Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]




uns ; quicker and worse, if anything. I've known room was decidedly against him.

"I don't want older men than you tied up. And then followed a to hurt any gentleman's feelings. But I'm not jocose comparison, in the very worst taste, and one to be put down. What I said, I'll say again.' void of all originality, between the marriage tie He emptied his tumbler, and glared aggressively at and the noose of the last officer of justice.

the guest who had interposed. “Parties shouldn't The room was still during this speech. An be in too great a hurry to be offended. For coupexpectation prevailed that my uncle would deliver ling names, that's not my doing. If names come himself after a very strenuous fashion, indeed, and together, who can hinder it? I'm not called on to that, as was whispered in corners, ‘Royster would part 'em, am I? What did I say? Simkinson's get rather better than he brought.' A muttered married; why not Strang ways ? If married, why caution was passed about to the purport that he'd not to Mrs Brocklebank? A man might do worse. do well to take care how he put old Joe Strang- She's admitted on all hands to be a fine woman. ways' monkey up. But, greatly to the surprise of "Well, well ; enough said,' the guest observed ; all, my uncle held his peace. He simply blinked at he was a sugar-broker of pacific nature and great the fire, and took to stirring his tumbler busily. respectability. • It's no affair of yours, you know,

Marriage is easy enough. Like a prison, for that Royster.' matter. You're soon in, if you ain't so soon out. Did I say it was my affair ? I appeal to the A man's only to ask and to have. There's women It's Strangways' affair ; I know that very enough in the world. There's wedding-rings in well. If he likes to marry Mrs Brocklebank, why all the jewellers' windows; there's a parson in shouldn't he? Let him, I say. Perhaps he's every church. Sharp's the word if you mean married to her already, for all I know. Such business. I wonder you ain't got married before, things have happened before now! Strangways. You're just the sort of man as This was beyond all bounds. There was a great women would come round, I should have thought. commotion in the room. All agreed that Royster How you've gone on single all these years, is more was quite insufferable. What's come to the than I can say. Not that it's too late now ; you've man?' people asked. “He can be pleasant. He time before you, and the church don't count age never was one to go on like this before.' an obstacle. The old corn sometimes fetches a In the midst of the tumult, my uncle rose. There better price than the new. Bless you, you'd soon was apprehension, perhaps even hope, that he was find a market, if you sought one. There's many then and there about to fall upon Royster, and a woman would bid for you, and bid high too. chastise him severely for his insolence, or at least Now, there's that Mrs Brocklebank of yours.' that he meditated a stinging speech, denunciatory

There arose a general murmur that this was “too of the treatment to which he had been subjected. bad, much too bad. It was felt to be a great Mr Strangways, however, merely took down his liberty.

If gentlemen's housekeepers were to be hat from the peg appropriated to his use, said in dragged into the conversation, and their names his usual precise way: ‘Good-night, gentlemen all, bandied about in this lax way, where were things and departed. It was noted that he had left the to end? The sanctities of private life were invaded, Salutation about half an hour earlier than usual, and decency was defied. Society could not exist Still he appeared in nowise disturbed at what hal upon such terms. Still, my uncle said nothing happened.' Altogether, his conduct occasioned The irrepressible and audacious Royster persisted much amazement to his friends. He was hardly with his discourse.

in their eyes the same old Joe Strangways’ they 'Mrs Brocklebank's a fine woman,' he said, had known since so many years. addressing himself pointedly to Mr Strangways. “Give me my candle,' said my uncle, when the

*You really think she's a fine woman s' my door in Mole's Buildings was opened to admit hin uncle inquired mildly.

by Mrs Brocklebank the housekeeper

. She lighted 'Certainly, I do; no question of it. Weigh her; his candle for him. He stood for a few moments measure her ; walk round her. She'll pull down at the foot of the stairs, tapping his fingers on his a many bushels of corn, if they was put in the chin, with a meditative yet irresolute air. scale against her, would Mrs Brocklebank. How 'Is there anything else, Mr Strangways? inquired you've managed to let her remain Mrs Brockle- Mrs Brocklebånk. bank so long, I can't think ; nor how she's let you He started, turned towards her, and held the remain a bachelor so long, neither.'

candle so that its light might fall full


her There were cries of Shame!' Scandalous !' face. For some moments he remained so, speech"The man's drunk !' My uncle was quietly gazing less. at the clock.

