The Project Gutenberg eBook of Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, fifth series, no. 138, vol. III, August 21, 1886

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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, fifth series, no. 138, vol. III, August 21, 1886

Author: Various

Release date: April 2, 2024 [eBook #73319]

Language: English

Original publication: Edinburgh: William and Robert Chambers, 1853

Credits: Susan Skinner, Eric Hutton and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)






No. 138.—Vol. III.





In the United States, even in the coolest, most northerly portion, the summers are long and hot; the July days are scorching and the nights are suffocating in the crowded cities and larger towns; with August comes a little change, but then come the exhausting ‘dog-days,’ when, though the mercury will not run so high in the thermometer, the atmosphere is as unpleasant as if it were still July.

Those who can afford it—and many who cannot do so, but fancy they must do as their wealthy neighbours do—begin in June to flit to seaside, mountain, or Springs hotel, where they pay as high a rent for a tiny room as would give them a whole house in town. Here the ladies and children stay for such a time as suits them, or as suits papa’s purse. If the hotel chosen is within a reasonable distance of the men’s places of business, they will flock there on Saturday night, and hasten away early on Monday morning. At some resorts, certain trains or boats have the local name, for the season, of ‘husbands’ train’ or boat, as the case may be. The maidens who have no lover to look for at this time are on the alert to see what ‘new men’ Messrs So-and-so will bring with them this Saturday; for there is an appalling dearth of eligible men—eligible, if only as escorts or partners at tennis or cotillon at most of these summer resorts. Between Monday and Saturday the ladies amuse themselves with fancy-work, gossip, reading of light novels, fault-finding with the meals, or with the noise other people’s children make, and flirting with the men who, taking their own holiday, are remaining at the hotel for a week or two. Then, too, there is usually, in so mixed an assembly as must necessarily be found at even the most select hotel, at least one person who has something queer, perhaps no worse than simply great eccentricity, about her, and so furnishes material to her fellow-boarders for endless speculation and gossip.

Hotel-life is so distasteful to many and so expensive, that there has of late arisen another way of summering—camping-out; but not necessarily tenting, though some prefer that. All over the northern portion of the land there are springing up like mushrooms roughly-built cottages, which are only better than a tent in that they are water-tight, have hard floors, and are not apt to be blown down at the first stiff gale. These cottages are often unpainted, or but slightly so, and have two rooms, small, down-stairs, and one large or two small rooms above; if the latter, the partition is rarely more than six feet high. When the campers are a mixed party, not simply father, mother, and children, the young men sleep down in the living-room, and the up-stairs beds are curtained off by curtains or screens. The cottage is always erected near water of some sort, old ocean having the preference, and a pinewood on the edge of a pond or lake is also popular. I remember one such spot, in Maine, where some friends of mine passed a very delightful vacation; it was a pine-grove not many miles from the city of Augusta, on the very edge of one of those hundreds of fresh-water lakelets which dot Maine so thickly. The owner of the land had erected five of these simple houses, and rented them to persons of the highest respectability, one being a High School teacher, one a Universalist minister, one an editor, and so on. The rental was very moderate—at the rate of a dollar a day for those who only wished to remain one or two weeks; but at a very much less figure if they took a cottage for the two summer months. This price included the use of all the ice they needed for the preservation of their food, and a rowboat which would hold eight persons. The campers brought their own furniture; and it is really surprising how few things one actually needs to live in comfort for a month. The pond which bears the Indian name—more easy to pronounce than to write—of Cobbasacontee, is well stocked with fish, and is dotted all over with pretty little islands, which are capital places to land and build a fire to cook the fish you have just caught. If{530} you have taken the precaution to bring with you a coffee-pot as well as your frying-pan, and some coffee, sugar, condensed milk, pepper, salt, and buttered bread, you can soon have a meal fit for a king—a hungry king.

How well I remember one such excursion I made two years ago! There were five in the party, none very young, and none at all in love with any one present. We two ladies were afraid to trust ourselves in the tiny sailboat which made part of our fleet of two, so we and my friend’s nephew started off in the rowboat. Hardly had we got well out, however, when the sailor of the party found that his sail was not fitted to the boat it was in; and nothing would suit the men but that sails and oars must change places while passengers sat still; and in spite of our unspoken qualms and our glances of mistrust slily exchanged with one another, we had to go under full sail after all. And how the wind did justify its title of ‘fickle as a woman,’ that morning! For a few moments we would scud over the water in a rather alarming style, considering that our skiff was capable of holding only about six persons; then, after having dipped our gunwale quite as often as I liked, the breeze would vanish, the sail would hang limp and lifeless, and we were becalmed. The other boat was soon far ahead; and while we were yet within sight of our camp, the occupants had reached our destination, and were hauling in the fish with most provoking rapidity. During one of our spasmodic, rapid skims down the pond, we disturbed a mother-loon. Laughing at us in the strange, weird manner peculiar to that sort of water-fowl, she swam down the shore, trying to allure us to chase her, and not believe that there was a nest full of little loons, less hardy than the young one which was paddling along beside her, among those long sedges from which she had started out with such haste as our boat drew near them. For as much as a quarter of mile she lured us—so she put it—away from her home, answering us when we tried to imitate her tones. Did you ever hear a loon laugh in the dusk stillness of a warm summer night? It has a queer, eerie sound—a lonesome, unhappy sound. After much tacking and drifting, we came at last to a little island where two of my friend’s city neighbours, a minister and a learned judge, were camping in a tiny cottage, set in a most lovely spot, a tangle of underbrush and blackberry vines growing up to the very doorway. Little brown squirrels—so tame that at our approach they ran down the trees to see what we were doing in their domain—sprang about from tree to tree, or scampered over the soft grass, quite aware that no one would harm them while fishes were so plenty; birds twittered and sung; Eden could not have been more peaceful. There are scores of such islands to be hired or bought for a mere song.

Did you ever inspect a house kept by the average man? I have heard that men when camping are rarely in the habit of washing dishes any oftener than they can help; and since I saw the little kitchen attached to that cottage, I am sure some men, some learned men, don’t worry over such trifles as greasy pans or grimy tins! The judge and his comrade had gone out for a day’s fishing; we had met them on our way down, and they cordially bade us make ourselves perfectly at home in their abode. We did so. They sent us a message, a few days later, that they wished the ladies would visit their house again. I know they hardly recognised their own cups and saucers when they went to get supper that night!

The furnishing of most of these cottages is very primitive. Comfortable beds are a sine quâ non to those who are accustomed to hair-mattresses and pliant springs, and one can sleep sweetly and restfully on a bed of dry clean hay. It is not much trouble to carry empty ticks, and dry grass or, still better, pine-needles can be had for the gathering. Blankets and thick quilts must be on hand, for, no matter what the days are, it is sure to be chilly the moment the sun is well out of sight. A cot-bed is also necessary—for friends who, in town, cannot find time to visit one, will gladly travel fifty miles to camp a day or two with their cronies who have a cottage—not only for use at night, but to be converted into a lounge in the daytime; and of course there will be hammocks to sling under the trees or on the piazza. There is always a farmer near who will gladly sell—at city prices—butter, eggs, and milk; and as most of these lakes are well stocked with fish, black bass, pickerel, trout, or perch—or if the camp is on the seashore, there are mackerel, lobsters, clams, and greedy, open-mouthed sculpin, which can devour more bait without being hooked than any ten other fish, but which make a fairly good chowder when enough are caught—no one needs suffer from hunger.

Several pretty groves on the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers are utilised for camp-meetings. Here, for a week, usually in the latter part of August—when the farmers are done haying—or the beginning of September, religious services are held morning, noon, and night, popular preachers or exhorters being invited to take part. The grounds immediately around the spot where the services are held are generally owned by a stock Company, and the regulations for the preservation of good order are very strict, and rigidly enforced: lights must be out at a given hour; unseemly mirth or secular music is not tolerated on Sunday; the sale of intoxicating liquors is not permitted at any time, nor the use of them in private tents or cottages, if it can be detected by the patrol force always on hand. These rules are absolutely necessary to prevent the freedom of camp-life from degenerating into license; for many young folks go to camp-meeting who care very little for the religious part of the affair.

The Methodists have the largest number of camp-grounds; but other denominations are more or less fond of them. I once visited a Spiritualist camp-ground on one of these Maine rivers; and a damper, more ghostly spot could not well be imagined; everything and everybody looked mouldy, and one might, without much stretch of the imagination, expect to see a materialised spirit pop up anywhere. I understand, however, that there were never any ‘manifestations’ at camp; it was only held for the dissemination of their peculiar faith.

A party of about a dozen boys and four or five men have gone for the past six years to a little{531} island in a New Hampshire lake not far from Lake Winnipisaukee, which is a favourite summer resort on account of its beautiful scenery, to pass the months of July and August. Their temporary dwelling is very primitive, not much more than a roof and three walls, for they intend to spend all their time in the open air. Every Sunday afternoon these boys have held religious services; they have a small parlour organ, and form a choir themselves. They intend this year, if possible, to have their choir properly vested, for their service is according to the Book of Common Prayer. There is not a church of any sort within a long distance, for this portion of the State is rather thinly settled. It is of New Hampshire that residents of other States say that the farmers there have to sharpen the noses of the sheep, in order that they may crop the grass between the rocks, as New Hampshire is all rocks. The natives attend the boys’ service as a treat, though, as the church is not very well known there, they are not quite sure that they approve of the ceremonial. The service is not always lay, however; several distinguished clergy and one or two bishops have visited this little camp and have preached for them. One of the boys told me that during these six years there had been but one Sunday when it rained so hard that they had to hold service in their hut. Doubtless, some day there will be a permanent chapel there.

