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the palm. Whether any change has through which we just discern the great really taken place in our English seasons spreading limbs of the oak and the beech since the days of Milton, Dryden, and up above! Then if you, and the lady Addison, we cannot say, but the Laure- of the hour, can only lose your way and ate contends that “those old Mays had wander into some deep leafy hollow, thrice the life of ours;" and most certain where a half-seen brooklet just trickles it is that Dryden's well-known descrip- over the pebbles, and where no other tion of that month, if applied to any sound is heard but the flight of the ringMay we have had for the last twenty dove, or its soft appealing note from the years, would seem simply ridiculous. neighboring elm, you will own the danWe mean the lines beginning :
gerous fascination, the melting influence For thee, sweet month, the groves greon of the season, nor would give a fig for liveries wear,
all your merry months of May. Then If not the first, the fairest, of the year.
the ground would be wet and the trees Winter in the lap of May is now the bare, and very probably an east wind rule and not the exception, and “Socie- lying in wait for you round the corner. ty" does well, in our opinion, to spend it Now all is soft and warm and sheltered. in the capital. Fashion, it may be, after A thick leafy girdle shuts you in; here all, has been only unconsciously adapt and there, through the openings, gleam ing herself to nature and following in the mossy trunks of anciert trees and the footsteps of the seasons. When May gnarled old thorns and hollies; while was a warm and melting month, when beyond again all is green darkness —the the “groves” were full of leaf overhead, very home of the fauns and the nymphs, and when every bank was “a bed of and of the god Silvanus. And is not flowers" on which a lady might throw her- this a scene more fitting for the whispers self without any fear of the rheumatism, of love, for the arm stealing softly round the upper ten thousand did right to end the waist, for the lips at last venturing to their season in April. There has been the glowing half-expectant cheek, than however, a change of dynasty since those all the village greens or May bespangled days. May is no longer the Queen of meads in the world ? Our friend Thomlove and beauty, and the crown is for son understood this feature of Septemthe present in commission. But the ber at all events : period of the year which now corre
The clustering nuts for you sponds more closely than any other to The lover finds amd the secret shade ; what May was formerly is certainly to A glossy shower, and of an ardent brown, be found in the latter end of August and
As are the ringlets of Melinda's hair,
Melinda formed with every grace complete. September. Then are croquet and archery in all their glory. Then it is that Of course! But seriously, the poetry of we get our only spell of settled fine nutting is a large part of that second weather; the woods are dry, the nights form of the poetry of September with are warm, and long rides and walks fur- which we are now engaged. At such a nishing innumerable opportunities for moment your wish is assuredly for what courtship under the most favorable cir- Dryden has painted better than Virgil, cumstances are of daily occurrence. for the simple reason that Virgil never Then again there is that old-fashioned painted it at all : amusement of nutting, so admirably de
A country cottage near a crystal flood, scribed in Tom Brown, and which con: A winding valley and a lofty wood. tains a world of poetry in itself. What a vision of glades and dingles, and steep Then, if ever, you experience that absowoodland paths, and high mossy banks, lute indifference to affairs which Virgil and cool dank depths of impenetrable has painted : shade, it conjures up before us.
Illum non populi fasces, non purpura regum sense of seclusion, of complete isolation Flexit et infidos agitans discordia fratres, from the world, of security and irrespon- Non res Romanæ, perituraque regna.
Aut conjurato descendens Dacus ab Istro : sibility creeps over us in the centre of a thick wood, surrounded on all sides by Let them rave ! the peace of September the tall hazel bushes whose tangled is upon you.
Melinda sits beside you, branches form an arch over our heads, with every grace complete. What can
the raw, half-clad, chilly month of May, all months in the year the month of with all her frost-bitten flowers, give you honeymoons. We might expatiate on in exchange for this?
