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Full text of "Rovings on land and sea"

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R O V I N G S 



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LAND AND SEA. 



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CAPT. HENRY E. DAVENPORT. 



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BOSTON: 
WENTWORTH, HEWES & CO. 

86 WAOTINOTON BTRBBT. 

1858. 



INTRODUCTION. 

••; 0'- 

* 

No books whatever are more instructive and 
entertaining than books of travels. They satisfy 
that eager thirst after knowledge so strong in the 
breasts of all persons, and furnish the mind with 
matter for reflection. 

We present the reader, in the following pages, 
valuable facts and thrilling incidents, interspersed 
with some of the finest Tales in the language; 
and believe that there never was brought together, 
in so small a compass, a more copious collection 
of rational entertainment than will be met with 
in this volume. 



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EOITEITS. 



Pagb 

TWO MILLIONAIRESj 7 

Banker and the Grocer, 9 

The Grocer rises in the Scale, 11 

Hope and Consolation, . . .- 13 

Better Prospects, 16 

The Electoral Birth-Day, 20 

The Equipage, . . ." 26 

The Victor>', 31 

The First of April, 34 

Continued from Part Fii'st, . - • 40 

The Household, 48 

Village Schoolmaster, '53 

Beginning of the Reformation, 56 

Progress of the Reformation, 57 

The-Colony, 60 

The New Dignity, 62 

The Highest Festival, , 67 

A Fortunate Misfortiine, 70 

'M OWE YOU NOTHING, SIR," 75 

The Teacher, 79 

The Heir, 82 

NOTES OF A JOURNEY ACROSS THt ISTHMUS OF PANAMA, 8S 

THE TWO PASSPORTS, 97 



CONTENTS. 

AUSTRALIA AIND VAN DIEMEN'S LANDj • m 

The Barrel Tree, 117 

"Western Australia, 142 

THE FAIRY CUP, 151 

THE WHITE SWALLOW, 161 

The Athapascow Foray, » 166 

Matonaza, 172 

The Esquimaux Village, - 177 

Wanderings and Sufferings, 181 

Winter, 185 

The Lover's Search, 190 

Strange Events 193 

FOWLING IN FAROE AND SHETLAND, 201 

A FUQUEER'S CURSE, 208 

THE DESERTS OF AFRICAj 214 

Inhabitants of the Desert, 225 

The Commerce of the Desert, » 243 

LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN, 254 

THE DEALER IN WISDOM, 295 

THE KEY OF THE STREET, 303 



TM TWO illLLIOIMIES. 




HEN I was a young man completing 
my studies at Jena, one of my most 
agreeable acquaintances was old Forest 
I Counsellor Von JRodern, and some of 
I my pleasantest hours were spent in his 
house. "We used to assemble once or 
twice a week, a tolerably large circle, 
consisting in part of men like himself 
in the service of the State, "angestel- 
tle," — though when, and where, and 
how, two thirds of these served, I never 
could make out; nor how the State 
^ could want such an army of them ; for 
truly of those " angesteltle" in most Grerman States, their name is 
legion, — and partly of such of the students as were less addicted 
to the uproarious merriment then 'and now in fashion among the 
Burseken. Even some of the "roaring boys'' would now and 
then like a quiet evening at the Counsellor's, by way of relief to 
their wilder carousals, though somewhat -in the proportion of Fal- 
staflf's bread to his sack. The Counsellor was a kind-hearted, 
cheerful old man, at peace with himself and all the world, perhaps 
because the world had gone well with him, or, perhaps, that from a 
natural felicity of temperament, he had gone well with the world, 
never raising his expectations too high either of himself or others, 
and, therefore, escaping the ossifying and acidulating process so 
actively at work with those who have tasted too often of hope de- 
ceived, whether with or without any fault of their own. He never 
'Pretended to give entertainments; the refreshments were limited to 

(7) 



8 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

a cup of coffee, or . of the anomalous beverage so innocently ac- 
cepted by our kinsfolk, the Germans, under the name of tea, and 
concocted in the proportion of a spoonful of the herb to a gallon of 
water. Many of the guests used to qualify the mixture with lemon, 
wine, or vanilla, which I wondered at till I tasted it in its primitive 
Btate, and then I held all means lawful which should make it taste 
of something. There was no want of amusement, though we neither 
declaimed tragedies, slandered our neighbors, nor played at cards. 
There was difference enough of age, temper, condition, and charao- 
ter among us to give variety to the conversation on whatever subject 
it chanced to fall ; and when the discussion threatened to become 
too warm, the amenity of our host acted as a kind of general dulci- 
fier of all acerbities, and brought about, if not an agreement of 
principle, an agreement to differ. One of the most successful 
means of producing this desirable result was the Counsellor's 
reminiscences of his. earlier life. He possessed much of the talents 
** de courtier,''^ so highly valued as an accomplishment of society 
by our neighbors. Some of his narratives I have thought worth 
while transcribing, though I have small expectation of rendering 
them as agreeable to a reader as they were to a hearer. . 

The conversation fell one evening on Rousseau's writings, and his 
own character, — his morbid susceptibility, — his scorn, whether 
real or affectdfd, of the rich and great, — his proud poverty, — and 
the contradiction between his misanthropy and his zeal for the 
reformation of society. 

Some defended the unhappy philosopher, .whose life was a con- 
tinual warfare with himself and others, and blamed the friends who 
had not understood him. Others justified the friends, and asked 
which of his champions could honestly assert he could have kept on 
good terms with him for a month. The effects of opulence and 
indigence on the minds of gifted and right-minded men, came incir 
dentally under discussion. What would Rousseau have been, had 
he been born to purple and fine linen — to be served instead of 
serving? "I remember a story, or rather a couple of stories," 
eaid the Counsellor, '* which have some refetence to the subject of 
your dispute. I will not say they will settle it, but they may 
furnish some further argument. Both are singular in their way. 
One was the best-executed practical joke I ever heard of. The 
heroes of both were friends of my youth, and one of them is still 
one of my best and dearest." Listen if you like, — learn if you 



can 



T&: 



E TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



THE BANKER AND THE GROCER. 

Among my intimates at the University of Inbingen, Casimir 
Mom was the most distinguished by nature and fortune ; one had 
given him a handsome person, considerable talents, and an excel- 
lent heart ; the other a rich banker for a father, that the value of 
tho diamond might not be impaired for want of a fit setting. Be- 
fore entering the University he had travelled through the greater 
part of Germany, France, and Italy. His mind, already cultivated 
and enlarged, preserved him from contamination by the coarser ex- 
cesses of the wilder part of his fellow-students ; while the succor- 
ing hand held out to the more necessitous, attested that his temper- 
ance was the result not of prudence only, but of choice. 

Half a year before he left the University, I accompanied him in 
the vacation to his father's house. The elder Morn was banker to 
the Court, and lived in great splendor in the electoral city of 
Cassel, where he was visited by what are called the first people in 
the city. 

Near Morn's house, or rather palace, stood an old, dilapidated, 
gloomy-looking house, the abode of one Eomanus, a grocer, — a 
miserly old curmudgeon, who had the reputation of possessing the 
best filled coffers and the prettiest daughter in the city. He was 
said to be a millionaire ; yet h© continued to weigh out coffee, pep- 
per, cheese, and treacle, with his own hand, — nay, if he were dis- 
abled, the fair fingers of the fair Caroline were pressed into the ser- 
vice, for a shopman had never been admitted behind the counter of 
Herr Eomanus. 

Casimir Morn and the pretty groceress had played together as 
neighbors' children, and seemed by no means inclined to drop the 
acquaintance now that they had ceased to be children. The banker, 
however, began to make somewhat of a wry face at the familiar tone 
of the young people towards each other. He was aspking in his 
views, and thought of purchasing a patent of nobility ; and then, with 
the magic Von before his name, and his own handsome face and figure, 
his son might look for a better quartering in his escutcheon than a 
sugar loaf, and Swiss cheese parted per pale. The grocer, on the 
other hand, might perhaps have held it expedient to keep the flies 
from buzzmg too near his sweets ; and, no doubt, it was with this 
view that he always charged Casimir treble the usual price, when- 
ever he made the purchase of any of the other's wares the pretence for 
entering the shop. But Casimu', who was honestly and seriously iu 



10 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

love, had no intention that affaii'S should remain on this ambiguous 
footing. On the contrary, he gravely assured his father that if 
ever he brought home a wife it must be Caroline Romanus ; and 
Caroline assured Tier father that no young man was endurable to hei 
eyes saviag and excepting Casimir Morn. The banker loved his 
only son. He had nothing personally to object to the roses and the 
lilies, forget-me-not eyes and raven curls of Caroline, and saw some- 
thing greatly to admire in her father's million. Finding his son 
resolute, he was inclined to give way. Herr Romanus had, on his 
side, nothing to say against the banker's son. His father carried on 
the first business in the electorate ; and when, to these consider- 
ations, was added, that the lovers had already sworn fidelity to all 
eternity and beyond, it must be confessed that the marriage was 
♦highly expedient. Who would have guessed that we were all 
reckoning without our host ? 

The unlooked-for obstacle arose in the shape of a grave proposal 
of Herr Romanus, that his future son-in-law — the handsome, 
graceful Casimir, the darling of the fair, with all his university 
honors blushing thick upon him — should forthwith renounce the 
flowery paths of literature, forsake the thornier crown awaiting the 
successful pursuit of severer science, and, donning a white apron, 
serve sugar and snujQF for the remainder of his days ! Herr Roma- 
nus had no faith in any pursuit above or below a counter. Learning 
was nothing in his eyes ; " the service," no better than legalized 
thieving ; banking, gambling according to law. 

The banker was furious. His son, to whom his natural and 
acquired advantages, and his own connections with the court, opened 
the way to the first employments in the State, who had already 
been named Referendary to the High Court of something or other 
— for the first six months without salary, certainly, but with the 
positive assui'ance of speedy advancement ; and now came this 
ridiculous old grocer with the preposterous demand that he should 
renounce all these splendid prospects, (the patent nobility included,) 
and sell treacle and herrings at three farthings apiece to the worthy 

burghers of . Was ever a lover reduced to such an absurd 

dilemma before? At three-and-twenty it is hard to say what 
would not be undertaken for a fair and beloved maiden ; bat- 
teries might be stormed, wounds and death defied, a desert held as 
a paradise, Satan himself dared to mortal combat ; all might be 
borne ; — but to sink from a minister of state in expectation to a 
seller of tea, cofiee, tobacco, snufF, was worse than battery, desert. 
death, and the duel ! 

It struck me as somewhat odd, that instead of breaking off at 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 11 

once with tlie absurd old humorist, the proud banker should in 
private counsel his. son to capitulate. Caroline, however, herself 
opposed her father's whim. It was agreed that Casimir should 
return to the University for half a year ; and, in the mean time, 
every engine should be set to work to soften the heart of Herr 
Eomanus, including tears, fainting, and threats of going into a con- 
bumption.- 



THE GROCER RISES IN THE SCALE THE BANKER KICKS THE BEAM. 

Caroline Romanus was a diligent correspondent. Casimir was 

informed of everything that happened in the good city of , 

except what he most desired to know — viz., that Herr Eomanus 
had changed his mind. But no ; the old man was as imniovable 
as the wooden negro at his own door. His son-in-law must be a 
grocer : he had said it, and he stuck to it. The only consolatory 
part of Caroline's letter was the concluding paragraph — "After 
all, we can wait a little ; I am only sixteen, and you three-and- 
twenty." 

Four months had thus passed away, when one morning Casimir 
burst into my room, with an open letter in his hand and consterna- 
tion in his countenance. It was from the broker Morn, and con- 
tained this laconic and astounding information: — "lam a bank- 
rupt and fugitive : I must leave directly. I am going to 

England, and thence- to the West Indies. The ten thousand 
florins, secured to you by the enclosed paper, you will receive on 
application. It is all I have been able to save for you from the 
wreck." 

Very naturally, such an unexpected blow of fate had a tendency 
to lengthen the visage even of a lover of three-and-twenty. The 
sum transmitted was not a third part of his mother's fortune which 
had been secured to Casimir. I attempted some -words of consola- 
tion. He made a sign to me to be silent, and passing his hand 
rapidly over his brow — " Do not mistake me," said he faltering ; 
" it is not the poverty I feel, but the disgrace. And do not at- 
tempt to console me for either : for one there is no consolation, and 
for the other no need of it. I should despise myself if the mere 
loss of wealth could sadden the future to me. Help me to divert 
my thoughts for to-day, if you can ; to-morrow I shall not need 
your help." 

Casimir returned to -— — . His father's splendid house, with 



12 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

all belonging to it, had been already sold. The wbolc city cried 
upon tbe runaway banker, and pitied the son, except the old grocer. 
He had lost eight thousand dollars by Morn's bankruptcy. At 
first, he had comforted himself with the hope that Casimir would 
be able to make it up to him out of his mother's fortune ; but when 
the young man frankly confessed that the same cause had deprived 
him of the greater part of his fortune, the old man laughed derid- 
ingly. " Whistle me another tune from that, young man," said he, 
twirling his queer-looking wig round and round upon his head, as 
he was wont on similar occasions. " Your father, Herr Casimir, is a 
clever fellow ! He would make a capital finance minister ! What 
would you wager, now, that he has brought his sheep to dry land in 
time ? " and here Romanus dropped the fingers of his right hand 
into the hollow of his left, with a significant look, as if counting 
money. " How long is it to be before he makes his appearance 
amongst us again as a rich man? " 

Casimir colored deeply. " His father," he said, " had been un.- 
fortunate — thoughtless, perhaps — but he was no deliberate de- 
ceiver.^' 

When Romanus saw that Casimir was really unable to .pay the 
eight thousand dollars, he demanded, without ceremony, all he had 
in part payment at least. 

" How, then, am I to live ? " asked the young man. " As yet I 
receive no salary from my appointment." 

" My heavens ! " whined the miser, " you are a learned man, 
Herr Casimir. You may be secretary to somebody ; but what is to 
become of me ? Oh ! I am a poor, ruined old man, driven out of 
house and home. If I am to lose all this monstrous sum, I and my 
poor child must beg from door to door." 

" Indeed, are you really poor ? " cried Morn. " No, you shall 
not beg. Take my little capital into your trade, and give me 
Caroline's hand. Make of me. what you will. Industry and econ- 
omy will soon make up for the past. We shall be the happiest 
people in the world." 

Casimir said this with so much warmth and evident sincerity, 
that the old grocer was, to use a homely phrase, fairly dumb-found- 
ered. 

" What," said he at length, in his harshest tone, " is it a matter 
of rejoicing that your honorable papa then has cheated me out of 
my whole property ? And, to reward such honest dealing, I shall 
give you my daughter, shall I ? Your humble servant ! If your 
worthy father has made me a beggar, I will hold no beggar's wed- 
iing in my house, I promise you. Be so good as to take vourself 



THE T^yO MILLIONAIRES. 1 

off, will you ? And, if I may be so bold as to ask a favor, I would 
beg that you never darken my doors again. I wash my hands of 
you. I have not brought up my girl to fling her into the arms of 
the first fellow without a penny in his pocket that has the impu- 
dence to ask her." 

And this was the result of poor Casimir's interview with Herf 
Romanus. 



HOPE AND CONSOLATION. 

Whichever way the unfortunate young man turned, he heard ex- 
ecrations on his father's name. Those who, during the banker's, 
prosperity, had been his basest flatterers, now distinguished them- 
selves by the bitterness and violence of their reproaches. In con- 
sequence, the news of his father's death, which reached Casimir a 
few months after, brought with it a kind of melancholy consolation, 
notwithstanding his unfeigned sorrow. The unfortunate banker 
died at Antwerp of inflammation of the lungs, which had been 
neglected probably in the overwhelming griefs and vexations conse- 
quent on his bankruptcy. The death of Morn at last put an end 

to the storm of hostility, and the worthy people of even found 

some expressions of pity for the son at last. 

Casimir's courage rose again, after the first stunning efifects of the 
blow, -with that elastic vigor natural to his age. When the storm 
had somewhat blown over, he addressed himself for employment to 
some former friends of his family, and met with a civjl reception 
from all. His appointment as Referendary to the Electoral 
Chamber was confirmed. 

" You must study at the law, Roman and financial," said the 
minister, " and I will think of you in time. Of course, as youngest 
in the office, you must work without salary. But, in a year or 
two, I hope we shall be able to do something for you. You are 
still very young ; one cannot expect much at four-and-twenty ! " 

Morn was well contented for the time. He fixed himself in a 
respectable citizen's house, right opposite the once splendid dwelling 
of his family — less haunted by the memory of former magnificence 
than allured by the vision of Caroline's blue eyes and rose-tinted 
cheek; for, although the old chandler had prohibited him from 
crossing his threshold, he <30uld not prevent eyes from visiting as 
they listed. 

Casimir's sitting-room and that used by Caroline Romanus were, 



1-i ' THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

by good fortune, exactly opposite, and, when the sun shone, not a 
comer of either was invisible to the other. Each knew when 
the other came in or went out, how they were employed, when they 
were glad, when they were sorry. After the fashion of maidens of 
her class in Germany, Caroline's constant seat, when not employed 
in household duties, was perched up at the window ; so there was 
nothing very remarkable in her preferring her knitting needles to 
all other employment. Never, even among her country-women, 
was there such an indefatigable knitter. 

Within a year's time the language of looks and signs had been 
brou^t to such perfection that all they thought, wished, hoped, or 
feared, was mutually understood, without exchanging a word. 

Cheered by the glad eye and radiant smile of the fair and faith" 
jfiil Caroline, young Morn labored with unwearied dihgence, not 
only in his own peculiar vocation, but was always ready to assist the 
superiors in office, who, having easier employment and more pay, 
found, of course, less leisure, with their accounts, memorials, 
minutes, &c. &c. He stood, therefore, high in the good graces of 
his colleagues, every one eulogized his talents and acquirements, 
asked his advice, and accepted his services; and, in return, no one 
in the city received more invitations to balls, soirees, and picnics. 

The fathers praised his ready head and ready hand, the daughters 
declared that he sang admirably, waltzed divinely, and declaimed 
like an angel, in their private theatricals ; but, alas ! in spite of this 
universal favor, Casimir Morn remained, at six-and-twenty, the 
generally-esteemed but unpaid junior Referendary of the Electoral 
Chamber of . 

" Never mind," was Caroline's unfailing topic of consolation ; 
"you are hut six-and-twenty, and I am just nineteen." The lovely 
Caroline was now in the full l)loom, and beyond dispute the fairest 
maiden in the city. The fame of her beauty and her probable 
wealth even reached the court. Princes and Counts, with unim- 
peachable quarterings, condescended to press with their noble feet 
the very dirty pavement before the low, dark, strong-flavored shop 
of grocer Romanus ; and, what was more, to shed the light of their 
countenance on the cunning, miserly, old curmudgeon himself. A 
beauty like Caroline, and the heiress of a million, was well worth 

the sacrifice of all the genealogies, orders and diplomas in . 

Yet, neither counts, barons, knights, state, war, court, chamber, 
justice, (civil and criminal,) finance, police, church, or public instruc- 
tion, privy or public counsellor, .could touch the heart of the old 
grocer, or his charming heiress. On the one hand, Herr Romanus 
adhered with the obstinacy of a whole herd of mules to his reeolu- 



THE TWO MILLIONAIERS. 15 

tion of finding or making his future son-in-law a grocer ; and, on the 
other, the damsel herself was as indifferent to the galaxy of stars 
in the court firmament as if they had been so many farthing rush- 
lights in her papa's shop. 

All her pretty coquetries, her winning glances, and gracious 
smiles — for which counts and counsellors looked and sighed in 
vain — were lavished, unasked for and by the dozen, on the honor- 
ary junior Referendary of the Electoral Chamber. 

This ought to have been consolation enough ; but, when two more 
years had passed over his head, without bringing any alteration in 
his prospects, Casimir's brow began to cloud sometimes, and other 
sighs *than those of love to steal from his bosom. Old Romanus 
was as immovable as a rock to lovers' entreaties, and the minister 
seemed to have forgotten him altogether. Morn was an admirable 
laborer in the official vineyard, a man of the strictest honor, of the 
clearest head — these were facts that no one ventured to gainsay — 
and yet, when a place became vacant, no one thought any more of 
the untainted honor, the clear head, and gratuitous labors of the 
unpaid Referendary, 'Casimir Morn, than if there had been no such 
merits in existence, or no need of them in the electoral city of 

. People had their sons, or their nephews, or their cousins 

thirty times removed, to provide for ; young men, who had neither 
served half so long nor deserved half so well, were continually put 
over his head ; and if he made any complaint, he was answered by 
a silent shrug, or a head-shaking at the nepotism of some brother 
official, or grave exclamations at the ingratitude of great men, 
sweetened, perhaps, by a vague assurance that although the omission 
of his name had been unavoidable this time, another he might de- 
pend, &c. &c. 

No sooner, however, was the complainant's back turned than the 
com-plainee was amazed at the assurance with which such claims 
were advanced, as if Mr. Casimir Morn really looked on himself as 
their equal, as if his pretensions admitted of any comparison with 
those of Von this, and Von the other ! If people of that class were 
wanted they would be called for, and so forth. With all his clear- 
headedness. Morn was of those thoroughly good-hearted people who 
forgive as easily as they are injured. In the blind-man's buff game 
of fortune, somehow they are always buff — are paid for real hard 
service by a friendly pressure of the hand or a cordial word — and 
run through fire and water for their friends, to get nothing but the 
singeing and sousing for their pains. They cannot comprehend such 
a thing as smiling treachery ; and the astonishing readiness with 
which some will be guilty of the basest comjjliances, for the mean^t 



16 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

objects, is absolutely incredible to them. Morn looked willingly on 
the bright side of human life, and would gladly have ignored the 
existence of the shadow altogether. The belief in the moral purity 
of his fellow-men was a positive necessity for him. 

He bore his lot, therefore, with patience, if not with pleasure — 
at least so he said to himself, " his merit was aclmowledged and 
loved." That it should be so often and so oddly passed over in the 
distribution of the loaves and fishes of office, did certainly appear to 
him unjust ; yet in his own heart he doubted whether, after all, the 
fault might not be his own. He thought his services ought to speak 
for him instead of his lips; he was not fond of showing himself in a 
great man's antechamber, which, indeed, he seldom or never entered, 
unless business called him there ; courteous and obliging by nature 
and habit, he was yet more frank in the exposition of his opinions 
than beseemed an exp^tant ; and, more than all, he had an honor- 
able reserve in speaking of his circumstances ; and if he allowed his 
acquaintance to think him, or to pretend they thought him, much 
richer than he was, the weakness had its origin in a pardonable if 
not a praiseworthy motive. Perhaps others were esteemed more in 
need of advancement than himself, and therefore he was passed 
over. Poor Morn ! 

He still lived opposite Romanus' house, and the blue heaven of 
Caroline's eyes still rained on him light and life. One morning in 
March — it was his birthday — and she made her appearance early 
at the window, wearing in her bosom the nosegay of snow-drops, of 
which she made a yearly imaginary ofiering to her lover. To-day 
you are eight-and-twenty, and I twenty, she telegraphed — the 
pretty fingers lingered in tracing the last word. Twenty is not a 
desperate age, certainly ; but yet, when a girl has not only made up 
her mind for the last four years to be married, but actually fixed on 
the man, to turn her back upon the " teens " is a step in a maiden's 
life, particularly when we consider that another twenty might pasa 
before Kramer Romanus would alter his mind. In the mean time, 
Caroline's beauty was at its height ; by a necessary deduction, the 
next step must be downward ; and " I am growing an old bachelor,' 
sighed Casimir. He turned from the window, and sat down on the 
sofa with his back to the light. 

BETTER PROSPECTS. 

Some one knocked at the door. It was a servant of Privy 
Counsellor Count Yon Bitterblolt. &c. &c. &c., who brought a 
gracious intimation that his lord wished to say a few words in private 
td Referendary Casimir Morn. * A few words in private " from 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. . 17 

Count Von Bitterblolt, tlie confidential minister of his Highness the 
Elector, was no small honor. Casimir flew to him on the wings of 
curiosity and expectation. He was received by the favorite with 
extraordinary graciousness. The Count had the gift of appearing 
excessively amiable and condescending towards his inferiors when he 
wanted to gain a point by them, and as outrageously insolent and 
arrogant when his point was gained ; he not only, like another great 
man, his countrjnnan, threw away the peel when he had sucked the 
orange, but kicked it into the gutter. 

"It is his Highness' wish, my dear young friend," began Count 
Von Bitterblolt, " that his newly-acquired territory should as much 
as possible be principally assimilated to the old. In pursuance of 
this object, there must be a new survey made of the domain, with 
all its regalities, rights and privileges, and a certain confomjity of 
administration introduced, and projects for a new system of taxation, 
suitable to the natui-e of the acquired lands, and the exigencies of 
the State, be drawn up. His Highness has already appointed an 
extraordinary commission. The affair, my dear Mr. Morn, is a del- 
icate and a difficult one. The two Chamber Counsellors at the 
head of it are men advanced in life. They will never bring the 
business to an end. I have said as much to his Highness. But 
they are old and faithful servants to the State, and cannot be passed 
over; though, between ourselves, my dear young friend," in a 
charming tone of confidence added the Count, " two more unfit men 
could scarcely be found. To give perhaps a little more vivacity to 
their proceedings, it has also pleased his Highness to join my son to 
the commission, though, I give you my honor, I really opposed the 
appointment. I thought it my duty to do so. But princes, you 
know, my dear sir, do not love contradiction, and our excellent 
Elector is no exception. Unfortunately, my son's health is exceed- 
ingly delicate. I foresee the business will be horribly spun out, and 
that must not be. I have, therefore, thought of associating you, my 
dear Referendary, as secretary to the commission. Your expenses, 
of course, will be paid ; and if my son, with your assistance, accom- 
plishes his task, as I have no doubt he will, to the satisfaction of his 
Highness, it will 'create a most admirable opportunity for bringing 
your uncommon merit to the • obs^'vation of his Highness. I have 
already proposed to myself the pleasure of conferring on you the 
first vacant office in the newly-acquired domain." 

Morn, as may well be supposed, readily closed with the ofier, the 

motives of which he perceived easily enough. The two elderly 

gentlemen were a couple of superannuated old blockheads, only 

thrust in to give a color to the appointment of the young Von 

2 



18 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

Bitterblolt, a raw youth not long from the University, totally igno- 
rant of that or any other business. From these premises might be 
deducted the very obvious conclusion, that the whole weight of the 
employment must fall on the shoulders of Mr. Secretary Morn. 
No matter, he w.as not afraid of labor ; no doubt the minister must 
feel the weight of his semces, and would reward them accordingly ! 
The exceeding liberality of the Count, in paying his expenses, was 
not at present a matter of indifference to him. As he had served 
the State for four years without fee or reward, the interest of his 
little capital had been insufficient even for his moderate expenses. 
Every year saw consequently a portion of the capital itself sunk, 
which again diminished the interest, which tended further to the 
impoverishment of Mr. Casimir Morn. 

He took a tender leave of his Caroline, and left , with the 

noble commissioners, fall of the most animating hopes. It will be 
taken for granted that he had previously arranged a plan of corre- 
Bpondence with his beloved ; and even this was not so simple a matter 
as it may at firsf appear, since the cunning old millionaire, by way^ 
of teaching his daughter the right value of money, had hit upon the 
admirable plan of never giving her a farthing ; consequently, the 
cost of the correspondence fell wholly upon Morn. Casimir's life in 
the capital of the new province was pretty much what it had been 
at the Electoral. He labored hard in his vocation, made few ac- 
quaintances, that he might avoid useless expense, refreshed himself 
by a walk in the evening, and finished the day by reading a letter 
from or writing one to his second self. 

An accidental circuinstance procured him another amusement 
shortly after. The rooms next to his in the hotel where he had 
taken up his abode were occupied by a foreigner, whom he usually 
encountered at the table d'hote where he never spoke ; and, after 
retiring for the night, Casimir used to hear him walking up and 
down his bed-chamber for hours together. The stranger was a pale, 
elegant young man, apparently about Morn's own age, was attended 
by two servants, and had lived nearly three weeks in the town, 
where, however, he seemed neither to know nor wish to know a 
single individual. He bore the name of Devereux — an English- 
man, therefore, Mcfrn concluded ; and, one day, addressing him in 
his native language, partly out of a good desire to enliven the 
melancholy looking stranger, and partly because he was glad of an 
opj^ortunity to practise his English. 

The Briton looked at him with surprise and some appearance of 
pleasure, and answered courteously but briefly, and then fell baek 
into his former silence. During the dinner, Casimir observed the 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 19 

stranger casting penetrating glances towards him, and, when it was 
over, he came suddenly up to him, saying, " Will you allow me to 
speak with you a moment alone ? " 

Gasimir toot him immediately into his own room. 

" I am about to make a very odd request to a stranger," began 
the Englishman, abruptly ; " but it will not be mended by circum- 
' locution. A letter of credit I expected to find here has been de- 
layed by some strange accident. I have a pressing necessity to set 
out immediately for Amsterdam, and I am without money. Can 
you, or will you, lend me a hundred louis d'ors ? On my arrival at 
Amsterdam, you shall receive it again directly, with what interest 
you please." 

Casimir was taken somewhat by surprise. He expressed none, 
however ; but, after a short pause, said, " I have not so much 
about me ; but I could procure it within fourteen days." 

" You will oblige me more than I can express ; you save me from 
a most unpleasant embarrassment," returned the Englishman, who 
shook Morn " heartily by the hand, and left him. The whole afiair 
had scarcely occupied five minutes. When he was alone, Casimir 
began to feel he had been a little over-hasty in his promise. A 
hundred louis d'ors were neither more nor less than the fourth part 
•of his whole property. He shook his head. The Englishman's face 
announced honesty ; he looked like anything but an adventurer ; 
still, a hundred louis were the fourth part of his capital, and to put 
it at once in the power of a total stra,nger, on the strength of a 
pleasing countenance, was rather a thoughtless proceeding. " Well," 
was the conclusion of Morn's soliloquy, " well, my opinion is that he 
will not deceive me ; and if he should ? — well, it will be the first 
time in my life, and the last." 

Apparently this was not the only grief the stranger had on his 
mind; for, notwithstanding the promised assistance, Morn heard 
him at night again pacing his chamber in the same unquiet manner, 
and uttering heavy sighs, almost groans. 

" The man is very unhappy ; he must be worse off than I am," 
thought Morn. " A mere money embarrassment can never cause 
such heavy sorrow. He shall have the louis, however." 

The next day Devereux appeared at table as usual, his counte- 
nance overshadowed with a yet deeper melancholy, and he was silent 
as before. Morn, who felt unaccountably attached to him endeav- 
ored, by everything in his power, to enliven him. When he could 
be induced to talk, Devereux seemed quite a different person — his 
features brightened, his whole deportment became attractive in no 
common degree. The two young men went out after dinner to walk 



20 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



togetlier, and Morn was still more cKarmed with his new acquaint- 
ance. Devereux was more than an agreeable companion ; his men- 
tal powers, considerable in themselves, had received eitery advantage 
from cultivation. The stores of ancient and modern literature were 
familiar to both, and formed, with the fate and laws or nations, their 
chief topics of discourse. When Casimir had finished his day's task, 
Devereux came constantly to his room, and remained, till deep of 
the night, in conversation with him. Of the promised loan not a 
syllable was said on either side. Morn spoke openly of himself on 
his past and present hopes and prospects. His companion was less 
communicative ; but he learnt so much, in return, — that Devereux 
had left his native land in consequence of a tragical occurrence, 
deeply afifecting^ his future life, and was travelling in the hope of 
dissipating a heavy sorrow ! 

The intercourse of the "two young men taught Morn, for the first 
time, the value of a friend. His letters to the fair Romanus were 
almost as full of praises of his Devereux as of love for herself. His 
pretty mistress was half jealous of the agreeable stranger. In the 
mean time, Morn's louis d'ors came to hand, and were immediately 
carried by him into Devereux's room. The latter gave him, in re- 
turn, a written acknowledgment of the obligation, and the address 
of his family in England. 

"If I die before I can repay you^" said he, "that is, within a 
few weeks, forward the paper, with tnis letter, directly." 

He put a sealed letter in Morn's hands as he spake, aftd then 
turned the conversation to some indifierent subject. They parted 
shortly after, almost in silence, with a fervent pressure of the hand, 
carrying with them remembrances and feelings beneficial alike to 
both. 



THE ELECTORAL BIRTH-DAT. 

The loss of Devereux's society was more felt by Morn than he 
thought possible after so short an acquaintance. He had parted 
with a companion whom he really loved — a friend, whose views and 
sentiments harmonized so admirably with his own, that in losing 
him he seemed to lose the better half of himself. His official labors 
became more than ever a necessity to him ; they served to divert 
and calm his thoughts. Devereux and Caroline filled his heart 
entirely. " I am really a most fortunate man," cried he, in hia 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 21 

entlmsiasm of love and friendsliip. " I love, and am loved by, two 
of the noblest beings in tlie world." 

After tbe lapse of* seven busy months, the report of Cabinet and 
Privy Counsellor, Von Bitterblolt, was ended, and the Commission- 
ers returned to the electoral residence. His Highness, the Elector, 
was so well content with the work that he bestowed Heaven knows 
what order on the young Count Heinricb Von Bitterblolt, and made 
an addition to the pension of the two reverend seniors who had 
served as ballast to the official vessel. Secretary Morn was the 
only person forgotten ; he had done nothing for a recompense, but 
deserved it. The Counts of Bitterblolt, indeed, father and son, 
were profuse in expressions of gratitude, and, to prove it, invited 
him to dinner. Fraulein Von Bitterblolt also found the Secretary 
exceedingly agreeable ; if he had been of noble, instead of plebeian 
origin, he might, perhaps, have found the daughter more grateful 
than the faliier. So soon, however, as the Cabinet Counsellor re- 
marked the interest the young lady took in the handsome Secretary, 
he held it advisable to invite him seldomer, and gradually not at all. 
Morn found it necessary to put the minister modestly in mind of his 
promise of an appointment in the newly acquired province ; where- 
upon his Excellency clapped him on the shoulder in the most 
friendly manner in the world, and assured him he would take care 
of him. 

" I have spoken of your talents and services more than once to 
his Highness," said he. "Wait tiU the birthday, when the greatest 
number of advancements are mad^ ; I make no doubt your name 
will stand first on the list." 

How could Morn feel less than satisfied ? He looked upon his 
patent as good as made out, particularly when the minister proceeded 
to ask him what kind of place would be most agreeable to him. He 
thought of Caroline, and replied with great frankness that he would 
certainly prefer remaining in the residence. " It shall be thought 
further of," said his Excellency. "I should gladly have seen a 
man like you, my dear Mr. Morn, in one of the first posts in the 
new province ; but, if you prefer remaining with us, I am afraid it 
will be rather more difficult to provide for you suitably in the capi- 
tal. However, we shall see. The old Chamber Counsellor, Bal- 
der, might, indeed, be pensioned offi Would that suit you ? " 

" I would not wish for more," returned Morn, his face glowing 
with pleasure. 

" Excellent," said the minister, and dismissed him with the best 
grace in the world. 

Gilded by such hopeg, the winter glided away Caroline was bs 



22 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

faithful and fair as eyer ; and if ever mistrust found entrance in 
Casimir's heart, a look or smile from the opposite window made it 
summer again. At length came March, the long-looked-for month 
that had given his Highness, the Elector, to an admiring world. 
The list of promotions was published ; patents for new appointments 
made out ; the streets were full of people riding and driving about 
to congratulate or be congratulated. Morn made a point of remain- 
ing at home, that he might not miss the messenger from the Eleo- 
toral Chancery. The customary "compliment'* for the bearer of 
the princely graces lay wrapt in paper ready on the table. Noon, 
evening ; still no messenger. His servant was despatched to the 
court printer for the list — no such name as Morn was to be found, 
and no messenger came to correct an error of the press. Dinners 
and balls in honor of the day were given in all parts of the city ; 
the streets were gay with lights and music ; nobody troubled them- 
selves about poor Morn and frustrated hopes. He sat down in the 
pouting corner of his sofa, and groaned from the bottom of his 
heart. 

Morn had not passed a more unhappy night since his father's 
death. Six long years had he served the" State faithfully and 
diligently, fed only on the thinnest of all diets, hope ; through his 
silent help, others, with not half his talents or acquirements, had 
gained credit and substantial reward ; young Von Bitterblolt had 
been made Chamber President for the very service Morn had per- 
formed. He saw that his industry, his talents, his knowledge, 
availed him nothing. Men who. were not only ignorant and incapa- 
ble, but known to be so, passed him everywhere in the race, if they 
had " connections," or had found some surer way of recommending 
themselves than by merit and service. 

To Caroline's hand he must renounce all pretension. By the 
perversest of all destinies, her constancy and unswerving faith but 
added to his sorrow. His social creed had received a cruel shock. 
The egotism of the greater part of mankind, the want of integrity 
in their relations with each other, appeared in their full hatefulness. 
The recollection of all the promises made but to be broken, the hol- 
low professions, the false smiles, all the spoken and acted lies of the 
last six years, made him sick at heart. All that he had hitherto 
labored to excuse in others — their prejudice, their rapacity, their 
paltry pride, their envy, their shameful blackening all better and 
purer than themselves, now shone out in all their native ugliness. 
He could no longer deceive himself ; the greater part of the employes 

of looked on their offices and emolmnents but as the means 

of indulging their arrogance, their ambition, and animal excqgses. 



THE TWO MILLIONAIREg. 23 

With respect to his plans for the future, all was uncertainty. 
Even had he been so inclined, it was no longer in his power, with 
his diminished resources, to labor gratuitously in his present em- 
ployment ; and it was repugnant to him to seek any other in this 
city. He longed to flee far away, to seek some distant village, 
where none knew him, and earn a living by the labor of his hands. 
It was sweet to dream of shunning all mankind as long as life should 
last, and think only of Devereux and Caroline, as of two noble 
spirits among thousands of miserable creatures, all so many willing 
sacrifices to the meanest passions. According to the cus'tom of the 
place, and the people amongst whom he had lived. Morn ought to 
have put a good, or at least a smiling, face, upon his disappointment, 
congratulated others on their better fortune, and tried to knit up 
again the ravelled skein of his claims and expectations ; instead of 
this, he wrote a laconic note to the head of his department to signify 
his renunciation of the office he held in the service of his Highness, 

the Elector of , endorsed all the documents relating to it in 

his possession, and then went to bad and slept soundly. 

The next morning, the servant of the house brought "him two 
notes and a bouquet of snow-drops. He now recollected that it was 
his birth-day, and breathed a heavy sigh. One of the notes was 
from Caroline, the other from President Van Bitterblolt. Morn 
knew the handwriting of both. " First for the bitters," said he, and 
opened the President's billet. Almost unconsciously to himself, a 
secret hope had found a corner of his breast to nestle in, tliat his 
loss would be regretted, that he would be entreated to do nothing 
hastUy, that he would try to retain him by giving new and surer 
expectations ; he had half forgiven him already. Nothing of the 
sort. His Excellency the President " regretted, in courteous terms, 
that Mr. Morn had taken such a resolution, acknowledged the 
receipt of the documents, and remained his humble servant." " So 
that is the reward of six years' gratuitous service," said he, bitterly, 
and he flung the President's official verbiage aside. Caroline's 
note accompanying the bouquet was kind as ever, but there was a 
tone of sadness in it. The same topic of consolation had been so 
often repeated ! He went to the window, — Caroline was already at 
hers : Casimir pressed the flowers to his lips and his heart, and 
retreated to his musing corner again. The city he must and would 
leave, and try his fortune elsewhere. Many were the projects he 
revolved in his mind. His only grief would be the parting from the 
angel of his childhood — the tenderly-beloved .Caroline. He was 
still engaged in a long and most touching conversation with her in 
imagination, when a loud knock at his door, and the voices of 



24 THE T^O MILLIONAIRES. 

several persons without, aroused him from his reverie. The door 
opened, and four men stumbled in, bearing between them two large 
and apparently very heavy chests. To the question of where were 
they to put down their burden, Morn answered by another — where 
did they get it from ? It belongecl to the gentleman who had just 

come post to . Morn's first thought was of Devereux ; and 

Devereux himself it was who entered in his travelling dress, just 
as the porters left the room. 

" I have been long enough away to learn your fall value," was 
Devereux's exclamation, when the first greetings were over ; " let 
me take up my abode with you at once ; you mil find room for a 
friend." ^ 

Devereux's sudden appearance was balm to the wounded heart of 
Casimir ; joy almost deprived him of speech. " I have but this 
room and a bed-room," said he ; "if you can find accommodation on 
so small a scale, I shall be but too happy to share them with you." 

" But how is it you confine yourself within such narrow limits ? " 
asked the Englishman, greatly astonished. 

" They are quite as extensive . as my means permit," answered 
Morn, smiling. 

" But I have been greatly deceived. I thought you must be 
rich, as you parted so readily with a hundred Iduis d'ors." 

" A friendly heart is always rich to a friend. It was a fourth 
of my whole property. If you had asked for more you should have 
had it. • You wanted it." 

Devereux looked at him for some time in silence, and then, ad- 
vancing, grasped his hand with an earnest cordiality more expres- 
sive than words. " My servants I will despatch to the next house," 
said he, " but I remain with you in any corner you can spare. Had 
I been aware how you were situated, I should not have come upon 
you so suddenly." 

The matter was soon .arranged, a bed prepared by the side of 
Morn's, and a supper bespoken from the next tavern. Before the 
night was passed, the hearts of both were freely poured out to each 
other. Devereux related his own history. He had been passion- 
ately in love with a young lady, who returned his love, but whose 
family, from some causes too long to explain here, were on the worst 
terms with his own. A mutual friend of the families, Devereux's 
oldest and best-loved companion, had offered his mediation ; and 
Devereux himself, in the unsuspicious confidence of friendship, had 
done everything i^ his power to facilitate his meetings with his 
mistress. The lady's charms had proved too powerfiil for the 
friend's faith; he sought her for himself, and won so far upon her 



•-^^0 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 25 

relations, that the unhappy girl had only escaped their persecutions 
by her sudden death. Whisper of suicide got about. TTie betrayed 
and wretched lover forced his treacherous friend into a duel ; they 
fought at Calais, where Devereux had been left for dead upon the 
field. Many months elapsed before his outward wounds were healed ; 
those of the mind were incurable. His physicians had recommend- 
ed travelling ; all places had become alike to him ; and, unable to 
find rest in any, he had wandered almost all over Europe, when an 
accidental delay in his remittances had detained him in the town 
where he had encountered Morn. 

It was now Casimir's turn to relate what had befallen him since 
their meeting, and he had now, at least, the satisfaction of detailing 
his wrongs to a sympathizing ear. 

" You have been deceived only by the common herd of egotists, 
the rabble of humanity, but I by the friend of my infancy. Your 
beloved yet lives, and lives for you, — the silent grave hides mine ; 
you may find a remedy, — I never can. You would gladly renounce 
the world, you say, — do so, but let me share your solitude. But, 
I repeat, your case admits of remedy." 

" E!femedy, what remedy ? " echoed Morn. " G-ood Heaven, my 
dear Devereux, how little you know of people in this country ! " 

" The people in this country are very like the people in every 
other country," replied Devereux. " I can put it in your power to 
take a revenge worthy of them at least," added he, after a pause, and 
with a bitter smile. 

"How so?" . . • 

" Only give me your word to throw no obstacle in my way, and I 
will bring the whole pack on all fours in a very short time. The old 
miser shall give you his daughter, the minister shall ofier you all the 
ribbons and trumpery in his gift, and that without witchcraft. Fair 
and virtuous maidens may be won by other qualifications than beauty 
or honesty ; honors and dignities are not always, or often, the reward 
of talents, or knowledge, or industry." 

" But explain yourself a little, — what is it you propose to do ? " 

" 0, the means will be very simple. Come, your word that you 
will not thwart me in my project of making fools of the dignitaries 
in this good and electoral city. I will use no dishonest means." 

" Well, be it as you will ; I have little reason to spare them. 
Heaven knows ! What is your plan of operations ? " 

" I must first know my men. Let me become acquainted with 
the field before I show my line of battle. As a preliminary, how- 
ever, you will do me the favor to make use of my new carriage , I 
shall put another pair of horses to it to-morrow; you must drivd 



26 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



about, wMle I keep in the back-ground, and draw the public atten- 
tion on you as much as possible. As to your lovely neighbor, give 
her to understand that you have had a large sum bequeathed you in 
England." 

Morn shook his head, not altogether pleased, and yet unable to 
restrain his laughter. He had given his word to humor Devereux's 
whim, and as to the sentence of the " Residence," when the hoax 
should be known, he troubled himself little about that. Whatever 
were the results, he had made up his mind to leave the dominions 
of his Highness the Elector. Perhaps the punch, which had served 
as a supplement to their repast, might have had something to do 
both with the proposal and its acceptance. 

THE EQUIPAGE. 

On the following morning Devereux was early up and dressed. 

Morn would fain have obtained some further explanation of his 
strange freak, but Devereux was immovable, — vanished, he knew 
not whither, shortly after, and appeared no more for the greater 
part of the day. Instead of Devereux, came his German servant, 
Felix, to present himself to his new master, and set forth his new 
qualifications. 

" Do not forget the principles, faith and honesty," said Morn, 
when he had listened to the enunciation of his valet's capabilities. 

" Honesty, I can promise you, sir," was the answer, " and fidel- 
ity you will inspire me with." 

The answer pleased, and Felix was installed with Morn under the 
same conditions as those agreed upon with Devereux. 

Towards noon Count Von Kreb's name was announced. The 
young courtier advanced to Morn with open arms. " My dear fel- 
low, how are you ? — It is a whole century since we met. First let 
me congratulate you on your acquisition, though it is my own loss. 
Ah! my two glorious bays. But your homme d'affaires is a 
clever fellow, — up to every point about a horse ; you have a glori- 
ous purchase. Upon my soul, I loved these two creatures as my 
•heart's blood; if I had not outrun my income confoundedly of late 
the Elector himself should not have had them for his whole stud." 

" Have you been paid, my lord count," stammered Morn, his face 
flushing scarlet, " or must I — " 

"All right, my dear friend, not a word of that," cried the Count ; 
"I came with a very different purpose. Baron Van Wolpern 
would insist upon my recomnjending his place, Dreileben, to you, as 
your agent there says you are on the look-out for an investment ; 
but, on my honor, though I could not refuse one friend, it goes 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



against my conscience to palm ofiF such a desert on another. li 
will not bring one-and-a-half per cent., and he asks a hundred and 
fifty thousand gilders for it. Do you know the place at all ? " 

" No," said Morn, curious to hear what would come next. 

" I entreat you, then, by all that is sacred, to go and look at the 
wilderness ; not a hamlet to be seen for some miles round, nothing 
under your windows in front but the Rhine, nothing behind but 
mountain and forest. One look will be enough to frighten you off 
the bargain, rniless you have a mind to send a bullet through your 
head from sheer ennui, before you have lived there a month ; then, 
indeed, you could not do - better than buy Dreileben. Now, with 
the property Dame Fortime has flung in your lap, you are entitled 
to look for something better. There is my estate, for instance, a 
real principality you must admit, — a splendid locale, in the midst 
of corn-fields, a soil like a garden, right of forest, vineyards, mead- 
ows, territorial jurisdiction, and you shall have it for a himdred 
and ninety thousand, cash down. Just reflect a little, and only 
three quarters of an hour's drive from, the residence. * Heavens, 
what sums it has cost me in improvements ! I have an account 
here, — ah, no, confound it, I have the worst memory, I must have 
left it in my desk ; but, my dear fellow, why not come and see for 
yourself? — come, give me your promise, — name your time." 

Much in the same style did the noble Count run on for some time 
longer. Morn perceived that Devereux had really commenced 
operations, as he said. He promised gravely to come and look at 
the estate at his earliest convenience, and Count Krebs took leave 
with the most lavish assurances of regard. At dinner time, Dev- 
ereux made his appearance, evidently extremely diverted with the 
farce he was acting. Morn, on the contrary, was more depressed. 
" You will make mankind yet more contemptible in my eyes," said 
he. " Not a week ago, this very Count Krebs held me unworthy 
of a look. I was never more surprised than when I saw him enter 
my room." 

" If men seem more contemptible to you, my friend," answered 
Devereux, " the fault is theirs, not mine. The witty Count was 
pointed out to me, by the master of the hotel where I sent my ser- 
vants, as having hor*s which he was desirous of parting with, and 
the animals are really worth' what I gave for them. When the 
hotel-keeper heard that they were for you, and that you had become 
a rich man, he praised you up to the skies. ^Vhen I inquired about 
an estate, a broker m^ade his bow in less than a quarter of an hour, 
and offered me ten, at least, every one being, as he swore, a perfect 
paradise. Count Krebs swore, by all 'his gods, that you were 



28 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

■ — i ' ■ 

neither more nor less than a saint ; that you deserved, years ago, to 
be made Prime Minister ; that things would have looked very di^ 
ffirent in the Electorate, and nobody knows what besides. It is 
long since I have been so much amused. Come, my friend, cheer 
up, and play out the play. We must make all the puppets dance 
to the same tune." 

In due time, Devereux's splendid new equipage drove up to the 
door, with Felix behind, in a rich livery. Count Kreb's horses 
really merited his eulogium ; they were superb animals. The whole 
street was in commotion, — almost every inhabitant loitering about 
the causeway, or standing at their windows, to discover the owner 
of so magnificent a " turn-out." But, when Morn appeared, and 
was assisted in by his gayly-attired servant, there was no end of the 
conjectures and inquiries. It wiU be easily supposed that the 
fair Caroline was neither the least anxious nOr the least interested. 

" I 'd give these six kreiitzers, ay, that I would, the whole six, 
to tnow whom that carriage belongs to," said old Romanus, jing- 
ling in hi^ hand the kreutzers he had just received for a red her- 
ring. . 

" That is easily learnt," replied his daughter.* " Frau Weber 
(Morn's landlady) must know." 

" To be sure, she must, my child," said the old gentleman, button- 
ing up his coin in a great hurry, as if he feared to be taken at his 
word ; " and I '11 go and ask her, — that costs nothing." 

" 0, my heavens, who should it belong to but to the Referen- 
dary ! Have n't you heard of his extraordinary good luck, then ? 
Well, I don't begrudge it him, for he is reaUy an angel of a man, 
and has just got a whole wagonfiil of gold from England. They say 
he 's now the richest man in the dominions of our gracious Elector. 
His servant told me so himself, and he had it from the English mer- 
chant who is stopping in the house." 

The old miser stared with leaden eye and open mouth, as if sud- 
denly afflicted with lockjaw, and, without another word, went home 
again, and sat himself down in silence in the grimy leather-bottomed 
chair in the back of his shop. Caroline came dancing down to hear 
the news. For a long time her father gave her no answer. He 
had made it a law to himself never to mention Morn's name. 

" O, Lord! " groaned he at last, " to think of such a piece of luck 
befalling a paltry, lounging, good-for-nothing son of a good-for-noth- 
ing father, who has cheated me out of my whole property. ; while a 
poor old honest man like me must toil and moil night and day to 
scrape a few pence together. Is that justice, is that the reward of 
honesty ? " and he looked ready to cry. 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 29 

" But wlio knows whether it's true or no ?" said the worthy elder, 
brightening with the thought. " Wagon fiill of money ? pooh ! — 
from England ? pooh ! — by a lucky speculation ? pooh, pooh, pooh ! 
I was not born yesterday, Frau Weber." And Herr Romanus 
plucked ofif his queer-looking little jasey, twirled it about, as in 
great mental agitation he was wont, and rubbed his hands together 
till the dry, withered members threatened to ignite. 

Many were the conjectures and remarks to which Morn's gay 
equipage gave rise that day. It had even excited the notice of the 
Elector, as Morn drove past the palace. On the two succeeding 
days the " excitement " increased. Devereux had given out that 
his friend had gained a considerable sum in England ; and when he 
began to inquire about an estate, the word considerable acquired a 
more "considerable" meaning. Count Krebs, who always dealt in 
superlatives, swore, by all the saints in the calendar, that Morn was 
become the richest individual in that part of Germany; he played 
with his hundred thousands ; he must own whole provinces in the 
East and West Indies, &c., &c. There is nothing to which people 
like better to give credit than to the incredible. It is no uncommon 
thing to see an upright, simple-minded man held very cheap ; but 
to take a fool or a lunatic for a saint is the easiest thing in the 
world. People can find absurdity in the wisest man, with all the 
facility imaginable ; but let a Cagliostro undertake to work a mira 
cle, and he is run after by high and low. If it had been said, 
Morn had got a hundred thousand guilders, people would have 
doubted, — but millions, that produced conviction at once. 

" It is intelligible enough now why Morn gaye up his place as 
Referendary," said the President Von Bitterblolt, to his father, the 
Privy Counsellor. " I thought at first that he had taken ofience at 
the omission of his name among the promotions." 

" In fact, it is awkward enough that he was passed over," re- 
turned the Privy Counsellor ; " but who can always tell how things 
may turn out ? We might have made room for him well enough. 
There 's your sister, too. I really think the girl has taken a fancy 
to him, and, as the matter now stands, she could hardly do better 
for herself." 

"Nor for any of us, .papa. Could not we find some excuse for 
the past?" 

The father and the son laid their heads together. The Privy 
Counsellor took the first opportunity of praising the rare talents 
and services of the ex-Referendary to his Highness the Elector. 
Such a man must, by all means, remain in the service of the state, 
particularly as Mom had lately gained a large fortune by some for- 



30 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



tunate speculations in England. It would be a shame if so much 
wealth should be squandered out of the country, &c., &c. 

" Hum," said the Elector, " I was wondering what made you all 
so suddenly zealous in Morn's favor. The Finance Minister, Rabe, 
was quite eloquent in his praise but a little while ago." 

This speech went like an arrow to the Privy Counsellor's heart; 
for the Baron Von Rabe had also a daughter to marry, and he, too, 
wanted money. 

" Rabe ever maintained," continued his Highness, " that Morn, 
as secretary to the commission of sui'vey in the new territory, 
had done the whole work, while others pocketed the reward and the 
credit." 

The Privy Counsellor smiled with affected indifference, while 
turning sick with fear and rage ; and swore, in his heart of hearts, 
war to the knife to the Finance. Minister, Von Rabe. Morn, in 
the mean time, Jiad received an invitation to pay the Finance Minis- 
ter a visit. 

" I am delighted, my dear sir, that my heartfelt wishes for your 
advantage seem likely at last to be fulfilled," said the minister, with 
his most gracious smile. " There was a strong opposition some' 
where. I was never more surprised than when I heard you had 
been so unaccountably passed over. I felt it my duty to make a 
representation on the subject to his Highness the Elector himself; 
in fact, I told him frankly that the post of President of the Cham- 
ber, which Von Bitterblolt contrived to appropriate to himself, was 
yours by every rule of justice. In consequence of my remon- 
strance, his Highness has been graciously pleased to fix you in my 
department, and I have now the honor to present Privy Finance 
Counsellor Morn with the diploma of his appointment." 

Morn laid the diploma on a table near him without opening it ; 
thanked the minister for his condescension ; with a smile, that was 
bitter in spite of himself, begged leave respectfully to decline all and 
every appointment of the kind. 

He was scarcely at home again before the carriage of Count Von 
Bitterblolt stopped at his door. 

" You see I have come in search of you myself at last," said the 
Count, bestowing a paternal embrace on Casimir. " Where have 
you hidden yourself this century ? We mSst not forget each other 
in this way. Von Rabe has played me a shameful trick in getting 
you appointed in his department instead of mine. I shall never 
forgive him for it. Apropos, my daughter will never forgive me, 
if I forget her message. She gives a ball on Wednesday, and 
<iharged me to give you a special invitation. You will not fail her, 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 31 

I hope ; ladies, you know, will not hear of disappointments on these 
occasions." 

Countess Ida Yon Bitterblolt met with one this time, however. 
Casimir Morn met the Privy Counsellor's superabundant courtesies 
with cold politeness ; and his Excellency was beaten out of the field 
for the present, though not absolutely deprived of hope for the 
fdikire. MorOfS misanthropy was on the increase : he despised alike 
their present flattery and their former scorn ; of the two, the flattery 
was the more off"ensive, and the more his would-be friends endeav- 
ored to exalt him, the more deeply humiliated he felt. He longed 
for nothing so much as for solitude, that he might escape the sight 
and hearing of their sickening baseness. 

" The miserable wretches ! " he exclaimed, " do they take me for 
one of themselves ? My six years' service availed me nothing, but 
the mere report of wealth brings them about me like crows scenting 
at a carrion. I might be a fool — a villain — no matter, I am 
supposed to be a millionaire, and there is not a quality of heart or 
mind which they are not willing to give me credit for. The comedy 
is too disgusting, Devereux." 

" It Ls capital sport," replied Devereux. " But the master stroke 
is slill to be played. The conquest of the fair Romanus is yet to 
be achieved." 



THE VICTORY. 



The conquest was already half made before the friefids began the 
attack. Old Romanus, who had hitherto made it a rule to avoid 
all mention of Morn's name, had it now on his own lips from morn- 
ing till night. There could be no doubt of the million any longer ; 
the whole city rung with the news — he had refused an appoint- 
ment in the Ministry, and the Minister of Finance, Von Rabe, and 
his Excellency Count Von Bitterblolt, were ready politely to cut 
each other's throats, to obtain Casimir Morn for a son-in-law. 

" They say he will choose Countess Ida," said Caroline, slyly 
aflecting an air of dejection, and glancing her bright blue eyes on 
her father. 

The old gentleman made no answer, but nodded his head with a 
cunning look, and reckoned some imaginary sum with his fingers. 
"Pah, pah, all stuiBf — nonsense — what has she got, I ask; what 
has she got ? Nothing ! a ruined family, root and branch ! How 
thai; pleases me in the lad Morn ! he has got his money by honest 



32 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

trade ; but his father was a rogue, an arrant rogue, and has made 
me as poor as Job, my girl. I shall never get a penny of all he 
owed me." 

There was a knock at the door, and the well-known stranger, the 
Englishman Devereux, entered. Caroline blushed like a carnation, 
and Herr Romanus opened his eyes and mouth. 

" I have a little business to transact with you, Heigf Ilomanus,'if 
you have no objection," said the stranger, with a courteous bow. 
" You might find it highly advantageous." 

"Business; I am at your lordship's service. Do me the great 
honor to sit down." 

" Mr. Casimir Morn, whose afiairs in England I have had the 
honor of managing, wishing to retire from business, as he finds his 
income amply sufficient, (' So, so, so,' muttered Eomanus,) has been 
to view the estate of Dreileben, which is understood to be for sale ; 
he seems inclined to purchase it." 

" How, he indeed ! — Dreileben ! — but why Dreileben ? — it 's a 
large purchase, ticklish speculation, very: they will ask a con- 
founded price, eh ? " 

" Mr. Morn . has taken a fancy to it, and the name pleases him. 
He has often said it would be a Paradise for two, or perhaps three 
friends, who would desire to pass their lives together. By the 
three he means himself, his fiiture wife, and one esteemed friend, 
under which appellation he is good enough to understand me." 

CaroHne's blood mounted to her temples; what could be the 
matter with her ? 

" But you are perfectly right about the price, Mr. Romanus. 
Baron Von Wolpern demands no less a sum than a hundred and 
fifty thousand guilders: or, ready money, a hundred and thirty 
thousand, Mr. Morn will pay ready money, but," — 

" Ready money, a hundred and thirty thousand ! so, so ! an ex- 
cellent young — an excellent young man." 

" Still the price seems enormous. He wishes that the bargain 
should be concluded by some one who understands the business 
better than he does. He would be willing to reward the trouble of 
any person inclined to act as his agent in this matter, by a gratifica- 
tion of a hundred guilders "for every thousand abated in the pur- 
chase-money. Now, he maintains that there is not a man in the 
city so well qualified to transact business of this nature as Mr. 
Romanus." 

" Your humble servant," said the old man, glancing suspiciously 
at his visitor. He could not understand any one giving away even 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



civility for nothing. " Now, if you would have the goodness to take 
this commission on yourself." 

" Hundred for every thousand : I am at your lordship's com- 
mand." 

•' It is a matter of extreme vexation to Mr. Morn that he has 
not been on such good terms with you of late years as formerly." 

"Trifles, tut — mere trifles, mere trifles." 

" He told me, that at first it was his intention to have put his 
little capital in your hands instead of employing it in England ; and, 
indeed, after that, he would have proposed a speculation in the 
English funds, but your coolness towards him — " 

" Trifles, I tell you, thunder and lightning ! — mere trifles ; and 
how should I know what he meant ? " said the old man, half crying. 
" Why was he so hard-hearted to a poor nian like me, as not to say 
a word about it when he was rolling in gold ? " 

"But to return to this affair of Dreileben; are you inclined to 
undertake it ? " 

Eomanus walked up and down the room, with his hands behind 
him, muttering and grumbling to himself for some minutes. " I '11 
do it," said he, at length ; " the profit is small, very small, but times 
are bad, very bad ; an honest tradesman must not let anything slip 
through his fingers." 

In eight days the purchase was completed. Herr Eomanus made 
a snug little profit of a thousand guilders, and went quite cheerfully 
to Casimir to announce the conclusion of the business, and congratu- 
late him on his acquisition. 

"And we may be good friends again, my worthy Mr. Casimir," 
said the old man with a smile, yet somewhat embarrassed. 

" I desire nothing more earnestly, Mr. Eomanus," said Casimir, 
warmly. " Grant me but one favor — make me and your daughter 
happy at once." 

"It can't be, Mr. Morn. Haven't I told you, over and over 
again, that the money I lost through your father has made me as 
poor as a church-mouse ? " 

" Not so very poor, I should hope," said Morn, smiling. 

" A beggar, sir ; I tell you, a downright beggar. Ah, worthy 
^fr. Casimir, you are a rich man now, and you are an honorable 
man ; you won't let a poor old man like me suffer ; you '11 make up 
my loss to me ! " 

" Well, and if I do — then ? " 

"Then I '11 thank you on my knees." 

" But, your daughter ? " 

" And the interest for seven years." 
3 



34 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



" Well, and the interest — tlien ? " 

" Then the whole city will say, what a worthy, honest, excellent, 
upright man you are." 

" But Caroline ? " 

" And you must not forget that I gave your father the eight 
thousand dollars in gold. Oh, Mr. Casimir, louis d'ors and Caro- 
lines, all gold, all full weight. If you had seen them. Heaven 
forgive me my sins ! I would not swear, Mr. Casimir, but it makes 
my old eyes run over to think of it ! " 

"But if I give you fifteen hundred Carolines for one Caroline ? 
For your daughter Caroline ? " 

" I beg your pardon, but; with the interest, it would be above 
two thousand ! " 

" And if I did not hesitate to give you the two thousand, as soon 
as your daughter " — 

" You are jesting with me, Mr. Morn. You see what little I 
have I want myself. I have been obliged to run in debt. Your 
father's bankruptcy was the ruin of me. I can give the girl noth- 
ing but what she carries on her back." 

"Be it so, I will take her on your own terms.' 

"Why, then I — I must ask the girl herself." 

Herr Bomanus betook himself to his daughter. Morn was ready 
to dance for joy. He flew like one beside himself to Devereux, to 
relate his success, and ask his sympathy, and Deveronx gave it 
heartily. 

Within eight days the marriage contract was drawn out and 
signed, and the lovely Caroline Bomanus became a yet lovelier 
Caroline Morn. Till Dreileben was ready for' their reception, 
Devereux had taken care to provide a suitable residence in the town. 



THE FIRST or APRIL. 

"The joke must be carried through," said the Englishman. 
" The whole city bows down before you, dear Morn ; even the 
Court itself courts your friendship. We will turn over a new leaf 
now. I shall give you out for poor, and see what sort of a 
grimace your dear friends will make then. And when the con- 
temptible crew have sunk themselves as low as possible, we will turn, 
our backs upon them forever. I have let Baron Von Wolpern into 
the secret, for I must cha-stise the old curmudgeon, your father-in- 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 35 

law, for the Jew's bargain tie has driven with you. No remon- 
strance — he deserves it." 

Devereux told the simple truth. The whole town were bowing 
to the ground before the supposed millionaire. And how should 
people, accustomed from their very childhood, to value wealth, show, 
luxury, above all earthly good, do otherwise ? - — how feel anything 
but admiration and reverence for the amiable young man, who pos- 
sessed the prettiest wife, the finest estate in the territory, and a 
million ? The noblest and stiffest backs in the city bent in 
homage to this new luminary. Every one was solicitous for the 
notice of Herr Von Morn ; every lip instinctively uttered the noble 
prefix, without asking for the patent. Ministers, Grand every- 
things, and Count everybodies, loaded him with invitations. At 
some of the fetes where he was most pressingly invited, the electoral 
family were present; the noble hosts were solicitous to present 
Herr Von Morn to their Highnesses, and their Highnesses' reception 
was most gracious; but, strange to say, the object of all these flat- 
tering attentions felt anything but flattered. Not for what he waSf 
but for what he had, were all these caresses lavished ; and it was 
with no small violence to his feelings that he constrained himself to 
go through the disgusting farce. 

" I can bear it no longer," said Morn on one occasion, when a 
stronger dose of incense than ordinary had been offered up ; and 
Devereux in reply said, " We must carry it through ; I shall give 
you out for poor." ^ 

Towards the latter end of March, Devereux had gone about with 
a look of affected anxiety, and dropped mysterious hints of bad news 
from England. He spoke of certain speculations being subject to 
enormous losses, as well as enormous gains. " It was so fortunate 

he had so many powerful friends in ," and so forth. Baron 

Von Wolpern was seen to shake his head and look thoughtful, when 
the sale of Dreileben was talked of — " the purchase money was not 
yet paid down." It was whispered that Morn's splendid new equi- 
page would be disposed of privately : the town-house was announced 
to be let. The news flew like wildfire through the town, with a 
thousand additions. On ike first of April the matter was placed 
beyond a doubt, by Morn's driving about to all his new friends, 
among whom it became known, with wonderful rapidity, that from 
some he had requested loans, from others securities or their good 
offices with the Elector for an appointment, &c. All those who, but 
four-and-twenty hours before, had overwhelmed him with offers of 
services, and half-stifled him with embraces, were in consternation at 
this new state of affairs. Some were " grieved beyond measure," in 



36 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

proper courtly plirase, and otliers excused themselves coldly — " they 
made it a rule never to be surety for any one ;" they had no interest; 
some smiled with scarcely concealed malicious pleasure at the sud- 
den vanishing of the fairy treasure. One thing was evident, there 
was neither credit, money, nor interest, left in the whole city. 

A splendid ball and supper at the house of his Excellency Count 
Yon Bitterblolt, at which Herr and Frau Yon Morn were to have been 
present, was, for some unexplained cause, adjourned sine die. 
With old Eomanus the result of all this was ratlier more serious 
than was intended. To him came. Baron Yon "Wolpern one fine 
morning, accompanied by a lawyer of eminence, and politely re- 
quested of him, as negotiator in the pui'chase of Dreileben, security 
for the payment of the sum agreed on. 

Romanus had certainly given no written surety for his son-in- 
law ; but, in his eagerness to gripe the proffered gain, he had ver- 
bally, and pretty plainly given it to be understood, that, to hasten 
the purchase, he was ready to make advances ; but nothing was 
fi.irther from his thoughts than to be taken at his word. The evil 
T-^'^^or'ts that had been before flying about town had sorely disquieted 
him, and Morn's evasive answer to the questioDS he put to him had 
by no means tended to still the perturbation of his spirit. But when 
the Baron and his lawyer made their appearance, he was driven 
well-nigh crazy ! In a few hours after the Baron's visit he had a 
fit of apoplexy — the very mention of a physician made him furious 
' and the evening saw the end of his cares and his life together. 



DREILEBEN. 



This sudden death changed the whole aspect of affairs. Eo- 
manus left enormous wealth behind him, much more than had been 
expected. Casimu* Morn had now really become the millionaire for 
which his rich and whimsical friend had compelled him to pass. 
Dreileben had been bought in Morn's name, but the money had 
been furnished by Devereux, to whom, by an agreement between him 
and Morn, it had been immediately conveyed. Almost as much 
disgusted with the world as his friend, Devereux had resolved to 
end his days in some agreeable solitude. The charge of overlooking 
the estate was to be Morn's ; he had positively refused to accept any 
gift from his English friend. Both were now nearly equally 
wealthy, but their plan of life remained the same. On the other 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



handfxthe wortliy citizens of faced about as if struck by a 

conjurer's wand : " It was the first of April when we heard of this 
sudden loss ; ah, the arch-jester, it was really too bad, but admii-ably 
done too ! " High and low enjoyed the joke alike ; Morn's doors 
were ao;ain besieo-ed with visitors ; wealth and credit returned in a 
wonderfully short time; the acceptance of securities and recom- 
mendations was pressed as the greatest possible favor to the givers: 
and as to dinners, balls, concerts, &c., &c., there was no end of 
them. 

" I am heart-sick at all this," said Morn. " Come, Caroline, come, 
Devereux, let us to Dreileben, and forget these whited mockeries. 
I have been long enough a dupe. ^Vhat more have I to do in the 
world, as it is called ? Why should I be any longer a witness of 
these hollow jugglers, the sport of their false smiles ? Be wise as 
Solomon; pure as an angel; sacrifice yourself for society; be a 
model of disinterestedness and beneficence — but poor in this 
world's goods, and you are nothing, or worse than nothing ! Every 
blockhead will be exalted above you — every cold-hearted egotist 
sneer you down — every, even acknowledged, scoundrel be honored 
and caressed before you, if he but possess that mightiest of talismans 

— wealth." 

As soon as the business of the inheritance was arranged, and the 
house and business of old Romanus disposed of. Morn left the city, 
in company with his wife and his friend,' and has never since been 
known to enter it. 

About six years after these occurrences I had occasion to pay a 
visit *to the electoral city. I knew that my old university friend, 
Casimir Morn, had formerly held some appointment there, and was 
rejoicing in the prospect of renewing my acquaintance with him. 
My earliest inquiries were concerning him. Few knew anything 
about him ; at last I learnt that he was living at Dreileben, brood 
ing over his money-bags, as his father-in-law had done before him, 
and keeping up no intercourse whatever with his neighbors. As 
soon as I had gathered these particulars, I got into a chaise one fine 
morning, and drove to Dreileben, musing and lamenting by the waj 
on the perverse accident that could have changed my open-hearted, 
open-handed school friend into that most pitiful of created beings - 
a miser. 

The road lay through a succession of richly cultivated fields, to a 
forest, where, as the peasants informed us, the mansion was situated 

— on the banks of the Rhine. When I entered the forest, how- 
ever, I found it no forest, but a delightful compromise between park 
and garden, adorned on every side with graceful temples, the rarest 



38 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

plants, and exquisite groups of statuary in tlie purest marble. The 
expense of creating such a place must have been enormous. A 
spacious and magnificent house, with extensive out-buildings for 
agricultural purposes, stood before me, approached over a wide lawn 
smooth as velvet, and skirted by a magnificent orangery. Every- 
where I saw traces of an almost royal outlay, guided, however, by 
a noble ta^te ; none whatever of the avarice attributed to the pos- 
sessor. 

As I was getting out of the carriage a servant in a rich livery 
advanced to meet me, and, in answer to my inquiries for his master, 
was " very sorry, but the family had left Dreileben that morn- 
ing early, and were not expected back for some days." As there 
was no help for it, I returned to town; in another week, I repeated 
the attempt, but with no better success ; the family were still absent. 
As my stay in the city was limited, I felt greatly vexed at my 
failure, and could not help expressing it in the circle I joined in the 
evening. I was answered by a general laugh. 

"If 3^ou were to go twenty times to Dreileben," said one of the 
party to me, " you would get the same reception. You might have 
been spared the trouble of going if you had mentioned your inten- 
tion beforehand. No one, be he who he may, is ever admitted 
within their doors. They have telescopes planted at certain points 
commanding the road, so that they are never to be taken by sur- 
prise. All the servants are previously instructed, and, as soon as 
any one of them spies a visitor, he runs in to warn his misanthropical 
masters." 

Thus informed, I wrote to Morn, expressing my desire to see him 
once more, and entreating that he v/ould make me an exception to 
his general rule. I received a courteous answer, and the assurance 
that for me he would be at home ; the day and hour when I should 
be expected were punctually named. 

When I came within sight of the house, Morn advanced to meet 
me, with his beautiful wife on his arm. Both received me with a 
kindness and cordiality I had little expected, after all I had heard, 
and presented me to their friend, Devereux ; he was a young man 
about Morn's own age, of a graceful and highly prepossessing ex- 
terior, and anything but cynical in appearance. In a quarter of an 
hour we were the best friends in the world. I was entertained with 
a magnificence that I have not always found even in princely 
palaces. The interior of the house corresponded with the costliness 
of the arrangements without. The library was splendid ; the walls 
of all the larger rooms adorned with masterpieces of the greatest 
painters ; and a music-room furnished with the finest instruments. 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 39 

In my honor there was a concert such as I have seldom heard from 
amateurs. The upper servants were all musical, and the heads of 
the family performers of no ordinary pretensions. 

Morn had two lovely children ; Devereux was still a bachelor, 
and announced his determination of dying one. " And you are 
really happy here in your beautiful retirement ? " said I, inquir- 
ingly, when we were sitting in a pavilion in the garden, overlooking 
the lordly Rhine. 

Morn smiled. " Why not ? We form our own world here, and 
it is our happiness to know nothing of the other by experience. If 
we feel any curiosity about the proceedings of the fools, there are 
the newspapers to inform us. We prefer, however, to learn what 
the nobler spirits of other times have taught, or invented, or done ; 
to learn it in the immortal legacy of works they have bequeathed 
us. All that Natui-e, Art, and Science afford of fairest and noblest 
surrounds us here. What is wanting to our heaven ? Intercourse 
with the rapacious, mentally crippled, corrupt, self-seeking herd 
without, woiild sully its purity, and make us partakers in their 
well-deserved misery. Well is it for those who can free themselves 
from' the coil, and, living with and for. themselves, look on the say- 
ings and doings of what you call the world, as on a theatrical spec- 
tacle, in which they are spectators, not actors." 

These expressions led to a conversation on the true social relations 
of the wise ; and it was then that Morn related his own and Dev* 
ereux's stories, as I have repeated them to you. 



PART II. 



When tlie Counsellor had concluded tlie history of his first Mil 
iionaire, Morn's conduct was warmly discussed, and variously com- 
mented on. All agreed that his scorn of the world and absolute 
seclusion must be looked upon as a reve^ige "taken for its previous 
neglect, when the chances turned in his favor ; but, while some of 
the circle held him perfectly justifiable, if not praiseworthy, in such 
indulgence of his feelings, others censured him loudly ; had his cir- 
cumstances been different, he might have been excused ; but the 
withdrawal from all intercourse with his fellows, pardonable as self- 
defence in a poor man, was sheer egotism and narrow-heartedness 
in a rich one. 

"E-ich or poor," said one, "every man has a right to seek his 
own happiness in his own way, provided he injure no one in the 
means selected." 

*' Will you tell us how a man, gifted alike by nature and fortune, 
can withdraw himself from the active duties of life, ivitlwut injuring 
a great many? " retorted an anti-Mornite. 

"It is easy to be philanthropic in theory," said another, " but, 
honestly speaking, which of us would be inclined to sacrifice him- 
self for the good of society, supposing his t)wn views of happiness 
to consist in the renunciation of it? Would you; or you; or 

you?" 

"Besides, Morn did not reject the world till the world rejected 
him," added the first speaker. 

" That is, he was cheated by a few knaves, from whom no one 
in their senses would have expected anything else, and he did 
uot find everybody ready to make prompt acknowledgment of his 

(40) 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 41 



> merits and serviceil some of them being, by the by, known only to 
\hose interested in concealing them.". 

^ ** Was he the only person who, because his situation was subordi 
liate, has been obliged to submit in silence, while others engrossed 
the fruits of his labors ? Eight doing would be a mighty easy thing, 
if applause and profit were its certain rewards." 

These words produced a second dispute. Each defended his 
own views with warmth, if not .with judgment ; and the party sep- 
arated more confirmed, or at least more obstinate, in their own 
opinion than ever. At the next, weekly meeting at the Forest 
Counsellor's, some of the disputants took up the argument where 
they had left it, and prepared to fight the battle manfully all over 
again. The Counsellor remained faithful to his character for mod- 
eration, and chose a middle path between Morn's censurers and his 
eulogists. The party were getting somewhat warm, when our host 
reminded us that we had not yet heard the story of the second Mil- 
lionaire. There was an immediate silence, at which the Counsellor 
dexterously profited to put an end to the dispute by the following 
narration : — '^ 

Some years ago, I was returning from Amsterdam, where I had 
been sent by my government to obtain payment for some timber for 
ship-building, about which some difficulties had arisen with the Dutch 
government. I had succeeded beyond my expectation in my commis- 
sion ; a new and more advantageous bargain had been made, and I 
was congi-atulating Myself on the credit I should obtain with my 
government. It was evening : I was snugly packed in the corner 
of my new travelling chaise, hugging myself on the prospect 
of a comfortable night's rest, after travelling the whole of the pre- 
ceding night over some of the worst roads in Germany, and that is 
saying much. I was soon shaken out of my doze into which I had 
fallen by a tremendous jolt. My old servant, Kunz, who was on 
the box, was sent flying through the air, and deposited high and 
dry on a* bank by the road-side, before he had time to take the 
pipe from his mouth, and I was projected with such force in tho 
rear of the postilion, that he was under the horses' feet in a second. 
Fortunately, Uie animals, being natives, " and to the matter born," 
took our mishap very coolly, and stood quite still, while the bipeds 
were scattering in all directions, as if it had been an adventure they 
expecte-d, and had made up their minds to. The axle-tree and a 
sprmg of the chaise were broken, and so was the postilion's nose; 
1 was quit for the fright/but poor Kunz had dislocated his shoulder. 
WitE some difficulty and great exertion we managed to get the 
chaise to the next village, and to the inn, or rather beer-house, — - 



42 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

there was but one, and that a dirty, smoky den. » I inquired. imme- 
diately for a smith and a wheelwright ; neither were to be had in 
the place, and the landlord himself advised me to go to Hard, 
where I should get all I wanted. " There were no better work- 
men for many miles round than were to be found at Hard.'.' 

Poor Kunz was suffering greatly, and the Esculapius of the 
village, who had been immediately summoned, could only shake 
his head and lament that the surgeon had died a few weeks before 
— he himself never undertook operations. ' ' The best thing you can 
do," said he, " is to take your gervant to Hard, where you will find 
an excellent surgeon." 

" And where, then, is this same Hard ? " asked I ; '* /know no 
town of that name here." 

" It is not a town-; it is a village, a short^four miles hence." 

** And how is it that the best artisans and the most skilful pro- 
fessional men live in the villages instead of the towns? " 

" Off, that is the doing of the Schulze; he is a strange charac- 
ter, — a humorist, as it is called, — a fool, /say, who can do noth- 
ing like other people. He wants to make a city of his paltry vil- 
lage, I believe. He has money enough; they say he is a mil- 
lionaire, and it is like enough ; but he is a miserable, parsimonious 
wretch, and has as many whims as heirs. I know him well enough, 
though I have nothing to do with him, thank Heaven ! " 

" And I shall find a good inn at Hard, you say ? " 

"Oh, yes, certainly; a very good one. There are mineral 
waters there. Ha Schulze has built a house there for the visitors 
to the springs, and that will be his ruin in my humble opinion, — 
that and the doctor he has thought fit to establish there ; — a con- 
ceited, ignorant body — a mere quack, with his new-fangled no- 
tions." 

The old gentleman held forth long and loudly in dispraise of 
his learned, or unlearned, brother or rival, whichever he might be ; 
nevertheless, as he admitted I should find .the best surgeon, the 
best wheelwright, and the best smith, in Hard, to Hard I resolved 
to go. On the following morning, the chaise was patched up as 
well as it could "be with ropes and poles ; Kunz, who was still in 
great pain, packed in as comfortably as circumstances admitted, 
and despatched before me to the much-talked-of Hard; and the 
weather being extraordinarily fine, and the way not easily mistaken, 
I followed on foot. 

Scarcely half a mile from the village I was leaving, there was a 
sudden and striking improvement in the condition of the land. On 
both sides of the carefully kept road were rows of fruit-trees, in the 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 43 

finest order. The fields beyond seemed admirably cultivated ; not 
a weed to be seen, the grass abundant, and of the richest quality. 
Before me lay the village, consisting of cottages, not forming a 
street, but scattered among trees, as in a great garden. In the 
middle of the ♦village, on a gentle eminence, rose the church. The 
whole arrangement of the place, the style of building, and the ex- 
traordinary fertility of the land around, the more agreeably sur- 
prised me from the striking contrast it presented to all I had hith- 
erto seen in this part of the country. 

"Why, this village of yours is a perfect paradise, father," said 
I to an aged peasant, who just then came up with me; "I have 
seen nonsuch land as this for many a mile." 

" Yes^ Grod be praised, there is no fault to be found with the 
land !" returned the ancient, leaning on his stick to rest himself be- 
side me as I stopped to look round me. 

" How comes it that your village lies so scattered, so unlike the 
other villages about ? " said I. 

" Ugh ! " replied the old man, with a discontented grunt, 
"unlike it is, sure enough. Our village was burnt to the ground 
about fifteen years ago, and we were obliged to build it so, because 
the government would have it. They couldn't have done it worse. 
I have a good mile further to go to church every Sunday, and 
that 's hard enough for us old folks, especially in winter, and some 
must go further still. Ah ! it was a terrible fire, sure enough. 
There were not five houses spared." 

" And how did the fire happen? " 

"Ugh! Heaven knows! People say all sorts of things I 
Some will have it the Schulze set it on fire himself, on purpose to 
vex us ; but I don't say that exactly." 

" But that is a terrible charge, indeed, against yoUr Schulze." 

"Ah!" said the elder, shaking his head significantly, "many 
and many 's the trick he has played us. He was schoolmaster 
here first ; but he had interest somehow with the government, and 
so he was palmed upon us as the Schulze. 0, he 's as cunning as 
a fox, and as hard to catch ! " 

"Is he rich?" 

"I believe you; as rich as a Jew. "But he can't enjoy his 
money ; he lives poorer than any day-laborer. But he is caught 
sometimes, cunning as he is/' added the old man, chuckling. 
" When the whim seizes him, he throws away his money by the 
handful. He '11 ruin himself at "last with his new-fangled nonsense ; 
and who cares? He only uses his money to tyrannize over his 
poor neighbors." 



44 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

In tliis strain the ancient went on wandering, till I wished him 
good morning, and he struck off through a by-path. 

The view was so charming, so like our .dreams of Arcadia, that, 
involuntarily loitering on my way, I sat down under a tree to 
enjoy it at my leisure. ''How happy, how supremely happy, might 
the dwellers m this paradise become, if Satan did not always take 
a hand in the game of life ! " thought I. " Who but Satan could 
have put it into the heads of the government to send a fellow here 
to play the great man, and make these honest folks miserable ? " 

While I thus mused an old woman passed, whom I immediately' 
hailed. 

" Grood day, mother ! Whereabouts in the village is the public 
house, can you tell me ?-" 

" Straight on, sir, on the left hand, near the church; I am the 
landlady." 

"So much the better. Then you can tell me at once what 
accommodation I can have for myself and my servant for a few 
days." 

"0,"-said the old lady with a discontented air, "that's an- 
other thing. I can't lodge gentlefolk ; I 've no convenience. 
You must go to t'other house there, higher up oh the hill. I saw a 
broken gimcrack of a chaise there a while agone ; I suppose it was 
yours." 

" Do you see that little white house with the green shutters, 
there?" continued the old woman, when I asked for some further 
direction ; " that 's the Schulze's, and close to it is the big new inn 
for strangers." 

"0, and that belongs to the Schulze also, I suppose ? " 

"Why, yes, and no, as one may say, — it is his'n, and it is 
not, like everything else hereabouts. It 's all his fault that it was 
built." 

" It is of no advantage to you, then ? " 

" Not it, indeed, nor to any one else. Since be 's been in the 
village, my house is not worth half what it was. Grod forgive him ! 
he will have much to answer for at the last day. Yes, yes," con- 
tinued she, grumbling, ' ' I should change my plan, quotha. A pretty- 
thing, indeed, at my time of life, to go to school ! I was not to be 
cozened that way,^ Mr. Schulze ! The heavens be praised ! I can 
do without him or the house either, for the matter of that." 

While she was speaking, I heard a sudden and warm strife of 
tongues in one of the neighboring cottages. The old lady pricked up 
her ears, and nodded her head with a smile of malicious satisfaction. 
'* Ah, ah ! old Gletchen 's catching it at last; serve her right, too 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 45 

— serve her right! " and the old dame trotted off, evidently well 
pleased that one of her gossips had got into a scrape of some sort, 
probably with the redoubtable village monarch himself. As I 
passed the house whence the sounds proceeded, the' door opened, 
and a man, in a dress no way superior to that of a peasant, except 
that it was scrupulously clean, came out. He was evidently dis- 
pleased at something ; close to him came an old woman in tears, 
who seemed to be deprecating his wrath, and after her walked a 
young man, who held out his hand to the departing visitor, with the 
words, ' ' You are perfectly right, Master Schulze ; I had warned 
mother often enough," pronounced in a hearty tone. 

"Well, well," returned the Schulze, with a kind of authorita- 
tive kindness, " for this. once, I will overlook it." ' 

The old woman reiterated her assurances that the subject of 
complaint, whatever it might be, should not again occur, and the 
village despot walked off. He took the ^ same path that had been 
pointed out to me as the nearest to the inn I was in search of. I 
quickened my pace. I had a curiosity to see the face of the griping 
millionaire of whom I had heard so much in so short a time ; yet I 
could not say why I should have any desire to see more of a man, 
to whose advantage so little co.uld be said by those who knew him 
best. He went on so quickly that I should not have easily over- 
taken him, if he had not stopped again to speak to some countrymen 
coming from the village. We exchanged salutations as I came up, 
and he gave me the "pas" civilly enough, and that was en6ugh to 
begin a conversation. It turned natui'ally enough upon the fruit- 
fulness of the surrounding country. His manner was perfectly unas- 
suming, but very decided, and his expressions betrayed a degree 
of cultivation greatly beyond what might have been expected from 
his rustic appearance. As to the land, he asserted roundly that it 
was neither better nor worse than the other land in the neighbor 
hood, with which I had instituted a comparison greatly to the 
advantage of the former; the only difference. he would admit was 
the better cultivation. " That very circumstance," I said, "was 
worthy all my admiration ! " 

"Every proprietor lives here in the midst of his own land," 
said the Schulze, " and thus it is the easier to overlook and culti- 
vate it." 

" But this rich pasturage," said I — . 

" Yon have not, perhaps, observed, that all the meadows lie 
together and are well irrigated. We have also fine marl in the 
neighborhood. So they have, or might have, in the other places 
of which you spoke just now ; but the people are idle and ignorant. 



