as drill-ships for the purpose. The total
strength is somewhat under seven hundred men, with a naval instructor,
petty-officer instructors, lieutenants, sub-lieutenants, shipkeepers,
armourers, &c.

Even if never really wanted for river and estuary defence, these
energetic young men will have no reason, bodily or mental, to
regret the step they have taken--the devotion of a couple of hours
occasionally after office or warehouse time to a right good exercise
of muscle, nerve, brain, eyesight, attention, and intelligence. It is
a national comfort to know that rifle and artillery volunteering are
alike free from many of the evils of young men's recreations; they do
not tempt to drinking, to betting, nor to dissolute companionship. All
honour to those who promoted, and to those who carry out the movement.


He was mother's factotum, big Tim Hargaton. I do not know how she could
have managed the farm without his clear head and sound judgment to
guide her. He had the name of being the closest hand at a bargain and
the best judge of a 'baste' in Innishowen; and I think he deserved it;
for mother very rarely lost upon her speculations in cattle, and our
animals were famed for their beauty. Tim was not wholly an Innishowen
man. By his mother's side he claimed descent from the Scottish settlers
of the opposite coast, and much of his cautiousness and shrewdness
could be traced to this infusion of kindly Scottish blood. We children
had rather an awe of Tim. He ruled the outer world of our homestead
with a rod of iron. Woe betide the delinquent who ventured into the
garden before the 'house' had been supplied with fruit for preserving!
Woe be to us if with profane hands we assaulted his beloved grapes or
ravaged his trim flower-beds! I daresay it was very good for us that
some one was set in authority over the garden and farm-yard, for we
were allowed quite enough freedom indoors, fatherless tomboys that we
were. But years passed by; one by one we grew to womanhood. I, the
eldest, left home first--to return first; more alone for having been
so happy, too happy for a little while. When I returned, a widow, the
younger birds had flown from the nest. Mother had no one left but me,
and she was growing old; so I cast in my own and my boy's lot with
her, and soon became thoroughly acquainted with Tim Hargaton. To him I
was 'the young mistress' or 'Miss Ellen;' and I own I felt often at a
disadvantage with him. His quiet knowledge of subjects I was utterly
ignorant of, his cool rejection of my farming theories, his almost
certain success in all his ventures, overawed me; and after a struggle
or two I gave in.

I think Tim must have been about forty at this time; but he looked many
years younger, being fair and tall and well made, and--a bachelor. He
had a merry twinkle in his gray eyes which almost contradicted the
firm-set mouth with its long upper lip and square massive chin; from
his half-Scotch mother he derived a close calculating disposition, hard
to convince, slow to receive new impressions, strong to retain them
when once received. From his father roving Pat Hargaton from Donegal,
he drew an Irishman's ready wit and nimble tongue, and under all an
Irishman's fickle heart, but not his warm affections, which go so far
towards amending the latter fault.

Another unusual thing amongst men of his class, he was well to do, and
having successfully speculated in cattle on his own account, he had
money in the bank and a snug cottage. Yet year after year, Shrove-tide
after Shrove-tide--the marrying season all over Roman Catholic
Ireland--found Tim rejoicing in single-blessedness; nor could he have
had a comfortable home, for his old mother was a confirmed invalid;
and as Tim was reported to be 'a trifle near,' he only afforded her
the services of a little girl scarcely in her teens. More than once
mother spoke to him about matrimony, and as often Tim met her with
the unanswerable argument: 'Is it as easy to peck for two as for one,
ma'am?' So she ceased bothering him about it.

Now it befell that one bright frosty November day I had despatched Tim
to the county town on very important business; and the better to assure
myself of the favourable issue of it, I walked to meet him on his
return. As the time of his return was overdue, I began to feel rather
uneasy, and quickened my steps along the winding sea-side road; but
a turn in it soon revealed the reason of Tim's delay. He was walking
beside a very pretty country lass; and another, not so young or nearly
so pretty, lagged a little behind.

'O ho, Master Tim!' I thought; 'are we to hear news of you this

As I came forward, the girls fell back, Tim hastening on to meet me.
He looked shy and sheepish enough as he advanced; and the pretty lass,
whom I at once recognised as Mary Dogherty, the acknowledged belle of
the barony, hung her shapely head in blushing confusion as she passed
me by.

Tim was all business and stolidity once the girls were out of sight.
He had lodged money for me in the county bank; settled my own and
mother's accounts with butcher, baker, and grocer; transacted all our
various businesses with care and correctness; and having given up his
accounts into my hands, he hurried on, whilst I continued my walk.
Twilight was falling when I returned home; but although more than an
hour had elapsed since Tim had preceded me on the road, he was just
entering the gate as I turned from the sea-road for the same purpose. I
made mother smile that evening when I told her of my encounter.

'But,' she said, 'poor little Mary has no fortune. Tim will look for
one with any girl _he_ marries.'

A few days afterwards Tim took me into his confidence. We were making
our winter arrangements in the green-house, putting away summer plants
whose flowering days were done, and filling up gaps in our shelves
with bright chrysanthemums and other winter-blooming plants. An hour
sufficed to weary mother at this work, so Tim and I were left alone
amongst the flowers. For some time he worked away in silence, but I
could easily see he was longing to speak, and so I determined to give
him an opportunity; but he forestalled me.

''Twas a fine day the day I was in Derry, Mrs Grace,' he said, as he
passed me carrying a huge coronella from one end of the greenhouse to
the other.

