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"Your account of Lady Brighton's confession is very interesting and valuable. Her statement of the embarrassed condition of Lord Brighton's pecuniary affairs may lead to the most important consequences.
I should suggest to you to ascertain for what consideration we could really get his lordship into our power, so as to be enabled to turn his intimacy at the palace and his parliamentary position to good account. A man with a large family, of high reputation, and immense debts, is always willing to go great lengths in order to retain the position he has acquired. I am afraid his debts must reach a high figure; but we must make an effort to cover them, whatever they are.
You know where to apply for money to any amount.” [Enter Lady Brighton, in a state of the greatest agitation. She
rushes up to Father Hildebrand, falls down on her knees before
him, receives his blessing, and rises. ]
Why so pale
Lady Brighton. My father, all is lost. While we speak
Father Hildebrand. You don't say so?
Lady Brighton. I do: Oh, hide me, hide me from day's garish eye. Have you no closet; no mysterious cell, Where I may bury deep my trembling form ? [The whole community of Jesuits rush in, and form a circle round
Father Hildebrand.] First Jesuit. All's up, I fear; the dungeon is found out. Father Hildebrand. Eh? what? what news is this? Speak,
man, speak; Why do you stand there gibbering like a ghost ?
First Jesuit. I say, the dungeon is found out; and he Who there has lived for five-and-twenty years, Has broken loose ; in five-and-twenty seconds The inob will burst upon us. [A tremendous noise is heard without ; the mob begin to batter at
the door, the Coalheavers encouraging them, and the liberated captive showing the scars of the wounds he has received during
his captivity.] First Coalheaver (without). A bar! a bar! my kingdom
for a bar!
An iron bar! a crow-bar! any thing
do? A deed without a name. [The mob attack the doors, assisted by a detachment of police,
and of the Royal Horse Guards Blue. The trumpets sirund a
BURTON'S PILGRIMAGE TO EL MEDINAH AND
MECCAH. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El Medinah and Meccah.
By Lieut. R. F. Burton, Bombay Army. 3 vols. (2 only
published), with Maps and Illustrations. Longmans. We could, fancy scrupulous persons having an objection to read this graphic and valuable book, for the same reason that David refused to drink the water which his captains had risked their lives to procure for him. For the amusement and information here offered is, so to say, the price of blood: it has only been provided by a deliberate assumption of Mahometanism. However, to do Mr. Burton justice, we must give him the benefit of his ignorance. It was supposed by the ancients that to profess to be an infidel was next door to being so at heart; that to purchase a certificate of conformity to a false religion was equivalent to having really conformed to it; that though it was sometimes lawful to conceal your own religion, it was never so to assume that which you held not. Mr. Burton is of a different opinion. According to him, these people
“ Were weak, and little knew
What free-born consciences may do.”. So he makes a distinction: he turns Moslem, but pretends to have been a Moslem born; for his spirit could not bend to own itself a renegade: partly, perhaps, because of a painful operation he would be called on to undergo; partly because it would not so well serve his purpose, because the renegade is pointed at, shunned, and inconveniently catechised,-is an object of suspicion and contempt, and so quite unable to procure the information which Mr. Burton wanted; but chiefly, let us hope, because his conscience made a wide difference between the “lark" of shamming—of acting a most dangerous part, and deceiving the staid old Moslem doctors-and, on the other hand, abjuring his Christianity and making a public recantation. The rights that Butler claims for the Puritan have descended to the free-born Briton; he
If he have motives thereunto." Mr. Burton's motive for his journey-to El Medinah, we mean, not to the devil—was partly a wish to remove that opprobrium to modern adventure, the huge blank in the maps of Arabia ; partly a wild restless spirit, thoroughly tired of progress and civilisation, and longing to see the curious places which no tourist has yet seen and properly described. The object which he proposed to himself was to visit El Medinah and Meccah, and from them cross the peninsula to the shores of the Indian Ocean. This, however, he did not accomplish; though he performed a great part of it.
