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Title: The Strand Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 4 (April 1891)
       An Illustrated Monthly

Author: Various

Editor: George Newnes

Release Date: March 3, 2019 [EBook #59001]

Language: English

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The Strand Magazine - Vol.1 - No. 4 - April 1891

By Sir Edwin Landseer.

Pictures with Histories.


The frontispiece we are enabled to give this month is penned in what may be termed pictorial hieroglyphics by Sir Edwin Landseer. The letter was addressed to Charles George Lewis, the celebrated engraver. The first house represented is Lewis's residence in Charlotte-street, whilst the final sketch is a very correct drawing of the artist's house in St. John's Wood-road. It remains just in the same state to-day, and is occupied by Mr. H. W. B. Davis, R.A. This delightfully original missive reads—evidently in response to an invitation:—


"Dear Charles,—I shall be delighted to come to your house, also Maria, William, and Henry.—Yours, Neddy Landseer."

The only other occasion on which Landseer departed from his usual routine of work seems to have been when he was on a visit to the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey, in December, 1826, at which time the artist was in his twenty-third year. He set himself to sketch a couple of sportsman's cards, of which we give the one considered the most picturesque, and best calculated to show the great painter's versatility and ingenuity. The writing is that of the Duke of Bedford, and, to judge by the number of hares, rabbits, and pheasants bagged, sport at Woburn Abbey during this particular week must have been fairly brisk. There is no question as to the genuine nature of this veritable curiosity, for on the back of it is written the signature—in ink almost faded—of Lady Georgiana Russell.

From our remarks in the previous chapter on "Pictures with Histories," it will be readily gathered that behind nearly every canvas which Landseer touched some happy incident lies hidden away. His magnificent work, "A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society," was suggested to him by seeing the noble creature which figures in the picture carrying a basket of flowers in its mouth.


"Lion"—a picture he painted for Mr. W. H. Merle for £50—has its story to tell. Landseer particularly wished to see the dog—Lion—excited. There chanced to be in the house a live mouse in a trap. The mouse was let loose, Lion gave chase, and the next instant the mouse had disappeared. There was no accounting for such a rapid exit, when somebody suggested that possibly Lion had swallowed it. And such was the fact; the poor little mouse had found safety in the dog's huge jowls. Immediately Lion's lips were opened the tiny creature jumped out uninjured and made good its escape.

Lion, being a particularly powerful dog, was not easy to play tricks with. On one occasion whilst he was walking along the bank of a canal, a passing bargeman began to poke him with his oar. With a sudden rush and a jerk, Lion seized the oar, and lifted his tormentor into the water. It is interesting to note that Lion's portrait was despatched in a heavy case to Paris, just at the time of the Revolution, and narrowly escaped being used as a barricade.

Here is another anecdote of one of Landseer's pictures. "Beauty's Bath" was a portrait of Miss Eliza Peel, daughter of Sir Robert Peel, in which she is shown with a pretty little pet poodle, named Fido, in her arms. At the time the picture was engraved and about to be issued to the public, Sir Robert was not on the best of terms with the populace. This the publisher knew, and saw that, if he issued the work as "a portrait of Miss Peel," it would ruin the sale. Accordingly, he gave it this very taking title, by which it has ever since been known.

One day Sir Robert met the publisher and demanded why the title had been changed. He was assured that "Beauty's Bath" was most appropriate.

"Oh! yes, that's all right," said Sir Robert. "I've no objection to that. Only," he continued thoughtfully, evidently thinking of the pet poodle and his charming daughter, "which do you intend for the beauty?"

"Well," replied the publisher merrily, "you pay your money and you take your choice!"


Landseer loved to have his artistic joke. This is excellently seen in the two sketches which we reproduce. "Huntsman and Hounds" is a little pen-and-ink drawing done for Miss Wardrop at the age of thirty-four. Miss Wardrop, herself, was fond of the pencil and brush, and was particularly partial to animals. She found no small difficulty in drawing accurately a horse's hoofs. One day she went to Landseer and told him frankly of her non-success, at the same time asking him to give her a hint as to the best way of drawing them correctly. The artist good-humouredly complied with her request, and showed her that it was by no means necessary to depict them at all. This he did by337 hiding the horse's hoofs in a wealth of grass, as shown in the sketch.


"The Expectant Dog" is another example of the artist's merry moments. The poodle was the property of the Hon. F. Byng, a distinguished member of the Humane Society, and also prominent through his connection with the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers. Landseer was dining with Mr. Byng, when he was asked to make a little sketch of Mr. Byng himself. This he immediately did by drawing that gentleman's favourite dog with its head up a sewer in the midst of a puddle of water, and a rat making a very speedy exit at its approach. The eminent Commissioner of Sewers saw the joke at once, as did also his friends, and for many a long day he was known by the nickname of "Poodle Byng."

We now turn to some works by Sir Joshua Reynolds, to which a history is attached, and, in so doing, there occurs a somewhat curious incident, which has the interest of connecting two of our greatest painters. Sir Joshua's famous picture of "The Gleaners" shows one of the toilers of the field carrying a bundle of wheat on her head. This figure was put in, as the lady—Miss Potts—who posed as the model for it, happened to be staying with her friends, the Macklins, where Sir Joshua was staying also. Miss Potts was destined to become the mother of Sir Edwin Landseer; for, some time afterwards, she met John Landseer, loved and married him. In passing, it may be mentioned that Sir Joshua is credited with having expressed the opinion that if an artist painted four or five distinctly original subjects in his lifetime, the achievement should be sufficient to satisfy the demands of the expectant public. Hence he painted no fewer than a quartette of "The Strawberry Girl," each single picture being as good as the others, though probably the first one painted would be preferred for choice. Any of them would easily fetch £2,000 or £3,000 each. We have had the privilege of examining Sir Joshua's own ledgers, and in 1766 we find that he was only receiving £150 for a whole length portrait, £70 for half-length, £50 for a kit cat (36 in. × 25 in.), and £30 for a head. Gainsborough received about the same figure.

The recent tragic death of the Duke of Bedford suggests to us a picture which Sir Joshua painted of "The Bedford Family"—a work worth, at the lowest estimate, £10,000. The curious circumstance of allowing this valuable painting to be turned towards the wall in a darkened room for a great number of years is in itself suggestive of some unknown story. At last it was decided to have the picture renovated, for it had become perfectly black. It was accordingly sent to be cleaned; but it was found impossible to remove the dire338 results which a darkened room and a dusty atmosphere had worked upon it. It was then suggested that the very opposite means should be tried. The canvas was hung in a room, the roof of which was of glass, through which the bright sunshine could fall upon it. As the week and month passed by, the sunlight scattered the gloom by degrees, until, at the end of a year, all had disappeared, and the rich colouring was once more visible. One of the boys represented in the picture is Lord William Russell—the father of the late Duke of Bedford—who was killed by his valet in 1840.


A "Sir Joshua" worth £15,000 has been thrown out of window during a fire, and reached the ground untouched by smoke or flame. This was "Lady Williams Wynn and children," which now hangs at Wynstay. A very interesting incident may be told to show how minute Sir Joshua was—even to a hair. At the sale of his books, there was found amongst the leaves a little curl wrapped up in a small piece of tissue paper on which the artist had written "Lady Waldegrave's hair." He had painted a picture of the Countess of Waldegrave and her daughter, and, in order to get the exact colour of the hair, had persuaded the Countess to cut off a lock. It was recently beautifully mounted, surrounded by portraits of the pictures connected with it, and presented to the late Countess; and it now hangs underneath the original work.

Can a leopard change its spots? Yes, so far as a pictorial leopard goes—as may be illustrated by a painting by Sir Joshua of339 Master Herbert as a Bacchus. He made an error here, for he depicted the god of wine surrounded by lionesses, when, of course, leopards should have figured in the festive scene. The engraver in whose hands the picture was placed saw the mistake, and took it upon himself to add the spots to the lionesses, thereby converting them into leopards in his engraving. He even went further, and painted the necessary spots on the animals on the canvas. One hundred years passed away, and the picture was sent to London to be cleaned and restored, when, to the great dismay of the cleaner, he noticed that as he worked the leopards began to lose their spots! Examination soon showed what was the reason. All the spots were removed, the lionesses appeared in their proper skins, and so the picture now appears.

We reproduce two pictures by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The history of one is as sensational as the other is broadly humorous. They happen, too, to be the stories of a husband and wife.


Mrs. Musters was a great beauty of her day, and in 1778 Sir Joshua painted her. The picture he sent home to Mr. Musters to his seat at Colwick. An application was received from the artist that the canvas should be returned to him, as he desired to make one or two important alterations which would considerably benefit the picture. It was sent back to him, and it remained in his possession seven years. Time after time it was applied for, but all to no effect—it was impossible to get it back; the applicants got nothing but excuse after excuse. At last, in desperation, Sir Joshua declared that he had spoiled the work, and so destroyed it, and to make up for this he painted another of Mrs. Musters in the character of Hebe, after a lapse of seven years. Where was the original picture? It transpired that George IV.—then Prince of Wales—was at that time engaged in making a collection of the beauties of his Court, and had often asked Mr. Musters to allow his wife to sit for her portrait for this purpose. This Mr. Musters firmly refused. The Prince then brought some pressure to bear on Sir Joshua Reynolds to get the picture. How Sir Joshua set to work has already been seen. The painting was afterwards sold at the Pavilion at Brighton, and was purchased by the Earl of Egremont of Petworth, at whose seat it now hangs. It should be mentioned that this is the only instance on record where Sir Joshua did anything to cast a shade upon a character which was in every other respect a truly honourable one. The pressure which340 the Prince enforced was too great, and he succumbed.


Surely nothing can be more humorous than the fact of a man having his portrait painted, and, as the fashion in clothing changed, so having the latest thing in satin coat and flowered vest put on his figure! Yet this was actually done, and by the husband of the very lady who figures prominently in the preceding story. Mr. Musters was exceptionally eccentric. Not content with a picture of himself by Sir Joshua, he secured from time to time the services of another artist to re-clothe him up to date. Some years after his death, the canvas was submitted to a well-known expert, when the momentous question arose as to how it could possibly be a genuine Sir Joshua when the clothing was of a date some thirty years after the great artist had ceased to exist? The picture was put into the hands of a cleaner, when he, almost bewildered, sent a hasty message to the expert to say that all the clothes were gradually coming off! Part of the coat had disappeared, the flowers on the vest were fading, the fob of the watch-chain had gone. The whole truth was soon made evident, and very soon the old, though valuable, clothes were all found underneath, and Mr. Musters appeared in the proper costume of his day as Sir Joshua painted him. As such he is to be seen in our copy of the engraving from the picture.

The works of Gainsborough are replete with anecdote. One incident is worthy of being chronicled as associating Sir Joshua Reynolds and this great artist together. It happened in 1782, when the two painters, to put it plainly, were not on speaking terms. At the Royal Academy of that year Gainsborough exhibited a picture, "Girl and Pigs." Sir Joshua was much impressed with it, and, as a token of his appreciation of unquestionable genius, and, we venture to think, possibly with a view to bringing about a renewal of friendship, purchased the work for £100. It would bring thousands now. The Earl of Carlisle possesses it.

Gainsborough was generous to a high degree. When he was at Bath he was anxious to paint Quin, the actor, and in return for the sitting said that he would make him a present of the portrait. Quin refused. Gainsborough pleaded with him, and made use of these remarkable words: "If you will let me paint your portrait I shall live for ever!" The actor gave way, but today the picture preserves the memory of Quin. On one occasion Gainsborough actually gave half-a-dozen pictures to a Mr. Wiltshire, a341 carrier, who, "solely for the love of art," volunteered to convey one of his important canvases to London free of charge. These pictures were the price paid for the van hire, and two of them now hang in the National Gallery—"The Market Cart," and "The Parish Clerk."

The two next reproductions we give have exceptionally singular histories. One indeed is a romance of the purest type. The fact of his celebrated Duchess of Devonshire having been stolen has probably had much to do with making the public regard it as the finest thing that Gainsborough ever did. But art connoisseurs say that the "Hon. Mrs. Graham" is a far finer bit of colouring. It now hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland, and its value is put down at £25,000. Here is its history—a truly romantic one.


Mrs. Graham was the wife of Captain Graham, who years afterwards became General Lord Lynedoch, G.C.B. She was only seventeen when her husband commissioned Gainsborough to paint her. He was passionately attached to his beautiful wife, their married life was one long day of happiness, and when, at a comparatively early age, she died, her broken-hearted husband could not bear even to look upon the picture, and it disappeared. He tried in every way to put an end to his life honourably; but at all times failed. He went into the Peninsular War, volunteered for every "forlorn hope" in the hope of getting killed; but he seemed to bear a charmed life, and rose to be a Field Marshal in the English Army, and lived to ninety-one years of age. Where was the picture of such fabulous value? It was not until after Lord Lynedoch's death that it was discovered in a furniture warehouse, where it had been packed away in a heavy case and concealed from view for very many years.

We now come to the picture that was the means of bringing about the historical quarrel between Gainsborough and the Royal Academy; and, in order that its history should be fully set forth in these pages, the writer has searched the various newspapers of that day with a view of showing the extreme feeling that existed. Gainsborough sent a picture of the three daughters of George III. to the Academy, with a polite request that it should be hung the same distance from the ground as it would be when placed in position in the Royal residence. The Academy Council ignored this wish, and hung it far too high. This so enraged Gainsborough—who was of a somewhat irritable disposition—that he sent for all his pictures, and had them brought back from the Academy. The Morning Herald of May 5, 1784, says:—

"Yesterday, the three pictures of the Princess Royal, Princess Elizabeth, and Princess Augusta were removed from the Exhibition Room of Somerset House on the Strand to Mr. Gainsborough's at Pall342 Mall, and from thence are to be fixed as furniture at Carlton House."

The Morning Herald was, however, wrong, there was only one picture, not three.

Again, the following extract, which appeared in the same paper on May 7, 1784, is worthy of being quoted:—

"Gainsborough, whose professional absence every visitor of the Royal Academy so feelingly deplores, is fitting up his own saloon in Pall Mall for the display of his matchless productions, where he may safely exhibit them without further offence to the Sons of Envy and Dullness.... By the bye, let it be remembered to the honour of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir William Chambers, that, so far from abetting the conduct of the Academy Hangmen, they have in the handsomest manner protested against the shameful outrage offered by these fatal executioners to genius and taste!"


The history of the picture does not end here. It remained at Carlton House until the building was pulled down, and was then removed to Buckingham Palace. At some subsequent period an unknown individual requiring a picture to fit in a space over a door to one of the State Rooms, positively had it cut down to the required size. It is still there. Its value at the present moment, had it been left untouched, would be £20,000; as it is, it is worth about half that sum. Our illustration shows the painting as it is to-day.


Two Fishers.

From the French of Guy de Maupassant.

Henri Réné Albert Guy de Maupassant was born on the 5th of August in the year 1850. His parents lived in Normandy, and were people of position; but when, in 1870, the war broke out with Prussia, Guy, then just twenty, buckled on his sword and served his country as a common soldier. When the war was over, he became acquainted with Gustave Flaubert, and the brilliant author of "Salammbô" introduced him to the world of letters, in which he quickly won himself a foremost place. He is not a very prolific writer, but the quality of his work is always fine, and he is one of the best writers of short tales now living. He is fond of using his experience of the war as a basis for his stories—of which "Two Fishers" is an excellent example, as well as of his remarkably artistic style, which tells a story in its full effect without a word too much or little.



aris was blockaded—famished—at the point of death. Even the sparrows on the housetops were few and far between, and the very sewers were in danger of becoming depopulated. People ate anything they could get.

Monsieur Morisot, watchmaker by trade, was walking early one bright January morning down the Boulevards, his hands in the pockets of his overcoat, feeling hungry and depressed, when he unexpectedly ran against a friend. He recognised Monsieur Sauvage, an old time chum of the river-side.

Every Sunday before the war Morisot used to start at daybreak with his bamboo fishing rod in his hand, his tin bait and tackle box upon his back. He used to take the train to Colombes, and to walk from344 there to the Island of Maranthe. No sooner had he arrived at the river than he used to begin to fish and continue fishing until evening. Here every Sunday he used to meet Monsieur Sauvage, a linen-draper from Paris, but stout and jovial withal, as keen a fisherman moreover as he was himself.

Often they would sit side by side, their feet dangling over the water for half a day at a time and say scarcely a word, yet little by little they became friends. Sometimes they never spoke at all. Occasionally they launched out into conversation, but they understood each other perfectly without its aid, for their tastes and ideas were the same.

On a spring morning in the bright sunshine, when the light and delicate mist hovered over the river, and these two mad fishermen enjoyed a foretaste of real summer weather, Morisot would say to his neighbour: "Hein! not bad, eh?"

And Sauvage would reply: "I know nothing to beat it."

This interchange of sentiments was quite enough to engender mutual understanding and esteem.

In autumn, toward evening, when the setting sun reddened the sky and cast shadows of the fleeting clouds over the water; when the river was decked in purple; when the whole horizon was lighted up and the figures of the two friends were illumined as with fire; when the russet-brown of the trees was lightly tinged with gold, and the trees themselves shivered with a wintry shake, Monsieur Sauvage would smile at Monsieur Morisot and say, "What a sight, eh?"

And Monsieur Morisot, without even raising his eyes from his float would answer, "Better than the Boulevards, hein!"

This morning, as soon as they had recognised each other they shook hands warmly, quite overcome at meeting again under such different circumstances.

Monsieur Sauvage sighed and murmured, "A nice state of things."

Monsieur Morisot, gloomy and sad, answered, "And what weather! To-day is New Year's day." The sky in fact was clear, bright, and beautiful.

They began to walk along, sorrowful and pensive. Said Morisot, "And our fishing, eh? What times we used to have!"

Sauvage replied, "When shall we have them again?"

They went into a little "café" and had a glass of absinthe, and then started again on their walk.

They stopped at another "café" for another glass. When they came out again they were slightly dazed, like people who had fasted long and then partaken too freely.

It was lovely weather; a soft breeze fanned their faces. Monsieur Sauvage, upon whom the fresh air was beginning to take effect, suddenly said: "Suppose we were to go!"

"Go where?"

"Why, fishing!"

"But where?"

"To our island, of course. The French outposts are at Colombes. I know Colonel Dumoulin; he will let us pass through easily enough."


Morisot trembled with delight at the very idea: "All right, I'm your man."

They separated to fetch their rods.

An hour afterwards they were walking fast along the high-road, towards the town commanded by Colonel Dumoulin.345 He smiled at their request but granted it, and they went on their way rejoicing in the possession of the password.

Soon they had crossed the lines, passed through deserted Colombes, and found themselves in the vineyard leading down to the river. It was about eleven o'clock.

On the other side the village of Argenteuil seemed as if it were dead. The hills of Orgremont and Saumons commanded the whole country round. The great plain stretching out as far as Nanterne was empty as air. Nothing in sight but cherry trees, and stretches of grey soil.

Monsieur Sauvage pointed with his finger to the heights above and said, "The Prussians are up there," and a vague sense of uneasiness seized upon the two friends.

The Prussians! They had never set eyes upon them, but for months past they had felt their presence near, encircling their beloved Paris, ruining their beloved France, pillaging, massacring, insatiable, invincible, invisible, all-powerful, and as they thought on them a sort of superstitious terror seemed to mingle with the hate they bore towards their unknown conquerors. Morisot murmured, "Suppose we were to meet them," and Sauvage replied, with the instinctive gallantry of the Parisian, "Well! we would offer them some of our fish for supper."

All the same they hesitated before venturing into the country, intimidated as they were by the all-pervading silence.

Eventually Monsieur Sauvage plucked up courage: "Come along, let's make a start; but we must be cautious."

They went through the vineyard, bent double, crawling along from bush to bush, ears and eyes upon the alert.

Only one strip of ground lay between them and the river. They began to run, and when they reached the bank they crouched down among the dry reeds for shelter.

Morisot laid his ear to the ground to listen for the sound of footsteps, but he could hear nothing. They were alone, quite alone; gradually they felt reassured and began to fish.

The deserted island of Maranthe hid them from the opposite shore. The little restaurant was closed, and looked as if it had been neglected for years.

Monsieur Sauvage caught the first gudgeon, Monsieur Morisot the second. And every minute they pulled up their lines with a little silver object dangling and struggling on the hook. Truly, a miraculous draught of fishes. As the fish were caught they put them in a net which floated in the water at their feet. They positively revelled in enjoyment of a long-forbidden sport. The sun shone warm upon their backs. They heard nothing—they thought of nothing—the rest of the world was as nothing to them. They simply fished.

Suddenly a smothered sound, as it were underground, made the earth tremble. The guns had recommenced firing. Morisot turned his head, and saw above the bank, far away to the left, the vast shadow of Mont Valerien, and over it the white wreath of smoke from the gun which had just been fired. Then a jet of flame burst forth from the fortress in answer, a moment later followed by another explosion. Then others, till every second as it seemed the mountain breathed out death, and the white smoke formed a funeral pall above it.

Monsieur Sauvage shrugged his shoulders. "They are beginning again," he said.

Monsieur Morisot, anxiously watching his float bob up and down, was suddenly seized with rage against the belligerents and growled out: "How idiotic to kill one another like that."

Monsieur Sauvage: "It's worse than the brute beasts."

Monsieur Morisot, who had just hooked a bleak, said: "And to think that it will always be thus so long as there are such things as Governments."

Monsieur Sauvage stopped him: "The Republic would not have declared war."

Monsieur Morisot in his turn: "With Kings we have foreign wars, with the Republic we have civil wars."

Then in a friendly way they began to discuss politics with the calm common-sense of reasonable and peace-loving men, agreeing on the one point that no one would ever be free. And Mont Valerien thundered unceasingly, demolishing with its cannon-balls French houses, crushing out French lives, ruining many a dream, many a joy, many a hope deferred, wrecking much happiness, and bringing to the hearts of women, girls, and mothers in France and elsewhere, sorrow and suffering which would never have an end.

"It's life," said Monsieur Morisot.

"Say rather that it's death," said Monsieur Sauvage.

They started, scared out of their lives, as they felt that someone was walking close behind them. Turning round, they saw346 four men, four tall, bearded men, dressed as servants in livery, and wearing flat caps upon their heads. These men were covering the two fishermen with rifles.


The rods dropped from their frightened hands, and floated aimlessly down the river. In an instant the Frenchmen were seized, bound, thrown into a boat, and ferried over to the island.

Behind the house they had thought uninhabited was a picket of Prussian soldiers. A hairy giant, who was sitting astride a chair, and smoking a porcelain pipe, asked them in excellent French if they had had good sport.

A soldier placed at the feet of the officer the net full of fish, which he had brought away with him.

"Not bad, I see. But we have other fish to fry. Listen, and don't alarm yourselves. You are a couple of French spies sent out to watch my movements, disguised as fishermen. I take you prisoners, and I order you to be shot. You have fallen into my hands—so much the worse for you. It is the fortune of war. Inasmuch, however, as you came through the lines you are certainly in possession of the password. Otherwise you could not get back again. Give me the word and I will let you go."

The two friends, livid with fear, stood side by side, their hands nervously twitching, but they answered not a word.

The officer continued: "No one need ever know it. You will go home quietly, and your secret will go with you. If you refuse it is death for you both, and that instantly. Take your choice."

They neither spoke nor moved.

The Prussian calmly pointed to the river and said: "Reflect, in five minutes you will be at the bottom of that water. I suppose you have families."

Mont Valerien thundered unceasingly.

The two Frenchmen stood perfectly still and silent.

The officer gave an order in German. Then he moved his chair farther away from the prisoners, and a dozen soldiers drew up in line twenty paces off.

"I will give you one minute," he said, "not one second more."

He got up leisurely, and approached the two Frenchmen. He took Morisot by the arm and said, in an undertone: "Quick! Give me the word. Your friend will know nothing. I will appear to give way."

Monsieur Morisot did not answer.

The Prussian took Monsieur Sauvage aside and said the same thing to him.

Monsieur Sauvage did not answer.

They found themselves once more side by side.

The officer gave another order; the soldiers raised their guns.

By accident Morisot's glance fell upon347 the net full of fish on the ground a few steps off. A ray of sunshine lit up their glittering bodies, and a sudden weakness came over him. "Good-bye, Monsieur Sauvage," he whispered.

"Good-bye, Monsieur Morisot," replied Monsieur Sauvage. They pressed each other's hands, trembling from head to foot.

"Fire," said the officer.

Monsieur Sauvage fell dead on his face. Monsieur Morisot, of stronger build, staggered, stumbled, and then fell right across the body of his friend, with his face turned upwards to the sky, his breast riddled with balls.

The Prussian gave another order. His men dispersed for a moment, returning with cords and stones. They tied the stones to the feet of the dead Frenchmen, and carried them down to the river.

Mont Valerien thundered unceasingly.

Two soldiers took Morisot by the head and feet. Two others did the same to Sauvage. The bodies swung to and fro, were launched into space, described a curve, and plunged feet first into the river.

The water bubbled, boiled, then calmed down, and the little wavelets, tinged with red, circled gently towards the bank.

The officer, impassive as ever, said, "It is the fishes' turn now."

His eye fell upon the gudgeon lying on the grass. He picked them up, and called out, "Wilhelm." A soldier in a white cap appeared. He threw the fish towards him.

"Fry these little animals for me at once, while they are still alive and kicking. They will be delicious."

Then he began smoking again.




T is what a simple young writer once called "a beautiful truism" that baby is one of oldest subjects in the world—indeed, it is almost as old as man—and yet it has seldom or never been treated with completeness. No doubt one reason for that is the fact that baby has never been able to make itself heard except in inarticulate cries, and no doubt also another reason is that people in general have not been until lately interested in any babies but their own.

The difference between ancient and modern times is remarkable in nothing more than in the treatment of babies. Human life, merely as such, was considered less sacred then than now, and the average view of the baby was simply utilitarian. Was the baby, male or female, a healthy baby? Was it likely to become a sturdy citizen or a stout soldier, or to be the capable mother of strong children? Then let the baby live. Babies that did not satisfy these conditions were disposed of much as we dispose of superfluous puppies or kittens. And not even now, moreover, is baby life considered throughout all the world as something in itself delightful and valuable. Savage people and tribes are not such sinners in this regard as half-civilised nations like those of India and China.

"What is the use of rearing daughters?" asked an intelligent Chinaman not long ago of an inquiring Englishman. "When young they are only an expense, and when grown they marry and go away. Whereas a son——."

What a world of difference there is between that sentiment and this of "A Cradle Song," a recent poem by the young poet W. B. Yeats, where the mother addresses her baby thus:—

"I kiss you and kiss you, my arms round my own;
Ah! how I shall miss you, my dear, when you're grown!"

To us, in these later times, and with all the sentiments of Christian civilisation fostered in us, it is almost incomprehensible that any grown human beings could have the heart to extinguish the first struggling life of babies; most of all does it seem incomprehensible that the mother, whose nature is wont to well up and flow out at the first helpless cry of her infant, and the father, whose instinct is to hover over and protect and "fend for" both mother and child in their weakness, could ever surrender, or with their own hands destroy, the creature whom they have brought into the world. But, strong as are the natural instincts, stronger still in many is religious fanaticism, stronger is a national or tribal tradition. And when we consider that it has taken ages of Christian culture and feeling to bring us to our present height of imaginative sympathy with all forms of life, till now we are agreed that no more beautiful, sacred, or divine sight is to be seen under the sun than that of a mother with a child in her arms, then we can understand that, while it is an outrage, a sin, and a crime to destroy a child among the taught of Christendom, it is but a hideous barbarism among the uninstructed of heathendom.