'It was indeed, Tim. Had you many people on board the steamer?' I

'No, ma'am; not to say very many. Them officer-gentlemen from the Fort.'

'Had you any of the people from about here?' I asked.

'Hugh Dogherty and his sister, and Susie Connor, ma'am.'

'Ah, you walked home with the girls. What became of Hugh?'

'Troth, ma'am, he just got overtaken with a drop of drink, and I
thought 'twas but friendly to see the girls home.'

'I am sorry to hear Hugh was so bad as that, Tim.'

'Well, sorra much was on him, Miss Ellen, but he was loath to quit Mrs
Galagher's when we got off the boat, so we just left him there.--Hem!
Miss Ellen, I'v a thought to change my life.'

'I am very glad to hear it, Tim.'

'Yes, miss' (Tim always forgot my matronly title in confidential
talk)--'yes, miss. 'Tis lonely work growing old with nobody to take
care of you.'

'That is a selfish way of looking at things, Tim,' I replied.

'Begorra, miss, what else would a man marry for but to have himself
took care of?'

'I suppose liking the girl he married would be a kind of reason too,' I

'O ay. I'd still like to have the one I'd fancy, if she was handy.'

'And who are you thinking of?' I asked, as Tim bent over a box of
geranium cuttings. 'I hope she is nice and good, and will be kind to
your poor mother, and a good manager?'

'Faith, I wouldn't take one that wasn't that, Miss Ellen,' he replied,
without raising his head. 'But it's hard to tell how these young
ones'll turn out.'

'She is young then?'

'Young enough, and settled enough,' he responded. 'There's _two_ I'm
thinkin' of.'

'Two!' I exclaimed. 'Why, that is not right of you, Tim. You are surely
old enough to know the kind of wife would suit you best; and it is
unfair to the girls. They are relatives, if I guess right. Those two
young women you were walking with on Saturday?'

'Just so,' replied Tim, utterly unabashed: 'Mary Dogherty an' Susie
Connor. Mary's the _purtiest_,' he added in a half soliloquy.

'I have always heard she was as good as she looked,' I said. 'She has
been such a dutiful daughter and good sister to those wild boys, she
cannot fail to make a good wife.'

'Maybe,' quoth Tim. 'But the Dogherties is down in the world these

'I know they are not very rich; but they are comfortable.'

'They aren't begging, miss, axing your pardon; but musha! it's little
softness there's about the house.'

'Well, suppose she has known what it is to want, she will know better
how to take care of plenty, when she gets it.'

'Troth, I don't know. Maybe when she'd get her two hands full she'd be
throwin' away, for them that's reared in poverty seldom knows how to
guide plenty when it comes.'

'Well, I have always heard Mary extolled for being the prettiest and
the best girl in Innishowen; and I am sure you may think yourself a
happy man if you can get her for your wife,' I said rather sharply.

'Sorra word a lie in that, Miss Ellen,' replied Tim, as he placed the
last young geranium in its pot. 'She's a good girl, and as purty a one
as you'd see in a summer's day; but I'm thinkin' I'll step up an' see
them all before I _spake_ to her.'

'Why, Tim, have things gone so far as that?'

'Well, I may say I have her courted up to the axin, miss.'

'And the other, Tim?' I asked, intensely amused.

'Troth, I don't know, but I have her on hands too.'

'Now, is that fair to either?' I asked rather indignantly.

'Begorra, I don't know. A man has to look before him sharp.'

'And who is the other? Mary's cousin?'

'Yes, miss--long Tom Connor's daughter, from Shruve. She's up with Mary
since Holly-eve. Hudie's lookin' after her.'

'She's no beauty, Tim.'

'No, miss; but she's settled. They do say she's a trifle coarse in the
temper; but she has the finest two-year-old heifer ever I set my eyes
on. A pure beauty, Miss Ellen.'

'And what good would the cow be to you, Tim, if you had a sour
cross-grained wife at home?'

'Maybe she wouldn't be sour or cross when she'd have a good house over
her head an' plenty. She's gettin old, Miss Ellen, and she sees the
young ones comin' on, an' her left. There'd be a quare change in her if
she had her own way.'

'You seem to think more of the cow than the girl, Tim!' I retorted.

'Troth, it's the purtiest av the two. But miss, I'm sayin', what would
you advise me?'

'Marry the girl you like best, Tim; never mind the cow. A young
sweet-tempered girl like Mary, who has been so good to her sickly
father and mother, so gentle and loving to those wild brothers, cannot
fail to make a good wife. You will never be sorry, if you marry the
girl you like best.'

'True for you, ma'am--true for you. She is a good girl, an' I'm
nigh-hand sure I like her beyant any woman in the world; but Miss
Ellen, I'd wish she had the cow!'

Next day I left home, nor did I return until the daffodils were
glittering in the springing meadows around our home, and the rooks
cawing over their fledglings in the woods behind our garden. Tim was
married. I had heard that from mother early in the year; but upon which
fair maid his choice had fallen, I was still uncertain. It was late at
night when I returned from my travels, and mother had far too much to
talk of to tell me the termination of Tim's courtship.

In the morning, I took my way into the garden, the farm-yard, the
fields lying close by; but Tim was not to be seen; nor did I encounter
him until late in the afternoon, when I discovered him busily trenching
up some early cabbages in the back-garden. He seemed rather shy of me;
but I put out my hand and greeted him kindly.

