« PreviousContinue »
CHANGE IN CLIMATE.-Those who have read the GREED PUNISHED.-Our own lamented Chantrey, who, ancients with attention, conclude that the degrees of cold though fully alive to the merits of the good things of this are at this time much less severe than formerly. The world, was one of the most unselfish and liberal of men, rivers in Gaul-namely, the Loire and the Rhône-were had a story relating to one of the city feasts at which regularly frozen every year, so that whole armies, with their he was present. The great national sculptor-for truly carriages and baggage, could march over them. Even the great and truly national he was-sat next to a gentleman Tiber froze at Rome; and Juvenal says that it was requi- before whom stood a large tureen of turtle-soup. This site to break the ice in the winter, in order to come at the citizen instantly possessed himself of the ladle, carefully water of the river. Many passages in Horace suppose the fished ont the
coarser parts, and offered the plate containstreets of Rome to be full of ice and snow. Ovid assures using them to Chantrey, who declined. “I watched," said that the Black Sea was frozen annually, and appeals for the he, “ the progress of the plate: at last it was set down truth of this statement to the governor of the province, before the lord mayor's chaplain; and the expression of whose name he mentions. In short, all the ancients who that man's face, when he beheld it, I shall never forget.” mention the climate of Gaul, Germany, Pannonia, and The gentleman went on helping till he had cleared the Thrace, agree that the ground was covered with snow the soup of all but the green fat and richer parts, the whole of greatest part of the year, being incapable of producing which he piled up in a capacious plate for himself. Then olives, grapes, and most other fruits.
up spoke our sculptor and said : " If you will allow me to HUNTING THE HYENA IN ALGIERS.—The Arabs have change my mind, I'll take a little turtle.” And the waiter a most singular way of catching hyenas. We find the who held the plate placed it, to the horror of the dispens. following account credited to the Paris “Constitutionnel,” ing expectant, before Chantrey, who immediately comthe editor of which obtained it in a letter from a French menced spoon-exercise, as Jonathan delicately describes
“And this I did," said Chantrey,“ to officer in Algiers :-"A short time since the commandant such evolutions. of the battalion of Turcos, or native soldiers, was informed punish him for his greed.” What was the unhappy that a female hyena had been seen in the neighbourhood gourmand to do? His own tureen was exhausted, and
in a half-frantic tone he called to one of the waiters to of Mostaganem, near Mazagran, and that she had taken refuge in a cave about one hundred yards in depth. Orders bring him some turtle. But at city feasts the guests were immediately given to carefully guard the entrance to of the day; and the waiter, after trying about, brought
are very industrious, especially when turtle is the
order the cave. Two Turcos, provided with a simple cord and a small chain, went into the cave, without weapons, and back to our greedy gourmand the identical plate of fatless merely carrying a candle, and in about an hour, to the flesh which had so astounded the chaplain, who had congreat astonishinent of the spectators, an enormous hyena trived to exchange his unwelcome portion.' " And then," appeared, muzzled, and allowing itself to be led along with Chantrey, would add,“ my attentive neighbour's visage the docility of a sheep. According to the account given by was awful to look upon!” There was no help for it; the Arabs, the animal, dazzled by the light of the candle, so the disconcerted gourmand betook himself to the allows itself to be handled and caressed like a young dog, rejected plate, with the additional discomfiture of see. and during this time the hunter takes care to muzzle it, ing Chantrey send away his, still rich with calipee, fat, and thus prevents the possibility of its doing any mischief. and fins. --Broderip's Leaves from the Note-Book of a Two soldiers were, however, two days after, seriously
Naturalist. wounded by one of these animals, which snddenly resumed
VEGETABLE VITALITY.-Algiers journals state, that of its ferocity, and, after biting through its muzzle, and knocking down its two assailants, took to flight. 'It is a number of grains of wheat found in an Egyptian mummy hardly possible for anything to equal the courage and twenty-four were planted last year in Algeria, and that
seven of them have produced each six or seven ears of temerity shown by the natives in these sports."