Turning to consider particularly the treatment of babies in various lands, by various peoples and tongues, we are compelled to note that even where infanticide or "exposure" is not practised, a similar result is worked out through the hardships—sometimes unconscious, sometimes designed—of infant life. The conditions of existence among many savage tribes are so severe that only the "fittest," the sturdiest, and wiriest constitutions can survive. There is, for instance, a very fine and intelligent tribe of blacks in the neighbourhood of the Cameroons, named the Duallas, which imposes from the first a very violent test upon the constitutions of their offspring. Like the ancient Germans, the Duallas take a child when only four or five days old and plunge it in the river. This is repeated every day till the child is strong and hardy enough to bathe itself, or till it has succumbed beneath the treatment. Other less intelligent and more savage tribes of Africans train their children to endure torture from a very early age. Even the average nursing of the negro mother is enough to try the toughness of the child's constitution. When the child is being fed he is set astride his mother's hip; and he must hold on how he can and get what nutriment he can, while his mother moves about her ordinary duties. When he is not thus attached to his mother he lies on a little bed of dried349 grass on the ground, in all the simplicity in which Nature brought him into the world, and crams himself with earth or whatever he can lay his little black hands on.

Red indian "papooses":

Akin to the negro's treatment of children—though considerably in advance as regards tenderness and picturesqueness—is that of the Red Indians of North America. The father and mother combine to make a very curious and ornamental close cradle or bed for the "papoose." In shape it is not unlike the long oval shield of the Zulu. The father cuts it out of wood or stout bark with his tomahawk and scalping-knife, and covers it with deer or buffalo skin, or, if he has not these, with matting or the softest bark of trees, leaving the upper side loose and open. The mother then adorns and embroiders it with beads and grasses, and lines and pads it with the softest grass or moss or rags she can find. The "papoose" is lightly strapped in with soft thongs fastened to the board and passing under his arms, and then the covering is laced over him as one laces up a shoe, and nothing but the face of the "papoose" is left exposed. Thus done up, baby can be hung (with a thong attached to his cradle) on the branch of a tree, or from the pole of the wigwam, or set in a corner out of the way. It may seem to us that the close confinement and the upright position of these nests cannot be very comfortable, but it is said that after tumbling about a while on the grass or among the dogs of the wigwam the Indian baby frequently cries to go back to his solitary nest. In this wise, too, is he carried, slung over his mother's back, when the tribe is on the march. The oval thing we have described is the prevalent pattern of cradle among American Indians, though in the extreme north or in the extreme south modifications of the style obtain. The Flat-head mother, for instance, makes her papoose into a round bundle, with folds of bark and thongs of deer-skin, and carries it in a wooden receptacle something like a canoe, slung on her back, with a little pent-house or shade projecting over the baby's face.

A Flat-head Mother.

It is worth noting that this complete swaddling of infants is almost universal among both barbarous and civilised peoples who dwell in sub-tropical or temperate climates. It is done not so much (or not only) to keep the child warm, but to prevent it from scratching itself, from moving about and hurting itself, and from bruising itself or breaking its tender bones if it should chance to fall. A baby, however, that is350 done up tight and flat as a Red-skin baby is, must be almost as safe on a top-shelf as on the ground. The close swaddling and padding of baby is found, the more we consider it, to be the fashion among both civilised and barbarous kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, where women are very hard-worked. It is easy to understand how that must be. When the mother digs and plants the soil, and grinds the corn, draws the water and cooks the food for her husband and children—as does the savage woman of every clime—when she spins and brews, and makes and mends, and cooks and cleans, as does the house-wife of almost every degree in almost every country of Europe; when the mother has thus her hands full of toil or occupation from morning till night, and when the expense or the convenience of a nurse is not available, what can she do, what must she do, with baby, but contrive some means of keeping him from troubling her and at the same time from damaging himself? Therefore the American Indian papoose is bound and laced in the thing we have seen; therefore the Amazon Indian child is slung in a close net-like hammock from tree to tree; therefore the New Guinea child hangs like a bunch of onions in a bag-net either from a jutting bamboo of his father's hut or on his mother's back by a strap passed across the forehead; and therefore the European baby of several countries is wrapped and padded in the ways we are about to describe.



Of all house-wives in Europe, probably the German is the hardest worked, and of all European mothers the German practises most completely the art of swathing and padding her baby, and of putting it on the shelf. The German baby is swaddled in a long, narrow pillow, which is made to meet completely round him, being tucked up over his feet and turned under his solemn chin. Three bands of gay blue ribbons are then passed round the whole bundle and tied in large, florid bows about where his chest, his waist, and his ankles may be supposed to be. In this guise he can be351 deposited as an ornament either on the sumptuous best bed, or on the kitchen dresser, or on the drawing-room table. How fond the Germans are of this presentment of baby may be guessed from the fact that it figures largely in their picture-books, among their dolls, and even in the bakers' shops at Easter-time, made of dough and covered with sugar to be devoured by greedy live babies.


The German mother has the completest confidence in the safety of her baby when swaddled thus. But the confidence is sometimes betrayed by the wrappage, as witnesseth the following story. A party of peasants set out for the christening of a new baby, the baby being swaddled and wrapped in the usual manner. The way was long to the church, and the weather was cold; indeed, snow lay on the ground. The anxiety of the christening over, the whole party—parents, sponsors, and friends—adjourned to the village inn to warm and cheer themselves with schnaps, or what the Londoner terms "a drop of something short." They then set off on their return home lightly and gaily, and their hearts being merry within them they essayed a snatch or two of song and a step or two of dance. Home at length was reached, and the interesting christened bundle was laid on the table. The whole party—parents, sponsors, and friends—stared agape and in silence; there was the pillow, the ribbons, and the bows all complete, but where was the baby? Someone ventured to raise the bundle; it was quite limp and empty! Baby was gone! Back the whole party hurried on its lonely track, and baby was found asleep in the snow, about midway between the church and the village. He was a sturdy child, and the story runs that he escaped with a violent sneeze or two, which, it is said, the anxious parents strove to allay by popping him into the oven. There can be no doubt that the German child that could survive the pillow, and the snow, and the oven, must have been sturdy indeed.

Like the German mother in her treatment of infants is the Austrian—the real Austrian, that is, who is of Teutonic origin; for the Austro-Hungarian monarchy includes so many nationalities, so many kindreds and peoples and tongues, that it would need a whole article to write of them all. And like also, with a curious difference, is the Swedish and Norwegian mother. The Swedish child, or barn—(compare the Yorkshire barn, and the Scottish bairn)—is swaddled in more complex fashion than the German. It is wound about with six-inch-wide bandages, sometimes with the arms free and sometimes not, sometimes the legs included in the whole bundle, but usually swathed separately. The bandages are traditionally supposed to make the limbs and figure grow straight. The bandaged barn is then wrapped in a pillow and tied about with ribbons and bows like the German child, except that frequently his arms are free and his legs are shortly and stoutly suggested by the tucking in of the pillow. After that he may be fastened flatwise to another pillow, and slung perpendicularly from a supple pole stuck in the wall, so that he looks like a very queer fish indeed, fit to be shown outside the shop of an angling-tackle maker. Like the German, the Swedish child always wears a cap, which is borderless and of special fineness for its first Sunday, when it is christened. Then, also, it wears beads upon its neck, and gorgeous garments with gay bows of ribbon, all which are provided by the godmother. In the remoter parts of both Sweden and Norway it is still the custom every Sunday to carry these swaddled infants to church, which is probably a long way off. They are not taken into church, however, but buried for warmth in the snow, in which a small hole is left for them to breathe through.

In less primitive parts of Sweden and Norway, however, and among the better-off, the pillow-bundle often gives place to352 a wooden cradle, shaped like a trough or a French baquet, which is usually suspended by a spiral spring from the roof. The elastic motion can scarcely be of the most delightful kind to baby we should think, for there is nothing to prevent the cradle from spinning or twisting round at its will, and so producing dizziness. In Russia, too, a similar cradle is used—contrived, however, more rudely as to both structure and motion. It is an oblong box or wicker basket, with a cord from each of its four corners converging to the hook or the rafter from which it is hung, and with a looped cord underneath, in which the mother puts her foot to swing her baby. In winter—which in Russia is long and severe—the cradles or, sometimes, the hammocks in which the youngest children sleep are slung round the great stove upon which the parents and other adult members of the family pass the night, wrapped in their sheep-skins.

A Swedish Cradle.


France is the only other country in which the pillow is a necessary complement of the baby. But the attachment of the two is nowadays characteristically French. It is a compromise between the old and the new, between tradition and fashion, and consequently it is not universal. The French baby (especially on gala days) is laid upon the pillow, and his fine frocks and gay ribbons, instead of enveloping his tender body, are spread upon him as he lies, so that he is no more than a kind of bas-relief. In France, however, it must be noted there came earlier than elsewhere in Europe—(one of the results of the Revolution)—the revolt against mere tradition and usage in the treatment of babies. Among well-to-do and aristocratic French folk, in particular, a change in that regard has long been in progress. The French child used to have always its pillow or cradle; now it begins to lie upon a fresh, wholesome bed, neither of wool nor of feathers, but of hair or straw, or among country or sea-faring folk of sweet dried fern or bracken or pungent-smelling sea-weed; and Government bureaux circulate among the peasants such directions as these:—"Lay the infant to sleep on its right side; avoid putting it to sleep in the lap before putting it in bed." The French baby used to wear a multiplicity of caps—a small close cap of fine linen, over which was a second of light flannel, and over that a third of some light and ornamental stuff; now the caps are being discarded, and baby goes openly and baldly bareheaded. There is, however, one infantile institution to which well-to-do French folk cling obstinately, and that is the foster-mother or wet-nurse. The institution had its origin ages ago, and was popular with other than fine ladies who feared to spoil their shape with nursing. It was under the early Bourbon kings that the practice first became established of sending infants into the country, to some well-known dependant of the house, to be nursed and fed and brought up. That is why one reads so much in353 French literature of foster-brothers and foster-sisters, who were the peasant children brought up in the same lap, and at the same breast as the young lords and ladies. The wet-nurse who lived in the family was—and is still—commonly a Burgundian, an ample, handsome, and good-natured type of woman, something like our own woman of Devonshire. The fine Burgundian nurse is still a feature of Parisian life, with her black eyes, her rich colour, and her opulent form, her red cloak, her full-bordered cap, and her long, floating ribbons. It is evident that this large and productive type is very old, for there is a curious statute in ancient French law, called the "droit de douze enfants:" it obtained only in Burgundy, and it enacted that all parents of a dozen children should be exempt from the payment of any taxes whatever.


A Chinese Mother & Child

Before we finally turn, whither we have all this while been tending, to the completest and wholesomest treatment of babies, let us note one or two remarkable curiosities in that way. There is, first of all, the well-worn, and now almost out-worn, tradition that Chinese female babies have their feet tortured by tight bandaging to make and keep them small. That practice, let us say at once, was never prevalent, except in very high society—like really tight-lacing in England—and even there it is now gradually becoming obsolete. But, among the sweltering millions of China there is a practice which seems to have a curious result. The mother carries her infant in a kind of bag or pannier on her back, and not—as in other countries where the dorsal carriage is affected—with the face turned outwards, but—as, probably, we ought to expect in China, where everything seems to go and come by the rule of contraries—with the face turned inwards. The result of that is that the baby's nose is of necessity pressed against its mother's back, whence, no doubt, say the learned in these matters, has been evolved, in the course of ages, the peculiarly flattened or blunted nose, characteristic of the Chinaman. Furthermore, Chinese girls, even when allowed to live, are little thought of. In the family generally they bear no names: they are known as Number One or Number Two, like convicts, and they are no more reckoned members of the family than the cat or the dog. So when a Chinaman is asked what family he has, he counts only his boys. And a boy is treated with great honour and ceremony by the women. When he is four months old, he is set for the first time in a chair, and his mother's mother sends or brings him many presents, notably among which is sugar-candy. The candy is emblematic of the sweet things of life, and it is stuck to the chair to signify the hope that he may never lack such things. His first birthday is the second great day of rejoicing. He is then set upon a table in front of many354 things, such as ink, books, tools, &c., and whichever he first lays his hand on decides his future occupation.

It is an odd thing that by no people on earth are children—both girls and boys—treated with more affection and indulgence than by the island neighbours of the Chinese—the Japanese, namely; and no children have a greater abundance of toys and amusements. It must, however, be said that the fondness and patience of Japanese parents are reciprocated by the love and obedience of their children. Both father and mother are equally devoted to their offspring. The mother commonly carries her baby slung in front of her, and when she is tired the father cheerfully accepts the burden; but fathers and mothers, and elder sisters and brothers may often be seen in the gay, sunny streets of Tokio or Yokohama giving pick-a-backs to delighted, crowing babies. The Japanese baby, moreover, is not only indulged, he is also treated with the greatest care and intelligence. He is judiciously fed; he is regularly bathed either at home or in the public bath-houses; and his skin is stimulated and his health hardened by his being frequently plunged in a cold stream, or even in the snow. A Japanese baby would appear to us a very droll creature. If you would know how he looks you have only to examine a well-made Japanese doll. He has his head shaved, with the exception of four tufts of hair—one in front, one behind, and one over either ear. He wears bright and gaudy clothes (or did wear; for children, like their parents, sad to say, are gradually being arrayed in European fashion), and his loose jacket has very long and very wide sleeves. Very poor children go barefoot; others wear stockings and clogs, the stockings having a separate pocket for the big toe.

Some Japanese Children:

To find other children as well, wisely, and wholesomely treated as children are in Japan, we must come to an English home, with a look in by the way at an American home, where, it is said by many, the child is made somewhat too much of, and therefore spoiled. But it must be sorrowfully admitted that it is only the child of well-to-do or cultured parents in Great Britain that is as well and wisely cared for, and that is as happy as the child of Japan: there is no doubt that the average of childish comfort and happiness is very much greater in Japan than in England. Yet a well-ordered English home is baby's paradise. There he is not swathed in bandages and rolled in a pillow and crowned with a nightcap; he is kept always clean and sweet, he is lightly but sufficiently clothed, and he is allowed to kick, and crow, and grow strong as much as ever he likes. He is no longer put to bed in a deep wooden cradle set on wooden rockers, but in a light and airy bassinette, which either is stationary or swings lightly upon hooks. That question of stationary or moving bassinette has become somewhat vexed among mothers, many doctors favouring the opinion that it is neither necessary nor desirable that infants should be sent to sleep with rocking or swinging. The old rocking cradle had a much more fearsome motion than the swinging bassinette. Rocked by a careless or energetic person it would often make the baby ill; indeed, there used to be a tradition among humble mothers (a tradition which still obtains in Scotland) that if the cradle was rocked when empty the baby would certainly be ill when next put into it. The rocking cradle with its great wooden hood has had its day (and how magnificent the height of355 its day was may be guessed from the cradle of James I. that was shown in the Stuart Exhibition)—it has had its day, and is now departing into the limbo of things obsolete and forgotten, and thither probably in the course of years the swinging bassinette will follow it.

We have in this article treated of babies only when they are inarticulate, when none but the mother or the constant nurse can understand them. That is commonly reckoned by the stranger or the mere male person the least interesting age of all, but to the mother—and, indeed, to all women and grown girls—it is the most interesting. Then the baby's clinging helplessness, its wide stare of wonder, and its bright, human smile and crow of response to a kind look or tone, suffuse the female heart with an unimaginable delight. What pride is felt in the health and beauty and weight of the baby! ("Here's a leg for a babe of a week!" says the doctor in Tennyson's "Grandmother.") How his active crawling is admired!—and sometimes his singular taste for buttons, and marbles, and cinders! With what wonder and gratulation is the appearance of his first tooth hailed! With what expressions of joy is attention called to his first attempts at walking, and how "dear" he is when he first goes "pattering over the boards!" But beyond and beneath all these common phenomena the earliest infancy has ravishing mysteries which only the mother can patiently watch, and pore over, and understand. Every day, every hour brings to her a new joy, of which she can speak to no one; for that which no else one sees—the waking attention, the dawning reason—the mother sees, and that which no one else hears the mother hears.


"On the Stump for the Pump."

By Sir Wilfrid Lawson.

"The Editor of The Strand asks Sir W. Lawson to send him an article with some such title as 'Thirty Years of Temperance Advocacy,' or 'On the Stump for the Pump.'"

You ask me to write "On the Stump for the Pump," Don't you think 'twould be better, "The Pump on the Stump?" Sure that "pump" should be able a tale to unfold, For you hint in your letter it's thirty years old! Just think of one pumping for thirty long years, And the water scarce yet has got up to their ears. Yet while water's so hard to the right pitch to rise, The full tide of beer mounts quite up to our eyes. There is Goschen, and Randolph, and Booth, and old Smith, Men of fame and renown, and great vigour and pith, They come with their brooms, and they come with their mops, And they labour and sweep, but the tide never stops. Away in the torrent go virtue and wealth, Peace, plenty, and happiness, order and health, And "Bung" with a chuckle cries, "Pump as you may, But beer and the brewer still carry the day." Now you kindly have asked me to say what I think On this troublesome, terrible question of drink. So the "Pump" will endeavour to pour something out, A "pump" at the least should be able to "spout!" Well, well, I must hope that I shall not quite fail, So the "Pump," as you've asked him, will pour out his tale.

Almost everyone who proposes a toast at a public dinner commences his speech by saying that he feels himself to be the most unfit person who could have been selected to perform the duty.

In this matter I am neither the most fit, nor the most unfit person to give such a narrative as the Editor desires. There are many advocates of temperance still living who have addressed far more audiences on the subject than I have done, and whose account of their experience would be far more interesting and instructive than mine can be.

On the other hand—

"I've been about a bit in my time,
And troubles I've seen a few;
But I always found it the best of plans
To paddle my own canoe."

And I have sometimes had to paddle that canoe through tolerably stormy waters. For generations a "Temperance lecturer" has usually been viewed by the "respectable" classes with a mixture of pity and contempt. Drink was blended with all our ideas of real happiness and enjoyment. Doctors ordered drink as a potent medicine, and, at the same time, as a valuable article of daily diet. Clergymen, certainly at times, mildly hinted that their flocks might peradventure be more moderate in its consumption, but rarely indeed condemned the thing itself.

Elections were won to the inspiriting cry of the "National Church and the National Beverage," while all those who had enriched themselves by the making and selling of strong drink were held in the highest esteem and veneration by the rest of the community.

For anyone to enter on a crusade against drink was held to be audacious, vulgar, disreputable, and unconstitutional, and a man who took such a course was considered to be, if not a fool, certainly a hypocritical knave. I have always thought that Dickens' portrait of "Stiggins, the Temperance lecturer," did much to maintain this idea. Any way, it was in full force at the time when I ventured to launch the above-mentioned cause.

But I did not start as a Temperance lecturer. The field was already well occupied. Father Mathew, Joseph Livesey, Samuel Bowling, and many other devoted men had said pretty well all that could be said in favour of abstinence from intoxicating liquor, and, where their teaching had been357 followed, had done a world of good. What struck me as very hard was, that these noble men should expend time, money, and labour at their own charges in promoting the Temperance reformation which Richard Cobden says "lies at the foundation of every social and political reform," and that all the time the Government of the country should appoint thousands and thousands of agents to promote the sale and consumption of the very article which causes all the drunkenness and misery.



Be it remembered that the philanthropic Temperance advocates got no monetary premium on any success which they might attain among the people, while the Government agents who sold the drink were pecuniarily interested in every glass which they could get their customers to consume—their system being one of "payment by results." For anyone to raise his voice against this most lucrative and powerful monopoly was looked upon as an audacious impertinence. Our meetings were occasionally broken up by the friends and supporters of the liquor power. I remember a big meeting at Exeter with the present Bishop of London in the chair. A disorderly force of men well primed for the business invaded and pervaded the hall, yelling, singing, and jostling the audience. They broke up the chairs and used them as weapons of offence. The Bishop kept his seat, perfectly calm and collected, but, as the police declined to interfere for our protection, the enemy succeeded in their object and broke up the meeting, after358 breaking the ribs of our unlucky men and covering the Bishop and Sir G. Trevelyan and myself with flour, so that we looked as though we had just returned from the "Derby."

At Sandwich, also, we once had a great row. The publicans' friends pretty well packed the meeting, and with songs, coees, horns, &c., prevented our speaking. But we got a speech out of one of the rioters, and although short, it was the best speech I had ever heard in favour of prohibition.

The man was tolerably drunk, but able to stand. Close to the platform was sitting the great brewer of the place, looking most demure and respectable, but who had probably directly or indirectly organised the riot. Steadying himself as well as he could, the man pointed with his hand towards the great brewer, and simply said, "I want to know what's to become of this gentleman?" If anyone will ponder on this speech for a moment or two the nature and object of the licensing system will be clear enough.


As a rule, I think it was generally in the places where the brewers—our British Ale Kings—were exceptionally strong that these violent scenes occurred. But generally when there had been a pretty good rowdy meeting, we used to come again soon after, when our friends, taught by the experience, used to take precautions for ensuring "law and order," so that the rows probably eventually did us more good than harm.

One thing which struck me much in perambulating the country was, that wherever I went the friends who kindly entertained me were almost always pessimists, who asserted that the place we were then in was one of the very worst places for drunkenness which could possibly be found.


Of course they could always be the worst, but this testimony leads one to think that things must be bad enough all round.

I suppose the Editor, when asking for reminiscences of "Thirty Years' Temperance Advocacy" includes advocacy in the House of Commons. No one would think that it was personally needed in that assembly, but only for the check of intemperance outside.

Yet I once heard a member, who was known not to be a teetotaler, say that he could not believe something which the Government had stated, although he could swallow a great deal—a statement which was received with great acquiescent cheering from all parts of the House. But my advocacy in the House was of prohibition of the liquor traffic, and not of total abstinence. I proposed that there should be prohibitory districts wherever the inhabitants clearly and distinctly expressed a desire for freedom from liquor shops. This was thought to be a most shocking proposition. Was it to be supposed that the magistrates, who were the licensing authorities, did not know the requirements of the neighbourhood far better than the inhabitants of that neighbourhood knew it themselves! The very359 idea was looked upon as a species of blasphemy.

A Bill must have two names endorsing it before it can be introduced into the House of Commons. At that time I hardly knew where I should get the second name which was required. I at last got it in this way. Mr. Bazley (afterwards Sir Thomas Bazley) then represented Manchester. Some working men who were either his neighbours or constituents, and who were very keen about the Bill, interviewed him and talked over the Bill. I fancy he made some objection to it, when the men said, "Mr. Bazley, is there not a village which belongs to you, and where you prohibit all sale of drink?"

"Yes," said Mr. Bazley, "and with the best effect."

"And will you not give us the same power of protecting ourselves which you enjoy?"

"I will," said Mr. Bazley, and he put his name on the back of my Bill.


But few indeed would vote for such a measure in those days. Lord Randolph Churchill said that in that very year, 1890, two-thirds of the members of the House of Commons were terrorised by the liquor trade. And many must have been in that abject condition in 1865, when the first Bill was introduced. At all events, whether through terror of publicans, or contempt for Temperance advocates, or ignorance of the enormity of the evil arising from drinking, the great majority of the House of Commons were dead against any legislation tending to cripple the "liquor traffic." We had all the old arguments trotted out—"Liberty of the Subject"—"Making men sober by Act of Parliament," and so forth. I have sometimes wondered why they thought it absolutely necessary to iterate and reiterate all this unmeaning jargon. They had made up their minds that it would not be safe to vote against the publicans, and the preliminary talk was a superfluous expenditure of energy. On the first division I only got about forty votes, and that was a larger number than most persons expected. But I must not commence a long story of how we slowly but steadily gained ground in the House. The history of all reforms is in its general features pretty much the same. Someone has roughly summed up the progress of reforms by saying, First, they are laughed at; then they are said to be contrary to Scripture; then it is said that everybody knew them before. We have long left for ever the days of divisions of forty, and now almost everyone admits that the public are entitled to some powers of self-protection from the liquor trade. It is still thought the proper thing to call everyone who is in earnest in trying to get that protection for the people, an extreme man; but everyone knows that this is only the orthodox political slang which must be employed when argument is wanting.

Lord Rosebery has declared that the Temperance men are the backbone of the Liberal Party. The Conservative Party also now announce themselves to be warm advocates of Temperance. We cannot say that they have been at it for "thirty years," since they only took, as a party, any overt legislative action two years ago by their Compensation to Brewers' Bill, which they again attempted to pass last year.

Many persons thought that endowing publichouses would not tend to reduce drinking, but, be that as it may, it was pleasant to see the intense zeal with which the leaders of the Conservative Party devoted themselves to what they considered the interests of Temperance. All the other business of the Session was set aside. The Government Press urged no surrender. Diminishing majorities did not damp their ardour. The forces were summoned to be360 present at all costs when this Temperance measure was on hand. One memorable day many legislators were absolutely compelled to hurry back from Ascot to take part in an early division. Lord Hartington was among the number, and it is said that, being only just in time, he was seen to run through the lobby, a fact unprecedented in modern political history.

All this proves that there never were so many Temperance advocates as there are at this instant. At the same time, I am inclined to think that there has seldom been more drinking than there is in the season of good trade and high wages. Whether it will require an additional thirty years of Temperance advocacy before we deal an effectual blow at what has been termed the "intoxicating interests," who can say? The good sign, as noted above, is, that everybody is calling out that something must be done. Englishmen generally say this for a long time before they really do anything, but the recent prolific response to General Booth's appeal for funds to rescue the perishing, seems to indicate that the public are really and keenly touched by all the misery around them.

The General says "Nine-tenths of England's misery is Drink." That is just what the Temperance advocates have been saying for nearly twice thirty years. Their hour of triumph is growing appreciably nearer. It will come so soon as the good, noble, and self-denying men who now deal with the misery which General Booth tells us is the effect of drink, will strike at the drink which is the cause of that misery. When we have done that, we may confidently look forward to an England which shall be as different from the England of to-day, as light is from darkness.

"Then shall Misery's sons and daughters
In their lowly dwelling sing,
Bounteous as the Nile's dark waters,
Undiscovered as their spring;
We shall scatter through the land
Blessing with a secret hand."


The King's Stratagem.

By Stanley G. Weyman.


N the days when Henry the Fourth of France was King of Navarre only, and in that little kingdom of hills and woods which occupies the south-west corner of the larger country, was with difficulty supporting the Huguenot cause against the French court and the Catholic League—in the days when every isolated castle, from the Garonne to the Pyrenees, was a bone of contention between the young king and the crafty queen-mother, Catherine de Medicis, a conference between these notable personages took place in the picturesque town of La Réole.


La Réole still rises grey, time-worn, and half-ruined on a lofty cliff above the broad green waters of the Garonne, forty odd miles from Bordeaux. But it is a small place now. In the days of which we are speaking, however, it was important, strongly fortified, and guarded by a castle which looked down on a thousand red-tiled roofs, rising in terraces from the river. As the meeting-place of the two sovereigns it was for the time as gay as Paris itself, Catherine having brought with her a bevy of fair maids of honour, in the effect of whose charms she perhaps put as much trust as in her own diplomacy. But the peaceful appearance of the town was delusive, for even while every other house in it rang with music and silvery laughter, each party was ready to fly to arms without warning, if it saw that any advantage was to be gained thereby.