'You're welcome home, Mrs Grace, ma'am,' he said, striking his spade
into the fresh-turned earth, and shaking the hand I gave him with more
than ordinary warmth. 'We were thinking very long to have got you back.'

'Thank you, Tim. So I have to wish you joy.'

Tim looked sheepish, but speedily recovered himself. 'Yes, ma'am, if
joy it be.'

'Oh, there can be no doubt on that score, Tim. I hope Mary is well?'

'Mary? Is it Mary Dogherty? Why, she's spoke of with Lanty Maguire that
owns the ferry.'

'Why, I thought you were going to marry Mary, Tim?'

'Well, no, Miss Ellen, I did not. I b'lieve her an' Lanty was cried
Sunday was eight days.'

'And what made you change your mind, Tim?'

'Well, I just took Susie; for you see, Miss Ellen, I judged a cow would
make the differ betwixt any two women in the world.'

So after all, the cow carried the day!



Anybody who can write may be a clerk: that is the general notion, which
is far from correct. Among other accomplishments, an accurate and
thorough knowledge of book-keeping is required, and so is a knowledge
of the style employed in official and business letters. In numerous
cases, parents in selecting avocations for their sons are induced,
from perhaps laudable, but somewhat false notions of 'gentility,' to
make them clerks, frequently with little regard to their aptitude for
such an occupation. They seem to forget or to ignore the fact that
there are other departments of the commercial world where there is room
enough and to spare for more candidates, and many branches of skilled
labour where ready and well remunerated occupation could be found.
The consequence is that among those now in the service there are many
who have mistaken their avocations, numbers who would probably have
succeeded well in some other sphere, not a few others more fit to wield
a sledge-hammer or handle a wheel-barrow, than to write a letter, keep
a ledger, or prepare a balance-sheet.

Of course, as is generally known, there are grades in this as in other
professions. As might be expected, there are not only skilled and
half-skilled labourers, but an admixture of drones. The variety of
employment and responsibility of clerks is almost endless; there is no
common level to which they are subject. Their position is peculiarly
one of trust. In many cases the clerk has to control the expenditure
of his employer's money, which necessitates the possession of certain
habits and characteristics. It is not only important that he should
possess the requisite competency for the performance of the duties
intrusted to him, but his employers should know of what his peculiar
individuality consists; for clerks are to a large extent intrusted
with the important task of working out the general principles on
which the business of their employers is transacted. The man who is
naturally unsystematic can hardly be expected to work by system in his
business; he who in personal and domestic matters is extravagant, will
not be very likely to introduce habits of economy into his business
transactions. Genteel appearance, good hand-writing, the ability to add
up dexterously the columns of a ledger, are not the only qualifications
needful in a really efficient clerk.

The object of account-keeping should be the production of a picture
which in every detail, as well as in one general view, should at all
times shew what and how work has been done, and with what result it has
been performed. Unfortunately it is sometimes the case that clerks,
especially youthful ones, do not seem to possess an adequate idea of
the great object in view, and which they are intended to assist in
carrying out. In the matter of correspondence too the ability of clerks
is put to the test, and their natural temperament often exhibited. The
art of correct letter-writing is not to be gained by the perusal of 'a
Complete Letter-writer' however complete, but can only be acquired by
study and practice, combined with some natural aptitude. Business-like
and civilly worded letters are an earnest of business-like
transactions, and may be taken as an index to the ruling principles
which guide the actions of the principals. In this way, clerks are
intrusted by their employers with an important responsibility, in which
there is need of the exercise of tact, judgment, and sound principles.

In no small measure does the treatment of employers mould the general
disposition of clerks; and no more powerful incentive can be given to
the latter than that of knowing that they are in full possession of
their employer's confidence. But before extending this confidence, and
appealing to the higher motives of his clerks, it is all-important that
the employer shall have selected men fitted for the places they are to
occupy. If an air of suspicion prevails, occasional deceit on the part
of the suspected can scarcely be wondered at. It is no less requisite
that clerks should put confidence in each other, but unfortunately the
existence of petty jealousies often stands in the way. And this is
one of the peculiar characteristics of clerks. There often exists a
feeling that one encroaches on the domains of another, and not without
cause; for there are those who 'run cunning,' if such an expression
is admissible, and those who obtain favour and promotion by mere
arrogance and effrontery. Then there are the excessively plausible
men, whose working capital is well nigh restricted to the glibness
of their tongue. Moral and mental excellence are as a consequence
sometimes overridden, though as a rule but temporarily, for sooner
or later the higher and more stalwart qualities of the quiet-spoken
but thorough-going man must prevail. It must not be forgotten that
employers need to have a good knowledge of human nature, to be
proficient in the art of judging character, and to possess considerable
tact; for unfortunately it sometimes happens that the more confidence
placed in a man the less is he worthy of it.

There have been discussions innumerable as to the hours of manual
labour; and important changes, some the result of legislation,
have taken place. The overtaxing of mental power is, however, of
graver import than the overtaxing of physical strength. In a large
number of instances, clerks are in an easy position in this respect,
those especially in certain government departments, banks, and some
commercial houses. There are too many cases, however, in which clerks
are grievously overworked. The case of many branches of the railway
service may be cited where clerks are almost incessantly employed
twelve or fourteen hours a day. Long hours are prevalent too in
connection with many commercial houses, in which monotonous and
unceasing labour during unreasonable hours, is a great tax on the
nervous energies, and can only result in permanently weakening the
system of those engaged in it.

