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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 718 - September 29, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 718 - September 29, 1877" ***

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[Illustration:

CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 718.      SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



THE GREEN FLAG OF THE PROPHET.


Since the commencement of the war between Russia and Turkey, the world
has several times been startled by the announcement that the 'Flag of
the Prophet' was about to be unfurled in the streets of Stamboul. Such
an event, if it should happen (which may heaven avert), would proclaim
a crusade in which all true Mussulmans would be bound to take an active
part, and to fight against Christianity in every part of the world.
They may be in India, Arabia, Egypt, or wherever else their scattered
race has found a home; the raising of the green standard is a call
which none may disobey without, as the Koran lays it down, sacrificing
all his hopes of Paradise.

This fearful appeal to all the worst passions of the Eastern races
hangs like a menace over the Mohammedan world; and if the word was
once uttered and the dread flag unfurled, there is no telling to what
sanguinary excesses it might lead an enthusiastic and half-savage
people. It may be of interest to our readers if, under these
circumstances, we endeavour to make them acquainted with the origin
and history of a banner which has not seen the light of day since the
Empress Catharine of Russia attempted to reinstate Christianity in the
City of the Sultans, and which once unfurled, would set a whole world
ablaze.

There have been many flags or signals used by various nations at
different crises in their history to incite the peoples to battle on
behalf of religions, dynasties, and ideas; but none has attained to the
fearful notoriety which appertains to the terrible Flag of the Prophet,
which is really a banner of blood, for it dispels the idea of mercy
from the minds and hearts of its followers, and gives no quarter to
man, woman, or child.

The Red Cross banner of the Christian Crusaders was an emblem of
chivalry, mercy, gentleness, and love; but under its folds many a dark
deed and many a shameless act were committed; and it was understood
by the members of the Mohammedan faith to mean nothing less than the
utter extermination of their race. This feeling, with its consequent
hatred of Christianity, shews itself even at this advanced period in
the world's history, by the recent refusal of the Turkish government to
allow its ambulance corps and hospitals to bear the red cross of the
Geneva Convention (a sign which is entirely neutral, and is designed to
protect its wearers while they are engaged on their errands of mercy
to the sick and wounded of both sides), adopting instead thereof their
own emblem of the crescent. Thus we see these rival emblems once more
waving over the field of battle, though, happily, to mitigate rather
than increase the horrors of war.

In France the 'oriflamme' or golden sun upon a field of crimson
signified 'no quarter;' but this celebrated Flag of the Prophet means
infinitely more than this. It is a summons to an anti-Christian
crusade, a challenge of every believer in the Prophet to arms; a
war-signal in fact, which, like the Fiery Cross of Scotland, would
flash its dread command through the domain of Islam. In the interests
of humanity, however, we may hope that the 'Commander of the Faithful'
will never utter the dreadful word; for then indeed would the whole
soul and strength of Christendom turn against the enemy of all
civilised laws, human and divine.

The Prophet himself predicted that one day when his followers should
number a hundred millions--which they do now, with twenty millions
more added to it--his flag should fly against the advancing power of
the northern races; and the Koran or Mohammedan Bible says that when
its silken folds are flung forth 'the earth will shake, the mountains
melt into dust, the seas blaze up in fire, and the children's hair grow
white with anguish.' This language is of course metaphorical; but it is
easy to conceive, by the light of very recent history, that some such
catastrophe might take place, as the displaying of this terrible symbol
would raise a frenzy of fanaticism in the breasts of the Mohammedan
race all over the globe.

The origin of the insignia is a curious one. Mohammed gazing out upon
a vast prospect of fields, said: 'Nature is green, and green shall be
my emblem, for it is everlasting and universal.' In course of time,
however, it lost that innocent significance; and amid his visions,
the great dreamer saw the Green Flag floating as a sign that all true
believers should take up their arms and march against the Infidel;
in fact the green turban was the sacred head-dress of the pilgrim or
perfected Islamite who had gone to Mecca; and hence the sanctity of
this formidable standard.

When once unfurled, it summons all Islam by an adjuration from the
Koran that the sword is the solitary emblem and instrument of faith,
independence, and patriotism; that armies, not priests, make converts;
and that sharpened steel is the 'true key to heaven or hell.' Upon
that fearful ensign are inserted the words which are supposed to have
been written at Mecca itself--namely, 'All who draw it [the sword]
will be rewarded with temporal advantages; every drop shed of their
blood, every peril and hardship endured by them, will be registered on
high as more meritorious than either fasting or praying. If they fall
in battle, their sins will be at once blotted out, and they will be
transported to Paradise, there to revel in eternal pleasures in the
arms of black-eyed houris. But for the first heaven are reserved those
of the Faithful who die within sight of the Green Flag of the Prophet.'
Then follow the terrible and all-significant words, the fearful war-cry
against God and man: 'Then may no man give or expect mercy!'

This is the outburst of barbarism with which the world is threatened in
this year of grace 1877; and the reader cannot do otherwise than mark
the cunning nature of the portentous words inscribed on the Prophet's
banner. What would not most men do, civilised or savage, for 'temporal
advantages?' While to the Eastern peoples fasting and praying are
looked upon as of so meritorious a nature, that to find something else
which, in the eyes of Allah, would be deemed of greater value still,
would be a desideratum which none would fail to grasp, by any means
whatever, if it came within their reach. But Mohammed's wonderful
knowledge of human nature, and more especially of Eastern human nature,
is shewn in his picture of Paradise as prepared for the Faithful who
fall in battle; while his declaration that the highest heaven in this
so-called Paradise will be reserved for those who die within sight of
the Green Flag, is a masterpiece of devilish policy unequalled in the
annals of mankind.

It scarcely needed the fearful words which follow to add emphasis
to this dreadful appeal to the passions of a semi-barbarous race.
Another motto on this sacred flag is not without significance at the
present time: 'The gates of Paradise are under the shade of swords;'
and this alone would, if the flag were unfurled in the holy mosque of
Constantinople, give to the Turk a moral power over his subordinates
the effect of which it would be vain to calculate. Civilised though he
partially is, he still firmly believes in the old doctrine of _kismet_
or fatality, and in angels fighting on his behalf; not less implicitly
than did his ancestors at the battle of Beder, where this formidable
green standard was first unfurled. 'There,' says the historian, 'they
elevated the standard, which Mohammed from his height in heaven
blessed.'

Thus arose the great tradition of this sacred war-emblem, which it is a
Turkish boast was never yet captured in battle, though it was once in
extreme peril in a fight between hill and plain; when Mohammed himself
had it snatched out of his hands. Ali, his kinsman, however, thrust
himself in front of a hundred spears, and won the victory with the
immaculate flag flying over his head.

It is scarcely to be wondered at that a race so superstitious as the
Turks should attach an almost miraculous value to such a symbol of
their past history and their present power. It is a spell wherever
their race or religion flourishes, and its invocation in the serious
form now menaced cannot be regarded without anxiety. The day of
the military apostles of Mohammed may be past, it is true; but the
tradition survives; and the unfurling of this flag might be the spark
which would set fire to the latent enthusiasm of the Mohammedan race
and involve the world in a religious war.

We have referred to the great French banner, the oriflamme; and it was
that which led the French Crusaders through the Holy Land and headed
the royal armies of France in the campaigns of the sixteenth century,
while it also divided the Blue from the White in the Burgundian civil
wars; but this Flag of the Prophet to-day exercises a magical influence
over one hundred and twenty millions of the human race, scattered about
in Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor, Persia, and Egypt, over the Nile and the
Ganges, and from Jerusalem to the Red Sea.

The desire of Mohammed, however, was, that while all pilgrims whose
task had been duly fulfilled should wear the green turban, no sovereign
in his succession should unfurl the Green Flag of the Faith unless
Islam were in imminent peril. The unfurling of the banner would be
performed with great religious ceremony, and in the presence of the
Commander of the Faithful, who is himself supposed to carry it at the
head of his army; while a fearful curse would be called down upon the
head of every Mohammedan who, capable of bearing arms, failed to rally
round it.

The standard itself is not a very handsome one, and is surpassed both
in value and appearance by many of the banners which belong to the
various benefit societies and other mutual associations of men in this
country. It is of green silk, with a large crescent on the top of the
staff, from which is suspended a long plume of horse-hair (said to have
been the tail of the Prophet's favourite Arab steed), while the broad
folds of the flag exhibit the crescent and the quotations from the
Koran already mentioned.

The state colour of one of our regiments of the Guards is a much
prettier and more expensive standard than the great banner of Islam;
but (to such small things is man's enthusiasm attached) if the latter
was the veriest 'rag' in existence, nothing could mar the beauty which
the prestige of more than a thousand years has given to it in the eyes
of a Mussulman.

The Flag of the Prophet is kept in the mosque of St Sophia at
Constantinople, and is in the custody of the Sheik-ul-Islam, or
Mohammedan chief-priest, where all well-wishers of humanity may
sincerely trust it will ever remain.



FROM DAWN TO SUNSET.


PART II.


CHAPTER THE SEVENTH.

Deborah and Mistress Dinnage were walking in the old garden, in the
moonlight, on the mossed green walk along which they had played hound
and hare in 'madder merrier days.' They walked slowly, arm in arm,
talking plentifully and earnestly, and still the old difference shewed
between them. Deborah, so cold with most of her own sex, and so wont to
accept passively their enthusiastic tokens of affection and admiration,
dealt only the most caressing tenderness to Margaret Dinnage; which
Mistress Dinnage, on her part, returned with brusqueness and no outward
show of affection whatever.

'I made him take it,' said Deborah. 'I know not what sore trouble had
got hold of him. I think it was worse than need of money, or a greater
debt than he has ever had before.'

'And he has gone to Master Sinclair? O Lady Deb, you should have
made him see Sir Vincent first; though, good sooth, it is easier to
preach than to practise, and it is no light task for ye to lead Master
Fleming. But I, like you, abominate that old man. Whenever he rides up
the chase, I say to father: "Father, the old fox comes! He wishes no
good to Enderby."'

'I know it well; more strongly my heart tells me so each time. He comes
for poor Deb Fleming; but time and coldness will soon unearth his
cunning, and turn his hateful love to cruel hate.'

'Ay, and he will urge your brother on to ruin, in hopes of winning you.'

'O Mistress Dinnage, good Mistress Dinnage, say not so, so coldly!
Sweet heart, how could this thing be? Marry the man who compassed my
brother's ruin? You speak wisely!'