On an evening shortly before the end of the conference two men sat at play in a room, the deep-embrasured window of which looked down from a considerable height upon the river. The hour was late, and the town silent. Outside, the moonlight fell bright and pure on sleeping fields and long, straight lines of poplars. Within the room a silver lamp suspended from the ceiling threw light upon the table, leaving the farther parts of the room in shadow. The walls were hung with faded tapestry. On362 the low bedstead in one corner lay a handsome cloak, a sword, and one of the clumsy pistols of the period. Across a chair lay another cloak and sword, and on the window seat, beside a pair of saddle-bags, were strewn half-a-dozen such trifles as soldiers carried from camp to camp—a silver comfit-box, a jewelled dagger, a mask, and velvet cap.

The faces of the players, as they bent over the dice, were in shadow. One—a slight, dark man of middle height, with a weak chin, and a mouth as weak, but shaded by a dark moustache—seemed, from the occasional oaths which he let drop, to be losing heavily. Yet his opponent, a stouter and darker man, with a sword-cut across his left temple, and that swaggering air which has at all times marked the professional soldier, showed no signs of triumph or elation. On the contrary, though he kept silence, or spoke only a formal word or two, there was a gleam of anxiety and suppressed excitement in his eyes, and more than once he looked keenly at his companion, as if to judge of his feelings or learn whether the time had come for some experiment which he meditated. But for this, an observer looking in through the window would have taken the two for only one more instance of the hawk and pigeon.

At last the younger player threw down the caster, with a groan.

"You have the luck of the evil one," he said, bitterly. "How much is that?"

"Two thousand crowns," replied the other without emotion. "You will play no more?"

"No! I wish to heaven I had never played at all!" was the answer. As he spoke the loser rose, and going to the window stood looking moodily out. For a few moments the elder man remained seated, gazing at him furtively, but at length he too rose, and, stepping softly to his companion, touched him on the shoulder. "Your pardon a moment, M. le Vicomte," he said. "Am I right in concluding that the loss of this sum will inconvenience you?"

"A thousand fiends!" exclaimed the young Vicomte, turning on him wrathfully. "Is there any man whom the loss of two thousand crowns would not inconvenience? As for me——"

"For you," continued the other, smoothly filling up the pause, "shall I be wrong in saying that it means something like ruin?"

"Well, sir, and if it does?" the young man retorted, drawing himself up haughtily, his cheek a shade paler with passion. "Depend upon it you shall be paid. Do not be afraid of that!"

"Gently, gently, my friend," the winner answered, his patience in strong contrast with the other's violence. "I had no intention of insulting you, believe me. Those who play with the Vicomte de Lanthenon are not wont to doubt his honour. I spoke only in your own interest. It has occurred to me, Vicomte, that the matter might be arranged at less cost to yourself."

"How?" was the curt question.

"May I speak freely?" The Vicomte shrugged his shoulders, and the other, taking silence for consent, proceeded: "You, Vicomte, are governor of Lusigny for the King of Navarre; I, of Créance, for the King of France. Our towns lie only three leagues apart. Could I by any chance, say on one of these fine nights, become master of Lusigny, it would be worth more than two thousand crowns to me. Do you understand?"

"No," the young man answered slowly, "I do not."

"Think over what I have said, then," was the brief answer.

For a full minute there was silence in the room. The Vicomte gazed out of the window with knitted brows and compressed lips, while his companion, sitting down, leant back in his chair, with an air of affected carelessness. Outside, the rattle of arms and hum of voices told that the watch were passing through the street. The church bell struck one. Suddenly the Vicomte burst into a hoarse laugh, and, turning, snatched up his cloak and sword. "The trap was very well laid, M. le Capitaine," he said almost jovially; "but I am still sober enough to take care of myself—and of Lusigny. I wish you good-night. You shall have your money, never fear."

"Still, I am afraid it will cost you dearly," the Captain answered, as he rose and moved towards the door to open it for his guest. His hand was already on the latch when he paused. "Look here," he said, "what do you say to this, then? I will stake the two thousand crowns you have lost to me, and another thousand besides against your town. Fool! no one can hear us. If you win, you go off a free man with my thousand. If you lose, you put me in possession one of these fine nights. What do you say to that? A single throw to decide."


The young man's pale face reddened. He turned, and his eyes sought the table and the dice irresolutely. The temptation indeed came at an unfortunate moment, when the excitement of play had given way to depression, and he saw nothing before him outside the door, on which his hand was laid, but the cold reality of ruin. The temptation to return, and by a single throw set himself right with the world was too much for him. Slowly he came back to the table. "Confound you!" he said irritably. "I think you are the devil himself, Captain."

"Don't talk child's talk!" said the other coldly, drawing back as his victim advanced. "If you do not like the offer you need not take it."


But the young man's fingers had already closed on the dice. Picking them up he dropped them once, twice, thrice on the table, his eyes gleaming with the play-fever. "If I win?" he said doubtfully.

"You carry away a thousand crowns," answered the Captain, quietly. "If you lose you contrive to leave one of the gates of Lusigny open for me before next full moon. That is all."

"And what if I lose, and not pay the forfeit?" asked the Vicomte, laughing weakly.

"I trust to your honour," said the Captain. And, strange as it may seem, he knew his man. The young noble of the day might betray his cause and his trust, but the debt of honour incurred at play was binding on him.

"Well," said the Vicomte, "I agree. Who is to throw first?"

"As you will," replied the Captain, masking under an appearance of indifference a real excitement which darkened his cheek, and caused the pulse in the old wound on his face to beat furiously.

"Then do you go first," said the Vicomte.

"With your permission," assented the Captain. And taking the dice up in the caster he shook them with a practised hand, and dropped them on the board. The throw was seven.

The Vicomte took up the caster and, as he tossed the dice into it, glanced at the window. The moonlight shining athwart it fell in silvery sheen on a few feet of the floor. With the light something of the silence and coolness of the night entered also, and appealed to him. For a few seconds he hesitated. He even made as if he would have replaced the box on the table. But the good instinct failed. It was too late, and with a muttered word, which his dry lips refused to articulate, he threw the dice. Seven!

Neither of the men spoke, but the Captain rattled the little cubes, and again flung them on the table, this time with a slight air of bravado. They rolled one over the other and lay still. Seven again!

The young Vicomte's brow was damp, and his face pale and drawn. He forced a quavering laugh, and with an unsteady hand took his turn. The dice fell far apart, and lay where they fell. Six!

The winner nodded gravely. "The luck is still with me," he said, keeping his eyes on the table that the light of triumph which had suddenly leapt into them might not be seen. "When do you go back to your command, Vicomte?"

The unhappy man stood like one stunned,364 gazing at the two little cubes which had cost him so dearly. "The day after to-morrow," he muttered hoarsely, striving to collect himself.

"Then shall we say the following evening?" asked the Captain.

"Very well."

"We quite understand one another," continued the winner, eyeing his man watchfully, and speaking with more urgency. "I may depend on you, M. le Vicomte, I presume?"

"The Lanthenons have never been wanting to their word," the young nobleman answered, stung into sudden haughtiness. "If I live I will put Lusigny into your hands, M. le Capitaine. Afterwards I will do my best to recover it—in another way."


"I shall be entirely at your disposal," replied the Captain, bowing lightly. And in a moment he was alone—alone with his triumph, his ambition, his hopes for the future—alone with the greatness to which his capture of Lusigny was to be the first step, and which he should enjoy not a whit the less because as yet fortune had dealt out to him more blows than caresses, and he was still at forty, after a score of years of roughest service, the governor of a paltry country town.

Meanwhile, in the darkness of the narrow streets, the Vicomte was making his way to his lodgings in a state of despair and unhappiness most difficult to describe. Chilled, sobered, and affrighted he looked back and saw how he had thrown for all and lost all, how he had saved the dregs of his fortune at the expense of his loyalty, how he had seen a way of escape and lost it for ever! No wonder that as he trudged alone through the mud and darkness of the sleeping town his breath came quickly and his chest heaved, and he looked from side to side as a hunted animal might, uttering great sighs. Ah, if he could only have retraced the last three hours!

Worn out and exhausted, he entered his lodging, and securing the door behind him stumbled up the stone stairs and entered his room. The impulse to confide his misfortunes to someone was so strong upon him that he was glad to see a dark form half sitting, half lying in a chair before the dying embers of a wood fire. In those days a man's natural confidant was his valet, the follower, half-friend, half-servant, who had been born on his estate, who lay on a pallet at the foot of his bed, who carried his billets-doux and held his cloak at the duello, who rode near his stirrup in fight and nursed him in illness, who not seldom advised him in the choice of a wife, and lied in support of his suit.

The young Vicomte flung his cloak over a chair. "Get up, you rascal!" he cried, impatiently. "You pig, you dog!" he continued, with increasing anger. "Sleeping there as though your master were not ruined by that scoundrel of a Breton! Bah!" he added, gazing bitterly at his follower, "you are of the canaille, and have neither honour to lose nor a town to betray!"

The sleeping man moved in his chair and half turned. The Vicomte, his patience exhausted, snatched the bonnet from his head, and threw it on the ground. "Will you listen?" he said. "Or go, if you choose look for another master. I am ruined! Do you hear? Ruined, Gil! I have lost all—money, land, Lusigny itself, at the dice!"

The man, aroused at last, stooped with a lazy movement, and picking up his hat dusted it with his hand, and rose with a yawn to his feet.



"I am afraid, Vicomte," he said, his tones quiet as they were, sounding like thunder in the Vicomte's astonished and bewildered ears, "I am afraid that if you have lost Lusigny, you have lost something which was not yours to lose!"

As he spoke he struck the embers with his foot, and the fire, blazing up, shone on his face. The Vicomte saw, with unutterable confusion and dismay, that the man before him was not Gil at all, but the last person in the world to whom he should have betrayed himself. The astute smiling eyes, the aquiline nose, the high forehead, and projecting chin, which the short beard and moustache scarcely concealed, were only too well known to him. He stepped back with a cry of horror. "Sire!" he said, and then his tongue failed him. He stood silent, pale, convicted, his chin on his breast. The man to whom he had confessed his treachery was the master whom he had conspired to betray.

"I had suspected something of this," Henry of Navarre continued, after a pause, a tinge of irony in his tone. "Rosny told me that that old fox, the Captain of Créance, was affecting your company a good deal, M. le Vicomte, and I find that, as usual, his suspicions were well-founded. What with a gentleman who shall be nameless, who has bartered a ford and a castle for the favour of Mademoiselle de Luynes, and yourself, I am blest with some faithful followers! For shame!" he continued, seating himself with dignity, "have you nothing to say for yourself?"

The young noble stood with his head bowed, his face white. This was ruin, indeed, absolutely irremediable. "Sire," he said at last, "your Majesty has a right to my life, not to my honour."

"Your honour!" quoth Henry, biting contempt in his tone.

The young man started, and for a second his cheek flamed under the well-deserved reproach; but he recovered himself. "My debt to your Majesty," he said, "I am willing to pay."

"Since pay you must," Henry muttered softly.

"But I claim to pay also my debt to the Captain of Créance."

"Oh," the King answered. "So you would have me take your worthless life, and give up Lusigny?"

"I am in your hands, sire."

"Pish, sir!" Henry replied in angry astonishment. "You talk like a child. Such an offer, M. de Lanthenon, is folly, and you know it. Now listen to me. It was lucky for you that I came in to-night, intending to question you. Your madness is known to me only, and I am willing to overlook it. Do you hear? Cheer up, therefore, and be a man. You are young; I forgive you. This shall be between you and me only," the young prince continued,366 his eyes softening as the other's head drooped, "and you need think no more of it until the day when I shall say to you, 'Now, M. de Lanthenon, for France and for Henry, strike!'"

He rose as the last word passed his lips, and held out his hand. The Vicomte fell on one knee, and kissed it reverently, then sprang to his feet again. "Sire," he said, standing erect, his eyes shining, "you have punished me heavily, more heavily than was needful. There is only one way in which I can show my gratitude, and that is by ridding you of a servant who can never again look your enemies in the face."

"What new folly is this?" said Henry, sternly. "Do you not understand that I have forgiven you?"

"Therefore I cannot give up Lusigny, and I must acquit myself of my debt to the Captain of Créance in the only way which remains," replied the young man, firmly. "Death is not so hard that I would not meet it twice over rather than again betray my trust."

"This is midsummer madness!" said the King, hotly.

"Possibly," replied the Vicomte, without emotion; "yet of a kind to which your Majesty is not altogether a stranger."

The words appealed strongly to that love of the chivalrous which formed part of the King's nature, and was one cause alike of his weakness and his strength, which in its more extravagant flights gave opportunity after opportunity to his enemies, in its nobler and saner expressions won victories which all his astuteness and diplomacy could not have compassed. He stood looking with half-hidden admiration at the man whom two minutes before he had despised.

"I think you are in jest," he said, presently.

"No, sire," the young man answered, gravely. "In my country they have a proverb about us. 'The Lanthenons,' say they, 'have ever been bad players, but good payers.' I will not be the first to be worse than my name!"


He spoke with so quiet a determination that the King was staggered, and for a minute or two paced the room in silence, inwardly reviling the generous obstinacy of his weak-kneed supporter, yet unable to withhold his admiration from it. At length he stopped, with a low, abrupt exclamation.

"Wait!" he cried. "I have it! Ventre Saint Gris, man, I have it!" His eyes sparkled, and, with a gentle laugh, he hit the table a sounding blow. "Ha! ha! I have it!" he repeated, joyously.

The young noble gazed at him in surprise, half sullen, half incredulous. But when Henry in low, rapid tones had expounded his plan, the Vicomte's face underwent a change. Hope and life sprang367 into it. The blood flew to his cheeks. His whole aspect softened. In a moment he was on his knee, mumbling the King's hand, his eyes full of joy and gratitude. After that the two talked long, the murmur of their voices broken more than once by the ripple of low laughter. When they at length separated, and Henry, his face hidden by the folds of his cloak, had stolen away to his lodgings, where, no doubt, more than one watcher was awaiting him with a mind full of anxious fears, the Vicomte threw open his window and looked out on the night. The moon had set, but the stars still shone peacefully in the dark canopy above. He remembered on a sudden, his throat choking with silent repressed emotion, that he was looking towards his home—the stiff grey pile among the beech woods of Navarre which had been in his family since the days of St. Louis, and which he had so lightly risked. And he registered a vow in his heart that of all Henry's servants he would henceforth be the most faithful.

Meanwhile the Captain of Créance was enjoying the sweets of coming triumph. He did not look out into the night, it is true, but pacing up and down the room he planned and calculated, considering how he might make the most of his success. He was still comparatively young. He had years of strength before him. He would rise. He would not easily be satisfied. The times were troubled, opportunities many, fools many; bold men with brains and hands few.

At the same time he knew that he could be sure of nothing until Lusigny was actually his, and he spent the next few days in considerable suspense. But no hitch occurred. The Vicomte made the necessary communications to him; and men in his own pay informed him of dispositions ordered by the governor of Lusigny which left him in no doubt that the loser intended to pay his debt.

It was, therefore, with a heart already gay with anticipation that the Captain rode out of Créance two hours before midnight on an evening eight days later. The night was dark, but he knew the road well. He had with him a powerful force, composed in part of thirty of his own garrison, bold, hardy fellows, and in part of six score horsemen, lent him by the governor of Montauban. As the Vicomte had undertaken to withdraw, under some pretence or other, one-half of his command and to have one of the gates opened by a trusty hand, the Captain trotted along in excellent spirits, and stopped to scan with approval the dark line of his troopers as they plodded past him, the jingle of their swords and corselets ringing sweet music in his ears. He looked for an easy victory; but it was not any slight misadventure that would rob him of his prey. As his company wound on by the river-side, their accoutrements reflected in the stream or passed into the black shadow of the olive grove which stands a mile to the east of Lusigny, he felt little doubt of the success of his enterprise.


Treachery apart, that is; and of treachery there was no sign. The troopers had scarcely halted under the last clump of trees368 before a figure detached itself from one of the largest trunks, and advanced to their leader's rein. The Captain saw with surprise that it was the Vicomte himself. For a second he thought something had gone wrong, but the young noble's first words reassured him. "It is all right," M. de Lanthenon whispered, as the Captain bent down to him. "I have kept my word, and I think that there will be no resistance. The planks for crossing the moat lie opposite the gate. Knock thrice at the latter, and it will be opened. There are not fifty armed men in the place."

"Good!" the Captain answered, in the same cautious tone. "But you—"

"I am believed to be elsewhere, and must be gone. I have far to ride to-night. Farewell."

"Till we meet again," the Captain answered; and with that his ally glided away and was lost in the darkness. A cautious word set the troop again in motion, and a very few minutes saw them standing on the edge of the moat, the outline of the gateway tower looming above them, a shade darker than the wrack of clouds which overhead raced silently across the sky. A moment of suspense, while one and another shivered—for there is that in a night attack which touches the nerves of the stoutest—and the planks were found, and as quietly as possible laid across the moat. This was so successfully done that it evoked no challenge, and the Captain crossing quickly with some picked men, stood almost in the twinkling of an eye under the shadow of the gateway. Still no sound was heard save the hurried breathing of those at his elbow or the stealthy tread of others crossing. Cautiously he knocked three times and waited. The third rap had scarcely sounded, however, before the gate rolled silently open, and he sprang in, followed by his men.

So far so good. A glance at the empty street and the porter's pale face told him at once that the Vicomte had kept his word. But he was too old a soldier to take anything for granted, and forming up his men as quickly as they entered, he allowed no one to advance until all were inside, and then, his trumpet sounding a wild note of defiance, his force sprang forward in two compact bodies, and in a moment the town awoke to find itself in the hands of the enemy.

As the Vicomte had promised, there was no resistance. In the small keep a score of men did indeed run to arms, but only to lay them down without striking a blow when they became aware of the force opposed to them. Their leader, sullenly acquiescing, gave up his sword and the keys of the town to the victorious Captain, who, as he sat his horse in the middle of the market-place, giving his orders and sending off riders with the news, already saw himself in fancy Governor of a province and Knight of the Holy Ghost.


As the red light of the torches fell on steel caps and polished hauberks, on the369 serried ranks of pikemen, and the circle of white-faced townsmen, the picturesque old square looked doubly picturesque. Every five minutes, with a clatter of iron on the rough pavement and a shower of sparks, a horseman sprang away to tell the news at Montauban or Cahors; and every time that this occurred, the Captain, astride on his charger, felt a new sense of power and triumph.

Suddenly the low murmur of voices was broken by a new sound, the hurried clang of hoofs, not departing but arriving. There was something in the noise which made the Captain prick his ears, and secured for the messenger a speedy passage through the crowd. Even at the last the man did not spare his horse, but spurring to the Captain's side, then and then only sprang to the ground. His face was pale, his eyes were bloodshot. His right arm was bound up in blood-stained cloths. With an oath of amazement, the Captain recognised the officer whom he had left in charge of Créance, and thundered out, "What is it?"

"They have got Créance!" the man gasped, reeling as he spoke. "They have got Créance!"

"Who?" the Captain shrieked, his face purple with rage.

"The little man of Béarn! He assaulted it five hundred strong an hour after you left, and had the gate down before we could fire a dozen shots. We did what we could, but we were but one to seven. I swear, Captain, we did all we could. Look at this!"

Almost black in the face, the Captain swore another frightful oath. It was not only that he saw governorship and honours vanish like Will-o'-the-wisps, but that he saw even more quickly that he had made himself the laughing-stock of a kingdom! And he had. To this day, among the stories which the southern French love to tell of the prowess and astuteness of the great Henry, there is none more frequently told, or more frequently laughed over, than that of the famous exchange of Créance for Lusigny.


Portraits of Celebrities at different times of their Lives.

From a Painting by R. Lehmann.
AGE 37.

From a Photo. by Messrs. Elliott & Fry.


Born 1815.


T the age of thirty-seven, as our first portrait shows him, Earl Granville, who had succeeded to the peerage six years earlier, and who had already been for four years Vice-President of the Board of Trade, had just obtained a seat in the Cabinet, and succeeded Lord Palmerston at the Foreign Office. Since that time Lord Granville has filled almost every office of importance in successive Liberal Governments. He was moreover, as everybody knows, one of Her Majesty's most confidential friends and counsellors. No Royal ceremony, whether a marriage, a christening, or a funeral, was complete without his well-known dignified, yet genial presence; and he probably attended more ceremonies of this kind, at different Courts of Europe, than any other person of his time.

Earl Granville's recent lamented death gives the above portraits a melancholy interest.



Born 1820.


UR portraits of Mr. G. F. Watts depict him at most interesting ages. The first was painted at seventeen by Mr. Watts himself, at which age his first picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy. At twenty-one, he had painted his first great historical picture; while at forty-seven, the age of our third portrait, he had just received the title of R.A.

From a Painting by G. F. Watts.
AGE 17.

From a Painting.
AGE 21.

From a Photo. by Mrs. Cameron.
AGE 47.

From a Photo. by Messrs. Cameron & Smith.
AGE 68.



Born 1827.


LTHOUGH our first portrait shows Sir John Millais at the early age of twenty-two, he was already an important figure in the world of Art; for he had gained his first medal at the Society of Arts when only nine, and had, like Mr. Watts, exhibited his first picture in the Royal Academy at seventeen. At the age of this portrait he had founded, with Holman Hunt and D. G. Rossetti, the famous Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which the object was to depict Nature, not as tinged by the imagination, but as they really saw it; a movement which was at first received with the most violent abuse, but which, greatly owing to the eloquent support of Mr. Ruskin, at last made good its way. Two years later he was elected A.R.A., and ten years afterwards, R.A. At the age depicted in our second portrait he was known, as he is still, as a painter without rival in range, manliness, and vigour, and in bold and masterly brush-work. In the year 1885 the Queen marked her sense of his commanding abilities by conferring upon him the honour of a baronetcy.

From a Photograph.
AGE 22.

From a Photograph.
AGE 40.

From a Photo. Messrs. Window & Grove



Born 1842.


IR Richard Webster at seventeen, the age of our first portrait, was leaving the Charterhouse School for Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was greatly distinguished as an athlete, and where he won the two miles race against Oxford. Our second portrait shows him at this period, in his running costume. At thirty-two, as in our third portrait, he had already so distinguished himself at the Bar that two years later he was made a Q.C., at the earliest age on record. The brilliance of Sir Richard's subsequent career is well known. It may interest our readers to be told that some portraits, at a country house, of Sir Richard at various stages of his life, first suggested to the Editor the notion of this series, which has proved so popular.

From a Photo. by Maull & Co.
AGE 17.

From a Photo. by Mayland, Cambridge.
AGE 22.

From a Photo. by Hills & Saunders.
AGE 32.

For the above photographs we are indebted to the kindness of Sir Richard Webster.

From a Photo. by Hughes & Mullins, Ryde.




ISS Marion Terry is a clever member of a clever family, and her ability developed itself early. Already at the age of six (as in the first portrait above given) she was appearing in the part of little Sybil in Tom Taylor's play, "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing." This childish effort was followed up by others more successful still, and, at the age at which our second portrait represents her, she had made a strong impression, as a mature actress, in the exacting part of Ophelia. Then she appeared in several of Mr. W. S. Gilbert's dramas, as Dorothy in "Dan'l Druce," and as Galatea in "Pygmalion and Galatea." Since that time Miss Marion Terry has played many parts, and with the same unvarying success, in which her natural capacity is aided by her grace of action and the striking charm of her appearance.

From a Daguerreotype.
AGE 6.

From a Photograph.
AGE 18.

From a Photograph.
AGE 24.

From a Photo. by Alfred Ellis.



Born 1849.


T nine years old, William Lewin (for Terriss is only a stage name, and the popular actor is in reality the son of Mr. Herbert Lewin, the barrister, and a nephew of George Grote, the celebrated Greek historian) was at school at Dr. Grix's, Littlehampton. He afterwards had several years' experience first as a sheep-farmer in South America, and then in North America as a horse-breeder; but at the age of our second portrait he had returned to England, and had appeared upon the stage in the part of Nicholas Nickleby at the Adelphi. From that time his success was certain, and has ever since been growing. At thirty, Mr. Terriss was playing Captain Molyneux in the "Shaughraun," with Dion Boucicault, on the first production of that play in England. Our last portrait shows him as Mr. Irving's chief supporter, and, now as ever, an immense favourite with his brother professionals. Mr. Terriss holds the medal of the Royal Humane Society for saving life at sea.

We are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Terriss for permission to reproduce these photographs.

From a Daguerreotype.
AGE 9.

From a Photograph.
AGE 21.

From a Photograph.
AGE 30.

From a Photo. by Conby, Boston.
AGE 42.



Born 1833.


T the age of nineteen Mr. Bradlaugh, after having been successively errand-boy, coal-dealer, Sunday-school teacher, and lecturer, had enlisted in the 7th Dragoon Guards, and had served for a time in Ireland. He then became orderly-room clerk, obtained his discharge, and took a situation as clerk to a solicitor in London. Soon, however, he began to write and lecture, and before the age at which our second portrait shows him, he was known throughout the country for the opinions which it was the business of his life to advocate. And erroneous as many of those opinions doubtless were, and fierce as was the opposition which they excited, no one would now venture to dispute his earnestness, his remarkable ability, or the goodness of his heart.

From a Photo. by Marsters, Nottingham.
AGE 19.

From a Photo. by Van Loo.
AGE 38.

From a Photo. by Messers Eliot & Fry.
AGE 57.



Born 1853.


F Mr. Henry Pettitt, at the age of three, we have nothing to recount; but at fourteen he ran away from school to Sadler's Wells Theatre, obtained an engagement, went on the stage as an Irish boy armed with a shillelagh, broke the head of a utility actor, and got a drubbing which left him senseless. After this taste of stage-life he obtained an engagement as an usher at the North London Collegiate School, a post which he was holding at the age of our second portrait. But all this while he was writing poems, sketches, and burlesque lectures, and finally, in collaboration with Paul Meritt, he wrote his first play, British Born, which was a grand success. Since then he has produced innumerable dramas, and, as a master of construction and as a realistic writer, he has probably no equal at the present day.

From a Photo. by Samuel A. Walker.
AGE 3.

From a Photo. by T. Coleman.
AGE 21.

From a Photo. by Bertin, Brighton.
AGE 28.

From a Photo. by Samuel A. Walker.
AGE 38.


A New Industry for Ladies.

By Miss Grace Harriman.


HE object of this New Industry is to open up a new, profitable, and, I hope, pleasant way out of the present congested state of the Lady Labour Market. The Ladies' Fruit and Salad Gardens have been established at Grange Gardens, Sawley, near Derby, to provide pleasant homes and remunerative employment for gentle-women who have a taste for gardening work and wish to add to their incomes or to earn a living.


It seems to have been seven or eight years since the idea first came to me that ladies with a taste for gardening might possibly earn a living by it; but so much needed thinking out, and detail after detail fitting in, that it is only five years since I myself became a practical gardener.

The more I inquired into the matter the more plainly I saw that market gardeners, as a rule, made a good thing of it.