The number of hours occupied is not, however, always a criterion to
the amount of work performed. Could such a standard have been taken
as a measure of tasks accomplished, the labour question would not
have been one so difficult to deal with as it has come to be. It is
sometimes the case that long hours are associated with comparatively
little work. When time is not fully occupied, there is a tendency to
procrastination--work is put off and put off, and then comes a final
scramble to get it done by the specified time. In many instances, were
shorter hours adopted and the time fully occupied, the same amount of
work might be done, and done better; it would not appear so irksome,
punctuality and method would be more easy of acquisition, and thus
employers and employed would be alike benefited.

In point of salaries, the railway companies, and some other large
companies, adopt a uniform scale applicable to junior clerks; but
beyond this rule, each individual case is dealt with according to
its merits, the rate of remuneration varying in proportion to length
of service, nature of work performed, and responsibility entailed.
Newspaper advertisements occasionally convey an idea as to the rate
of remuneration in some instances. An advertiser in _The Times_
recently required the services of a clerk in London, age nineteen
to twenty-three, salary commencing forty pounds. Another, 'Wanted
a man as clerk; salary twenty shillings weekly; must write a good
hand, and be well up in arithmetic.' It would be interesting to know
what is here meant by a _man_? Three-and-fourpence a day for a _man_
as clerk in London, who possibly might have a wife and what some
call 'encumbrances!' One would indeed be sorry to quote this as a
representative case; but it gives some weight to the assertion that
there are instances too numerous of hard-working, underpaid clerks. No
wonder that there should be among this class of men, so many pale and
careworn faces, and coats threadbare at the elbows with long service.

Since Dickens in his inimitable style first published his tale of
Scrooge and his unfortunate clerk, many changes have taken place; but
it is to be feared that this character created in fiction is still
reflected in some realities. It is a law of nature that everything
flourishes in proportion to the encouragement it receives; and in the
same way the actions and motives of servants are in a considerable
measure ruled by the disposition of employers. Isolated cases there
always will be in which good treatment will be abused; and the result
of such circumstances naturally induces some hesitancy to repose
confidence in any; but as a principle of general application, results
must depend upon the nature of the treatment adopted.

Clerk-labour would seem to be frequently employed at the lowest
possible price for which it can be procured. But the same principle as
that employed by the manufacturer in paying a good price for a machine
that shall do its work expeditiously and well, is equally applicable
to the purchasing of clerk-labour, in which much discrimination and
tact are necessary. Sometimes those who are least competent and
painstaking are the most dissatisfied; some there are who do not appear
to understand degrees of merit, but think that all should be reduced to
something like a dead level--that mere length of service, for instance,
should command the maximum of reward. To length of service some reward
is due, but the tools should be put into the hands of those who can use
them, and who should of course be rewarded accordingly. Mr T. Brassey,
M.P., in a speech on the labour question said: 'It is most economical
to pay labour well. It is better to employ fewer men at high wages than
more men at low wages. Every individual is better off, and the total
expenditure on labour is reduced. For the non-employed, fresh fields
must be found, and these will be opened by the ingenuity and enterprise
of mankind.'

The employment of females in certain departments of clerk-labour
would seem to be a thing much to be desired and encouraged; and
there is ample scope for such employment where the duties are
light, straightforward, and not too onerous in character. That the
candidates are numerous may be judged from the fact that some time
ago, in response to an advertisement for eleven junior counter-women
at metropolitan post-offices, from one thousand to one thousand five
hundred young ladies presented themselves as applicants at the offices
of the Civil Service Commissioners on one day! In cases where certain
active business qualifications are essential, it is not to be desired,
nor is it expected that females will in any degree displace the other
sex. The opposition manifested by certain of the male sex to the
opening thus afforded for the extension of female labour may fairly be
characterised as somewhat unmanly. But as we had occasion to say in an
article on 'Female Occupations,' this extension of female labour will
by natural laws not proceed beyond natural limits. The field for female
work is circumscribed, and an extension in such a direction should be
hailed with satisfaction. If the introduction of female clerk-labour
displaces some of the overplus of boy clerks, and induces some to adopt
avocations more suited to their natural fitness, much good will have
been effected; for is not the accomplishment of account-keeping and a
training in good business habits calculated to make better wives and
mothers? An intimate acquaintance with simple account-keeping would
be a valuable addition to the education of many ladies of the present
day, and might save many a man's income which, but for his wife's
accomplishment, would be unwittingly muddled away.

As a social animal, clerks possess some peculiar characteristics. The
banker's clerk cultivates not the acquaintance of the lawyer's clerk;
the draper's clerk prefers not to associate with the grocer's clerk. In
the same establishment even, the spirit of caste has often a prominent
place: those who by chance sit at a mahogany table would seem to say by
their demeanour that they are far removed from those who occupy a deal
desk. 'At Birmingham,' says Samuel Smiles in his _Thrift_, 'there was a
club of workmen with tails to their coats, and another without tails:
the one looked down upon the other.' What a great thing it would be if,
in society generally, people would always have the courage to appear
what they are, rather than try to seem what they are not! Some clerks
if asked to describe their avocation would disavow anything so common
as a clerkship; they would be 'an accountant'--anything but a clerk.
What will not some folk do for the sake of keeping up appearances? and
amongst clerks this disposition prevails to a considerable extent; as
if appearance to the world, and not the ruling principles of a man's
life, constituted the sole test of respectability. Douglas Jerrold
said: 'Respectability is all very well for folks who can have it for
ready-money; but to be obliged to run into debt for it, it's enough to
break the heart of an angel.' Let those who are anxious for sound and
wholesome advice upon this important subject read Mr Smiles' book above