46 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

Nature is always a kind mother, but men do not always give them- 
selves the trouble to understand her language ; they prefer their own 
darkness to her light." This remark was somewhat too philosophi- 
cal for a village schoolmaster or Schulze. I turned to look again at 
my companion in his rustic tunic and coarse straw hat ; there was, I 
thought, something beyond his condition in his countenance, — I 
might almost say noble. I fancied, moreover, that the features 
were familiar to me. The Schulze returned my gaze with a pen- 
etrating look. "Are you not," said he at length, " Adolphe Yon 
Rodern?" 

" Von Rodern is my name," still unable to identify the person 
before me. 

He laughed, and held out his hand. " What, my slender friend, 

once the delight of every bright eye in ? " I attempted to 

withdraw my hand, for I took it into my head that my new acquaint- 
ance was hoaxing me; but he held it fast, and went on — "The 
world goes well with you; why, what a broad-shouldered, portly- 
looking young man you are become ! And what good wind has 
blown you hither from the golden middle path you love so well, 
to such a by-way as the road to Hard ? I bid you heartily welcome, 
however, since you came. What, do you not know me yet ? " 

I stood looking stupid enough, I believe. I could not for my life 
recollect where I had seen the speaker. Suddenly a ray of light 
flashed on my mind. Was it — could it be my university friend, 
Engelbert? 

" Engelbert it is, a.nd no other." I was deeply moved ; the 
golden days of my youth returned in a moment. I returned his 
embrace heartily, and forgot in a moment all the ill that had been 
spoken of him. He called a boy from a neighboring field, and bade 
him run directly to his wife. " Say that I have found a brother," 
said he ; " tell her to have the breakfast carried under the lime trees. 
We will join her directly." 

I was called upon immediately for a sketch of my life since we 
had parted at Inbingen, the cause of my present journey, and my 
visit to Hard. The story of many of our former mutual friends 
came in episodically ; and, among others. Morn's, you may be sure, 
was not forgotten. "And now for yourself, my friend," said I, at 
length ; " it is your turn now." 

" I," replied Engelbert, laughing ; " you may satisfy yourself — 
look at me. I am what I look like — a peasant, and also Schulae , 
of this village." 

" But, you strangest of beings ! how came you so ? Why, with 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 47 

your fine talents and abundant knowledge, do I find you buried in 
this remote nook of earth ? Can it be your free choice ? " 

" My free choice ! " — " And how long have you lived here ? " — 
"Nineteen years, and most- happily." — "Well, but explain your- 
self a little." 

"Another time; come to breakfast now. My wife and family 
will be waiting for us." 

We went on • a little further, and a sudden turn of the path 
brought us to the lime trees, under the shade of which sat a beau- 
tiful woman of about thirty years of age, in a rustic dress, with 
an infant on her lap. At her feet sat another, under two years of 
age, to whom a rosy-cheeked, golden-haired brother was bringing 
flowers. Two elder boys, apparently between the ages of seven 
and twelve, were standing near their lovely mother, with books in 
their hands, and their great blue eyes fixed on me with curiosity. 
Their dress was like their father's, and in no way differing, either 
in form or material, from that of peasants. The Schulze presented 
me to his wife, over whose delicate features a gentle blush passed 
as she returned my salutation. I was speedily acquainted with the 
whole charming group. The children lay on the -grass, round a large, 
exquisitely clean, wooden vessel full of milk, which, with the ordi- 
nary black bread, formed their breakfast. White bread and newly 
churned fresh butter were brought for me, with a flask of- old 
Burgundy. "I know of old your hostility to milk breakfasts," 
said Engelbert. • It seemed to me like a dream ; the sight of this 
really picturesque group, and the extraordinary rencontre with 
Engelbert as a peasant — he who had been admitted to be the best 
endowed by nature, the richest in acquired knowledge amongst our 
whole circle at the university ! Somewhat eccentric he had always 
been considered, but his singularities had been excused as the harm 
less freaks of a young, inexperienced, and enthusiastic head. But 
that such a one, destined by nature and fortune for the most splendid 
career, should end in becoming a village schoolmaster and Schulze 
— who, in Heaven's name, could ever have expected this ? 

His Augusta — so he called his wife — his children, were evi- 
dently most fondly attached to him, as he was to them. How could 
this man be so selfish, so grasping, so hard-hearted as he had been 
painted to me ? And yet the wealth he was said to possess a wak 
ened my suspicions; it had been well. known, at the university, that 
his family was very moderately endowed with the goods of fortune ; 
and then how did this opulence tally with the simplicity, not to say 
parsimony, exhibited in the dress and style of living of his family ? 
A miser he must certainly be. I resolved to lengthen my stay, and 



48 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. • 

examine my man a little doser. After breakfast, we continued our 
walk up the hill. 

" I cannot lodge you under my humble roof," said Engelbert 
" for. I. have no spare room. But you will find everything you can 
want in the inn. I have established baths there over the sulphur 
e,>riiigs, and you may take" your choice of the rooms, as the season 
has not yet begun. No visitors will be here before next month." 



THE HOUSEHOLD. 



The wheelwright had already my carriage, and the surgeon my 
servant, in their hands. The mxcchanic undertook the speedy reno- 
vation of the chaise, for a hint from the all-powerfal Schulze sufficed 
to make him lay all other work aside. The surgeon had put Kunz's 
arm in its place again, but it was excessively swollen^ and at least 
a week's quiet was pronounced necessary for him. As far as I was 
personally concerned, I was well pleased with the delay. Engelbert 
and his family were well worthy of a visit on purpose. 

Everything about this humorist interested me the more, because 
I was every hour more thoroughly convinced that to few mortals 
was assigned so large a portion of pure happiness as to him. His 
house, like that of every other peasant, stood in the midst of a well- 
ordered flower and kitchen garden. Within reigned the strictest 
cleanliness, and not simplicity alone, but downright poverty. The 
sitting-room for the whole family contained but chairs and tables of 
the plainest kind, a wooden clock, and a small looking-glass. Engel- 
bert himself, his wife, and children, slept on mattresses stuflod with 
leaves and moss. The house linen was coarse, but of a dazzling white- 
ness. The table service might have been used in a convent of Capu- 
chins. Yv^hen I insisted one day upon dining with the family, they 
bade me welcome, laughing, and warned me that my fare would not 
be sumptuous. The soup was excellent. We had one dish of roast 
meat, and abundance of vegetables, young, and well-cooked. The 
bread was common black bread ; the only drink a kind of thin beer 
or water ; and this was the whole fare. And yet I thought I had 
never dined so well. The charming mother, surrounded by the five 
cherub heads ; Engelbert, with his playful wisdom, — the heartfelt 
happiness of all made a deep impression on me. I confess I though* 
myself in heaven, and felt* provoked when Engelbert made himself 
merry with what he was pleased to call my sufferings as a town 



THE TWO MILLIONAIKES. 49 

gourmand at his rustic table. The only expense in the house was 
in Engelbert's study. There he had a small, but choice collectioa 
of books, maps in abundance, an electrifying machine, an air-pump, 
and other instruments of physical science. The study was also 
the school-room of the children, and Augusta's boudoir, for here 
stood her piano, and in some of the empty drawers of her husband's 
cabinet she kept some finer articles of dress. 

" Admirable ! " said I. " But your family will outgrow your 
play-room, my dear Engelbert. You must think of extending it." 

" Not before ten years," returned he. " The temple of our hap- 
piness is small, but our happiness itself is great. We have more 
than room enough." 

" You are really and truly happy in these relations ? " 

" Look at these ! " said Engelbert, pointing to his wife and chil- 
dren. " What joyous health in every look and gesture ! And 
these noble forms are animated by yet nobler souls. Here is my 
kingdom — my republic — my all ! I enjoy life in reality, not in 
appearance, as you do in your city palaces, full of inconvenient con- 
veniences, and your sickening and poverty-stricken villages. I have 
enough for the real wants of life, and ample sphere of action for 
my mental powers. I live apart from the splendid misery of a cor- 
rupt refinement, but not from the nobler humanity. These are the 
great immortals! (pointing to his books.) To me lies open the 
bosom of Nature — the glory of God — the way of eternity ! What 
more should I ask or seek for ? " 

I pressed his hand, but with some embarrassment, for I knew not 
well how to answer him. I might have said, you are an enthusiast. 
But he was in the right, and I felt it ; and also that, in many of 
our social relations, we are abundantly absurd, and but too often sac- 
rifice the real good of life to our conventional notions. I might 
have frankly admitted, you are in the right ; but then I felt that 
he had wandered so widely from the accustomed path" — his ideas 
and motives were so little in harmony with the ideas and motives 
of the age, from and with which I had been and still was acting — ' 
that a verbal acquiescence, while it was all I could give, would be 
of little value. 

I could not sufficiently admire his wonderful activity. He farmed 
on his own account, and took not merely a superintending, but an 
actual share in the business of the farm. His office of justice gave 
abundant employment, one might have thought, and yet it seemed 
to be merely a supplementary one to him. Every day he spent 
some hours alone in his study, and his two elder boys received 
instruction from him. These children were taught, all they were 
4 



50 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES 

taught, thoroughly. The trees of the forest, the plants of the gar- 
den, the geology of the neighborhood, were familiar to them, not 
only in appearance, but in their nature and properties. They 
called them by their scientific names, for they had learned no others. 
The prism, the magnet, the microscope, were familiar to them as 
their ordinary toys. The glorious map of the heavens was open to 
their constant observation, and they had been early rendered familiar 
with the starry host. 

As Engelbert took upon himself the education of the elder chil- 
dren and all out-door business, Augusta labored in the same spirit in 
her department. As well as the usual household arrangements, the 
care and direction of all the land whose produce was destined for 
domestic supply ; the corn, flax, hemp, &c. ; the management of the 
horses, sheep, cattle, goats, &c., belonging to the farm, were super- 
intended by her. Here she was absolute sovereign, and Engelbert 
laughingly acknowledged himself as subject. 

" But, after all, what I desire to know is, how you came here," 
said I to him one morning. " I admit that all I see is admirable ; 
yet, with your noble faculties, you might surely have done your 
country other and larger service than by becoming the Schulze of a 
paltry village." 

He promised me an answer, and one fine Sunday morning, which 
he had promised to give up to me entirely, he came to fulfil his 
engagement. We went into the garden of the inn, which had been 
laid out in excellent taste for the visitors to the springs. The 
breakfast was prepared for us in a vine-canopied arbor, commanding 
a splendid view of the surrounding country. Some cofibe was 
brought for me, but Engelbert remained true to his rustic fare — 
milk and rye-bread. 

"And now," said he, when we had breakfasted, "I am ready to 
satisfy your curiosity. In the mean time, Augusta is busy with 
the children ; afterwards we will take a walk ; then we go to church. 
The pastor, and some few other friends, will dine with us. In the 
afternoon, the young people of the village propose to give you a 
concert ; and in the evening we shall have a dance here, and you 
must be one of the dancers. And now hear and edify : — 

" I left the university half a year later than you did," contin- 
ued Engelbert. "My guardian wished me to remain some time 
longer, but I put thirty louis d 'ors in my pocket, and set ofi" on a 
tour through Germany into Switzerland ; thence I wandered into 
France. From Provence I crossed the sea to Naples, and came 
home through Rome and Vienna. Two louis d'ors, out of my 
thirty, I brought back with me, for I had travelled mostly on foot 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 51 

lived cMefly on bread and water, with an occasional glass of wine, 
and slept in barns and outhouses for nothing. I returned home 
just as my guardian was thinking of advertising me in the news- 
papers. He was extremely displeased with my proceedings, but in 
my own opinion I had gained as much instruction in my pedestrian 
tour through foreign countries, as I should have done from the chair 
of a professor. I passed my examination ; my acquirements were 
extolled, and I obtained an appointment in the Woods and Forests, 
(without salary, however,) by way of initiating me into public busi- 
ness. After the lapse of a year I presented myself as a candidate 
for promotion in my line. My superiors eulogized my activity, but 
objected to my age. I was only just three-and-twenty. Good, 
thought I ; if that be all, that is a fault that will mend every day. 
In another year I came again, and modestly proffered my claim to 
some Liliputian office. 

"'You have some property, I understand, Mr. Engelbert?' said 
the President to me. 'Why don't you dress better? You are 
really not presentable.' 

" ' Your Excellency,' I answered, 'the State has a right to expect 
good service from me, but has nothing to do with my clothes.' 

" His Excellency took my answer very much amiss, and I was 
dismissed with a cool bow. It happened about this time that 
there was a dispute between our court and a neighboring one 
respecting some secularized church property. The right was appar- 
ently on the side of the adverse party ; but I had, by accident, dis- 
covered in the archives of the Woods and Forests some documents 
which must inevitably decide the cause in our favor. I wrote 
thereupon a defence of the claim of our court, printed it, together 
with the original document, and transmitted both to the minister 
to be laid before the king. My production had great success. 
I received the order of merit ; that is to say, an ell of ribbon to 
dangle at my button-hole ; and, as I afterwards heard, I was looked 
upon as a rising man. Unluckily, I did not know what to do with 
the ribbon, and sent it back again with a respectful intimation that 
I had written neither for vanity nor any view to self-interest, but 
simply from a love of justice ; and that orders and ribbons were 
of no use to me. This brought down upon me the whole army 
of ribbon givers and takers. His Excellency the President of the 
•Woods and Forests told me plainly that he took me for a fool, 
that the court was highly displeased, and that advancement was not 
to be thought of from that quarter. About the same time, I lost 
my guardian, who committed suicide when I attained my majority. 
The cause was made manifest soon enough. He had spent not only 



52 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

his own fortune, but the greater part of mine. I was heaitily sorry 
for the man ; if he had but possessed courage enough to tell me 
so, he might have spared himself: I would have forgiven him 
freely. His property, that is to say, what remained of it, was 
sold. Of mine, four thousand guilders were all that fell to my 
share. His only child, a daughter, was sent to the orphan asylum. 
Poor child, her fate was a hard one ! I had youth and health, 
vigor of mind and body ; I could easily replace what I had lost. 
I should have blushed to visit the sins of the father upon the 
child. I invested my four thousand guilders, and gave up the 
interest for the education of the child, or for her maintenance till 
she should marry. But, for the orphan-house I would have none 
of it. The best orphan asylum, like all other institutions for edu- 
cation out of the domestic circle, is only an institution for the cor- 
ruption of morals. 

" The question was now, what I should do with myself? The State 
refused my services, because my coat was not to its liking. I shook 
the dust from my feet, therefore, in my native place, and left it to 
try and be useful elsewhere. I had kept money enough, according 
to my own view of the matter, to maintain me till I could find some 
employment. While yet a boy at school, I had read, somewhere, a 
treatise which had made a deep impression on me. The subject wa,s 
— ' Of Unnecessary Necessities.' I had often wondered at the 
numberless superfluities which men choose to consider as necessaries, 
and, to procure which, they willingly became the sacrifice of others' 
vices and their own folly. The fewer wants, the fewer desires a 
man has, the less are his fears and vexations, the fewer his cares. 
The freest man is he who is least dependent on custom and con- 
venience, and, consequently, the least afiected by circumstances. 
The essay concluded with these words : — ' Cleave to the essential 
alone, and leave to fools the melancholy pleasure of appearance.' 
Even as a schoolboy, I had attempted to accommodate myself to this 
system. I did my duty in all things, and declined all praise from 
my masters. I often slept at night upon chairs beside my bed, 
instead of in it. I drank neither beer nor wine, tea nor coffee, but, 
simply, water. I never spent a fifth part of my pocket money on 
the trifles on which children are accustomed to waste their allowance, 
and was, therefore, often able to assist those of my school-fellows, 
who were poorer than myself, with real necessities, books, maps, 
and the like. I was delighted to leave the university, when, becom 
ing entirely my own master, I could pursue, unmolested, the plan 1 
had marked out for myself. The simplicity of my mode of living 
induced most of my acquaintances to esteem me poor. I was fer 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 53 



richer than the greater part of them with double my income, for I 
wanted nothing, and owed nothing ; — many of those who pitied or 
blamed me set no limits to their wishes, and were deeply in debt. 

" My views of life, however, gave prodigious offence in my native 
city ; but I could not see why I should fare sumptuously, or lie 
softly, to please others, when I could please myself at far less cost. 
My dress was neat, and not out of the fashion, but I did not partic- 
ularly distinguish myself by the fineness of my linen, or employ the 
most fashionable tailor, and, therefore, I was held unpresentahle in 
good society. I did my duty in my vocation ; but I never went 
to ' pay my respects ' to my superiors, and my manners were pro- 
nounced excessively unpolished. I wished to be valued in society 
for my talents, natural or acquired, and my moral worth; — the 
well-judging public insisted upon fine clothes, flattery, and what it is 
pleased to call respect for appearances. I did not smoke ; I did 
not play at cards; and frequented places of public amusement but 
little ; — that was called an ' afiectation of singularity.' My dis- 
favor with society grieved me but little, however ; I lived and acted 
according to my own convictions, was content with moderate means, 
had the power of helping many with my superfluity, was always 
cheerful, and never sick. All that was wanting to my happiness 
was the means of becoming more extensively useful. I could do 
without the sufirage of the world. Woe to him whose felicity 
depends on others, if he cannot find it in serving them without 
expecting their applause ' " 



THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER. %^:Prm 

" I SPENT the better part of a year in rambling about this blessed 
Germany of ours without finding anywhere a suitable sphere of 
action. Every application for fitting emj)loyment was met with a 
' but.' It is silly enough of the people, thought I, that will have 
nothing to do with a man who asks no more than the means of mak- 
ing himself useful to the best of his ability ! I had before pro- 
jected a journey to London, to ofier my services to explore the inte- 
rior of Africa for the benefit of the world and of science ; and, if 
they were not then accepted, to visit that part of the world on my 
own account. No sooner thought than done ; I turned my face to 
the north-west. 

" One evening, I e^tered the inn of a little town in my way, much 



54 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

fatigued. While my supper was preparing, I took up a provincial 
' Intelligencer,' in which I saw an advertisement for a village 
schoolmaster ; the salary was fifty guilders, with a house, firing, and 
the use of three acres of land. It struck me directly that this was 
the very thing for me. A village schoolmaster ! The calling gen- 
erally esteemed so humble, is, in fact, one of the very highest impor- 
tance. I might become the reformer of a whole village, the saviour 
of a thousand unhappy and neglected human beings. To how many 
important politico-economical, moral, religious, and patriotic points 
of view might I not pave the way for improvement ? Poor as 
the remuneration was, it was sufficient for me. Real service, in 
fact, can never be paid for. How can virtues of anjr kind be 
rewarded by the State ? State remuneration can only be meas- 
ured by the greater or less expenditure of knowledge and activ- 
ity required. For a village schoolmastership it is held that very 
little knowledge or labor is wanting ; it is a low kind of thing alto- 
gether ; hence the pecuniary recompense is paltry. But, for a mas- 
ter of the ceremonies, or a court chamberlain, indeed, most uncommon 
talents and virtues are demanded ; and that is, no doubt, the reason 
why more is paid for such articles than for village schoolmasters 
throughout the kingdom. 

" I went and offered myself as a candidate for the vacant office. 
The testimonials of ability I brought with me were examined, and I 
found I had the honor to be taken for a runaway student ; that 
did not concern me very greatly. Against my capabilities in read- 
ing, writing, arithmetic, and singing, there was nothing to be said, 
and yet the authorities hesitated. Nor was I greatly surprised 
that they did ; for it is not very usual for a man, who, upon occa- 
sion, could read and speak his six languages, to become a village 
schoolmaster. I doubt if, after all, I should have obtained the 
place, had there been any other candidates but myself and a deaf 
tailor. 

" My sound ears had the preference. 

" ' Hark you, friend,' said the Examiner and President of the 
High Provincial School Commission ; ' 3^ou shall have the place, 
but, understand, provisionally, for one year, in the course of which 
we shall see if your moral conduct is approved of 

" My letter of provincial installation was duly delivered to me. and 
with it a letter to the most reverend Pastor Pflock, in Hard, who 
was to induct me into my office. 

" I was as happy as a king — assuming that kings are in general 
happier than village schoolmasters. My dwelling in Hard was a 
ruinous barrack, as dirty as an uncleansed stable ; every window 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 55 

patched with paper, and my sitting-room a gloomy den without a 
stove. The only stove in the place was in the school-room, which 
was to be tenanted every day by me and sixty-five children of both 
sexes. The garden was impassable from rubbish ; the three acres 
of land offered a complete Flora Hardinensis ; not a wild flower or 
weed growing in the whole country round but had its specimen there. 
Heavens ! here was room and verge enough for the spirit of reform 
to revel in. 

* The most reverend Pastor Pflock received me with severe dig- 
nity ; gave me abundance of advice ; and presented me, the fol- 
lowing Sunday, after service, to his congregation, with much 
solemnity, and many sharp warnings to my juvenile troop. 

" Pastor Pflock was esteemed a most zealous and orthodox man, 
who thundered every Sunday against infidels and dissenters with 
the voice of a stentor ; painted the terrors of hell every fortnight, 
and the joys of heaven once a month ; and, once a quarter, we had 
a vision of the last judgment. But, on the week days, and in com- 
mon life, he was a common kind of man enough, who was content to 
let the world wag as it listed, and troubled his head very little 
about the sayings or doings of his peasants, provided the due offer- 
ings were made to his kitchen, and he was not forgotten at wed- 
ding feasts and christenings. His flock was ignorant, brutal, poor, 
and lazy ; almost every one was in debt ; their agriculture was 
wretched, their method of rearing cattle was as bad as possible, and 
their favorite amusements squabbling, fighting, and going to law. 
The only thriving person in the village was the Schulze, who also 
kept the public house, and was a diligent fomenter of the quarrel- 
some and litigious propensities of his neighbors, by which he was 
a gainer both ways. The exterior of the village, the rows of mis- 
erable cottages, full of dirt and disorder, the coarse, lumpish 
demeanor of the peasants and their wives, the rude audacity of 
the children, their ragged and dirty clothing, all convinced me that 
here was my appointed sphere of usefulness — here was I called 
to labor in my vocation in promoting the happiness of my fellow- 
men. I danced for joy round the schoolroom like a fool, till tho 
house shook again ! 

" The poverty of the school fund obliged me to make the necessary 
repairs at my own expense, if I would have it done at all. I had 
the windows mended, and the walls whitewashed, and the floors, 
tables, benches, and doors, thoroughly scoured ; dug up my garden, 
and planted it with vegetables, and set my three acres in order 
with my own hands. I kept a goat in the stable for the milk ; and 
I had common right of pasture with the rest of the village. I waa 



56 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

soon at home in my new abode. The reverend pastor himself was 
not cleaner or more comfortably lodged. The viQagers stared, and 
seemed as much surprised at my orderly poverty as I was at their 
nasty abundance." 



BEGINNING OF THE REIOUMATION. 

"As soon as I had arranged my dwelKng to my liking, I began 
my operations on the rising generation. They drove every day in 
and out of the schoolhouse like a herd of swine. I began by accus- 
toming every child to salute me on entering by giving me his hand ; 
and those who came with them dirty were dispatched forthwith to 
remedy the evil at the spring behind the house. Hands and feet I 
required to be clean as the face. Very few seemed to have any 
acquaintance with the comb. I desired they should all be combed 
smooth before they came, and the little savages laughed in my face. 
The laughing I soon settled with the cane. I entreated the assist- 
ance of the pastor, and begged him to preach to his flock on the uses 
of cleanliness. His reverence opened his eyes wider than usual — 
* What has that to do with religion, schoolmaster ? Be so good as 
to mind your own business.' However, with the assistance of the 
stick, I accomplished the combing also. The clothing now came 
under consideration. Here, nothing was to be done by force. My 
pupils were all ragged — that I could not help, but I insisted that 
the rags should be clean. I gave little prizes to those who came to 
school clean for a week together — needles, knitting needles, scissors, 
knives, and other trifles, which I bought by the dozen at the neigh- 
boring fairs. The whole village, including the parson and the 
Schulze, sneered at my innojfations : but I pursued my own plan 
obstinately. 

" Human beings must be utibrutijied before they can be educated. 
With the help of these small rewards, I produced a very considera- 
ble improvement in the course of a year among the youth of the vil- 
lage ; and here and there a few of the elders began to feel some 
shame when the children themselves began to notice their dirty 
habits. As I passed through the village or ^fields, the little ones 
would leave their play, and come to greet me with a smile, and 
offer their hands. They all lik^ me ; they were afraid of my cane, 
pleased with my presents, and delighted to listen to the stories which 
I sometimes related to them. 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 0/ 

" My liberalities made a wonderful talk in the village. In tlie first 
year I liad really spent more than I received. Two of the poorest, 
half naked children, I had clothed anew at my own cost, and these 
proceedings puzzled the good people extremely. A village school- 
master was generally the poorest where all were poor ; no man who 
possessed any property of his own, however small, would take such 
an office. Instead, like my predecessors, of accepting presents, or 
rather alms, from the parents of the scholars, I gave away more than 
any one else. No one knew what to make of me. Some were of 
opinion that I was a fugitive from justice, a cash-keeper who had 
run away with his master's money, or something of that sort. It 
was a matter of course, that people, who rarely did or thought any 
good themselves, should think no better of me. The pastor, how- 
ever, gave a good character of me to the provincial school commis- 
sion, though not without adding some strictui'es on the system of 
giving rewards to scholars. But, as giving is not so positively for- 
bidden by the law as taking, I was confirmed in my office of school- 
master for life." 



PROaRESS OF THE REFORMATION. 

" As soon as I was assured of my dignity, I lightened my task by 
dividing the school into classes, and making the elder pupils assist 
in teaching the younger, and by this method brought them all for- 
ward more quickly. For the poorest girls, I bought wool and knit- 
ting-needles, taught them to make use of them, and gave them what 
they made for their own property. This piqued the parents who 
were in better circumstances — their daughters should be no worse 
oif than their companions ; the knitting became general, and in time 
was followed by sewing. A poor woman in the village, with whcm 
I divided my salary, undertook the instruction of the girls in needle- 
work. In the space of a year, not only the dirty, but the torn 
gowns and jackets had nearly vanished from my schoolroom. In 
some few, indeed, the love of dixt and disorder seemed irradicable 
like other diseases, it ran in the blood, and descended from genera 
tion to generation. 

" While the girls were making these advances in civilization, their 
male associates were not behindhand. Eeading, writing, and arith- 
metic, were diligently pursued, and the diligence was rewarded by 
the relation of stories of various kinds. It is incredible with what 



58 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

eagerness they would throng round me, when, on a holiday or Sun- 
day afternoon, I took my seat in the fields, or woods, for this pur- 
pose. Every other amusement was readily forsaken for this ; and 
many, even, of the grown-up lads, who had ceased to attend the 
school, never failed to join their younger companions on these occa- 
sions. Sometimes I gave them a lesson in natural philosophy, or 
history, in geography, or a moral lecture ; but always in the form 
of a story. The young people thought they were only amused, 
while I was gradually undermining their prejudices, awaking their 
moral sense, and enlarging their views of the world. 

" I had not less satisfaction in the singing lessons which, it was my 
duty, as schoolmaster, to give. I had some excellent voices among 
my scholars, and the vicar choral of a neighboring town assisted mo 
with notes and exercises. My young flock got on exceedingly well ; 
but to amend the church singing, where the elders were concerned, 
was more than I could accomplish. The whole strength of thdr 
lungs was brought into play upon all occasions ; they seemed to 
make a conscience of never sparing them. I presumed to direct the 
attention of Pastor Pflock to this subject, and asked him to use his 
influence with his worthy congregation that they should not bellow 
so unmercifnlly. 

" ' Eh ! what do you mean by that ? ' said the pastor. * I let 
every one give free course to his devotional feelings ; let them cry 
aloud, and spare not. Lukewarm singing, lukewarm Christianity, 
in my opinion.' 

"Apparently he had communicated my ridiculous, my unchristian 
censure, as he called it, to his whole flock ; for I soon remarked 
that they roared more pitilessly than ever, and came out of church 
red-hot with their exertions, and as hoarse as ravens. 

" I found I must be on my guard with these good people, with 
whom I was very evidently anything but popular ; and, with my 
singing, sewing, washing, combing, and story-telling, passed for an 
innovating, mischievous busy-body. For this judgment, I was not 
a little indebted to the pastor, to whom I was not sujQ&ciently sub- 
missive ; and to the Schulze still more largely, because I never spent 
anything in his house, and purloined, as he considered it, some of 
his customers with my Sunday story-telling. 

" I might have experienced more active efibrts of the ill-will of this 
last dignitary and his partisans, had I not been, in some measure, 
defended from them by the warm attachment of the children, who 
never failed to give me warning in time of any conspiracy against 
me. But what contributed more than all to keep me scathless from 
their malice, was a kind of superstitious belief in my powers of 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 59 

mischief — a belief which, being first induced by the old women 
of the village, had found ready admittance with all. 

" They took me, in short, for a conjurer, or something of the kind. 
To this wise conjecture, my extraordinary liberality, taken in con- 
junction with the scantiness of my apparent means, might have 
partly contributed, and partly that I had found out and frustrated 
more than one or two spiteful tricks intended to be played on me. 
It happened several times that I received a private visit from one 
or the other individual whose cow gave bad milk, or who had lost 
anything in house or field, to request that I would cut the cards, 
or make a spell of some kind, to discover the criminal. It was in 
vain that I tried to reason them out of this preposterous folly, 
and refiised the offered money. They remained firm in their faith, 
that 'I knew more than I should.' Even my poor three acres 
brought me under suspicion, because, fi-om being the worst, they 
were now the best and most productive in the parish. Although 
every one with their own eyes saw, or might see, that the elder 
lads helped me in the cultivation of the land, and the younger ones 
took it by turns to weed for me ; although I ofiered them the plain- 
est and simplest rules to obtain a like result with my own, they 
preferred their own solution of the enigma, ' I knew more than 1 
should,' ' the devil had a hand in it,' &c. 

" I saw that the elder part of the population were not to be con- 
verted. My best hopes rested on their children, who were in a 
great measure under my influence. I had done much in the course 
of five years, when a scandalous attempt, on the part of the pastor, 
threatened the destruction of my plans of reformation. One day 
the pastor sent for me, received me with extraordinary and unusual 
civility ; and, while I was endeavoring to find out his motive for 
such an unexpected manifestation, he surprised me by a proposal 
to bestow on me in marriage a young person who lived in his house 
in some dependent capacity. He promised a good portion with her. 
I had no inclination to listen to or repeat village scandal, but I could 
not be ignorant that the girl's conduct was not irreproachable, and 
Pastor Pflock knew it full well. Of course, I gave a direct and 
immediate refusal ; perhaps I was somewhat too abrupt. From 
that time forward he never preached a sermon without launching 
forth into invectives against all profligate innovaters and ' infidels.' 
If I had had any doubt as to whom these thunders were directed, 
his looks would have speedily enlightened me and everybody else ; 
but I despised them too heartily to take any notice of them. By 
and by, I received notice that complaints had been lodged against 
me with the School Commission. I was charged with inmioral 



60 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

conduct ; I was unfit to be trusted with the instruction of chil- 
dren. I demanded a hearing ; I demanded the names of my accus- 
ers, which could not well be refused me ; and I never rested till 
the accusation and its cause had been traced home to Pastor 
Pnock. The motives for his extraordinary proposal were clear 
enough, and I succeeded in making them appear so to the Com- 
mission. From bullying, the unworthy pastor descended to suppli- 
cation, that the business might not become generally known. It 
transpired, nevertheless ; before many days were over, everything 
that had passed in the justice-room was known to every man, 
woman, and child in Hard. In another quarter of a year Pastor 
Pflock was removed, and another. Pastor Bode, replaced him. 

" The latter, a pious and excellent man somewhat advanced in life, 
and well acquainted with the world, without being corrupted by 
time, supported me warmly in every attempt for the improvement 
of the people, and labored zealously in his own calling for the object. 
He went from cottage to ccttage to give advice, warning, help, and 
consolation. I grieve to say, he reaped but a scanty harvest with 
all his toil. His preaching was not half so much attended or 
admired as Pflock's had been ; the customary offerings to the par- 
sonage kitchen much scantier. The good people of Hard main- 
tained stoutly that Pastor Bode ' did not preach the right sort of 
religion ; he was half an infidel, he did not believe in hell,' &c. &c. 
And then they shook their heads, and sighed for the high-seasoned 
homilies of Pastor Pflock, and the discourse usually ended with 
the ejaculation, 'Ah, he was the man; his was something like ser- 
mons ! Hard will not see his like again in a hurry ! ' " 



THE COLONY. 



"About this time a certain Baron Yon Losecke paid a visit to 
Hard, on account of some forest land which he inherited in the 
neighborhood, and which he wanted to dispose of again, as he did 
not mean to live in this part of the country. The government had 
declined the purchase, because wood was not at all wanted here, and 
there was no navigable river to aid in its disjDosal elsewhere. The 
Baron next offered it to the parish of Hard, as the forest lay so 
conveniently at hand. But the parish was poor aiyi in debt ; it was 
not in any particular want of wood ; and, if it were, preferred greatly 
stealing it. from the Baron's forest to buying of him. The offer was 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 61 

refused, although he would have lowered his first demand of nine to 
seven thousand guilders. The Baron was quite at a loss what to 
do with his new acquisition, and went to ask advice of Pastor 
Bode, who referred him to me as the person in Hard most likely 
to g"ive him proper counsel. He came, and the thought suddenly 
occurred to me to buy the wood myself. My plan was ready in 
a few moments. I could not be a loser. The Baron swore at 
the whole business ; he wanted, above all things, to be rid of the 
trouble, and at last declared that if I could find him a purchaser, 
he should have the wood for six thousand. I told him, at once, 
that I would buy it myself if he would accept the half in ready 
money, and allow me reasonable time to pay the other half, with 
a moderate rate of interest. He stared, first at me, and then at 
my naked school-room ; but people soon come to an understanding 
when both parties mean to do so. The bargain was soon struck, 
and the necessary instruments drawn up. I drew my outstanding 
capital of four thousand guilders from my native city, paid out of 
my pocket a yearly sum equivalent to the interest of it, which, if 
you remember, I had destined for the support of my guardian's 
daughter, and the Baron received the promised moiety immedi- 
ately. 

" The whole village was up in arms at the news of my purchase. 
No doubt I was supposed to have found the philosopher's stone. I 
was laughed at for my folly, nevertheless, and many rejoiced before- 
hand in the expectation that I had certainly overreached myself in 
my bargain. 

" The laughter did not very greatly disturb my equanimity. I 
hired wood-cutters, and a few experienced makers of potash, bought 
tubs and caldrons, built furnaces for the calcining, and trans- 
formed the fine beech wood into potash. My projects extended 
themselves. One of my best friends in the village was a young 
man named Lebrecht, an active, intelligent fellow, who had often 
assisted me in the school. I now made it over to him entirely with 
the income such as it was, and procured a ratification of the appoint- 
ment from the commission. The only share I retained was the 
story-telling lesson, as it might be called. The school-house I gave 
up entirely to my successor, and built a temporary abode in the for- 
est, to be near my workmen. I had cottages built for them also, 
which could be tenanted in the winter ; and thus commenced a 
new mode of life, pretty much like that of a settler in the back 
woods of America. The Harders shook their heads at my foolish 
undertaking, while one acre after another was changed into pot- 
ash. In a year some hundreds of acres were cleared. My potash 



62 THE TWO MILLIONAIEES. 

found a rapid sale, and thus the old, impenetrable beech forest^ 
snugly packed in barrels, wandered to all parts of the world. The 
half of the produce was more than sufficient to pay the remainder 
of the purchase money ; the Baron was paid sooner than I expected, 
and I had beside some capital in hand, and the land. I now set 
to work upon a more substantial dwelling for myself, with barns 
and outhouses, I bought cattle, laid out the land in pasture and 
arable land, and so turned farmer, as well as potash-maker. In 
draining some part of the meadows, I discovered a spring. In 
testing its fitness for^ domestic purposes, I found it to be mineral. 
There is no other in all the country round. A new plan was quickly 
formed. I built this house for the reception of visitors, and adver- 
tised the healing properties of the spring in all the newspapers. 
It succeeded beyond all my expectations ; the visitors were so 
numerous, that, in a few years, I was obliged to add wings to the 
bathing-house. My capital yielded me a high interest. I por- 
tioned off more than three hundred acres into small farms, and 
built houses upon them, for which I had lime, sand, and wood gratis, 
and every house had its tenant ready as soon as it was finished. I 
chose, in preference to all others, skilful artisans, who were either 
wanted by the water-drinking guests, or were not easily found in 
the neighborhood. I took care that the leases should be sufficiently 
advantageous to the tenant, to give him a real interest in the suc- 
cess of my colony. I was law-giver, as well as landlord, and my 
indulgence on some points, and inexorable severity on others, where 
the integrity of my colonists was concerned, were so well known, 
that my regulations were submitted to without hesitation. Look 
behind you, dear Roden, at those buildings, fourteen in number, 
which stand on the rising ground by the side of the forest. That 
is my colony." 



THE NEW DIGNITY. 

' Among the yearly visitors to the waters, some of the authorities 
of the land were occasionally to be found, to whom I became known. 
Had I been dressed like one of themselves, my acquirements would 
sertainly have raised no astonishment, but in one clothed in the 
coarse garments of a peasant, they were esteemed something won- 
derful. I passed, moreover, for an opulent man, and these two cir- 
cumstances procured my appointment as Schulze in Hard, on the 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 63 

death of the old one, in spite of all the ancient inhabitants could 
say against it. My new dignity gave me as much joy, as, under 
other relations, the post of Prime Minister could have done. I 
was now in the position I had long desired, and my sphere of 
action exactly what I wished it to be. I was no stranger to the 
ingratitude of the Harders, but what else was to be expected from 
a people so poverty-stricken, ignorant, lazy, and stupid ? I must 
humanize them before I could look for humaner and nobler feelings 
from them. 

" I immediately began to work out my projects. Pastor Bode and 
the schoolmaster Lobrecht were zealous cooperators. Even as 
Schulze, I continued my narrative lessons to the youth of the vil- 
lage. It was too powerful an engine in my scheme of moral refor- 
mation to be neglected. Eight years' experience had rendered me 
familiar with the chief sources of mischief in Hard, and I hastened 
to destroy them. One of the greatest was the litigious spirit of the 
people. They went to law about everything. I took upon myself 
to be an attorney, in defiance of the attorneys, and examined those 
local regulations, which most nearly concerned my peasants, and 
were most fertile in stuff for lawsuits. A good many I put an 
end to by amicable arrangement, and the number of my clients 
increased daily. My office enabled me continually to detect and 
frustrate the artifices by which provincial advocates often fermented 
and kept alive the foolish squabbles of the poor ignorant people for 
their own advantage. This alone was an immeasurable advantage 
for the village. In the midst of all these official labors, something 
occurred to me of which I had certamly often thought, but never 
before felt — something which turned my head for a time, and put 
an effectual stop to my reformation. 

" One day I drove a wagon myself with a freight of potash to 
Berg, a market town about twelve miles from Hard, and where my 
agent for the sale of it lived. In the wagon I had also a sack of 
beans, which fell from it as I drove into Berg. A lad, who was 
passing, directed my attention to my loss. I ran back, and hoisted 
the sack on my shoulders to replace it in the wagon. At that 
moment a very pretty girl, whose dress announced her an inhabi- 
tant of Berg, came up with me. I do not know how I looked at 
her or she looked at me, but I felt the strangest sensation I had 
ever experienced in my life. While I was staring like a booby, I 
lost my hat, and, encumbered as I was, I could not stoop to recover 
it. The beauty saw my embarrassment, and, turning back with the 
best-hearted smile in the world, picked up the hat and gave it to 
me. To this day I do not know how I thanked her, or whether I 



64 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

thanked her at all. The smile bewitched me so that I could think 
of nothing else, and am only surprised how I found my way to my 
agent's. 

" In the house of the agent a room was always reserved for me, 
because, in my frequent journeys to and fro, I found it sometimes 
convenient to remain the night in Berg. I might as well have gone 
back this time, but I did not. I staid in the hope of seeing my 
little beauty again, and never left the window commanding a view 
of the main street till I was called to dinner. 

" As I entered the room where the dinner was served, who should 
I see but the very object of my thoughts standing by the table ? She 
was evidently preparing to dine with us. The post of honor at 
the upper end was assigned to me, and the fair stranger placed 
herself opposite to me. Frau Diedrich, the agent's wife, said some- 
thing to me, to which I replied, ' Good, they are exquisite.' 

" ' Grood heavens ! how sorry I am you did not come last week,' 
exclaimed the good lady, ' we had some much better.' 

" ' Much better ! ' said I, bewitched. Frau Diedrich was talking 
about the carp, and I of the black eyes of the maiden. The fair 
girl smiled, and looked down. 

" ' Lieber Himmel Herr Schulze, I don't think you heard a word 
I said ! ' said my hostess. 

" ' Let the matter alone, wife,' said the agent, rising to fetch his 
pipe. ' Herr Schulze is a learned man : he was star-gazing.' 

' ' ' Who is your new companion ? ' I seized the first moment of 
asking, when the beautiful stranger had withdrawn. 

" ' She is no companion of mine,' replied Frau Diedrich; ' she 
is a poor girl, whom my sister, the Pastorin MuUer, has brought up. 
My brother-in-law is lately dead, and my sister, being obliged to 
leave the vicarage, has sent her to me till she is settled again.' 

" ' Poor, is she ? So much the better for me,' thought I. ' Then 
I may hope. I am not poor. I am not more than three-and-thirty, 
and not so bad-looking.' But then I looked again at the delicate 
town-bred girl, and then at myself — a potash-maker in my peas- 
ant's blouse ! My courage sank a hundred fathoms deep. 

" Passing by the kitchen, I saw my beauty, with an apron before 
her, busy over the fire, and the thermometer rose a little. She 
looked as if performing an accustomed duty. In the evening, as I 
was sitting alone in my room, I heard something knocking like a 
knife on a chopping-board. I listened again, and recognized the 
sound of a detestable old harpsichord, with about as much tone as 
a tin-kettle, and horribly out of tune into the bargain. Thinking it 
was one of Diedrich's boys amusing himself, I opened the door h&- 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 65 

tween, and entered abruptly. Lo ! and behold ! there sat the fair 
maiden^ again alone ! and the room was evidently the one appropri- 
ated to her use for the time. She started, and colored at my uncere- 
monious entry, and so did I. I seemed destined to appear before 
her in some awkward guise or other. Now the mischief was done, 
I could only make the best excuse I could think of, and beg permis- 
sion to try my skill at tuning the old harpsichord. She consented : 
I brought it into something like order, and was rewarded by hearing 
her play, which she did with great taste and feeling. The tin 
kettle sounded like the music of the spheres. She expressed some 
surprise to find me so musical, and afterwards, that I could, unlike 
most country people, speak of anything else than country matters. 

" ' Are the country people all so learned with you, Mr. Schulze ? * 
asked she, with her gentle smile. 

*' I do not know what I answered. The smile and the glance of 
her black eyes took away my breath and my senses for the time. 
The poor child seemed to have but little to amuse her in Diedrich's 
house, for on my asking her to walk out with me, she was ready in 
a moment. The walk did her good : her features lost a certain 
tinge of melancholy which I had admired as the greatest of charms 
till I saw the same features lighted up with smiles, and then I 
found gladness best became them. At supper, she sat opposite to 
me again ; and, after supper, we went to the old harpsichord again. 
This was too much. I never closed my eyes that night. The morning 
star found me as wakeful as the evening had left me. Lovers reckon 
by the stars, because they hover in spirit above the earth while 
they are lovers. I fancied I must be ill, and so I told Diedrich, 
and made that the excuse for remaining the whole day at Berg. 
My dear little neighbor had abundance of compassion for me, and 
did her best to amuse me. While she sung to me, or talked or 
walked with me, the headache I complained of left me, but my 
heart, — ah, friend Roder! When I returned to Hard, on the 
third day, I was absolutely miserable. I thought I was going to 
die, and I believe I made some verses to the moon ! 

" My official duties began to be terribly importunate, and, I am 
afraid, were very indifferently performed the week after my visit to 
Berg. On the other hand I was seized with "a sudden zeal for beau- 
tifying my house, and had many things done which had hitherto 
appeared to me extremely superfluous. I even bought an excellent 
piano which I had found on sale in a neighboring town. This was 
hardly to be called a superfluity, but I had not felt inclined to cul- 
tivate my musical talents the whole eight or nine years I had spent 
in Hard with half the zeal as since my visit to Berg. The next 
5 



66 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

^ime I drove over, I bestowed a little more attention on my dress, 
and when I caught sight of the church tower of Berg behind the 
pine wood, I could almost hear my heart beat. Diedrich and his 
wife received me with their wonted cordiality, and their sweet friend 
returned my awkward greeting with a smile and a blush that looked 
almost like pleasure at seeing me again. 

" The harpsichord wanted tuning again, and, while I was doing it, 
T mentioned my purchase of a new piano, and expressed a hope 
that I should hear her play on it some day, and that was all I said. 
We went out to walk, and amono; the thousand thing-s we talked 
about, the thing I wished most to say was exactly what I did not 
and could not say. 

"'Shall you be here again next week?' asked she, when she 
gave her hand at parting. We were alone, and yet, like an idiot, 
as I was, I could find no answer, but, 'On Thursday certainly,' 
as if I had been talking only to Frau Diedrich. 

" All the way home I had employment enough in quarrelling with 
myself, and vowing in my heart to acquit myself the ensuing week 
somewhat less like a simpleton. 

" My home was no longer as it had been to me. I wandered 
through my colony. I looked on my own creation, on the testi- 
mony of a resolute purpose resolutely pursued. I saw it was right, 
but it did not rejoice me ; I could not look on my work and say 
'that it was good.' Beyond the right and useful, something was 
wanting, something higher, and that lay beyond my power. My 
work wanted consecration ; as yet, in my little world, the ' beau- 
tiful ' was not ! And the beautiful is everywhere the reflected 
light of Love; when hallowing the earthly, it reveals itself to 
earth. 

" This week that passed before I went to Berg again, was certainly 
longer than the whole eight years I had spent in Hard. This time 
I found courage to say that the time had appeared immeasurably 
long since I had seen her, and she answered innocently, ' I am 
very glad when you come : I am so lost here. It is a pleasure to 
meet any one with whom we can sympathize.' And hereupon we 
were both silent, perhaps, because I took her hand and drew it 
within my arm, at these words, — a freedom I had never ventured 
on before. I did, however, find courage enough, after a while, to 
say, that ' I should have thought it more likely that she would find 
here and everywhere hearts only too ready to sympathize with 
hers;' to which she answered nothing, and I was as well satisfied 
that she did not. 

"When we returned to the hoyse, I invited Diedrich and his wife 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 67 



to come over to Hard and look at my new buildings. ' That we 
will, gladly,' answered he. 'I want to give Miss Augusta a 
day's pleasure before she goes back next week;' and here he 
handed her a letter from his sister-in-law, her protectress. 

" ' And are you really going to leave us? ' I asked her as she 
sat at the old harpsichord in the evening. 

" Her hande dropped into her lap. ' I must, my foster-mother 
has sent for me.' 

' ' I thought I saw a tear sparkle through her long eyelashes, and 
ventured to press her hand to my lips when we parted for the 
night. 

"On my return to Hard, Diedrich and his whole family accom 
panied me. And when I was once more at home, and saw that 
home lighted by her bright presence, sunshine and joy were in me 
and around me ! My work was hallowed by the breath of love. 
The good was wedded to the beautiful. 

'* Man's heart and hands can accomplish great things in the stir and 
tumult of the world. Woman is powerless in its troubled strife, 
yet nobler in her weakness, because more alien to the mere earthly 
than man. She sanctifies him through her love, awakens in him 
the sense of the beautiful, and she alone has received from Heaven 
the gift of crowning his brow with the wreath of victory. For men 
can never reward men for the struggle and the conquest. All that 
men can accomplish alone may be great, but it is loveless ; just in 
its purpose, but austere in aspect. Man's only exclusive work is 
red-handed war. Woe to that world where love is not ! " 



THE HIGHEST FESTIVAL. 



•' T LODGED my guests in the Baths, with a private hint to the land- 
lord and his wife to amuse and occupy Diedrich and his wife as 
much as possible, that I might keep Augusta exclusively to myself. 
Frau Diedrich was scandalized at the humility of my household 
arrangements, and could not understand why I did not 'live 
better,' as she phrased it. 'I might easily do so,' I answered, 
looking at the only person to whom I was desirous of recommending 
my humble dwelling, 'but it is not necessary to my happiness. 
I will do without unnecessary necessaries, that I may have where- 
with to supply real ones.' 

"Diedrich shook his head, and merely replied, ' Herr Schiilze, 



68 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

you are a humorist.' But the beloved one looked on me with 
sparkling eye and kindling cheek. ' Where such spotless neat- 
ness reigns, who would seek or desire other adornment ? ' cried 
she. ' When health and contentment are the companions, who 
asks whether they sit at a table of beechen wood or mahogany ? — 
if they are served on earthenware, or from porcelain and silver ? ' 

" I pressed the hand of my sweet advocate in silent gratitude, and 
led her through every part of my domain ; she had understanding 
and sympathy for all, and while her eyes wandered over the wide- 
spreading prospect, rich in fruit and promise, her heart seemed to 
swell within her, her eyes filled with tears. ' This is heavenly,' 
she murmured. 

" ' And will you forsake it, then ? ' said I. ' Will it be heav- 
enly to me when you are gone *? ' She was silent, as if she did 
not understand me. 'Oh, remain ! Where else would you be 
loved and cherished as you are loved and cherished here ? Be 
mine 1 For me there is no happiness without you. You are an 
orphan; if I may hope to win your heart, who shall refuse me 
your hand ? ' 

*' 'It is true, I have neither father nor mother,' said Augusta, 
and a shade of sadness crossed the clear heaven of her brow, like a 
white cloud over the transparent depths of a summer sky. ' But 
I have made a vow to myself, and I will keep it, never to dispose 
of myself without the consent and approbation of a m^an whom I 
love and honor beyond others in the world.' 

^' ' And who may the one so honored be ? ' I asked, with a beat- 
ing heart. 

"'The noblest-minded being on earth,' she replied, warmly. 
'My father's death was sudden and most grievous. He had, 
though from no fault of his own, ruined a young man who had been 
his ward; and yet this young man was the only person in the 
world who had compassion on his orphan child. He shared with 
me the little my father's misfortunes had left him, provided me 
with suitable protection, gave me an education, — any good that 
may be in me is his work. I owe him every breath I draw ; I 
honor him as my second father. Whero to find bim. I know not ; 
for, like the Providence that blesses us unseen, he has never been 
visible to my gratitude ; two letters I wrote him remain unanswered ; 
yet my determination is unalterable, never to accept the hand of 
any man without asking and obtaining his approbation.' 

" ' And his name ? ' asked I, breathless with expectation. 

" ' His name is Engelbert.' 

*' * And yours is Augusta Lenz.' 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 69 

** She looked at me with surprise. I took her hand and led her 
back into the house, into my study, and took from the drawer of 
my desk two letters, which I l^id before her. 

*' ' Grood heavens ! how did these letters fall into your hands, Mr. 
Schulze ? ' exclaimed Augusta, as she recognized her own hand- 
writing. 

" ' I am Engelbert,' was all I could say. 

*' In spite of all I could do to hinder her, Augusta sunk on her 
knees before me, seized my hands, and covered them with tears 
and kisses. 

" ' Let me, let me,' she sobbed, resisting my efforts to raise her. 
* How I have longed for this moment, when I could pour out my 
whole heart before my benefactor, my only friend !' 

"But I need say no more, my friend; you will guess how I 
answered, and how I sped in my wooing. From that moment 
began the real happiness of my life, — a happiness that has never 
known pause or hindrance in its course, nor will, I hope and trust, 
till the hearts of both are stilled in death. 

" You may, perhaps, be surprised that we did not become sooner 
known to each other, and yet the cause was very simple. My 
agent, Diedrich, had never called me by any other name than my 
official one, as the people hereabouts are wont to do, and Augusta, 
who was a stranger to Hard and its relations, had taken it»for 
granted that ' Herr Schulze ' bore only his family name, and no 
very uncommon one either. 

' ' Whatever Frau Diedrich could say against the irregularity of 
such a proceeding, I empowered my good friend. Pastor Bode, tc 
publish the banns forthwith. Augusta had given me a double right, 
in admitting my authority as guardian to its full extent, to insist o:i 
her leaving Hard no more. To the good woman who had charge 
of my bride, she wrote, by my desire, ensuring to her the yearly 
sum she had hitherto received as the price of Augusta's mainten- 
ance, and which she was not in circumstances to spare without 
inconvenience. Diedrich and his wife remained with Augusta my 
guests at the Baths. As bride, I invested her with the full 
authority of the future mistress, to order and arrange all within and 
without the house, according to her own pleasure. What a week 
we passed ! second only in felicity to those we have known since. .^ 

" On the day of our wedding, my kind and gentle Augusta made 
her appearance, not in the extravagant and somewhat ridiculous 
finery of a town bride,- but in the simple and unpretending costume 
suitable to the wife of a village Schulze, — the guide and associate 
uf peasants, over whom she claimed no other superiority but the 



70 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

undisputed and undisputable one of greater knowledge and 
virtue. 

"A fortnight after this, Pastor Bode joined our hands at the 
altar." 



A FORTUNATE MISFORTUNE. 

" Augusta's diligence and skill in domestic arrangements spared 
me many a care. Freed from all anxiety for my private affairs, 
I could devote myself the more entirely to the weightier duties of 
my office. 

" I had been about two years married, when the terrible day came 
which reduced all Hard to ashes. The conflagration had its origin 
in some very usual but unpardonable piece of carelessness on the 
part of one of the inhabitants. All help was useless. The good 
peoj)le of Hard stood by stupefied and totally inactive, while others 
from the neighboring villages were exerting themselves to the utmost 
to save their cattle and farming stock. There were not half a dozen 
houses left standing. 

" The blow was a heavy one ; the people were too ignorant and 
lazy to be otherwise than poor ; the aid afforded by government 
scanty, when measured by the want. The sufferers looked at one 
another in helpless consternation; the greatness of the calamity 
had robbed them, not only of their property, but of tlieir heads and 
their hands, such as they were. I alone did not despair — nay, 
even saw ground for hope from the very extent of the misfortune. 
All were now alike poor. They must work, if they meaat to eat. 

"As soon as it became a question of rebuilding the village, 1 
delivered a memorial to the government, in which I endeavored to 
prove that a great advantage might accrue to the community of 
Hard, if such exchanges were effected between the owners of the land 
as to fix every man in the centre, or nearly so, of his own portion. By 
this means, not only would the danger of a similar catastrophe be con- 
siderably lessened, but, what was of yet more consequence, a fruitful 
source of dispute and litigation would be cut off, by the comparative 
isolation of the proprietors. ]My plan was approved of, and a com- 
mission appointed to effect the necessary exchanges, at the head of 
which I was placed, in spite of the murmurs and opposition of the 
Harders. The busmess was arranged at last, but not without con- 
siderable difficulty ; and every man's portion of land brought within a 



THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 71 

ring-fence. The grand want at present was of timber for building. 
There was none fit for the purpose to be procured but from a con- 
siderable distance, and consequently at an enormous price; and 
many were the lamentations that Baron von Lesecke's forests had 
not been purchased when he offered them ten years before. 

" I now caused the remainder of my timber to be felled, and sold 
at the most moderate price, without requiring immediate payment. 
The greater part I allowed to remain over for two years, without 
interest. To many persons I advanced money. The government 
did its part. For the poorest of all, liberal collections were made 
among the guests at the Baths. 

"In little more than a year the village rose from its ashes in 
scattered dwellings, as you now see it. As a further security 
against fire, I had public ovens built, apart from the dwelling- 
houses ; better engines provided, and a well dug near every house. 
I had the water from my own lands, and those of others situated on 
the heights, conducted into one common channel, and directed 
toward the waste common land. Here the great canal was divided 
into a number of smaller canals, passing through the meadows, the 
fertility of which was increased threefold, by artificial inundation. 
The fields and gardens around soon showed signs of improvement. 
Being immediately under the eye of the owner^ they were more 
carefully cultivated, and much valuable time spared, which had 
formerly been wasted in running from one outlying field to 
another. Poverty and necessity compelled the greater part to 
economy, both of time and mon^y. The public house in the village 
was less visited. In my inn, I allowed neither wine nor spirits to 
be sold. The widow of the former Schulze, who still kept the 
house in the village, abused me unmercifully ; but I obtained my 
object. Had she followed my advice, and arranged her house for 
the reception of the water-drinkers and bathers, she might have been a 
much richer woman, for this house is often so full that new guests 
are continually obliged to leave the place for want of lodging. 

" It is true that the greater part of the village is still in debt to 
me, but their other debts are nearly acquitted, and this was the 
consequence of real misfortune. Our village is the most flour- 
ishing and industrious, and therefore the highest in credit, in the 
whole country. We have no more lawsuits, and squabbling and 
fighting are scarcely remembered among us. Many of my former 
scholars of both sexes are now themselves parents, and, I may 
honestly assert, are as warmly attached to me as ever. Order and 
cleanliness greet the eye and gladden the heart on every side. 

' ' It may have contributed in some measure to this happy change^ 



72 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 

that I have remitted the interest of the sums owing to me to those 
who distinguished themselves the year through in the neatness of 
their houses and persons, the cultivation and good order of their 
fields, and in keeping from quarrels and litigation. By way of 
encouragement to the rest,- 1 made a gift of the whole capital due to 
me, to the three families who first worked themselves free from all 
other debt." 

Engelbert had proceeded thus far in his narration, when we were 
interrupted by Augusta. She looked like a rose in its full pride 
of beauty, with all its buds clustering round. The infant was on 
her arm, the youngest boy clinging to her side, and the elder ones 
frolicking about her. What a morning greeting was there ! I felt 
a child again among those happy children of nature. 

The bell for church came up through the valley. We went all 
together, and I shall not easily forget the eflfect of the hymn of 
praise sung in four parts by the numerous congregation. The 
address of the silver-haired pastor was worthy of the rest — earnest, 
simple, touching — intelligible to all — practical for this life, yet 
teaching to look beyond it. 

When the service was over, the whole community assembled 
under the lime trees. The Schulze spoke in a kind and friendly 
manner to several who addressed him, and then, mounting a bench, 
read some government proclamations, and explained and cleared up 
some misunderstanding respecting them. When this business was 
over, he pointed me out with his hand to the assembly and said — 
"I have here an old and' dear friend on a visit to me; and as I 
wish to give him pleasure, and also to make known to him those 
young people who have particularly distinguished themselves by 
their conduct since our last meeting, I invite them all to a danco 
and supper with me this evening." 

And here the Schulze read a long list of names from a paper 
which^he held in his hand : hereupon a general whispering, hand- 
shaking, and smiling took place, and the assembly separated with 
joyous faces and sparkling eyes. The reverend pastor, the school- 
master, Librech, an intelligent, well-informed young countryman, 
possessed of considerable natural talent and an ardent thirst for 
knowledge, and the doctor and his wife, joined us at dinner, which, 
contrary to Engelbert's usual custom, was very handsome, and had 
been prepared at the bathing-house. I never passed a happier 
evening, and have rarely listened to a better concert. Seven-and- 
forty voices, male and female, executed choruses and motells, from 
Grrann, Handel, RoUe, and Haydn, with a purity of style and pre- 
cision of tone that would not have disgraced a concert in the cap^al 



THE TWO MILLIONAIKES. 73 

Engelbert, his wife, and two elder boys, were among the singers 
The concert was given in the open air, behind the garden of the 
bathing-house. The place seemed made for the purpose. A soft 
echo from the distant rocks sent back the harmony in magic sweet- 
ness ; the evening sun shone in full splendor on the fields, and 
broke through the trees on the broad grassy glade where we stood, 
chequering its deep emerald with broad gleams of gold, and hover- 
ing like a glory round many a fair young head. I confess the 
whole scene had something inexpressibly touching to me. 

! and all this is the work of one man ! thought I, gazing 
around me. And this man, who, wherever he moved and looked, 
beheld his own creation, and that it was good, stood there simple 
and unassuming among the rest, a peasant among peasants. When 
the concert was over, I clasped his hand with heartfelt emotion, and 
exclaimed involuntarily, " Thou art one of the really great in the 
rustic garb." 

The evening closed with a dance in the large and handsome 
saloon of the dwelling-house.* Augusta was my first partner, and a 
very charming one I found her ; and after her some of the prettiest 
wives and maidens of Hard. Many of them danced exceeding well, 
and did infinite credit to the Frau Schulzin, who had been theii* only 
instructress. The venerable gray-haired pastor, who mingled with 
his flock like a grandfather among his beloved children's children, 
was not the least interesting person of the gi'oup. We sat at 
supper as chance or choice dictated. A fair young rustic, who sat 
next me, entertained me very agreeably and very rationally, — far 
more so than many a fashionable damsel, whom it has been my lot 
to meet in circles of far higher pretensions, has done since. 

As soon as my carriage was mended, and my servant in condition 
to travel, I left Hard. Engelbert, who considered me as his guest 
in a house that belonged to him, would not hear of my offering any 
remuneration where I had lodged. I left his village, therefore, as 
his debtor, with what feelings of genuine admiration and respect, I 
need not describe to you. You have now the history of my second 
millionaire, (continued Counsellor Yon Eodern,) deduce what 
advantage you can for the point in dispute. 

. Even those among us who had defended Morn's misanthropy 
could not deny that Engelbert had had fully as much cause for 
hostility to society in general ; and confessed that, with the same 
views of social evil, he had been no self-indulgent Morn, but an 
unwearied benefactor of his kind. Yet they were unwilling to give 



m 



A common practice in Germany. 



74 THE TWO MILLIONAIRES. 



up the cause, but defended Morn, as Rousseau had been defended, 
on the score of the excessive susceptibility of his temper. 

" To speak more plainly, he was a vain man, or, as the phrenol- 
ogists would say, his approbativeness was strongly developed," said 
Von Krachen, smiling. "Hence he was easily deceived, and the 
often-deceived man is inevitably a mistrustful man. With less 
judgment than imagination, he was often as much mistaken in him- 
self as in others, adopted opinions upon insufficient grounds, and 
drew general inferences from particular cases." 

Engelbert had both head and heart in the right place, and did 
not abandon a general principle because of a trifling failure in 
peculiar instances. Many lament and complain of the perversity 
and corruption of the world. Engelbert hated the corruption, but 
he did not whine over it. He attacked it boldly within his own 
little world, and reformed it. He made war on the error, but not 
on the erring. Pity that there are not a few more Engelberts in 
the world ! But the greater part of our world-reformers like the 
theory far better than the practice. They can eulogize virtue 
freely, but have no courage for the practice of it. They are them- 
selves fettered by the very follies and prejudices against which they 
cry out so lustily. They are weaklings without heart for that 
truth and nature they so loudly commend, and hug the chain while 
they contemn the slavery. Or, if they make the sacrifice, they will 
have counter-sacrifices; praise, honor, popular applause. How 
many would like to put themselves in Engelbert's place, act the 
reformer's part, instead of declaiming it ; bear all that was repul- 
sive in it, bear to be misconstrued and misrepresented, and nevei 
once ask, will the world applaud the action? And till people are 
found willing to do this, take my word for it, though the preaoheii 
may be many, the converts will be few 



"I OWE ¥011 HOTillS, SIR." 



PART I. 

THE EARL 



The recess was drawing to a close. The countess and her daugh- 
ters had already left for London. The earl remained at the castle, 
to give further directions about the estate, with no companion but 
his heir. 

To this boy's interest the father was dedicating his life. He had 
watched him during ten years with intense anxiety. He had seen 
faculties of the highest order developing themselves in his char- 
acter, and he resolved to train him for the service of the state. 

Reflecting that much of his own time had been consumed in the 
petty cares of a numerous tenantry, the earl yielded to the proposals 
of his factor, divided his estate into large sheep-farms, and expelled 
his old tenants. In this way, he thought, his son would find fewer 
cares to trouble him when he grew up, and more time to realize his 
destiny. 

The arrangements were nearly completed. The factor and his 
officials had been with the earl all the morning. They were gone 
to eject the last of the tenants. The earl continued at the writing- 
desk, and wrote as follows to his countess : — 

" These vile attacks, my dearest countess, we shall scorn. The 
newspapers must minister to the insatiate malice against our order, 
which rankles in the breasts of the vulgar. Our apology, — our 
reason, I should rather say, — is to be found in the ways of Prcvi- 
dence. We have acted in strict accordance with the laws which 
rule our race. Everywhere ignorance must give place to knowl- 
edge ; the incapable to those who have capacity. The business 
habits, the extens^5re enterprise, the improved skill of the Lowland 
farmers, supplant the backwardness, the unskilfulness, the sluggish- 
ness, of our Highland tenantry. We lament that it must be so. 
The touching verses in your own diary express our sorrow. But 

(75) 



H) "I OWE YOU NOTHING. 



the time was come. The law of Providence was to be vindicated ; 
and our much bepitied tenantry are gone to supplant those who are 
less skilful in North America, who again, years ago, naturally en- 
tered into the place of the aborigines. 

" I sometinies feel, however, as if I would not have cared to be- 
come the voluntary agent in the hand of Providence, had it not 
been for our beloved Noel. My heart leaps up when I reflect how 
my present toils will advantage him. Often my thoughts project 
into the future. I see our boy a leader among the greatest. Not 
a day goes past which does not bring some token of his greatness 
to my sight. 

"This very morning he came to me, as I was reading in the 
deep window of the library, and said, pointing to the bay, ' Look 
there, father. I have seen the bay a thousand times filled with 
water, and the waves chasing each other to the beach. Far over on 
the opposite shore I can see the horses moving along the road ; and, 
to the right and left, our bay is walled in by land. I see land 
wherever I turn. When I come from London I see nothing but 
land. I should like to look upon the broad ocean, father. You 
told me yesterday it is to be seen from Headland Crag there. Be- 
hind it you say the sea rolls in from America. Let me go up there 
while you are engaged with the factor. I will climb up by the 
shepherds' track.' 

" What a spirit, my countess ! Would it not have been cruel to 
have denied him ? I wished, indeed, to send a servant with him, 
but he would not go on that condition. The self-relying, courage- 
ous boy ! 

" While I write to you, he will be enjoying his reward. I well 
remember, when a boy, my first ascent of the crag. Up and up 
through the ploughed fields and the brown heath I climbed, until 
I reached the hard rock, rugged and bare, which shoots up at the 
summit. It was a worthy spectacle. Far as my eye could reach, 
the sea stretched out before me, until it seemed to blend into the 
very heavens. I had only seen it in the bay before, rolling in from 
the opposite shore. I now beheld it sweeping away into the infinite ; 
and even in my childhood I deemed it a glorious sight. So, 
doubtless, does our Noel deem it at this moment, as a new idea is 
taking its place in his mind." 

He gave the letter to a domestic to carry to the neighboring post- 
town, and took up the plans of his estate. In vain, however, did 
he attempt to fix his mind upon the dry outlines ; it was with Noel 
on the top of Headland Crag. 



d^ *'I OWE YOU NOTHING." 77 

The bell of the castle struck four as he was thus engaged. He 
had calculated on Noel's return before this hour. A pang of unea- 
siness shot through the father's heart. He strove to subdue it by 
his confidence in the boy's energy. It would not be subdued. In 
two hours more the sun would set. Should night overtake the 
young adventurer, what mishaps might then ensue ! The earl rose 
in restlessness. The door of the library opened upon a lovely lawn 
that swept down like a crescent, shaping itself to the bay. A little 
to the left, on the public road, was a jutting point, from which a 
view of the path over the crag was commanded. Thither he bent 
his steps. In vain, however, did his eye range from top to base ; 
in vain he searched every turn of the footpath through his pocket- 
glass. No Noel was to be seen. An old thorn stump that grew 
near the summit was, for a moment, mistaken for the boy, and the 
anxious father made beckoning signs with his handkerchief. Then 
a solitary bush, half way to the base, was supposed to be the wearied 
heir resting for a little. Objects innumerable assumed the shape 
of Noel, but Noel himself came not. He was in the act of waving 
his handkerchief to one of these delusive objects, his uneasiness 
passing into fear, when he heard the approach of footsteps ; and, 
turning about to conceal his anxiety by the assumption of an in- 
different air, and to see what stranger was travelling on that lonely 
road, he beheld one of the most singular figures he had ever chanced 
to set his eyes upon. 

If our readers would fancy Samuel Johnson's head and shoulders 
perched upon a short, spare body, and the very slimmest legs — 
these last particulars encased in dim shepherd tartan — a camlet 
cloak suspended from the afore-mentioned shoulders, and an am- 
phibious expression of youth and age over the whole, they would 
see for themselves the traveller who now came forward to the earl 
and stood uncovered in his presence. 

His lordship was in no mood to be troubled at that time, but 
there was something in the demeanor of the traveller which com- 
manded his attention. 

"You have business with me? " insinuated his lordship, as the 
stranger continued silent. "May I presume to know what you 
are?" 

"I was the schoolmaster of your late tenants," the stranger 
replied. "Your factor's servants have expelled me this morning 
from my school and home. I am now houseless and helpless. My 
wife and childien are with me." 

As he spoke he pointed to the weary group resting on the beach, 
looking fixedly at the earl and himself. Now it was not specially 



78 "l OWE YOU NOTHING. 



apparent to the earl that the poor man who stood beside him was a 
victim to the policy which he had been pursuing of late on his es- 
tate. Between the effects of that policy on his old tenantry, and 
the policy itself, he had drawn a sufficient veil, so that he could 
look at the one without being self-accusingly troubled about the 
other. He, therefore, listened to the statement which had just 
been made, as a formal judge would to a passionate plea of not 
guilty, with an almost entire indifference, arising out of the convic- 
tion that such things must necessarily occur. And yet the earl was 
not a bad man. He was simply one who looked upon human life 
from the position of an earldom. In the very philosophy which 
bred this indifference, there was an element which the sight of the 
wearied wife and children was exactly ifitted to bring into action. 
We saw in his letter to the countess that he considered himself as 
an agent in the hand of Providence when he was expelling his un- 
skilful tenantry. On a similar ground he held that his order was 
the natural custodier, and the appointed dispenser of the charities 
of Providence. Hence, a few months before, he had hurried down 
from Parliament to sit as chairman at a county meeting, called to 
consider the case of the poor, and had made speeches which were 
circulated as the very cream and essence of benevolence. And 
hence, also, as if the action were the irresistible effect of the sight 
he was directed to, he drew a sovereign from his purse, and held it 
out to the houseless teacher. 

To his utter amazement, the teacher put the hand which held 
out the gratuity from him, and said, with great dignity, — 

"My lord, I did not come to beg your charity. Grod has en- 
dowed me with knowledge, and I desire to impart it." 

A frown crept over the earl's brow. 

The schoolmaster continued, — 

"I have applied for two schools, and have been unsuccessful. 
I have no certificate. They who could best tell my worth, or want 
of worth, are far out on the sea. Your factor never heard of me. 
I have no man to speak for me. So I have come to your lordship. 
Your lordship's influence may procure me a school which is vacant 
on your neighbor's estate." 

"You have come in a wrong spirit," replied the earl, dropping 
the rejected sovereign back into his purse ; " and besides, you have 
come to one who knows you not. I cannot promise you my influ- 
ence." 

The last sentence was uttered in an irritated tone, and the 
speaker was turning away to be quit of the applicant, when the 
latter said, — 



I OWE YOU NOTHING." 79 



** If I have spoken rudely, my lord, pardon me. Indeed, I did 
not purpose to do so. Yet I have been sorely tried this day. I 
beg you, for my family's sake, not to withhold the favor I ask." 

The earl made no reply. 

The teacher waited for a moment, and then resumed, in a half 
soliloquy, for the hope of effecting his purpose was fading away, — 

" I was trusting to your influence, my lord. I did not think it 
would have been refused. I thought I deserved it, to some extent. 
My father, and my father's father, were tenants under your ances- 
tors. I have taught the children of your tenantry. My lord — " 

"I cannot help you, sir; I cannot help you," interrupted the 
earl, turning full round and confronting the poor teacher. '^ Your 
father's father I did not know. I do not know their son. If you 
taught the children of my tenantry, they would, doubtless, pay you 
for your work. You deserve nothing at my hands. I am not 
bound to you. I owe you nothing, sir, — nothing." 

So saying, his lordship strode away to arouse the castle servants 
to the search for Noel, and left the schoolmaster standing in the 
middle of the road. 



PAET II. 

THE TEACHER. 



In a mean hovel, built by the farmers of the preceding genera- 
tion on a piece of land which could by no skill of husbandry known 
to them be turned to any other account, the man who was treated 
with so much contempt by the earl had kept a school since he was 
a boy. There, three miles from the spot on which he now stood, he 
had taught, with a loving and willing heart, the children of the 
ejected tenantry. He was a thoughtful, simple soul, who knew 
little of the world in which the earl moved. At this particular 
time, too, he was sickly. And the haughty words stung his heart, 
and brought the tear into his eye. 

" He owes me nothing ! " he muttered to himself. " I did not 
say he did. I never, till now, thought he did. I sought his help 
as a favor, not as a debt. Yet, now I think, he did owe it to me. 
God help my family ! Our trust is not in princes, nor in men's 
sons." 

He repressed his emotion, however, as well as he could, and 
returned to his wearied and houseless companions. They were all 



80 " I OWE YOU NOTHING," 

weeping. They had seen the earl turning away, and guessed the 
result. Three children clung around the mother. The youngest 
did not understand the cause of the sorrow, but wept because the 
rest were weeping. 

A word about the teacher's wife. She was a true helper, and 
right noble soul. Her mind was firmer, more capacious, than her 
husband's. She had stayed up his sinking spirits when the proba- 
bility of their present circumstances first darkened their minds ; and 
now, in the actual circumstances, she was not wanting in either 
words or deeds of hope. Her grief gave way speedily to a better 
feeling. . 

"Let us not fail to hope, Duncan," she said; "I feel assured 
that your application will be attended to. God will provide for you 
a school. We must hasten towards the town ! night is drawing on." 

Shall we tell our readers that the whole family knelt down upon 
the beach, and committed their way to that Being whose ear is ever 
open to the cry of the afflicted ? When they rose, the father slung 
the youngest child in a plaid upon his breast, the mother bound a 
little bundle of valuables upon her back, each took one of the two 
elder children by the hand, and thus they resumed their journey. 

Their road lay along the shore of the castle bay, and then round 
the peak, and along the other base of the headland, which Noel had 
ascended that morning. As they passed the castle, they saw the 
earl and domestics bustling and running about in great alarm. 
Ignorant of the cause, the poor teacher could not help recalling the 
bitter words which his lordship had spoken, and thus addressed his 
wife, — 

" I think, Rachel, that my ill-requited toils among his tenantry 
might have engaged him to a little interest in our future welfare." 

" At all events, Duncan," the wife replied, " he owed you an 
apology — kind words, at least — for the rudeness of his factor's 
men to us this day. " Yes," she continued, with a dash of indigna- 
tion glowing in her face, " he owed you help, he owed you sympathy, 
he owed you justice. He was bound to you, to me, to these little 
ones, by our very sorrow, even, if it had not been caused by him- 
self." 

But either her indignation or her grief, or both together, choked 
ner utterance, and she' said no more. Duncan did not venture to 
reply. In truth, he was unable. The wrong which had been done 
to him was at present hidden from his view by his" anxiety about the 
future. He could not yet define it or utter it. It lay dumb in him 
in the deep recesses of grief and fear. With Rachel, it was differ- 
ent ; she clearly saw the thought which her husband only dimly 



I OWE YOU NOTHING." 81 



felt. Although she continued silent, the thought was working in 
her soul. Her flushed face, her quickening steps, indicated how 
clearly she apprehended the injustice of the earl's reply. 

" Proud earl that he is ! " she exclaimed within her own mind, 
" with all his greatness he does not know how sacred is a human 
home. What other earl, what other earthly dignitary, what human 
heart, so cruel as to have acted as he and his have done ! He said, 
* I do not know you — I owe you nothing, you inconsiderable boor 
on my estate ! ' The man was wrong, proud peer ! who taught 
thee so to speak. A better than thou did not refuse to know us, 
and to help us well. Morning and evening He came to our solitary 
home. He came to us with life, with bread, with reason, with 
family ties, with words from His Father's bosom. He calls us no 
longer servants, but friends. Are His friends to be so despised ? 
— refused the cup of cold water ? Sin lies at thy door, my lord !" 

Again, however, the current of her thoughts was interrupted. 
Duncan and the children were standing still. They had at length 
reached the extremity of the headland. The weary bend of the 
bay in which the castle stood had been travelled, and they were now 
prepared to wind round to the other base of the crag, which ran along 
the shore of the open sea, and skirted the road that led to the town. 

Why are they pausing here? What has rooted them so to the 
ground ? They cannot hide from themselves that night is hastening 
up behind them. Yet there they stand, gazing right across the 
mouth of the bay, and far over into the level country beyond. A 
column of smoke is rising against the eastern sky, in the distance. 
The wind heaves it to a side for a moment, then breaks it near the 
ground, and bright flames issue out beneath. Duncan and his family 
are again in tears. Rachel was the first to speak, — 

" The home where our babes were born ! So — Duncan " 

She could say no more. House and school were in flames. The 
officials of the " agent of Providence " were burning them as worth- 
less, and their late possessors had, unexpectedly, turned towards the 
painful sight. 

Mournftdly they withdrew their gaze, and resumed their journey. 
In a few minutes they had doubled the cape of the crag, and the 
chill breath of the open sea beyond, came up sorely against the faces 
of the children. 

" The sea is gathering for a storm, Rachel," said the teacher. 

" Let us mend our steps, children," replied the mother ; " we 
have to reach that spire shining far before us ere we rest." 

The sea rolled in heavily on their left. On their right, sloping 
up from the road, arose the northern faoe of Headland Crag. 
6 



82 " I OWE YOU NOTHING." 



PART III. 

THE HEIR. 

We return to the castle for a moment. The earl had ceased to 
think of his encounter with the teacher. Noel's continued absence 
filled him with alarm, and shut out every other thought. 

An instant search was determined on. The earl himself, and 
four domestics, with dogs and torches, set out for the shepherds' 
track. Others were directed to separate and ascend the hill from 
different points, hallooing at every step ; then to meet the earl and 
his companions upon the highest ridge, to consider how they should 
continue the search, if still unsuccessful. The level beams of the 
sun were resting on the summit of the crag as they set out, warning 
them to lose no time. 

It never occurred to the earl that Noel had been tempted to de- 
scend the crag by the northern side. Yet so it was. When the 
boy had clambered to the summit and obtained the wished-for sight, 
a further longing and curiosity drew him down to the shore which 
lay beneath. With all the thoughtlessness of a headstrong boy, he 
yielded to the longing, and found himself in an another hour stand- 
ing on a solitary shore at the base of that height which had taken 
him three hours to climb from the castle bay. 

While he stood, his eye caught a ship in the distance, running 
before the wind with all her canvas set. Noel was in raptures. 
All the coaches he had ever seen were nothing compared with 
this. Sailing-boats of every shape were glorious in his eyes. He 
gazed, he followed, he fairly ran. The same longing which led him 
to descend the hill, impelled him after the sailing vessel. Along 
the shore he ran, until he was thoroughly tired, keeping his eye 
fixed on the ship as long as it remained in sight. When he be- 
thought himself of home, he was far from the beaten foot-path by 
which he had crossed. Struggling with weariness and hunger, he 
slowly retraced his steps. Late in the afternoon he had once more 
reached the entrance to the track. He looked upwards : the hill 
rose above him dark with gathering shadows ; to his view, nearly 
thrice the height which it appeared in the morning from the castle 
windows. Dismay and weariness overpowered him. He sat down 
on the beach to rest, and soon fell asleep, his head resting upon an 
old gray stone. 

While he slept the tide began to turn. The sea rolled towards 
his resting-place, the waves broke within a few paces of his feet : a 
fierce wind came ridino; on their back. 



I OWE YOU NOTHING." 83 



He was sleeping within tide-mark, but had providentially lain down 
on a swell of sand ; the waves girdling him mOre closely, but he was 
still above their reach. Yet all the more terrible did his condition 
seem when he awoke and saw that his couch of sand was surrounded 
by the waters. One cry of intense agony burst from his lips. He 
heard the storm howling in the air. He felt the waves dashing at 
his feet. Behind, before, the path was closed. 

" Father ! father ! father ! " he cried, and alternately leaped and 
cowered down with fear. The sun had sunk, but there was still 
light enough to discern objects on the hill. With a child's hope he 
continued to call upon his father, although no living thing was to be 
seen from top to base. 

Suddenly a light glanced over the ridge. Another, and another ! 
The hill-top seemed on fire. Noel could discern figures within the 
light, and instinctively knew they were from the castle. He re- 
doubled his cries. 

" I am here ! I am hero ! I am here ! " 

No human voice could reach so high. The heavy beat of the 
thundering sea was heard but faintly by the earl and his domestics 
on the ridge. 

They, however, resolved to descend. The earl was bewildered, 
he knew not what to think. His mind ran on pitfalls, and wild 
beasts, and cold, and hunger, and every possible evil, but that which 
engirdled his beloved Noel. With the speed of huntsmen they de- 
scended, darting hither and thither into every nook, searching every 
bush and brake in their way. Noel beheld their torches flashing 
nearer ; he felt also, behind him, the might of approaching waters. 
His cries continued to mingle with the blast. 

Our readers have heard the loudest storm sinking into a moment- 
ary lull. They have listened to the noise of the tempest receding 
to gather new strength. In such a hill, the voice of Noel at length 
pierced upwards to his father's ears. Some dim image of the actual 
condition of his boy glanced into his father's mind. He and his 
domestics, hallooing for Noel's sake, waving their torches, hurried 
down, towards the shore. Yet, in vain had they hurried, if the 
deliverance of the boy had depended upon them. 

The tide was fairly upon him. The waves were already dashing 
over his feet. A few moments more and he must have been swept 
away. He could no longer cry. Terror now mastered him and 
struck him dumb. He saw the black waves hurrying past him on 
either side : the howl of the mighty wind sounded through his heart : 
he was about to sink through fear and exhaustion, and abandon him- 
self to the tide, when he felt himself lifted from the sand and borne 



84 « I OWE YOU NOTHING. 



through the darkness and the waters in the arms of a human 
being. 

Twice his deliverer was overthrown by the rush of the waves 
rolling to the shore. With firm clasp he was still enabled to hold 
the child and recover his footing. 

At that moment the earl and his people sprang from the shep- 
herds' track. 

They ran about in all directions, hallooing the boy's name. Some 
of them leaped down upon the beach. A woman and three children 
were gazing into the sea with the greatest agitation. 

" Help ! help ! " cried the woman, " he is there ! — in — save my 
husband and the child ! " 

Before the men could comprehend her meaning, they beheld a 
man bearing a child aloft, struggling towards the shore, nearer, 
nearer. His burden is safe ! He, himself, sinks exhausted into 
the arms of the woman. 

Noel rushed into his father's arms, and clasped him again and 
again. A few words sufficed to explain his danger and his unex- 
pected deliverance. The earl turned to thank the brave being to 
whom he owed so much. He found him still leaning on the wo- 
man's breast ; and manifested the tenderest sympathy. 

" My benefactor, my friend, my brother, how shall I ever repay 
you ? Come with us to the castle. Accept this purse. In what 
way can I assist you, or pay you the debt you have so generously 
laid me under ? " 

He was going on in this somewhat incoherent style, when the 
man lifted up his face from his wife's bosom and answered, in tones 
which the earl too well remembered, — 

" My lord, you owe me nothing. I have but done my duty." 

It was our teacher. The screams of the heir caught his ears 
too, in that momentary lull of the storm. Giving the child to 
Rachel, he had ventured through the surge, and was enabled to do 
the deed we have already described. 

We will not attempt to describe the mingled feelings of the earl. 
The liveliest gratitude struggled painfully within him beneath the 
pressure of Duncan's proud retort. To this man he had spoken 
rudely but a few hours before. He was now bound to him eternally. 
Once and again he proffered his thanks, and renewed his offers of 
hospitality and help. The pride of the teacher stepped between, 
and waved his lorc^hip's help away. 

" This morning," said the earl, " you asked a favor at my han/is. 
May I now offer what I then refiised ? " 



I OWE YOU NOTHING." 85 



"My lord, you owe me nothing — nothing, my lord. Rachel, 
let us hasten on our way." 

Rachel had listened with eagerness aU the while. She would not 
have spoken in the earl's presence, if her name had not been men- 
tioned. She knew her husband's pride of heart: she knew 
how deeply he had cause to feel the conduct of the earl's officials. 
But now the circumstances were changed. The peer was asking 
what the teacher had to bestow. 

" Duncan," said she, " have you forgotten that God has bound 
the human race together in bonds of mutual debt ? Each one owes 
something to every other, and to all. Whatever God has given to 
one, which he has not given to all, is given to be returned to the 
brotherhood of earth. Our gifts, our goods, our affections, — what- 
ever we have which others have not, we must look upon as due to 
them. Did you not look upon yourself as debtor to the children 
you taught, to me, to these little ones ? Is not this your own be- 
loved doctrine ? Will you refuse to acknowledge it now ? Owe 
you not to this earl the acceptance of his thanks and help ? " 

These words were uttered slowly to an unwilling ear. But they 
broke down the proud spirit, and accomplished their end. 

" Enough, Rachel. I have acted sinftilly. My lord, bear with 
a man vexed and irritated by the unusual events of this day. I 
accept your kind offer ; and will gladly return with you to the 
castle, and renew my request to-morrow." 

The earl was touched. He had learned a lesson this day which 
had at once humbled and exalted him ; with a truer feeling towards 
his brother man than had ever stirred in his bosom hitherto, he re- 
plied, — 

" Duncan, I will more than grant your request. You shall 
abide on our estate, and be provided there with a school worthy of 
you." 

He was as good as his word. A handsome school was built for 
Duncan within a mile from the castle. Better days dawned on him 
and his brave Rachel. On looking back, he felt that he had been truly 
led by a way he knew not, not merely to improved circumstances, 
but to clearer apprehensions of the duty which man everywhere 
owes to man. He never ceased to impress on his own children that 
a poor man may be as proud as a peer, and as inconsiderately with- 
hold what he owes to his titled brother. 



IBTiS OF i lOUMlI ICaOSS THE 

ISTH15S OF PAMIA. 



We left New York on the ITtli of July; and on the 28tli of 
the same month cast anchor before Chagres, one of the eastern 
ports of the Isthmus of Panama. A leaden sky, a humid and 
oppressive atmosphere, and peals of thunder, that were echoed from 
the depths of the close woods, contributed not a little to give a mel- 
ancholy aspect to a port whose reputation for unhealthiness has 
eclipsed even that of Senegal. 