After trying two rented gardens that only proved quicksands, as far as money-spending on them went, the soil being worn out, and the fruit trees that were in them most uncertain, I determined to take new ground in hand, i.e., break up old pasture and plant a garden after my own idea of obtaining the greatest amount of produce with the least amount of labour. I advocate planting dwarf hardy fruit-trees in the open; and for this reason, that during nine months of the year they need no labour expending on them after they are once well planted and securely fenced from rabbits, their winter depredators, and with reason we may look for a good crop of fruit five years out of seven.

My own experimental garden was planted, March, 1889. That year we had enormous crops of vegetables of splendid flavour, and a very fair amount of fruit. Last year our crop of fruit, in addition to the vegetables, was very considerable. Had the produce of this garden been for sale, it must have realised a very handsome sum.

To my mind it would be unwise for a woman single-handed to expect to make a sure, comfortable living out of one isolated garden, but by well-directed cooperation, thereby being able to grow a great variety of fruits and vegetables and salads to meet the wants of a private trade, the chance of the possibility of failure is reduced to a minimum.

It is not desirable for more than six owners of gardens to live in one house. When fruit, salads, and vegetables are grown by the acre, and sold by the dozen, the bunch, or the pound, the book-keeping necessary must be very considerable. These six ladies can well look after the three-acre garden, or, rather, fruit plantation. Each lady has her own portion of half an acre solely under her care, and she keeps a strict account of everything sold off her portion; and, after all necessary expenses are paid, the profits, are divided exclusively among the lady cultivators in proportion as each may, by diligence and constant379 attention, have produced abundant crops or otherwise.

Our cultivation of flowers is mainly directed to late autumn, winter, and early spring ones, those for Christmas and Easter decorations paying as well as any. The ladies gladly undertake table and other decorations at any time, as we do not entirely confine ourselves to autumn, winter, and spring flowers.


Well directed co-operation being so much more powerful than single-handed efforts, as soon as the sufficient number of ladies have definitely signified their intention of joining and showed us they have the necessary £100 capital (for my five years of active practical gardening work have plainly showed me that a little capital is absolutely necessary for a woman to start successful market gardening), a private Limited Liability Company will be formed—of course composed entirely of lady gardeners. The first year they must not expect to make more than covers expenses, including board of each household. The work is such that any lady is well able to perform; the produce grown, all kinds of hardy and dessert fruit under glass and in the open. Especial attention is given to delicate vegetables and salads, mushrooms, &c., with flowers and poultry as an adjunct.

The market of the produce grown has from the beginning stood out plainly before me as the vital point of success. Fortunately by starting in a thickly populated consuming neighbourhood there seems every probability of the greater portion, if not the whole, of the produce being taken by people kind enough to open up deposit accounts with the lady gardeners. After April 1, the gardens may be seen each Thursday between 2 and 5 o'clock. Those going will kindly write their names in the visitors' book, and pay one shilling each for being shown over. This latter is a necessity, as it takes up the valuable time of the lady gardeners.

The household arrangements are conducted with the greatest regularity; the details of the menu even may be gathered by those visiting the place. The hours of meals are as follow:—

Breakfast at 8 a.m.
Early dinner 1 p.m.
Afternoon tea 4 p.m.
High tea 7 p.m.

During the busiest months of the year, April, May, and June, most of the day will be taken up with one kind or other of light gardening work. The long holidays must be taken in the winter. Those left at home can send off with ease the stored crops as ordered, attend to the plants under glass, and feed the poultry.


I have been repeatedly asked why I have380 not started the industry near London. My reasons for not doing so are many:—

(1) Well-situated, good land, near to a station within a few miles of town, commands far too high a price to be thought of.

(2) The London market all the year round is far from being the best obtainable. Some instances have come under my notice where Middlesex growers have sent their garden produce to one or other of the great Midland markets, the far higher price obtainable more than out-weighing the greater amount of freight.

(3) It seemed wiser to start the Industry in a neighbourhood where the promoter was well known, and had many friends and acquaintances. It is also within easy distance of one or more of the late summer and autumn crowded health resorts. The late summer and autumn being the season when the bulk of all perishable fruits ripen, a moment's reflection will point out to all that these health resorts are, as a rule, whether by the seaside or inland, usually in a non-fruit-growing district. But it would not answer to rely on these places entirely, because for some months of the year they are practically empty.

(4) No sane people would plant fruit trees on other land than their own without the protection of a long lease, the very shortest being thirty years.


I am continually receiving offers of land from all parts of the country, but I wish it distinctly understood that we entertain the idea of none unless owned by those of sufficient influence and enterprise to secure a ready market for the produce grown by the lady gardeners.


I gather from my correspondents that some do not even grasp the fundamental381 fact that their £100 is required solely to provide their own share of garden and house; the smallest, and at the same time the largest, number to be advantageously placed during the summer is thirty-six, as many expenses necessary to a fewer number could well be common to all. More than that number I can also easily and advantageously place. I have had some hundreds of applications, but I prefer none to decide until they see the exact model of the Industry, in full working order now.

Full particulars may be obtained of the business part by sending a stamped address to the promoter,

Miss Grace Harriman,
The Hut, Mount-park.


The Waltz in "Faust."

By Richard Dowling.


Y original name was John Fowler. I am known to the world by one much more high sounding. This is the first time since I came to man's estate that I have written the name of my boyhood, and I have never spoken it. The one I have gone by most of my life is hardly more removed in splendour from plain John Fowler than the life of variety and rich experiences I now enjoy compared with the experience of my early years. I follow one of the fine arts as a profession, and in the impetuous days of my youth I adopted a nom de guerre of fine sound and picturesque associations.

I have refused all requests that I would furnish an account of my youth. I would not speak of it now if I did not feel absolutely certain that the man well known in certain art circles in London can never be identified through the autobiographical sketch with John Fowler, the miller's youngest son.

Private reasons, of no interest to the public, prevent me localising my early home. I am neither a criminal nor a hero, that people should be interested in my private life, and my only romantic experience will be found in this narrative. Telling my story over here will beguile my heart of a troublesome unrest which came to be positive pain, pain springing from a flood of memories, when a few moments ago a piano-organ at the next house played the waltz in "Faust."


I was born in the dwelling-house attached to a water-mill in a secluded glen far away in the north of England. My family held religious views shared by no sect I ever heard of, and lived lives of extraordinary austerity. No mirror, no musical instruments, no volumes of poetry, no novels, no games of any kind were permitted in our house. The furniture was the most simple, consistent with maintaining bodily efficiency for the performance of the day's work without hindrance or loss of time; our carpets were of the dullest colour, and were considered merely as a means of keeping out the cold and economising fuel. We had curtains on the windows, but they were only to exclude or divert the draughts. Our clothes were ample and warm, but they were of the hues of the earth in winter. We spoke few words and in low tones. We ate and drank in silence. We had no place of worship. The whole Sunday was spent in solemn walks and reading the Scriptures and a few pious books. We regarded Quakers as lax Christians.

The household consisted of my father, his wife and children, and my father's brother, his wife and children. We were so large a family that all the mill work was done without the aid of strangers, and we all lived under one roof, in the mill house of Bracken Glen. I was the youngest, the youngest of all.


Before I knew of any world beyond the mill and Bracken Glen, I thought it was a busy and cheerful place. Now that I come to look back on it I know it was one of the most desolate and lonely situations in all England. People talk of the woes of solitude in the forest, in an unpeopled island, in a crowd. But the most terrible and corroding solitude of all is that of a small group of human beings, a large family sunk deep among mountains far out of the reach of ordinary human intercourse, and living in such strict customs and observances as obtained at Bracken Glen. Of course we had the business always going on, and that prevented our people from going mad. But the mill was not in the main road. You had to turn up into the Glen to reach it, and no faces ever appeared in the yard but the faces of people coming on business to the mill.


As I have said, I was the youngest of the whole Fowler family, brothers and sisters and cousins. The winter that I was twelve years of age I fell grievously ill, so ill that they thought I should never recover. Then, for the first time, I saw a doctor. Our people had no great faith in doctors, and this was the only occasion on which one had been in Bracken Glen for ten years.

My father and mother were assured that I was certain to die if I were not instantly sent to a milder climate, say the Isle of Wight or some genial part of the South Coast. There was a grave demur, a long debate, and finally I was despatched to the home of a married cousin whose name I had heard and of whom I knew little except that he was the son of my father's eldest sister, that he was not a miller, which was a reproach to him, and that he did not conform to the observances seen at Bracken Glen, or indeed hold the same form of religious belief.

I was too weak and wretched when I left home to care about anything, to care whether I was moved or not, whether I was to taste warmer air or not, whether I lived or not. If they would only let me alone I think I should have preferred to die.

I was taken from the cold, bleak, northern Glen where, although we ground corn never any grew, and carried hundreds of miles south; an interminable journey, it seemed to my young mind and feeble, sensitive body.

All through that winter I was delicate, and not allowed out of doors. My cousin's name was Harding. I had never met either him or his wife before. He was about thirty, and she twenty-five. They were simple people, with much of the hereditary aversion from frivolity, but they were not dogmatic or censorious, and they were beyond and above all the very kindest people I ever met in all my life. They lived a mile out of the little town of Bickerton, on the high road. They were childless. He traded in corn in Bickerton. The taste for grain seemed to run in the blood of our family.

In my old home my education had not been neglected. I could read and cypher, and I knew the heaviness of all the weights, and the dryness of all the dry measures. My father had taught me the elements of Euclid and Algebra, and I384 remember that the most awful terrors were in my mind of what these sciences could be in operation if their mere elements were so forbidding, and cold, and tyrannical. My father had a theory that any man able to "keep a set of books" could never be ship-wrecked in life. He had tried to instil a passion for book-keeping into my mind. So intense was my loathing of that black art that to this day the mere mention of it rouses me to fury. In fine, I may say that I had laid the foundation of what was called a commercial education, and upon this I had raised up my own sole and overwhelming horror of arithmetical figures, triangles, debtor and creditor, and unknown quantities.

Sufficient of the old leaven of the Fowlers worked in Harding, not only to draw him into the grain trade, but to make him still shy of "sweet sounds that give delight and hurt not." There was no musical instrument in the house, but books—

There were hundreds of books!

An inexhaustible mine of books, and such as I had never dreamed of before! Books that my cousins Nellie and George had had when they were young. Fairy tales and stories of adventure, novels and poetry!

In the cold grey times of that winter my soul took fire. My spirit sprang up from long drowsing in the husk of the chrysalis, and put forth golden and azure and purple wings, and soared into skies of endless glories beyond the sun. All day long I went enchanted through enchanted palaces, where moved stately princesses with gold brocaded robes and haughty eyes, and voices of mystic tones. I led armies against the Saracen, and spread terrors never dreamed on earth before, and exercised clemencies that made heaven envious. I headed cavalcades through winding streets where the air was thick with banners. I bore the Black Knight backward out of his saddle in the list, and clove the plumed helmet of the leaguer in the breach. I harangued my troops on the field of victory, and pardoned my foes in the shrines of their heathen gods.

But I did not know how the sound of a trumpet stirred, or what dancing was, or love. I had never heard a musical instrument in my life or seen a festival, and I was too young for love—and yet, perhaps, not all too young for noble love and chivalry, if the princess or the lady came my way.

With the spring of the next year health began to stir in my veins. I shook off all the lassitudes and languors of illness, and by April I felt better than ever in my young life before. With returning health, the romantic rapture which had come to me out of books grew and intensified. There was no talk of my going home, or more correctly, there had been talk of it, and my kind relatives, the Hardings, had declared that nothing but force should take me from them until I had been fully fortified by spending a whole summer in the more genial south.

In our own Glen, all the time I could steal from the detested weights and measures and triangles, and debit and credit side of the fabulous transactions of that creature, John Jones, Esq., I spent far afield among the hills. Here, near Bickerton, this spring I found all I cared for of Nature in the sky above me, and in the large, old-fashioned garden; and all I desired of enchantment in the magical books. I rarely went beyond the garden-gate, and never into the town. I became a youthful recluse in the boundless realms of fancy. I lorded it over empires and cities of men. Space, the space of the furthest wandering star, was not vast enough to accommodate the realms that rose in mist out of the pages of the poets and romancists.

I was a precocious boy. I knew nothing of boys' games and sports, and all at once I had come out of the cold, arid life at Bracken Glen into the rich and varied lights and colours of poetry. The change was overwhelming and intoxicating. My reading had, in a vague way, been progressive. I had begun with fairy tales. To these had succeeded stories of adventure and travel, and to them poetry and plays. Prose romances and novels came last, for I had fought shy of them at first, considering that they dealt too much with people and scenes like those in my own experience of life. When first I broke free among books I wished to forget the world.

Towards the end of April two things drove me to the novels. The supply of other books had been exhausted, and I began to yearn after a glimpse at what possibilities of poetry and wonder still existed in the world, as the world was going on outside the sphere of my experience. I wanted to see in books the things now visible to other eyes still on earth—things hidden from me by barriers of age and circumstances I could not understand.

From this desire arose the romance of my life.


One evening George Harding mentioned at tea that Mr. Seymour, a gentleman who owned an estate in the neighbourhood and had a fine house, Trafford Manor, a couple of miles further out from Bickerton, was going to give a ball the end of that month. The Hardings did not look on balls as exactly wicked, and said nothing for or against the approaching party. They did not, of course, know the Trafford Manor folk, who were county people, and quite inaccessible to traders in Bickerton.

If my cousins had conscientious scruples against going to balls, and if the social position of the Seymours forbade any chance whatever of an invitation, the husband and wife were willing to talk of the approaching festival. They discussed it in no measured terms. They said it would be the most distinguished and splendid event of the neighbourhood for the year. They enumerated the distinguished and rich and powerful people who would attend. They talked of the grounds being lighted up with lamps, and the house one vast illumination from roof to cellar. They spoke of the dancing and the bounteous table and the plenteous wine and the strings of carriages coming up the drive, of the brilliant costumes, and the jewels and lovely women, of the fountain spouting on the lawn, and the band—the band of famous musicians from London, who, though they came by night to places like Bickerton in sober black cloth coats and played with fiddles, were yet entitled to wear in London magnificent red coats all slashed and braided and piped and gathered with cords and knots of gold; musicians who not only could play with marvellous skill on stringed, brown wood instruments while they sat on chairs, but had, in their natural sphere in London, great brazen and silver instruments to play upon as they rode through the crowded streets of the marvellous capital on jet black prancing chargers, whose bridles were of steel shining like silver, and upon whose forehead blazed burnished, brazen stars.


In the novels I had read there had been descriptions of balls. I had no more thought when reading that it could ever be my luck to see one than I had considered my chance good of fighting North American Indians, or cutting out French sloops, or riding from London to York on Black Bess.

Now, a ball had not only come within my ken, but had been brought to my very door. What could be easier than for me to slip out of my room when all the house was asleep, walk to Trafford Manor, enter the grounds, and behold the miraculous sight through a window or open door, and, when I had filled my soul with a scene of fairy-land realised, steal back to my room unnoticed by anyone in the house? The Hardings were, of course, much older than I. They were man and woman and I only a boy not yet in his teens, but they had no386 halo of parental awe, no parental authority or infallibility.

I had never in all my life heard a musical instrument. At the ball there would be a band. A band was several musical instruments playing all together. What could that be like? Would it resemble several people talking at once? That would be horribly confusing. But it could not be like several people talking together, for people spoke of a band as a source of fine pleasure. Would a band of several instruments playing at one time be like a parti-coloured card spun round? Hardly; for that only confused the colours, so long as they could be known to be separate colours, and only made a dull stain when they mingled in one tint.

My first care was to keep my intention to myself. My second was to survey the ground of future enterprise. There was no difficulty about either of these precautions. I had merely to hold my tongue and to walk to Trafford Manor along a beautiful, undulating, winding, wooded road which passed by our modest gate, and before the stately portal of the great house.

The beauty of Trafford Manor was renowned in all the south, and the owner was proud of his grounds and opened them to all who chose to see them.

One morning, to the astonishment of my cousin Nellie, I announced my intention of going for a long walk. She was delighted, crammed my pockets full of the best good things in the larder, and declared that she should resent seeing me before dinner.

That whole day I spent in the Trafford demesne. Surely nowhere was scene more fitted for a fairy fête. It was mid April, and clear and sunny weather. The air was full of fresh spices of the swelling buds and of the dainty, delicate, flat leaves already unsheathed and glittering moist and green in the flowing air. It was rapture to live and breathe, and heaven to know as much and no more of the world of things than books taught, no more than enough to set the spirit dreaming. All the senses brought fuel for poetry, if the sacred flame fluttered inside. As yet the trees were only misty with verdure. The depths in depth of vestal green in the woods took the eye into such enchanted bowers of the imagination, it was like praying, to stand and listen to the soft, ample murmurs of the multitudinous leaves as the broad air came by them out of the opening south.


In that far off Bracken Glen I often knew promptings towards the spirit of the heather and the glen and the skies. But then I felt Nature spoke a language I did not understand, which no one about me seemed to hear. In the midst of my most ecstatic trances I recalled myself by conceiving what a poor opinion John Jones, Esquire, of the soddened book-keeping, would hold of me if he knew that I was wasting time in hearkening to fancy instead of those pipes of wine which never knew rest in the day-book, journal, or ledger, or trying to remember thirteen times, or endeavouring at all events to trisect the angle at which the brown ground of the bluff bit through the verdure of the hill to the gash where the stream gushed forth through ragged rocks on its387 way to the pond above our overshot wheel.

But now I had met, in the modest library of the Hardings, men who would gag John Jones, Esquire, if he opened his mouth to speak in those sylvan dales of Trafford, men who would condescend to have no dealings whatever with pipes of wine, except to drink in them the ladies of their love, and who would not allow a triangle into their presence, except for the purpose of tricing up John Jones, Esquire, to it, and giving him five dozen with the cat!


The Hardings usually retired early, and in the first days of my visit, when I felt the first flush of freedom from the stricter rules of my own home, when I stirred under the inspiriting touch of the outer world, faint though it might be, through the intercourse of George Harding with it, I felt grieved that they would not sit later of nights and let me listen in awakening silence to their news of the great world beyond.

On the night of the ball I thought they would never rise to go. It would not do for me to betray the least anxiety. Other nights I had never shown any desire to go to bed. It would not do to challenge attention or excite suspicion by exhibiting any hurry this night. It was hard to sit and hear of all the preparations for the great ball, and feel that my cousins were standing between me and a sight of the glories about which they could only speculate.

I had heard that people would not begin to arrive at Trafford Manor until late, but I was consumed with impatience to be off. At last the blessed moment of release came. My cousins went to bed, and I found myself alone in my room at the back of the house.

No great strategy or caution was necessary to escape. I waited half an hour, then slipped downstairs, carrying my boots in my hand, and stole out by the back door.

When I found myself in the garden I had almost to grope my way, the night was so dark. I could not see the clouds over-head, but they must have been thick, for not a star shone in all heaven, and they must have been low, for the air was unusually warm considering the season. I sat down on a garden chair and put on my boots. Then rising, I drew a full breath, made quietly for the road, and, turning my back upon the town, set off at a good pace towards Trafford Manor.

I don't know what o'clock it was, but the low mutter of vehicles was behind me and before me in the darkness, and every now and then the lights of a carriage flashed into view in the rear, and the carriage dashed past, carrying before it into the blackness a shield of light raised up by its lamps.

Here was lonely I at last, the hero of a romance! Surely it was a romance to steal away in the dead of night and set out alone in search of adventure. For although I had but one intention clearly defined at starting, that of getting sight of the ball, now that I found myself on the way was I not fairly circumstanced to encounter adventures? Might not the horses under one of the carriages break away from control, placing in peril the precious and lovely inmates, until I dashed forward and rescued them, winning guerdon of lovely looks and loud-sounding fame? Might not thieves and highwaymen lurk in the impenetrable boscage, and, breaking forth, threaten the ladies with death, until I, bursting388 among the throng, scattered the marauders and entered the Manor in triumph with my peerless charge? A great general driving by might fall into some terrible danger from onslaught of enemies, or the breaking of a wheel, and I might chance upon his deliverance, and he, in gratitude, might make a general of me, and send me against the Indians or the Kaffirs. Or a high admiral, being unused to the land, might be met by me wandering about on foot and alone—lost, not knowing where to turn for food or shelter, and I might guide him to both, and he might order that henceforth I was to be Captain of the saucy Arethusa.

Any one of these adventures was likely to befall one in my position and circumstances, and it would be only prudent to keep oneself in a fit state of mind to deal with all of them. The fit state of mind was the enthusiastic and heroic; and in a very enthusiastic and heroic disposition I trod the road, and arrived at the lodge of Trafford Manor demesne.

Here no difficulty presented itself, for both the great iron portal and the two side gates stood wide, inviting all men to enter.

I had not in my old home at Bracken Glen been used to bars and bolts, and I had no awe of social superiors, because I had come in contact with none. But I had grave timidity towards strangers of any kind, and, although the rank of the folk at Trafford Manor had no fears for me, I stood in awe of people who could command the wonders of which the Hardings had spoken. Such people were of rather a different order of being, like the genii of Eastern tales, than merely richer and better born people of the same race as myself.

I walked into the grounds with as much confidence as I had travelled the high road.

All thoughts of the past and future left me in presence of the scene on the lawn before the house. I no longer wanted to take part in any enterprise of hazardous adventure. I no longer yearned to distinguish myself and win plaudits or enduring fame. I only wanted to be let alone. I only wanted to be. I only wanted to wander about this land of romance, and drink in all the loveliness at my wide young eyes.

In the centre of the lawn the fountain threw up a ghostly wavering pillar of water, soft as smooth, and tinted with light of various hues. Down the arcades of the tress swung lines of coloured lamps. Here and there, round the trunk of oak, or beech, or lime, clustered a group of blue, and green, and yellow lamps, like the flame of giant gems sparkling on the dark, tasselled, trailing robe of night.

People were walking about, not bidden guests at the Manor, but those who, like myself, had come to see the place by night. I took no notice of anyone. I took no notice of anything, but the intoxicating atmosphere of delight through which I moved. I did not think. I was content merely to feel the enthralling influence of the scene. This was my first experience of poetry realised, of dreams in tangible form, of visions of the day taking material form at night.

All at once I came upon a French window wide open, with, beyond it, a vast room lit by one huge chandelier. The floor shone like dark ice shadowed by brown rocks, and down the dark ice figures of men and women glided. The necks and shoulders and arms of the women were bare, and in their hair flashed incandescent points of shifting fire. Their robes were flowing, and of all colours, like the silent column of smoke rising up in the lawn, only the colours were richer and more varied. The long dresses of the women swept the floor as they moved to and fro, their white-gloved hands on the arms of their cavaliers.

I stood spell-bound. My eyes went on seeing, yet discovering nothing new, as when one looks at the lonely sea. Mere seeing was a delight inexpressible, a delight that held me fast, as though the air around me was adamant.

In front of me, by the window, stood a woman whose beauty was so splendid it did not seem human. It was a perfectly colourless face, of most exquisite profile, clear and sweet as a cameo. She did not strike me as of any age. As she seemed now she must always have been, for any change would not leave her perfect, and it was very plain she was designed for perfection. There was in her a settled decision of line that precluded the idea of her ever being otherwise than as she was now—beauty absolute.

Could ever man that lived be worthy to touch the hand of this ethereal princess standing tall and dark against the light of the chandelier in the doorway? Could any mere man be privileged to do her a service, to save her from fire or battle or the sea? To breathe the air she sanctified by her presence? To live in the garden through389 which she walked? To merit her smile? To die for her?

When poets spoke of goddesses they thought of her.

Then softly, and yet all at once, as my amazed and incredulous eyes were fixed upon this miracle, the air was stirred in a way I had never known it stirred before. Something subtler than light came through it and touched me, and stole into my veins, and made my blood richer and indescribably precious in my heart. The flames of the candles swayed in a strange, intelligible, inexplicable sympathy with this new sense in me. The essences of all perfumes were poured in upon my brain and made me giddy with a rapture I had never dreamed life could hold. All at once and by no effort of my own I came into possession of some property of joy beyond the glory of light and colour, beyond the reach of perfume. It came from beyond where this miracle of womanhood against the light stood. It beat by her like wind, and yet it stirred not one petal of the flowers in her hair. But the influence of it possessed her face, and she who had been Grecian goddess became an enraptured spirit. What could it be? Had the gate of Paradise opened, and was some large and subtle and fine rapture flowing towards me and around me, and possessing me with rhythmical joy?


What could this new thing, this mysterious agony of delight be?

Then, like a flash, I knew.

It was the band!

It was the band, and I was hearing music for the first time in my life!

After that with me all grew dark and blank.

I had fainted.

I was found lying on the grass, and when I came to myself that being whom I took for more than mortal was kneeling beside me and bending over me, chafing my hands, and saying:—

"Quick! quick! bring a light and water! The poor boy has fainted." Others were around me, and some hurried away.

"Poor boy!" I thought. "Poor boy, whom she has touched!"

"What caused it?" she asked me, pushing my hair back from my forehead. "What a pretty boy he is. Do you know, dear, what caused it?"

"I don't know," I said, as well as I could; "I think it must have been the band. I never heard music before."

"Never heard music before?" she cried in astonishment, "Are you sure? Where have you lived that you never heard music before?"

"In Bracken Glen—a glen in the north," I said. "We have a mill there. Our people do not have music, and I never heard music until I heard it now."


"And you fainted when you heard it first?" she asked, helping me to rise.

"I can think of nothing else to make me faint. This is the first time I ever fainted."

"You are better now?"

"I am quite well, thank you. I shall go away now."

"No, not yet. I am much interested in you. There must be something uncommon in the boy who fainted when he heard music for the first time. It was the waltz in 'Faust.' My husband will be most interested in this. He knows a great deal about music, but I think this will be new to him."

There may have been something uncommon in that boy who fainted on hearing music for the first time. People who know me by the name I now bear before the public say I have a faculty of producing melody that will satisfy. I have said that I follow one of the fine arts as a profession. I am a musician—a composer of music. That lady who twenty years ago saw me fall to the ground outside Trafford Manor, and came to my help, has aided my career in many ways. She spoke of me to her husband, who knows more about music than any other man I am acquainted with. She encouraged me in my hours of depression, of despair. She has done more kindnesses for me than any other woman—but one. I am now a successful man. I am proud to owe all I own of value in the world to her. The one woman I am more indebted to than to her, I owe, in a way, to the lady of the "Faust" waltz also, for her daughter is my wife. It was while I was a guest at a ball in Trafford Manor that I told my wife Gertrude of that memorable night long ago. It was while she was standing by the same window where her mother had stood nineteen years before, and looking as her mother looked then, that I found courage to speak. The band played again the waltz in "Faust." Then I lost control, and the overwhelming love for the girl at my side bore me away; and I cried out to her in my despair, and asked if there was any hope for me in her heart.

She did not understand me. I had not made my meaning plain. We went out upon the lawn, where many years ago I had watched the fountain mount through the rainbow-coloured lights. It was not now early spring, but deep summer. It was not now with me the admiration of a child for a statue, but the passion of a man for a woman. The first strain of melody had been a revelation to the boy. How poor and thin it seemed to the revelation that there was hope for me in the heart of the girl I loved. Before the band finished that waltz in "Faust," Gertrude understood what I had whispered in the doorway. That waltz in "Faust" had played in music to my soul, and my darling to my arms. I never hear it without experiencing incommunicable emotions. Who can wonder?




