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said never to have read a book in their lives, and seen with a return to peace and order. All he got for his pains was, huge folios open before them, grimly studying law. Jen- “ Stop you, doctor. That's not your trade, but the kins, magistrate's clerk, declared that he was worked off his parson's. Come you; we'll send for you when we want legs in running from one to the other to explain what their you. You shall be surgeon in ordinary to ber Majesty brains were never intended to hold. The capacity of your Rebecca.” Somebody took hold of bis bridle and led his Justice Shallows is soon measured by the multitude, and horse back into the right path, muttering, " Take you care, the rioters were not abashed by their new judges. They doctor. If it was anybody else, he would n't have seen not only continued their raids on the pikes, but they found Trefovon for a week or so." The doctor followed the new sources of amusement. Ominous placards appeared advice, took care, and held his tongue. on gates and walls denouncing any magistrate who dared to It was.difficult for the soldiers to do much execution by convict an offender. Unearthly silhouettes of men and out- night in a strange country, still they held themselves lines of donkeys illustrated them ; while anonymous letters ready. Belted and spurred, they waited and amused terrified the uneasy Dictators. Squire Rhys, Plas Clogy- themselves. The officers were fêted everywhere, and Refrane, found his grave dug in his own park, and Ap Madoc becca had to answer for many an interruption to many a of Maesgwynne - a new magistrate more celebrated for dinner, dance, and flirtation. An orderly appeared and drinking than wit — saw such a terrific ghost near the all the red-coats vanished. Who shall say how much of church-yard, that he took to his bed instead of the Bench. feminine pleasure and interest vanished with them ? Cer
All this was done during the night, but in broad day- tain it is that fear succeeded amusement, and that everylight the Rebeccaites were mild as milk and stolid as their body expected the rioters where the soldiers were not. own donkeys. Neither magistrates nor spec were equal And their expectations were not always disappointed. to the occasion ; so at last down came the military.
When the echoes of the horses' hoofs were no longer Trefavon was in its glory, for a detachment of bold dra- heard, and the troop was in search of visionary belligerents goons was quartered upon it. Never had it witnessed such afar, the rioters were pulling down a gate, or setting fire to excitement before. Rebecca was forgotten in the dazzling a bay-stack, close at band. On one occasion they returned uniforms, prancing horses, stalwart soldiers, drillings, drum- to their beds at dawn, from a skirmish with a bandful of mings, cburch-goings, and all the magnificent apparatus of stray demons, having secured a prisoner or so, and learnt war. Never had there been such entertainments, dancings, that a gate had been demolished at midnight within a dressings, flirtings, and caracolings. But opposition breeds quarter of a mile of the town. Before noon this spot was resistance, and Rebecca grew the more resolute and irrita- festive. What a pretty scene it was! A small gate-house ble as she was determinately opposed. Incendiarism began on a pleasant country-road; hedges of hawthorn and wild its dastardly work, and the secret but skilful organization roses on one side; a park-wall topped with giant beeches of the riots became apparent. All the wit and daring of on the other ; a vista of cottages, trees, and lanes in front; the civil and military powers were required to suppress meadows, a winding river, and mountains in the distance; them.
on either side the road, blackened and charred posts and Suddenly, at dead of night, uprose a huge bonfire on the the wreck of a gate, and people everywhere. There were summit of the old British encampment, Garngoch, and im- gallant officers trying to look grave as they discussed matmediately another hill blazed, and another and another, ters with solemn magistrates, snuff-box in hand and law on "Till like volcanoes flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales.”
lip; smart ladies glancing at their defenders; men jest
ing at a slumbering military and a waking Rebecca ; highAs in the time of the Spanish Armada, the mountains were hatted, short-coated peasants gazing innocently ; quadthe signal-posts.
rupeds and bipeds passing the ruin triumphantly, unchalGarngoch, the stronghold of Caractacus, now one of Re- lenged for toll, and the gate-keeper going over his “ oft-told becca's citadels, was considered impregnable.
tale” to every questioner. covered with the large stones of which the Ancient Britons He had been summoned - had resisted and was commade their encampments, and of these the rioters formed a
pelled to surrender. This was the pith of most gatehuge cairn, on the top of which they kindled their bonfire.
