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shouted Ralph, and a six-pound ball whistled through the mainsail. The mandarin boats were flying through the water at a rapid rate. I could have easily up helm, and run away from them all ; but my temper was aroused, and just so long as the Chinamen wanted to fight, I was bound to satisfy their pugnacious propensities, while my powder and balls lasted. Every now and then I would luff, allowing them to approach nearer and nearer. They kept pegging away at me with their popguns, trying in vain to bring some of our top-hamper down about our ears; but in this they were disappointed. They succeeded at last in hitting us on the rail, and a shower of splinters flew around us, followed by a shout and yell from the Chinamen. “That shall be the last yelp from some of you curs I” And I jumped down on the main deck, walking forward to where the long thirty-two was. As soon as it was loaded I waved my hand to the man at the wheel to luff, and as the leach of the foretopsail began to lift I turned the gun on them and applied the match. A yell, mingled with shrieks and groans, followed the report; and as the smoke cleared away two of the four boats had disappeared, and the fragments of oars, boats, arms and men floated on the surface of the sea, while the survivors were taken into the other two boats, which were soon in full retreat for the land. “There l—in future they will let the Ariel alone when she passes this way; the Chinamen appear to have had enough of it, and they will not be apt to trouble us again in a hurry!” “No,” replied Ralph, “I don't believe they will; but hadn't we better put on the kites again 2 for if the breeze should again die away, and we get becalmed, they might take us yet. You can't place any dependence on the wind here.” “Yes, you may make all sail,” I replied ; and in a few minutes the Ariel was leaving the Ladrone Islands astern. The decks were washed down, the dead bodies thrown overboard, and I am happy to say that I did not lose a man, but had several wounded. Without further trouble I succeeded in running into Leristin Bay, where the fleet of opium-boats that are continually on the watch soon transferred our cargo to their own capacious holds. As soon as we were discharged I sailed for Shanghai, where I found that my brush with the Chinamen had made quite a sensation amongst the authorities; but such things were common then, and, altogether, I was very well Batisfied with my first attempt to run a cargo of opium.
THREE SNAKE STORIES.
THE virgin forests of Yucatan are among the most impenetrable in the world. The daring hunter who ventures to explore their dark depths has to trust to his ax to clear his path, and in some places even this useful tool is no match for the strong creeper-plants that bar his passage.
Needless to remark that a night passed in one of these thick forests is not quite so comfortable as one passed in a New York hotel.
As soon as the sun has disappeared beneath the horizon, the prelude to the nightly concert begins. Terrible and discordant sounds rend the air, and the hurried rush of ferocious animals resounds on every side.
Thousands of dusky shadows cross each other in the dense underwood ; and fierce, bright eyes flash like stars across your path.
This going and coming of carniverous animals, tormented by hunger and thirst, seeming to fly from each other in dread, is a spectacle that no European and very few Americans behold without a feeling of apprehension, and even of terror. For the daring hunter, who has the courage to gaze upon this curious spectable in an unconcerned manner, it has a strange and fascinating attraction. You are in comparative security as long as panthers, wildcats, coyotes, pumas and hyenas are your only enemies; but as soon as you notice a quiet sliding object advancing in your direction, beware I For you may be certain that the deadly enemy has espied you, and that a boa-constrictor, or cobra, or an anaconda, is upon your trail. A few months ago a friend of mine happened to find himself in this unenviable position. In company with a few Indian hunters, he had halted in the midst of one of the Yucatan forests. The camp had been pitched under the lee of a large rock ; a fire had been lighted, supper disposed of, and they were preparing to settle down for the night. On this particular night, M. de Sauveur-for that was the name of my friend—was totally unable to compose himself to sleep. But I will give the rest of the account in the traveler's own words: “After many ineffectual attempts to compose myself to sleep, I at last managed to doze off, and was a victim to a terrible nightmare. I dreamed that an enormous serpent had crawled into the camp, and that it had managed to make its way to my side, and had coiled part of its body across my breast. “I distinctly felt its cold, slippery body moving upon my body, and thought its weight seemed to crush the breath out of me. I dared not move. “At last this feeling of suffocation was so great that I awoke with a start. May God protect me from another awakening of that sort 1 “It was not a dream. The horrible serpent was coiled upon my blanket, and the start I had given when realizing the situation had doubtless awakened the monster as well, for its great head was lifted up on high, seemingly searching for the person who had disturbed its sleep. “The moon shone full upon its fierce black eyes; and as they were fixed full upon mine, I felt such a sensation of horror that I fairly wished him to kill me and put me out of my misery. “At last