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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 716 - September 15, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 716 - September 15, 1877" ***

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[Illustration: CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 716.      SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



YOUTHFUL PRODIGIES.


A curious question has more than once been asked: have the most
remarkable works, in the various kinds of literary labour, been
produced in the flush of youth or the calmness of age? Are men
better fitted for vigorous exercise of the mind in the first half
or the second half of their existence? The spring and elasticity of
temperament, the warmth of feeling, the hopeful aspirations, the
activity of vital energy, the longing to throw the thoughts into some
kind of words or of music--all tempt one, at a first glance, to say
that early authorship is more probable than later.

Certainly the examples of young authorship are neither few nor
unimportant. Of course we may take Tristram Shandy's authority with
as many grains of allowance as we please; but the marvels told in his
colloquy are unique. Yorick declared that Vincent Quirinus, before he
was eight years old, pasted up in the public schools of Rome more than
four thousand five hundred theses on abstruse questions, and defended
them against all opponents. Mr Shandy capped this by citing one erudite
man who learned all the sciences and liberal arts without being taught
any of them.

Isaac D'Israeli, in his _Curiosities of Literature_, notices many
curious examples; and the subject was taken up by a pleasant writer
in the _Globe_ newspaper, a few months ago. Pope wrote some of his
_Pastorals_ at sixteen; and a large number of his works, including
the translation of Homer, were thrown off before he reached thirty.
Edgar Poe wrote his _Helen_, remarkable for its beauty of style, when
scarcely more than eleven years old. Cowley at fifteen published
his _Poetic Blossoms_; while his _Pyramus and Thisbe_, though not
published till his sixteenth year, is said to have been written when
he was only ten. Lord Bacon planned his great work, the _Novum Organum
Scientiarum_, when only sixteen, although the writing was the work of
maturer years. The late Bishop Thirlwall wrote his _Primitiæ_ when a
boy of only eleven years of age; he was one of the few who wrote both
early and late, a wonderful example of long-continued mental activity.
Dr Watts almost _thought_ in verse when a boy. Crabbe wrote both early
and late, but not much in middle life; he published his first poem at
twenty, and his _Village_ before thirty; then a silence of twenty years
was followed by a renewal of literary labour. Charlotte Bronté wrote
in very early life, 'because she could not help it.' Chatterton, the
scapegrace who applied so much of his marvellous powers to dishonest
or lying purposes, wrote minor pieces of poetry at fifteen, and soon
afterwards a pretended pedigree of a Bristol family. At sixteen he
published the alleged plays and poems of Rowley, described by him
as a priest or monk of the fifteenth century; at about seventeen he
brought forward some pretended old parchments, made to appear soiled
and timeworn, containing a fictitious description of an old bridge at
Bristol; and then wrote biographies of Bristol artists who never lived.
Coming to London, he wrote many satirical and political papers for the
press; and ended his extraordinary life before he had completed his
eighteenth year.

As a child (never so old as what we should call a 'lad'), Christian
Heineker was one of the most singular of whom we find record. He was
born at Lübeck about a century and a half ago. When only ten months old
he could (if we are to believe the accounts of him) repeat every word
said to him; at twelve months he knew much of Plutarch by heart; at
two years he knew the greater part of the Bible; at three could answer
most questions in universal history and geography (as then taught),
and began to learn French and Latin; before four he began theology and
church history, and expressed argumentative opinions thereon. This
precocious little pedant died before he had completed his fifth year.

The late John Stuart Mill 'had no recollection of the time when he
began to learn Greek;' but was told it was when he was only three years
old. Adanson began at thirteen to write notes on the Natural Histories
of Aristotle and Pliny. The calculating boys--Vito Mangiamele,
Jedediah Buxton, Zerah Colburn, and George Parker Bidder--illustrate a
remarkable phase of early mental activity.

On the other hand, many authors have produced their best works late
in life, and have begun new studies at an age when the majority long
for mental leisure. Izaak Walton wrote some of his most interesting
biographies in his eighty-fifth year, and edited a poetical work at
ninety. Hobbes published his version of the _Odyssey_ at eighty-seven,
and of the _Iliad_ at eighty-eight. Sir Francis Palgrave, under an
assumed name, published at eighty years old a French translation of a
Latin poem.

Isaac D'Israeli notes that Socrates learned to play a musical
instrument in his old age; that Cato learned Greek at eighty; that
Plutarch entered upon the study of Latin almost as late in life;
that Theophrastus began his _Characteristics_ at ninety; that Sir
Henry Spelman, a gentleman-farmer until fifty, at that age began to
study law, and became an eminent jurist and antiquary; that Colbert,
the distinguished statesman, resumed the study of Latin and of law
at sixty; that the Marquis de Saint Audaire began to write poetry
at seventy, 'verses full of fire, delicacy, and sweetness;' that
Chaucer did not finish his _Canterbury Tales_ till he had reached
sixty-one; that Dryden felt his powers sufficiently in their strength
at sixty-eight to plan a complete translation of Homer's _Iliad_ into
English verse, although circumstances prevented him from giving effect
to his intentions; and (but this we must leave to the investigators who
advise us to disbelieve most of the stories we hear or read concerning
persons exceeding a century old) that Ludovico Monaldeschi wrote his
_Memoirs_ of his own times at the extraordinary age of a hundred and
fifteen!

Dipping into the literary annals of different ages and different
countries, there are not wanting abundant additional examples of men
continuing their literary work to an advanced period of life, or else
beginning _de novo_ at an age when most men would prefer to lay down
the pen and let the mind and the brain rest. Montfauçon, the learned
authority on artistic antiquities, continued his custom of writing for
eight hours a day nearly till his death at the age of eighty-seven.
His labours, too, had been of a very formidable kind; for he was
seventy-nine when he put the finishing touch to his _Monumens de la
Monarchie Française_, in five folio volumes; and eighty-five when he
published the _Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum_, in two tomes of similar
magnitude. John Britton and John Nichols, artistic and antiquarian
writers, both continued to drive the quill till past eighty. Sir
Isaac Newton worked on till death, in his eighty-fourth year, but did
not make scientific discoveries in the later period of his career.
Euler worked on at his abstruse mathematical writings till past
eighty. William Cowper, although he wrote a few hymns and letters in
early life, did not till after fifty begin those works on which his
fame chiefly rests--beginning with _Truth_, and going on to _Table
Talk_, _Expostulation_, _Error_, _Hope_, _Charity_, _Conversation_,
_Retirement_, _The Task_, _John Gilpin_, and the translation of Homer.
Gray wrote late and little, devoting seven years to polishing and
perfecting his famous _Elegy_. Alfieri, who was taught more French
than Italian when a boy, studied his native language sedulously late
in life, in order to be able to read the great Italian poets; and
wrote his own principal works afterwards. Goethe gave advice, which is
certainly not followed by the majority of novelists--namely, not to
write novels till past forty; because until then we have scarcely an
adequate knowledge of the world and of the human heart. Necker said in
his old age: 'The era of threescore and ten is an agreeable age for
writing; your mind has not lost its vigour, and envy leaves you in
peace.' This corresponds in substance to a reply given by the hale and
hearty old premier, Lord Palmerston, to a question 'When is a man in
his prime?' 'At seventy.'

Musical genius, or at anyrate musical aptitude, has often developed
itself in very early life. Sometimes this aptitude is hereditary in
a notable degree. Veit Bach, a miller and baker at Hamburg about
the middle of the sixteenth century, turned his attention to music,
becoming a guitar-player and teacher; his son cultivated music
generally, and lived by it as a profession; the grandson devoted
himself to church music; the representative of the next generation was
music director to the court and town of Eisenach. The fifth generation
was marked by the renowned John Sebastian Bach, grandson's grandson
of old Veit; he had to earn his living as a choir-boy, and lived to
become one of the greatest of composers and organists. There were no
fewer than fifty-eight of these Bachs between 1520 and 1750, every one
of them musical. As an example of musical precocity, however, Mozart
was far more remarkable than any of the Bachs. At three years old he
experienced great pleasure in finding out chords on the pianoforte; at
four he learned short pieces of music; and at six composed a pianoforte
concerto, methodically arranged. He was then taken as a musical prodigy
by his father (who was also a musician) to Munich, Venice, Paris,
Milan, Bologna, Naples, Hamburg, London, and other cities, where the
performances of the boy excited universal astonishment. In London, when
only eight years old, Mozart composed six pianoforte sonatas, which
he dedicated to Queen Charlotte. His first opera, _Mithridate_, was
composed when he was fourteen; and about the same time he was appointed
director of the Archbishop of Salzburg's concerts. He was quite an old
musician by the time he became a young man--twenty-four years old when
he composed _Idomeneo_; at thirty, _Le Nozze di Figaro_; at thirty-one,
_Don Giovanni_; at thirty-five, _Il Flauto Magico_; and at thirty-six
(shortly before his death) the _Requiem_--the magnificent series of
masses, motets, symphonies, concertos, &c., coming in between at
intervals. Mendelssohn was another great composer whose life-work was
wholly finished by the age of thirty-eight. He gave a public concert
at Berlin at the age of nine; and while yet a youth composed numerous
instrumental pieces--the remarkable _Isles of Fingal_, and the still
more striking music to the _Midsummer Night's Dream_. How he poured
forth, as a young man, his oratorios, cantatas, _Lieder ohne Worte_,
overtures, symphonies, concertos, sonatas, quartettes, _Athalie_,
_Antigone_, _Œdipus_, _Walpurgisnacht_, &c., musical biography has told
at full length.

One musical phenomenon is noticeable, not for his skill as a musical
performer or composer, but for the way in which music seems to have
formed part of his very being. This was Carl Anton Eckert, son of a
sergeant of the Guards in the Prussian service, and born in 1820. While
in his cradle, he was affected to tears by any music in the minor key.
At the age of one year and a half, hearing his father play _Schöne
Minka_ with one hand on an old pianoforte, he immediately played it
with both hands, employing his knuckles to aid his tiny fingers. He
retained in his ear every tune he heard; and in his fourth year could
name the pitch of any note on hearing it played.

Somewhat similar to Eckert in musical sensibility was Charles Wesley,
nephew of the famous founder of the Wesleyan Methodists. As a child, he
could always be pacified by his mother playing the harpsichord. Tied on
a chair, he could be left alone for hours amusing himself by _making_
music on the instrument. Before he was three years old he could play
tunes in correct time, treble and bass; and soon afterwards was able
to put a tolerably good bass to any tune he heard, without study or
premeditation. Much flattered as a prodigy, he nevertheless failed to
rise at any period of his life above a mediocre standard as a player
or composer. Samuel Wesley, Charles's brother, was like him imbued
with music from the cradle. Before he was three years old he could
play a tune on the harpsichord; he made a correct bass before knowing
musical notation; and learned to read from the words of songs in the
music-books. He composed music before he could write, and was only
eight years old when he composed an oratorio on the subject of Ruth.
Some of our famous composers, on the other hand, have not commenced
their best works until middle life, and have produced their very best
at a somewhat advanced age.