keepers' stories, but some, who had resolutely taken toll by The military were more than once picketed round their day, at gates demolished by night, fared worse. One old mountain, secretly, silently as Rebecca herself: but not so man and woman were ducked in a neighboring pond, ansecretly and silently but that she was kept informed of
other was beaten, another dragged from his bed. their movements by her scouts. Up shot the flame, and up At last the soldiers came fairly upon the rioters, and the galloped the soldiers, guided by the light and previous in- usual results ensued. A fierce nightly skirmish, a few formation. They were soon at the encampment, but there wounds, and one or two prisoners. The new justices sat were no rioters — nothing but the flaring fire on the sum- in solemn quorum, and having received many threatening mit of the cairn. Dr. Jones laughed in his sleeve as usual, communications, heard the evidence leniently. Not only for he, who knew most things, had seen what the bold dra- the prisoners but the witnesses swore that they were chance goons could not find. He was crossing Garngoch on a passers-by, attracted by the fight, and, as everybody knew, night black as Erebus, on his way to a patient, and lost his quiet, inoffensive people, who would as much think of joinpath. His horse was at fault for the moment, so they stood ing Rebecca as of murdering their worships. It was 80 to consider. The cairn was aligbt simultaneously.
evident that they were lambs caught by wolves, that they “So bo! my friends,” ejaculated the doctor with a were let off, and the wolves shrugged their shoulders. chuckle, and turned his horse towards the bonfire. Stand- Fear is a sad perverter of justice, and during the months ing at a distance he considered a scene as weird as a witch's that the riots lasted, conservative squires were afraid. ball-room. Some hundreds of men were assembled round Lawyer Jenkins said that if Rebecca had been a poacher the cairn. Their faces were blackened, they wore grotesque she would have been at the Antipodes; but being only an frocks or gowns over their clothes, and had all sorts of agri- incendiary with other incendiaries in her train, she recultural and mechanical instruments in their hands. Their mained among her native mountains. The truth was, that leader was distinguished by a white shirt. It was evident the Welsh were too patriotic to transport a Welshman, and that they were enjoying a good joke, for laughter circulated. were even sore at the intervention of the soldiery. What They looked like demons round their enornious cairn. Un- right had they, after ali, mongrel Saxons as they were, to fortunately the doctor's dog, Jumper, barked and made an come with sword and gun to attack a few natives who were instantaneous diversion, and he, nothing daunted, rode in only amusing themselves ? amongst them exclaiming, “I know you all, you scoun- But examples must be made ; so as time went on some of drels.” “Not a bit of it, 'doctor bach: but we won't be the rioters were even sent to prison, while the military burting you, if you 'll hold your tongue," was the rejoinder. protected the barns and granaries of the brave magistrates, " If you peach we'll make you swallow your surgery;' and feasted and made merry in their halls and kitcbens.
The doctor loved a joke, but would not laugh. On the Friends at a distance were alarmed, and wrote beart-rend. contrary, he began to make an oration, in which he advised ing letters to entreat everybody to leave so riotous a coun
try; letters to ask if we were alive or dead, and to assure claimed, with complete success. He, standing in the centre us that the writers knew no peace on our account. This of his apparatus, which comprised wings and a tail of while excitement and festivity counterbalanced terror in wicker-work covered with silk, and which resembled, it was all but the authorities.
said, a gigantic Japanese “bird-kite," had been cut loose When the sessions and assizes came round, there was a from the cord by which he was suspended from the car of goodly number of Rebeccaites to be tried. The judges a balloon ; and he had descended from a considerable were not much wiser than the magistrates, for the witnesses height in safety. Another ascent and another trial of the swore anything but the truth, and juries sided with them. flying machine were to be made, at an early date, from Wbat should Saesoneg judges know of Cymreig rioters ? Cremorne, the energetic manager of which — Mr. John Not much, apparently. In the first place, the very language Baum — was prepared to use every precaution to prevent had to be translated, and the translator was a Welshman. this new Icarus from imperilling his life, if the state of the If sectarian partisanship is supposed to influence the trans- weather or any other obvious circumstances appeared to lation of the Bible, how much more may compatriot par- present obstacles to the successful accomplishment of his tisanship influence the law courts. The turn of a word voyage. M. de Groof himself was fully satisfied as to the or expression might give a judge an impression quite at safety of his apparatus, and as to his having at last solved variance from the original, and the jurymen understood as the problem of human volitation. “So far so good,” you it pleased them. The judges pricked their ears to make may say. “ So far so bad,” I thought, " and worse will the best of Welsh which they did not understand, of come.” ' I did not think that worse might come; I was Welsh-English almost as incomprehensible, and of a trans
convinced that it would. I made a memorandum - this lation garbled at best.