the fearful head dropped silently down upon the rest of the body, though the murderous eyes remained fixed upon mine. How long I remained in that position I never knew, but at daybreak the serpent quietly slid off my breast, and made its way into the forest. “To spring to my feet, seize my double-barreled gun, fire two shots at his head, was the work of two seconds ; the monster gave two convulsive bounds, and fell dead at the same moment that I fell insensible to the ground. “When I came to my senses I happened to look at myself in my litttle traveling-glass, and thought the Indians had been covering my head with flour, as they generally do when a person is sunstruck; but the bitter truth soon forced itself upon my mind—my hair had turned completely white/ “Everything tends to show that this must have been a young boa, or else it would have had the devouring instincts of its parents.” A full-sized boa would simply have crushed M. de Sauveur to pieces and then have devoured him. A Mexican paper, of August, gives a very interesting
SMUGGLING opium. –“ AS THE CHINAMEN WERE RUSHING AFT IN PURsuit, I LET DRIVE THE contents of THE LONG GUN on THEM.”—see PAGE 281.
account of the capture of one of these monster serpents. The following is the exact account of the event: One fine morning, a few days ago, some hunters who were exploring the woods in the neighborhood of Coatzacoalco, came across an enormous serpent quietly reposing in the sun. It was evident that he had just made a good meal, for his body was greatly swollen, showing that he had lately swollowed some large animal. The hunters immediately tied a young ass to a neighboring tree, giving him rope enough to allow him to move about in perfect freedom. They then set a good dog upon the serpent, so as to awaken it and make it move about. The ruse succeeded, for, annoyed by the dog's incessant barking, the serpent moved about uneasily, and at last turned its attention to the poor ass. The wretched animal tried in vain to escape, but lowering its head to the ground, the boa swiftly advanced, and with a powerful blow from its tail smashed the ass to the ground, killing it instantly. The boa then coiled itself around its prey, and looked around as if expecting some intruder. Half an hour later, the boa began to cover the carcass with a kind of stinking saliva, and as soon as this operation was completed, it again took a good look around; for these serpents are unable to do harm until some time after its meal. The boa then coiled itself up and remained motionless for some time—indeed the hunters began to think that it was asleep; but suddenly it recommenced the saliva operation, and then, opening its enormous mouth to its full extent, it began to swallow the carcass, beginning at what had once been the head. Unluckily for Mr. Boa, one of the poor ass's legs caught against his gullet, and caused him some terrible contortions before it got clear. As soon as the hunters perceived that the carcass was half-swallowed, they sprang from their hiding-places, and fired a volley at the animal's tail, so as to make sure that it could do no harm. One of the hunters then placed a pistol to the animal's head and fired. Unluckily the shot had been badly aimed, and the animal, though immovable, was not dead, for when the hunters attempted to handle it, the boa gave such a bound that it knocked them all sprawling upon the ground.
It required the contents of four more rifles before the boa was finally quieted. Their first care was to measure the monster, and they found that it was nearly fifty feet. In spite of its great size, the boa was only a small one in comparison to one that was killed at Tzcuimtha, the latter measuring fifty-six feet. The third of our snake stories is the one represented in our engraving, and is copied from a French paper. The men belonging to a French merchant vessel, called the Republique, had just finished discharging cargo while in the harbor of Sumatra, and so they resolved to ask the captain for forty-eight hours leave before beginning the work of reloading. The requisite permission was granted, and the men started away for the shore. One of them happening to have some friends on a plantation a little way from the town, prevailed upon one of his comrades to accompany him upon a visit to the said friends. They reached the plantation in safety, and were grandly received by the planter and his family. After dinner their host proposed that they should take a stroll in the woods. “But remember,” he said, quietly, “we must take some arms with us, for the woods are not very safe. I'll take my rifle, while one of you can take an ax and the other my cutlass, for there is no knowing what may happen.” The three friends then started on their journey, smoking exquisite negritas, and admiring all they saw. The planter first showed them all over his estate, and then led them to a lake entirely surrounded by trees and wild plants. “What's that ?” asked one of the sailors. “A wild hog, I suppose,” replied the planter. be afraid, they won't hurt you.” “Seems more like a snake,” said the other sailor. “You're right,” exclaimed the planter, quickly; “let’s get out of this. I don't like these places, and was foolish to bring you here.” “Right you are l" echoed the two sailors. ship.” They had scarcely uttered these words than they were confronted by an enormous boa. “Run for your lives "cried the planter; and suiting
SMUGGLING opium. –“ witH A TERRIBLE CRASH, Followed by A YELL of DESPAIR, THE sharp cutwater of the ‘ARIEL. " STRUCK THE LARGEST BOAT AMIDships."