'Ah,' said Mistress Dinnage scornfully, 'you are blind; but I, shut
out from all great folk's doings, can see and know them well. I can
see how Master Sinclair, that old fox, would bring you and yours to
_beggary_--ay, to shame--that he may say to ye: "Wed me; I will save
your father and brother." _He_ knows your love for them. _He_ knows o'
what stuff you're made. And indeed you'd be sore pressed between your
love for them and your hate for Master Sinclair.'

'O Meg, say no more. You wrong me. I had rather see them _dead_. But
what can I do? The swiftest horse would not catch Charlie now. O
Mistress Dinnage, you have scared me, and I am not wont to be scared.
What if Adam Sinclair drives him mad? gives him some great sum, and
then has him up to pay it! No; stay! Charlie is not of age. But worse,
if he refuses aid, and my poor boy flies the country. O merciful
heaven!' Deborah stood with her hands clasped upon her head, and her
eyes regarding Mistress Dinnage wildly.

'No,' said Mistress Dinnage thoughtfully; 'this will not be. If Master
Fleming is in debt, old Adam Sinclair will give him the money needful,
and draw him on and on; for the time's not come yet. Lady Deb, you
must talk to him--to Master Fleming. You alone can save him, an' it's
a down road he's goin'. If father hadn't spared the rod so oft, an' we
hadn't screened him so oft from blame, this thing might not be. But
that is past. If ye will save Master Fleming from utter ruin, _now_ is
the time.'

'Ay, you talk,' said Deborah scornfully; 'you had better turn a wild
Arab horse afield, and bid me catch him. Don't I pray? Don't I plead to
him--ay, till my very soul dissolves in words, to keep him at home from
mad companions? What can I do? A sister cannot tether him. _Love_ alone
would save him.'

'Love? Ah, you speak to me o' what I know nothing; my heart, you know,
is'----

'True as steel.'

'Ay, but as cold. But if a maiden's love indeed would save him, ask
some one whom Master Fleming could love; ask Mistress Warriston; and he
may come to love her.'

'Well; indeed he might. And May is an heiress too, and lovely. When
Charlie cared not for her, he was a boy; and now he is grown a man,
older than his years. Do you truly advise me to ask May here, who
had indeed, we both thought long ago, some secret liking for my poor
Charlie?'

'I don't advise,' quoth Mistress Dinnage. 'But, ask her.' Then again:
'Well, do as it pleases you. I won't advise. I know not if it would be
for good or ill.'

'How could it be for ill?'

'It might break Mistress Warriston's heart, which is so tender!'

'How know you it is so tender?'

'Because it is worn upon her sleeve, and ever melts in tears.'

'I love her for that womanliness.'

The proud lip of Mistress Dinnage curled. 'Yes, it is well. Tears ease
the heart, and ladies have time to weep.'

'_You_ would never weep, whatever ailed ye. Oh, thou'rt a proud
incomprehensible little maid. I would like to see thee well in love.'

'That ye never will.'

'Never boast. It is a sign of weakness, Mistress mine. But is there a
doubt that Charlie Fleming would _not_ love one so charming as May?
Were I a man, I would worship her; and it is such bold spirits as his
that love the soft and tender. Charlie _will not_ woo; he looks askance
to _be_ wooed, and would love the maiden wooer! _I_ know Charlie
Fleming.'

'Then if he loves to be wooed,' said Mistress Dinnage, with a fierce
scorn, 'let him seek it in the streets of Granta; fair enough women
there, and ready too. I thought not that Master Fleming would love such
kind!'

Deborah withdrew her arm from her companion's, and answered coldly:
'You offend me. You wilfully misunderstand me. But how can I look to be
understood by one who knows no softness, no weakness of her sex! You
have a hard, hard heart, Mistress Dinnage, if it be a noble one. The
good _you_ do is never done for love.'

'True enow, good sooth. But such poor love as ye describe, defend me
from! It is water and milk at best. If God made me love, my love would
lie so deep that the man who would win it must dig and dig to find it.
Ay, hard!'

'Proud Mistress mine, do you value yourself thus highly?'

'Ay, I am a poor girl; but I have an honest heart, Mistress Fleming,
and value it as highly as any lady in the land. He who loves, but
thinks it not worth the winning, let him go; he who sets not such store
by my love, let him go; and if the right man never comes, let the
others go! If Margaret Dinnage could have loved, it would have been
thus with her; and the hidden unvalued love would live and die within
one heart.'

'I know it, I know it!' cried Deborah impulsively. 'O noble heart!
_this_ is the kind of love I can feel for, for I have it beating
here;' and Deborah laid her hand upon her own breast. 'One thing you
lack, Meg--that would make you perfect. _Love!_' Pleading, earnest,
sweet, significant, tender, emphatic, was the utterance of the last
imperative word, and Deborah's arms were round her friend, and her
upturned face upon Margaret's breast. So in the moonlight the girls
stood: a fair picture, for the head of Mistress Dinnage was turned
aside, and her grave dark eyes averted; and in that moment each proud
heart was revealed to each. '_Let_ thyself love,' continued Deborah, in
her sweetest softest tones. 'Ye can be _too_ proud, Mistress Dinnage.
The day will come when ye will rue it bitterly. I would not urge ye,
if I divined not the secret of another heart. Are you so blind that ye
cannot see it too? The restlessness when you're not by; the wistful
eye--that _I_ dare not answer! O Mistress Dinnage, if Kingston Fleming
had had _one_ such look for me, in those old days, child as I was, I
would have loved him before all the world, truly and unchangeably. Know
ye not that I speak the truth? Would I urge ye to your ruin? When once
a Fleming loves, he never loves but honourably. Then, his fate is not
in _my_ hands--but in thine.' There was silence. The last three words,
though whispered, rang again and again in the listener's ears like
music. What Mistress Dinnage thought then, was not told, but Deborah
felt the wild heaving of her breast.

So a few moments passed, and Margaret put Deborah from her with firm
but gentle hands. 'Talk no more of this,' she said, while they walked
on. 'I will not be so stubborn as to seem ignorant of your meaning.
But I do not think with you. No; do not speak, my sweet Mistress
Deborah; no words will make us think alike. What! was it not so in the
old days, that your heart would ever outrun your head, and ye _would_
believe what ye longed for? Noble it is of ye to long for this; but
Deborah Fleming, ye are like no other woman living, rich or poor. Ye
are _yourself_; and I know you to be above all the littlenesses of
woman-kind.'

Deborah blushed with pleasure. 'Hush, hush!' she said. 'This from you
is too high praise; and dangerous, because you mean it all, and no
flattery. But if it _is_ noble to plead for one's dearest wish, and to
choose above all rank and riches one's best and dearest friend, then
I must be a very noble maid! But it seems to me simple nature, and no
nobility. God has given me no ambition for great things; on the other
hand, He has given me the power of loving faithfully; so that through
all, with all her faults, never think but that Deborah Fleming will be
true to her nature--true to those dearer than her own life!'

And then, Mistress Dinnage beginning, they talked of Kingston Fleming.
A very frequent subject of conversation was he. It would not be fair to
write all the nonsense that maidens will talk, even a Mistress Fleming
and a Mistress Dinnage, for diamonds are found in dust. And they talked
with great earnestness and gravity of the lace cap and discussed every
minute point of dress; and what should be done if King Fleming came,
and there was no host to receive him. Would he stay? Would it be
seemly? Surely, with Dame Marjory--and much laughter even; for laughter
and tears are near akin; and in April, sun follows showers.


CHAPTER THE EIGHTH.

The next morning, Deborah, in her great saloon, was tending her flowers
and thinking of Charlie, when she heard her father's step. With a rush
she was out, and the sun streamed out with her through the open door.

'My Rose of Enderby, art smartening up! The lad Kingston will be here
to-morrow.'

Deborah's treacherous heart gave a great leap. 'Who told you so?' she
asked calmly.

'This scrawl. Why, Deb, ye must look gladder than that; he is your
cousin, ye know: or have ye forgot him?'

Deborah read the note in silence, and then her busy bewildered thoughts
flew off. Oh, she must be calm; this would never do; she must be
'Mistress Deborah Fleming,' receiving in all cousinly courtesy the
affianced lover of Mistress Beatrix Blancheflower, her rival beauty in
a rival county.

'Father,' said Deborah, with sudden laughing joy, 'I must have some
guests to meet him. Why, I have seldom had a party here; a very little
money will go a long long way to make this bright and gay, and you have
a store of good old wine still left. Wine and flowers and _women_,
father! What more do mortals want? And it will be returning Master
Sinclair's generosity, which necessity weighs heavily on us, till it be
paid. Oh, leave it to me, father, and you will think me a rare Mistress
of Enderby!'

Sir Vincent looked round somewhat ruefully. '_Must_ it be, sweet heart,
and even to-morrow? It cannot be.'

'It can. Trust in me. Why, father, you will be the gayest of the gay,
as ye always are at such times. Dost give consent?'

'Why yes, tyrant. But ask Adam Sinclair.'

'Trust me.' And Deborah was out and away to Dame Marjory and Mistress
Dinnage. The lord of Lincoln for once would be welcomed!

It pleased Deborah to have a banquet in the hall and music in the
saloon. Why, she had twenty pounds a year; and good lack! One could not
_always_ contemplate ruin. A Fleming was coming home; they would 'kill
the fatted calf.' Such pleasures were far between.

It was short notice, but willing messengers were soon afoot, and Granta
was laid under requisition for guests. Deborah, happy and proud, sent
the word to all invited guests that short notice was involuntary on
her part; her cousin Kingston Fleming was coming home suddenly, and
who could, must come and dance at Enderby. So what with Granta men and
young belles of Deborah's age, and a few old dowagers and a few Adam
Sinclairs, the party was made up. Deborah was lucky. She, in her sheeny
lovely dress, was well-nigh worshipped by the men, she looked so full
of life, so brilliant. But no Charlie! That was the one drawback; nor
did Adam Sinclair know where he was, save that he had left Lincoln the
day before in good spirits. Deborah knew in her heart what that meant.
As she conversed, she looked full at Adam Sinclair, and felt to love
all man and woman kind. The aged wooer trembled before the gracious
girl; time only heightened his passion and hardened his determination
to win Deborah Fleming at all hazards. The county had already begun to
whisper about his infatuation and her coldness.

Eyes enough were upon them though, and the dowagers decided that so far
from being 'cold,' Deborah Fleming encouraged him by every means in her
power.

'Mistress Fleming,' he whispered ardently, 'give me some token
to-night--some slight token of favour. Your eyes look kind to-night.
Give me that rose.'