Though Chagres is so conveniently situated between the two 
oceans, and the two lines of steam navigation that connect the 
United States with California, it is but a miserable village, com- 
posed of a few Indian huts, which are constructed of wood and 
stubble, and stand on each side of the river. The streets are complete 
puddles during the rainy season, which occurs in winter. This 
season is most fatal to health, because of the humid heat that pre- 
vails, and the deleterious miasma which is disengaged from all parts 
of the soil. Serious maladies may be contracted within a few hours ; 
and strangers are eager to leave this inhospitable place. The boat- 
men of the river Chagres, who were formerly hard put to it to earn 
a miserable subsistence, now gain very considerably by the American 
emigration to California, and tha haste of travellers to leave this 
noxious coast and get up the river to Panama. In order to secure 
their own price from the poor strangers at their mercy, they take 
care only to exhibit a small number of boats while there are plenty 
more out of sight along the opposite bank of the river. 

We left Chagres on the 30th July. The entrance of the river 
presented a most rich and beautiful aspect. Palms and cocoa-nut 
trees, and other gigantic productions of the climate, made two bar- 
riers on either side the stream of impenetrable verdure. Their long 

(80) 



A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA. 87 

branches, gracefully inclining over the water, projected afar their 
splendid shadows, by which the voyager was only too happy to profit. 
The first impression produced by the sight of this luxuriance of 
nature is that of profound admiration ; to which shortly succeeds 
a vague sinking of the spirits. This doubtless proceeds from the 
enervating odors sent forth by tropical vegetation, and from the 
gases produced by the soil of the plants, whose absorption, emission, 
and flow of sap, acquire, in the heat and humidity to which they 
are constantly subjected, an extraordinary energy. Alternately peace- 
ful as a lake, and impetuous as a cataract, this river seems to pride 
itself in its violent contrasts. Its habitual visitors were more sur- 
prised than frightened by our approach. Here the wild turkey-hen, 
with plumage of ebony, sailed round a palm tree, slowly beating the 
air with her heavy wings. Further on were clouds of paroquets, 
gay with a thousand tints, and uttering their sharp, provoking cries. 
From time to time we could distinguish, in the middle of the thick- 
ets, the scaly and yellowish bodies of alligators, which are very 
common on the borders of the Chagres, where they wait entire 
hours for their prey, in a state of perfect immobility. 

We were not long in arriving at a filthy hamlet, named Gatoung; 
There are few things so comical as a disembarkation in this country. 
The moment you place your foot upon the soil, which is nothing 
but mud, it sinks beneath your feet ; and it is not without a great 
deal of trouble, and often at the sacrifice of your boots, which are 
left imbedded in the dirt, that you at length gain the top of the 
slope. We were ignorant, when we quitted New York, that the 
Isthmus of Panama was altogether without resources. We had not 
therefore been careful to lay in a store of victuals necessary for our 
journey ; and a little sea biscuit and a few pots of preserves com- 
posed all our stock. Our halt at Gatoung gave us the opportunity 
of visiting several Indian huts, where we met with the most hospi- 
table welcome, and we profited by this reception to try to procure 
some food. They at length directed us to a habitation where the 
inmates had a pot on the fire ; the preparation of an otta of rice 
was quite an event in the district. A few crown-pieces obtained 
us a portion of this modest repast, and we succeeded besides in dis- 
covering in a neighboring hut a stray bottle of Xeres. Having for- 
gotten to bring rain-water from Chagres, we found ourselves reduced 
to quench our thirst with the unhealthy water of the river, the 
crudity of which it was well to correct with a few drops of a spirit- 
uous liquor, even after it had been filtered. One of our number 
had fortunately brought with him a filter, which enabled us to ob- 
tain a passable draught. Thirst is perhaps the most dangerous 



88 A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHxMUS OP PANAMA. 

enemy one has to encounter on the Isthmus of Panama. I have 
seen more than one American pay with his life for the fatal habit of 
listening to the temptations of this demon. 

Continuing our route, night surprised us, and lent a new aspect to 
the surrounding scene. The majestic shadows of the huge trees 
upon the waters — the pale rays of the moon, that made the river 
like a sheet of silver — the silence around, uninterrupted save by 
the regular strokes of the oars, and the cries of the night birds, all 
contributed to the fascination of the hour. At length we arrived 
at a small creek, where our old pilot made us remain until sunrise. 

Towards the evening of the second day, we arrived at the village 
of Pedro Blanco, where, after long and troublesome negotiations, 
we succeeded in obtaining a little rice for supper. Two of my 
travelling companions, who had been exploring the neighboring 
forest, brought in a couple of pretty paroquets, which were soon 
plucked, and added as a relish to our rice. But the flesh of this 
bird is far from equalling its plumage ; and, notwithstanding the 
good-will of our sportsmen, they were compelled to pronounce their 
game horribly tough. 

The next day the boatmen substituted the palanca for the oar. 
The palanca is a long pole, terminating in an iron point, which is 
pushed into the bed of the river, or into the roots or trunks of the 
trees, in such a manner as to shove the boat onwards, as much as pos- 
sible avoiding the current. This mode of propulsion, more efficacious 
than the oar, has likewise the merit of being less fatiguing. But 
it exposes the passengers to certain dangers, and this was to be our 
day of misfortunes. One of the boatmen, by some awkwardness, 
lost his palanca. The boat, which had been adroitly guided close 
along the bank of the stream, ceded to the impetuosity of the cur- 
rent, which was not to be mastered by an unequal number of palan- 
eas, and was driven against an enormous trunk of a submerged tree 
in the middle of the river. The frightful force of the shock staved 
in our front plank. The water began to pour in, and we saw our- 
selves on the point of capsizing, without the power of leaving the 
boat, shut in as we were by its roof of branches and our numerous 
packages. But we escaped this danger by a species of miracle, and the 
current, carrying us rapidly on, left the poor Indian, who had lost 
his palanca, suspended in the air to the bough of a tree, which he 
had seized with all his strength to avert the violence of the shock. 
Seeing us leaving him rapidly behind, he at length allowed himself 
to drop into the water, and swam ashore. The two men who now 
remained shoved the boat towards a creek, where we found a shelter 



A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAxMA. 89 

for the night, and where the other Indian shortly afterwards 
rejoined us. Here we repaired the damage we had received. 

This night, another boat, containing several Americans, was 
moored beside ours. The desperate condition of one of their 
number had compelled them to halt. The unhappy man had been 
suddenly attacked by cholera, after drinking a little milk and eat- 
ing several oranges. I shall never forget the night that we passed 
beside the poor sufferer, who, far from his family and all remedies, 
was fast approaching his end, without even a bed to lie upon. His 
companions unceasingly administered eau-de-vie, which had no 
other effect but to accelerate the disease. The plaintive groans of 
the wretched man hindered us from wshutting our eyes for a moment, 
and at the same time recalled the dangers to which we ourselves 
were exposed in that frightful climate. The next morning he was 
no more ; and his friends were obliged to beg the assistance of their 
boatmen, and of some inhabitants of the neighboring hamlet, in 
rendering the last duties to his remains. 

Having now repaired the breach in our plank, we would have 
continued our route, but one of the men, retained by the hope of 
participating in the benefits of the interment, opposed our depart- 
ure. Hoping, doubtless, to moderate my eagerness to continue the 
journey, he said, pointing at the same time to the corpse of the 
American with a significant smile — " Este muerto y od esta 
enfermo " (he is dead, and you are ill) ; an observation far from' 
reassuring to a traveller laboring under a slight attack of fever in 
an unhealthy climate. The interment over, and the piastres pock- 
eted, our phlegmatic boatmen decided upon continuing the voyage. 
The banks of the river now began to lose their grand and pictu- 
resque aspect, which they had owed to the beauty and density of 
the woods with which they were clothed. We terminated happily 
a day so ill commenced, and arrived at night at the village of San 
Pablo. 

The next morning, at a little distance from a small town named 
Gorgona, we perceived an American steamboat abandoned in the 
river. The numerous obstacles it had encountered had completely 
disabled it after only a few voyages. In order to secure a safe nav- 
igation for steamers of the very smallest dimensions, the Rio 
Chagres ought to be completely cleared. It is obstructed, through- 
out the whole extent of its course, by trunks of trees, often hidden 
by merely a few feet of water. While waiting for the great roads 
which the Americans intend to establish through the isthmus, it is 
urgent that the Eio Chagres should be rendered navigable. The 



90 A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA. 

emigrants and the country generally have the greatest interest in 
this measure. 

The Chagres rises near Cruces, a small town situated about six 
leagues from Panama and two from Gorgona. Its course is nearly 
seventeen leagues. Travellers, en route for Panama, sail up it as 
far as Cruces, which, besides being two leagues nearer than Gror- 
gona to Panama, possesses also an ancient royal Spanish road — a 
very bad one, it is true, but much better than that of which we 
shall have occasion to speak. Most of the Americans who landed 
at Chagres at the sam^e time with our party went on to Cruces, 
which was likewise our first intention. But our boatmen and oth- 
ers assuring us that the means of transport were very rare, and 
cholera and fever rife, we determined to land at Grorgona — a reso- 
lution of which we afterwards had reason to repent. In this coun- 
try a stranger cannot be too much on his guard against the mis- 
representations of the boatmen, on the one hand, whose interest it 
is to shorten the voyage, and of the inhabitants, on the other, in 
order to secure to themselves the advantage of his sojourn in their 
locality. There is a regularly organised conspiracy against his 
purse. 

Gorgona is, like Chagres, an irregular assemblage of from sixty 
to eighty huts, intersected by steep streets, where mud and water 
replace the pavement. These habitations are but one story high ; 
they have neither flooring nor ceiling, and they are frequently 
flooded during the rainy season. The town has already its hotel, 
which possesses four beds, a few hammocks, no windows, but nu- 
merous holes in its thatched roof, which permit one to contemplate 
the firmament when the weather is fine, and favor the inmates with 
gratuitous douches when it rains. The food corresponds with the 
lodging. 

Contrary to what one usually remarks in unhealthy climates, the 
natives of New Granada appear equally exposed with strangers to 
the reigning maladies. There is scarcely a hut where one does not 
encounter some poor wretch trembling with the calentura, or the 
fever. The cholera, likewise, in 1849, made terrible ravages. 
The physical characteristics of the population are easily enumer- 
ated. They possess finely-formed limbs, equally vigorous and 
supple, copper-colored skins, tolerably regular features, and black 
hair, but not crisp like that of the negroes. The men are gener- 
ally clad in a species of shirt, which descends a little way down 
the leg. The women add to this a petticoat. Both sexes wear 
straw hats, with broad brims to shade them from the sun. The 
inhabitant of the Isthmus of Panama is kind and. hospitable. In 



A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA. 91 



great matters he may "be entirely trusted, but it is well to place 
tempting trifles out of sight. He wants energy and character ; 
there is no very decided leaning to good or evil. An extreme filial 
tenderness, as among the Chinese, is the sole peculiarity that 
breaks in upon his habitual indifference ; all his faculties seem to 
languish under the enervating effects of the climate. ^ Nothing is 
more monotonous than rural life in these countries. With the excep- 
tion of some rare excursions, the people pass their time in smoking, 
and sleeping in a wretched hut, scarcely sheltered from sun and 
rain by a roof of palm-leaves. Many huts are formed of nothing 
but four stakes supporting a species of loft, where the family pass 
the night extended upon mats, and to which they mount by the 
trunk of a tree, notched at regular distances, so as to serve for a 
ladder. The domestic utensils consist of one or two kettles, and a 
few large jars, of a spherical form, which hold rice and rain-water. 
They light a fire on the ground, and cook in the open air. Men 
and women eat squatted upon their heels ; and the use of tobacco 
is common to both sexes. 

Gorgona possesses an alcade, to whom we were obliged to address 
ourselves for the fifteen or twenty mules which were needed to con- 
vey us and our luggage to Panama. The complaisant magistrate 
placed himself at our service, and promised us an unlimited num- 
ber of these rare and indispensable quadrupeds. But time passed, 
and the mules did not appear. The travellers who had preceded 
us had engrossed them all. We were consequently obliged to sep- 
arate for a°time, much against our inclination, and to hire the mules 
as they returned by twos and threes to Grorgona. The hire of a 
mule varies from eight to sixteen piastres. 

Our advance guard, composed of two mules, two Indians, and 
the youngest of my fellow-travellers, set out on the 5th of August. 
Impatient to arrive at Panama, I followed the next day, the land- 
lord of the hotel having procured me a little mare, and a guide 
twelve years of age. Furnished with some sea-biscuit and choco- 
late, my fusil strapped to my shoulder, and hunting-knife at my 
side, I mounted my pitiful beast, after having disposed of a water- 
proof cloak on its croup, and placed under the saddle a blanket, 
which had been of the greatest service. In this fashion I left 
Gorgona, after having bidden adieu to my remaining _ comrades, 
who°were to rejoin me at Panama as soon as possible, bringing with 
them our luggage. From the beginning of my journey, we trav- 
ersed most abominable roads. Steep and slippery declivities, riv- 
ulets, precipices, narrow passes, where the rocks approached each 
other so closely that the mare could not advance without the great- 



92 A JOUilNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OP PANAMA. 

est trouble, and at a sore expense to my poor knees, wliich were 
every moment grazed against their sharp edges, all announced a 
tiresome journey. I could not avoid making comparisons between 
my guide and my horse. The beast greatly exceeded the boy in 
topographical knowledge ; and, with a modesty for which I gave 
him credit, the latter at length resigned himself to the leading of 
the former, walking in the rear, and only crying out, from time to 
time, aqui (here), or aca (there). When the branches of the 
trees or their overgrown trunks barred further passage, my young 
native resumed the lead, and speedily levelled the obstacles by the 
aid of a cleaver, without which an Indian never sets out on a jour- 
ney. Sometimes the mare would stop and inflate her nostrils at 
the sight of a half-devoured mule, regretfully abandoned at the 
noise of our approach by the vultures that disputed its remains. 
The poor beast was constantly knee-deep in mud ; for what they 
call a road in this country is simply the bed of a river, more or 
less dry in fine weather, but filled again by the first heavy shower. 
Divers claps of thunder now announced the approach of one of 
those storms which take place every day during the winter, and in 
a few minutes inundate the country. Urged on by the pouring 
rain, we reached, just in time, a tolerably large river, which was 
now forded without difficulty, but would have been impassable an 
hour later. We were luckily enabled to take refuge in a shed, 
where I dried my clothes, and determined to remain for the night. 
The next morning, at an early hour, we continued our journey. 
In place of the good road I had been led to expect, I still encoun- 
tered these muddy plains, and eternal hills bristling with rocks. 
At length we reached a house situated upon an elevation half-way 
between Grorgona and Panama. Here we obtained some coffee, 
without which I could scarcely have been able to endure the 
fatigues of the journey. At four, we arrived at the last dwelling 
before reaching Panama. For one instant I thought of passing the 
night here ; but my guide hindered me from following this happy 
inspiration, solemnly assuring me that we should reach our destinar 
tion the same evening. We therefore continued our way through 
a prairie where the road from Grorgona unites itself with that lead- 
ing to Cruces, which, though horribly uneven, is at any rate tolera- 
bly free from mud. Here a new annoyance was reserved for me. 
My wretched mare, accustomed to the worst roads, refused to 
advance now that there was a little improvement. I was reduced, 
knocked up as I was, to dismount and lead her. By blows and 
cries we contrived to make her advance a little way ; but our 
progress was so slow, that some workmen occupied in repairing the 



A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA. 93 

road laughingly prophesied that she would never arrive at Panama. 
This prediction, confirmed as it was by a feverish trembling of the 
animal, was far from being agreeable. While thus slowly pro- 
gressing, night surprised us — a night of clouds and rain. The 
obscurity was such that we could not have told where we were, save 
for the ignis fatuus, the fire-flies, and the lightning. At length, 
unhoped-for happiness ! we distinguished the barking of a dog, and 
soon afterwards a light. We had reached Panama. The reader 
may judge of my satisfaction on seeing the end of my eight days 
of painful journeying, accomplished under such disagreeable cir- 
cumstances. I quickly made my way to the Hotel de France, 
where I found my young companion, who had set out the day 
before me ; and there I speedily got rid of the fever that still hung 
about me. 

Panama is a ruinous town, the population of which does not 
exceed 7000 souls. There is nothing remarkable about it but the 
immense number of churches-, monuments of past grandeur, and now 
invaded by creeping-plants and turf. The bells of these venerable 
edifices are half rusty, and morning and evening ring the most 
lugubrious peals. There are, besides, some fortifications, and a 
dozen old guns, disposed along the rampart that faces the Pacific 
Ocean. This is a magnificent point of view, whence may be seen 
the church-steeples, the vessels in the roadstead, a quantity of 
islets, and, about two miles distant, towards the extremity of the 
peninsula upon which Panama is situated, the ruins of the former 
town, abandoned during the wars of the Hibustiers, in conse- 
quence of the reiterated attacks of a famous pirate. 

Panama is traversed by two principal streets, containing a few 
tolerable shops, and a number of stalls, where they vend liquors. 
These last, kept by obliging senoritas, boast a sort of counter, and 
are separated by a screen from the bedchamber, where the indo- 
lent saleswomen swing in their hammocks the greatest part of the 
day, smoking their cigarettes, and waiting for customers. The 
houses are built of stone, and ornamented with wooden balconies. 
The walls present that beautiful whiteness which distinguishes 
Spanish masonry in hot countries. But there is nothing elegant 
about these buildings, and their interiors are deplorable. The 
rooms are almost destitute of furniture; curtains are unknown, 
even in the governor's palace ; and it would be hard to find in the 
whole town a good bed or a safe lock. The pavements and foot- 
paths respond to the houses. 

The climate of this town is unhealthy, especially during the winter 
rains, which commence in May, and end in October or November. 



94 A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA. 

The complexions of the inhabitants evince the noxious influence of 
vitiated air. Fevers are very common among the natives, as also 
mephitic colic, induced by the badness of the water, in drinking 
which one cannot be too cautious. 

The population of Panama is composed of ancient Spanish fam- 
ilies, natives, and half-breeds. The costume of both men and 
women is European, a little degenerated and simplified, to suit the 
climate. The women go with the head uncovered, and decorate 
their black tresses with flowers of penetrating odor. Without being 
beautiful, their features are agreeable enough, and they have a good 
deal of grace and coquetry about them. .The habitual indifierence of 
the inhabitants is strongly contrasted by the bowlings and clamor 
that accompany their, funeral ceremonies. These lamentations, 
however, appear to be hired. Their interments are managed after a 
singular fashion, as they employ a species of omnibus coffin, in 
which they place the corpse, to carry it to the cemetery. Once 
arrived there, they take the body from the bier, and throw it at 
once into a fosse, returning with the empty coffin. 

The natives patronize music, and other amusements, among 
which may be reckoned cock-fighting. But the sicknesses, which, in 
1849, clothed nearly every family in mourning, have put an end 
to the fetes, and thrown over all a tinge of distress and fear. 

The public works are executed by convicts, who are seen passing 
every instant under military escort. These guardians appear 
very polite to their prisoners, for, if any of the latter are stopped in 
the streets by an acquaintance, the soldiers stop also, and wait very 
tranquilly until the convicts are pleased to continue their way. 

Panama possesses three or four hotels, which, upon our arrival, 
we found crowded with travellers. Eight, ten, fifteen were sleep- 
ing in the same chamber, upon hard rope beds, without mattresses. 
The charge of a week's board and lodging varied from $6 75 to $7 
50 cents, without reckoning wine, which costs from 37 cents to 75 
cents the bottle for ordinary Bordeaux. Meat and fruit abound, 
but vegetables are very mre. We had taken up our abode in the 
Hotel de France, situated in one of the healthiest quarters of the 
town; and here the companions whom we had left at Gorgona 
hastened to rejoin us. 

The crowd of emigrants, though still very considerable, was infi- 
nitely less than it had been for some months previously, for thou- 
sands of Americans had been compelled to abandon the place, and 
return home, in default of financial resources, or means of transport 
to California. Never have I seen more deplorable figures than 
those of the poor Yankees, congregated in this little town, dragging 



A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA. 95 

themselves painfully along tte streets, some under the influence of 
fever, others under the curse of idleness, disputing mth oaths and 
imprecations upon the easiest and cheapest modes of reaching San 
Francisco, parading their bad-humor from stall to stall, which they 
endeavor to dissipate by reiterated doses of brandy, and then hast- 
ening to throw away the little money they have left, in gaming- 
houses, the last hope of these poor idlers. Once ruined, the Yankee 
becomes himself again — that is to say, the most industrious and 
enterprising of men. He finds a thousand resources, he invents a 
hundred modes of making money. One .will engage himself as a 
sailor, another as a cook, a third opens a shop at Panama, and, a 
few weeks afterwards, procures some lots of goods to be assigned to 
him. He then commences selling, at magnificent prices, assortments 
of American boots, harder than wood, and newly-invented coats, 
that would have mouldered away at San Francisco without attract- 
ing a single admirer. A number of articles, in fact, find a far 
readier sale at ports situated on the way to California, than in the 
country itself, which is inundated with products of all species. 

In the mixture of the floating and the indigenous population of 
Panama there is a most striking contrast between an almost extinct 
civilization and a spirit of young and powerful enterprise, full of 
nerve and promise for the future. The hoary steeples, these -deserted 
monuments, attest the former magnificence of the place, the wretched 
inhabitants of which are, without doubt, the descendants of the proud 
and brilliant chevaliers of other days. All is poetry and grandeur 
in the past ; in the present, silence and decay. But mark those 
columns of smoke, those pantings proceeding from the huge lungs of 
the steam-monsters in the roadstead. Those large vessels are 
freighted with passengers furnished with every species of instrument. 
They go to acquire wealth, to organize a new state ; how difierently 
from the soldiers of Cortez and Pizarro ! Happier than thes,e, it is 
neither at the price of their own blood, nor that of the peaceable 
inhabitants of the gold country, that they conduct their future oper- 
ations. Thanks to them, Panama already beholds the commence- 
ment of a new prosperity. Whether the project of a railway 
through the Isthmus replace that of the Nicaraguan canal, or simply 
a good road for ordinary communication from Chagres to Panama, 
the future prosperity of this town is assured. A point of junction 
between the two Americas, a feeble barrier to the two oceans, it ia 
one of the places marked out by the hand of Providence for the re- 
union of nations — a belt of land that will serve for the migrations 
of races, and bring the United States nearer to China by soma 
thousands of miles. 



96 



A JOURNEY ACROSS THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA. 



The Isthmus of Panama, notwithstanding its extreme fertility, is 
but slightly cultivated ; yet the rare agricultural experiments 
attempted by Europeans in these parts have been attended by "mag- 
nificent results. With a little industry, some instruments of labor, 
and collected capitals, immense fortunes might be made. But there 
are no journals to record these facts, and no one dreams of settling 
here. The Californian torrent still rolls on, to endure privations 
and dangers in a country denuded of vegetation, the climate and 
salubrity of which even the Isthmus of Panama needs not to envy. 

Sailing vessels frequently arrive at this port in search of pas- 
sengers for California, and make a lucrative affair of it. Many 
travellers, disappointed in the regular means of transport, avail 
themselves with blind eagerness of any opportunities of quitting 
Panama, without considering that sailing vessels are frequently, in 
these seas, exposed to dead calms, and are consequently incalculably 
delayed. 




THE TWO PASSPORTS. 



In the autumn of 1830, being engaged in a tour of the Rhenish 
provinces, I arrived one evening about dusk at the small town of 
Bergheim, some half way between Aix la Chapelle and the fragrant 
city of Cologne. Bergheim has a quiet, comfortable inn, at which 
Michel, my voiturier, (who was absolute in these matters,) had 
ordained that I should stop for the night ; nor did I feel any dispo- 
sition to quarrel with the arrangement, when Herr Hons, the land- 
lord, all civility and broken English, tishered me into his snug 
Speisesaal, where, instead of the dull, uncompanionable German 
stove I expected to find, a bright and crackling wood-fire blazed 
merrily on the hearth. I was glad, moreover, not to find myself 
the sole occupant of the saal, for, after all, it may be doubted 
whether the chief pleasure of travel be not to see travellers ; and I 
will confess, for my own part, that, — without disparagement either 
of snowy Alps or cindery volcanoes, of a Strasburg cathedral or of 
a Basilica vaticana, of Florence galleries or of Roman ruins — to 
me the people of any country (with one sole exception) rank by no 
means among its least interesting features. My exception is Swit- 
zerland, where, between the glorious earth, and the inglorious race 
that possesses it, the extremes of grandeur and littleness are brought 
into too painful juxtaposition and contrast. Nothing can stand 
higher in the scale of nature than Switzerland — nothing in that of 
manhood lower than the Swiss. 

In the Speisesaal, then, at Bergheim, it was my fortune to light 
upon two goodly tomes (if I may so phrase it) of " the proper study 
of mankind :" they were, moreover, to give the coup de grace to 
my metaphor, controversial, and on opposite sides of the question as 
well as of the fire. In other words, there sat, installed each in his 
chimney-corner, and armed — the one with a cigar, the other with a 
mighty pendulous pipe — two "dim smokified men," plainly Ger- 

7 (9') 



98 THE TWO PASSPORTS. 



mans both, though widely dissimilar specimens of that very hetero- 
geneous and multiform variety of human kind, engaged when I 
entered, in a conversation (or, to name it in their own way, a 'twixt 
speaking) the more vivacious for the considerable discrepancy mani- 
fest in the sentiments of the speakers. The cigarist was a pale, 
slight, voluble creature, under-sized and yet stooping, long-armed, 
round-shouldered, narrow-chested, using a great deal of gesticulation 
as he talked, and by a particular uniform drawing-out of the right 
arm, and a remarkable flourish, or rather twitch, of the right hand, 
(the left being comparatively at rest,) as well as by a look, not eas- 
ily defined, of inefficiency and dubious fidget about the lower extrem- 
ities, as if they were not in their accustomed position, giving you 
assurance of a tailor, as unequivocally as if he had chosen to sit on 
the table instead of at it ; while his sharp intonation, round-about 
fluency, mincing iitterance, occasional lapses into a Low Dutch dia- 
lect, frequent exclamations of " yuter Yott ! " and continued inter- 
changing of the pronouns mir and mich, and Sie and Ihnen^ certi- 
fied you with equal infallibility of a Prussian, and truly no Rhenish 
Prussian, but a genuine nursling of Royal Berlin herself 

He of the meerschaum was a man of another stamp ; tall, and 
bulky, yet well knit, broad of brow and chest, quiet in manner, 
earnest but brief in speech, saying in three words what would have 
cost his opponent three dozen, and, now and then, though not often, 
letting fall a large and somewhat rusty-colored, though perfectly 
clean hand, with the dmit of a sledge-hammer, on the table that 
stood near him. You would judge him to be a grave man, yet capa- 
ble of much joviality, straightforward, and hearty, and leal, and 
who could find his way pretty far down into the wine-stoup, as 
every G-erman should. By many outward signs, I set him down for a 
worker in iron, and by his speech, with more certainty, for a Sua- 
bian ; nor was I mistaken on either point. 

On my entering the room, with German courtesy they both 
ceased smoking, until assured by me that neither to cigar nor pipe, 
as long as they were in anybody's mouth but my own, had I the 
smallest objection; then sitting down in front of the fire, while 
Herr Honns saw to the due setting out of the supper, I entreated 
that my presence might not interrupt the conversation in which I 
found my companions engaged, adding that I had a sufficient 
acquaintance with their language to promise myself much interest, 
and no doubt instruction, in hearing it continued. Accordingly, in 
five minutes they were battling away as briskly as ever. 

" Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute," were, I found, 
the pleasant after-dinner topics that occupied this curiously con- 



THE TWO PASSPORTS. 99 



trasted pair, whose birth-pkces were not more widely asunder than 
their habits or thoughts, and in whose handicrafts, persons, and 
respective provincialisms of speech there were fewer and less strik- 
ing dissimilarities, than in their views of things in general. The 
tailor, one could gather, had been a free-thinker of the French 
school, but now eschewed that as rococo, and professed the new and 
more fashionable German irreligion of pantheism, or Christianity 
according to Hegel, upon which his tongue ran — I will not say 
right on, but round about, through all the queer crinkles and 
Gordian complexities of German sentence-weaving. The man of 
iron, on the other hand, was Old-Lutheran to the back-bone, and 
beyond it, and believed and spoke as his fathers had believed and 
spoken from the sixteenth century downwards ; his words bearing 
much the same proportion, whether for weight or rapidity, to those 
of his antagonist, that the sledge-hammer, with its measured and 
mighty downright strokes, may bear to the briskest possible plying 
of the finest possible needle. 

At length, (not to make my preface longer than my story,) roused 
by some reference made in a tone of derision, by the latter, to the 
doctrine of a particular providence, our Suabian exclaimed, with a 
vehemence which he had not before displayed, " Ay ! you take 
credit to yourself for being hard of faith, and yet can believe the 
wonderful and mysterious ordering of our steps, of which every 
reflecting man must be conscious, to be the work of blind haphaz- 
ard ! How often are our best considered and most promising plans 
thwarted, defeated by some influence which we cannot trace, but 
which, after the first emotions of irritation and disappointment are 
passed, we are constrained to acknowledge has wrought for our 
good, perhaps for our salvation ! How often does some trifling cir- 
cumstance, productive at the moment of its occurrence only of petty 
annoyance, prove to be the means which a benign and watchful 
Providence had ordained for our rescue from some impending evil, 
which we had not so much as dreamed of! I knew a man once 
who walked in his sleep, and was one night within five feet of a 
precipice more than a hundred feet high, when a bat flew in his face 
and waked him. And you would call that chance ! Well, I will 
hope your error is more of the head than the heajt ; that you are an 
obtuse rather than an ungrateful man. You have not experienced 
in your own life any striking, any startling instance of the working 
of power above you, caring for you, taking thought for you, dispos- 
ing otherwise indeed than you had proposed, but even thereby 
plucking your feet from the trap which the devil, in his cunning, 
had by your own hands set for them / have. And with the 



100 THE TWO PASSPORTS. 



proofs which my own experience has furnished me of the good 
providence of God, I were deserving to be called, by unbelievers 
themselves, the unthankfulest of human souls, could I believe, or 
affect to believe, the disposal of man's ways to be committed to blind 
haphazard ! You shall hear, you shall judge whether it be not as I 
say ; that is, if mein Herr here will not be wearied by a story in 
which I must figure as my own hero." 

I assured him that it would be a high gratification to me to hear 
his story. The tailor put on the face of one who resigned himself 
to the inevitable, and the Suabian began as follows : 

" I am a Wurtemberger by birth, though the greater part of my 
life has been spent out of my native land, and especially at Ham- 
burg, where I served my apprenticeship under my father's brother, 
who was likewise my godfather, and gave me his own name, Carolus 
Eisenkrafil, at the font : a kindly Suabian he was, and one, though 
I say it, that, in his own craft, had his match to seek in Hamburg, 
or out of it. I continued to work with him about a year after my 
time was out ; and then, being twenty-one years of age, and wishing 
to see other countries, and being, indeed, by the rules of our trade, 
obliged to travel for a certain time, and learn the modes of work 
practised in different cities and lands, before I could be received as 
a free brother of the craft, and set up in business for myself, I set 
out from Hamburg, and travelled across East Friesland to the 
lower Rhine lands, and so took the course of the river upwards into 
Switzerland. 

" I did not stay long there. Switzerland was then, as now, a 
country in which little good was to be learned, and much evil. 
However, I left it with the same true German heart which I had 
brought into it, hating the French, with an honest Suabian hatred, 
from Bonaparte down to the drum-boy. Now this was in the year 
1806, which, as you know, was no year of peace for Europe, least 
of all for our dear German fatherland ; and, in the journey which I had 
before me, perils of many kinds, and from many very different quar- 
ters, might be anticipated ; nevertheless, my mind was made up not 
to lose any more time in Switzerland, for the year was advanced ; 
and I was resolved that the beginning of the winter should see me 
again in Hamburg. After all, for the workman that combines 
industry with skill, there is but one Hamburg, just as I am told 
there is but one Paris for folks that have money, and seek a way to 
spend it, which, I thank my good destiny, is not my case. 

" In my journey southwards, I had avoided "Wurtemberg, keep- 
ing strictly to the course of the Rhine, though I confess that, as I 
passed the mouth of the Neckar, my heart strayed away up it« 



THE TWO PASSPORTS. 101 



waters to my Suabian home, and I looked witli loving eyes on the soil 
it had carried down from the green valley of my childhood. Now, 
however, on my way to the north again, I said, ' I will see the familiar 
fields and the familiar faces once more ; I will take a last leave of 
the hills and valleys in which my earliest years passed so happily, 
and of the dear ones that still dwell there.' A last leave — 'for 
you will observe, that in Wurtemberg, at this time, I was liable to 
be shot as a deserter ; not that I had ever taken military service, 
but just this was my crime : I was, as I have told you, one-and- 
twenty ; and at that period, in Wurtemberg, all healthy males of 
this age were drawn for soldiers. Such was the conscription-law, 
which it was death to evade. To enter Wurtemberg as a Wurtem- 
berger, was to subject myself to it ; and my first step, did I wish to 
avoid a disgraceful death, must have been to present myself to take 
my chance of being drawn ; whereunto, I now take shame to myself 
in saying, my inclinations in no ways leaned. What, then, was to 
be done ? If I visited my native place, it must be in the character 
of a stranger ; and this was the course on which I resolved. In 
short, I conceived the blamable determination of providing myself 
with a false passport in Switzerland, that so I might with safety 
take my fatherland in my route to the northern states. 

" By means of an acquaintance I had made in Switzerland, I 
easily accomplished the first part of my project, and thus had in my 
possession two passports, in both of which indeed my true name was 
given ; but while my original and genuine passport, which I had 
brought from Hamburg, described me as a Wurtemberger by birth, 
the new one assigned Hamburg itself as the place of my nativity. 
I thought, for a travelling birth-place, there was none more eligible 
than that in which I had actually spent so much time, and in 
which my ,uncle, whom I meant to use as a father for the time, 
was well known to have his domicile. I now, therefore, travelled 
safely as a Hamburger through my native country, and from its 
northern frontier, with a sorrowing heart, looked a last adieu over 
its beloved and beautiful fields. 

" I arrived the same night at Neustadt-on-the-Aisch, in the 
Bavarian territory, and repaired to an inn suited to my circum- 
stances. The landlord, when I entered his house, demanded my 
passport, and received it forthwith, promising that I should have it 
back by times in the morning. You will remember it was the 
false passport, which I had used since leaving Switzerland, my old 
and true passport lying with other papers in my pocket-book. The 
morning came ; I rose, breakfiist^d, and, forgetting my passport 
was still in the landlord's hands, I set ofi" without it. I am not 



102 THE TWO PASSPORTS. 



habitually a forgetful man, and to forget one's passport on a jour- 
ney is, I suspect, a piece of thoughtlessness of which the most 
thoughtless have seldom been guilty ; but so it was ; without any 
passport I actually set off ; nor did the circumstance recur to my 
thoughts until I stood, the evening of that same day, before the 
gates of Erlangen, where, of course, ' Your passport ! ' were the 
first words addressed to me by the soldiers on guard. ' Potztaus- 
end ! ' said I to myself, * thou hast left thy passport at Neustadt-on- 
the-Aisch.' 

" I had now nothing for it but either to say I had forgot my 
passport, (which nobody would believe,) and so be sent back in 
the custody of soldiers as a suspicious character, or else to produce 
my first and genuine passport. * They will never believe thy story,' 
said I again to myself; 'for, to speak it without flattery, thou dost 
not look altogether like the simpleton that would forget his pass- 
port. Besides, who ever heard that a landlord asked for a travel- 
ler's passport ? Thy story hangeth not well together, and they will 
hang thee to make it good.' In short, having no other course that 
bore an aspect any way promising, I presented, not without heavy 
misgivings, the original Hamburg passport. This document, as I 
need not tell you, was in its present state but an unsatisfactory 
voucher for the worthiness of its bearer to pass unobstructed, it 
having received no vise, nor bearing any trace of having been sub- 
mitted to any official inspection, from Switzerland to the place where 
I then was ; a mysterious circumstance, for which, of course, I was 
called on to account. However, not to make my story too tedious, 
suffice it to say, that, after finding myself for some time in an un- 
pleasant position, I got the matter arranged, and was again free to 
pursue my way. 

" While I was at Erlangen, there began to fall in troops forming 
part of the vanguard of the French army ; and at Bayreuth, which 
was the next point in my route, I found a still more considerable 
body. The troops, having proceeded thus far by forced marches, 
here made a halt, while I, on the other hand, now made redoubled 
efforts to get on, it being easy to see that these parts would ere 
long become the theatre of active hostilities. 

"It was about midday, or towards one o'clock, when, by the 
slackening of their pace and the increased briskness of mine, I lost 
sight of these undesired companions of the way ; and that same 
afternoon, about three o'clock, I fell in with the first outposts of 
the Prussians. I was stopped, and asked from whence I came ; 
and, on my answering ' from Bayreuth,' they said to one another, 
'Why, the kerl is come direct from the French outposts.' ' I '11 



THE TWO PASSPORTS. 103 



lay my life he 's a spy,' said one. 'We shall see that,' observed 
the officer commanding, and forthwith gave orders to caiTy me to 
Hof, where the Prussians had an encampment, — first, however, 
taking from me my tablets and everything in a written form, and 
sending these in the custody of one of my guards to head-quarters. 
Arrived at Hof, I was compelled to strip to my shirt ; my clothes 
underwent a rigorous search ; and the very soles of my boots were 
ripped, to see if anything of a suspicious nature lay hid therein. 
It was the first time I had ever been in the arbitrary clutches of 
soldiers, and the novelty was anything but pleasing. However, I 
did not lose courage, relying upon my conscious innocence, and 
not doubting that the matter would, on investigation, soon appear 
in its true light. 

" After a short examination, which took place in the guard- 
room, I was consigned to a prison within the precincts of the main 
guard. Here I found I was not the only person in trouble ; the 
prison already contained two unhappy wretches, one of them a Jew 
of the neighborhood, the other a tailor of Bamberg, who had been 
taken the day before. These were really spies, and had abeady 
made confession to that effect. 

" All this gave me little anxiety. I still confided in my inno- 
cence, and did my best to make the same appear, even to my 
wretched companions. They expressed great compassion for me, 
chiefly on the score of my youth, and that I should be, as they 
expressed it, cut off in the very outset of a promising career. I 
did not like the tone of their condolences ; it was evident they took 
me for one of their honorable guild. 

*' 'I assure you, meine Herren,^ exclaimed I, unwilling to appear 
a miscreant, even in the eyes of such miscreants, ' I assure you 
upon my honor I am no spy.' 

" ' Ah ! ' said the tailor, ' that 's just what I said to the officers 
yesterday. "I assure you, my officers," were my very words; 
"honorable captains, I assure you upon my honor that I am no 
spy. Judge of me, noble gentlemen," said I, "by yourselves; 
put it into your own honorable breasts whether a man of honor be 

capable " and so on. That 's the way I talked to them, but 

it helped nothing ; not even when I offered to give them important 
intelligence of the position and strength of the French army.' 

" - 1 offered to give my oath,' broke in the Jew, ' that I was no 
spy ; and they did but laugh, and cast in my teeth a ribald rhyme 
which they are taught from their cradles — 



104 THE TWO PASSPORTS. 



Come the fox to his lair ? 
Hath the Jew leave to swear ? 
Both have planted you there! " 



** * All the curses ' 

*' ' But you have both confessed yourselves spies,' said I, cut- 
ting the old sorcerer short in his Jewish curses, which I had no 
mind to hear. 

'* ' I believe you,' said the tailor; *and so will you confess 
yourself before this time to-morrow.' 

" ' Never ! ' cried I ; ' I am an honest man, and the son of an 
honest man, and will never stain my own name, and my father's, 
with a villany which the world's wealth should not tempt me to 
defile my hands with. ' 

"■ ' Goodness bless you ! ' replied the tailor ; ' what 's the use of 
talking that way to us? I, too, have been to school, and know how 
to put words together ; yea, and can make many fine speeches out 
of Her von Kotzebue's plays. For example, I remember a beau- 
tiful sentiment beginning thus : " The man who " bah ! I for- 
get the rest ; but it is infinitely touching, I promise you, and makes 
the heart swell with the finest emotions. But what 's that to the 
purpose ? Hearken to me : you are young and a raw hand, and 
have run like sl raw hand, into a trap. Now, if you can talk your- 
self out of the trap, I '11 say talk is a fine thing; but I '11 tell you 
what it is, if you can talk a hole in that wall, and a clear passage 
for yourself out of the Prussian lines, you 're safe ; but, not to 
discourage you, I confess I have my doubts. I am afraid you 
won't find the method quite so sure as might be wished. However, 
you can try ; and I promise you, if talk don't do that for you, it 
will do nothing else.' 

"Well! ' said I, ' they can shoot me if they will; I can but 
assert my innocence to the last. If the officers are determined to 
put an innocent man to death, to take away life on a bare ground- 
less suspicion, no doubt they have it,in their power to do so. Let 
them do it, then; I am not afraid to die.' 

" 'They are very punctilious, my dear,' remarked the Jew; 
* very. They won't shoot you without a confession ; they never do. 
They would n't put a man to death on suspicion. They are ex- 
tremely particular on these points ; you '11 have to confess ; they 
make a point of it.' 

"'Confess!' cried I; ^confess myself a spy! falsely accuse 
myself of a wickedness I detest ! Never ! ' 



THE TWO PASSPORTS. 105 

** « The provost-marshal,' observed the Jew, * has great powers 
of persuasion.' 

" I confess I winced a little at this; hanging had not entered 
into my calculations. After a pause, however, I replied : 

*' ' Well, they may hang me. Of the two, I had rather be shot ; 
but I will not purchase the choice at the expense of my honest 
fame, neither shall even the fear of the gallows induce me to belie 
myself. Do what they will with me, they shall not have the satis- 
faction of hearing me call myself a spy. I will not die with a lie 
in my mouth.' 

"'The gracious pity the boy!' exclaimed the tailor; 'hear 
him talk of the gallows ! Death is death ; and I see little to 
choose between the rope and the bullet ; but what do you say to 
he'mg flogged to death ? " Assert your innocence " by all means, 
and die under the lash, or " belie yourself," and be shot. That 's 
the choice you '11 have, this evening or early to-morrow. Bear the 
flogging, of course, as long as you can ; life is worth bearing some- 
thing for ; but I prophesy you will not bear it long. Besides, they 
won't give over till they get a confession out of you. "Life is 
sweet," said I to myself, when they tied me up this morning. '^ I 
will save my life, though I be unable to put a coat to my back for 
a twelvemonth." But I couldn't hold out — I couldn't hold 
out ; nor were it to any purpose, for I should be a dead man ere 
now, if I had not cried guilty ! ' 

" ' You will not die,' added the Jew, with the sneer of a demon ; 
' you will not die with a lie in your mouth: Will you die with 
piteous meanings and cries for mercy in your mouth, which you 
might as well address to the scourge that plays on your back, or to 
the human tool that plies it, as to the calm tyrants that sit and see 
it plied ? Will you die with the thirst of the burning Tophet in 
your mouth — with the drought of the sandy wilderness in your 
jaws? Will you die when, from the resolved and silent man, you 
have become the shrieking woman, and from the shrieking woman, 
the sick child that plains feebly, and can only murmur " a little 
water, a little water," which they will not give, because they know 
that a blessed drop of it were death, and thereby were much good 
flogging thrown away? Men die not so speedily under the lash,' 
proceeded he, addressing the tailor; 'and thou wouldst be alive 
till now, though thou hadst not cried " guilty ! " Ah ! ah ! had 
I a thousand souls, I would give them all — all — all ! that my tor- 
mentors should suffer forever and ever — forever and ever — for- 
ever and ever — what I suffered this day at their will, before I bent 
my will thereto, and gratified them with my confession.' 



106 THE TWO PASSPORTS. 



*' Until now, I had not seen into wbat a labyrinth my destiny had 
led me. I felt, from this moment, that there remained to me no 
other course than to prepare for death ; for I resolved firmly that I 
would be shot rather than be floo;o;ed to death. Since now I had 
but the choice between these two modes of being murdered, I 
determined to give, on the very first stripe, the answer desired by 
my oppressors. 

"From five o'clock that evening till the following morning, I 
was conducted at least half-a-dozen times before a court composed 
of ofiicers. My conductor was the provost-marshal ; and at each 
elbow walked a dragoon, their drawn swords held edgeways across 
my breast and back. 

"An examination more rigorous, or one more difficult, — more 
impossible for a man to withstand, who had anything to conceal, — 
cannot be conceived. Interrogatories of the most subtle and en- 
snaring tendency — observations ingeniously calculated to throw 
me off my guard, insidious leading questions (which I had no 
learned counsel to object to) — cunning tricks of speech, intended 
to surprise me into a confession or admission, direct or indirect, of my 
presumed guilt, followed each other until my head was well-nigh 
dizzy. If there had been a weak point in my defence it must infalli- 
bly have been found out ; had the hollow ground of guilt been under 
my feet, I had been engulphed without redemption. 

" But as all this ingenuity was, upon an innocent man, nece'ssa- 
rily thrown away, the officers at last desisted from questioning 
me, and looked dubiously in each other's faces. Now, the very 
strong presumption of my being a spy rested chiefly on this ground, 
that the Prussians, from the time they took up their position, had 
suffered no one, traveller or other, any more to pass on from their 
side in the direction of the French ; and they naturally concluded- 
that, as was customary in such circumstances, (the two armies being 
then but two leagues asunder,) the French would have acted on 
the same rule. When they saw me, therefore, come over from the 
French side, the conclusion was almost inevitable that I was a spy ; 
and the evidence of my innocence must have been very strong, 
indeed, to have countervailed this potent presumption against it. 
My judges, a§ I have said, looked dubiously into each other's 
faces. 'After all,' at length began one, for they spoke openly 
before me, ' it is possible that at the time the young man passed, 
the enemy had really not taken up their position, in which case yoa 
know there would have been no hindrance offered to his passing ; 
so you see there is a possibility, — mind, I say merely a possibil- 
ity, for I don't build much on it, — but there is a possibility of 



THE TWO PASSPORTS. 107 



his haying come over innocently, and without being aware of the 
danger.' 

" ' I think you do well,' said another, ' not to make too much of 
your possibility ; yet I confess myself perplexed. Appearances are 
desperately against the prisoner; and yet his own appearance and 
manner are as much in his favor as those of any man I ever saw. 
This I will say, either he is innocent or a most accomplished knave, 
and an infinitely more dangerous villain than a hundred such pool 
caitiffs as we took yesterday. If he be a spy, he is a perfect one.' 

"'I think,' remarked the former speaker, ' such a mere youth 
could hardly be such an adept in dissimulation ; moreover, he is a 
Suabian by his tongue ; and that is a people that have more of the 
ox than of the fox in them.' 

" ' I see no great difficulty,' observed a third, ' in dealing with 
this matter : try five-and-twenty lashes for a beginning. My life 
on it, the provost-marshal will bring more truth out of the herl 
in five minutes, than all your cross-examining will do- in as many 
months.' 

" I was now led back to prison, and occupied myself with thinking 
over the necessary proofs of my innocence. At this time came to 
my recollection a story which had been told me in Switzerland, by 
one Boschel, of Pirna ; it was to this efiect. During the siege of 
Dresden, which took place in the seven years' war, communications 
were secretly carried on between that town and Pirna ; and the 
Pirna people having on one occasion hired a young girl of fifteen 
years of age, for a few groschen, to carry to Dresden one of their 
despatches, of the contents or nature of which she had not an idea, 
both 'the mission and its innocent bearer fell into the hands of the 
besiegers, who forthwith hung the poor child. 

" The recollection of this story now depressed me ; and when I 
reflected on the so-called ' hussar-justice,' known to be acted upon, 
particularly in spy trials, on the absence of any sufficing proofs of 
my innocence, and on the speedy effect which the torture of the 
lash would have to wring from me a false confession of guilt, I saw, 
as I thought, that my hours were numbered ; and the only consola- 
tion I had was in calling to mind, that shooting, as I had heard, 
was a speedy and not painful mode of execution, and that to suffer 
unjustly was, after all, no such unheard-of or unexampled fate. 

" The prison, as I have said before, was situated within the pre- 
cincts of the main-guard ; it had on the outer sides three strong 
walls, and on the inner an iron grating, before which the sentries 
on guard paced to and fro. I had not long been led back from my 
examination, when a number of soldiers crowded to this grating, 



108 THE TWO PASSPORTS. 



pushing and shouldering their way to gaze on us as if we had been 
wild beasts. 

" ' One of these unlucky devils is 'to be shot this evening, or at 
day-break to-morrow,' said one of our spectators. 

" ' Serve them right,' growled another, with many other like 
sympathizing speeches. However, they were presently turned away, 
and no further molestation of the kind was permitted to be offered 
us. As for me, I knew that, as I had not yet been pronounced 
guilty, mine could not be the execution thus spoken of as so near ; 
nevertheless, the impression the scene had made on me was far from 
agreeable. 

" Still I had nothing for it but to accommodate myself as well as 
I could to my destiny ; and I will say this, that I had at least no 
feeling of unmanly terror ; I did not fear to die ; what grieved me 
most was, that I should be thrust out of the world ignominiously, 
and as one of the most abandoned of men. 

" A short time elapsed, and I was called to a further examina- 
tion. On entering the guard room, I noticed a certain grating 
which had not appeared there on the former occasion. What this 
boded, I could but too well divine ; nevertheless, I felt no violent 
discomposure ; only I was sensible all at once of a peculiar burning 
heat under the tongue, nowise painful, but which has so branded 
itself on me that I retain to this day a distinct and lively impres- 
sion of it. 

" Once more I was questioned on the subjects relating to my 
position, but naturally with a result as little satisfactory to the 
court as before. It was resolved, therefore, to proceed without fur- 
ther delay to the experiment of the lash, and orders were given 
that I should forthwith be seized up to the grating aforementioned. 
That moment I felt a new spirit possess me ; I was another man. 
Every trace of fear, all trepidation, all inquietude, was gone. With 
an undaunted mind, I looked my judges in the face, and asked for 
one moment's speech before the putting of their purpose into execu- 
tion. With some roughness, (for they were impatient,) they asked 
rae what I had to say, and I spoke with emphasis as follows : 

" ' Sirs ! I am a travelling handicrafts-man, not accustomed to 
being flogged ; and therefore my determination is, at the very first 
stripe I receive, to cry guilty ! jpalse as the word will be ; for I can 
foresee, plainly enough, that once tied up to that grating, I shall find 
no compassion, and have no other prospect but to perish in the pain- 
fullest way. If, sirs, you have found, up to this moment, either 
in my papers or in my words, the faintest trace of a justification 
of your suspicions, I only pray you to have me shot at once. If 



THE TWO PASSPORTS. 109 



you have found notMng of the kind, and want only to force me by 
torture to confess myself what you choose to consider me, you will 
attain your aim, it is true ; but you will have blackened an honest 
man's name, and you will go to battle to-morrow, or the day after, 
with innocent blood on your hands.' 

" There was a pause ; and the officers looked upon me with a 
grave and sad expression : for that time I was led back to my 
prison unscourged. About an hour and a half had elapsed, when 
the provost-marshal came to usher me once more into the presence 
of my judges ; and on this occasion I was no more flanked, as be- 
fore, by the dragoons, with their drawn sabres. For the last time 
was the interrogatory addressed to me, whither I was on my way ; 
and I answered, as before, to Dresden, by the nearest route, namely, 
by Chemnitz and Friedberg. My passport was handed me, the 
route duly marked upon it ; everything that had been taken from 
me was returned ; and I was dismissed with the advice not to be 
too ready another time to thrust myself in between two armies on 
the point of engagement. A soldier was given me for escort, with 
orders to conduct me to the distance of a league and a half behind 
the Prussian lines : thence I was at liberty to pursue my way with- 
out restraint." 

" It was but a few days after my liberation, namely, the four- 
teenth of October, 1806, that the battle of Jena, so disastrous to 
the Prussian arms, was fought. 

"And now, sirs, I ask you, are the concerns of men indeed 
abandoned to the sport of a blind hap-hazard ? Consider it ; to my 
very great annoyance, I had forgot to re-possess myself of my 
second passport, which had been taken from me by my host, 
at Neustadt-on-the-Aisch. But had this not taken place — had I 
been apprehended by the Prussians with two passports, varying in 
their accounts of me or my person — that power is not on earth 
that could have saved me from the ignominious fate of the vilest of 
traitors. 

" I can only pity the sceptic, who will no doubt say it was a 
mere chance that my passport was kept back from me. Never in 
my life, besides, was my passport taken from me by an innkeeper ; 
how little hkely such a thing is to happen, they who have travelled 
most will be best able to judge. And supposing your passport 
were thus taken away, how much more uDlikely still were it that 
you should forget at parting to ask for it, or your host forget to 
return it ! 

" No ! I say again, with the proofs I have of a good Providence 
ordering the affairs of men, I should merit to be reproached, by in 



110 THE TTVX) PASSPORTS. 



fidels themselves, as a soul incapable of gratitude, could I believe 
my steps to be directed by no higher, no holier power than my own 
poor prudence, or than blind chance. And so, gentlemen, that is my 
story^; and I crave your pardon for troubling you with it ; but it 
has turned out longer than I counted on." 

While the Suabian spoke, the tailor had applied himself, as if 
there had been nine of him, right manfully to the Rhine wine, and 
was now hardly clear-headed enough to give a very edifying com- 
ment on what he had heard. All that he could bring out was, that 
he considered remarks on a man's profession illiberal and beneath 
his notice ; and that if he could bring himself to think that all that 
about the tailor the Suabian had spoken of was meant as a personal- 
ity, he would The rest of the sentence was unfortunately lost 

in the speaker's increasing thickness of articulation. 



AUSTRiLIA AID ¥AM DIEIEM'S LAND. 




The British Empire, extending through all the divisions of the 
world, comprehends no region more adapted for colonization than 
Australia. The shores of the Indian continent, rich in the most 
costly products of the earth, are more attractive to the trader than 
the emigrant; the suptib islands of the remote East, with their 
camphor woods and precious metals, afford few plains for pasturage 
and corn-growing ; while even the verdant karoos of Southern Af- 
rica present a less favorable field for settlement than the soil of New 
South Wales and Western Australia. Sixty years since, the whole 

(til) 



112 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

region was a desert. Now and then an adventui'ous sailor navi- 
gated the waters along its lonely shores, and disturbed the quietude 
of its forest-bordered harbors. Little more than half a century has 
established civilization on the north and the south, the east and the 
west, of this the largest island in the world. Emigrant vessels and 
merchant ships throng the seas between, steam-packets ply along 
the coasts, shipping crowds the ports, omnibuses traverse the streets 
of well-built towns, farms and villas multiply near the sea, and a 
railway train is expected shortly to whirl through the passes of the 
Blue Mountains. The exports of Great Britain are consumed 
largely among the colonists, and Australia offers in return peace 
and abundance to those who are willing to labor for these blessings. 
In fine, the progress of the country, though occasionally inter- 
rupted, exhibits altogether one of the most striking features in the 
history of transmarine empire, and it may not be uninteresting to 
the reader to trace with us briefly an outline of this gratifying 
development. 

While the Portuguese and the Spaniards, early in the sixteenth 
century, were extending their enterprise through the seas of the 
further East, rumors reached Europe of a new continent in the 
south. The navigator, driven by contrary winds and currents 
beyond the bounds of his ordinary enterprise, discovered different 
points of land, which for a long period none endeavored to exam- 
ine. The Spaniards had been navigating the Indian Archipelago 
for more than eighty, and the Portuguese for nearly a hundred, 
years before the name of any mariner became connected with the 
discovery of Australia. The Unknown Southern Land (Terra 
Australis Incognita) , and the Southern Land of the Holy Spirit 
(Australia del Spiritu Santo) , were indefinitely mentioned in their 
records, yet no explorer ventured to approach the mysterious coasts 
dimly seen by the chance voyager in those remote seas. 

In 1605, however, the Dutch, eager to attain a maritime supe- 
riority in those distant regions, equipped the yacht Duyfen, which 
sailed from the port of Bantam, in Java, to explore the coast of 
New Guinea. Returning from this expedition, the little vessel 
entered the waters off the shores of Australia, and sailed into the 
great Gulf of Carpentaria. To these early voyagers all seemed 
desolate and barren, for, since the discovery of America, the voyage 
of Vasco di Gama, and the exploration of the Indian Archipelago, 
the navigator continually thirsted for some new Chersonese, where 
gold was to be found in every stream, where amber was washed up 
on the beach, where spices perfumed the forests, and pearls were 
plentiful in the shallow waters near the shore. The wild aspect 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 113 

of the Australian coasts consequently offered little temptation to 
chem. Nevertheless, Spanish, Dutch, and English mariners con- 
tinued to visit those seas — Dampier, between 1684 and 1700, 
exploring a portion of the north-western coast, and surveying it in 
the rude manner of his time. Half a century of further research 
added little to the world's knowledge of this great region ; but 
1770 brought the advent of Captain Cook, whose immortal memory 
is associated with so many seas and shores. He discovered the 
eastern coast of Australia from Cape Howe to Cape York — nam- 
ing the region New South Wales. Many successive voyagers fol- 
lowed, each of whom contributed some tracing to the seaboard of 
this vast territory, until Captain Stokes, about eight years ago, 
made the entire circuit of the island, and first enabled the biogra- 
pher accurately to lay down the leading features of its mighty 
outline. 

While the daring navigators of Europe were exploring the shores 
of Austraha — marking its outlying islands, endeavoring to dis- 
cover the mouths of rivers, fixing the position of harbors, and lay- 
ing down the general outline of the island — inland discovery com- 
menced much later, and made a slower progress. In the south, 
ridges of hills were known to exist, and believed to be impassable. 
Not lofty, but precipitous and rugged, they were intersected by 
deep chasms and broad barren valleys, sprinkled with half-blasted 
trees, and piled with masses of sandstone rock — landscapes sub 
lime in their melancholy desolation. The Blue Mountains — so 
named from their habitual aspect — were long considered impassa- 
ble ; but when the English colonists in New South Wales were 
straitened for room, they looked for wider pastures for their flocks, 
and more extensive lands for the cultivation of corn and vegeta- 
bles. Necessity, then, opened a passage through the hills, the 
Bathurst Plains were discovered, and a stage-coach rattled along a 
well-made road, winding among the mountain-passes. In other 
directions adventitious men, starting from different points, attempted 
to explore the interior of Australia ; but as yet^ all have been un- 
successful in their endeavor to reach the centre, and he who trav- 
elled farthest, at the utmost point of his journey has only cast his 
eye over a monotonous desert, apparently of interminable extent. 

Australia is situated in the immense ocean stretching to the 
south-east of Asia, and lies in nearly the same latitude with the 
Cape of Grood Hope and Brazil. Equal in surface to four fifths of 
the European continent, it extends from 113° 5' to 153"* 16' east 
longitude, and from 10° 39' to 39° 11' south latitude. The^eatr 
est breadth, from Cape York to Wilson Promontory, north and 
8 



114 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEn's LAND. 

Boutb, is 2000 miles, and the extreme length, from Shark's Bay to 
Sandy Coast, west and east, about 2400. The area is calculated 
at 3,000,000 square miles, and the coast-line at 7750. The whole 
of this immense mass of land is solid and compact, broken by few 
indentations of the ocean. The great Gulf of Carpentaria on the 
north, and Spenser Gulf, in the Australian Bight, on the southern 
side, are the only extensive sheets, though Shark's Bay and Her- 
vey's Bay are also considerable. Numerous inlets, however — 
too small to be named as breaking the coast-line, but of noble 
dimensions nevertheless — afford easy approach to this otherwise 
iron-bound island. 

The mariner, for the first time approaching Australia on its 
western coast, perceives few of those natural charms painted by so 
many writers. Along these shores — even now very rarely visited 
— there is little to allure the eye. A monotonous plain, bounded 
in the distance by a chain of bleak hills, stretches from the sea, 
and over the sui-face of this vast level are scattered sweeps of 
ground blackened by the passage of flames. The few wandering 
tribes leading a nomade life in this part of the island, frequently, 
by accident or intentionally, kindle the tall dry grasses or the low 
bush. The fire, seizing greedily on the parched vegetation, travels 
with great rapidity, and, driven by the wind, spreads to the base of 
the hills, where the conflagration spends its fury. Generally, in 
one direction or another, the navigator may perceive the smoke or 
flame of one of these prairie fires. As we proceed further north- 
ward the shores become strewn with enormous masses of rock, 
extending to some distance from the beach. It is supposed that 
formerly the land here was considerably more elevated than at 
present, and that the action of water has levelled it, leaving the 
more durable masses unremoved. Some eminences, covered with 
a vegetation richer than that of Brazil or Borneo, with occasional 
fertile plains, present themselves in marked contrast with the genr 
oral aridity of this coast. 

On the northern shores the same level prevails. Flinders sailed 
175 leagues without seeing any hill higher than the mast of a 
sloop. Irregular cliffs rise from the sea, broken by the embouchures 
of several rivers, some of which — the Adelaide, the Victoria, and 
the Albert — were discovered during the last surveying expedition 
of Captain Stokes; but they have never been traced to theif 
sources. Along the Gulf of Capentaria few elevations occur ; but, 
reaching the eastern coast, the view is no longer monotonous or 
dreary. New scenes continually unfold themselves : forests, and 
©pen plains, and valleys, running up between the hills, and a more 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 115 

numerous population enlivening the country. Passing between the 
shore and that great barrier-reef which outlies the eastern coast of 
New Holland for more than 600 miles, we enter the principal field 
of British enterprise, where the coast is marked by a thousand fan- 
tastic irregularities. A line of precipitous cliffs extends far towards 
the south ; a huge breach in this natural wall becomes apparent ; 
and, while the eye is resting on the grim magnificence of these 
granite barriers, the vessel glides between the rocks, and reposes in 
the superb harbor of Port Jackson. The shore, sweeping in gen- 
tle slopes towards the hills, is covered with a natural growth of 
verdure. The sea, blue and brilliant, flows into beautiful bays, 
where vessels lie safe after their long voyage from Europe. White 
stone-built villas, with graceful gardens and groves, lend artificial 
charms to a landscape naturally picturesque ; and Sydney, the 
capital of New South TVales, with its forts and light-houses, its 
churches, hospitals, and custom-houses, full of traffic, and smoking 
in the heat of industry, appears like the creation of enchantment. 
The industry of Europe, planted in Australia, now ploughs the sea 
between Port Jackson and Moreton Bay with steamers, which pre- 
pare the mind for the scene presented within ; but with this excep- 
tion, the change from the outer view to the panorama of Sydney is 
as that from a lifeless desert to an English seaport. 

Still proceeding southward towards Cape Howe, the coast wears 
a similar aspect, until, rounding the huge peak of Wilson Prom- 
ontory, with its inaccessible islets lying around, we enter Bass' 
Straits. Sailing along the fertile shores of Australia Felix, the 
eye of the mariner rests with delight on the scenery for many hun- 
dred miles. Towards the west the surface again becomes level ; 
irregularities are few ; tall sloping cliffs commence ; and the coun- 
try sinks into a plain covered with scrub, and extending as far as 
the south-western point of the island. There rises a range of low 
hills, continuing as for as Gautheaume Bay, where we reach again 
the desolate level from whence our circuit commenced. 

The general surface of Australia, so far as it has yet been 
explored, is level. In New South Wales several ranges cover a 
large portion of the province. Of these the principal are the 
Warragong, or Australian Alps, in the region called "The Hap- 
py," rising to the height of about 15,000 feet, and capped with 
perpetual snow. The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, attain an 
elevation of 3000 feet ; the Grampians, in Australia Felix, of 
4500 ; and the Liverpool range, between Sydney and Moreton Bay, 
of 6000. Other ridges, connecting these, complete a continuous 
though tortuous chain more than 1000 miles in length. This 



116 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

cbain runs from Portland Bay in Australia Felix, at a distance of 
from 60 to 100 miles from the sea, as far as Moreton Bay, branch- 
ing out into several inferior ridges. The western mountains never 
rise to more than 3000 feet, and in no other division have any em- 
inences deserving this name been discovered. The surface of Aus- 
tralia, therefore, is more uniformly level than that of any other region 
of equal extent. Its mountain-system also is altogether peculiar. In 
the countries of the old world every range, however tortuous, agrees 
in general dii-ection with the length of the continent in which it 
lies. In Australia the case is reversed — the hills run transversely 
from north to south. In the old world, also, the tendency of the 
ridgeS; valleys, and rivers, is parallel ; but here we find a region 
apparently struggling into form with all the elements of its ultimate 
perfection loosely scattered over the surface. For example : south 
of latitude 33 degrees, the valleys run along the base of the hill- 
ranges, watered by streams which follow their direction throughout; 
north of that latitude they cross from east to west, while in the 
western provinces the land is divided into terraced plains like the 
steppes of Tartary. Thus a theory formed by investigation in one 
place, is destroyed by the examination of another. All the geo- 
logical formations exist ; but they occur without order, and appear 
subject to none of the laws laid down by science in the old world. 
Again : if we turn to the animal and vegetable kingdoms, we 
have black swans ; white eagles ; crabs of an ultra-marine color ; 
those singular insects the walking leaves ; cherries growing with 
their stones outside ; trees which shed their bark instead of their 
leaves ; quadrupeds with birds' bills ; and fish that are amphibious, 
leaping over the ground by the aid of their strong spiny fins. 

A curious and remarkable tree is frequently met with in Aus- 
tralia, called the barrel tree. The trunk bulges out in the middle 
like a barrel, so as to be sometimes three or four times as much in 
diameter as it is at the ground, or at the point where the lower 
branches spring out. They are small in proportion to their great 
girth, and, indeed, the whole appearance of the tree is extremely 
odd. Sir T. Mitchell saw specimens of the barrel tree often, and 
expresses the opinion that the swelling of the trunk is the natural 
characteristic of the tree, and not a lusus naturce. 

A very remarkable specimen was found by Mr. Kennedy, the 
companion of Mr. Mitchell, in the apex of a basaltic peak, in a kind 
of gap of the range of hills through which he passed. He made a 
drawing of it on the spot. The accompanying cut will show tho 
general appearance of these curious trees. 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN S LAND. 



117 



Australia is consequently called the Land of Anomalies ; but if 
we accept the theory of its recent growth, these phenomena become 
intelligible. All its features indicate an origin dating not far back 
in the history of creation. Its physical structure, as we have 
shown, is incomplete and peculiar ; its indigenous vegetation is of 




THE BARllEL TREE. 

the scantiest description ; in many parts its soil is raw and unpro- 
ductive ; while its fauna belongs to the lowest orders in the animal 
kingdom. All is rough and crude — a mass of disordered elements 
unmoulded into the beauty of perfect nature. In the river system 
the same irregularity prevails ; no more than thirty-five mouths of 
streams have been discovered along the whole of this immense 
coast-line, and of these none have been traced more than two 
hundred, and few more than fifty, miles from the shore. They are 
insufficient to the drainage of a tenth part of the island, — a fact 
which gave rise to the belief, not yet altogether exploded, that far 



118 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN S LAND. 

inland a circular range of mountains existed, down whose inner 
slopes numerous rivers poured their waters through the plains into 
a great central sea. There is still, it is true, a vast blank around 
the centre of Australia ; but travellers^ as far as they have hitherto 
explored, have failed to discover any indications of this lake. Na- 
tives have reported the existence of a " great water," breaking in 
waves higher than the mast of a ship ; but probably they had trav- 
elled from some district near the coast, and confounded the South- 
ern Ocean with the inland sea of which the wanderers were in 
search. Violent inundations, however, certainly do occur, when 
the springs in the mountains discharge volumes of water, convertr 
ing small streams into torrents, and spreading the waters over whole 
tracts of country. Deceived by these ephemeral floods, travellers 
have brought home accounts of immense lakes extending beyond 
the reach of sight, in places where the next explorer has found a 
grassy plain, covered with the traces of a dried-up deluge. In 
South Australia are several sheets of water, but few of them large 
or permanent. The Salt Lake Torrens, discovered by Eyre, lies 
at a distance of 400 miles from the sea, almost enclosing a circular 
tract of land nearly 200 miles across; Lake xllexandria, which 
receives the waters of the Murray River, is the most extensive of 
the fresh-water basins ; while scattered along the banks of several 
streams in South Australia, and Australia the Happy, are consid- 
erable expanses of water, which do not in all cases bestow on the 
land that fertility to be expected from such an abundance of irriga- 
tion. In other countries rivers are the great fertilizers, and through- 
out their course clothe their borders with verdure. In Australia, 
only the higher lands thus watered are verdant, and the streams 
spread themselves over a barren sandy waste, which they are pow- 
erless to reclaim. 

From the great range which shuts in Sydney on the west descend 
numerous streams, which flow inland, and reach the plains through 
rocky and tortuous channels. Those below the latitude of 33 de- 
grees empty themselves for the most part into the Darling, which, 
after a long and winding course, joins the Murray 200 miles from 
the sea. Those above pour into the Lachlan, the Morumbidgee, 
and the Hume — also tributaries of the Murray — a river which, 
though its course is many hundred miles, bears no proportion to the 
size of the region it waters. None of greater magnitude has been 
discovered. The streams in South Australia and Western Aus- 
tralia are in comparison insignificant ; but it is a received opinion 
among many geographers, that great water-springs exist in the 
island, which will ultimately burst from the earth, flow together, 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEn's LAND. 119 



form for themselves channels, and find outlets at various places 
along the coast. Springs are formed by the accumulation of moist- 
ure In the cavities and gullies of hills, and this process is at first 
extremely slow. When overcharged, these reservoirs burst, and 
emit their superfluous waters, at first by an occasional overflow, but 
gradually in a continuous stream. The waters wear their own 
channels, growing slowly from rivulets to rivers ; and in Australia 
great numbers of these incipient, half-developed streams exist. At 
present, in the river-system of Australia, as well as in its moun- 
tains, valleys, and geological formations, its botany, and its zoology, 
we discover a strong support of the theory that this region is of 
recent emergence from the ocean. Formerly, Captain Sturt be- 
lieves it consisted of an archipelago of islands. The bed of the 
ocean, upheaved by the agency of subterranean fires, raised the 
whole to a level ; and the action of the great sea sweeping over it, 
has produced those strange appearances which have earned for Aus- 
tralia its curious title — The Land of Anomalies. The researches 
of travellers in the interior will at no distant day lay it open to 
examination ; and, when the great doubt is removed, science will 
explain with accuracy phenomena at the present day so perplexing. 
Over such a vast surface of the earth a variety of climates may 
naturally be expected to prevail. Throughout Australia, however, 
it is generally salubrious and genial to the European constitution. 
The third part of the island— the north — lies in the torrid, the 
rest in the temperate, zone. The former part is not yet sufficiently 
known to allow an exact description of its salubrity ; but in the 
extra-tropical divisions human life is endangered by a few natural 
afflictions. Endemic diseases are all but unknown; small-pox, 
measles, and hooping-cough, scarcely ever appear ; but dysentery 
is common, though all disorders yield to simple remedies. It may 
be useful to state a point on which the best authorities agree, that 
the settler in Western or Southern Australia may in all cases pre- 
serve himself for the honors of a ripe old age by temperate pru- 
dence ; for deaths from climateric diseases are exceedingly rare. 

The plains of Tropical Australia are swept by the Indian mon- 
soons — blowing north-west about the beginning of November, and 
south-east in the early part of April. Rains are there uncommon, 
but the air is generally heavily charged with damp, and iron rusts 
after a few hours' exposure. In the extra-tropical divisions a mild 
drought often prevails. On the lowlands 65 degrees is the mean 
temperature of the year, but the atmosphere rapidly changes to 
cold as the surface rises ; while on the peaks of the mountains the 
earth is eternally clothed with snow. The order of the seasoni 



120 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

presents a curious contrast to that of Europe; from March to 
August is the winter ; the rainy season is in May ; while summer 
lasts from September to February. In the interior the weather, 
whether wet or dry, is always warm. One remarkable feature has 
been observed, or we should rather say has been supposed, to exist 
in the climate of Australia : at intervals of twelve years a period 
of unmitigated drought prevails, and for twelve months the clouds 
never send down their gentle showers to refresh and fertilize the 
earth ; following this is a year of continual floods ; after this the 
quantity of ra,in decreases, until another cycle has passed, and the 
land is once more parched with excessive thirst. Dews are abun- 
dant ; thunder-storms without rain last for several days ; and on the 
northern coast a shock of earthquake is occasionally felt. 

In all things wandering from the ordinary course of nature, 
Australia is equally strange in her soil. In those interior deserts, 
a few times traversed by the traveller, it is various ; in some places 
a red tenacious clay ; in others, a dark, hazel-colored loam, rotten, 
and full of holes; in others, but these few and limited, sandy. 
When Sturt was exploring this dreary waste, he vainly looked for 
evidence of a hilly country near. " Had we picked up a stone," 
he says, " as indicating the approach to dry land, I would have gone 
on." But nothing of the sort was found; and the desert ever 
widening to his weary view, he turned about and retreated. In the 
sloping lands of -New South Wales, however, and in the elevated 
valleys of Australia Felix, a rich, dry vegetable soil prevails, abun- 
dantly prolific. In the rest of the island, the soil, like the river- 
system, is yet in the mould of nature ; and doubtless at some dis- 
tant period every prairie throughout this magnificent region will 
smile upon the immigrant, like those fertile " Plains of Promise " 
discovered in the north by Captain Stokes. 

Of the 70,000 or 80,000 species of plants described by botanists, 
5710 are already known to exist in Australia. Of these only 270 
are common to it and to other countries, while 5440 are altogether 
peculiar to its extraordinary soil. Thus this island contributes to 
botany nearly a twelfth of the plants known, but they are generally 
of a very low order. Ferns, nettles, flowers, and grasses, having 
the form, bulk, and habits of trees, are abundant ; hard timber, 
with rosewood, sandal wood, and cedar, is plentiful ; some trees 
yield the purest gums ; while the leaves of others are used as tea. 
The sassafras and castor-oil have been discovered. On the northern 
coast palms flourish abundantly, and the tropical mangrove exists in 
those parts nearest the Indian islands. With one exception, all tho 
trees of Australia are ever screen. No dense woods have bee^i found 



AUSTSALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 121 

and the groves, from a peculiar arrangement of their foliage, pre- 
eent a strange appearance — many of the trees having their leaves 
hanging with the edge downward. Flowering plants of excessive 
beauty are found ; and the lily, tulip, and honeysuckle grow to the 
size of large standard trees. There are many odoriferous shrubs, 
which scent the air to a considerable distance. In theanterior im- 
mense numbers of prickly plants cover the ground, binding down 
the loose soil, and preventing that drift which distinguishes the des- 
erts of Arabia and Africa from the Australian wastes. 

Large pastures form a prominent feature in the aspect of the 
country ; yet a heavy English sward is seldom found. Flax, to- 
bacco, a species of cotton, tares, indigo, chicory, trefoil, and burnet, 
(an excellent substitute for tea,) are natural productions ; but of 
fruits and vegetables fit for human food there is a strange scarcity. 
The pith of a reed is the only indigenous substance with which 
bread can be made, and the only known fruits are raspberries, cur- 
rants, one or two tasteless berries, and a species of nut. It appears 
as if Australia had been selected for colonization, by the avidity of 
civilized man, before her soil was sufficient to his support ; and she 
was called on to nourish the children of an overpeopled land ere her 
breast was filled by the rich treasure of maternal maturity. Yet 
industry may be said to have outrun nature, and completed in sixty 
years the task which centuries would not have accomplished. Corn 
crops and orchards abound in all the colonized districts. Every species 
of grain, including maize, is cultivated with success : oranges, lemons, 
citrons, nectarines,; apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, figs, mulberries, 
quinces, bananas, guavas, pine apples, grapes, and many others, the 
produce of Australian soil, are sold cheaply in the Australian mar- 
kets ; and doubtless the luscious fruits of India will all shortly fol- 
low. The sugar-cane probably would thrive in the lower latitudes, 
but the colonists prefer pastoral industry, for which, indeed, the 
land affords much facility; though it is said that the keep of a 
sheep upon the native grasses requires three times the extent of 
ground which in a moderately fertile district in England would fat- 
ten an ox in summer, and keep two sheep during winter. 

The zoology of Australia, like every other department of its nat- 
ural history, also presents extraordinary features. The number of 
known species of mammalia is about one thousand. Fifty-eight are 
found in Australia, of which forty-six are peculiar to it, leaving 
twelve only which it contains in common with other regions. Even 
of these, five are whales and four seals ; another is the strong-winged 
bat of Madagascar ; another like the jerboa of America ; and the 
last the dog — an animal found always where man exists, and rare- 



122 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

ly, if ever, wliere he does not. Kangaroos, however, are almost the 
only important animals. In the birds and reptiles similar peculiar- 
ities exist, while of fish and insects no account has ever been com- 
pleted. 

The people who inhabit this extraordinary region belong to the 
Ethiopic, which is the lowest family of the human race. Many 
writers, with great ingenuity, have attempted to trace the original 
colonization of Australia to a horde of Malays passing over in 
canoes from the Indian Archipelago, across Torres' Straits, to the 
unknown Southern Land. The color of the skin, however, the for- 
mation of the skull and the limbs, with the genius, the habits, and 
the general character of the Australians, identify them with the 
negro race of New Guinea. The weapons they employ are similar, 
and their progress in the industrial arts, as well as their mental 
qualities and conditions of existence, being infinitely lower than 
those of the Malay, and closely similar to those of the Papuan, 
destroy the theory of their Malayan origin. Traditions they have 
few, and those but faint and incoherent. It is probable, however, 
that the wild savages of the Indian Archipelago, driven from their 
original homes by the superior civilization of the Malays, put to sea 
in rude canoes, and, reaching the mysterious Southern Land, de- 
barked, and gradually peopled the wilderness. They left their own 
rich islands to the conquering Malays, deserting a contested heri- 
tage for one where security and peace made up for the loss of a soil 
spontaneously productive. Liberty, even to the wild savage, is 
sweet, and life more cherished still, so that doubtless, if Australia 
was unpeopled at so late a period, the growth of the Malay empire 
in the East scattered the swarms of Papua along its desert coast. 
That an infusion of other blood has taken place is probable, but not 
to such an extent as to have influenced the character of the popula- 
tion. The old custom of circumcision is found at two places, at 
opposite extremities of the island, and nowhere else. This appears 
to us rather as a traditional custom, originally practised by the whole 
race, whose size has dwindled to this narrow compass, than as a 
grafted habit borrowed from the Mohammedan traders. Thus in 
Bali, among the Indian islands, the bui'ning of widows was until 
recently an established custom. It was not, however, a practice 
derived from accidental intercourse with the Hindoos, but the relic of 
a mighty empire once held by that religion in the further East. 

The Australian aborigines are divided into numerous tribes, with 
distinct modes of life and various languages. The dialect of the 
south is a strange tongue in the north, and the northern vocabu- 
lary is wholly unknown in the east. The habits of the natives are 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 123 

unsociable: they seldom come into contact, except in war, each 
tribe wandering at will through the solitudes, where they have 
hitherto held an empire all their own. Their manner of existence 
in some measure resembles that of the Californian savages — dwel- 
ling in huts of the most primitive construction, and existing on the 
seeds of grass, and the pith of reeds, made into cakes. Those living 
near the coast consume large quantities of fish, which they roast, 
but have no idea of the effect of fire upon water. A shipwrecked 
sailor, domiciled among a tribe of Australians, once obtained the 
reputation of a sorcerer by boiling a potful of water. They gash 
their bodies with decorative scars, and strike out their front teeth, 
in the spirit of vanity inherent in the most barbarous as well as the 
most civilized people. An English trader once made a large profit 
by selling in London a number of these teeth, beautifully large and 
white, for the use of the dentists. 

The color of the Australian's skin is lighter than that of the 
African negro ; his form, unencumbered by clothing, is well pro- 
portioned ; his hair, black as ebony, is twisted about the head in the 
form of a hoop ; no whiskers or moustaches are worn, though a 
scanty beard frequently drops from the chin ; the face is in almost 
all cases ugly, even to repulsiveness ; the nose large and flat, the 
mouth extravagantly distended, the ears long, the forehead retreat- 
ing, and the chin highly protuberant. Nor is the character of the 
Australian more alluring : to lie and to cheat are practices almost 
universal — not so much indicative of moral depravity, as illustra- 
tive of the low condition in which these savages still remain. Among 
some tribes treachery to Europeans ranks among the virtues, and 
basely to assassinate a white man is considered heroic. We knew a 
naval officer who was stabbed from back to breast by one of these 
barbarians, who stole on him as he sat sketching on a bank in a 
lonely spot. On another occasion, two Europeans, engaged in mak- 
ing observations, were startled by a loud shout from above. Look- 
ing up, they saw with horror the summit of a lofty bank swarming 
with savag3s, who quivered their spears, and were evidently intent 
on the strangers' death. The Englishmen, skilled in the character- 
istics of the savage mind, immediately commenced dancing, capering 
until they were ready to sink under exhaustion. Every time they 
paused in their strange exercise, the savages lifted their spears 
with threatening gestures; till at last, weary of the sport, they 
quietly retired. 

With some tribes, however, difierent ideas prevail, and shipwrecked 
men, hungry and naked, have in the worst hour of their need learned 
to bless the rude but honest hospitality of an Australian savage. 



124 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

Among themselves a crude social system exists. Ideas of property 
are very distinct, and one man respects the roasted fish and fried 
frogs of another with scrupulous integrity. Murders are rare, and, 
when they occur, are punished. It is the opinion of certain philos- 
ophers that these wild men will never be reclaimed, but will be 
driven deeper into the wilderness as colonization proceeds, until 
ultimately all will perish under the breath of civilization. It is 
hard to accept this theory, though there is unfortunately much in 
the history of modern times to lead to its adoption. "VYe would 
rather cling to the philosophy of the poet, T. K. Hervey, who 
writes in the spirit of humanity, in language of the loftiest elo- 
quence, for the wild man of the Australian desert — 

" Yet on his forehead sits the seal sublime 
That marks him monarch of his lovely clime. 
And in his torpid spirit lurk the seeds 
Of manly virtues and of lofty deeds. 
Within that hreast where savage shadows roll 
Philosophy discerns a noble soul, 
That, like the lamp within an Eastern tomb, 
But looks more sickly 'mid surrounding gloom. 
Full many a feeling trembles through his frame, 
For which he never knew or sought a name ; 
And many a holy thought but half supprest 
Still lui'ks 'mid all the tempest of his breast. 
Pants not his heart with human hopes and fears, 
And is he not the child of smiles and tears ? 
'Tis love that links him to his native woods, 
And pride that fires him while he breasts the floods. 
And glory guides him, felt but undefined. 
To battle with the breakers and the wind. 
To tempt the torrent, or in arms to claim 
The savage splendors of a warrior's name. 
True, through their souls all fiercer passions run — 
These fiery ones, these children of the sun. 
But gentler thoughts redeem the frenzied mood ; 
Represt, but quenchless, hid, but unsubdued. 
Theirs is the spell of home, where'er they rove; 
The maiden loves with all a maiden's love; 
And the dark mother, as she rocks her boy, 
Feels in her bosom all a mother's joy ! " 

Where the human haart is warm with these feelings, it is surely 
susceptible of some refinement. An anecdote will show that the 
mind of the Australian savage is not blunt to all the better passions 
of humanity. A native, named Tonquin, dwelling on the banks of 
the Swan Kiver, stabbed one of his comrades. The murderer fied 
into th© desert, remaining there for fifteen daya alon^ with the 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 125 

memory of his crime. When he reappeared among the people of 
his tribe he was a maniac — heart-broken by remorse. 

The Australians recognize a benignant god and a variety of evil 
spirits, especially one in the form of a gigantic serpent. When the 
winds groan over the hills and woods, they imagine it to be the voice 
of this monster, and illuminate the plain with fires, repeating magic 
spells to scare the evil one away. Notwithstanding this timidity, 
they are brave in battle, though trembling in the presence of death. 
A grave placed before the door of a house is a perpetual safegiiard 
against thieves. The dwelling of a lonely settler was once attacked 
by the natives, of whom two were slain. Their bodies were bmied 
in front of the house, and the two low mounds, haunted with the 
idea of death, were more formidable than the loftiest walls. Some 
of the tribes enclose their dead in wrappings of leaves and bark, 
placing them among the branches of solitary trees, near which the 
vulture sits immovable, with drooping wings, waiting for the last 
covering to drop from the corpse. Captain Stokes saw one woman 
who continually bore, hanging from her neck, a net containing the 
bones of a little child whom, during its short term, she had loved, and 
over whose dear remains she lingered with tearful eyes, imagining, 
in the warmth of her maternal fondness, that they rose before her 
clothed again with the lineaments of life. The Australians regard 
the white men as their former brethren, whose spirits, purified after 
death, have passed into superior forms. At Perth, one of the col- 
onists was twice visited by a strange native, who had heard that 
there had come to his land a lost brother. The savage travelled 
through a long extent of hostile country to behold again a cherished 
friend blessed with the glory of a second life, who had left his para- 
dise beyond the sea to revisit the scene of his earthly career. 

Three ranks of society prevail among the aborigines : the young 
men, the warriors, and the aged — the hierarchy of the Australian 
commonwealth. Simplicity degenerate is their characteristic. Four 
slender poles planted in the ground, and roofed with wattled boughs 
form a palace for one of these lords of the creation ; and at night, 
'when the cold winds blow, the savage, burying himself neck deep 
in the sand, warms himself literally in the bosom of mother earth. 

What, however, is chiefly interesting to the English reader, is 
the colonization of Australia. First in order of the settlements 
is that of Neio South Wales. It was the earliest established, and 
has risen to prosperity by more rapid degrees than any other. 
From a miserable convict colony it has become a valuable depend- 
ence on the British Empire, with a flourishing capital, and an 
increasing trade. Sydney, with its churches, theatres, forts, hos- 



126 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

pitals, and other public structures — its banks, hotels — its parks 
and promenades — above all, its crowded port — displays all the 
features of a young and energetic civilization. Trade is developing 
largely ; its population has become an important consumer of British 
manufactures ; and its towns and rural districts offer a fine promise 
of fortune to the industrious emigrant from the mother country. 
But it is a saying no less expressive than true, that those who settle 
in Australia must lay by their kid gloves, cast off dainty habits, 
customs, forget their love of lounging, and look to themselves only 
for the success they desire. No others will prosper in New South 
Wales. The youthful colony needs no soft-handed Sybarites, whose 
whole life is the realization of one idea — comfort. The young, with 
open prospects before them — the disappointed, with a wreck of for- 
tune — and those who have accumulated a small store of wealth by 
the industry of a life, do well to emigrate to Australia. The young 
may look for opulence, others may retrieve their losses, and the old 
may plant their vines and fig trees at once to shade their heads in 
age, and to make a provision for their children. But none can suc- 
ceed there, or in any other colony, who forgets these important rules 
— to depend on his own vigorous industry, to be frugal and sparing 
of expenditure, to be cautious in his speculations, and watchful when 
he has entered into them. 