• You 're looking uncommonly well

, to-night, Mrs 'I mean no scandal, went on the outrageous Brocklebank,' he said at length. Royster. 'Strangways knows his own business, I "Lor, Mr Strangways, I'm pretty middling, thank suppose. There 's no harm in saying Mrs Brockle- you,' answered the housekeeper, bank's a fine woman. I dare any man to deny it.' Uncommonly well,' my uncle repeated gravels.

Nay, but coupling names in that way, Royster, I'm flushed, that's all," said Mrs Brocklebank. said one of the guests, staring into the depths of "I've been bending over my work, or the kitchen his

grog, and shaking his head deprecatingly; 'it's fire's caught my cheeks. "I'm usually pale, I against all rules, It's unfair-there! I'll go think.' farther. It's offensive-right down offensive. It's wounding to gentlemen's feelings

. I don't care bank, ' remarked my uncle thoughtfully, as be

No, not pale, I shouldn't say pale, Mrs Brockle who says it isn't.'

continued to gaze at his housekeeper, My uncle drew his huge gold watch from his Well, sir, colour don't matter much at my rears' fob, and compared it with the Salutation clock.

Mr Strangways seemed to muse over this stále 'I mean no offence,' resumed Royster, a little ment with an inclination to dispute it. abashed, for he perceived that the feeling of the

Would you like the warming-pan to-night, sir?"


[ocr errors]


[blocks in formation]



[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]

No, thank you, Mrs Brocklebank; not to-night, -might also have exercised their little influence, I think.'

but it could by no means have been a considerable He mounted a few steps, and then paused anew. for the whole import of foreign live-meat Good-night, sir,' said the housekeeper. He took amounts

, according to the Reports of the Board of no heed of this benediction.

Trade, to only 81,578 tons, which makes scarcely Was Brocklebank a good husband to you?' five per cent of the yearly consumption of the he inquired suddenly.

country. Therefore, if the import was com'Well, sir, he might have been better, and that's pletely cut off, it could not naturally raise the the truth. But he's been dead this many a year price of meat more than about a halfpenny per now, and I don't care to speak ill of him.

pound. The real reasons of the constantly increas• You 're sure he's dead?'

ing dearth of meat are numerous, and the most 'Quite sure, sir.'

important among them are : 1. The killing of * Drowned at sea, I think you told me once ?' iminature animals ; 2. The enormous increase of

* First-mate on board a coasting-vessel, wrecked population ; and 3. The more general use of meat. upon the Good'ins. His poor body was picked Of these, only the influence of the first could be up at low-tide with all his features full of sand.' alleviated by some artificial means, like a prohibiDid he beat


tion of bringing veal and lamb into the market, or Never, when he was sober, sir.'

by imposing a tax upon this sort of meat. The Was he often sober ?'

two other causes are permanent and unalterable. Not always, sir.

Besides, they are acting not only in this country, “Poor creature !' It was not clear whether my but abroad too, though in a less violent form. The uncle referred to his housekeeper or to her deceased well-known French statistician, M. Maurice Block, husband. "Good-night, Mrs Brocklebank;' and he calculated the yearly consumption of meat in 1848 continued his route up-stairs.

and 1868, amounting per head of the whole popu* Royster was right, he muttered. 'He's a lation of blackguard'-here Mr Strangways swore— but he's right. She is a fine woman ; there's no gainsaying it. And people have been coupling names, France...

.40 50 have they? It's a liberty, but perhaps it's not so


.34 37 very surprising. “Simkinson married; why not Saxony

.38 50 Belgium..


36 Strangways ?" That's how they talk. “ If married,

Switzerland.. “A man might

46 why not to Mrs Brocklebank ?"


42 do worse. A fine woman--certainly. I wonder


40 I've never noticed it before. Yes, that coarse


40 blockhead Royster's right-no question of it.'