Deborah glanced at the red rose in her breast. 'This rose, Master
Sinclair? Nay; not this: there are a thousand others in the garden.
Marjory shall bring ye one.'

'I covet this one, Mistress Fleming, warm from your heart. What is it
to you? And _I_ would give a hundred crowns to possess it.'

'It would seem perchance a love-token, and those I never give.'

'Ye are obdurate.'

Deborah turned away from those gleaming eyes. 'I am honest,' she said.

'Mistress Leyton,' said Adam Sinclair, turning with a courtly smile
to an old dame who was sitting near, drinking elder-berry wine and
listening open-eared, 'will ye not plead my cause? Here is Mistress
Fleming will give me nought. And what do I ask? Nothing, but that red
rose from her gown.'

'What would you do in my place, Mistress Leyton?' asked Deborah.

'Why, if I favoured Master Sinclair, I would give him the rose.'

'You put it very strongly,' laughed Deborah. 'But you have released me
from my strait, for I could neither be so bold as to _favour_ Master
Sinclair nor so rude as to shew him none; so I give my rose to you.'

'Keep it, child; it looks so lovely. It suits too thy name--Rose of
Enderby.'

'Mistress Leyton, you must bring this Rose to Lincoln one day,' said
Adam Sinclair. 'Now do this much for me, for old acquaintance' sake!'

'But will Mistress Deborah come?'

'I know not,' answered Deborah, smiling. 'What I would like now, I may
not like to-morrow.'

'Thou art a spoiled child and a wilful one.'

'Yes; I fear me it is so. But Master Sinclair, I am not ungracious.'

'I think ye are. Come one moment to this window.' He led Deborah
into the recess, and asked her to gather him a rose, a red rose. The
brilliant lights flashed athwart them; near by stood a bevy of young
and scowling men; the roses were laughing and fluttering about the
casement. The tall old figure was bending down, and Deborah, gay yet
reluctant, and looking gloriously beautiful, raised her eyes to
present the gift, when Kingston Fleming entered.

He had heard enough on the way about 'Mistress Deborah Fleming' and
'Master Sinclair;' all rumours united their names, till he knew not
what to believe, but laughed and wondered. So, with his old indolent
curiosity, he looked up at Enderby, and saw lights gleam through the
great windows, heard music, and saw dancing forms flit by. He raised
his glass, and laughed. 'Why, Deb is queening it right royally! I
imagine Master Sinclair is among the guests.' And wondering at it all,
and greatly edified, Master Kingston Fleming, having first put his
travelling-dress in some slight order, was conducted by Dame Marjory
along the gallery. 'Are they often so gay, Marjory?' he asked, laughing
at her grim but important countenance.

'_Never, never_, Master King! Bless thee, no. There are lonesome hours
enow at Enderby, an' Master Charlie never here. This is a whim of
the young mistress to welcome _thee_, Master King;' and her features
relaxed into a grim smile. 'She has such a whim now and again.'

So Kingston Fleming entered, and saw the picture we have drawn. From
that moment the mad young hoyden faded for ever from Kingston's mind,
into the stately beauty who stood there. She turned, the colour flushed
to her cheeks and light sprang to her eyes. 'Kingston!'

'Why, Deb! But "_little_ Deb" no longer. How changed! I scarce know
you.'

Then Sir Vincent came forward, and they were parted, for Mistress
Fleming had duties to fulfil. But ever Kingston's eyes followed her,
though she had no eyes for him. Then there was the dancing, and all
were seeking Deborah; she was surrounded; and often she saw herself in
the tall old mirrors, and her beauty flashed on her like a surprise.
Deborah Fleming carried all before her that night; she sang--that was
her one perfect gift; she had a splendid voice, and sang with power
and sweetness, and some deep emotion threw passion into her song that
night. Then there was the supper, when Adam Sinclair sat on Deborah's
right hand. Then another measure. But Kingston would not dance, though
he loved it with enthusiasm. Then there was the hour of two tolled out
from the chimes of Enderby, and the last carriage rolled away.

'Come down and smoke a pipe, boy,' said Sir Vincent; and Kingston said
he would follow.

Deborah, tired, but strangely happy, had thrown herself on a sofa. 'Not
yet, King,' said she. 'You have been away for two long years; you have
much to tell me, sure. You have seen May Warriston?'

'Ay; in a picture-gallery at Florence.'

'Was she changed?'

'She was prettier and graver. I even thought little May somewhat staid
and prim; but then old Guardy was at her elbow.'

'Did she speak of me--of us?'

'Of you, a hundred times.'

'Sweet May! And you, Kingston'--Deborah blushed and hesitated--'you
have come from Rimbolton?'

'Yes.'

(Why would he not speak, and aid her?) Deborah continued shyly: 'And
is--Mistress Blancheflower well?'

'I thank ye, very well.'

Deborah could say no more anent that. 'Are you changed, King, in looks?
Let me see.' She bent forward, and laid one hand upon his. 'Nay; the
old comic King, with whom I ofttimes quarrelled sore; only browner,
thinner, graver too, as I see thee now.'

'Cares o' the world, Deb. Where is boy Charlie?'

'Nay; I know not.' What a sudden paleness and abstraction overspread
the sweet face! 'Charlie is much away, Kingston. I hope you will see
him and talk to my dear boy like a good kinsman. Charlie needs a
sterling friend.'

Kingston looked grave, thinking perhaps how far he himself had led
Charlie from the straight and narrow track. He answered gaily, however:
'Oh, he is young yet. Charlie promised to be a fine fellow in the end;
and with his talents, we must make something of him. Don't despair,
Deb.'

'Nay; I never despair.'

'I hear that he is a friend of Master Adam Sinclair's.'

'Yes. Didst hear that at Rimbolton?'

'Yes; and elsewhere too.'

'Then ye have doubtless heard most tidings?'

'Yes, Deb. Tidings spread like wild-fire on a country-side; but I don't
credit all I hear, or I should believe ye to be betrothed to Adam
Sinclair.'

'When _I_ tell you, you may believe that, not till then,' answered the
maiden.

Then followed a long silence, and Kingston looked on vacancy through
the fading rose on Deborah's breast. O irrevocable past! O vague dark
future! 'You used to hate me, Deb,' said he suddenly, at last.

'Ay? Did I? Well, perhaps I hate you now.'

'Perhaps you are grown a little hypocrite, as you give me kind smiles
in place o' former frowns.'

'That is a necessary duty. I smile at Master Sinclair.'

'There is no disguise _there_. It springs from the heart, Deb.'

'You can read my heart then? No; I do not hate you, Kingston; I love
you as my kinsman and my brother's truest friend.'

'Not always his true friend, Deb,' said Kingston quickly. 'Don't give
me more than my due.'

'Well, I don't hate you for your candour, but rather love you, King.'

'Dost love me, Deb?' Kingston Fleming looked up strangely and suddenly
from under his long love-lock with his old arch smile, but there was a
wistful sadness in it too.

Deborah blushed scarlet at the sudden question. 'Love ye?' she begged
curtly, to hide her confusion. 'Ay, well enough. We _shall_ be friends,
I know. We will quarrel no more, King; we two _must_ be friends.'

'Friends, sweet heart--_friends_?' What ailed him as he murmured these
words? He seemed like one distraught. Springing up, he paced to and fro
the long length of the saloon, then stopped before the maiden.

'Well, good-bye, Deb. I am tongue-tied in thy presence. I had better
go. Kiss me!'

Deborah blushed. 'Nay; I never did that.'

'Is that a reason ye _never_ should?' And Kingston stooped and kissed
her.

He was gone. Was it pleasure or pain that caused Deborah's heart to
beat so wildly?

'Oh, this must not be,' she exclaimed passionately. 'This shall not
be. I love him madly. And he? Oh, shame on me, to let him do this
thing, and trifle with me thus! He, affianced meantime to Mistress
Blancheflower; and thinks the while to play with Deborah Fleming's
heart!' The girl started up, and paced where Kingston had paced before
her. '_Two_ can play at this,' she said. 'Ah, Master King Fleming, if
ye think to lower a Fleming's pride, it shall go hardly with ye! But if
ye mean well, I will bless thy future, and still love thee--as neither
friend nor foe.' Deborah's voice sank to a whisper of unutterable
tenderness. "Friends, sweet heart--_friends_?" What meant he by that,
but to put vain and wicked love-thoughts in my head? Can I believe thee
so dishonoured, Kingston? Thou, whom I thought the soul of honour!
It cannot be. But I will watch thee well. Love thee as a _friend_,
forsooth! It is Deborah Fleming's curse to have a heart true to one
life-long love, one long unmaidenly love--because unsought, uncared
for. Ah me! I fear myself. I dare not think on Mistress Blancheflower,
lest I seek to do her some grievous harm. I dare not think on that
marriage-day. O Beatrix Blancheflower, do ye love him well? So well,
that ye are worthy of my sacrifice? Ah! why did King Fleming come here!
For the love of honour and of good faith to Mistress Blancheflower, I
will estrange him from me.'



ITALIAN VAGRANT CHILDREN.


Little Giovanni Alessandro Bosco, the bright-eyed Italian boy who
has a couple of white mice to attract the attention of passers-by,
or believes that kind folks will perchance give a copper for hearing
a tune played on a small barrel-organ, is not perhaps aware that he
has risen to the dignity of being officially noticed. In other words,
Italian organ-boys, image-boys, street exhibitors, and appellants
to a compassionate public, have been the subject of correspondence
between the diplomatists of Italy and those of England. The despatches
or communications have lately been published in a blue-book or
parliamentary paper; shewing that European governments are now alive to
sympathies which would have had but little chance of manifesting their
presence in an earlier and ruder state of society.

About three years and a half ago, we gave an account of what had come
under our knowledge in Italy concerning the deportation of Italian
boys as beggars or exhibitors. We stated that 'Much to its credit, the
parliament of Italy have before them a bill to abolish the system of
apprenticing children of less than eighteen years of age to strolling
trades or professions, such as mountebanks, jugglers, charlatans,
rope-dancers, fortune-tellers, expounders of dreams, itinerant
musicians, vocalists or instrumentalists, exhibitors of animals, and
mendicants of every description, at home or abroad, under a penalty
of two pounds to ten pounds for each offence, and from one to three
months' imprisonment. It is to be trusted that this will shortly become
law, and so put an end to one of the most crying evils of our time.'
Subsequent facts shew that, although this law has passed in Italy,
and may in that country be producing some good results, it has not in
any way lessened the number of vagrant Italian children seen in the
streets of London and other English towns. How it happens that the
remedial measure has not relieved our shores from this incubus, we will
explain presently; but it may be well first to summarise a few of the
statements in the former article, sufficient to shew the mode in which
this cruel traffic is carried on.