On careful collation of known facts, we shall probably arrive at the
conclusion that a medium position is better than either extreme; that
a judicious diffusion of mental labour throughout a series of years
is the best course for mind and body. Precocity is considered by some
physicians as partaking of the nature of disease; very few 'infant
prodigies' live to become distinguished men and women. Dr Richardson,
in his _Diseases of Modern Life_, maintains the thesis that an average
activity of mind throughout the whole of life is better than forcing
it abnormally at the beginning. Another writer has observed that, by
crowding the main business of life into the first forty years, with the
design of taking things cosily by an early retirement and a long rest,
the vital springs are dried up, the brain becomes prematurely withered
by the excessive demands made upon it. The brain requires exercise like
any other organ, but also, like any other organ, should not be worked
to excess in early life. Many of our best writers have wrought well
alike in early, middle, and advanced age, simply because they utilised
their mental and vital resources judiciously. Sir Walter Scott is cited
as a good instance in point. He wrote his poems in early life; produced
in his maturity the wonderful series of novels and romances that will
never die; and would probably have written his later works in masterly
style if he had allowed himself time for the purpose. But adverse
fortune decided otherwise; he exhausted himself by working intensely
and earning enormously to pay off a debt: it virtually killed him.



FROM DAWN TO SUNSET.

PART II.


CHAPTER THE SECOND.

The next day came the lads Kingston and Charlie Fleming. Kingston
was still 'reading,' and sowing his wild oats broadcast and winning
honours, all in one. Charlie just started on his career, Sir Vincent
best knew how.

It happened that King Fleming found his cousin Deborah alone; she was
reading in her own room, where he sought her. She turned on him with a
sudden rush of colour and defiant eyes: 'You are not invited here!'

Kingston approached as if he trod on eggs, cap in hand. 'Nay, sweet
lady, yet I venture. Deb, you blush! You are reading evil; or is it o'
love? O love, love, thou pleasure pain and torment! That same little
unruly god with his bow and arrows, hath "shot and hit me sore!"' He
sat down opposite Deborah, and gazed at her in his quaint droll way,
that had in it a touch of pathos too.

Deborah's lips curled: 'I understand you not.'

Kingston shook his head in some ironical mockery. 'Nay, sweet Deb, that
thou dost not, for never was a tougher heart than thine! _Thou_, wilt
never love, Deb; never feel thy heart pitapat, and thy cheek flame, for
any mortal man; yet thou hast great promise of beauty and grace; thou
wilt doubtless make a great match--all the women o' the Flemings do;
an' if thou dost, I shall be proud o' thee.'

'I do not ask your applause,' retorted Deborah, with sudden fire and
disdain. 'But I will not argue with you,' she added, with disdain
alone. 'You have a weak head now, except for Greek and Latin. Just like
a lad, your head runs ever upon marriage, and your tongue can prate o'
nothing else.'

Kingston raised his eyebrows as a shade of colour crossed his brow.
'Just like a lad? Ay, and in _nature_, just like a lass also. But
Mistress Fleming must not be judged by nature's law; _her_ soul soars
above all sublunary matters. What dost _thou_ dream of, Deborah? Come!
Hast not _one_ idle dream, _one_ erring thought, one tender folly to
confess? The daisy!--the daisy, Deb--two years ago!'

Deborah sprang defiantly to her feet, her eyes like two orbs of fire.
'Master Fleming,' she said, 'either you or I must quit this room!
Kingston, I bear from you taunts and insults, but I will bear no more.
Under cover o' this, you _hate_ me!--and I hate you!' And with that she
was gone.

Kingston sat on his stool and stared before him: his odd brown
face--a face beautiful with the changeful lights of feeling and
intellect--assumed a hundred rapid expressions of wonder, regret, pity,
remorse, and amaze. His beautiful child-cousin was 'one too much for
him.' He never could comprehend her. He did not even admire her tanned
dishevelled beauty, and he certainly did not love her; but he stayed
himself to pity her, thinking that with such ungovernable passions she
must go mad at last. With that, his boyish face grew sad, and he looked
very forlorn, sitting in Deborah's sanctum with his lank yellow hair
straying across his brow. As for Deborah, after a storm of tears hidden
in the pantry, she dried her eyes on her apron like a poor passionate
child, and went to seek Charlie, with no malice in her heart--only
shame. Charlie was cleaning his gun in the saddle-room, watched at
a respectful distance by Mistress Dinnage, who was squatting on the
ground and looking low in spirits. Charlie was too busy to glance at
Deb's tear-stained face, and Deborah knew him too well to kiss him
when he was either intent on business or in sight of a girl. It was
happiness enough to Deborah, after a careless word between them, to
stand near him, to see the great strong boyish frame, at present even
in its strength so loosely knit and jointed, and the brown bony hands,
the dear familiar face, the unkempt locks, the wild sombre eyes, that
so strangely courted and yet repelled affection.

'Art going back to-night?' ventured Deborah at length, timidly for her.

'Ay, bad luck to it. I hunt to-morrow.'

'Ah, then you will need Bayard, and father has him.'

'King will mount me.'

'Then if father _does_ return, I will ride Bayard.'

'I can't squire girls. You must ride with King.'

'I will not.'

'Then I will not have you scampering alone.'

'I will ride with Jordan Dinnage. But you know, Charlie, I can keep up
with the best.'

'You can; I'll do you that justice.'

'I don't like to lose you, old Charlie; we miss you sore. I fear, dear
love, you are hard put to it for money. Are they _all_ better off than
you?'

'Oh, I know not and care not. I am well enough.'

Deborah sighed deeply: 'Not well enough for _thee_. But as yet, father
is hard pressed; it has been a bad time for the coaching, and father is
well-nigh sick of it. If he gets luck he will give up for a spell, and
perchance take to it again.'

'What _luck_ would you have for him, then?'

'Ah, I know not.'

Charlie smiled somewhat grimly over his gun, but said nothing. Soon
Deborah went over to Mistress Dinnage, where she sat glowering with
her dark curly head crowned on one side by coquettish scarlet ribbons.
They presented a curious contrast, the bailiff's daughter and the
baronet's daughter--one sitting with her hands clasped round her knee,
in attire bright and gay, gazing up with a frown beneath her jaunty
curls, her dark eyes lowering, and her little red-heeled shoe tapping
on the ground; the other pale, subdued, and wistful, her long lorn hair
falling about her unheeded and unribboned, and her dress dull in colour
and in texture coarse, standing before her gaily attired inferior.
As Mistress Dinnage gazed, her manner changed; irritability gave way
before Deborah's plaintive eyes.

'You have been crying,' said Mistress Dinnage, in her marvellously
brusque independent way.

'You know nought about it.'

'Ay, don't tell me! You have a heartache. I know when you are
sorrowing, Lady Deb, an' when you are full of joy. Once, you never knew
what sorrow was. Has _he_ been worrying thee?' she asked, with a nod of
the head towards Charlie.

'He? No! "The heart knoweth its own bitterness." You will do well not
to question me, Meg. Come and play.'

       *       *       *       *       *

That same evening, Sir Vincent Fleming came home late under cover of
the darkness, as he always did, and on a swift horse. Deborah flew to
meet him; he took her in his arms and kissed her. 'Good-even, Deb.
Sweet Deb, has Enderby had visitors?' he whispered.

'Ay, father, the usual ones, whom it is sweet to blind for thy sake,
for I had rare promises for Finton. And indeed you tell me, father,
that brighter days are in store?'

'Ay, ay, lass; I have found a friend in need.'

'A _friend_, father?' They were walking through the great hall
together, and Deborah hung upon her father's arm and raised her
beautiful eyes to his. His own eyes sank. 'Not one o' those false,
false friends,' she continued, 'who have oftentimes proved your
strongest foes?'

'Nay; sweet Deb. But do not question me further;' and he turned his
head restlessly away. 'This is indeed a friend to me and mine.--Deb,'
he said, with a sudden bright altered change of tone, 'I have news for
thee.'

'What news?' asked Deborah, with eager curiosity.

'Ah, then, you have not heard? Have the lads been here to-day?'

'Yes, father.'

'Well, if they have not told you, you may guess.'

'I cannot, I cannot! Nay, sweet father, news are scarce at Enderby;
tell me quickly what has happed.'

Sir Vincent laughed. 'Little daughter of Eve, it relates to your cousin
Kingston!'

'What is it, father?' Somehow the music had died out of Deborah
Fleming's voice and the ripple from her lips.

'King is betrothed to Mistress Beatrix Blancheflower, the old baron's
daughter;' and Sir Vincent laughed heartily, with his head in the air.

'Is it so, father? Well--she is rich and she is pretty. Oh, she is
pretty, father!'

'Ay. But the boy is but twenty, and such a rattle-pate. Well, it
will pay his debts and be a rise for the family. See that thou dost
likewise, Deb,' said Sir Vincent, with playful tenderness.

As they walked, Deborah laid her head on her father's arm, which she
was clasping. 'Time enough for that, father. Dost want to be rid o'
me?'

He looked down and smiled; the smile softened the rugged countenance
wonderfully. 'Ay, I want to be rid o' thee do I not, my Rose of
Enderby? _Thou_ art not my right hand?'

'Then let me be thy left. Nay; I will never leave thee, father. I like
not marriage and sweet-hearting. Let Charlie wed; _I_ will love but
_thee_.'

Sir Vincent laughed. 'Time will change that tune, sweet Deb.'

They sat down by the hall-fire, where Marjory had spread a frugal
repast. It passed in silence, for Sir Vincent fell to thinking deeply,
and Deborah did not eat or speak at all. After supper, she lighted her
father's pipe, then sat down at his feet and laid her fair head on his
knees. The fire-blaze flickered over the wide lofty hall; the stag's
antlers, the rusty armour, it shone whimsically on all; but Sir Vincent
and his fair daughter and the old shaggy deerhound basked in warmth and
steady light.

'Dost think Beatrix Blancheflower very pretty, father?'

'Well, yes; but not so pretty as thou.'

'Other folk think not so. She has blue eyes and golden hair. She is not
shy nor awkward. She is older by two years than I. O yes, she has the
power of always speaking what it pleases her to say; a rare art. But
for me, father, my words ever belie my heart; and for what I say one
minute, I would fain pluck out my tongue the next.'