this topic to any extent: on the raptures We were wrong, perhaps, in saying which September has beheld by lake or that in the depth of that cool green wood mountain, by the blue sea, or in the you would hear no sound but the loving green retreats of some patrician home. coo or the noisy pinion of the wood-pig- There is some evidence in the context
You may hear at intervals the dis- to show that it may have been Septemtant gun of the partridge-shooter; and ber when the Lady of Shalott began to little as such a sport may seem at first grow sick of shadows. The long fields sight to have to do with “ the soul-subdu- of barley, the reapers reaping early, the ing sentiment harshly styled flirtation, sheaves through which Sir Launcelot the reader of Whyte Melville's charming rode, all point to this conclusion : novel All Down Hill will know better, if Or when the moon was overhead, he has not known it at first hand. In
Came two young lovers lately wed ; partridge-shooting there is such a thing I am half sick of shadow, said as luncheon, which it needs little femi
The Lady of Shalott. nine dexterity to convert into a picnic It must have been so. Hence, vain deof an exceptionally free and easy charac- luding May! We will none of thee. If ter. What more natural than for the the Italian Venus loves best the “ ivory daughters of the house to bring out their moonlight of April," our English godpapa's luncheon in the pony carriage, who dess is clearly most gracious in Septemmeets them with his two young friends ber. in such and such a lane, or under such If the transition from grave to gay in and such a big hedge? Paterfamilias the above pages has been somewhat of himself is not unlikely to go to sleep the suddenest, I can only say that it rewhen he has finished his share of pigeon- flects to some extent the character of the pie and smoked his allotted pipe. But month I have been describing. The still
, whether he does or not, he will certainly deep, eloquent calm of a September day not get up to help the young ladies gather speaking to us in a language which canblackberries; and as that is one of the not be written down-at once so sweet, fruits of the earth of which they happen so soft, and so sad—may be exchanged at this moment to be particularly fond, in a moment for all the jocund activity and as it grows too high on these hedges of a harvest field, the rough pleasantries to be reached without assistance, they of the mowers, and the merry tones of pair off easily and naturally in quest of girls and children. Thus there are two this delicacy: coming back-strange to aspects of September which present say—with neither lips nor fingers show themselves to us alternately, contrasting ing any traces of the coveted refresh- very strongly with each other, and not ment, though what other fruit may have shaded off by any very gentle gradations. been tasted in the mean time it would From one point of view September is perhaps be impertinent to inquire. Oh, merrier than May, from another it is yes ! partridge-shooting-the sport par sadder than December. Nothing can excellence of September-has a great deal be gayer than the human life of the of poetry in it. It is answerable for month, with all the bustle and license of numerous love affairs of all kinds-seri- the harvest : nothing more calculated to ous or trifling, innocent or otherwise. inspire us with serious emotions than the And while we are on the poetry of Sep- face of nature. Melancholy and gladtember we must never forget that it is of ness share the month between them;
and whichever mood we may be in, Sep# Coningsby'.
tember can always sympathise with us.
BY J. C. MCCOAN.
The sympathy expressed by our Mus- by lot or their own collective vote. sulman fellow-subjects in India with the These were called Ahel-alschoura, or Porte in its present struggle with Russia heirs presumptive, and the offer of one has, during the past few weeks, provoked of them (Abd-al-rahman) to renounce considerable newspaper and other disc his chance on condition of the other five cussion of the ground on which this sen- permitting him to choose Omar's immetiment rests-namely, the title of the diate successor having been agreed to, Sultan to the Caliphate, or supreme spirit- he named Othman (another of the six), ual headship of Islâm. But the pro- who accordingly became the third Caliph. nouncements of the chief parties to the On his death, in A.D. 655, Ali, the cousin controversy have been so conflicting that and son-in-law of the Prophét, succeed-it may without disrespect be said ed to the vacant dignity—by election of popular confusion on the point has been the people of Mecca and Medina, acting rather worse confounded, and to unsci. on his previous nomination as one of the entific outsiders the problem, instead of six selected by Omar. Of this most fabeing in any way solved, has been made mous of the first four 'successors' nothobscurer than ever. The learned fog, ing more need be said than that he rehowever, which has been thus thrown moved the seat of the Caliphate to Cufa, round the subject may, I venture to and long after his death (in 661) became think, be dispersed by a simple reference the cause of the great schism that has to the historical facts, which are as ac- since divided the Mohammedan world cessible to anyone who can read D'Her- into the bitterly opposing sects of Soonis belot, D'Ohsson, and Gibbon as to the and Shiites—the former of which includes pundits who, armed with Abulfeda and the Turks, most of the Arabs, and Elmacin, have waged bloodless but still the great majority of the Mussulmans of angry war over a topic that involves in India and China, while the latter comreality no problem at all.