The social life of unmarried clerks is capable of improvement,
especially in large towns, into which there is continually flowing
a stream of young men, who frequently have to be content with the
first apparently comfortable lodging that presents itself, and to
which nothing may be so foreign as the most ordinary home comforts,
in addition to the accompanying risk of new associations formed of a
kind both unexpected and undesirable, often likewise accompanied by
impositions various and numerous. It has been suggested that clerks'
inns or clubs should be established; and the idea is well worthy the
consideration of all those who in any way are interested in the matter.
The advantages to be derived from undertakings of this kind would be
incalculable. Employers of clerk-labour would be indirectly benefited,
and they would do well to assist in the promotion of any movement in
the direction indicated. As regards clerks themselves, their comforts
might be considerably increased and their expenses lessened. Such
establishments might of course be made something more than mere
lodging-houses. Under proper management, they might become a general
resort both for amusement and intellectual pastime. The constant social
intercourse of clerks with each other would tend to engender good
feeling, and by this association an entirely new state of things would
be brought into existence. The exercise of some amount of discipline
would alone result in untold good, and the fact of membership would
constitute a permanent recommendation as to respectability. As regards
expense, economy would be created by co-operation; the quality of every
article of food might be insured. In fact, by this means might be
secured a maximum of happiness and comfort for a minimum of expense.

A larger amount of judicious physical exercise than is now practised
would be of great benefit to clerks. In the case of thousands in the
large towns, this is seldom resorted to beyond the mere act of walking
to and from business. In large establishments, organisations for such
recreation might be more encouraged, and thus conduce to the great
desideratum, of a healthy mind in a healthy body.

There is some doubt as to the future position and prospects of clerks
generally, but as we have ventured to hint, little improvement can
be anticipated until supply and demand become more equal. In many
departments of skilled labour there is ample scope for educated men; in
fact there is great need for them, and many a man now in clerk-service
would have met with far greater success had he become an artisan.
Indeed one sometimes hears an expression of regret to the effect
that the task of wielding the pen, though it be 'mightier than the
sword,' had not given place to the tools of a skilled workman. The
fact of receiving a salary and working short hours seems to possess
a considerable attraction to many, but it would be well if this
unsubstantial state of feeling were removed. In many trades, such as
book-binding, there is often great difficulty in obtaining a sufficient
number of hands, especially 'hands with heads,' the services of a
tasteful 'finisher' being highly paid.

Without in any degree depreciating the importance of and necessity
for efficient clerk-labour, it would seem, taking a broad view
of the question, that the chances of success in life of educated
and persevering mechanics are fully equal to the prospects of the
majority of clerks. In many cases the comparison is in favour of the
artisan. The man with a trade possesses a sort of independence, and
opportunities are frequent for his becoming his own master.

The Council of the Society of Arts has taken an important step in
the matter of education. It has been arranged for examinations to
take place, particularly for young men; certificates are to be given
to those who are successful, and this will act as a passport to
commercial employment. The subjects of examination are as follows:
Arithmetic, English (composition, correspondence, and précis writing),
book-keeping, commercial history, and geography, short-hand, political
economy, French, German, Italian, Spanish. To entitle a candidate
to this 'certificate in commercial knowledge,' he must pass in
three subjects, two of which must be arithmetic and English. Every
encouragement should be given to such a movement, calculated as it is
to raise the general standard of efficiency of clerks in the future;
and to those now in the service such a scheme is calculated to convey
some benefit.


I am going to describe a journey I made across Moldavia in 1863.
Determined to leave the dust and malaria behind us for a time, we
set out from Galatz one beautiful morning in the summer of the year
1863, in search of the cooler air which blows on the western side of
the Carpathians. A village of the Siebenbürgen, near the old town of
Kronstadt, was our destination. Early in the morning we prepared to
start--two ladies, two nurses, and four children; all resigned to the
absolute control and guidance of Herr F----, our dragoman and courier;
a little round bustling man, speaking every European language with the
ease of a not particularly refined native; literally splendid in theory
and fertility of resource while any plan was under discussion, though
hardly equal to himself in a practical emergency.

It was already dark when we arrived at the town of Tekoutch. After a
good deal of waiting and difficulty, the Herr succeeded in procuring
for us the shelter of two flea-haunted chambers at the top of a steep
ladder. Whether this place was the principal hotel of Tekoutch or
only one of the Herr's failures, I cannot say. All four children were
sleepy, hungry, hot, and unhappy. Oh! for milk to make a refreshing
drink for the poor sick baby, who was wailing so piteously! Our
repeated calls brought upon the scene a hag--a hag who would have
been invaluable in melodrama, but whose presence in the actual state
of affairs superadded active terror to the passive discomfort of the
children. Her upper-country Moldavian was hardly intelligible, and she
quite refused to understand our modes of expressing ourselves. But
constant reiteration of the substantive 'Milk,' in every language and
dialect known to us, was at last so far successful that we procured
a small quantity of a curious gray fluid mixed with fine sand, which
the poor little ones were too sleepy to judge critically; and we had
soon the satisfaction of seeing them asleep on the divans with their
nurses beside them. Before daybreak we were all awake, and renewing the
struggle with the hag for the necessary provision of milk, to which
she was good enough to add a few cups of black coffee. We removed such
traces of yesterday's dust as we could, by dipping the corners of our
towels in glasses of water. The Roumanian peasant's idea of washing
is so different from ours that it is almost impossible to make them
understand one's requirements in that respect. A jar of water, a friend
to hold the jar, and standing-room in the open air, are his requisites.
He stands bent well forward, to avoid the splashes, while the friend
pours a little water--a very little--into his hollowed hands. These
he rubs together, then holds them out for a second supply, with which
he moistens the region immediately round his nose. The whole process
requires a certain amount of skill and dexterity, to which the results
are hardly commensurate.