In years gone by, when Italy was split up into a number of kingdoms,
dukedoms, and petty states, very little attention was paid to the
general welfare of the people; the peasants and small cultivators
were often so hardly driven that the support of a family became a
serious responsibility; and a people, naturally kind rather than the
reverse, were tempted to the adoption of a course from which their
better feeling would have revolted. They did not actually _sell_ their
children, but they apprenticed them off for a time, on the receipt
of a sum of money. The _padroni_ or masters, to whom the children
were apprenticed, were men whose only sympathy was for themselves and
their own pockets; they made specious promises, and got the poor young
creatures, eight years old or so, into their hands. Too often, the
parents never saw the children again, and remained quite ignorant of
their fate. It was not in Italy that the scoundrels kept their victims;
they mostly crossed the Alps into France, whence many of them found
their way to England. Or else they were shipped at Genoa, and conveyed
at cheap rates to such shores as seemed likely to be most profitable to
the _padroni_. As these men acquire an accurate knowledge of the extent
to which sheer open beggary is illegal in this or that country, they
adopt a blind, by turning the poor children into exhibitors of white
mice, marmots, or monkeys. Advanced a little in age and experience, the
boys are intrusted with small organs, and perhaps later with organs of
larger size. Those whose strength of constitution enables them to bear
a life of hardship during the so-called apprenticeship can sometimes
obtain an organ on hire from one of the makers of those instruments,
and become itinerant organ-grinders on their own account. But there is
reason to fear that the poor boys too often succumb to the treatment
they receive, and die at an early age. As to what befalls the girls
thus expatriated, another sad picture would have to be drawn.

No resident in London, no visitor to London, need be told of the organ
nuisance. Some of the organs, it is true, are really of excellent
tone, and play good music; but they become a pest in this way--that
the men, taking note of the houses whence they have obtained money,
stop in front of those houses more and more frequently, in the hope of
being paid, if not for playing, at least for going away. Some of these
organ-men have been organ-boys who came over with _padroni_.

And now for the diplomatic correspondence relating to this subject.

In 1874 the Chevalier Cadorna, Italian Minister at the Court of St
James's, addressed a communication to the Earl of Derby relating to
these wretched and ill-used children. He stated that a law had been
passed in Italy, the success of which would depend largely on the
co-operation of other governments. It had been ascertained that in
many provinces of that country parents lease or lend their children
for money; boys and girls under eight years of age, who are taken by
vile speculators to foreign lands, there to be employed as musicians,
tumblers, dancers, exhibitors of white mice, beggars, &c. It is a white
slave-trade, in which the unfeeling parents participate. London is
especially noted for the presence of these unfortunates; the _padroni_
or masters find that a good harvest may be made out of the injudicious
because indiscriminate charity of the metropolis. 'Miserable it is
for the children,' says M. Cadorna, 'if they fail any day to obtain
the sum which their tyrants require from them! This is the reason why
we often see them wandering about till late at night, exhausted by
fatigue and hunger, rather than return to the lodgings where they dread
ill-treatment of various kinds from their pitiless masters.' The police
magistrates of London are frequently occupied in listening to the
complaints of these poor creatures. But no: this is hardly the case;
for the victims are generally afraid to make their sorrows known, lest
they should suffer still worse from the vengeance of their taskmasters;
sometimes, however, they are too ill from bad treatment to conceal
their misery; while at other times they are taken up for begging. Who
knows? perhaps the poor things receive better food and lodging during
a few days' imprisonment--certainly better in a reformatory or a
workhouse--than in the squalid rooms which their tyrants provide for
them.

The Italian government are endeavouring to check the evil at its source
or fountain-head; making the leasing of children by their parents
illegal. If this does not produce a cure, then they are endeavouring
to watch the slave-traders (as we may truly call them), and forbid
them to carry their victims across the frontier or out to sea. When
the Chevalier Cadorna made his communication to the Earl of Derby,
the new law had been too recently passed to supply evidence of its
practical effect; but he pointed to the fact that the law could not
meet with full success unless foreign governments would render aid,
by making this kind of Italian slavery unlawful in the countries to
which the _padroni_ bring their little victims. A suggestion was
made that the Extradition convention, signed between England and
Italy, might possibly be made to take cognizance of this state of
things. Not so, it appears. The Home Secretary, when appealed to,
stated that traffic in children is not within any of the crimes named
in the English Extradition Acts. 'It appears to Mr Cross that the
source of the evil arises in Italy, and that measures might be there
adopted for preventing the egress from that country of such children
as are described in the letter of the Italian Minister. He supposes
that it would be competent to the Italian government to decline to
grant passports for such children, and thus prevent their crossing
the Italian frontier. There is no power to prevent such children from
landing in this country. All that can be done is to protect them from
any cruelty or ill-treatment on the part of _padroni_; and Mr Cross is
assured that the metropolitan magistrates are most anxious to carry out
that object, and that they are very desirous to abate the evils as far
as our laws empower them to do so.'

So the matter rested for a time. Three years later, in May of the
present year, the subject was mentioned in the House of Commons; and
the Italian Minister, General Menabrea (successor to the Chevalier
Cadorna), informed the Earl of Derby that the Italian government
cannot effect all they wish in preventing the exodus of the _padroni_
and their victims. 'It is easy for them to elude the vigilance of the
authorities; for passports being now practically abolished from Italy
to France, and thence to England, the traffickers in children can, by
expatriating themselves, relieve themselves from the punishments they
have incurred.'

Thus the inquiry ended nearly as it began, so far as definite
conclusions are concerned. England is very chary of making restrictions
on the freedom of entry of foreigners on our shores. Deposed emperors
and kings, princes in trouble, defeated presidents and past presidents,
persecuted ecclesiastics, patriots out of work--all find an asylum in
little England; and many things would have to be taken into account
before our government could legally forbid the Italian children and
their _padroni_ from setting foot on English ground.

No one can glance habitually through the daily newspapers without
meeting with cases illustrating the condition of the poor Italian
children. Some months back the magistrates of North Shields had a boy
and a girl brought before them charged with begging. The fact came out
in evidence that their _padrone_ had bought or farmed them of their
parents, and brought them to England. Marianna Frametta was fourteen
years of age, Marcolatto Crola eleven. He had bought or rather leased
them for twelve months, at ten pounds each: his calculation being that
this sum, four shillings a week, would be amply covered, and much
more, after providing them with board and lodging, by their earnings.
They usually, it appears, got from nine to fifteen shillings a _day_
by begging, possibly with the addition of some small pretence to an
exhibition of white mice. If they brought home less than ten shillings
each, they were beaten instead of fed at night. These sums appear
strangely large; but so stands the record. It is satisfactory to know
that the fellow was punished with imprisonment and hard labour for
his cruelty. But what would eventually be the life of the children
themselves? They were sent to the workhouse for temporary shelter,
food, and medical treatment; these could only last for a time; and the
youngsters would still be aliens, without definite occupation or means
of livelihood.

There can be no doubt that the English habit of giving small sums of
money to people in the streets and at the street doors has something
to do with this matter. It may be due to a kind motive, but it
unquestionably increases the number of applicants, and opposes a bar
to the endeavours of governments and legislatures to bring about an
improvement. Nevertheless it is quite right that all should be done
that can be done to prevent ruthless speculators from bringing over
poor Italian children to our shores, and then treating them like
veritable slaves. This should all the more sedulously be attended to,
because the _padroni_ (so far as concerns the metropolis) live almost
exclusively in one district, around Hatton Garden and Leather Lane. The
narrow streets, courts, and alleys in that vicinity are crowded with
them; every room in some of the houses being occupied by a distinct
Italian batch, crowded together like pigs in a sty, and forming hotbeds
of disease. When the 'Health Act' and the 'Lodging-Houses Act' gave the
police power to enter such wretched apologies for dwellings, fearful
scenes of this kind were brought to light. Matters are gradually being
improved, but only by dint of constant vigilance.

Evidently there is an anxiety on the part of the Home Secretary to
do all in his power to suppress the scandal, as is evidenced by
the following circular, addressed to the police authorities of the
metropolis: 'The attention of the Secretary of State has been called
to the practice under which children bought or stolen from parents in
Italy or elsewhere are imported into this country by persons known by
the name of _padroni_, who send them into the streets to earn money by
playing musical instruments, selling images, begging, or otherwise. It
is most important to suppress this traffic by every available means,
and Mr Cross relies on the vigilant co-operation of the police for this
purpose. In many cases the employer will be found to have committed an
offence against the Vagrant Act, 5 George IV. cap. 88, by procuring
the child to beg. If so, he should be forthwith prosecuted, and the
result of such prosecution should be made the subject of a special
report to the Secretary of State. The child will probably come within
the provisions of the 14th section of the Industrial Schools Act, 1866
(29 and 30 Vic. cap. 118), either under the first clause (as a child
begging alms), or under the second clause (as a child wandering and
without proper guardianship). An application should therefore be made
to the justices for the child to be sent to a certified industrial
school. Further application should be made, under section 19, for the
temporary detention of the child in the workhouse until the industrial
school has been selected, information being at once communicated to
the Secretary of State, in order that, if requisite, he may render
assistance in making the necessary arrangements. The final result of
each case should also be reported to the Home Secretary.'

In conclusion, we are glad to see from the newspapers that the Brighton
School Board, by enforcing the provisions of the Elementary Education
Act, have been successful in terrifying the _padroni_ who bring Italian
vagrant children to the town, and thereby have banished them with
their unhappy victims. The circumstance offers a good hint to local
authorities. Rigidly apply the School Act, and we shall probably hear
no more of the infamous practice of importing Italian children for
vicious purposes.



MAJOR HAMMOND'S RING.


'What's this?' cried Miss Hammond, breaking open a letter just handed
to her by a servant. 'You read it, Maggie; your eyes are better than
mine.'