Witnesses swore, with grave, time in writing – of the existing state of the De Groof impenetrable pertinacity, to the most outrageous statements. business, and I sent it to the editor of a new paper. Twice All were of opinion that Rebecca and Satan were identical. in the course of a dozen lines I wrote down these words, One had seen her vanish in a sulphurous flame before his underscoring them (a bad habit in general) to give emeyes. Another had been seized and carried through the pbasis to my opinion : “ This man will be killed." I air from place to place. A third had never seen her at all, pointed out that, with however much of a show of sham on his very deed. Alihis were winged for the occasion, science his apparatus might be described, it could be nothand blindness was a universal disease. Here and there a ing but a duplex parachute, and that, structurally, there straightforward Lieutenant Pryse stood up and resolutely could not be much difference between it and the barbarous spoke the truth. “There's brave you are ; but what use? and cruel old contrivance figured in one of Hogarth's said the rest. It certainly was not of much use, for there “ Stages of Cruelty," and in which there is represented a were few convictions.
cat tied between two inflated ox-bladders, and so launched However, the Rebecca riots, like other similar demon- by some_infernally mischievous boys from the top of a strations, were suppressed at last. There is pretty sure to house. The fact of such a device being a popular amusebe a real grievance at the root of popular discontent, and ment with the little blackguards of the eighteenth century perhaps if rulers and ruled were patient one with the other, (some thirty years, it will be remembered, prior to the beit might be removed without misrule on the one side and neficent discovery of the Montgolfiers), would seem to ill-rule on the other. In the present instance many of the show that the idea of a parachute was anterior to that of an obnoxious gates were quietly done away with, and the roads air-balloon, and to favor the assumption that pussy occadid not suffer; the real grievance was removed, and the sionally survived her involuntary aerial voyage. But then malcontents returned to every-day lite. But they and their cats are accustomed to spring from heights impossible, profamilies had endured much neelless privation, and had portionably speaking, to human beings; and again, cats helped to pay an increased taxation.
have nine lives, and men fortunately have only one. I say It was two years before the country was reported tranquil fortunately. The vast majority of mankind do so much and the soldiers were withdrawn from the rural districts, harm to each other and to themselves during their single leaving them to a newly created police force, and Trefavon, tenure of existence, that it may be deemed providentially in especial, to the care of Mr. Superintendent Pryse. merciful that they are not permitted to enjoy new leases
of life. But we will let that pass ; else we may drift into a discussion of the doctrine of metempsychosis — which
way madness lies. For the rest, I frankly owned, in the ON COMING DOWN IN A PARACHUTE. memorandum of which I speak, that it was just possible for
a man to come down safely in a parachute, whether of the single or umbrella, or the double or winged form ; and to this I appended, for reasons which I shall presently explain, the remark, Experto crede. I nevertheless insisted
that the chances against a safe descent, and in favor of the Sorting the innumerable scraps of intelligence which adventurer being smashed, were at least ten thousand to I am compelled, for journalistic purposes, to cut from the one: first, because parachutes have only a descending newspapers every morning at breakfast, I came recently power — they can only fall, they cannot rise; and next, upon a paragraph, setting forth how a certain Monsieur de because accidents of incalculable number, and impossible Groof, a Belgian, and known as “ L'Homme Volant,” had to foresee, may at any moment occur to throw the most arrived in this country with the aerial machine he had in- carefully constructed and cunningly devised machinery vented, and proposed to give practical illustrations of the out of gear, and to bring about fatal disaster. In a simple art of flying at Cremorne Gardens and elsewbere. I dimly balloon you have always two chances of safety: if you find remembered to have seen something of the Flying Man yourselt descending too rapidly, you may throw out ballast, before in print. It was at Brussels, I think, that he attempted and, the car being thus lightened of so much dead weight, to cleave the air with artificial wings; but some contre- the balloon (if there be any gas left in it) must consequently temps arriving, the experiment was a failure. le very rise; in the next, if you wish to descend, and espy a connarrowly escaped being smashed ; and the crowd - a venient place for that purpose, you can pull your valveBelgian crowd is about the coarsest and most savage mob string and let out gas, so that the density of the balloon imaginable - tore his machine to ribbons; and but that he being increased, it will gently sink. Thus you can really timeously fled would have rent him in pieces as well. navigate a balloon upwards and downwards; but not all Having some knowledge and experience of aeronautics the rudders and flappers, or other more or less “ hogus and aeronauts, I noted this De Groof in a mental memo- forms of " steering apparatus,” which have been affixed by randum-book, and affixed the “ par.” relating to his prox- enthusiasts or by impostors — the numbers of the one and imate performances on the looking-glass. Shortly after the other class are about equal in the bistory of aerostatics wards I lighted on another paragraph, setting forth how - can ever enable the aeronaut to navigate his machine the adventurous Fleming had begun to fly, and, it was horizontally, to one hand or the other of the air.plane on
A PECULIARLY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
BY GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA.