Before five A.M. we were on the road again. Our way lay through a very
pleasant region, and we suffered much less from heat and dust than the
day before. The country was undulating and less uniform. The roads were
real roads, not mere tracks through the fields, or across the steppe.
The wheat and barley were luxuriant all round; and great fields of
mustard in full bloom made patches of a yellow, perfectly dazzling in
its brightness. As we approached the higher country we came on large
tracts of grazing-land soft and rich: trees were scattered about--oak,
hornbeam, lime, and wild cherry, with an occasional birch or pine.
Thorn and rose bushes, tall as trees, shook showers of blossom around.
There were groups of feathery tamarisk, clusters of Guelder-rose, and
bowers of white clematis thrown from shrub to shrub. The roadside was
a garden of wild-flowers; tall spikes bearing alternate rings of deep
purple leaves and the brightest of yellow blossoms, blue chichory,
rose-coloured pea-blossom, sweet-williams, and aromatic herbs that
filled the air with their perfume. A Roumanian cottage is generally a
pleasant resting-place in the heat of summer; the roof of reed-thatch,
or oak-shingle, projects so far as to shade the whole cottage, and
within are whitewashed walls, and cushioned divans covered with rugs of
thick home-made cloth, woven in brightly coloured stripes.

In the little inn at Domnul where we next arrived we laid down the
children to take siesta; and by four next morning we were astir again
and eager to set out, as we knew that a few hours' driving would bring
us to the Oïtos Pass, of the beauties of which we had heard so much. By
half-past five we were off. The country got more lovely at every step.
Low wooded hills rose in front; the glens, between, highly cultivated,
though uneven and rugged in places. The road was terraced along the
side of an abrupt slope: the driver of the baggage wagon managed to
get a wheel on the bank, and over went the wagon, boxes and bundles
rolling pell-mell down the hill. An hour's work, not without much
vocal accompaniment, put all to rights, and our caravan was again in
motion. Many brooks made their way down from the hills, and we had to
cross numerous wooden bridges, for the most part in a very sad state of
repair. Here a plank was missing, and a hole yawning under the horses'
feet, shewed the foaming water beneath; there another rose and tilted
up as the horses trod on the end. But the steady little animals never
flinched; they picked their footing as mules would have done, and so we
passed in safety. At noon our rest only lasted half an hour, and soon
after starting we came to the Roumanian guard-house at the entrance of
the pass. We were joined at this point by two Austrian soldiers, who
accompanied us on horseback through the pass, bringing up the rear of
our procession.

On all sides of us the steep, richly wooded hills rose abruptly; higher
mountains shewing their snowy caps at intervals as the gorge opened
up the distant view. Here, there, and everywhere roared and brawled
the little river; now narrow as a winding thread, deep, below the
road, which crossed and recrossed it by means of bridges, the safe
passing of which seemed each time a fresh miracle; now widening in
gleaming shallows, as from time to time the glen spread itself out to
hold a little village. Each separate patch of gray rock contained its
homestead; white cottages, with dark, quaintly carved, and pinnacled
shingle-roofs, overshadowed by orchard trees or festooned with trailing
vines. The population seemed to live in the water; men were fishing in
the pools, women beating the linen on the flat rocks, or spreading the
webs to bleach in the sunshine; while the children waded about in their
one short garment, or bathed, diving plunging and chasing each other
like veritable troops of 'water-babies.' What a handsome race they
were, those Roumans of the Carpathians! Those we met on the road passed
us with a courteous greeting, and went on their way; the women in their
long white garments, drawn in at the waist by a broad brass-studded
leather belt; the many coloured fringe, which fell straight, almost to
their ankles, opening here and there as they walked to shew glimpses
of the white below. Their feet were bare or covered by moccasins of
undressed leather. Over their coils of plaited hair lay a square of
embroidered linen, from one corner of which a coin hung over the
forehead, and more coins formed earrings and rows of necklaces. The men
wore a great loose white blouse, a studded belt, broader and heavier
than those of the women, in which were stuck knives, daggers, and heavy
pistols. On their feet were either moccasins or boots high above the
knee. Their long uncut hair hung over their shoulders; and, twisted
round their broad hats were ribbons of the national colours--red, blue,
and yellow.

The ascent at first was gradual, but our horses being tired, we all
walked for several hours. The soft rich beauty of the glen increased at
each moment; hill rose above hill, covered with the mellow green of the
young fir shoots, each tree bearing the golden red crown of last year's
cones. The hanging birches with their silver stems swept over slopes
smooth as a lawn, save where here and there the bold gray rock cropped
out. Little glens ran up the mountain sides, scented with wild thyme,
which overpowered even the fragrance of birch and fir. An hour before
sunset we reached a large village the name of which I have forgotten.
Here were more guard-houses, and difficulties about examining our
baggage. As we were anxious to avoid this scrutiny, we administered a
gratuity to the guards, who speedily became our friends; but as we were
preparing to resume our journey an unfortunate difficulty arose.