36 What's come to him ?' Mrs Brocklebank asked


18 herself. “He never remarked on my looks before, Italy

18 and he seemed quite particular about 'em to-night.' Austria...

32 She studied her reflection in the looking-glass. 'I'm much as usual, I think, only my cap might In England, the yearly consumption of meat is have been put on straighter. It was quite strange now generally understood to be one hundred how he looked at me. Had he been taking an pounds a head of the whole population ; while extra glass ? Gentlemen will, at times, and then Macculloch estimated it, in 1835, for London, only there's no knowing what they won't say or do. as amounting to ninety-six pounds a head-the But no—he's home half an hour earlier than usual, country population consuming usually but half the and sober and steady as a judge he was ; there's amount of meat consumed by the inhabitants of no saying otherwise. But for all that, he did look large cities. We may therefore pretty fairly assume at me uncommon strange. His eyes quite pierced that the average consumption of meat all over the me. And why should he ask about Brocklebank ? country has doubled within these last thirty-five Very odd of him, certainly.'

years. Besides, the above table shews that nowhere in Europe does this consumption reach anything

like the limits it reaches in this country. CalcuBUTCHER- MEAT.

lated at one hundred pounds a head, our total yearly The rise in the price of meat has been attributed absorption of meat makes the fabulous amount of by the people at large to all sorts of reasons, of something like 3,200,000,000 pounds. Towards which scarcely any single one can be considered as this enormous national demand for live-meat, the real. The butcher and the grazier, so vehemently country had in stock, as shewn by agricultural attacked by our sturdy provincial matrons, have statistics

, in April last, 9,347,789 of cattle of all been at all times fond of large profits, and there is age, 31,416,829 sheep and lambs, and 4,136,903

pigs. The average weight of English beasts is no reason to believe that they are more extorting generally considered as being six hundred pounds now than they ever were. The foot-and-mouth for cattle of all age, sixty pounds for sheep and disease and the cattle-plague have no doubt their lambs, and one hundred and thirty-four pounds share of influence in the matter ; but cattle were for pigs. ;

Upon these data, a writer in the at all times exposed to various sorts of illnesses, Manchester Guardian made the following calcujust as all other living beings are, and meat rose in lation with reference to the whole weight of the price all over Europe during years when there was national flock and herd : In cattle, 5,608,673,400 ; no kind of epidemic to complain of. The severe in sheep and lambs, 1,885,009,740 ; in pigs, measures taken by the government against the 554,344,202 : total, 8,048,027,342. Of

this import of diseased beasts from abroad—measures amount, says the writer, the 31,817,108 inhabitso foolishly abused at our working-men's meetings ants which were ascertained to live on these


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

islands on the 3d of April 1871, "would leave a hundred francs ; in 1847, two hundred and eighty balance of live-meat of not more than 3,868,316,542 francs; in 1857, four hundred francs ; and in pounds, which, taking an average aggregate animal 1867, four hundred and forty francs.' Sheep hare -an ox-sheep-pig, so to say—as weighing 265 risen in still greater proportion ; they were worth pounds, would give an allotment of not half a seventeen francs apiece in 1827, and one hundred beast

per inhabitant—14,645,138 aggregate animals francs apiece in 1867. Meat was supplied to the for thirty-one million odd of men! This, it will Paris hospitals at thirty-six centimes per pound in be admitted, is not a flourishing state of affairs, nor 1830, at thirty-nine centimes in 1840, and at fityone that promises any reduction in the price of two centimes in 1855. These data shew that the meat.' In fact, these data shew that, with such a rise in prices of meat in this country is not an consumption, we must yearly reduce our national exclusive fact, and that the vast majority of the flock and herd ; and agricultural statistics frankly poorer classes will be compelled to have recourse avow the case to be so. Commenting further on to Australian meat, the import of which is already that question, the same writer says : *The chief increasing in enormous proportions. In the first cause of the constantly growing dearness in the half-year of 1868, when it was first imported, the means of life, a cause against which no amount of wholė half-yearly supply did not exceed one thougrumbling can help, is the amazing increase of sand tons; while during the first half of the current population in the United Kingdom. The success year it has reached one hundred thousand tous, of the recent French loan has once more puzzled which is a quantity sufficient to provide animal the world, by shewing how prosperous is the mass food for four millions of Englishmen at the average of the people in France. The chief reason of of one hundred pounds a year. this prosperity, and especially of a more uniform spread of it over all classes, lies in the fact, that the population increases very slowly. Since the end