grain, with between seventy and ninety grains in each ear. The Lost TRAVELLER. -Among the numerous vice | The stalks are higher and stronger than in ordinary wheat, tims, distinguished travellers, whose lives have been sacri and each grain displays a sort of beard. The seed ob ficed' to the perils of African discovery, the world has al- tained this year is to be sown, and will, it is expected, yield most forgotten that of the unfortanate Jacqnes Compag: an abundant crop. non, who, under the auspices of the duke de Choiseul, left Senegal in 1758 to explore the country to the north and THE BATTLE OY TIE BEES.—"Galignani's Messenger' east of Senegambia, penetrating as far as the wooded informs us of a curious circumstance that occurred recentlyat desert of Simboni, where he was heard from in 1760, and Guilleville, in France. A small farmer had in a field about then disappeared, never, it was supposed, to be heard of 250 beehives, containing a vast number of bees. He sent again. After ninety years of mystery and oblivion, how a man with a cart, drawn by five horses, to remove some ever,
the veil has been removed, and the secret of his fate earth from the wall near which the hives were placed. The has been disclosed by M. de Gaysa, a Hungarian explorer carter, having occasion to go to the farm-house, tied the in Africa, from whom a letter has been received by the horses to a tree. Almost immediately after, a multitude of Imperial Society of Vienna, disclosing discoveries which bees, either irritated at the shaking of their hires by the reseem to place the fact beyond question, besides giving it a moval of the earth from the wall, or excited by the electricity very interesting, aspect. M. de Gaysa writes from the with which tle atmosphere happened to be charged, issued country of the Kommenis, a semi-civilized tribe, who have from their hives, as if in obedience to a given signal, and some religious notions, “possessing a certain analogy with with great fury attacked the horses. In an instant the the Christian tradition, a regular language, an alphabet, poor animals were entirely covered with bees from head and a mode of writing ;" all or most of which they appear, to foot; even their nostrils were filled with them. When from their own account, to have derived from a stranger, a the carter returned, he found one of his horses lying dead European, who died among them in 1775, and whose me. on the ground, and the others rolling about furiously. mory was revered as that of a sage or good genius. That His cries attracted several persons; one of them attempted this stranger was Jacques Compagnon was proved by a to drive away the bees, but they attacked him, and he had number of circumstances, not the least conclusive of which to plunge into a pond, and even to place his head under were several personal relics, regarded by the people as water for a few seconds in order to escape from them. The sacred, one being a quadrant with his name engraved upon curé of Guilleville also attempted to approach the horses, it in full. It would seemn, from such accounts and tradi- but he too was put to flight by the enraged insects. At tions as M. de Gaysa was able to gather, that Compagnon length two tire-engines were sent for, and by pumping was detained by the Kommenis, and being reconciled at on the bees a great number were killed on the borses last to his captivity, deroted himself to instructing them or put to flight. The horses, however, were so much in the useful arts. His tomb, consisting of “a little stone injured that they died in an hour. The value of the bees monument of a conical form, covered with an inscription destroyed was about 601., and of the horses 1001. A few in hieroglyphical characters," was pointed out to the Hun. days before, bees from the same hives had killed seren. garian visitor in one of their principal villages.
THE GRAFTON FAMILY.
from an upper window, a strip of bed-side carpeting, CHAPTER III.-TIIB BREAD OF AFFLICTION.
with “lot 116" affixed to it-these were the out. The windows were all thrown open, and large ward manifestations. Within, were bustle, disarposting-bills fluttered in the summer breeze; from ray, and confusion. Carpets were rolled up, curtains the drawing-room balcony hung a hearth-rug, and taken down, furniture was displaced, folding-doors
No. 87, 1853.