which he is sailing. He is entirely at the mercy of the did an immense deal more than he was ever thanked for in wind in its circuits, and they are innumerable. The prob. teaching the poor to make that soup wbich they still relem of aerial navigation can indeed never be solved until fuse to eat, because it is associated in their prejudiced a balloon be invented of sufficient power to sustain a steam- minds with the work house and the jail); and a very inengine or some form of caloric-engendering contrivance. | genious, versatile, facile, and upright man, who was not in Then, steering the balloon will be perfectly practical. reality a quack (any more than was Doctor Kitchener),
As it happened, the editor of the journal I have binted although he dressed and talked and wrote in a quack-like at was too much occupied just then with the French crisis,
This, so far as style and manner are concerned, or the Regulation of Public Worship Bill, or the Decora- was likewise the failing of the amiable and erudite Kitchtion of St. Paul's Cathedral, or the Report of the Aldulter- ener. I have had cooks in my time who (wonderful to relate) ation of Food Committee, to pay any attention to my sug- were without prejudice, and who were quite willing to be gestions. Probably if I had written to M. de Groof to warn taught; but I never could find one who could learn anyhim that he would be killed, he would bave bidden me thing out of the “ Cook's Oracle." They broadly stigmatized mind my own business; or, in more courteous mood, he it as “rubbidge,” or as “a lot of talk about nothing at all.” might have demonstrated to me, in elaborate diagrams, the The same objections, in other terms, have been urged thorough feasibility of his invention, and his capacity for against Soyer's “ Gastronomic Regenerator" and his other flying in forty-eight hours from Battersea Bridge to the works on cookery and domestic economy. Yet both the Straits of Malacca. Possibly had I called the attention of Doctor and Alexis were thoroughly practical cooks, and Mr. Baum to the matter, he might have threatened me with their works contain a vast number of really excellent recan action for libel, for hinting that anything of a nature | ipes, the utility of which is unhappily, in a multitude of likely to be perilous to life and limb was about to take cases, absolutely marred by the verbiage and the flim-flam place at his popular establishment. So I held my tongue; of jocosity with which they are overlaid. You may be as but just nine days after I had put on paper my conviction funny as you like over a plum-pudding after it is cooked ; that the man would be killed, he and his machine came to but until you have got it well out of the pot it should be grief in Robert Street, Chelsea, and be was, under circum- treated in a very serious manner.
And in this connection stances of extreme horror, killed outright.
I may remark that Mrs. Glasse (or rather the Scottish phyI should be the merest jackass that ever brayed, if I sician who wrote the cook-book attributed to that good attempted to show that in predicting that this man would lady) never perpetrated the bald witticism about " first be killed, and that speedily, I possessed any but the most catch your håre.” Mrs. Glasse's instructions as to roastobvious means for assuming that the conclusion of his enter- ing puss commence thus: “First take your hare when it is prise was proximate and, humanly speaking, must be cer- cased,” that is drawn and jointed, and ready for trussing. tainly fatal. I have not the slightest claim to be a prophet; Poor dear old Alexis was a very good friend of mine, I have known too many prophets to be anxious to vatici- with whom I had had many pleasant business transactions nate on my own account. I am not so superstitious, I hope, of a literary and artistic nature ; and one brilliant afternoon as to have deprecated De Groof's attempt on the ground that in the summer of 1851 I went up to Gore House to see how it was “ tempting Providence” to try to fly. One might he was going on, symposiacally. He was not progressing as well say that the steam-engine and the electric telegraph, very prosperously: Gore House (it had once been the that printing and photography, were so many temptations residence of William Wilberforce, and afterwards that of of Providence. De Grool's leading errors were that he the Countess of Blessington and of Count d'Orsay) was tempted Nature by wrestling with inadequate means against just a hundred yards on the wrong side of the Exhibition ascertained forces; that his process of mechanical reason- building, the visitors to which, when they were sated with ing was not inductive from successful experiments, but de- the marvels of the Indian court, and Osler's crystal founductive from numerous failures; and that there was not tain, and the wonderful creatures from Würtemberg, were really one atom of novelty in his so-called invention. Abat- generally more anxious to proceed in an easterly than in a ing the wax, his wings were Icarian, and nothing more. westerly