Eighty years ago the adventurous voyager Captain Cook sailed 
along the eastern coast of Australia, and there, in latitude 33° south, 
discovered a commodious inlet. Near the water's edge he saw many 
curious flowers blooming wild, and from them named the place Bot- 
any Bay. The account of his visit was circulated in England ; and 
when, sixteen years later, our unhappy war with America had closed 
up the great outlet for crime, it was resolved to establish a colony 
in some other part of the world. The African coast at first ap- 
peared, convenient ; but the idea was abandoned. Then the exist- 
ence of Australia seems first to have been remembered in England, 
and the idea suddenly flashed upon the public mind of carrying the 
seeds of British population to people the " Unknown Southern 
Land." Botany Bay was thought of. In 1787 the Sirius and the 
Supply, with six transports and three store-ships, sailed with the 
germs of a new colony on board. Besides the crews and one hun- 
dred and sixty-six marines, there were seven hundred fifty-seven 
convicts — five hundred sixty-five men, and one hundred ninety-two 
women. Stores and provisions for two years were taken, besides 
agricultural implements and tools, with all the necessaries for the 
foundation of a permanent settlement. Captain Philip, the ap- 
pointed governor, took command of the squadron, and sailed first to 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 127 

the Cape of Good Hope, then belonging to the Dutch, where live- 
stock and seeds were procured. At Rio Janeiro more stores were 
taken in, and the expedition steered direct. for the new land. 

Continuing their course, they reached Australia after a voyage of 
eight months and one week. On January 20th they anchored near 
the antipodes of their native country in general good health. Bot- 
any Bay appeared to promise little. Water seemed scarce, and an 
aspect of aridity on the surrounding land decided them to go else- 
where in search of a place of rest. The fleet, therefore, weighed 
anchor, and, as they left the bay, two French ships under La Perouse 
entered it. That enterprising discoverer stayed two months in this 
haven, and then set sail for the Pacific, disappearing forever from 
the sight of civilized man. 

Drawing near an opening in the cliffs, a few miles further north, 
the governor went to examine it in person. The natives collected 
on the rocks, shouting to the strangers to go away ; but they perse- 
vered. Captain Cook had reported the existence in this neighbor- 
hood of a creek where boats could be sheltered. A sailor named 
Jackson, however, declared that a great haven lay within the mighty 
rocks that frowned above them ; and, entering between these, the 
explorers were delighted to discover a harbor of many miles 
in extent. A fine anchoring ground was at once chosen, and the 
name of the sailor bestowed on the harbor. This is one of the in- 
stances in which the name of the original discoverer has remained 
fixed to the scene of his discovery. 

The spot chosen for debarkation was near a stream of fresh water 
overshadowed by trees. Every man literally stepped from the bda^' 
into a forest. They detached themselves into parties, and the pri-J 
meval silence of the shore was immediately broken by sounds which 
have never since died away. Some shouldered the axe, and com- 
menced clearing ground for the different encampments ; some pitched 
the tents ; some brought from the ships the necessary stores, and 
others examined the capabilities of the neighboring soil. Every one 
wandered freely over the country, and wholesale disposals were 
made of land which, fifty years later, was worth more than a thou- 
sand guineas an acre. 

The people were then collected together, and the governor's com- 
mission was read, with letters-patent for establishing courts of jus- 
tice. The ground was gradually cleared, a rude farm was prepared 
to receive the live stock, and gardens were laid out for the planting 
of seeds and roots. The Supply was then sent to Norfolk Island, 
a thousand miles to the east, to form a settlement on a spot said to 
be favorable to the cultivation of flax. Thus was planted the colony 



128 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN^S LAND. 

of New South Wales. Before tracing its growth, it may be desir- 
able to describe the territory, and show upon what materials 
English energies were then set to work. 

From a point on the eastern coast, near the Tropic of Capricorn, 
to Portland Bay, on the south, the coast-line of New South "Wales 
measures more than 1600 miles. It is broken by many safe and 
spacious harbors — the gateways, as it were, of a country diversified 
in aspect, with a rich soil, abounding in coal and iron, and intersected 
by numerous streams. These flow from the ridge of mountains we 
have already described, winding down the slopes, and traversing, 
with a tortuous course, the maritime districts, and discharging them- 
selves into the sea at intervals along the eastern coast. Few of 
these are navigable, even for small craft ; but they serve to enrich 
and adorn the high valleys through which they flow, covering the 
earth with fertility. South of Sydney, as far as Bass' Straits, the 
mountains encroach so nearly to the sea that the streams are mere tor- 
rents ; but northward are several fine rivers — the Hawkesbuiy, the 
Apsley, the Brisbane, &c. Near Port Philip others have been 
found ; but none of those which descend the eastern slopes of the 
great range, and follow an independent course to the sea, are of 
equal magnitude with those on the western side, which swell the 
waters of the Murray. Two great cliannels, we have shown, receive 
the tribute of all the hills from the Grampians to the Darling 
Downs, yet hitherto they are little used for navigation. For the 
formation of highways, however, and railways, the surface of New 
South Wales is admirably adapted — a fact which compensates in 
some degree for its poverty of water communication, in all countries 
the easiest and most obvious. 

The climate is mild and proverbially salubrious. It is indeed 
commonly compared with that of Southern Italy, but the remark 
should be. accepted with reserve. The atmosphere is drier, the ex- 
tremes of temperature are greater, the average heat is less, and the 
air becomes colder more rapidly as we ascend the hills. 

The soil of New South Wales is capable of yielding every grain 
and vegetable useful to man, with fruit in rich perfection, and in the 
utmost profusion and variety, from the gooseberry and currant of 
the north to the banana and pine-apple of the fervid tropics. Even 
in the neighborhood of Sydney, apples, pears, plums, strawberries, 
cherries, raspberries, mulberries, medlars, apricots, nectarines, figs, 
grapes, melons, oranges, olives, lemons, citrons, loquots, and pome- 
granates, are abundantly produced ; while in warm and sheltered 
situations the luscious guava and banana grow intermingled. Peaches 
•— never in England a very common fruit — are abundant to excess 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 129 

in New South Wales. During four months in the year they are 
produced in incalculable profusion. The fruit grows everywhere in 
all soils. A peach stone, planted no matter where, will in three or 
four years become a fine productive tree. In such numbers are they 
gathered, that vast piles are made, which are left to ferment in the 
sun, and then thrown to the hogs, who fatten magnificently on this 
dainty food. A pleasant and wholesome cider is made from the 
peach. 

Green peas are gathered in winter as well as in suinmer, and two 
crops of potatoes are produced in the year in districts near the sea- 
coast. As we approach the hills, the cold seasons become more 
severe. Sharp white frosts are then of usual occurrence, and snow 
lies even on the lower mountains. On well chosen soil the wheat 
crops, with good cultivation, average from twenty to thirty bushels 
an acre. In the colder district of Argyle forty bushels an acre are 
often obtained. The small settlers at first, however, carried on so 
improvident a system of husbandry, that fifteen bushels was the 
average produce. The seed season for wheat, barley, and oats, is 
from March to June, and harvest from November to December. 
Maize, the most prolific of all grains, sown in October and Novem- 
ber, ripens in March and June, producing, according to the quality 
of the soil, from twenty to seventy bushels an acre. There are 
thus two seed and two harvest seasons in New South Wales, and the 
sickle and the drill are in continual employment. 

The soil and climate are admirably adapted for the cultivation of 
the vine, the olive, and the mulberry. Many vineyards and olive 
plantations have been established, and flourish well, while extensive 
fields of good tobacco alternate with the other species of cultivation. 
It is considered probable that silk and dried fruits will shortly enter 
into the exports of the colony, nor is it unreasonable to suppose that 
the capabilities of the soil remain as yet incompletely developed. 
Its richness is singular ; yet for the food of civilized man nature in 
New South Wales has produced spontaneously nothing. Trees of 
gigantic growth, flowers of brilliant hues, and wholesome pastures, 
abound ; but the forests are not hung with fruits, the fields are not 
covered with grain-bearing grasses, and edible roots in this division 
of the island are unknown. Yet, as we have said, to the hardy 
settler willing for a while to eat bread by the sweat of his brow, 
and accumulate fortune by diligent industry, no country in the 
world is more favorable for settlement. There is a fine contrast be- 
tween the bleak desolations of the Blue Mountains and the fertility 
of the lower provinces : the one wild and terrible ; the other pre- 
senting a pleasant prospect of green and beautiful pastui'es, graced 
9 



130 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LA.ND. 

by swarming flocks, with towns, and villages, and decorated villas, 
with cultivated lands, and all the signs of a complete civilization. 
Cattle thrive well in New South Wales, where the pastures are 
sweet and wholesome, fattening the animals well, if not with un- 
usual rapidity. The produce of grain and vegetables will always 
supply the colony with cheap provisions ; but its chief commercial 
wealth at present is in the pastures, vvhere the millions of pounds 
of wool are produced which now form so important an article of ex- 
change for the manufactured fabrics of Great Britain. 

This general sketch will afford an idea of the region first colo- 
nized by the English in January, 1788. The early years of the set- 
tlement were far from prosperous. Idleness, ignorance, crime, and 
general demoralization prevailed. Some of the convicts were hanged, 
others killed themselves by excess, and others fell under the knives 
of their comrades. And, as usual, among a community for the most 
part criminal, offences were rarely punished, because the offenders 
could not be discovered. There is a strange fidelity among the 
wicked. Men who would rob one another, steal a pittance of food, 
and quarrel with one another until knives were drawn, refused to 
betray a fellow-culprit. 

The great difficulty in any colony is its support during the early 
years of its existence. From the first, this object was steadily kept 
in view by Grovernor Philip ; but the idleness and inaptitude of the 
Bettlers — who had not chosen the best field for farming operations — 
contributed to bring the community into danger of famine. Culti- 
vation proceeded slowly and irregularly, the stores were wasted and 
stolen, the provisions decreased, and scarcity threatened. After two 
years' struggles the rations were reduced, and the colony languished 
in despondency. While, however, the spirit of industry flagged, 
and the land lay untilled in spite of the danger, an eager attention 
was given to any rumor which seemed to promise wealth without 
labor. The curse of many colonies has been a mine of gold, a grove 
of spice trees, or a bank of costly pearls, for they allure men from 
industry to spoil the earth of its natural treasures. An impostor 
among the convicts knew the temper of his companions. With 
a brass buckle and a guinea he manufactured specimens of the 
precious ore, and, displaying them, endeavored to get clothes and 
provisions from the stores as the reward of his discovery. But the 
deceit was detected, and the impostor flogged for his fraud. The 
miserable man afterwards ended his life on the scaffold. 

A flagstaff was now erected at the entrance of Port Jackson, to 
signal the arrival of any ship : as the provisions sunk, many an 
wjxious eye was turned upon the staff, desiring the expected sign. 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 131 

Alone, on that remote, inhospitable coast, they dreaded the horrors of 
famine, though somewhat relieved by the supplies of fish brought in 
three times a week, and distributed in equal rations to the whole 
community. The governor made no exception in his own favor, 
faring as the rest fired ; and when a party was collected at the 
government house, each guest was requested to bring a supply of 
provisions for himself. In 1790, though the rations had been re- 
duced by one half, there were only four months' supplies in the 
colony, and some measures were necessary to check the approach of 
famine. It was resolved to plant a settlement on Norfolk Island. 
Two hundred and one convicts, men, women, and children, were sent 
thither, and a vessel was despatched to Batavia for supplies. The 
Sirhcs, bearing her criminal burthen to Norfolk Island, landed them, 
and was immediately afterwards wrecked upon the coast. A lofty 
hill was observed, whither at evening enormous flights of birds pro- 
ceeded from the sea, where all day they collected food. Their eggs 
were gathered in vast quantities, and when fires were kindled to 
attract their notice, the birds came down in such numbers, that 2000 
or 3000 were taken every night. From the circumstance of this 
occurring at a time of great need, these birds were called the Birds 
of Providence. 

Meanwhile more convicts arrived at Port Jackson ; death struck 
down numbers of the first comers ; sickness prostrated nearly 
500 at a time ; and a state of demoralization followed which ren- 
dered the young colony of New South Wales a lazar-house of. crime 
and misery. Five men, endeavoring to escape, put to sea in a boat, 
steered for Otaheite, and were doubtless drowned in the abysses of 
the Pacific. Many of the Irish started ofi", intending to travel 
across the whole region, and reach China overland — for only so far 
had our knowledge of the country then proceeded. Probably they 
were killed by the natives, though some of them may have become 
domesticated among them, and, adopting their customs, sank into the 
savage state. Next year ten ships arrived wkh upwards of 1000 
convicts, and their coming imparted an air of life and activity to the 
infant city of Sydney. Yarious public works and buildings were 
commenced ; tanks were cut in the rocks to provide against dry 
seasons ; and fresh land was got ready for the cultivation of Indian 
corn. Some of the ships, after discharging their cargoes, were em- 
ployed with considerable success in the whale fisheries ; while many 
of the convicts were for good behavior released, on condition of re- 
maining in the country to fulfil the terms of theii* sentence, while 
those who had already passed their terms, and were willing to re» 
main, received allotments of land. 



132 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

At the end of 1791, when the colony had been established four 
years, the public live-stock consisted of one aged stallion, one mare, 
two young stallions, two colts, sixteen cows, two calves, one ram 
fifty ewes, six lambs, one boar, fourteen sows, and twenty-two pigs, 
The cultivated ground amounted to three hundred acres of maize, 
forty of wheat, six of barley, one of oats, four of vines, and eighty- 
six of garden ground, besides seventeen under culture by the soL 
diers of the colonial corps. These were the humble beginnings of 
that wealthy colony, to which, in the first half of the year 1850, 
we exported more yards of cotton cloth than to the whole Austrian 
empire. When we reach the present state of the province it will 
be seen what advance has been made. 

Six years after the foundation of the settlement, a church was 
built of wood and thatch, costing £40, and employed during the 
week as a school-house, where two hundred children were instructed 
by the chaplain. Meanwhile the mortality increased, provisions ran 
low, and famine again became imminent. All the while the utmost 
discontent prevailed. Fifty-three persons were missing at one time, 
all of whom had deserted in the delusive hope of reaching China 
overland. Crimes and punishments multiplied, and the infancy of 
the colony was passed in the most disheartening confusion. Drunk- 
enness and gambling demoralized the community, the spirit of sloth 
invaded it, and it became dependent on importations of corn. The 
live stock, however, increased. A few animals strayed, and some 
years after there was discovered on the banks of the Nepean river 
a herd of upwards of sixty cattle, wandering over pastures of fine 
sweet grass, thinly scattered over with trees, and dotted with large 
ponds. Upon the surface of these sheets of water, fringed with 
beautiful shrubs, ducks and black swans swam to and fro. Perceiv- 
ing the value of a wild breed of cattle near the settlement, the 
governor arranged that no part of this fertile tract — to this day 
known as the Cow-Pastures — should be allotted. In consequence 
of this the animals multiplied so rapidly, that before 1813 the 
60,000 acres were unequal to contain them. A severe drought fol- 
lowing, they died by thousands ; and from that period the Pastures 
were allotted, and the wild herds retreated to a greater distance from 
the sea. 

Captain Hunter, the second governor of tlie colony, was an ad- 
venturous man. He explored the country, and enlarged the boun- 
daries of the settlement. Several valuable discoveries were made 
during his administration. In 1796, some men, fishing in a little bay 
considerably to the north of Port Jackson, found, at a little distance 
from the beach, quantities of coal scattered over the ground. Near 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN S LAND. 



133 



the spot a considerable river, now named tlie Hunter, discharges 
itself into the sea. The valuable mineral was obtained in abun- 
dance, and a township has now been established there, which supplies 
the whole colony with this fuel. A large trade in lime, obtained from 
immense quantities of oyster-shells thrown up on the beach, is car- 
ried on at this place — appropriately named Newcastle. 

Through all its struggles Sydney continued to rise, and by slow 
degrees free settlers from England arrived. Government provided 
their passage, their tools and implements, allotments of land, pro- 
visions for two years, and clothes for one. Soldiers and convicts 
also turned farmers, and individual instances of prosperity encour- 
aged the rest. One man, to whom Governor Philip had in 1792 
granted a ewe for breeding, found himself in seven years proprietor 
of 116 sheep, and on the high road to opulence. While some ap- 
plied themselves to the rearing of flocks and herds, others pursued 
agriculture, and many beautiful farms were established on the banks 
of streams near the little town of Sydney. A gradual change 
came over the face of the province. From a wild forest it became 
a pastoral country, with houses, stacks, and sheds, fields well fenced, 
and all the usual features of well-directed industry. In the last 
year of the eighteenth century a great flood took place. From some 
unknown cause, the river Hawkesbury swelled to an enormous vol- 
ume ; and a settler, whose dwelling stood on a hill, near a beautiful 
bend of the stream, saw at one moment, floating with the flood, no 
less than thirty wheat-stacks, on some of which were numerous pigs 
and poultry, vainly seeking refuge from the rising of the waters. 
The consequences of this disaster were most calamitous. Wheat 
rose to 30s. a bushel in a colony where it had at times been thrown 
to the pigs, and Indian corn became equally scarce. 

In course of time roads were made through different parts of the 
colony; and, in 1813, when the settlers resolved to widen their ter- 
ritory, a passage was found across the Blue Mountains. A drought 
in the maritime plains and valleys compelled the colonists to seek 
pasturage beyond ; and, driving their sheep and cattle through the 
passes, they came down upon the plentiful plains of Bathurst. An 
excellent road, 100 miles in length, now connects Sydney and the 
town which soon sprang up in the new territory. 

In Governor Bligh's time an insurrection upset the government, 
which was with difficulty restored. A contest then broke out be- 
tween two parties in the community — the Exclusionists, who, in 
the petty pride of honesty, refused to associate, even in the offices 
of charity, with the tainted population ; and the Emancipists, who 
considered that a conviot, after his term of punishment expired, was 



134 AUSTRALIA AND TAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

as good as any other man. The first endeavored to stamp the crim- 
inal with an ineffaceable brand of infamy ; the second, perhaps too 
hurriedly, sought to produce a mingling of the convicted and uncon- 
victed classes. The governor, Maquarrie, famous for his success in 
road-making, exerted himself philanthropically to raise the convicts 
from their degradation, and thus came into collision with the senti- 
mentality of a few little-minded Exclusionists. During the twelve 
years of his administration New South Wales increased in extent 
and prosperity, while the boundaries of discovery were pushed 
still further westward. Bathurst Plains, and the ways to them, 
were discovered ; the district of Argyle was opened to the enter- 
prise of the settlers ; two rivers, the Lachlan and the Maquarrie, 
were traced beyond the Blue Mountains, until they were sup- 
posed to flow into pathless swamps; while northwards the river 
Hastings, with a large tract of pasture-land, called Liverpool Plains, 
was discovered. A penal settlement for the punishment of refrac- 
tory convicts was formed on the Emu Plain's; another at Newcas- 
tle, near the mouth of the Hunter ; and a third at Port Maquarrie, 
at the mouth of the Hastings, about 180 miles north of Sydney. 
When Maquarrie's administration began, the settlement was in a 
state of imbecility, disabled by privation, the country impenetrable 
beyond forty miles of Sydney, agriculture indifferently carried on, 
commerce only beginning, and no revenue; famine ever on the 
threshold, factions continually alive, public buildings falling into 
ruin, a few miserable roads commenced, a people depressed by pov- 
erty, abased by crime, and utterly careless of religion. He left it 
with brightening prospects, with an enlivening energy pervading the 
community, and elevated hopes moving men to vigorous action. The 
port-dues of Sydney had risen, from 1810 to 1822, from £8000 to 
£30,000 per annum. A population of 29,783, of whom 13,814 
were convicts, now labored with energy for the public good. Prom 
that period the struggles of the colony were less severe, and its 
strength was greater. Accounts of its resources were circulated 
throughout Great Britain ; men brought home fortunes, and those 
who emigrated in poverty counted their acres and their flocks by 
thousands. To trace the progress of the settlement to its present 
condition, through every change of fortune, would be an interesting 
task, but it would be incompatible with our limits. A glance at its 
actual state, however, is necessary. 

Among the twenty-one counties into which the territory of New 
South Wales is divided, Cumberland is the most populous and im- 
portant, though not the most fertile. The capital, Sydney, with the 
prosperous towns of Paramatta, Windsor, Liverpool, and others, 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 135 

give it preeminence. It consists of an undulating plain, stretching 
from north to south 53 miles, and from the base of the Blue 
Mountains to the coast, which is broken bj many creeks and inlets, 
of which the noble harbor of Port Jackson is the most remarkable. 
Near the sea the soil is poor and unproductive, but inland the coun- 
try improves, the woods thin, the valleys become verdant, and the 
hills excessively fertile. The borders of the Hawkesbury and Ne- 
pean rivers are covered with rich soil, spread over extensive flats, 
finely cultivated. Good water is not plentiful, though by boring 
wells this might in a great measure be remedied. There are 900,000 
acres in the county, of which little more than a third is fit for prof- 
itable cultivation. All the good land has been granted away ; but 
a curious fact is, that the greatest abundance of water is found on 
the most ungracious soils. 

The next county southward is Camden, with 66 miles of coast- 
line, and a breadth of 55. It is more mountainous than Cumber- 
land, with lofty timber, alternating with tracts of great fertility. 
Illawara district contains 150,000 acres of fine deep soil, whose 
rich qualities may be perpetually preserved by a manure of decayed 
shells found upon the shore. The most delightful landscapes abound 
in this favored region, wooded hills, and beautiful streams ; while 
the Shoal Haven Kiver, navigable for ships of eighty or ninety tons, 
bears its produce to the capital. The 60,000 acres of the Cow- 
Pastures are now sheep-farms, well watered. There are no impor- 
tant towns in this county. 

Next to this is Argyle, a lofty, rugged district, well timbered, 
but containing many broad, bare levels, like Goulbourn Plains, which 
are twenty miles long, and ten wide. Two remarkable lakes — 
George and Bathurst — exist here, supposed to be of recent forma- 
tion. The natives, indeed, declare that they remember the period 
when their beds were dry. Bathurst County lies inland, due west 
of Cumberland, divided from it by the Blue Mountains ; it is 72 
miles long by 68 wide, approaching in shape an irregular square. 
Downs, like those of Sussex, extend along the banks of the Maquarrie 
for more than 100 miles, and among them Bathurst Plains, con- 
taining upwards of 50,000 acres of the most fertile land, with a 
Qool climate that reddens the cheeks of children. 

North of Cumberland county is that of Northumberland, meas- ' 
uring about 60 miles by 50. Its general appearance is undulating, 
with high table-lands among the hills. Here are the coal-mines, 
near one of the principal towns — Newcastle — with the productive 
farms which dot the valley of the Hunter — a stream navigable for 
Email craft 50 miles fi-om the sea. Boats may ascend 200 milcfl^ 



136 AUSTRALIA AND TAN DIEMEN's LAND. 

but frequent and violent floods interrupt the navigation. The coal, 
found in most parts of New South Wales, is most abundant here. 
A company obtained a grant of the mines from government, and, in 
1836, 12,646 tons were delivered at the pits' mouth, at 9s. a ton. 
Steamers, introduced five years before, now ply so frequently along 
that remote coast, that the demand has enormously increased. In 
this Land of Anomalies the coal district is the most fertile, for not 
even the rich vales of the Hawkesbury or Nepean can vie with 
the borders of the Hunter Eiver. Maitland is the largest town, 
and its market supplies Sydney with potatoes, tobacco, cheese, and 
butter. The district is liable to one great evil — namely, the fre- 
quency of floods, which often rise forty or sixty feet, pouring 
through the valley, and sweeping away all traces of cultivation. 

Of the counties still imperfectly known, only partially colonized, 
and almost completely undeveloped, there are Bligh, Brisbane, 
Durham, Gloucester, Wellington, Philip, Hunter, Roxburgh, Cook, 
Georgiana, Westmoreland, King, Murray, St. Vincent, Stanley, 
and Maquarrie. Distributed among the whole are about forty-five 
"chief towns," above which Sydney stands the mistress of them 
all. 

Port Jackson, with an entrance three-quarters of a mile wide, a 
length of fifteen, and a breadth of three, would aflbrd shelter to 
fleets of the largest size. Around it spreads a panorama of varied 
landscapes. Towards the sea are scattered picturesque islets; 
northward rise long chains of rugged cliflTs ; southward the wide 
harbor of Botany Bay extends ; and westward the stately forest, 
broken by occasional clearings, still reminds the spectator that he 
is in a new country, fresh from nature, with all the features of 
youth impressed upon it. 

The city of Sydney covers a considerable space of gi'ound. It 
is laid out on a regular plan, with straight streets crossing at right 
angles, and adorned with many large and some elegant buildings. 
Quays, wharfs, and forts, government buildings, churches, hospitals, 
hotels, custom-houses, newspaper offices, barracks, assembly-rooms, 
post-offices, police offices, market-places, banks, insurance-offices, 
chapels, theatres, and a cathedral, adorn streets lively with the rattle 
of superb carriages, cabs, horsemen, and omnibuses. There is little 
in Sydney to distinguish it from an English town, except the scenery 
surrounding it, for scarcely a street is not called after some name 
familiar in " the old country." The " Sydney Morning Herald," 
the " Sydney Chronicle," the "Atlas," " Bell's Life in Sydney," 
the "Daily Advertiser," the "Australian Journal," and the 
** Sydney Guardian," exist to impress on th© settler's mind, that 



\ AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEn's LAXD. 137 

in leaving his mother-land he has not left the luxury of newspapers 
and leading articles. 

la the market-place of this flourishing city we find wheat at 4s. 
the bushel of sixty pounds, and Indian corn at Is. 6d. ; potatoes 
at £6 a ton ; beef at 2d. or 3d. a pound ; fresh butter Is., tea 2s., 
moist sugar 3d., tobacco 9d., candles 4d., mutton l|d. or 2d., veal 
4(3., and bread, best quality, l4d. a pound. All other articles of 
consumption are in proportion. Fruit is excessively cheap. Most 
of the neighboring counties contribute to supply Sydney with pro- 
visions, consumed by a population of 60,000 persons. The most 
expensive part of living is house-rent, for a moderate habitation, 
unfurnished, can be hired for nothing less than £100 a year. The 
number of houses in Sydney is about 7500 ; and in the whole col- 
ony little more than 35,000. 

Of the other towns in New South Wales, numerous as they are, 
a detailed description cannot be afforded. They are all similar to 
Sydney in plan and aspect, differing only in size and situation, 
and the character of the public buildings. When we estimate their 
number, consider the commerce which supports them, and glance 
at their rapid growth in a region where, sixty years ago, there was 
not a village standing, it is with excusable pride that we point to 
New South Wales as an example of national energy. 

Sixteen years ago the population of New South Wales was 
77,096. In eight years it rose to 173,377, and is now more than 
220,000, in the proportion of 60 women to 100 men. The ex- 
ports average three millions, and the imports more than two millions 
and a half a year ; while the revenue, now increasing at the rata 
of £10,000 a quarter, has risen from £183,218, in 1836, to £288,^ 
044, in 1849. Sixteen million pounds of wool are annually pro- 
duced in this colony, where, as we have shown, there existed, in 
1791, 1 ram, 50 ewes, and 6 lambs. Contrasting with that ac- 
count of live-stock, the following figures appear startling : — 98,000 
horses; 1,366,200 horned cattle ; 6,530,000 sheep; and myriads 
of pigs, the descendants of that solitary boar which, sixty years 
ago, represented the species in Now South Wales. Now, if the 
reader recollects the account of the land then under culture, he will 
hear without surprise that nearly 200,000 acres are now annually 
cultivated, producing more than 3,000,000 bushels of grain, and 
60,000 tons of potatoes, tobacco, and grasses for hay. It is nec- 
essary thus to introduce a few figures in illustration of this interest- 
ing subject. 

Since 1840 no convict-ship has debarked its corrupting burthen 
at tbo harbor ef Sydney; und, sinee its emancipation from thia 



138 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 

curse, the colony has received the right of partial self-government, 
returning its own representatives. Recently an amended constitu- 
tion has been granted it, and, blessed with these advantages, we 
may look to its continued progress among the most prosperous col- 
onies in the world. Vessels continually leave our own shores 
bound for this "land of plenty;" but we fear that many are disr 
appointed through the extravagance of their expectations. The 
earth was given to man, that he should live on it by labor ; and 
the slothful will find in New South Wales, as at home, that they 
may wait long at their doors before sixpenny pieces will fall like 
the manna from heaven. 

The colony contiguous to New South "Wales is South Australia. 
It was originally projected in 1831, when a committee was formed 
in London for establishing a chartered company to settle the coun- 
try. The project failed ; but three years later another association 
applied for an act of Parliament to erect South Australia into a 
British province. Meetings were held, the preliminary arrange- 
ments were carefully made, and a colony was established. Its ter- 
ritory extends from the 122d to the 141st degree of east longitude, 
and runs up northward as far as the 26th parallel of latitude. 
There was for some time a discussion as to boundaries ; but the 
governments of Adelaide and Sydney have amicably adjusted the 
point, and marked a line to the distance of 123 miles from the 
coast. The shore is wild, and broken by many bays, into which 
the Southern Ocean rolls in tremendous breakers. In the waters 
of Encounter Bay — always white with foam — a successful whale 
fishery is carried on. The first settlement formed by the South 
Australian Company was at Kingscote, in Kangaroo Island, off 
the shores of Nepean Bay, at the mouth of St. Vincent's Grulf. A 
town was laid out, and some houses built ; but the place was oflS- 
cially abandoned some years ago, though a pretty seaport town 
remains, with a good harbor. Penetrating the gulf about seventy 
miles, we reach Port Adelaide, and landing, proceed towards the 
town. Villages, cottages, and farms, are scattered over the monot- 
onous flats, and, after traversing the swamps near the sea, the emi- 
grant finds himself on the Park Lands, rich and beautiful, where 
Adelaide stands on the first elevated ground. Westward lie the 
plains of Adelaide, with the sea running up St. Vincent's Gulf; 
eastward a richly-wooded country extends down to the valley of the 
Murray, beyond which spread forest and plains as far as the heights 
of " Lofty Range." Lower down, and separated by the valley of 
the Torrens from the upper town, stands South Adelaide on a flat 
surface. It is large, and deuisely built, and forms the commercia] 



AUSTRALIA AND TAN DIEMEN 3 LAND. 139 

division of the city, containing the government-house and other 
public structures. Some handsome edifices have been erected ; and 
Hindley Street and Rundle Street would do no discredit to a sec- 
ond-class city in England. Churches, schools, banks, and other 
buUdings decorate the broad thoroughfares, and outside a prom- 
enade, half a mile wide, runs round the city. Its inhabitants here 
enjoy the mild evenings, and crowd upon it, like our own citizens 
in the parks, with cheerful faces, doubtless sometimes contrasting 
their position with that of those whom they have left behind to 
struggle with extravagant competitors in the mother country. Lit- 
tle more than twelve years have passed since the first wooden dwel- 
ling was erected on the spot where now stands Adelaide, the capital 
of South Australia. 

The general resources of the colony are considerable. The 
copper mines of Kaprunda are supposed to be immensely rich, and 
other minerals have been discovered which may be expected to form 
the materials of future prosperity. The climate is favorable to the 
growth of fruit, even of the tropical kinds. The loquot, the guava, 
the orange, and the banana, flourish well, but slowly ; while the 
vine, the fig, and the pomegranate attain a suberb maturity, with 
English fruits of every description. The climate of the plains is 
altogether different from that of the hills; while the latter are 
white with snow, the former are warmed by a glowing sun. On the 
lowlands the forest-trees of Europe have a stunted growth, but in 
elevated situations they thrive to perfection. Goosebemes and cur- 
rants also bear only on the hills. Two extremes of climate pre- 
vail in South Australia. In the early part of the year the rains 
fall copiously, the whole land is brightly green, and vegetation 
thrives ' in luxuriant richness ; later, the sun is intensely hot, the 
earth is almost herbless, millions of grasshoppers swarm over the 
ground, but the air, though hot and calm, is breathed without diffi- 
culty. In August the thermometer ranges about 59°, and rises 
till January, when it is often 106^°, descending in July to 55° at 
two p. M., the hottest hour of the day. This climate is exceedingly 
salubrious ; even the most heated winds are light and agreeable. 
It is of course subject to the ordinary maladies common to most 
regions ; but there are no dangerous indigenous complaints, and it 
is, in the opinion of a well-informed traveller, "one of the health- 
iest countries in the world;" — but it is important to remember 
one fact, a universal knowledge of which might have kept death 
out of many homes — that the climate of South Australia and of 
Sydney is fatal to persons of consumptive habits. As in New 



140 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 

South AYales, the summer of Europe is winter here, and the wintei 
summer. 

The soil of this colony is not better than that of New South 
Wales, and inferior to that of Van Piemen's Land, yet the crops 
produced in it are finer than those of the other provinces. The 
agriculturists of South Australia, less dependent on pasture, have 
applied themselves more studiously to cultivation ; and the most 
magnificent specimen of wheat ever exhibited in our markets was 
grown by them. The province contains an area of about 324,000 
square miles, or in round numbers 207,000,000 acres. The settled 
territory, however, occupies no more than 4000 miles, or 7,000, 000 
acres, and even in this a large portion o£ country, at present desert, 
is included. About 500,000 acres have been purchased for cultiva- 
tion, besides large tracts for sheep and cattle pastures. The rate of 
progress in the colony may be indicated by a few facts : — In 1845, 
18,848 acres of wheat were sown; in 1846, 26,135; while oats 
increased 7000 acres. In one year 400 names were added to the 
list of landed proprietors. The produce of the colony, therefore, 
exceeds its capability of consumption, so that, while in 1839 
the price of flour in South Australia was £120 a ton, it is now 
about £12. The increase of stock was equally rapid: cattle and 
sheep stations were established immediately after the formation of 
the colony, and the wild nutritive herbage so abundant gave nourish- 
ment in 1844 to 355,700 sheep ; in the next year to 480,669 ; and 
now to about 1,200,000, with an increase of 200,000 annually. There 
are in the colony also about 80,000 cattle imported principally from 
New South Wales, with 6000 horses, and about 25,000 pigs and 
goats. 

Though not so rapid in its recent development as New South 
Wales, South Australia prospered better during the early years of 
its existence as an English colony. The encampment at Rapid Bay, 
with the rude gardens at first laid out, was soon abandoned, though 
Bome traces of them may still be seen, as well as some curious ovens 
scooped in the banks by the first settlers. The situation was deserted 
for the site of the present capital, planned on an extensive scale. 
A thousand acres were surveyed — seven hundred on the south, and 
three hundred on the north of the river, and the streets, crossing at 
right angles, are from one to two chains in width. No convicts 
were ever allowed to be imported. All religious denominations were 
encouraged by an equality of rights. The town lots were put at 
£2, lOs. an acre, the country at £1 — half the money thus raised 
being added to the colonial fund, and half applied to bring out 
laborers and mechanics. The value of th© town land has risen tc 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 141 

£1000 an acre. After the first, new settlers contmiially arrived; 
flocks of sheep and herds of cattle were brought from Van Diemen's 
Land, and every artisan skilled in house-building was engaged at 
wages varying from seven to ten guineas a week. Men earned much 
money ; but uneducctted poverty, suddenly prosperous, is apt to run 
into excess ; and sawyers and splitters, earning in two days enough to 
riot on all the rest of the week, drank nmi and beer until an empty 
pocket induced them to resume work. Bullock-drivers, and others 
of their class, became dainty, and drank only claret and champagne ; 
while many, who in their own country wanted the necessaries of 
life, staked £50 on the toss of a halfpenny. The sale of liquor was 
a prosperous trade. One publican made £10,000 in three years. 
While this factitious prosperity endured, hardy Bushmen from New 
South AVales came down to Adelaide with their flocks and herds to 
sell, cows at £40 each, bullocks £100 a pair, meat at 2s. a pound, 
bread at half-a-crown the four pound loaf, flour at £120, and pota- 
toes at £30 a ton. Thus things stood for some time in 1839. All 
was done on a large scale. Surveyors marked the land in a circle 
of twenty-five miles into lots, which were bought by speculators, 
who drew clever plans, marked Islington, Kensington, Brighton, 
Paynham, and Walkerville, and advertised them as town lots. A 
mania followed. People ran deeply into speculation, money flowed 
like water, and excitement rose to a spring tide of excess. As 
usual, panic trod on the heels of this pernicious fever, and in 1840 
hundreds of laborers crowded the streets of Adelaide, begging for 
employment at the lowest rate of wages. The colony became in- 
volved in debt, and when Governor Grey arrived in 1841, all credit 
was destroyed, and ruin hung over the settlers. The government 
expenditure had risen to £180,000. In two years an honest ad- 
ministration reduced it to £30,000, though a loan was efiected from 
New South Wales, and public works were commenced to prevent 
the poor from starving. 

Farming operations had not beers vigorously commenced ; but 
now, when the mania was over, and wholesome industry revived, 
families settled in the bush, lands were bought, cleared, and fenced, 
put under cultivation, and covered with magnificent crops. Hedge- 
rows lined the roads, cottages dotted the fields, stacks and ricks 
sprung up, reapers and sowers multiplied, the plough went through 
the farrow, and before the end of twelve months provisions became 
abundant. In two years more the colony, with brightening pros- 
pects, took rank with the other Australian settlements. 

^The seaport lies several miles from the town, and is connected 
with it by a good macadamized road, traversed every hour by pa»» 



142 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 



eenger cars — (fares, sixpence). A spacious "basin, lined with wliarfe, 
receives the shipping ; and along the highway teams of oxen are 
continually moving, carrying British manufactures to the town, or 
Australian produce to the port. There are several good inns on the 
roadsida, with ruddy-faced bar-maids — everything, indeed, familiar 
to the English eye, except the landscape and the people ; for th6s 
newly-arrived emigrant would never recognize in the stalwart fel- 
lows, well mounted and clothed, who ride to and fro over their own 
farms, the thin and sickly creatures who would at home have broken 
stones in the yard of a workhouse. 

Round Adelaide lie three principal divisions of the colony : the 
north, or sheep, cattle, and great mineral district ; the east, famed 
for agriculture and pasture ; and the south, combining cultivation, 
rearing of cattle and sheep, fishing and mining. A vast quantity of 
level land, covered with crops of rich grass, and unencumbered with 
trees, afibrds the finest pasture. In 1843 lead and copper were 
discovered, and now gold is also known to exist in many parts of 
the colony. The discovery of these treasures, instead of producing 
its legitimate effect, caused another mania. A prospect of scarcity 
hung over the colony. A noble harvest was ready to bend before 
the sickle, but the community was mad with the rage for mining, 
while the winter threatened to close in and cut off the promise of 
land. Enormous sums were offered for reapers. "Gentlemen and 
ladies sallied forth with sickles, even with scissors," to save the har- 
vest, and the military and police were called out. They marched in 
battalions, and attacked the standing corn ; great exertions were 
made ; many granaries were filled ; but over hundreds of acres of 
the ripe grain fell and rotted to the earth. But this fever was of 
brief duration, and we now witness in South Australia the spectacle 
of an industrious community of settlers with a profitable division of 
labor — some at the mines, some in the fields, some in the pastures, 
engaged in developing to their own advantage the resources of a 
wealthy soil. The population within the last ten years has risen 
from 10,115 to 38,666 — or 286 per cent. An increasing com- 
merce is carried on with the mother country, which in the first six 
months of 1850 exported to its young offspring as many yards of 
cotton cloth as to the whole of Denmark. 

Western Australia, at the Swan river settlement, is another 
English colony. It is situated on the western coast, nearly opposite 
New vSouth Wales, and 36 degrees of longitude to the westward of . 
it. The place was discovered in 1697 by the Dutchman Vlaming, 
who named it from the black swans found floatinof on the stream. 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 143 

The first settlement took place in 1830, in somewhat an unusual 
manner. A few private individuals, in consideration of immense 
grants of land, undertook to colonize the province, on condition of 
restoring the grants if their engagements were not fulfilled within 
a given time. Great difficulty was at first experienced, but Western 
Australia, like her sister colonies on the same mighty island, has 
struggled through her difficulties, and promises soon to prosper well 
Beyond a line of barren country bordering the sea the land is verj 
fertile. In the neighborhood of the principal settlements, Perth 
and Freemantle, it is hilly and bare ; but most of the poor soil k 
capable of improvement, and admirably adapted to the cultivation 
of the grape. There is a vine in the government garden at Perth, 
which, planted as a cutting, sent forth shoots sixteen and one half 
feet long in the second year, and yielded more than four hundred 
weight of fruit. The climate of this productive region is salubri- 
ous and pleasant, though not, as some writers assert, superior to that 
of the other colonies. The rains are more abundant and regular ; 
but while this fertilizes the soil, it does not favorably or otherwise 
affect the atmosphere. The waters on the coast swarm with fish, 
and whales gambol in shoals a few miles from the shore. Oil is 
therefore a principal article of export, and the enterprising Ameri- 
cans have sometimes engaged as many as three hundred ships along 
these distant shores. 

Freemantle is a port town at the mouth of the Swan river. Two 
miles up is Perth, the capital, and, seven miles further, Guildford, 
where the rich corn lands commence. There are several other set- 
tlements, all in steady and vigorous, if not rapid, growth. 

In 1838 two British vessels sailed to colonize Port Essington, on 
the northern coast, where one or two attempts had already been 
made without success. The situation of the new settlement is at 
the utmost point of North Australia. There was found, to the 
astonishment of (mf countrymen, a community of Australian Chris^ 
tians, with churches of their own, which had already elementary 
instruction in the arts of civilization. To the Dutch belongs the 
praise of thus planting, at this remote point, what may be the seeds 
of a great change in the condition of the native people. We have 
now a settlement there which, like the others, thrives with consider- 
able success. There is a splendid harbor, capable of sheltering the 
largest fleet. The soil of the territory — by some described as very 
poor — is in reality very productive. Industrious settlers could 
cultivate with much success crops of rice, cotton, and indigo, of the 
finest quality : but there is one drawback — the climate. This, 



144 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 

though not in itself unhealthy, is unsuited to the European consti- 
tution ; though it is believed that when the seasons, atmospheric 
changes, and other peculiarities of the place are thoroughly under- 
stood, temperance will destroy the virulence of the ground fever. 
Abundance of fresh water exists, and already, from the little begin- 
nings described, this settlement develops towards prosperity. 

Among the continental nations it is believed to have been estab- 
lished with purely political views. The French especially describe 
it as the opening of a port to the south of the Indian Archipelago, 
near the Dutch possessions, to counteract the influence of Holland 
in those seas. However this may be, it is certain that the Malay 
trade is expected to be attracted thither, and that already many a 
fleet of Indian prahus, laden with tea, sugar, salt fish, and other 
commodities, come to bargain for British cottons. As at our new 
settlement of Labuan, many opportunities of profit occur at Port 
Essington without effect, from the absence of European merchants 
to take advantage of them. At either place an enterprising trader, 
with £2000 or £3000 at his command, could speedily realize a for- 
tune by trading with the Malays. From an early date the rude 
vessels of the Indian islanders have visited this coast in search of 
seaslugs for the Chinese market. They would gladly collect for Port 
Essington the costly products of their islands, and barter them for 
cottons and utensils of rude earthenware. An account of their an- 
cient traflac carried on between the Indian islands and the northern 
coast of Australia would afford a most original picture of human 
industry, but we are compelled to forego it, and pass to the conclud- 
ing portion of our subject. 

Outlying the southern coast of Australia, as Ceylon outlies the 
Indian continent. Van Diem.eoi^s Land appears, separated from the 
mainland by a broad channel, known as Bass' Straits. Numerous 
islands are sprinkled over these mid-lying waters — some inhabited, 
others so surrounded by reefs, and so beaten bi surges in eternal 
commotion, that they are unapproachable. The most northern point 
of Van Piemen's Land is about 120 miles distant from the most 
southern point of Australia. The country is equal in size to Ireland, 
more mountainous than the great neighboring region, more full of 
variety, and graced with more charms of scenery. The hills, vary- 
ing in elevation from 4000 to 5000 feet, do not run in unbroken 
ranges, but are crossed by fine valleys, watered by many beautiful 
streams. Limestone abounds, and iron and coal will probably be 
discovered in large quantities. Where cultivation has commenced, 
the soil is found to be partly a rich vegetable mould, partly mixed 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 145 

with sand and flint, but almost everywhere fertile. The coast is 
diversified — here projecting in promontories, there retiring into 
bays, with many commodious harbors, and the mouths of some con- 
siderable streams. The Derwent, on whose border stands Hobart 
Town, on the south of the island, is a broad, deep, salt water stream, 
free from rock or shoal, and navigable for vessels of heavy burthen. 
On the north, the Tamar pours into Bass' Straits, with Launceston 
near its mouth — a convenient port, though obstructed by a bar. 
These two towns, the twin capitals of the colony, are situated in the 
midst of beautiful scenery — the one under the shelter of Mount 
Wellington, the other in the midst of a gently undulating country, 
varied with woods and pasture lands. Their progress has not been 
regular, the southern outstripping the northern city in commerce 
and industry, though Launceston now promises to attract consider- 
able trade to the Tamar river. 

From the date of Tasman's visit to Yan Diemen's Land (1642), 
no European vessel sailed thither during 130 years. In 1773, Fur- 
neaux, one of Cook's captains, coasted along the eastern shores, and 
entered Bass' Straits,, to ascertain whether the territory was an 
island or a part of Australia Proper. Stormy weather drove him 
back, and the discovery was left to Bass. In 1777 the great navi- 
gator himself visited these shores, and carried on some intercourse 
with the natives. Years later, La Perouse is supposed to have come 
hither, and the expedition sent out in search of him explored the 
coast in quest of some memorial that might throw light on the fate 
of the unfortunate navigator. In 1797 Bass' Straits were first nav- 
igated ; and Flinders, who accompanied the discovery of the pas- 
sage, circulated in the new colony at Port Jackson the idea of 
forming a settlement on Yan Diemen's Land. The plan was neg- 
lected until 1803. The French then evinced an inclination to secure 
the prize, and, to forestall them, a small party of soldiers and con- 
victs was lodged on the island. A site was chosen near Hobart Town. 
The usual preliminaries were gone through, but unhappily the Eu- 
ropeans and the natives quarrelled. Blood was shed and an ill-will 
was established which has only lately ceased to rankle in the breasts 
of the aborigines. 

The early years of the colony were passed in the ordinary manner. 
Many difficulties arose, and several conflicts took place with the 
natives ; but the settlers were hardy, their number increased, the 
soil was fertile, and the colony prospered well. A legislative coun- 
cil managed the public affairs, and by 1831 the excess of revenue 
over the expenditure was £20,000 ; a fair standard of the condition 
of the colony. Next year, at a large meeting, it was determined to 
10 



146 AUSTRALIA AlH) VATT DIEMEN'S LAND. 

petition both houses of Parliament for a representative assembly ; 
a privilege which was not granted for some time. Colonial policy 
forms one of the most difficult and important of the statesman's 
studies ; and it is only of late years, with the experience of great 
misfortunes before our eyes, that we have commenced acting on the 
principles whose universal acceptance can alone render our distant 
possessions the permanent sources of prosperity. 

Van Diemen's Land has been a great convict colony. In 1832 
there were 11,040 male criminals on the island. Of these 921 were 
undergoing severe punishment for offences committed after sentence. 
Two hundred and forty were at the penal settlement of Port Arthur, 
on a barren peninsula, connected with the main by a narrow neck 
of land. Across this runs a line of posts guarded by savage dogs 
and some soldiers, to prevent the escape of the culprits. Neverthe- 
less some do evade even the vigilance of the brute watchers ; and 
we have heard of several men, who, clothing themselves in the skins of 
kangaroos, and imitating the motions of the animal, thus contrived 
to escape. 

For a long period the abundance of convict labor was an evil, 
especially as men were draughted into the farms on tickets of leave, 
to perform tasks for which they were utterly unfit. A free settler 
once received the allotment of a convict set down as a ploughman. 
" Can you plough ? " he inquired. " No." The man was a weaver, 
but his master employed him to drive a cart. The first day he 
broke the vehicle to pieces ; the next, intrusted with another, he 
snapped the pole ; and the third lost it in a swamp. He was then 
directed to cut down a large tree overshadowing a barn, and per- 
formed the office with vigor, letting the huge tree fall directly 
across the building, which it crushed to total ruin! But where 
willingness accompanies this ignorance, the case is not so bad. In 
some instances, however, the convicts refused to work at any other 
but their proper vocation ; and one weaver, who was ordered to root 
up trees, hewed off his arm with an axe rather than comply. As 
kousehold servants, they answered better, though, with such recom- 
mendations to character, the colonists could little be expected to 
trust their servitors. One gentleman wrote home — " Even in our 
small menage our cook has committed murder, our footman burglary, 
and the housemaid bigamy ! " It is only fair to qualify this extract 
by quoting a remarkable passage which follows : — " It is strange 
to be in a country of thieves at all, but still stranger to be there 
without any fear of having your pocket picked. Such is the admir- 
able arrangement of the present government." 

From various causes there was a few years ago a vast superabun* 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEn's LAND. 147 

dance of labor in Yan Diemen's Land. The consequences were 
very disastrous, but an influx of capital now promises to remedy 
these evils. The resources of the island are varied and extensive, 
and it will be long before its population increases to an extent com- 
mensurate with its natural capabilities. A change also is dawning 
over the spirit of our colonial policy, which cannot be without effect 
on the welfare of our Tasmanian settlements. All, indeed, that 
they require is the energy of man prudently directed ; for nature 
has done her part to perfection. The island being nearly the antip- 
odes of our own country, the seasons are almost exactly the reverse 
of ours. The cold is, however, more extreme, both from the vicin- 
ity of the southern pole, and the fact, that no land lies between the 
southern coast of the island and the masses of eternal ice that load 
the sea a few degrees beyond. A clear and brilliant atmosphere, 
dry, pure, and elastic, almost invariably prevails, though occasion- 
ally the weather is fitful, and changes from heat to cold within the 
revolution of a day. In the western districts much rain falls, on 
the northern less, on the eastern still less, and on the southern least 
of all — not averaging more than fifty or sixty wet days in the year. 
September, October, and November are the spring months ; Decem- 
ber, January, and February correspond with our June, July, and 
August ; March, April, and May form the autumnal, the most 
agreeable season ; and during our hot season, frost, snow, and rain 
prevail in Van Diemen's Land. The shortest day (21st of June) 
is eight hours and forty-eight minutes, or one hour and four minutes 
longer than the shortest day in England (21st December) ; but the 
longest day in England is an hour and twenty-two minutes longer 
than with them. The climate, even now in the uncultivated condi- 
tion of the country, is remarkably salubrious. In comparison even 
with the healthiest parts of Europe it is unusually genial, and its 
salubrity will in all likelihood increase as colonization spreads over 
the unexplored districts of the island. Fever and dysentery some- 
times prevail ; hooping-cough was introduced among the female con- 
victs, but though it attacked all the population, not one fatal case 
occurred ; and influenza, common at times, never becomes dangerous. 
The only affliction most severely felt is insanity ; but it has been 
well remarked by a writer on the subject, that this can be traced to 
the excessive use of ardent spirits. During a long period the 
amount consumed in Van Diemen's Land was at the rate of five 
gallons a year to each individual, including women and children. 

The island is divided into two counties and fifteen districts. The 
fertile lands are distributed over the whole, in alternation with rug- 
ged mountains and dense woods. Numerous streams, bordered with 



148 AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 

rich land, intersect its surface, fed from perpetual springs, as well 
as by the snows which, during many months in the year, crown the 
loftier peaks. Hobart-Town district is the most important, but, like 
that of Sydney, not as the most fertile and extensive, but as con- 
taining the metropolis of the island. It contains about 250,000 
acres, and the cultivated soil yielded in 1829 an average return of 
fifteen bushels of wheat, twenty of barley, twenty-five of oats, 
twenty of peas, twenty of beans, three tons and a half of potatoes, 
or seven tons of turnips an acre. Since then its productiveness has 
greatly increased. The produce of wheat is nearly thirty bushels 
an acre, and of other grain in similar proportion — an example of 
the efiect of careful husbandry. A brisk trade is carried on at 
Hobart-Town, where a motley population is now continually on the 
increase. Between 1839 and 1847 it rose from 44,121 to 70,164, 
or 59 per cent. Scots with Highland kilts and claymores, Irish 
peasants with blue jackets and trousers. Frenchmen, Germans, 
Americans, Chinese, Malays, Lascars, black aborigines, Africans, 
and elegantly tattooed New Zealand ers, jostle in the streets, 
and crowd about the stores. At these depots are sold all imagin- 
able articles of use, to which public attention is attracted by 
advertisements in the local paper. A specimen of these may be 
amusing : — "At the store of the undersigned — For sale — Cart- 
harness and cayenne pepper, drill trousers, crockery ware, one lady's 
side-saddle, one very strong dray, gold and white cambric, four cir- 
cular saws, ladies' stays, starch, blue and soap, Leghorn hats, shot, 
mustard, pattens, black stuff and bombazines, nails and iron pots." 
Prices in Hobart-Town are not remarkably low. 

The produce of the soil is varied. Of timber fit for shipwrights, 
builders, and cabinet-makers, there are gum, stringy bark, white 
and yellow thorn pine, and sassafras ; black and silver wattle, dark 
and pale lightwood, pencil cedar, Adventure-Bay pine (a peculiar 
species), cotton tree, musk, silver wood, myrtle, forest and swamp 
oak, plum tree, yellow wood, lignum vitae, red and white honey- 
suckle, peppermint wood, pink wood, and cherry tree. No native 
trees bearing edible fruit have been found. The peppermint tree 
affords an oil efficacious in cholera ; a kind of grape that grows near 
Maquarrie Harbor, on the west, yields a juice equal to that of the 
lime for scurvy ; the leaves of the tea plant are not much inferior 
to those of China ; and the bark of the wattle is useful for tanning. 
European fruits, however, supply the absence of any indigenous 
species. The grape, the apple, the peach, the cherry, the apricot, 
the nectarine, the green gage, the pear, the raspberry, the mulberry, 
the gooseberry, the currant, the strawberry, the quinoe, the walnut, 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN's LAND. 149 

the chestnut, thrive well, some requiring care, others none. Many 
beautiful flowers, finely scented, have been discovered, and many 
others have been introduced. 

All kinds of grain cultivated in these islands will flourish in Yan 
Diemen's Land. Potatoes of the first quality are produced, though 
not so plentifully as in England ; mangel-wurzel and turnips thrive 
well, with clover, tares, lucern, sainfoin, sweet-scented vernal, and 
indeed most of the English grasses. Sheep fatten well on the native 
kangaroo grass. Hemp, flax, and tobacco are also produced, with 
peas, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflowers, spinach, carrots, parsnips, 
asparagus, beet-root, artichokes, lettuces, cucumbers, celery, radishes, 
onions, leeks, and shalots. With this abundance of vegetable prod- 
uce, capable of still further development, the island will be able at 
all times to support whatever population may spring up to crowd its 
commercial cities and cultivate its rural lands. 

Horses, asses, and mules, black cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, flour- 
ish as well as in New South Wales. The native zoology, as in that 
province, consists of the kangaroo, in five species — from the forest 
kangaroo, standing five feet high, and clearing fifteen feet at a bound, 
to the kangaroo mouse, considerably smaller than a rabbit. The 
flesh of these animals is much esteemed. There are numerous va- 
rieties of the opossum ; and there is an animal between a tiger and a 
hyena, very destructive to the flocks. The "devil" is another car- 
nivorous beast, shaped like an otter, which attacks the sheepfolds at 
night. Porcupines, wild cats, and weasels, with bandicoot rabbits 
and rats, exist ; but not in great numbers. The ornithology of the 
island is also in some respects similar to that of Australia, but be- 
longs to a higher order. The emu, found on both islands, is the 
largest bird known in those regions, weighing sometimes as much as 
a hundred pounds. Around the coast, during the breeding season, 
great numbers of whales resort, and the fishery is valuable and pro- 
ductive, oil forming a considerable article of export. 

As of all the other British settlements formed in Australia, we 
may say of Yan Diemen's Land that it is still in the infancy of its 
sxistence. Large tracts remain unexplored, the capabilities of the 
soil have never been completely tested, and the universal wealth of 
the country is scarcely at all known. With every year we may 
look for an increasing prosperity ; and if no speculating manias oc- 
cur again to convulse and derange its system of industry, the colony 
may one day rank among the foremost of our dependencies, as a 
brother in a great union of which each member contributes to the 
welfare of the rest. With a climate of the finest kind, with a rich 
soil, and every facility for the construction of a railway from Laun- 



150 



AUSTRALIA AND VAN DIEMEN'S LAND. 



ceston to Hobart-Town, its great distance from England should be 
no objection in tbe eyes of the emigrant. The sea once crossed, 
what matter whether three or thirteen thousand miles of water roll 
between the new home and the old? Steam will soon rivet the links 
of intercourse between the British islands and Australia ; and a 
monthly Indian mail arriving with intelligence from the remote 
south, the diflference of a few days will be all in the communication 
between this country and any of her transmarine dependencies. 




THE FAIRI m. 



Many years ago, when the people on the earth were free, and it 
took less to make a prince or a princess than it does at the present 
day; when people were rich upon a little, and everything was right- 
fully their own that they could catch, either in the wild woods or 
in the silver stream ; when a king was the positive representative 
and head of the people, and so independent as to care very littla 
about anybody, and when plenty made governing easy ; when no 
man had to pine after the possession of house or land, if he hap- 
pened to be strong enough to kick the envied possessor out, — 
who, acknowledging might to be right, merely shrugged his shoulders 
and wended his way to pastures new, or sought one weaker than 
himself, and served him in like manner as he had been served by 
his stronger neighbor ; when knocking out a man's brains was 
thought rather a spirited thing, and the murderer was rewarded 
accordingly, by being called by anything but his real title. 

Oh ! happy " many years ago," called by us the Golden Age, 
for no other reason than for the great scarcity of that metal which, 
in its abundance, with strange anomaly, has only produced this 
Iron Age, which appears every day to get more rusty. 

Oh! that now was " a good while ago," when Romance walked 
with stately step and a positive suit of tin, through the wild woods 
and rocky passes, and you had a chance, if you could knock hard, 
of striking out some spark, and taking possession without question 
of his air-built castle. Oh, happy times, when you never went to 
law, — that not being invented, — but to loggerheads, which is 
much the same thing, only leaving more for the combatants ! 

In those days — when all the world lived by what we call, in the 
refinement of this age, robbery, merely because now everything 
seems, in the most unaccountable manner, to be claimed by some- 
body — a man might ride through the luxuiiant woods and lovely 

(151) 



152 THE FAIRT CUP. 



sloping glades, occasionally meeting with a fat buck that he could 
shoot down at his mighty will and pleasure, and dine thereon with- 
out asking my lord or my lady, then calmly take a nap under the 
spreading branches of some noble tree, upon a bed of most unex- 
ceptionable moss, and all without anything to pay for trespassing. 

Even the authors and poets of that day were to be envied, for 
they had the power of publishing their own works, and getting a 
very good living by it. One of these envied beings was indeed a 
whole cnculating library in himself; for, whenever any impatient 
damsel or expectant coterie languished for some particular story, 
they were obliged to send for the author, who only yielded his 
treasures by word of mouth. They were also the great origin of 
our present newspapers, for through them alone, collecting as they 
did all the news in their wanderings, could be obtained the chit- 
chat and murders of the province ; and, considering their opportu- 
nities, they did not lie more than their printed representatives of 
the present day, which is certainly a chalk in their favor. All this 
ability was rewarded with the warmest corner, the deepest flagon, 
and the finest cut from the chine. This is not often the case with 
the poets of this miserable age, who foolishly print their effusions, 
and stay at home in their garrets, very often without any dinner 
at all. 

Pleasant times, indeed, were they for all erring humanity. 
Young gentlemen of expensive habits, and irregularity in their 
cash payments, instead of being summoned themselves, summoned 
the devil, who immediately put in an appearance, took a little 
I. 0. U of them, to be claimed at some indefinite period; and lo ! 
they were again freer to run out the reel of their folly to the end. 

Now, young gentlemen go to the devil in a very diflferent way — 
certainly in one less romantic. 

Fairies, of a kind and beneficent nature, took under their partic- 
ular care young handsome travellers, who did not travel as they 
do in the present day, for any particular house, but who went out 
to seek their fortunes. Rather an indefinite term, certainly ; but in 
that golden time there were a great many waifs and strays, almost 
crying "Come take me " upon every highway. So that a man, 
blessed with a sharp wit and a sharp sword, — for a little fighting 
was often necessary, — might tumble, as it were, headlong into 
luck, and find himself the husband of some princess, and the 
owner of a very respectable rubble and limestone. 

Gold, then, was pointed out by amiable gnomes, who did not 
know what to do with it themselves^ enriching some fortunate mor- 
tal who had lost his way and his inheritance. Kings and bank 



THE PAIRY CUP. 153 



clerks are the only privileged ones now who are allowed to gloat 
upon so much collected treasure. 

In fine, then there was enough for everybody and to spare. 
Those kind beings have all gone into some more refined sphere 
than this matter-of-fact world. Railroads and bricks and mortar 
have desecrated their little shady nooks and gold-burthened cav- 
erns, and all that we have got left is the sweet remembrance of 
their freaks and goodness " Once upon a time." 

Therefore I love to rake up the old stories of my memory, and 
introduce to my readers some few of those quaint mortals, — for, 
that they did exist, and do exist now, there can be little doubt, or 
how otherwise could their private histories and actions have been 
chronicled in all our early works, or been the constant theme of 
the ancients, who are our authority in all learning and accomplish- 
ments, even in the present day? If we doubt their Nips, and 
gnomes, and fairies, why do we believe their Heros and Leanders, 
their Antonys, their Cleopatras, and a host of other historical 
beings ? 

I would not, for the world, tear out the early leaves from my . 
book of life, for I have to turn to them too often to solace me for 
the many after pages of sorrow and gloom that fate has chronicled 
with her changeful pen. So, reader, you must let me lead you 
back into fairy land, and I will show you pictures both pleasing 
and instructive. In my experience I have found that it would be 
as well if we could be children oftener than we are. 

Without further lament over what has gone by, fix your eyes 
upon my erratic page and see what is to come. 

THE FAIRY CUP. 

** Once upon a time " there dwelt in the soft green shadows of a 
primeval wood a happy woodman named Hubert, with his little 
wife and russet-cheeked children. It was the sweetest little nest 
the eye could rest on. Its peaked, thatched roof was mossy and 
gi-een from the early dews shed by the overhanging gigantic trees 
that stretched their branches over its lowly roof to shelter it from 
the storm, as the mother-bird spreads her wings over her callow 
brood. Its little twinging casement caught the first rays of the 
morning sun, and sparkled in the most cheering manner, whilst 
the curls of the graceful smoke rolled playfully amidst the gnarled 
branches, and lost itself amidst abundant foliage, startling the 
young birds in their airy nests with its sweet odor. Oh ! it was a 
happy-looking spot. It seemed the very dwelling of Peace, who 



154 THE FAIRY CUP. 



flies from the palace and the turmoiling crowd, to find only in the 
simplicity of Nature a fitting resting-place for her pure spirit. 

And here she dwelt indeed ; simple love pointed out the spot ; 
peace sat upon their threshold, whilst contentment gave a zest to 
all their enjoyments. There could be no solitude there ; for the 
ringing laugh of childhood disturbed the echoes in the deep vistas 
of the forest, and the birds answered from the high branches to the 
happy notes of the gambolers beneath them. 

The mother watched them in their play as she plied her wheel, 
whilst a happy smile played in her eyes with a brightness so full of 
love and fondness, that the last ray of the sinking sun retired in 
dudgeon at being surpassed by the holy light. 

The night stalked forth over hill and valley, stretching his long 
and shadowy arms afar and near, as he gathered up the daylight 
into his dark wallet, when Hubert turned his weary footsteps to 
the home that has been pictured. He plodded through the tangled 
path with a heavy tread, but still he whistled out a blithesome air, 
for his heart was on the patih before him, and he thought of nothing 
between himself and his home. 

But there was something in his path that, envying his sturdy 
step and lightsome heart, cowered with spite amidst the underwood, 
and threw forth before him the twiny, thorny brambles to delay him " 
on his way. It was one of the evil fairies of the wood — a spirit 
that gathered the deadly bright berries from the branch, and mized 
them in a huge stone caldron in the deep recesses of the rocky 
ravine, always dogging the footsteps of mortals to persuade them, 
with fascinating wiles, to drink from her fairy cup, which quickly 
destroyed the charm of all beside in nature ; for so strong was the 
draught that it made the dark yawning precipice appear to the 
bewildered sight of the drinker a lurid field of sweet-scented flowers 
and bright rippling brooks, until, in his insanity, the poor deluded 
victim destroyed himself and all he loved, and found too late that 
he had sold himself as slave to his wily and deceitful foe. 

At a sudden turn of his path he started, on beholding at the 
foot of a gnarled tree, a beautiful female figure, with a dress of 
filmy texture, girded with a bright cincture round her yielding 
waist. Her beautiful limbs appearing and disappearing under the 
transparent folds like those of a swimmey who disports himself 
amidst the green waves of the sea. She arose with downcast looks 
as he timidly approached. Her bright eyes fell as with timid mod- 
esty, and the deep roseate tinge of her enamelled cheek grew 
deeper under his ardent gaze. 

Hubert doflfed his cap, as this beautiful being rose from her 



THE FAIEY CUP. 155 



recumbent posture, but stood irresolute and embarrassed by the 
awe-inspiring charms of the creature before him. At last, after 
gazing for a moment more, he summoned up his courage and ad- 
dressed her. " Lady," said he, "fear me not — I will not harm 
you ; if you have wandered from your home, or missed your friends 
in the intricacies of the forest, you can have no surer guide than 
your humble servant." 

A smile flitted like a bright light across the fair face of the fairy, 
her lips unclosed, and forth issued a voice as melodious and enchant- 
ing as the softest flute. 

" Child of earth," said she, " these woods are my home. I am 
the spirit of perfect happiness. Behold my magic cup ! " As she 
spoke, she held up to his view a small cup of rare workmanship, 
formed in the fashion of the wild blue-bell. It sparkled with a 
sapphire-like lustre at every movement, as drops of liquor fell like 
diamonds from its brim. " This cup," continued she, " was given 
me by the fairy Hope, who never looks behind her, that past sor- 
rows and misfortune may not cast a shadow on the future. With- 
out Hope, mortals would all wither and die in the black valley of 
despair ; she was sent to encourage them as a guiding-star through 
the troubles of the world, that they might reach the abode of per- 
fect happiness. Few mortals meet with me while living. I appear 
occasionally, and let them drink of my cup, when I think they 
deserve from their goodness to participate in the godlike draught. 
You have I chosen to be one of the favored. Drink, then, and you 
shall become greater than a king ; your burthen shall be as down 
upon your back, and your feet shall lose their weariness ; your heart 
shall bound with the full pulse of felicity, and you shall be borne 
on your way upon wings stronger than those of the mighty eagle." 

Hubert hesitated as the bright being held the cup still nearer to 
his grasp. His extended hand appeared as ready to clutch it, but 
doubts and fear withheld him from grasping its slender stem. An- 
other moment of indecision, and it was pressed within his palm ! 

" Drink, mortal ! " said she, "and become almost as immortal as 
myself. It will incase your heart with armor impervious to the 
shafts of care, and raise your crest to the bearing of the fearless 
warrior. You shall be no longer serf and vassal, but the lord of 
all that surrounds you ; seeing through its influence the hidden 
treasures of the world that now unheeded sparkle beneath your 
feet, where the gnomes, who hate mankind, have hidden it from 
the sight of all but those who have courage to face the dangers of 
the fairy world." The fiends of avarice and ambition seized upon 
tiie heart of the simple woodman. To be rich ! to be great ! per* 



156 THE FAIRY CUP. 



feet happiness ! What golden promises ! The soft, bewitching voica 
of the fairy still whispered with silvery tones in his ear the fasci- 
nating words. Foolish mortal ! was he not already richer than a 
king, in the love of his wife and children ? Was he not great, in 
his honest simplicity, and had he not enjoyed perfect happiness 
beneath the roof of his lowly sequestered cot ? 

He looked for one moment upon the lustrous eyes of the being 
before him, and, as if fascinated, drained the magic goblet at a 
di"aught. 

What gushes of enrapturing pleasure rushed through his bound, 
ing veins ! His stalwart frame seemed to dilate as he yielded th« 
cup to the ready hand of his tempter. 

The vistaed trees melted, as it were, from their rugged forms into 
towering pillars of shining marble of the most dazzling whiteness • 
the greensward rolled like waves from beneath his feet, and he stood, 
with the mysterious being by his side, upon a flight of porphyry 
steps that led to a palace of interminable terraces, towering in their 
magnificence even to the blue arch of the heavens. 

The load fell from his shoulders, and was seen no more. The 
tremor left his heart as he gazed upon the wonders around him, and 
he felt as if he had v.dngs that would carry him to the topmost 
height of that wondrous palace. Vases tempted him on either 
hand, laden with the treasures of the mine, whilst jewels invaluable 
were scattered at his feet in numbers vying with the pebbles on the 
sea-shore. Music, soft and delicious, wrapped his senses in a delicious 
delirium, ever and anon swelling into a lively measure, prompting 
him to bound forward in a wild and rapid dance. As he progressed 
through the magnificent halls, the attendant fairy kept plying him 
with draughts from her bewildering goblet of sapphire, until he, 
grown bolder at every draught, tore it from her grasp, and quafi'ed 
with a maddening delight the precious liquid ; when suddenly the 
palace and its wonders quivered before his sight like motes in the 
sunbeam, and, gradually melting into splendid rainbow tints, sunk 
into a black and sudden darkness — the rest was all oblivion. 

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The voice of lament rang through the forest as Hubert's wife 
bent over his unconscious form. The cry of children arose shrilly 
on the night air, and awakened him to a half-dreamy consciousness. 
A stare of aMost idiocy upon his pale and haggard face, as he 
gazed at the miserable and distracted group that surrounded him, 
made their fond hearts turn cold. 

They had sought for hours for him in the mazes of the forest, and 
at last discovered him apparently dead at the foot of an aged oak. 



THE FAIRY CUP. 157 



With trembling and uncertain foot he accompanied them to hia 
home, muttering strange words as he went, to the dismay of his 
fond wife and children. When they arrived at their hitherto peace- 
ful home, he sank powerless upon the humble pallet, and fell into a 
deep slumber. 

The next morning harsh words, for the first time, answered to his 
wife's anxious inquiries as to what had been the cause of his strange 
accident. Without tasting the morning simple meal, he shouldered 
his axe, and wended his way moodily into the recesses of the forest, 
leaving a deep shadow over the brightness of home. As he disap- 
peared through the trees, his wife pressed her little ones to her 
breast and wept aloud. 

Days and months, weary and sad, rolled on, and the noble form 
of the woodman became a wretched ruin. He saw his once-loved 
cot and its inhabitants withering daily before his eyes, yet still he 
sought the fascinating being who gave him a fleeting heaven for a 
lasting pain. The drooping wretch no longer raised his hand to 
labor, but lingered listlessly through the glades of the forest, craving 
for the appearance of the being who was to lead him, at such a fear- 
ftd cost, to lands of vision and madness. 

Morning, with her rosy fingers and balmy breath, opened the 
wild flowers through the woods and valleys, shooting as if in sport 
her golden arrows through the whispering leaves, startling the birds 
from their sleep to sing their early matins. 

Night gathered up the dark folds of her robe, and retreated ma- 
jestically before the, coming light, leaving her sparkling gems of 
dew trembling upon every stem and flower. 

JA, M. .il, Ji. Ji, ,!«, *' 

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With downcast look and melancholy brow came the young mother. 
Her eye beheld not the flowers that strewed her path, and her ear 
was deaf to the early songs of the birds ; tears trembled on her 
eyelids, and fell unconsciously down her pale cheek. Her lingering 
step ceased as she approached a rustic basin, formed of rude blocks 
of stone, into which the water had been turned from some neigh- 
boring springs. 

As she raised the vessel which she carried in her hands to im- 
merge it in the sparkling waters, she was startled by seeing them 
bubble and rise until they leaped over their stone boundary in 
copious streams to her feet. Hardly had she time to wonder at this 
strange phenomenon, when she beheld a dwarf like figure rise from 
the midst. He was dressed in a quaint costume and looped-up hat, 
which was dripping with moisture, apparently not at all to his in- 
convenience, for he leaned upon the edge of the basin, while his 



158 THE FAIRY CUP. 



little figure continued still half-submerged, with a comfortable and 
satisfied look. 

As she continued to gaze at the odd object before her, undeter- 
mined whether to stay or fly, he politely raised his hat, and bade 
her not to be alarmed. " For I have come out," said he, " this 
morning on purpose to meet you, and to try and remedy the sorrow 
which is devouring you. I say ' remedy,' for you must understand 
I am the natural universal doctor. In fact," continued he, while 
a sly smile passed across his comic little face, " your human doctors 
apply to me upon all occasions ; indeed, without me they could not 
exist, though they never let their patients know it, — for, if they 
did, they would all — poor deluded wretches ! — come direct to me, 
and ruin the whole of the fraternity. 

" I have more power than any sprite, fairy, or gnome, that ex- 
ists ; the whole earth itself is under my control. These mighty 
trees would never raise their towering heads without me ; no flower 
would bloom at their fugged feet, nor would the soft mossy carpet 
so grateful to your feet live for a moment, if I did not sustain 
it by my magic aid. I am ordained to yield continual good 
wherever I am present. I creep amidst the wild flowers and bid 
them bloom. I climb the snake-like vine, and hang it with the 
rich clustering gi'ape, and all the fruits of the earth await my sum- 
mons to burst their bonds and yield their treasures to the human 
race. 

" I wander into other lands, and bear back rich argosies laden 
with jewels and gold to deck the brow of noble beauty. I dash 
down from rocky heights, headlong, to fertilize the teeming valleys. 
My voice is heard like the roaring thunder, and anon like the softest 
music in the shady solitudes, as I whisper on my way through the 
reeds and the water-liKes. Where I am not, all must droop and 
die. 

" I have watched you long, when you sought me in your early 
days of happiness and love, until young blossoms like yourself 
sprang up around you, and paddled with their tiny feet in my cool 
and crystal waters. Then your song was of the merriest measure ; 
but now the echoes mourn in silence the absence of your melodious 
voice, and your sighs alone break the stillness. Your pale face has 
been reflected in these waters, until I felt and knew that some blight 
had fallen upon your happiness, which as yet had never shrunk 
under the cankering breath of care. 

" A little bright rill, that had wandered to play with the wild 
blossoms in this wood, returned to me, and, prattling by my, side, 
told me of the dreadful delusion under which your hitherto good 



THE FAIRY CUP. 159 



and stalwart husband labored. I watcbed him as he came, with 
dejected look, so unlike his former self, to lave his burning brow in 
my cooling waters. I quickly saw what fairy demon's hand had 
so destroyed the goodly form and noble heart of my poor woodman. 
Here was the shadow that fell over your pure brow, drained your 
young heart, and silenced the song that made this no longer a soli- 
tude. 

"Listen to me," continued he, "and I will endeavor to save 
him. If you can persuade him, by the eloquence of your love and 
the picture of the ruin that day by day encompasses you all, to 
attend strictly to my warning, I will rescue him from the overpow- 
ering spell of the fascinating ^mon that enthralls him. 

" I will give him a talisman so powerful that the scales shall 
drop from his eyes, and his destroyer appear in her own proper hid- 
eous colors; when, if he has any love left for those whose sole 
dependence is on him, he will resolutely baffle all the attempts made 
to seduce him again into this world of vicious dreams and indo- 
lence." 

As he concluded, he sunk beneath the waters. The young wife 
stood entranced, with hope beating in her heart, and her eyes fixed 
upon the bubbles as they rose to the surface, doubting almost 
whether what she had heard was not a delusion of her distracted 
brain. 

Another moment, and the benevolent sprite again appeared, hold- 
ing in his hand a globe containing a liquid that shone like a pure 
diamond. 

" Take this, and let your husband keep it with him ; and when 
the deluding demon approaches him, to mystify him with her mach- 
inations, let him drink from the small aperture of this globe, and he 
will instantly see her in her demoniac form. Let him persevere, 
and she will fly from him, and you and he will be saved and restored 
to peace. Farewell ! " 

As she clasped the bottle with eager hand, he sank amidst a thou- 
sand sparkling bubbles, and she was alone. Quickly she sped through 
the tangled way, for her feet were winged by love, and by hope that 
had long lain drooping. The cottage door was soon reached, where 
sat the pale form of her husband, his bloodshot eyes turned lan- 
guidly towards her as she approached. But he was soon roused 
from his listless posture by seeing the excitement of her manner, 
and listening to her strange tale, which he would have doubted, had 
she not shown him in triumph the bright globe given her by the 
sprite of the spring. 

Her almost childish delight, strange to say, hardly met with a 



w- 



160 THE FAIRY CUP. 



response in his bosom, for the charm of his daily enchantments he 
seemed to feel a hesitation to relinquish ; they appeared to his bewil- 
dered sense all that was worth living for. 

Her heart sunk with almost a death-like pang, but she bade hun 
drink from the jewel-like bottle. A deep shudder shook his attenu- 
ated frame as he did so. One moment, and his pallid features 
flushed as he beheld, for the first time, the ruin and desolation of 
his home. He stood an abashed and guilty man before his loving 
wife and little innocent children. 

.ii, -4£- -^ -i&f -3k£r 4£r 

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Hubert, armed with good resolves and his stout axe, again entered 
the forest, his heart palpitating with an 'T^oscribable feeling, as if 
in doubt of the power of the talisman to i 1 him from the fasci- 
nation of his deluder. Hardly had the stroke of his axe awakened 
the echoes of the forest, when, through a shady vista, he saw the 
light form of the fairy tripping over the greensward, with upraised 
cup and joyous laugh, as she recognized him at his labor. Strange 
thrills rushed through his frame as she approached nearer and 
nearer ; strange thoughts hovered in his mind of throwing his wife's 
talisman from him, and once more clasping that tempting cup that 
shone even in the distance like a bright amethyst. 

But a shadow fell over the bright form, and her resplendent eyes 
glared with a fiendish look, as it approached nearer to the spot. 

He seized the talisman, and drank of its pure and bright con- 
tents. On the instant, the forms of his wife and children encircled 
him in fond union, as a barrier between him and the evil spirit. 
Again he drank, and, as he did so, shuddered with horror as he 
beheld a lambent flame rise from the hitherto craved goblet of the 
fiend. 

The beautiful locks, which played round the brow of the false 
one, twined into writhing snakes, and bright burning scales rose 
upon her fair bosom. Her face became distorted with horrible pas- 
sion. Hubert could behold no more ; he placed his hands across his 
eyes to shut out the fiend, and in a moment he was alone. 

-ii. At. Ai, At, JA, ^ 

•vv* ^ •??• -^ -Tf- •yy' 

That night, as the moon threw her silver tribute on the rippling 
waters of the lowly well, Hubert stood with his arms around the 
waist of his happy wife. They were silent and expectant. They 
both hoped to see the benevolent being, who had given them a pow- 
erful talisman, to free them from the destroying spirit. ^' 



THE WIITE SWALLOW. 



The Dog-ribbed Indians. 



Far away to the west, and in a very high northern latitude, dwelt, 
towards the latter end of the last century, a small tribe of Indians. 
Their numbers were few, their characters simple and unwarlike. 
Not being celebrated in arms, they had, while residing further to 
the south, been so often a prey to their fiercer neighbors, that they 
had gradually retreated northwards, in the hope of escaping from 
the forays of their enemies. Matonaza, a young chief of twenty 
summers only, commanded the reduced tribe, and had pitched his 
wigwam near the waters of a lake. A renowned and indefatigable 
hunter, full of energy and perseverance, he owed his power as 
much to his individual merits as to the renown of his father ; and 
now that seven-and-twenty men alone remained of all his race, and 
that misfortune and the disasters of war had driven them to regions 
less productive in game than their former residence, his sway was 
unbounded. Matonaza was as yet without a wife ; but the most 
lovely girl of his tribey the White Swallow, was to be his when his 
twenty-first summer was concluded, when she herself would attain 
the age- of sixteen. 

In general the Dog-ribbed Indians at that date — it was about 
1770 — had had little communication with the white man. Their 
knives were still of bone and flint, their hatchets of horn, their 
aiTOw-heads of slate, while the beaver's tooth was the principal mate- 
rial of their working tools ; but Matonaza hirnself had travelled, 
arid had visited Prince of Wales Fort, where he had been well 
received by Mr. Moses Northon, the governor, himself an Indian, 
educated in Sngland. Admitted into the intimacy of this person, 
Matonaza had acquired from him considerable knowledge without 
contracting any of the vices which disgraced the career of the civil- 

11 (161) 



162 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

ized Red Man. He had learned to feel some of the humanizing 
influences of civilization, and held woman in a superior light to his 
brethren, who pronounce the condemnation of savage life by mak- 
ing the female part of the creation little better than beasts of bur- 
then. He had hoped for great advantage to his tribe from trade 
with the pale faces ; but the enmity of the Athapascow Indians had 
checked all his aspirations, and he had been compelled to make a 
long and hasty retreat towards the north, to save the remnant of his 
little band from annihilation. In all probability it is to similar 
warlike persecutions that the higher northern regions owe their 
having been peopled by the race whence are descended cne Esqui- 
maux. 

The exigencies of the chase and the fishery, more than any in- 
herent taste for the picturesque, had fixed Matonaza in a lovely 
spot. The wigwams of the young chief and his party were situated 
on an elevation commanding a view of a large lake, whose borders, 
round which grew the larch, the pine, and the poplar, furnished 
them with firing, tent-poles, and arms. Beyond lay lofty snow- 
clad hills, on which rested eternal frosts. Above the tents to the 
right and to the north fell a vast cataract, which never froze even 
in the coldest winter, having always a clear expanse at its foot for 
fishing even in the dead of the season. At the foot of the neigh- 
boring hills the hunters found the deer, the elk, and the buffalo, 
while the women attended to the nets and lines in the lake. In 
the fitting months there were plenty of wild fowl, and altogether, 
the tribe, though exiled from the warmer fields of the south, had no 
great cause of complaint. Their tents sheltered them well, they 
had plenty of food, ample occupation, and for a long time peace 
and contentment. Far away from the conflict of arms, the warriors 
threw all their energy into hunting ; and, with the habit of scalp- 
ing and killing their fellows, threw of£ much of their rudeness. 
The women felt the change sensibly : their husbands gi-ew ten- 
derer ; much of the energy wasted on murderous propensities found 
vent in the domestic sentiments. The fact that each man had onl;^ 
one wife, and some none — their victorious adversaries having not 
only killed their best men, but carried off their marriageable wo- 
men-*- added to their superiority of character. Polygamy among 
these Indians, as everywhere else, brutalizes the men, and debases 
the women ; and in those tribes where rich men had as many as 
eight wives, the fair sex sunk to the level of mere slaves. But on 
the borders of the White Lake they had no superabundance of 
ladies, and they were valued accordingly. It is- readily to be com- 
prehended how the position of an Englishman's wife is preferable 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 163 

to that of a sultan's ; the English wife is alone ; the sultan's spouse 
shares his affections, such as they may be, with some four hun- 
dred ! 

Matonaza viewed this state of things with delight. He had, 
since his residence with the Pale Faces, hecome ambitious. He 
aimed at civilizing his people ; he had already induced his tribe to 
consider the matrimonial tie as permanent, which was a great step. 
Then he boldly entered upon the somewhat rash experiment of al- 
leviating the laborious duties of the women. He tried to iniuce 
the men to do some of the hard work ; but here he met with in- 
vincible repugnance. The women had been always accustomed to 
draw the sledges, carry the baggage, and pitch the tents, while the 
men hunted, ate and smoked. Any departure from this line of 
conduct was beneath "the dignity" of a warrior. Matonaza dis- 
covered that to expect any permanent change in a nomadic race 
used to hunting, leading a wandering life, and accustomed to arms, 
was difficult. He felt that he must first make his people sedentary 
and agricultural, and then begin their civilization. 

Having conceived this plan, he despatched the best runner in 
the tribe to Prince of Wales Fort. He gave him some furs, and a 
message to Moses Northon, with directions to follow the most un- 
frequented trails, to travel cautiously, and by no means to allow 
the terrible Indians of Athapascow Lake to track him. Three 
months passed before the runner returned, and then he came ac- 
companied by a young and adventurous Englishman, who had 
sought this opportunity of learning the manners of the far-off tribes, 
and of studying the geography of the interior. Matonaza received 
him well, and was glad of his assistance to lay out his fields of 
corn and maize, by sowing which, he hoped to attract his Indians 
to a permanent residence, and to destroy all fear of famine. Mark 
Dalton joyously seconded his projects. He was the son of a gen- 
tleman who was a shareholder in the Hudson's Bay Company, and 
who joined to the love of travel, adventure, and the chase, consid- 
erable knowledge of agriculture. One year older than the Indian 
chief, they at once became warm friends, and, from the hour of their 
fii'st meeting, were never a day apart. 

It was not without difficulty that the chief could get his fields 
dug, small though they were, though he and Mark worked, because 
the women alone followed their example. The soil was not of the 
best character, and the climate pretty rigorous ; but still corn would 
grow, and Matonaza suffered not himself to be downhearted. A 
whole spring, summer, and autumn, were devoted to these agricul- 
tural pursuits : and when, at the end of the fine season, a good 



16-4: THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

harvest enabled the tribe to vary their food from venison, fish, and 
buffalo meat, to corn-cakes, and other preparations of flour and 
maize, all were satisfied. The Indians, naturally indolent, were 
pleased at the prospect of obtaining even their food by the labor 
of the women. This was not precisely what the youthful chief 
desired, but it was still a kind of progress, and he was so far grati- 
fied. 

But he did not neglect his hunting. Eager to show Mark all 
the mysteries of his craft, Matonaza led him after the elk, which 
they ran down together on foot in the snow. This is the most 
arduous department of Indian hunting. The sportsmen throw 
away all arms which may embarrass them, keeping only a knife, 
and a pouch containing the means of striking a light. Being prac- 
tised while the snow is on the ground, the men accordingly wear 
long snow-shoes. The Indian chief and Mark Dalton rose at dawn 
of day, and, having succeeded in discovering an elk, darted along 
the snow in pursuit. The chase under ordinary circumstances 
would be vain, a man being not at all equal to an elk in a running 
match ; but, on the present occasion, while the unfortunate animal 
sunk at every step up to his body in the snow, the men with snow- 
shoes glided along the surface with extreme rapidity. With all 
these disadvantages, the animal often runs seven hours, ten hours, 
and even four-and-twenty in some rare instances ; seldom, however, 
escaping from the patient hunter. When reached, they make a 
desperate defence with their head and fore-feet, and have been 
known to slay their human enemy. 