He set out from England on the 4th of April 1853, wisely enough commencing his incognito from the beginning, and travelling as a Persian prince; employing his time in practising oriental manners, exclamations, positions, gait, and gravity. On landing at Alexandria, he reaps his reward in being taken by every one for a Moslem; and in spite of the spying propensities of an Armenian dragoman, who thought him" devilish dégagé” for a Persian, he found his disguise perfectly successful. There he put himself under a teacher, to revive his recollections of Mahometan practices and doctrines, attended mosque, practised as a doctor, and fitted himself to assume the character of a wandering dervish, as being the safest disguise one assumed by all ranks, from the great man under a cloud to the lazy peasant; a disguise which enables you to dispense with the established usages of ceremony and politeness; in which you may pray as much or as little as you please, be married or single, dress as you choose, and go where you like, with what attendants you please, without questioning. The more the dervish swaggers, the more the people respect him; and in the hour of danger, he has only to become a maniac, and he is immediately a sacred person, whom it would be sacrilege to hurt. Having once thoroughly disguised himself in this
Mr. Burton had to experience all the delays and all the insolence of European and other officials with which Orientals have to put up. It took him days to get his passport; no official could or would tell him at what office he was to apply; even at the transit-office the clerk would not move from his Galignani to find out for him the hour of the departure of the Nile steamboat for Cairo, but put him off with a guess, which proved to be wrong. Mr. Burton, in fact, like the disguised duke in Measure for Measure, was in the position of spying out all the petty wrongs of our Oriental government.
All difficulties at last overcome, our traveller finds himself traversing the Mahmoudieh canal, on the deck of the Little Asthmatic, in company with British officers, who mutter curses on his eyes when he accidentally touches their elbows; with French shopkeepers, who threaten to “ briser” his " figure" for putting his pipe near their pantaloons, and the rest of the motley crew of a Nile passage-boat. On the passage he makes acquaintance with an Indian merchant, whose hospitality he enjoyed for a few days at Cairo, till he could enjoy it no longer, when he got a room at the caravanserai. The essence of Oriental hospitality seems to be, never to allow the guest a moment to himself: he must be one of the family, must sit and talk, and sip his sherbet, and smoke with them; must be ever ready to answer the most puerile question; must submit to have his friend peering over his shoulder if he takes up a book, or his papers; must spend the day in talking or listening, must converse himself to sleep in a public dormitory, and must be waked by his companions snoring at midnight. And then, the Western in disguise has to put up with all kinds of remarks most grating to his feelings, especially from an Indian host, who soon puts off his flatteries, and becomes in turn easily friendly, disagreeably familiar, and offensively rude.
The rest of our pilgrim's time at Cairo was spent in the caravanserai, where, though every thing was in the dirty-picturesque style, he found himself much better off. Here he fell in with a Russian Hajji, a pleasant companion and shrewd traveller, who professed to believe in nothing but Allah and the Prophet, and who gave him some most sensible advice as to his conduct; on his recommendation he dropped the Persian and became an Affghan, ceased to belong to the lax and halfheretical Moslem sect of the Adjemi, and aggregated himself to one of the recognised orthodox schools. At Cairo, as at Alexandria, he practised medicine, which, by the way, does not seem to be a very lucrative profession in the East; for the doctor has to cure the poor gratis, and to give them a backshish besides; like the famous Western barber, who professed to shave his customers for nothing and give them drink also: with the rich he has to bargain for his fees, and he must think himself fortunate if he gets them at last. The Oriental, it appears, cannot understand a remedy that does not make itself felt; he does not think that he has the value of his money unless his tongue is blistered with physic, his limbs scarified with external applications; like the peasants in Lancashire, who esteem no whisky whose effects do not remind one of swallowing a tom-cat and pulling him back by his tail.
As at Alexandria, our pilgrim put himself under a shaykh, or teacher, at Cairo, and with him he studied theology, and the right pronunciation of the Koran; for in some passages of this book mispronunciation is a sin. Here also he had to do for Mahomet what probably he never did for Christianity, and that is, fast,—not in the style of our present relaxed European abstinence, but in bona fide hunger and thirst, unallayed from two o'clock in the morning till sunset. month” he had to endure this discipline, which, he says, darkens men's tempers to gloom, gives their voices a terribly harsh and creaking sound, makes the men curse one another and beat the women, while the women slap and abuse the children, and these, in their turn, torment the dogs and cats; a month which fills the station-houses with men who have beaten their wives, and wives who have scratched their husbands' faces; which fills the mosques with a sulky grumbling population, making themselves offensive to one another; which takes all the spirit out of the children's play, and all the civility from the language of the grown-up people; which stops business and study, and wantonly throws away a twelfth part of the year. All this our pilgrim underwent, performing at the same time all the devotions enjoined by the Koran upon good Mussulmen.
After the Ramazan he prepares for his journey: again he