The Herr announced to us after half an hour's search, that no horses
were to be procured. 'Then we had better remain here for the night,'
we decided at once. But no. The Herr had undertaken us, and he alone
must have an opinion. We felt that he knew the country, and that we
did not, and gave way, though unwillingly, on his assurance that less
than twenty minutes would bring us to the Austrian frontier, where
we would be sure to find fresh horses. So we reluctantly reseated
ourselves. The horses had been at work since early morning, and were
utterly exhausted, crawling at a foot's pace. The shades were gathering
deeper and deeper around us; the ground rose much more rapidly than
before; the road in some places was so bad as to be almost impassable;
worst opposite a tablet let into the rock, which informed the grateful
traveller, in letters of gold and in choice Latin, how Prince Alexander
Ghyka had made and finished it in 1855. The Herr's twenty minutes had
lengthened to an hour or more when we reached a narrow treeless gorge,
the heights crowned on either side by half-ruined fortress towers,
while grim loop-holed modern walls ran down to meet in an immense
gateway, whose shut doors barred our path. To the left, a small plateau
of green turf bordered the crag overhanging the stream, which now held
its rapid course many feet below us.

Our arrival was an event. The guardian of the pass was fat, fussy, and
important, and quite deaf to any representations of our anxiety to
proceed. Had we anything to declare? No; certainly not. No tea? No. Nor
tobacco? No. But then it struck him that there must be some tobacco for
present use among our drivers; so a strict personal search was made;
the tobacco-pouches were emptied, and their contents thrown over the
crag. We were injudicious enough to remonstrate, as we would willingly
have paid something to allow the poor men to keep their tobacco; and
this seemed to determine our _douanier_ to display his authority to
the full, for soon the sward was strewn with our possessions, which
included bedding, provisions, and books, as well as the clothing of the
whole party. The men must have had a dull time of it in this lonely
mountain fort, to judge from their excitement at the display of our
goods. At last we seized a packet of tapioca and implored the great man
to pass it and the nurses and children, that they might find rest and
refreshment beyond the gates. To this, after a very critical scrutiny,
he consented; and we despatched them to look for a krishma beyond the

When we had satisfied the douanier and seen such order as was possible
restored to our luggage, we followed, and found them installed in a
miserably dirty little place, where the children of the family, who
were crowding round, looked so evidently ill, that, fearing something
infectious, we were constrained to hurry the preparation of the
tapioca, and go out again to the open air. At last the Herr appeared,
and had to confess his failure. We ought to have passed the night
at the village we had left two hours before; to pass it here was

'We must feed the horses and push on,' said the Herr; 'it is not an
hour's drive.'

Alas! we were beginning to understand but too well what the Herr's
'hours' were like. But the night was mild and pleasant, though already
dark; and having arranged beds for the children among the cushions,
we continued our journey with a briskness on the part of both drivers
and horses which was wonderful after the hard day's work they had
gone through. There was just light enough from the stars to shew us
the dangerous nature of the road, which rose in rapid zigzags. There
was no parapet, and the little river ran below at a depth which
increased at every turn. The heavy travelling-carriage seemed to drag
back the horses, and the drivers of the wagons had to stop and push
it up. At last we reached the top; but it was two o'clock before we
reached Bereck. All the inhabitants were asleep; but the people of
the krishma, after we had roused them, received us very hospitably,
and busied themselves in attending to our comforts. It was late next
morning when we resumed our journey, and we were now able to perceive
that the scene had a beauty of its own--that of vast extent. Nowhere
have I seen a wider horizon, and yet hills closed it in all round, but
at a great distance. The plain over which we were passing formed a
vast amphitheatre, and the eye took in at one sweep at least a dozen
villages, all widely apart from each other. The roads were as excellent
as, under Austrian management, they always are. Good horses were to be
found at all the posting-houses; and by the middle of the following day
we had approached the mountains which bounded the other side of the
plain, and found ourselves at our journey's end.


From very ancient times the curious changes of colour which take place
in the chameleon, and its supposed power of living on air, have been
the wonder of the uninformed, and have furnished philosophers and
poets with abundant material for metaphor. The belief that the animal
can live on air has been exploded long ago, and was no doubt due to
its power of long fasting and to its peculiar manner of breathing.
It is only quite lately, however, that any satisfactory explanation
has been given of the apparently capricious changes which take place
in the colour of the chameleon; the latest researches on the subject
being those of M. Paul Bert, the French naturalist, which have been
described in a recent paper by M. E. Oustalet. As most of our readers
are no doubt familiar with the appearance and figure of this curious
reptile, and as descriptions of it may be found in any encyclopædia or
elementary work on natural history, we do not consider it necessary to
repeat them here.

Many and various theories have been proposed to explain the changes
of colour which chameleons undergo; changes the importance of which
have been greatly exaggerated. It is generally believed that these
animals have the power of assuming in a few seconds the colour of any
neighbouring object, and that they intentionally make use of this
trick to escape more easily from the sight of their enemies. But this
opinion is erroneous; and experiments conducted with the greatest care
have proved that chameleons are incapable of modifying their external
appearance in anything like so rapid and complete a manner.