And oh, what good times the little ones have at these camps! No fine clothes to be kept clean; no attractive but forbidden alley children to be avoided; no danger of being run over; no cross dogs to fear; and no venturing out in the water without the knowledge of mamma or nurse, for here no one is too busy to have one eye on the little mischiefs; but as much paddling about on the brink of the lake or ocean as would delight any small heart. And then, too, for mamma’s side of the question: no candy-shops to draw the pennies out of her pocket, or the tears from disappointed eyes; no coaxing ‘Can’t we go play with So-and-so?’ no scarlet fever or measles to be caught from some neighbour’s progeny; no evil influences to be feared for the older boys and girls; and no parties to be made for or attended by the children.

Mother Nature is a great restorer, and a few days of uninterrupted intercourse with her do more to renew the wasted health or relaxed energies, than as many weeks of dress and gaiety at a fashionable resort; and so sensible people are becoming more and more convinced.



Before the yelling mob could close again round Harry Noel’s fallen body, with their wild onslaught of upraised cutlasses, more dangerous to one another in the thick press than to the prostrate Englishman or to poor fainting and unconscious Nora, another hasty clatter of horse’s hoofs burst upon them from behind, up the hilly pathway, and a loud, clear, commanding voice called out in resonant tones that overtopped and stilled for a moment the tumultuous murmur of negro shrieks: ‘In the Queen’s name—in the Queen’s name, hold; disperse there!’

That familiar adjuration acted like magic on the fierce and half-naked throng of ignorant and superstitious plantation negroes. It was indeed to them a mighty word to conjure with, that loud challenge in the name of the great distant Queen, whose reality seemed as far away from them and as utterly removed from their little sphere as heaven itself. They dropped their cutlasses instantly, for a brief moment of doubt and hesitation; a few voices still shouted fiercely, ‘Kill him—kill him!’ and then a unanimous cry arose among all the surging mass of wild and scowling black humanity: ‘Mr Hawtorn, Mr Hawtorn! Him come in Missis Queen name, so gib us warnin’. Now us gwine to get justice. Mr Hawtorn, Mr Hawtorn!’

But while the creole-born plantation hands thus welcomed eagerly what they looked upon, in their simplicity, as the Queen’s direct mouthpiece and representative, Louis Delgado, his face distorted with rage, and his arms plying his cutlass desperately, frowned and gnashed his teeth more fiercely than ever with rage and disappointment; for his wild African passion was now fully aroused, and like the tiger that has once tasted blood, he would not be balked of the final vengeful delight of hacking his helpless victim slowly to pieces in a long-drawn torture. ‘Missis Queen!’ he cried contemptuously, turning round and brandishing his cutlass with savage joy once more before the eyes of his half-sobered companions—‘Missis Queen, him say dar! Ha, ha, what him say dat for? What de Queen to me, I want you tell me? I doan’t care for Queen, or judge, or magistrate, or nuffin! I gwine to kill all de white men togedder, in all Trinidad, de Lard helpin’ me!’

As he spoke, Edward Hawthorn jumped hastily from his saddle, and advanced with long strides towards the fiercely gesticulating and mumbling African. The plantation negroes, cowed and tamed for the moment by Edward’s bold and resolute presence, and overawed by the great name of that mysterious, unknown, half-mythical Queen Victoria, beyond the vast illimitable ocean, fell back sullenly to right and left, and made a little lane through the middle of the crowd for the Queen’s representative to mount the staircase. Edward strode up, without casting a single glance on either side, to where Delgado stood savagely beside Harry Noel’s fallen body, and put his right hand with an air of indisputable authority upon the frantic African’s uplifted arm. Delgado tried to shake him off suddenly with a quick, adroit, convulsive movement; but Edward’s grip was tight and vice-like, and he held the black arm powerless in his grasp, as he spoke aloud a few words in some unknown language, which sounded to the group of wondering negroes like utter gibberish—or perhaps some strange spell with which the representative of Queen Victoria knew how to conjure by some still more potent and terrible obeah than even Delgado’s.

But Louis Delgado alone knew that the words were Arabic, and that Edward Hawthorn grasped his arm: ‘In the name of Allah, the All-wise, the most Powerful!’

At the sound of that mighty spell, a powerful one, indeed, to the fierce, old, half-christianised Mohammedan, Delgado’s arm dropped powerless to his trembling side, and he fell back,{532} gnashing his teeth like a bulldog balked of a fight, into the general mass of plantation negroes. There he stood, dazed and stunned apparently, leaning up sulkily against the piazza post, but speaking not a word to either party for good or for evil.

The lull was but for a minute; and Edward Hawthorn saw at once that if he was to gain any permanent advantage by the momentary change of feeling in the fickle negro mob, he must keep their attention distracted for a while, till their savage passions had time to cool a little, and the effect of this unwonted orgy of fire and bloodshed had passed away before the influence of sober reflection. A negro crowd is like a single creature of impulse—swayed to and fro a hundred times more easily than even a European mob by every momentary passing wave of anger or of feeling.

‘Take up Mr Noel and Miss Dupuy,’ he said aside in his cool commanding tone to the Orange Grove servants:—‘Mr Noel isn’t dead—I see him breathing yet—and lay them on a bed and look after them, while I speak to these angry people.’ Then he turned, mastering himself with an effort for that terrible crisis, and taking a chair from the piazza, he mounted it quickly, and began to speak in a loud voice, unbroken by a single tremor of fear, like one addressing a public meeting, to the great sea of wondering, upturned black faces, lighted up from behind in lurid gleams by the red glare of the still blazing cane-houses.

‘My friends,’ he said, holding his hand before him, palm outward, in a mute appeal for silence and a fair hearing, ‘listen to me for a moment. I want to speak to you; I want to help you to what you yourselves are blindly seeking. I am here to-night as Queen Victoria’s delegate and representative. Queen Victoria has your welfare and interest at heart; and she has sent me out to this island to do equal justice between black man and white man, and to see that no one oppresses another by force or fraud, by lawlessness or cunning. As you all know, I am in part a man of your own blood; and Queen Victoria, in sending me out to judge between you, and in appointing so many of your own race to posts of honour here in Trinidad, has shown her wish to favour no one particular class or colour to the detriment or humiliation of the others. But in doing as I see you have done to-night—in burning down factories, in attacking houses, in killing or trying to kill your own employers, and helpless women, and men who have done no crime against you except trying to protect your victims from your cruel vengeance—in doing this, my friends, you have not done wisely. That is not the way to get what you want from Queen Victoria.—What is it you want? Tell me that. That is the first thing. If it is anything reasonable, the Queen will grant it. What do you want from Queen Victoria?’

With one voice the whole crowd of lurid upturned black faces answered loudly and earnestly: ‘Justice, justice!’

Edward paused a moment, with rhetorical skill, and looked down at the mob of shouting lips with a face half of sternness and half of benevolence. ‘My friends,’ he said again, ‘you shall have justice. You haven’t always had it in the past—that I know and regret; but you shall have it, trust me, henceforth in the future. Listen to me. I know you have often suffered injustice. Your rights have not been always respected, and your feelings have many times been ruthlessly trampled upon. Nobody sympathises with you more fully than I do. But just because I sympathise with you so greatly, I feel it my duty to warn you most earnestly against acting any longer as you have been acting this evening. I am your friend—you know I am your friend. From me, I trust, you have never had anything less than equal justice.’

‘Dat’s true—dat’s true!’ rang in a murmuring wave of assent from the eager listening crowd of negroes.

‘Well,’ Edward went on, lowering his tone to more persuasive accents, ‘be advised by me, then, and if you want to get what you ask from Queen Victoria, do as I tell you. Disperse to-night quietly and separately. Don’t go off in a body together and talk with one another excitedly around your watch-fires about your wrongs and your grievances. Burn no more factories and cane-houses. Attack no more helpless men and innocent women. Think no more of your rights for the present. But go each man to his own hut, and wait to see what Queen Victoria will do for you.—If you continue foolishly to burn and riot, shall I tell you in plain words what will happen to you? The governor will be obliged to bring out the soldiers and the volunteers against you; they will call upon you, as I call upon you now, in the Queen’s name, to lay down your pistols and your guns and your cutlasses; and if you don’t lay them down at once, they will fire upon you, and disperse you easily. Don’t be deceived. Don’t believe that because you are more numerous—because there are so many more of you than of the white men—you could conquer them and kill them by main force, if it ever came to open fighting. The soldiers, with their regular drill and their good arms and their constant training, could shoot you all down with the greatest ease, in spite of your numbers and your pistols and your cutlasses. I don’t say this to frighten you or to threaten you; I say it as your friend, because I don’t want you foolishly to expose yourselves to such a terrible butchery and slaughter.’

A murmur went through the crowd once more, and they looked dubiously and inquiringly toward Louis Delgado. But the African gave no sign and made no answer; he merely stood sullenly still by the post against which he was leaning; so Edward hastened to reassure the undecided mob of listening negroes by turning quickly to the other side of the moot question.

‘Now, listen again,’ he said, ‘for what I’m going to say to you now is very important. If you will disperse, and go each to his own home, without any further trouble or riot, I will undertake, myself, to go to England on purpose for you, and tell Queen Victoria herself about all your troubles. I will tell her that you haven’t always been justly treated, and I’ll try to get new and better laws made in future for you, under which you may secure more justice than you sometimes get under present arrangements. Do you understand me? If you go home at once, I promise to go across the sea and speak{533} to Queen Victoria herself on your behalf, over in England.’

The view of British constitutional procedure implied in Edward Hawthorn’s words was not perhaps strictly accurate; but his negro hearers would hardly have felt so much impressed if he had offered to lay their grievances boldly at the foot of that impersonal entity, the Colonial Office; while the idea that they were to have a direct spokesman, partly of their own blood, with the Queen herself, flattered their simple African susceptibilities and helped to cool their savage anger. Like children as they are, they began to smile and show their great white teeth in infantile satisfaction, as pleasantly as though they had never dreamt ten minutes earlier of hacking Harry Noel’s body fiercely into little pieces; and more than one voice cried out in hearty tones: ‘Hoorrah for Mr Hawtorn! Him de black man fren’. Gib him a cheer, boys! Him gwine to ’peak for us to Queen Victoria!’