Small wonder at that indeed, seeing that Maggie is aged about eighteen,
and the other sixty-five at the very least, a pleasant-looking,
well-preserved spinster, with a brown resolute face and sausage curls
over the forehead. Maggie, a handsome modern girl, sits down and reads:

    MADAM--The parishioners of St Crispin, Gigglesham, in vestry
    assembled, have determined to rebuild their parish church,
    pronounced unsafe by the surveyors. Contributions are earnestly
    requested. The alterations will necessitate the removal of
    many vaults and graves; among others, that of the Hammond
    family. It is the wish of the churchwardens to respect the
    wishes of survivors and others in the disposal of the remains.
    Any directions you may have to give, you will be good enough
    to communicate to the undersigned.--Your most humble obedient
    servants,

        THOMAS TRUSCOTT,
        WILLIAM BONNER,
            _Churchwardens._

The two Misses Hammond (Margaret and Ellen) are joint proprietors
of the comfortable estate of Westbury, near Gigglesham, and of the
handsome mansion thereto belonging. Maggie, the young girl, is a
distant cousin--although she calls them 'aunt'--and lives with them.
There is also a young man, Ralph Grant, somewhere about the place, of
whom more anon.

Old Tom Hammond, the father of the two maiden sisters, was born in
the year 1740, and might have seen the heads over Temple Bar after
the rising of 1745. He lived till 1830. He had married late in life,
and left only these two daughters. Thus two generations bridged over
a space of time generally occupied by many successive lives; as in
the case of another branch of the family, the founder of which, Major
Richard Hammond (the uncle of the two old ladies), who had been
at the capture of Quebec when General Wolfe was killed, being the
great-grandfather of Maggie Lauderdale and Ralph Grant. Major Hammond
was the elder of the two brothers, and should have inherited the
Westbury estate; but he offended his father, General John Hammond, by
what was called a low marriage, and was disinherited in consequence.

Tom Hammond had done his best to remedy his father's injustice, as
far as he could without injuring himself and his own, by making a
settlement of the estate, in failure of his own issue, upon the lawful
descendants of Major Hammond, his brother; providing that if the issue
of his elder brother should fail, the estate should go to the issue of
a younger brother Henry, who, by the way, had been well provided for by
the small estate of Eastbury. This brother Henry was now represented
through the female line by a Mr Boodles of Boodle Court, who now also
held the Eastbury estate.

The descendants of Major Hammond are now confined to these two young
people, Maggie and Ralph. They are both orphans and without means,
their forebears having been mostly in the soldiering and official
lines. Ralph is a lieutenant in the artillery, and his battery is now
in India; but he is at home on sick-leave; and he has taken advantage
of his furlough to win the affections of his fair cousin. As the
Westbury estate would come to be eventually divided between them, it
was considered a most fortunate thing that the young people had come to
an understanding. Ralph was to leave the service when he married, and
take the home-farm. By-and-by he would fall naturally into his position
as country squire; and it was arranged that eventually he should assume
the name of Hammond; hoping to continue the old line.

This preamble being necessary, let us now return to the comfortable
old-fashioned drawing-room at Westbury.

'What do you think of that, Ellen?' cried Miss Hammond, having read
over once more the circular to herself with subdued emphasis. Miss
Ellen was sitting looking into the fire, her great wooden knitting-pins
and bright-coloured wools lying idle on her lap, as she shook her head
while talking gently to herself.

'Do you hear, Ellen?' cried Miss Hammond more sharply. 'What do you
think of that letter from Truscott?'

'I don't like the idea at all, Margaret. No, not at all. Why can't they
leave our ancestors alone? And I am sure I always looked forward to
being buried there myself.'

'La! don't talk about that, Ellen, and you five years the younger!'
said Miss Hammond briskly; 'and as we can't prevent its being done, we
must make the best of it. Ralph had better go and see to it.'

'Very well, sister; as you like,' said Ellen. Presently she resumed:
'Sister, I've been thinking that this would be a good chance to try to
get back Uncle Richard Hammond's ring.'

'Uncle Hammond's ring!' repeated the elder sister. 'I don't understand.'

'You must have heard our father talk about it. The family ring that
ought to have gone with the estates--a ruby and sapphire that General
Hammond brought home from Ceylon.'

'I ought to know all about it Ellen, I daresay; but you were so much
more with my poor father, and had more patience with his stories.'

'My father often tried to get the ring, and had offered to give Major
Hammond a large sum for it. But he was so vexed with father for
supplanting him, that he vowed he never should have it; and they say,
sister, that rather than it should ever fall into his brother's hands,
he had it buried with him, upon his finger. Our father always said that
if he had a chance he would have the coffin opened to see.'

Maggie, who had retreated to a sofa, and buried her head in a novel,
roused up at this, and joined in: 'I hope you will, auntie. I do hope
you'll have it looked for.'

'I don't know, my dear,' said Miss Hammond. 'I don't approve of
violating the sanctity of the tomb.'

With the elder Miss Hammond, a phrase was everything; she delighted to
bring a thing within the compass of a well-rounded phrase, upon which
she would then make a stand--invincible. So Maggie threw up her head in
a kind of despair, and ran off to look for Ralph, who when last heard
of was smoking a cigar on the terrace.

'Ralph!' said Maggie as soon as she had found him, and had submitted
to a very smoky kiss--they were in the heyday of their young loves,
when kisses were appreciated, even when flavoured with tobacco--'Ralph!
auntie is going to give you a commission--to go and see about a vault
at St Crispin's where some of our ancestors lie.'

'I know,' said Ralph; 'they are going to pull the old place down. All
right; I'll do it.'

Then Maggie went on to tell him about the ring, and how Miss Hammond
would not have it searched for. 'But it is a very valuable ring--a
family one too. It would be a great pity to miss it, if it's really
there.'

Ralph agreed.

'Well, then, mind you look for it, sir; only don't say a word to
auntie, or she'll put a stop to it.'

'I'm fly,' said Ralph, with a knowing wink, and attempted a renewal of
the oscillatory process; but Maggie escaped him this time, and came
fleeing in at the dining-room window panting into the presence of her
aunts.

Since she first left the room, a visitor had appeared--a Mr Boodles,
a distant relative, who had inherited some of the family property, as
before explained; a tall grim-looking man, with thin iron-gray hair,
carefully brushed off his temples.

The aunts were looking rather serious, not to say frightened, and both
started guiltily when they saw Maggie.

'Leave us, my dear, please,' said Miss Hammond gently.

Maggie had just caught the words, 'No marriage at all,' from Mr
Boodles, who seemed to be speaking loudly and excitedly; and she went
out wandering what it all meant. Some piece of scandal, no doubt, for
Boodles was the quintessence of spitefulness.

'It is very dreadful--very,' said Miss Hammond. 'I never had much
opinion of Uncle Richard, you know; but for the sake of the young
people, I hope you'll let it be kept a profound secret.'

'Sake of the young people!' screamed Boodles at the top of his harsh
voice. 'And what for the sake of old Boodles? I'm the next heir, you'll
remember, please, through my maternal grandfather, Henry Hammond.'

Mr Boodles had come to Westbury to announce an important discovery that
he had recently made. In turning over some of his grandfather's papers
he had come across some letters from General Hammond, in which it was
firmly asserted that his son Major Hammond had never been legally
married to the woman known as his wife.

'What end do you propose to serve, Mr Boodles, by bringing this ancient
scandal to light?' asked Miss Hammond with agitated voice.

'End!' cried Boodles. 'This is only the beginning of it. I am going to
a court of law to have myself declared heir to the Westbury estates
under the settlement.'

'In that case,' said Miss Hammond, rising with dignity, 'you cannot be
received on friendly terms in my house.'

'Oh, very well, very well,' cried Boodles, snatching up his hat and
whip, and sweeping out of the room without further ceremony.

As soon as the door had shut upon him the sisters looked at each other
in blank consternation.

'I always feared there would be a difficulty,' said Ellen tremulously;
'but oh, to think of Boodles having discovered it!'

'We must send for Smith at once; the carriage shall go in and fetch
him,' said Miss Hammond, ringing the bell.

Mr Smith of Gigglesham was the family solicitor, and the carriage
was sent off to bring him up at once for a consultation. But Smith
brought little encouragement. He had heard from his father that there
were curious circumstances attending Major Hammond's marriage, and if
Boodles had put his finger on the flaw---- Smith shrugged his shoulders
for want of words to express the awkwardness of the case.

'But search must be made everywhere; the evidence of the marriage must
be found; the children must not suffer, poor things, and always brought
up to look upon the property as their own!'

'Why, they could never marry,' cried Miss Ellen; 'they could never live
on Ralph's pay.'

'It's altogether dreadful; and not getting married is the very lightest
part of the calamity,' said Miss Hammond.

Smith undertook that every possible search should be made, and went
away, promising to set to work at once. But his inquiries had no
result. He had traced out the family of the reputed wife, who had been
the daughter of a small farmer living at Milton in Kent; but they had
now fallen to the rank of labourers, and had no papers belonging to
them, hardly any family traditions. He had searched all the registries
of the neighbouring parishes: no record of such a marriage could be
discovered. He had issued advertisements offering a reward for the
production of evidence: all of no avail. What more could he do? To be
sure there was a presumption in favour of the marriage; but then if
Boodles had documents rebutting such a presumption---- Again Mr Smith
shrugged his shoulders, in hopelessness of finding fitting words to
represent the gravity of the crisis. 'And then,' he went on to say,
'the very fact that Boodles is spending money over the case shews that
he thinks he has a strong one.'

Boodles did not let the grass grow under his feet; he instituted
proceedings at once, and cited all interested to appear. The thing
could no longer be kept a secret; and Maggie and Ralph were told of the
cloud that had come over their fortunes.

'I don't care if the property does go away,' said Maggie bravely. 'It
will make no difference. I shall go to India with Ralph, that's all. I
will be a soldier's wife, and go on the baggage-wagons.'

Ralph shook his head. He had never been able to manage on his pay when
there was only himself, and there were ever so many lieutenants on the
list before him, so that he could not hope to be a captain for many
years.

There was no use in sitting brooding over coming misfortunes; and Ralph
took the dogcart and drove over to Gigglesham, to see about the family
vault at St Crispin's. It was an occupation that agreed well with his
temper; the weather too seemed all in keeping--a dull drizzling day.

'Don't forget the ring,' Maggie had said to him at parting; 'that is
ours, you know Ralph, if we find it; and perhaps it may be worth a lot
of money.'

Ralph shook his head incredulously. And yet it was possible. The ring
might be there, and it might prove of great value. In misfortunes, the
mind grasps at the smallest alleviations, and Ralph consoled himself in
his depression by picturing the finding of a splendid ruby worth say
ten thousand pounds. No more artillery-work then--no more India.