'Silly little wench! I have not noticed it in thee. Thou art thy mother
all over, Deb.'

'Oh, I am glad! But not so good as she?'

'Well, no. Yet thy mother was not over-fond of prayer, Deb, till she
began to ail. She was a madcap, she was a madcap I tell thee, like thou
art; and too fond of me, Deb, to care much for her soul. But at the
last God came between us two. Ah me!' Tears dimmed those bold stern
eyes, or the look akin to tears.

Deborah said no more. Soon she went up to her little room, slowly, and
with dragging steps. 'What has paled my Rose of Enderby?' were words
that had been uttered by her father; and they haunted her. She looked
in her glass. True, she was pale, but great fires burned in her eyes.
What was this mighty sorrow, that weighed like a mountain on the gay
careless heart? The girl was afraid. She liked it not. She shrank and
trembled like a child, and lay down on her bed in a little coiled
heap, and moaned in helpless agony. It was like a young wild deer; and
behold, in its swift flight of joy, an arrow quivered in the bounding
heart, and it fell stricken, and writhed, and raised its innocent
pleading eyes, as if asking what was that grievous pain that drew the
life-blood from its heart! Thus through the long, long night Deborah
Fleming lay and moaned. She did not pray, she did not weep; but in the
morning she was the true Deborah Fleming again; at least the world
never knew her aught else; for in one long night Deb tired of sorrow,
and her poor little soul longed for sunshine and joy again, and sought
them wildly.


CHAPTER THE THIRD.

'And father,' said Deborah, 'I would like May Warriston to come here
and stay with me for a bit; for when you are long away, I am apt to
grow lonesome, and Mistress Dinnage cannot always be here.'

'Have May then. You have only to express a wish, sweet Deb, and it is
granted. If we had food to feed the guests, heaven knows you might fill
the house!'

So May came. They had not met since they were children, and now they
are sixteen. A gay greeting passed between them, which was witnessed
by Mistress Dinnage, whose heart ached sorely. May Warriston was small
and fair; she blushed with every emotion; she idolised and admired
Deborah with all her soul; while Deborah loved and petted May for her
sweetness and fragile grace. The Warristons and Flemings had always
been staunch friends and allies; a Fleming and a Warriston had fought,
brothers-in-arms, in the Crusades, and lay beneath their long-drawn
effigies side by side.

May was charmed with Enderby; its grandeur, its gloom, its decay,
impressed her romantic imagination, and excited her greatly. The
funereal shadow of the oaks, the picturesque girl who stood at the
gates beneath them, the great stone archway with its carved armorial
bearings, the strange gaunt woman who met her at the door, the hall
with its quaint stained windows, and the tall pillars ranged across,
and the beautiful Deborah Fleming who rushed through the hall to meet
her.

After they had dined together, they went all over the house, and
explored the damp mouldering passages where the rats fled before them,
and the great untenanted chambers; and studied the ancient tapestry
with much laughter, and climbed up with a lantern to the garret. Then
the girls scrambled out on to the roof, and ran about round the stone
coping, the favourite haunt of Deborah and Charlie, and looked over
the far-spreading woods, the shining waters, and the flat but fair and
emerald land. Then mists and darkness descended over all. And then came
a bright and firelit tea in Deborah's pretty room, with the curtained
alcove shutting out the bed--and then a long talk over the fire.

'Yes, King Fleming has done for himself,' said May, resting her
chin within her pretty hand, as she leaned upon the arm of the
lounging-chair. 'I thought not that he would be caught so easily. Did
you?'

'I thought not about it at all. Or if I did--well, I thought it
_might_ be Mistress Blancheflower. You have seen them often together,
May?--does she love him truly?'

'Not what _I_ call truly, faith; but then Beatrix has a cold nature at
the best of times.'

'How did she win him then, who has such fire?'

'Well, it is coldness that charms these fiery natures, Deb. Why, she
treated him half with disdain; anon she would steal a glance, as
Beatrix can, as if to lure him on; and when he wooed her, she frowned
and was cold again. Take my word on't, Mistress Blancheflower is an
arch-coquette. It matters not who it be. Why, she will play her airs
on old Dandy Drummond!' And May burst into laughter, in which Deborah
joined.

'Oh, I cannot do such things,' said Deborah, grave again, and sighing.
'Yet, 'tis no fault of mine. Were father rich, I would go to France,
and get French polish and a maid to dress my hair. Money gets all
things, May; and the accessories of money give confidence and power.
Were I rich, I would outshine Mistress Blancheflower!'

'_You!_' cried May. 'Dost not know the moon even under a vapour
outshines the stars? Dost know thy beauty, Deb?'

'Why, no. Sweet May, tell me! Am I beautiful? Father and Marjory tell
me so; but they are blind, perchance.'

'Why, yes,' said May, laughing, 'you are; yet I like not to tell you
so, for fear it should make you vain. You are beautiful as times go.
Would that I were half as fair!'

How the maiden blushed. Her heart beat fast at May's simple praise, for
Deborah had never believed herself to be beautiful before.

'O say not so, sweet May,' she answered; 'I would fain have your blue
eyes and waxen skin and fairy-like figure. Father admires you greatly.
Charlie, you have not seen. He is a man now, eighteen, and entered at
Granta University.'

'Is he like you? Is he handsome, Deb?'

'Some folks say he is. My heart says there is no one like my bonnie
Charlie! Yet he is somewhat of a bear. In Charlie, May, you must look
for no courtly cavalier.'

'I like them not!' quoth May; 'of courtly phrases I am sick. But what
like is he, this brother o' thine? Describe him.'

'Well, he is giant-tall--almost as tall as King, and may be taller.'

'I love tall men!'

'He cares not for his clothes, and dresses very rough; he has bonnie
big eyes, dark and full of fire, that seem to scan you through; a brown
face, a noble shapely head, and teeth as white as ivory. This be Master
Fleming.'

'I like your portrait. But of Kingston I am afraid; his tongue is sharp
as whip-cord. He is no great friend of yours, Deb, your cousin King?'

'And no great foe,' said Deborah, supremely careless. 'Nay--"blood is
thicker than water;" I like him well enow; I have nought to say against
King.'

Thus they talked, and much about tall men and short, dark men and
fair--a deal of nonsense, as girls did then as now.

The next day there was a hunt, and great baying of hounds about
Enderby. May would have Deborah go, and bring Kingston and Charlie
home. So Lady Deb rode away, with old Jordan Dinnage behind her;
and much ado had Jordan on such days to keep Deborah in sight, for
hearing the horn and the hounds, she would grow wild, having come of a
hard-riding race.

'Bless thee!' muttered Jordan Dinnage, 'thou wilt lead me
a-moon-lightin' to-day. I see it in thee, lass! An' if thou doesn't
break Bayard's knees or thine own neck, one day, my name's not Jordan
Dinnage.--There they be! Hoicks, hoicks! Lady Deb! Gone away!!' And
behold the old bailiff (muttering gloomily a moment ago, between
twinges of rheumatic pain) would give the view-hollo with a voice like
a clarion. But Deborah Fleming was already off like a whirlwind, with a
cry of joy, her hair flying. And she led Jordan a dance that day....

'You must come home, Charlie,' said Deborah. She looked happier than
any queen. The brush was swinging at her saddle, and Bayard and his
little mistress appeared fresh and spirited as the dawn. All the
huntsmen gathered about, and stared at Deborah, for the dawning beauty
of Mistress Fleming began to be noised abroad, and the young lads from
far and near would come to see the 'Rose of Enderby.' 'Who is she?'
was whispered round. 'Why, Sir Vincent Fleming's daughter. They call
her the Rose of Enderby.' The best of it was, Deborah was unconscious
of it all. The spirit of the hunt was in her; her large gray eyes were
luminous with light and life, her hair was afloat in amber clouds. She
cared not even for Kingston, in moments such as those.

'You _must_ come,' she urged pleadingly. 'It is early yet, and Marjory
has a hunter's dinner ready--a banquet. And besides--I have a fair lady
to greet ye, Charlie.'

'Then good-bye!' Charlie turned back his horse. 'Nay, Deb. Who is it?
I want no "fair ladies."--But come away from these gaping loons,' he
added, his boyish heart swelling with a sullen pride at the attention
his sister was exciting; and they rode away together.

'It is May Warriston. Such a little angel! Quite harmless and full of
fun, as much fun as Mistress Dinnage.' And then Deborah blushed, and
gave a slight imperial bow, for Kingston, splendidly mounted, was now
at her other side.

He bowed, with some mock-pleading in his eyes. 'What is this, fair
cousin--May Warriston? Nay, Charlie, boy, I _must_ go and see sweet
May; _she_ has always a sweet word for me, and sometimes something
sweeter and kinder far!' And Kingston, glancing upbraidingly at
Deborah's averted face, saw that it was crimsoned with haughty shame,
at which sight he was somewhat confused.

'Well, come,' said Charlie, 'and make short work of it, for I am gated
at seven; thanks be to old Shand.' So they rode fast home to Enderby;
Jordan groaning behind, now that the hunt was over.

Mistress Dinnage stood gravely in the lodge door in the twilight;
Kingston smiled and kissed his hand; Charlie Fleming looked not up at
all. May Warriston ran out with smiles and blushes, which were not
lost on Kingston, who greeted her even tenderly; but May glanced up
at the tall dark lad on the bay horse, and felt her foolish little
heart flutter, because _he_ bowed without a smile? or because his dark
eyes scanned her through? And _Deborah_ looked pleased, seeing May's
emotion, and the girls ran gaily in together. Deborah's 'banquet' was
spread in the great hall, and great noise and mirth there was over it.


CHAPTER THE FOURTH.

The day came but too soon for May to quit Enderby; the grandmother with
whom she lived was ailing, and sent for her. But somehow May could not
go that day, and must wait one day more; her trunks were packed, an old
and trusty maid had arrived for her; but little May was sick at heart
at the thought of leaving Enderby.

Was it love? Maidens did love early and long in those days; love was
then a deep abiding passion, not a graceful sentiment to change with
every change of raiment. At all events May loved _Deborah_, and clung
to her.

They had been alone all that last long day, though Deborah had run
many times to the door. On one of these runs she encountered Mistress
Dinnage. 'What art seekin' so anxiously?' asked the latter curtly, even
fiercely.

'I will not answer you, Margaret,' said Deborah with calm dignity; 'for
the last five weeks you have spoken to me thus, and avoided me in every
way. I have not deserved this of thee. A friend has ne'er proved a
friend who cannot speak out what rankles in the heart.'