HAKESPEARE'S words to the effect that the man who has no music in himself is fit only for treasons, stratagems, and spoils, might appropriately be adapted to flowers. Certainly the man or woman who finds it impossible to love the rose and the violet, the chrysanthemum, and even the simple little primrose which will be so much abroad during this month of April, is lamentably lacking in something. So much is indisputable of flowers in general, and of the subject of this paper in particular. The rose alone excepted, no plant has inspired the abiding love shown for the orchid, and, not even excepting the rose, none has been the object of such enthusiasm. The study of the orchidaceous family, as some one has said, is a liberal education, and it was once declared, with all the authority of print, that Mr. Joseph Chamberlain must be possessed of a fine character because he loves these extraordinary flowers. If the predilection for orchids is to be accepted as proof of any such possession, the English race is in no danger of deterioration.

Many of our readers will have heard of the tulip mania which raged so fiercely in Holland about the middle of the seventeenth century, when simply fabulous prices were given for a single bulb. There was little that was either reasonable or explicable in the desire to secure the tulip at all costs, but the popularity of the orchid is easily understood by anyone who cares to go into the subject. We venture to believe that by the time we have said all we have to say—and how small a portion that is of what we could say!—those who peruse this paper will find it somewhat difficult to resist running off to the nearest nurseryman and asking to be shown over his houses, or to the nearest bookseller and ordering one of the numerous popular manuals which will instruct them how to set about becoming orchid growers themselves. We have often heard the uninitiated wonder what there is to attract in the orchid, more than in any other beautiful flower. Well, to say nothing of its exquisite and unique charm as a mere spectacle, Darwin gave many reasons, and the Darwinian mind, we believe, has actually sought to show that the orchid is the missing link between animal and vegetable nature. The student will find lots to support this fascinating theory, and to induce him to think that if the other missing link—that between the man and the animal—is discoverable, we shall have completed the chain of nature starting with man and ending with the garden cabbage. But all this is another story, with which it is not our province now to deal.

Orchids have been really popular about twenty-five years. They were well known in the last century, but they were the possession of the privileged few, and were regarded as a mere floral curiosity. One day, however, some sixty years or more ago, the late Duke of Devonshire chanced to come across an orchid from Demerara, which bore an extraordinary resemblance to a butterfly. His delight was immense, and he proceeded forthwith to cultivate the392 plant, of which a variety is shown in our illustration of the Oncidium Kramerianum. A little later he purchased a "Moth Orchid," for which he paid 100 guineas; and to the interest taken in these floral mimics by the ancestor of Lord Hartington are traceable the developments which have been so remarkable during the last decade or two.

Almost the first thing that strikes the spectator at an orchid show for the first time, after he has recovered from a sort of shock at the overwhelming beauty of the display—a display out-rivalling the rainbow in its variety and blend of colour—is the quite ludicrous resemblance of many of the flowers to animals, birds, and insects. Bees, spiders, grasshoppers, flies, lizards, and toads are quite common forms of orchid mimicry. Our illustration of Cycnoches Warscewiczii shows a swan, with a curious-looking tuft upon its breast. Another species is very like a dove as it may be seen hovering for an instant near the branch of a tree before alighting. One group has a flower in which a resemblance to the monkey is found; but the most ludicrous of mimetic vagaries is surely that of the species known popularly as the "Man Orchid." "Dressed like an acrobat in skin tunic of green, it swings as if gibbeted, in company with some fifty other little felons." But the flower is not content to run animate nature close in outward appearance; it evinces a disposition to rival man in the manufacture of various kinds of appliances. It takes a hint from the boot-maker, and produces the "Lady's Slipper"; it provides for the wants of a young family, and turns out a "Cradle"; it even resolves itself into a sort of swimming bath, in which the bee sometimes finds himself involuntarily immersed, and from which he escapes by means of a side-door arrangement. Well might Darwin say that the orchid family seemed to have been modelled in the wildest caprice. Proteus himself was incapable of assuming so many shapes.



The prevalent notion that these marvels are only for the owners of heavily-laden pockets dies hard. A pious wish that orchids were less expensive and could be grown at home is not uncommon. It will be a revelation to some people to learn that an orchid which shall be a source of endless amusement and of considerable instruction may be had for a few shillings. Whether, in short, you have a few odd hundred pounds or merely a few odd hundred farthings to spare, you may gratify your love for this particular flower. You cannot expect to walk into, say, Mr. Bull's establishment in the King's-road, Chelsea, some day when you are passing, and for the price of a couple of dozen cigars appropriate the beautiful Cœlogyne cristata alba, some idea of whose virgin purity is conveyed in our illustration. This plant originally cost Mr. Bull £200. Great as this price is, it is barely two-thirds of the record; £300 has been exceeded for a single plant. Mr. Bull possesses a variety of the "Lady's Slipper" for which he paid that very figure. In 1883 Sir Trevor Lawrence paid 235 guineas for an orchid,393 and Baron Schröder paid £165 and £160 respectively for two plants. Many firms have paid hundreds of pounds for the possession of a rare species, whilst, of course, one may often hear of a collection being sold for many thousands. At the same time, Mr. Bull or Messrs. Veitch, or any well-known cultivator will be happy to place orchids, which a few years ago were beyond the reach of even a large proportion of the middle classes, at your disposal for five or six shillings.


And be it understood, in buying an orchid you can never be quite sure that you have not secured a veritable treasure. The speculative element enters into orchid-collection to a degree undreamt of by the outsider. As the value of the most valuable just purchased by a duke may disappear in an hour, so that of the most common just purchased by yourself may be augmented a hundred-fold by an eccentricity. Take an instance of depreciation recorded by Mr. F. W. Burbidge. A species of "Lady's Slipper" was imported and the single plant fetched £100 easily. But the home of the plant was discovered, and in the course of a week or two nurserymen were selling the same thing for five shillings. On the other hand, Pescatore's Odontoglot, we are told, had been imported for years, and plants might be picked up for a few shillings each, when "quite unexpectedly a lovely form heavily barred with purple appeared, and, had it been sold by auction when first it flowered, it would have brought from £50 to £100." Before it bloomed the plant would, in common with others of the same species, have been readily disposed of for a trifle.

A friend of Mr. Burbidge's chanced to buy cheap a number of plants which were "hanging fire." "They were shrivelled plants of Odontoglossums in paper bags, and they took a good deal of skill and attention to bring them into vigour and health again. But when they bloomed some of them turned out very distinct, and an offer of £500 made for the lot as they stood, after the first five or six had bloomed, was not accepted." The most interesting piece of luck of this sort, however, which we have come across is related by Mr. Frederick Boyle. A Mr. Spicer, a tea planter in Sylhet, knowing his mother in England was fond of orchids, sent her some plants. They were an ordinary "Lady's Slipper" variety. Mrs. Spicer brought them to flower, and noticed certain curious characteristics. She consulted an expert, with the result that he paid her seventy guineas down and carried off the plant. "For years," says Mr. Boyle, "this lovely species was a prize for dukes and millionaires," and its introduction was due394 to a son's desire to gratify his mother's tastes by sending her a few everyday orchids!

The mention of this discovery brings us to the more tragic side of orchid collecting. Mr. Sander, the famous orchid grower of St. Albans, despatched a representative to try to find the particular species which had proved so profitable to Mrs. Spicer. After many fruitless efforts, "Mr. Forsterman got on the track, but in the very moment of triumph a tiger barred the way, his coolies bolted, and nothing would persuade them to go further. Mr. Forsterman was no shikari, but he felt himself called upon to uphold the cause of science and the honour of England at this juncture. In great agitation he went for that feline, and, in short, its skin and its story were conspicuous attractions of his cottage in the after years."



The perils which men face in the search for orchids are as great as those encountered by the prospector for precious stones and metal, or by the missionary who goes forth into the wild corners of the earth to preach God's Word. We know of one man who, by pluck and diplomacy, has managed to pass unscathed among the cannibals of New Guinea. When he first arrived, he was honoured by a careful overhauling on the part of the natives, who ultimately declared that he was too thin to eat. He has since made himself more or less at home with them, though he has only succeeded in winning their esteem by sitting down to the same dish and partaking of its contents, whatever they might be, and in compelling their respect by placing a few inches of cold steel at his side, and giving them an occasional395 object-lesson in the wonders of the revolver. He carries his life in his hands, and all for the sake of the chance of finding an orchid with some feature possessed by none other. The collector who would make his mark must be prepared for hazardous marches, for hanging like a sailor by his eyebrows over mighty precipices, or for wading for days in swamps. He must have self-reliance, resource, patience, knowledge, and endurance.


The orchid has not only its heroes, it has its martyrs as well. Any great grower will give one the names of a dozen men who have sacrificed all in their efforts to add to the list of species. Collectors have been lost in Panama, Rio Hacha, Ecuador, Sierra Leone, Orinoco, and probably other places. "I wonder," said a friend to Mr. Burbidge, "if orchid amateurs ever give a thought as to the real price their orchids cost," and he proceeded to enumerate the names of such men as Bruchmueller, Zahn, Hutton, Klaboch, Endres, Chesterton, and Freeman, who have died in the interests of the orchid lover. "On the roll of martyrs to orchidology," says Mr. Boyle, with enthusiasm, "Mr. Pearce stands high. To him we owe, among many fine things, the hybrid Begonias which are becoming such favourites for bedding and other purposes.... It was his great luck and great honour to find Masdevallia Veitchii, so long, so often, so laboriously searched for from that day to this, but never even heard of. To collect another shipment of this glorious orchid, Mr. Pearce sailed for Peru in the service, I think, of Mr. Bull. Unhappily—for us as well as for himself—he was detained at Panama. Somewhere in those parts there is a magnificent Cypripedium.[A] The poor fellow could not resist this temptation. They told him at Panama that no white man had returned from the spot, but he went on. The Indians brought him back some days or weeks later, without the prize; and he died on arrival."

Even when the precious plant is secured, and danger to life and limb is past, the difficulties to be overcome are enormous. To bring a million sterling in gold from Paris or New York under special and vigilant guard, is a process almost simple when compared with the jealous care which396 has to be expended on the transportation of orchids. It sometimes happens that on opening the cases on arrival in England, a valuable collection is found to have rotted en route, and the importer realises that hundreds of pounds have been spent and lives risked, to secure worthless roots! The orchid importer needs a stout heart and unlimited enterprise, and some of us may well wonder how he manages to make the business pay at all when we think of the ambassadors he employs in nearly every clime, of the funds which he has occasionally to place at their disposal, and of the fact that one loss may involve a sum equal to a fair annual income. On the other hand, if he is the lucky possessor of a variety of value, the plant creates the greatest enthusiasm in orchid circles, and is consequently a source of immense profit.

We have in these pages taken a rapid glance at the more popular, it may even be said the more romantic, side of the work of orchid collection. Enough has been said, we hope, to show why the study of orchidology is a liberal education. What a wealth of natural history of the most fascinating kind it opens up! Nothing more striking is recorded in nature than the manner in which the bee fertilises the orchid, to give the least adequate account of which would involve another half-dozen pages of this magazine. The majority of us probably would be surprised to learn that but few orchids grow in the ground. They are found often high up on the branches of some monarch of the primeval forest, and the proverbial needle in the bundle of hay might be discovered half a dozen times over whilst the collector is searching for a single plant. Others appear, however, quite low down. The tree-growing orchid is an epiphyte. That is to say, though it lives on the tree it makes the branch a resting-place only. It gets its nourishment from the atmosphere and not the tree, as does the mistletoe for instance. One orchid, a Diacrium, actually grows on rocks within reach of the spray from the salt sea waves.


To follow in the footsteps of the collector is to acquire a considerable knowledge of the countries of the earth. Orchids luxuriate in warm and humid places, thousands of feet above the level of the sea. They have outdistanced the Anglo-Saxon in the number of lands they have colonised. You may find them in Africa, in North, Central, and South America, in Australia and New Zealand, in Asia, in Madagascar, in Europe—everywhere except in very cold climates. One day the orchid hunter may be on the high road of civilisation, pursuing his quest like an ordinary tourist; another he will have plunged into regions dark as darkest Africa, as far removed from modern conditions as the dwarfs of Stanley's limitless forest. In the search for a single orchid he comes across many varieties of the human race, and on a thousand points connected with modes of life, of governments, of the relations of places one to another, far and near, he is better informed than many an arm-chair specialist.

[A] Lady's Slipper.


A Thing that Glistened.

By Frank R. Stockton.


N the fall of 1888 the steam-ship Sunda, from Southampton, was running along the southern coast of Long Island, not many hours from port, when she was passed by one of the great British liners, outward bound. The tide was high, and the course of both vessels was nearer the coast than is usual, that of the Sunda being inside of the other.

As the two steamers passed each other there was a great waving of hats and handkerchiefs. Suddenly there was a scream from the Sunda. It came from Signora Rochita, the prima donna of an opera troupe which was coming to America in that ship.

"I have lost my bracelet!" she cried in Italian, and then, turning to the passengers, she repeated the cry in very good English.

The situation was instantly comprehended by everyone. It was late in the afternoon; the captain had given a grand dinner to the passengers, at which the prima donna had appeared in all her glories of ornamentation, and the greatest of these glories—a magnificent diamond bracelet—was gone from the arm with which she had been enthusiastically waving her lace handkerchief.

The second officer, who was standing near, dashed into the captain's office, and quickly reappeared with chart and instruments, and made a rapid calculation of the position of the vessel at the time of the accident, making due allowance for the few minutes that had passed since the first cry of the signora. After consultation with the captain and re-calculations of the distance from land and some other points, he announced to the weeping signora that her bracelet lay under a little black spot he made on the chart, and that if she chose to send a diver for it she might get it, for the depth of water at that place was not great.

By profession I am a diver, and the next day I was engaged to search for the diamond bracelet of Signora Rochita. I had a copy of the chart, and having hired a small schooner, with several men who had been my assistants before, and taking with me all the necessary accoutrements and appliances, I set out for the spot indicated, and by afternoon we were anchored, we believed, at it or very near it.

I lost no time in descending. I wore, of course, the usual diver's suit, but I took with me no tools nor any of the implements used by divers when examining wrecks; but I carried in my right hand a brilliant electric lamp, connected with a powerful battery on the schooner. I held this by an insulated handle, in which there were two little knobs, by which I could light or extinguish it.



The bottom was hard and smooth, and lighting my lamp, I began to look about me. If I approached the bracelet I ought to be able to see it sparkle, but after wandering over considerable space, I saw no sparkles nor anything like a bracelet. Suddenly, however, I saw something which greatly interested me. It was a hole in the bottom of the ocean, almost circular, and at the least ten feet in diameter. I was surprised that I had not noticed it before, for it lay not far from the stern of our vessel.

Standing near the rocky edge of the aperture, I held out my lamp and looked down. Not far below I saw the glimmering of what seemed to be the bottom of this subterranean well. I was seized with a desire to explore this great hole running down under the ordinary bottom of the sea. I signalled to be lowered, and although my comrades were much surprised at such an order, they obeyed, and down I went into the well. The sides of this seemed rocky and almost perpendicular, but after descending about fifteen feet, they receded on every side, and I found myself going down into a wide cavern, the floor of which I touched in a very short time.

Holding up my lamp, and looking about me, I found myself in a sea cave of some thirty feet in diameter, with a domelike roof, in which, a little to one side of the centre, was the lower opening of the well. I became very much excited; this was just the sort of place into which a bracelet or anything else of value might be expected to have the bad luck to drop. I walked about and gazed everywhere, but I found nothing but rocks and water.

I was about to signal to be drawn up, when above me I saw what appeared to be a flash of darkness, coming down through the well. With a rush and a swirl it entered the cavern, and in a moment I recognised the fact that a great fish was swooping around and about me. Its movements were so rapid and irregular, now circling along the outer edge of the floor of the cavern, then mounting above me, until its back seemed to scrape the roof, that I could not form a correct idea of the size of the creature. It seemed to me to be at least twenty feet long. I stood almost stupefied, keeping my eyes as far as possible fixed upon the swiftly moving monster.

Sometimes he came quite near me, when I shuddered in every fibre, and then he shot away, but ever gliding with powerful undulations of his body and tail, around, about, and above me. I did not dare to signal to be drawn up, for fear that the terrible creature would enter the well-hole with me. Then he would probably touch me, perhaps crush me against the wall, but my mind was capable of forming no plans; I only hoped the fish would ascend and disappear by the way he came.


My mind was not in its strongest condition, being much upset by a great trouble, and I was so frightened that I really did not know what I ought to do, but I had sense enough left to feel sure that the399 fish had been attracted into the cavern by my lamp. Obviously the right thing to do was to extinguish it, but the very thought of this nearly drove me into a frenzy. I could not endure to be left alone with the shark in darkness and water. It was an insane idea, but I felt that, whatever happened, I must keep my eyes upon him.

Now the great fish began to swoop nearer and nearer to me, and then suddenly changing its tactics, it receded to the most distant wall of the cavern, where, with its head toward me, it remained for the first time motionless. But this did not continue long. Gently turning over on its side, it opened its great mouth, and in an instant, with a rush, it came directly at me. My light shone full into its vast mouth, glistening with teeth, there was a violent jerk which nearly threw me off my feet, and all was blackness. The shark had swallowed my lamp! By rare good fortune he did not take my hand also.

Now I frantically tugged at my signal rope. Without my lamp, I had no thought but a desire to be pulled out of the water, no matter what happened. In a few minutes I sat divested of my diving suit, and almost insensible upon the deck of the schooner. As soon as I was able to talk I told my astonished comrades what had happened, and while we were discussing this strange occurrence, one of them, looking over the side, saw, slowly rising to the surface, the body of a dead shark.


"By George!" he cried, "here is the beast. He has been killed by the current from the battery." We all crowded to the rail, and looked down upon the monster. He was about ten feet long, and it was plain that he had died for making himself the connection between the poles of the battery.

"Well," said the captain, presently, "I suppose you are not going down again?"

"Not I," I replied; "I give up this job."

Then suddenly I cried, "Come, boys, all of you, make fast to that shark, and get him on board; I want him."

Some of the men laughed, but my manner was so earnest, that in a moment they all set about to help me. A small boat was lowered, lines were made fast to the dead fish, and, with block and tackle, we hauled him on deck. I then got a butcher's knife from the cabin, and began to cut him open.

"Look here, Tom!" exclaimed the captain, "that's nonsense. Your lamp's all smashed to pieces, and if you get it out it will never be any good to you."

"I don't care for the lamp," I answered, working away energetically, "but an idea has struck me. It's plain that this creature had a fancy for shining things. If he swallowed a lamp, there is no reason why he should not have swallowed anything else that glistened."

"Oh-o!" cried the captain, "you think he swallowed the bracelet, do you?"

And instantly everybody crowded more closely about me.

I got out the lamp—its wires were severed as smoothly as if they had been cut with shears; then I worked on. Suddenly there was a cry400 from every man. Something glimmered in the dark interior of the fish. I grasped it and drew it out. It was not a bracelet, but a pint bottle, which glimmered like a glow-worm. With the bottle in my hand I sat upon the deck and gazed at it. I shook it; it shone brighter. A bit of oiled silk was tied tightly over the cork, and it was plain to see that it was partly filled with a light coloured oil, into which a bit of phosphorus had been dropped, which on being agitated filled the bottle with a dim light.

But there was something more in the bottle than phosphorus and oil. I saw a tin tube corked at each end; the exposed parts of the corks spreading enough to prevent the tin from striking the glass. We all knew that this was one of those bottles containing a communication of some sort; which are often thrown into the sea, and float about until they are picked up. The addition of the oil and phosphorus was intended to make it visible by night as well as by day, and this was plainly the reason why it had been swallowed by a light loving shark.

I poured out the oil and extracted the tube. Wiping it carefully I drew out the corks, and then from the little tin cylinder I pulled a half-sheet of note-paper, rolled up tightly. I unrolled it, and read these words:—

"Before I jump overboard, I want to let people know that I killed John Polhemus. So I have fixed up this bottle. I hope it may be picked up in time to keep Jim Barker from being hung. I did think of leaving it on the steamer, but I might change my mind about jumping overboard, and I guess this is the best way. The clothes I wore, and the hatchet I did it with, are under the wood shed back of Polhemus' house.

Henry Ramsey."

I sprang to my feet with a yell. Jim Barker was my brother, now lying in prison under sentence of death for the murder of Polhemus. All the circumstantial evidence, and there was no other, had been against him. The note was dated eight months back. Oh! cruel fool of a murderer. The shark was thrown overboard, and we made best speed to port, and, before the end of the afternoon I had put Ramsey's note into the hands of the lawyer who had charge of my brother's case.

Fortunately, he was able to identify the handwriting and signature of Ramsey, a man who had been suspected of the crime, but against whom no evidence could be found. The lawyer was almost as excited as I was by the contents of this note, and early the next morning we started together for the house of the Polhemus' family. There under the wood shed we found, carefully buried, a blood-stained shirt and vest and the hatchet.

My impulse was to fly to my brother, but this my lawyer forbade. He would take charge of the affair, and no false hopes must be excited, but he confidently assured me that my brother was as good as free.

Returning to the city I thought I might as well make my report to Signora Rochita. The lady was at home and saw me. She showed the most intense interest in what I told her, and insisted upon every detail of my experiences. As I spoke of the shark and the subterranean cave she nearly fainted from excitement, and her maid had to bring the smelling salts. When I had finished she looked at me steadily for a moment, and then said:

"I have something to tell you, but I hardly know how to say it. I never lost my bracelet. I intended to wear it at the captain's dinner; but when I went to put it on I found the clasp was broken, and, as I was late, I hurried to the table without the bracelet, and thought of it no more until, when we were all waving and cheering, I glanced at my wrist and found it was not there. Then, utterly forgetting that I had not put it on, I thought it had gone into the sea. It was only this morning, that, opening what I supposed was the empty box, I saw it. Here it is."

I never saw such gorgeous jewels.

"Madam," said I, "I am glad you thought you lost it, for I have gained something better than all these."

"You are a good man," said she, and then she paid me liberally for my services. When this business had been finished, she asked—

"Are you married?"

I answered that I was not.

"Is there anyone you intend to marry?"

"Yes," said I.

"What is her name?" she asked.

"Sarah Jane McElroy."

"Wait a minute," said she, and she retired into another room. Presently she returned and handed me a little box.

"Give this to your lady-love," said she; "when she looks at it she will never forget that you are a brave man."

When Sarah Jane opened the box, there401 was a little pin with a diamond head, and she gave a scream of delight. But I saw no reason for jumping or crying out, for, after having seen the Signora's bracelet, this stone seemed like a pea in a bushel of potatoes.

"I don't need anything," she said, "to remind me you are a brave man. I am going to buy furniture with it."

I laughed, and remarked that "every little helps."

When I sit, with my wife by my side, before the fire in our comfortable home, and consider that the parlour carpet, and the furniture, and the pictures, and the hall and stair carpet, and all the dining-room furniture, with the china and the glass and the linen, and all the kitchen utensils, and two bedroom suites on the second story—both hard wood—and all the furniture and fittings of a very pleasant room for a single man, the third story front, were bought with the pin that the Signora gave to Sarah Jane, I am filled with profound respect for things that glitter. And when I look on the other side of the fire and see Jim smoking his pipe just as happy as anybody, then I say to myself that, if there are people who think that this story is too much out of the common, I wish they would step in here and talk to Jim about it. There is a fire in his eye when he tells you how glad he is that it was the shark that died instead of him.


The State of the Law Courts.



vivid public interest has of late been aroused in regard to the administration of justice in this country. The wholesome feeling of reverence that formerly attached to our judges seems now to be on the wane, and in private circles, especially among the legal profession, the conduct of the judicature has been severely commented upon, while the Press has occasionally ventured to darkly hint that the retirement of one of our most eminent judges is desirable in the public interest. On all sides it is agreed that his infirmities unfit him for the efficient discharge of his duties, his judgments show the melancholy decline of a once brilliant intellect, and the continued occupation of his seat upon the bench is a source of danger to the public. And yet such is the state of our legal machinery that his retirement is practically in his own hands. Only by an address of both Houses of Parliament to the Crown can his removal be brought about—an odious and invidious task, which the legislature naturally delays as long as possible, and will only undertake as an extreme measure. Although of recent years there has been a marked improvement in the personnel of our judges, so far as bodily vigour is concerned, there are still on the bench aged and infirm men who would have retired but for the necessity of completing the statutory period of fifteen years, at the expiration of which only can their pensions be earned. It is pitiable to see these old public servants, who once ranked among the most brilliant men of their day, attempting to discharge their duties with an obvious effort and at great physical fatigue.

More than enough instances have recently arisen of judges being incapacitated by deafness and other infirmities, and refusing to retire. But public opinion has hitherto been very tolerant, and these distinguished men have been permitted in their declining years to exercise functions demanding the highest mental activity without exciting adverse comment. That there are defects in our judicial system, not the least of which is the absence of any controlling power over our judges, becomes more and more apparent, and it will be useful, therefore, to bring some of those which are most notorious in the legal profession under the notice of the public.

The judicial system in this country is the most expensive in the world. Our judges, it is true, are men of the highest integrity, and the confidence of the public in their incorruptibility is absolute. In this respect, no doubt, we compare favourably with many foreign nations. But the public have a right to look for something more than a strictly honourable bench, and it is desirable to inquire what we get in return for the enormous annual outlay on our judicature. For the sake of convenience let us begin with the higher tribunals. It will be interesting, in the first place, to study the following table, which shows the numerical strength of Her Majesty's judges, together with the salaries they receive:—

 1 Lord Chancellor  £10,000
 4 Lords of Appeal (£6,000)  £24,000
 1 Master of the Rolls   £6,000
 5 Lords Justices (£5,000)  £25,000
 5 Chancery Judges (£5,000)  £25,000
 1 Lord Chief Justice   £8,000
13 Common Law Judges (£5,000)  £65,000
 2 Admiralty Judges (£5,000)  £10,000
 1 Judge Court of Arches   £5,000
33 £178,000

There are, besides, a great number of highly paid officials known on the Common Law side as masters, and in the Chancery Division as chief clerks, who assist the judges by performing minor judicial functions. These gentlemen receive £1,000 a year each. There are also Clerks of the Crown and Associates on the various circuits who receive liberal salaries, as well as a multitude of clerks and other officers who are paid out of the public funds. But it is not our present purpose to consider these minor functionaries, our object being to afford a general conception of the working of the High Courts of Justice without going into unnecessary details. For the information of the curious, however, we may state that the total expenditure for law and justice last year was more than four and a half millions sterling, a sum which it should be understood includes the charges for maintaining prisons and other expenses incidental to the administration of justice.


In face of such stupendous figures the intelligent foreigner may well imagine that we have a judicial system well-nigh perfect, or at least quite adequate to the requirements of a great commercial community. And yet what are the facts? Among members of the legal profession it is a matter of common observation and lament that commercial cases are year by year growing less frequent. For a long time they consoled themselves by attributing this to commercial stagnation. But of late their eyes have been opened to the real cause, and neither by their smiles nor their tears can they win back the vanished litigation that once so satisfactorily brought grist to their mill. On all hands business men declare that, so far from being satisfied with their expensive legal machinery, they absolutely dread the law. They dare not risk its dignified delay, they fear its endless expense, they are terrified at the prospect of being dragged from Court to Court on Appeal, and they have no confidence in the ability of a large proportion of our judges to decide rightly on commercial disputes, especially those involving technical matters.