were unfolded, the auctioneer's rostrum was pre- man, by look and sign, directed the busy and obpared, catalogues of the sale were piled up ready servant auctioneer. Several small lots were knockfor distribution, and merry men in shirt sleeves- ed down to them, including a portion of the library, for the weather was hot-having got through the for which they had to battle through a spirited preliminary arrangements, had seated themselves contest with the gentleman in spectacles, after the on drawing-room chairs, and were refreshing them- second-hand booksellers had left off bidding. But selves, hands and faces unwashed, with bread and they succeeded, and their competitor was angry at cheese, and heavy draughts of porter, from the his defeat ; and then they went away. next public-house. It was all natural. Men must The sale was ended at last. The plethoric geneat and drink as well as work; and in the daily tieman rejoiced that he had bought the wines a duties of life--though those duties may be inextri- bargain. The lady and her daughters were disapcably interwoven with sorrow and loss to others pointed that “the grand,” which had cost a hunwhy, say they, not be cheerful ?
dred pounds and more, was pushed up beyond their The sale commenced, and the auctioneer entered twenty guineas, and that they had lost it. Young upon his duties with business-like tact and in- benedict obtained his drawing-room furniture; genuity. He was a quick salesman, and kept but for the most part the materials of that sale buyers up to the mark, so lot after lot was knocked were to be seen two days afterwards, ticketed and down with commendable rapidity. Bidders were prominently set forth, at the open shop fronts of numerous and respectable, for it was no “put-up” various brokers and dealers within a mile of Islingauction sale, and it was known that the late pro- ton; and the empty, silent house was ready for its prietor of the goods which were to be thus dis- next tenant. persed was a man of taste and discernment.
And where were the widow and the fatherless ? A large number of friends of the family were Follow us, reader, a little way out of town, or at the sale, with carefully-marked catalogues. One rather a little nearer to its extreme vergema short plethoric gentleman had ticked off certain dozens half-hour’s walk from the Islington Angel; and of wine, which were to be sold in one lot. This enter with us one of a row of houses, neat, prim, gentleman knew Mr. Grafton had been very par- and what advertisements would call genteel. They ticular in his wines, having proved them. A stand back from the road, and a long narrow strip younger man had his eye on the drawing-room of ground in front, surrounded by iron railings, chairs and tables. He was about to be married, and filled with stunted shrubs-poor things! and he hoped; and this was a favourable opportunity lanky lime-trees with brown and dusty foliage, of completing the furnishing of his new home. Å gives designation to the row: it is the “Grove. lady and her three daughters were hoping that the The tenants of these houses have' mostly business grand piano-forte would not be run up too extrava- in the city. They have small incomes and large gantly. They knew its tone and its cost price, for families; and those of them who are very ingenithis was not the first time they had seen it. A ous in contriving to crowd together a considerable gentleman in spectacles was waiting with patient number of breathing machines within a very limitindifference for the library lots. There was a ed space let lodgings. Perhaps, on an average, choice collection of modern works, elegantly bound let the number of legitimate members of the and in first-rate condition,” the catalogue said ; households be what they may, two in every three and the gentleman knew this as well as any cata of the houses in the “Grove" contain first-floor logue could tell him. There were prudent lady lodgers. housekeepers also, who, if they could, would re- Three months have passed since the death of plenish their glass and china, their beds and bed- Mr. Grafton, one since the sale, and nearly two ding, their napery and drapery, at their friend Mrs. since Mr. Nelson took leave of the poor widow, Grafton's sale; for, since there was to be a sale, and departed homeward to his quiet country parish. they might as well get a bargain as let another It was well for Mrs. Grafton that she had had a have it.