IN THE FALL. of the wars of the First Empire, the French popu

O AUTUMN, with thy dying smell ; lation has increased by only about eight millions,

So faint, so sad, and yet so sweet; making an average of about one hundred and fifty

Amid the strewings at my feet, thousand a year; while the population of the By pattering nut and broken shell, United Kingdom has increased during the same I feel the secret of thy spell, time by about nineteen millions, giving an average The flying year in full retreatyearly increase of about three hundred and fifty

For ever. thousand ; without taking into account the fact that emigration has freed the British soil during

Reburnished by the last week's rains,

The fields recall the green of spring; the same period of some 6,765,697 inhabitants. It

The hills describe a sharper ring; may be said, without risk of exaggeration, that had

The dews in diamonds drench the plains; every man born in these islands remained here,

The leaves grow thinner in the lanes; there would be a very speedy end to everything, The threads upon the hedgerows clingand not to live-stock only. Some one hundred and

In silver. twenty thousand square miles of not very fertile land, of which, moreover, a good deal remains un- Pale, like the fading forest hair, cultivated, and some is quite uncultivable, are called

The slanting sunbeams uggle through; upon to feed thirty-two millions of inhabitants

The sky is of a tearful blue; this side of the Channel ; while over two hundred

A pensive essence fills the air; thousand square miles of excellent land, every acre

And, with pathetic sweetness fair,

The wan world seems to ware adieuof which is turned to the best account, are called

For ever. upon to feed thirty-eight millions on the other side. Is it reasonable to expect any equality in the The cattle browse along the lea; cost of living in these two cases, especially if we The piping robin haunts the lanes ; take into consideration the fact, that while in the The yellow-turning woodland 'wanes ;' less advantageously situated country one hundred

The apple tumbles from the tree; pounds of meat a year is the lowest estimate of And Autumn, ranging through, links me

To Nature. consumption a head all over the country, on the other hand, in the more advantageously situated

O pensive and poetic year, country this proportion holds good only for the What is the secret of thy power! capital, and the provinces consume scarcely fifty Whereby my poesy would tower pounds a year a head ?'

Between a radiance and a tear ! Whether this be a thoroughly correct view to And yet, I find no language here take on the question or not, there can be no doubt To paint what trembles to the hourthat, when a population increases so speedily, and

Within me ! gets into the habit of eating more meat besides, this

O Eden-world of hill and green, article of food must necessarily rise in price, unless

And distant gleams of slumbering blue ! imports can be made to balance the increased

I find no lyric language true demand. Now, imports of live-meat cannot be

To paint the shadowed and the seen : easily increased, for, besides bringing epidemics O infinitely touching view, into the country, they are regulated by the prices In vain thy spirit peeps between! of cattle abroad, and these prices rise almost as The sublimities that lie in you quickly abroad as they rise here. We have no

Evade me. reliable data concerning the rise in prices of cattle in Russia and Germany; but M. Maurice Block Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 PER gives the following figures for France. “In 1827,

noster Row, London, and 339 High Street, EDINTAGE an imported bullock fetched, on an average, two Also sold by all Booksellers.