THREE SNAKE STORIES. -" UNWILLING TO DESERT A COMRADE, THE SECOND SAILOR VIGOROUSLY ATTACKED THE BOA." the action to the word, the worthy man ran for his life, bly crushed his intended victim, that the rescuer had to leaving the sailors to take care of themselves.!
cut him loose and carry him back to the plantation upon In less time than it takes to write it, the boa had seized his shoulders. one of the sailors around the body and barled him to the A doctor was soon sent for, and it was found that three ground.
of the man's ribs were broken. The skin of the boa was Unwilling to desert a comrade, the second sailor seized long carried upon the Republique, and was exhibited with the ax and vigorously attacked the boa. Then began a great pride to any person who visited the ship. terrible duel, in which, as luck would have it, the man came out victorious.
The boa, terribly out about the head, soon sapk lifeless FEVERISH, anxious, expectant waiting robs the thing upon the ground; but in his last agonies he had 80 terri: desired of half its pleasures, and wears upon the soul.
ABELARD AND HELOISE.
THE story of Heloise and Abelard is one of the saddest on record. It is a true story of man's selfishness and woman's devotion and self-abnegation. If we wished for an allegory which should be useful to exhibit the bitter strife which has to be waged between the earthly and the heavenly, between passion and principle, in the noblest minds, we should find it provided for us in this painful history. We know all the particulars, for Abelard has written his own confessions, without screening himself or concealing his guilt ; and several letters which passed between the lovers after they were separated, and devoted to the exclusive service of religion, have come down to posterity.
Not alone the tragic fate of the offenders, but also their exalted worth and distinguished position, helped to make notorious the tale of their fall. Heloise was an orphan girl, eighteen years old, residing with a canon of Nôtre Dame, at Paris, who was her uncle and guardian. This uncle took great pains to educate her, and obtained for her the advantage of Abelard's instructions, who directed her studies at first by letters. Her devotion to study rendered her remarkable among the ladies of Paris, even more than her beauty. “In fact,” Abelard himself informs us, “she was not insignificant ; in her abundance of learning she was unparalleled ; and because this gift is rare in woman, so much the more did it make this girl illustrious through the whole kingdom.”
Abelard, though twice the age of Heloise, was a man of great personal attraction, as well as the most famous man of his time, as a rising teacher, philosopher and divine. His fame was then at its highest. Pupils came to him by thousands. He was lifted up to that dangerous height of intellectual arrogance from which the scholar has often to be hurled with violence by a hard but kind fate, that he may not slip the true humility of wisdom. “Where was found,” Heloise writes, “the king or the philosopher that had emulated your reputation ? Was there a village, a
city, a kingdom, that did not ardently wish to see you ?