On the present occasion, the animal was a magnificent specimen, 
considerably taller at the shoulders than a horse, and his head fur- 
nished with antlers of fifty pounds' weight. His coarse and angular 
hair, so little elastic that it breaks when bent, was of a grayish 
color, having probably changed at the beginning of the winter 
from nearly black. He was tracked by his footprints on the snow, 
the hunters keeping at some distance to leeward of the trail, so as 
not to alarm the watchful animal even by the crackling of a twig. 
He was at length seen, but at too great a distance for a shot, sitting 
on his hams like a dog, and seemed at first in no hurry to rise ; 
though, when at last satisfied of the character of his enemies, and 
his mind made up for flight, he got upon his legs ; but even then, 
instead of bounding and galloping like other deer, he shuffled along 
so heavily, his joints cracking audibly at every step, that Mark was 
inclined to form but a mean opinion of the sport. Gradually, how- 
ever, its ungainly speed increased, its hind-legs straddling from 
behind, as if to avoid treading on its fore-heels ; and when a pros- 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 1 05 

trate tree interposed in the path, it stepped over the trunk, however 
huge, without its flight being interrupted for an instant. It seemed, 
in fact, that smaller obstacles were more dangerous to the fugitive 
than great ones ; for running, as he did, with his nose up in the air, 
and his huge horns laid horizontally on his back — an attitude 
necessary, it is to be presumed, to sustain their weight — he could 
not see close to the surface, and on one occasion a branch which 
protruded only a few inches from the snow caught his fore-feet, and 
he rolled over with a heavy fall. The hunters thought they were 
now sure of their prey ; but the elk scrambled on his legs again in 
surprisingly little time ; and, as he pursued his flight with unabated 
speed, Matonaza seemed to derive some quiet amusement from the 
surprise of the Pale Face, as he found himself engaged in so difficult 
a chase of so apparently unwieldy an animal. 

It was the policy of the hunters to turn the fugitive to where the 
snow was deepest ; but, as if knowing his danger, the elk contin- 
ued to keep on comparatively hard ground, and at length, by the 
intervention of trees and inequalities of the surface, he escaped 
wholly from view. His trail, however, could not be concealed; 
and for many hours his pursuers followed, well knowing that their 
quarry was only a short distance in front, but unable to obtain a 
glimpse of him. The trail at length appeared to turn towards a 
hollow, where the hunters might be tolerably secure of their prize ; 
and the two friends separated, to make such a sweep as would lead 
them to the same point. Presently, however, the animal appeared 
to discover his imprudence ; and at a moment when Mark was 
unprepared, he saw the huge creature returning on his own trail, 
and within ten or twelve yards of him. The rifle seemed to go off 
of its own accord, so sudden was the discharge ; but the shot missed 
and on came the elk, its nose no longer in the air, but pointing full 
at its enemy, with the points and edges of its tremendous antlers 
in terrible array. Mark did not lose his presence of mind ; but 
springing behind a young tree, which was fortunately at hand, felt 
himself for a moment in safety. 

It was not the antlers the hunter had to fear, for they were not 
used as weapons of offence ; but the creature, determined to carry 
the war into the enemy's quarters, struck furiously at the interven- 
ing tree with his fore-feet, and Mark speedily found that its shelter 
would not long be between him and his justly-incensed enemy. No 
other tree was near enough at hand, and he was too busily engaged 
in dodging round and round to be able to load his rifle. Faster 
and faster fell the blows of the fore-feet. Now a piece of bark, 
now a splinter of wood, flew off; and now the tree bent, split, and 



160 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



came crashing down. Even so fell the elk ; for, just at the critical 
moment, a bullet from the Indian chief, who had returned to the 
rescue at imminent peril to himself, struck him in a vital part, and 
killed him on the spot. 

The two hunters made prize of the skin and of the more delicate 
parts of the dead animal, and on returning to their companions, 
loaded with the spoil, Mark ate for the first time of elk flesh of his 
own hunting. This is considered a great delicacy by the Indians 
and all residents of the fur countries. It is preferred by many to 
beef, and the fat resembles that of a breast of mutton. 

When the spring had arrived, it was resolved that the whole of 
the male party, save two old men, should start on a trip to the 
mountains, in search of buffalo and elk, which they intended to 
kill, dry, and drag home on sledges made from the first trees they 
laid their hands on. The women were to join them six weeks 
after their departure, at a place close to tk> scene of their hunt ; 
and, thus reinforced, the men hoped to have an ample stock of 
dried meat for the winter. Glreat preparations were made on the 
occasion. All the arms of the tribe were furbished up. Mato- 
naza and Mark alone had firearms ; the rest had bows, aiTOWS, and 
spears. The women mended the clothes of the hunters, packed 
their provisions, and made the thongs to drag the sledges with. 
But the chief part of such utensils were to be brought by them to 
the rendezvous. The gentle, lovely, and blushing White Swallow 
herself made everything ready for her betrothed, to whom, on his 
return, she was to be united. All was smiling, promising, and 
joyous. The fields of the little settlement were improving ; the 
wigwams exhibited the air of more permanent buildings than they 
usually are ; and when the warriors departed on their errand, they 
left behind them a happy and hopeful community. 



The Athapascow Foray. 

As soon as the men were really gone, the two elders proceeded 
to organize the movements of the party for the next six weeks. 
They had been directed to make clothes, watch the fields, fish for 
their subsistence, and do all needfal domestic duties. All save the 
White Swallow. She, the unmarried, but affianced bride of the 
chief, was, by custom, exempt from all share in labor ; but to this 
her tastes and feelings were repugnant, and though the White 
Swallow neither scraped leather, nor carried burthens, she was yet 
industrious in her way. She learned to make her own clothes, to 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 167 

fish in the lake, to light a fire, to build a tent, to snare birds, and 
to perform a multitude of other things necessary to the existence of 
an Indian woman. 

Then, again, while her companions were scattered round the lake 
or in the fields, she would stop with some of the more helpless 
infants. She would, while overlooking them, sit still and think 
with pride and joy on the absent one, whose image was always 
uppermost in her thoughts. In general, nothing is more pleasant to 
the gentle female heart than the memory of beings well-beloved and 
far away ; and no employment is more conducive to this dreamy 
occupation than sedentary ones. The women one day started to 
fetch the produce of their successful draught of a large net at some 
distance, taking with them the two old men. The whole camp was 
abandoned to the guardianship of the White Swallow and a couple 
of shaggy, ill-looking dogs, which were none the less faithful 
because ill-favored. The young girl had volunteered for this 
service ; and to her charge were committed eight infants of various 
ages, that rolled about on a green spot with the dogs, unable to 
crawl because of their uncouth swathing. As they had been well 
fed before the departure of the mothers, the duty of Thee-kis-ho, 
the Indian name of -our heroine, chiefly consisted in keeping away 
any wandering wolves from invading the camp ; a service which 
the dogs probably could render even more eflfectively. 

However this may be, the young girl seated herself on a log at 
no great distance from the wigwams, and thence looked around. 
At her feet was the lake, divided from her only by some fifty feet 
of cornfield; Matonaza having placed his fields near the water. 
To her right was a large and novel building for an Indian village, 
erected under the guidance of Mark, and which served as the 
granary of the tribe. Close to this was the wigwam of the vener- 
able dame who was her adopted mother — not one of her relatives 
remaining alive. At some distance was the chief's hut, and on 
this her eyes were fixed ; and the sight naturally enough filled her 
mmd with sunny thoughts ; for she could look forward now to its 
being hers too at no distant period ; and cold, indeed, must be the 
female heart which is not warmed at the thoughts of the home which 
is soon to receive her as a wife. 

Thus occupied, and watching over the children, and in prepara- 
tions for the evening meal, the hours flew swiftly by, and the 
White Swallow at last heard the voices of the returning party just 
as night was about to close upon the scene. At this instant her 
ear was attracted by footsteps approaching from behind. She tiirned 
and one wild shriek betrayed the inter\sity of her alarm. 



168 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

'* The Athapascows ! " she cried, springing up, and about dart- 
ing away to meet her companions. 

"Stay," said a young warrior, leaping to her side; "there is 
room in' my wigwam for another squaw." 

Seven painted and horrid Indians were around the young 
girl ere she could move. They were all in their war-paint, and 
well armed ; they stood gazing at the village an instant, as if irreso- 
lute. 

*' Warriors of the Dog-ribbed race ! " cried the resolute girl in 
a loud and ringing voice, " on to save your wigwams ! The lying 
foxes of the Athapascows are among us ! " 

The young Indian seized her by the arm, a second plucked a 
brand from the fire, and cast it into the granary, and then the whole 
party, conceiving the men of the tribe to be upon them, commenced 
a rapid retreat, bearing with them their wretched and disconsolate 
captive. They were a party of ambitious youths, who, having hit 
upon the trail of the runner the year before, had tracked his steps 
in search of scalps and glory. Alighting on the camp when 
deserted by all but the White Swallow, they had intended to hide in 
the huts until the return of the rest of the party ; but suddenly 
startled by the cry which responded to that of Thee-kis-ho, they 
fled, believing the whole tribe to be upon them. Their haste had 
marred the object of their expedition, while their position became 
one, as they thought, of extreme danger. The part to be played 
by the young girl was most painful. If she revealed the absence 
of the men, the Athapascows would return and capture the rest of 
the women ; if she remained silent, she was doomed to be hurried 
away into captivity, all the more horrid because of her late day- 
dreams and visions. While dwelling on these thoughts, she found 
herself proceeding to a considerable distance from the camp in a 
south-easterly direction. The Indians moved with the utmost 
rapidity and silence towards a very broken, stony, and arid plain, 
the last spot which men would have been supposed to choose for a 
retreat. Suddenly they halted at the edge of one of those deep 
fissures met with sometimes in the prairies and in the plains of the 
West : this was their camp. Their victim was told to go down, 
and was then placed in a natural hollow, the Indians barring all 
exit. They next proceeded to light a small fire with some well- 
charred wood, that gave neither flame nor smoke, upon which they 
cooked their evening meal. A piece of meat was given to the girl, 
which she ate, strength being necessary to her. She had not aban- 
doned all hope. There are a thousand chances between total 
despair, as between the fruition of hopes, and Thee-kis-ho, while 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 169 

crouching in her hole, strained every faculty of her mind for an 
idea out of which might come escape. 

The Indians conversed with considerable volubility as soon as 
one had departed as a scout. There were no aged or experienced 
warriors among them to check their eagerness and levity. They 
expressed themselves in a dialect which the White Swallow partly 
understood. She could distinguish that they spoke with consider- 
able disappointment about their failure, and that all seemed deter- 
mined not to return home until they had obtained a sufficient 
number of scalps to excuse with the elders of the tribe their temerity 
and long absence. Much dijBference of opinion prevailed, but at 
last the whole party came to a resolution which can only be com- 
prehended by those who know the Indian character. They 
resolved upon marching northward to the Coppermine River, to 
waylay and attack the unfortunate Esquimaux, whom they expected 
to have the double satisfaction of killing and robbing. These 
Esquimaux have from time immemorial been the prey of the more 
southern tribes, whose persecution accounts for a large portion of 
the race having abandoned terra jirma, to live on the islands in 
the Polar Sea, where they were found by Ross, Parry, Franklin, 
and other explorers. 

Thee-kis-ho heard this decision with varied emotions, while another 
gave her unqualified satisfaction. It was determined that, as their 
prize was young and pretty, she should be the reward^ at the end 
of the expedition, of the bravest and most distinguished member of 
the party. The journey with which she was threatened was long, 
arduous, and of doubtful issue ; but it offered, all the more readily 
on this account, some chance of escape, and the occurrences of the two 
or three moons before her might still enable her to wed the young 
chief; a consummation which she resolved should never happen if 
she were forced first of all to be the squaw of an Athapascow. 
The moon rose about midnight, when the Indians were smoking, 
and the scout then returned, bringing word that their camp was 
admirably hidden, and that there were no alarming signs within some 
miles. Satisfied with this assurance, the whole party went to 
sleep, after tying both the arms and feet of their captive in such a 
way that, while not hurting her, the thongs completely precluded 
movement. 

Wearied with her walk and her thoughts, the White Swallow 
went to sleep, and awoke only when summoned to cook the morning 
repast of her captors, after which they started along an arid plain 
towards the north, in which direction lay the villages of the Esqui- 
maux. About mid-day a halt took place near a small wood ; and 
while some went about in search of game, the rest set hard to work 



170 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



to make shields, which were absolutely necessary to defend them- 
selves against the fish-bone arrows of their enemies. Thee-kis-ho 
received a knife — part of a sharpened hoop — to aid in the process, 
which, when the work was concluded, its owner forgot to reclaim, 
and the Indian girl gladly hid it about her person. The shields 
were ingeniously fashioned of small strips of wood fastened by 
deer-skin thongs, and, when finished, were three feet long, two feet 
broad, and a couple of inches thick. It was nearly evening when 
the work was concluded ; but the Indians, fearful of being pursued, 
after eating a hearty meal, continued their march some hours 
longer, and camped near a lake of small dimensions. The White 
Swallow took careful note of all the places they came to, that she 
might find her way back again if possible, and was not sorry to 
observe that the Indians left a pretty evident trail. 

For several days after, their progi^ess was very slow indeed, as 
much game fell in their way, and the Athapascows, to whom eating 
was even more grateful than glory, revelled on the fat deer of the 
lakes. Much more, however, was killed than was consumed, from 
the mere love of waste, which is inherent in most savage people. 
These Indians would not pass a bird's nest without destroying it, 
much more a deer which they could neither eat nor carry ; while, 
if they refrained from setting fire to a grove of trees they encamped 
in at night, it was not from any calculation that they or others 
might want the grove again, but because the conflagration might 
betray them. Here, as in nearly everything else, the alleged 
superiority of the " child of nature " fades before examination. 

They soon reached the confines of inhabited ground, when they 
hit upon the branch of the Conge-cathawachaga River ; and as the 
dwellers on its banks were enemies, and too powerful for seven men 
to attack, every precaution was taken. No fires were lit; they 
camped in strange out-of-the-way places ; and crossed the stream 
swimming, despite flie rapid current, which swept them a long way 
down. They hit one night on a large camp, with blazing fires and 
numerous dogs, but moved off as fast as possible, being not at all 
inclined to have fifty Coppermine Indians at their heels. These 
savages do not live so near the sea as the Esquimaux, but they 
have many of the same habits: Still, they are a distinct race, 
though probably all the inhabitaiifcs of America are of Tartar' or 
Chinese origin. 

They were still at some distance from the Coppermine Eiver, and 
weary and sore-footed indeed was Thee-kis-ho, now some five or six 
hundred miles away from the home of her friends and her intended 
husband. Provisions, too, were now short ; and as on such occa- 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 171 

sions tlie men of this part of America help themselves first, the 
White Swallow went often to rest without food. An Indian, when 
reduced to semi-starvation, will rarely, if ever, divide what he hag 
with his wife or wives — he eats all, and leaves the women to starve. 
Some days even the men were reduced to a pipe and a draught of 
water, and the girl was glad to chew the leaves of an odoriferous 
plant by way of a last resource. 

The way, too, was arid and rough. They were now amid the 
Rocky Mountains of the farther north, a vast and dark pile of 
rocks, looking perfectly inaccessible ; but on went the Indians, some- 
times walking, sometimes crawling on their hands and knees. The 
path, however, was marked and clear as any highway, but often so 
steep, as to present extraordinary difficulties. At night they slept 
in hollows and caves without fire, generally from want of wood ; but 
sometimes from the heavy rains, which rendered the moss, usually 
a never-failing resource, damp and useless. All this tended to put 
the Indians in a savage humor, which promised little for the poor 
Esquimaux; and Thee-kis-ho sufiered all the more neglect and hun- 
ger. In fact, with the exception of raw meat, devoured with raven- 
ous ardor, there were no meals taken during the whole time they 
were crossing the mountains. 

Near Buffalo Lake they killed a large number of the animals 
which gave it its name, and, finding some wood, regaled themselves. 
The White Swallow, more determined than ever to fly, concealed 
I small portion of food about her person, that at all events she 
might not starve in her flight. The road, after their departure 
from Buffalo Lake, became less rugged and disagreeable, while, by 
signs which had been described to them by certain old Indians, they 
believed themselves approaching the termination of their journey. 
The young men seemed chiefly satisfied at recognizing the eminence 
of the Gray Bear,- so called because frequented in certain seasons' 
by those animals. At last the sight of a large wood, and of a river 
in the distance, made the warriors eagerly advance. They were in 
view of Coppermine Ptiver, a stream wide, shallow, and filled with 
rocks and cataracts. 

A halt was now called, and a council held. All were unanimous 
that a day's rest and food were necessary before striking their 
intended blow. Accordingly, while the White Swallow and two 
Indians stopped to prepare the fire, the others started off in vari- 
ous directions in search" of game. It was the last time they would 
hunt before they attacked the Esquimaux, as it would henceforth 
be dangerous to let the report of firearms be heard in the neighbor- 
hood. Before two hours had passed, each Indian had brought in 



172 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

his deer, and then all fell to work to broil, and roast, and stew, eat- 
ing as they went on. The consumption of victuals would have 
alarmed an English troop of horse, but the enormous capacity of 
the Indian for food is well known. It is enough to say, that had 
the White Swallow not been well fastened by leathern thongs, she 
could easily have escaped, as, before night, every Athapascow war- 
rior was sleeping off his feast like a boa-constrictor. 



Matonaza. 

When the Indian women saw the brand thrown into their gran- 
ary, and caught a glimpse of the retreating Indians, they knew at 
once the nature of the late surprise. Their first impulse was deep 
gratitude for their fortunate return, for one minute longer, and 
every child on the green-sward would have been immolated ; the 
red-skin in his wars sparing neither toddling infancy, decrepit old 
age, nor defenceless women. Then a scream of rage and despair 
arose as they discovered that the pride of the tribe, their chief's 
affianced wife, was gone. They looked about in speechless terror, 
expecting to see her bleedhig and mangled corpse, but several 
declared that they had recognized both her form and her voice 
among the marauders. Then all the women, and the boys and lads 
of eleven and twelve, seized every available weapon, and, after light- 
ing huge fires, prepared to pass the night. The conflagration of the 
barn was easily extinguished ; and fortunately so, for it contained 
the whole of the unconsumed autumn crop. 

The night, though full of alarms, passed peaceably, and before its 
termination, one of the old men had severely cautioned and instructed 
one of the lads, whom he designed as the bearer of the news to Ma- 
tonaza. The boy, proud and honored by the trust reposed in him, 
took his bow and arrows, provisions for four days, and just about 
dawn started at a round trot towards the hills, which he reached 
with unerring accuracy on the third day. But no trace of the war- 
riors of his tribe did he find. Still, the lad hesitated not a moment . 
climbing a lofty and prominent eminence, he cast his eyes for some 
ten minutes round the horizon. Satisfied with this scrutiny, he 
tightened his belt, descended, and darted across a long low plain, at 
the very extremity of which he had seen a rather remarkable column 
of smoke, which the boy j,t once attributed to the Pale Face who 
accompanied his friends. 

After three hours of continuous running, he gained a small lake, 
on the borders of which was a fire in the centre of a grove of tree^ 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 173 

He clearly distinguished a man engaged in the classical and time- 
honored art of cooking. It was Mark, as he expected ; who, being 
a little wearied, had volunteered to pass a day in the camp, cooking 
and inhaling tobacco-smoke, with eating, which is the acmi of lux- 
ury in the eyes of a prairie hunter. The lad advanced straight 
towards the fire, and, without speaking, sunk, exhausted and faint- 
ing, at the feet of the Englishman. Mark seized his double-bar- 
relled gun, fired both barrels, and then, these preconcerted signals 
given, piling a great armful of green boughs on the fire, stooped to 
attend to the boy. He raised him up, gave him water, a little 
brandy, and then food. In a quarter of an hour he could tell his 
story. Mark heard him with dismay. He had formed a warm 
attachment for his Indian friend, and a proportionate one for his 
future wife. He knew at once how agonizing would be the feelings 
of the young warrior, who, having but this one squaw in view, had 
fixed on her his ardent affections far more strongly than is usual 
with a red-skin. 

It was not long ere the whole party were collected round the fire. 
The Indians came in from all sides at the sight of the signal. A 
dead silence then ensued, not one of the red-skins asking any ques- 
tions. All saw the boy ; but not even his own father evinced any 
womanly or unusual curiosity by taking notice of him. 

"Matonaza is a great warrior," said Mark Dalton solemnly, after 
a certain pause ; " and his heart is the heart of a man. The Ath- 
apascow Indian is a snake : he has crept in and stolen away the 
Swallow." 

The young chief said nothing, but Mark plainly saw the muscles 
of his face working, and knew how he felt. But he took no note of 
the warrior's emotion, but bade the boy tell his story. 

The lad stepped forward, and briefly narrated what had hap- 
pened. 

" Ugh ! " said Matonaza after a pause ; " my brothers will con- 
tinue their hunt. Let them keep hawk-eyes about them. Mato- 
naza and the Koaming Panther," pointing to the runner who had 
formerly gone with him to the Prince of Wales Fort, " will chase 
the thieves who steal away women. Let us go ! " 

Mark started to his feet, caught up his rifle, took a substantial 
piece of deer's meat, and was ready inan instant to join them. A 
few words passed between the chief and his people. He directed 
them to proceed with their duties. He would send the women to 
join them at once; and with Mark and the Eoaming Panther, 
he started on his chase of perhaps a thousand miles and more, 
apparently as coolly as a European would have gone out for a walk. 



174 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



The evening of the third day found them at their village, where 
they were received in respectful silence. Matonaza caused the old 
men to tell the story of the White Swallow's abduction once more ; 
and then, after bidding the whole party go join the hunters, retired 
to rest with his two companions, bidding Mark sleep as long as he 
possibly could. The chief did not rouse him till a late hour, after 
he had himself tracked the trail of the Athapascows to a consid- 
erable distance. They breakfasted heartily, and then each man, 
with his gun, powder, and powder-horn, started on his way. The 
chief led the van, his eye fixed on the trail of the party. He 
pointed out to Mark the moccasin step of the young girl with a 
grim smile. Mark was pained at the sadness of his expression,, 
but said nothing. 

They with difficulty followed the trail along the arid plain which 
the Athapascows had first hit upon, and, at one time, when the ground 
was unusually hard, even lost it. The two Indians at once parted, 
one to the right, the other to the left ; Mark, who was eager to 
prove himself of use, looked anxiously about, and at last caused 
the warriors to run to him. The white man pointed with a smile 
to the hole in which the enemy had camped on the first night of 
their flight. 

" Grood ! " said Matonaza, taking his hand ; " my brother has an 
Indian eye." 

And the journey was at once pursued without further comment. 
As frequently as possible the party camped in the places where their 
enemies had camped before them, as the chief was sure to find some 
note of the White Swallow — her footstep in the ashes near the fire ; 
a mark where she had lain ; or, at all events, some almost invisible 
sign of her existence. Every day, however, the warrior grew more 
uneasy as he advanced towards the north. He began to suspect the 
errand of the Athapascows. He knew, though only traditionally, 
the terrible journey which must be performed ere the land of the 
Esquimaux could be reached, and regarded it as almost impossible 
that a young girl could outlive its hardships. Still on he went, 
never dreaming of abandoning the chase — never even alluding to 
such an idea. He, however, increased the extent of their daily 
march, though sometimes compelled to delay while seeking for food. 
The wood, where the young men madje their shields, confirmed him 
in his belief as to their errand. 

At night they hastily ate what food they had, and lay down to 
sleep. No time was wasted in talking. Rest was all they required, 
and it was to them of the utmost consequence. 

"At this rate," said Mark, one day, when he iiijf-^d himself 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 1' 



approaching the north more and more every hour, "we shall reach 
the Icy Sea itself!" 

" The White Swallow is on its borders," replied the chief, quietly. 

And they proceeded on their journey. 

They crossed the Rocky Mountains, here also strictly adhering to 
the trail of the Athapascows, and were at no great distance from 
the Coppermine River, when one night, at some distance on the 
plain, they saw a small, low, flickering light. Their own fire was 
composed of mere embers, but even these were hastily covered up. 
Matonaza cast his eyes around. Not a tree, not a bush was there 
to aid their approach, though the camp in the distance seemed to be 
near a dark object, which looked like a stunted grove of trees. This 
could not be, however, they having already passed, as they supposed, 
the region in which trees are found. 

The three men looked to their rifles, stooped low, and began to 
crawl towards the distant fire on their hands and knees. The night 
was pitchy dark. The sky was lowering, and threatened rain. The 
low fire, scarcely distinguishable at times, was all that guided them. 
Presently, however, its glare became more evident, and Matonaza 
discovered that it was placed under the cover of some low trees 
which grew on the borders of the Coppermine River. He could 
now clearly distinguish a party of men sitting round the small fire 
in the act of smoking ; and leaving his companions and his rifle, 
advanced unarmed, bidding them slowly reach a bank within pistol- 
shot of the camp. He then began to writhe or slide along the 
ground instead of crawling, moving a yard or two, and then stop- 
ping to breathe or listen. In about ten minutes they saw him roll 
himself behind the bushes of the camp. They saw no more, for a 
strong ray of the moon peeped through a cloud, and they could no 
longer raise their heads above the ground. They fell behind the low 
bank agreed on, and waited. 

Three quarters of an hour passed, and then Matonaza rejoined 
them, using the same caution as before. He was out of breath with 
his hard labor, for such it is to crawl along the ground like a snake, 
never rising on the hands or knees. As soon as he could speak, he 
told his companions in a whisper that these were the'Athapascows 
returning after a terrible foray among the Esquimaux. The Whit« 
Swallow, however, was not with them. They spoke of her absence 
with regret, and as a severe disappointment, but how her absence 
was occasioned he could not tell. Matonaza spoke in a tone which 
was new to his white 'friend. He seemed husky, and his eyes glared 
like those of a panther. The fearfiil excitement he had endured, 
and his terrible awakening from a dreanr of happiness, all the greater 



176 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



from his half-European education, had almost driven every civilized 
idea out of his head. 

" Eoaming Panther," said he to the Indian runner, " is thy rifle 
ready ? " 

" What would my brother do ? " asked Dalton hurriedly. 

" Kin my enemies ! " replied the warrior coldly. 

" What ! skulking behind a bank ? " 

" Warrior of the Pale Faces, hear my words ! Does a bear show 
himself in the distance when lying in wait for his prey ? Does a 
white warrior, when in ambush, give a signal ? We are three : the 
Athapascow dogs are seven. Not one shall see the home of his 
fathers : their squaws shall find other husbands. They have robbed 
Matonaza of his squaw : they shall die ! " 

A double report followed ; and then, as the Indians with a fear- 
ful cry rose in the air to lie down again in the dark, the Little Snake, 
as the handsome young chief was called, levelled and discharged 
the rifle of his friend Dalton, who had declined to shoot at the unpre- 
pared savages. 

" I spit on ye, dogs of Athapascows ! " yelled the Little Snake as 
they fired at random. "A Dog-ribbed chief will leave your bohes 
to bleach on the plains of the Icy Sea ! " 

With these words the three friends retreated, loading their rifles ; 
and, wading across the river, concealed themselves in a low hollow, 
and sought rest. Mark slept uneasily. The neighborhood of fierce 
and bloody enemies, roused to desperation by recent losses, was far 
from being pleasant ; and he was little surprised when, on rising in 
the morning first amongst his party, a leaden bullet at once hit 
the bank near him. He dropped down, and in an instant the whole 
three were again prepared. The Athapascows, six in number — 
one had been killed — were near a bush on the other side of the 
river. They had just at daybreak tracked the Dog-ribbed Indians. 
These fired, nor was Mark behind-hand ; and so fatal was their aim 
that two warriors fell headlong into the river. The others, who 
were not aware of the nature of rifles, introduced only by the chief 
himself and Mark, flew to cover, astounded at the distance at which 
they had been struck. The friends loaded, and pursued. The Ath- 
apascows turned, and fled across the plain. 

Matonaza gave vent to a low and scornful laugh. " Let them go 
and boast to their women that their brothers were killed in terrible 
fight. They are squaws and will tell of a battle with a hundred 
warriors in their war-paint." 

Mark at once added, that to follow them was to lose all trace of 
the White Swallow, who was either a prisoner among the Esqui- 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 177 



raaux, or hiding somewliere in the hollows of the hills, awaiting the 
departure of their enemies. Besides, no time was to be lost, for tha 
mnter was coming on, and all hope of finding her would vanish with 
that season. 

Matonaza replied by turning his back on the river, and searching 
for the old trail of the party. They soon found the remains of a 
fire, with bones of animals — deer, &c., — which had been recently 
devoured, and thus continued their journey at some distance from 
the banks of the Coppermine River. 



The Esquimaux Village, 

We left the White Swallow advancing towards the village of the 
Esquimaux with her worthless companions. The race about to be 
attacked, like most of the Esquimaux, were of small stature, and lit- 
tle strength or beauty. They are very stout, copper-colored, and 
in general ugly, though some of the women form exceptions. They 
resemble all the tribe in dress, while their arms are bows and arrows, 
lances and darts. They have canoes with double paddles, and tents 
composed of deer-skins, with stone and ice huts for winter. Their 
utensils are all of stone and wood, with spoons and bowls of bu^ 
falo horn. Their, hatchets, pikes, and arrow-heads are of copper. 
They are a poor, harmless race, who live by fishing and hunting, 
whose sole riches consisted in a little copper they found near the 
river — thence called Coppermine River. 

It was this unfortunate race who, from their helplessness and 
weakness, had been selected as the fitting victims of the seven Ath- 
apascow warriors. In this the red-skins only acted in accordance 
with the true principles of war — to respect the strong, and prey 
upon the weak. The White Swallow remained behind on one occa- 
sion while two scouts went out to scour the banks of the stream in 
search of intelligence. They soon came back with the information, 
that about fifteen miles distant were five tents of Esquimaux, so 
placed as to be completely open to a surprise. It was then decided 
that the attack should take place the following night. Meanwhile 
they waded across the river, to be on the same side as their wretched 
victims. Here they halted to load their guns, furbish their lances, 
and prepare their shields. 

Every man set to work to paint his buckler — one representing 

the sun, the other the moon, others birds of prey and other animals, 

with imaginary beings, fantastic human creatures, and beasts of all 

kinds. Thev were all to serve as their protection during the com- 

12 



178 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

bat, their shields being at once " medicine." Even the White Swal 
low, who was used to their Indian customs, was puzzled to know the 
meaning of half the rude drawings daubed with chalk and red 
clay, as not one had any resemblance to anything in heaven or upon 
earth. But, like the knights of chivalry, who scorned to write their 
own names, and seldom could even read a love-letter, these red-skin 
paladins were quite satisfied that military glory was above all artistic 
merit. They were but of the general opinion of mankind, who admise 
far more the successful slayer of thousands than the man who can 
achieve a splendid picture, a magnificent epic poem, or a great scien- 
tific discovery. 

The shield-painting being over, the party advanced, still foUowino; 
the banks of the river — strictly avoiding all eminences, for fear of 
being seen, and all speech, for fear of being heard. The way was 
arduous and painful in the extreme. They fell upon swampy 
marshes and muddy sloughs, in which they sunk above their knees. 
But not a word was spoken, not a murmur or complaint given vent 
to. A tall youth had been selected as leader of the band, and no 
orchestra ever kept better time. They trod in each other's foot- 
steps with the most praiseworthy unanimity ; and might, from their 
silence, their gravity, their stiff, erect manner, have not inaptly been 
compared to moving mummies. The "White Swallow carried in a 
bundle the whole of their provisions — no inconsiderable weight, 
as they desired not to halt an hour when their horrid surprise was 



About a hundred yards from where they first caught sight of the 
Esquimaux village they halted in council behind some rocks. It 
was now late at night, and yet these savage warriors, not satisfied 
with their martial air, now began to paint themselves anew. They 
daubed their faces with a horrid mixture of red and black — on 
(me side with one color, the other with the other ; some tied their 
hair in knots, others cut it entirely off. They then lightened them- 
selves of every possible article of clothing, which they made up in 
another bundle, and gave to the unfortunate girl to carry. 

The moon now rose : it was midnight. The five tents of the 
Esquimaux were situated close to the water's edge, within a half- 
moon formed by some rocks that projected from a small eminence. 
Before the tents lay the placid waters of the river, in the midst of 
which was an island, or rather sandbank, and in the distance another 
Esquimaux village, of larger dimensions than the present. The 
Indians gave an " Ugh" of delight, for here was a second massacre 
in view, and to these savage men nothing could afford a more charm- 
ing prospect. 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 179 



They advanced slowly along the banks of the river, and when 
within about twenty yards of the tents, halted ; and having tied 
the feet of the White Swallow in such a way as she could by no pos- 
sibility untie herself, they rushed to their bloody work. To modern 
readers, even of the details of recent wars, the unpardonable and 
horrid details of the sack of a city must be familiar : man, woman, 
and child, have all shuddered, we doubt not, over scenes almost too 
fearful for belief — scenes remaining forever as blots upon a civil- 
ized and so-called Christian age. But for the benefit of those who 
have adopted the notions of certain modern philosophers touching 
the superior amiability and simplicity of the " man of nature," we 
think it well to give some account of the historical scene that was 
once acted on the banks of the Coppermine. 

The Esquimaux, on hearing the wild outcry of the red-skins, 
started from their sleep, and rushed forth, men women, and chil- 
dren, to escape ; but their ruthless foes were at every issue, and 
spears and tomahawks did their bloody work. The groans of the 
wounded, the howls of the dying, the shrieks of the children, the 
shrill yells of the women, were answered by the Athapascow war- 
cry. As the herd of antelopes loses all instinct of self-preservation 
before the awful roar of the African lion, and stands a while motion- 
less, so these poor creatures no longer sought to fly or defend them- 
selves. Not one raised his arm. Some wretched mothers covered 
their offspring with their bodies only to die firat. One young girl, 
of singular beauty for an Esquimaux, caught the chief round the 
legs : had he been alone, he would have probably saved her, to take 
her to his wigwam. But the emulation of war was on him ; there 
were his companions to see him hesitate ; and, quick as lightning, he 
ran his spear through her. But enough : I spare details more fear- 
ful stiU — details which haunted the &rst historian and eye-witness 
of this scene all his after life. 

The White Swallow no sooner found herself alone, than, drawing 
the knife she had formerly secreted from her bosom, she cut her 
bonds, resolved as she was to lose no more time. This done, she 
acted with all the coolness and reflection which became the affianced 
bride of an Indian warrior. She watched the red-skins enter the 
camp, and even let them commence their massacre. A dozen and 
more dogs darted by, flying from the strangers. One of them 
passed close to the White Swallow, and smelt her packet of meat. 
She seized upon a leathern thong fastened round his neck, and threw 
him food. The dog devoured it eagerly. The girl at once resolved 
to appropriate the animal, for she knew his nature, having herself 
been born on the confines of the Esquimaux territory. She fastened 



180 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

on his back the bundle belonging to the Indians, and then gliding 
gently and noiselessly into the water, began to swim. The dog 
quietly followed her, attracted by her store of provisions. The girl 
was a good and powerful swimmer ; but she proceeded slowly, though 
th# noise of the sack of the village might have excused even want of 
caution. But Thee-kis-ho was too much of an Indian to neglect any 
precautions. Once landed on the opposite bank, she lay down to 
watch the end of the scene ; at some distance, however, from the 
shore, and well screened from view. 

As soon as the Esquimaux village lay in the stillness of death, 
and not even an infant remained, the Athapascows ran down to the 
bank to fire at the men of the other village, who stood stupidly gaz- 
ing from across the water at the massacre of their brethren. They 
did not even stir when the leaden bullets fell among them, until one 
of their party received a flesh wound, when all crowded round him, 
examined the place in amazement, and then leaping into their canoes, 
hurried to the distant island, which, being surrounded by deep water, 
could be easily defended against swimmers with hatchets and bows 
and arrows. 

The White Swallow waited to see no more. The dawn was now 
breaking in the eastern sky, and her position would speedily become 
dangerous. Casting her eyes about her to select the best road, she 
distinguished, a little way up the river, some one seated within a 
little cove fishing. She hesitated, for time was precious ; but her 
goodness of heart prevailed. Giving the dog another piece of meat, 
she left him in guard of her packets, and tripped rapidly down to 
the water's edge. She had her knife, and feared no Esquimaux. 
As she approached, she discovered that it was an old woman, deaf, 
and nearly blind, who had been fishing for salmon by moonlight. 
The fish were seven or eight pounds in weight, and strewed the bank. 
The old Esquimaux had a line with several hooks to it, and caught 
fish almost as fast as she could throw, they being almost as plentiful 
as in Kamtchatka. The White Swallow laid her hand on her arm. 
The old woman started. The young girl, who knew one or two 
words of her language, just said, "Indians — kill all — that side 
— seven tents on island." The unfortunate old creature just caught 
the word "Indians;" that was enough for her. She cast line and 
fish at the girl's feet, and, mumbling her thanks, fled. 

The White Swallow took as much of the fish as she could carry, 
and the line and hooks, almost believing that the Manitou had thrown 
them expressly in her way. This done, she rejoined her dog, and, 
taking him by the thong, led him away as fast as she could walk in 
the direction she presumed to be the right one. She never paused 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 181 

or halted until tlie mid-day sun warmed her almost more than was 
pleasant. Then she ate, and gave food also to her dog. He greed- 
ily devoured a fish weighing eight pounds, and appeared most afiec- 
tionately disposed to his new mistress. The girl made much of 
him, far more than he had been used to ; and the poor animal, better 
fed and better lodged than usual, fawned at her feet like an old and 
faithful servant. 

That fear renders man, and woman too, fleet in their motions, is a 
received and proverbial tenet; nor did the White Swallow differ in 
this from the rest of the human race. She shuddered at the pros- 
pect of falling again into the hands of the Athapascow Indians. 
She had seen the massacre of the Esquimaux, and knew well what 
would be her own fate if caught. No torture that fiendish revenge 
could devise would be considered enough to punish her for her escape. 
On she went again, therefore, despite that she was weary and sore- 
footed, until she hit about dark on a small river, falling, she sup- 
posed, into the Coppermine. 

Here, under a bush, she resolved to pass the night. She fed the 
dog plentifully, cast her line into the river, and then, without mak- 
ing any fire, nestled near the huge animal, and went to sleep. 
Despite her dangers and her fears, Thee-kis-ho slept soundly, even 
until after the sun had long risen. When she awoke, she found Esqui- 
maux, as she called him, looking good-naturedly at her, in expecta- 
tion partly no doubt of his morning meal. She at once satisfied him, 
and found three fish on the hooks. But she herself ate only the 
dried venison of her packet, which was still heavy, for she had never 
yet eaten raw fish, and dared not make fire. 



Wanderings and Sueeerings. 

Oast upon her own resources, without a man to advise or command 
her, the Indian girl had to perform the rather unusual task of hold- 
ing council with herself. She at once made up her mind to intense 
sufferings and complicated dangers, though she had still doubts of 
ultimate success. She was a vast distance from home — she could 
only guess the direction ; the season was getting advanced ; and if 
surprised by the winter, her absence, if she perished not, would be 
of more than a year's duration. She had, it is true, a dog, a knife, 
and a fishing-line. This was much. On the other hand, she had 
to cross the Rocky Mountains, and not by the same path she had 
come, for doubtless the Athapascows would lie in wait for her some 
time in the only usual path. Without arms, without weapons, she 



182 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



must provide for herself and dog. And yet she despaired not. 
She was an Indian girl, and her prairie education was of a finished 
character. 

Her first thought was to hurry towards the mountains. The 
stream, near which she passed the night, seemed to trend in that 
direction. The White Swallow was not without fear of being fol- 
lowed ; she accordingly swam across, and left obvious tracks on the 
bank, as if she had forded the river. Then loading herself and dog, 
she walked in the water on a rocky shelf, that gradually brought 
her back to the other side. She then stepped out, without fear of 
leaving a trail upon the hard bank. For two days did she advance, 
and then her provisions began to run short ; her dog and herself 
consumed a great deal during a daily walk of twelve hours. Thee- 
kis-ko ordered a halt ; and while trying her fortune with her line in 
a small lake, sat down beside the water, and while watching the 
fishing-tackle, began to construct with deer's sinews, which formed 
a part of her dress, and some hairs from the dog's tail, those simple 
snares and nets that produce such wonderful results in a country 
abounding in game. 

They were set at some distance as soon as ready ; and the next 
morning two wild partridges and a rabbit rewarded the girl's inge- 
nuity. These, with some fish, gave Thee-kis-ho the hope of being 
able to provide for herself and canine attendant. The Indian traps 
and snares are very simple. To catch some animals, a trunk of a 
tree is so arranged, that at the least touch it falls, and kills or 
secures the animal by its weight. The partridge-tiaps are, however, 
very ingenious. A small piece of ground is partitioned off with 
little palisades and switches near a willow-tree, the favorite resort 
of the bird. Some openings are left between the diminutive 
stockades, and in these openings are little nets; when the par- 
tridges come leaping about in search of food, they fail not to be 
taken in dozens. 

Three partridges and some other birds rewarded the second day's 
efforts of the White Swallow, and as her line also brought her fish, 
she once more felt hope. On the following morning she again 
started with renewed vigor, keeping her eyes fixed on the hills she 
had to cross. She soon found herself ascending ; and, according to 
the habits of her education in the wilderness, followed the course 
of a small torrent in search of an opening in the hills. Her pro- 
visions were not abundant, and both herself and dog were placed 
upon rigid allowance. The third day after her halt she reached 
the mountains, and began their ascent. Without path, along rough 
and rugged rocks, her advance at times eompletely barred, forced to 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 183 

descend and reascend, resting in hollows of the hills, eating small 
and scanty portions of food, still the heart of the Indian girl never 
failed her. She was young, full of hope and love; and on she went, 
though her moccasins were worn and torn, and her feet bled upon 
the rocks. 

Winding, turning, twisting, retreating, it took her more than 
three days to reach the summit of the hiUs, and her poor pittance 
of food was now nearly gone. She sat down on the arid crest of a 
hill, and gazed upon the plains below — upon those plains which 
contained her country and her home. She saw for fifty miles the 
great prairie wilderness lying like a map before her, with its rivers 
and its lakes, its eminences and its levels; and her heart sunk within 
her as she felt the chill blast of autumn in that lofty region. Start- 
ing to her feet, she descended, and after a day's severe fatigue, some- 
times walking, sometimes sliding, sometimes actually rolling down a 
slope of the mountain, she reached the bottom, and camped in a lit- 
tle clump of pines. 

A pool rather than a lake was at hand ; and at one end of it she 
fixed her line and nets, and at the other she and Esquimaux bathed 
with delight after their rude and continued fatigues. The dog was 
as pleased as herself to find himself out of the hills, and testified his 
pleasure by rolling like a mad thing on the bank, after he had for 
some time splashed in the water. Suddenly Thee-kis-ho seemed to 
listen attentively : a crackling noise was heard in the bushes. She 
crouched almost under water, amid some tall reeds agitated by the 
evening breeze, dragging the dog with her. At the same instant a 
tall horned deer leaped madly into the water, as if jaded by the 
chase which had been given him by a pack of hungry wolves. 
The White Swallow hesitated not an instant. She knew that in 
the water a wearied deer was a sure prey. Plunging toward him, 
just as the dog was at his throat, the bold girl, before the noble 
beast was aware of his new danger, had mortally wounded him 
with her knife, which she always carried by her side. 

The unfortunate animal made scarcely any defence, and was drawn 
to the shore to die without a struggle. Thee-kis-ho now bethought 
herself of her danger. Death was certain if the wolves surprised 
her in any force. She knew of but one remedy, and that was a 
huge fire. Two flints formed part of the Indian baggage which 
she had been given to carry. These she drew from her bundle, and 
taking a portion of dry Spanish moss from a tree, with some ftmgi 
lying about, she began striking the flints together. Few were the 
sparks that followed, but presently the moss, which is very inflam- 
mable - - and which I have often used to light a fire by discharging 



184 THE WmTE SWALLOW. 



a loose wadding from a gun — took fire, and, by waving it gently 
backwards and forwards, a flame ensued. Plenty of branches, and 
even trunks of trees, lay about ; and the girl soon found herself 
with a blazing heap. The fire was made in a cleared nook shel- 
tered by trees, and, the night being dark, there was no danger of the 
smoke being seen. But the wolves came not; some other prey 
must have attracted them, or they must have lost the scent. 

Convinced by this, Thee-kis-ho let her fire fall low, and proceeded 
to skin and cut up the deer, which, perhaps the only animal of the 
kind she had any chance of mastering, was a perfect treasure. Flesh, 
skin, sinews, intestines, bones, all were valuable, furnishing food, 
clothing, thread, materials for snares and nets. The animal was 
quite dead ; and the Indian girl, who had in the last two months., 
learned much, proceeded to her task quietly. Some portions were 
prepared for immediate use, the rest laid aside for the future. 

Though she had seldom, in her home on the Mabasha Water, 
assisted in domestic duties, she had observed, and knew everything 
that could be made of the animal. Tired as she was, she scraped 
and cleaned the skin, and rubbed it well with grease to soften it. 
She then cooked her first hot meal since her flight, examined her 
nets and line, and, after amply feeding the dog, lay down to rest 
She slept more than twelve hours, and rose much refreshed. She 
had now a large bundle to carry, and far to go with it ; but she 
abandoned nothing. She loaded herself and her dog with the 
whole of the precious property, and then once more she started on 
her way. 

But now she found herself in a maze of woods, and lakes, and 
rivers, but could not tell her road. She was alarmed, for the season 
was far advanced, and in that high latitude winter was near. Still 
she advanced with courage and energy, though not recognizing one 
of the places she had seen on coming away from home. 

One day she found herself in a thick and gloomy wood. She walked 
with her dog disconsolately along a track evidently left by the bufiklo, 
ignorant of the direction she was taking, and lost in gloomy reflections 
The darkness of the trees, the heavy atmosphere, the weariness of he? 
feet and frame, her failing hope, had much changed the poor girl ; 
and she felt by the wind and the air, and she saw by the sky, that 
winter was rapidly approaching. 

Suddenly she gave a shriek as she emerged from the wood upon a 
small, green, and grassy plot. Before her, as far as the eye could 
reach, to the right, to the left, in front, lay the waters of a vast 
inland sea, dotted here and there by small islands. Thee-kis-ho 
lo©k«d anxiously around ; for she knew herself to be on the great 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 185 



Lake of the Woods, where dwelt, said tradition, a warlike and 
mighty race. But all was still save the waving of the pine, the 
poplar, and the larch, and the beating of the waves of the sea upon 
the pebbly shore. The Indian girl stood still, musing. Was she 
still in the land of reality, or was this the promised place to which 
all the brave and good went after death? Her hesitation was 
momentary ; and then other thoughts came upon her. 

It was now impossible to reach home that year, and the heart of 
the White Swallow beat confusedly and almost despairingly withm 
her. Should she live throughout the severe season, alone, without 
hunting implements, without a hut, without needfol clothing ? But 
even if she did get through the winter, would she, when the birds 
came again, and nature was green and gay, and the trees put on 
their bridal clothing, and the earth sent forth perfume, and the 
dew hung like crystal on the trees, and the sun danced merrily on . 
the waters, and the flowers awoke from their sleep — should she 
still find her affianced husband without a bride ? The Indian girl 
was alone, none could see her shame, and she bowed her head and 
wept. 

But better thoughts soon prevailed, and Thee-kis-ho began to pre- 
pare for her long, and cold, and dreary winter on the shores of the 
great Lake of the Woods. 



Winter. 

The Indian girl stood like our first parents when chased from 
Paradise — homeless, houseless, almost without raiment, food, or 
tools, and with everything to be provided by the labor of her own 
hands. She began by walking along the borders of the lake, until 
she came to where a small rivulet fell into the great inland sea, and 
here she cast her fishing-lines, reinforced by many a new hook made 
from the bones of the deer. Then she set at some distance, and in 
various places, all her traps. This done, she thought of her hut. 
A large tree, the boughs of which began to project at some distance 
from the ground, was selected as the main-stay. Against this the 
tallest and stoutest branches she could find, with some drift-wood, 
were leant, so as to form a kind of tent. Other boughs were laid 
on so thick, one upon the other, that the whole took the aspect of a 
mere accidental wood-heap. It was rude and shapeless, but it was 
weatherproof, and that was enough for the wants of a homeless 
Indian. ' Thee-kis-ho's deer-skin was as yet her only b<idding, but 



186 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



now that slie had fixed her abode, she hoped to succeed better as a 
trapper, and so add to the wealth of her wardrobe. 

It was late at night when this her first and almost her most 
important task was completed. But she stopped not until it was 
concluded. Then she lay down to rest beside her dog, and took the 
first sleep she had had under cover for nearly three months. At 
dawn she rose to recommence her arduous labors. Food must be 
found, prepared, and preserved for nearly the whole winter, now 
approaching with terrible strides. She found the lake full of fish 
and every moment she could spare from setting and resetting her 
traps was devoted to fishing. While waiting for the arrival of a 
hard frost, which she knew would set in in the course of a few days, 
she looked about her. A portion of the lake formed a small pond 
oflf the rivulet, with an entrance not five feet across, and about two 
feet deep. As soon as she caught her fish, which she did as fast 
as she could throw her lines, she cast them into this pond, having 
first made a dam by throwing branches and stones into the narrow 
channel, which left ample passage for water, but none for the escape 
of the trout, pike, and other large fish of the lake, which, like that 
of Athapascow, is renowned for the aT^undance and size of its finny 
inhabitants. 

Wading in the water, provided with a stick, a rude bark-net, and 
her dog, she could always re-catch them at will. Every day, too, 
she added to the numbers of rabbits, partridges, and squirrels which 
she caught in her traps ; and, while roaming about the woods with 
Esquimaux, she, on one occasion, by his aid, caught a porcupine. 
One day, too, she hit upon a small beaver dam, and captured sev- 
eral of these sagacious animals. Presently, however, the snow began 
to fall in heavy flakes, and Thee-kis-ho found herself in winter. All 
her fish were at once taken out of the water, and placed in a position 
where they were freely exposed to the cold. The next day the whole 
country was covered with a thick coat of snow, and the fish were 
frozen hard. 

The change in the weather by no means changed the industrious 
habits of the young White Swallow. A part of the day was spent 
in making herself warm clothes with her rabbit, beaver, and squirrel 
skins ; and, though alone, they were made with all the elegance of 
which she was capable, for she was still a woman. Then she cast 
her lines, taking care, now the cold was come, to drop them in deep 
places, while she found employment every day for hours in mend- 
ing old and making new traps. Then to make a fire in the morn- 
ing, when she had not kept the embers alive all night, was a 
waste of time and labor, for the moss was damp, and would not 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 187 



burn ; but Thee-kis-ho soon took care to have a supply of tinder in 
the shape of fungi, which she dried by a warm fire, and hung up in 
her hut. 

She had, at first at all events, plenty of food. The little animals 
she caught, famished and hungry, snapped greedily at the baits 
ofiered them, and rarely did a day pass without its due proportion 
of prey. Furs became plentiful; and^as the cold became more 
severe, the Indian girl not only clothed herself with them, but 
made bed-coverings, and lined the inside of the tent. Her fire, 
despite the smoke, was made, according to the fashion of her tribe, 
in her tent ; the acrid vapor escaping by a little opening in the sum- 
mit, and by the narrow door. A small fire was quite sufficient both 
for cooking and warmth. 

The next labor undertaken by the White Swallow was making 
herself a pair of snow-shoes with which to take exercise. Without 
them walking became painful. At one time she thought of con- 
structing a sledge, and on setting out towards the Mabasha, with her 
dog dragging a load of provisions ; but the doubtful nature of the 
enterprise made her at once give it up, and resolve on waiting the 
return of the warm summer season. From tradition and report, 
she believed she knew pretty well her whereabouts, and regarded 
the journey before her next year as of little consequence. 

Still the young girl felt some desponding emotions. Continued 
solitude may have its charms for the melancholy and misanthropical, 
but the young and hopeful long for the society of their fellows, and 
for communion with the world. It is true that Thee-kis-ho had 
both ample occupation and dumb society ; but I believe few young 
ladies will deny, that however constantly their fingers might be 
employed, and however faithful a companion their dog might be, 
they would pretty nearly always like the addition of some conver- 
sational associate ; and not the less if this associate were an agreeable 
man. The loving andfaithfid Indian girl never had Matonaza out 
of her thoughts — she dreamed of him at night, she thought of him 
by day, and during every occupation found him present to her imagr 
ination. 

At break of day she would rise and light or trim her fire, before 
which some meat or fish was then set to cook. Then she went down 
to the lake to look at her lines, until such time as the edge of the 
water froze hard, when fishing ceased, for she had no nets with 
which to try her fortune under the ice. Her land-nets were, how- 
ever, always a source of employment, and generally of profit, for the 
winter game was abundant round the lake. Then she returned to 
the hut to cook her breakfast, and feed her dog, an animal now more 



188 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

useful as a companion than as a servant. This done, she sat within 
her tent by a fire of hot embers, and near a narrow loophole admit- 
ting light, adding daily to her wardrobe, until the dead of winter 
arrived, when she had no choice but to take exercise on her snow- 
shoes, or to lie in darkness in her hut, hermetically closed against 
the air. 

Still she repined not, for time passed rapidly with her ; the mid- 
dle of winter was now come, and every hour brought her nearer the 
period when, on the wings of affection and hope, she would hasten 
towards the village of her youth, her affections, and her future joys. 
The innocent and warm-hearted girl never doubted her affianced 
husband's truth and affection ; and if a suspicion came across her 
that he might have found one to take her place, and cause her to 
be forgotten, she speedily drove such gloomy images away. 

The worst of the winter was now past, but not the difficulties and 
sufferings of our heroine. During the bitter cold of December and 
January she scarcely made any captures, while the appetites of her- 
self and her dog remained always the same. She therefore saw her 
store of fish and frozen game almost completely consumed, while in 
three days one solitary bird would alone reward her efforts. The 
cold, too, was intense ; and one day, more damp and disagreeable 
than usual, her hot embers went out during the night, and the tin- 
der she had preserved would not light. 

The poor girl was driven to eat raw and frozen fish, and to take 
violent exercise on her snow-shoes. That night, but for her dog 
and her furs, she would have been frozen to death. Next day 
her efforts were not more fortunate ; and, seriously alarmed at this 
accident, Thee-kis-ho was almost inclined to give way to despair. 

Five days passed without fire, and the Indian girl began to fear 
to go to sleep lest a severer cold than nsual might chill her limbs. 
One morning, after eating her miserable, cold, and wretched pit- 
tance, and endeavoring to get fire from her broken flints, the White 
Swallow went out to walk, when two startling sights arrested her 
attention. It was blowing a smart breeze on the lake, and yet, in 
the distance, three canoes full of Indians were paddling smartly, as 
if making their way from some of the islands of the centre towards 
a prominent point of land to the left. On this point there was a 
fire, giving more smoke than was usually the case under the circum- 
stances in the woods. The AVhite Swallow at once conjectured that 
her own obscure position in the depth of a bay, and the fact that 
her fire was always made amid very tall trees, and of a moderate 
Bize, had alone — together with the intervention of an island pretty 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 189 

thickly wooded, at the mouth of the bay — protected her from dis- 
agreeable visits. 

There was danger in the journey, but Thee-kis-ho at once deter- 
mined on venturing across to the fire, to pick there some hot brands 
with which to relight her own, but in a very small and cautious way. 
She surmised that if the fire was made by persons hostile to the 
party in the canoe, a fight and a chase would ensue, when her efibrts 
would be practicable enough. Then the fear came on her of leaving 
a trail, which some of them might hit upon^ and trace her to her hut. 
This made her use extreme caution. She eagerly retreated within 
the shelter of the new clad trees, and thence watched. 

The smoke of the fire became now very thick, and the canoes 
reached the land. There were some dozen warriors or more, and 
after one or two had plunged into the thicket, to examine, as she 
supposed, what the foe was, the rest stood still. In a few minutes 
they were called to join their companions, in a way which showed 
that the fire was abandoned, or that those around it were found. 
Then two men burst from the thicket, leaped into the first canoe, 
cast the others adrift, and paddled away. 

A yell, distinctly heard by the Indian girl, then arose, and the 
warriors came rushing back. One of them easily caught a canoe, 
which had been checked by some ice, and the whole party again 
betook themselves to the water in chase of the fugitives. These 
made for the island nearest to the White Swallow's lonely hut, and 
were speedily lost behind it. In ten minutes more the others were 
equally so ; and Thee-kis-ho saw no more. 

The young girl was now seriously alarmed. She was in the very 
centre, it appeared, of some battle-ground of those who could not 
but be enemies to her, and it would be a strange chance if they did 
not hit upon her humble dwelling, in which case all her efibrts and 
heroic fortitude would have availed her nothing : so she returned not 
to the Mabasha, it little mattered what Indian called her his squaw. 
Filled with alarm, and allowing all kinds of gloomy ideas to prey 
upon her, the White Swallow returned to her hut, now so buried in 
the snow as to resemble, rather, a snow-heap than a wigwam, and, 
hiding herself under her fur coverlids, sought to collect her 
thoughts. All her reflections, however, produced no very satisfac- 
tory result, and she soon fell fast asleep. Suddenly an angry growl 
from her dog alarmed her : she awoke with a violent start ; the door 
of the hut was opened, and the face of an Indian warrior peered in 
upon the darkness. 

The WTiite Swallow lay motionless. She discovered that it waa 



h 



190 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

mglit, and that the moon had risen, and that she could see and not 
be seen. Then she started up. 

" Matonaza ! " she cried. 

" Thee-kis-ho ! " replied the Indian. 

The young warrior looked behind him : no one was near : and, 
giving way to the native impulses of his heart, he passionately 
embraced his affianced wife. The dog at once ceased growling, and 
the lovers were soon sheltered from the piercing cold under cover 
of the hut. 



The Lover's Search. 

Matonaza, Mark Dalton, and the Eoaming Panther, continued on 
their way without stopping until they reached the scene of the already 
■narrated Esquimaux massacre. No one had approached its precincts 
since the departure of the Athapascows, and tents and dead bodies 
all lay in horrid confusion. The corpses were eagerly examined, 
but the White Swallow was not among them. At all events, then, 
she had not been killed in the fray. This was a source of prodigious 
relief to the whole party. A council was held, Mark Dalton inclin- 
ing to the opinion that the girl had been captured by some of the 
other Esquimaux, while the chief believed her to be returning on 
her way alone. But should the idea of his pale-faced friend bo 
correct, it was necessary to examine into the circumstance at once, 
as it was easier to make these inquiries now, than after a long and 
arduous search. 

They accordingly ascended the rocky eminence above the huts, 
and gazed around. The seven tents were before them, and some 
smoke seemed to evince that they were inhabited. It was neces- 
sary to cross the river to hold communion with them, but it was 
dangerous to show themselves in a way which might terrify those 
who had witnessed so dreadful a massacre. It was agreed that the 
Roaming Panther, who was a splendid swimmer, and knew a little of 
the Esquimaux dialect, shoudd venture across alone, and under 
cover of the unerring rifles of the two friends. He accordingly 
plunged into the water, and in a very short time stood upon the 
opposite bank unarmed, and shouting a welcome to the copper- 
colored race. 

The inhabitants of the huts rushed out in gi'eat alarm, which 
subsided when they saw one unarmed man before them. The 
Roaming Panther walked into the middle of the group, speaking 
with extreme volubility, and pointing, with signs of horror, to the 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



191 



scene of the late terrible catastrophe. The Esquimaux stood round 
him in timid wonder ; but, after about ten minutes, his eloquence 
seemed to prevail, and one of the men, entering a canoe, moved 
towards the two friends. The savage, it was quite clear, was very 
uneasy at first, but he appeared more tranquil as he came near and 
distinguished the friendly gestures of the strangers. 

In ten minutes more the three wanderers were the guests of 
the poor northern aborigines, who received them with extreme hos- 
pitality. There could be little conversation when the chief and the 
runner only knew a few sentences ; but, such as it was, it was wholly 
about the event of the hour — the slaughter of the neighboring fam- 
ily. Matonaza easily discovered that the Esquimaux knew their 
enemies to be seven- in number, and immediately made signs that 
they had killed three of them. The Esquimaux looked uneasy 
at this for a moment ; but reflecting, no doubt, that if killing was 
the trade of these, also, they would have commenced shooting fire 
at them from the other side, they became gradually calmer. Then 
the Little Snake drew the conversation to a young girl of his 
tribe, whom the Athapascows had stolen away, and who was yet not 
with them. 

One of the men nodded his head, and pointed to a half-deaf, 
half-blind old woman, who sat in a corner. Matonaza looked puz- 
zled, but waited. The Esquimaux bawled in her ear, and the hag 
began to mumble something, which the other spoke over again more 
dearly. It was to the efiect that a young girl, sweet in speech, 
and beautiful as an angel, had warned her, whilst fishing, of the 
presence of the Indians, but had been no more seen. ^ This was 
enough for Matonaza, who, after some further cross-questioning, and 
a carefiil examination of the neighborhood, discovered that, six days 
before, the White Swallow had got the start of him on her way 
home. 

But for ten days previously they had pushed on with such haste, 
as to be worn, with fatigue, almost to death, being likewise half- 
starved, and without moccasins. A good day's rest, and food, and 
new- shoes, were indispensable. They therefore accepted, from the 
good-natured Esquimaux, a supply of fish, and a tent, and disposed 
themselves to eat, rest, and make shoes, having saved some deer- 
skin pieces for the purpose. It was only after a day and two nights' 
rest that they felt themselves able to renew their journey; but then 
they started with energy, strength, and hope. Their new friends 
parted from them with good wishes, and an expression of regret that 
all red-skins were not so pacific. 

It was now necessary to follow the trail of the young girl with 



192 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



extreme caution. Fortunately, it was clear and obvious enough at 
ftrst, though all were puzzled about, the animal which accompanied 
the White Swallow. It was clearly a large dog ; but how she 
'iame by so unexpected a friend was somewhat difficult to conjec- 
ture. All parties, however, were soon at fault. The river was 
reached where Thee-kis-ho had hidden her trail, and it now became 
requisite to be, according to the words of the chief, " all eye." The 
Roaming Panther followed one bank of the stream, while Mark and 
Matonaza followed the other, for a long time in vain. The bank was 
hard and rocky, or pebbly, and not a trace of the Indian girl was to 
be found. 

" Ugh ! " said the young chief, suddenly. 

They were standing near a stunted bush, and there, on the ground, 
were some faint traces of a camp, with some fish-bones, abandoned by 
the dog. The party halted, and, after a few words of congratulation, 
supped on a couple of wild rabbits and a partridge, all the results of 
the day's chase, cooked by means of the stunted branches and trunk 
of the bush. It began now to be very cold ; and when the trio in 
their turn commenced ascending the gully by which Thee-kis-ho 
crossed the Rocky Mountains, the blast blew chill and keen. Here, 
too, in these stony hills, they lost all trace of the girl. 

From that hour, indeed, the trail was wholly lost to them. So 
much time was consumed in hunting for it, in looking for provisions, 
and in roaming hither and thither, that the snow overtook them 
before they had passed the lake where the young girl had killed the 
deer. It became almost useless to proceed, and yet the chief resolved 
on continuing the search. A hut was erected, a fire made, and then 
the three men parted in search of game — one remaining near the 
camp on the look-out for small birds, the others going hither and 
thither, in the hope of falling on more noble prey. This was done 
for a week, during which, right and left, every place where a hut 
could be hid was examined : then the camp was moved a few miles 
further south, and the same plan resumed. 

This was continued with various fortune for some time, until one 
day they found themselves camped near a large wood without pro- 
visions, weary, hungry, and cold. A council was held, and it was 
agreed that Mark and the Koaming Panther on the one hand, and 
Matonaza on the other, should start once more in chase of elk and 
buffalo, and that the first that met with good fortune should give 
the other notice. 

Matonaza moved about in various directions in moody silence. 
The young chief had, in his own mind, given up all hope of finding 
the beloved White Swallow, whom he imagined the prey of some 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 193 

savage wild beast, or of Indians as ruthless. He moved along, 
brooding on 'revenge, on some terrible and sudden foray into the 
land of the Athapascows, and yet his eye was cast about in search 
of game. Presently the forest grew less dense, and the young 
•chief soon found himself in the open air beside the vast lake already 
alluded to. The warrior paused, for never had he seen waters so 
vast. He gazed curiously around, and then followed the banks for 
some time : but all in vain ; not a trace of game did he find. 
Weary and hungry, he turned his steps back towards the camp, and 
reached the spot where he had first come out upon the lake. He 
passed it, and pursued his way still further along the shore, which 
was frozen hard as far out as the water was shallow. 

The Indian now came in sight of the fii'e seen by Thee-kis-ho in 
the morning, hitherto masked from his view by the island already 
alluded to. He knew this to be the signal given by his friends that 
they had found game, and hurried his steps. Suddenly he halted. 
A rabbit in its milk-white winter coat lay struggling. at his feet, and 
yet not running away. The animal was caught in a snare made by 
human hands. The chief bounded like a stricken deer ; his eyes 
flashed ; and then, after killing the animal, and casting it over his 
shoulder, he began moving along the bank. Another and another 
snare fell under his notice, and then steps in the snow — those of a 
woman and a dog — steps of that day, of that hour ! 

Matonaza stood for an instant leaning on his rifle ; for, though an 
Indian and a warrior, he was a man, and young. He was not insen- 
sible to gentle emotions, and he loved the girl with all the warmth of 
a generous and unsophisticated heart that had never loved before. 
Then he looked around, his eyes glaring like those of the tiger about 
to spring ; and he caught sight of the, hut, or rather of the snow-pile 
which hid it. The door was clearly defined. He stood by it, he 
raised it : the rest has been already told. 



Stbange Events. 

Jj'or some quarter of an hour they gave themselves up to the joy 
of this unexpected and happy meeting. The warrior then listened 
with charmed ears to the recital of the events which had preceded 
the arrival of the White Swallow at her winter camp. Surprise, 
pride, and satisfaction, filled the young man's heart, as each day's 
adventure showed how admirably the girl had conducted herself, and 
how fit she was to be the bride'of a chief. She spoke briefly, but 
clearly, and the event of the day soon formed the topic of discourse, 
13 



194 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



When Thee-kis-ho spoke of the flight of two men from the fire, Ma- 
tonaza became much moved. 

" My friends are prisoners," he said gravely, and then bade her 
go on. 

But the White Swallow ceased speaking, and waited to hear the 
narrative of her future lord and master. 

The young chief reflected a moment^ and asked for something 
to eat. But the girl had nothing but raw fish and the rabbit, and 
no fire. 

" Ugh ! " exclaimed Matonaza, as he heard that she had had no 
fire for five or six days ; "let us go." 

The White Swallow rose, took a good supply of fish, with the 
rabbit, and followed the Little Snake, who led the way through the 
wood towards the camp where he had left his companions. All was 
calm and still. The lake, which had been agitated, was quiescent, 
and the wind had fallen. A quarter of an hour's quick walking 
through the forest brought them in sight of the fire. It remained 
untouched, as also the hut of boughs and fallen trunks that had been 
erected on the previous night. They at once drew the half-scat- 
t-ered embers together, and a few upright and transversed sticks 
served as a gridiron for the fish. The rabbit was also put to roast. 
No alarm was expected but from the lake ; and an occasional glance 
at the water, by a walk of a dozen yards with the dog, rendered a 
surprise unlikely. An elk, and the guns of both Mark and the Roam- 
ing Panther, were found in the hut. The enemy had followed them 
so rapidly, they had no time to inquire into the spoil which might be 
found in the camp. 

Matonaza gazed with speaking eye and afiectionate mien at the 
young girl as she moved about preparing their meal. He smiled 
grimly as she ofiered him the meat when ready, without ofiering to 
take any herself. But he drew her on to the log beside him, and 
bade her eat. The White Swallow laughingly obeyed, and they 
ate together. It was the sweetest repast either had tasted for 
many a long day. When they had done, it was pitchy dark, and 
the young warrior at once went down to the shore, and in the cold, 
and ice, and snow, began to make a raft. Plenty o£ logs, and 
JDOughs, and withes were to be found; and in an hour Indian 
ingenuity had succeeded in manufacturing a very solid construc- 
tion. Then both stepped into it, with the three guns, leaving the 
dog behind. 

The chief turned the somewhat awkward vessel towards the island 
pointed out by his dusky bride, and both propelled it, as best they 
could, with sticks as much like paddles as they could find. They made 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 195 



for the side towards the hut of the young girl, which was rocky and 
precipitous, and therefore safest. Their progress was extremely slow. 
No light of any kind was there to guide them. The island loomed up 
in the distance against the sky, and not a sign of life could be seen 
upon it. li, 

At last it was reached, and the slender bark grated on the shore. 
The pair leaped on the ice, and drew the raft so far after them as 
at least to prevent its floating off. They then took the rifles, and 
gained the land. They found themselves at the foot of lofty rocks, 
from which hung thick and large trees that half-concealed their 
height. The ascent was rugged, but not impossible ; and, by feeling 
their way with extreme caution, they at last reached the summit. 
The wood was here dense in the extreme, and so mixed up with 
brushwood, as to oblige them to take great care as they advanced 
with the rifles. They pushed their way through, however, a little 
further, and then suddenly halted. 

They were within a few yards of an extensive Indian camp. 

The centre of the island was a large and deep hollow, used from 
time immemorial as the winter residence of the tribe which now 
occupied it. About a hundred and fifty yards long, by sixty 
broad, it contained thirty large huts, or wigwams, so arranged 
as to leave a considerable space in the centre. It was, perhaps, 
a dozen yards deep, and so overhung by trees, that whatever fire 
was made — and the Indians rarely make more than is necessary 
— never could be discovered by the smoke, which, rising in small 
cotumns, was swept by the currents of air among the dense foli- 
age, to escape in such light vapors as were imperceptible. A 
large fire was now made, however, beside a rock, close below where 
the astonished pair stood. Rojind this were, perhaps, forty dark 
and fierce-looking warriors. The women stood in groups near the 
huts whispering. 

But the captives were what they chiefly sought ; and these were 
soon distinguished>in the very centre of the council of the tribe. 

A debate was going on, to which neither Mark Dalton nor the 
Roaming Panther seemed to pay any attention. They were on a 
log by themselves, and spoke in whispers. 

" Listen ! " said Matonaza, crouching down beside his bride in 
such a position as to see and hear all that passed, while he was at 
the summit of a path which led down to the fire. 

Various opinions had apparently been uttered before their arri- 
val. The last speaker, a fat, luxurious, greasy-looking warrior, 
with a nose and eye that spoke of the rum of the Yengeese, was, 
when they first listened, doing battle for the protection of the 



196 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

white man's scalp. He urged the fact, that if he were taken to 
the nearest fort in the spring, they would be amply repaid for 
their trouble^ and receive both powder, ball, and shot, in abundanee, 
with plenty of fire-water, that made a poor Indian's heart glad. 
As for the red-skin, his tribe could spare him ; besides, he was of 
no value. Let them take his scalp. A few applauded, but the rest 
murmured loudly, for the speaker was a notorious drunkard ; and 
the red-skins, even* those who occasionally give way to the suicidal 
madness of drink — the worst suicide, because of mind and body — 
despise an habitual sot. 

Then up rose a warrior in the very prime of his days. He 
was about five-and-forty, handsome, well-made, tall, and of grave 
and rather melancholy mien. It was the Lightning- Arm, the 
renowned warrior, who, taken prisoner by the English, had resisted 
all the temptations which ruined his fellows. He was the bravest, 
the wisest, the ablest chief of that day ; and his renown was uni- 
versal. So was his terrible cruelty, in putting to death all the white 
men. Dog-ribbed, and other north-western Indians, who fell in his 
way. This was his oration : — 

" It is fifteen summers ago. The Lightning- Arm lived with his 
people on the borders of the Little Bear River. There was plenty 
of deer in the woods, and fish in the river, and the beavers were 
kind ; they knew that their Indian brothers were poor, and plenty 
were found. The Lightning-Arm was happy. He stood like a 
tall pine in the midst of a wood, and every warrior called him 
chief. Yes ; the Lightning- Arm was very happy. A little bird 
sang in the woods, the loveliest girl of the Great Athapascow tribe, 
and the little bird sang beside the tall pine. Lightning-Arm 
called the Wild Rose his squaw. One pappoose was in his wigwam, 
and it laughed in its father's face, and Lightning- Arm was very 
happy. He was a great warrior ; his wife was pretty and good ; 
he had a child lovely as the flowers of the prairie in spring. 
Lightning- Arm was very happy. Then came the Pale Face tra- 
ders, and bought all the red-skins' furs, and gave the foolish Indians 
fire-water. The traders went away, and the Indians were beasts : 
the fire-water was in their eyes, they could not see ; the fire-water 
was in their ears, and they could not hear ; the fire-water was in 
their heads, they could not watch. But wolves were in the woods, 
who knew that the Great Athapascows were as hogs, and they 
came down upon the camp. The Lightning-Arm had gone to 
show the traders how to hunt. The wolves slew all the warriors, 
who woke no more; they killed the Wild Rose, and they stole 
her child. Lightning- Arm came bounding home : he listened for 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 197 



two laughs — one very loud and clear, and one very little, but 
very sweet. The Lightning-Arm was alone, the tall pine stood 
naked on a stony plain. Let them die — the white man for his 
fire-water, the red-skin for his blood ! He is a Dog-ribbed cur. I 
have spoken ! " 

And the warrior drew his tomahawk, and awaited the words of 
his companions, eager to give the signal for the torments which 
were once more to glut his revenge. His hate for the Pale Faces, 
whose drink had caused the camp to be surprised, and for the 
member of a tribe suspected of the foray, might be seen in every 
lineament. The whole circle of warriors applauded, and were about 
•to rise, when the Little Snake and the White Swallow stood in 
their midst. . 

" My father is very sorry for the death of his squaw," said Ma- 
tonaza with profound respect for the other's grief, " and his eyes 
are dim. But his eyes are open now ; does he know again a little 
face he saw fifteen summers ago ? His ears are very sharp, the girl 
will laugh, and her father will know her again ! " 

The Indians moved not, though their favorite " ugh " escaped 
every throat, while the Lightning- Arm listened with undisguised 
astonishment. 

"My brother is young," he said, quickly recovering himself, 
" and would save his friends ; he gives an old warrior a young squaw 
for a little pappoose." 

" Matonaza is no liar," replied the other, solemnly. " His father 
led the foray against the G-reat Athapascows ; he took away a little 
pappoose for a squaw for his boy. There she stands — see ! " 

And the young chief held out his hand, and took from the 
breast of the White Swallow one of those charmed bags given by 
the medicine men to preserve children against evil spirits, and 
which, found on the neck of the girl, had been left there, all fear- 
ing to touch an amulet which, in their eyes, had secret powers. 
The older chief took a pine-knot, and held it towards the face of the 
young girl, examining at the same time, by an imperceptible glance, 
the little bag. Matonaza saw the Lightning- Arm start, and then 
discovered, by the working of his face and clenched hands, how 
intense was the struggle between his Indian stoicism, and the pent- 
up feelings of fifteen years. 

" My old eyes were dim, and I could not see my friends," said 
the father, in tones which no art, not even that of man's iron reso- 
lution, could make firm. "You are welcome — ye have brought 
back my child ! " 



198 THE WHITE SWALLOW. 

The three companions became at once the centre of a friendl^r 
and delighted group, who crowded round the men, with exquisite 
delicacy contriving to let the father slip away with his child, with- 
out attracting attention to this act, rather too full of nature and 
feeling to suit Indian customs. But, once out of sight, the chief 
raised the girl in his arms, and,v running under the trees, reached 
an empty wigwam at the end of the village. A pine-knot, full 
of rosin, illuminated the place. He set the White Swallow down 
upon a mat, and looked at her. Ever^' feature, every expression 
— mouth, nose, eyes, hair — all were those of the mother, not 
older than she was when killed. The warrior shook like a palsied 
man with emotion, and then clasped the girl wildly to him. She 
laughed faintly, bewildered as she was, and the man almost 
shrieked. His ears had not heard that laugh for fifteen years, 
and yet, it had thrilled in his heart every hour; for the chief 
had idolized his beautiful wife, and she came to him nightly from 
the Happy Hunting-ground in the visions of his sleep. It was an 
hour before the Lightning- Arm was sufficiently composed to rejoin 
his fellows and the astounded women. He found a feast prepared 
to celebrate the happy occasion. All joined heartily in it. Mark 
and the Roaming Panther, who had been expecting death for 
hours, ate none the less heartily; while the old chief, throwing 
aside all his rigidity on this festive occasion, made the women 
join the feast, and placed the White Swallow by his side. Even 
the joughest warriors smiled grimly as they saw him watching every 
mouthful she ate, giving her the choicest morsels, and touching 
nothing himself. 

Matonaza looked gravely, sadly on. He had saved his friends, 
he had found the girl a father, he had gladdened the heart of a 
widowed, childless chief, but he had lost a wife. It was, there- 
fore, with unusual gravity that he rose to narrate the circumstan- 
ces under which the parties had met. His narrative, the history 
of a year, was the work of two hours' speaking, during which tho 
young chief showed all that consummate oratorical art which be- 
longs to some of the Indians — art that, if aided by the advantages 
of education, would astound some civilized audiences. He spoke 
little of himself, much of the White Swallow, and told his story 
in all its details. The Great Athapascows — a distinct tribe from 
the Little Athapascows, the ravishers of the girl — listened with 
unfeigned astonishment and breathless interest. The whole story 
delighted all, and none more than the father. A loud mur- 
mur of applause and a huge cloud of tobacco-smoke greeted its 
oonclusion. 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 199 

" My brother is very wise — a young arm, an old head ! The 
Lightning- Arm sees a long way. The Little Snake has said noth- 
ing, but his eyes are not silent. He would like to hear the White 
Swallow laugh in his wigwam ! " 

The young man at once warmly stated his case, his affection, his 
abandonment of all to seek her. 

"And the White Swallow? " asked the father, quite tenderly for 
an Indian. 

" Matonaza is a great chief, and the White Swallow will be his 
squaw ! " 

The thing was at once settled. It was agreed that in the spring 
the whole party should move towards the Mabasha, to wait during 
the summer, when it was proposed the two tribes should unite. 
Matonaza answered for his people, who were too weak to stand 
alone, and" the Great Athapascows willingly agreed to accept them. 
The party then retired to rest. Early on the following morning 
the White Swallow fetched her dog, while the whole village visited 
her solitary hut, which had escaped their notice only because they 
seldom hunted or fished in the winter months, passing them in their 
wigwams. Two days later, the wedding-feast took place amid uni- 
versal rejoicings. Never was a happier party. The father was a 
changed man. He mourned the early dead ; but he rejoiced over 
the recovered child, and was doubly pleased at seeing her doubly 
happy — finding a lost husband and an unknown father on the same 
day. The Roaming Panther carried the news to the small camp 
on the Mabasha ; and in May the junction took place. Blark Dal- 
ton hunted with them all the summer; and when he left them in 
the autumn, it was with regret 

Neither the Lightning-Arm nor Matonaza ever joined in or 
encouraged any of the wars and forays of their race. They had 
suifered too much from them. The old chief ruled the counsels 
of his people for years, and led them to victory every time they 
were attacked. He lived to see children again, and to watch thepj 
grow up to manhood. He became their instructor and teacher. 
A devoted and earnest friendship took place between the father 
and the son-in-law ; and, in memory of the past, the White Swal- 
low enjoyed a much happier fate than most Indian women. The 
chief never took another squaw: she was his fii'st and his last; 
and ten years after they parted, when travelling on a mission, 
Mark Dalton, now governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, found 
his friends as happy as when he left them so long a time before 



200 



THE WHITE SWALLOW. 



They talked over their adventures once again, and forgot no^ one 
detail ; and in after-life, when speaking of his Indian experiences, 
and admitting all the terror and rudeness of savage life, Mark 
Dalton had always, by way of contrast, his story to tell of the White 
Swallow of Mabasha Lake. 




mmim -m mm aid sietlaib. 




'hese two groups of islands, situated 
in the northern Atlantic, and sepr 
arated by only about one hundred 
and eighty miles, are not more con- 
trasted in their political jpo^ou 
and internal economy, than in their geological structure, and -conse- 
quent dissimilarity of scenery ; though, from having been originally 
peopled by the same Scandinavian race, and long under one govern- 
ment, there are still to be discovered numerous traces of similar 
language, manners, and even personal appearance. 

While Shetland is an integral portion of the home B;-itish empire, 
particip^ing in her enlightened laws and policy, her freedom and 
progress in improvement, together with the good, and also, alas ! evil, 
more or less attendant on our peculiar institutions, Faroe, as respects 
manners and state of society, is in much the same condition as it has 
been for a century past at least, or as Shetland was at that distance 
of time. ^201, 



2^2 FOWLING IN FAROi<: AND SHETLAND. 

Faroe belongs to the Danisli crown, is governed bj its absolute, 
tliougli mild and paternal rule, and is subject to a royal monopoly 
of all commerce and other resources. From analogy and observa- 
tion, however, we are disposed to the opinion, that, for a half- 
instructed, isolated, and pastoral people, the Faroese appear to be, 
at present, in precisely the circumstances most conducive to their 
morality, independence, and happiness. 

The geological formation of the Faroe Isles is of volcanic origin ; 
hence their splendid basaltic columns and conical hills, deep valleys 
and mural precipices, narrow fiords and rushing tides. The shores 
are so steep, that, in many of the islands, there is no convenient land- 
ing-place. Boats are drawn up precipitous banks by ropes and pul- 
leys ; and a ship of large burthen may lie close to a "v^U of rock, 
from one to two thousand feet in height on either side, where the 
strait between is so narrow, that she can only be towed or warped 
onwards or outwards as alongside a wharf. In some situations the 
cliffs present stupendous basaltic pillars, to which those of Staffa 
and the Griant's Causeway are pigmies. More commonly the preci- 
pices are broken into narrow terraces, overhanging crags, and gloomy 
recesses, tenanted by myriads of sea-fowl of every name, whose inces- 
sant motions, and shrill echoing cries, give variety and animation to 
scenes otherwise desolate in their sublimity. 

Among these dizzy and almost confounding scenes, the fowler pur- 
sues his hazardous, but familiar avocation ; for the eggs and flesh of 
the sea-fowl are an important part of the food of the Faroese, and the 
feathers a profitable article of exportation. Little thinks many a dis- 
contented town-bred workman, or surly field laborer, and still less 
many a fashionable ennuy&e, with what cheeriness and courage num- 
bers of their fellow-creatures encounter, not merely fatiguing toil, 
but frightful danger, while in quest of their daily bread ! 

The manner of performing the perilous task of taking the birds 
from the precipices is thus described : " The fowler (fuglemand) is 
let down from the top of the cliff by a rope, about three inches thick, 
which is fastened to the waist and thighs by a broad woollen band, 
on which he sits. The adventurer soon loses sight of his companions, 
and can only communicate with them by a small line attached to his 
]3ody. When he reaches the terraces, often not more than a foot 
broad, he frees himself from the rope, attaches it to a stone, and com- 
mences his pursuit of the feathery natives. Where the nests are in a 
hollow of the rock, the bird-catcher gives himself a swinging motion, 
by means of his pole, till the vibration carries him so close, that he 
can get footing on the rock. He can communicate 'to himself a swing 
of thirty to forty feet ; but when the shelf lies deeper back, another 



FOWLING IN FAROE AND SHETLAND. 



20.^ 



rope is let down to his associates in -a boat, who can thus give him a 
swing of one hundred, or one hundred and twenty feet." The Faroese 
talk with rapture of their sensations while thus suspended between 
sea and sky, swinging to and fro by what would seem a frail link 
when the value of a human life is concerned. Nay, so fascinating is 
this uncouth occupation, that there are individuals, who, provided 
with a small supply of food, cause themselves to be lowered to some 
recess, where the overhanging cliff gives shelter from above, and a 
platform of a few square feet scarce affords sufficient resting-place ; 
and here, sometimes for a fortnight, and even three weeks together, 
will the adventurer remain alone, scrambling from crag to crag, col- 
lecting birds from the nests, or catching them as they fly past him 
with his fowling-pole and net, till he has filled his bags with their 
slaughtered bodies or theh feathers. We cannot imagine a more 
wildly-sublime locality for the restless energy of man to choose as a 
temporary sojourning place. The ceaseless, discordant scream of the 
birds, no doubt amazed at the dauntless intruder on their haunts, the 
roar of the surf, and the wailing of the wind among the rocks and 
crevices, might combine well-nigh to deafen any unaccustomed ears. 
Moreover, there is the danger, the awe-inspiring scenery, the solitude; 
yet several persons have averred to our informant that in such a 
unique position they have spent absolutely their happiest days ! 

In Faroe the story is related, which is also said to have occurred 
at St. Kilda, Folila, and Skye, of a father and son having been low- 
ered at once, the one above the other, on a fowling expedition, by the 
usual rope ; that, on beginning to ascend, they perceived two of the 
three cords of which it was composed had been cut by the abrasion 
of the rocks, and could not sustain the weight of more than one of 
them ; and how, after a short, but anguished contention, the father 
prevailed on the son to cut him off, and thus sacrifice his parent's 
life as the only chance of saving his own. 

A far more instructive and thrilling anecdote, which, so far as we 
know, has not appeared in print, was told our informant in Faroe by 
a member of the young man's family to whom it occurred. 

We have said that the fowlers are lowered from above, and man 
age to get stationed on some shelf, or ledge of rock, frequently 
beneath an overhanging crag, where they disengage themselves fron^ 
the rope, and proceed to their employment. Now it unfortunately 
happened, that the young man we have alluded to, having secured 
his footing on the flat rock, by some accident lost his hold of the 
rope, to which was also attached his single-line, which he had the 
agony to see, after a few pendulous swings, settle, perpendicularly, 
utterly beyond his reach. When the first moments of surprise and 



204 FOWLING IN FAKOE AND SHETLAND. 

nearly mortal anguish had elapsed, he sat down to consider, as 
calmly as might be, what he should do, what effort make to save 
himself from the appalling fate of perishing by inches on that miser- 
able spot. His friends above, he knew, after waiting the usual time, 
would draw up the rope, and finding him not there, would conclude 
he had perished ; or should they by the same method descend to 
seek him, how, among the thousand nooks of that bewildering depth 
of rock upon rock, find the secret recess he had chosen, where he 
had so often congratulated himself on his favorable position, but 
which seemed now destined for his grave ? 

