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of iced water, denote the North European, smooth layer of fresh-fallen snow, that Teuton, or Scandinavian, Briton, Ger- the main street of St. Thomas, the open man, Dane, Dutch, and Swede, with the space in front of the Custom House pale, over-worked-looking, sharp-featured known as King's Wharf — the only stone Yankee. A darker tinge of face and wharf, by the bye, in the whole harbour, hair, and a slenderer form, indicates the and constructed not indeed with Danish Italian, French, or Spanish salesman ; money, but under Danish superintenthe white Creole, whatever his semi or dence-and the acacia-planted square, quarter nationality, may always be recog-that serves as market-place by day, all nized by his peculiarly weedy aspect and show to the best advantage. Then the lack-lustre eye. Two or three genera- negroes, who here, as in the cheerful tions of West Indian birth and breeding, Levant, and even on the misty Euxine unrenewed by fresh European or African coast, keep up unaltered their ancestral grafts, suffice to thin out the richest African customs of nightly merry-makEuropean blood, and to dull into lethargy ings — a custom which the Arabs alone, the most active North European brain, of all races that it has been my fortune to till the Englishman, Dane, Norwegian, or dwell amongst, share with them — come Dutchman becomes a thing for the very out in their gayest dresses and gayest negroes to pity or despise.“ Miscegena- mood, to shout, laugh, sing, romp, and tion,” to borrow an ungainly American divert themselves like the overgrown word, may have its drawbacks; but ex- children that they are. Tall, black men clusiveness of alliance means for the in white clothes and straw hats, tall, North European in these regions speedy black women too, handsome in form if degeneration and disappearance.
not in feature, their heads bound round busy, restless, affable, at once cringing with many-coloured turbans, sweep and forward in manner, who does not through the crowd with an easy freedom recognize the children of Israel, the gen- of gait and bold step very different from uine descendants of clever, birthright- the shuffling, embarrassed style of the purloining Jacob, whatever be the land of nerveless Creole lady and her overtheir sojourn in their world-wide disper- dressed European sister ; while the lightsion ? Here in St. Thomas we have flowing gown of the negress and her them of every sort, dark and fair, lean variegated head-gear give her, even inand burly, but all alike intent on gain ; dependently of her dark complexion, a now prosperous, now bankrupt; the very semi-tropical look that suits the climate, climate that may occasionally somewhat and harmonizes much better than stiff slacken their outward man has no relax- crinolines and artificial flowers with the ing effect on the irrepressible energy of surroundings of West Indian nature. their will. It is curious to enter their When will civilized women, or civilized synagogue - a large, crowded, and evi- men either, learn that individual beauty, dently thriving one — and to hear the un- to have its complete effect, must harmo. changed songs of old David and older nize with the general ? that form and Moses in the oldest langnage of the Old colour, size and shape, however fair or World, intoned here with as much fer- stately in themselves, acquire their ultivency of utterance and singleness of be- mate perfection from the place they oclief as ever they had been in the Eastern cupy ? that what is well under one sky hemisphere under the palms of Jordan, may be ill under another ? what is justly long before a Western world and the co- admired in Europe be a failure in Asia? coanut trees of its islands had been and what looks lovely under a tropical heard or dreamt of. The first names blaze be void of charm amid the mists of entered on the world's racecourse, they northern gloom? When the Egyptians bid fair to be among the first on its erected the colonnades of Luzor on the books when the winners are told off at shores of the great Nile, the Greeks the the close. Meanwhile the antithesis Parthenon among the blue picture-like their activity affords to the lounging, hills of Attica, and medieval architects careless, take-it-easy movements of the the clustering pinnacles of Laon beside big negroes at every turn and corner, the orchards and green hill-slopes of does much to enliven the sun-heated Picardy, they accomplished in every instreets and thoroughfares of the town. stance an abiding success, different the
But it is at night, and especially when one from the other, but each perfect in the white rays of the full moon, the its kind — an example, a lesson, and a Queen of the Tropics, delusively cover wonder to all ages. Why, then, have roofs and pavement with what seems a'their later successors, who in modern