Gigglesham boasts of several churches, and St Crispin's lies in a
hollow by the river, close to the bridge. A low squat tower and plain
ugly nave. But in its nook there--the dark river flowing by, the
sail of a barge shewing now and then, the tall piles of deals in the
timber-yard beyond, the castle-keep frowning from the heights, and the
big water-mill with its weirs and rapids, the noise of which and of
the great churning wheel sounded slumbrously all day long--allied with
these things, the old church had something homely and pleasant about
it, hardly to be replaced by the finest modern Gothic.

Workmen were swarming about it now. The roof was nearly off. There were
great piles of sand and mortar in the graveyard. Mr Martin, the plumber
and glazier, who took the most lively interest in the underground work,
even to the neglect of more profitable business, was on the look-out
for Lieutenant Grant, and greeted him cheerily.

'We've got 'em all laid out in the vestry, Cap'n Grant, all the whole
family; and now the question is, what are you going to have done with
them? Would you like 'em put in the vaults below, where they'll all
be done up in lime and plaster? or would you like 'em moved somewhere
else--more in the open air, like?'

'The least expensive way, I should say,' replied Ralph grimly. Somehow
or other his appreciation of his ancestors was deadened by this last
stroke of fate in cutting him adrift from his succession. 'But look
here, Martin,' he went on, taking the plumber aside; 'there is one of
the coffins, Major Hammond's, I should like to have opened. It can be
done?'

'Easy enough, sir,' cried Martin, who, to say the truth, was delighted
at the prospect of a little charnel-house work. 'He's a lead 'un, he
is. I'll have the top off in no time.'

Ralph looked gravely down at the last remains of the Hammonds. The
wife, if she had been a wife, on whom their inheritance hung, was not
here; she had died in India. But there was the Major's coffin, the
wood-work decayed, but the leaden envelope as sound as ever.

Martin was quickly at work with his tools. The cover was stripped off,
and for a moment the Major's features were to be seen much as they had
been in life; then all dissolved into dust.

There was no ruby ring--that must have been a fable; but there was
something glittering among the remains, and on taking it out, it proved
to be a plain gold hoop.

'Well, that's worth a pound, that is,' cried the practical Martin,
carefully polishing up the treasure-trove. It had probably been hung
round the neck of the departed--a tall bony man--for the ring was a
small one, and there were traces of a black ribbon attached to it.

It was a disappointment, no doubt; and yet somehow the sight of the
ring had given Ralph a little hope. It was the wedding-ring, he said
to himself, his great-grandmother's wedding-ring. The Major must have
been fond of her to have had her ring always about him; and it had been
buried with him. That had given rise to the story about the ruby. He
drove home, after giving directions about the disposal of the coffins,
feeling less sore at heart. He was now convinced that they had right on
their side, and there was some comfort in that.

When he reached home, he shewed the ring to Maggie, who agreed with his
conclusions.

'But there is something inside--some letters, I think,' she cried.

'It is only the Hall-mark,' said Ralph, having looked in his turn. 'But
stop. That tells us something: it will give us a date.'

'How can that be?' asked Maggie.

'Because there is a different mark every year. See! you can make it out
with a magnifying-glass. King George in a pigtail.'

The silversmith at Gigglesham turned up his tabulated list of
Hall-marks, and told them at once the date of the ring--1760.

'But it might have been made a long time before it was first used,'
suggested Maggie.

'True; but it could not have been used before it was made,' replied
Ralph. 'It gives us a date approximately, at all events.'

At first, the knowledge of this date did not seem likely to be of much
use to them. But it gave them the heart to go on and make further
inquiries. Ralph threw himself into the task with fervour. He obtained
leave to search the records of the Horse Guards; and ascertained at
last where had been stationed the regiment that Richard Hammond then
belonged to in that same year.

It was at Canterbury, as it happened; and that seemed significant, for
it was not so far from there to his sweetheart's home at Milton. Ralph
went over to Canterbury, and with the help of a clerk of Mr Smith's,
searched all the parish registers between the two places; but found
nothing.

The trial was coming on in a few weeks, and not a scrap of evidence
could they get of the marriage of Major Hammond. The other side were
full of confidence, and well they might be. Ralph had made up his mind
to return home, and was walking disconsolately down the High Street of
Canterbury one day when he saw over a shop-window the sign, 'PILGRIM,
Goldsmith; established 1715.'

'I wonder,' he said to himself, 'if my great-grandfather bought his
wedding-ring there?'

A sudden impulse sent him into the shop. A nice-looking old gentleman,
with long white hair, was sitting behind the counter, peering into the
works of a watch through an elongated eye-glass.

Ralph brought out his ring. 'Do you think this ring was bought at your
shop?' he asked.

'How long ago?' asked Mr Pilgrim, taking up the ring and looking at it
all round.

'About the year 1760.'

'Ah-h! I can't remember so long ago as that. It was in my father's
time; but for all that, perhaps I can tell you.'

He took up the magnifying-glass, and examined the ring carefully once
more.

'Yes,' he said, looking up, a mysterious expression on his face, 'that
ring was bought from my father, I have no doubt.'

Ralph questioned him as to the sources of his knowledge; and Mr Pilgrim
told him at last. It was his father's practice to put his private
mark upon all the jewellery he sold. He could do it in those days,
when his stock was small and all his own. In these times of changing
fashions, when much of a jeweller's stock is on approval, this would be
impossible.

Ralph listened to these explanations with breathless impatience. Had Mr
Pilgrim any books belonging to his father which might possibly shew the
sale? The old gentleman admitted that he had a lot of his father's old
account-books up in a garret; but it would be very troublesome to get
at them; and what would be the use?

'Why,' said Ralph, 'you might possibly make the happiness of two young
people, who otherwise may be sundered all their lives.' He explained
enough of the circumstances to shew the old gentleman that it was not
an affair of mere idle curiosity; and after that he entered into the
quest with ardour. Pilgrim his father had kept each year a sort of
rough day-book, in which he entered transactions as they occurred, with
occasional short annotations. And at last, after a long troublesome
search, they found the book for the year 1760 and 1761. Nothing was to
be made of the first; but in the second they had the delight of finding
the following entry: '25 March, sold ring, young Master Hammond, two
guineas saw y^{e} wedding afterwards at St Mary's, Faversham.'

That night all the church bells of Gigglesham were set a-ringing, for
the news oozed out that Ralph Grant had come home with full proofs of
the marriage that would make good his title to Westbury. For the young
people were liked by everybody, whilst Boodles was generally execrated.
Indeed the case never came on for trial, as Boodles withdrew the record
when he found that there was full evidence to refute his claim. Ralph
and Maggie were married soon afterwards; and the bride wore as a keeper
over the golden circle her own special dower, the long-buried but
happily recovered treasure, Major Hammond's ring.



LOST IN MAGELLAN'S STRAITS.


One might look all the world over without finding a coast more bleak,
desolate, and inhospitable than that of Tierra del Fuego and the
southern part of Patagonia. Owing to certain meteorological causes,
the cold is comparatively greater in the southern than in the northern
latitudes; icebergs are found ten degrees nearer to the equator. In the
Straits of Magellan, which are about the same distance from the equator
as Central England, the cold in winter is so intense as to be almost
unbearable. Here icebergs are found floating, and glaciers larger in
extent than any Switzerland can boast of; the land is entirely covered
with snow down to the very water's edge, while bitter piercing winds
rush down the clefts in the mountains, carrying everything before them,
and even tearing up huge trees in their passage. Not a pleasant coast
this on which to be cast away; and yet such, in 1867, was the fate of
two unfortunate men who formed part of the crew of Her Majesty's ship
_Chanticleer_, then on the Pacific station; and an account of whose
sufferings we propose to lay before our readers.

One day early in September a sailing-party had been sent off with the
hope of increasing the ship's stock of provisions by the addition
of fresh fish, which is here very abundant. The nets soon became
so heavy that extra hands were required to haul them; and as there
appeared even then little chance of the work being over before
sunset, the fishing-party obtained permission to spend the night on
shore. Tents were pitched, huge fires were lighted, with the double
object of affording warmth and cooking some of the produce of their
successful expedition; blankets were distributed, grog was served out,
and altogether the party seemed prepared to defy the cold, shewing a
disposition to be 'jolly' in spite of it that would have gladdened the
soul of the immortal Mark Tapley. However, after all these preparations
to keep off the effects of the biting frost, they were compelled about
nine o'clock in the evening to send off to the ship for more blankets
and provisions.

Two sailors, Henty and Riddles, volunteered to go on this errand in
the 'dingy' (a small two-oared boat), and having obtained the desired
things, they started to return; but when about midway between the ship
and the shore, the wind began to rise, carrying the boat to some extent
out of her course; shortly after which she struck on a sand-bank, and
in trying to get her off one of the oars was lost. Soon they were
drifted out into the strong current. It was now dark as pitch; the
wind continued to rise; and although all through the night they made
every possible effort to reach the shore, when morning dawned, to their
alarm they found themselves miles away from the ship, and powerless to
contend any longer with their one oar against the force of both wind
and tide. They were finally driven on to the beach in a bay opposite
Port Famine, a spot not less dreary than its name.

The sea was so rough, that here for a day and a night our two men were
obliged to remain; and when on the second day they ventured to launch
the boat, it was upset; nearly all their things were lost, and they
were left to endure the intense cold without the means of making a
fire, with no clothes but those they wore, and scarcely any food. For
a while they walked about, trying, not very successfully, to keep up
circulation; and by-and-by the feet of both began to swell and grow
so painful that it was no longer possible to keep on their shoes.
Still, although suffering both from hunger and cold (Henty's toes being
already frost-bitten), they kept up their spirits in true British
fashion, not for a minute doubting that sooner or later they would
be picked up; and true enough, on the fourth day the _Chanticleer_
was seen in the distance under weigh, and standing over towards them.
Taking the most prominent position that could be found, they made signs
and tried in every possible way to attract attention, but in vain.
If they had only possessed some means of kindling a fire they might
have succeeded; but although those on board were at the moment on the
look-out for their lost mess-mates, no one saw them; and the hope with
which the two poor fellows had buoyed themselves up, faded away as the
ship changed her course, grew smaller and smaller, and by-and-by, late
in the afternoon, while they still watched, altogether disappeared.