‘Then promise me faithfully,’ Edward said, holding out his hand once more before him, ‘that you’ll all go home this very minute and settle down quietly in your own houses.’

‘We promise, sah,’ a dozen voices answered eagerly.

Edward Hawthorn turned anxiously for a moment to Louis Delgado. ‘My brother,’ he said to him rapidly in Arabic, ‘this is your doing. You must help me now to quiet the people you have first so fiercely and so foolishly excited. Assist me in dispersing them, and I will try to lighten for you the punishment which will surely be inflicted upon you as ringleader, when this is all over.’

But Delgado, propped in a stony attitude against the great wooden post of the piazza, answered still never a word. He stood there to all appearance in stolid and sullen indifference to all that was passing so vividly around him, with his white and bloodshot eyes staring vacantly into the blank darkness that stretched in front of him, behind the flickering light of the now collapsed and burnt-out cane-houses.

Edward touched him lightly on his bare arm. To his utter horror and amazement, though not cold, it was soft and corpse-like, as in the first hour of death, before rigidity and chilliness have begun to set in. He looked up into the bloodshot eyes. Their staring balls seemed already glazed and vacuous, utterly vacant of the fierce flashing light that had gleamed from the pupils so awfully and savagely but ten minutes before, as he brandished his cutlass with frantic yells above Harry Noel’s fallen body. Two of the plantation negroes, attracted by Edward’s evident recoil of horror, came forward with curiosity, flinging down their cutlasses, and touched the soft cheeks, not with the reverent touch which a white man feels always due to the sacredness of death, but harshly and rudely, as one might any day touch a senseless piece of stone or timber.

Edward looked at them with a pallid face of mute inquiry. The youngest of the two negroes drew back for a second, overtaken apparently by a superstitious fear, and murmured low in an awe-struck voice: ‘Him dead, sah, dead—stone dead. Dead dis ten minute, since ever you begin to ’peak to de people, sah.’

He was indeed. His suppressed rage at the partial failure of his deeply cherished scheme of vengeance on the hated white men, coming so close upon his paroxysm of triumph over the senseless bodies of Mr Dupuy and Harry Noel, had brought about a sudden fit of cardiac apoplexy. The old African’s savage heart had burst outright with conflicting emotions. Leaning back upon the pillar for support, as he felt the blood failing within him, he had died suddenly and unobserved without a word or a cry, and had stood there still, as men will often stand under similar circumstances, propped up against the supporting pillar, in the exact attitude in which death had first overtaken him. In the very crisis of his victory and his defeat, he had been called away suddenly to answer for his conduct before a higher tribunal than the one with which Edward Hawthorn had so gently and forbearingly threatened him.

The effect of this sudden catastrophe upon the impressionable minds of the excited negroes was indeed immediate and overwhelming. Lifting up their voices in loud wails and keening, as at their midnight wakes, they cried tremulously one after another: ‘De Lard is against us—de Lard is against us! Ebbery man to your tents, O Israel! De Lard hab killed Delgado—hab killed Delgado—hab smitten him down, for de murder him committed!’ To their unquestioning antique faith, it was the visible judgment of heaven against their insurrection, the blood of Theodore Dupuy and Harry Noel crying out for vengeance from the floor of the piazza, like the blood of righteous Abel long before, crying out for vengeance from the soil of Eden.

More than one of them believed in his heart, too, that the mysterious words in the unknown language which Edward Hawthorn had muttered over the old African were the spell that had brought down upon him before their very eyes the unseen bolt of the invisible powers. Whether it were obeah, or whether it were imprecation and solemn prayer to the God of heaven, they thought within themselves, in their dim, inarticulate, unspoken fashion, that ‘Mr Hawtorn word bring down de judgment dat very minute on Louis Delgado.’

In an incredibly short space of time, the great crowd of black faces had melted away as quickly as it came, and Edward Hawthorn was left alone in the piazza, with none but the terrified servants of the Orange Grove household to help him in his task or to listen to his orders. All that night long, across the dark gorge and the black mango grove, they could hear the terrified voices of the negroes in their huts singing hymns, and crying aloud in strange prayers to God in heaven that the guilt of this murder might not be visited upon their heads, as it had been visited before their very eyes that night on Louis Delgado. To the negro mind, the verdict of fate is the verdict of heaven.

‘Take up his body, too, and lay it down on the sofa,’ Edward said to Uncle ’Zekiel, still beside himself with terror at the manifold horrors of this tragical evening.

‘I doan’t can dare, sah,’ Uncle ’Zekiel answered tremulously—‘I doan’t can dare lay me hand upon de corpse, I tellin’ you, sah. De finger ob de Lard has smite Delgado. I doan’t dare to lift an’ carry him.’


‘One of you boys, then, come and help me,’ Edward cried, holding up the corpse with one hand to keep it from falling.

But not one of them dared move a single step nearer to the terrible awe-inspiring object.

At last, finding that no help was forthcoming on any hand, Edward lifted up the ghastly burden all by himself in his own arms, and laid it down reverently and gently on the piazza sofa. ‘It is better so,’ he murmured to himself slowly and pitifully. ‘There will be no more blood on either side shed at anyrate for this awful evening’s sorry business.’

And then at length he had leisure to turn back into the house itself and make inquiries after Mr Dupuy and Harry and Nora.


There are, it is said, no fewer than twenty-seven genera, and one hundred and seventy-seven species of bees, natives of Great Britain. But one only of all these, the Apis millifica, or common honey-bee, has been domesticated. Attempts have been made with others, especially with the bombus, or humble-bee, but without any adequate success.

The frequent mention of honey in the Old Testament from the patriarchal ages downward, and the description of Palestine as ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ may well have raised the question whether the honey was obtained from bees in a wild condition or in a state of domestication. The weight of evidence is in favour of the former. In the somewhat wandering life, as ‘strangers and pilgrims,’ which many of the patriarchs led, bee-culture would have been very inconvenient, if not impossible; and as honey was to be had in rich abundance simply for the seeking, there would be little inducement to undertake unnecessary cares and labours in the domestication of the native variety. There is no question, however, as to the possibility of inducing wild bees to accept domestication. In Cashmere and the north of India, the natives have a simple and ready method of doing this: in building their houses, they leave cavities in one of the walls having a sunny aspect, with a small hole like that of a modern hive opening outwards. The inner side of the wall is fitted with a frame of wood with a door attached. A swarm of bees in search of a new home—or perhaps the pioneers who are sent, a day or two before the actual swarming, to seek out a dwelling-place—would be attracted by such an ‘open door,’ and the family, or army, ten, twenty, or thirty thousand strong, would at once take possession. The vacant space would soon be filled by the busy workers; and the inmates of the house, having access to the store by means of the open door, could move a comb or two at pleasure, without distressing the bees, simply using the precaution of blowing in as much smoke at the back as would cause the bees to fly out at the front. English travellers report having seen the operation performed, and the bees quietly return when the work was done. The plan has been recommended for use in this country. It is at least practicable, if not necessary. In dwelling-houses there might be risks, which would not apply to farm-buildings and erections around a country house. But if man has not utilised this plan, the bees themselves have acted upon it. An instance of two within the writer’s own knowledge may not be uninteresting.

I was the tenant of Rose Cottage, Brenchley, Kent, from 1853 to 1862. The house—which has been considerably altered since—was well adapted for such a purpose. The upper parts of the walls were formed, as is common in that part of the county, externally of tiles on a framework of wood, and internally of lath and plaster. In the cavities there would be ample space for large stores of comb and honey. A swarm of bees took possession of a portion of the front wall, having a south-south-eastern aspect, entering their abode through a crevice between the tiles just over one of the chamber windows. They held possession for several years, and still held their own when I left the cottage. As they never swarmed, it is almost certain there must have been a large collection of honey; but for some reason or other, chiefly, no doubt, on account of the difficulty of taking the honey without injuring the house and exposing the whole family to the attacks of the bees, I profited in no way by their busy labours.

Less than ten years ago, when making a call at the old farmhouse, Penrhos, Lyonshall, Herefordshire, my attention was directed to a colony of bees which had made a settlement in the upper part of one of the walls of the house. I suggested the removal of a portion of the inner wall, and predicted a large ‘find.’ After some time, this advice was acted on; but the farmer adopted a plan which I should have strongly deprecated—the plan of destroying with brimstone the entire bee community. The store of honey was so great that every available keeler and pan in the house was filled to the extent of nearly two hundredweight.

Two other instances may be cited, as reported in the West Surrey Times. One is that of an extraordinary ‘take’ of honey from the walls of the Hautboy and Fiddle Inn, Ockham, Surrey. The outer walls of the house are about three feet in thickness, and at the very top of the third story a colony of bees had established themselves, holding undisturbed possession for a number of years. At length the innkeeper determined to find out their whereabouts. After a diligent search under the roof, a piece of comb was found. Descending to one of the upper bedrooms, chisel and hammer went to work, and a square of about two feet was opened in the front wall; here a large mass of comb was discovered; and after fumigating the bees, about one hundred and twenty pounds of honey were secured. Another and still more extraordinary ‘take’ of honey was secured at Winter’s Hall, Bramley, Surrey, the seat of Mr George Barrett. Some bees had long{535} held possession of a space between the ceiling of the coachhouse and the granary: on effecting an entrance, about three hundredweight of honey was secured.