times have attempted to reproduce these growths of the day, with little root in the very masterpieces of beauty in elaborate past, and hardly a promise of greater copies, every measurement, every line, fixity in the future. And yet whatever every detail the same, failed not less “ Charlotte-Amalia,” to give the place its completely than the others succeeded ? distinctive name, may prove to be when Is it not that they ignored, with the igno- you are fairly in it and of it - seen from rance that amounts to siolidity, the effect outside, and especially from the harbour of altered conditions, of changed times, point of view, it has a curiously delusive of different climate, of dissimilar sur- Levantine look; so much so, that a voyroundings, both of nature and art ? while ager, who, under some strange enchantthe former architects, Egyptian, Gaul, or ment of the “ Sleeping Beauty" kind, Greek, knew, with the knowledge that should have closed his eyes while just off amounts to instinct, not only the laws of Smyrna or Latakia, and then first construction and the grace of individual awakened up when the fairy ship was in outline, but also those of collective har- the act of entering the port of St. mony ; and built aptly besides building Thomas, might almost fancy that he had well. Thus it is and always must be, never left the Syrian or Ægean coast. East or West alike, with architecture of He would, in fact, find before him much whatever kind, public or private ; thus, the same picturesque sprinkling of pretty too, in great measure with sculpture, with toy-like houses that he had last seen painting, with ornament, with dress - under the sun of Anatolia ; for instance, in a word, with art of every sort.
the same green masses, or orchard-trees, Meanwhile, as we walk and philoso- both running up the same abrupt rocky phize in the tepid night air and pale slopes, practicable indeed for horses, but moonshine, from behind a hundred open evidently prohibitive of carriage use ; lighted windows comes the sound of the same high, bush-sprinkled, half-savjingling pianos, where mulatto girls are age ridge of hills behind the same unperforming their endless Spanish waltzes ; / tidy wharves, makeshift landing-places, performances accompanied in many a lit- and rubbish-strewn beach; the same ile house by the clamour of many voices superfluity of little boats, plying hither and the stamp of dancing feet. All is and thither between the larger craft, or frank, unrestrained merry-making, high swarming, as though with piratical inspirits, and fun; the more cheerful be- tent, round the sides of each new arrival; cause — to the credit of the blacks be it the same clear sharpness of light and said - it is seldom excited or accompa- shade ; the same pure sea-water, brisk nied by drink, more seldom by drunken- air, and bright sky. No, not exactly the ness. West Indian negroes, in spite of same, any one of these ; since a more the contrary example set them more or careful inspection would detect strange less by almost every class and descrip- foliage - cocoanut, for example, or papai tion of whites in these islands, are gen-- among the trees, giving notice of a laterally free from this particular form of itude more southerly far than the Levantvice; and though the morality of domes-line ; the water, too, is the inky Atlantic tic life is not so much low as absolutely black, not the ultra-marine Mediterwantiny among them - indeed, that non : ranean blue in its clearness; and the est inventus might be the correct verdict low, drifting fleeces of white cloud that. of a “virtue” court - the frailties of the emerge, curl after curl, from behind the island-born African, or black Creole, are easterly hill-range, and sweep swiftly rarely excused or aggravated by drink. across the dazzling sky to the west, are Among the mulattoes, on the contrary, driven by no Asiatic land-breeze, but as among mixed races in general, the bad obey the trade-winds of the ocean exqualities of either parentage seem to panse. come uppermost; and the immorality of But, general outline and natural feathe negro is with them often enhanced by tures apart, there are some special obthe drunkenness of the Briton and the jects in which St. Thomas may claim a murderous treachery of the Spaniard. real, though superficial, resemblance with “ God made white men, and God made the time-honoured Levant. Thus, at the black men, but the devil made brown very entry of the harbour, near a diminones.” is a common proverb here, and it ! utive powder-shed, there stands a batoften finds its justification in fact.