prises the Persians and some tribes along The word 'Caliph' (Arab. Khali- the Gulf, who regard the first three Cafah), meaning vicar' or ' successor,' was liphs as usurpers and Ali as the only legitthe modest title assumed by Aboubekr, imate successor of the Prophet. These the father-in-law and first successor of first four princes are called by MussulMohammed, on the death of the latter in man theologians Khulefaï ráshidin, or A.D. 632. As the first link in the chain true Caliphs,' as distinguished from of what is by some called the canonicity their Ommiade and Abbasside succesof the title, it should be remarked that sors, who, though recognised as legitiin his case the succession was by popu- mate and orthodox, are styled 'imperlar election ; but in that of Omar, who fect.' Of the two sons of Ali, Hassan followed, it was by nomination by Abou- and Hussein—who with their father form bekr on his death-bed, after a short reign what may be called the trinity of the of less than two and a half years. As Shiite calendar—the former succeeded the title of successor of the successor,' to the Caliphate, apparently by mere which was properly that of the new sov- herditary right, as nothing is recorded of ereign, would soon have become reitera- his election ; but his title was disputed tively inconvenient, it was now changed by Moawiyah, a near relative of Othman, for that of Emir-almoumenin (Command- and governor of Syria at the time, who er of the Faithful), which-although the had equally refused to recognise Ali, and original style of Caliph was also retained shortly after the accession of the latter --thenceafterwards became, and still re- had himself been proclaimed Caliph by mains, the more specific designation of his own partisans at Damascus. After a the chief Mussulman sovereign. Again, few months' feeble tenure of the Cufa before his death Omar named six persons sovereignty, therefore, Hassan abdicated to succeed him, in order of their election in favor of the usurper, and found sanc
tuary at the Prophet's tomb till poisoned the commandants of the Turcoman and by his wife at the instigation, it was said, Tartar militia, who, from being at first of Moawiyah.
mere slaves or mercenaries imported Amrou, the conqueror of Egypt, was from Northern Asia, had become, like the first to salute the new monarch, and the Mamlouks of Egypt, the dominant divulged, says Gibbon-quoting the lan- military class—while most of the provguage of Tacitus in another connection inces had segregated into independent --the dangerous secret that the Arabian principalities, whose sultans, for the Caliphs might be created elsewhere than greater part, acknowledged the spiritual in the city of the Prophet. _Moawiyah sovereignty of the Caliph, but nothing belonged to the tribe of the Beni-Ommi- more. Thus arose the provincial dynasyah, and so founded the first dynasty of ties of the Aglabites, the Edrisites, the the Ommiades, which for nearly a centu- Taberites, the Soffarides, the Hamadanry wielded the sceptre of Islâm in virtue ites, and others, who for nearly five cenof a purely hereditary right. In A.D. turies, simultaneously or in succession, 750 the succession passed to the Beni- divided between them the dominion of Abbas, in the person of Abul Ahbas, sur- Asia and Africa from the Oxus to Tannamed Al-Saftah (the Bloodshedder), who, gier. In 1056 Baghdad itself was occuin a battle fought near Mosul, defeated pied by the Seljuks, who assumed and Caliph Marwan II., the last of the Ommi- for two hundred years wielded the power ade sovereigns, and, as was thought, total- previously held by the usurping Emirs. ly exterminated their lineage. One mem- During this term, again, the order of ber, however, of the family survived succession was frequently broken by the Abd-al-rahman, a grandson of the Caliph secular princes, who deposed and set up Heschiam—and managed to escape into Caliphs at their will, though still selectSpain, where his name procured him a ing from the Abbasside line. The dividfavorable reception, and enabled him to ed sovereignty thus exercised at length found a new Ommiade line, which for came to an end in 1258, when the Tarnearly three centuries ruled both spirit- tars under Holagou, the grandson of ually and secularly over the eight Mo- Zenghis Khan, overran the empire, sacked hammedan provinces into which the Baghdad, and extinguished the Arabian Peninsula was then divided.
