Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Belgium as merely a question of time. Belgium is a small state, it is true, but it has wonderfully increased in wealth and all that constitutes a nation under the long reign of its late King; its people are energetic and industrious, gently governed and lightly taxed, and it can hardly be believed that any considerable party among its people can desire to sacrifice all these things in order to form an unimportant province of the very glorious, but sternly ruled and heavily burdened, Empire of France.

be a

Blake, we think it was, who remarked that an English man-ofwar spoke all languages; we may add to this, that its captain must

man of encyclopædic acquirements, for every imaginable matter may come under bis cognisance, and but too often, the problem, be it wliat it may, must be decided off-hand. In Mr. Moens' book lately published, we see that H.M.S. Magicienne was, last summer, telegraphed for from Malta, to assist in rescuing the English traveller from brigands lurking among the mountains behind Salerno; and more recently H.M.S. Bulldog has had the thankless task of interfering between the black President of Hayti, and another sable gentleman called Salnave, whose name was never before heard of in Europe that we are aware of. It is no reproach to the gallant captains of the Magicienne and Bulldog that one did not succeed at all, and the other had not much to boast of, as the result of their exertions, but it is some satisfaction to know that it was natural causes and not the prowess of their adversaries that caused this. The Magicienne could not leave the sea-shore, the brigands would not quit their mountains, and consequently no meeting hostile or otherwise took place. The Bulldog, being set at defiance, burnt the fleet of her friend Salnave, and knocked his forts about his ears:

but in her eagerness to do her work thoroughly, she got on a reef, and was obliged to be burnt herself, to avoid giving the insurgents the glory that a captured manof-war would seem to confer on them. But the reproach of this “untoward event” was soon wiped off by the efforts of the Lily and Galatea, which ou Lord Mayor's Day bore down on Cape Haytien, then besieged by 15,000 Jeffrardites, who had been seven months over the job, engaged the forts, and in a few hours silenced them, thus showing them the British Navy is "ready, aye ready," as of old to take the conceit out of all who need the operation. Many of our readers who have served at the Cape, are no doubt aware that the study of meteorology is there pursued with vigour, system, and success. The South African Institution, ever since its formation in 1831, bas inade meteorology an important part of its labours, and in consequence a very large number of observations has been collected. To reduce these to order, and to deduce the proper results from them, a Meteorological Commission was appointed, and its First Report is now before us; the date is July 7th, 1862, but it is accompanied by the “Provisional Report for 1864, communicated to the Meteorological Commission, 8th September, 1865, by James Adamson, D.D." From the two documents, we learn that it is the endeavour of the Commission to get into working order some such system as that of our own meteorological office, and by close observation of wind and weather to give increased security to navigation. Ten observatory stations have already been supplied with a complete set of instruments each, and the observations already made are of very great interest and value. We heartily wish success to their labours.

CORRESPONDENCE.

(With the view of promoting the interests of the United Services,

this department of the MAGAZINE is open to all authenticated communications, and therefore the Editor cannot hold himself responsible for the opinions expressed.]

THE BATTLE OF CHILLIANWALLAH. Sir. Are all your readers aware that the ground, upon which the celebrated Battle of Chillianwallah was fought, on the 13th January, 1849, was covered with jungle, or high, thick brushwood for miles ?

The jungle extended for miles in every direction.

The Sikh army, under Shere Sing, was drawn up in battle array in the middle of the jungle.

Lord Gough ordered the Infantry Divisions of Generals Gilbert and Colin Campbell to advance into the middle of the jungle, to capture the Sikh guns. Brigadier Pope's strong brigade of Cavalry formed the right flank of the British Army.

A weak brigade of Cavalry (White's), and Brind's artillery, under the command of Major-General Sir Joseph Thackwell, were on our extreme left.

There was an interval of miles between the two flanks of the British Army. The infantry divisions reached the Sikh guns and captured many.

Pope's Cavalry brigade, upon the right, disordered by the jungle, got into confusion and retired.

Thackwell, upon the left flank, ordered Brind's artillery to keep up a hot fire upon the enemy, and three or four squadrons of White's

Cavalry to make a charge, which, however, cost many valuable lives. White's Cavalry were at one time exposed to a very hot fire from the Sikhs. The nature of the ground, however, was such that it was impossible for the Cavalry to make any effective charges !

The Sikh sharpshooters would have laid low too many British Dragoons in that impenetrable jungle! Of course, the British sustained great loss in this memorable battle.

I am, &c.,
London, December 1st, 1865.

CENTURION.