This feeling has doubtless been intensified by the recent case of Vagliano and the Bank of England. It is needless to go into the details of this matter, which are well known to the public. Suffice it to say that a judge of the High Court in 1888 gave a decision contrary to the feeling of business men and subversive of commercial custom in regard to bills of exchange, which was upheld in the Court of Appeal by a majority of five to one. This decision was, however, reversed in the House of Lords in March of this year by a majority of six to two. Thus, after long delay and enormous expense, the case having been heard by fifteen judges, a final decision was obtained that satisfied the commercial community. But the uncertainty of the law is exemplified by the fact that the verdict of seven judges, i.e., six in the House of Lords and one in the Court of Appeal, outweighed that of the remaining eight. And there is no reason to suppose that the judges of the House of Lords who carried the day are men of higher legal ability than those in the Court of Appeal.

Instead, therefore, of waiting months for their cases to be tried, paying enormous fees to leading counsel, and possibly enduring the risk and delay of appeal, men of commerce prefer to submit their disputes to the arbitration of others in their own trade, and thereby get them decided without any delay or legal expense. Innumerable disputes are in this way settled in the City every year, and in some businesses it is a matter of etiquette for men to accept the office of arbitrator when asked to do so without any fee, they knowing full well that the time is sure to come when they themselves will require to have a matter decided in the same convenient and expeditious manner.

It is undoubtedly a great hardship for a commercial community to have to put up with rough and ready justice in this way, instead of having the advantage of highly trained legal minds. But business men cannot afford to wait for the slow machinery of the law, and though they have to maintain the Courts of Justice, they decide to do without them. Doubtless many others would gladly do the same had they equal facilities for arbitration.

The result of this widening breach between law and commerce is that a large and increasing proportion of the work of the High Court consists of libel, slander, malicious prosecution, and cases of a similar class, together with actions varying in character not at all, and in the amount sought to be recovered only infinitesimally, from those which come within the jurisdiction of the County Court.

But though a great number of the suits404 may be of slight importance, the cost of litigation is by no means insignificant. The court-fees, it is true, are not proportionately so high as in the County Court, although they might with advantage be largely reduced; but the average charges for legal assistance are enough to make the boldest litigant pause.


In an ordinary action for £100, supposing the defendant to be unsuccessful, he will probably have to pay, in addition to the £100, not less than £120 to his opponents' solicitor for the costs taxed against him, as well as, say, £150, the little account of his own attorney. Supposing he conscientiously believes the verdict to be unjust, and determines to go to the Court of Appeal, he will have to pay at least £100 more if unsuccessful. This brings his bill up to £470, instead of the original £100. A rational litigant would in such a case be unlikely to want to go beyond the Court of Appeal, but supposing he should desire to avail himself of the highest tribunal that a generous country places at his disposal, and takes his case to the House of Lords, he will be put to a further expense of about £200.

On the other hand, the successful suitor would also be at a considerable loss, the costs that he would have to pay being far in excess of the £100 recovered. By such a system a powerful and dangerous weapon is undoubtedly placed in the hands of a wealthy litigant who chooses oppressively to take his opponent from court to court. In many cases the costs are augmented to a scandalous degree by the multiplication of interlocutory proceedings. It is monstrous that in an action to recover a sum of £100 a wealthy and perverse litigant should have the power, on some incidental question of interrogatory, to take his opponent from the master to the judge, from the judge to the Divisional Court, from the Divisional Court to the Court of Appeal, and from the Court of Appeal to the House of Lords.

An evil hardly less grave than the law's expense is the law's delay. In a common law action of the simplest character, with little or no interlocutory proceedings, the period that must elapse between the issue of the writ and the trial of the action is little short of twelve months, while in the event of appeal nearly another year will be lost. In the Chancery Division the delay is still more marked.

At the commencement of the legal year, namely, October 24, 1890, there were 448 Chancery cases set down for trial. Of these, when Christmas arrived, only 74 had been decided, that is, after about one-third of the judicial year had elapsed. At that rate of progress—without allowing for the setting down of additional causes, which is, of course, continuous throughout the year—there would only be, of the 448 causes set down in October, 1890, 222 disposed of by October, 1891, thus leaving still unsettled405 half the cases that litigants were ready to try twelve months before.

The appointment of an additional Chancery judge is by many advocated for the purpose of battling with these arrears. It is, however, notorious that, owing to the higher scale of costs in Chancery than in Common Law, solicitors prefer the former for the purpose of trying their actions. In consequence of this, a large number of cases that should properly come before the Common Law judges are tried in the Chancery Division. Surely the effect of removing this gross anomaly should be seen before further expenditure be imposed upon the nation.

Few probably will go so far as Jeremy Bentham in laying down that the State should provide for the administration of justice free of expense to litigants; but there is a very general consensus of opinion in favour of a simplification of procedure and a limitation of the powers of appeal, and these are reforms that a willing legislature might well undertake.

To return to the judges of the High Court, it will be instructive to inquire how they earn the liberal salaries set forth in the foregoing table. Commencing at the top, it will be well to consider the position of that august official the Lord High Chancellor of England. And whatever remarks we may find it necessary to make, we wish it to be distinctly understood that we mean no disrespect to Lord Halsbury, the present learned and capable occupant of the post. It is merely our object to criticise the office, and our observations, therefore, will have no personal bearing. In the first place, it is worthy of note that the most highly paid temporal office in England—that of the Lord Chancellor—is given rather as a reward for political than for legal success. Of course, to occupy the post of Attorney-General, the stepping-stone to that of Lord Chancellor, a man must be a lawyer of considerable ability. It has, however, been very well said that a good lawyer can be nothing else; and it is obvious that an Attorney-General must be a man of some political as well as legal capacity. It is quite conceivable that there may be a dearth of legal talent on any political side, and that a moderate man maybe chosen as the chief law-adviser of the Crown in consequence. Indeed, such a state of things has happened before now. It by no means follows, therefore, that the Lord Chancellor is necessarily a man of transcendent legal ability. It is probable, in fact, that, as a rule, he is not so good a lawyer as the judges who receive half his salary. And here it may be well to remark that, although the Lord Chancellor is nominally at the head of the bench, he can exercise no efficient control over the judges. He can make appointments to the bench, but judges, once made, can, as already stated, only be removed by the act of both Houses of Parliament. Thus a judge, even if obviously suffering from mental decay, may continue to exercise his functions, to the miscarriage of justice, for a considerable period before the legislature can be set in motion to bring about his retirement.


The Lord Chancellor occasionally (when any of the Lords Justices are absent from illness or other cause) sits in the Court of Appeal, which is held in two sections—one hearing cases from the Common Law side, and the other those from the Chancery Division. The principal duty of the Lord Chancellor, however, consists in presiding over the House of Lords—the final Court of Appeal both in Common Law and Chancery matters. The House of Lords, as an appellate court, consists of the Lord Chancellor, the Lords of Appeal, and such peers as are, or have been, holding high406 judicial office. Ordinary peers, however, have also the right of sitting and giving judgment, and, in consequence of this anomaly, the judges of final appeal have sometimes had the assistance of an eccentric nobleman endowed with a fancy for the law, whose vote has carried as much weight as that of the Lord Chancellor himself. The judicial work of the House of Lords is light. Indeed, it will not be understating the case to say that the House does not dispose of more than sixty or seventy causes in the year. It is thus not difficult to calculate, supposing these cases to occupy an average of half a day, and taking into consideration the salaries of the Lord Chancellor and the Lords of Appeal, together with the heavy pensions paid to ex-Chancellors and other expenses, that the Court of Final Appeal exercises its judicial functions at a cost of something like a thousand pounds a day!

Besides the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice is by some legal fiction supposed to exercise control over the judicial bench. As a matter of fact, however, the judges are practically under no control whatever save that of public opinion, as represented by the press, which should never hesitate to expose their shortcomings when they come to light. It is the duty of those on whom, by force of circumstances, the public are obliged to rely to safeguard their interests, not to relax their supervision out of deference to the high repute in which our judges are held. Under the old system, when the Courts of Common Pleas, Exchequer, and Queen's Bench existed, each division had a chief who was responsible for the work of his court and the mode in which it was administered. The judges now hold a meeting, at which they make their own arrangements for circuits and for appointments to the various courts. Although the Lord Chief Justice is supposed to control the order of work, the judges in effect have a free hand as regards their own duties.

With the development of modern civilisation and the increase of democratic strength, the social status of the judges has materially changed, and it is by no means in accordance with "end of the century" ideas to grant them the almost despotic power that they held of old.

The Judicature Act did something towards diminishing their prestige, and nowadays many of them are disappointed perhaps to find that their office does not command a high social position.


Notwithstanding the decadence of the social status and prestige of the judges, on circuit they maintain a pomp and splendour, it is true somewhat tawdry, which finds its only counterpart in the mimic state of the Lord Mayor. Quiet gentlemen who have been accustomed all their lives to carry their own bags down to chambers, suddenly find themselves, after being raised to the Bench and especially when going on circuit, surrounded with unwonted splendour. They are attended by a smart young gentleman who costs the country three guineas a day while the Assizes last, as his reward for acting as judge's marshal, or a sort of groom-in-waiting. If he fulfilled the functions of clerk, perhaps there would not be much cause for complaint; but the judge has a clerk of his own, to whom the nation pays a liberal salary, and the marshal's duties are purely ornamental.

It is true the cost of the splendid equipage, generally drawn by four hack horses407 from the local livery stables, the trumpeters, the javelin men, and all the paraphernalia of the judge's progress from his lodgings to the Court, falls upon the High Sheriff, and not upon the country; but it is, nevertheless, a vexatious impost and an intolerable anachronism.


The prerogatives of the judges still far exceed those of any other public servants; they are permitted to perform their duties almost at their own pleasure; even the Legislature refuses to recognise any power over them, and they have also much patronage vested in them, such as the appointment of revising barristers, chief clerks and masters, who exercise judicial functions.

The holidays enjoyed by the members of the judicature are far in excess of those in any other profession.

The following figures will give an idea of how many days out of the 365 are occupied by the judges in earning their salaries:—

Christmas holidays 21 days.
Easter " 12 "
Whitsuntide " 10 "
Long Vacation 72 "
Queen's Birthday 1 "
Sundays (besides those included above) 36 "
Courts sit 213 "

Although there is no statutory authority for the closing of the courts on the Queen's birthday, the judges have recently, with one or two exceptions, made a point of showing their loyalty by doing no work on that day. Many of them also are frequently absent on ordinary working days from other causes than illness. These delinquents are well known to the members of the legal profession, and it is unnecessary to mention their names.

The hours of sitting are nominally from 10.30 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, with an interval of half an hour for lunch. Some judges, however, do not generally take their seats until a quarter to 11, and often later, and one or two are known occasionally to steal a little time from the end of the sitting. It is also a matter of common observation that the orthodox half-hour for lunch is very often spun out to three-quarters. So that, including the short sitting on Saturdays, when the courts rise at two o'clock, the judges do not sit much more than an average of four hours a day.



Even if we give them credit for 4-1/2 hours a day, reckoning their salaries at £5,000 (though many of them receive more) we find that the payment they receive for their work comes to over £5 an hour. At such a price it is only reasonable to expect them to give the fullest attention to their duties. But, alas, for human fallibility! Even judges sometimes nod.

It is true that our system is at fault in permitting our judicature to be conducted by men whose physical infirmities prevent them from giving due attention to their work. But such considerations do not soothe the breast of the unfortunate litigant who has paid an eminent counsel a hundred guineas to address a sleeping judge, or one whose deafness prevents him from comprehending the weighty arguments offered for his consideration.


It is part of the duty of the fourteen judges of the Queen's Bench Division to go on circuit, and during the time of the circuits, as a rule not more than two or three puisne judges are left in London. These judges are absent from town, in fact, fully one-half of the judicial year, and the occupants of the bench are not in the metropolis in their full strength for more than a third of that period. As a result of this arrangement, the business of the high courts, so far as the trial of actions is concerned, is absolutely at a stand-still during the greater part of the year. The cause lists become congested, suitors wait vainly for their cases to be settled, and a multitude of the suits entered never come on for trial at all, many of them being more or less amicably arranged out of court, while others bring about their own culmination through death or other causes. It is notorious that many of the judges, when they observe that a case is of a complex character, involving long and tedious investigation, will bring strong pressure on the parties to induce them either to settle the case or to refer it to an arbitrator. Such pressure it is dangerous for either side to resist, and it results in further fees, further costs, and further delay.

The judges, while on circuit, receive a travelling allowance of seven guineas a day. This is a comparatively recent arrangement, the travelling expenses having formerly been paid in a lump sum. It would be interesting to compare the average length of time occupied by the judges on circuit under the old and under the new system. A great deal of time is utterly wasted. For instance, a whole day is devoted to what is termed "Opening the Commission." This is nothing but an antiquated ceremony of no possible use, consisting of the reading of the Royal Commission under which the judges hold the assizes. It occupies about a quarter of an hour, the remainder of the day being lost. The assizes are often concluded within a less number of days than the time assigned to them, and the judges take advantage of this to enjoy a welcome holiday, with a solatium for their enforced idleness of seven guineas a day.

Our present circuit system undoubtedly leads to a scandalous and deplorable waste of judicial time and public money. For instance, on the South-Eastern Circuit, the largest towns of which are Cambridge and Norwich, there is practically no business whatever; and yet all the paraphernalia and expense of assizes goes on for eleven or409 twelve weeks every year in respect of cases that might be disposed of in London in about a week by one judge. On other circuits, too, time is wasted in an equally reckless manner, the judges on several days being absolutely idle.

Surely there is no necessity to allow a week for the judicial work at a town where there are only a few cases that could easily be disposed of in a couple of days. The public, who pay the bill, unfortunately have but little opportunity of having the shortcomings of the judges brought under their notice. Not only are the latter protected by the respectful feeling, the result of ingrained reverence, that the judicial bench has always been able to inspire; but it is also a fact that those whose position makes them most capable of criticising the judges find it contrary to their interests to do so. Barristers who have to make their way at the bar, and who are well acquainted with the peculiarities of the judges, are afraid to speak of them, for to do so would be to their own professional detriment, and clerks and underlings, who have to rely on the patronage of the judges, cannot be expected to tell what they know.

In the present article it is to be hoped we have done enough to show that defects exist, and that one of the most needed reforms is the establishment of a complete and efficient controlling power over our judicial bench, for judges, after all, are only human, and no human beings, however honourable, can be relied upon always to perform their duty to the public with thoroughness and energy if left entirely to their own devices.

The fact that private arbitration, especially in commercial cases, has in a great measure superseded the Courts, forms a most damaging comment on our judicial system. The case, then, that we allege against the judicature may be briefly summed up, the chief points being as follows:—

(a) Excessive cost.

(b) Unreasonable delay in getting to trial.

(c) Unnecessary multiplication of appeals with consequent delay and expense.

(d) Waste of judicial power on Circuit and Divisional Court arrangements.

(e) Incapacity of individual judges.

(f) Unreasonably long holidays.

It is our intention in subsequent articles to bring forward further particulars, and without going so deeply into technical details as to be uninteresting to the ordinary reader, to suggest remedies with a view to bringing our judicature more in touch with the people, and making it adequate to the needs of a great commercial community.


Stories of the Victoria Cross: Told by Those who have Won it.

Deputy Inspector-General J. Jee, C.B., V.C.


HOUGH military surgeons are technically non-combatants, yet practically they are as much exposed to peril as other officers, and frequently have to perform work demanding the greatest care and calmness under the most disturbing dangers. In gallantry and devotion to duty no other class of soldiers has surpassed them. The following is the story of the exploit of one of these brave men, Surgeon Jee, as told in his own words:—

On the advance of the force to relieve the garrison of Lucknow, under Generals Havelock and Outram, my regiment, the 78th Highlanders, led the way. General Outram's order on leaving Lucknow ran as follows:—"I have selected the 78th Highlanders for covering the retreat of the force; they had the post of honour on the advance, and none are more worthy of the post of honour on leaving it."

There was very hard fighting from the Alum Bagh till we arrived close to Lucknow, when I was told an officer was severely wounded. I dismounted from my horse to attend him, and found he was dead. At that moment a very rapid ordnance and musketry fire commenced close to us, and I was pulled into the bastioned gateway of the Char-Bagh Palace by some soldiers, to whom probably I owed my life, as the round shot passed by us in quick succession. Captain Havelock (now Sir Henry Havelock) then rode up to me, with a bullet hole through his topee, and said, "We have taken that position, at all events, at the point of the bayonet." That proved to be the bridge over the canal at the entrance of Lucknow, defended by heavy guns, which had evidently been well served, judging by the numbers of dead lying around them.


When the main body of the force arrived and crossed to the other side of the bridge, the Generals heard that the streets in the city, leading direct to the Residency, were entrenched and barricaded. It was, therefore, decided to take the outside route by the very narrow road to the right by the canal, leaving the 78th to hold the position until ordered to advance after the column. Captains Drummond-Hay and Lockhart were then ordered to proceed with their companies to a pagoda some little distance 411up the street leading from the bridge. All was pretty quiet for some time, and the force had got some distance away, when a message was sent down to the Colonel by Captain Drummond-Hay that the enemy were coming down upon them in great force with two guns. The Colonel sent up an order for them to charge them, which they did, and spiked the guns and brought them down and threw them into the canal, all the while hotly pursued by the enemy. I then got between twenty and thirty wounded men in a few minutes.

I was then informed that the regiment had disappeared round the corner of the canal after the force, and that we should all be killed if I remained to dress the wounded upon whom I was engaged, as the enemy was firing at us from the corner of the street. So I sent to the Colonel for men to carry the wounded on their backs till we came up with the dhoolies. I was thus enabled to save them for a short time. It appeared that Captain Havelock, the Assistant Adjutant-General, had been sent back by his father to order the 78th to follow the force, when he was badly wounded in his arm. Luckily I came across two dhoolies, in which I placed him and a lieutenant of the 78th, who was mortally wounded. The rest I put into sick-carts drawn by six bullocks; but shortly after all of them were massacred within sight of us, as unfortunately a native hackery containing round shot fell over, and completely blocked the road. One poor fellow, Private Farmer, held his watch out from one of the carts, asking his comrades to come and take it rather than the enemy should get it, but no one responded, as the danger was too great.

One man had his lower jaw blown off by a round shot, whom I am seen dressing in my V.C. picture at the Crystal Palace.

When we reached the force Captain Halliburton, 78th Highlanders (afterwards killed in Lucknow), took charge of the wounded with his company. We lost our way in the city, and were led by a guide, who showed us the way to the Residency into the enemy's battery, where we suffered considerable loss. After this we wandered about the suburbs of the city, under an awful cannonading and shelling from the opposite side of the River Goomtee, being fired at from loopholes in the houses of the streets when we entered them, from which parties of natives, clothed in white, often issued. We took refuge in the Mote-Mahul, as it was too late at night to advance further. The Mote-Mahul is a square courtyard with sheds round it, and two large gateway entrances. This was crowded with soldiers, camp followers, and camels, so that you could scarcely move. I had Captain Havelock and Lieutenant Woodhouse (right arm afterwards amputated), 84th Regiment, with me under the shed. The firing during the night was deafening, and gongs were sounding the hour, and we knew not how far the Residency was. Some who had been with the main body said the 78th were all killed, and they could not tell what had become of the rest of the force. At daylight the next day Brigadier Cooper gave us some tea, as we had taken nothing since leaving Alum Bagh early the morning before. Our men then commenced making loopholes in the wall of the shed to shoot the enemy on the other side, and I heard them told not to make too many or they would be shooting some of us, and soon afterwards Brigadier Cooper was shot through one of them, and fell over me. I often had to cross a gateway that was being raked up by bullets, to dress the wounded of both the artillery and my own men, against the remonstrances of my apothecary, Mr. de Soura, and others.

I then volunteered to attempt to get the wounded into the Residency, and was told by Captain Halliburton, if I succeeded, to tell General Outram to send him reinforcements or they would all be killed and the guns lost. I soon came across Colonel Campbell, wounded in the leg (afterwards amputated in Lucknow, and he died), and I got one of his men to carry him on his back (who would have been recommended for the V.C. if he could have been found, but he was supposed to have been killed). I then wandered on, and had to cross a shallow stream under fire of the guns of the extensive Palace of the Kaiser Bagh, where the enemy were said to have 20,000 men. I was then hailed by an European sentry at the gate of a very high wall, which I had the unpleasant feeling was the Kaiser Bagh, and that I was on the wrong road, but to my great relief he told me it led to the Residency, and that I must keep well under the wall on the way to it, to avoid the firing that was going on. On arriving at the Residency I delivered my message to General Havelock, who congratulated me on my escape, as I was reported killed.

Of course I lost a great many of my wounded, and one could see their skeletons 412lying outside the Palace, which we afterwards took, during the two months we were besieged in Lucknow. I did not see my horse (that is painted in my V.C. picture from a photograph) till after I arrived in Lucknow, where he was captured. He was badly wounded by a large slug or bolt about two inches long (which I have now) entering deeply on the side of the chest, and which was afterwards found most difficult to extract with bullet forceps. Yet the horse lived to aid Outram's relief outside Lucknow, and afterwards was sold as a very valuable charger for £160.


Lance-Corporal William Goate.

The following account, written by himself, of the military career of William Goate, and of the heroic act of devotion for which he was rewarded with the V.C., speaks for itself and needs no introduction:—

My father died when I was only five years old, and left mother with a family of eleven of us, so as I grew up I had to work in the fields till I was big enough to mind horses. Then after a bit I got tired of the country, although it was a pretty village in Norfolk, called Tritton, close to Norwich; so I thought I would go to Norwich and get a job as a groom, which I did, and stopped till I was 18. Then I thought I would like another change, so up to London I went, and I had a wish to be a soldier. I was a smart lad and fresh-looking, so I went to Westminster in November, 1853, and enlisted in the 9th Lancers, and being a groom I was quite at home in a cavalry regiment; and I confess to being proud of our gay uniform and fluttering pennons. Well, after serving four years I was destined to ride in many a wild charge and see men and horses go down like ninepins, but I never thought of danger. When we got the order to charge, away we went determined to win, and I can tell you it must always be a terrible sight for any troops, let alone Sepoys, to see a regiment of cavalry sweeping down upon them.

Our fighting began at Delhi. We were at Umballa when the Mutiny broke out, and we were ordered to join in the operations against Delhi. I was present at the siege and capture of that city. I will tell you of a little adventure of my own at this time. Before the city was taken I was on despatch duty at an advanced post with orders to fetch reinforcements when the enemy came out. One day I saw six men trying to steal round by the river into our camp. Believing them to be spies, I asked the officer in charge of the picket to allow me and two men to go and ascertain what their intentions were. He gave us leave. We had a very difficult job to get down to the riverside on account of the rocks, and when we got up to the men they showed fight. We shot three of them with our413 pistols—one each. Being on horseback we then attacked them with the lance. One daring fellow struck at me, and I couldn't get at him. He slightly wounded my horse and then made a run for the river. I jumped from my horse, and, going into the water after him, ran him through with my lance. Meanwhile, the other two of my companions had settled the two remaining men. All this while a heavy fire had played on us from the enemy's battery. We had now to ride for our lives. On getting back to the camp, the officer in command sent me to the camp with a note to the Colonel of the regiment, who made me a lance-corporal then and there.


I might say I was two years in the saddle, almost continuously fighting. I was with Sir Colin when he retook Cawnpore from the Gwalior rebels. We went to the aid of General Wyndham, who had been repulsed. We crossed the bridge of boats under a heavy fire, but forced our way in. As soon as our brave leader got his men in position, he carried everything before him. We could still see traces of Nana Sahib's atrocity in June, and every soldier vowed vengeance. The affair that I was in when I gained my Victoria Cross was before Lucknow, the second time. Early in 1858 the rebels had strongly fortified the place, and it became necessary for Sir Colin to take it. Our regiment had some hot work. It was on March 6 that I won the Cross, in action at Lucknow, having dismounted in the presence of the enemy and taken up the body of Major Percy Smith, 2nd Dragoon Guards, which I attempted to bring off the field, and after being obliged to relinquish it, being surrounded by the enemy's cavalry, going a second time, under a heavy fire, to recover the body, for which I received the Victoria Cross.

I will try and describe the fight, and what I saw of it. The enemy appeared in great force on the race-course outside Lucknow, and the 9th Lancers, the 2nd Dragoon Guards, and two native cavalry regiments were ordered to charge. The brigade swept on in grand style, and clashed into the enemy. We had a fierce hand-to-hand fight; but our troops behaved splendidly, and at last we broke them up. Then we were obliged to retire under a heavy fire. As we did so Major Smith, of the Dragoons, was shot through the body, and fell from his horse. Failing to catch him, I sprang to the ground, and, throwing the bridle-rein over my arm, raised the Major on to my shoulder; in this manner I ran alongside of my horse for some hundreds of yards, until I saw the enemy's cavalry close upon me. Clearly I couldn't get away with my burden, so I determined to do what I could for myself.

Springing into my saddle, I shot the first Sepoy who charged, and with my empty pistol felled another. This gave me time to draw my sword, my lance having been left on the field. The Sepoys were now round me cutting and hacking, but I managed to parry every slash and deliver many a fatal thrust. It was parry and thrust, thrust and parry all through, and I cannot tell you how many saddles I must have emptied. The enemy didn't seem to know how to parry.


Taking advantage of this, I settled accounts with a jolly lot. I was determined not to be taken alive. At last some of the Lancers saw me and came to my rescue. Thinking the major might still be alive, I went again to rescue him, but it was not until the enemy's forces were driven back that we got his body.

After the action, General Sir Colin Campbell, General Sir Hope Grant, and some of the cavalry officers shook hands with me and complimented me.

In regard to the sword and lance, I certainly prefer the lance; the lance is so keen, it goes through a man before he knows it. I was always very careful never to let a swordsman get under my lance, and in fighting with cavalry I made full use of the pennon to baffle an enemy's horse.

The weapons of troops on active service are made as keen as razors, and it was a common thing during the Mutiny to see a party of soldiers under the shade of a great tree waiting their turn to get their blades sharpened and the dints removed, ready for the next fight with the rebels. Our gallant little army was like a ship cleaving its way through the sea, for wherever we went, the enemy, like the waters, closed in behind.

(To be continued.)



Playwrights' Manuscripts.


E here present our readers with fac-similes of the manuscripts of several of the most popular of living playwrights, chosen from some of the best-known of their plays. Most of them tell their own story; but we may call particular attention to the specimen by Mr. Irving, who is not generally known to be a playwright. Yet the manner in which he treats a drama like "Louis XI." (a page of which we give), by cutting, adding, and writing in soliloquies, manifestly makes him a joint-author in the play.

Fac-simile of a page of MS. from Mr. ROBERT BUCHANAN'S play, Clarissa.


Fac-simile of a page of MS. from Mr. GEORGE R. SIMS' play, The Lights o' London.
Act III. Scene 1.


Fac-simile of a page of MS. from Mr. H. PETTITT'S play, Hands across the Sea.