friend to manage her affairs for her more consiThere met, that day, at that auction sale, some derately than the “man of business" would have who had met in the same rooms at other times ; managed them. It was Mr. Nelson who had and it was natural for them to talk of those other sought and found an unfurnished floor at the times, and to say how they pitied poor Mrs. Graf. “Grove," and had plainly but comfortably furnished ton-and how they wondered what she would do the rooms from the house in street. It was now and how they blamed Mr. Grafton for living he who had paid off the servants their arrears of up to his income, and not maliing any provision for wages, and quieted the impatience of certain prihis familyand how Mrs. Grafton would feel the vate creditors, who, naturally enough, were desiraltered circumstances, so used as she had been to a ous of knowing how and when their debts were home of luxurious plenty ever since she was mar- to be liquidated now that Mr. Grafton was gone, ried—and how they wondered where she and the and the firm, as they understood, not responsible. children were, now they had left the house. All It was Mr. Nelson, also, who had listened compasthis was natural enough to say, and it was said sionately to the disconsolate bewailings of the bevery suitably and decently. And then the speakers reaved lady, who, when the earliest deep throbturned their attention to the auctioneer, for one lot bings of sorrow for her loss were over, shrunk back which they did not want was just knocked down, with dismay and impatience from the first necesand one which they did was as quickly put up. sary sacrifices which that loss involved, and had
There was a couple in the throng, middle-aged borne the half reproach that it was very hard to and plainly dressed, who looked with grave interest be driven away so soon from her luxurious home, on the proceedings of that day. They, too, had a and have to put up with the scanty accommodamarked catalogue in hand, and at times the gentle- tions of the lodgings taken for her in the “Grove.'
He had also commissioned a friend to attend the before the servant who my letters come from if sale, and purchase some articles of comfort and you are sure," says Mrs. Grafton, fretfully, as she luxury for the widow and children, which he him- takes up the letter, and then lays it down almost self engaged to pay for; and having performed angrily, pointing to the dirty thumb-mark. these and many other offices of disinterested bene- “ If you please, ma'am"-and a message from volence, besides giving much good counsel and Mrs. Davis, the landlady, is about to be given ; Christian sympathy, and made another effort, un- but the girl is stopped short at the outset. The successfully, to induce the former partners of Mr. dirty thumb-mark, the door left open, the abrupt Grafton to promise some small permanent provision entrance into the room without knocking or notice for his family, so as to rescue them from imme. to the lady, habituated as she had been to punctidiate want, he went away sorrowful: he could do lious observances of well-paid and not overworked
servants, these are fretting grievances, which give In the only sitting-room of her lodgings in the poignancy to her heavier afflictions. She does not “Grove" is Mrs. Grafton, pale and haggard : she scold the poor drudge ; it is not in her nature to moves languidly and nervously from chair to sofa, scold; but she complains and remonstrates. Alas! and from sofa to chair : she takes up a strip of now Mrs. Grafton has much yet to learn before muslin which she tries to hem, and then abandons she can say, " tribulation worketh patience; and the task, after a few stitches irregularly set, and patience, experience ; and experience, hope." In
fill with tears. Bertie, sad and anxious, the day of adversity she has not yet learned rightly is turning over the leaves of a book-one of that lot to consider. for which the gentleman in spectacles at the sale “And that dreadful bird,” adds Mrs. Grafton was outbid, and because of which he was angry for the loud shrill piping of a canary below stairs but Bertie cannot fix himself to reading. Ask him had burst in upon her at the opening of the door ; what the book is about, and he could scarcely tell “would Mrs. Davis be so kind as to put it farther Fou; his young heart is troubled with many cares away ? the noise goes through my head ; I cannot and apprehensions. Nevertheless, he sits quietly bear it.” at the table, and turns over the pages softly; not There is already a feud about this bird. Mrs. so softly, however, but that his mother chides him Davis has no children, and she lavishes her materimpatiently for the noise he makes ; so he shuts up nal tenderness on her beautiful canary; she loves the book at last, and his eyes, too, fill with tears. to hear it whistling away from morning to night,