'Speak out!' exclaimed Mistress Dinnage. 'She--_she_--has all
your heart! While I--a poor man's daughter, you care for no
more. What matters it, Mistress Deborah! It must be so. Mistress
Warriston is a lady, like to you, an' worthy o' you; while I, poor,
unscholarly'---- And Mistress Dinnage, her pride forgotten, burst into
a very passion of sobs. Then the anger and scorn that had flashed from
Deborah's eyes at her friend's accusation vanished in a moment at sight
of her tears--'Mistress Dinnage!' whom Deborah had never known to shed
a tear since their childhood.

'Nay,' cried Deborah, with her hands on the quivering shoulders; 'you
know this is not so. You know that neither rank nor wealth nor great
lady-friends will ever step between us. Must I tell thee, _silly_
Mistress Dinnage, that thou art dearer to my heart than any woman in
the world? If you will not believe it, if you _cannot_ see it, go
your ways. I am proud as well as you. And if so paltry a matter as
difference of station can ever separate, in thought or word or deed,
two great good friends, _then_ thou'rt not worthy of me, Mistress, or
I of thee!' With that, they fell into each other's arms, and each wept
a little, and then laughed. Then Deborah returned to May, not seeing
Charlie, for whom she had been vainly watching. Charlie might surely
have come to do her guest that honour, believing as he did that she was
going away that day. But the youth came not.

On the next day, Charlie rode over alone to see to some of his business
concerns, and by mere chance Deborah espied him going to the stables.
She rushed forth: 'Charlie, May is going away in ten minutes' time; and
I have been looking for you so to come and say good-bye. Come in with
me, dear boy.'

Charles Fleming stamped his foot and frowned darkly. 'Why, I thought
the girl had left you yesterday! Fool that I am to be caught. Deb, you
know how I hate maidens, fine ladies. Why can't you let me be?'

'Because Charlie, May has sighed to say you one good-bye. Your
roughness wins her heart; and you have been very kind, and seemed so
fond of May.'

'Finely you read me!' muttered Charlie; but he followed Deborah into
the house, to speed the parting guest. May was standing by the hall
window in her soft furs, and her small face was very sad and pale and
pleading; there were even tears in her eyes, which she tried in vain to
keep back.

'Good-bye, Mistress Warriston,' said Charlie, looking down with his
dark eyes, and then away, because of her tears. 'You must come back
soon, for Deb loves to have you here;' and he gave a grasp of his hard
brown hand.

'I will come; oh, I will gladly come!' faltered May, and then ran to
Deborah, and hid her face on her breast. The carriage-wheels were
heard; May was half borne out by Deborah, and Charlie stalked behind,
looking gloomy, because he knew not how to look. May Warriston gazed
from the carriage-window, and through a maze of tears saw the brother
and sister standing under the porch, Deborah kissing her two hands
vehemently. Pain was uppermost in that farewell of Enderby; the little
orphan May lay back on the cushions, and sobbed as if her heart would
break.



WEAVING-SCHOOLS.


In all the ordinary manufacturing arts, the common practice is to
learn by apprenticeships; that is to say, the young who are put to
any craft are left to pick up information over a course of several
years by imitating the operations of the journeymen among whom they
are placed. No teacher sets himself specially to tell them how things
are to be done, or how they may be improved upon by an ingenious
consideration of results. The craft, whatever it is, takes its
chance. In some instances, from generation to generation, it pursues
a jog-trot routine; in others it makes advances through the peculiar
thoughtfulness of individuals. In numerous cases, the keenness of
competition forces on improvements. Manufacturers try to outdo each
other. But even in these cases, the actual operatives are only
mechanically concerned. They obey orders, but do not originate.

Thoughtful persons have latterly been of opinion that this state of
affairs is not satisfactory. They think that instead of the chance
and mechanical instruction through apprenticeship, there ought to be
a course of systematic teaching by experts in the several crafts,
at least those in which great ingenuity and the cultivation of
original ideas are required, with a view to national advantages.
Hence, schools of practical science and technical instruction, to
which public attention has been occasionally drawn. Much has been
done in this respect by certain continental countries, in the hope of
outrivalling British manufactures; and we may be said to have come
to this, that the old chance method of acquiring skill in certain
lines of industry will not do any longer. With these preliminary
remarks, we proceed to mention that in Belgium and Germany, schools
of practical trade-instruction have existed for years in almost every
corporate town, under the auspices of the municipality. Now, however,
the growing rivalry of these countries with our own in more than one
staple industry, has at length impressed British manufacturers with
the need of taking similar means to withstand the pressure of such
competition. Sharing these views, the promoters of the Yorkshire
College some time ago suggested to the Ancient and Honourable Company
of Cloth-workers how effectively the wants of the case might be met
in the northern counties by providing, as a special department of the
college, means for instruction in the manufacture of textile fabrics
and designs. The suggestion was accepted in a generous spirit, all
the more readily as those who initiated the scheme had personally
pledged their own faith in it by subscriptions ranging from fifty to
two thousand pounds. Among the munificent contributors of the larger
amount were the Duke of Devonshire, Sir A. Fairbairn, and various
local firms. Encouraged by the appreciative attitude of those most
familiar with the requirements of the woollen trade, the Company at
once entered upon this new sphere of active usefulness, granting in
the first place an endowment of five hundred and twenty pounds per
annum. Subsequently they offered a further contribution of no less than
ten thousand pounds, to provide adequate buildings and appliances for
the Textile Industries Department. This extension of their original
purpose was mainly due to the immediate and decided success of the
experiment. In some measure, however, it was also the fruit of an
interesting and valuable Report presented to the Company by Mr John
Beaumont, the instructor of the department, after having made, at their
instance, a journey of inspection among the weaving-schools of the
continent. Accompanied by Mr Walter S. B. M'Laren, M.A., Mr Beaumont
made a six weeks' tour, during which he visited, chiefly in Germany,
twenty-four weaving and seven polytechnic schools. Some of these are
exclusively for instruction in weaving, while others are departments
of larger technical colleges, as is the case in Leeds. The Report has
been printed simply for private circulation, but we are permitted to
glean its leading facts and suggestions, before describing briefly how
far these are being applied to the new enterprise in the capital of the
West Riding.

Among the best schools of the kind in Belgium are those of Ghent and
Verviers, in both of which the instruction is free. The only conditions
imposed upon students, who must be more than twelve years of age, are
that they shall be able to write correctly and know the four simple
rules of arithmetic. There are also in Belgium apprentice schools or
workshops for apprentices, managed principally by the manufacturers of
the different towns, who send work to be done in them. Throughout the
whole of France there is likewise a movement in favour of technical
education, and among the subjects which it is generally agreed must be
taught, theoretically and practically, weaving takes a front place.
At such towns as Rheims, Rouen, Lille, Lyons, Elbeuf, and Amiens,
weaving-schools have been opened with success, and enjoy the benefit
of government aid. In the first two named, what are known as the
'Industrial Societies' have provided, for the use of the manufacturers
generally and also of the weaving students, large collections of
patterns of cloth of all materials, arranged systematically in books.
At Rheims the collection dates back to the year 1800, and is both
interesting and useful, as shewing the various patterns and materials
in use during this century. In Germany technical education is much more
fully developed than in either France or Belgium, every town having its
_Gewerbe_ or trade-school, giving practical instruction.

At Chemnitz a new Gewerbe school is nearly completed, which puts all
others into the shade. Its cost will be more than eighty thousand
pounds, and it will accommodate between six and seven hundred students,
presided over by a staff of nearly forty professors. It possesses a
library of nine thousand volumes, upon which is spent three hundred
pounds a year, out of an annual grant of seven thousand pounds from
the government. In noticing the polytechnic schools, or technical
universities which exist in nearly every important town in Germany,
the commissioners incidentally mention having seen in the one at
Aix-la-Chapelle a number of packing-cases, which they were told
contained models of English patent machines, sent as a present by the
English government, at the request of the Prince Imperial of Germany.
This of course gives rise to a suggestion that the government might
regard home claims with equal favour. The best polytechnic in Austria
is undoubtedly that of Vienna, which has no fewer than one thousand
two hundred students. The Textile Industries Department of its museum
is very complete, comprising specimens of almost every manufactured
article in its various stages from the raw material up to the finished
piece of goods. In a similar museum at Berlin there are models of
almost every machine used in either the cotton or woollen trade. Not
only are there models of machines now in use, but also of those which
have been long since superseded. The obvious advantage of this variety
is that the students see what have been the improvements gradually made
in machinery, and it enables them to study the principle upon which the
different machines have been worked. The best schools, Chemnitz and
Reutlingen for example, have a great assortment of hand-looms, such
as treadles, machines, and jacquards--in order to produce patterns,
simple and figured, in every material. None of the schools confine
their teaching to the manufacture of one class of goods only. Although
each devotes most attention to the material and style of cloth chiefly
manufactured in the district in which it is situated, yet all teach
other branches of weaving; which is thought a material advantage.

To give the students some insight into the practical management of
factories, they are in many cases allowed by the manufacturers of the
town to visit their mills on stated days. This is unquestionably a
great advantage to the students, shewing them on a large scale and from
a business point of view those things which they are themselves doing
on a small scale. In many of the schools the instruction is free. In
those where charges are made, it is found that wherever the fees are
low enough, the working men take advantage of the schools, and are
thus made into skilful workmen and overlookers. The low fees do not
drive away the sons of manufacturers; and the schools which are within
the reach of all are therefore much more popular and useful than those
which, from the larger fees charged, are more exclusive.

In our own country the object of weaving-schools is much misunderstood,
many people having an idea that they are simply meant to teach workmen
the management of a loom. To correct such a mistaken impression, it
may be worth while to quote the prospectus of the Mülheim School,
which describes that institution (a model one) as devoting itself to
the task of 'educating overseers and manufacturers in all branches of
weaving, and furnishing young men who wish to become buyers or sellers
of manufactured goods with an exact knowledge of manufacturing, and
therefore with a correct judgment of goods.' By the training which
employers themselves receive in these schools, they are able to look
after their businesses more thoroughly, and to supervise work for which
they would not otherwise be qualified.