In some countries the honey-bee still roams at will and uncontrolled; this is notably the case in the western parts of the United States and Canada. The discovery of their natural hives for the purpose of securing the honey is the calling of a class of persons known as bee-hunters. A writer of considerable repute thus speaks on this subject: ‘The beautiful forests in which we were encamped abounded in bee-trees; that is to say, trees in the decayed trunks of which wild-bees had established their hives. It is surprising in what countless swarms the bees have overspread the Far West within but a moderate number of years. The Indians consider them the harbinger of the white man, as the buffalo is of the red man, and say that in proportion as the bee advances, the Indian and the buffalo retire. We are always accustomed to associate the hum of the beehive with the farmhouse and the flower-garden, and to consider those industrious little animals as connected with the busy haunts of men; and I am told that the wild-bee is seldom to be met with at any great distance from the frontier. They have been the heralds of civilisation, steadily preceding it, as it advanced from the Atlantic borders; and some of the ancient (early) settlers of the West pretend to give the very year when the honey-bee first crossed the Mississippi. The Indians, with surprise, found the mouldering trees of their forests suddenly teeming with ambrosial sweets; and nothing, I am told, can exceed the greedy relish with which they banquet for the first time upon the unbought luxury of the wilderness. At present, the honey-bee swarms in myriads in the noble groves and forests that skirt and intersect the prairies and extend along the alluvial bottoms of the rivers. It seems to me as if these beautiful regions answer literally to the description of the land of promise, “a land flowing with milk and honey;” for the rich pasturage of the prairies is calculated to sustain herds of cattle as countless as the sands upon the seashore; while the flowers with which they are enamelled render them a very paradise for the nectar-seeking bee.’

A bee-hunt must be a very exciting adventure, and, as most people would think, attended with considerable risk; but the ingenuity of the settlers, and especially of the bee-hunters, who make a living of the business, is equal to the occasion. Let us, for the sake of greater brevity, suppose a case, which is, however, little other than a narrative of simple facts. A party sets out in quest of a bee-tree—a tree in the cavity of which a colony of bees have established themselves. The party is headed by a veteran bee-hunter, a tall lank fellow, with his homespun dress hanging loosely about him, and a hat which might be taken for a beeskep. A man similarly attired attends him, with a long rifle on his shoulder. The rest of the party, six in number, are armed with axes and rifles. Thus accoutred, they are ready for any sport, or even more serious business. Reaching an open glade on the skirts of the forest, the party halts, and the leader advances to a low bush, on which he places a piece of honeycomb. This is a lure for the bees. In a very short time several are humming about it and diving into the cells. Laden with honey, they rise into the air and dart off in a straight line with almost the velocity of a bullet. The hunters watch attentively the course they take, and set off in the same direction, still watching the course of the bees. In this way the tree where the bees have made their home is reached. But it will often happen, as may be suspected, that the bees will elude the sight of the most vigilant hunter, and the party may wander about without succeeding in finding any treasure. Another method is then adopted: a few bees are caught and placed in a small box with a glass top, having at the bottom a small piece of honeycomb. When they have satisfied themselves with honey, two or three are allowed to escape, the hunters taking care to observe the direction of their flight and to follow them as rapidly as possible. When these bees are lost sight of, two or three others are set free and their course followed, and so on until the identical tree has been reached. It sometimes happens that one set of bees take an opposite course to their predecessors. The hunter knows by this that he has passed the tree, or otherwise missed his mark, and he retraces his steps and follows the lead of the unerring bees. The sight of the bee is so strong and keen that it can descry its home at an immense distance. It is a well-ascertained fact that if a bee be caught on a flower at any given distance south of its home, and then be taken in a close box an equal distance north of it, the little creature, when set free, after flying in a circle for a moment, will take a straight course to its identical tree. Therefore, the hunter who has intelligence, patience, and perseverance on his side is sure to be successful in the end.

It not unfrequently happens that when in the immediate neighbourhood of the tree, the hunter may not be able to distinguish the particular one he is searching for from the rest, as the entrance to the bee-castle is commonly many feet above the ground. He is not then at the end of his resources. A small fire is kindled, and upon a piece of stone or other suitable material made hot, some honeycomb is placed; the smell will at once induce the whole colony of bees to come down from their citadel, when the hunters proceed with their axes to bring down the tree. A vigorous writer thus describes the proceedings, when the party of hunters had traced the honey-laden bees to their hive in the hollow trunk of a blasted oak, into which, after buzzing about for a time, they entered at a hole about sixty feet from the ground: ‘Two of the bee-hunters now plied their axes vigorously at the foot of the tree, to level it with the ground. The mere spectators and amateurs in the meantime drew off to a cautious distance, to be out of the way of the falling of the tree and the vengeance of its inmates. The jarring blows of the axe seemed to have no effect in alarming or agitating this most industrious community; they continued to ply at their usual occupations; some arriving full-freighted into port, others sallying forth on new expeditions, like so many merchantmen in a money-making metropolis, little suspicious of impending bankruptcy and downfall.{536} Even a loud crack, which announced the disrupture of the trunk, failed to divert their attention from the intense pursuit of gain. At length, down came the tree with a tremendous crash, bursting open from end to end, and displaying all the hoarded treasures of the commonwealth. One of the hunters immediately ran up with a wisp of lighted hay, as a defence against the bees. The latter, however, made no attack, and sought no revenge; they seemed stupefied by the catastrophe and unsuspicious of its cause, remaining crawling and buzzing about the ruins, without offering us any molestation.’

When the tree had been brought down, the whole party fell to with spoon and hunting-knife to scoop out the combs with which the hollow trunk was stored. A single tree has been known to yield from one hundredweight to one and a half hundredweight.

‘Some of the combs were old and of a deep brown colour; others were beautifully white, and the honey in their cells was almost limpid. Such of the combs as were entire were placed in camp kettles, to be conveyed to the encampment; those which had been broken by the fall were devoured on the spot. Every stark bee-hunter was to be seen with a rich morsel in his hand, dripping about his fingers, and disappearing as rapidly as a cream tart before the holiday appetite of a schoolboy.’

Not in America alone, but in Africa also, the wild-bee is an object of pursuit by the natives. Even the Hottentots show considerable shrewdness in obtaining the wild-honey. The author of an Expedition into the Interior of Africa thus describes an operation of this kind: ‘One of the Hottentots observed a number of bees entering a hole in the ground which had formerly belonged to some animal of the weasel kind. As he made signs for us to come to him, we turned that way, fearing he had met with some accident.’ It was the home of a recent swarm. ‘When the people began to unearth the bees, I did not expect that we should escape being severely stung; but they knew so well how to manage an affair of this kind, that they robbed the poor bees with the greatest ease and safety. Before they commenced digging, a fire was made near the hole, and constantly supplied with damp fuel, to produce a cloud of smoke. In this the workmen were completely enveloped, so that the bees returning from the field were prevented approaching, and those which flew out of the nest were driven by it to a distance.’

The same writer mentions another incident, even more interesting. ‘Whilst I was engaged in the chase one day on foot with a Namaqua attendant, he picked up a small stone; he looked at it earnestly, then over the plain, and threw it down again. I asked what it was. He said there was the mark of a bee on it. Taking it up, I also saw on it a small pointed drop of wax, which had fallen from the bee in its flight. The Namaqua noticed the direction the point of the drop indicated, and walking on, he picked up another stone, also with a drop of wax on it, and so on at considerable intervals, till, getting behind a crag, he looked up, and bees were seen flying across the sky and in and out of a cleft in the face of the rock. Here, of course, was the honey he was in pursuit of. A dry bush was selected, a fire was made, the cliff ascended, and the nest robbed in the smoke.’

An amusing anecdote is related in Feminine Monarchy, an old book printed in 1609, and given by a Russian ambassador to Rome as ‘written out of experience by Charles Butler.’ A man was out in the woods searching for honey. Climbing a large hollow tree, he discovered an immense ‘find’ of the luscious produce. By some means however, he missed his footing, and slipped into the hollow, sinking up to his breast in honey. He struggled to get out, but without avail. He called and shouted, but alike in vain. He was far from human habitation, and help there was none, for no one heard his cries. At length, when he had begun to despair of deliverance, he was extricated in a most remarkable and unexpected way. Strange to say, another honey-hunter came to the same tree in the person of a large bear, which, smelling the honey, the scent of which had been diffused by the efforts of the imprisoned man, mounted the tree and began to lower himself, hind-part first, into the hollow. The hunter, rightly concluding that the worst could be but death, which he was certain of if he remained where he was, clasped the bear around the loins with both hands, at the same time shouting with all his strength. The bear, what with the handling and the shouting, was very seriously frightened, and made speed to get out of his fix. The man held fast, and the bear pulled until, with his immense strength, he drew the man fairly out of his strange prison. The bear being released, made the best of his way off, more frightened than hurt, leaving the man, as the story quaintly says, ‘in joyful fear.’

We conclude this paper with a story of another kind, a version of which was given some years ago in a contemporary; but the French bishop was turned into an English prelate, and the bee-keeping curé into an Anglican clergyman, the story being otherwise greatly changed. The said French bishop, while paying a visit to his clergy, was much distressed by the extreme poverty which met him everywhere. Reaching the house of a certain curate who lived in the midst of very poor parishioners, where he expected to witness even greater destitution, he was astonished to find that everything about the house wore an appearance of comfort and plenty. Greatly surprised by what he saw, the bishop asked: ‘How is this, my friend? You are the first pastor I have seen having a cheerful face and a plentiful board. Have you any income independent of your cure?’

‘Yes,’ said the curé, ‘I have. My household would otherwise starve on the pittance I receive from my poor people. If you will walk into the garden, I will show you the stock which yields me such excellent interest.’

On going into the garden, the bishop saw a long range of beehives.

‘There,’ said the curé—‘there is the bank from which I draw an annual dividend; and it is one that never stops payment.’

The fact was that his honey supplied the place of sugar, leaving him a considerable quantity for sale, in addition to other household uses. Then, of the washings of the comb and refuse honey he manufactured a very palatable wine; while the wax went far to pay his shoemaker’s bill.