tery, which — but that the Danish, and Town and inhabitants — the Israelite not the Turkish, flag overshadows itcolony alone after its measure excepted might, by a new.comer, be almost con- all'impress you as mere mushroom 'jectured to belong to the same class of constructions that stand guard at the! Our hero's short but glorious career entry of the Bosphorus or the quarantine was run between Jamaica and the Virginbay of Trebizond. Through the thin ian coast. St. Thomas lies midway, and embrasures of a decrepit parapet wall the innumerable creeks, inlets, and bays two rusty cannons protrude their muz- that indent its bush-lined shore may well zles, the one pointing at an angle of 45° have afforded shelter and concealment to to the heaven above, the other at a simi- Black Beard as well as to others of this lar inclination to the waters beneath. trade. And certainly when attired in his Quite Turkish, both for appearance and favourite full-dress style, and with his efficacy. Nor do the five or six anti- beard (which we are assured covered his quated tubes of old iron that peer over whole face, eyes and nose probably exthe edges of the queer, red-painted fort cepted) twisted into a hundred curls, each walls of the harbour's base differ in any curl dandily tied up in a bow of red ribessential respect from the artillery sup-bon, and illuminated by twenty burning plied by the Topkhaneh of Constanti- matches stuck, ten of a side, under the nople to the imperial provinces. Strange- brim of his hat, the Captain must have ly, too, like the ruins that on almost every produced quite a sensation among the jutting rock of the Anatolian coast com- inhabitants — Carib, negro, Dutch, or memorate the days of semi-independent Dane - of the little island. Indeed the Pashas and pugnacious Dereh-begs, are “flaming ministers ” of his toilet seem to the two round towers, massive and grey, have proved for West Indian fair ones that crown, the one “ Government Hill," not less attractive than lighted tapers the easternmost of the three already men- commonly are for evening moths; and tioned as included in the town itself ; the we read that fourteen wives - successive other, an isolated rising ground near the or simultaneous, the story says not — base of the harbour. Nor is this resem- were drawn by their rays, and entangled blance one of outward form only, but of in the mazes of that ribboned beard. Unhistorical meaning; for, unlike every- fortunately the human butterflies seem to thing else in the island, these towers are have paid not less dearly for their folly dignified by having a tradition of their than is ordinarily the case with their inown ; and in popular belief at least, if sect prototypes, since Black Beard, unless not in fact, they supply the “missing much maligned was a very Blue Beard in link" between the modern St. Thomas domestic life. of sharp Yankeefied traders, and the old “A cross between Puck and Moloch" St. Thomas of bona fide pirates and buc- is the title given by the shrewd historical caneers. One of these ruins bears the estimate of Macaulay to one of the pet name of Blue Beard's, the other of Black monarch heroes of an eccentricity-loving Beard's Tower. This New World Blue writer of our own day. What the father Beard, however, unlike, so far, to his of the Great Frederick was in his own namesake of European or, as some say, family and Court, that and more was Capof Asiatic celebrity, has left behind him tain Trench among his crew — a hero no record by which he can be identified after Mr. Carlyle's own heart, and not - not so much as a fairy legend; no Sis- (less worthy of a place in the Pantheon of ter Anne climbed to the top of his tower bis worship than Friedrich Wilhelm or to proclaim to her hastening brothers the Governor Eyre himself. Indeed the dark mystery within its walls ; and we choicest diversions of Potsdam or Moare free to conjecture not seven, but rant Bay seem tame when compared with if we like, seventy decapitated wives, and Black Beard's practical fun. “Let us horrors compared with which those of make a little hell of our own, and try who the famous blood-stained closet were gen- can bear it longest,” said one day the galtle matrimonial endearments.