With a view to securing these and kindred benefits in the largest
possible measure, various suggestions were made by the commissioners
for the improvement of weaving-schools opened in this country. Means
are not lacking to realise these advantages; but further time is
required for the full development of the scheme. Meantime it is
sufficiently proved at Leeds that technical education is by no means a
myth, but may have an appreciable influence upon manufactures. Both at
the day and evening classes there is a large, sometimes an overflowing
attendance of students, chiefly young men of the middle class, who
either are or expect to be engaged in textile industries. In order to
facilitate the more adequate and efficient fulfilment of its purposes,
the college will shortly enter upon the possession of Beechgrove, a
suburban estate which the executive council have purchased for their
new suite of buildings. At present it occupies temporary but well
adapted premises, which, pending the erection of the new college, have
had to be once more enlarged, in order that the Textile Industries
Department may have the accommodation requisite for sixteen looms.
The pupils are assisted to arrange and design new patterns, or to
classify and mingle colours with taste and judgment. They also
receive instruction as to the mixing, working, and blending of the
raw material; how to estimate the quality of water for manufacturing
purposes; the proper use of the best ingredients for dyeing; the
processes of carding, spinning, and fulling; the operations of weaving,
and the mechanism of the loom, &c. In addition to the manipulative
work, lectures are given on wool, mungo, shoddy, alpaca, and silk; also
on the applications of chemistry to the manufacture and colouring of
textile fabrics. The endowment provided by the Clothworkers' Company
includes eight scholarships--four of thirty pounds, and four of
twenty-five pounds per annum--for which there is a good competition. In
other respects also, the appreciative interest and intelligence shewn
by the students give encouraging hope of great practical benefit.

The success of the Yorkshire College has stimulated the movement
in other parts of the kingdom in favour of this phase of technical
education. The School of Chemistry lately founded at Bristol by the
same guild of Clothworkers, in connection with the dyeing industries of
the neighbourhood, is now in working order, and a textile instructor
has been appointed for the Stroud school. Weaving-schools are also
being established at Huddersfield and Glasgow, with the prospect of
more to follow in other industrial centres. Such measures indicate a
widening recognition of the truth, that our craftsmen must be taught to
work upon the basis of scientific knowledge, rather than rely so much
as heretofore on mere rule of thumb, if our country is to maintain its
manufacturing supremacy.



TIM BAYLIS.


We had anchored in the river Irrawaddi, after a tedious passage up
from Melbourne, having on board by way of a crew as fine a sample
of Australian desperadoes as ill-luck in her worst temper ever
brought together on board one ship. There were men of all possible
nationalities, from the swarthy negro to the handsome but treacherous
Levantine sailor; the latter by far the more dangerous animal of the
two. The natural result of this awkward assortment was the ever-present
feeling of mistrust, mutual and deep, that prevailed between these
worthies and ourselves; this latter term including those few men that
had not deserted from the ship while in Melbourne.

The passage from Australia to any East Indian port is, under favourable
circumstances, a journey by no means to be despised. Glorious weather,
grand sunsets, a smooth sea, gentle but steady winds, all combine to
render this one of the most popular of routes. But with us this had not
proved so. Like Ulyssus of old, we longed for the end of our voyage;
and the more we desired, so much the farther away did our beloved
Ithaca seem to retreat. The time dragged wearily on, and the sense of
oppression grew greater.

At our mess-table this was less felt than anywhere else on board; owing
mainly to the presence of one, the subject of this little story--dear
old Tim Baylis. A noble fellow in form, and a rare combination of
gentleness and strength, culture and hardihood. In a word, one of
those men marked out by nature to shine starlike in a profession of
danger like ours. Frank, generous, and unaffected, he had won our
hearts from the moment he had joined the ship; and that trust he had
not for an instant declined or betrayed. Fair weather or foul, gale or
calm, Tim Baylis was ever the same, clear and decisive in action, and
the life and soul of all when off duty. His lightest words and happy
jokes formed the watchwords of the men, the magic of his character and
his manner weaving a spell around the ship. None saw the danger that
threatened, in the miserable assortment of men that called themselves
'the crew,' more than he; none tried so hard to weld the incongruous
materials into shape and order more than he; but like many honest open
natures, he had underrated the power of the passions he had set himself
to calm, and the fire had but smouldered, that under other conditions
would have broken forth long before.

But here we were safe off Rangoon, the first stage in the homeward
journey accomplished in safety; and anchored in as good a berth in the
river as any one could desire. Of course it was dull. Whoever rested
at anchor a hundred yards from the shore, and did not find before the
week was over, that this sort of thing was the very acme of dullness!
The only thing we could do to relieve the monotony was playing
everlasting games of whist; alternated by leaning over the poop-rails,
and speculating on what the dark and tangled jungle held among its
tall grass and leafy branches; the reverie perchance broken by the
shrill shriek of some captured or dying animal; telling us in accents
unmistakable, that beautiful as the mysterious jungle forest might
be to the eye, it certainly would not be a desirable spot wherein to
picnic. We had at last discharged our ballast, and liberty to both port
and starboard watches had been granted. The short furlough had expired;
and the men were turning up rapidly in little batches of threes and
fours, of course pursued by the inevitable 'sampan-wallah,' or river
boatman, whose frantic efforts to obtain extra 'backsheesh' usually
found a rapid and summary recompense in the decided preponderance
of kicks over 'pice' (Anglicè, halfpence), the last resource of
impecunious Jack. Contrary to our expectations, most of our men
came on board in a singularly sober state, so much so as to excite
remark amongst all. It is a time-honoured custom to condone cases
of over-refreshment on the various days of 'liberty' during a long
voyage. John Tar--as time-honoured 'Jack' is now frequently dubbed--on
that day drops his professional character, and, to use his own most
forcible expression, 'lets go the painter,' and enjoys himself after
his own peculiar fashion so long as his dollars or rupees hold out.

There had been a whisper floating about for the past two or three
days, in that unaccountable way that whispers have of floating; the
said whisper coming aft under the fostering care and protecting wing
of Isaac the half-caste mess-room steward, thereby increasing twofold
in its proportions while under transit, Isaac's powers of imagination
being proverbial; and the gist of all this seemed to be that discontent
about something reigned paramount in the forecastle, at least among its
foreign occupants. Now, as luck would have it, we had had this sort
of thing over and over again throughout the passage, and we had grown
rather tired of it all; indeed, it had become too much like the cry
of 'Wolf! Wolf!' to have any strong effect on our nerves, especially
as nothing had ever come of it but talk, and very 'tall talk' too
sometimes; but still no more than--_talk_.

Had there been any real grievance, there would have been some interest
displayed; but somehow the 'casus belli' had a knack of vanishing
when the matter came to be investigated; hence we had grown rather
callous as to these perpetual complaints. Now, however, there seemed
something more in the report than usual; but whether this was really
so, or only owed its importance to Isaac's over-vivid imagination, it
was hard to determine. So feeling secure in our nearness to the shore,
we contented ourselves by awaiting some decisive action on the part
of the malcontents. As it was, the Captain had gone ashore with the
announcement that he intended to accept the proffered hospitality of
the agent, a few miles out of town; and Tim Baylis and I were left on
board, the former enjoying the dignity of full command.

This was just the time of the change of the monsoon, and evening shewed
us that the hitherto calm and unbroken monotony would soon be visited
by the demon of Storm in some one of its many phases. Warning banks of
inky clouds were perpetually revealed by the brilliant streaks of lurid
lightning that played among their depths. Still the ominous calm was
unbroken save by the hoarse croak of frogs, eager for the coming rain.
Erelong the welcome sound of 'eight bells' told of the end of the day
for us; the men were soon mustered and dismissed, the final entry made
in the log, and silence soon reigned fore and aft the ship.

Our hammocks were slung, Indian-coast fashion, in various positions
under the poop awning; and very pleasant it was to lie at ease in the
cool night-air, smoking and chatting. Tim seemed unusually silent this
evening, more inclined to speculate and think, than to tell out aught
from the fund of anecdote, curious and amusing, that he always was so
ready to retail for our benefit.

'Charlie,' he said at length, 'I don't wonder at those niggers being
so confoundedly superstitious and ghostly; a night like this makes one
feel that there _is_ something, of which we know nothing, at work above
and around us. Just look out at those fiery clouds, and answer if there
must not be a Power _there_, compared to which our grandest efforts
seem no more than the croaking of yonder frogs.'

I replied generally, that the works of nature always shone forth
clearly to those who looked upon them as the tokens of a Supreme Will.

Another blaze of dazzling brightness, resting on us for a moment,
leaving us in denser darkness than before. The storm was certainly
nearing us rapidly.

'Ah!' he said, referring to the contrast, 'how true a picture of life;
that glowing light, just for an instant of time, like our own life,
followed by the dense and unknown darkness of death. I am not one to
believe in portents, Charlie; but I am sure that in these things,
if one only read them aright, there lies much that may be taken to
indicate that there is a grand life hereafter of completion and unity
in the powers of mind and body though the truth of it may be kept from
us in the darkness of the future. Yet after all it is only in moments
like these that a man seems either to care for or notice them.'

My reply was lost in a burst of thunder, the first of any power we had
yet heard, and with it came down the rain, as only it _can_ rain in
the tropics. I ran to the gangway, to be clear of the awning, and saw
at once that a hurricane was close upon us. The whirling and eddying
clouds flew at a vast pace across the sky; the low roaring of the
wind, still very distant, confirmed any doubt on that point. I did not
consider that there was any cause for alarm on the ship's account; we
were in an excellent anchorage; and most of our 'top-hamper' was down
on deck undergoing an overhaul. Still the awnings must be furled; so
I hurried below for my oil-skin coat and 'sou'-wester.' Reaching the
main-deck, I was startled by the sound of voices coming from a part
of the ship where I knew they could have no business. Without pausing
to listen, however, I descended the companion-stairs; the voices,
now hushed in whispers, following after. At the fore-cabin door I
encountered the scared face of Isaac, as white as his dark skin would
permit. He was about to say something; but the cry of 'All hands on
deck!' from Tim's lips rang out fore and aft; so I rushed on deck
without waiting to hear what he had to say. My station, as second in
command, being on the forecastle, I made directly for that point, and
awaited the port-watch, in order to let go the second anchor. No one
came! Where were the men? I heard voices aft. I saw the quarter-deck
awning fly up in the air, released from the side-ropes. The hurricane
had struck us by this time; we were leaning broadside over in an
alarming manner, and rapidly dragging our single anchor towards the
shore. Again I listened; I could distinguish the varied cries; they
were not those of men at work. I soon knew. A fierce yell--a wilder
shriek, borne along the gale. It was plain that the smothered volcano
had broken forth at last. The men had mutinied! Seizing a belaying-pin
from out the rail, I managed to knock the gear clear on the 'cat-head,'
and thus releasing the starboard anchor, I ran aft, leaving the chair
careering wildly over the windlass.