Ever afterwards, it is said, when any of the clergy complained to the bishop of poverty, he would tell the story of the bee-keeping curé, following up his anecdote with the advice: ‘Keep bees—keep bees!’



Thus valiant, the Major entered the library at the appointed time. He was, however, taken aback on finding that it was not only the gentlemen he had to confront, but also two of the ladies—Mrs Joseph and Mrs John. Nellie had positively refused to be present. He had not bargained for an examination in the presence of the ladies, for he could not say before them what he must say in order to exculpate himself. He felt that he was being very unfairly treated. But he was thankful for small mercies. They might have had Miss Euphemia in to witness his humiliation—for humiliation it must be to confess his stupidity in despatching the letters in the wrong envelopes.

The Squire was seated at his writing-table, and assumed something of his magisterial air (he was a J.P.) as he requested the Major to take a chair. The three letters were on the desk before him; and he proceeded to read them carefully, whilst profound silence prevailed. Mrs Joseph darted angry glances alternately at her husband and the culprit. Mrs John looked more serious than usual, but still showed symptoms of an inclination to titter. John Elliott stood in the shadow of a large bookcase; Maynard near the window which opened to the terrace, impatiently twirling his moustache and at intervals glancing fiercely towards the Major, who, in his indignation at the whole proceeding, returned the glance in a like spirit.

The Squire cleared his throat with a raucous cough. ‘You have placed me in a most painful position, Major,’ he began with an evident desire to be friendly, which was checked by the frown of his wife. ‘I am as tolerant as anybody of a joke. You know that well enough, Dawkins; but I can’t stand such a hoax as you have played upon us in sending these letters here.’

The Major rose; he felt so much injured, that he was calm. ‘My dear friend Elliott’——

‘Oh, confound it—there’s the beginning of the plaguy things,’ ejaculated the Squire.

‘Allow me to explain. I intended no hoax. These letters were written with an earnest desire to avert misunderstanding. Unfortunately, in my agitation and haste, I blundered.’

‘Not a hoax—not a joke!’ bellowed the Squire, rising to his feet and thrusting the letters into a drawer of the table. ‘Do you mean to say, then, that I suspected my wife of anything?’


‘Do you mean to say that a word could be spoken about me in association with any one which could or should cause Nellie—Miss Carroll—to be displeased with me?’ broke in Maynard threateningly.


‘Do you mean to say that I am in any way involved with another lady?’ snapped Elliott of Arrowby.


‘Stop a minute,’ interposed Mrs John, in her light-hearted way, coming to the rescue of Major Dawkins, and turning to her husband. ‘The Major did not say you were involved, John; he only warned me not to mind any nonsense I might hear about you. Give our friend time to explain.’

‘I am grateful for your intercession, madam,’ said the Major stiffly. ‘If your husband has read the letter which, as I have told you, fell into Mrs Joseph’s hands by mischance, he knows precisely how the matter stands, and I request him to explain, or to speak to me in private.’

‘I have read the letter, of course,’ was the peevish response of John Elliott; ‘and it does not suggest anything for me to explain, or why you should require a private interview with me.’

The Major had the opportunity to avenge himself on the instant by stating before them all why he had written the letters. But Mrs John was evidently quite ignorant of her husband’s suspicions; why should he pain her by revealing them? The outcome of the revelation would be an inevitable rupture between the man and wife. Nellie Carroll had not heard John Elliott’s scandal about Maynard: why should he, for his own convenience, stir the stagnant pool and increase the distress he had already unintentionally caused? No; he would not do that. He had blundered, and must pay the penalty.

‘Since Mr John Elliott declines to say anything or to grant me a private interview,’ said the Major firmly, ‘the affair must end here. I withdraw everything that is written in these unlucky letters, and request you to give them back to me, so that they may be at once destroyed.’

‘That won’t do,’ rejoined the Squire gruffly; ‘if you won’t make the thing clear to us, it has gone too far to end here. I shall place the letters in the hands of my solicitor to-morrow morning, and leave him to arrange with you.’

‘In that case, you will provoke a family scandal which will cause you all much vexation, and cannot possibly do good to anybody.’

‘It will at least teach some person a serious lesson,’ observed Mrs Joseph sternly.

‘O madam, the lesson has been learned already,’ answered the Major bitterly.—‘But since you, Squire, are not satisfied that I am sufficiently punished for my mistake by the loss of your friendship, but also mean to take legal proceedings, I must summon a friend from town who will convince you that the trouble did not originate with me.’

‘So be it, Major Dawkins; and as things stand, I shall expect your visit to Todhurst to terminate to-morrow,’ said the Squire, getting the inhospitable words out with much difficulty.

‘It would terminate this instant, were it not that I still desire to serve you and your family. So much you will acknowledge to-morrow, and then my presence will no longer disturb you.’

There was a degree of dignity in the Major’s retreat which impressed everybody except the hot-headed lover, Maynard, who muttered between{538} his teeth: ‘If this were not my friend’s house, I would horsewhip the little beggar.’ As he could not enjoy that luxury, he occupied his talents in seeking a reconciliation with Nellie, and unluckily, but naturally, besought the aid of Mrs John. His conversations with her in the drawing-room and on the lawn again irritated the suspicious husband, who, instead of speaking out frankly, endeavoured to hide the bitter thoughts which were passing through his mind, and became more abstracted and more disagreeable than ever.

Mrs Joseph perversely held to her opinion that the guest had ‘something’ to say which she ought to know.

‘But you don’t mean to say, Kitty,’ the Squire expostulated, ‘that if I had any fault to find with you I should not speak it straight out to yourself, instead of blabbing it to other folk? Past experience ought to make you sure that when I am not pleased, you will hear about it soon enough.’

‘I know that perfectly well—there is no lack of fault-finding on your part to myself; and how am I to tell what you have been saying about me to others?’ retorted Mrs Joseph, whose temper being once roused, as has been stated, was not easily allayed.

‘Nonsense, Kitty—you don’t believe that I would speak about you to outsiders.—Come, now; drop this humbug, for you know it is humbug; and, ’pon my honour, I think we have been too hard on poor Dawkins.’

‘Before deciding on that point, I shall wait to hear what this friend he is summoning from London has to say to-morrow.’

‘I take his word for it, that there was a mistake.’

‘Then he should not make such a mistake, and having made it, ought to suffer the consequences.’

‘But, my dear, don’t you see that he is taking the consequences?—and infernally unpleasant ones they are. I tell you there is nothing in it; and if he had only said it was all a joke, I should have been satisfied.’

‘But he said it was not a joke, and told you that if you prosecuted him, it would result in a grave family scandal. How can you answer that?’

‘I can’t, and he wouldn’t; so we must wait for the person who will.’

There was a kind of armed truce declared in this way between the husband and wife—she feeling guiltily conscious that she was somehow making a mountain of a molehill; and he feeling perfectly sure of it.

The Major went straight to his room, resolved that he would hold no intercourse with the family until Mrs John’s brother, Matt Willis, arrived. Had there been a train that evening to town, he would have taken it and brought his friend down; and if there had been a hotel in the village, he would have left the house forthwith. But there was no train and there was no hotel—not even a beershop, for the country folk thereabout mostly brewed their own ale. There was, however, a post and telegraph office in the village, and Hollis was despatched with a message for Willis, entreating him, for his sister’s sake, to come down by the first train on the following morning. That done, he endeavoured to compose himself and to take a calm survey of his position. He had upset everybody, and most of all himself, by his good-natured anxiety to save others from the consequences of their own folly. The thing ought to have resulted in a laugh and a shake-hands all round; but instead of that, it threatened to become a serious affair for the law-courts to deal with; and the Major had no means to enable him to indulge in the luxury of a lawsuit.

What was he to do? Nothing but what he had determined upon—to get Willis to speak out, since John Elliott would not. There was of course the possibility that Willis would refuse, as it was his intense repugnance to interfering with family squabbles which had prompted him to call for the Major’s assistance as mediator between his sister and her husband.

Major Dawkins felt indignant with John Elliott for shrinking from speaking the few words which would have put everything right. But the truth flashed upon him—perhaps the man was so blinded by his jealousy, that he really did not understand what was required of him, when asked to explain the position. Although the Major could only surmise that this was the case, the surmise was correct; but the true reason why John Elliott did not understand him was that he had no idea of his conversation with Willis having been repeated to any one. If that were so, the Major felt that it was his duty to prevent the threatened publicity by every means in his power. Apart from his consideration for the feelings of Mrs John and Nellie, there was his own plight to be taken into account. Publicity would expose him to ridicule, if not contempt, and would inevitably put an end to all hope of winning the hand of Miss Euphemia Panton. He resolved to see the Squire the moment dinner was over, and make another effort to get him to understand the real state of the unfortunate business.

Servants have a special instinct for discovering the ill-luck of the family they serve, and invariably they accept it in a distorted form. Then they sympathise with the master and mistress, or rejoice in their fallen state, according to the perquisites which have been allowed them or withheld from them. Hollis having heard that his master was in disgrace with the family they had come to visit, felt that his own dignity was at stake; therefore, in the housekeeper’s room and in the butler’s pantry he valiantly defended the honour of his chief. He was a little crest-fallen when he found that his master was not to join the family at dinner, for this circumstance appeared to confirm the gossip of the servants’ hall that the Major had been guilty of some grave offence, the nature of which was too dreadful to be mentioned. Hollis was equal to the occasion, and by taking the position as one of great injustice to his master, succeeded, by cautious suggestions of forthcoming revelations, in impressing the housekeeper and butler with the idea that they would reap a large reward in the future by careful attention to the Major’s present needs. The diplomacy of Hollis was used as much on his own account as on that of his master; for he managed to secure command{539} of the dishes which were most favoured by the Major—and himself, as well as a sufficient supply of Clos de Vougeot and Heidsieck.