Although now their only chance of rescue was apparently gone, and the
last scrap of food was consumed, yet the brave fellows did not despair.
Their boat was very leaky; but on the 5th of September, having repaired
her as far as possible, they took advantage of finer weather to
endeavour to reach some spot where there would be more probability of
getting rescued by a passing ship; but they had scarcely got half-way
across the Straits before there was a terrific snow-storm; it blew a
gale; the boat began to fill rapidly; and finally they were blown back
again into the bay, upset in the surf and nearly drowned, being unable
to swim through having lost the use of their legs from sitting so
long in water. However, they were thrown up by the waves high, though
by no means dry, and in this miserable plight and under a pitiless
snow-storm, they were forced to remain all through the night. The next
day they managed to erect something in the form of a hut, in which they
might lie down and be to some extent protected from the weather, which
was so boisterous as to render it useless to attempt to launch the
boat. For some days, owing to exposure and want of food, they were both
very ill; but still hoping for better weather, they kept themselves
alive by eating sea-weed and such shell-fish as could be found, until
the 12th of September, when the weather suddenly clearing, they again
launched their small boat; and this time, after a day's hard toil,
succeeded in reaching the opposite side of the Straits, where they had
left the ship, which it is needless to say was by this time far away.

When first the men were missed, rockets had been fired, and blue-lights
burned; and on the following day the cutter was sent to the westward,
while the _Chanticleer_ coasted along the opposite side; look-out
men were constantly aloft; but nothing was to be seen of the missing
men. The next day the ship had remained at Port Famine, and exploring
parties were sent in all directions. On the third day they again
weighed anchor, and examined a fresh piece of coast, but all to no
purpose; and finally it was decided, with much regret, to give up the
search, for every one concluded that the poor men must by this time
have perished, even if they had survived the first night's cold, which
no one on board thought possible. Both men were generally popular, and
great grief was felt for their loss. Immediately a subscription was
started by the whole ship's company for the widow of the one man and
the mother of the other. Strangely enough, when the sad news reached
England, the former, in spite of what seemed conclusive evidence,
firmly refused to believe the assurance of her husband's death. Whether
the wife's intuition or the more logical inferences of every one else
proved correct, events will shew.

By the time Henty and Riddles reached, as we have seen, the opposite
side of the Straits it was quite dark; but on the following day they
found that the current had drifted them fourteen miles from Port
Famine, towards which they had steered, and for which place they now
started on foot. Here they saw in the distance a ship under steam
going towards the Pacific; but again all efforts to attract attention
failed. They knew of no settlement that they could hope to reach, and
at this rough season there was not the slightest chance of falling in
with any wandering tribes of natives. The only course left them was to
endure the cold, wait as patiently as might be, in the hope of some
ship passing within hail, and to keep up what little life remained
in them by chewing sea-weed, and seeking and devouring the mussels,
which fortunately were to be found in great abundance on the rocks.
After a time, however, they grew so weak as to be only just able to
crawl out of the place they had made to lie down in, and every day the
effort to gather their scanty nourishment grew harder. Once more, on
the 4th of October, they saw a vessel pass through the Straits, but
were unable to make any signals; on the 7th, both men had grown too
weak to stir, and nothing was left for them but to confront death. The
8th day passed, the 9th, the 10th, and they were still sinking slowly
from starvation. On the 11th, when they could not possibly have lived
more than a few hours longer, and had become little short of living
skeletons, they were picked up by the officers of the _Shearwater_,
and at once taken on board, where, after receiving the most careful
attention, both, although still suffering greatly, began after a time
to recover. Being conveyed by the _Shearwater_ to Rio, they remained
some time in the hospital there, and finally were sent home invalided;
and yet both men lived to regain their full strength, and to serve as
striking examples of what tough human nature can endure in the shape
of physical hardships and mental anxiety. They had contrived, by a
patience and energy almost unprecedented, to lengthen out existence for
a space considerably over a month, with no other food than sea-weed and
shell-fish; the last four days indeed eating absolutely nothing; while
the whole time exposed to intense cold, the roughest weather, and more
hardships than it is possible for those who have never seen that barren
and desolate region even to imagine.



THE MONTH:

SCIENCE AND ARTS.


Mr T. M. Reade, in his presidential address to the Liverpool Geological
Society, discussed the question of 'geological time,' and took as
an approximate measure thereof the denuding effect of rain-water on
the earth's surface. The most rainy districts in England are those
in which the oldest rocks prevail; but the average annual rainfall,
including Wales, may be taken at 32 inches. Assuming the area of the
two to represent one river basin, the quantity of water discharged in
a year would contain more than eight million tons of solid matters;
and at this rate, 12,978 years would be required to lower the surface
of the land one foot. Analyses of sea-water shew that there are in
100,000 tons, 48 tons of carbonate of lime and magnesia, and 1017 tons
of sulphate of lime and magnesia; and the ocean contains enough of the
first to cover the whole of the land with a layer fifteen feet thick;
and of the second to make a layer 267 feet thick. Twenty-five million
years would be required to accumulate the one, and 480,000 years the
other. Again, the total surface of the globe is 197 million square
miles. A cubic mile of rock would weigh 10,903,552,000 tons; so that,
as Mr Reade states, 'to cover the whole surface of the globe one mile
deep with sediment from the land at the rate of 800 tons per square
mile of land-surface, would take 52,647,052 years.'

Geologists have speculated over this question many years: it has now
passed into the hands of mathematicians, without whose aid it will
never be settled. The Rev. Dr Haughton, F.R.S., of Trinity College,
Dublin, in a paper read before the Royal Society on the last evening
of their session, 'On the probable age of the continent of Asia
and Europe, and on the absolute measure of geological time,' says
that the elevation of Asia and Europe from beneath the deep waters,
separated the earth's axis of rotation from the axis of figure by 207
miles, which would produce a large amount of wabbling. At present,
'astronomers are agreed that the motion of the pole is secular and very
slow, all traces of wabbling having disappeared.' Then after a series
of mathematical demonstrations, the doctor continues: 'The geological
age of the continent of Asia and Europe is well marked by the horizon
of the Nummulitic Limestones,' which extend from the Mediterranean to
Japan. 'These rocks make up the backbone of the great continent, and at
its formation were raised from deep water to form the highest chains
of mountains in the globe. Geologically speaking, they are modern,
belonging to the Lower Tertiary Period. My calculations assign to the
Nummulitic Epoch a date not less than 4157 millions of years ago. No
practical geologist will feel any surprise at this result.'

In a paper read at the last meeting of the Geological Society, Mr
Belt discussed various geological questions, and shewed reasons for
believing that in the far remote ages, the north of Europe was covered
by a great lake. 'The formation of this lake was due,' he remarked, 'to
the ice of the glacial period flowing down the beds of the Atlantic
and Pacific, and damming back the drainage of the continents as far
as it extended. To the rising of these waters must be ascribed the
destruction of palæolithic man, the mammoth, and the woolly rhinoceros.
This lake was once suddenly and torrentially discharged through the
breaking away of the Atlantic ice-dam, but was formed again and
ultimately drained by the cutting through of the channel of the
Bosphorus.' It is perhaps well to remark that these views are not as
yet implicitly accepted.

In the Eocene deposits of New Mexico a fossil bone of a gigantic bird
has been found, which, according to the description, had 'feet twice
the bulk of those of the ostrich.' This discovery proves that huge
birds formed part of the primeval fauna of North America, and that they
were not confined exclusively to the southern hemisphere.

Professor Kirkwood states, in a paper on the relative ages of the sun
and certain fixed stars read to the American Philosophical Society,
that the history of the solar system is comprised within twenty or
thirty millions of years; that our solar system is more advanced in its
history than the constellation of the Centaur, and that the companion
of Sirius appears to have reached a stage of greater maturity than the
sun, while the contrary seems to be true in regard to the principal
star.

The annual report on the great trigonometrical survey of India contains
particulars which shew that surveying in India is by no means holiday
pastime. Colonel Montgomerie, who has just retired after twenty-five
years' service, was engaged during nine of those years in a survey
of the dominions of the Maharaja of Kashmir, comprising about 77,000
square miles. Within this extensive area rise stupendous mountain
ranges and peaks, the highest of which is more than 28,000 feet, and
the Indus, Jhelum, Kishanganga, and other great rivers, flow through
the valleys. To fix the position of heights and places in such a
country requires a combination of courage, skill, and endurance rarely
to be met with, but which happily for geographical science has been
forthcoming ever since the Indian survey was commenced. The annual
reports contain many accounts of adventurous journeys, and hazardous
exploits which few readers would think of looking for among the dry
details of a scientific triangulation. Sometimes on resuming work
after the rainy season, the 'rays' or lanes which had been cut through
the forest to clear a way for taking distant sights, would be found
so choked by the shoots from tree-stumps and young bamboos which had
grown to an 'astonishing height,' that more than thirty miles of such
rays had to be cleared over again before the work could proceed. On
extending the survey into Burmah it was only by cutting tracks through
the dense forest that communications could be effected from station
to station, and whenever an existing road could be made available it
was regarded as a luxury. At Kamákabo it became necessary to carry the
great theodolite to the top of a rocky hill: the sharp projecting rocks
'jutted out in every direction,' and as they could not be removed,
ladders were stretched from rock to rock, and thus a most perilous
ascent and descent was accomplished. The labour and risk may be judged
of from the fact that the theodolite weighed more than six hundred
pounds, and we can appreciate the satisfaction with which the observer
wrote in his journal, 'it was a day of rejoicing when the instrument
was brought down in safety.' At times a region of sand-hills was
traversed where vision was not obstructed, but where not more than
three wells of drinkable water were found in a distance of seventy
miles. And once the observer waded through a mile of mud and water
under a burning sun to an old lighthouse whence it was essential to
take angles to fix the position of the new one five miles distant. A
consequence of this exploit was an attack of malarious fever.

It seems likely that trigonometrical surveying may be carried on
with less difficulty in future; for an Italian officer of engineers,
Lieutenant Manzi, has proved that the triangulations can be
photographed. It is possible to construct a camera geometrically
arranged, and if the rays of light converging from distant points of
view are intercepted, and marked on a diaphragm, it is evident that the
angular readings obtained to such points would be identical in their
bearings with the objects themselves. By such a camera, negative views
of inaccessible ground can be faithfully taken, and the angles can be
either plotted or calculated. Photography thus offers itself as a means
whereby a difficult mountain country can be surveyed without risk,
while for purposes of military recognisance its advantages are obvious.