The odds were terribly against us; a set of men, each more reckless
than his neighbour, pitted against a few poor fellows, taken at the
utmost disadvantage. Added to this, the howling hurricane, the black
darkness, and the utter impossibility of any signal being seen or heard
twenty yards from the ship. I did not quite understand all this at the
moment. I very soon did, however. No shot had as yet been fired, so
no alarm could reach beyond by that means. Making for the indistinct
struggling mass of human figures, I tried to reach Tim's side. I could
just see him standing on the after-hatch, cutlass in hand, bravely
keeping at bay a dozen or more of the mutineers, who vainly tried to
force him back over the 'combings' of the open hatchway. In another
confused heap I could just distinguish the third officer and boatswain;
how armed, I could not see. My iron belaying-pin proved no bad
weapon--short, round, and heavy, it was easily handled, and did good
service. After all, one had no real chance against long thin knives in
anything like close single combat.

How long this performance would have lasted, and the fearfully unequal
conflict been kept up, it is hard to say, when the sound of cheering
broke upon us. Pausing in the struggle for a moment, we became aware
that the storm had ceased as suddenly as it had begun; in fact it
was almost calm. Another instant, and the cheers resolved themselves
into men swarming up the sides like bees on every quarter, cutlass in
hand, hardly knowing what was the matter. It was soon over. Stepanos
Zenos, George Marco, and Pedro Cenci secured in irons to the main-deck
stanchions, the rest were soon powerless for much harm. A hurried
explanation now ensued. It seemed that after I had rushed up on deck,
in answer to the cry of 'All hands!' never heeding the boy Isaac or his
scared face, the lad ran up after me, taking with him the cutlass that
I afterwards saw in Tim Baylis' hand; in fact he gave it to him without
word or comment. Running to the gangway, he had thrown himself into the
boat belonging to our old sampan-wallah, Ramoon, who always remained
alongside the ship ready for a call. Rousing the old man and seizing an
oar, he let go the boat, which, released from the ship, glided swiftly
down the stream; struck soon after by the hurricane or north-west
squall, they nearly capsized, but managed to reach the mooring-chains
of H.M.S. _Pegasus_, moored half a mile down the river. A rope being
flung to them they boarded her, the boy Isaac telling his tale in
broken accents and incoherent sentences; still, however, the officer
of the watch made out enough of the lad's story to know that mutiny,
and perhaps murder, were going on a short distance up the river; so
without more ado, the order was passed for 'general quarters,' and two
boats' crews piped away to 'board and relieve the stranger.' The squall
luckily dropping at this time, they soon were alongside of our ship,
Isaac acting as pilot, when they gave us the hearty cheer that had so
joyed and surprised us.

But where was Tim Baylis all this time? Surely about the ship
somewhere. No! We found him at last, lying at the bottom of that fatal
hatchway, and a long knife-wound in his side, from which the dark
blood slowly oozed. They brought him gently up, and laid him on the
after-skylight; the rain had ceased, and the tropical moon shone down
on the reeking deck, lending a weird clearness to every object around.
He looked very calm, his dark clear-cut features looked very white and
awful now.

We all stood around while the surgeon that had come with the relief
party from the old _Pegasus_ carefully probed and examined the wound.
It was no use; his face told us silently there was 'no hope!' that dear
old Tim Baylis would soon be at rest for ever. 'Hush! he is speaking.'
Conscious once again, on board the ship he had defended with his life,
the spirit of him we had learned to love so well seemed to return to
us once again ere it went forth into that unknown 'darkness' he had
spoken of so strangely and thoughtfully scarce an hour before. He said
a few words to us all, reminding us of the many bright and happy days
we had spent in times past together--days that had left their pleasant
memories of the foreign shores by which they had been passed, mementos
of a time gone by, but still fresh and vivid in our minds. Asking
pardon of any, then, he might in thoughtless mirth unconsciously have
wounded, and telling us when, in better days and more joyous scenes,
we might chance to review the past and those who had peopled it, not
to forget poor Tim, lying cold and dead on the banks of the Irrawaddi
river. Turning painfully to me, he said in faltering words: 'See my
dear mother, Charlie. Tell her all is over. Tell her that though the
end has come while far away from her, I did not forget her love. Ask
her to forgive my wilfulness, to think of me with pity. And Charlie,
don't let those niggers haul me about before I'm buried. Good-bye, old
fellow. How dark it is getting!'

We laid him next day in his grave in the European cemetery, under the
shade of a spreading mango; a few fellows from the old _Pegasus_ and
ourselves looked last on his coffin; and before we sailed, had laid a
double wreath on the already bright and flowering turf. Reader! should
you ever bend your steps to the sacred city of the Great Pagoda, turn
aside for a moment from the deepening shadows of its ancient temple,
and reading the words on a little marble cross under the branches of
the old mango-tree, pause, and think on the noble death of poor Tim
Baylis.



THE GIGANTIC MOA BIRD.


The extinction of many animals that are known to have formerly existed
on the earth, is a subject which cannot very easily be explained, while
the number of them is greater than at first sight would be supposed.
Various species no doubt undergo gradual extinction by changes which
deprive them of their accustomed food; but others seem to die out from
unknown causes. During the historic period a considerable number of
animals have been swept off the British Islands, among which are the
bear, the wolf, the Irish elk, &c. In America, during the comparatively
short period of its history, various species have vanished, and others
are following them. The beaver, formerly so generally spread over the
whole of that country, is now only to be found in remote regions. The
deer and the moose are disappearing in the same manner. The bison is
very much diminished in numbers, and must ere long be extirpated.
The mastodon, a creature of enormous bulk, has totally disappeared,
although, along with the skeletons of them which have been discovered,
there are evidences of their having lived on food derived from plants
which are still existing. In other parts of the world, the dodo and the
moa have perished within the last few centuries; and the apteryx is
undergoing the same fate.

The moa or dinornis was a huge bird, of which the remains are
plentifully found in New Zealand. Within recent historic times, this
colony was tenanted, to the almost entire exclusion of mammalia, by
countless numbers of gigantic wingless birds of various genera and
species, the _Dinornis gigantea_, the largest, attaining a size nearly
thrice that of a full-grown ostrich. From traditions which are current
among the Maoris, they were fat, stupid, indolent birds, living in
forests and feeding on vegetables; while the name moa seems to have
been given to them from their peculiar cry. Since remains have been
found in great plenty, the investigation of this singular bird is of
the greatest interest to students of natural history.

It is to the Rev. Richard Taylor that the first discovery of moa
remains is due, which he thus describes: 'In the beginning of 1839 I
took my first journey in New Zealand to Poverty Bay with the Rev. W.
Williams (Bishop of Waiapu). When we reached Waiapu, near the East
Cape, we took up our abode in a native house, and there I noticed
the fragment of a large bone stuck in the ceiling. I took it down,
supposing at first that it was human; but when I saw its cancellated
structure, I handed it over to my companion, who had been brought up
to the medical profession, asking him if he did not think it was a
bird's bone. He laughed at the idea, and said: "What kind of bird could
there be to have so large a bone?" I pointed out its structure; and
when the natives came, requested him to ask them what it belonged to.
They said it was a bone of the _tarepo_, a very large bird, that lived
on the top of Hikurangi, the highest mountain on the east coast, and
that they made their largest fish-hooks from its bones. I then inquired
whether the bird was still to be met with; and was told that there
was one of an immense size which lived in a cave, and was guarded by
a large lizard, and that the bird was always standing on one leg. The
chief readily gave me the bone for a little tobacco; and I afterwards
sent it to Professor Owen by Sir Everard Home in 1839; and I think I
may justly claim to have been the first discoverer of the moa.' Mr
Taylor continued his inquiries among the natives, who informed him
that the moa was quite as large as a horse; that these birds had nests
made of the refuse of fern-root, on which they fed; and that they
used to conceal themselves in the veronica thickets, from which, by
setting them on fire, the natives drove them out and killed them; hence
originated the Maori saying: 'The veronica was the tree which roasted
the moa.' The natives further mentioned that when a moa-hunt was to
take place notice was given inviting all to the battue. The party then
spread out to inclose as large a space as possible, and drive the
birds from their haunts; then gradually contracting the line as they
approached some lake, they at last rushed forward with loud yells, and
drove the frightened birds into the water, where they could be easily
approached in canoes and despatched without their being able to make
any resistance. These moa-hunts must thus have been very destructive;
as, from the number of men employed, and the traces of long lines of
ovens in which the natives cooked the birds, and the large quantity of
egg-shells found on the western shores of New Zealand, a clear proof is
given that these birds were eagerly sought for and feasted upon. Thus
the poor moas had very little chance of continuing their race.

From a very interesting communication of the Rev. W. Williams, dated
17th May 1872, it would appear that the moa may not yet be entirely
extirpated. 'Within the last few days,' he remarks, 'I have obtained
a piece of information worthy of notice. Happening to speak to an
American about these bones, he told me that the bird is still in
existence in the neighbourhood of Cloudy Bay, in Cook's Strait. He said
that the natives there had mentioned to an Englishman belonging to a
whaling party, that there was a bird of extraordinary size to be seen
only at night on the side of a hill near the place; and that he with
a native and a second Englishman went to the spot; that after waiting
some time they saw the creature at a little distance, which they
describe as being about fourteen or sixteen feet high. One of the men
proposed to go nearer and shoot; but his companion was so exceedingly
terrified, or perhaps both of them, that they were satisfied with
looking at the bird; when after a little time it took the alarm and
strode off up the side of the mountain.'

In the _Greymouth Weekly Argus_ published in New Zealand in 1876 there
appeared a letter signed R. K. M. Smythe, Browning's Pass, Otago,
describing in a very detailed manner the capture of two living moas, a
female eight feet high, and a young one three feet shorter. The writer
finishes his account of their capture by remarking that he has little
doubt that he will be able to bring them both alive to Christchurch.
It is therefore to be hoped that living representatives of the genus
_Dinornis_ still survive. Feathers of the bird have been also found in
a state of preservation sufficiently good to shew that they possessed
an after-shaft of a large size; and at the same time tradition and the
condition in which the bones are found, retaining much of their animal
matter, tend to shew how lately the bird formed part of the existing
fauna of the country. If the letter be genuine, it cannot be long
before ornithologists, of whom there are several of no mean repute in
New Zealand, will be able to satisfy themselves on the subject.

An additional reason for supposing that these magnificent birds existed
not long ago is found in the fact that specimens of their eggs have
been preserved. In the volcanic sand of New Zealand, Mr Walter Mantell
found a gigantic egg, of the magnitude of which he gives us a familiar
idea by saying that his hat would have been just large enough to have
served as an egg-cup for it. This egg must have been one of a Dinornis
or a Palapteryx, and although its dimensions are considerably greater
than the egg of the ostrich, still it is smaller than might have been
expected from a bird from twelve to fourteen feet high. It is well
known that the egg of the New Zealand apteryx, to which the moa bears
a very close affinity, is one of dimensions that are quite surprising
in proportion to the bulk of the bird. The apteryx is about as big
as a turkey, standing two feet in height; but its egg measures four
inches ten lines by three inches two lines in the respective diameters.
To bear the same ratio to the bird as this, the egg of the _Dinornis
gigantea_ would be of the incredible length of two feet and a half by a
breadth of one and three-quarters.