[blocks in formation]



man continued: “It is right the people here THE RED MEN OF TO-DAY. should know the kind of man you are supporting. The antagonism between various races of men is I had a home in the West once. I was a farmer; too well known to need much enforcing by argu- and while I was at work, my wife and child were ment, and the law,' of which the white people murdered and scalped by Red Cloud, who sits always speak so glibly, which demands that dark- beside you. I claim' But further speech was skinned tribes shall waste and fade, seems at any- lost amidst the tumult which arose, and during rate to be taken for granted. No race, it is prob- which the man was turned out of the hall for able, ever interested civilised nations so much, disturbing the meeting. This incident, which is, and at the same time roused such a bitter, deadly I have no reason to doubt, a fact, will illustrate, hatred in those who came in contact with them, as as clearly as need be, how difficult it is to make the Indians of North America. That the original men, living widely apart, view the troubles of each wrongs which produced this bitterness were on the other with similar glasses. white man's side, few will attempt to dispute; but New America has made thousands familiar as you cannot hold a fire in your hand by thinking with the battle or massacre of Sand Creek, near on the frosty Caucasus, neither can a man govern Denver. This arose immediately through the his temper, when he hears of some more than slaughter of a family named Hungate, and it is fiendish piece of barbarity, by remembering that really difficult to see what men are to do, except his grandfather was in the wrong, or that the engage in a war of extermination, when savages, grandfathers of the perpetrators of these horrors insensible to all other argument, are raging around were in the right.

their homes. There had been many Indian murders In America, as in England, there are two parties : in the vicinity of Denver; one which roused its those who would befriend and cherish the abo- people to a high pitch of excitement, occurred at a rigines, and who are, as a rule, inclined to support farm-house between the town and the mountains. them in their disputés; and those who would make In this case, the farmer, on returning to his short work with them, and would exterminate them lonely shanty at sundown, beheld the horrible on any pretext, right or wrong. As in English sight of his wife scalped, and nailed by her hands experience, too, those who live at a distance are and feet to the side of the house. Coming soon commonly the philanthropists ; those who come upon this was the Hungate murder, referred to in contact with the children of the prairie' are above. Here a man, his wife, and three chilcommonly advocates for strychnining' them-a dren, living not many miles from Denver, were new verb, probably, to some of my readers, but slaughtered and mutilated in the most shocking one which carries its own explanation.

When their mangled bodies were disOne of the most famous, or infamous, chiefs of covered, they were brought into Denver, laid upon the day is Red Cloud, of the Cheyenne Indians ; rude biers, and exposed in the main street, so that and he, in company with other chiefs—Standing every one should see them. The excitement rose to Buffalo, Jumping Buffalo, and the like—has paid frenzy ; and at its height it was proposed to raise several visits east. At a meeting held at a great the famous “Third Cavalry' of Colorado, the term of town, during one of these trips, this chief was, with enlistment being one hundred days. It was well several others, on the platform, and a gentleman understood that the aim of this corps was to strike was explaining the nature of their mission, their a heavy blow at the Indians, and nearly a thousand desire for peace, their friendly feeling to their men volunteered; all classes joining so eagerly, white brethren, and so on, when a man rose up that most of the shops and stores were closed. in the hall, and exclaimed: “Mr President, I Electing ‘Colonel' Shelvington to the command, claim to be heard. All was dead silence, and the I the newly raised corps went in search of the red




[ocr errors]


men, and fought the most bloody battle in all we might call it—and so got ready to proceed with Indian history. The tribes were encamped at a numerous train then leaving. Unfortunately, as Sand Creek, some one hundred and seventy miles he thought, an accident to two of his wagons cumfrom Denver, and which is a very broad road, or pelled him to remain behind, and he lost a day of strip of sand, looking like the deserted bed of a two; however, he pushed on to overtake the party, river, and running for many miles. There were which he did, on the banks of a considerable supposed to be eleven hundred men, women, and stream. But before he got there, Indian War had children there, and the best accounts say that burst like a thunder-storm on the plains; he found seven hundred of these were killed. There were the huge caravan pillaged and burnt, with many only eleven white men killed, and about forty of its defenders lying dead and mangled in the wounded. The Indians, directly they knew of the ruins. There were no Indians about there then, approach of their enemies, made what we should but the tokens of their presence were horribly term rifle-pits, and rude fences of sand ; but visible wherever a home had been. Almost every nothing could resist the fury with which the white farm-house in a circuit of many miles was burni

