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the heat from becoming oppressive ; besides, the sun is constantly veiled with clouds during nine months of the year.
After a few weeks we got quite accustomed to the pronunciation and accent of the inhabitants, and could converse with them without difficulty. The hospitality of our host continued ever on the increase. In his company and car we visited every portion of the island, and made several excursions to a house he possessed in the interior. His questions were numerous concerning the history of the inhabited world since the period of his ancestors having been separated from their kind. Fortunately for him and his fellow-countrymen, the few books that had been saved from the wreck had not been consumed by the fire which had destroyed the archives of the community seventy years previously. Among these books were several of Shakspeare's plays, and histories of England, France, Spain, and Italy. Some were in manuscript, and others printed in the rude manner of the epoch. As may be conceived, the chief's, as also his fellow-countrymen's knowledge of English history, did not go further down than to the commencement of the reign of Charles I. The tragic death of the martyr king, and all the subsequent stirring events that had occurred, were unknown to them, and, as may be expected, all the books we had with us were perused with avidity.
I have already alluded to the beauty of the women. I do not think that in any other portion of the globe exist such faultless charms. Their dispositions are most amiable, and in a very short time after our arrival there was scarcely a single man who had arrived in our ship, and who was under fifty years of age, but was in love; indeed, a general petition was made to our captain to entreat him to remain altogether in the island, but the skipper observed that he had a valuable cargo on board, and that to remain would be robbing his owners. I must observe that he was fifty-five years of age, and had a wife and family at New York. I confess, that had I not myself had a wife and family at Tours, in France, I should have been content to remain for the rest of my
life in the island. As it was, all the unmarried passengers chose that course, and remained.
The Sabbath is most religiously observed by the little colony, every person being obliged, under a penalty, to attend at public worship at least once on that day, unless prevented by illness or infirmity. All the shops are closed from Saturday at sunset until the Sunday at the same hour.
There are, naturally, few public amusements in the island; the chief diversions, however, consist in wrestling, foot-races, and shooting at a mark with bows and arrows for prizes, which are in general small sums of money.
Although gunpowder is made in the island, the bow is the arm in use, for the only guus in the possession of the inhabitants are some old matchlocks saved from the wreck.
Justice is administered in a very simple manner. Thieves and other misdemeanants are tried by a judge and a jury, composed of seven persons, the latter being of the same sex as the accused. “As for heinous crimes, they may be said to be unknown, not a single murder having taken place to the knowledge of the oldest inhabitant. Adultery is considered a misdemeanour, and punished by a public whipping on the bare back.
A short time after our arrival, a young man and woman were thus punished upon a platform erected in a square used as a market. An how before sunset the two offenders were brought out, and, first, the woman was tied up to two perpendicular poles and her back bared, but in so decent a manner that her bosom was not exposed. Two women then proceeded to inflict thirty-nine lashes upon her shoulders with a rod made of rushes. The infliction was by no means severe-so little so, indeed, that I overheard the boatswain of our ship, who was standing near, remark, “ Mercy on me, do they call that flogging?"
After the woman had been whipped (she was, by-the-by, a lovely creature), she was untied and led away, looking very much ashamed of herself, and her accomplice tied up in his turn. He received the same number of lashes, but they were inflicted in a more severe manner, as they were laid on by men, and the instrument used was a whip, the thongs of which were made of string; still, our boatswain observed, that it was a mere sham of a flogging.
It must be observed that adultery is by no means of common occur. rence, or, at least, the misdemeanour is not frequently brought to light; besides, the inhabitants are a very moral people, and there is a great deal of shame attending a conviction.
Thefts and other misdemeanours are punished by whipping and exposure in a sort of stocks. Imprisonment is not in use.
Plays are never performed in the island, there being no such a thing as a theatre; but public recitations from Shakspeare are frequent. On an English stage they would not be understood, from the peculiar manner of pronouncing, of which I will attempt a description, as far as possible, from a declamation I heard of “ All the world's a stage.” It was pronounced nearly as follows:
Aul te vaurld's a stauje,
Te aucts, &c. &c. &c. I must observe, that in familiar conversation the inhabitants always make use of the propoun thou, pronounced tóoó.