When you appeared in public, who did not run to behold you ? And when you withdrew, every neck was stretched, every eye sprang forward to follow you. The women, married and unmarried, when Abelard was away, longed for his return l’” And, becoming more explicit, she continues: “You possessed, indeed, two qualifications—a tone of voice, and a grace in singing—which gave you the control over every female heart. These powers were peculiarly yours, for I do not know that they ever fell to the share of any other philosopher. To soften by playful instruments the stern labors of philosophy, you composed several sonnets of love, and on similar subjects. These you were often heard to sing, when the harmony of your voice gave new charms to the expression. In all circles nothing was talked of but Abelard ; even the most ignorant, who could not judge of harmony, were enchanted by the melody of your voice. Female hearts were unable to resist the impression.” So the girl's fancies come back to the woman, and it must have caused a pang in the fallen scholar to see how much his guilt had been greater than hers. It was a very thoughtless thing for Fulbert to throw together a woman so enthusiastic and a man so dangerously attractive. In his eagerness that his niece's studies should advance as rapidly as possible, he forgot the tendency of human instinct to assert its power over minds the most cultivated, and took Abelard into his house. A passionate attachment grew up between teacher and pupil ; reverence for the teacher on the one hand, interest in the
pupil on the other, changed into warmer emotions. Evil followed. What to lower natures would have seemed of little moment, brought to them a life of suffering and repentance. In his penitent confessions, no doubt conscientiously enough, Abelard represents his own conduct as a deliberate scheme of a depraved will to accomplish a wicked design; and such a terrible phase of an intellectual mind is real, but the circumstances in which the lovers were placed are enough to account for the unhappy issue. The world, however, it appears, was pleased to put the worst construction upon what it heard, and even Heloise herself expresses a painful doubt, long afterward, for a moment, at a time when Abelard seemed to have forgotten her. “Account,” she says, “for this conduct, if you can, or must I tell you my suspicions, which are also the general suspicions of the world 2 It was passion, Abelard, and not friendship, that drew you to me ; it was not love, but a baser feeling.” The attachment of the lovers had long been publicly known, and made famous by the songs which Abelard himself penned, to the utter neglect of his lectures and his pupils, when the utmost extent of the mischief became clear at last to the unsuspicious Fulbert. Abelard contrived to convey Heloise to the nunnery of Argenteuil. The uncle demanded that a marriage should immediately take place; and to this Abelard agreed, though he knew that his prospects of advancement would be ruined if the marriage was made public. Heloise, on this very account, opposed the marriage; and, even after it had taken place, would not confess the truth. Fulbert at once divulged the whole, and Abelard's worldly prospects were for ever blasted. Not satisfied with this, Fulbert took a most cruel and unnatural revenge upon Abelard, the shame of which decided the wretched man to bury himself as a monk in the Abbey of St. Denis. Out of jealousy and distrust, he requested Heloise to take the vail; and having no wish except to please her husband, she immediately complied, in spite of the opposition of her friends. Thus, to atone for the error of the past, both devoted themselves wholly to a religious life, and succeeded in adorning it with their piety and many virtues. Abelard underwent many sufferings and persecutions. Heloise first became prioress of Argenteuil; afterward, she removed with her nuns to the Paraclete, an asylum which Abelard had built and then abandoned. But she never subdued her woman's devotion for Abelard. While abbess of the Paraclete, Heloise revealed the undercurrent of earthly passion which flowed beneath the even piety of the bride of heaven, in a letter which she wrote to Abelard, on the occasion of an account of his sufferings, written by himself to a friend, falling into her hands. In a series of lettters which passed between them at this time, she exhibits a pious and Christian endeavor to perform her duties as an abbess, but persists in retaining the devoted attachment of a wife for her husband. Abelard, somewhat coldly, endeavors to direct her mind entirely to heaven; rather affects to treat her as a daughter than a wife; and seems anxious to check those feelings toward himself which he judged it better for the abbess of the Paraclete to discourage than to foster. Heloise survived Abelard twenty-one years. We have endeavored to state the bare facts of this tragic history, and feel bound, in conclusion, to warn the reader that Pope's far-famed epistle of “Heloise to Abelard” conveys a totally erroneous notion of a woman who died a model of piety and universally beloved. She ever looked up to her husband with veneration, appreciating him as a great scholar and philosopher. She gave up everything on his account; and though once, when a mere girl, she was
weak when she should have been strong, there is none of that sensuality traceable in her passionate devotion which is Pope's pet idea, and which he pursues with such assiduity. Perhaps the best passage in Pope's poem is one in which he represents Heloise as describing the melancholy of her convent's seclusion. We subjoin it as a specimen of the poem, without being very vain of it:
“The darksome pines, that o'er yon rocks reclined,
ORIENTAL INDIFFERENCE TO LIFE.