Caliphate in the blood of Mostasem, the The succession of Al-Saffah by his last of this illustrious dynasty. brother Mansour, after a contest with In the mean time two other Caliphates his uncle and nephew, whose claims -each claiming co-ordinate supremacy were also strongly supported, would fur- with the parent pontificate of Baghdad, ther seem to show that neither law nor but the legitimacy of both of which is usage had established any fixed rule ac- repudiated by Mussulman canonistscording to which the joint spiritual and had been established in Northern Africa temporal sovereignty then descended. and Spain. In the latter country AbdIt passed, in fact, to the strongest, who al-rahman, a grandson of the Ommiade was generally the oldest male relative of Caliph Heschiam, had, in A.D. 755, as the deceased Caliph, and so, under the already mentioned, refounded the line Abbassides as under the Ommiades, be- of his house in a new dynasty, which for came practically hereditary in the order nearly three centuries equalled, if it did which is still canonical in the family of not surpass, in wealth and splendor its the Ottoman Sultans. Al-Mansour it rivals on the Tigris. Since the extincwas who removed the seat of the Caliph-, tion of these Spanish Ommiades, in 1036, ate from Damascus to Baghdad, which there has been no Caliphate amongst the he founded. Under Haroun-al-raschid, Moors; but the Emperor of Morocco, his grandson, and our old friend of the though a Sooni, claims to be Imâm withArabian Nights, the Mohammedan do- in his own dominions, and as such has minion reached its golden age, from never recognized the spiritual headship which it gradually declined till, during of the Sultan. the reign of Caliph Rahdi (934-41), the A century and a half later than the twentieth of the Abbasside line, the whole foundation of this Spanish Caliphate, central executive power had been grad- Obeidallah, who claimed to be a descendually usurped by the Emirs-al-Omara, ant of Ali, with the help of the Emir of
Sicily drove the Aglabites out of Cairoan pedigree than had been made in the case —the ancient Cyrene-and established of Ahmed. But the Caliphate thus rethe Fatimite dynasty in Africa in A.D. stored was from the first a purely spirit908. Moêz, the fourth of this line, hav- ual office, without secular power or ating reduced Egypt, transferred the seat tributes of any kind, and during the two of his sovereignty to Cairo—then newly centuries and a half that intervened to built by his general Gowher-in or about the Turkish conquest the sacred puppets 972; and before his death, three years were appointed and deposed at will by later, his name was substituted in the the temporal Sultans, with even less ceremosque prayers for that of Al-Motée mony than had previously been ob(the contemporary Baghdad Caliph) served by the Seljuks at Baghdad. The from Tunis to Medina, Mecca being the relation of the Pope to the King of Italy only place of importance in Arabia that would be in some way analogous to that persisted in recognizing the house of of these Vicars of the Prophet to the Abbas.' This Fatimite line, in which the Sultans of the Baharite and Borghite succession was no whit more regular than dynasties, but that Pius IX. enjoys a among the Ommiades and Abbassides, hundredfold more liberty and independlasted, with diminished power, till 1171, ence than was accorded to the Caliphs when it was suppressed and its Caliphate of this Abbasside line in Egypt. Still, extinguished by Saladin (then vizier of the prestige of a great sanctity attached Adhed, its last representative), who to their office, and their secular colleagues usurped the secular sovereignty and re- made use of them, as Mr. Baillie observes, proclaimed the spiritual supremacy of to confirm by religious sanctions their the Baghdad Abbassides. The Spanish own authority over the people. They Ommiades being also now extinct, these were even recognized as the source of latter thus again became the sole recog- temporal dignities, and were used hy the nized Vicars of the Prophet throughout Mamlouk soldiery-as the Sheikh-ulthe orthodox Mussulman world, and so Islâm was the other day by the Porte continued till their sanguinary extermina- pashas at Constantinople-to deprive of tion by Holagou.
legai authority the sovereigns whom they We now reach the first of the three deposed. Nor was this recognition of doubtful links in this tangled chain of their high religious authority confined to succession on which the religious title of Egypt and its Mamlouk princes. Both Sultan Abdul Hamid depends. Some D'Herbelot and Gibbon tell how Sultan three years after the Mogul capture of Bayazid, when at the height of his powBaghdad a young Arab named Ahmed, er, besought from the Prophet's Vicar at calling himself a survivor of the slaugh- Cairo the confirmation of his royal digtered Abbasside house, made his appear- nity. “The humble title of Emir,' says ance at Cairo, and claimed to be a son Gibbon, 'was no longer suitable to the of Dhaher, the last Caliph but one of the Ottoman greatness; and Bajazet condeline. D'Herbelot tells the story of his scended to accept a patent of Sultan claim in language that plainly hints doubt from the Caliphs who served in Egypt as to its soundness, and the only record- under the yoke of the Mamlouks-a last ed evidence in support of it is its recog- and frivolous homage that was yielded nition by the Mamlouk Sultan Bibars by force to opinion by the Turkish conafter consultation with his doctors of the querors to the house of Abbas and the law. In the person, therefore, of this successors of the Arabian Prophet.' In alleged scion of the sacred house-who the enjoyment of this purely pontifical received the name of Mostanserbillah- rank and authority the dynasty lasted for the Abbasside dynasty, extinguished on two centuries and a half-till 1517, when the Tigris, was revived on the Nile. A Egypt was conquered by the Ottomans few months after his enthronement he under Selim I., who killed Toman Bey, was sent with a strong force to drive the the last Borghite Sultan, and carried off Tartars from Baghdad, but being met by Caliph Motowakkel to Constantinople, * them on his way, was killed in the fight where he forced him to renounce, or asthat followed. Opportunely, yet another
* After the death of Selim, three years later, survivor of Holagou's massacre turned
he was permitted to return to Cairo, where he up, and was promoted to the vacant dig- lived as a private individual till his own nity with even scantier enquiry into his death in 1543.