The Major was scarcely sufficiently appreciative of the attentions of his servant in catering for him so far as the eatables were concerned; and he sadly disappointed Hollis by taking a larger share of the wine than that gentleman had expected. For this loss, however, he contrived to compensate himself when he got downstairs again. Major Dawkins was too eager for the moment when he should be able to speak freely to the Squire to find any delight in eating; and although he took the wine, it was without any of the relish with which he usually partook of rare vintages. When Hollis had cleared the table, he rose immediately, disregarding his digestion, and paced the room. He knew that the dinner would be a more lugubrious affair than the luncheon had been, and he endeavoured to calculate exactly when it would be over.

The time having arrived, he opened his door, which was nearly opposite that of the library. To the latter he advanced quickly, knowing that the Squire frequently went thither after dinner to examine letters or to take a nap. He heard some one moving in the room, and tapped at the door. There was no answer. He tapped again, and still receiving no answer, boldly turned the handle and entered. There was no one visible. He was puzzled, for there had been unmistakable sounds of some one moving about and also of the shutting of a drawer. The window which opened on the terrace was slightly ajar, and possibly the Squire, suspecting who was his visitor, had stepped out in order to avoid him. That was both unfriendly and unjust.

The Major was angry, for he could not conceive any reason for being avoided in this manner. He looked out: no one was visible on the terrace. Then a sudden temptation seized him. He knew exactly in which drawer the Squire had placed those abominable letters. They were his own—why should he not take possession of them and destroy them? In this way the whole miserable business would be ended. Of course, he could not deny having written such letters as would be described, but they would not be forthcoming; and if it should come to the worst, his explanation of the circumstances under which they had been written would be listened to with the more patience and consideration.

The temptation was too much for him. For the sake of the family as well as for his own sake, those letters must be destroyed. He went to the drawer, pulled it open, and there before him lay the letters. He snatched them out and thrust them into the breast-pocket of his coat, with the intention of burning them when he reached his own room; but at that moment his wrists were tightly grasped and he heard the click of handcuffs fastened upon them. He was helpless and speechless. He stood staring at the smiling face of a broad-shouldered fellow who wore the costume of a gamekeeper.

‘Got you at last,’ said this gentleman quite pleasantly. ‘You have given me no end of trouble; but, there, I respect you all the more. Only, you have been coming it rather strong, and I am surprised that you didn’t take a rest, seeing that you’ve had the valuables out of half-a-dozen mansions in the county.’

‘What do you mean?’ shouted the Major furiously.

‘Nothing particular,’ replied the complacent gentleman, ‘unless you count it particular that I should want you to come along with me. I am a constable, and I have been looking out for you for some weeks past. So, you had better make no fuss about the matter, but come along quietly. It’ll be all the better for yourself.’

‘You confounded fool!’ ejaculated the Major indignantly, ‘do you take me for a burglar? I am a guest in this house—I am Major Dawkins.’

‘Alias Captain Jack, alias ’Arry Smith.’

‘Call the family—they will identify me,’ the Major almost shrieked, whilst he endeavoured to free himself from his handcuffs.

‘Oh, I’ll call the family,’ answered the detective, as he lifted up a jemmy which was lying beside the Squire’s desk. ‘I suppose you don’t know what this little tool means, and I suppose you don’t know anything about this drawer which has been forced open with it?’

‘You scoundrel, to suspect me of such’——

‘There now; don’t say anything to commit yourself; I’ll call the family.’

Thereupon, the detective rang the bell.

The summons was answered by Parker the butler, who was somewhat astonished to find a stranger in the library with the Major. The latter’s face—purple with rage—and wild gesticulations, with his fettered hands, presented a spectacle so astounding that Parker could scarcely believe his eyes rested on a guest of the house.

‘Tell your master to come here and release me from this ruffian, who takes me—me, Major Dawkins—for a burglar!’

The detective smiled placidly as he addressed the butler: ‘Yes, if you please, inform Mr Elliott that he is wanted here on particular business.’



Some time ago, an agitation sprang up in favour of the amalgamation of the two legal professions in England, and the conduct thereafter of litigious business on lines more or less nearly approximating to the American system. The movement emanated, no doubt, from the town branch of the profession; for it is no secret that many solicitors are anxious to distinguish themselves in court by pleading their clients’ causes, in place of retaining counsel to do so for them. But, in the face of more burning questions, the agitation gradually died away.

It now seems not unlikely to be revived, as it is certain that sooner or later it must be. And an ex cathedrâ utterance given by that eminently practical judge, Mr Justice Stephen, a short time ago, will tend to hasten the course of events in this matter. A case for trial before that judge was duly called on, when it was found that the plaintiff was unrepresented, his counsel being at the time engaged in another court. The plaintiff being unwilling, or at least{540} unprepared, to conduct his own case—notwithstanding the growing tendency in favour of personally conducted cases—the judge was asked to allow the case to stand over, which he did, but not without giving a hint as to the possibility of future ‘reform.’ ‘If,’ said his lordship, ‘such an incident occurs often, it will become necessary to do away with the separation between solicitors and barristers.’ Just so. This is the way the question is regarded from the judicial point of view. When the judge is put to inconvenience, he speaks out; and if he is at all often put to inconvenience, he will act also. But inasmuch as, in most actions, each party is represented by more than one counsel—certainly no ‘distinguished’ or fashionable counsel will accept a brief without a junior—such inconvenience to a judge is of comparatively unfrequent occurrence; so that, although one of its members may occasionally be found to speak in favour of amalgamation, little or no active assistance can be expected from the judicial body.

But how does the question affect other interests? Solicitors, as we have hinted, are in favour of amalgamation. It can hardly do them much harm, but must in many cases add to their professional incomes, which is of course all that, as a body, they want. Barristers are more opposed to it, but, we think, without much reason. A few, doubtless, will suffer; but the state of the advocate’s profession as a whole can hardly be worse than it is at present. There are barristers, it may be said, who earn fifteen or twenty thousand pounds a year; but they are not many—infinitely fewer in number than those who earn nothing at all—and they are probably well above the reach of competition, partly by reason of their known and exceptional ability, and partly because they have been placed by fashion on a pedestal which is too firm to crumble away, at least during their brief span of life. But the few who make such incomes may be compared to the large landowners whom Mr Henry George and his friends would rob to enrich (?) those who have no land. If all the incomes made at the Bar were added together, and their sum divided amongst all the barristers, each would have but a pittance, so overstocked is the profession. Hence, regarding barristers as forming a small community, and giving due consideration to the greatest happiness of the greatest number principle, it is pretty obvious that the Bar has really little to lose by the bringing about of amalgamation.

Now from the point of view of the public. It is clear that this largest interest must benefit by amalgamation. It would promote economy—an extremely great gain. It would practically mean the abolition of that middle-man who is so obnoxious to economists, so hurtful to the proper expression of delicate points, and so wasteful of time. It matters not to the public, as long as it is placed in direct communication with its counsel, whether that counsel be a solicitor or a barrister; but it is of great and increasing importance to the vast body of litigants that personal relations should be established between client and advocate; and this is what must sooner or later come to pass. Other advantages of the amalgamated system have been before urged here and elsewhere; they need not be again specified in detail. Technically, the probable effect of the system would be the immediate entering into partnership of counsel and solicitors; which would mean nothing to the general public except the nearer approach of counsel and the vastly increased possibility of personal interview with him. Solicitors, in fact, would for all practical purposes become barristers’ confidential clerks; they would do all the work they do now for settlement by their partner counsel; they would receive clients in chambers while their partners were engaged in court, and in the event of an unusual press of court-work, would conduct the minor cases through their trials. The aggregate advantages of such a reform are so obvious, that minor interests should not be considered in bringing it about; and we are therefore inclined to express a hope that Mr Justice Stephen’s criticism of the existing state of affairs may prove to be prophetic of the near future.


I, Arnold Blake, have had a queer up-and-down, checkered sort of life, and until I was nearing my fortieth year, was most persistently down in my luck. First, it was in Mexico that I tried my fortune, and failed. Then, tempted by an enthusiastic friend, I went to Genoa and set up there in partnership with him as a merchant. The life was a very healthy and happy one, but not what any one could call profitable, from a pecuniary point of view—in fact, quite the reverse. After a few years, finding it impossible, with both ends stretched to the uttermost, to make them meet, we gave that up; and I moved on to Nice, where I had two or three substantial friends. There, things took a turn for the better, and I gradually formed a niche for myself, in time becoming quite an authority in my own small circle. Then, acting on good advice, I started a branch bank in connection with a well-known one in London. This answered fairly well; I had just as much work as I cared to do, was able to pay my expenses, and had even begun to lay by a little hoard against the proverbial ‘rainy-day.’ Nice was a gay, bright town to live in, and I constantly met old friends, and made many pleasant new ones, who were passing through to the South, or spending two or three months there, or at Monte Carlo, for the fascinating pleasure of either losing their own money, or making a tidy little fortune out of somebody else’s pocket.

One afternoon, I was sitting in my small counting-house, writing for the English mail, when the door opened, and in came an old acquaintance, Sir Frederick O’Connor, with a parcel in his hand. ‘How d’ye do, Blake?’ said he cheerily. ‘I’ve come to you to get me out of a difficulty. These are my wife’s jewels. Why she has brought them with her, family diamonds and all, passes my understanding. I call it insane! Fact is I don’t relish the idea of waking up some fine morning to find my throat cut! I want to know if you will be so good as to keep them in your safe while we are here. Whenever Lady O’Connor wishes to dazzle her friends with them, I can easily come round and ask you for what she wants.’


Naturally, I willingly consented to find a corner for the jewels; and after I had taken an inventory of them, Sir Frederick himself placed them in an inner compartment, and I locked the door. I little thought what a dance those confounded diamonds should lead me!