direction; that is to say, towards London proper Why I was led to conclude that he would perish was simply than towards Kensington, Hammersmith, and Turnbam for these reasons : first, that during many years I had at- Green. Ilad the Symposium been situated at Knightstentively studied the economy of all constructions of the bridge or at Hyde Park Corner, it would probably have beparachute order, and had arrived at a sufficiently mathe- come a great financial success ; as it was, it was only visited matical persuasion that the chances of your coming down for the sake of its quaint decorations by curiosity bunters sately in one of these machines were slighter than those of who did not come again; and it was out of the way of the the precise number coming up on which you have put a general public. The poor chef and his partners, - they are stake at roulette (I do not speak of rouge et noir — therein all dead, so that I am making no indiscreet revelations, – the chances are frequently and strongly in favor of the who had invested many thousands of pounds in an unreplayer); and secondly, because I had once come down in a munerative enterprise, were fain to do their best to render parachute myself, and that the fact of my having accom- the place more attractive by converting it into a kind of plished the feat (as involuntary as that of the cat in Cremorne. There were illuminations, fire-works, fêtes de Hogarth's picture of which I spoke anon) without having nuit at a shilling a head admittance, and so forth; and these been dashed to pieces, had rather strengthened than en- junketings aroused the ire of those very punctilious censors feebled my convictions as to the untrustworthiness of para- of metropolitan morals, the Middlesex magistrates, so as to chutes generally. The poor Belgian only fell eighty or a imperil the tavern license of the Symposium altogether. hundred feet or so into the street at Chelsea; it was my lot On the afternoon of my arrival, in the company of a to fall five thousand two hundred and eighty feet - that is brother long since dead, at the Symposium, a balloon ascent to say, a mile. Ilalf of the distance was accomplished in a was on the point of being made from a large meadow at balloon, the other half in a parachute, yet I am alive to tell the rear of Gore House, to which Soyer had given the the tale; and we had but one machine between us in whimsical name of “ Le Pré d'Orsay.” The machine, prowhich to “ do" the entire distance.
jected by some inventor whose name I cannot recall, — I The tbing happened in this wise, just three-anil-twenty think he was a surgeon, - presented some novel teatures years ago. At that period – it was the year of the Great in shape, but none in its machinery. It was cylindrical Exhibition - the site of the Albert Hall at Kensington rather than spheroidal in form; that is to say, it resembled Gore was occupied by a very curious establishment called a huge horizontally sailing sausage, instead of a vertically the “Syınposium," a huge restaurant devoted to the prac- directed pear with the stalk undermost. Still, this sausage tical illustration of the Cookery of All Nations, and con- was incased in the ordinary net-work and dependent ducted by the late Alexis Sover, who had gained consider- shrouds, encircled by the ordinary hoop, and sustained able celebrity as chef to the Reform Club, as the inventor of the ordinary car – a' big circular basket capable of cona variety of sauces and culinary appliances (he may be containing four persons comfortably. I am not, at this length sidered as the father of gas-stoves and “ kitcheners,” and / of time, quite certain as to whether the body of the “sau
Bage” balloon was provided with two valves, one at each ital. Finally, I had concocted with Gale a scheme for fitend of the cylinder, or whether there was but a solitary ting up a Greenland whaler with a gas apparatus, and a trap for the emission of gas at the convexity of the summit. couple of balloons well greased with mercurial ointment to However, this valve or valves had the common shape of obviate their freezing, and inaking" captive” ascents in two flaps opening, inwards; the cords by which they were the Arctic regions, for the purpose of descrying whether governed passing ihrough the belly and coming through the Sir John Franklin's expedition might not be concealed beneck of the balloon. What purpose the inventor conceived hind some intervening iceberg. For many months did we that he could serve by fashioning his machine as a cylinder pester the British government, the nobility and gentry, and in lieu of a spheroid, I am quite unable to say. However, the conductors of the public press, with the details of this like most inventors under similar circumstances, he was scheme — with letters, prospectuses, and petitions. Of very proud of his big ugly windbag, and asserted his ability course the unhappy lieutenant was pooh-poohed by the to do all kinds of grand things in her. A balloon is always Board of Admirality, civilly dropped by the press, and de“she.”