GUN-COTTON. Sir, In your Number of November, 1865, there is a short article on “The Use of Gun-Cotton for War Purposes," with reference to which permit me to call your attention to the following Viennese correspondence of the “ Darmstadt Allgemeine Militare Zeitung,”

“ Vienna, December 1st., 1865. “In consequence of orders issued by the Emperor the Gun-Cotton used for bursters of hollow projectiles is to be taken out of the latter, and together with whatever may be in store, either sold by auction or destroyed. The great danger of explosion of this material when thus employed seems to have been the motive of this measure. Your most obedient,

COLLODIUM."

CRITICAL NOTICES.

CHRONICLES OF DARTMOOR. By Mrs. Marsh. 3 vols.

It is well, ere such primitive-looking tracts and such primitive-living folks as Dartmoor and its people are reduced to uniformity with the rest of England by the invasion of the railway, now hovering on their confines, the peculiarities of each should be put on record by so clever a chronicler as Mrs. Marsh. She does not indulge in “sensational” intricacies of plot, but instead, she gives the sayings and doings of humble people, “the short and simple annals of the poor," with one benevolent clergyman watching over them, whose character is a very study for all who would depict the "good parson" of remote districts, doing his duty by his flock, and idolized by them in return. The village of Lamsleigh-on-the-Moor is his residence, and has been for a good part of his life. When the tale opens, Parson Hill is an elderly widower, whose son, Master Charlie, has just married, and it seems very probable that a fascinating widow, Mrs. Harcourt, will in due time become Charlie's stepmother. Whether she does, or does not we do not feel it needful to say, though the course of events is most amusingly told; but Parson Hill and Mrs. Harcourt are not the actual hero and heroine of the tale, though bearing an important part in it. The role is filled by Isaac Watson, a well-to-do blacksmith, with an abundance of virtues, and knowledge hardly to be expected in his station, until we learn that as the leader of the choir and of the ringers, be enjoys the good parson's particular regard, and is helped by him with books: whilst the heroine is Mary Cope, the pretty schoolmistress, also warmly regarded by the parson. But Isaac has one besetting sin, too great a fondness for cider, which brings down on him Parson Hill's displeasure ; and as he adds to the offence of wooing and winning Mary, they are both cast off. Mary, of course, is deprived of her school, and as both she and her husband have formerly held themselves aloof from the villagers, they are now exposed to all sorts of annoyances, which at last seem likely to have a fatal ending. Isaac has bought a sewing machine for his wife, and as such a thing has never been seen on Dartmoor, poor Mary is looked on as a “witch,” all the ills that happen to the boors and cattle in the neighbourhood are laid to her charge, and she narrowly escapes with her life, from an attack made on her during her husband's absence. Things eventually improve, Isaac is seen really to have abandoned his drunken habits, the parson's favour is restored, and Isaac and Mary are left happily employed in softening the manners and enlightening the minds of the Moor people.

In such a novel as this, it is evident that its great strength must be in the delineation of character; and how this is done will be best shown by a brief extract. To make this intelligible we must premise that Mary Cope bas a visitor, one Susan Picard, the assistant of a Regent Street milliner, and on Mary meeting with an accident which prevents her attondance at school, Susan, who has an excellent opinion of her own talents, volunteers to supply her place.

Parson Hill has seen how ignorant and frivolous she is, and he determines to mortify her.

Susan was promoted to Mary's chair. Now, ragged and dirty little child,' said Parson Hill, ‘go to Mistress Susan Picard,' and it seemed to Susan he singled out the dirtiest and most untidy child in the school. As Susan did not know what was required of her, Parson Hill went to her assistance. You see these holes in this child's frock ?' Snsan assented. It is now your duty, as representing Mistress Mary Cope, to take this garment from the child—in other words, to unfrock her, and teach her to mend it.' And Susan fancied the parson's voice was already less suave than it had previously been. But she is so dirty,' stammered Susan in dismay. True, O young lady—that is Mistress Susan Picard, she is dirty; but bring her this way, we will mend even that-come, come, come, dirty child-come, Mistress Susan Picard.' And Parson Hill led the way to a natural spring, flowing from a rock at a few paces from the entrance to the school. Now, if you please, Mistress Susan Picard,' and the parson bowed and spoke in his most courteous tones, .make clean the dirty child-oh-h! we will mend, mend-we will mend.' For one moment Susan hesitated; but thought is rapid, and she feared, if she resisted this, some worse scrape would happen to her. She therefore began to untie the child's frock, while the vicar called out lustily, 'Jane Hammer, bring soap and towels.' And Susan now set herself to work in earnest, washed the dirty child, and returned to the school-room sore at heart and sadly discomfited. Her next task was, not to mend the soiled garment of the child, for that would have been comparatively easy, but to teach the little thing to do it. As the child could not sew well or darn at all, it happened naturally enough, that Susan had a great deal of trouble; and Parson Hill amused himself, unknown to her, by watching and observing that every time Susan took the frock in her own hand, ostensibly to show the child what to do, she herself darned several rows up and down; by which means the long tear progressed very quickly : and when Susan thought Parson Hill's attention was entirely withdrawn from herself—though in point of fact this never happened-her nimble fingers stitched at their topmost speed, in the hope of the sooner getting rid of the nasty, dirty, smelling frock, and very stupid and dull little child. Susan expected to find the acute and painful sharpness, or knowiugness, of a London child; she met only the stolid obtuseness of unawakened intellect in the Dartmoor born. I should not care one bit hearing them say their lessons,' thought she to herself; 'but this ’orrid, dirty, ragged, stupid child to be washed and darned—it is quite abominable!”