For some time past attention has been directed towards steel-wire
cables; and experiments recently made in Portsmouth Dockyard have
clearly demonstrated their superiority over hemp and iron. Steel, as
is well known, is more and more used in the building of ships, and,
because of its tenacity and lightness, in their rigging; and now
it seems likely to supersede the unwieldy hawsers and chain cables
everywhere in use. With a chain the safety of the ship depends on the
weakest welding; and when a single link parts, either from inherent
defect or from a sudden jerk, everything parts, and the vessel drifts.
A wire cable, on the contrary, gives notice, so to speak, of an
approach to the breaking point. First one strand, then another, gives
way, and still the cable holds, and it may happen that it will hold
long enough to save the ship. Now that experiment has proved that a
steel-wire cable is as flexible as the best hemp, that it is three
times as strong, and does not cost more, the change from one to the
other may be made with confidence. Another advantage is the lightness,
for by making use of steel, about two-thirds of the usual weight of
the cable is got rid of. Evidence of the strength is seen in the fact
that a three-inch steel hawser did not break until the strain exceeded
twenty-two tons, and that a strain of more than a hundred tons was
required to break the six-inch.

Lieutenant Totten of the United States Army, in writing about
explosives and big guns, discusses carefully the question as to the
best kind of explosive for actual service; that which will expend its
entire force in driving out the projectile. With the large-grained
gunpowder now in use about half of the charge is wasted, while
gun-cotton and dynamite exert an injurious strain upon the gun. As
a way out of the difficulty, he recommends a 'compensating powder,'
each grain of which contains a core of gun-cotton, and he points out
that forty pounds of this powder would be sixty pounds stronger than
a hundred-pound charge of gunpowder. The explanation is that by the
time forty pounds of the hundred are burned, the shot has left the
gun; consequently, sixty pounds are of no help to the shot. But if the
forty pounds contain fifteen pounds of gun-cotton, then this cotton,
when fired, acts on the already moving shot under the most favourable
circumstances as a pure accelerator, and does not injure the gun. In
this way, writes Lieutenant Totten, 'we eliminate the great waste of
the one, curb the straining action of both, and obtain a true artillery
powder, lighter, and four and a half times more effective, charge for
charge, than our best gunpowder.'

An address 'On Light in some of its Relations to Disease,' delivered
to the Albany Institute (State of New York) by Dr Stevens, sets forth
views and facts which are worth consideration. Light, as we know, is
on the whole beneficial; but may there not be cases in which it is
harmful when passing through the transparent media of the human eye? Dr
Stevens is clearly of opinion that many nervous diseases are aggravated
if not produced by defective vision. The strain on the muscles of
the eye, when long continued, sets up an irritability which tells
injuriously on the nervous system, and neuralgic affections. St Vitus's
dance and severe periodical headaches are the consequence. Rectify the
imperfection of the sight, says Dr Stevens, by proper spectacles, and
the nervous disease will be either mitigated or cured. It is of no use
to buy glasses at hazard because they seem to suit the eye; for none
but a scientific oculist can really decide, after careful experiment,
on what is proper. In many cases the focus of the two eyes is not
the same, and each must have its proper glass. Professor Donders of
Utrecht was the first to point out that the so-called 'cylindrical
glasses' were generally the most efficient; and since then 'the science
of correcting anomalous refractions of the eye has been brought to a
perfection which is truly wonderful.'

Dr Poumeau of Guadeloupe has published a series of tables, based on the
changes of the moon, by which, as he believes, it is possible to tell
the sex of a child before birth. He intends to draw up similar tables
for the use of horse and cattle breeders; and if any one should test
his calculations by observation, the doctor would like to be informed
of the result.

The _Journal_ of the Chemical Society contains an account by Mr Hight,
of the Indian Forest Department, of experiments made with a view to
ascertain the practical nature of a proposed method of determining the
mineral strength of soils by means of water-culture. It is explained
that the usual object of water-culture experiments is to find what
particular salts are congenial or necessary to the growth of any
particular plant. When a plant is grown in an artificially prepared
solution, so that it can obtain its nourishment solely from the salts
contained in that solution, the exact effect of any salt upon the
growth of the plant can be easily observed by adding that salt to,
or abstracting it from the solution. In carrying out this method,
specimens of soil were taken from five different forests in India;
solutions of these specimens were made; seedlings of _Acacia arabica_
were, with proper precautions, placed in each, and the results of
growth, such as increase in weight, number of leaves, and length of
roots, were carefully noted. These results are published in a numerical
table, and allowing for the difficulties of a preliminary experiment,
may be regarded as satisfactory.

The question is frequently asked--Why is there no School of Forestry
in England, while in almost all other countries of Europe schools
of forest science are either established by the government, or are
associated with a university or a polytechnic institution? Sir Joseph
Hooker, President of the Royal Society, and Director of the Royal
Gardens, Kew, says in one of his reports, that the subject is so
neglected in this country, that when our government are in want of a
forest inspector for India, they have first to send him to France or
Germany to learn the theory and practice of taking care of a forest. On
the continent, as Sir Joseph remarks, 'forestry holds a distinguished
place among the branches of a liberal education. In the estimation of
an average Briton, forests are of infinitely less importance than the
game they shelter, and it is not long since the wanton destruction of
a fine young tree was considered a venial offence compared with the
snaring of a pheasant or rabbit. Wherever the English rule extends,
with the exception of India, the same apathy, or at least inaction,
prevails. In South Africa, according to the colonial botanist's report,
millions of acres have been made desert, and more are being made
desert annually, through the destruction of the indigenous forests; in
Demarara the useful timber trees have all been removed from accessible
regions, and no care or thought is given to planting others; from
Trinidad we have the same story; in New Zealand there is not now a
good Kauri pine to be found near the coast, and I believe that the
annals of almost every English colony would repeat the tale of wilful
wanton waste and improvidence. On the other hand in France, Germany,
Switzerland, Austria, and Russia, the forests and waste lands are
the subjects of devoted attention on the part of the government, and
colleges, provided with a complete staff of accomplished professors,
train youths of good birth and education to the duties of state
foresters. Nor, in the case of France, is this practice confined to
the mother country: the Algerian forests are worked with scrupulous
solicitude, and the collections of vegetable produce from the French
colonies in the permanent museum at Paris contain specimens which
abundantly testify that their forests are all diligently explored.'

This is a long quotation; but it is justified by the importance of
the subject, and it is quite clear that we cannot go on much longer
without a School of Forestry. Diligent students can hardly fail to be
forthcoming, and when once they shall have proved themselves efficient
inspectors, the question of 'good' birth may be left to take care of
itself.



THE DESERTED GARDEN.


    Beyond the woods, yet half by woods inclosed,
    A tangled wilderness of fair growth lay;
    A spot where dreaming poet might have dosed
    Into the dawning of a fairy day;
    For in its desolation wild reposed
    Something that pointed to a past more gay,
    Since here and there one found the lingering trace
    Of caresome hands in the neglected place.

    The once trim walks were coated thick with moss;
    Dwarfed were the garden roses, and their glow
    From vivid crimson paled to fainter gloss
    Nigh broken sun-dial; and the water's flow
    Had ceased to murmur in the ancient foss,
    Whose slopes were now with purple thyme a-blow;
    And on the fragments of the crumbled wall
    The golden wall-flower stood like seneschal.

    The nut-trees made an archway overgrown,
    And midst the boughs the timid squirrel leapt;
    At eve the nightingale with mellow tone
    Sang with the mourning wind a dirge that crept
    Into all hearts--until one heart more lone
    Than others, gathered up the strain and wept;
    Nor knew if 'twere half joy or wholly grief
    That in the sympathetic chord had found relief.

    The clouds sent flickering shadows o'er the grass,
    As though some spectral life were there upstirred;
    And as the fitful breezes onward pass,
    A murmur of strange voices might be heard,
    As though some unseen quire were chanting mass,
    Echoed throughout the grove by plaintive bird;
    And still the wanderer listening, asks for whom
    The wild Amen!--For whom the flowers did bloom?

    The ancient summer-house with broken vane,
    And rotting pillars where the woodbines twine;
    And on a cobwebbed solitary pane
    In casement, that with colours once did shine,
    And shewed the seasons through each differing stain,
    Was writ in jaggèd-wise a Latin line,
    '_Sic transit gloria mundi_;' and below,
    'My Ursula! the world is full of woe.'

    It read as epitaph above the grave
    Of human hopes, all blighted as the space
    Around, whose wreck no hand was stretched to save;
    Yet that with tender melancholy grace,
    A sermon in that blooming desert gave
    To him whose soul had power enough to trace
    In the lone scene, so desolate, so lone,
    Though man upbuilds, God shapes the crowning stone.

    I spake the name a score of times aloud,
    'Sweet Ursula,' a source of joy and woe!
    The glory of a life, the light allowed
    To make all nature flush with deeper glow.
    Then light put out--then darkness--then a cloud
    And agony that nought but love can know--
    The bitter memory of a sweetness past,
    A gleam of sunshine all too bright to last.

    The lazy lilies gleamed with petals white
    Upon the pool o'errun with weeds and sedges,
    That once shone clear and fair as mirror bright,
    With blue forget-me-nots on shelving ledges,
    Where water-flags upreared their banners light,
    And the marsh-mallow crept along its edges--
    But in the water face to face no more
    Smiled back as in the happier days of yore.

    Ah! could the olden stones a story tell,
    How sweet a love-tale might they not reveal
    Of mystic Ursula, and what befell
    In the fond hopes and doubts that lovers feel,
    Till blighted by that sorrowful farewell
    That all the beauty of the world did steal;
    Shattered the rainbow in fresh gathered cloud,
    And changed the bridal robe to funeral shroud.

    Perchance her monument this wildered spot,
    Tended by Nature's pitying hand alone,
    For one by generations now forgot,
    To whom _he_ reared no proud sepulchral stone;
    But with love's jealousy he willed that not
    Another o'er her grave should make his moan--
    But he alone through hieroglyphic bloom,
    Should haunt the precincts of the loved one's tomb.

    Ay, who can tell! For Time his seal hath set
    On life and all its secrets gone before;
    The hearts are dead that never could forget;
    The hearts that live, but know the tale no more.
    Each hath its bitterness o'er which to fret,
    Each hath its joys eclipsing those of yore;
    To each its own small world the real seems,
    Outside of which is but a land of dreams.

    Yet still one loves to linger here and muse,
    And conjure up vague theories of the past;
    And here a hand to trace; and there to lose
    The touch of human life upon it cast;
    And still for idle loitering make excuse,
    And weave a tale of mystery to the last;
    And in the old deserted garden bowers
    Find fairer blossoms than 'mongst tended flowers.

        JULIA GODDARD.

       *       *       *       *       *

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 611: remian changed to remain.]





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