Since the wreck of the original settlers, no ship from any part of the world has ever visited the island. On several occasions, during the storms which have taken place, ships have been seen running before the wind in the distance, but have never come sufficiently near to observe the signals made on shore. The lowness of the land, and its appearing from the sea almost constantly enveloped in haze, has evidently been the reason of its never having attracted the notice of any passing vessel. Had it not been that the day was unusually clear at the time we neared the island, we should in all probability have passed without observing it. The water to the south, east, and west is very deep, and free from reefs ; but on the northern coast there are many hidden rocks, which would render the navigation very dangerous, and any ship getting among the reefs in a gale would be almost sure to perish.
I have already observed that all the unmarried passengers on board our vessel got married and remained in the island. I called upon one of them about a fortnight after the ceremony; he told me that his wife was
a most devoted and affectionate creature, anticipating his every wish, and seeming to exist for him alone. “ I have no near relations in my own country,” he observed," and I never wish or intend to leave this place.”
I have already mentioned that the government of the island is carried on by a chief elected for life, and by an assembly of "tousànts,” also chosen for life. The election is carried on in the following manner:
When a chief, or a tousànt, dies, the inhabitants of the whole island are called upon to choose another in the place of the deceased. The election commences thirty days after his death. An enormous earthenware bowl, with a hole in the lid, is deposited in the market-place from sunrise to sunset, and strictly guarded for a week. During that time, everybody in the island, both men and women, of the age of nineteen and upwards, is allowed to throw into the orifice a small flat piece of shell, with the name of the person he votes for inscribed thereon. At the end of the week the bowl is broken, and the contents examined, when the person who has most votes is elected. There is no intimidation or speechifying, and during the election nothing uncommon appears to be going on.
There are seven magistrates or judges in the island, termed justices (pronounced joostissés). They judge every case, whether criminal or otherwise, assisted by a jury of seven persons, termed deciders (pronounced desseedèrs). In criminal cases these deciders are always of the same sex as the accused : from their decision there is no appeal. The right of pardon is vested in the chief, who carries on the government assisted by the tousànts.
At the end of five months, our ship being thoroughly repaired, the skipper gave us notice that he was about to set sail. 'Our departure, however, was delayed by at least half of the ship's company deserting, and it took several days to hunt out their hiding-places and bring them on board. As it was, the boatswain's mate, two able and one ordinary seamen were left behind, every search after them proving fruitless.
We had in vain invited some of the colonists to accompany us in our voyage; they were all so attached to their native land that they one and all declared they would sooner die than leave it. I did not wonder at their determination, for had I been a single man I would willingly have remained myself.
At length the moment for weighing anchor arrived. I am sure that very few of the inhabitants of the town were absent from the beach as we entered the captain's gig, and such a scene of shaking hands ensued, as beggars all description. We had met with the warmest hospitality while ashore, and felt most unhappy as we quitted it. The name of the excellent chief, Miles Brant (pronounced Meelés Braunt), will, I am sure, remain till death in the memory of those who for five months slept under his roof. May God bless him, and protect the flourishing little colony in that far-off land !
We arrived at Buenos Ayres at the commencement of August, where I left the ship, which was to proceed to New York, and took my passage for France, accompanied by an Englishman, who had been my fellowpassenger from Sydney. We arrived at Bordeaux on the 13th October, from whence I proceeded by railway to join my wife and family at Tours.
UP AMONG THE PANDIES:
OR, THE PERSONAL ADVENTURES AND EXPERIENCES OF A FERINGHEE,
BEING SKETCHES IN INDIA, TAKEN ON THE SPOT.
PART I. Any one who was in England during the summer of 1857 will recollect how, one morning, on taking up our newspaper, and looking carelessly through its closely printed sheets-scanning the leading articles, glancing at the playbills, or getting muddled over the Money Market and City Intelligence-our eyes were arrested by the announcement of the mutiny of a native regiment in India. At first, in our ignorance of, perhaps inattention to, the affairs of that country, we put the paper down, munched our muffin unconcernedly, continued our breakfast, and thought but little of the matter. Another mail, another mutiny! Mail succeeded mail, but still the weary burden was the same, till we awoke from our dream of fancied security, examined the map of Hindostan very attentively, and came to the dreadful conclusion that the native army of Bengal had risen en masse, and that India was in flames! From home to home, from town to village, the tidings flew far and near, high and low. Every newspaper teemed with the dreadful news; telegraph-offices were beset with eager, breathless crowds, anxious to gain further information; the funds fell; the ministers shook their heads in the vain hope of finding something in them); by night in London did the news-criers ply a busy trade, as in street, and square, and squalid lane they shrieked the sought-after accounts, and disposed of the eagerly-bought second editions.