More than once the almost invincible temptation rushed on his 
mind of ending his distraction and suspense by leaping into the abyss. 
One short moment, and his fears and sufferings, with his " life's fit- 
ful fever," would be over. But the temporary panic passed away; 
he raised his thoughts to the guardian (^re of Omnipotence ; and 
calmed, and reassured, he trusted some mode of deliverance would 
present itself. To this end he more particularly scanned his limited 
resting-place. It was a rocky shelf, about eight feet wide, and grad- ' 
ually narrowing till it met the extended precipice, where not the foot 
of a gull could rest; at the other extremity it terminated in an abrupt 
descent of hundreds of feet ; at the back was a mural rock, smooth, 
and slippery as ice ; and above was a beetling crag, overarching the 
place where he stood, outside of which depended his only safety — 
his unfortunate rope. Every way he moved, carefully examining 
and attempting each possible mode of egress from hjs singular prison- 
house. He found none. There remained, so far as his own efforts 
were concerned, one desperate chance to endeavo^ to reach the rope. 
By means of his long pole he attempted to bring it to his hand. Long 
he tried ; but he tried in vain : he could hardly touch it with the end 
of the stick and other appliances ; but no ingenuity could serve to 
hook it fast. Should he, then, leap from the rock, and endeavor to 
catch it as he sprung ? "Was there any hope he could succeed, or, 
catching, could he sustain his hold till drawn to the top ? This, 
indeed, seemed his only forlorn hope. One fervent prayer, there- 
fore, for agility, courage, and strength, and with a bold heart, a 
steady eye, and outstretched hand, he made the fearful spring! 
We dare not and could not say exactly the distance — it was many • 
feet — but he caught the rope, first with one hand, and in the next|»» 
moment with the other. It slipped through, peeling the skin from 
his palms ; but the knot towards the loops at the end stopped his 
impetus, and he felt he could hold fast for a time. He made the 
usual signal urgently, and was drawn upwards as rapidly as possible. 
Yet the swinging motion, the imminent danger, and his own preca- 



FOWLING IN FAROE AND SHETLAND. 205 

rious strength considered, we may well believe the shortest interval 
would seem long, and that no ordinary courage and energy were 
still necessary for his safety. He reached the top, and instantly 
prostrated himself on the turf, returning aloud to the Almighty his 
fervent thanksgivings, a few words of which had hardly escaped his 
lips, when he sunk into utter insensibility. 

Great was the amazement of his associates to find him hanoinfi^ on 
by his hands — greater far their astonishment at his singular adven- 
ture : but once having told his tale, which every circiunstance clearly 
corroborated, his pole and net being found on the rock as described, 
he never would again be prevailed on to recur to the subject ; nor 
did he ever approach in the direction of the cliff from which he had 
descended, without turning shudderingly away from a spot associated 
with a trial so severe. 

Quite contrasted to all these scenes, as we observed at the outset, 
are the aspect of nature and the manner of taking the sea-fowl and 
their eggs in Shetland. The hills are low, none of the seaward preci- 
pices are above six or seven hundred feet high ; and so far from fowl- 
ing being pursued as a regular branch of employment, under proper 
regulations, as in Faroe, the Shetland landlords and other superiors 
by all means discourage their dependants from spending their time 
and energies in what is at best to them a desultory and most danger- 
ous occupation, which, moreover, robs the rocks, otherwise so bare 
and rugged, of those feathered denizens, their appropriate ornament. 
Still, so fascinatina^nd exciting is this method of idling away time, 
that might be much more profitably or improvingly employed, at 
least, in these islands, that many of the fishermen frequent the cliffs 
and peril their lives in the forbidden pursuit. Serious accidents 
occasionally occur. Some time ago a poor man met a very dreadful 
fate. He had been creeping into a crevice where were several nests 
with eggs ; having inserted half of his body, he had dislodged a stone, 
which held him fast. His decaying corpse was found some time 
afterwards ; the head, shoulders, and outstretched hands jammed in 
the crevice, and the feet and legs hanging out. " 

More lately, a man nofed for his fowling depredations went out one 
fine morning to gather sheU-fish bait for the next day's fishing. It 
happened to be the day after communion Sabbath, when there is sermon 
at noon. The fisherman's Sunday clothes were laid ready, his family 
went to church and returned, but he appeared not : night came, and 
he was yet absent. StiU his family were under no particular anxiety, 
imagining he had gone to a friend's at some little distance. In the 
morning, howevei", when he did not join his boat's crew to go to the 
usual fishing, the alarm was raised, and inquiry and search immedi- 



206 FOWLING IN FAROE AND SHETLAND.. 

ately made. It was without success for a considerable time ; but, 
finally, near the bxink of a precipice, where an opening rent in tha 
rocks made an accessible way for a short distance downwards, the 
poor man's shoes and basket of bait were found. Following up this 
indication, his fishing associates proceeded in their boat to the base 
of the cliff, from whence they saw something like a human being. 
With renewed hope they climbed up, and found their unfortunate 
comrade, caught between two rocks, where he reclined as if asleep ; 
but he had fallen from a great height, and was quite dead ; and by 
this act, as of a truant schoolboy, for a few wild-fowl eggs, was a 
wife and large family left destitute and mourning ! 

There is in the island of Unst, the most northerly of the Shetlands, 
one man, who, by his bravery, expertness, and, we may perhaps add, 
his incorrigible perseverance, has gained a sort of tacit immunity from 
the general restriction, or, at least, his poaching misdemeanors are 
winked at. His father was a noted fowler before him ; and since his 
own earliest boyhood, he has been accustomed to make it his pastime 
to scramble among the steepest crags and cliffs, making many a hair-* 
breadth escape, many an unheard-of prize. He has robbed the most 
inaccessible nooks of their inhabitants, and even surprised the sea eagle 
in her nest. He climbs barefooted, and his toes clasp the slippery 
rock as talons would. Fear or dizziness he knows not of; and for a 
few shillings, or, for an afternoon's recreation, he will scale many a 
ladder of rock, and penetrate many a time-worn crevice, where human 
foot but his own will probably never tread. Every cranny, every 
stepping- place of ,^the precipitous headlands of his native island are 
intimately known to him ; and .at how much expense of unconquera- 
ble pei'severance, zigzag explorings, and undaunted courage this has 
been accomplished, we may not stop too particularly to relate. 

On one occasion, led on by his indomitable love of exploring, he had 
passed to a point of a cliff to which even he had never before been. 
His object was to discover the spot where he believed a pair of eagles 
had long built unmolested. Overjoyed, he reached the place ; trium- 
phantly he possessed himself of the eggs (for which, by the by, a com- 
mercial collector afterwards paid him five shillings) ; and then he 
for the first time became aware of his whereabouts. How he got 
there he could not even imagine. He paused a few moments ; it was 
not fear, but unfeigned surprise and awe that entranced him ; and 
then the consideration naturally forced itself on his attention — 
" How shall I return ? " It ought to be mentioned, for the benefit 
of the uninitiated, that it is much more difi&cult to get down than to 
ascend. The whole tortuosities and difficulties of the path are more 
clearly in view, and the head is not apt to be so steady. In tile pre*- 



FOWLING IN FAROE AND SHETLAND. 207 

ent case, moreover, the excitement was past — the object was attained, 
and it is wonderful how the blood cools, and courage becomes calcii- 
lating, in these latter circumstances. Well, beside the plundered 
eyrie our gallant adventurer sat cogitating. "Ill never return, 
that's certain, to begin with," he said to himself. "After all my 
escapes and exploits, my time is come at last. Well, if it is, it is : let 
me meet it like a man ! If it is not come, I shall get down in safety, 
as I have done ere now, though never from such an awful place before." 
So he precipitately began the descent — plunging on without an idea 
except his early-imbibed belief in predestination, and an occasional 
aspiration to the Almighty for protection. -He never kn"ew> he says, 
how or by what paths he reached a place of comparative safety; but 
he would not attempt to go again to that spot for twenty guineas. 

It is not, however, only in those localities with which from child- 
hood he has been familiar that our courageous fowler is dexterous 
and adventurous in his undertakings. Tempted by an offer of ade- 
quate remuneration from an amateur, he engaged to procure an 
eagle's egg from a distant quarter, where they were known to have a 
nest. The gentleman, in the interval of his absence, sorely repented 
that he had proffered the bribe, though he by no means urged the 
step. But in due time the brave cragsman returned successful, 
having twice scaled the precipice to the eyrie. The first time, when 
he reached the place^ from whence he scared the parent birds, he found 
the nest so situated, that, though he saw the eggs, he could not by 
any possibility reach them. Nothing daunted, he returned and made 
his preparations. To the end of a long fishing-rod he attached a blad- 
der, the mouth of which he kept distended by a wire. Reaching this 
simple but ingenious apparatus to the nest, from the perching-place 
where he leaned, he gradually worked the eggs into the bladder-bag 
with the point of the rod, and bore them off in triumph. It was the 
most lucrative, though the most dangerous adventure he had' ever 
accomplished ; for the locality was strange, the weather was gloomy, 
and the birds were fierce, and, at one time, in startling proximity to 
the spoiler. 

This man, who in every respect is the beau ideal of a successful 
bwler, is now in the prim.e of life, about medium height, active and 
dgile of course, and slender and lithe as an eel. During the late 
trying season of destitution from the failure of crops and fishing, he 
has mainly supported his family by the produce of such exploits as 
we have been detailing. And he has a little son, the tiny counterpart 
of himself, whom, almost ever since he could walk, he has taught to 
dimb the rocks along with him; and who, therefore, bids fair, should he 
f«cape casualties, to be as bold and expert in fowling as is his parent. 



THE FfQUEEE'S CUES! 



Among tlie many strange objects whicli an Englishman meets 
with in India; there are few which tend so much to upset his ec[ua- 
nunity as a visit from a wandering Fuqueer. 

The advent of one of these gentry in an English settlement is 
regarded with much the same sort of feeling as a vagrant cock- 
roach, when he makes his appearance, unannounced, in a modem 
drawing-room. If we could imagine the aforesaid cockroach bran- 
dishing his horns in the face of the horrified inmates, exulting in 
the disgust which his presence creates, and intimating, with a con- 
ceited swagger, that, in virtue of his ugliness, he considered himself 
entitled to some cake and wine, perhaps the analogy would be more 
complete. 

The fuqueer is the mendicant friar of India. He owns no supe- 
rior; wears no clothing; performs no work; despises everybody 
and everything ; sometimes pretends to perpetual fasting, and lives 
on the fat of the land. 

There is this much, however, to be said for him, that when he 
does mortify hunself for the good of the community, he does it to 
some pui'pose. A lenten fast, or a penance of parched pease in 
his shoes, would be a mere iDagatelle to hun. We have seen a 
fuqueer who was never " known" to eat at all. He carried a small 
black stone about with him, which had been presented to his 
mother by a holy man. He pretended that by sucking this stone, 
and without the aid of any sort of nutriment, he had arrived at the 
mature age of forty ; yet he had a nest of supplementary chins, and 
a protuberant paunch, which certainly did great credit to the fat- 
tening powers of the black stone. Oddly enough, his business 
was to collect eatables and drinkables ; but, like the Scottish gen- 
tleman who was continually begging brimstone, they were "no for 
hissel, but for a neebour." When I saw him he was soliciting 
offerinf^s of rice, milk, fish, and ghee, for the benefit of his patron 
"^ cms) 



A rUQUEER'S CURSE. 209 



Devi. These offerings were nightly laid upon the altar before the 
Devi, who was supposed to ahsorh them during the night, consider- 
ately leaving the fragments to be distributed among the poor of the 
parish. His godship was very discriminating in the goodness and 
freshness of these offerings ; for he rejected such as were stale, to be 
returned next morning, with his maledictions, to the fraudulent 
donors. 

Sometimes a fuqueer will take it itito his head that the commu- 
nity will be benefited by his trundling himself along, like a cart-wheel, 
for a couple of hundred miles or so. He ties his wrists to his 
ankles, gets a th-e, composed of chopped straw, mud, and cow-dung, 
laid along the ridge of his backbone ; a bamboo staff passed through 
the angle formed by his knees and his elbows, by way of an axle, 
and off he goes ; a brazen cup, with a bag, and a huhhle-huhhle^ hang 
like tassels at the two extremities of the axle. Thus accoutred, he 
often starts on a journey which will occupy him for several years, 
like Milton's fiend, — 

** O'er bog, or steep, through straight, rough, dense, or rare. 
With head, hands, feet or wings, pursues his way." 

On arriving in the vicinity of a village, the whole population turn 
out to meet and escort him with due honors to the public well or tank ; 
the men beating drums, and the women singing through cheu* noses. 
Here his holiness unbends, washes off the dust and dht acquired 
by perambulating several miles of dusty road ; and, after partaking 
of a slight refreshment, enters into conversation with the assembled 
villagers just as if he were an ordinary mortal ; making very par- 
ticular inquiries concerning the state of their larders, and slight 
investigations as to their morals. Of course every one is anxious 
to have the honor of entertaining a man so holy as to roll to their 
presence doubled up into a hoop ; and disputes get warm as to who 
is to have the preference. Whereupon the fuqueer makes a speech, 
in which he returns thanks for the attentions shown him, and inti- 
mates that he intends taking up his quarters with the man who is 
most capable of testifying his appreciation of the honor. After 
some higgling, he knocks himself down, a decided bargain, to be the 
guest of the highest bidder, in whose house he remains, giving good 
advice to the community, and diffusing an odor of sanctity through- 
out the whole village. When the supplies begin to fail, he ties his 
hands to his heels again, gets a fresh tire put on, and is escorted 
out of the village with the same formalities as accompanied his 
eutrauce. 

14 



210 A fuqueer's curse. 



Like other vermin of his class, he is most apt to attach himself 
to the " weaker vessels " of humanity, with whom he is generally a 
prodigious favorite. He is not, certainly, indebted to his personal 
advantages for this favor, for a more hideously ugly race of men is 
seldom met with. As if nature had not made him sufficiently repul- 
sive, he heightens his hideousness by encircling his eyes with bands 
of white paint ; daubing his cheeks a rich mustard yellow ; a white 
streak runs along the ridge of his nose, and another forms a circle 
round his mouth ; his ribs are indicated by corresponding bars of 
white paint, which give a highly venerable cross-bones effect to his 
breast. When I add, that he wears no clothes, and that the use of 
soap is no part of his religion, some ide^ may be gained of the effect 
the first view of him occasions in the mind of a European. 

On the afternoon of a very sultry day in June, I had got a table 
out in the verandah of my bungalow, and was amusing myself with 
a galvanic apparatus, giving such of my servants as had the coura^ 
a taste of what they called Wulatee hoinjee (English lightning), 
when a long, gaunt figure, with his hair hanging in disordered masses 
over his face, was observed to cross the lawn. On arriving within 
a few paces of where I stood, he drew himself up in an imposing atti- 
tude — one of his arms akimbo, while the other held out towards 
me what appeared to be a pair of tongs, with a brass dish at the 
extremity of it. 

"Who are you ? " I called out. 

" Fuqueer," was the guttural response. 

" What do you want ? " 

"Bheek," (alms). « 

" Bheek ! " I exclaimed, " surely you are joking, — a great stout 
fellow like you can't be wanting bheek ! " 

The fuqueer paid not the slightest attention, but continued hold- 
ing out his tongs with the dish at the end of it. 

" You had better be off," I said ; " I never give bheek to people 
who are able to work." 

" We do Khooda's work," replied the fiiqueer, with a swagger. 

" Oh ! you do — then," I answered, " you had better ask Khooda 
for bheek." So saying, I turned to the table, and began arranging 
the apparatus for making some experiments. Happening to look up 
about five minutes affer, I observed that the fuqueer was standing 
upon one leg, and struggling to assume as much majesty as was con- 
sistent with his equilibrium. The tongs and dish were still extended, 
while his left hand sustained his right foot across his abdomen. I 
turned to the table, and tried to go on with my work ; but I blun- 
dered awfully, broke a glass jar, cut my fingers, and made a 



A mQUEER'S CURSE. 211 



on the table. I had a consciousness of the ftiqueer's staring at me 
with his extended dish, and could not get the fellow out of my head. 
I looked up at him again. There he was as grand as ever, on his 
one leg, and with his eyes riveted on mine. He continued this per- 
formance for nearly an hour, yet there did not seem to be the faint- 
est indication of his unfolding himself; — rather a picturesque 
ornament to the lawn, if he should tal^e it into his head, as these fel- 
lows sometimes do, to remain in the same position for a twelvemonth 
" If," I said, " you stand there much longer, I '11 give you such a 
taste of boinjee (lightning) as will soon make you glad to go." 

The only answer to this threat was a smile of derision that sent 
his mustache bristling up against his nose. 

"Lightning!" he sneered — "your lightning can't touch a 
fiiqueer — the gods take care of him." 

Without more ado, I charged the battery and connected it witl 
a coil machine, which, as those who have tried it are aware, is capa 
Ue of racking the nerves in such a way as few people care to tr^ 
and which none are capable of voluntarily endui'ing beyond a fev 
seconds. 

The fuqueer seemed rather amused at the queer-looking imple 
ments on the table, but otherwise maintained a look of lofty stoi- 
cism ; nor did he seem in any way alarmed when I approached with 
the conductors. 

Some of my servants who had already experienced the process, 
now came clustering about, with looks of ill-suppressed merriment, 
to witness the fuqueer's ordeal. I fastened one wire to his still 
extended tongs, and the other to the foot on the ground. 

As the coil machine was not yet in action, beyond disconcerting 
him a little, the attachment of the wires did not otherwise affect 
him. But when I pushed the magnet into the coil, and gave him 
the full strength of the battery, he howled like a demon ; the 
tongs, to which his hands were now fastened by a force beyond his 
will, quivered in his unwilling grasp as if it were burning the flesh 
from his bones. He threw himself on the ground, yelling and 
gnashing his toeth, the tongs clanging an irregular accompaniment. 
Never was human pride so abruptly cast down. He was rolling 
about in such a frantic way, that I began to fear he would do him- 
self mischief; and, thinking he had now had as much as was good 
for him, I stopped the machine and released him. 

For some minutes he lay quivering on the ground, as if not quite 
sure that the horrible spell was broken ; then gathering himself 
up, he flung the tongs from him, bounded across the lawn, and 
over the fence like an antelope. When he had got to what he reck- 



212 A fuqueer's curse. 



oned cursing distance, he turned round, shook his fists at me, and 
fell to work — pouring out a torrent of imprecations — shouting, 
screeching and tossing his arms about in a manner fearful to 
behold. 

There is a peculiarity in the abuse of an Oriental, that, beyond 
wishing the object of it a liberal endowment of blisters, boils and 
ulcers, (no inefficient curses in a hot country,) he does not otherwise 
allude to him personally ; but directs the main burden of his wrath 
against his female relatives — from his grandmother to his grand- 
daughter, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, and grand aunts inclusive. 
These he imprecates individually and collectively through every 
clause of a prescribed formulary, which has been handed down by 
his ancestors, and which, in searchingness of detail and comprehen- 
siveness of malediction, leaves small scope for additions or improve- 
ments. 

Leaving me then to rot and wither from the face of the earth, and 
consigning all my female kindred to utter and inevitable death and 
destruction, he walked off to a neighboring village to give vent to 
his feelings, and compose his ruffled dignity. 

It so happened, that a short time after the fuqueer had gone, I 
incautiously held my head, while watching the result of some exper- 
iments, over a dish of fuming acid, and consequently became so ill 
as to be obliged to retire to my bedroom and lie down. In about 
an hour, I called to my bearer to fetch me a glass of water ; but, 
although I heard him and some of the other servants whispering 
together behind the purda, or door curtain, no attention was paid 
to my summons. After repeating the call two or three times with 
the same result, I got up to see what was the matter. On drawing 
aside the* purda, I beheld the whole establishment seated in full con- 
clave on their haunches round the door. On seeing me, they all 
got up and took to their heels, like a covey of frightened partridges. 
The old Kidmudgar was too fat to run far ; so I seized him, just as 
he was making his exit by a gap in the garden fence. He was, at 
first, quite incapable of giving any account of himself; so I made 
him sit a minute among the long grass to recover his wind, when 
he broke out with "Oh! re-hab-re-hah I " and began to blubber, 
as only a fat Kidmudgar can, imploring me to send instantly for the 
fuqueer, and make him a present ; if I did not, I would certainly 
be a dead man before to-morrow's sun ; " For," said he, " a fuqueer's 
curse is good as Msmut-ke-'bat^^ (a matter of fate). Some of his 
fellows now seeing that the murder was out, ventured to come 
back, and joined in requesting me to save my life while there was 
yet time. 



A FUQUEER S CUKSE. 




A laugk was the only answer I could make. This somewhat 
reassured them, but it was easy to see that I was regarded by all 
as a doomed man. It was to no purpose that I told them I was now 
quite well, and endeavored to explain the cause of my sickness. 
They would have it that I was in a dying state, and that my only 
salvation lay in sending ofif a messenger with a kid and a bag of 
rupees to the fuqueer. The durdzee (tailor), who had just come 
from the village where the fuqueer had taken refuge, told me, that, 
as soon as the fuqueer heard that I was ill, he performed a pas seul 
of a most impressive character, shouting and threatening to curse 
everybody in the village as he had me and mine. The consequence 
was that pice, cowries, rice and ghee were showered, upon him with 
overwhelming liberality. 

Without saying a word, I armed myself with a horsewhip, set 
out for the village, and found the fuqueer surrounded by a dense 
crowd of men and women, to whom he was jabbering with tremen- 
dous volubility ; telling them how he had withered me up root and 
branch, and expressing a hope that I would serve as a lesson to the 
other children of Sheitan who ventured to take liberties with a 
fuqueer. The crowd hid me from him till I broke in upon his dreams 
with a slight taste of my whip across his shoulders. His eyes nearly 
leaped out of their sockets when he turned round and saw me. 
Another intimation from my thong sent him off with a yell, leaving 
the rich spoil he had collected from the simple villagers behind. 
"What became of him I cannot tell. I heard no more of him. 

A few such adventures as these would tend to lessen the gross, 
and, to them, expensive superstitions under which tha^ natives of 
India at present labor. 



THE IISIETS OF AfSIEi» 



Geography of the Deserts — Physical Structure and Leading Features — 
Vegetable and Animal Productions — Conjectures as to the Origin of 
the Deserts. 

The northern coast of Africa lias long been known to tlie civil- 
ized world, and once formed no unimportant part of its political 
and social system. . But though Egypt took the lead in science, and 
Carthage in commercial enterprise, yet the progress of civilization 
does not appear to have extended at any time beyond the, tracts of 
land immediately bordering on the Nile and the Mediterranean. A 
few days' journey into the interior placed the traveller on apparently 
endless plains of shifting sand ; a boundary which arrested the vic- 
torious career of Cambyses and Alexander, and which has, in all 
subsequent ages, baffled every attempt at colonization and improve- 
ment. Till within the last few years, the immense region which 
extends frdff the fertile shores of the Mediterranean to the country 
called Soudan, or Nigritia, has been left a blank or dotted space on 
our maps, marked in large letters " Sahara, or the Great Desert ;" 
as though nature, departing from her usual diversity of operations, 
had here adopted the rule of monotony and uniformity, and had 
spread in • every direction a sheet of burning sand. The imagina- 
tion of poets has availed itself of the silence of geographers, and 
represented this as a region without a blade of grass, and traversed 
by no living thing, except wild beasts of prey, and here and there a 
tribe of savages, ignorant of the primary wants of individual life 
which attach man to the soil, as well as of the first elements of social 
existence which unite him to his fellow-men. 

Travellers have from time to time ventured into the mysterious 
abyss ; and the few who have returned to tell what they saw, have 
furnished some interesting particulars concerning the route they 
pursuftd, aad the people they eaeeuntered. Their aim, however 

Q14) 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 215 

was rather to get through the Desert than to become acquainted 
with it, the great object of curiosity being the Negro country which 
lies beyond. But since the French assumed the sovereignty of 
Algeria in 1830, they have felt, like all preceding conquerors of 
this territory, the impossibility of colonizing and civilizing it, with- 
out exercising a corresponding influence on the adjoining desert ; 
and thus the Sahara itself has become an object of deep attention. 
They have labored assiduously to understand its resources, the social 
condition of its tribes, and the relation which subsists between them 
and the inhabitants of the surrounding countries. It must bo 
added, that they have made attempts as futile as unwarrantable, 
to compel the Saharians to receive law and civilization at their 
hands. Their utmost success in this respect has been, to obtain a 
scanty tribute from some of the Oases ; to plunder and devastate 
others whose inhabitants fled before them ; and to drive the streams 
of commerce from their own province to the neighboring states of 
Morocco and Tripoli. Meanwhile, a vast body of information had 
been collected, chiefly with reference to the northern and western 
parts of Sahara ; while Mr. Richardson, who penetrated the Desert 
further towards the east in the year 1846, has made us acquainted 
with a portion which the French could know only by hearsay. Re- 
cent discoveries in Central Africa have thrown new interest around 
the deserts which form its northern boundary ; and the more so, 
as it is the present opinion that the most eligible route to Nigritia 
is across the wastes of Sahara from the Mediterranean shores, rather 
than through the pestilential forests and savage populations which 
are found between the Senegal and the Niger. 

The desert region which we propose now to describe, is bounded 
on the north by the states' of Barbary, on the west by the Atlantic 
Ocean, on the south by Soudan, or Nigritia, and the river Senegal, 
and on the east by Egypt and Nubia. Adopting the ancient classi- 
cal figure, we should call this vast expanse an ocean, dividing the 
continent of the black race from the abodes of white men : as such 
it is traversed by powerftd fleets, infested with daring freebooters, 
and studded here and there with single islands, or numerous archi- 
pelagoes. It is difficult to assign its precise limits to the north, on 
account of the interruptions to which it is subject in that direction. 
It has been usual to consider the Great Sahara as reaching from 
about the iBth to the 29th parallels, and to call by various names 
— as the Little Desert, the Desert of Anghad, the Desert of Shott, 
&c. — those gulfs of the sandy ocean which project further north ; 
while th« region of numerous easeSt whieh form the Qorth»:B skkt- 



216 * THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

ing of the Sahara, have been denominated Beled-el-Jerid, or the 
Date-Countrj. 

The term is in many respects ineligible, as it conveys the idea of 
great fertility : and by no means suggests the fact, that it is, as a 
whole, a desert region, absolutely barren and uninhabitable in many 
places, though abounding towards the east in the fertile spots called 
oases, which are generally, but not universally, congenial to the 
date. The fact is, that this fruit attains its greatest perfection in 
some of those verdant spots which are found in the very heart of 
the Central Desert ; and were it only on this ground, the appella- 
tion Date-Country is unsuitable for distinguishing the region of 
numerous oases in the north from the more thinly-sown portion 
in the centre. We may, therefore, so far adopt the French nomen- 
clature, as to call this interesting, and now pretty well-known coun- 
try, "the Northern Sahara," in contradistinction to the Central, 
which it might confuse the English reader to denominate the Falat, 
as the term Sahara is retained in our best maps. 

The inhabitants of the Desert know no other division of their 
country than that of tribes and oases — the very names of which 
were long unknown in Europe, but are now to some extent ascer- 
tained and defined. Instead, however, of burdening the reader's 
memory with a large number of names which he might find in no 
map within his reach, and, perhaps, might never again meet in the' 
course of his reading, we shall merely point out the oases which are 
most important from their external relations, and which we may 
have occasion afterwards to mention. 

Beginning from the west, and proceeding along the northern bor- 
der, the first fertile spots to be noted are El-Harib, important as a 
resting-place on the direct route from the city of Morocco to Tim- 
buctoo ; and Tafilet, the capital of the Shereef tribe, and the centre 
of an extensive commerce with the negro country, the interior of 
Morocco, and the East. Tafilet is not a single oasis, but a cluster ; 
for fertile spots are both few and small west of the second degree of 
east longitude, owing, it is believed, to the circumstance that the 
wind blows from the east nine months in the year, rushing into a 
hurricane at certain seasons, and that, in the course of time, it has 
accumulated the sand towards the west. In the Algerian Sahara, 
the most southern oases are El-Abied-Sidi-Sheik, Wad-Miab, Wad- 
Reklah, Wad-Keer, and Wad-Soof, better known by their towns, 
Metili, Gardeai, Tuggurt, and Temacin, forming a chain of fertile 
Bpots, south of which all is sterility, and not even a village is to be 
seen during several days' journey. The fertile belt which stretches 
along the shores of the Mediterranean, and by the natives called 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 21 



the Tell, is from fifty to one hundred and twenty miles broad in the 
province of Algiers, but it becomes a very narrow strip in the 
regency of Tripoli : and an English traveller remarks here, that the 
distinction between Great and Little Deserts is quite fictitious : it is 
all Sahara, and the sands reach the very walls of Tripoli. The two 
great oases, or, rather, archipelagoes, facilitate the intercourse between 
the above-named points and the interior of Africa : they are Fezzan, 
of which the capital is Mourzouk, and Twat, whose chief towns are 
Ain-salah, Agabli, and Timimoom. The space, however, between 
these and the nearest of the northern oases is very formidable, and 
would be almost impassable if nature had not placed two resting- 
places on the two principal routes. El-Golea lies between Algeria 
and Twat ; Ghadamis between Tunis and Fezzan. Timbuctoo and 
Kashna are the great marts in the negro country with which 
commercial relations are maintained in a manner we shall here- 
after describe. 

The eastern part of the Desert, sometimes distinguished as the 
Libyan, ofiers no points of similar interest, except Bilna, the chief 
town, famous for its immense salt beds, whence large quantities are 
annually exported to Nigritia. But we must not overlook the line 
of oases which is found running north and south near the extreme 
eastern limit of these dreary wastes. Here are Darfoor, Selimeh, 
the Great and Little Oases of Thebes, the natron lakes, and the 
Baha-bela-ma, or dry river. The Great Oasis is one hundred and 
twenty miles long, and four or five broad ; the lesser, separated from 
it by forty miles of desert, is similar in form. In the valley of 
Nitrium is another beautiful spot, which was a favorite retreat of 
Christian monks in the second century. Here remain four out of 
three hundred and sixty convents, and from them some valuable 
manuscripts of ancient date have recently been obtained, xlnother 
oasis in this direction contains splendid ruins, supposed to be those 
of the famous temple of Jupiter Ammon. 

Beturning from the ancient to the modern, from the poetical to 
the useful, we remark that the route almost directly south from 
Ghadamis to Kashna has, since the adventures of Lyon, Richardson, 
and others, become pretty well known, and it is ascertained to be a 
line of great commercial activity, and abounding with towns and 
villages. Of the former. Ghat ^ is celebrated as a market or fair, 
and Agades as the capital of the Targhee tribes in this district. 
Aheer is another important town, as it is on the way from Morocco 
(by Twat) to Kashna; and also as it maintains commerce with 

* Or Eit. 



218 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

Bilna, Ghat, and Mourzouk. We know little of the tracts which . 
lie west of Aheer, but on the line from Twat to Timbuctoo we find 
Mabrook, thrice welcome to the traveller, who has met with no water 
for ten days before reaching it. Tishet, Toudeni, and Wadan ^ are 
generally marked on modern maps on account of their salt beds, 
which form a valuable article of commerce. 

The knowledge which we possess of the physical structure of the 
Desert is still very incomplete. We may, however, add some general 
views of the nature and aspect of its surface, and notice some of its 
most remarkable features. If we begin our examination with the 
western portion, a journey along the coast offers nothing but low 
sandy tracts, broken here and there by rocky headlands, neither 
bold nor lofty; the land is not perceived at sea beyond a very 
short distance, which is doubtless the principal reason of the numer- 
ous shipwrecks that have occurred on this inhospitable shore. 
Leaving the coast, the shifting sand extends but a few -days' jour- 
ney at the most, and we arrive at a somewhat elevated plain, which 
appears very extensive. It is close, uniform, stony, and arid in the 
extreme, but here and there interrupted by a hollow, or large ravine, 
one hundred and fifty or two hundred feet deep, whose steeps afibrd 
occasional springs of water. That part of the desert which lies 
between El-Harib and Timbuctoo is extremely arid, and destitute 
of wells, indicating that in this space there must be some point of 
culmination, or a line of rising-ground to separate the waters, for we 
find much sand on the route of Caillie ; and it is well known that 
sand and springs abound chiefly in low grounds, and that it is espe- 
cially near the lines that divide the waters that there appear few 
inducements to bore. A similar swelling has been remarked between 
Twat and Timbuctoo. On leaving Agabli, the most southern point 
of the former, the route lies over sand for a few days, and then 
occurs a tract of stiff red earth, and the utter absence of water for 
eight or ten days. This does not extend far to the west, for in that 
direction it is bounded by a sandy waste. 

The central part of the Desert seems to be considerably more 
mountainous than the eastern or western portions of it. Between 
Algiers and Twat is an uninhabitable desert of sand without water, 
separated by a hilly district from another similarly dreary waste 
between Algeria and G-hadamis. The country which lies between 
Twat and Ghat is all hilly, but its particular topography is quite 
unknown, on account of the deadly enmity which we shall after- 
wards have occasion to notice as existing between the populations 

* Or Hoden. 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 219 

whose territories it separates, and wMcli renders its exploration per- 
ilous in the extreme. The Targhee country abounds in hills and 
stony plains. Mr. Eichardson describes himself as travelling six 
days southward from Ghadamis without meeting fifty yards of sand ; 
the route lay over hard baked earth, and huge blocks of stone, but 
chiefly beds of very small pebbles. Afterwards he met sand in abun- 
dance — masses of it quite loose, and four hundred feet high. To- 
wards Ghat it was heap upon heap, pile upon pile, every succeeding 
feature of the landscape appearing more hideous than the former, 
and the whole presenting " a mass of blank existence, having no 
apparent object but to terrify the hapless traveller, who, with his 
faithful camel, pursues his weary way through the waste." The 
country about Ghat is intersected in every direction with dark 
gloomy mountains. Here, it is said, that spirits of the air live in 
harmonious alliance with the tribes of the Desert, in consequence 
of a kind of Magna Charta, a treaty offensive and defensive, made 
between them ages ago. The jenoum, (demons, or genii,) who had 
chosen to build their palaces in these mountains, offered their 
friendship and protection to the sons of men, on condition of being 
allowed to remain unmolested, promising especially to endue their 
human allies with vision and tact, during the hoiu's of darkness, to 
surprise and overcome their enemies. And the Targhee fathers 
alone of mortals vowed them eternal and inviolable friendship on 
these conditions, swearing that they never would employ Maraboot, 
holy Koran, or any other means, to dislodge them from the black 
turret-shaped hills. The treaty has never been violated ; the demons 
dwell unmolested in their lofty castles ; and many an unfortunate 
traveller, or hapless negro family, witnesses the fearful efficacy of 
the powers which they have conferred upon the Touarik. Standing 
out conspicuously among the private dwellings of* the demons is an 
immense rock : this is their council-hall ; and here, from thousands 
of miles round, do the spirits of the air meet to deliberate on the 
affairs of their social polity. Here, too, are their public treasuries 
— caverns full of gold, silver, and diamonds — all, we presume, of 
a spiritual- nature, like their possessors, or we doubt if they would 
remain inviolable. Nor must we omit to mention a rocking or log- 
ging-stone, about fifty feet high. It was the spot on which a wealthy 
Maraboot of great sanctity met a violent death. The murderer, 
seized with remorse for his deed of blood, entreated the genii to 
cover up the body from sight, as he had not courage himself to bury 
it. They listened to his prayer, and detached this piece of rock 
from their great palace to form a sepulchral stone ; and here it has 
rested, oeeasionally roeking, say the people, t© this day. The mur- 



220 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

derer then begged that the genii would accept some of the spoil in 
token of his gratitude ; but they refased to touch the bloodstained 
gold, and pelted the wretch to death. 

The topography of Fezzan presents a mixture of mountains and 
plains ; and the soil is sterile enough except in the oases, which are 
said to be about one hundred in number. The most remarkable 
feature of this part of Sahara is the chain which separates it from 
Tripoli, and which runs from east-south-east to west-north-west, like 
the coast from Benghazi to Khabs. The whole country south of 
Fezzan consists likewise of hills and stony plains, sandy tracts being 
met with only here and there. A long range of black basaltie 
mountains forms the western boundary of the Tiboo country or 
Libyan Desert, where the continent shelves down towards the Med- 
iterranean in a series of sandy or gravelly terraces, divided by 
low rocky ridges. This shelving country is cut transversely by the 
deep furrow in which is the long line of oases to which we have 
adverted as of ancient classic celebrity. A hideous flinty plain, sev- 
eral days' journey across, lies between it and the parallel valley of 
the Nile, which forms the eastern boundary of the great Deserts of 
Africa. 

It appears thus, that insulated hills, or groups of them, generally 
of naked sandstone or granite, are by no means uncommon through- 
out the Sahara, where they appear like islands in the vast expanse. 
The stony plains also are somewhat elevated, as are those of stiff 
day ; the sandy tracts lie lower ; and deeper still are the ravines 
and basins which constitute the most peculiar and interesting feaV 
ures of the Saharian landscape. The Desert boasts of no perma- 
nent river ; but the winter rains give rise to temporary streams, 
which fill these hollows, and then sink to some unknown depth in 
the sand, or evaporate in the scorching heat of the summer sun. 
Ouad or "Wady is the term used to designate the channels of these 
temporary streams, which sometimes acquire, on account of the rapid- 
ity of their fall, a velocity which uproots trees and spreads desola- 
tion everywhere in its course. This is especially the case^ in the 
northern oases. At that of Mzab, for instance, when the sky dark- 
ens towards the north, a number of horsemen set out in that direc- 
tion, and station themselves at regular distances on the highest 
points of the land. If the torrent appears, the farthest of them 
fires a gun ; the telegraphic signal is repeated from post to post, 
and reaches the town in a few minutes. The inhabitants run imme- 
diately to the gardens, to awake the men who may be sleeping there, 
and in haste they carry away every object of value that might 
become the prey of the devastating flood. Presently a dreadful 



• THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 221 

noise announces the irruption of Ijie torrent ; the soil of the gap- 
dens disappears beneath the water; and the Saharian city seems 
transported, as if by magic, to the banks of a broad and rapid river, 
whence arise, like little isles of verdure, innumerable heads of palm- 
trees — an ephemeral ornament which disappears in a few days. 

Some of the basins are very extensive, and contain beds of salt 
considerable enough to be worked : such are the famous Traza, Tou- 
deni, and Tishet, In latitude about thirty-four degrees north, and 
nearly on the meridian of London, are two large basins, called Shott, 
situated in a frightful desert, and divided from each other by an 
isthmus from twenty-five to thirty miles broad. They present a 
very singular formation, which would open an interesting field of 
geological inquiry. The eastern basin is about one hundred and 
twenty miles long, and the western about eighty-five, the mean 
breadth of each being about six miles. These basins exhibit a fall 
of the earth from thirty-five to sixty feet deep, nearly vertical, 
and so perfectly clean and smooth that they appear as if wrought 
out with a chisel. Dr. Jacquot, who examined them minutely in 
1847, asserts that they could not have been produced by any grad- 
ual action of water ; that they are evidently crateres de soulevement, 
and bear the appearance of having been torn open by the convulsion 
which upheaved the Atlas, their greater axis being parallel to that 
chain, like most of the accidents of the Northern Sahara. Sevei-al 
pluvial streams flow into these basins, and various small plants are 
found in them ; but they become perfectly dry in summer. The 
local tradition of the origin of the Shott is, that at a remote period 
of antiquity, the Saharians, jealous of the fine sheet of water which 
forms the boundary of the Tell, resolved to have a sea of their 
own. With immense labor they excavated the two basins, and then 
the question was how to get them filled. A numerous caravan was 
equipped for the shores of the Mediterranean, with skins to bring 
water for their artificial sea. Allah, incensed at their presumptu- 
ous enterprise, destroyed them all by the way, and let loose a fear- 
ful tempest on the splendid city which they had built for a port on 
the sea which they contemplated. The ravages of time have effaced 
the last vestiges of the unfortunate city ; but the basins of the Shott, 
long, dreary, sterile craters, remain a witness of the power of God, 
and the vanity of man. If this explanation of the origin of the 
Shott affords little satisfaction to the geologist, it is fraught with 
interest to the lover of Scripture truth, who finds here, as in almost 
every country under heaven, a traditionary record, however imper- 
fect, of the events which took place at Babel. 

Many of the depressions of the Sahara, whether in* the form of 



222 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 



wads or basins, enjoy a constant supply of water by means of natural 
or artificial wells, and have consequently been planted and inhabited : 
these are the oases of the Desert ; not to the eye of the geologist 
like islands which rise above the surrounding expanse, but hollows 
affording to animal and vegetable life not only the vivifying moist- 
ure, but the no less needful shelter from the storms of the Desert. 
These verdant spots, which are often hundreds of miles apart, pre- 
sent considerable encouragement to the labors of the husbandman, 
and are in general most favorable to the cultivation of the date-palm 
and other fruit trees. Onions, with various herbs and vegetables, 
also find a congenial soil ; but grain does not appear to yield abun- 
dant crops. The wide wastes abroad furnish for the most part a scanty 
supply of coarse grass and small shrubs, serving as pasturage for the 
cattle of many a nomade tribe ; but there are also extensive tracts 
where not a morsel of verdure is to be seen. Nothing can exceed the 
desolation of these regions : where there is no vegetable there can, 
of course, be no animal life ; day after day the traveller wends his 
way without seeing bird, beast, or insect ; no sound, no stir, breaks 
the dreadful silence ; the dry heated air is like the breath of a fur- 
nace, and the setting sun like a volcanic fire. The desert plains 
that are much exposed to storms present an equally terrific scene, 
but somewhat different : the sand is blown into clouds that fill the 
atmosphere, darken the sun at noonday, and almost suffocate the 
traveller. Now the whirlwinds form it into columns ; and one of 
the most magnificent and appalling sights in nature is presented. 
" In the vast expanse of desert," says Bruce, " we saw towards the 
north a number of prodigious pillars of sand at various distances, 
sometimes moving with great velocity, sometimes stalking on with 
majestic slowness. At intervals we thought they were coming in a 
very few minutes to overwhelm us, and small quantities of sand did 
actually reach us more than once : again they would retreat so as to 
be almost out of sight, their tops reaching to the very clouds ; then 
the summits often separated from the bodies, and these, once dis- 
joined, dispersed in air, and did not appear more ; sometimes they 
were broken in the middle, as if struck with large cannon-shot. 
At noon they began to advance with considerable swiftness upon us, 
the wind being very strong at north. Eleven ranged alongside of 
us about the distance of three miles ; the greatest diameter of the 
largest appeared to me as if it would measure ten feet. They 
retired from us with a wind at south-east, leaving an impression on 
my mind to which I can give no name, though surely one ingredient 
in it was feaa*, with a considerable deal of wonder and astonishment. 
It was in vain to think of fleeing ; the swiftest horse could be of no 



THE DESERTS OE AFRICA. 223 

use to carry us out of the danger and the full conviction of this riveted 
me to the spot." Another traveller had an oppoiitunity of seeing 
one of these pillars crossing the River Grambia from the Great 
Desert. "It passed," he says, "within eighteen or twenty 
fathoms of the stern of the vessel, and seemed to be about 250 feet 
in height; its heat was sensibly felt at the distance of 100 feet, and 
it left a strong smell, more like that of saltpetre than sulphur, which 
remained a long time." 

Downs or sandhills form a prominent and remarkable feature of 
the Saharian landscape. They are rounded elevations, smooth as 
the cupola of polished marble, sterile as the rock of naked granite, 
and of so uniform a color that they never appear to blend or confuse 
with surrounding objects. During the day they wear the sombre 
hue of a landscape at sunset ; but by moonlight one would think 
them phosphorescent, from the brightness of the light sparkling in 
the bosom of the shadows. In some situations the sand-hills seem 
to be at the mercy of the wind, travelling at its bidding, and 
settling here or there to rise and wander forth again. Others seem 
to have found a permanent resting-place ; and this is generally, if 
not always, in the shelter of a mountain-chain'. Yet, strange to 
say, the sands are not, in such a case, heaped against the mountain 
sides, nor yet gathered into the hollows; they form a distinct, 
secondary chain of themselves, corresponding in form and direction 
with the primary, and separated from it by a broad valley, which is 
covered here with pebbles, there with sand ; now with herbage, and 
again with barrenness itself. 

The camel, the sheep, and the goat, are the domestic animals of 
the Sahara ; few wild ones of any kind are to be found in the open 
desert. When the natives are asked about the lions which the 
learned of Europe have given them for companions, they answer 
with imperturbable gravity, that "perhaps in Christian countries 
there are lions which browse on herbage and drink the air, but in 
Africa they require running water and living flesh ; consequently 
they never appear in the Sahara." The wooded mountains are 
infested with them, but they have no inducement to descend into 
the sandy plains. The only formidable creatui'es are of the viper 
and scorpion kinds. Few else except timid and inoffensive species 
are natural guests here : the principal are the gazelle, the ostrich, 
the antelope, and the wild ass; but even these seem to venture 
little beyond the skirts of the desert, except in the neighborhood 
of mountains. The chameleon is common in the gardens of the 
central oases, where it is allowed to roam unmolested, being rather 
a favorite than otherwise. It is described as a most unsightly crea- 



224 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

ture, changing its color continually, but never exhibiting a hand- 
some one. Its hues are dunnish red or yellow, and sometimes a 
blackish brown ; it is often varied with spots or stripes, but fre- 
quently without either. The construction of the eyes is remark- 
able ; they seem to tm-n on a swivel, and are dii-ected every way in 
a moment. The Saharian traveller has frequent occasion to admire 
the facility with which the camel tiu'ns its head and neck conir 
pletely round, and looks north, south, east, and west, without 
pausing, or even slackening its pace for an instant ; but he ceases to 
wonder if he has ever observed the rapidity of the chameleon's eye. 

Another singular creature is the thob, (perhaps Monitor pulchr a,) 
a large species of lizard not unlike a miniature alligator. It is 
sometimes twenty inches long, and ten round the thickest part of 
the body. It is covered with scaly mail, shining, and of a dark- 
gray color, and has a tail four inches long, composed of a series of 
broad, thick, and sharp hones. The head is large and tortoise- 
shaped, the mouth small. It has four feet, or rather hands, on 
which it runs awkwardly enough, owing apparently to its bulky tail. 
It hides in the dry sandy holes of the Desert, and the Arabs say 
that a single drop of water kills it. The traveller is glad to make 
a meal of the thob ; and, prejudice apart, it is palatable food, not 
unlike the kid of the goat. 

Nor must we omit to mention the ouadad, or waden, an animal 
described as between the goat and bullock in appearance. It is 
hunted in the sands of the Central Desert, and its flavor is said to 
resemble that of coarse venison. Three or four of these animals 
were sent to the Royal Zoological Gardens of London a few years 

ago- 

The geology of the Desert is still involved in much obscurity. 
Humboldt proposes the question : " Has this once been a region of 
arable land, whose soil and plants have been swept away by some 
extraordinary revolution ? Or is the reason of its nakedness that 
the germs of vegetable life have not yet been fully and generally 
developed ? " The most recent opinion seems to be, that the latter 
is the true state of the case ; that this expanse of desert has risen 
from the ocean at a very recent period, subsequent even to the 
throes which gave birth to the regions of the Atlas- and Soudan. 
The present aspect of its surface is exactly that which it must have 
had while as yet submarine. The rocks hid beneath the ocean, and 
continually swept by its waters, must tend to become even; the 
loose materials of the mountains being detached and precipitated 
into the hollows till the culminating points present only so many 
masses of smooth and solid rock. Travellers have marked this feafe- 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 225 

ure of the desert mountains as contrasted with those of Morocco : 
the latter exhibits wooded craggy heights, bared by winds, bitten 
by frosts, and hoary with age, though they are considered to have 
appeared after the formation of the tertiary strata — that is, while 
the crust of the earth was in its present state of development ; but 
the hills of the Sahara are quite naked, dull and dead, smooth as 
velvet, and exhibiting a black or pui'ple hiie of painful uniformity. 
This is Mr. Richardson's report of those he met in his route south 
from Tripoli ; and he mentions, what is yet more important, their 
disposition north and south, which, if a general rule of disposition, 
would go far to decide that they were not coeval with the Atlas 
range. The immense quantities of sea-shells found, not only in the 
limestone rocks, but in the sandy and pebbly plains, and the salt 
which prevails everywhere, seem to favor the view that the sea has, till 
very lately, covered the whole of the space now under consideration. 
Diodorus Siculus mentions a lake of Hesperides in the interior of 
Africa, which, according to ancient tradition, was suddenly dried 
up by a fearful convulsion of the earth ; and Malte Brun conjec- 
tures that this lake could be no other than that which once covered 
the Sahara. If we were to accept this hypothesis, we could at once 
find the long-lost isle of Atlantides, without supposing the sub- 
mergence of a country whose summits only remain in the Canaries 
and Azores. The region of the Atlas Mountains, including the 
fertile shores of the Mediterranean, still wears the appearance of 
a great island, washed on the south by the Sahara-belama, (sea 
without water,) whose sands reach from the ocean to the Grulf of 
Syrtis. If, however, the Atlantides of Plato must be placed in the 
Atlantic, and beyond the pillars of Hercules, might not such a con- 
vulsion as submerged this country have been sufficient to upheave 
the Sahara? 



Inhabitants of the Desert — Berbers and Arabs— their Habits, Occupa- 
tions, and Migrations — The Targhee and his Meharee — The Tibboos — 
The Maraboot Tribes. 

Many portions of this singular region are, as we have seen, unin- 
habited and uninhabitable ; but by far the greater part is scantily 
peopled by various tribes of two distinct nations. The aboriginal 
race is that which has been denominated the Atlas Family, said to 
have arisen from the mixture of the two primitive nations which 
occupied Northern Africa in the earliest ages — that is to say, the 
Libyans in the East, and the G-etulians in the "West. The Romans. 
lo 



226 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

and after them the Yandals, mingled themselves with this race ; 
and in the Berber branch it now presents various elements which 
the succession of generations and multiplicity of crosses have com- 
bined into a homogeneous people. The other nation is the Arabs, 
who are obviously invaders. Negroes are seldom to be met with in 
the Desert except as slaves or occasional immigjants ; they are not 
found as a population attached to the soil; and Jews have crept all 
round its borders, but seem never to have ventured into its myste- 
rious depths. 

The Arab invasion of the Sahara seems to have commenced in the 
west by Morocco, or the shores of the Atlantic, and to have advanced 
eastward to the interior. All along the coast from Senegal to the 
frontiers of Morocco, and thence to the neighborhood of the Joliba, 
or Niger, they seem to have utterly expelled the ancient possessors 
of the soil. Proceeding eastward, we find them mingled with 
Berbers, but occupying a distinct social position, in the tract which 
lies between the route from Harib to Timbuctoo, and that from Aga- 
bli to the same place. Still further in the same direction, some are 
found in the country about Mabrook ; but beyond this the nomades 
of the Arab race disappear, and are not met with again till we reach 
Darfoor. In all the towns, however — such as Agades, Kashna, 
&c. — there are resident Arabs. A very powerful tribe of them, 
called Shanbah, are the principal possessors of some of the oases of 
Twat, and traverse the desert wastes north and west of these. 

Of the above-mentioned tribes, those about the north and east 
banks of the Senegal occupy certain limited districts, having no 
occasion to change their locality ; the most numerous of them is the 
Ouled-Amer, whose territory is very considerable. It is otherwise 
with those who live further north ; they are subject to annual migra- 
tions, from the failure of pasture and water during the summer 
months. The great tribe of the Ouled-Deleim, who in winter 
occupy the country round Hoden, migrate in summer to the neigh- 
borhood of Noon, where they possess wells and oases. A great 
number both of Arab and Berber tribes of this part of the Sahara, 
pass the summer in the empire of Morocco : such are the Harib, 
who inhabit the town so called, and at the approach of winter dis- 
perse southward to a distance of a hundred miles or more. So far 
are these nomades from wandering at hap-hazard, as many suppose, 
with their flocks and herds^, and sojourning for a time wherever they 
chance to meet with herbage and water, each tribe has its own 
region of pasturage when the rains of winter have spread a scanty 
verdure on the 'Desert, and its retreat in some well-watered spot 
during the parching heat of the summer months. 



THE DESERTS OP AFRICA. 227 

Such are the pastoral tribes of the West, and the same character 
seems to apply throughout the Desert to those who follow similar 
avocations. But the ShanbaCh ■ above mentioned, and several other 
tribes having their location about the commercial routes which con- 
nect Morocco with Twat, and Twat with Tunis and Timbuctoo, 
seem to combine the mercantile and piratical character in the highest 
perfection, conducting and defending the caravans that engage their 
protection by paying a sufficiently heavy tribute for passing through 
their territories, while they plunder all others without mercy. 
Their great rivals in both these branches of industry are the 
Touarik, whose singular character and habits will merit a more par- 
ticular description when we come to notice the more central tribes. 

Throughout the whole extent of the Northern Sahara, where the 
oases are numerous, we find the Berber and Arab races united by 
ties of mutual dependence ; yet not more distinct in feature and 
language than in their social position and employment. The 
Arabs, true to their vagabond instincts, traverse the open country 
with flocks and herds; undertake the transport of merchandise; 
engage in the convoy or pillage of caravans ; and carry on, in short, 
all that may be termed the external relations of the community. 
They are the more numerous and wealthy, of course also the 
dominant people. In the palmy days of the Hamian-garabas, a 
single individual has been known to possess 2000 camels, and four 
times as many sheep. The Berbers, on the other hand, are the 
sedentary population : they inhabit the oases, where the men employ 
themselves in cultivating the gardens, and the women conduct the 
manufactures. In their continual wanderings, the nomades cannot 
carry all their property with them, and the ksour* become the 
depositories of their goods. Many of them, besides, have pur- 
chased land in the oases, and are obliged to employ the sedentary 
inhabitants to cultivate it. On the other hand, as soon as the 
modest accumulations of the ksourian permit, he buys a sheep, 
which he confides to the pastoral care of the nomade tribe. Thus 
the two nations, who seem to have nothing in common but their 
religion, and between whom there is anything but cordiality of 
feeling, are closely bound together by a reciprocity of interest, and 
peace is the necessary result. 

The French, who have been laboring these twenty years to sub- 
jugate these people, say that the Arab submits, revolts, and sub- 
mits again, again to commence the same alternation of rebellion and 

* Ksar is the village of an oasis ; Ksour is the plural ; and Ksourian the 
inhabitant. 



228 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

obedience, according to the impulse he receives from his own interest 
or caprice, or from the instigation of the Maraboots ; the Berber 
loves his independence, bat when once he has been made to feel a 
mightier power, he respects the oath that he has sworn. The Arab 
escapes the punishment of his perfidy by plunging with his tents and 
flocks into deserts where no army can follow ; but the Berber is 
confined to his ksar and his gardens. 

Dr. Jacquot describes the first oasis he saw in Sahara as " a little 
green corner, fresh and shady, cheered with the song of birds, and 
enlivened by the murmur of waters. The dates waved their elegant 
plumes high in the air ; the pomegranates and fig-trees crowded be- 
tween the columns of the palms ; the wheat and barley clothed the 
soil with verdure; the water flowed in every direction, and the 
humid vapors vivified the foliage. One could not help trembling 
for the little spot, it seemed such a feeble thing in the immensity of 
the Desert, surrounded by desolate plains, and menaced by moving 
sandhills." 

This little oasis is about five eighths of a mile in length, and a 
little less in breadth. It occupies the bottom of a narrow ravine, 
which shelters it in almost every direction. It is enclosed by a mud 
wall from seven to ten feet high, and from eight to twelve inches 
thick, flanked with about five-and-twenty round towers, generally 
built of stone. These are the sentry-boxes, on the flat roofs of 
which are stationed nightly guards to protect the gardens from pil- 
lage. The gardens of the oasis lie against the general wall, and are 
divided into a number of small enclosures, each of which is a separate 
property. Next to the gardens, towards the centre, are the fields 
of corn, barley, and onions, likewise divided into small squares, 
which are watered and tended like our favorite flower-beds, and 
through the midst runs the Wady, which flows from four springs a 
little above the ksar. 

Such an oasis does not at all correspond with our preconceived 
notions of these islands of -the sandy ocean. It is not the immense 
wild garden, which supplies in a day what will support its inhabi- 
tants for a year ; it is not a spot where numerous species of fruits 
and flowers crowd and mingle in luxuriant confusion ; it is not, in 
short, the wild primitive oasis. It is niggardly nature, cultivated 
even to torture by human industry ; it is wise, modest, economical 
husbandry, which rejects the ostentation of useless foliage, and the 
empty show of unproductive blossoms ; which refuses space for a 
single tree or flower that is merely ornamental, and makes room for 
those only which yield food for the sustenance of human life. The 
ksar is built of stone, and presents the appearance of a single build* 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. • 229 

ing, or rather a mass of heavy masonry perforated here and there 
with a small window, and diversified with jutting and retiring 
angles. The flat roofs rise above each other in irregular terraces, 
and none of the streets are open to the exterior ; they are closed up 
with masonry, affording no entrance but by four narrow doors. In 
fact, there is no such thing as we should call a street, none being 
open to the heavens above ; they are narrow, dark, often uneven 
passages winding under the buildings. The main object in the con- 
struction seems to have been to pile the houses compactly together, 
avoiding exterior openings, which might serve for the admission of 
an enemy, and crowding as many human beings as possible into a 
given space. About three hundred men, women, and children, a 
lymphatic, sickly, scrofulous generation, are huddled together in this 
ksar. 

Some oases are considerably larger than the one we have described, 
and some of the buildings are much more extensive ; but this gen- 
eral plan, both as to the gardens and the dwellings, seems to obtain 
throughout the northern and western portions of Sahara, where the 
Berber race are in general the architects and husbandmen. 

The most interesting structures, however, are not the ksour, but 
the marabets, or sepulchral chapels, which stand outside the walls. 
These are generally square, and surmounted by a cupola, the whole 
being of stone or brickwork, executed by artisans brought from 
Morocco for the express purpose. Sometimes the principal cupola 
is flanked by four secondary ones, the interior presenting a court, 
surrounded by a gallery, supported by Moorish arcades. The ostrich 
egg, instead of a stone or metal ball, crowns the summit of these 
pyramids. The ksourians choose to reserve all the luxury and mag- 
nificence of their architecture to adorn the little temples around 
which they excavate their last resting-places. These are not, like 
the habitations of the living, subject to the ravages of invading foes, 
for they are universally held sacred ; and the conqueror, covered 
with blood, approaches here with reverence, and prostrates himself 
in lowly worship. Life is so ephemeral when the elements of nature 
and the arms of the enemy continually threaten its existence, that 
the ksourian cares not to lavish his wealth on the dwelling in which 
he may remain but for a day : he reserves all his solicitude for that 
which will shelter him forever from the storms of life. 

The camel and the date are to the inhabitants of the African 
deserts what the reindeer and the lichen are to those of the polar 
regions ; and while many of the less enterprising nomades live at 
»east two thirds of the year on camels' milk, so in the oases dates 



230 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

are the staple article of food, and aged ksourians may be found wlic 
have never tasted bread. 

The tree which produces this valuable fruit is the palm, which 
gives so peculiar and imposing an aspect to the verdant spots of the 
Desert. Its straight and lofty trunk, fifty, sixty, or even one hun- 
dred feet high, is crowned by a tuft of large radiating leaves or fronds. 
The calyx has six divisions, and the fruit is a drupe, consider- 
ably larger than an acorn ; of a full red color when ripe, and en- 
closing a hard kernel, from which it is easily separated. It is pulpy, 
firm, esculent, and sweet, with slight astringency. The trees are 
raised from shoots, which arrive at maturity in thirty years, and 
continue in full bearing for seventy longer, producing yearly fifteen 
or twenty clusters, which may weigh from fifteen to twenty pounds 



When any one wishes to make a date plantation, or to form a 
garden, as the natives say, he summons the neighboring proprietors 
to his assistance, and thus accomplishes his work with economy as 
well as despatch ; for their services cost him nothing but the obliga- 
tion to return the like when demanded : the only auxiliaries who 
receive wages are those who are not proprietors. The whole of 
the sand requires to be removed to the depth of several feet, in* 
order that the roots may reach the water ; besides, a trench is dug 
round every stem at a proper distance, and into this, when neces- 
sary, water is poured, in order that, sinking through the soil, it 
may efiectually reach those fibres that chiefly require it. This irri- 
gation is generally committed to the women and children by those 
who have no slaves ; and the precious fluid is carried in skins of 
animals, or baskets of halfa, plaited so closely as to be water-tight. 
In most cases canals are cut in every direction, communicating with 
the springs which supply the oasis ; and where restriction is neces- 
sary, each proprietor pays so much an hour for the flow of a stream 
into his garden. In some of the oases, each has the respective right 
of an hour or two, according to the title-deeds of his estate. The 
time is measured by a rude chronometer held by the officer who 
opens and shuts the conduit. 

The mode of preserving dates is very simple. Theyafe merely 
pressed closely together in large woollen bags, and thus form com- 
pact masses, which keep for several years. Sometimes a large 
white worm is engendered in these, but it seems to occasion no dis- 
gust. Every species of domestic animal in the Desert, even dogs 
and horses, can make a meal of dates. But this fruit, however 
valuable, is, as an aliment, very inferior to the cereals ; it is capable 
of less variety of culinary preparation, and through time it produces 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 231 

pamful satiety and fatigue of the digestive organs. Where little 
else is to be had, the ksourian employs various devices to alleviate 
the monotony of his fare : he cooks his dates with oil or butter, or 
mingles them with onions and other vegetables, which are usually 
cultivated in the date gardens. But the favorite ragout, especially 
in the north, consists of locusts boiled in salt and water. At certain 
seasons these creatures traverse the air in dense clouds, and fall in 
numbers to the earth ; they are collected with care, and those which 
are not used immediatelyr are dried and reduced to powder, which 
is kept for times of scarcity. 

The sap of the date-palm fiirnishes a highly-esteemed beverage, 
called lagmi. To obtain this, it is necessary to cut off the higher 
branches, and bore a lateral hole in the stem thus tonsured ; into 
this the end of a reed is introduced, and the liquor flow* through it 
rapidly, especially in the morning and evening. It is said that a 
single tree will yield fourteen or fifteen quarts daily for two succes- 
sive years, but it would perish in the third if the bleeding were 
continued. The taste of the lagmi is not unlike sweet barley-water, 
and by fermentation it may be transformed into an excellent drink 
resembling cider. 

The wood of the palm-tree is used for building : the trunk, sawn 
in two along the grain, furnishes the joists and rafters ; the palm or 
jerid is placed on these to form the lathing, and sometimes above all 
is placed a layer of saaf or palm-leaf. All articles of carpentry 
are made of this wood, and where it is very abundant it is even 
used for fuel ; but more generally the latter consists of the withered 
bushes which cover the sandy plains, where they are gathered by 
the nomade tribes of the locality, and carried to the oases. 

Every part of this valuable tree is turned to account. The 
fibrous net- work which surrounds the branches where they attach 
themselves to the stem is twisted into strong tough ropes, with which 
the camels are tethered : the branches, besides4he use we have men- 
tioned, are made into baskets of various kinds, and the stones are 
pounded, and used to fatten sheep and camels. Thus the date-palm 
appears to be in Africa what the cocoa-nut is in the islands of the 
Pacific : .the native derives from it food, drink, habitation, and 
almost every utensil he employs. In those places where money is 
scarce a certain measure of dates, called a hatia^ serves as a kind of 
currency ; it is at least a usual term of comparison by which the 
value of various articles of merchandise is estimated, even though 
the measure varies in different places, and the price of dates rises 
and falls with the seasons. 

The woollen fabrics, which, with the cultivation of dates, form 



232 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

the principal object of Saharian industry, arc cMefly burnooses, 
haiks, and gandouras. The burnoose is the Arab cloak, which ia 
furnished with a hood ; the hai'k is a long rectangular piece of cloth, 
which the men wrap round their heads, allowing the ends to fall 
down over the body, while the women use it as a shawl, covering 
the head and face with it, especially in cold weather. The gan- 
doura is a kind of blouse, which reaches down to the feet. Through- 
out the Desert the manufacture of these fabrics is devolved entirely 
on the females, the men considering it enough if they attend, and 
that but partially, to the husbandry ; the produce of the two occu- 
pations proves in the market of about equal value ; and it is certain 
that the merit of a wife in the Sahara is estimated by her dexterity 
in weaving rather than by her personal charms. The northern 
oases produce the finest goods ; but in every part of the Desert the 
women make some attempt at manufacturing ; even those of the 
nomade tribes weave the coarse stuff which forms their tents and 
the sacks for loading their camels. The material used is a mixture, 
variously proportioned, of the hair of camels and goats ; the former 
raises the price, as it is considered more impervious to rain. The 
color of the tents is that by which the great nomade tribes, when 
encamped, distinguish each other from afar, the darkest being the 
most aristocratic. 

The Arab dress is used both by nomades and ksourians. They 
shave the head, preserving only the lock of which the Angel of 
Death is to lay hold and carry them up to paradise. This religious 
belief has set a peculiar stamp on all the nations of Islamism ; and 
if the disciple of Mohammed makes a point of decapitating his 
already lifeless foe, it is not for the sake of committing a wanton 
outrage on the corpse, but in order to make him feel, even in another 
world, the weight of his vengeance ; for a headless body is doomed 
to rot on the ground, and the soul that animated it to wander for- 
ever far from the happy gardens promised in the Koran as the 
eternal residence of the faithful. 

A white woollen hai'k, a kind of frock without sleeves, Morocco 
slippers, and a silk girdle, compose the dress of the wealthier female 
Saharians. Necklaces, bracelets, and rings, complete the toilet of a 
woman of quality, who besides stains her eyelashes black, and gives 
a yellow color to her nails, the palms of her hands, and the instep 
of her foot, with a decoction of lausonia inermis. Tattooing, the 
indelible and economical adornment both of rich and poor, consists 
only of small and scattered designs — the Saharian population being 
in this respect far behind the great artists of New Zealand. They 
go unveiled, and seem under less restriction than is usual in most 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 2^3 

other communities of Islamism. Polygamy is freely indulged with- 
in the limits prescribed by the Koran. 

Indolence seems to be the besetting sin of all the tribes of the 
Sahara : when not travelling, they will sleep in the open air twenty 
hours out of the twenty-four ; yet, when excited by any serious oc- 
currence or important interest, they are capable of acting with con- 
siderable energy, and sustaining great fatigue. On the whole, how- 
ever, they seem better adapted for patient toil and endurance than 
for vigorous and enterprising activity. Pride and ostentation are 
distinguishing features of their character ; and on the other hand 
are the patriarchal virtues of reverence for parents, obedience to all 
constituted authority, and cordial hospitality towards strangers. 
That, however, which strikes a stranger perhaps most of all, is their 
unparalleled resignation to what they believe to be the divine will ; 
that " it is decreed," seems to reconcile them to the severest suffer- 
ings, and not a murmur escapes from their lips. Nor must we omit 
to mention the fertile imagination, of which the Arab has lost noth- 
ing by being translated from the deserts of Asia to those of Africa : 
every spot has its legend, every rock its marvellous tale ; a good 
story-teller is welcomed and feasted under every tent, where the 
family, squatting in a circle, listen with avidity to tales, in which 
the Deity is continually represented as revealing himself to man by 
miraculous interferences. 

Within the last few years considerable light has been thrown on 
the social condition of the northern tribes, and interesting particu- 
lars have been collected respecting their periodical migrations. The 
nomades pass the winter and spring in the open Desert, where, dur- 
ing this part of the year, they find both water and vegetation ; but 
they sojourn only three or four days in one spot, and strike their 
tents as soon as the pasture is consumed. Towards the end of 
spring they visit the oases where their goods are deposited, load 
their camels with dates and woollen cloth, and proceed northward, 
taking with them the whole nomade city, including women, children, 
dogs, flocks, and tents. Now, the waters of Sahara are drying up, 
and the plants are withering, while in the Tell the grain is ripening. 
They arrive in the season of harvest, when the price of corn is low, 
and the juncture is doubly favorable for abandoning the now sterile 
Sahara, and finding the markets of the Tell overflowing with cereals 
Here, then, they spend the summer months in the activities of com- 
merce, exchanging their dates and woollen goods for barley, raw 
wool, sheep, and butter. Now, also, the lands of the Tell are vacant, 
the harvest having been gathered in; and the soil is improved 
rather than injured by their cattle, which are permitted freely to 



234 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

browse upon it. The close of summer is the signal for departure— 
a summons hailed with joy, as announcing the time for returning 
to their native country. Again loading their camels and striking 
their tents, the moving cities turn towards the south, and make their 
way into the Desert by short journeys as they came. They arrive 
at the oases just when the dates are ripe — that is, toward the end 
of October; a month is required, even with their assistance, to 
gather and house them ; another is spent in exchanging their corn, 
barley, raw wool, &c., for the dates which have been gathered, and 
the woollen fabrics which have been produced dimng the year by 
female industry. These are now carefiilly deposited in the maga- 
zines, and the nomade tribes retire from the oases, conducting their 
flocks from pasture to pasture in the open country, till the return 
of summer demands a repetition ©f the same journeyings and the 
same labors. During the date harvest, a load of corn 'in the 
Desert is worth two of dates ; while in the Tell, at the corn harvest, 
a load of dates is worth two of grain. This general rule is subject 
to little variation ; so that if a grower conducts his traffic without 
any intermediate agent, he realizes a profit of three hundred per 
cent. 

The extensive tract of country which lies between the line from 
Agabli to Timbuctoo, and that from Gadamis to Kashna, is the 
principal though not the only range of the Touarik.^ They constitute 
not a tribe merely, but a great nation, divided into several sections, 
of which each has its sultan and subordinate chiefs. It is impos- 
sible to form any correct estimate of their numbers. A large pro- 
portion are pastoral tribes, feeding their flocks in the desert wastes ; 
the rest are engaged in commerce and piracy. Several large towns 
and numerous villages along the frontiers of Soudan and in the 
Hogger Mountains serve them as depots. The Touarik are a white: 
skinned race, and supposed to be a branch of the Atlas family, older 
and purer than the Berber: their language is a dialect of that 
spoken by the Berbers of the Tell and the northern oases, but 
characterized by a roughness which has led to its being- called by 
Eui'opeans the " German of the Desert :" it seems to approximate 
most to the language of the Gouanches, the aborigines of the Canary 
Islands. 

Placed between the white race and the black, the Touarik are the 
terror of both, and appear now with savage ferocity to avenge them- 
selves on the descendants of those who drove their fathers into the 
Deserts. That section of them which is found along the borders of 

* The singular is Targhee. 



THE DESEKT3 OF AFRICA. 235 

Soudan is said to be in the highest degree sanguinary and faithless. 
To ambush in the neighborhood of the little towns inhabited by 
negroes — to rush upon them at dead of night — to seize them, throw 
them on their meharees, and fly with the swiftness of the wind — 
such is the principal branch of industry pursued by these formi- 
dable robbers. When they have formed a sufficient collection of 
hapless victims, they repair to the market of Grhat or Ghadamis, 
and sell them to the merchants of the north who frequent those 
towns. Sometimes, after having delivered to the purchasers all that 
they obtained in the " razia," as negro-hunting or stealing is called, 
they set out again, waylay the caravan of their customers, and bear 
away the slaves whom they have so recently sold. The merchants 
may, if they please, return to the market, purchase them a second 
time, and take care to hire a strong enough escort before undertak- 
ing the journey again. 

Along the route from Demergon and Kashna to Ghadamis, the 
various Touarik act as convoys to merchant-caravans ; but in every 
other direction, and especially on the frequented lines between Tim- 
buctoo and the oases of Twat, they plunder without mercy. Though 
they wander through every part of Central Africa and the Desert, none 
of them can be- prevailed on to visit the coast ; and the inhabitants 
of Morocco, Algeria, and Tripoli, know them only by the report 
of the Arab tribes who traverse the northern portions of Sahara. 

It is worth while here to remark the errors that attach to hear- 
ing only one side of a story, especially with reference to regions so 
imperfectly known. The more recent English travellers, as Andney, 
Clapperton, and Richardson, having entered the Desert by Tripoli, 
and pursued the route which the Touarik keep under their exclusive 
control, found them much less formidable than they anticipated ; but 
they speak of the Shanbah as banditti of the most ruthless and 
reckless character, who, having no stake like the Touarag in the 
commerce of the Desert, have been celebrated from time immemo- 
rial as the robbers and assassins of Sahara. " To be a brigand," says 
Mr. Richardson, " is with them a hereditary honor ; and they are 
the dread of the people of Wad-reklah, as well as of foreign mer- 
chants and caravans. They have a well scooped out in the sandy 
regions where their tents are pitched ; and here they live in horrid 
security, defying all law and authority, human and divine. Around 
them is an immensity of sandy wastes, and none dare pursue them 
into their dens. Horses would be useless, and it would require, 
Bays the Ghadamsee R-ais, two hundred men, with four hundred 
camels, eight himdred water skins, and provisions for two months, 



236 THE DESEKTS OF AFRICA. 

to make the least impression on them. Their numbers are recruited 
from various other Arab tribes, whose outlaws join their ranks." 

The French writers, on the other hand, represent the Shanbah, 
or Cha'ambi, whom it is their interest to conciliate, from their prox- 
imity to Algeria, as the most industrious and enterprising merchants 
of the Desert, and the Touarag as the parasites, the corsairs — in 
fact, the only redoubtable enemies to be feared in the sandy ocean. 
The truth is, that the Touarag and the Shanbah are neighbors, and 
at the same time deadly, irreconcilable, and national foes ; the latter 
being pure Arabs, and the former the aboriginal race of the country. 
Generally, there remains a considerable space between them ; but if 
the nomade tribes reach at the same time the furthest limits of their 
respective territories, a colhsion is inevitable. Plunder is the main 
object of the Shanbah, and their preparations include means of 
transport as well as weapons of war. The principal objects of their 
desire are meharees and slaves, or, if they can get nothing better, 
camels and sheep. Sometimes, however, they carry off nothing but 
the killed and wounded : such are the chances of war. Vengeance 
for these assaults, and a deep-settled abhorrence of the Shanbah 
tribe, seem to be the great excitements to warfare on the part of 
the chivalrous Touarag ; and the recital of their adventui-es is car- 
ried by each party to their homes — the French nation receiving 
the Arab story with embellishments, through their tributaries, while 
those who pass by Ghat and Ghadamis hear the other side. 

In the Deserts of Africa, as well as in those of Asia, the hand 
of the Arab is against every man, and every man's hand against 
him ; and it is to be feared that throughout the Sahara a stranger 
and an enemy, a merchant and a robber, are terms nearly synony- 
mous ; that hostile tribes seldom meet without collision ; and that pil- 
lage is the unquestioned right of the victor. Yet in the Targhee 
towns theft is said to be quite unknown, except as occasionally 
practised by the tributaries or slaves. Fidelity and hospitality 
seem also to distinguish these rovers : those who commit themselves 
to their protection will be defended with the last drop of their blood, 
and nothing is so offensive to the high-minded Targhee as to be dis- 
trusted. The reader smiles, perhaps, at the very mention of chiv- 
alry, high-mindedness, and the. demand of confidence in connection 
with the freebooters of the Sahara ; but let him know that through- 
out the length and breadth of the Desert they carry the letters of 
the merchants unsealed, j-^et sacredly inviolable. If an inquisitive 
European asks to see 'them, he is peremptorily informed that it is 
haram (prohibited) to read these documents. 

Besides their revengeful and piratical habits, which are indeed 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 237 

legitimate causes of dread, the singularity of their appearance and 
manner combine to render the Touarag objects of terror throughout 
the Desert. They are tall, some of them even gigantic, and gener- 
ally slender and nimble ; hence the Arabs give them the appellation 
of lath or heajn — beams which become transformed into living 
catapults when they are animated by the desire either of pillage or 
vengeance. While the Arab dress is used by all the other inhabi- 
tants of ihe Desert, the Touarag maintains a peculiar costume. It 
consists of wide pantaloons, and a variable number of vestments, in 
the form of loose gowns or blouses, with wide sleeves. These are 
made of a cotton cloth called sale, which is brought from the negro 
country ; it is only a few inches broad, generally of different shades 
of blue, and variously striped. Whether in the town or tent, they 
generally wear at least three of these garments, the outermost of 
which is ornamented with rich embroidery in gold, forming irregular 
designs, and particularly heavy on the left breast and right shoulder- 
blade. When they betake themselves to the open country, they 
add other two blouses of a dark blue color, and the haik or barracan, 
which is a long woollen scarf, worn over the shoulders. But the 
great distinguishing feature of the male Targhee dress is the litham ; 
a thin piece of cloth wound round the head, and then covering the 
forehead, the eyes partially, and the mouth and chin. The stuff of 
which this is composed is varnished with gum, to prevent the adhe- 
sion of the sand : thus are the mouth and eyes defended from cut- 
ting winds and drifting sands, and the wearer can travel several 
days longer without feeling parched in the absence of water. The 
Touarag pluck out the beard, contrary to the usage of the Berbers 
and Arabs, among whom it is a sacred ornament. A huge spear is 
carried in the right hand, the dagger is fastened under the left 
arm, and the sword swings behind. We must not omit to mention, 
also, that a profusion of talismans are strung round the neck ; and 
so great is the confidence attached to them, that similar charms are 
hung round their meharees, to preserve them from the mange, and 
even on the date trees, to save them from blight. 

" Though professing the Moslem faith," say our French inform- 
ants, " the Touarag are not considered by any means very scrupu- 
lous in the performance of its duties." It seems that those who live 
in or near the negro country mingle the idolatrous rites of Feti- 
chism with the observances of the Koran ; but the Arabs look upon 
the whole race as heretics, from the singularity of their language 
and costume, and especially from the fact that in the shape of their 
weapons and the designs of their ornaments they manifest a decided 
predilection for the form of the cross, so abhorrent to those Mussui- 



238 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

mans that recognize in it the emblem of the Christian faith. The 
handle of the Targhee sabre and the front of the saddle take this 
shape, and the cross is the favorite pattern of the embroidery on his 
dress. It is doubtless with indignant reference to these departures 
from orthodoxy that the Arabs of Sahara denominate the Touarag 
the " Christian of the Desert." Yet our English travellers de- 
scribe them as spiteful in their religious bigotry, if not scrupulous 
in their practice. Children scarcely two years old would run out 
of their dwelling, spitting and crying, " Kafer ! Kafer ! " — (infidel !) 
The wonderful descriptions which these gentlemen gave of European 
arts, for the entertainment of the natives, were constantly answered 
by the remark — " Christians know everything but God." As Mr. 
Richardson sat one day in the open court of his house, about an 
hour and a half before sunset, during .the great feast called Rama- 
dan, a Targhee entered, and standing before him in an erect posture, 
with his long spear in the right hand, he stretched the left towards 
heaven, looked upwards, and addressed him in a solemn, measured 
tone : " And — thou — Christian ! thou — fastest — thus ! Thy 
father — knoweth — not — God! Thou art a Kafer — he is a 
Kafer — and the fire will devour you both at last ! " 

The female Touarag are said to be " fair as Christian women," 
pretty, coquettish, and saucy. Their dress is very simple, consist- 
ing merely of a chemise and short-sleeved frock, with a hai'k. They 
wear bracelets, anklets, &c,, of painted wood, if they cannot afford- 
the precious metals ; and round their necks are hung talismans, 
pieces of coral, and occasionally small mirrors. They go unveiled, 
and seem at perfect liberty ; for here, again, the Targhee character 
differs from the Arab in the absence of that conjugal jealousy which 
marks the Mussulman of the East. The perfection of Targhee 
beauty is not embonpoint, like the Mooresses and Negresses; but, 
as the Arabs say or sing, " Slender as the bending rush, or taper 
lance of Yemen." 

Another point of civilization in which this race are in advance of 
both the Moors and Arabs is, that spoons are in very general use 
among them. These are made of wood, and exceedingly neat — a 
negro manufacture, as we remarked of the cotton cloth. 

Of all the tribes of Africa, the Touarag alone have an indigenous 
alphabet, and most of them read and write their own characters 
— not indeed on paper or parchment, but on the sand and the dark 
rocks with which their country abounds. 

Their principal market is Ghat, and their capital Agades. The 
latter is a fine town, built like Tunis : it is the residence of the 
sultan of one section of the Touarag. The subordinate chiefs exor- 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. ^39 

cise much authority ; and, on the whole, the government seems to 
be a kind of irregular oligarchy. That which renders travelling so 
dangerous here, as in every part of the Desert, is, that the stranger 
may place himself under the protection of a convoy at 'Agades, for 
example, but his way may be through the territory of a different or 
even a hostile tribe of the same nation ; and he has no security in 
case of meeting with a stronger party belonging to it. Timbuctoo 
is the goal which the- European adventurer generally wishes to 
attain ; but the Touarag who command the route south from Gha- 
damis will not undertake to protect him westward, because those who 
surround, and indeed blockade, Timbuctoo, are not amenable to the 
government at Agades. 

Aheer is another important oasis of the Touarag. Its houses, 
unlike those of the Berbers, are circular, and stand far asunder, 
so that they spread over a considerable space. They are built of 
small stones mixed with red earth ; a dome of thatch forms the 
roofing ; and, as a security against the wind, each dwelling has four 
doors, one looking to each point of the compass. The wells are con- 
stantly supplied with water, and there are cisterns to receive that 
which falls from the clouds. This neighborhood is the favorite soil 
of the senna plant. Its flowers are yellow, the leaves very large, 
and, except at the edges, of a dark purple color. Large quantities 
of it are sent northward, packed in sacks of palm leaves, which 
require to be renewed at Ghat. The natives wonder what we do 
with so much medicine : they have no idea of the millions of Euro- 
pean population ; still less of the quantity and variety of eatables 
and drinkables with which we overload and disorder the digestive 
system. The people of the Sahara use very little physic ; their 
principal demands on the healing art are occasioned by external in- 
juries, for which burning, bleeding, and charms are their favorite 
remedies. To these. some add manipulation, and after a severe 
fall every muscle* is stretched, rubbed, and coaxed with the utmost 
assiduity. 

In all his expeditions, whether honest or dishonest, the meharee 
is the inseparable companion of the Targhee. It seems to bear the 
same relation to the common camel that the racer does to the 
draught horse ; but of all animals it is perhaps that which, from the 
nature of the country it inhabits, and of the service it is doomed to 
perform, has been the least made an object of observation and study. 
The only country that agrees with it is the Central Desert : it can- 
not live either in the northern part of Africa or in the mountainous 
country of Nigritia. Even every part of the Desert does not seem to 
agree equally well with it; for the Shanbah and the Ommadi, 



24# THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

though very covetous of these animals, rear few if any for them- 
selves. Nature seems to have appropriated them to the special ser- 
vice of the Targhee. They are the affectionate companions of his 
roving life, the docile, intelligent, and disinterested instrument of 
his piracies. The servant and the master seem to have been cast 
in the same mould. The meharee is very tall, and, from being of 
light and slender make, appears to stand considerably higher than 
the camel. His neck is remarkably long, his legs thin and deli- 
cate, and his bunch projects but little. His countenance, like that 
of the camel, is careless and imperturbable ; but, under this sorry 
aspect and seeming indolence, he conceals qualities which might 
almost make him the king of beasts — '■ a fidelity and gentleness 
which are proof against every trial, a sagacity resembling that of the 
dog, and a swiftness far superior to that of the horse. Like his 
master, he has a physical organization adapted to the region in 
which his lot is cast — in the midst of immense plains, between an 
arid soil and a burning sun, compelled to travel great distances in 
search of food, and continually exposed to the sultry breath of the 
south wind, he is endowed with singular powers of resistance to all 
these elements of destruction. Accustomed to the scanty herbage 
afforded by his native sands, the meharee does not seem to feel it 
any luxury to browse on the richer pastures of the coast ; he is 
made for the Desert, sterile and ungracious as it is, and can live 
nowhere else. The Arabs attribute the danger of his expatriation 
to a poisonous little plant called drias, which does not grow in the 
Targhee country, but is "so like a wholesome one on which the ani- 
mal is accustomed to feed, that he crops it without perceiving the 
difference, and perishes the victim of his mistake. However this 
may be, meharees seldom appear even in the northern oases, except 
at Me till and Wad-reklah, whither they are occasionally brought by 
the Shanbah, who have purchased or stolen them from their natural 
masters. * 

As the transport of goods rarely demands great speed, the com- 
mon camel is almost exclusively used for this purpose, the maharee 
being reserved for services requiring expedition. He renders val- 
uable assistance to caravans which, when preparing to set out, gen- 
erally despatch avant-couriers, mounted on swift coursers, to recon- 
noitre the route, and ascertain whether it is supplied with water, and 
whether beset with any danger. But it appears that the meharee 
cannot and does not make any companionship with the coast camel. 
If the two incidentally meet, both show agitation and alarm ; but 
the camel confesses its inferiority by scampering off as fast as possi- 
ble The natives divide their meharee, or meharees, into ten 



1 



THE DESERTS OF AFEICA. 241 

classes, according to their swiftness ; the lowest comprehends those 
which can make about twenty-five of our miles in a day, and the 
highest those which clear eight or nine times that space. It is con- 
fidently asserted that a good meharee can travel seventy or eighty 
miles, day after day continuously ; and that, in an extreme case, 
one of them made the journey from Ghadamis to Tripoli, a distance 
of about 260 of our miles, in one day, but the rider expired from 
exhaustion immediately on his arrival. 

The mode of rearing this favorite animal is curious. As soon as 
he is born he is plunged to the neck in fine shifting sand, lest his 
soft and slender limbs should be bent by supporting the weight of 
his body ; and for fourteen days he is fed on a diet chiefly of but- 
ter and milk, the composition and quantity of which vary every 
day, according to established and well-known rules. At the end 
of a month he is allowed to run ; an iron ring is then passed 
through his nose, and his education commences. When well 
trained, the meharee displays remarkable sagacity. If his rider 
chooses to plant his spear in the ground, in the midst of a rapid 
course, the animal, attentive to the slightest intimation of his 
wishes, turns round the weapon, to enable him to regain it, and 
resumes the course without slackening his pace for a moment. 
When the warrior falls in battle, the faithful charger stretches him- 
self on the ground, as if inviting him again to mount his back. If 
he is able to do so, he bears him gently but swiftly from the scene 
of carnao;e : but if the Taro;hee remains silent and motionless, the 
meharee hastens to the town or douar* of his habitation, exhibiting 
the empty saddle to the bereaved family. The women now com- 
mence the death-dirge — the children set up piercing cries — the 
whole community is thrown into excitement and alarm, and the 
horizon is watched with anxious solicitude. Some spots appear — 
they increase — they approach ; they are other meharees without 
their riders — mute but truthful messengers of sorrow, confirming 
the intelligence that the troop has been defeated, and the loved 
ones are no more. The animals seldom all return, however — the 
victors generally succeed in capturing some of them; and they 
bring a high price when exposed for sale. A good meharee cannot 
be had for less than 720 boujous (about £30 sterling) ; whereas a 
common camel costs about 50 (£3 15s). It is, therefore, among 
all the tribes except the Touarik, an unusual and aristocratic means 
of locomotion. 