Fac-simile of a page of MS. from a play now being written by Mr. JEROME K. JEROME.


Fac-simile of a page of MS. from Mr. HENRY A. JONES' play, The Dancing Girl.


Fac-simile of a page of original MS. of Louis XI., with alterations by Mr. HENRY IRVING.


Fac-simile of soliloquies inserted by Mr. HENRY IRVING at the places marked Q and * in the preceding page.


The Luckiest Man in the Colony.

By S. W. Hornung.


HAT is never a nice moment when your horse knocks up under you, and you know quite well that he has done so, and that to ride him another inch would be a cruelty—another mile a sheer impossibility. But when it happens in the Bush, the moment is apt to become more than negatively disagreeable; for you may be miles from the nearest habitation, and an unpremeditated bivouac, with neither food nor blankets, is a thing that demands a philosophic temperament as well as the quality of endurance. This once befell the manager of Dandong, in the back-blocks of New South Wales, just on the right side of the Dandong boundary fence, which is fourteen miles from the homestead. Fortunately Deverell, of Dandong, was a young man, well used, from his boyhood, to the casual hardships of station life, and well fitted by physique to endure them. Also he had the personal advantage of possessing the philosophic temperament large-sized. He dismounted the moment he knew for certain what was the matter. A ridge of pines—a sandy ridge, where camping properly equipped would have been perfect luxury—rose against the stars a few hundred yards ahead. But Deverell took off the saddle on the spot, and carried it himself as far as that ridge, where he took off the bridle also, hobbled the done-up beast with a stirrup-leather, and turned him adrift.


Deverell, of Dandong, was a good master to his horses and his dogs, and not a bad one to his men. Always the master first, and the man afterwards, he was a little selfish, as becomes your masterful man. On the other hand, he was a singularly frank young fellow. He would freely own, for instance, that he was the luckiest man in the back-blocks. This, to be sure, was no more than the truth. But Deverell never lost sight of his luck, nor was he ever ashamed to recognise it: wherein he differed from the average lucky man, who says that luck had nothing to do with it. Deverell could gloat over his luck, and do nothing else—when he had nothing else to do. And in this way he faced contentedly even this lonely, hungry night, his back to a pine at the north side of the ridge, and a short brier pipe in full blast.

He was the new manager of Dandong, to begin with. That was one of the best managerships in the colony, and Deverell had got it young—in his twenties, at all events, if not by much. The salary was seven hundred a year, and the homestead was charming. Furthermore, Deverell was within a month of his marriage; and the coming Mrs. Deverell was a girl of some social distinction down in Melbourne, and a belle into the bargain, to say nothing of another feature, which was entirely satisfactory, without being so ample as to imperil a man's independence. The homestead would be charming indeed in a few weeks, in time for Christmas. Meanwhile, the423 "clip" had been a capital one, and the rains abundant; the paddocks were in a prosperous state, the tanks overflowing, everything going smoothly in its right groove (as things do not always go on a big station), and the proprietors perfectly delighted with their new manager. Well, the new manager was sufficiently delighted with himself. He was lucky in his work and lucky in his love—and what can the gods do more for you? Considering that he had rather worse than no antecedents at all—antecedents with so dark a stain upon them that, anywhere but in a colony, the man would have been a ruined man from his infancy—he was really incredibly lucky in his love affair. But whatever his parents had been or had done, he had now no relatives at all of his own: and this is a great thing when you are about to make new ones in an inner circle: so that here, once more, Deverell was in his usual luck.

It does one good to see a man thoroughly appreciating his good luck. The thing is so seldom done. Deverell not only did this, but did it with complete sincerity. Even to-night, though personally most uncomfortable, and tightening his belt after every pipe, he could gaze at the stars with grateful eyes, obscure them with clouds of smoke, watch the clouds disperse and the stars shine bright again, and call himself again and again, and yet again, the luckiest man in the Colony.

While Deverell sat thus, returning thanks on an empty stomach, at the northern edge of the ridge, a man tramped into the pines from the south. The heavy sand muffled his steps; but he stopped long before he came near Deverell, and threw down his swag with an emancipated air. The man was old, but he held himself more erect than does the typical swagman. The march through life with a cylinder of blankets on one's shoulders, with all one's worldly goods packed in that cylinder, causes a certain stoop of a very palpable kind; and this the old man, apparently, had never contracted. Other points slightly distinguished him from the ordinary run of swagmen. His garments were orthodox, but the felt wide-awake was stiff and new, and so were the moleskins; these, indeed, might have stood upright without any legs in them at all. The old man's cheeks, chin, and upper lip were covered with short grey bristles, like spikes of steel; above the bristles he had that "lean and hungry look" which Cæsar saw in Cassius.


He rested a little on his swag. "So this is Dandong," he muttered, as if speaking to the Dandong sand between his feet. "Well, now that I am within his boundary-fence at last, I am content to rest. Here I camp. To-morrow I shall see him!"

Deverell, at the other side of the ridge424 dimming the stars with his smoke, for the pleasure of seeing them shine bright again, heard a sound which was sudden music to his ears. The sound was a crackle. Deverell stopped smoking, but did not move; it was difficult to believe his ears. But the crackle grew louder; Deverell jumped up and saw the swagman's fire within a hundred yards of him; and the difficult thing to believe in then was his own unparalleled good luck.

"There is no end to it," he chuckled, taking his saddle over one arm and snatching up the water-bag and bridle. "Here's a swaggie stopped to camp, with flour for a damper, and a handful of tea for the quart-pot, as safe as the bank! Perhaps a bit of blanket for me too! But I am the luckiest man in the Colony; this wouldn't have happened to anyone else!"

He went over to the fire, and the swagman, who was crouching at the other side of it, peered at him from under a floury side palm. He was making the damper already. His welcome to Deverell took a substantial shape; he doubled the flour for the damper. Otherwise the old tramp did not gush.

Deverell did the talking. Lying at full length on the blankets, which had been unrolled, his face to the flames, and his strong jaws cupped in his hands, he discoursed very freely of his luck.

"You're saving my life," said he, gaily. "I should have starved. I didn't think it at the time, but now I know I should. I thought I could hold out, between belt and 'baccy, but I couldn't now, anyhow. If I hold out till the damper's baked, it's all I can do now. It's like my luck! I never saw anything look quite so good before. There now, bake up. Got any tea?"




"Well, we could have done with meat, but it can't be helped. I'm lucky enough to get anything. It's my luck all over. I'm the luckiest man in the Colony, let me tell you. But we could have done with chops. Gad, but I'd have some yet, if I saw a sheep! They're all wethers in this paddock, but they don't draw down towards the gate much."

He turned his head, and knitted his brows, but it was difficult to distinguish things beyond the immediate circle of firelit sand, and he saw no sheep. To do the man justice, he would not have touched one if he had; he had said what he did not mean; but something in his way of saying it made the old man stare at him hard.


"Then you're one of the gentlemen from Dandong Station, are you, sir?"

"I am," said Deverell. "My horse is fresh off the grass, and a bit green. He's knocked up, but he'll be all right in the morning; the crab-holes are full of water, and there's plenty of feed about. Indeed it's the best season we've had for years—my luck again, you see!"

The tramp did not seem to hear all he said. He had turned his back, and was kneeling over the fire, deeply engrossed, with the water-bag and the quart-pot—which he was filling. It was with much apparent preoccupation that he asked:—

"Is Mr. Deverell, the boss, there now?"


"He is." Deverell spoke drily, and thought a minute. After all, there was no object in talking about himself in the third person to a man who would come applying to him for work the next day. Realising this, he added, with a touch of dignity, "I'm he."

The tramp's arm jerked, a small fountain played out of the bottle neck of the water-bag and fell with a hiss upon the fire. The tramp still knelt with his back to Deverell. The blood had left his face, his eyes were raised to the pale, bright stars, his lips moved. By a great effort he knelt as he had been kneeling before Deverell spoke; until Deverell spoke again.

"You were on your way to see me, eh?"

"I was on my way to Dandong."

"Wanting work? Well, you shall have it," said Deverell, with decision. "I don't want hands, but I'll take you on; you've saved my life, my good fellow, or you're going to, in a brace of shakes. How goes the damper?"

"Well," said the old man, answering Deverell's last question shortly, but ignoring his first altogether. "Shall I sweeten the tea or not?"

"Sweeten it."

The old man got ready a handful of tea and another of sugar to throw into the quart-pot the moment the water boiled. He had not yet turned round. Still kneeling, with the soles of his boots under Deverell's nose, he moved the damper from time to time, and made the tea. His hands shook.

Deverell made himself remarkably happy during the next half-hour. He ate the hot damper, he drank the strong tea, in a way that indicated unbounded confidence in his digestive powers. A dyspeptic must have wept for envy. Towards the end of the meal he discovered that the swagman—who sat remote from the fire, and seemed to be regarding Deverell with a gaze of peculiar fascination—had scarcely broken his bread.

"Aren't you hungry?" asked Deverell, with his mouth full.


But Deverell was, and that, after all, was the main thing. If the old man had no appetite, there was no earthly reason for him to eat; his abstinence could not hurt him under the circumstances, and naturally it did not worry Deverell. If, on the other hand, the old man preferred to feed off Deverell—with his eyes—why, there is no accounting for preferences, and that did not worry Deverell either. Indeed, by the time his pipe was once more in blast, he felt most kindly disposed towards this taciturn tramp. He would give him a billet. He would take him on as a rabbiter, and rig him out with a tent, camp fixings, traps, and even—perhaps—a dog or two. He would thus repay in princely fashion to-night's good turn—but now, confound the thing! He had been sitting the whole evening on the old fool's blankets, and the old fool had been sitting on the ground!

"I say! Why on earth don't you come and sit on your own blankets?" asked Deverell, a little roughly; for to catch oneself in a grossly thoughtless act is always irritating.

"I am all right here, thank you," returned the swagman, mildly. "The sand is as soft as the blankets."

"Well, I don't want to monopolise your blankets, you know," said Deverell, without moving. "Take a fill from my pouch, will you?"

He tossed over his pouch of tobacco. The swagman handed it back—he did not smoke; had got out of the way of it, he said. Deverell was disappointed. He had a genuine desire at all times to repay in kind anything resembling a good turn. He could not help being a little selfish; it was constitutional.

"I'll tell you what," said Deverell, leaning backward on one elbow, and again clouding the stars with wreaths of blue smoke, "I've got a little berth that ought to suit you down to the ground. It's rabbiting. Done any rabbiting before? No. Well, it's easy enough; what's more, you're your own boss. Catch as many as you can or care to, bring in the skins, and get sixpence each for 'em. Now the berth I mean is a box-clump, close to a tank, where there's been a camp before, and the last man did very well there; still, you'll find he has left plenty of rabbits behind him. It's the very spot for you; and, look here, I'll start you with rations, tent, camp-oven, traps, and all the rest of it!" wound up Deverell, generously. He had spoken out of the fulness of his soul and body. He had seldom spoken so decently to a pound-a-week hand—never to a swagman.

Yet the swagman did not jump at the offer.

"Mr. Deverell," said he, rolling the name on his tongue in a curious way, "I was not coming exactly for work. I was coming to see you. I knew your father!"


"The deuce you did!" said Deverell.

The old man was watching him keenly. In an instant Deverell had flushed up from his collar to his wideawake. He was manifestly uncomfortable. "Where did you know him?" he asked doggedly.

The tramp bared his head; the short grey hair stood crisply on end all over it. He tapped his head significantly, and ran the palm of his hand over the strong bristles of his beard.

"So," said Deverell, drawing his breath hard. "Now I see; you are a brother convict!"

The tramp nodded.

"And you know all about him—the whole story?"

The tramp nodded again.

"By God!" cried Deverell, "if you've come here to trade on what you know, you've chosen the wrong place and the wrong man."

The tramp smiled. "I have not come to trade upon what I know," said he quietly, repeating the other's expression with simple sarcasm. "Now that I've seen you, I can go back the way I came; no need to go on to Dandong now. I came because my old mate asked me to find you out and wish you well from him: that was all."

"He went in for life," said Deverell, reflecting bitterly. "I have the vaguest memories of him; it happened when I was so very young. Is he well?"

"He was."


"And you have been in gaol together! And you know what brought him there, the whole story!" Curiosity crept into the young man's tone, and made it less bitter. He filled a pipe. "For my part, I never had the rights of that story," he said.

"There were no rights," said the convict. "It was all wrong together. Your father robbed the bank of which he himself was manager. He had lost money in mining speculations. He took to the bush, and fought desperately for his life."

"I'm glad he did that!" exclaimed Deverell.

The other's eyes kindled, but he only said: "It was what anyone would have done in his place."

"Is it?" answered Deverell scornfully. "Did you, for instance?"

The old man shrugged his shoulders. Deverell laughed aloud. His father might have been a villain, but he had not been a coward. That was one consolation.

A silence fell between the two men. There were no more flames from the fire, but only the glow of red-hot embers. This reddened the face of Deverell, but it did not reach that of the old man. He was thus free to stare at Deverell as hard and as long as he liked, and his eyes never left the young man's face. It was a sufficiently handsome face, with eyes as dark as those of the old man, only lightened and brightened by an expression altogether different. Deverell's pipe had soothed him. He427 seemed as serene now as he had been before he knew that his companion had been also the companion of his father—in prison. After all, he had grown up with the knowledge that his father was a convicted felon; to be reminded of it casually, but also privately, could not wound him very deeply. The tramp, staring at him with a fierce yearning in his eyes, which the young man could not see, seemed to divine this, but said:—

"It cannot be pleasant for you to see me. I wouldn't have come, only I promised to see you; I promised to let him hear about you. It would have been worse, you know, had he got out on ticket-of-leave, and come himself!"

"It would so!" exclaimed Deverell sincerely.

In the dark, the old man grinned like one in torment.

"It would so," Deverell repeated, unable to repress a grim chuckle. "It would be the most awkward thing that could possibly happen to me—especially if it happened now. At present I call myself the luckiest man in the Colony; but if my poor father were to turn up—"

Deverell was not interrupted; he stopped himself.

"You are pretty safe," said his companion in an odd tone—which he quickly changed. "As your father's mate, I am glad you are so lucky; it is good hearing."

Deverell explained how he was so lucky. He felt that the sentiments he had expressed concerning his father's possible appearance on the scene required some explanation, if not excuse. This feeling, growing upon him as he spoke, led him into explanations that were very full indeed, under the circumstances. He explained the position he had attained as manager of Dandong; and the position he was about to attain through his marriage was quite as clearly—though unintentionally—indicated. It was made clear to the meanest perception how very awkward it would be for the young man, from every point of view, if the young man's father did turn up and ostentatiously reveal himself. While Deverell was speaking the swagman broke branches from the nearest pines and made up the fire; when he finished the faces of both were once more illumined; and that of the old man was stern with resolve.

"And yet," said he, "suppose the impossible, or at any rate the unlikely—say that he does come back. I know him well; he wouldn't be a drag or a burden to you. He'd only just like to see you. All he would ask would be to see his son sometimes! That would be enough for him. I was his chum, mind you, so I know. And if he was to come up here, as I have come, you could take him on, couldn't you, as you offer to take me?" He lent forward with sudden eagerness—his voice vibrated. "You could give him work, as you say you'll give me, couldn't you? No one'd know it was your father! No one would ever guess!"

"No!" said Deverell, decidedly. "I'll give you work, but my father I couldn't. I don't do things by halves: I'd treat my father as my father, and damn the odds! He had pluck. I like to think how he was taken fighting! Whatever he did, he had grit, and I should be unworthy of him—no matter what he did—if I played the coward. It would be worse than cowardly to disown your father, whatever he had done, and I wouldn't disown mine—I'd sooner shoot myself! No, I'd take him in, and be a son to him for the rest of his days, that's what I'd do—that's what I will do, if ever he gets out on ticket-of-leave, and comes to me!"

The young man spoke with a feeling and intensity of which he had exhibited no signs before, leaning forward with his pipe between his fingers. The old man held his breath.

"But it would be devilish awkward!" he added frankly. "People would remember what they've been good enough to forget; and everybody would know what now next to none know. In this country, thank God, the man is taken for what the man is worth—his father neither helps nor hinders him, when once he's gone. So I've managed to take my own part, and to get on well, thanks to my own luck. Yes, it would be devilish awkward, but I'd stand by him, before Heaven, I would!"

The old man breathed hard.

"I don't know how I've come to say so much to you, though you did know my father," added Deverell, with a sudden change of tone. "It isn't my way at all. I needn't tell you that from to-morrow forward you're the same as any other man to me. And if you ever go to see my father, you must not tell him all I have said to you about what, as you say, is never likely to happen. But you may tell him—you may tell him I am glad he was taken fighting!"

The old man was once more quite calm.428 "I shall never see your father again. No more will you," he said slowly and solemnly; "for your father is dead! I promised him to find you out when my time was up, and to tell you. I have taken my own way of breaking the news to you. Forgive me, sir; but I couldn't resist just seeing, first of all, if it would cut you up very badly!"

Deverell did not notice the quiet bitterness of the last words. He smoked his pipe out in silence. Then he said: "God rest him! Perhaps it's for the best. As for you, you've a billet at Dandong for the rest of your days, if you like to take and keep it. Let us turn in."

The worn moon rose very late, and skimmed behind the pines, but never rose clear of them, and was down before dawn. It shone faintly upon the two men lying side by side, packed up each in a blanket—Deverell in the better one. From the other blanket a hand would steal out from time to time, grope tremulously over Deverell's back, lie a minute, and then be gently withdrawn. Long before dawn, however, the old man noiselessly arose and rolled up his swag. He packed up every thing that he had brought—every thing except the better blanket. Over that he smiled, as though it was an intense pleasure to him to leave it behind, lapped round the unconscious form of Deverell. Just before going, when the swag was on his back, he stooped down once and put his face very close to that of Deverell. The worn moon glimmered through the pines upon them both. The faces were strangely alike; only Deverell's was smiling sweetly in his dreams, while the other's shone moist with—something.

A few minutes later the gate in the Dandong boundary-fence closed for the last time upon the gaol-bird tramp; and Deverell's father was dead indeed—to Deverell. Lucky for Deverell, of course. But then he was the luckiest man in the whole Colony. Didn't he say so himself?




The shop we are about to visit—perhaps quite the most remarkable in London—stands in a remarkable street, Ratcliff-highway. Ratcliff-highway is not what it was—indeed, its proper name is now St. George's-street, but it still retains much of its old eccentric character. The casual pedestrian who wanders from the neighbourhood of the Mint, past the end of Leman-street and the entrance to the London Dock, need no longer fear robbery with violence; nor may he with any confidence look to witness a skirmish of crimps and foreign sailors with long knives; but, if his taste for observation incline to more tranquil harvest, his eye, quiet or restless, will fall upon many a reminder of the Highway's historic days, and of those relics of its ancient character which still linger. Sailors' boarding-houses are seen in great numbers, often with crossed flags, or a ship in full sail, painted, in a conventional spirit peculiar to the district, upon the windows. Here and there is a slop shop where many dangling oilskins and sou'westers wave in the breeze, and where, as often as not, an old figure-head or the effigy of a naval officer in the uniform of fifty years ago stands as a sign. There are shops where advance notes are changed, and where the windows present a curious medley of foreign bank notes, clay pipes, china tobacco-jars, and sixpenny walking sticks, and there are many swarthy-faced men, with ringed ears, with print shirts and trousers unsupported by braces; also there are many ladies with gigantic feathers in their bonnets, of painful hue, and other ladies who get along very comfortably without any bonnets at all.

In a street like this, every shop is, more or less, an extraordinary one; but no stranger would expect to find in one of them the largest and most varied collection of arms, curiosities, and works of savage and civilised art brought together for trade purposes in the world, and this side by side with a stock of lions, tigers, panthers, elephants, alligators, monkeys, or parrots. Such a shop, however, will be the most interesting object of contemplation to the stray wayfarer through St. George's-street, and this is the shop famed throughout the world as Jamrach's. Everybody, of course, knows Jamrach's by name, and perhaps most know it to be situated somewhere in the waterside neighbourhood of the East-end; but few consider it anything more than an emporium from which the travelling menageries are supplied with stock. This, of course, it is, but it is something besides; and, altogether, one of the most curious and instructive spots which the seeker after the quaint and out-of-the-way may visit is Jamrach's.

The shop, which we find on the left-hand side as we approach it from the west, is a double one, and might easily be taken for two separate establishments. The first window we reach might be passed as that of an ordinary bird fancier's, were the attention not attracted by the unusually neat, clean, and roomy appearance of the cages displayed, and the uncommon shapes and colours of the birds which inhabit them. The next window is more catching to the eye. Furious Japanese figures, squatting Hindoo gods, strange and beautiful marine shells, and curious pottery bring the pedestrian to a stand, and arouse a desire to explore within. All this outside, however, gives small promise of the strange things to be seen and learnt behind the scenes. Returning to the door by the aviary window, we enter, and find ourselves in a bright, clean room, eighteen or twenty feet square, properly warmed by a stove placed in the centre. The walls, from floor to ceiling, are fitted with strong and commodious wire cages, in which birds of wonderful voice and hue and monkeys of grotesque lineament yell, whistle, shriek, and chatter. Great and gorgeous parrots of rare species flutter and scream, and430 blinking owls screw their heads aside as we pass. But the cause in chief of all this commotion is the presence of an attendant in shirt-sleeves, who, carrying with him a basket, is distributing therefrom certain eatables much coveted hereabout. Beaked heads are thrust between bars, and many a long, brown arm reaches down-ward and forward from the monkey-cages, in perilous proximity to the eager beaks. In a special cage, standing out from the rest, a beautiful black and white lemur sits and stretches his neck to be fondled as the attendant passes, but shyly hides his face when we strangers approach him.


Here Mr. Jamrach himself comes to meet us—a fine old gentleman, whose many years and remarkable experiences have left but small impression upon him. Coming from Hamburg—where his father before him was a trading naturalist—he founded the present business in Shadwell more than fifty years ago, and here he is still in his daily harness, with all the appearance of being quite fit for another half-century of work among snakes and tigers. His two sons—one of whom we shall presently meet—have assisted him in the business all their lives. The elder of these, who was a widely-known naturalist of great personal popularity, died some few years since. Mr. Jamrach takes us into a small, dusty back room, quaint in its shape and quaint in its contents. Arms of every kind which is not an ordinary kind stand in corners, hang on walls, and litter the floors; great two-handed swords of mediæval date and of uncompromisingly English aspect stand amid heaps of Maori clubs, African spears, and Malay kreeses; on the floor lies, open, a deal box filled with rough sheets of tortoise-shell, and upon the walls hang several pictures and bas-reliefs. Mr. Jamrach picks up by a string a dusty piece of metal, flat, three-quarters of an inch thick, and of an odd shape, rather resembling a cheese-cutter. This, we are informed is a bell, or, perhaps more accurately, a gong, and was used on the tower of a Burmese temple to summon the worshippers. Reaching for a short knobkerry, which bears more than one sign of having made things lively on an antipodean skull, Mr. Jamrach strikes the uninviting piece of metal upon the side in such a way as to cause it to spin, and we, for the first time, fully realise what sweet music may lie in a bell. The sound is of the most startling volume—as loud as that of a good-sized church bell, in fact—and dies away very slowly and gradually in a prolonged note of indescribable sweetness. The metal is a peculiar amalgam, silver being the chief ingredient; and oh that all English church bells—and, for that matter, dinner bells—had the beautiful voice of this quaint bit of metal!



Then Mr. Jamrach shows us wonderful and gorgeous marine shells, of extreme value and rarity, and some of a species which he originally introduced to men of science, in consequence of which it now bears an appalling Latin name ending with jamrachus.

Passing from the back of this little room, we enter a very large one, extending from the front to the back of the entire premises, with a gallery on three sides above. Here we are joined by the younger Mr. Jamrach, and here we stand amid the most bewildering multitude of bric-a-brac and quaint valuables ever jumbled together: fantastic gods and goddesses, strange arms and armour, wonderful carvings in ivory, and priceless gems of old Japanese pottery. Merely to enumerate in the baldest way a tenth part of these things would fill this paper, and briefly to describe a hundredth part would fill the magazine. And when we express our wonder at the extent of the collection, we are calmly informed that this is only a part—there are more about the building—four or five roomfuls or so!

We have come to St. George's-street expecting to see nothing but a zoological warehouse, and all this is a surprise. That such a store as we now see were hidden away in Shadwell would have seemed highly improbable, and indeed we are told that very few people are aware of its existence. "The museums know us, however," says Mr. Jamrach the younger, "and many of their chief treasures have come from this place." Among the few curious visitors who have found their way to Jamrach's there has been the Prince of Wales, who stayed long, and left much surprised and pleased at all he had seen. The late Frank Buckland, too, whose whole-souled passion for natural history took him to this establishment day after day, often for all day, could rarely resist the fascination of the museum, even while his beloved animals growled in the adjacent lairs. The Jamrachs do not push the sale of this bric-a-brac, and seem to love to keep the strange things about them. Their trade is in animals, and their dealings in arms and curiosities form almost a hobby. Many of the beautiful pieces of pottery have stood here thirty years, and their proud possessors seem in no great anxiety to part with them now. A natural love of the quaint and beautiful first led Mr. Jamrach to buy carvings and shells from the seafaring men who brought him his birds and monkeys, so that these men soon were led to regard his warehouse as the regulation place of disposal for any new or old thing from across the seas; and so sprang up this overflowing museum.

Among hundreds of idols we are shown three which are especially noteworthy. The first is a splendid life-sized Buddha—a work of surprising grace and art. The god is represented as sitting, his back being screened by a great shell of the purest design. The whole thing is heavily gilt, and is set, in places, with jewels. Every line is a line of grace, and the features, while of a distinct Hindoo cast, beam with a most refined mildness. What monetary value Mr. Jamrach sets on this we do not dare to ask; and,432 indeed, we are now placed before the second of the three—a Vishnu carved in alto-relievo of some hard black wood. This is a piece of early Indian art, and it has a history. It was fished up some twenty years ago from the bottom of the river Krishna, where it had been reverently deposited by its priests to save it from insult and mutilation at the hands of the invading Mohammedan; and there it had lain for eight hundred years. It is undamaged, with the exception that the two more prominent of the four arms are broken off; and that it has escaped the insult which its devout priests feared is testified by the fact that the nose—straight, delicate, and almost European in shape—has not been broken. It is an extremely rare thing for a Vishnu free from this desecration—a fatal one in the eyes of worshippers—to be seen in this country. Above the head are carved medallions representing the ten incarnations of the god, for the last of which mighty avatars millions still devoutly wait in mystic India; while here, in Ratcliff-highway, after all its dark adventures, and after its eight centuries of immersion below the Krishna, stands the embodiment of the god himself, mildly serene and meekly dignified.


The third of these gods is quite a different person. There is nothing resembling beauty—either of conception or workmanship—about him. He is very flat-chested, and his form is faithfully represented in the accompanying illustration; without an illustration he would be indescribable. The head is very small, and grotesquely carved, with a large boar's tusk projecting from the jaw. The trunk and limbs, however, are the parts of interest; they consist of an entire human skin stretched on a sort of flat wooden framework, and partly stuffed with dried grasses. The skin is a light brown, leathery looking stuff, with here and there a small crack. The legs are clothed with loose blue trousers, which appear to be of dungaree, or a similar material, and the complete deity came from the Friendly Islands some time since. Just at his feet lie, in an open packing box, certain mummified heads, some bearing unmistakable marks of hard knocks, all having been, no doubt, among the most cherished possessions of the gentleman who had separated them from the shoulders upon which they originally grew.