A few days after this, at a large garden-party I met Lady O’Connor, young, pretty, and happy-looking. She shook hands cordially, expressed pleasure at meeting again, and asked if I thought the season would be a gay one. ‘By-the-by,’ she said, ‘it is very kind of you, Mr Blake, to take care of my valuables. Sir Frederick was quite in despair about them, until a happy thought suggested you as their protector. I am going to trouble you for some of them to-morrow. Fred will call for them; and do not be surprised if you see him bristling with bowie-knives and revolvers, for he has a fixed idea that the Nice ruffian has a keener nose for other people’s property than any other ruffian in the world.’

I answered that her lovely jewels were worthy of an escort armed to the teeth, and that I was very glad indeed to be of use to Sir Frederick and herself in any way.

The morning after this garden-party—it must have been about half-past four or five—my sleepy senses were completely scattered by my door being thrown violently open, and Roscoe, my combined valet and commissionaire, a quiet and respectful treasure, landing beside me as if shot out of a catapult. I knew at once that something very dreadful must have happened. Roscoe’s face of horror and despair would have made a valuable study for an artist.

‘Get up, sir, at once, and come down to the office. The safe has been broken open, and cleaned out, sir, quite empty!’ gasped Roscoe breathlessly, pale with excitement.

I cannot recollect what followed during the few minutes in which I hurriedly dressed, and Roscoe is far too considerate to have ever reminded me of that short scene. The first thing I do remember is, finding myself in my office, clothed in a sketchy and uncomfortable manner, the victim of one of the most audacious burglaries that had taken place in Nice for a very long time. I stood gazing at my ransacked safe and rummaged drawers, and at the floor, strewn with papers, among which, here and there, I noticed a few gold pieces, which seemed as if the robbers had been interrupted or startled in some way or other. I was afraid to move from the spot on which I stood until the detective, whom I had sent Roscoe off in a fiacre to fetch, should arrive, lest I might unwittingly destroy some small but important piece of evidence, which his experienced eyes would discover at a glance. In a very short time he appeared, and after a friendly word or two, commenced his investigations. He carefully examined the safe, the window, and the door. Nothing seemed to escape him. He took voluminous notes; measured a footmark which he discovered on the floor; but the footmark on further inquiry was found to be his own, which rather put him out.

I told him of the jewels which had been placed in my care so lately.

‘Your man informed me, monsieur, as we came, that you had diamonds of great value in your iron safe.’

A clammy dew broke out suddenly on my forehead, as I remembered that Lady O’Connor was counting on appearing in those same jewels at the prefecture ball that night.

‘On the strength of what your servant told me, monsieur,’ continued the detective, ‘I have already telegraphed to Marseilles, Genoa, and Turin, and have directed some of my most trustworthy men to be on the alert at the railway station and the port. I will send and let monsieur know the moment we get any trace of the stolen property.’

I made out a careful list of all I had lost, gave it to the detective, and then returned to my rooms to dress in a rather less superficial manner. The awful business of breaking the loss of the jewels to Sir Frederick and Lady O’Connor was now staring me in the face, and as I walked to their hotel I became a prey to the most paralysing nervousness I hope it will ever be my lot to endure. I was shown into a charming sitting-room, facing the sea, and though I did not look at anything round me, except the two people I had come to see, I remembered afterwards every detail of the scene.

They were at breakfast. The refreshing, sun-warmed morning air breathed softly in through the open window, scented by the mignonette, which grew thickly in boxes on the balcony outside. Lady O’Connor looked very graceful and pretty in a long loose gown of some soft Indian silk, trimmed with lace. Sir Frederick, also in comfortable unconventional garments, was reading aloud a letter, over which they were both laughing merrily as I was announced. They welcomed me warmly, looking as if early and unexpected visitors were quite a common occurrence, and between them, carried on the usual preliminary chit-chat about the lovely weather, the delight of being able to breakfast with the window open in the month of November, the view, &c., as long as the servant remained in the room, while I stood looking from one to the other, solemnly bowing my head in silent answer to their cheerful remarks. It is not necessary to relate what passed; suffice it to say that both Sir Frederick and Lady O’Connor possessed an unusual share of kindness of heart and of sympathy with other people’s misfortunes, and they endeavoured to make my unpleasant position as easy for me as possible.

Then followed a week of restless activity. I haunted the police bureau; if I was not there two or three times a day myself, I sent Roscoe to find out for me if any telegrams had arrived on the all-important subject, any clue been found to throw the smallest light upon it.

One lovely afternoon, I was walking down the Promenade des Anglais in anything but a cheerful frame of mind, indeed I do not think I ever felt so utterly depressed before. Nothing whatever had been heard of the missing jewels; and during a long consultation that morning with Aigunez the detective, he had told me that he firmly believed that the robbery was the work of one man, and that the jewels were still in Nice. I had been calling at one of the pretty villas beyond the Var,{542} and was now making my way down the side of the Promenade next the houses, to the Hôtel de la Mediterranée, to talk over Aigunez’s last suggestion with Sir Frederick O’Connor. As I was passing the high solid walls of the now quite unused cemetery, I noticed that the door was ajar; and expecting to find there old Baroni the care-taker, whom I knew, I pushed open the door and entered. Nobody was there: all was silent and solitary. Here and there were untidy heaps of rubbish; tangled, overgrown bushes; and propped against the walls were two or three gravestones that had covered graves from which the remains had been removed to some family vault elsewhere. I could not help wondering how much Baroni received for the amount of care and labour he bestowed on the old English burial-ground. When my eyes, which were uncommonly sharp ones, had become accustomed to the dark shadows thrown by the walls, and the brilliant glare where the shadow-line ended, I noticed that a gravestone lying in rather a retired spot appeared, by the fresh-looking footmarks round it, to have been lately moved. I do not think that this circumstance would have roused my curiosity in the then preoccupied state of my mind, had it not been that close beside it a large branch of a neighbouring tree had been bent down and fastened firmly to the ground by means of a stone. This arrested my attention, it was so evidently intended to mark the spot. Exerting all my strength, I pushed the heavy stone sufficiently to one side to enable me to see that it concealed a small pit, recently dug, by the look of the mould round it. It was empty! I managed to replace the gravestone, and left the cemetery, carefully closing the door behind me, and glancing round to see if my actions had been observed.

I hurried on to the hotel, wondering and conjecturing as to the possible meaning of the curious little mystery I had just discovered. That small oblong pit, for what purpose could it have been prepared? My first idea was that a murder had been or was about to be committed, and in this way it was intended to get rid of the victim’s body; but the hole was certainly not large enough for a grown person. Was it possible that it was to be the unblessed, unadorned tomb of some little one, done to death by pitiless earthly guardians, who found its frail helpless life a burden to them? That was too hideous a fancy. Suddenly, the thought struck me that it might be a hiding-place for property! By Jove, the diamonds!

At that moment I reached the Mediterranée, and going up the broad stairs three at a time in my excitement, I knocked at the door of the O’Connors’ sitting-room. Sir Frederick was alone, smoking, with the last number of the World in his hand.

‘I felt sure that you would come in this afternoon,’ he said, as he pushed his cigar case towards me, ‘so I put off going to the club.—What is the latest intelligence?’

I first told him of Aigunez’s opinion, that the jewels were still in Nice, an opinion which had now gained for me a double significance. Then I unfolded my own budget, and told him of all I had seen in the old cemetery which had been closed for so many years.

This put Sir Frederick into the wildest spirits. ‘We’ve got them now, Blake!’ he exclaimed, ‘and no mistake about it. They’ve run themselves into a nice trap. Of course, these are the rascals we’re after.—What do you say?—Don’t set my heart upon it, in case of disappointment. Nonsense! my dear fellow. Don’t you see they cannot get rid of diamonds like those in a hurry; and not being able to leave the town puts them in a regular fix? It is very dangerous for them to keep such valuable things about them, and now, they flatter themselves that they have found an uncommonly safe hiding-place. Why, Fate must have led you by the very nose to that door this afternoon!’

I laughed. ‘It is as well for us, perhaps, that I did not feel her fingers, or things might have turned out differently. We had better settle our plan of action for to-night, as it won’t do to let this chance slip. How fortunate there is no moon. It will be as black as Erebus inside those high walls.’

‘Our best plan,’ said Sir Frederick, ‘is, I think, to hide ourselves there as soon as it is dark. We may have a long time to wait; but then, again, we may not, and we are much less likely to be observed if we slip in early in the evening.’

‘Then I will call for you, Sir Frederick, as soon as it is dark enough,’ I answered. ‘And allow me to suggest that we do not take Aigunez into our confidence, for it will be a triumph indeed to cut out the far-famed French detective in his own line of business.’

I left the hotel with a lighter heart than I had carried about with me for some time. Though I had cautioned Sir Frederick not to be too sanguine, I was myself convinced that we should have the diamonds in our possession before morning. I went back to my rooms, wrote some letters, dined, and then tried to quiet my excited mind by pacing up and down the sitting-room, smoking my usual post-prandial cigar, till I thought it was sufficiently dark to venture forth. The church clocks were striking ten as I arrived at the Mediterranée Hôtel, and I found Sir Frederick performing the same restless quarter-deck constitutional on the pavement outside.

‘So glad you’ve come, Blake; I’m anxious to be off now.—What is that in your hand?’

‘A small lantern,’ I answered. ‘We shall find it useful.’

‘Got a revolver?’ inquired Sir Frederick in a solemn whisper.

‘No,’ said I, in an equally sepulchral voice; ‘fists are my weapons.’

‘Pooh!’ returned he. ‘Of what use are English fists when you have an Italian knife in your ribs?—Here we are!’