Eastward of the route between Fezzan and Borneo commences a 

* A village of tents, 
16 



d 



242 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

black population denominated Tibboos, and supposed to numbei 
150,000. This is a native race, probably of gi-eat antiquity, and 
enumerated by geographers as one of the branches of the Atlaa 
family. Though black, the style of their features is strikingly dis- 
similar to the negro. They are described as a gay, lively, thought- 
less race, with all the African passion for the song and the dance, 
which last they practise with considerable grace. Their occupa- 
tions ai*e chiefly pastoral, and their principal subsistence is derived 
from the milk of their camels. Besides, they carry on a small 
traffic with the north in slaves, which they kidnap in the negro 
country ; and with the south in the natron and salt, which their 
country produces in abundance. Bilma is their capital — a mean 
collection of mud hovels, but surrounded by lakes containing the 
purest salt. A predatory warfare is kept up between the Tibboos 
and their powerful neighbors the Touarik. In open fight the Tib- 
boos have no chance ; when invaded, they climb the rocks in the 
shelter of which their villages are always built, carrying with them 
whatever they can remove. The Touarik sweep away all that is 
left, and load their camels with the salt which is so valuable as an 
article of trade. In return, the Tibboos give considerable annoy- 
ance by frequent and stealthy incursions into the Targhee country. 

A singular feature in the social character of the Tibboos is said 
to be the dominance of the female sex in \hQ hut and the tent. 
The man may be the lord of creation in the open country, where, 
indeed, he passes two thirds of his time, but at home he is knocked 
about at the pleasure of his managing spouse. When a caravan 
for salt is coming from Aheer, the men turn out and betake them- 
selves to the mountains, with provision for a month, leaving the 
women to transact the business. 

Throughout the Saharian Desert, an aristocracy seems to attach 
to the blood of the saints, and some of the Maraboot tribes are 
among the most wealthy and powerful to be met with. Such are 
the Shereefs, who, in 1516, overthrew the dynasty of Morocco, and 
placed on the throne one of their own sheiks, by whose family it is 
still occupied. By this tribe is conducted most of the commerce 
of Morocco eastward through the northern states, which they sup- 
ply with their own and European manufactures ; and also to Twat, 
where they command several oases. The Oulad-sidi-Sheiks are 
another venerable tribe, who claim descent from a favorite caliph 
of the Prophet ; and who, by their numbers, nobility, wealth, and 
sanctity, exercise a powerful influence throughout the date country. 
In token of their aristocracy, they dwell under tents of black 
woollen fabric, surmounted with ostrich plumes, of which the size 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 243 

varies according to the rank and fortune of each family. By this 
token they are distinguished from the vulgar population of the 
Algerine Sahara, which is the land of their habitation. 

Still more remarkable for this incongi-uous union of the sacer- 
dotal and mercantile professions are the inhabitants of Grhadamis. 
To a religious scrupulosity that would tremble at a drop of prohib- 
ited medicine falling on their garments, they add a spirit of com- 
merce which is arrested by no difficulty, and daunted by no peril. 
They plunge into the Desert, eager in pursuit of gain, even when 
it is known to be infested with cut-throats; "it is decreed," the 
moment of their death is registered in the book of fate, and no 
recklessness on their part can antedate the record. With scrupu- 
lous exactitude, and with apparent earnestness, too, they pray five 
times daily while en route, the laws of the Koran allowing them 
to choose their own time under these circumstances ; yet they make 
no scruple about buying and selling the unfortunate negi'O, and this 
traffic in human flesh is the most lucrative branch of their com- 
merce. The elder men, who have retired from the activities of life, 
and indeed all the resident inhabitants of Grhadamis, seem to pass 
their whole time in formal devotional exercises. Even the women 
here are admitted to have souls, and are carefully instructed in the 
Koran, besides being taught to repeat the usual prayers and tradi- 
tionary legends. 

Unhappily the Turks, having incurred considerable expense in 
establishing their sovereignty at Tripoli, cast their eyes on this spot 
as an El Dorado for the replenishment of their exhausted coffers. 
A pretext was found for levying a heavy tribute ; and, though the 
holy Maraboot city of the Desert had taken no part in the turmoils 
of the coast, and though the pacific character of its inhabitants 
might well have exempted them from interference, yet a Turkish 
garrison was placed within their walls, the women and children 
were stripped of their gold and silver ornaments, private dwellings 
were ransacked to meet the exorbitant demands of the Ottoman 
Porte, and the city, which had flourished for ages in i\\Q> pursuit of 
its peaceful commerce, is now groaning under oppression, and 
threatened with utter ruin. The Turkish rule has fallen like the 
lightning's blast, to wither one of the fairest palms of the African 
Desert. 



The Commerce of the Desert — Various Modes of Travelling — Best Modes 
of Exploring these Regions. 

Besides the traffic which we have had occasion to mention as 
carried on by some of the nomade tribes for the supply of their 



244 THE DESMITS OF AFRICA. 

immediate wants, there is a regular and extensive system of com- 
merce across the Sahara, by which the civilized States of Europe 
are brought into communication with the Negroland of Interior 
Africa. This commercial system is sufficiently complicated on 
account of the difficulties attending the transit, and the various 
and even hostile interests that are engaged in it The productions 
of Europe cannot be transmitted, as is commonly imagined, into 
the populous regions of Central Africa by caravans equipped in 
Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, or Tripoli. The commerce of Sahara is 
by no means so simple a matter. For instance, a bale of goods 
from Tunis, destined for the south, is carried by native merchants 
to Khabs, the most southern oasis of the Tunisian Sahara. Here it 
is purchased by merchants from Grhadamis, who convey it to their 
own city, where it becomes associated with commodities from Trip- 
oli, Algiers, and Egypt. It proceeds, generally after changing 
hands at Grhadamis, by the great annual caravan to G-hat, and is 
there exchanged for the productions of Soudan. Now, under the 
care of the Touarik, it finds its way to the country of the blacks ; 
but we have no certain details of their mode of doing business. 
This is the eastern route. Towards the west, the progress is 
somewhat similar. Groods from the various towns of Morocco and 
Algeria are carried by native tribes to Tafilet, Metili, &c. They 
are poured into the market of El-Golea by the redoubtable Shanha, 
or the sacerdotal Shereefs, Thence, by the same tribes and the 
Ommadi, they are conveyed to their respective markets in the oases 
of Twat ; but from Twat to Timbuctoo they must be in charge of 
the Khensafa, or the all-powerful Touarik. There are some few 
individuals who accompany their goods thi'ough all their wander- 
ings; these are generally the merchants of Grhadamis, who can 
travel the whole of the eastern route under Targhee protection ; or 
the Shanbah, who may succeed in fighting their way on the west- 
ern. The commerce presents different characters in these two 
directions. Tunis and Tripoli export chiefly objects of luxury 
from Europe — as silk, and other articles of mercery; pearls, 
cloves, cinnamon, perfumery, paper, cloth, &c. Morocco, on the 
other hand, furnishes objects of more immediate necessity — such 
as grain, sheep, and wool. Placed between the two, Algiers 
might partake of both, but the ravages of war have turned aside 
the caravans from her oases. The staple commodities brought back 
from Soudan are negro slaves, gold-dust, elephants' teeth, senna, 
ostrich-feathers, buffalo-hides, the blue cotton made in the negro 
country, gour-nuts for staining the teeth, &c. The two last arti- 
cles do not reach the northern states, but are disposed of among 



THE BESEKTo OF AFKICA. 245 

the inliabitants of the Desert ; and it is to be noted that the oasea 
are places of consumption and production, as well as of exchange. 
They absorb a large portion of the merchandise, both of the north 
and south, on its way; while to the former they add salt and na- 
trona, to the latter, dates and fine woollen cloth. 

Each considerable town of the Desert becomes periodically a 
sook or fair. An English traveller, who witnessed that of Grhat, 
four or five years, ago, states the number of merchants who arrived 
from various parts to have been about 500 ; the camels 1050 ; the 
slaves 1000. The value of the slaves, elephants' teeth, and senna, 
which were the staple commodities from the south, was estimated at 
about £60,000, which would be doubled on their arrival at Eu- 
ropean markets. Besides these, there were ostrich -feathers, hides, 
utensils of Soudan manufacture used in the Sahara, and the dark 
blue calico which clothes half the inhabitants of the Desert. From 
Europe there were bracelets, beads, looking-glasses, razors, sword- 
blades, needles, papers, silks and cottons of gay colors ; but every- 
thing of the poorest quality. During the sook the place was sup- 
plied with provisions by frequent caravans from the oases of Fezzan. 
Very little gold was to be seen. What does come this way is chiefly 
in the form of female ornaments, rudely fashioned, but of the purest 
material. These are tied up in filthy pieces of rag, and deposited, 
during their joarneyings, in the bosom or turban of the merchant. 
But most of the gold which is found in the interior of Africa is 
carried either to Morocco, or to the European factories on the west 
coast. 

Most of the traffic of the Desert is effected by barter, and very 
little specie is used. That which is most circulated in the north is 
the money of Tunis, which is current as far as the oases of Twat 
and Fezzan. Further south there is some Spanish money trans- 
mitted through Morocco, and a few Turkish coins, which naturally 
find their way from Tripoli ; but the latter are generally disliked. 
The reason alleged is, that God taught Christians to make money, 
because it is a thing accursed, though necessary in the present 
world ; therefore Mussulmans ought not to engage in this work. 
In the future state, they say the faithful will have all good things 
to enjoy without money ; whereas Christians will have melted coin 
poured down their throats as their torment forever. Among the 
negro tribes a shell currency is used, known to us under the vul- 
gar name of cowries. Every year the English pour into this coun- 
try, by Gruinea, nearly a hundred tons of cowries from Bengal, 
where they bear about one tenth part of the value that they do in 
Soudan. 



24G THE DESERIS OF AFRICA. 

The means of travelling in this part of the world are utterly 
different from those which nature and civilization have bestowed on 
Europe. The largest rivers are unnavigable at a few miles from 
their mouths ; the highway and the canal, to say nothing of the 
railway, are things unknown, as are the vehicles of which they im- 
ply the use. The Arab roads in the north are mere tracks marked 
on the sod by the naked foot of man, and the tread of horse or 
mule. They are so narrow that two persons cannot walk on them 
abreast ; consequently, if travellers or caravans meet, the one takes 
to the right and the other to the left, so that two tracks are formed, 
and the more any particular route is frequented, the more paths 
may be found, sometimes running parallel, and sometimes crossing 
each other. If an Arab is turned out of his track for a time, he 
hastens back to it as soon as possible ; hence the intersections. On 
the other hand, if a caravan is very large, it divides into two or 
three files, preserving equal distances ; and hence the parallel paths. 
As the custom of proceeding in single file has produced these nar- 
row tracks, so have these in turn perpetuated the custom. In the 
Tell, the natives may be seen travelling in single file on roadg 
forty-eight feet broad, constructed by their European conquerors, 
the traces of the national locomotion being thus impressed on the 
highways opened by civilization. 

But when we come to the sands of the open Desert even these 
pathways disappear; the wind soon effaces the footprints of the 
passenger, and we seek in vain for the long white track which 
guides the traveller through many parts of Northern Africa. The 
tuft of a pistachio, a lotus-plant, the white top of a sand-hill, the 
summit of a distant mountain, — these are the waymarks which 
guide him across the solitudes. In some of the most monotonous 
plains the inhabitants have taken the precaution to raise pyramids 
of stones, whose sharp projections contrast with the smooth and 
rounded features of the Saharian landscape. These waymarks are 
called kerkors, and are especially employed to indicate the position 
of wells,^ Another kind of monument also is frequently met with. 
" Travelling one day," says M. Carette, " in company with several 
Arabs, I was astonished to see them stop, one after another, while 
each lifted a stone, and still more surprised when they offered one 
to me. On asking the reason, I was informed that we were going 
to pass the nza of Bel-gacem ! Though very little the wiser, I 
took the stone, and in a few minutes afterwards we came to a pile 
of pebbles about five feet high. Each of my companions cast his 
stone upon it, exclaiming, ' To the nza of Bel-gacem ! ' Of 
course I added mine when my turn came. This is the Arab mode 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 247 

of raising a monument on the spot where any tragic event has taken 
place, and it sometimes attains the height of twelve or fifteen feet." 
Dr. Jaccjuot obtained the following history of one which he had 
occasion to pass in the Atlas Mountains : The Ouled-Balaghr occu- 
pied the country to the west, while the Thouamas fed their flocks to 
the east. The latter were a pacific tribe, who desired nothing of 
their neighbors but to be let alone — their women to weave, their 
children to tend the flocks, and the men to doze all day, crouching 
on the threshold of the tent, or stretching themselves on a grassy 
mound. But, alas ! the ferocious sheik of the Ouled-Balaghr con- 
tinually interrupted their enjoymenis, and harassed them with war. 
He delighted in finding the oily coucous ready-baked, and the red 
piquant sauce smoking in the dwellings of his neighbors ; he pre- 
ferred the yellow streams of honey which filled the trunks excavated 
by the Thouamos, to those which he might himself obtain by patient 
industry. Besides, he had other tastes which still more deeply 
aggrieved the husbands and fathers of this inoflfensive tribe. Mo- 
hammed espoused their cause ; and, in clear weather, the guardian 
fauies might be distinctly seen surrounding their protegees in sea- 
sons of extreme danger. One day, when the terrible sheik crossed 
the boundary, longing after coucous, honey, and female beauty, he 
was met by a holy maraboot, bent with age, and leaning on a staff. 
Raising his decrepit form for an instant, "There is no Grod but 
Allah," said he, " and Mohammed is his prophet. Hadst thou the 
wings of our mountain eagles, or the fleet limbs of the antelope of 
the plain, thou shouldst proceed no further. Return to thy douar, 
rear bees for thyself, make thy women grind corn and barley, and 
meditate thou in the Koran ; but let the Thouamas alone, if thou 
wouldst not perish on this spot as the scorpion which thy beast is 
treading under foot." But the courser of the sheik was no such 
pusillanimous animal as Balaam's ass of ancient fame. Urged by 
his master's shabeers,* he dashed past the holy man, tossed his 
mane, and broke into a gallop. He had not gone many paces when 
he fell ; both the horse and the rider dashed their heads on a jut- 
ting angle of rock. The little Attila became food for the crows 
and jackals, but burial was given to the less guilty horse. Every 
Arab that passes adds a stone to the heap, and exclaims, "It is 
decreed! " 

Level and sandy tracts are always chosen for travelling, when 
this is possible, which is perhaps the reason that some travellers 
have supposed the whole Desert to be a sandy plain. The most 

* A kind of spur. 



24:8 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

dreaded part of the route from Twat to Timbuctoo is over the 
tanezroufie, a plain of stiff red earth, which cannot be crossed in 
less than ten or twelve days, and throughout which not a drop of 
•water is to be found. In the sand there is at least always a soft 
dry bed, even after the heaviest rains, where the wanderer may 
repose his wearied limbs. Here, too, he is more likely to find 
springs of water than in the clayey or stony tracts. The wells in the 
neighborhood of oases are covered with skins, to preserve them from 
the intrusion of the sand, and furnished with a bucket of plaited 
halfa, and a cord to reach the water. If this simple apparatus gets 
out of order, it must be the resnlt of long use or unforeseen acci- 
dent ; for it is guaranteed against wanton injury, by the respect 
which all native travellers entertain for these little monuments of 
public utility. Any misadventure that occurs to them is imme- 
diately reported to the chief of the oases, who loses no time in 
repairing it. 

The European adventurer most commonly joins the gafala, or 
merchant caravan, as it is not only the most expeditious, but the 
most secure and economical, mode of performing a journey, the 
expense of an escort being saved. In all the northern oases of 
any importance, there are fourdouks or caravanserais corresponding 
with the principal points of commercial intercourse; and these 
serve not only as resting-places and hotels, but as rendezvous and 
starting-points for the caravans which frequent them. If the 
escorting towns are pretty considerable, the departures are period- 
ical ; but in all cases the day and hour of starting is intimated 
beforehand by the chief driver, and, in order to ascertain it, one 
has only to apply at the proper fourdouk, where all particulars may 
be obtained. 

The muleteers and camel-drivers form the nucleus of the cara- 
van, and regulate its movements. The length of a day's journey is 
variable, depending on the strength of the company, in connection 
with the nature of the route and the degree of security anticipated. 
The usual distance is from twenty to twenty-five miles, but it may 
extend to forty in regions destitute of water or infested by robbers. 
Travellers who join a caravan are not obliged to submit to any dis- 
cipline. There is no community except that of dangers to be 
escaped, and an end to be attained. If they sustain an attack, 
each one consults his own courage, and does independently what in 
him lies to repel or escape the enemy. It rarely happens that any 
regular disposition of force is made either for the attack or the 
defence ; and occurrences of this nature always produce considera- 
ble disorder. The gafalas are almost entirely composed of men 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 249 

whose principal occupation is commerce, but women are not ex- 
cluded ; and it is no uncommon thing to see widows, having no 
other means of support, caiTjing on the traffic of their deceased 
husbands. 

Another species of caravan is the neja, or migration of a tribe ; 
and this presents a much more lively scene than a gafala. The 
latter is a concourse of men who have little acquaintance with each 
other ; its march is grave, and often silent and monotonous. The 
neja, on the contrary, is the tribe with its women, its dogs, its tents, 
and all the apparatus of nomade life. It is not composed of iso- 
lated individuals, but of families ; or rather it is one great family 
on the tramp. There is, therefore, nothing more lively and pleas- 
ant than to join a neja. " The barking of the dogs, the bleating 
of the sheep, the shouting of the men in charge of them, the crow- 
ing of the fowls, and the squalling of the children ; all this variety 
of noises," says M. Carette, "forms a rural harmony which is 
quite charming in the otherwise lonely and silent wastes, and the 
traveller finds a novel source of amusement in witnessing the pri- 
vate labors of domestic economy, simple enough, but wearing a 
strange character, when it is remembered that they are all conducted 
on the back of the camel." 

Suddenly this noisy march becomes silent and pensive — the 
cavaliers of the advanced guard perceive in the horizon the ap- 
proach of another tribe. They give notice of it to the sheik, and 
immediately the ranks close in. The gafala carries no standard, 
for it fears no enemy save the freebooter ; but each neja is in alli- 
ance with one or other of the great parties that divide the Desert, 
and regard as enemies all the tribes that favor the opposite cause. 
As the two companies near each other, conjectures are forming as 
to whether this is to be a greeting of friends or a collision of 
foes. When they come within reach of the vofce, the demand is 
made, "Who are you?" If they prove to be allies, they 
continue their journey apart, on exchanging a salam ; but if the 
name uttered is that of a hostile tribe, they reply by blows, and a 
conflict ensues. - The battle never continues beyond sunset, which 
is the signal for the suspension of hostilities. If one of the par- 
ties is confessedly worsted, it avails itself of the night to disappear ; 
but if the issue is doubtful, the belligerents encamp on the field of 
battle, and renew the conflict in the morning. The Arabs manifest 
much more animosity in these collisions than in any skirmishes they 
have with their European invaders, as none are more exasperated 
than brothers, if they happen to be enemies. In war against the infi- 
dels, they make prisoners ; but no such thing is known in the mu« 



250 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

tual warfare of tribes. In the latter case, if an Arab becomes mas« 
ter of a living foe, he slays hiin without mercy, and hastens to lay 
the gory head at the feet of his wives, who welcome it with insults 
and imprecations. 

The only exception to these barbarous usages is in favor of three 
classes of people : maraboots are spared out of respect for their 
sacred character ; Jews and blacksmiths from mere contempt. We 
have not been able to learn the origin of this feeling towards the 
trade of a blacksmith; but certain it is, that if a man be sur- 
rounded by enemies, and despairing of escape, he has only to 
wrap his head in the hood of his burnoose, and work with his arms, 
as if beating iron. They will not stain their hands with the blood 
of so abject a wretch. 

It rarely happens that a traveller, joining a neja, has occasion to 
carry his own tent and provisions. If he has any acquaintance in 
the tribe, he receives hospitality as a guest, and shares the tent and 
koukous * of his host. This position secures to him all the respect 
and protection to which the family entertaining him are entitled. 
Among the strangers who join either a gafala or neja, there are geit- 
erally found some destitute creatures who, on the day of departure, 
know not how the bread of to-morrow is to be obtained ; but they 
are under no disquietude — they trust in Providence, and not in 
vain. Scarcely has the cavalcade started, but they find opportu- 
nities of making themselves useful, either in loading or guiding 
the camels, for which little services they receive their daily food ; 
and it is all they desire. Thus they accomplish a long journey 
without either expense on the one hand or privation on the other. 
It is in this way that numbers of poor husbandmen and laborers, 
not finding then- toil sufficiently remunerated in the oases, make 
their way to the coast, where they form the most intelligent, the 
most industrious, and the best conducted portion of the community. 

One cannot compare the habits and the wants of one of these 
camel-drivers of the Desert with those of a European wagoner, 
without being struck with the contrast. The latter requires, as 
every night closes in, a roof to shelter him, should it be only that 
of a hovel, and a bed, though but of straw ; he needs nourishing 
food to support his strength, and this necessity is rendered more 
imperious by the use of alcoholic liquors. But the Arab camel- 
driver asks no bed but the sand— - no roof but the sky; a fountain 
of pure water is his most luxurious tavern ; his sustenance is moist- 

* Cakes made of meal mixed with various ingredients, according to the 
eiroumstances of the eater. 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 2ol 

ened meal ; and for these he offers thanks to Heaven. Five times 
a day he prostrates himself on the ground, laying his forehead on 
the sharp stones of the Desert, if such be the paving of his route, 
and pours out his prayers to his heavenly Gruide, Protector, and 
Provider. What an example for the well-fed bishops of Christen- 
dom ! 

Neither merchant-caravans, nor those of migrating tribes, travel 
at all times or in all directions, so that isolated journeying is fre- 
quently necessary. It is generally unsafe for a stranger to attempt 
this without the protection of either a professional or amateur guide, 
belonging to a tribe whose territory is to be crossed. He is 
acquainted with the safe hiding-places and the good springs. He 
knows when it is necessary to remain concealed, and when he may 
proceed by daylight ; and he has friends along the route from whom 
he obtains for his companion the same hospitality that is extended 
to himself. 

The provision for a journey consists of rouina, dates, and butter, 
if one is desirous of luxury; otherwise, the only article of food is 
rouina. This is simply grain (generally barley) roasted, ground, 
and pressed into a mezoued, which is a sheep's skin tanned and 
dyed red. Another skin called a shenna is required for water ; it 
preserves its hair outside, and receives a coat of tar within. Water 
may be carried in it for ten days without becoming the least spoiled. 
With the mezoued slung like a wallet on one shoulder, and the 
shenna on the other, the Arab often travels immense plains alone 
and on foot, without meeting human habitation for days together, 
and this at the rate sometimes of forty miles a day ; for he walks 
from the rising till the setting of the sun. When he wishes for a 
repast, the table is soon spread. He sits down beside a spring of 
water, if the place affords one, and lays on the ground a flap of his 
burnoose, which serves both as dish and table-cloth. He throws 
into it a handful of rouina, which he moistens with water, makes 
into a paste, and eats without further culinary process. He then 
puts his hands together to form a cup, drinks, and pursues his way. 
A mezoued full of rouina will support him twenty-four days. 

It must be confessed that our knowledge of the deserts, as well 
as of the interior of Africa, is still very imperfect; and, while we 
render due homage to the courage of those martyrs to science who 
have from time to time ventured into the trackless wastes, and have 
in few instances lived to return, it must be admitted that the field 
is too wide and too ungenial to be explored by any such individual 
and partial researches as have yet taken place. It is to be appre- 
hended that in some, perhaps in many, cases, general inferences 



252 THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 

have been drawn hastily and incorrectly from particular facts ; and 
the sufferings which Europeans have undergone in their venturous 
excursions, may have led them to view things through a distorted 
lucdiuui, and to represent them in such a manner as rather to mag- 
nify tban diminish the distance which divides us from them. It is 
not enough to be courageous. We should endeavor to turn our 
courage to good account by directing it in wisdom ; and, before 
throwing ourselves into a region where so many lives have been 
sacrificed, it would be well to know so much about it as to make 
our progress safe, and our observations intelligent and useful. It 
has been suggested by some who have become personally and inti- 
mately acquainted with the Northern Sahara, or Land of Dates, 
that among the natives themselves might be found useful explorers 
to prepare the way for European adventure. In Tunis, Tripoli, 
and Alexandria, the points in which terminate three of the great 
commercial arteries of Interior Africa, there are always to be found 
Arabs who have traversed in every direction the whole country 
between Egypt and Guinea. We might send such as these into 
the heart of Africa, to collect all the particulars which it is desira- 
ble to obtain. They are naturally enterprising travellers and acute 
observers of natural phenomena ; and their native instincts, prop- 
erly dhected, might yield us an immense fund of information a^ a 
very trifling cost. They might be commissioned to bring specimens 
of all the natural productions, first of the Northern Sahara, then 
of the Central, and, lastly, of Interior Africa ; of the plants, the 
grain, the shells, the stones, the fruit of different kinds, and stuffs 
of various fabrics. They might be instructed to count the houses 
of a town, the tents of a tribe, the camels of a caravan ; and thus 
should we have accurate data on the strength of the population and 
the progress of commerce. They might be directed to count the 
paces from one oasis to another, to follow the course of a stream, to 
measure a basin ; and thus we should have geographical details. 

"I was curious," says M. Carette, ''to ascertain by experiment 
how far these rovers of the Desert might be transformed into deputy 
travellers, and the result even surpassed my expectations. I gave 
a scientific commission, for a distant part of the Date Country, to 
an intelligent but illiterate Arab belonging to one of those Saharian 
tribes which make the most extensive circuit in their annual migra- 
tions. His instructions were confined to objects of natural history, 
geogi'aphy, commerce, and statistics. But the child of the Desert 
spontaneously became an archaeologist. Having met with a Roman 
inscription, he copied it as faithfully as he could, supposing, acc^n-i- 



THE DESERTS OF AFRICA. 253 

ing to the traditions of his country, that it contained some impor- 
tant revelation which I should be able to expound." 

If it be asked whether the veracity of such agents could be 
depended upon, it is answered that they would at least be as 
worthy of credence as the generality of European travellers ; that 
is, quite as little prone to perversion or exaggeration, and somewhat 
less liable to mistake or deception ; but we could easily verify their 
testimony by despatching two successively on a similar mission. 
If Europeans who understood the language of the Arabs, and knew 
how to humor their peculiarities, would take up their position about 
the skirts of the desert, and employ themselves in directing native 
explorers, and then collecting and comparing their reports, instead 
of plunging themselves into the pathless wastes, where their 
religion is abhorred, their motives suspected, and their lives consid- 
ered fair game, we might soon have such a programme as would 
open a well defined field for European enterprise, whether commer- 
cial, scientific, or religious. 



LIFE II il imiilil. 




My first sea-voyage was made in the "Weatherly, Captain Courtly ; 
she was a remarkably fine old teak ship, of about 1500 tons bur- 
then, built in Bombay for the East India Company, and so con- 
structed as to be equally well adapted for trading or for war. 

I joined the vessel as a midshipman (so called), on the 30th of 
November, 184-, while she was lying in the river off Gravesend, in 
the berth usually allotted to outward-bound Indiamen, just abreast 
of Tilbury Fort. I recollect that it was one of those dull, drizzling 
days so prevalent during an English November, and so peculiarly 
disagreeable in the neighborhood of London. I found everything 
on board in what I, in my ignorance, looked upon as irremediable 
confusion : the salt provisions and the cuddy-stores were being 
hoisted on board from a lighter alongside, and the deck was encum- 
bered with casks and cases, which were deposited there previously 

(254) 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 255 



to being lowered into tlie hold, and finally stowed away. A day or 
two prior to the date of my joining, a quantity of bar-iron, shot, 
and shell, had been received on board, the rust from which pervaded 
everything in a most extraordinary manner : this, combined with 
the mud brought from shore by boatmen and visitors, and the cease- 
less drizzling rain, rendered the decks filthy beyond description. 
Everybody was bustling to and fro, apparently with some definite 
object in view, whilst I, lost and bewildered, although most anxious 
to be useful in some way, and to learn what was the nature of the 
duties which I should be called upon to perform in my new station, 
was pushed here, there, and everywhere, as if I was merely an 
incumbrance ; for, being myself unemployed, I contrived to place 
myself so as to incommode everybody else. At length, one of the 
officers noticing, I presume, my lackadaisical appearance, sent me, 
more by way of joke than from any absolute necessity, with a 
message to an officer who was employed in another part of the ship, 
and it was then that my difficulties may be said to have commenced ; 
for although, while standing upon the upper deck, I could distin- 
guish the stem from the stern of the ship, I candidly confess that I 
was sorely puzzled when ordered to deliver a message in the After 
Orlop. However, burning with a desire to show myself smait, I 
dived down to the gun deck, and roamed from the stern cabins to 
the manger without discovering any locality bearing that name : all 
my inquiries as to its whereabouts were answered by a broad grin, 
a horse-laugh, or a careless oath ; and when I meeldy asked where 
the officer of whom I was in search was most likely to be found, I 
was informed, in a perfectly serious tone, that in all probability he 
was skulking in the cook's coppers, covered over with a ladle, or in 
the larboard binnacle, hidden by a spoon, or, perhaps, which was 
most likely, stowed away in the till of the captain's shaving-box. 
At length, by dint of untiring perseverance, I found the person 
sought, and had the satisfaction of being well laughed at, the 
message having been delivered by another mid' just an hour before. 
My total ignorance of the manners and customs on board ship 
(for I was fresh from an inland country town), and of the usual 
daily routine, exposed me to an infinite number of practical jokes ; 
among others, I was sometimes despatched in a great hurry to the 
carpenter, to ask him for the loan of his circular square, or some 
other unheard-of and impossible instrument ; the old carpenter, who 
was up to the joke, always looked as grave as a judge, and sent back 
his compliments, and he was sorry that the tool had been unfortu- 
nately mislaid. When I was sent on similar " goose's " errands to 
the boatswain, I generally received a thorough quizzing, and the 



256 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

advice to be a little more wide-awake in future. It was some con- 
solation to me to observe that I was not the only one who was thus 
made sport of, for all the first voyagers, or greenhorns, were more 
or less imposed upon in proportion to their good-nature and credulity : 
and in the end I am sure it proved to our advantage, as it made 
us keep a " weather-eye " open in self-defence, and might therefore 
be looked upon as the rudiments of our nautical education. 

At one o'clock all hands went to dinner, and I groped my way 
to the mess-room, which had been previously pointed out to me. 
Here I found the fifth mate and two midshipmen (old stagers) 
eagerly swallowing a mixture of greasy water and cabbage leaves, 
called vegetable soup, of which they invited me to partake,^and 
helped me very liberally ; but, seeing that I did not make much 
progress with it, they recommended me to try some of their delicious 
" sea-cake," at the same time handing me a seaman's biscuit of the 
roughest description, very difierent from those really excellent 
octagons which are supplied to the royal navy. After soup, came 
a large dish of beef-steaks and onions — a most savory mess, and 
highly inviting in appearance ; but, alas ! it was all outward show, 
for the beef defied mastication, — and from that day to this I have 
nourished a strong aversion to beef-steaks. I found them to be the 
jtanding dish in harbor, for even in Bombay bufialo steaks, consist- 
ing of skin and gristle, appeared regularly every morning on our 
breakfast-table. ' Small-beer, called by my messmates " swipes," 
was to be had merely for the fetching, there being a large cask of it 
on deck for the indiscriminate use of all hands ; and I can confi- 
dently assert that the midshipmen's mess had the lion's share, 
consuming, probably, as much as all the rest of the ship's company 
put together ; fortunately, as the wine merchants say of their claret, 
there was not " a headache in a hogshead of it," so that there was 
no fear of inebriation. The meat having been removed, long clay 
pipes were filled and lightld, and a few whiSs taken by way of a 
digestive ; soon after which the boatswain's call summoned all to 
their respective stations. 

After night-fall I was sent down into the hold, where a gang of 
men were employed, under the third mate, in stowing away cases, 
&c. ; my duty was to hold a candle, and show a light when required. 
This employment always devolves upon the midshipmen, so that 
those in the East India Company's service were known by the nick- 
name of " Company's Candlesticks." By our constant attendance 
in the hold whilst the cargo was being stowed, we had an opportunity 
afforded us of gaining much practical information as to the best and 
safest mode of arranging cargo of various descriptions a science 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 257 

of no mean importance. When the stowing was completed, the 
men scrambled hand-over-head up a greasy rope to the deck above, 
a distance of about twenty feet, — and I was expected to do the 
same ; but gymnastics never having formed part of my education, I 
made many violent and unsuccessful struggles, amid the laughter of 
the lookers-on, before I could gain the orlop deck. After a little 
pr^tice, however, I overcame this dilG&culty ; and I think I should 
now stand a very fair chance of winning the leg of mutton sur- 
mounting a greased pole at a country merry-making. 

Whilst I had been buried in the regions below, the live-stock had 
arrijed, consisting of some hundreds of fowls, ducks, geese, and 
turl^s, besides a large number of sheep, pigs, a cow and a calf. I 
never heard such a Babel of sounds as was produced by these unfor- 
tunate creatures : by their cries, one would have thought that they 
had a presentiment of the rough weather they were doomed to encoun- 
ter, and their ultimate ignominious death. The pigs were especially 
uneasy — no doubt, with that sagacity for which they are famed, 
they saw the wind coming. The geese had an annoying habit of 
raising a simultaneous cackle every half hour : I have since noticed 
that these birds are capital judges of time, for, as regularly as the 
half-hour expires, they raise their voices in a loud chorus, even 
before the striking of the bell. This, methinks, is a curious fact 
for the naturalists ; I am ready to vouch for its correctness ; 
indeed, it is not difficult to believe, when we consider that the 
watchfulness of the geese saved the Roman capital. The odor aris- 
ing from such a congregation of animals was worse than I had ever 
met with in the worst-appointed farm-yards ; but on the gun-deck, 
where the midshipmen's hammocks were slung, the noise and smell, 
though of a different character, were infinitely more disgusting. 
The air was loaded with the perfume of bilge- water, fresh paint, gin, 
and beer, mingled with the fumes of tobacco, which issued from the 
forecastle, where our tars lived. As the ship was to 'sail shortly, 
they were allowed the privilege of having their wives, sweethearts, 
and female relatives, on board : both men and women were, with 
few exceptions, half intoxicated ; and laughing, singing, swearing, 
and even fighting, accompanied with language of the most revolting 
character, were kept up throughout the greater part of the night.; 
and all this within a yard of the midshipmen's hammocks. Under 
these auspices I»commenced slinging my hammock, and having suc- 
ceeded in so doing, I vaulted in very dexterously, considering that 
it was my first attempt of the kind ; but no sooner did I jump in 
on one side than I fell out at the other, and came with a violent 
ooneussion on the muddy deck, whilst the bed and bedding 
17 



258 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

strewed over and around me. After many attempts, with tlic like 
ill success, I at length found out the way of getting in properly ; 
but with so much smoke and noise, and sometimes jostled by drunken 
females, sleep was altogether out of the question. However, I 
thought I should at least be allowed tof rest my limbs for a few 
hours ; but I had not been in my hammock half an hour, before I 
was informed by a brother mid' that it was my watch on deck, and 
that he would advise me to relieve him quickly, as it was rainii% 
hard ; so I turned out, excited and feverish, went on deck, and took 
my share of drenching. The oldsters were in the habit of shifting 
nearly all their night-watches upon the first voyagers, sometimes by 
bullying, and sometimes by trickery — of course without the kri(5^1- 
edge of the officers ; so that the juniors frequently spent half the 
night shivering on deck, not daring to leave their post until relieved. 
Such is a sketch of my first day and night on board, and such, I 
believe, is the usual state of an outward-bound Indiaman off 
Gravesend. 

The mess-room was of very moderate dimensions ; so much so, 
that when all our chests were stowed therein, with the mess-table in 
the middle, it was only by close packing that we could all find sitting 
room. Of the disgusting nature of the conversation which was 
daily carried on in this little Pandemonium, I will not say more 
than that it was far less refined than any that I ever heard among the 
eeamen in the forecastle ; for in our choice assembly, if one of the 
young gentlemen, rather more sensible or better educated than the 
rest, happened to make use of a word which was not often employed, 
or tried to give the conversation a decorous or instructive turn, he 
was cried down as a " walking dictionary," or somebody would ex- 
claim, " Ah, there's Johnson again ! " If a word was not under- 
stood, the speaker was interrupted with the question of " What 
ship's that ? " So that all rational intercourse was immediately put 
an end to. He who volunteered an indecent or blasphemous story 
always found plenty to listen and applaud. In other respects our 
mess-berth was anything but a paradise. There was, for instance, 
no privacy ; we all washed and dressed in the same berth, placing 
our basins upon our chests, — or, if there were not room for us all, 
some would go out on the gun-deck, and there perform the operations 
of the toilet — the admired of all beholders. The looking-glasses, 
razors, and other little knick-knacks with which the ,first voyagers 
were invariably furnished by their accommodating outfitters, were 
always laid claim to as a matter of right by the oldsters, who never 
brought anything of the kind i,o sea themselves, shrewdly surmising 
that in every midshipmen's mess it was probable there would be one 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 259 

or more greenhorns to prey upon. The motto with these unscrupu- 
lous gentry was this : " What's yours is mine, and what's mine is 
my own," — a principle they always kept in mind and acted up to, 
in spite of all remonstrances. Among other things which my out- 
fitter had put in my chest, were a japanned candlestick and its 
appurtenances, three pounds of wax candles, and two or three cod- 
lines and hooks. Finding the candlestick take up too much room 
in my chest, I placed it on a shelf in the mess-room. It was soon 
tfiscovered, seized, tossed from hand to hand amid many jokes, and 
at length, battered and bruised, was quietly passed overboard as a 
useless piece of furniture. I must confess that I could never assign 
anyother reason for its being included among my necessaries of 
oumt than that it might appear in the bill. The wax candles were 
begged, borrowed, or stolen so fast, that they all vanished in about 
a week ; and the cod-lines, being of a handy size for making lan- 
yards for knives and clothes-bags, were wheedled from me by some, 
and bullied out of me by others. My looking-glass was smashed 
before the expiration of a month, and my pewter basin squeezed' 
into the shape of a cocked-hat. The general habits of the " young 
gentlemen," to say the least of them, were disgusting. Smoking 
was permitted at meal-times, with its usual accompaniments. It 
was usual after tea (or supper, in nautical language) to pelt each 
other with the remaining grounds, the principal share of which 
always fell to the weakest. 

When the oldsters were inclined for a little recreation, they fast- 
ened a rope's-end to the great toe of one of the unfortunate first 
voyagers, and by means of a bolt in the deck, triced his heels up, 
so that his head should trail on the deck. This w^ done with the 
intention of bringing him under proper discipline, as they termed it. 
By the by, this mode of coercion was never practised upon me, 
although I often saw it put in force upon poor Hodges, an incorri- 
gible youngster, who, certainly betimes, allowed his tongue too great 
a license. The culprit was always kept in this unpleasant position 
until he asked pardon for the offence which had been alleged against 
him. The caterer of the mess was a very dexterous hand at throw- 
ing the carving-fork, by which means he preserved order and deco- 
rum when necessary. The punctures from this instrument were 
more sharp than agreeable, and few who had once been wounded were 
desirous of a second infliction, as I can testify from personal expe- 
rience. It will be seen, from what I have here written, that our mode 
of proceeding was much the same as is to be met with in large . 
Bchools, or in any place where boys are congregated. It is the 
nature of man, I fear, for "the strong to take a delight in tyrannizing 



260 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



over tlie weak ; yet these little roughs and rubs undoubtedly wrought 
considerable improvement in my character, and instead of hardening 
me, rendered me better able to appreciate and sympathize with the 
sufferings of others. 

Our voyage commenced with squally weather, and my sufferings 
were for the first fortnight intense. During this time there were 
incessant rain, squalls, and that terrible rolling motion which is 
caused by a confused sea. For three days and nights I stowed my-^ 
self ought of sight, in a dark corner near the pumps on the gun- 
deck, where I remained unnoticed, in a pool of rusty water, more 
dead than alive, receiving no nourishment, and wishing for death to 
come and release me. Being discovered, I was peremptorily ordered 
on deck, and told that nothing but active motion was required 'ft 
cure me, although my messmates affirmed that nothing in the world 
would hasten my recovery so much as a lump of fat pork. From 
that time I always went on deck when the hands were turned out, 
was drenched with rain, pushed rudely about, and was ever and 
anon entangled in coils of wet ropes, or breaking my shins over some 
other impediment, and being thrown by the roll of the agitated ship 
into the lee scuppers. On one of these occasions, in the vain hope 
of saving myself, I tried to catch hold of one of the sailors, who was 
standing near m.e ; but unfortunately I only succeeded in obtaining 
a firm grip of tlie brim of his straw hat, which gi^^ng way, I pur- 
sued my impetuous career with the fragment fluttering in my hand, 
until I was fairly laid sprawling upon my back to leeward. And 
yet, amid all this discomfort — I may say actual misery — I could 
not help smiling at the disconsolate appearance presented by the 
few passengers -^fho, weary of the confinement of their cabins, now 
ventured to show themselves upon deck, and brave the fury of the 
elements. I have seen a group of five or six sliding from side to 
side in a sitting posture, utterly unable to help themselves, amid 
roars of laughter from those who had had the good fortune, or rather 
the good sense, to lay hold of a rope or belaying-pin. 

When I had found my " sea legs " and sea appetite, and knew the ^ 
names of the ropes and spars, I really began to feel an interest in 
what was passing around me : until that time all appeared to me 
like a very wild and oppressive nightmare. I was also changed in 
other respects ; for before and during my sea-sickness the smell of 
rum was so distasteful to me as almost to produce nausea, and I was 
glad to give my daily dram to any of my messmates who asked for 
it ; the smell of tobacco was also very offensive, and I often left the 
mess berth in order to escape from the dense fumes which frequently 
commenced before I had finished my dinner : but when I began to 



LIFE IX AN INLIAMAN. 261 



recover strength, and experience the reaction of health, I summoned 
courage to sip my grog, and found the stimulus thereby afforded 
grateful, if not beneficial ; and before we had rounded the Cape, I 
could tip off a " raw nip " (neat spirit) with somewhat of the un- 
flinching nonchalance of a forecastle man. By that time I had also 
become a smoker, having at first merely taken up a pipe in self-de- 
fence ; nor can I deny that I had very cautiously commenced the 
practice of chewing — having been told that it was an indispensable 
accomplishment for a sailor — beginning with minute quids, and 
gradually increasing, until, at length, my check exhibited a goodly 
protuberance ; so easy is it for youngsters to acquire bad habits, 
especially when encouraged by example, and liable to be constantly 
jeered at for their abstinence. 

We passed the islands of Palma and Ferro at a great distance ; 
after losing sight of them, we were blessed with a moderate trade- 
wind and fine clear weather, and made some very good days' runs. 
The ship improved much in appearance ; the decks were beautifully 
clean ; the crew were in good order and discipline ; the passengers, 
of whom we had forty — the greater proportion of them young ladies 
going out on a well-known speculation — commenced promenading 
the quarter-deck ; the weather grew perceptibly warmer, blue cloth 
jackets and trousers were discarded, and linen and duck worn in 
their stead. On Christmas-eve we were 16 degrees north of the 
equator. 

Christmas-Day. — Divine service was performed in the cuddy 
by Captain Courtly, attended by many of the passengers, a portion 
of the crew, and all the young gentlemen. At one o'clock the mids 
dined in their own mess-room, and the dinner was really a capital 
one : the captain had made us a present of several bottles of beer 
and wine, and a shoulder of mutton ; this, in conjunction with pot- 
ted meats and bouilli from our own stores, and a plum -pudding, or 
" duff," as sailors call it, made a very substantial banquet. Every- 
thing was conducted with wonderful propriety and decorum, con- 
sidering the wild character of the guests, and we finished by drink- 
ing to the health of all " absent friends.*' 

On the evening of the 26th we had a variety of games, also fid- 
dling and dancing reels, in which all the officers and midshipmen 
joined. This was the first day on which I had seen any flying fish, 
and now I saw them in hundreds ; they appeared to be about the 
size of pilchards. When a whole flight of them drop into the water 
after their brief aerial tour, they produce a sound as if a shower of 
pebbles had been cast into the sea from a considerable height. 

Dec. %^th. — Becalmed. Many stormy petrels seen. These 



262 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



graceful birds resemble swallows both in shape and manner of flying 
but are somewhat smaller ; thej are better known by the name of 
Mother Carey's chickens. A shark was seen prowling under our 
stern, as is generally the case when a ship is becalmed in these 
latitudes. 

3l5^. — Light breezes. Lat., at noon, 40° north. A few minutes 
after sunset we were all startled by hearing a tremendous voice 
hailing the ship from some unknown quarter, in the following man- 
ner : — " Ship ahoy ! what ship 's that ? " Captain Courtly, who 
was willing to amuse his passengers, and seemed to enter with zest 
into the fun, answered through his speaking-trumpet, in his usual 
clear tones, " The Weatherlyy " Where are you from ? " was the 
next question of the invisible voice. " From the port of London." 
" Where are you bound ? " "To Bombay," was the reply. " Have 
you any of my children on board ? " " Yes." " Then I shall come and 
claim them to-morrow," said the stranger ; and having thus notified 
his intentions, he was a moment afterwards seen floating astern in 
a blazing tar-barrel. This was old Neptune himself, who seldom 
allows a vessel to approach his grand boundary line without a 
visit of this nature. 

January \st was an important era in my life, for on that day I 
first crossed the line, and was initiated into the mysteries of Nep- 
tune's court. A holiday having been previously granted to all 
hands, a grand procession was formed early in the forenoon, headed 
by the sailmaker, a humorous old man, who often made us laugh 
with his droll stories — a sad, drunken reprobate withal ; he per- 
sonated Neptune, in a fine spreading wig of tow, and, seated on a 
gun-carriage by way of throne, flourished a three-pronged grainse, 
which was supposed to be his trident. By his side was a bulky, 
swarthy-faced man, wearing a woman's cap and shawl, whom Nep- 
tune introduced with much gallantry as his wife ; and, to complete 
the classical group, one of the ship's boys, decked out in cast-off 
female finery, was placed behind them as their hopeful daughter. 
The old sailmaker, whose pleasantries were never off"ensive, passed 
a number of jokes upon the assembled passengers, paid handsome 
compliments to the pretty faces of the smiling ladies, and then for- 
mally requested the captain's permission to perform the customary 
rites ; a request which was courteously granted as far as shaving 
the midshipmen was concerned, but any interference with the pas- 
sengers was strictly and positively interdicted. The ship's company 
soon after went to dinner : we had scarcely finished that meal, when 
a strong body of sailors, calling themselves Constables, came down 
to our berth, singled out us novices, blindfolded, and led us upon 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 263 

deck, where a large tub, full of water, was prepared for our recep- 
tion. On the edge of this we were seated, one by one, in turn, and 
questions were propounded to us by Neptune's head physician 
respecting the state of our health, our age, and length of service. 
Upon our opening our mouths to answer his interrogatories he im- 
mediately thrust in a large bolus, composed of materials of a most 
nauseous description, collected from the cow-house, hen-coops, pig- 
sties, &c. This having been done amid awful sputterings from the 
victim, the barber was ordered to step forward and commence' his 
important operations, which he did, nothing loth ; and, by way of 
preliminary, smeared over our smooth cheeks a lather of coal-tar, 
blended with other still more objectionable articles, and then 
roughly scraped it off again with a rusty fragment of iron hoop. 
The shaving being completed, we were tipped backwards into the 
tub of water, and allowed to struggle out as we best could under a 
shower of water which descended from all quarters, even from the 
fore and main tops. The bandage was then removed, and we were 
at liberty to join in the fun of drenching others as much as we 
pleased. The baker and two apprentices were the only persons 
besides the mids who were consigned to the tender mercies of Nep- 
tune's myrmidons. The boatswain's call was soon after heard, sum- 
moning all hands to " splice the main brace " — a summons which 
was readily and cheerfully attended to, sailors being generally ready 
for a glass of grog. The festivities having thus closed, my atten- 
tion was forcibly directed to my head, which was beginning to 
smart from the effects of the new-invented pomatum with which 
my hair had been so liberally bedaubed. My first act was to 
ask the advice of an old quarter-master, whom I had engaged as my 
hammock-man and shoe-blacker, as to the readiest means of clearing 
my locks of the abominable nuisance. He smiled, and answered 
that he was acquainted with an excellent remedy, adding that mine 
was not the first case of anointing he had seen, as he had crossed 
the line scores of times in the course of his life. He went, therefore, 
to the cook's galley with a handful of oakum, which he plunged 
into the slush-cask (slush is the skimmings of the coppers in which 
the fat salt pork is boiled for the ship's company), and, returning to 
me, commenced rubbing the rancid, greasy mixture among my hair, 
and upon every part of my neck and shoulders where he perceived 
any blotches of coal-tar ; the effect of this was to decompose the 
latter, so that it could be removed by the application of soap-and- 
water and a rough towel ; and yet, in spite of all my exertions, my 
hair remained in a very unpleasant condition for a long time after. 
Before leaving this subject, I may as well mention, as a warning 



264 WFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

to others, that myself and two other youngsters were prevailed 
upon, under false promises of being " let off easy" (that is to say, 
spared the infliction of the bolus and the coal-tar), to pay the sum 
of one guinea each to Neptune ; and after this, by a base breach of 
faith, we were forced to undergo the ceremony in its most disgusting 
form. But I laughed, at the time, at the idea of having been so easily 
imposed upon, and I have laughed often since when I have thought 
of it. The fact was, that from the moment we first joined the ship 
at Gravesend, we heard nothing else talked of but crossing the line ; 
and even the men were always joking us about the terrible ordeal 
we should then have to pass through : with these exaggerated 
accounts always dinning in our ears, can it be wondered at that we 
gladly jumped at the chance of escape, or at all events of ameliora- 
tion, offered by the payment of a few shillings ? We must all pay 
for our experience, and many, perhaps, have paid dearer than 
we did. 

When to the southward of the line, we met with light, variable 
breezes for many days, during which time we did not average more 
than three miles an hour, and were constantly exposed to pitiless 
torrents of rain. I was placed in the same watch with the senior 
midshipman, a rough, bullying fellow, who had particular orders to 
do all in his power to make me acquainted with the different parts 
of the ship, names and uses of ropes, &c. When in a good humor, 
he would show me the different ropes, and explain everything per- 
taining to them in an agreeable manner ; but, in return for this 
condescension, he always insisted upon some concession on my part, 
such as my day's grog, the loan of some article of outfit, or that I 
should keep his watch while he skulked below, and be ready to call 
him instantly if he was missed and inquired for by the of&cer of the 
watch. When he was in a sulky mood he would send me aloft, 
generally choosing a time when the wind was high and the sea 
rough, and tell me to go out on each yard-arm, and point out to 
him the topsail and top-gallant sheets, and follow them up to their 
junction with the sails which they assisted to spread ; and if, when 
I came down, I did not answer him satisfactorily, he ordered me up 
again with such a hurricane of maledictions, that I was glad to 
spring into the rigging. By a repetition of these practical lessons, 
I rapidly gained the necessary knowledge, and became less dependent 
upon others ; indeed, by the time the ship had reached the line, I 
had recovered my spirits, and enjoyed excellent health, with the 
exception of a tendency to skin eruptions, produced by the change 
of living. 

I do not recollect when I first went aloft to assist in reefing the 



LITE IN AN INDIAMAN. 265 



mizzen-topsail ; but I well remember that it was before I had thor- 
oughly recovered from my sea-sickness, and that I was almost 
bewildered by the hurry and noise attendant on the movements of a 
hundred and twelve sailors, all pulling, hauling and bawling ; the 
thunder of the sails as they shook in the wind preparatory to reef- 
ing, and the fierce roar of the angry wind itself as it rushed through 
the rigging. However, not willing to appear backward, I scrambled 
up to the mizzen-topsail-yard awkwardly enough ; and, although I 
had not strength to be of the least assistance, I hung on desperately 
with the reef-points whipping my ankles most cruelly, and watched 
the proceedings of the reefers as well as the darkness of the night 
would allow. My cap and shoes very soon left me, and went spin- 
ning away to leeward into the sea ; and, to make matters worse, the 
first attempt I made to haul the wet and heavy canvas upon the 
yard cost me the whole of my finger-nails, which, being rather 
long, were torn oif to the quick by a sudden jerk of the sail, causing 
the blood to flow freely. After this severe lesson, I never went to 
reef or furl with my nails projecting beyond the ends of my fingers ; 
and I also took the precaution of securing my cap with a rope-yarn, 
and leaving my shoes upon deck. Before the feet become hardened, 
it is very painful to ascend the ratlins without shoes ; but after a 
few months the soles assume a horny quality, and are entirely 
devoid of feeling, and shoes are discarded with contempt, as useless 
incumbrances. 

4ith. — We were delighted at meeting with a homeward-bound 
vessel, which proved to be the French bark Gaspar, from Guaya- 
quil to Bordeaux, by which conveyance we sent a bag of letters. 

IQth. — Whilst divine service was being performed on the quar- 
ter-deck, and nearly the whole of the passengers were, or appeared 
to be, absorbed in their devotions, a sharp crack was heard, as of 
something giving way aloft, followed by a tremendous crash. All 
started to their fiset — the passengers rushed into the cuddy, per- 
haps thinking that the ship had struck ; the sailors looked up to 
the masts, and it was soon evident to an experienced eye that the 
mischief arose from the main-royal backstays having been carried 
away, and this had caused both the fore and main top-gallant masts 
to break short off. I never saw a more complete wreck ; the sails 
were all set at the time of the accident, so that they were dangling 
and flapping about in a most ludicrous manner. There was very 
little wind at the time, so that we could only account for the mis- 
hap by laying the blame on the rottenness of the backstays. Not 
a moment was lost ; Bibles and prayer-books were thrown aside, the 
boatswain piped "All hands' clear wreck! " the men ran and took 



266 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



off their clean Sunday clothes, and in a few minutes the rigging was 
swarming with human beings. So actively did they work, that in 
a few hours the old broken stumps were down on deck, and new 
masts sent up in their place, the yards re-crossed, and the sails 
re-set. 

Vlth. — Fine weather. A variety of games in the evening, of 
an athletic nature — " Sling the monkey," " baste the bear," and 
" high kokolorum," — all of the roughest, and attended with many 
hard blows and bruises ; but they tended, as Jack says, to keep the 
devil out of our minds. Regularly, after work was over, in these 
fine-weather latitudes, the boatswain piped " All hands to skylark ;" 
every soul on board then considered himself at liberty to amuse 
himself as lie thought best. The men generally congregated in the 
waist, and played at " leap-frog," " hunt the slipper," or one of the 
elegant games before mentioned, or would gather aft and look on at 
the feats of the quarter-deck heroes. The officers and midshipmen 
made a tolerably large party by themselves, and often danced reels 
to the sound of the fiddle, until compelled to desist by sheer exhaus- 
tion, and this with the thermometer at 70 degrees. The passengers 
would occasionally have a quadrille, and the ladies were nothing 
loth to have a smart young officer as a partner. There was a great 
deal of promenading after sunset, and tittle-tattle, and flirtation, 
when the young cadets were uncommonly killing, in their own 
estimation. 

\4,t]i. — A most delightful day. Passed the group of islands 
called La Trinidada, scarcely visible from the deck. 

\ioth. — Suspecting, from the quantity of nearly fresh water 
brouo-ht up by the pumps, that there must be considerable leakage 
froM the water-butts, examined those stowed in the forehold, and 
made the unpleasant, though timely discovery, that no less than 
^even thousand and forty gallons had leaked out from the second tier, 
which was wholly owing to the weakness and inferiority of the butts 
supplied by some rascally contractor. In consequence of this dis- 
covery, the allowance of water, which had been scanty enough 
before, was further reduced, so that we had only one quart per man 
daily.- This was to serve for washing and drinking, for soup, tea, 
and coffee. We suffered intensely from this deprivation ; so much 
so, that we took every opportunity of stealing water from the stew- 
ard's cask when he incautiously left it unlocked. In our night- 
watches we often contrived to open a cistern in which rain-water 
was collected for the use of the live-stock ; and, although the bev- 
erage was far from being clean or palatable, we took such ample 
draughts that the roguery was detected, and the lid of the cistern 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 367 

fitted with a stout padlock. Having lost this invaluable resource, 
we hailed with delight a heavy shower of rain, which, being caught 
in the hollow of a tarpaulin, was greedily sucked up in spite of its 
tarry flavor. An old soldier, who, with his wife and family, were 
quartered in the berth adjoining our mess-room, sometimes took 
pity on us, and gave us a portion of his own small allowance, in 
return for which we supplied his family with the refuse from our 
table. I often used to think of the wasteful manner in which I 
had seen the servant-maids in England rinsing down the door-steps 
and pavement with nice sparkling spring water on Saturday nights, 
and the thought of it only made my thirst the more unbearable. 
We could have obtained water by putting into the Cape, but the 
captain did not think the emergency sufficiently great to warrant 
his thus delaying the voyage. 

^Ith. — A dead calm. The surface of the sea moving in long 
undulations, but undisturbed save by a wandering zephyr or occa- 
sional cat's-paw. A boat was lowered, and a party sallied forth to 
shoot whatever might come in their way. They were successful in 
bringing down a fine albatross, which they brought on board, 
together with some masses of broad, ribbon-like sea-weed, which 
they had found floating on the surface, covered with venerable 
barnacles. 

2'^th. — Quite an event. After long dallying with the bait, a 
shark swallowed the hook, and was triumphantly dragged on board 
amid the cheers of the sailors, both white and colored. TJie watery 
savage struggled tremendously, and lashed his tail about with such 
force, that we were glad to give him a wide berth, for the blow 
of a shark's tail is sufficiently heavy to break a man's leg. When 
he was at length dead, the backbone was saved for a walkii^-stick, 
and the jaws and head were cleaned by the fifth mate, to take home 
as a chimney ornament. I tasted some of the flesh when cooked, 
and thought it hard in texture, and rancid in flavor ; and yet it 
might be considered delicate, after the golden-hued pork to which 
we had been so long accustomed. An albatross was caught on the 
same day by means of a hook baited with a morsel of fresh meat. 
These birds are frequently captured in this manner. _^ 

31^^. — One of our steerage passengers struck a porpoise with 
the grainse, an instrument which bears a considerable resemblance 
to the trident of Neptune, consisting of three barbed prongs fixed 
at one end of a staff, the other end of which is loaded with lead, not 
sufficiently heavy to sink the staff entirely, but enough to immerse 
it a few feet below the surface, thus flinging the barbed extremity 
into the air. We made a bargain for this fish, and had some steaks 



268 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

of it broiled for our supper. The flesh was of as dark a red as 
beef, and resembled that meat in coarseness of texture, but was very 
deficient in flavor and juiciness. 

February 2. — The weather being very fine, and the wind nearly 
at rest, Mr. Smart, the chief ofiicer, thought it would be a good 
opportunity to give the young gentlemen a little lesson in practical 
seamanship. So, at nine o'clock, the midshipmen, boys, and idlers, 
were all ordered aloft to practise reefing and furling the mizzen- 
topsail. This was very hot and fatiguing work, but of course it was 
calculated to do us great service. We had to go through the whole 
of the operations several times before the task was executed with 
sufficient smartness to give satisfaction. The only thing complained 
of was the excessive thirst produced by working so many hours 
under a tropical sun, for we well knew that the water-bucket in our 
berth was as dry as a bone, and that the fowl-cistern was under 
key and padlock. 

4:th, bth, Qth. — Calm, sails flapping heavily against the masts, 
in consequence of a long continuous swell, which caused the vessel 
to roll lazily from side to side, a movement by which the rigging 
was much strained, and the masts and yards kept constantly work- 
ing, producing far more wear and tear than a gale of wind. A 
long-continued calm tries the patience of all on board, but more 
especially the captain, for, whether there be wind or not, at four 
o'clock every day there are forty passengers clamorous for their 
dinner, eating and drinking being the grand business of the day 
with them ; and the ingenuity of the steward is put to a great test 
in providing a sufficient number of dishes. Nay, dishes there are, 
in plenty, but, generally speaking, their contents are most ridicu- 
lously scanty. The poultry had died off by scores, the sheep were 
running short, pigs, too, were scarce ; so that, in spite of the inge- 
nuity of M. Antoine, the French cook, salt beef, from the harness- 
cast, in all its native ugliness, was a standing dish, — a veritable 
piece du resistance. 

The passengers, too, were getting weary of the ship and of each 
other ; a newspaper was set on foot, but speedily given up by com- 
mon consent, on account of the personalities which crept in, and the 
scanaal which was circulated through the medium of its columns. 

Stories were circulated of ships which had been detained in the 
same spot for upwards of six weeks, neither moving backward nor 
forward one inijh; and we all confessed, with lengthened faces, 
that, from the generals appearance of the weather, such was very 
likely to be our own -case. hX length a cat's-paw was seen — the 
yards were trimmed ; from the cat's-paw sprang up a steady breeze 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 269 

and one that seemed likely to increase. Towards evening it had 
drawn aft, and surely, though gradually, freshened to a gale, 

I shall never forget my first night off the Cape, in a north-wester. 
Our cargo was principally bar-iron and shot ; and a few dozen of 
the latter, from some little oversight in the stowage, got adrift about 
midnight, and were bounding and dancing over the bars, and rush- 
ing from side to side, at each roll of the ship, with a roar like thun- 
der. It would have been almost certain death to venture into the 
hold, in order to check these missiles in their mad career, so the more 
prudent course was adopted of throwing down a number of bales of 
hay, which checked them, and deadened their velocity sufficiently 
to enable us to secure them one by one, and stow them in places 
from whence they could not escape. It was my first watch, that 
is, from eight p. m. to midnight ; when it was over, I gladly turned 
into my hammock, and, in spite of the roaring of the wind, the 
creaking of the bulk-heads, and the smell of rotten cheese, (arising 
from a private speculation of the carpenter's, whose storeroom was 
abreast of my hammock,) I fell asleep. At about three o'clock in 
the morning, the head lanyard of my hammock either broke, or was 
cut by some malicious person, and I found myself, quite unexpect- 
edly, sprawling upon my back, upon the chain cable, which was 
ranged on the deck, immediately under my hammock. "The back 
part of my head had come in contact with the iron-bound corners of 
a sailor's chest, and was bleeding profusely from a deep triangular 
wound. When I had somewhat collected my scattered senses, and 
comprehended my situation, I jumped up, ran into our berth, bound 
a handkerchief tightly round my head, and then commenced re-sling- 
ing my hammock, standing meanwhile barefooted in the rusty water 
which flooded the deck, and groping in darkness for the blankets 
and pillow, which, when found, were dripping wet. While thus 
occupied, I heard the boatswain's shrill call, followed by his hoarse 
voice, rolling along the gun-deck, — " All hands reef topsails. Bear 
a hand here, young gentlemen. No time for tying up your garters 
when the ship 's overboard ! " Half- stunned as I was by my late 
blow, I went up with the rest, and the first thing that met my eye 
to windward was a large water-spout, apparently bearing rapidly 
down towards the ship. One of the quarter-deck guns was loaded, 
and pointed in the direction of the advancing column ; but just as 
the order was about to be given to fire, it dispersed, being at that 
time about a quarter of a mile distant. Scarcely an hour had 
elapsed, during which we were employed in shortening sail, when a 
whirlwind was seen smoking along, which appeared to be large 
enough in circumference to swallow us up with ease. Every eye 



270 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



gazed on it witli some anxiety, as it came swiftly onward, tlie watera 
whirling and boiling with inconceivable velocity, and all felt greatly 
relieved when it passed ahead of us, although not more than twenty 
yards from our jib-boom end. 

The topsails having been reefed, I went below again, and requested 
the doctor to examine my cranium. Having cut away some of the 
clotted hair, and probed the wound, he declared that the skull was 
intact, (although I imagine, judging from the scar which remains 
to this day, that the bone was considerably indented,) and dismissed 
me with a strip of adhesive plaster, not even offering to apply it for 
me ; so I went to the galley, and, with the assistance of the captain's 
cook, the ingenious Antoine, mended up the gap in a very secure, 
if not in a very scientific, manner. The cutting down of hammocks 
is a common practical joke, but then it is usually done upon the 
humane system of cutting the foot lanyard, which is not dangerous. 
In the midst of this rolling, confusion and bloodshed, we rounded 
the Cape of Grood Hope. When dinner-time arrived, as the rolling 
was still incessant, we found that nothing could be persuaded to 
remain in a state of quiescence for a single moment upon the mess- 
table, notwithstanding forks were stuck into it in every available 
position ; so, acting upon the ingenious suggestion of our caterer, we 
turned our table legs upward, placed the soup tureen and plates 
inside, and then squatting down upon the deck, took a mouthful 
whenever a convenient opportunity offered, each man of course help- 
ing himself, and looking out to keep his own plate on a proper bal- 
ance. The soup having been disposed of, some on the deck, and 
some down our throats, the pork was brought in ; and as no dish 
could be expected to live through such a gale, it was placed for 
safety in the tureen, and then, holding biscuits in our hands, by 
way of platters, we each cut off a portion with our pocket-knives ; 
the mess knives and forks had mostly rolled underneath the chests, 
and were consequently smothered in tobacco-ashes, &c. This was 
all done amid much laughter and merriment ; many ludicrous up- 
sets took place, generally ending in the smash of some article of glass 
or crockery which we could but ill spare. It would be difficult to 
form an idea of the fun which a scene of this kind creates ; whilst 
one is laughing at his neighbor's disaster, he gets his own lapful of 
pease-soup, and another finds himself rolling amid a shower of plates, 
tin pannikins, pork bones, and other debris upon the sloppy deck. 

Just opposite to the door of our berth, (we had been removed fur- 
ther aft during the passage,) which now looked out on the square of 
the main hatchway, the third mate slung his cot ; and, sitting astride 
on this, with their dinner between them, he and the fourth mate 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 27 J 

were congratulating themselves upon the cleverness of their manoeu- 
vre. Just at this moment, the ship's bell, weighing about one hun- 
dred weight and a half, which was hung on a hook, as is usual, at 
the fore part of the mainmast, having been unhooked by a loose 
rope, descended the hatchway like a meteor, chipped the steps of 
the ladder, grazed the cot upon which our worthies were discussing 
their viands, passed within an inch of both of them, and then 
alighted on the deck, making a very deep indent in the teak, to 
mark the spot where it fell. As nobody was injured, we all laughed 
heartily at the adventure, but it was really a narrow escape for the 



8^^. — More rolling and reefing. Immense destruction of crock- 
ery in the mess-room. 

21th. — Poor old Daniels, A. B., departed this life. The doctor 
pronounced the cause of his death to be old age and diseased lungs. 
He was a quiet, inoffensive old man, and had latterly been so imbe- 
cile and helpless that he was not much missed. We buried him 
next day with the usual ceremonies. The body was stitched up in 
a hammock, with two or three cannon shot at the foot to sink it ; it 
was then laid at the gangway upon a grating, the whole decently 
covered with a Union- Jack. All hands were called to " bury the 
dead;" the crew were ranged in order along the deck, the officers 
grouped around the captain, who, when all were bareheaded and 
attentive, read the service in a distinct voice ; the grating was 
sloped, and the lump of canvas, still retaining a ghastly resemblance 
to a pallid, swollen corpse, slipped off, and, plumping into the sea, 
was immediately out of sight. That dull, heavy plunge haunted 
me for many hours afterwards, I know not why, save that it was a 
sound which had never before struck my ear. Since then, I have 
seen so many poor fellows, soldiers and sailors, passed over the gang- 
way, that the sound leaves now but a momentary impression. 

From this time forward until Good-Friday (April 9), which em- 
braces a period of about five weeks, we had a wearisome succession 
of calms and- light winds ; the latter being fortunately in general 
from a favorable quarter. We still continued upon the short allow- 
ance of water before mentioned — namely, one quart per diem for 
all purposes ; and had it not been for the assistance of these fair 
breezes and smooth sea, which enabled us to slip along at an average 
rate of three miles an hour, we should inevitably have been placed 
in the disagreeable dilemma of having only a pint. As it was, we 
were beginning to think such a catastrophe far from improbable, and 
it was with great joy, therefore, that on Good-Friday we saw two 
native vessels, which, frem the course they were steering, we judged 



k 



272 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



had lately sailed from Bombay. We hailed these vessels, and upon 
their heaving to, seat a boat on board with an officer to ask them if 
they had any water to spare. The poor fellows, although their stock 
was but small, and they had a long voyage before them, willingly 
gave us a portion. Their joint contributions, however, did not 
amount to more than eighty gallons ; but as we might now hope, 
with a moderate breeze, to reach Bombay in a few days, and we yet 
had a little of our old stock remaining, this small addition removed 
all anxiety upon the subject. 

On nearing Bombay, it was pleasing to mark the joy which ani- 
mated the countenances of the Lascar portion of our crew. Many 
were the questions eagerly put as to the latitude and longitude at 
noon, and the probable time of arrival. Their love of country must 
be stronger, I think, than that which exists in the breasts of us 
phlegmatic Europeans ; or, if this be not the case, their ardent and 
earnest manner of expressing themselves would naturally lead one 
to suppose so. 

About a week before sighting our destined port, a holiday was 
allowed to the Lascars, in order that they might have an opportu- 
nity of duly celebrating a religious festival, known to us by the 
name of Olson Johson. On this grand, and to them solemn occasion, 
they all attired themselves in their smartest scarlet turbans (varie- 
gated cotton skull-caps embroidered with gold) and robes of snowy 
whiteness ; and in the afternoon went through a variety of strange 
uncouth dances, accompanied by much stamping of the feet to a 
certain slow measure, with a wild and yet not unmusical song, in 
which at certain intervals all joined in chorus. From the darksome 
recesses of the fore-orlop (the part of the ship appropriated to the 
use of the Lascar crew) arose clouds of incense, and there were per- 
formed many mysterious rites, of which the Europeans were not 
allowed to be witnesses : indeed, our men had previously received 
strict orders not to give needless offence by impertinent intrusion. 
I gathered from some of the Lascars afterwards that each man had 
to pass through some kind of sword ordeal, the exact nature of 
which I could not precisely comprehend ; but it appeared to me 
that it was resorted to in order to discover whether any of them had 
proved unmindful of their religious duties since the last Obson Job- 
son festival. Towards night they danced upon deck in rings to the 
sound of tom-toms, and their own monotonous and melodious chant, 
at the same time flourishing naked cutlasses — kindly supplied by 
the captain for the nonce — and long poles decorated with red 
streamers. This amusing and to me perfectly novel spectacle was 
at length put a stop to by darkness. 



.';1|# 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 273 



April lOifA to 12th. — A strong breeze ; sHp making rapid prog- 
ress, and every heart beating in joyous anticipation of seeing land. 
A number of bets were now made amongst the passengers as to the 
probable day, and even hour, of our arrival at Bombay. A fifteen- 
pound lottery was also established, tickets five shillings* each ; on 
each ticket was written a certain day and hour, and the fortunate 
holder of that ticket upon which was written the exact time 4hat 
the ship came to an anchor, became the winner. When the captain 
happens to be the holder of the prize-ticket, there are always many 
most uncharitable insinuations made to the efiect that he has re- 
tarded or accelerated the speed of the vessel by his management of 
the sails, in order to insure his own success. 

ISfh. — One of our colored crew, a Seedy, or native of Madagas- 
car, died after a short illness this morning, and in the afternoon was 
thrown overboard by his messmates, without any religious ceremonies 
that I was aware of. 

This day we were favored with a strong breeze on our quarter, 
which was undoubtedly our best point of sailing. "With every stitch 
of canvas spread, our ship was truly a magnificent sight. I have 
often seated myself upon the Avaist hammock-nettings, on a clear 
moonlight night, and looked aloft with feelings of intense admiration 
at the mighty cloud of swelling canvas above me, and inwardly ex- 
claimed that, of all the works of man, a gallant East Indiaraan of 
the olden time is one of the most beautiful to look upon. The water 
was very smooth, notwithstanding the freshness of the breeze, and 
we bowled cheerily along at the rate of ten miles an hour. In 
another day we expected to see the land, and you may imagine that 
I was all impatience to gaze upon the sunny shores of glorious Ind. 

Having now brought the good old Weatherly within about a day's 
sail of the much-desired haven, I purpose devoting a few pages to 
miscellaneous matters mostly connected with the manners of living 
and the daily routine of existence on board an Indiaman. The times 
appropriated to meals are as follows : — Breakfast at eight ; dinner 
at noon ; supper at half-past five or six. Our allowance of meat 
was the same as that of the men — namely, salt beef and salt pork 
on alternate days. Upon Thursdays and Sundays, which were beef 
days, a certain quantity of flour and suet was served out,_in order 
to make a pudding, the mixing of which was performed by our mess- 
boy, one of the apprentices. The beef had been so long in pickle, 
and had consequently grown so uncommonly hard, that a very 
small portion went a great way. It was so destitute of fat, that I 
have seen two mids, who had hitherto been on the best of terras, 
18 



274 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



become the most bitter enemies, merely from the circumstance of 
one purloining a fragment of fat from the plate of the other. I 
have heard people declare that capital durable snuff-boxes have been 
made of this salt-junk, or salt-horse, as it is usually called. Upon 
pork days we had pea-soup, which, in the way it is made at sea, is a 
very nice thing. I believe the only ingredients are soft water and 
peas — enough peas should be used to make the soup of the consis- 
tency of thin paste. On board ship, when the peas do not mash up 
readily, from the hardness of the water, a little soda is added ; and 
occasionally the cook puts a round shot into the coppers, which, from 
the constant motion of the vessel, acts as a sort of crushing machine. 
Sometimes a few lumps of fat pork are boiled up with the soup, at 
others a red herring, which enhances the flavor greatly. Peas-pud- 
ding {alias dog's body) is often allowed upon pork days, which is 
serviceable in counteracting the greasiness of the meat. 

Our pork itself was as destitute of lean as the beef was of fat, 
and, from the effects of age, had become so rusty, as to be as yellow 
as a guinea. But the biscuit, or, as we called it, sea-cake, was per- 
haps the worst article supplied ; from age and dampness it had con- 
tracted a very musty taste, and was literally moving with weevils 
and their grubs — the latter much resembling their cousins the nut 
maggots. Before eating it, we were forced to give it several sharp 
raps on the table, in order to dislodge the little strangers from their 
snug retreats. The water, which was from the bosom of old 
Thames, and which is notorious for going through seven separate 
stages of putrefaction before it is in a fit state for use, had, during 
the latter part of the passage out, become so inky in hue, so odorous 
from the quantity of sulphuretted hydrogen it contained, that, had 
it not been for excessive th;rst, we should have cast it from us with 
disgust. As it was, we were always fain to strain it through a 
towel or piece of rag before we could make it available for drinking. 
"When it was my turn to go down into the forehold, and take care 
that the candle was safely placed while the water was being served 
out, I have seen a blue flame playing around the hole when the bung 
was removed. On one occasion, when the cooper took out the bung, 
and stooped down to smell the water, in order to ascertain its condi- 
tion, he inhaled some foul gas, and went staggering from cask to 
cask like a drunken man. Notwithstanding the indifierent nature 
of our provisions, which were certainly worse than I have ever met 
with since, we always made a hearty meal ; for our exposure to the 
open air gave us enormous appetites ; besides, we had a few little 
dainties in our own mess-store, towards the purchasing of which each 
man had paid down £15 at Gravesend, Those stores were of course 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 275 



used very sparingly. They consisted chiefly of hams, tongues, 
pickled tripe, Normandy pippins, cranberries, pickles, and cheeses, 
with a few tins of bouilli. We generally had our cranberry pud- 
dings boiled in a deep pewter washhand basin, of the Mam brine's 
helmet form. Sunday was the day for the appearance of some of 
these dainties, when we also mounted a nice clean tablecloth, and 
tried to make as respectable an appearance as possible ; but, curi- 
ously enough, we seldom ate our Sunday dinner in peace. Some- 
times a squall came up, which rendered it necessary to take in the 
royals ; at others a vessel was in sight showing signals, which we 
were called upon to answer. 

One fine Sunday during this passage we were sailing pleasantly 
along on the starboard tack, with a moderate breeze and a lively 
jumping sea; divine service had been duly and decorously per- 
formed ; all the mids were in their best togs — blue jackets, white 
ducks, and glossy pumps ; the boy had laid the tablecloth, and 
displayed to the best advantage our rather diminished stock of' 
glass, crockery, and Britannia metal ; the soup was brought in — a 
splendid mess of preserved bouilli ; then came the second course — 
salt-horse ; the caterer commenced carving ; we were all watching 
him with hungry eyes, when a mighty green wave came rushing in 
at the open port-hole, and washed caterer, mids, beef, plates, knives, 
forks, spoons, and all, out at the cabin-door ; and, worse still, as the 
very climax to our disaster, the boy was just entering with the 
plum-dufF, and, coming face to face with the watery intruder, was 
taken off his legs, whilst the unlucky duff went rolling into the lee- 
scuppers. The man at the wheel had luffed up the vessel rather 
suddenly, which was the cause of the mishap ; but as it happened 
two or three times, we suspected that it was done intentionally, by 
way of joke, perhaps by the orders of the fourth officer, who dearly 
loved a lark. Of course, after this, our dinner was a scramble ; the 
beef was not injured, and the duff was just eatable. By dint of 
energetic baling and swabbing, we got the berth dry again in an 
hour. In spite of this inconvenience, we always preferred running 
the risk of shipping a sea to keeping the port closed, in which case 
we had no light save that afforded by a small swinging lamp, which 
never could be coaxed into brightness. 

Besides the amusements before mentioned of dancing and athletic 
games, we seldom found anything to divert us, or to relieve the 
monotony of a sea-life, so that any circumstance which afforded a 
little fun or excitement was hailed with delight. One incident of 
this kind is so fresh in my recollection, that I am tempted to record 
it. After we had been at sea a few weeks, the young cadets who, 



276 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

at tlie commencement of the voyage, suffered awfully from the " mal 
du mer," got their sea-legs, and at the same time recovered their 
usual conceit and self-sufficiency. Consequently, when they saw 
the mids clambering aloft every day like so many monkeys, they 
felt a lively ambition to do the same; One afternoon, when it was 
nearly calm, several of the young militaires issued out from their 
dinner in high and vinous spirits, and burning to distinguish them- 
selves in the eyes of the ladies by some remarkable achievement. 
Ere many minutes had elapsed, a few of the most active and enter- 
prising were seen plodding their way up the mizzen rigging. Now 
it is a long-established custom, and, in my opinion, a very excellent 
one, to secure hand and foot all such landsmen and novices as shall 
venture aloft for the first time, and not to release them until they 
have either paid their footing in coin of the realm, or made a solemn 
promise so to do if released. Accordingly, our young adventurers 
were no sooner three parts up the rigging, than half-a-dozen fine 
active young fellows of our crew, who had been slyly watching their 
opportunity, sprang forward, each provided with a stout lashing. 
The cadets, who, it is to be supposed, had some notion of the custom 
before named, beholding these formidable preparations, now strained 
every nerve to escape; and a chase commenced which kept all 
hands in a perfect roar of laughter. Young Hoppner, however, a 
six-foot youth, afforded the finest sport. A sailor had caught hold 
of one of his feet, upon which he with much dexterity slipped off 
his boot, and again scrambled upwards until intercepted by the 
futlock rigging beneath the mizzen-top. Whilst endeavoring to 
struggle through lubber 'a. hole, his nimble pursuer grasped his other 
foot, and was again left with the same hooty as before. The inde- 
fatigable Hoppner, having wriggled into the top, jumped from ratlin 
to ratlin of the topmast rigging, but without his boots, he found the 
pain so unbearable to his tender soles, that he seized one of the 
backstays, and slid like lightning to the deck, thus escaping from 
the disappointed tars, who were quite astonished to see such spirit 
and agility displayed by a " lanky lubber of a landsman." Poor 
young Hoppner had evidently been aloft before, but I doubt whether 
he had ever before slipped down a backstay, for the whole of the 
skin was stripped, or rather burnt, from the palms of his hands, 
which generally happens to inexperienced persons making a rapid 
descent of this nature. Whilst this exciting and amusing chase 
was being carried on, the other cadets had been captured, and 
tightly lashed, hand and foot, to the shrouds ; nor were they re- 
leased until they had consented to pay a liberal footing. They 
had all the good sense to look upon the whole affair as a capital 



LIFE IX AN- INDIAMAN. 277 

joke, and I believe their captors were very well satisfied with the 
ransoms obtained. i 

The second mate usually assists the captain in his navigation. 
He and the third mate keep alternate watches, and, while on deck, 
are responsible for the safety of the ship, and the proper manage- 
ment of the sails as the wind varies. Great vigilance is required 
in watching the changes of the weather, which are sometimes very 
sudden, and show no warning of their approach. The third mate 
messes with the fourth, and, as I have before said, has charge of a 
watch, at which he is equally responsible with the second mate for 
the well-being of the vessel, and must always be careful to keep his 
weather-eye open. Sleeping while on watch is one of the greatest 
crimes of which an officer can be guilty, and is punished accordingly. 
The fourth mate is not usually permitted to take charge of a watch, 
but does duty on deck with the chief mate, remaining forward, and 
attending to the trimming of the head-sails, under the direction of 
his superior. If, however, any of the other mates are ill, the cap- 
tain can appoint him to do their duty if he thinks him competent 
and trustworthy. The third and fourth mates are respectively 
invited to dine with the captain once a week. The fifth mate 
messes with the midshipmen, and is their caterer. He assists the 
second mate in his watch in the same manner as the fourth assists 
the chief mate. Some of the largest-sized East Indiamen carry a 
sixth mate ; the Weatherly did not, therefore I scarcely know what 
are his duties, but I presume that he was placed in the same watch 
as the third mate, to render him such assistance as lay in his power. 

The boatswain and carpenter of our ship were personages of very 
considerable importance, • as is probably the case in all vessels of 
equal tonnage ; but our carpenter was held in especial respect, 
being a remarkably shrewd, clever, and well-educated man ; not 
only a perfect master of his own craft, but a proficient in the sci- 
ence of navigation, and well-informed upon all useful topics ; in 
fact, he was competent, in case of any great emergency, of taking 
charge of the ship. He, as well as the boatswain, had been in the 
East India Company's service ; and some of the mids hearing them 
say that they still had their old Company's uniform coatees in their 
chests, coaxed them, with much difficulty, to wear them one Sunday 
at muster ; but such was the universal laughter produced by the 
appearance of their ridiculous little bobtails, that the abashed war- 
rant officers speedily dived, vowing that from that day forward they 
would never again be made fools of by a set of boys. The uniform 
of the superior officers was, on the contrary, very handsome and 
becoming ; swords were worn by them, ami dirks by the midshipmen. 



278 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



One day I was ordered by tlie captain to send the carpenter to him 
instantly, he having discovered a leak just over one of his book- 
shelves ; I hastened to perform his bidding, and going boldly to 
the "carpenter," said, "Carpenter, the captain wants you in his 
cabin directly." The person thus addressed looked at me with a 
quiet, and perhaps somewhat contemptuous smile, but not deigning 
to take any further notice of me, he calmly resumed his labor. I 
repeated my message, and insisted on the urgency of the case, 
when the " carpenter," as I had unwittingly called him, who was a 
tall, noble-looking old man, drew himself up to his full height, and 
said, in a deliberate manner, " Young gentleman, I am the carpen- 
ter of this ship, but my name is not ' Carpenter,' but Mauley; and 
you will further understand that I have a handle to my name : you 
will therefore please to address me, in future, as Mr. Mauley;" 
saying this, and smiling kindly, he hastened to obey the captain's 
summons, leaving me " taken aback," but not offended, at his just 
and plain-spoken rebuke. I found on inquiry that both himself 
and the boatswain were entitled, by usage immemorial, to insist 
upon the addition of "Mr." to their surnames, and I never again 
gave offence on that score. In every ship where proper discipline 
is maintained, these matters, trifling as they appear, are strictly 
attended to, and with good results. In the next ship which bore 
me to the East, a craft of about 700 tons burthen, the carpenter, a 
rough, hardy Swede, rejoicing in the name of Burstrome, was not 
offended in the slightest degree at being called " Chips," even by 
the black cuddy servant ! 

The midshipmen are divided into watches, according to their 
number, two or three in each watch. Sometimes they are appointed 
to keep the same watches as the mates, so that each mate may 
always have the same mids in his watch. This is very pleasant 
for the mids when they are upon good terms with the officer to 
whose watch they belong. We were made to keep watch and 
watch, (which is four hours on duty, and four hours off, alter- 
nately,) until after we left St. Helena on our homeward passage, 
when we were indulged with three watches. 

The midshipmen are invited, two and two, by turns, to dine in 
the cuddy. We all disliked this ceremony very much on account 
of the inconvenience attendant upon dressing in our wretched dark 
and dirty den. The ale and wine we were allowed on those 
occasions were declared by some to be the only redeeming points. 
Conversation there was none ; the passengers appeared to view us 
with contempt, and the captain seldom condescended to speak to 
as except in a jeering manner for his own rcereation. When I 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 279 



received my first invitation to dine in the cuddy, I was considerably 
agitated, and naturally asked my messmates a few questions as to 
the usual etiquette practised upon such occasions ; and they, always 
ready for a joke, told me that it was necessary, upon my first enter- 
ing the cuddy, to make a formal bow to the captain, and then to 
make another, equally ceremonious, to the chief mate. I followed 
these instructions literally, and I have no doubt that my bows were 
preeminently graceful, for I could see both gentlemen smile approv- 
ingly as they returned the salutation ; but why they should sud- 
denly turn away their heads, and smother their faces in their hand- 
kerchiefs, I could not at the moment conceive. With my white 
kerseymere waistcoat, blue swallow-tailed coat, with tremendous 
double-gilt East India Company's buttons, stockings of immacu- 
late whiteness, and polished dancing-pumps — it is scarcely possible 
that they could have found food for laughter in my personal appear- 
ance. Be this as it may, experience maketh wise ; and from that 
time henceforward Captain Courtly never received any more polite- 
ness from me than was actually required by the discipline of the 
ship. 

Place a landsman on the quarter-deck of a first-class Indiaman 
after she has been two months at sea ; let it be on a fine Sunday 
forenoon, just before the hands are turned out to muster, and when 
every rope is belayed to its proper pin, and the spare ends arranged 
carefully on the deck in Flemish cheeses, fakes, and figures of 
eight ; when the hammocks are neatly stowed in the nettings, and 
the deck is so smooth and clean that it seems a sin to tread upon it, 
— and that landsman will say, " Everything is perfect, everything 
complete, everything in its place ; . there is nothing in the world to 
do, so we may put our hands in our pockets and rest contented for 
a while." But the chief mate^ that unwearying taskmaster, knows 
better, as will be best shown by the following rapid outline of the 
employments of men and midshipmen during one day, which may 
be taken as a specimen. 