In the Museum at York there is a complete skeleton of a moa, which
besides feathers, has the integuments of the feet partly preserved;
from which it is evident that the toes were covered with small
hexagonal scales. A specimen has also been sent by Dr Haast of New
Zealand to Professor Milne-Edwards, which is to be seen in the Museum
of Natural History at Paris.



THE BRIDGE POOL.


Among the many rivers and streams watering the south-west of Ireland
and falling into the Atlantic, few present greater attractions to the
wandering angler than the bright little Caragh of County Kerry. This
beautiful salmon river takes its rise in Lough Cloon, and after a rapid
winding course of seven or eight miles through the lovely valley of
Glencar, at length falls into Lake Caragh, one of the finest and most
picturesque sheets of water in the south of Ireland. The river leaves
Lake Caragh at its northern extremity, and after gliding for two or
three miles farther through a deep rocky glen, finally discharges
itself by an arm of the sea into Dingle Bay.

Lough Cloon where, as already mentioned, the river Caragh rises, is
a small but very deep mountain lake, and surrounded on all sides by
heather-clad hills, which gradually slope down to its rocky shores.
Farther away, the mountains become more precipitous, till at length
the eye rests on bare cliffs and towering crags which rear their
snow-capped peaks to the skies, and complete a picture which for wild
grandeur it would be difficult to surpass. On a still day, the silence
around the lake is peculiarly impressive if not awe-inspiring; not
a breath of air ruffles the dark waters of Lough Cloon; not a sound
catches the ear but the distant bleat of a goat from the opposite
crags, the shrill cry of the curlew from the moor hard by, or the
sullen plunge of a leaping salmon far away in the loch.

To the ornithologist this wild spot possesses unusual attractions.
Here he may at times see the golden eagle soaring aloft, a mere speck
in the sky; or perchance observe a pair of the royal birds beating
the hill-side in search of mountain hares to bear away to their eyry
on the steep side of old Carrantuohill. Such, comparatively speaking,
rare birds as the peregrine falcon, the buzzard, raven, and many others
that might be named, are also to be met with, and have their nests
among these Kerry mountains, and afford a pleasing study to the young
naturalist.

But to return. The upper part of the Caragh river, from Lough Cloon to
where the stream is spanned from bank to bank by a picturesque old arch
called Bealalaw Bridge, offers few inducements to the salmon-fisher,
on account of the shallowness of the water; though doubtless after
a flood, when the fish are moving up stream, there are two or three
casts well worth a trial. Immediately below the bridge, however, and
stretching almost in a direct line towards the south-west through a
deep rocky gorge, lies the celebrated Bridge Pool. This far-famed and
somewhat singular salmon-cast is of great length, perhaps reaching
two hundred and fifty yards from end to end, but is nowhere broader
than fifty feet. The sides of the pool are for the most part steep and
jagged, rising almost perpendicularly to a considerable height above
the edge of the river. The water is dark coloured and of great depth,
so much so, that on the brightest day it is impossible to see the
rocky bottom. At the top of the pool, where the river surges through
the narrow strait below the bridge, there is a considerable current;
but lower down the stream gradually dies away, till at length the pool
becomes almost dead water, flat and motionless.

The Bridge Pool, on account of its great depth and rocky bottom, is a
favourite resting-place of the salmon. Here many an exhausted fish,
after escaping the deadly nets so murderously plied by the fishermen
of Lake Caragh, and surmounting the numberless obstacles and dangers
besetting its path up from the sea, at length reaches a retreat where
it can recruit its strength, and thus be enabled later to push on to
the end of its journey. Even here, however, the poor wanderer is not
altogether out of harm's way. Though safe from the fangs of prowling
otter and beyond the reach of poacher's net or cruel leister, it is
ever in danger of being in snared by the angler's glittering lure.
And see! here comes one of _Salmo salar's_ deadly enemies, a Glencar
fisherman, accompanied by an aged guide, a veteran follower of the
craft, bearing his long shining rod. Let us watch their movements, as
they consult together what is to be the fly wherewith to tempt from his
hiding-place one of those noble fellows lying at anchor in the pool
hard by. They have chosen a good day for their sport. There has been
rain in the night, not a heavy downpour, but sufficient to colour the
water a brown tinge. The morning is cloudy, with occasional gleams of
sunshine; and a fresh breeze from the south-west blows steadily through
the old arch, and ruffles the surface of the pool from end to end.

And now the pair have completed their preparations, and the angler,
rod in hand, carefully descends the steep bank to a small sandy bay
just below the bridge, from whence he can command the upper reach of
the cast. The fly, skilfully directed by the wielder of the rod in a
diagonal direction down stream, falls light as thistle-down close to
the far bank, and the current brings it across in a bold sweep to the
near side. The line is lengthened a few feet, and the process repeated
again and again, till presently the foot of the rapid is reached, but
with no good result. After a brief consultation the two now cross the
bridge, and skirting the far side, presently approach one of the best
casts in the river. Nearly opposite to where they are now standing, a
giant rock boldly projects into the stream, and just below, where the
dark water slowly curls round the point of the stone, lies a favourite
lodge for a 'fish.'

Commencing a few yards above this spot, and keeping well out of sight
as he advances, the angler carefully covers each foot of water, till
presently his fly slowly glides past the projecting angle of the
rock. Ha! What was that bright flash of silver, swiftly darting
upwards from the depths of the black abyss? It is the monarch of the
pool, a glorious silvery sixteen-pounder; in a second he clutches the
treacherous bunch of shining feathers concealing the barbed hook; and
with a flourish of his broad tail, down he goes to his lodge again; but
now the angler plays his part, and with a firm stroke of the rod drives
the hook deep into the fish's jaws. Away goes the affrighted creature
swift as lightning down the pool. The reel groans as it rapidly pays
out the line, and the rod is raised over the shoulder till bent nearly
double; but on goes the gallant fish despite the tremendous pressure
put upon him, and then suddenly rising to the surface, he makes a
supreme effort to release himself by leaping high in the air; in
descending he strikes the taut gut-cast with his tail, dashes the hook
from his mouth, and once more free as air, dives to the bottom of the
river.

And how does friend Piscator bear himself the while? Who but a
salmon-fisher can realise the bitterness of that moment when after
a splendid burst by a plucky fish, through some blunder or accident
his line, all limp and draggling, comes slowly back to him! But, my
friend, you have just been taught a good though severe lesson: had you
been ready at the critical moment, and slackened the line, by adroitly
lowering the point of your rod when that sixteen-pounder practised so
dangerous a manœuvre, the probabilities are that the effort of the fish
would have proved abortive, and the slender link between you would not
have thus been abruptly severed. But it is all over now, and you may
rest awhile from your labours, and try to calm your feelings with a
pipe of tobacco, while the veteran your companion moralises in your ear
on the truth of the motto, _Nil desperandum_.

Presently a dark cloud rolls up the valley, and heavy drops of rain
give notice that a shower is at hand. Our friends yonder are again
bestirring themselves, and once more the heavy rod is brought into
play; but fortune seems to have deserted the fisherman, for in spite of
all his endeavours, yard after yard of the best water is left behind
without sign of a rising fish, till at length he reaches the far end of
the pool, where the river gradually widens, and the dark water changes
to a brighter hue, as it glides more rapidly over a shallower bed. Here
there is one last chance for the angler, and if he can only pitch his
fly artistically under yonder dark holly-bush, he may yet gain the day.
It is a long cast; but the fisherman throws a fine line, and the fly
admirably hove skims through the air and drops like a natural insect
just where the little holly-tree overshadows the water. Again that
glimpse of a silvery form mounting swiftly upwards to the surface; and
mark the swirling boils, indicating the rise of a heavy fish. There
is a pull at the fly; the angler sharply raises the point of his rod,
and once more he has hooked a lordly salmon. Again the gallant rush,
the dangerous somersault, the determined struggle for dear life; but
the tackle is good, the barbed steel has taken a firm hold, and all is
of no avail; gradually the fisherman gains the upper hand, and inch
by inch reels in the quarry, till presently the still struggling but
exhausted prize lies gasping at his feet. The old man steals cautiously
forward, and all trembling with excitement, approaches the water's
edge; he stoops, makes a quick sure stroke with the gaff hook, and the
next moment uplifts a noble fish and casts him on the sward.

But we will leave them to exult over their victory; for see! it is time
to be moving; evening draws on apace, and the sun is already sinking
behind the blue Kerry mountains.



INDIAN BORDER WARFARE.


The Indian wars in the United States are a scandal to civilisation.
These wars have nearly all a similar origin. The federal government
by treaty settles groups of Indians on certain lands which they are
to occupy exclusively in perpetuity. In the face of this arrangement,
portions of the lands are taken possession of by white squatters, and
no redress can possibly be obtained from the government authorities
at Washington. In short, the Indians are systematically cheated,
and on their taking up arms in their own defence, a savage war
ensues. Circumstances involved me in one of these wars in 1874. I
was accompanying a supply train from Camp Supply, a frontier post,
to an expedition operating against hostile Indians. This expedition
was organised at Fort Dodge, Kansas, in the summer of 1874, to subdue
the Comanches and Kiowas, who had broken out on the war-path and were
committing depredations all along the Kansas border.

We left Camp Supply, to join the main command, at daylight on the 6th
of September with a train of thirty-six six-mule wagons. Counting
escort, teamsters, and one or two outsiders like myself, we were
seventy-three in number. For the first three days no signs of Indians
were seen; but every precaution was taken against them by frequently
practising the teamsters in forming 'corral;' so that in the event of
an attack there might be no confusion. The word 'corral' (a Spanish
word, signifying an inclosure for cattle) is also used on the plains as
a term for the elliptical or circular form in which a train of wagons
is arranged to resist an attack by Indians; and in order that our
position in the fight may be better understood, I will explain how it
is formed. The teams are numbered from front to rear each morning. At a
given signal all odd numbers move to the right, and even numbers to the
left. When the two columns thus formed are, say, twenty or more yards
apart, according to the ground and the size of the train, the leading
wagons halt, and the others close up. They can then move on in parallel
columns until so closely pressed by attacking Indians as to be obliged
to form the 'corral' itself. To do this, the two leading wagons turn
and approach each other, passing until their teams lap, when they halt,
the next wagon in each column being directed so as to bring its team
inside and just lapping the wagon in front. The opening is between the
rear ends of the last two wagons. A 'corral' thus formed without a mule
unharnessed, makes a very good defence, the mules of each team being
more or less protected by the wagon in front.