Then followed those frightful and heartrending details which struck all Europe with horror, blanched every lip, and made the blood of England to run cold. Awe-stricken, we read in each succeeding paper how darling friends whom we had parted from, it might be, a few short months before, or whom we had hoped ere long to greet and welcome back to their native land, had fallen victims to Sepoy cruelty. Mail after mail, in sickening confirmation of the truth of the sad story-mail after mail told how some “nearer one still, and a dearer one yet than all other,” had been immolated on the shrine of black-hearted treachery and Asiatic cruelty, till one by one the bereaved and heart-broken mourner found that all he ever loved or cared for had been snatched from him, and had passed away for
It was a bitter occupation for the weeping mother that attempt to realise that her darling boy, who but last year had left England in all the pride and excitement of the commencement of a soldier's career, was now no more. It was strange and horrible to read over that last letter now so cherished, and to see the absence of suspicion expressed therein, or how, hoping against hope, he had proudly vaunted the staunchness and fidelity of those very men who perchance, ere the ink was dry, had lopped off the hand that wrote it. It was hard to believe, and harder still to realise, the dreadful indignities and sufferings to which tender women and innocent children had been exposed. It was a dreary, dreary task that waiting for the next mail, in the fond expectation that it would point out
some bright spot in this dark horizon. But no! there was no pause, no respite; thick as hail did the blows fall, and the eagerly looked for next mail brought but a repetition and extension of those horrors, so frightful that in many cases the narrators dared not describe them—those cruelties and savage outrages which threw all past atrocities far back into the shade, and compared with which the hitherto unequalled “noyades” and “ mitraillades” of the Reign of Terror, or the inhuman tortures practised by a Marat or a Robespierre, were as nothing, till one rose from the perusal scared and terrified, and cried involuntarily, “ Is not this all a dream ?” But it was no dream—a stern and awful reality—a crisis to meet which England must brace every nerve, strain every energy, and put out the right arm of her strength; her power was trembling in the balance, her Indian empire hung upon a thread, which one false move might sever. The occasion, indeed, was awful, but England was equal to it. Expeditiously were the measures for the defence of her Eastern empire commenced, steadily were those measures continued. Nor can one ever forget how one drew a long breath of relief as one read day after day how regiment after regiment left her shores, and with what delight one hailed each announcement of fresh departures long stream of war which poured continuously from England's bleeding side—a stream which was destined to wash out the cruel stain, to palsy and arrest the dark and blood-stained hand in the reeking triumph of its treachery, and to revenge, as all hearts prompted, the base indignities and savage ill-treatment of our murdered countrywomen and children.
Reader, it was with this avenging stream that a certain individual—a Feringhee, to adopt the title which our black foes delight to give usleft old England, and here will that individual commence his tale.
Suppose me, then, aboard one of those magnificent transports which, about the time above mentioned, sailed' or steamed day after day from England's well-loved shores-suppose aboard a living freight of some seven hundred men and upwards-suppose that the white handkerchiefs on the pier have waved their last adieux, and are now wiping the tears from glistening eyes—suppose that throbbing hearts ashore, ay, and aboard too, are beating quick and heavily-suppose that we are looking over the vessel's side at the fast receding shores, which somehow or other seem to have a thick mist hanging over them—(how is this ? for it is a bright, fine, sunny day!)-suppose the engines to be rattling out their nevervarying song—and suppose, in fact, that we at last are fairly under weigh. Don't be afraid, reader, I am not going to bore you with a description of a voyage which was like all others, neither more interesting nor less monotonous : there was that chaotic confusion on first going aboard so characteristic of, and inseparable from, occasions of this sort ; there was the old sensation of stifling and suffocation on entering one's small dark cabin, with a smell of paint, tar, horsehair cushions, ropes, wood, and bottled beer; there was the old necessity for physical exertion to effect an entry into one's narrow berth ; there was the old up-and-down, upand-down business on getting out to sea, with the old result, that misanthropical tendency to lean silent and pensive over the vessel's side apart from one's fellow man; those sudden and surprising departures from the dinner-table; those guttural and mysterious noises issuing from the surrounding cabins, and all those numerous ills that flesh (at sea) is heir to.