The first probably to give any rational account of the causes of the
puzzling changes of colour in these reptiles was the celebrated French
naturalist, Milne-Edwards, about forty years ago. After a patient and
minute examination, he discovered that the colouring matters of the
skin, the pigments, are not confined as in mammals and birds, to the
deep layer of the epidermis, but are partly distributed on the surface
of the dermis or true skin, partly located more deeply, and stored in
a series of little cells or bags of very peculiar formation. These
colour-cells are capable of being shifted in position. When they are
brought close to the surface of the outer skin, they cause a definite
hue or hues to become apparent; but by depressing the cells and causing
them to disappear, the hues can be rendered paler, or may be altogether
dispersed. It is noteworthy that the cuttlefishes change colour in a
similar manner.

Underneath the colour-bags (or _chromoblasts_ as they are called) of
Milne-Edwards, Pouchet, a recent inquirer, has discovered a remarkable
layer, which he calls _cærulescent_, and which possesses the singular
property of appearing yellow on a clear, and blue on an opaque

M. Paul Bert, within the last two years, has by his researches thrown
still further light upon these curious changes, and upon the mechanism
by which they appear to be accomplished. He endorses most of the
results of Milne-Edwards and subsequent inquirers, but has carried
his observations much further. It would be out of place here to
give a detailed account of the methods by which M. Bert has arrived
at his conclusions. Suffice it to say, that by a series of careful
experiments, he has discovered that these changes of colour seem to
be entirely under the control of the nervous system, and that the
chameleon can no more help them taking place than a toad can help
twitching its leg when pinched. By acting in various ways upon the
spinal marrow and the brain, the operator can send the colour to or
withdraw it from any part of the body he pleases. Indeed a previous
observer was able to cause a change of colour in a piece of the skin
of the animal by acting upon it with electricity; and M. Bert has
proved that even in the absence of the brain the usual changes can be
produced by exciting the animal in any way; thus shewing that they are
due to that class of nervous action which physiologists name _reflex_,
and of which sneezing is a good example. M. Bert has also made some
interesting experiments on the animal while under the influence of
anæsthetics and during sleep. It was formerly known that in the latter
case, and also after death, the chameleon assumed a yellowish colour,
which under the influence of light became more or less dark. M. Bert
has found that exactly the same effects are produced during anæsthesia
as during natural sleep, and that light influences not only dead and
sleeping chameleons, but that it modifies in a very curious fashion the
coloration of the animal when wide awake. The same result is produced
when the light is transmitted through glass of a deep blue colour,
but ceases completely when red or yellow glass is used. To render
these results more decisive, M. Bert contrived to throw the light of
a powerful lamp upon a sleeping chameleon, taking care to keep in the
shade a part of the animal's back, by means of a perforated screen. The
result was curious: the head, the neck, the legs, the abdomen, and the
tail became of a very dark green; while the back appeared as if covered
with a light brown saddle of irregular outline, with two brown spots
corresponding to the holes in the screen. Again, by placing another
animal, quite awake, in full sunlight, but with the fore-part of its
body behind a piece of red glass, and the hind-part underneath blue
glass, M. Bert divided the body into two quite distinct parts--one of
a clear green with a few reddish spots, and the other of a dark green
with very prominent spots.

From his researches as a whole, M. Bert concludes: 1. The colours
and the various tints which chameleons assume are due to changes
in the position of the coloured corpuscles, which sometimes, by
sinking underneath the skin, form an opaque background underneath the
cærulescent layer of Pouchet; sometimes, by spreading themselves out in
superficial ramifications, leave to the skin its yellow colour, or make
it appear green and black. 2. The movements of these colour-bags or
chromoblasts are regulated by two groups of nerves, one of which causes
them to rise from below to the surface, while the other produces the
opposite effect.

As to the effects produced by coloured glass, they no doubt result
from the fact that the coloured corpuscles, like certain chemical
substances, are not equally influenced by all the rays of the spectrum,
the rays belonging to the violet part having alone the power of
causing the colour-bags to move and drawing them close to the surface
of the skin. This exciting action of light on a surface capable of
contraction, an action which hitherto has only been recognised in
the case of heat and electricity, is one of the most unexpected and
curious facts which in recent times have transpired in the domain of
physiology. Hence M. Paul Bert's researches are likely to prove of
far more value than merely to explain the changes of colour which
take place in the chameleon. He hopes especially in carrying out his
researches to discover the reason of the favourable influence on
health which is exerted by the direct action of light on the skin of
children and of persons of a lymphatic temperament; and this may lead
to some very important practical results in the treatment of disease.
In the meantime he has done much to clear up a very puzzling and very
interesting fact.


    Do you know my sweetheart, sir?
      She has fled and gone away.
    I've lost my love; pray tell to me
      Have you seen her pass to-day?

    Dewy bluebells are her eyes;
      Golden corn her waving hair;
    Her cheeks are of the sweet blush-roses:
      Have you seen this maiden fair?

    White lilies are her neck, sir;
      And her breath the eglantine;
    Her rosy lips the red carnations:
      Such is she, this maiden mine.

    The light wind is her laughter;
      The murmuring brooks her song;
    Her tears, so full of tender pity,
      In the clouds are borne along.

    The sunbeams are her smiles;
      The leaves her footsteps light;
    To kiss each coy flower into life
      Is my true love's delight.

    I will tell ye who she is,
      And how all things become her.
    Bend down, that I may whisper
      My sweetheart's name is--'Summer.'

        T. P.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._

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