To return to my story. Our route lay towards the Staked Plains, in the
north-eastern corner of Texas. The Indian summer was in all its glory,
and the pure bracing prairie air put us in the best of spirits. No
anticipation of coming evil disturbed our minds. The hostile Indians
were supposed to be on the other side of the main command, scattering
in all directions before its advance. But however easy we might feel
on that score, none of the usual precautions for the safety of the
train were neglected, remembering the simple rule of the plains: 'If
you think there are no Indians near, then is the time to be especially
on your guard.' The Indians are wily and very patient, and will hover
about and watch you for days and days to find you relaxing your
vigilance, and at length off your guard. They see and know full well
when you think they are not near. That is just the time when, as a
panther which has patiently watched its prey, they make their spring.
After having camped on the third night, our suspicions were aroused
that Indians were in the neighbourhood by the restless behaviour of
the mules. Every frontiersman knows that a mule will smell Indians and
shew signs of fear long before their approach can be discovered by a
human being, and the knowledge of this fact tended to increase our
watchfulness.

Next morning the scouts who went out to reconnoitre returned with the
intelligence that they had found fresh tracks of Indians, who had
evidently been all round us during the night. This was not pleasant
news; but 'forward' was the word, so we harnessed up, and proceeded
on our journey, merely taking the additional precaution of forming
the wagons into two parallel columns--the first step towards forming
'corral,' as I before explained. While we were crossing the 'divide'
(intervening country) between the Canadian and Washita rivers, single
Indian vedettes were seen at a great distance off; and on approaching
a ridge which crossed our route, a small party of mounted Indians
appeared on its crest. As soon as we reached a water-hole, the train
was halted, mules watered, and kegs and canteens filled--a fortunate
suggestion of our wagon-master. The train was now well closed up, and
skirmishers thrown out on both sides parallel to it. Having done this,
the march was resumed, and the attack of the savages calmly awaited.

We had not long to wait. At about three in the afternoon, at a place
a mile north of the Washita river, just as the train had cleared a
very deep and bad ravine, we were fiercely charged upon our right and
rear by a mass of Indians, about whom were as many more in open order.
They rode down on us with a ringing war-whoop to within fifty yards
of the muzzles of our rifles, filling the air with their terrible
yells; their object evidently being to stampede the mules and cattle
of the train, and then, in the excitement and confusion that would
follow, to massacre the escort and teamsters. Finely mounted, in full
war-paint, their long scalp locks braided with feathers, with wild
whoops and exultant shouts, on they came. It required our utmost
efforts to steady the teams and get the train 'corralled.' The cool
and determined behaviour of the escort at this moment perhaps decided
the fate of the train. The corral was not yet completed, and the rear
of the train was on the verge of a stampede. Not a man flinched, but
coolly waiting until the Indians were within short range, poured a
volley into their ranks, which cooled their ardour, and they swerved
off to the left. As soon as the savages found that their attempt at
stampeding had failed, and that our corral was formed, they followed a
new plan of action, which was not to charge in a body, as before, but
for each warrior to select his own time and mode of attack. This is the
usual method of fighting among the Indians of the plains, and is termed
'circling.' First the chiefs led off, followed at regular intervals by
the warriors, until there must have been five or six hundred riding in
single file round us in a ring as rapidly as their fleet-footed ponies
could carry them. Savages erect on their ponies, with shining spears
and flaming blankets, and lofty fluttering head-gear, dashed along
the ridges with piercing yells, appearing and swiftly disappearing,
shewing portentous against the sky in the slanting sunlight. It became
a wonderful display of their marvellous powers of horsemanship. They
would throw themselves over on the sides of their well-trained ponies,
leaving only one hand and foot exposed to our aim, and in this position
would deliver their fire over or under the necks of their ponies.

We saw several Indians and ponies knocked over by our fire; but how
many were killed we were unable to find out, as directly one of their
number was shot, a dash would be made by others to carry his body out
of danger of falling into our hands. They will risk a dozen lives to
save the scalp of a fallen comrade, for without it, according to Indian
belief, he is debarred from entering the 'happy hunting-grounds.' A
striking instance of their anxiety in this respect occurred during the
fight in the case of a wounded Indian who was lying on the slope of a
hill facing us. They tried all manner of dodges to recover his body,
and eventually succeeded. The fallen man was a chief, as we could see
by his extra-fine trappings; and our men, anticipating unusual efforts
to carry him off, concentrated their aim on the spot where he was,
so that no one could get near the place. The Indians first tried to
divert our attention by sending out a warrior to ride in an opposite
direction, waving an old cotton umbrella, formerly the property without
doubt of some waylaid emigrant. A childish trick, but thoroughly
Indian-like. Finding this ruse did not answer, they covered a pannier
with buffalo hides, and an Indian began pushing it down the hill before
him, using it as a shield; but our bullets went through and through
this cover, so he crawled back again, apparently unhurt. Then they
rolled a number of buffalo robes into a huge roll, and fastened lariats
to each end, so as to pull it back as soon as the Indian creeping
down behind it had secured the body. This armour we were unable to
penetrate, so they succeeded in recovering their chief.

At dark, the Indians ceased firing and withdrew for the night. All
hands at once set to digging. Hands, bayonets, and knives were brought
into requisition, and rifle-pits were soon made and fortified with
forage sacks and everything available. No firing occurred on this
night. Whether the Indians dug also I cannot say, but next day they had
shelter. In the darkness, they approached to within speaking distance,
and addressed us in language more forcible than complimentary,
announcing that they had 'heap Comanches and Kiowas,' and would have
'heap scalp in the morning.' They taunted us with cowardice, telling
us not to skulk like wolves, but to come out and fight like men; an
invitation which I need not say we declined. Those of our scouts who
understood the Indian language answered their abuse with the choicest
epithets in a plain man's vocabulary, and worked themselves up to such
a pitch of rage and excitement, that we could hardly keep them from
going out to fight the red-skins single-handed. During the night we
held a council of war; and considering the lives of the wounded in
danger from their miserable surroundings and want of medical treatment,
and believing that the main command would not be likely to ascribe our
delay to its true cause, it was determined that an attempt must be made
by some one to break through the surrounding Indians and reach Camp
Supply, to bring us relief. It was a perilous mission, and required a
man of undaunted courage, calm judgment, and unflinching resolution,
besides having a thorough knowledge of the country, as most of the
journey would be made in the darkness of night, to avoid wandering
parties of Indians, who would be on the alert to cut off any one going
for assistance. A man possessing these qualifications, a brave and
shrewd scout, came forward and volunteered for this forlorn-hope; and
at the darkest time of night, he quietly started out on his long and
perilous ride to run the gantlet of our savage enemies. We could hear
the whoops of the red-skins when they discovered him and started in
pursuit; but as to whether he escaped or not, we could only fear and
hope.

Next day the fight was renewed by the Indians, and actively continued
on both sides with lulls and short interruptions, and by spurts at
night, until the morning of the 12th. Several were wounded, the
lieutenant of the escort amongst the number, and our chances were
beginning to look desperate. The torments of thirst too were now added
to our other sufferings. We all knew that it would be impossible to
hold out much longer. Visions of torture and a cruel lingering death
began to overshadow our minds with dark forebodings, when, to our
unspeakable joy and relief, about noon on the 12th the greater portion
of the Indians withdrew from the fight, crossed the Washita river,
and disappeared over the prairie beyond; and were shortly afterwards
followed by the remainder, after firing two or three spiteful volleys
at us as a parting salute. We could only account for their sudden
departure on the supposition that their outlying scouts had discovered
signs of white men coming to our assistance; which happily proved to be
the case. Although the Indians had all now departed, we were in such
a helpless condition with our wounded, and twenty-two mules disabled,
that we could not move the train without reinforcements, so had to make
up our minds to another night of watching and suspense. The following
morning the sun rose with unusual magnificence, like a rainbow of
promise to our anxious spirits. Every eye eagerly scanned the horizon
until faint shadows could be discerned, which gradually developed
into mounted men approaching us. Were they white men or more Indians?
was our anxious query. Each minute seemed an age until they were
sufficiently near for us to recognise the familiar blue blouses of the
cavalry; and before long a company, headed by the brave scout, galloped
up to our hard-fought battle-ground. The scout, after leaving us, had
been chased from the start, and lost all his weapons in consequence
of his horse falling on rough ground; but his pluck and shrewdness
enabled him to elude his pursuers and reach Camp Supply. On his arrival
there with the intelligence of our condition and peril, a company
of cavalry with a surgeon was promptly hurried off to our rescue,
and travelled the distance of over seventy miles without a rest. The
dangers and anxieties of the last few days were now happily at an end,
and death or torture no longer stared us in the face.



A HINT TO YOUNG NOBLES.


The _Times_ lately observed that our young nobles would do worse than
lay to heart the following words, given by Mr Froude in his _Short
Studies from Great Subjects_: 'Amusement is the wine of existence,
warming and feeding heart and brain. But amusement, like wine also,
if taken in excess becomes as stupid as any other form of vulgar
debauchery. When we read of some noble lord, with two of his friends,
shooting two thousand pheasants in a week, or that another has shot
four hundred brace of partridges to his own gun in a day, we perceive
that these illustrious personages have been useful to the London
poulterers; but it is scarcely the work for which they are intended by
the theory of their existence. The annual tournament of doves between
Lords and Commons at Hurlingham leads to odd conclusions about us on
the continent. Every institution--even the institution of a landed
aristocracy--is amenable to general opinion, and it may have worse
enemies than an Irish Land Act.'



SUNSET.


    Melody to ancient air
    Has touched my soul. O hand so fair
        That hymned it forth,
    In the golden sunset there,
        Of noble worth.

    Feeble, poor, and old am I.
    What is this life? Alas, how nigh
        Seemed it to fate;
    When the song I used to try
        Came whispering late.

    Tears are gauge of purest mind,
    Drop e'en a few the maimed and blind:
        I loved that song--
    Mother sang it, and the wind
        Swept soft along.

    As I think of saintly face,
    The touch of tender loving grace,
        I silent turn
    Where the sunbeams leapt--no trace
        To find no bourne.

    So leave I the sunset song,
    And hie me home to where I long
        To bow my head;
    Blessèd the hand that struck among
        Chords long since dead,

    Bringing back the golden time
    Of love and hope in its familiar rhyme;
        The corn in ear--
    Breath of the bee-swarmed murmuring lime,
        To cottage dear.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._

       *       *       *       *       *

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

Page 578: mottets to motets.]





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