rided by Punch. The only personage, I remember, who When I came into the midst of the Pré d'Orsay, I found deigned to take any serious notice of the proposal was the the aerial ship" Sausage” in process of inflation, with her late Prince Consort. To his sagacious and reflective mind car prone to the ground, and a score or so of men holding it probably occurred that the plan was not quite so insane her down by means of ropes, while she was being slowly a one as it seemed on cursory examination to be. At all filled with ambient air by the officials from the gasworks. events, Prince Albert asked for “ additional plans and parThere was a crowd of curious spectators surrounding the ticulars;" but I am afraid we rather overdid things in the machine; but I did not hear that any adventurous gentle way of reply, by launching on his Royal Highness about men of the genus "swell” had proposed to invest five half a hundredweight of printed and written matter, and guineas apiece for deck passages on board, or rather on diagrams executed in flaming colors on the stoutest carbasket, the “ Sausage.”. A lord bad half promised to come, tridge-paper. I wonder where those works of art are now. but he did n't show. A cornet and sub-lieutenant in the Be it as it may, we heard no more from Buckingham PalLife Guards had actually disbursed an instalment of the passage-money; but he sent word from Knightsbridge bar- Nevertheless, although I might have pleaded two or racks to say that he was detained by the calls of duty, and three reasons, or rather excuses, for committing myself to paid forfeit. A little French actress, cajoled by the face- an act of pure foolhardiness, there were many more reatious blandishments of Soyer, had declared “ Ý là ! je me sons which, had I been superstitiously minded; might have risque dans ce machin-là,” and had half stepped into the inspelled me to leave the clouds unexplored. Poor Gale, car, when her heart failed her. The inventor himself, who as I have mentioned in a note, had met with a horrible was present, rapt in admiration of his queer contrivance, death in France in 1850. During the early part of 1851 did not propose to travel in the air this time. Nobody, there had been quite an epidemic of balloon accidents. indeed, seemed to be going save the professional aeronaut Two young aeronauts whom I knew had been smashed - a little wiry old man with a white beard, who looked as within a fortnight; and Albert Smith, whom I greatly though he had been a sailor – and bis assistant, who might | loved and esteemed, had been within an ace of losing his life have been a gasfitter, or a journeyman carpenter, or a in falling from the car of a balloon on some scaffold-poles. check-taker, or anything you please to mention. I don't Thus on my mental line of railway the “danger” signal think that he knew much about ballooning. But the ma- was displayed very plainly indeed; but I was young and chine itself bad become by this time (six in the afternoon) foolish, and endowed reither with superstition nor with fully inflated; the big sausage-body was “joggulating,” as common-sense. (The first is very often an excellent subthe Americans have it, in the air, and straining at the cords, stitute for the last.) So I said I would go. My brother, and making the wicker-work of the car creak as though im- who was accustomed to my having my own way, let me patient to be free; and the crowd both inside and outside have it. Soyer was unable to grant me a free pass for the the gates (whence the Sausage was plainly visible) of the skyey realms, since the balloon was worked as the inventSymposium were growing eager for the start. At tbis con- or's own speculation, and ascending and descending juncture, Soyer asked me if I would like to go up. Now it what with charges for gas and manual labor, carting the happened that although I had never yet made an ascent, dead body of the machine, when its gaseous soul bas exI was acquainted with most of the foremost aeronauts of pired, to the nearest railway station, and the contingencies the day, — Charles Green, Mrs. Graham, Ilampton, Gale, of damages to property - are somewhat expensive matters. and others, -- and that I had long since acquired a consid- Withal the inventor, in consideration of my being “conerable knowledge, practical as well as theoretical, of the nected with the press " (with which I had at the time about construction of balloons. In particular, for poor Mr. Gale as much connection as a call-boy on board a penny steamer
- who had formerly been a lieutenant in the Coastguard, has with an ironclad man-of-war), agreed to take me up at who had been before that an actor in the United States, “cost price” which he opined, barring accidents, would where he had acquired considerable celebrity by his per- not exceed a couple of pounds. A minute afterwards I formance of Mazeppa, and who was one of the bravest and had shaken bands with half a dozen friends, and had clammost unfortunate men I ever met with 1 – I had not only bered into the car. Then there was a cry of " Let go !” written a series of lectures on aerostation, but had gone the crowd cheered — they would have been pleasurably exabout the provinces with him, helping him to deliver them. cited had we been going to be hanged — the band in an ad. The lectures were most brilliant failures. Moreover, I had jacent pavilion struck up, “ See, the conquering hero comes drawn some bundreds of diagrams, proving to demonstra- (a slightly inappropriate melody, seeing that we were detion (our own; although I am afraid that the late Pro- parting, and not arriving), and up we went. fessor Euclid would not have indorsed our conclusions) So many ladies and gentlemen have made “captive" and that aerial navigation was as easy as lying, and that an “ free” balloon ascents within the last few years, that it aerial machine (it had wings and a tail) capable of taking would simply be an act of impertinence on my part to deup a regiment of grenadiers was simply a question of cap scribe minutely the phenomena of an ascent from the 1 IIe had eleven children, and all that he derived from his employment as
neighborhood of London : how you do not at first appear an aeronaut was a salary of a pound a week from the speculative proprietors to be rising, but stationary, while the earth, on the other of the balloon, in which he was expected to risk his life as many times in the cours of every season as occasion required. Ultimately he got a li'tle hand, seems to be sinking beneath you; how, if there are money ; crossed the Channel in a balloon; made several ascents from the any clouds in your part of the sky, when you have passed neig' borhood of Paris on his own account ; accepted an engagement at Bordeaux; went thither, and ascended.