At four o'clock in the morning the chief officer's watch com- 
mences. The watch scrub, wash, and sometimes holystone the 
decks. The midshipmen and apprentices scrub and wash the poop, 
and then swab it up dry, taking a laudable pride in having their 
deck whiter than any other ; but, by the by, teak decks, owing to 
the natural color of the wood, never look white, however clean they 
may be, although the tint is very pleasing, and affords relief to the 
eye in a glaring sun. The midshipmen are expected to pump all 
the cisterns full communicating with the quarter galleries, which is 
never less than an hour's job, and very severe exercise. At seven 



280 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



bells (half-past seven) the hammocks are piped up; and then, will 
ye nill ye, every man who possesses a hammock must jump up, lash 
it neatly, and take it on deck.. When all are brought up, they are 
carefully stowed in the nettings by the quartermasters, under the 
superintendence of two young gentlemen who are called up from 
their watch below for the purpose. If any of the hammocks are 
lashed in a slovenly manner, or merely bundled up in what is called 
a " midshipman's roll," the owner is punished by stoppage of gTog, 
and made to secure it in a more ship-shape manner. Another 
midshipman of the watch below is turned out at six o'clock, to go 
down in the hold and act as a candlestick, whilst the cooper pumps 
the water into buckets for the use of the ship's company during the 
day. I often used to drop asleep whilst holding the candle, much 
to the annoyance of the poor cooper. The purser, whose duty it is 
to see that the water is properly measured out, sits in an easy-chair 
upon the gun-deck, close to the hatchway, with his legs crossed, and 
smoking a Manilla cheroot, or sipping his coffee, with the air of an 
Eastern prince. Our purser, who had risen from the situation of 
cooper, looked with extreme contempt upon the poor midshipmen, 
and openly expressed his anger when he saw that our names had 
the precedence of his own in the ship's articles. He would have 
been very friendly and obliging towards us if we had once admitted 
his superior rank, but this was a concession which we never felt any 
inclination to make. 

At eight o'clock, pipe to breakfast : half an hour is allowed for 
that meal. After breakfast the watch on deck are set to work un- 
der the boatswain, repairing defects in the rigging, putting on 
Scotchmen, — that is, chafing battens made of split bamboo, — 
making spunyarn, sinneth, gasketts, mats, robands, &c. The me- 
chanics — by which are understood the armorer, carpenter and his 
mate, the cooper — all set about their proper occupations. The 
sailmaker and two or three expert workmen repair and alter sails 
as necessary. The midshipmen of the watch on deck run errands, 
or sit down and paint ropes, or, if squally, clue up and furl the 
mizzen topgallant sail, or royal, and, when the squall is over, 
set them again. Of course, in case of a shift of wind, the whole 
watch is required to haul upon the braces; and the mids, al- 
though not compelled to pull, are always ready enough to lend a 
hand ; indeed, he must be an incorrigible lazy one who could 
stand and look on without a desire to ''pull his pound." Time 
slips away quickly thus employed. When a midshipman's watch 
on deck is over, his watch below, as it is called, commences, and 
he gets but little time to himself, as it is usual for him to keep 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 281 



Vatch in the hold when the hatches are taken off for the sake of 
Ventilation. I have spent many hundreds of melancholy hours in 
this gloomy employment, with no other companions than rats and 
cockroaches ; no sound save the monotonous rippling of the water 
against the bends ; no smell save the odoriferous exhalations of the 
bilge-water, and no sight save dingy casks and cases, bar-iron, shot, 
and small coal. At noon the boatswain pipes to dinner. One 
hour is allowed the men for this meal ; the mids only get half an 
hour, as they have to relieve each other (I allude to those who 
have the watch on deck) ; the oldsters are very apt to take the 
lion's share of this hour, and leave only ten minutes for their unfor- 
tunate messmates or watchmate. In such cases retaliation in the 
same coin is generally resorted to, which ultimately brings the sub- 
ject under the notice of the officers, who insist upon justice being 
done. 

After dinner the jobs of the morning are resumed. At five the 
sailmaker stows his sails away; the spunyarn, mats, &c., are put in 
the boatswain's locker ; and the boys get their brooms, and give 
the decks a -clean sweep fore and aft. At half-past five, or there- 
abouts, the crew are sent to supper, for which half an hour is 
allowed. After supper the hammocks are piped down ; all hands 
come on deck, and each fixes on his own "dreaming bag;" mid- 
shipmen are stationed to preserve order and regularity ; at a signal 
from the officer of the watch, the boatswain "pipes down," which 
is done by a peculiarly prolonged stridulous whistle ; away dart the 
men simultaneously, and tumble one over the other down the fore 
and main hatchways, laughing and jumping like so many boys just 
escaped from school. Thus ends the working-day. The amuse- 
ments and skylarking after working-hours have already been de- 
tailed. 

On Sunday, when the weather was fine, and there were no 
squally appearances to windward, we had divine service performed 
upon the quarter-deck, which, together with the poop, is covered by 
a stout canvas awning, and shaded by curtains of the same material. 
The capstan is decorated with an ensign, surmounted by a cushion, 
a Bible, and a prayer-book, and thus serves as a reading-desk for 
the captain, alongside of whom stands the doctor or purser, to make 
the responses. All the cuddy chairs are set round for the use of 
the passengers, whilst the crew are seated upon capstan bars, with 
either end resting upon a bucket : when the ship is lively in her 
motions, these rickety seats cause a corresponding liveliness in the 
sitters, who sometimes go, half-a-dozsn at a time, sprawling to lee- 
ward. When the weather ia wet, and the wind unpleasantly strong, 



282 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



the service is performed in the cuddy, when all the men are at lib- 
erty to attend, but the majority prefer passing the time in their 
hammocks. During the first few Sundays of the voyage, Captain 
Coui'tly also read evening prayers in the cuddy, and insisted upon 
the attendance of all the young gentlemen. At these times he 
favored us by reading a discourse out of some old sermon book ; 
but his choice unfortunately was bad, for the lecture was so long, 
and so purely doctrinal, as to set the whole of his congregation 
a-yawning. 

Sunday is a day of rest as far as wind and weather will permit, 
but in the course of my experience I have seen more squalls and 
gales, and reefing and furling, on Sundays than on any other day 
in the week. The crew are all dressed in their cleanest white 
clothes, and lounge about, pipe in mouth, on the forecastle. Those 
who can read, eagerly devour everything they can lay hands 
on in print, and drawl it out aloud for the benefit of a group of at- 
tentive listeners. The variety of their recreations is rather amusing : 
I have heard one man reading aloud from the " Quaver," a collec- 
tion of 1000 songs, toasts, and sentiments ; another spouting some 
modern melodrama ; another engaged in a thrilling penny romance ; 
whilst here and there, apart from the rest, was a solitary old gray- 
beard quietly reading his Bible, with a short black pipe or dudheen 
between his teeth. 

April Ibth. — At half-past six, in the last dog-watch, the loom 
of high land was seen bearing from the ship north-east by east — a 
welcome sight for the poor mids, who were now at their wits' end 
for clean linen ; many of them had been in, most awkward dilemmas 
for want of a decent shirt, especially when invited to dine with the 
captain. The steward was instructed to invite the young gentle- 
men, each in his regular turn, which he accordingly did ; but when 
the party invited happened to be short of clean linen, he would 
swear positively that it was not his turn, or be suddenly seized with 
a violent headache ; and the poor steward after being bandied from 
one to the other, would indignantly leave it to be settled amongst 
themselves — merely hinting that, out of respect to the captain, 
somebody must come ; so that he who had best economized his 
wardrobe at the commencement of the passage, dined most fre- 
quently in the cuddy towards the sequel : a circumstance which, 
even if noticed by the captain, would have been a source of amuse- 
ment to him-, rather than of displeasure. I have often, when awak- 
ening on a Sunday morning, burst into a cold sweat, and my heart 
has sunk within me when the consciousness broke upon me that I 
had not a clean shirt wherein to make my appearance at muster. 



k 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 283 

Frequently the loan of three, or even four colored shirts was offered 
for the temporary loan of one white one : and still more frequently the 
contents of the dirty clothes-bag were examined, and the cleanest 
of the dirty ones selected for use. Etiquette forbade the use of 
colored shirts at the cuddy table. We were not so awkwardly cir- 
cumstanced with regard to trousers, for those which were made of 
canvas or duck could be rendered beautifully white by merely being 
washed in salt water ; while the blue-cloth garments, if greasy and 
tarry, were restored to their original gloss by immersion in pea-soup 
— a plan which, incredulous as I was at first as to its merits, I am 
now convinced is a very excellent one. 

At half-past seven, Bombay Lighthouse reported to be in sight 
from the mast-head, and soon after it was visible from the deck. 
Fired guns and burned blue lights. Stood in for the land. At 
half-past nine passed the Fairway Buoy, and anchored in eight 
fathoms, with best bower, and furled sails. During the night a 
pilot came on board, and at daylight we hove up the anchor, stood 
in for our final lying-ground, and having there moored ship, at once 
commenced landing the passengers and their baggage. From the time 
we began heaving up until the final mooring of the ship, the young 
gentlemen were employed upon the gun-deck as messenger-men; 
which employment consists in " lightening along" or lifting a heavy 
hawser called a "messenger," which is the purchase used for weighing 
the anchor by the capstan, and which, in the present instance, was cov- 
ered with a thick coat of very greasy clay, bespattering and bedaubing 
us until we bore a strong resemblance to Thames mud-larks. Of 
course, under these circumstances, no leisure was allowed for looking 
at the scene around us ; therefore my first impressions of Bombay 
Harbor were not at all agreeable. 

My duties upon the gun-deck being at length brought to a con- 
clusion, I hastened to the upper deck, and there, for the first time, 
the beautiful harbor of Bombay, almost landlocked by fertile 
islands, presented itself to my admiring gaze, bright and joyous in 
the rays of the morning sun, under a perfectly cloudless sky of in- 
tensest blue. Hundreds of stately ships, many of them the finest mer- 
chantmen in the world, were at anchor around us ; and our own good 
ship, with all her yards exactly squared by lifts and braces, masts 
well stayed, and every rope hauled as tight as a harp-string, floated 
as proudly as any. Then there was the town, divided into the 
White and Black towns : the former consisting chiefly of two-storied 
houses, with well-chunamraed green verandas, and roofs covered 
with pantiles ; laying no claim, certainly, to architectural beauty, 
but still appearing suitable to the climate. The basement story ia 



284 LIFE IN AN IN DI AM AN. 



arched and appropriated to merchandise, the dwelling rooms being 
all on the first floor. The Black Town is composed entirely of huts, 
embosomed in cocoa-nut, banana, and other trees, which cause it to 
look very picturesque at a distance ; but it is found to be squalid 
and filthy on'' a nearer approach. 

While I was gazing in mute admiration at the beautiful land- 
scape, a grouj3 of the oldsters, who were gathered together on the 
poop with a telescope, which passed rapidly from hand to hand, 
were discussing in purely nautical language the merits of the vessels 
within sight, finding fault with some, and praising others, with so 
solemn an air, as they turned their quids in their mouths, that even 
I, young and green as I was, could not refrain from laughing in 
my sleeve at their assumption of knowledge : unfortunately, they 
never agreed in their opinions, and great was the wrangling in con- 
sequence. " Yon bark has made a snug stow of her sails," said 
one. "Do you call that a snug stow? — that shows what you 
know about it ! Why, an old collier would furl her sails better than 
that ! " — " Yonder is the Berhshe ; I know her by the cut of her 
gaffs." — " No, it is n't : I '11 bet any money that it is the Clarence. 
But see what an awful steene she has in her bowsprit, and how 
badly her yards are squared — what can the lubbers be thinking 
of?" and so on. But I have omitted the oaths with which these 
oracular responses were rounded. Then followed an argument 
as to whether Yankee or Scotch vessels were in the habit of carrying 
the longest poles in harbor ; an argument that was carried on with 
so much heat, that two of the young gentlemen nearly came to 
blows. If my opinion were now asked upon this highly-important 
subject, I should say that the practice was most in vogue among the 
Yankees, they being notorious for aspiring to pierce the clouds with 
their moonsail poles ; but in one particular instance I saw a ship 
from Glasgow which aspired higher still, the altitude of whose fine- 
weather sticks was absolutely marvellous. My respect for the 
opinions of the second-voyagers had gradually diminished ; for al- 
though I had at first looked upon them with a species of awe, as 
persons who had seen great wonders and undergone many hard- 
ships, — a feeling which they seemed anxious to keep alive by their 
marvellous stories, — as I grew older and wiser, I began to suspect 
that half their adventures were fictitious — mere children*)f the im- 
agination. 

The Weatherhj was soon surrounded by dingees, (the native 
boats ;) and the decks became crowded with dohy lucdlahs, or wash- 
ermen, solicitino; the favor of our patronao:e, and brinsiino; forth the 
thuml>worn certi^atfts whioh they had obtained from former em* 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 285 

i ■ 

ployers. Upon reading some of these I found that they were far 
from complimentary ; indeed, some certified that the bearer was the 
greatest rogue under the sun, and contained a friendly warning not 
to have any dealings with him. One of these doby wallahs insisted 
on his right to have my washing, having, as he said, washed for me 
last voyage ; the rogue even congratulated me upon my appearance 
since he saw me last ! Then came a host of shoemakers, tailors, 
and barbers ; the services of the latter were soon put in requisition, 
and I well remember having my smooth face shaved all over, 
merely because of the novelty of being scraped by a native artist ; 
my hair certainly required a little arrangement, for the last person who 
cut it was the ship's cooper, who did not trim it exactly in the newest 
London fashion. But the most welcome of our visitors was old 
Abraham, the bum-boatman, who, with his son Isaac, were engaged 
to attend the ship, as they had done for many voyages past, while 
she should remain in port. 1 cannot describe the eagerness with 
which we pounced upon his soft tack, (bread,) milk, butter, eggs, 
and fruit, or with what delight we quaffed his foaming toddy. A 
four months' passage really makes one truly appreciate the good things 
of this earth : we had had little else but maggoty biscuit, rancid 
salt meat, musty suet, and putrid water, since we left Gravesend ; 
and now we saw spread before us a profusion of white bread, eggs, 
and milk, besides bananas, mangoes, water-melons, and other lus- 
cious products of the glowing East. 

. In consequence of having sailed in the same ship with Lascars, I 
was not so much struck with the dress and language of the natives 
as I should otherwise have been ; and yet there was much that 
was novel and interesting for my senses to dwell upon. The gro- 
tesque build of the native craft, the numbers of turkey buzzards 
which hovered among the shipping, the voices of the fishermen in 
their frail canoes, clustering under the bows, crying mutchee (fish) 
in a prolonged and plaintive tone, the tall cocoa-nut trees among 
the houses on shore, the very odor of the smoke produced by 
burning teak or cocoa wood, — all were different from anything I 
had before experienced. We now set to work in good earnest dis- 
charging our cargo, the most disagTeeable portion of which was the 
bar-iron. It was the duty of the young gentlemen to remain in the 
hold, and keep a correct tally, or account of each bar as it was 
passed up ; and in the same way with the shot and shell — a most 
tedious and unintellectual avocation, during which we were exposed 
to the full annoyance of the dense clouds of rust. Our work always 
commenced at daylight, and sometimes, but not invariably, ceased 
at sunset. But we were not now exposed to the horrors of hope- 



286 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

less thirst : w;iter was plentiful, so that those employed in the hold 
always had a bucketful mixed with lime-juice and sugar — a most 
refreshing beverage, but one which must be used with caution in a cli- 
mate where the slightest excess of this nature will induce dysentery. 
The water, which was supplied to ns from the shore, was decidedly 
unwholesome when used alone ; and in consequence of this being the 
latter end of the dry monsoon, when the tanks are nearly dried up, 
it was thick and muddy, of a deep yellow color, and had a most un- 
pleasant earthy taste : in short, it was nothing else than puddle 
water. From this cause, and perhaps from too free an indulgence 
in fruit, especially pine-apples, which are always dangerous, two of 
my messmates had very severe attacks of dysentery, while I myself 
did not wholly escape. The life of one of the patients was at one 
time despaired of; and he scarcely recovered from the effect of his 
illness during the whole of the return voyage. 

I will now try and give some idea of the great irksomeness of 
harbor work, which was so disagreeable as to cause us to rejoice 
when we saw Blue Peter flying at the fore, and heard the orders 
given to weigh the anchor, make sail, and stand out for sea. But 
before this consummation we had much to endure. I may as well 
mention here, among other harbor nuisances, the swarms of mosqui- 
toes which buzz around one's hammock, almost preventing sleep, and 
nearly blinding him with their venomous bites ; they used to punish 
me most cruelly. They are formed like an English gnat, but are 
only half the size ; the body is variegated, black and white ; the 
sting produces violent itching and inflammation ; if the wound is 
rubbed, and the skin broken, it immediately festers, and spreads 
rapidly, as I found from sad experience, in a subsequent voyage. 

23d. — Busily employed in discharging cargo. Received the 
first boat-load of cotton, and commenced stowing. As, with the 
exception of Sundays, I was in the hold every day from this time to 
the day when the ship left Bombay — namely, June 5 (about six 
weeks) — I will at once give a sketch of a midshipman's life in har- 
bor : — 

At five o'clock in the morning the hands were turned out, and 
each person had a quart of rice gruel, flavored with sugar, and a 
gill of rum or arrack, which is recommended by the doctors as a 
very excellent mixture to prevent dysentery in a hot climate ; it is 
very palatable ; and from what I have myself experienced, and what 
I have observed in others, I should certainly pronounce it to be 
highly beneficial. At six o'clock lanterns are brought forward, 
candles lighted, and stowing cotton begins. The sole duty of the 
midshipman is to look after the lights, to keep them trimmed, and 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 287 

to see that they are not put in dangerous situations. There are 
three gangs of stowers, under the superintendence of the second, 
third, and fourth officers — these are the European ship's company ; 
the chief mate overlooks and directs the whole. Besides the Euro- 
peans, there are several gangs of hired Seedys — a very powerful 
race of men, I believe from Madagascar or the adjoining mainland, 
who cire under the guidance, of a superintendent of their own nation. 
These men work well ; and it is astonishing to see with what ease 
they throw about the closely-compressed and heavy bales of cotton, 
and work the massive screws which are made use of in stowing. 
Every bale is driven so close to its neighbor that sixpence could not 
be insinuated between them. The Seedys never work without a 
great deal of noise, which, having some resemblance to a tune, and 
being furnished with a chorus, must, I suppose, be dignified with the 
name of singing. When well treated — that is to say, treated like 
men — they will work cheerfully ; but if an attempt is made to 
impose extra hours upon them without equivalent pay, they manifest 
a great deal of independence. The heat down in the hold while 
cotton-stowing is intense ; but apparently not injurious to health, if 
a person upon coming up does not expose himself suddenly to the 
cooler air, while the perspiration is upon him. Flannels are univer- 
sally worn, and prove a great safeguard against too rapid evaporation. 
We only came up to our meals, and then down we plunged into the 
hold again ; and often did not cease stowing until eight or nine at 
night ; but six was the proper hour for " knocking off." 

The reader will, no doubt, agree with me, that this was but a poor 
six weeks' amusement for a youngster. One day the men on the 
upper deck commenced hurling the bales down into the hold without 
giving any previous notice to stand from under, and I, happening 
to be just then passing under the hatch-way, escaped by a miracle : 
the rope with which the bale was secured had grazed my shoulders 
slightly, but no other injury was done save my being stunned for a 
few moments by the suddenness of the concussion. The Seedys" 
raised a yell, to warn those on deck to avast heaving, and removed 
me from the place of danger, evincing the greatest solicitude for my 
safety ; nor would they believe that I was unhurt until they saw 
me walking about again as usual. Poor fellows ! they, too, had kind 
and feeling hearts, uncouth, uncivilized niggers as they were termed. 

May 'list still found us fully employed in stowing cotton ; but 
we had by this time brought our cargo within a short space of the 
hatchways, which was very fortunate, as the weather now became 
oppressively hot, as is always the case at this time of the year. 



288 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

Heavy stormy appearances were observed daily, with light, variable 
winds, and sometimes rain, thunder, and lightning. 

June ^th. — Left Bombay for England, with light westerly 
breezes, and fine weather, but a heavy swell from the south-west, 
which proved that it had been blowing hard from that quarter, and 
showed us but too plainly what we might reasonably expect when 
we got outside. It is perhaps needless to remark here, that June is 
the month in which the change of the monsoons, or periodical winds, 
takes place from north-east to south-west upon this coast, and that 
they invariably blow with terrific violence at their first setting-in, as 
well as at their termination. 

Qith. — Moderate breezes at noon, with heavy masses of black 
clouds, and constant thunder. Towards evening, variable winds, 
with strong puffs, and much rain. I noticed on this day that, 
although we were several miles from the land, the ship was swarm- 
ing with butterflies and sphinges, which seemed to have taken shelter 
*from the hurricane which their instinct taught them was brewing. 

7^/^. — Forenoon, light breeze and rain. Afternoon, breeze in- 
creasing rapidly, with very severe squalls, until it blew a heavy 
gale, with still stronger squalls, and a tremendously high sea run- 
ning. 

8^^. — The sea had now risen to a fearful height ; the squalls 
were so heavy, as to threaten us not only with the loss of our sails, 
but of our spars also. We were, in fact, in a very awkward predica- 
ment, being on a lee-shore, and unable to show any canvas to the 
gale, on account of the crankness of our vessel. At three a. m., the 
horizon to windward looked blacker than ever, and I, being on watch 
at the time with the third mate, ignorant as I was of tropical phe- 
nomena, thought that there was mischief coming ; and scarcely had 
this thought passed through my mind, when a blast of wind struck 
the ship, so as to lay her very nearly pn her beam-ends, and she 
was yet heeling over still more, insomuch that she w.ould inevitably 
have " turned turtle," as sailors say, had not the mainsail fortunately 
split, with a roar like thunder. You can form no idea of the up- 
roar which was caused by the huge fragments of heavy canvas flap- 
ping in the gale : it was harsh, strange, and deafening. The blast 
passed over, but the gale itself freshened. The hands were turned 
out, the remaining shreds of the mainsail secured, the topsails treble 
reefed, and the foresail hauled close up. At four a. m., finding the 
squalls increase in severity, and that the ship was drifting bodily, 
at a rapid rate, towards the land, moreover lying nearly on her 
beam-ends under snug canvas, we sent down the top-gallant yards 
and masts, scuttled all the water-butts which were stowed in the 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 289 

waist on the upper deck ; and at sis a. m., finding the ship still drift- 
ing very fast towards the shore, the captain held a consultation with 
the chief and second officer and carpenter, and after due considera- 
tion of the danger of the ship's position, being then within a few 
miles of an iron-bound coast, where, in the event of striking, 
destruction would have been inevitable, and also considering the 
threatening aspect of the weather, it was determined to throw over- 
board part of the gun-deck cargo. This was accordingly done with- 
out delay, to the extent of upwards of one hundred bales of cotton 
and wool, in addition to which, one of the quarter-deck carronades 
was launched out at the gangway. At ten a. m., another mainsail 
was with difficulty bent ; the treble-reefed topsails, which had been 
lowered to the cap, were hoisted ; and at noon we ventured to set 
the foresail and reefed mainsail. At the time of throwing the cot- 
ton overboard, the sea was running what the song-books call moun- 
tains high — which, by the by, is not an inappropriate, though hack- 
neyed simile. The cold rain drenched us to the skin, and five 
planks of the upper deck were under water, so much was the vessel 
heeled over. Solid green seas kept bursting over us, in such pon- 
derous masses, that the poor half-drowned doctor (the usual name for 
the cook) could not get his fire to burn in the caboose, so that we 
were forced to make a meal off raw pork and biscuit, which, how- 
ever, was not so very unpalatable when washed down with a goodly 
dram of arrack. 

I will leave the reader to imagine how glad we were to see the 
black rocky coast gradually growing more and more indistinct. If 
the gale had not slightly moderated towards the afternoon, as I have 
mentioned, I should not now, in all probability, be living to tell the 
tale. Our mess-room needed but this adventure to put the finish- 
ing stroke to its wretchedness and discomfort. The plate-racks had 
come down, nearly all the crockery and glass were demolished, our 
chests were adrift (mine, especially, in which a bottle of mango 
chutnee was smashed, and the contents soaked into my stock of 
clean white shirts), the legs of the table broken, our oil-can had 
sprung a leak, and the lamp-oil was dripping into our jar of moist 
sugar ; and for the remainder of the voyage we were glad to drmk 
our tea out of tin pots called pannikins, and eat our dinners off 
pewter — no great hardship certainly, but a much humbler way 
of dining than we were accustomed to at the commencement of the 
voyage. 

^th. — Although, fortunately, the gale moderated sufficiently to 
allow of our gaining a secure offing, it soon renewed its bitterest 
fury ; but all apprehensions for our safety were now over ; we had 
19 



290 MFB IN AN INDIAMAN. 



a fine sbip, as tight as ever floated, a good crew, and smart officers, 
so that with good sea-room we knew we could weather many a hard 
gale yet. 

The gale had been increasing towards midnight of the 8th, and 
on the morning of the 9th we were forced to heave-to under small 
canvas. At half-past ten it bhw with tenfold fury, or, as Jack 
says, •' there was a fresh hand at the bellows." The squalls were 
even more violent than on that fearful night when we lost our new 
mainsail ; we therefore shortened sail yet more. 

13^^. — Frequent light squalls, accompanied with rain. At 
night, two whirlwinds were seen, which, from their phosphorescence, 
appeared like immense revolving globes of fire. 

14:th. — While washing decks in the morning watch, I saw a 
tremendous fish under the quarter, with two heads on its shoulders ; 
it was broad and flat, like a skate, and might have been ten feet 
long and eight feet broad. It was a hideous-looking creature ; I 
was told that the common name for it was the Devil-Fish. 

We now learned that we were bound to the Isle of France (the 
Mauritius) for water ; for, as I have before had occasion to state, 
we were obliged to scuttle all the water-bulks which were stowed on 
the upper deck, in order to ease the ship of her top weight. 

18^^. — Grossed the line during the night. From this day until 
the 30th, not a day or night passed without squalls and heavy chilly 
rain, so that dry clothes were absolutely at a premium. 

July 1st. — A pleasant day. The trade, and fine, clear weather. 

2d. — The island of Roderigo was seen from the mast-head ; but 
from the prevalence of light winds and calms, we did not get to the 
Isle of France before Tuesday, July 6. At eleven a. m. on that 
day we anchored a cable's length outside of the Bell Buoy. I had 
no opportunity of going on shore here, but I was very much struck 
with the beauty of the island as seen from the roads ; it appeared to 
be a succession of mountains and ravines, interspersed with fine 
patches of table-land, which were highly cultivated, the light-green 
yellow of the sugar pieces and the dark hue of the cofiee ridges 
presenting to the eye a pleasing diversity of color. 

7th. — Grew employed hoisting in water. 

Sth. — Blowing fresh ; anchor dragged ; veered out chain to one 
hundred and ten fathoms. Very severe gusts ofi" the land. A lady 
and gentleman left the vessel, to remain in the island ; and this 
reminds me that I have entirely forgotten to take notice of our 
homeward-bound passengers. These, with the exception of the pair 
now mentioned, consisted of a veteran sun-browned major, his young 
wife, and two lovely flaxen-haired boys ; the widow of a captain, 



LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 291 



with her little girl ; and several natives in the service of these par- 
ties. There was thus in our case, as in all others, comparatively 
few returning from a land which, while the j&eld of easy fortune to 
some, becomes the grave to thousands of the brave and beautiful of 
our countrymen and countrywomen. 

At nine a. m., weighed and loosed sails. The anchorage at the 
Isle of France is one of the worst known ; as a proof of which, I 
may mention that when we got our anchor to the bows, we found 
that both flukes were gone. These latitudes are all liable to terrific 
hurricanes in the months of March, April, and May. 

From the Mauritius to the Cape of Good Hope we had a strange 
medley of fine and bad weather, light winds and fair, followed by 
squalls, thunder, lightning, and rain. The young gentlemen were 
constantly exercised in sending up and down yards and masts. 

28^A and ^^th. — We experienced an entire calm. We were 
then oflf Cape Francois, on the Aiguilhas or L'Agulhas bank. A 
scene now commenced which, I fear, will prove too much for my 
powers of description. Fish of all sizes were caught with hooks by 
hundreds ; anybody who could procure a few fathoms of twine and 
a rusty old fish-hook, baited with the smallest possible morsel of 
pork, was certain of a bite. I caught twenty or thirty with very 
inferior tackle, whilst those who were better provided pulled them 
in as fast as they could drop their baits into the water. It was the 
most amusing sight I ever witnessed, and seemed to partake of the 
character of a fantastic dream. Every soul in the ship was a fisher- 
man that day, from the captain seated on the taffrail, with his beau- 
tiful line and polished hooks, to the little apprentice at the jib-boom 
end, with his tangled twine (stolen from the sailmaker) and crooked 
pin. I did not know the names of any of the fish, but the sailors, 
as usual, found names for them all. There were some which, from 
their scaliness and peculiarity of form, were called Cape salmon, but 
in flavor they difiered entirely from our fish of that name ; others, 
with enormous heads and wide mouths, were called Cape cod ; these 
were obtained of great size ; one of the largest weighed sixty-four 
pounds. There were many other smaller species ; all, without 
exception, proved to be excellent eating. Having now a great deal 
more fish than we could eat whilst fresh, we cut them open, and, 
sprinkling them with pepper and salt, hung them up in the air to 
dry. Our mess-boy had his hands full enough of work. 

A breeze springing up, we saw Table Mountain on Friday, July 
30th ; and after much baffling with light breezes, about the 7th of 
August we fell in with a tolerably steady south-easterly wind, \vhich 
is in those parts called the trade-wind. The south-east trade is said 



292 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 



Dj the old sailors never to have been so steady since the East India 
Company resigned their charter as a commercial body. We found 
it blew true enough to the point ; the sea was smooth, the sky cloud- 
less, and the moonlight nights were absolutely enchanting ; the stars 
were humorous and brilliant, and the air bewitchingly soft and 
balmy. The sails being once set, and the yards laid square, we had 
nothif% to do but make all the ropes fast, and go to sleep in the 
night, whilst during the day we painted and beautified the ship both 
internally and externally ; indeed, we required a little rest, after 
the months of rude buffeting among gales and squalls which we 
had lately experienced. 

Sleeping upon deck is called, I know not why, " calking ;" and 
there is no doubt that the midshipmen are more practised " calk- 
ers " than any others on board. During the trades, the youngest 
midshipman regularly came on deck to keep his night-watch, stag- 
gering under the weight of his " calking-irons " — by which the 
reader is to understand that he brought up five greatcoats, whether 
his own or his messmates he was not very particular about. I never 
knew such a boy for sleep, nor one who did it so systematically ; he 
had one coat on his back, another for a pillow, one to lay under 
him, and two to lay over him ; and, thus furnished, he slept for two 
hours as comfortably as if swinging in his hammock. When there 
were two midshipmen in a watch, they agreed to divide the four 
hours between them, each taking two hours' sleep, and two hours to 
keep awake and strike the bells. The officers of the respective 
watches, knowing that young people require rest, good-naturedly 
acquiesced in or rather winked at this pleasant arrangement, which, 
if it had been faithfully carried out, would have succeeded admira- 
bly, and given satisfaction to all parties ; but, unfortunately, nine 
times out of ten, the lazy young vagabond, who ought to have been 
on the alert, was found in a deep slumber by the side of his watch- 
mate whose turn it was to sleep. The call for " young gentlemen " 
was unanswered, and then the incensed officers insisted upon both 
walking the deck for the whole of the four hours — the most dread- 
ful punishment that could well be invented for these sleepy-headed 
youngsters. I have myself fallen fast asleep whilst sitting on a 
bucketful of water before commencing to wash decks, and been 
rudely aroused by the capsizing of the bucket, caused by the ship's 
motion, and found myself sprawling in a pool of water ; and yet I 
was always considered to be the most wakeful in the mess. 

We passed several ships whilst running up the trades, and ex- 
changed numbers occasionally. 

On the morning of Sunday, August 15, at 7.40 a. m., saw tho 



LIIB IN AN INDIAMAN. 29,^ 

island of St. Helena rising like a huge precipitous rock from the 
ocean. The duty of the ship — that is, preparing to come to an 
anchor — prevented the performance of divine service. At 11.30 
anchored in James Town Roads in nineteen fathoms with sheet- 
anchor. We found lying here the most beautiful model of a vessel 
that can be imagined ; she was a long, low, clipper-built craft, one 
of the slavers captured by our indefatigable though useless cruisers. 
Captain Courtly and others went on board, and they said she was 
quite a picture — all her belaying-pins of highly-polished brass, 
ring-bolts grafted over with the greatest neatness, mahogany fife- 
rails, &c. ; and the chief cabin was furnished in a style of positive 
luxury. The slaves, with which the vessel was found to be crammed 
when taken, were still detained on board, on account of their having 
some contagious disease, of which they were daily perishing by 
scores, and which rendered it imprudent to land them. During our 
short stay we procured several sacks of water-cresses, which, after 
our long-continued salt fare, were an inestimable luxury ; knowing 
how wholesome they were under our peculiar circumstances, we 
devoured them in enormous quantities medicinally. 

James Town has a pretty appearance from the anchorage, lying 
as it does embowered in trees in a sort of valley or large ravine, with 
the high and barren rocks rising around it, the summits of which 
are strongly fortified and bristling with cannon, some of which are 
placed in such positions as to make the gazer wonder how they could 
have been got there. We could see a clump of dark trees on an 
eminence behind the town, rather to the left, which we were told 
was the estate of Longwood, of Napoleon celebrity. The island to 
seaward generally presents to the view a perpendicular wall of 
gloomy rock of immense height. 

August 16th. — At four, p. m., we left St. Helena, and made all 
sail with a good trade-wind for England. 

October bth. — At 11.30, p, m., saw the Start Light, and on 
Wednesday, the 6th, passed the Isle of Wight. 

1th. — Took a pilot on board. Passed Dover. 

^th. — In the river. It being a drizzly, disagreeable morning, Mr. 
Smart determined upon giving the young gentlemen a final benefit. 
He ordered them all to come on deck and wash the poop ; but some 
of us having only come off watch at four o'clock, others having no 
inclination to get a wet jacket, and all feeling a spirit of indepen- 
dence now they were in England, we flatly refused to obey his sum- 
mons ; long did he bellow down the main hatchway in furious tones, 
and long did we sit and mock at his fruitless rage. But fear of the 
consequences at length naade us creep up one by one, and then we 



294 LIFE IN AN INDIAMAN. 

were called up for punishment. Every one of the mutineers was 
mast-headed. I was sent to the mizzen-topmast-head, and ordered 
to scrape sundry spots of grease and tar from off the paintwork of 
the cap and masthead. I remained there four hours ; and as the 
job which I had to do was merely nominal, I passed that time most 
delightfully, in watching the manoeuvres of the hundreds of vessels 
which constantly crossed the river. It was amusing, from my 
elevated position, to watch the swift little steamboats dexterously 
threading their way amongst the groups of dingy -looking coal brigs, 
and to see our men at work washing the decks, looking like so many 
pigmy automata. This was the first mast-heading I ever had for 
punishment, and the last also ; as it was not for a very heinous 
offence, I am not ashamed of giving it a place in this faithful narra- 
tive. At eight o'clock we were all ordered to come down. We ate 
our breakfast with a keen appetite, as was proved by the rapid dis- 
appearance of several quatern loaves, with butter to match, which 
we had purchased alongside. 

10th. — Passed Gravesend during the night, in tow of two steam- 
tugs, and brought up off Purfleet. 

l'2th. — Arrived in Blackwall import-docks — was dismissed — 
took a long, last, lingering look, with a somewhat moistened eye, at 
the gallant old craft which so well had done her part, and went up 
by the Blackwall railway to London. 



THE BIALEB IN WISBOl. 



When you place yourself under the hands of a barber, he usually 
chatters politics : in the East, he tells you a story. While I was 
having my head shaved in Cairo, the operator told me the following 
tale: 

In the city of Cairo, near the Bab el Fontonah, once dwelt a 
man, a saddle-maker, named E-adawan, who had a young wife and 
one son. He was of a timid disposition, and was much respected by 
his neighbors. The great delight of his heart was, on returning 
from his shop precisely at sunset, to find his house set in order, — a 
sleek black servant lad ready to open the door ; a fat black cook 
giving the last turn, with a wooden spoon, to the stew ; his plump 
little wife half-way down the staircase to meet him ; and his chubby 
little baby gnawing his fists in an old carved cradle in one corner of 
the leewan. Then did Radawan feel that he was a little prince ; 
that he had his dominions and his subjects more obedient than thosa 
of many a mighty monarch ; and that he was looked up to with 
love, not unmixed with a spice of awe ; for, like many timid men, 
Radawan liked sometimes to fancy himself fierce and tyrannical. 

We are going to introduce him in one of his most overbearing 
moods. He entered, one evening, the little courtyard of his house, 
imitating, as far as his placid countenance would allow, the awful 
glance which he had observed on the visage of the head of the police, 
as he rode through the bazaars, that day, preceded by criers, offering 
mighty rewards for the discovery of certain robbers and murderers 
who had lately been exercising their dreadful trade with impunity. 
The sleek boy, being no physiognomist, received him with familiar 
welcome ; the fat cook bawled out from the kitchen door that the 
kababs were done to a nicety. But his assumed sternness did not 
relax, and he ascended the stairs with a slow and stately step. As 
usual, he met his plump little wife in the dark, and his dignity was 
half disturbed by a girlish embrace. Yet he only slightly swept the 
o£fered chesk with his eoiopressed lips, and, continuing to ascend, 

(W5) 



290 THE DEALiaS IN WISDOM. 

entered the saloon, pretending not to glance at the cradle, sitting 
down, in a rigid attitude, in his accustomed corner of the divan. 

Ayesha did not care a fig for these grand airs ; and busied her- 
self in preparing the supper, without so much as asking her lord 
what ailed him. Radawan began to feel uneasy ; he perpetually 
shitled his position, called for a pipe in a tone intended to be author- 
itative, and looked very hard at the little clenched hands which he 
saw fighting with the air close by. Still, he had determined to play 
the tyrant that evening ; and, in trying to look awful, twisted his 
meek face into so many grimaces, that Ayesha, as she tripped by, 
could not forbear laughing. 

" Why laughest thou, woman ? " said Radawan, succeeding, at 
length, in curving his brows into a real frown. " Where is the 
respect due to my beard ? " 

" Thy beard, master ! " cried the impudent little woman, twist- 
ing one of her hands in that sacred appendage, and putting the other 
round his neck. " When have I ever wanted in respect to it ? 
especially since, by the advice of thy neighbor Saad, thou hast let it 
grow until it is as long as little Ali there." 

" woman ! " replied Radawan, trying to repulse her. " Scoff not 
at the advice of neighbor Saiid ; but listen to what he has told me 
to-day. He says it is absurd for a man of my standing to be con- 
tent with one wife, and has offered me his daughter — a sweet virgin, 
straight as a wand, with eyes like gazelles, a nose like a pillar of 
silver, a mouth like a rosebud but, what aileth thee, woman ? " 

Ayesha started back, and remained standing before her husband 
with a countenance so charged with anger, a form so trembling with 
emotion, that, had he observed it, he would certainly have been 
frightened out of his wits. It was some time before Ayesha could 
speak ; but at length she said : 

"And did he tell thee all this of his daughter? Why, I have 
seen her at the bath — she is pale, one-eyed, flat-nosed, big-mouthed, 
crooked, and thin (here she glanced at her own somewhat fully 
developed form). Never mind, however, Radawan. Marry as 
many wives as you please ; only remember, if you bring them home 
here, I will kill them all, then kill you, then kill myself, and then 
— yes, then — I will kUl baby ! " 

At this terrific threat Radawan became very white, murmured 
that he was only joking, as, indeed, he was, in a way; and soon 
afterwards found his beard in the hands of that identical little 
offspring whose life one must suppose to have been saved by a prom- 
ised abstinence from polygamy. Unfortunately for him, his skin 
was remarkably tender ; and the affoctionate tugs to which he was 



THE DEALER IN WISDOM. 297 

subjected, but of which, under the circumstances, he dared not com- 
plain, brought the tears into his eyes, and produced a variety of 
facial contortions, which the baby — innocent thing ! — believed to 
be made wholly and solely for its especial amusement. Ayesha, who 
understood the case better, and had not quite suppressed her indig- 
nation, smiled maliciously at the punishment her lord was under- 
going ; and fairly danced with delight when, unable any longer to 
endure the pain, Radawan roared to be released. 

After this they supped comfortably : Ayesha pretending, at first, 
humbly to serve the great-souled Radawan ; but at length, with an 
audacity not common among Muslim women, she sat down by his 
side. They had become quite merry, when, suddenly, a loud shriek 
disturbed them, and the fat cook rushed in. "0 master! 
mistress ! " she cried ; " there is a dead man — a murdered man — 
in the court." For some time the husband and wife could neither 
speak nor move. At length, however, each taking a light, they went 
forth into the gallery ; and, looking down, beheld, sure enough, the 
corpse of a man, with a large wound in the forehead, lying in the 
very centre of the court. At the same moment loud knocks were 
heard without, lights flashed in through the windows, and numerous 
stern voices called aloud to open. 

Radawan lost all presence of mind, and thought of nothing but 
flight ; by no means an absurd expedient ; for in the East, the fact 
of a dead body being found in the house would infallibly condemn 
him, especially as so many criminals had lately escaped with impu- 
nity. Hurriedly embracing his wife, Radawan rushed up to the 
roof of his house, expecting to be able to pass along to that of a 
neighbor, and through that to make his way to the street. In his 
hurry, he had forgotten that he had himself caused a lofty strong 
paling to be erected, in order to prevent people from stealing his 
fowls. After vainly endeavoring to break through this, he returned, 
scarcely knowing what he did : and, happening to glance over the 
parapet, saw that the street was filled with soldiers, and that the 
Head of the Police himself was there. This sight gave him the 
courage of despair. A narrow street separated him from a house 
somewhat less lofty than his own. He cleared it at a bound ; and, 
as he alighted in safety, heard the crash of his own door ; it was at 
length burst in. Fear winged him. He ran along the roofs like a 
cat, reached a ruin through which he scrambled down into the 
street; and, hastening through several narrow dark lanes, reached 
the city wall. With wonderful energy for him, he untwisted the 
linen of his turban, tied it fast to a projecting stone, let himself half- 



298 THE DEALER IN WISDOM. 

way down, then dropped ; felt a little stunned ; but, recovering, took- 
to his heels, and found himself in the city of tombs. 

The Arab story-tellers say, perhaps in their love of the marvel- 
lous and the supernatural, that Radawan fell asleep in one of the 
ruined tombs, and was found by the genius of the place, an ugly 
whimsical monster, by whom he was transported in a second to the 
gates of Damascus. Perhaps it was so ; perhaps Radawan joined a 
caravan he observed next morning starting for Syria ; any how, at 
the chief city of Syria he arrived, without encountering any partic- 
ular adventures. 

It happened that the saddler's entire stock of cash consisted of 
the proceeds of his day's sales. When this was exhausted, he took, 
with the resignation peculiar to the East, to begging, and might have 
remained a beggar all his life, had he not one day entered a spacious 
mansion situated in the suburbs of the city. He cried out as he 
advanced, " I am hungry, Lord ! " but seeing no living soul to 
interrupt him, continued to penetrate into the house. At length he 
came to a retired apartment, where he saw an old man absorbed in 
meditation, surrounded with ancient books and strange instruments. 
Two or three times Radawan repeated his cry, each time in a louder 
key, before his presence was noticed. The old man at last looked 
up and said : — 

" My son, who art thou ? " 

Radawan explained that he was a beggar, and had found the 
house deserted. 

" Thus it is," said the old man. " Whilst I meditate, my ser- 
vants, knowing that I shall not watch their movements, either go 
forth to amuse themselves or sleep." 

" master ! " quoth Radawan, boldly, " may I suggest to the© 
a remedy ? " 

"You may." 

" Appoint, then, a wise, prudent, honest, stern man to be the 
supervisor of thy servants — one who uniteth benevolence with fierce- 
ness of disposition ; one who will be generous to reward, but swift 
to punish ; and by the terror of whose looks alone obedience may be 
enforced." 

" Where, stranger, may I find such a treasure ? " asked the 
sage. 

" Lo ! " cried the saddler with astonishing courage, " such a man 
standeth before thee ! " 

The old man laughed much at those words ; for Radawan had 
grown so humble-looking and meek in adversity, that a turtle-dovo 



THE DEALER IN WISDOM. 299 

would scarcely have been alarmed at his aspect. The old man 
replied : — 

" Thou art a strange fellow. Sit down, and tell me thy story." 

Radawan did as he was desired ; and the host, having listened 
attentively, said, " It is well. I will appoint thee supervisor of my 
servants ; but I pray thee," he continued, smiling, " endeavor to 
moderate the ferocity of thy appearance ; for my servants have been 
accustomed to gentle treatment, and the severity, pride, and majesty 
of thy looks might too much appal them." 

Radawan was delighted at the success of this interview, and 
promised to manifest his native fiercenes"s as little as possible. He 
succeeded so well, that the servants, who had first been disgusted 
with the appointment, soon found that they led an easier life than 
ever ; for the venerable Abou Kasim, relying, or pretending to rely, 
on the vigilance of the supervisor, shut himself up for whole weeks 
in his room to meditate alone. 

A year passed. What with presents and salary, and some little 
speculations he had made, Radawan found himself master of six 
thousand pieces of gold. He now began to think of his plump little 
wife, and his chubby little baby, and longed to return, even at the 
risk of his life. One day, therefore, he broke the subject to his 
master, who replied : — 

" My son, I have conceived a great aifection for thee, although I 
do not find thy ferocity of the avail that I anticipated. I would 
willingly keep thee with me ; but thy reasons for returning are 
strong, and I do not think thou hast now much to fear." 

So Radawan determined to return to Cairo ; but before he went, 
he desired to satisfy his curiosity about his master ; for he had never 
been able to learn who he was, or whence he derived his wealth. 
With an assurance, therefore, derived from his simplicity, he stated 
what he desired to know. Abou Kasim was not offended, but 
replied : — 

" I cannot relate to thee my story. It would be too long. I 
will tell thee, however, my occupation ; — I am a Dealer in Wis- 
dom." 

" Is wisdom of ready sale ? " inquired Radawan, a little puzzled. 

" Not very ; and therefore I am obliged to sell it at a high price. 
I charge a thousand pieces of gold for every maxim." 

" Master," replied Radawan, " I have six thousand pieces of gold. 
Take one thousand and sell me a maxim." , 

Abou Kasim took the money, and answered — 

" Avoid hye-roads " ■ 



300 THE DEALER IN WISDOM. 



Then the fierce supervisor put another thousand pieces of gold 
into his hand, and received in return this saying — 

'■'Ask only ahout what cojicerns thee." 

A third thousand purchased the following sentence — 

" Think before acting ^ 

" Now," said Radawan, " I have invested half my capital in wis- 
dom; the rest I will keep for my necessities." 

At parting, Abou Kasim, instead of giving him a handsome pres- 
ent, as he expected, put into his hands a large loaf of bread, on which 
he told him to make his first supper, on arriving at his home. How- 
ever, Radawan was grateful for the kindness he had received, kissed 
his master's hand at parting, and went his way rejoicing in his newly 
acquired wisdom, which he was very anxious of an opportunity for 
practising. He thought it best to journey in part by sea, so he 
embarked at Jafia, and, after a stormy passage, arrived at length in 
the city of Alexandria. 

Having rested one day, he resolved to start immediately for Cairo, 
by way of Rosetta and the Nile, then the regular route. Some 
travellers advised him strongly to go all the way by land ; and as 
they showed that the journey could be thus performed more rapidly 
than by water, he was about to consent, when he remembered the 
first maxim he had bought — "Avoid bye-roads." So he refused 
the proposition, and, carrying out his original plan, reached Cairo in 
safety one evening after the closing of the gates. On turning away 
to seek for a place of rest for the night, he met a man in rags. He 
soon recognized him to be one of the travellers who had tried to 
persuade him to accompany them; and learned that the overland 
party had been attacked by robbers, who had seized everything they 
had, and slain all except this one. Radawan silently turned his 
face to the East, and uttered a short thanksgiving, saying, " I thank 
thee, Prophet, (whose name be exalted,) for the wisdom thou hast 
sent me by thy servant, Abou Kasim." 

Then the two went their several ways, seeking for a place in 
which they might sleep. The traveller, having nothing to lose, lay 
down under a tree ; but Radawan, who had not left his money in 
the boat, wandered about until he saw a mansion standing in a fair 
garden. He approached, and knocked at the door, which, after a 
little time, was opened by a tall man of stern aspect ; who, however, 
on hearing what he required, bade him enter and make himself at 
home. When the door was closed, Radawan's heart misgave him. 
He feared he had entered a robber's den ; for the man was armed 
with a sword and pistols, and there was no sign of any other person 
living in the houge. However, it was now t©o late to retreat, and he 



THE DEALER IN WISDOM. 301 

followed his host into a large apartment, around which were ranged, 
to his dismay, a long row of grinning human heads. A momentary 
impulse urged him to inquire what thej meant ; but the sage's sec- 
ond maxim — "Ask only about what concerns thee" — checked 
him, and he continued in the steps of the stern man until he came 
to an elegant chamber, where a supper was laid out. He was now 
invited to sit, and presently there appeared to attend on him a beau- 
tiful maiden, who was blind ; not by the decrees of nature, but evi- 
dently by the violence of man. Radawan was now racked by intense 
curiosity; but he suppressed all outward sign of it, and ate and 
drank with his host as if nothing remarkable had met his eyes. 
Thus they passed an hour, after which Radawan spent the night 
comfortably ; and, rising early next morning, prepared to depart. 

As he was about to go, the master of the house called him back 
and said, " Verily thou art a wise man ; and thy wisdom hath saved 
thy life. Know that all those heads which thou hast seen are the 
heads of impertinent questioners, whom I received hospitably, and 
who could not control their curiosity respecting the maiden with her 
eyes put out. Thou shalt know all because thou hast been silent. That 
maiden is my sister. I saw thee look with pity on her ; but if thou 
knewest her horrible wickedness, thou wouldst loathe her and pity 
me." — Here the barber grew again tedious, in telling the story of 
the blind maiden. It is too revolting for repetition. At its con- 
clusion, the mysterious brother said : "Go now, Radawan ; and it 
will be some comfort for thee to know without asking that which 
thou shouldst have known if thou hadst asked, because, in this latter 
case, after I had told my story, I would have slain thee without 
hesitation." 

Radawan accordingly went forth rejoicing from that house ; and, 
turning to the East, he again blessed the Prophet, saying, " I thank 
thee, Prophet, (whose name be exalted,) for the wisdom thou hast 
sent me by thy servant, Abou Kasim." 

He then hastened to the city gates. They had long been open, 
and a busy crowd were pouring in and out. His first thought was 
to proceed at once to his own house ; but he reflected that possibly 
great changes had taken place — it might even be that Ayesha had 
forgotten him, or, supposing him dead, had taken another husband. 
So he first went to the shop of a barber in the neighborhood, and, 
being much changed by travel, was not recognized. Here he man- 
aged to draw the conversation, by degrees, to the subject that so 
much interested him, and learned, to his great surprise, that his 
absence had been unnecessary. The dead man that had frightened 
him away was one of a band of robbers, who had been surprised by 



802 THE DEALER IN WISDOM. 



the guard, grounded and chased. Finding that he could not out- 
strip his pursuers, he had been seen to turn into the first open door 
that appeared ; and was supposed to have drawn the bolts, and then 
gone to lie down and die in the court. 

" However," added the barber, maliciously, " the young wife of 
the runaway was probably delighted with the accident. Radawan 
was a pompous little fool, and must have teamed her prodigiously. 
I am told she has several admirers." 

The barber would no doubt have said a great deal more ; but 
Radawan, keeping his lips very close together, got up and walked 
away. He next went into a coffee-house, where the master told 
him that Ayesha was regularly visited by a lover ; that the death 
of Radawan had been reported, and that a marriage would shortly 
take place. The poor husband, all the while burning with love for 
his plump little wife, was sorely perplexed by the idle stories, and 
many others much worse; and seriously reflected whether it was 
just in him to come to life again in that sudden manner. Having 
meditated alone for an hour or so, he resolved to disguise himself as 
a beggar, and thus penetrate into his own house. It was, perhaps, 
inconsistent with his milder reflection, that he concealed a sword 
under his rags ; but he determined not to use it, unless something 
very abominable met his eye. In dilapidated garments he reached 
the house, and managed to slip into the court, and up stairs into the 
gallery, without being observed. Suddenly he heard a voice from a 
dark room, saying, in a tender tone, " Wilt thou come back soon ? " 
The only answer seemed to be a shower of kisses. The world became 
black before Radawan's face. He laid his hand on the hilt of his 
Bword, and, really ferocious for the first time in his life, prepared 
to rush in, and inflict summary vengeance. He had taken the 
first step, when the third maxim came to his aid, " Think, before 
acting ! " and he restrained himself. Advancing cautiously, he 
raised the corner of a curtain that covered the entrance of the room, 
and looked in. At first he could see nothing ; but his eyes becom- 
iog accustomed to the obscurity, he soon distinguished his wife, a 
little less plump and a little paler than of old, sitting with her baby, 
LOW a stout, sturdy fellow, on her lap, by the side of a black scaf- 
folding which he knew represented his tomb. He rushed in, revealed 
himself to his plump little Ayesha, and a medley of embracing, 
dancing, laughing, crying, ensued, which it would be ridiculous to 
attempt to describe. Ayesha held on by his shawl, that he might 
kiss the chuckling boy for the fiftieth time. It was a scene of 
intense joy. After the perpetration of a thousand absurdities, they 



THE KEY OF THE STREET. 3^3 

were about to sit down to sup together, when Kadawan turned his 
face to the East, and said, 

" I thank thee, prophet, (whose name be exalted) for the wis- 
dom thou hast seat me by thy servant, Abou Kasim." 

More kisses, more hugging of the boy ; and they sat down to sup. 
Radawan broke the loaf given by Abou Kasim, and, lo ! precious 
stones of immense value fell from it. 



THE EM m THE STEEET. 

It is commonly asserted, and as commonly believed, that there 
are seventy thousand persons in London who get up every morning 
without the slightest knowledge as to where they shall lay their 
heads at night. However the number may be over or under-stated, 
it is very certain that a vast quantity of people are daily in the 
above-mentioned uncertainty regarding sleeping accommodation, and 
that when night approaches, a great majority solve the problem in 
a somewhat (to themselves) disagreeable manner, by not going to 
bed at all. 

People who stop up, or out all night, may be divided into three 
classes: — First, editors, bakers, market-gardeners, and all those 
who are kept out of their beds by business. Secondly, gentlemen and 
" gents," anxious to cultivate a knowledge of the " lark " species, or 
intent on the navigation of the " spree." Thirdly, and lastly, those 
ladies and gentlemen who do not go to bed, for the very simple 
reason that they have no beds to go to. 

The members of this last class — a very numerous one — are 
said, facetiously, to possess " the key of the street." And a remark- 
ably disaorreeable key it is. It will unlock for you all manner of 
caskets you would fain know nothing about. It is the "open 
sesame " to dens you never saw before, and would much rather 
never see again, — a key to knowledge which would surely make 
the learner a sadder man, if it make him not a wiser one. 

Come with me, luxuriant tenant of heavy-draped four-poster — 
basker on feather bed, and nestler in lawn sheets. Come with me, 
comfortable civic bolster-presser, snug woollen nightcap wearer. Como 
with me, even workman, laborer, peasant — sleeper on narrow pallet — 



304 THE KEY OF THE STREET. 

though your mattress be hard, and your rug coarse. Leave your 
bed — bad as it may be — and gaze on those who have no beds at 
all. Follow with me the veins and arteries of this huge giant 
that lies a-sleeping. Listen while with " the key of the street " I 
unlock the stony coffer, and bring forth the book, and from the 
macadamized page read forth the lore of midnight London life. 

I have no bed to-night. Why, it matters not. Perhaps I have 
lost my latch-key, — perhaps I never had one ; yet am fearftd of 
knocking up my landlady after midnight. Perhaps I have a caprice 

— a fancy — for stopping up all night. At all events, I have no 
bed ; and, saving ninepence, (sixpence in silver and threepence in 
coppers,) no money. I must walk the streets all night ; for I can- 
not, look you, get anything in the shape of a bed for less than a 
shilling. Coffee-houses, into which — seduced by their cheap ap- 
pearance — I have entered, and where I have humbly sought a 
lodging, laiigh my ninepence to scorn. They demand impossible 
eighteen-pences — unattainable shillings. There is clearly no bed 
for me. 

It is midnight — so the clanging tongue of St. Dunstan tells me 

— as I stand thus, bedless, at Temple Bar. I have walked a good 
deal during the day, and have an uncomfortable sensation in my 
feet, suggesting the idea that the soles of ray boots are made of 
roasted brick-bats. I am thirsty, too, (it is July, and sultry,) and, 
just as the last chime of St. Dunstan's is heard, I have half-a-pint 
of porter — and a ninth part of my ninepence is gone from me for- 
ever. The public house where I have it (or rather the beer-shop, 
for it is an establishment of the "glass of ale and sandwich" 
description) is an early-closing one ; and the proprietor, as he serves 
me, yawningly orders the pot-boy to put up the shutters, for he is 
" off to bed." Happy proprietor ! There is a bristly-bearded 
tailor, too, very beery, having his last pint, who utters a similar 
somniferous intention. He calls it "Bedfordshire." Thrice happy 
tailor ! 

I envy him fiercely as he goes out, though, God wot, his bed- 
chamber may be but a squalid attic, and his bed a tattered hop-sack, 
with a slop great-coat — from the emporium of Messrs. Melchisidech 
and Son, and which he has been working at all day — for a cover- 
lid. I envy his children, (I am sure he has a frouzy, ragged brood 
of them,) for they have at least somewhere to sleep; I haven't. 

I watch, with a species of lazy curiosity, the whole process of 
closing the " Original Burton Ale House," from the sudden shooting 
up of the shutters, through the area grating, like gigantic Jacks-in- 
a-box, to the final adjustment of screws and iron nuts. Then I bend 



THE KEY OF THE STREET. 305 

my steps westward, and at the corner of Wellington street stop to 
contemplate a cab-stand. 

Cudgel thyself, weary brain, — exhaust thyself, invention, — tor- 
ture thyself, ingenuity, — all, and in vain, for the miserable acqui- 
sition of six feet of mattress and a blanket ! 

Had I the delightful impudence, now — the calm audacity — of 
my friend, Bolt, I should not be five minutes without a bed. Bolt, 
I verily believe, would not have the slightest hesitation in walking 
into the grandest hotel in Albermarle street or Jermyn street, asking 
for supper and a bootjack, having his bed warmed, and would trust to 
Providence and his happy knack of falling, like a cat, on all-fours, 
for deliverance in the morning. I could as soon imitate Bolt as I 
could dance on the tight-rope. Spunge, again, that stern Jeremy 
Diddler, who always bullies you when you relieve him, and whose 
request for the loan of half-a-crown is more like a threat than a 
petition — Spunge, I say, would make a violent irruption into a 
friend's room, and, if he did not turn him out of his bed, would at 
least take possession of his sofa and his great-coats for the night, and 
impetuously demand breakfast in the morning. If I were only 
Spunge, now ! 

What am T to do ? It 's just a quarter past twelve ; how am I 
to walk about till noon to-morrow ? Suppose I walk three miles an 
hour, am I to walk thirty-five miles in these fearful London streets ? 
Suppose it rains, can I stand under an archway for twelve hours ? 

I have heard of the dark arches of the Adelphi, and of houseless 
vagrants crouching there by night. But, then, I have read in 
" Household Words " that police constables are nightly enjoined by 
their inspectors to rout out these vagrants, and drive them from 
their squalid refuge. Then there are the dry arches of Waterloo 
Bridge, and the railway arches ; but I abandon the idea of seeking 
refuge there, for I am naturally timorous, and I can't help thinking 
of chloroform and life-preservers in connection with them. Though 
I have little to be robbed of. Heaven knows. 

I have heard, too, of tramps' lodging-houses, and of the " two 
penny rope." I am not prepared to state that I would not avail 
myself of that species of accommodation, for I am getting terribly 
tired and foot-sore. But I don't know where to seek for it, and I 
am ashamed to ask. 

I would give something to lie down, too. I wonder whether that 
cabman would think it beneath his dignity to accept a pot of porter, 
and allow me to repose in his vehicle till he got a fare ? I know 
some of them never get one during the night, and I could snooze 
comfortably in hackney-carriage two thousand and twenty-two. But 
20 



V 



306 THE KEY OF THE STREET. 

I cannot form a favorable opinion of the driver, who is discussing 
beer and blasphemy with the waterman ; and neither he nor any of 
his brother Jehus, indeed, seem at all the persons to ask a favor of. 

It is Opera night, as I learn from the accidentally-heard remark 
of a passing policeman. To watch the departing equipages will, 
surely, help to pass the time on bravely, and with something almost 
like hope, I stroll to Covent Grarden Theatre. 

I am in the thick of it at once. Such a scrambling, pushing, 
jostling, and shouting ! Such pawing of spirited horses, and objur- 
gations of excited policemen ! Now, Mrs. Fitzsomebody's carriage 
stops the way ; and now, Mr. Smith of the Stock Exchange, with 
two ladies on each arm, stands bewildered in a chaos of carriages, 
helplessly ejaculating " cab." Now is there a playful episode in the 
shape of a policeman dodging a pickpocket among horses' heads, and 
under wheels ; and now a pitiable one, in the person of an elderly 
maiden lady, who has lost her party in the crush, and her shoe in 
the mud, and is hopping about the piazza like an agonized sparrow. 

It is all over soon, however. The carriages rattle, and the cabs 
lumber away. The great city people, lords of Lombard-street, and 
kaisers of Cornhill, depart in gorgeous chariots, emblazoned in front 
and at the back. The dukes and marquises, and people of that sort, 
glide away in tiny broughams, and infinitesimal clarences. The 
highest personage of the land drives ofi" in a plain chariot, with two 
servants in plain black, more like a doctor (as I hear a gentleman 
from the country near me indignantly exclaim) than a Queen. Mr. 
Smith has found his party, and the sparrow-like lady her shoe, by 
this time. Nearly everybody is gone. Stay, the gentleman who 
thinks it a " genteel " thing to go to the Opera, appears on the thresh- 
old carefully adjusting his white neckcloth with the huge bow, and 
donning a garment something between a smockfrock and a horse- 
cloth, which is called, I believe, the " Opera envelope." He will 
walk home to Camberwell with his lorgnette case in his hand, and 
in white kid gloves, to let everybody know where he has been. The 
policemen and the prostitutes will be edified no doubt. Following 
him comes the hahitue^ who is a lover of music, I am sure. He 
puts his gloves, neatly folded, into his breast-pocket, stows away his 
opera-glass, and buttons his coat. Then he goes quietly over to the 
Albion, where I watch him gravely disposing of a pint of porter at 
the bar. He is ten to one a gentleman : and I am sure he is a sen- 
sible man. And now all, horse and foot, are departed ; the heavy 
portals are closed, and the Eoyal Italian Opera is left to the fire- 
man, to darkness, and to me. 

The bed question has enjoyed a temporary respite while thaw 



THE KEY OE THE STREET. 307 

proceedings are taking place. Its discussion is postponed still fur- 
ther by the amusement and instruction I derive from watching the 
performances in the ham and beef shop at the corner of Bow street. 
Here are crowds of customers, hot and hungry from the Lyceum or 
Drury Lane, and clamorous for sandwiches. Ham sandwiches, beef 
sandwiches, German sausage sandwiches — legions of sandwiches are 
cut and consumed. The cry is " mustard," and anon the coppers 
rattle, and payment is tendered and change given. Then come the 
people who carry home half a pound of " cold round " or three 
pennyworth of " brisket;" I scrutinized them, their purchases, and 
their money. I watch the scale with rapt attention, and wait with 
trembling eagerness the terrific combat between that last piece of 
fat and the half ounce weight. The half ounce has it ; and the 
beef merchant gives the meat a satisfied slap with the back of his 
knife, and rattles the price triumphantly. I have been so intent 
on all this, that I have taken no heed of time as yet ; so, when cus- 
tom begins to flag, glancing at the clock, I am agreeably surprised 
to find it is ten minutes past one. 

A weary waste of hours yet to traverse — the silence of the night 
season yet to endure. There are many abroad still ; but the repu- 
table wayfarers drop off gradually, and the disreputable ones increase 
with alarming rapidity. The great-coated policeman, the shivering 
Irish night prowlers, and some fleeting shadows that seem to be of 
woman, have taken undisputed possession of Bow street and Long- 
acre ; and but for a sprinkling of young thieves, and a few tipsy 
bricklayers, would have it all their own way in Drury Lane. 

I have wandered into this last-named unsavory thoroughfare, and 
stand disconsolately surveying its aspect. And it strikes me now, 
that it is eminently distinguished for its street-comers. There is 
scarcely a soul to be seen in the street itself, but all the corners 
have posts, and nearly all the posts are garnished with leaning 
figures — now two stalwart policemen holding municipal converse — 
now two women, God help them ! — now a knot of lads with pale 
faces, long greasy hair, and short pipes. Thieves, my friend — 
unmistakable thieves. 

There are no professional beggars about — what on earth is there 
for them to he out for ? The beggees are gone home to their sup- 
pers and their beds, and the beggars are gone home to their suppers 
and their beds. They have all got beds, bless you ! 

Some of the doorways have heaps of something huddled up within 
them ; and ever and anon a policeman will come and stir them up 
with his truncheon, or more probably with his boot. Then you wiU 
see a chaotic movement of legs and arms, and hear a fretful croon* 



308 THE KEY OF THE STREET. 

ing with an Irish accent. Should the guardian of the night inast 
in the enforcement of his " move on " decree — the legs and arms 
will stagger a few paces onward, and, as soon as the policeman's back 
is turned, sink into another doorway — to be routed out perchance 
again in another quarter of an hour by another truncheon or another 
boot. 

Half-past one by the clock of St. Mary-le-Strand, and I am in 
Charles Street, Drury Lane. It is a very nasty, dirty little street 
this — full worthy, I take it, to challenge competition with Church 
Lane or Buckeridge Street. Something, however, a feeling indefin- 
able, but strong, prompts me to pursue its foul and devious course 
for some score of yards. Then I stop. 

" Lodgings for single men at fourpence per night." This agree- 
able distich greets me, depictured on the panes of a window, behind 
which a light is burning. I step into the road to have a good look 
at the establishment that proffers the invitation. It is a villanous 
ramshackle house — a horrible cut-throat-looking den, to be sure : 
— but then the fourpence ! Think of that. Master Brooke ! There 
is a profusion of handbills plastered on the door-jams, which I can 
read by the light of a gas-lamp a few paces off. I decipher a flat- 
tering legend of separate beds, every convenience for cooking, and 
hot-water always really. I am informed that this is the real model 
lodging-house ; and I read, moreover, some derisive couplets relative 
to the Great Spitalfields Lodging-house, which is styled a " Bastile." 
I begin fingering, involuntarily, the eight-pence in my pocket. 
Heaven knows what horrible company I may fall into ; but then, 
fourpence ! and my feet are so tired. Jacta est alea, I will have 
fourpenn'orth. 

That portion of the reading public who were on duty with In- 
spector Field some weeks ago, know what the " deputy " of a tramps' 
lodging-house is like. As, however, I come to sleep, and not to 
inspect, I am not abused, but merely inspected and admitted. I am 
informed that, with the addition my company will make, the estab- 
lishment is full. I pay my fourpence, without the performance of 
which ceremony I do not get beyond the filthy entrance passage. 
Then the " deputy " bars the door, and, brandishing an iron candle- 
stick as though it were a broad-sword, bids me follow him. 

What makes me, when we have ascended the rotten staircase, 
when I have entered my bedchamber — when the "deputy "has 
even bid me a wolfish good-night — what makes me rush down 
stairs, and, bursting through the passage, beg him to let me out 
for Heaven's sake ? What makes me, when the "^ deputy " has 
unbarred the door, and bade me go out, and be something'd, and has 



THE KEY OF THE STREET. 309 

not given me back my fourpence, stand sick and stupefied in tha 
street, till I wake up to a disgusted consciousness, by being nearly 
knocked down by a group of staggering roysterers, howling out a 
drunken chorus ? 

It was not the hang-dog looking of the " deputy " or the cut- 
throat appearance of the house. It was not even the aspect of the 
score or more ragged wretches who were to be my sleeping compan- 
ions. It was, in plain English, the smell of the bugs. Ugh ! — the 
place was alive with them. They crawled on the floor — they 
dropped from the ceiling — they ran mad races on the walls. G ive 
me the key of the street, and let me wander forth again. 

I have not got further than Broad street, St. Giles', however, be- 
fore I begin to think that I have been a little hasty. I feel so 
tired, so worn, so full of sleep now, that I can't help thinking I 
might have fallen off into heavy sleep yonder, and that the havoc 
committed by the bugs on my carcass might have been borne unfelt. 
It is too late now, however. The fourpence has departed, and I dare 
not face the deputy again. 

Two in the morning, and still black, thick, impervious night, as I 
turn into Oxford street, by Meux's Brewery. The flitting shad- 
ows, that seem to be of women, have grown fewer. A quarter past 
two, and I have gained the Kegent Circus, and can take my choice, 
either for a stroll in the neighborhood of the Regent's Park, or a 
quiet lounge in the district of the clubs. I choose the latter and 
shamble down Regent street towards Piccadilly. 

I feel myself slowly, but surely, becoming more of a regular night 
prowler — a houseless, hopeless vagrant, every moment. I feel 
my feet shuffle, my shoulders rise towards my ears ; my head goes 
on one side ; I hold my hands in a crouching position before me ; I 
no longer walk, I prowl. Though it is July, I shiver. As I stand 
at the corner of Conduit street (all night prowlers affect corners), a 
passing figure, in satin and black lace, flings me a penny. How 
does the phantom know that I have got the key of the street ? I 
am not in rags, and yet my plight must be evident. So I take the 
penny. 

Where are the policemen, I wonder. I am walking in the cen- 
tre of the road, yet, from end to end of the magnificent street, I 
cannot see a single soul. Stay, here is one. A little white-headed 
ruffian leaps from the shadow of Archbishop Tenison's Chapel. 
He has on a ragged pair of trousers, and nothing else to speak of. 
He vehemently demands to be allowed to turn head over heels three 
times for a penny. I give him the penny the phantom gave me 
(cheap charity), and intimate that I can dispense with the tumbling 



310 THE KEY OF THE STREET. 

But he is too honest for that, and, putting the penny in his mouth, 
disappears in a series of summersaults. Then the gas-lamps and I 
have it all to ourselves. 

Safe at the corners (corners again, you see) of what was once the 
Quadrant, where a mongrel dog joins company. I know he is a dog 
without a bed, like I am, for he has not that grave trot, so full of 
purpose, which the dog on business has. This dog wanders irreso- 
lutely, and makes feigned turnings up by-streets — returniiig to the 
main thoroughfare in a slouching skulking manner — he ruminates 
over cigar-stumps and cabbage-stalks, which no homeward-bound dog 
would do. But even that dog is happier than I am, for he can lie 
down on any doorstep, and take his rest, and no policeman shall say 
him nay ; but the New Police Act won't let me do so, and says 
sternly that I must " move on." 

Halloo ! a rattle in the distance — nearer — nearer — louder and 
louder ! Now it bursts upon my sight. A fire-engine at full speed ; 
and the street is crowded in a moment ! 

Where the people came from / don't pretend to say — but there 
they are — hundreds of them, all wakeful and noisy, and clamorous. 
On goes the engine with people hallooing, and following, and min- 
gling with the night wind the dreadful cry of Fire. 

I follow of course. An engine at top speed is as potent a spell to 
a night prowler, as a pack of hounds in full cry is to a Leicestershire 
yeoman. Its influence is contagious too, and the crowd swells at 
every yard of distance traversed. The fire is in a narrow street off 
Soho, at a pickle-shop. It is a fierce one, at which I think the 
crowd is pleased ; but then nobody lives in the house, at which I 
imagine they are slightly chagrined ; for excitement, you see, at a 
fire, is everything. JEn revanche there are no less than three fami- 
lies of small children next door, and the crowd are hugely delighted 
when they are expeditiously brought out in their night-dresses, by 
the fire-brigade. 

More excitement ! The house on the other side has caught fire. 
The mob are in ecstasies, and the pickpockets make a simultaneous 
onslaught on all the likely pockets near them. I am not pleased, 
but interested — highly interested. I would pump, but I am not 
strong in the arms. Those who pump, I observe, get beer. 

I have been watching the blazing pile, so long — basking, as it 
were, in the noise and shouting and confusion ; the hoarse clank of 
the engines — the cheering of the crowd — the dull roar of the fire, 
that the bed question has been quite in abeyance, and I have forgot- 
ten all about it and the time. But when the fire is quenched, or at 
least brought under, as it is at last ; when the sheets of flame and 



J 



THE KEY OP THE STKEET. 311 

sparks are succeeded bj columiis of smoke and steam ; when, as a 
natural consequence, the excitement begins to flag a little, and the 
pressure of the crowd diminishes; then, turning awaj from tho 
charred and gutted pickle-shop, I hear the clock of St. Anne's, So- 
ho, strike four, and find that it is broad daylight. 

Four dreary hours yet to wander before a London day commences ; 
four weary, dismal revolutions on the clock-face, before the milk-man 
makes his rounds, and I can obtain access to my penates, with the 
matutinal supply of milk ! 

To add to my , discomfort, the utter heart-weariness and list- 
less misery which is slowly creeping over me, it begins to rain. Not 
a sharp pelting shower, but a slow, monotonous, ill-conditioned driz- 
zle ; damping without wetting — now deluding you into the idea 
that it is going to hold up, and now, with a sudden spirt in your face, 
mockingly informing you that it has no intention of the kind. Very 
wretchedly, indeed, I thread the narrow little streets about Soho, 
meeting no one but a tom cat returning from his club, and a misan- 
thropic looking policeman, who is feeling shutter -bolts and tugging 
at duor-handles with a vicious aspect, as though he were disappointed 
that some unwary householder had not left a slight temptation for a 
sharp house-breaker. 

I meet another policeman in Golden square, who looks dull ; miss- 
ing, probably, the society of the functionary who guards the fire- 
escape situated in that fashionable locality, and who has n't come 
back from the burnt pickle-shop yet. He honors me with a long 
Btare as I pass him. 

" Good morning," he says. . 

I return the compliment. ^ ■ 

" Going home to bed ? " he asks. 

" Y-e-es," I answer. 

He turns on his heel and says no more ; but, bless you ! i can see 
irony in his bull's-eye — contemptuous incredulity in his oil-skin 
cape ! It needs not the long low whistle in which he indulges, to 
tell me that he knows very well I have no bed to go home to. 

I sneak quietly down Sherrard street into the Quadrant. I don't 
know why, but I begin to be afraid of policemen. I never trans- 
gressed the law — yet I avoid the " force." The sound of their 
heavy boot-heels disquiets me. One of them stands at the door of 
Messrs. Swan and Edgar's, and to avoid him I actually abandon a 
resolution I had formed of walking up Regent street, and turn down 
the Haymarket instead. 

There are three choice spirits who evidently have got beds to go 
to though they are somewhat tardy in seeking them. I can tell 



312 THE KEY OE THE STREET. 

that thej have latch-keys, by their determined air — their bold and 
confident speech. The} have just turned, or have been turned out 
from an 03^ster-room. They are all three very drunk, have on each 
other's hats, and one of them has a quantity of dressed lobster in 
his cravat. 

These promising gentlemen are " out on a spree." The doors 
of the flash public-houses and oyster-rooms are letting out similar 
detachments of choice spirits all down the Haymarket ; some of a 
most patrician sort, with most fierce moustachios and whiskers; 
whom I think I have seen before, and whom I may, very probably, 
gee again, in jack-boots and golden epaulettes, prancing on huge 
black horses by the side of Her Majesty's carriage, going to open 
Parliament. They call this "life." They will probably sleep in 
the Station-house this morning, and will be fined various sums for 
riotous conduct. They will get drunk, I dare say, three hundred 
times in the course of a year, for about three years. In the last- 
mentioned space of time they will bonnet many dozen policemen, 
break some hundreds of gas-lamps, have some hundreds of " larks," 
and scores of " rows." They will go to Epsom by the rail, and 
create disturbances on the course, and among the sticks. They will 
frequent the Adelphi at half-price, and haunt night-houses after- 
wards. They will spend their salaries in debauchery, and obtain 
fresh supplies of money from bill-discounters, and be swindled out 
of it by the proprietors of betting-lists. Some day, when their 
health and their money are gone — when they are sued on all their 
bills, and by all the tradesmen they have plundered — they will be 
discharged from their situations, or be discarded by their friends. 
Then they will subside into Whitecross street and the Insolvent 
Debtor's Court — and then, God knows, they will die miserably, I 
suppose : of delirium tremens, may be. 

I have taken a fancy to have a stroll — " save the mark ! " — in 
St. James' Park, and am about to descend the huge flight of stone 
steps leading to the Mall, when I encounter a martial band, consist- 
ing of a grenadier in a great-coat, and holding a lighted lantern (it 
is light as noon-day), an officer in a cloak, and four or five more 
grenadiers in great-coats, looking remarkably ridiculous in those 
hideous gray garments. As to the officer, he appears to regard 
everything with an air of unmitigated disgust, and to look at the 
duty upon which he is engaged as a special bore. I regard it rather 
in the light of a farce. Yet, if I mistake not, these are " Grand 
Bounds," or something of the sort. When the officer gets within a 
few yards of the sentinel, at the Duke of York's Column, he shouts 
out some uninteU.igible questionj to which the bearer of " Brown 



THE KEY OF THE STREET. 3 13 

Bess" gives a responsive, but as unintelligible howl. Then the fore- 
most grenadier plays in an imbecile manner with his lantern, like 
King Lear with his straw, and the officer flourishes his sword ; and 
*' Grand Rounds" are over, as far as the Duke of York is concerned, 
I suppose ; for the whole party trot gravely down Pall Mall, to- 
wards the Duchess of Kent's. 

I leave them to their devices, and saunter moodily into the Mall. 
It is but a quarter to five, now ; and I am so jaded and tired that 
I can scarcely drag one foot after another. The rain has ceased ; 
but the morning air is raw and cold ; and the rawness clings, as it 
were, to the marrow of m^y bones. My hair is wet, and falls in 
draggled hanks on my cheeks. My feet seem to have grown pre- 
posterously large, and my boots as preposterously small. I wish I 
was a dog or a dormouse ! I long for a haystack, or a heap of 
sacks, or anything. I even think I could find repose on one of those 
terrible inclined planes which you see tilted towards you through 
the window of the Morgue at Paris. I have a good mind to smash 
a lamp, and be taken to the Station-house. I have a good mind to 
throw myself over Westminster bridge. I suppose I am afraid ; 
for I don't do either. 

Seeing a bench under a tree, I fling myself thereon ; and, hard 
and full of knots and bumps as it is, roll myself into a species of 
ball, and strive to go to sleep. But oh, vain delusion ! I am hor- 
ribly, excruciatingly wakeful ! To make the matter worse, I get up, 
and take a turn or two — then I feel as though I could sleep stand- 
ing ; but availing myself of what I consider a favorably drowsy mo- 
ment, I cast myself on the bench again, and find myself as wakeful 
as before ! 

There is a young vagrant — a tramp of some eighteen summers 
— sitting beside me — fast asleep, and snoring with provoking per- 
tinacity. He is half naked, and has neither shoes nor stockings. 
Yet he sleeps, and very soundly too, to all appearance. As the 
loud-sounding Horse-Guards clock strikes five, he wakes, eyes me 
for a moment, and muttering "hard lines, mate," turns to sleep 
again. In the mysterious free-masonry of misery, he calls me 
" mate." I suppose, eventually, that I catch from him some portion 
of his vagrant acquirement of somnolence under difficulties, for, after 
writhing and turning on the comfortless wooden seat till every bone 
and muscle are sore, I fall into a deep, deep sleep — so deep it seems 
like death. 

So deep that I don't hear the quarters striking of that nuisance 
to Park-sleepers, the Horse-Guards clock — and rise only, suddenly 
eft snrsauf, as six o'clo<:k strikes. My vagrant friend has departea, 



314 THE KEY OF THE STREET. 

and being apprehensive myself of cross-examination from an ap- 
proaching policeman (not knowing, in fact, what hideous crime sleep- 
ing in St. James' Park might be) I also withdraw, feeling very 
fagged and footsore — yet slightly refreshed by the hour's nap I 
have had. I pass the stands where the cows are milked, and curds 
and whey dispensed, on summer evenings ; and enter Charing Cross 
by the long Spring Garden passage. 

I have been apprized several times during the night that this was 
a market-morning in Covent Garden. I have seen wagons, sur- 
mounted by enormous mountains of vegetable-baskets, wending their 
way through the silent streets. I have been met by the early co»- 
termongers in their donkey-carts, and chaffed by the costerboys on 
my forlorn appearance. But I have reserved Covent Garden as a 
bonne houche — a wind-up to my pilgrimage ; for I have heard and 
read how fertile is the market in question in subjects of amusement 
and contemplation. 

I confess that I am disappointed. Covent Garden seems to me 
to be but one great accumulation of cabbages. I am pelted with 
these vegetables as they are thrown from the lofty summits of piled 
wagons to costermongers standing at the base. I stumble among 
them as I walk ; in short, above, below, on either side, cabbages 
preponderate. 

I dare say, had I patience, that I should see a great deal more ; 
but I am dazed with cabbages, and jostled to and fro, and " danged " 
dreadfully by rude market-gardeners — so I eschew the market, and 
creep round the piazza. 

I meet my vagrant friend of the Park here, who is having a cheap 
and nutritious breakfast at a coffee stall. The stall itself is a non- 
descript species of edifice — something between a gypsy's tent and a 
watchman's box ; while, to carry out the comparison, as it were, the 
lady who serves out the coffee very much resembles a gypsy in per- 
son, and is clad in a decided watchman's coat. The aromatic bever- 
age (if I may be allowed to give that name to the compound of burnt 
beans, roasted horse-liver, and refuse chicory, of which the " coffee" 
is composed) is poured, boiling hot, from a very cabalistic-looking 
cauldron, into a whole regiment of cups and saucers standing near ; 
while, for more solid refection, the cups are flanked by plates bear- 
ing massive piles of thick bread and butter, and an equivocal sub- 
stance caUed " cake." Besides my friend, the vagrant, two coster- 
lads are partaking of the hospitalities of the cafe; and a huge gar- 
dener, straddling over a pile of potato sacks, hard by, has provided 
himself with bread and butter and coffee, from the same establish- 



THE KEY OF THE STREET. 315 

ment, and is consuming them with such avidity that the tears start 
from his eyes at every gulp. 

I have, meanwhile, remembered the existence of a certain four- 
penny-piece in my pocket, and have been twice or thrice tempted to 
expend it. Yet, on reflection, I deem it better to purchase with it 
a regular breakfast, and to repair to a legitimate coffee-shop. The 
day is, by this time, getting rapidly on, and something of the roar 
of London begins to be heard in earnest. The dull murmur of 
wheels has never ceased, indeed, the whole night through ; but now, 
laden cabs come tearing past on their way to the railway station. 
The night policemen gradually disappear, and sleepy potboys grad- 
ually appear, yawning at the doors of public houses — sleepy wait- 
resses at the doors of coffee-houses and reading-rooms. There have 
been both public-houses and coffee-shops open, however, the whole 
night. The " Mohawks' Arms" in the market never closes. Young 
Lord Stultus, with Captain Asinus of the Heavies, endeavored to 
turn on all the taps there at four o'clock this morning, but, at the 
earnest desire of Frume, the landlord, desisted ; and subsequently 
subsided into a chivalrous offer of standing glasses of " Old Tom " 
all round, which was as chivalrously accepted. As the " all round" 
comprised some thirty ladies and gentlemen, Frume made a very 
good thing of it ; and, like a prudent tradesman, as he is, he still 
further acted on the golden opportunity, by giving all those mem- 
bers of the company (about three fourths) who were drunk, glasses 
of water instead of gin ; which operation contributed to discourage 
intemperance, and improve his own exchequer in a very signal and 
efficacious manner. As with the " Mohawks' Arms," so with the 
" Turnip's Head," the great market gardeners' house, and the " Pipe 
and Horse Collar," frequented by the night cabmen — to say noth- 
ing of that remarkably snug little house near Drury Lane, " The 
Blue Bludgeon," which is well known to be the rendezvous of the 
famous Tom Thug and his gang, whose recent achievements in the 
strangling line by means of a silk handkerchief and a life-preserver, 
used tourniquet fashion, have been so generally admired of late. I 
peep into some of these noted hostelries as I saunter about. They 
begin to get rather quiet and demure as the day advances, and will 
be till midnight, indeed, very dull and drowsy pothouses, as times 
go. They don't light up to life, and jollity, and robbery, and violence 
before the small hours. 

So with the coffee-shops. The one I enter, to invest my four- 
pence in a breakfast of coffee and bread-and-butter, has been open 
all night, likewise ; but the sole occupants now are a dirty waiter, 
in a pitiable state of drowsiness, and half-a-dozen of homeless 



316 THE KEY OF THE STREET. 

wretches who have earned the privilege of sitting down at the filthy 
tables bj the purchase of a cup of coffee, and, with their heads on 
their hands, are snatching furtive naps, cut short — too short, alas ! 

— by the pokes and " Wake up, there ! " of the drowsy waiter. It 
is apparently his " consigne " to allow no sleeping. 

I sit down here, and endeavor to keep myself awake over the 
columns of the "Sun" newspaper of last Tuesday week — unsuc- 
cessfully, however. I am so jaded and weary, so dog-tired and 
utterly worn out, that I fall off again to sleep ; and whether it is 
that the drowsy waiter has gone to sleep too, or that the expenditure 
of fourpence secures exemption for me, I am allowed to slumber. 

I dream this time. A dreadful vision it is, of bugs, and cab- 
bages, and tramping soldiers, and anon of the fire at the pickle-shop. 
As I wake, and find, to my great joy, that it is ten minutes past 
eight o'clock, a ragged little news-boy brings in a damp copy of the 
"Times," and I see half a column in that journal headed " Dreadful 
Conflagration in Soho." 

"Were I not so tired, I should moralize over this, no doubt ; but 
there are now but two things in my mind — two things in the world 
for me — home and bed. Eight o'clock restores these both to me 

— so cruelly deprived of them for so long a time. So, just as Lon- 
don — work away, steady-going London — begins to bestir itself, I 
hurry across the Strand, cross the shadow of the first omnibus going 
towards the Bank ; and, as I sink between the sheets of my bed, 
resign the key of the street into the hands of its proper custodian, 
whoever he may be — and, whoever he may be, I don't envy him. 



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I