, men burst upon them. Nine infants were drowned and its inmates massacred. in one trough of water which was lying there; the One most remarkable escape at this time attracted women were killed, and portions of them cut off a good deal of attention in the West, but I am not and worn in the men's hats, as they rode back to aware that it was known in England. A young Denver. It is gravely contended, that the only lady was paying a visit to a farm, about half thorough way to beat the Indians, and to keep day's ride from her home, and she rode thither them under, is to destroy the children, who other alone, being, of course, perfectly unaware of the wise will grow up, as a matter of course, to be frightful events of the day. The house to which Indians themselves. 'In Arizona,' said a man, she was going was not visible until she turned a arguing the point with me, we always killed the bluff, or hill, when she came upon it within a dispapooses. We thought it more important to kill tance of two or three hundred yards. Her consterthem, than to kill the bucks and squaws.' This nation may be imagined when she saw the house principle was sternly acted upon at Sand Creek; in flames, and a mob of Indians dragging the bodies yet one of the many actors in the fight that I have of the farmer and his family around the blazing known went against it. He tells me, that after the building, hacking and cutting at what, doubtless, first burst of the fight was done, and the Indians were senseless corpses. She turned her pony and were broken and fleeing, he and a comrade were fled, but the savages had seen her, and a large riding past a miserable tent, when they saw a boy, number galloped after her. The girl was riding a mere child of apparently six or seven years, sit- a favourite pony, which she had broken in herself, ting quietly in the midst of the blood and slaughter and which was valued for its docility and speed

. all round. The second man called my informant's The gallant little thing kept the lead of the Indians attention to the child, and asked if he should shoot for several miles, until she carried her mistress to him ; but the other, being of milder mood, took the a large ranch or farm, where some forty or hfty little creature before him on his saddle. The men were assembled, with many women and chil

. Indian boy shewed no sign of fear or pain-yet dren, as a place

of refuge. The pony galloped right they found that a bullet had taken his right fore- up under the verandah, and the Indians, deeming finger off, close to the hand. The kindly soldier they had not only the girl, but other prey in their fed his little captive with some biscuit, which he grasp, followed with whoops and yells–when a host ate ravenously, and gave him some water ; carry- of white men burst from each door of the building, ing him before him for some hours, until, un- and pouring a volley into the savages

, killed fire fortunately, he was ordered to ride off with all outright, and drove the remainder off. speed, to a distance of some few miles. He was It is of no use arguing with men who have once obliged to leave the child, but he placed him seen or shared in such scenes as those just hinted under the protection of a comrade. In his own at. A man who has lost a home or a relative by words : ‘Bill minded the little devil, till he was the savages, cannot be reasoned with ; and no wonordered off by the captain to do something, so he der. Within a few miles of where I live, there told the young redskin to sit quietly there until he died last year a Colonel Pfeiffer, a very early settler came back. But I came back first, and when I see in these parts, and a great foe to Indians. His wife Bill, I asked him about the youngster, and I and child had been murdered by the barbarians

, thought I would go and find him, but some of the and the colonel never forgot his revenge

, and for boys had seen him, and cut his throat. Such is many years was on the trail, at all possible times

, Indian warfare.

of the tribe which had bereaved him. He was The outbreak of an Indian war is usually supposed to have slain with his own hands one terribly sudden at the moment, although the hundred Indians, and few who knew the circoming of Indian troubles can always be fore- cumstances of his calamity would have bid him told ; indeed, there is often a sort of notice given spare them. by the red men themselves; yet the time and Those who have travelled much among Indians, place of the first blow can never be divined. and away from the chief centres of commer At the outbreak of the last great Indian war

, have all some shocking story to relate

, and the traffic from Leavenworth, or Kansas City, very generally, some narrow escape. across the plains was by team, no railroad having whom I know very well was crossing the price yet been started ; Denver, the then extreme a few years back—'the prairie’ in this article dem frontier city, was rising into importance, and a always supposed to be the great Kansas prant great deal of prairie-trade was done. Indian with a train of six wagons, and after two or to the troubles were known to be impending; and a days, finding unmistakable evidence that tie! friend of my own, having to cross the prairie, was were watched and dogged by Indians, there anxious to join a powerful party-or caravan, as very glad to meet another train, consisting of tweire

« ПредишнаНапред »