through the lowermost banks of vapor, and look down on
He appears to have been seized while in the car with a fit of apoplexy, or be may have overbala ced him- the fleecy, floating masses beneath you, you experience a selt while striving to arrange some of the outlying gear. tumbled out from no very great height. llis ball on drifted away, to be
momentary feeling of pride — sheer asinine pride ; or how, pick duo, a mere soppet, ruined rag, in the river Garonne ; but two or three
being free from clouds, you look down and see stretching dayn el pued before the body of the poor lieutenant himself was found, in a around you the great green earth, and immediately below, wood near Bordeaux, his face half eaten away by dogs or wolves. A sorry
London, diminished to the size of a model in a museum,
At all events he
St. Paul's seeming no bigger than a pea, and the Monu- the side of the car. That I had done so was plain from ment looking no longer than a pin, while the smoke of Lon- two of my fingers being jagged across by the knife. What don seems stationary over- it, a thin, sleazy, blue blanket became of the grapnel we never knew; but if it had fallen in two strips, one for the Middlesex and one for the Surrey in a populous street it would in all probability have killed side, and cut precisely to the shape of the city and suburbs, somebody. The heavy bags of ballast too must have fallen through the whole running the glinting river, like a skein like stones. The final thing I remember during our deof quicksilver. I must mention that my view of the won- scent was droll enough. Just before the balloon left the drous panorama around and beneath was somewhat im- Pré d'Orsay, my dear, kind brother had thrown over my peded by the fact that we were top-bampered by a quan- shoulders a light paletot, observing with a laugh that I tity of toy-balloons, mere inflated linen bags, fashioned as might feel it rather cold
I donned this garlions, dragons, fish, and other preposterous forms, and all ment as we ascended, and I remember saying as we came emblazoned with the cognizance of the Symposium. These thundering down, “ Charley's coat will be torn to ribbons." wretched little trifles were indirectly the cause of our un- So much for panoramic effects when the jaws of death seem • doing. The aeronaut had instructions to cut the windbags to be yawning for us. To the possession of what is ordina
adrift when he ascended a short distance, in order that they rily termed " presence of mind” on the occasion, I disdainmigbt amuse the gobemouches of Brompton and the Ful- fully decline to lay claim. What I did in the matter of the ham Road, and scatter advertisements of the Symposium grapnel and the ballast was done mechanically and wellfar and wide. Thus the little old man, during the first five nigh unconsciously; and I was desperately and mortally minutes of his ascent, had been so busy with his pocket- terrifi d. A few days after the accident I met the aeroknife, loosing these ridiculous impedimenta, that he bad naut's assistant, and I had the curiosity to sound him as to forgotten a precaution very necessary to our safety. While my demeanor during the fall “Sir," he very candidly rethe balloon is on the ground it is customary to close the plied, "you kept your mouth wide open, and you were as neck of the machine by means of a bandkerchief tied in a blue as your breeches." I had been clad at the time in light slip-knot, in order to prevent the admixture of the heavy summer attire. “ And you ?” I continued. “ Well out of lower stratum of atmospberic air with the more buoyant it," quoth the aeronaut's assistant, who was seemingly a carburetted hydrogen inside the balloon. Directly the bal- pbilosopher; and so went his way. loon ascends the prudent aeronaut slips off the bandker- Meanwhile - the term is well-nigh inappropriate, since chief. Our aeronaut, busied with his trumpery windbags, there was scarcely any," wbile
the did no such thing. The assistant may have been unaware aeronaut, who looked like a sailor, had not lost his presthat the thing ought to be done. He cried out gleefully ence of mind, and had not been idle. He saw at a glance, that we had risen to the altitude of one mile - that we this brave little old man, - although he had been forgetful were just over Fulham Church, and that we were about to in the matter of the slip-knotted handkerchief, wberein cross the Thames. Just then I heard a sharp crackling re- our single chance of safety lay. He jumped up into the port, precisely like that of a musket-shot, above my head. shrouds of the balloon, cut the cords which atiached the The balloon bad burst. It could scarcely, under the cir- neck of the machine to the hoop, and away to the very cumstances, have done anything but burst. The gas in the top of the netting few the whole of the exbausted silk machine had become rarefied, and bad rapidly expanded. | body of the sausage. Then it formed a cupola of the apIt could not escape from above, the valve was closed; it proved umbrella pattern – it formed a parachute! It could not escape from below, the neck was closed. So it steadied instantly. There was no collapse, and down we went to smash, just as an inflated and air-tight bag of pa- came swiftly but easily, in a slanting direction, alighting per goes to smash between the palms of a schoolboy's among the cabbages in a market-garden, Fulham Fields. hands. 1