Another person who also experiences Parson Hill's skill in the art of ingeniously tormenting, whilst preserving the extreme of courtesy in language and demeanour, is Mr. Gay, a young curate fresh from Oxford, who takes upon himself to put the vicar right on certain matters of dress, &c., and gets mercilessly roasted for his pains. The curate has U.S. Mag. No. 416, Jan. 1866.

K

dined. with the Vicar, and the conversation has been forced by the former into a variety of subjects distasteful to the latter, At last they come to “tracts," and the Vicar, pretending not to know where they came from, speaks of some that he has seen in the cottages of late as great trash.

Pray, did you notice the titles of the tracts you so easily condemn ?? said Mr. Gray, colouring deeply. “Happy Jack,' «The Good Old Woman,' The Two Boys who went Different Ways,” said Parson Hill. “No, these are not at all like the Oxford Tracts. I gave them to the poor ignorant people,' said Mr. Gray. 'If the Oxford Tracts' were the finest things of their day, I should think they must be superior to ‘Happy Jack,” said Parson Hill conrteously. “Give the Oxford Tracts' to such benighted heathens as are to be found on this moor? It is clear you don't understand them. I will explain.' • Excuse me, sir,' said Parson Hill, bowing low, they may be as fine as you say they are, but I do not desire to know more of them than I do at this moment. How strange!' said Mr. Gray. "Strange !' said Parson Hill, smiling. 'And yet I must assure, strange though it may seem, I do not wish to read the 'Oxford Tracts;' but then I do not wish to give up my top-boots, my corduroys, my pink coat, or even my blue one; they are all satisfactorily suitable for the purposes to which they are applied.' Consider your cloth, sir,' said Mr. Gray, angrily. 'No, no; I shall not spare it, after all these years of wear,' said the parson. Your cloth, sir; your cloth, reiterated Mr. Gray. “It is my cloth,' said Parson Hill, mildly. 'But, sir, the clergy are called 'cloth,” said Mr. Gray, in his desire to explain, only mystifying the more. *In the Oxford Tracts P' said the incorrigible parson. Now, Mr. Gray, since you don't drink wine, perhaps you eat fruit ?' 'In London-indeed I may say in all places-the clergy always dress in black,' said Mr. Gray. There is no class of men who ought to cultivate coolness of temper more than the clergy,' said Parson Éill

. 'Black is very heating, it attracts the sun. How glad the London clergy must be of a trip to the country! and you, Mr. Gray,' continued Parson Hill blandly, ‘you, fresh from town, pray wear your blue coat, or your pink if you prefer it. Fortunately, we are free as air on Dartmoor, and may wear any colour we please. For my part, I always wear my comfortable blue at dinner; aud when I have had my wine, I go to my snuggery, take off my blue, pop it into its hiding-place, put on my loose wrap, and have my agreeable pipe !--that is the way to enjoy your pipe; and then George serves me with coffee there; that is, when I am alone--and I hope to make you, Mr. Gray, quite at home with me,' said Parson Hill, ‘and if you drink wine, which I confess is an extraordinary thing, perhaps you can enjoy a pipe or a cigar? I have both. I wish to meet your taste, and make you— No, sir, thank you-the clergy don't smoke!'Oh-h-the Oxford Tract' clergy--they must be rather a-a-marvellous class of men,' said Parson Hill musingly, for it seems to me that they don't drink wine, nor wear blue or pink coats, nor ride to cover—perhaps they can't ride at allnor wear top-boots, nor corduroys. Well, well, they miss many pleasures ; but let us not grudge them their way; let them have their day while it lasts! and we, Mr. Gray, will have our day in our way! And now, since I see you don't even care for fruit, snppose we go to the drawingroom-but-'and he hesitated—'I am sorry there are no ladies to receive us. Perhaps now the 'Oxford Tract' clergy would think me a very barbarous host, if they were by any chance to visit me ? Or-must I add to their long catalogue of dislikes, that they don't like ladies ? Come, come --I see I weary you—perhaps you like music-I have a capital Broadwood, you shall try it. I don't play,' said Mr. Gray.

I do,' said the parson, as he opened the instrument and seated himself.”

« ПредишнаНапред »