It is a fine day; the sunshine streams in at the and she wonders at her lodger for disliking the closely-shut windows; and Bertie's two sisters pleasant, joyous music. Mary feels herself on safe look out disconsolately on the lanky lime-trees and ground here. She may venture to be impertinent, stunted shrubs, and the dark smoky sparrows, so she tells the lady she had better speak to Mrs. which hop about the ground as merrily as though Davis herself about the bird, if the noise disturbs there were no such things as green fields and her. The reproof for the dirty thumb-mark, and hedges and country cousins within half an hour's the open door, and the abrupt entrance, are rankflight, and who seem so fond of town life that ling in her memory, and she has her revenge. little Harriet is sure they are very silly and igno- Bertie starts from his seat impetuously. “Morant birds. There are nurse-maids, too, with ther, I'll go and speak to Mrs. Davis." and he children in arm or hand, drawling by; and children bursts from the room. His intention, however, is without nurse-maids, seeming happier by many better than his performance. He soon returns, degrees than those who are thus guarded and very red in the face; and as Mary, having at guided, for they can play as they please without length delivered her message relating to dinner, being scolded. And Lotte and Harry whisper retires, her mistress enters very pale and angry. together, and wish they might go out this fine She wonders what Mrs. Grafton can mean by send. morning; and Lotte whispers to Bertie to ask ing master Bertie to her with a complaint about mamma if they may not go for a walk; and Bertie her bird. She is not going to send the bird away, says, “ Hush, Lotte dear; you know mamma does nor stop its singing. She can't think how anybody not like being left alone;" and so, for the twen- can find fault with it. She never had a lodger tieth time since they have been in those dreary before that did; and if Mrs. Grafton cannot endure lodgings, Bertie's sisters are disappointed, and it, she had better find rooms somewhere else, they must still look out at the window, panting where birds are not kept. For her part, she is not for fresh air and restless for want of employment. obliged to let lodgings at all, and there's a good They have their sad thoughts too, and remem- deal of trouble with them, especially with ladies brances, and childhood's bitter tears.
who must have everything done for them. And “A letter, ma'am," a dingy maid-of-all-work having disburdened herself of this homily, Mrs. announces, and lays the letter on the table before Davis leaves the room in great dignity, and Mrs. Grafton. Her hands are not particularly throughout the remainder of the day the canary clean, to be sure ; and a thumb-mark is visible on seems to warble more lustily and thrillingly than the outer fold. But to Bertie anything is a relief ever. from that painful wearying silence which has reign- It is a day of sorrow and humiliation. It is a ed, day after day, in that melancholy sitting. hard lesson to learn. Mrs. Grafton—that heart,
stricken widow-has heard before now of ruined " It is from Mr. Nelson, mamma; it is his hopes and blighted prospects, and poverty in a writing, I am sure," he says, in a natural tone of hundred shapes; she has not passed half-way gladness.
through the allotted span of life without witnessing " If it is, Bertie, you needn't speak so lond ; you some such scenes of trouble ; it may be that she know I cannot bear it: and you ought not to say has spoken, in times past, of the duty of resigna
tion, and has thought that if she were suddenly | as had seldom before been seen even in the wasted plunged into adversity she would know how to be pathway of war. Paralyzed by this stroke of chasabased as well as she had known how to abound. tisement, the concessions which had before been But this was when her mountain seemed to stand insolently refused were now granted; among strong, and she thought she shonld never be which was the abolition of Christian slavery for moved ;
but now-now-she is troubled. She ever, and the release of more than three thousand begins to find that she must bend to the world unhappy captives of various nations. which but a little while since bent to her ; and Notwithstanding this severe blow at their power, these petty annoyances and vexations threaten to the Algerines, true to their ancient reputation, did be but the beginning of severer troubles. Ah! if not long adhere to their extorted promises of Charles Grafton could but have forseen this—fore amendment. The city was at the earliest possible seen it when in the heyday of hopeful prosperity, period placed in a more formidable state of defence for he did foresee it when foresight was all too late than ever, so as to be in a position to defy any of -how different the case might have been! Are the great European powers whose vengeance its there no Charles Graftons to whom the scenes we piratical practices might provoke. Our neighbours, have ventured to sketch may teach wisdom—if the French, happened to be the next aggrieved they will receive it?