Plant Captain, as he forced some choice More, or perhaps less, fortunate in this spirits of his crew to descend with him respect, Black Beard has found authen-into the ship's hold. When all were betic chroniclers of his deeds, private as low, Black Beard carefully closed the well as public. A native of Bristol, hatches on the company and himself ; Captain Trench — to give him the name and then proceeded to set on fire several by which he started in life - was one of pots which he had previously arranged, the many brave sea-ruling Britons who in ready filled with shavings and sulphur. the seventeenth century developed by a His companions, almost suffocated, soon ready course of natural selection, and a cried out for mercy; but Black Beard's pre-Darwinian struggle for life, from pri- lungs, as well as his heart, were made of vateers into pirates.
sterner stuff, and he did not let them out of his imitation hell till they had almost | Alva and Pizarro, of Torquemada and the exchanged the trial for the reality. Think Inquisition. It is “the glory, far above ing them, however, it seems, sufficiently all else on earth," of England to have prepared by this experiment for the latter, first pronounced their exorcism ; the he soon after took measures for sending final consummation of that sentence on one or two of them there at short notice. the ill remnants of Cuba may, though deTo this end he invited his comrades one layed awhile, be yet executed by Eng. evening to a sociable merry-making in land's eldest child, the great American his cabin ; and, while they sat drinking Republic. The work is a good work : there, he suddenly blew out the light, honour to those who complete it, of crossed his hands, in each of which was whatever nationality they be ! a loaded and a ready-cocked pistol, and
W. G. PALGRAVE. cheerfully fired across the table. Sad to say, his praiseworthy intentions were frustrated of their accomplishment; only wounds, and not death, following upon this “merry jest.” But to do the beard
From Chambers' Journal. ed Captain justice, when not his own men,
THE MANOR-HOUSE AT MILFORD. but prisoners from another ship, were
CHAPTER VI. before him, he seldom failed to take better aim. How much the unhanged sur Come on, Sir Knave; have done your foolishness, vivors of his crew, not to mention bis
And tell me how thou hast disposed shy charge. fourteen disconsolate widows, bewailed! The dog-cart containing Sailor and his loss, when Lieutenant Maynard, R. N., Collop drove stealthily along in the sailed into the harbour of Virginia gloom and falling snow, and by-and-by with this worthy's head, beard, ribbons, they reached Thornton Common. Here matches, and all, suspended from his the darkness was still more intense. It bowsprit, history has left unrecorded. was only possible to cross the common
Whether Black Beard really built, and by trusting to the instinct of the horse, a while on shore — taking refuge from his strong, useful, hired hack, who had a tolpursuers, or recruiting supplies for fresh erable notion of the direction of his staexploits at sea — actually dwelt in the ble. At the same time, in allowing him thick-walled round tower that now crowns to select his road, it was necessary to the highly respectable summit of Govern- permit him to choose his pace also, and ment Hill, is, however, uncertain ; here, his favourite pace was a slow walk. It as in the case of so many other heroic became inexpressibly wearisome, this memorials, it is merely tradition versus snail-like plodding through the darkwant of evidence. Old ship-cannon have ness, vainly straining the eyes to make indeed been dug out of the neighbouring out some leading mark or feature of the soil; and a huge oblong mass of brick- landscape that might convey an assurance work, close by the tower itself, is said to of being in the right track Sailor bore cover alike the remains — headless, I it all tranquilly ; his life had seasoned suppose — and the ill-gotten riches of the i him to such patient waiting ; but Collop pirate. But from one or other motive -fidgeted and fretted, and could hardly rechiefly, perhaps, from the listless indif- strain his impatience.' erence that characterizes the white pop- When, as it seemed, they had got into ulation of the West Indian settlements the very middle of the common, the horse in general — nobody has taken the suddenly came to a full stop, put his trouble to settle, by a few strokes of the nose to the ground, sniffed and snorted, mattock, the truth, or, more probably i but refused to proceed any further; and still, the falsehood of the legend. Jin answer to the application of the whip,
“Requiescat in pace," if peace there be sidled, and began to back. for such, along with the great Captains “Hold hard a bit, there, Master ColKidd, Avory, Low, and other kindred sea- lop," quoth Sailor. “ Perhaps there's heroes, “all of them fallen, slain by the something in the road. I'll jump down sword, who caused their terror in the and see.” He suited the action to the land of the living." Hell-twins, piracy word, and felt cautiously all round with and slavery — they have both, after cen- his feet. Presently he struck against turies of blood and crime, been well-nigh something soft and yielding - a snow. exorcised from the New-World coasts, drift, it seemed, that had a core of some or only linger under the appropriate flags harder substance. A low smothered of Spain and Holy Church, the fiags of groan came from out this heap of snow
as Sailor tried to kick it away. It was a the village, waiting for the morning's man, who was lying with his feet in the light to find his way home in safety. ditch, and his body across the road. But now it was broad daylight, and he
“What cheer, my lad ? ” cried Sailor, had not come. She felt sadly ill and diving into the middle of the drift, and worn; the baby was crying desperately, seizing the man by the waist.--- “Here, and would not be comforted. Surely she Mr. Collop, here's a craft as has grounded was altogether abandoned and deserted. here. Come and bear a hand to get him By-and-by, she heard the soft sound of off."