The car struck the elastic earth with violence, and reSo we fell, as a stone falls, half a mile. When we as- bounded, clearing a hedge, a distance of some twenty feet. cended, it had appeared to me that the earth was sinking Then the silk and the netting and the hoop and the car beneath us. Now the globe — fields, houses, lamp-posts, itself fell atop of us among the cabbages. We were chimney-pots – seemed to be rushing up to us with liter- dragged forth from the ruins of the Sausage, only to be ally inconceivable rapidity; There was in particular one
hustled and robbed of all the money in our pockets by a tall church-steeple, which by the celerity of its approach ruffianly crew of working market-gardeners; and the proappeared to be horribly anxious that I should be impaled prietor of the light cart who consented to drive me from on its apex. It could not have been Fulham Church; but Fulham to Kensington Gore demanded a guinea as his whatever and wherever was the edifice, it was there rush- fare, on the ground that “balloons did n't fall every day." ing up at me; and I declare that the grotesqueness of the He was far from complimentary too about the accident itposition of impalement - all legs and wings, like a cock- self, remarking ironically that this "wos cum of carryin' chafer — distinctly and visibly occurred to me. I declare up a lot of dogs and monkeys." This ingenuous but mer. also, sans phrases, that there arose before me no “pano- cenary person had mistaken our windbag dragons and rama." of my early life or of my bygone acts and deeds, as fishes swaling through the air, when we ascended, for livsuch panoramas are said to have arisen before the eyes of ing animals. persons rescued at the very last instant from hanging or I will omit any account of the congratulations which drowning. Yet I do plainly and literally remember sev- were indulged in on our return to Gore House ; yet I caneral things: that I heard a voice cry with an oath, “Let not conclude this paper without noting a pregnant but go!" and "Cut! cut!” and that a knife was thrust into somewhat strongly-worded remark made by the little old my hand; and it seemed afterwards that the assistant and aeronaut. While everybody was grasping his hands and I had pitched out all the ballast in the balloon — bags and paying bim well-deserved compliments on his intrepidity, all — and that I had cut away the grapnel or anchor from he suddenly drew on one side, folded his arms, and sternly
inquired, “Who the will say now that you can't come 1 I do not know whether it can be called on any but an Irish principle a down in a parachute !” The manner of putting the query coincidence; but it is still curious to remember that about ten years afterwards I was on the verge of losing my life in consequence of an accident was irreverent, but the matter thereof was cogent. Threeclosely analogous to that which made an end of the Sausage Balloon. I and-twenty years after the event I have narrated, I find was on board the Great Eastern on her first trial trip from Long Reach to Portlaod. The portion of one of the funnels pa-sing through the ladies'
myself forcibly imbued with the conviction that it is possaloon was encicled by a thin casing of iron, called a "steam jacket," and sible to descend in safety from any height by means of a this was filled with cold water to prevent the heat of the funnel ecoming
parachute, but that there are ten thousand chances to one uncomfortable to the pa-sengers. But either there was no safety-valve to this external cylinder, or the engineer in charge of it had omitted to keep it against the man who tries the venture surviving to tell the open. As it was, substituting steam for gas, the disaster of the
tale. And please to remember that I had no intention of was reëqacted. The water in the jacket became heated, steam was generated, the vapor rapidly expanded, there was no escape for it, the cylinder
coming down in a Parachute. I contracted to come down burst, and thirteen men were scalded to death or horribly mutilated. My in a Sausage Balloon ; but I will do the inventor the jusstate-room was blown to pieces by the force of the explosion, and two min.
tice to mention that he never asked me for my share of utes before that explosion took place I had been down to my berth in quest
of a book.