party. The original cause of hostilities was of The trials of that day are not ended. Visitors long standing. It appears, that so far back as the are announced by the dirty maid-of-all-work; and time of Louis xvi, some Algerine merchants supthe door opens to Mrs. Lane and her daughters, plied the French government with a large quantity who were baulked in their desired purchase of of corn from the province of Constantina, paythe piano-forte at the sale, and who have since ment for which had been deferred from reign to taken the trouble to find out the widow's retreat. reign-one dynasty after another repudiating the It is professedly a visit of condolence, but in liabilities of its predecessors. The matter was still reality one of inquisitive and prying curiosity. in dispute when the Bourbons returned to the Perhaps, also, there may be a little mean malignity throne of France, and it was at last decided that at the bottom of it all, for " the Graftons always the debt should be compounded for by the payment carried themselves quite high enough,” Mrs. Lane of 560,0001. This award being by no means satishas been overheard to say; "and pride is sure factory to the dey, a system of annoyances and reto have a fall.
prisals was commenced against the trade of France. “ Mother,” says Bertie, indignantly, when the Shortly afterwards, too, during one of the fêtes of visit is over, “ if those people come again, I wouldn't the Bairam, when it was customary for the grand see them if I were you. I wouldn't be insulted functionaries to pay their respects to Hussein Dey, again by them. If we are poor now, we haven't some mutually irritating insults were bandied bebegged of them : let them leave us alone." tween the latter and the French consul, which led
Ah, Bertie ! you, too, have lessons yet to learn to the recall of that functionary, and the declara-hard, stern, unyielding: Has he the stuff in him tion of war against Algiers. After an ineffectual out of which men are made real men ? We shall blockade of more than a year, at a cost of nearly a
million sterling, hostilities on a more formidable scale were resolved on; in the prosecution of which a large armament under admiral Duperre, and a
land force of upwards of 30,000 soldiers under genePICTURES OF MILITARY LIFE IN
ral Bourmont, then minister at war, sailed from ALGERIA.
Toulon on the 25th of May, 1830. Among the recollections of our early boyhood Thus originated that fearful struggle between there are few that survive with greater vividness civilized France, backed by its vast military genius than those of the famous naval expedition of lord and resources, and the semi-barbarous tribes. of Exmouth against the piratical states on the north Africa, strong in their chivalric valour, their wild ern coasts of Africa. For ages, the ruthless cor- enthusiasm, and their hereditary and passionate sairs of Morocco, Tunis, and Algiers, swarming in love of liberty--a conflict that raged for more than the Mediterranean sea and interrupting the path twenty years, with savage ferocity and awful car. ways of the Atlantic ocean, with their formidable nage, and at a sacrifice of treasure probably withfleets, had been the terror of mariners, the bane of out precedent in the history of conquest. If we commerce, and the scourge of all contiguous king; want to see war in all its horrors, we have only doms. Many attempts, at different periods, had to turn to the plains, the ravines, and the mounbeen made, with but temporary and partial success, tains of Algeria. There the desolating demon has to exterminate these maritime freebooters, or at taken up his abode ; perpetual hostilities and san. least to arrest their career of plunder ; and Spain, guinary conflicts having for nearly a quarter of a France, Holland, Naples, the United States, and century become the chronic condition of the “coour own country, each in its turn lavished precious lony." blood and treasure in the effort. They were in- It is well known that the military operations deed no easy conquest. At the time of lord Ex, and colonizing schemes carried on in Algeria mouth's attack the Algerines were sheltered behind occupy a considerable space in the journals and fortifications which, from their extent and strength, literature of France, which, considering that this were deemed impregnable. That brave admiral, aceldama is her only colony of importance, is not a however, with a fleet which was regarded as alto- matter of much surprise. One of the most recent gether disproportionate to the tremendous task works on this subject, entitled “ MILITARY LIFE before him, speedily demolished these strongholds IN ALGERIA,” by the Count P. de Castellane, has of rapine and cruelty, and left a mass of ruins such just been translated and presented to the English