wheels, that ceased at the gate ; and then The man was carried to the dog-cart; she sat up in bed, with fear and expectaand by the light of the lamp, Sailor tion. Yes, there it was, as she had in recognized his face – it was Tom Rap- her secret heart known it would be — the ley. He was in a sort of trance, and it sound of many feet; they were carrying seemed at first as if it would be impossi- a burden – it was Tom, whom they had ble to arouse him. Sailor began vigor- brought home dead ! ously to rub his hands and the back of There was Sailor's voice, and another, his ears; and presently he opened his gruffer, but not Tom's. No; she would eyes, and tried to move. When he had never hear that voice again! revived a little, they hoisted him into the “Mrs. Rapley, Mrs. Rapley!” cried back of the dog-cart, covered him as Sailor from below ; “how are you get. warmly as they could with rugs and ting on ?” greatcoats, and started for Biscopham. They were going to break it to her It was a long, dreary drive : the way gently, but she would know all at once. seemed interminable ; but at last the first She sprang from the bed, and ran hastily faint gleam of a distant gas-lamp shewed to the door: “O Sailor, what have you them that they had come through the done with him ? Oh, tell me quick, the dangerous part of their journey. Tom very worst; what has happened to had recovered his senses a little on the | Toi ?” way; and when the trap came to a stand. The next moment, he held her in his still opposite Collop's shop, he was able arms, and his rough rimy beard was to dismount with a little assistance. against her cheek. “What business Emily was aroused, and Tom was put into have you out of bed, old woman ? You a warm bed, and hot drinks given him. go back directly, and lie quite still, while When he began to come to himself, he I talk to you, for I've got good news for was in a great state of mind about bis / you." wife, who had been left alone all the But after the first burst of joy at seenight, and on whom the excitement and ing her husband safe bome, there came a suspense might have the very worst revulsion of feeling. Why bad she been effect: however, there was no help for made to suffer so poignantly; had she it. It would be impossible to cross the not had enough to bear other ways ? common till daylight had come.
As she heard, however, of Tom's The morning after the snow-storm doings the night before — of his extreme broke fine and cheery. The fields were peril and marvellous escape, she forgot covered with a white sparkling garment. her own sufferings in the thought of The sun rose up from out a haze of violet what might so easily have been ; and and gold into a pure blue sky, pale and when he told her of the appointment that cold, but cheery.
was vacant, and of the chance he had of The early sun made quite a bright and getting it, the news seemed to be a pleasant scene of Back Milford's. The very satisfactory equivalent for the misyard was sparkling with flaky, untrodden eries of the preceding night. snow; and the sunbeams were refracted “He's down-stairs now," said Tom into a myriad of rainbow jewels, in fes- " Frewen, I mean ; that's how I contoons of glittering icicles. The privet trived to get back so early. He has hedge gleamed with prismatic colours, I driven us over, Sailor and me, in his and the old wood-house looked like a phaeton. A pair of horses and everyfairy grotto in frosted silver.
thing grand. Oh, he's a regular gentle. These early sunbeams aroused Mrs. man, is Frewen! And he's come to look Rapley to a full sense of her misery and over the house. He's bound to do that desolation. Till now, she had hoped once a year, by the will, and the year's against her in ward conviction, that Tom just up since Aunt Betsy died." had been detained by the storm, and had “I'm off now, Rapley," cried Frewen's stayed for the night with some friend in /voice from below. “I shan't disturb