The door was exactly as I had left it. There was not a sign of anybody near us, so we went quickly through, closing it again behind us. We, stood for a minute silent and still, until our eyes had become more accustomed to the intense darkness round us; then we groped our way, with two or three stumbles against tombstones and over mounds of earth, to the spot where I fancied the marked stone must be, and in a few seconds I discovered it without doubt, by falling over it. As I was collecting myself and my scattered senses together again, after this sudden and{543} unpleasant downfall, I heard close beside me a volley of muttered execrations from Sir Frederick, who declared, in an agitated whisper, that he was sure he had caught a ghost or something very like it. At the risk of discovery, I opened the lantern, and for one second threw the light on the object he held in his hands. It was an unusually large bat, which, disturbed by our intrusion on its own domain, must have flown or dropped on to Sir Frederick from the tree under which he was standing. He quickly shook it off; and without further adventure we concealed ourselves in some thick bushes near the grave. It would have required the eyes of a lynx to discover us, hidden as we were in the midst of a mass of evergreens, overgrown with a network of tangled creepers, and the high black wall behind. There we waited, keenly watchful. Not a leaf stirred. A perfectly dead silence lay over everything, as if the fairy of the Sleeping Beauty story of our childhood held nature bound under her spell. A mouldy, damp, earthy vapour rose from the ground at my feet, and seemed to weigh me down as if it were something solid.

The clock of Notre-Dame struck eleven. Another long weary hour went slowly by, and then the clock struck midnight. I believe I had sunk into a sort of doze, when every faculty was suddenly roused by hearing a soft movement at the door, which was very gently opened. There was a pause, as if the new-comers were listening; the door was shut, and a lantern shed its narrow streak of light over the graves at their feet. One, two, three dark forms, two of whom carried between them what seemed to be a box. Sir Frederick gently nudged me—of course that contained the jewels. They came quietly to the side of the mysterious tombstone, and, setting their burden down on another one close by, they set to work, and quickly moved it to one side. I then discovered, to my surprise, that the one that held the lantern was a woman. Their faces were deep in shadow; I did not once get a glimpse of their features. All their movements were quiet and free from haste; they evidently had not the smallest notion that discovery was possible. The two men carefully laid the box in the hole prepared for it, covered it with mould, and, after replacing the stone stretched themselves, and held the lantern aloft, the better to survey their handiwork. It seemed very satisfactory to their female companion, for I distinctly heard her breathe a sigh of unmistakable relief. They left the place as quietly as they had come to it, not having, as far as we knew, spoken a word to each other the whole time.

It was our turn now. As soon as we were quite sure that we again had this dismal solitude to ourselves, we emerged from our damp hiding-place and shook ourselves into shape, for naturally we both felt very stiff and numb after our long weird vigil. I opened my lantern, and we began eagerly to undo the work we had just seen so neatly accomplished. It did not take long to remove the stone and scatter the thin layer of mould. In a few minutes we had the box—a boy’s oblong deal play-box, clamped with iron—lying on a tombstone before us.

‘Open it, Blake,’ said Sir Frederick.

‘Locked,’ I answered as I shook the lid.

‘Take my knife,’ continued the baronet, as he drew from his pocket one of the formidable weapons at which his wife had laughed.

It was a common lock, and easily forced. As I threw back the lid, Sir Frederick held up the lantern. ‘Take them out, Blake, and see if they are all there; it will be a wonderful thing if none are missing.—What on earth is that?’

‘It looks to me like a dog-collar,’ I answered, as I shook out a black Cashmere shawl in which was wrapped a silver curb chain with a small silver bell attached to it.

‘Stolen from somebody else,’ cried Sir Frederick. ‘Get on with the rest.’

‘This beats everything,’ said I, and drew forth a small pale-blue garment fashioned like a horse’s body-cloth, with a monogram in gold thread at one side. ‘It is a dog’s coat.—And what the deuce is this?’

‘A dog!’ we exclaimed simultaneously.

Carefully folded in a piece of soft linen lay the body of a small silky white, long-haired terrier—to judge by all its surroundings, a lady’s cherished pet. For a few seconds, disgust and disappointment kept us silent; then Sir Frederick broke out into a series of execrations more amusing than effective.

We had been befooled by our own enthusiasm as amateur detectives, and at first were angry, but by-and-by came to see the situation in its more grotesque aspect. After giving vent to our feelings in a burst of suppressed laughter, we put the little pet back into his play-box coffin, being careful to see that everything was just as we had found it; and quickly shovelling the mould and pushing the tombstone over it, we crept out of the old cemetery. Our feelings were very different from those with which we had entered it. We were greatly cheered, however, on reaching the hotel to find a line from Aigunez, which had come during Sir Frederick’s absence; ‘I am on the right track.’

We heard no more for two days, when the detective reappeared with a captive, a valet whom Sir Frederick had dismissed before leaving England, who, knowing the great value of the jewels which Lady O’Connor was taking with her, had thought it worth his while to follow them, and being a clever hand at that sort of work, had succeeded as we have seen.



For some years, the government of Western Australia has offered a reward of five thousand pounds for the discovery of a payable gold-field within three hundred miles of a declared port. From recent news from Perth, it would almost appear that a profitable gold-field has at last been discovered. We learn that Messrs Malet and M‘Ewen, who were sent by the government to explore the Kimberley District, in the extreme north of the colony, have returned, after an expedition which nearly proved disastrous to the explorers. They lost their horses; and having consumed all their provisions, only escaped starvation by coming unexpectedly to a settler’s hut, where they obtained assistance. The party arrived barefooted, their boots having fallen to{544} pieces on the tramp of one hundred miles. Mr M‘Ewen nearly succumbed to the hardships of the journey. A quantity of the new gold has already found its way to England. According to advices from Derby, the port of the country—named after the present Lord Derby, and situated at the head of King’s Sound—large numbers of people, who were totally unfitted for the work, were starting for the Kimberley gold-fields. As the roads are rough, and provisions scarce and dear, with an absence of water, it goes without saying that no one need venture in search of wealth without being supplied with plenty of money and an ample supply of provisions. The country is described as closely resembling the Peak Down District in Queensland. The gold is much scattered, but the gullies are numerous. It is expected that so soon as the alluvial gold is worked out, productive reefs will be laid bare. The Kimberley District, contrary to what many have supposed, is a country about four and a half times the size of Scotland, with splendid rivers, and with millions of acres of pastoral and agricultural land. The climate has been commended by Captain Grey and other explorers as one of the finest and healthiest in the tropics. Last year, the population numbered only about one hundred white men; the blacks, who are not numerous, are tractable. Sheep, cattle, and horses thrive well, so that, whether or not the gold-fields fulfil the expectations of those who seek their fortune at the gold-fields, there is a fine country to develop. Derby, the capital of this district, at the mouth of the Fitzroy River, consisted lately of but a few huts and tents, and is the station of a government resident. Should the ‘rush’ to the gold-fields continue, doubtless all this will soon be changed.


The horse fills so large a place in human affairs, that a few words descriptive of an institution devoted to its welfare must interest more or less every one. The Royal Veterinary College—situated in Great College Street, Camden Town, London, N.W.—discharges the twofold function of a hospital and a school; that is to say, it is there the sick or maimed horse—or for the matter of that, the sick or maimed sheep, ox, dog, &c.—is taken to be doctored; and it is there the young man goes for the education and diploma which are to qualify him for the vocation of a veterinary surgeon. The scope of the present series of papers, however, only justifies our considering the institution in its curative capacity. Horse-owners, then, come, in relation to the College, under two heads—subscribers and non-subscribers. If elected by the Governing Body, or General Purposes Committee, a person becomes a yearly subscriber by paying two guineas per annum; or a life subscriber either by paying twenty guineas in one sum, or sixteen guineas after making the annual payment for not less than two consecutive years—certain exceptional conditions applying to firms and companies. The privileges of a subscriber are—(1) To have the gratuitous opinion of the professors as to the treatment to be applied to any animal of his brought for the purpose to the College, but which he may desire to retain in his own keeping. (2) To have admitted into the infirmary, for medical and surgical treatment, any number of his own horses and other animals for which there may be room, at a charge only for their ‘keep.’ (3) To have in the course of any year five horses, his actually or prospective property, examined gratuitously as to soundness, either before or after purchase; and to have any further number examined at a fee of ten shillings and sixpence per head. (4) To be supplied with medicines for animals at a fixed charge. (5) To have, at a fixed rate, a chemical analysis made by the Professor of Chemistry at the College of any water, provender, oilcake, or other feeding-matter, and of the viscera of any animal suspected of being poisoned. (6) In cases of extensive or serious outbreaks of disease, to have an investigation made into its nature and causes, on payment of the fixed charges. And (7) To have a post-mortem examination of any animal, or parts of an animal, sent to the College, and receive an opinion of the probable cause of death, on payment of a fixed charge. As regards outsiders or non-subscribers, the treatment and examination of their animals by the staff of the College are subject to a higher tariff of charges. Another disability under which they labour is that their animals may not be received into the infirmary for treatment. ‘Accidents’ and other urgent cases are received into the institution at all times of the day and night, special vehicles being kept at hand for their transportation.

A singular by-law of the College is the following: ‘Credit will be given for all animals which may die in the infirmary according to the amount received for the carcase; but all diseased parts shall be considered to be the property of the College.’ Such ‘diseased parts’ are useful vehicles in the dissecting-room for conveying knowledge to the minds of the students.


O weary Hands! that, all the day,
Were set to labour hard and long,
Now softly fall the shadows gray,
The bells are rung for evensong.
An hour ago, the golden sun
Sank slowly down into the west;
Poor, weary Hands, your toil is done;
’Tis time for rest!—’tis time for rest!
O weary Feet! that many a mile
Have trudged along a stony way,
At last ye reach the trysting stile;
No longer fear to go astray.
The gently bending, rustling trees
Rock the young birds within the nest,
And softly sings the quiet breeze:
‘’Tis time for rest!—’tis time for rest!’
O weary Eyes! from which the tears
Fell many a time like thunder-rain—
O weary Heart! that through the years
Beat with such bitter, restless pain,
To-night forget the stormy strife,
And know, what Heaven shall send is best;
Lay down the tangled web of life;
’Tis time for rest!—’tis time for rest!
Florence Tylee.

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