Of heads and skulls we see many, and among them the skull of an undoubted cannibal—a thing of very peculiar conformation. And so we go on from room to room, where the sunlight peeps in with difficulty, and paints with light and shadow the memorials of savage art, warfare and worship, as well as many exquisite specimens of porcelain and metal work from Japan and Florence. We see the garment of cowtails which Ketchwayo wore when taken prisoner, and we see a testimony to the guile of the wily Maori in an axe made of iron only, but painted and got up to exactly resemble greenstone. The reason of the disguise becomes apparent when it is explained that for the genuine greenstone article of this pattern a collector will gladly pay a hundred pounds, while the metal imitation is worth its weight as old iron, and no more. We see two pairs of magnificent china vases five or six feet high, the like of which it would be difficult to find offered for sale anywhere. Another pair, which had stood here for thirty years, were bought only a week or two back by a visitor of title with a cheque of three figures—a bargain which the buyer jumped433 at. We are shown old Satsuma ware of wondrous delicacy and richness, commanding something more than its weight in sovereigns in the market. We see grand old repoussé work in very high relief. We linger over a singular old Japanese medicine cabinet, the outside of which is covered with hundreds of little silver charms, against as many varieties of disease—each charm a quaintly-wrought oval or scarabæus. We examine two immense Japanese vases of copper, each six feet high, and of the most elaborate workmanship, the design revealing here and there, in a surprising manner, elementary forms and principles usually supposed to be wholly and originally Greek. There are stone weapons, bronze weapons, steel weapons, and wooden weapons of every outlandish sort, and musical instruments such as one sees represented on Egyptian sculptures. There are many things bought at the sale of the effects of the late king of Oude, an enthusiastic old gentleman whose allowance from the British Government was a lac of rupees a month, and who managed to spend it all, and more than all, on curiosities and works of art, so that his funeral was followed by a sale on behalf of his creditors. Among the old king's treasures in this place are seven small figures, of a dancing bear, a buck antelope, a gladiator, a satyr riding a furious bull, another riding a camel, an armed man on a rhinoceros, and a monkey mounted on a goat, respectively. Each of these little figures is built up of innumerable smaller figures of beasts, birds, and fishes, fighting and preying upon each other, not one speck of the whole surface belonging to the main representation, while, nevertheless, the whole produces the figure complete with its every joint, muscle, sinew, and feature. And so we pass, by innumerable sacred masks, pashas' tails and alligators' skulls, toward the other and main department of this remarkable warehouse—that devoted to natural history.

We cross Britten's-court, where we observe a van with a small crowd of boys collected about it. A crane is swung out from a high floor, and from the end of the dependent chain hangs a wooden case or cage, violently agitated by the movements of the active inhabitant. He is a black panther, the most savage sort of beast with which Mr. Jamrach has to deal, and, as this one feels himself gradually rising through the air, his surprise and alarm manifest themselves in an outburst strongly reminding the spectator of Mark Twain's blown-up cat "a-snorting, and a-clawing, and a-reaching for things like all possessed." He arrives at his appointed floor at last, however, and, as the cage is swung in, the blazing eyes and gleaming teeth turn from our side toward the attendant who receives him.

The wide doors on the ground floor are swung open, and we enter a large apartment fitted with strong iron-barred cages on all sides. This is the lowest of three floors, similarly fitted, in which is carried on a trade in living creatures which is known from one end of the earth to the other. Jamrach's is the market for wild animals from all the world over, and whatever a menagerie-keeper or a zoological collection may want, from an elephant to an Angora cat, can be had in response to an order sent here. Whatever animal a man may have to sell, here he may sell it, providing that it be in good and healthy condition. Mr. Jamrach has lived a lifetime among his beasts, and has had his troubles and adventures with them. One of the most exciting of these adventures took place some thirty years ago. A fine, full-grown Bengal tiger was deposited, in his rough wooden cage, on this very spot at the gates, having just been delivered from a ship in the docks. The lair at the back was being prepared for his reception, when, the attention of Mr. Jamrach and his merry men being otherwise engaged, Tigris regalis set his hind quarters against the back of his temporary receptacle, and, using all his strength, managed to burst out the boards. Then he quietly trotted out, and down the main street. The sudden appearance of a full-sized tiger at mid-day on the pavement of Ratcliff-highway was the signal for a general skedaddle, excepting on the part of a little boy of about eight years of age, who, never having seen a thing of the sort before, innocently extended his hand and stroked the big cat. A playful tap of the great soft paw at once knocked the child upon his face, stunned; and, picking him up by the loose part of the jacket, the animal was proceeding up the next turning, when Mr. Jamrach, who had just discovered the escape, came running up. Empty-handed as he was, he sprang at the tiger's neck from behind, and, grasping the throat with both hands, drove his thumbs into the soft place behind the jaw. Mr. Jamrach was an unusually powerful man—indeed, he is no weakling now, though nearer eighty than434 seventy years of age—and at his scientific grasp the tiger, half choked, let his captive fall, when a couple of heavy blows across the eyes from a crowbar thrust into the naturalist's hands by an attendant thoroughly cowed the great beast, who turned tail and meekly trotted back straight into the lair prepared for him, the door of which stood open for his reception. The little boy was without a scratch; but, although £50 was offered his father as compensation, Mr. Jamrach's intrepidity was rewarded by an action for £500 damages. In the end the smaller amount first offered was awarded, and the loss in costs was made sweeter by the judge's praise of the defendant's prompt and courageous action. The monetary loss had already been discounted by the arrival, in hot haste, the day after the accident, of a showman, who gladly paid £300 for the culprit. This was no bad speculation on his part, it was found, when he had counted up the sixpences received all over the country for admission to see the "tiger that had eaten a boy alive in Ratcliff-highway."


And so, with many an anecdote of his own and his father's experiences in their peculiar business from Mr. Jamrach the younger, we go upstairs and wander among the stock. This, of course, is ever varying in quantity and species, but has always some interesting feature. We are introduced to a solemn monkey, who salaams gravely three times, and then waits to be asked to shake hands, which he does with great ceremony. We see porcupines, black swans and antelopes, and we hear, at the peril of never hearing anything afterwards, the noisy cranes. There is a Sumatra civet cat, with a small, fox-like head, and a magnificent tail; he is not cordial, and snaps an awkward-looking row of sharp teeth at us. Just behind his little cage is a large one, which contains a fine, tall guanaco or wild llama. The docile-looking creature moves to and fro behind the bars, keeping his eye on us, and pursing his mouth the while. Suddenly Mr. Jamrach435 says, "Look out, he's going to spit!" and we all duck in different directions with great celerity—only just in time. The intelligent quadruped has conceived a prejudice against the shape of somebody's hat, or the colour of somebody's tie, and expresses it by spitting, with much force and precision, at the offender's face.


A large increase in the general chatter and growl around us announces the approach of an attendant with food. The emus and cassowaries stretch their long necks as far between the bars as possible, and the pelicans and cranes yell agonisingly. A large black panther throws himself against the bars of his cage, and gives voice unrestrainedly. In contrast to these, the domestic cat of the establishment follows the man's heels, with much tender purring and a sharp eye to any stray fallen morsel. There are other cats here in cages—cats too valuable to be allowed to run loose—magnificent Angoras and Carthusians, who rub their heads against the wires, and, as we approach, extend their paws in an appeal to be noticed and petted.

We are promised an interesting feeding sight downstairs, and we descend to the ground floor. Among the more risky speculations of the commercial naturalist are the alligator and the crocodile. They will sulk and go into a decline on the least provocation or without any provocation at all, and, being expensive to begin with, often prove awkward losses. They almost invariably sulk at first, we are told, and, refusing to take food, would be likely to get into a bad way unless cured; and the curing of a crocodile's sulks is a surprising thing to see. We find, on reaching the ground floor, poor crocodilus laid by the heels and perfectly helpless, lashed immovably to iron rings and posts. His head is ignominiously sat upon by a sturdy man in shirt-sleeves, who presently pokes the end of a crowbar among the big teeth, and forcibly prizes the mouth open into that position of comprehensive smile so familiar to the readers of children's natural history books. Then another man kneels before the unfortunate reptile and feeds him. That is to say, he takes a lump of meat weighing five or ten pounds or so, and dexterously pitches it into the œsophagus, afterwards firmly and decisively ramming it home with a long pole. This is the dinner of all naughty, sulky crocodiles, and, after having it served in this fashion regularly four or five times, the victim gives up sulking as a bad job. He will have to swallow it, one way or another, he argues within himself, and in that case he may as well take it without being tied up, and sat upon, and insulted generally; besides which, he may as well enjoy the flavour as swallow all those eatables without tasting them. Whereupon he reforms and becomes a respectable crocodile, taking regular meals, and is in time promoted to the Zoological Gardens, or a respectable menagerie.

This and other things we see, and we have it explained how dangerous animals are transferred from cases to permanent cages, and back again. To transfer a savage panther or tiger from a case to a436 cage is not difficult. Certain of the bars of the cage are raised, the case is put opposite the opening, and the side removed. Seeing an opening the captive jumps at it, and the bars are at once shut down. But to tempt him back again into a case, when he has become to some extent accustomed to his quarters, is not always so easy a thing. Carefully baiting the case with food usually has its effect, if circumstances permit waiting; but, if not, recourse has to be had to smoke. A little damp straw thrust between the bars and lighted soon makes the lair uncomfortable, and then ensues a scene. Eyes gleam, and teeth gnash from obscure corners, and presently, with a bound and a yell, the powerful beast dashes through the opening into the case, and is secured. It may be easily understood that any little clumsiness or mistake at the critical moment might lead to the case being overturned in the rush, or improperly closed. Then, with a tiger or black panther worked to the highest pitch of frenzy by the fire and smoke, some lively adventures would probably take place.


And so we reach the door into Britten's-court, and, with cordial thanks to our entertainers for a most pleasant and instructive afternoon, emerge into Ratcliff-highway, with its dock labourers, its sailors' boarding-houses, and its slop-shops.


The Spider's Web.

A Story for Children: from the French of Jacques Normand.



T that time my aunt Herminie, fatherless and motherless, was living in the old abbey of Mauvoisin, near Corbeil, which was disaffected and had become very national. It was during the Reign of Terror, and she was nearly twenty years old. She was there with two old ladies, Madame Maréchal and Madame Badouillet: the former tall and thin, the latter little, stout, and one-eyed. One evening—but it will be better to let Aunt Herminie tell the tale herself. I fancy I can hear her now, relating this story which excited me so, the story which I was continually asking her to repeat.

The story? You wish me to repeat it once more, my child? Well, it was in those days. That evening we were sitting by the fire: Madame Maréchal and I were chatting, Madame Badouillet had fallen asleep. It was about ten o'clock; outside it was very windy—blowing hard. Oh! I remember it well. Suddenly, there came a knock at the door.

I must tell you first of all that a troop of soldiers, about a hundred, had arrived during the day. The officer in command, a big red-headed fellow, had shown us a paper, an order to billet them. They had taken up their quarters in the chapel, and had passed the day there, eating, drinking, singing, and playing cards. They made a dreadful din. They all calmed down when evening came, and were all sleeping in groups.

You will understand, little one, that it was not very reassuring for three lone women to be near such people. Madame Maréchal's husband was away, Madame Badouillet was a widow, and I an orphan; so we bolted ourselves in the little room on the ground floor which was situated between the high road and the chapel, and that's where we were when the knock came, as I have just told you.

Madame Badouillet woke up with a jump, and we all three looked straight at each other with frightened eyes. A moment passed and there was another knock—louder this time. We had a good mind to sham deafness, as you may imagine, but joking was dangerous in those days. If you refused hospitality to patriots, you were regarded as a "suspect," as they called it, and then—the guillotine! It was all over with you in no time.

Madame Maréchal began to recite her prayers; Madame Badouillet shook in every limb; besides, I was the youngest, so I ought to open the door.


I found some men at the door, with large hats, making quite a black group on the road-way. They looked harassed, and their boots were covered with dust. My first impulse was to shut the door in their faces, but one of them made a step forward, stretched out his hand, and said in a low, shaking voice:—

"Shelter, citoyenne, give us shelter for the night. We are dropping with fatigue—have pity upon us!" And these last words were repeated in a murmur by the group of men.

"Who are you?"

"Fugitives—deputies of the Gironde—we are pursued, save us!"

They were Girondins! You will know one day, my child, what that meant. It is enough now for you to know that they were poor fellows flying from Paris, pursued by the Montagnards, that is, by their enemies.

"Wretched men," I replied, "go away! The chapel is full of soldiers. If you come in you are lost!"

They hesitated a moment; then a pale young man, quite a youth, who was leaning upon the arms of two of his comrades, murmured feebly:

"Walk again! I cannot go a step farther. Go on, comrades; save yourselves and leave me here. I prefer to die!"

They were brave fellows, those Girondins. They would not hear of abandoning the poor young fellow.

"Is there no other place but the chapel where we could rest for two hours—just for two hours only?" asked the one who had already spoken to me.

"None but this room," I answered, standing a little aside; "and the chapel has no way out but that door (I pointed to the middle door), so the soldiers pass through here to enter or go out. Let them see you, and you are lost!"

Great dejection was apparent in the face of the poor man. I could see it plainly, for it was a clear night and as light as day.


"Adieu, citoyennes," he said simply. "The district is full of people who are pursuing us. Pray that we may escape them!" Then, turning to his companions, he said in a low voice, "Onward!"

Well, my child, I was quite upset; my heart was rent at the sight of their distress. I understood all that they had suffered, and all they would yet suffer. I looked at their drooping shoulders, at their bruised feet.439 Certainly, by sending them away I was shielding us three from danger, because in helping them I was making myself their accomplice, and exposing myself and my companions to severe punishment. Yes, I understood all that, but pity conquered prudence; a kind of fever seized me, and just as they were moving away—

"Listen," I whispered to them; "there might perhaps be a way to help you, but it would be very risky, very daring."

They drew near eagerly, anxiously, with heads bent forward. Behind me I could hear the trembling voices of Madame Badouillet and Madame Maréchal as they whispered to each other, "What is she talking about? What is she saying?" But that mattered little to me.

"At the other end of the chapel, above the altar," I continued, "there is a granary for storing fodder. Once there, you would be all right, but to get there——."

"Speak, speak!"

"You would have to follow a narrow passage, a sort of overhanging cornice, the whole length of the wall—and just over the sleeping soldiers. If they hear the least noise, should one of them wake up——!"

"Who will lead us?"

"I will!"

I have already told you, my child, that I was in a fever, that I was no longer master of myself; I was acting as if in a dream. To save them had become my sole aim. They took counsel briefly among themselves, while Madame Badouillet continually pulled at my skirts and called me mad. Oh! I remember it all as if I were going through it now!

"Thanks, citoyenne, for your devotion. We will accept the offer!"

I left the door and they entered noiselessly, on tip-toe. There were about a dozen; their clothes were torn and their fatigue was extreme. I told my two companions to keep watch at the door of the chapel, and turned at once to the fugitives.

"You see those steps leading to the ledge?" I asked them. "Well, I am going to ascend them. When I reach the top I will open the door and look into the interior of the chapel, and if the moment is favourable I will give you a sign. You will then ascend and follow me along the wall to the granary. Once there—if God allows us to get there!—you will rest yourselves. I will come to you when the soldiers are gone—they ought to leave at daybreak. You understand?"

All this was uttered rapidly in a low voice; then, positively, I felt as if I were lifted from the ground, as if impelled by some superior will. I felt deep commiseration for these men, unknown to me only a few minutes before; I felt a protecting sentiment towards them which elated me. To save them I would have thrown myself in front of the cannon's mouth, or have rushed upon the bayonet's point. And I, mite that I was, seemed suddenly endowed with extraordinary strength and energy. Madame Badouillet was right, I was positively mad.

I mounted the stairs, opened the door just a little, and looked in. The soldiers were asleep in groups, their heads resting on their knapsacks, their forms making dark spots on the white stones of the chapel. Occasionally one would turn over with a grunt. A slight murmur of breathing came from this human mass. In the corners the guns were stacked; outside, the wind howled in fury. A ray of light from the moon shone through a side window, lighting up one side of the nave, while the other side—luckily, the side where the ledge was—remained quite dark. To get to the door of the granary—dimly visible, like a dark spot, along the narrow ledge, along the wall at about twenty feet from the sleepers—would be the work of a few seconds in reality, yet these few seconds would seem an age.

And now came the reaction; the excitement of the first few minutes was over, and a dreadful feeling of depression came over me as I saw myself face to face with the reality, and understood the almost childish temerity of my plan. I was seized with a mad desire to tell the Girondins that it was impossible to do it; that the soldiers were waking up; that they must fly at once. Then I became ashamed of my cowardice, and, turning towards the men who were watching me from below with uneasy glances, I gave the sign to ascend.

They obeyed, and the first one was soon by my side. I made a sign to keep silence—as if they needed it, poor men!—then I stepped upon the ledge.

What a journey it was! I shall never forget it. I can feel myself now, moving forward on tip-toe, my left hand lightly touching the cold wall, my right hand in space, fearing every instant to lose my balance, or to knock against some stone, some little heap of dirt and pieces of wall, the falling of which would have roused the440 soldiers who were sleeping below, so close to us. And behind me I can still feel the dumb presence of those creatures who were following me, risking their life with mine. We glided along the ledge like a troop of sleep-walkers, holding our breath, treading with extraordinary carefulness, the eyes of each one fixed upon the one who preceded him, all making with beating hearts for that little door which grew larger as we approached it—and it was I who was leading them!

Having reached this exciting point, Aunt Ninie stopped and looked at me to judge the effect. She ought to have been pleased, for I was sitting on the edge of my chair, my eyes out of my head, with open mouth, listening with never-failing interest to a story which I had heard so many times. "What then?" I asked.


At length, after a few minutes, terribly long minutes they seemed, I reached the goal. I seized the key which was still in the door, turned it, pushed the door—and then I thought we were lost!

Nobody had had occasion to go to the granary for a long time, so that the hinges had become rusty; and as I pushed it open it gave out a creaking sound, which went all over the chapel, and sent an icy chill through me.

"What's the matter up there?" growled a soldier, with an oath.

I stood up straight, all of a shake, and I perceived the fugitives, pale, motionless, and standing as closely as possible to the wall. It seemed as if our last hour had come. Luckily, it was very windy, as I have said, and at that very instant a strong gust shook the roof of the chapel.

"Go to sleep, and rest easy, you great fool! It's the wind!" answered another voice.

The first soldier listened again for a brief space, then stretched himself, and went to sleep. We were saved—at least for the moment.

The door was only half open, but it was enough to enable us to squeeze in. This I did when silence was completely restored below, and the others followed one by one, easily enough generally, without being obliged to open the door any further. This was very important, for another creak would certainly have done for us.

You cannot imagine the joy and gratitude of those men when once they were all gathered in the granary. They wept, went down on their knees, and kissed the hem of my dress. One would have thought that I had finally saved them; but, alas! the danger was still there, terrible and threatening.

"Rest," I said to them; "stretch yourselves upon the straw. Here you are fairly441 safe—for the time being, at least. As soon as they are gone you will have nothing more to fear, and you can go away in your turn. Now rest yourselves and sleep, and count on me if any new danger menaces you."

I left them and passed through the door, leaving it as it was. Of course it would have been better to shut it, but that was impossible on account of the noise it would have made.

My return journey along the ledge was performed without incident. Alone, I felt lighter, more skilful, and slipped along like a mouse. At the end of a few seconds I was back in the room, where the two ladies anxiously awaited me.

Each one received me in a different way. Madame Maréchal, severe and sharp, reproached me cruelly, saying that that was not the way to behave: it was risking my life and theirs—that I ought to have left them outside—that I was a fool, &c. Madame Badouillet, on the contrary, approved what I had done, and defended me, saying that nobody could reject the prayer of the fugitives—it would have been infamous. And this good woman pressed me to her heart, and, pleased to see me back again, kissed me, while she wiped away the tears from her one eye.

So we sat down again, commenting in a low voice upon the unforeseen and terrible events which had come upon our hitherto peaceful existence. And it was really a dreadful situation. All these men, enemies, so near to each other; what might happen if the fugitives were discovered! It was frightful, so much so that Madame Maréchal proposed that we should run away, out in the night, across the fields to Corbeil, leaving the men to settle matters amongst themselves as best they could—that was her expression. Madame Badouillet and I rejected this proposal with indignation, and we remained there whispering to each other, and longed for the end of this interminable night.

The first streaks of dawn began to appear, and we felt within reach of the moment when our anxiety would end. Suddenly we heard the gallop of horses on the road-way. What now? We listened. The horses stopped, and we heard a noise of voices. Everybody seemed to be paying us a visit that night.

Then came a knock as before; and, as before, it was I who opened the door. There was a man before me, surrounded by several hussars who had dismounted.


"They are here, eh, citoyenne?" asked the man, who was not a soldier, but doubtless some Government agent. He was stout, and appeared out of breath through having come so rapidly.


I started, but soon recovered my sang-froid. "Here! Who?"

"You know well enough. Those rascally Girondins!"

"There is nobody here but the soldiers who arrived yesterday, as you probably know."

"That's what we intend to find out."

He motioned to one of the men to hold his horse, and dismounted painfully, giving a grunt of satisfaction when he reached the ground. He was certainly not accustomed to that sort of exercise. He was attired in black, with big boots, and feathers in his hat. His round, white face seemed good-natured at first sight, but the look of his little sunken eyes was false and cruel.

He entered, followed by two hussars, and went straight towards the chapel. As soon as he was perceived, there was a great stir; the mass of soldiers began to move with a noise of swords and guns upon the stones, and everybody was soon on foot. The officer in charge came forward and saluted the new-comer, and we understood that this fat man was an important personage.

A conversation in a low voice took place between them. Standing near the door, we tried our hardest to hear what was said, but in vain; we could only guess from the gestures that the agent was interrogating the captain, and that the latter was replying in the negative. We feared to see them raise their heads and perceive the half-opened door above. This little door seemed enormous now, as if everybody must see it.


However, it was not so, for the agent, finishing his conversation with the captain, came up to me, and with that cunning look which boded no good, he said, "So you are quite sure, citoyenne, that there is nobody here but these men?"

He pointed to the soldiers, who were about to brush themselves and put themselves in order. I looked him in the face and replied, "Nobody!"

He put that same question to Madame Badouillet, who bravely made the same reply. Then it was Madame Maréchal's turn. I thought she was going to betray us, and I gave her a fierce look. She hesitated a moment; then, with her eyes on the ground, she stammered, "I do not know—I have been asleep—I have heard nothing."

"Well, I know more about it than you," said the agent. "Some peasants have assured me that the Girondins came in here, that they have passed the night here, and that they are here still. Is it true?"

We all were silent.

"Now just think well about it, citoyennes. You know what you are exposing yourselves to by hiding these traitors?"

It was terrifying to be thus questioned in the midst of men who were watching us closely, and whose looks seemed to pierce our very souls. I felt that Madame Maréchal was giving way, that all was lost. Her lips moved, she was about to speak. I did not give her the time to do so, and putting a bold face on the matter, I replied:

"Since you doubt us, citoyen, search the place. I will lead you wherever you like."

He hesitated, thrown off the scent by my effrontery, and I thought he was going to give up all idea of pursuit, when a voice cried, "It is my opinion that if any little plot has been contrived, it has been done up there."

A soldier, doubtless the one who had woke up in the night, pointed with an evil look to the ledge and the granary door. All eyes were raised, and my legs trembled under me. I thought of the unfortunate men who were behind that door, without443 weapons, without any possible means of defence, listening to what was said. I cursed myself for having yielded to their prayer, and having sheltered them. Outside they would have been in just as great danger, but it would not have been my fault. They could have fought, run away, anything; but there they were through my fault! It was horrible, and I thought I should go mad.

After questioning the soldier—oh, I could have killed him, the wretch!—the agent turned towards me.

"Well, citoyenne, as you propose it, you shall act as our guide. Lead us to that door up there; it's a granary, I suppose?"

I nodded. I could not speak, my throat was too dry.

"A few men follow me! On!"

That was a most terrible moment, my child. I had to summon all my strength to keep from swooning. I drew myself up, however, and went towards the stair-case which led to the ledge, that stair-case which I had ascended with the fugitives a few hours before. The agent came next, then the captain and several soldiers.

What could I hope for in obeying the order? It would require a miracle to save the Girondins. But I had fought it out to that point, and I would fight it out to the end. And, frankly speaking, I scarcely knew what I was doing, I was acting unconsciously—I had been told to go there, and I was going, that's all!

I soon reached the ledge, the agent following painfully on account of his corpulence. He seemed, moreover, very clumsy, and his fat body embarrassed him much. When he reached the top of the staircase and saw the ledge, on which I had already advanced a step or two, he hesitated.

"Oh! oh! it is very narrow!" he murmured.

Then he saw that all the soldiers were looking at him from below, and, stung by their looks, he followed me slowly, supporting himself against the wall, stepping with infinite caution. Really, if the situation had not been so dreadful it would have been grotesque.


Two questions swam in my head. What should I do? Should I run rapidly forward and join the unfortunate men and die with them? Or should I throw444 myself down on the stones and kill myself?

Still, I went on slowly, slowly, expecting every minute to see the door shut by the poor fellows as a frail and useless obstacle to a certain capture; and I was so interested in their fate that I forgot my own danger.

We had reached the centre of the ledge when suddenly the agent stopped, and, turning towards those who followed, said: "Look! spiders' webs!" and he pointed to the entrance of the granary.

And, in fact, by a providential chance, a large spider's web, torn when I opened the door, had remained hanging on the woodwork; and the insect had, during the few hours of the night, partly repaired the damage. The fresh threads crossed the whole space of the opening, and nobody could imagine for a moment that men had passed through that space that very night without breaking the whole of the web. Yes, my child, a spider, a simple spider, had done it. But one cannot help thinking that the good God had something to do with it.

"It is useless to go further," said the agent.

Between you and me I believe the fat fellow was not sorry at heart, for he was dreadfully afraid of rolling down below, and pride alone had sustained him.

There is little need to say more. The Girondins were saved, and I with them. The agent went off, followed by his hussars; and the other soldiers marched away soon afterwards.

As soon as the chapel was empty I ran to the granary. It is not necessary to tell you with what protestations of gratitude I was received. One second more, and, as I had expected, they would have shut the door, which would have been fatal; but Providence willed it otherwise.

We gave them something to eat, and they remained all the day with us; for it would have been imprudent to have left before night. When night came they left us, after having thanked me much more than I deserved. I had done my duty—nothing more.

We followed them with our eyes upon the road as long as we could. Then they disappeared in the darkness.

Did they escape? Were they discovered, and killed on their way? I have never heard. But I have rejoiced all my life that I, delicate as I am, was able to go through so much without breaking down. Madame Badouillet and Madame Maréchal were both ill afterwards.

And that is my story.

Transcriber's Notes:

Punctuation errors repaired. Uncommon and inconsistent hyphenation and spelling have been retained; typographical errors have been corrected.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Strand Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 4 (April 1891), by Various


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