It needs a very long time and much bitter experience to teach a European how lightly an Oriental stakes his life, how quietly he pays forfeit when he loses. Be it a savage foe or a remorseless climate against which he plays, the low caste Hindoo will wager death and torment for a few copper coins. I had a bheestie in that war, who was invalided for frost-bite, and probably lost both his feet, while all the time he was carrying in his knapsack the good English boots and long warm stockings I had given him. These he meant to sell, putting them on only when sure to see me; but he waited to secure a higher price. And he tramped barefoot, he slept in cotton cloths, when the thermometer fell below zero, until he sacrificed his limbs, perhaps his life. Playing the same stakes against a human enemy, the Hindoo is still more reckless.
WARFARE IN “CHIWALROUS” TIMES,
ONE instance of promiscuous slaughter is remarkable for the high esteem to which it sometimes raised its chief perpetrator. In the famous war between the citizens of Ghent and the Earl of Flanders, there was no worse episode than when the Lord d'Anghien took the town of Grammont by storm one fine Sunday in June, and showed no mercy to man, woman or child. Old people and women were burned in their beds, and the town, being set on fire in more than two hundred places, was reduced to ashes, even the churches included. “Fair son,” said the Earl of Flanders, greeting his returning relative, “you are a valiant warrior, and, if it please God, will be a gallant one; for you have made a handsome beginning.” History cannot but rejoice that the young duke's first feat of arms was also his last, and that, not many days later, he lost his life in a skirmish.
Of course, all persons found within a town taken by assault were by the rule of war liable, and all the male adults likely, to be killed. Only by a timely surrender could the besieged cherish any hope for their lives or fortunes; and even the offer of a surrender might be refused, and an unconditional submission be insisted on instead.
There is no darker blot on the character of Edward III. than the savage disposition he displayed when, with respect to the brave defenders of Calais, he was only re
strained from exercising his strict war right of putting them to death by the representations made to him of the danger he might incur of an equally sanguinary retaliation in the future. There was in general a strong feeling against making ladies prisoners of war; nor could the French ever forgive England for allowing the soldiers of the Black Prince to take prisoner the Duchess of Bourbon, mother to the King, and to obtain a ransom for her release. To the French appears to have been due whatever advance was made in the more humane treatment of prisoners. Both the Spaniards and Germans were wont to fasten their prisoners with iron chains; but of the French, Froissart
says, expressly: “They neither imprison their captives nor
put on them shackles and fetters, as the Germans do, in order to obtain a better ransom—curses on them for it ! They are without pity or honor, and ought never to receive any quarter. The French entertained their prisoners well and ransomed them courteously, without being too hard with them.” In this spirit Bertrand du Guesclin let his English prisoners go at large on their parole for their ransom, a generosity toward their foes which the English on occasion knew how to requite. Froissart gives one striking illustration of the greater barbarity of the Spaniards toward their prisoners, which should not be forgotten in endeavoring to form a general estimate of the character of the military type of life in the palmiest days of chivalry. In a war between Castile and Portugal, whenever the Castilians took any prisoners they tore out their eyes, tore off their arms and legs, and in such a plight sent them back to Lisbon. It speaks highly for the conduct of the Lisboners that they did not retaliate such treatment, but allowed their prisoners every comfort they could expect in their circumstances.
HOW MARSHAL SOULT 0BTAINED HIS MURILL0.
Of the thirteen Murillos which Marshal Soult managed to collect in Spain, one of them, an “Immaculate Conception,” at the Marshal's sale in May, 1852, was bought by the French Government for 586,000 francs | There is an amusing story of the circumstances under which Soult secured his prize. In his pursuit of Sir John Moore he overtook two Capuchin friars, who turned out, as he suspected them to be, spies. On hearing that there were some fine Murillos in the convent to which they belonged, he ordered them to show him the way to it. Here he saw the Murillo in question, and offered to purchase it. All to no purpose, till the prior found that the only way to save the lives of his two brethren was to come to terms. “But,” said the prior, “we have had 100,000 francs offered for it.” “I will give you 200,000 francs,” was the reply, and the bargain was concluded. “You will give me up my two brethren 2" asked the prior. “Oh,” said the marshal, very politely, “if you wish to ransom them it will give me the greatest pleasure to meet your wishes. The price is 200,000 francs.” The prior got his friars, but lost his picture.
NEWPORT'S WONDERFUL FLOWERS,
WHERE else do roses grow so near the sea that the salt spray falls upon them, and grow so wondrously as in the Bancroft rose-garden 2 If “love begets love,” it is not at all strange that the great historian calls his own the finest