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RO SOLDIERS, Shf8
TRAVELLERS IN I(AFIRLAND;
TELEGRAM P -Y,
BY SEPARATE PLATES, AND
INSERTED IN THE TEXT.
BY S. O. BEETON.
THE BONUS TEA
^ < .
'', < --~
/-%d 11-% -lw- -- --
BENCH AND THE BAR; OR, CAUSE
A Barrister Cooked .
How the Lawyers came by their
Patron Saint .
Junior Barrister and his Trunk
Lord Bacon on the Duties of the
Lord Brougham and the New Order
of the Bath .
Origin of Solicitors .
Scene in a Police Court
Why Barristers Live in Inns
Yankee Eloquence .
BOY AT BEECHYCOMBE, THE THIRD.
I. The Third Boy is heard of,
II. The Third Boy becomes a
III. The Third Boy takes his
IV. The Third Boy is fully Un-
BREECHLOADERS AND REPEATING
RIFLES 195, 273, 431
DAY Oi TRAFALGAR. In Five Parts.
I. Nelson's. Pursuit of Ville-
II. Sir Robert Calder's Action
III. The French put to Sea
IV. The Battle Begins
V. The Death of Nelson
EDWARD CLAYDON. By Francis Dave-
I. The Boar's Head, East-
cheap-An Uproar in the
II. The Prince's Visit to the
Porter of London Bridge
-11. Prince Henry's House in
London The Earl of
Cambridge's Mare A
Game at Quoits-A Sum-
mons to Westminster
IV. The Bethlehem Chamber-
The Dying King
V. The Bay Mare of the Earl
of Cambridge Prince
Henry and Sir John Old-
castle Prince Henry's
VI. The house of William Clay-
don, Skinner Benedict
-A nobleman's visit -
The bay mare .
VII. Prince Henry arranges mat-
ters at Master Claydon's
VIII. The death of the King
IX. Public opinion of the new
King-Henry receives the
congratulations of his
.X. Cowling Castle Wake
*Burton's visit-Sir John
Oldcastle goes to London
XI. It is proposed to arrest the
Lollard chiefs. .
XII. The Axe without Bishops-
XIII. Lord Scrope's visit to the
city-Sir John Oldcastle
in the toils-The Lord
Mayor interferes .
XIV. Henry crowned at West-
minster- Benedict Well-
man gets into a place of
XV. King Henry visits William
Claydon's house- Edith
only half-pleased at her
friend's promotion .
XVI. Sir John Oldcastle in the
Tower-Is visited by Ed-
ward Claydon .
XVII. The King's interview with
Sir John Oldcastle A
plot nearly discovered .
XVIII. Sir John Oldcastle's escape
from the Tower of London
XIX. The French ambassadors
are entertained by Lord
Scrope of Masham--A
XX. The French ambassadors
deliver their message to
XXI. King Henry at Southamp-
ton-The plot revealed
XXII. Sir John Oldcastle in retire-
ment- Edward Claydon
says "good-bye" .
XXIII. Preparations for departure
-The fleet sails King
Henry rescues the crews
of two burning ships .
X-IV. Arrival in the Seine -
Edward Clavdon and
Zealous reconnoitre Har-
XXV. The English army landed-
Harfleur invested Re-
fusal of the Governor to
XXVI. The siege train of the En-
glish Edward Claydon
attacked in the forest by
Lord de L'Isle.
XXVII. Edward Claydon's dream-
The bombardment before
the storming Offer of
XXVIII. The surrender of Harfleur
-Edward Claydon goes
on amission-King Henry
XXIX. Edith Claydon's visit to
Harfleur-She returns to
England with Sir Thomas
XXX. Showing how Edith Clay-
don came to visit Harfleur
XXXI. The King's conversation
with Edward Claydon,
who agrees to stay with
XXXII. The council of war -
Henry's determination to
march to Calais
XXXIII. The wearisome march of
the English army.
XXXIV. William Claydon in New-
gate Prison-Wake Bur-
Claydon's dream comes
XXXV. The English army attacked
on the plain of Corbie-
John Bromley recovers
the standard of Guienne
XXXVI. The passage of the Somme
-Henry's answer to the
XXXVII. M3aisoncelle-Sir Thomas
XXXVIII. The Battle of Agincourt-
Among the Slain .
Concluding Chapter .
Note concerning William Claydon
The Parallel Bars .
The Horizontal Bar
. 479, 490
Assassination of Henry IV.
Assassination of William the Silent.
I. In which Mr. Dadgers astonishes
the British Public and Baby
Jack astonishes Mr. Dadgers
II. In which Mr. Buskin very
nearly makes Jack's fortune .
III. In which Jack goes into the
Punch-show Business, and
learns some of the Tricks of
IV. In which Jack "tumbles" into
a Good Thing
Y. In which Jack tumbles again,
and this Time unluckily
'I. In which Jack makes the Ac-
quaintance of a Strange Cha-
Ct-T 'so .
Battle of the Nile .
Bobbing for Eels
Books for Little Boys
Lieutenant Harry North Dalrymple
Prendergast and the Victoria Cross.
By an Army Chaplain
Maj or Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Ben-
gal Artillery, and the Victoria
Cross. By an Army Chaplain
Michael Faraday ..
Midshipmen Afloat 107
Nelson and His Column
Paris, A Few Words from. By an
Army Chaplain .
Popular Risings .
A Defence of the Poets
Alcanzor and Zaydee
All One ..
Brave Lord Willoughby
King Hal and the Cobbler
Old Boys .
Our Schoolmaster : a Teachii
Robin Hood and the Curtall Fryer
The Battle of the Chancel
The Double Plot
The Ironsides of Naseby .
The Little Blacksmith
JACK-ON -HIS -HEAD.
VII. In which Jack
VIII. In which Jack 1
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
Walks on the
17, 76, 134, 211,
PUZZLE PAGES, 57, 115, 175, 231, 325, 387,
405, 486, 503, 519, 581, 645
PYROTECHNY, PAPERS ON. By Prac-
ticus 165, 225
RED CLOAK PLOT. By the Author of
"King of Trumps," &c. In Four
I. The Occasion
II. The Design .
III. The Execution
IV. The Result .
How to Make an Achromatic Tele-
How to Make an Electric Telegraph
Story of Hoani Wirimu (John Wil-
liams), a New Zealand Chief. By
an Army Chaplain.
Western World, In the. By Bene-
dict Revoil. Introduced by Sir
The Brown Bear 10
- T -
INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS.
365, 574, 601, 603
A thousand babies wanted.
The great gun trick ..
He didn't fetch the baby .
Theatrical properties colloquially
The silent room of the dead manager
Mr. Pawson's apartments .
The aud ence while Punchis performing
The same when a collection is hinted at
The Punch-show puppets .
The puppets continued
Exit Punch .
The pyramid .
First appearance of Jack's boots
The spread eagle .
The perch .
Tumbles in private .
The Bounding Brothers' wardrobe
The Risley business .
Learning to tumble .
One way of going to bed
Comic stilt trick ..
The accident ..
In the French hospital
Which is the way to England ?
The Knife Swallower .
The Snake Swallower
An ugly dream .
The Fire King .
The Flying Wonder
Walking on the ceiling
Mr. and Mrs. Miffins
Jack out of luck .
The Animated Sandwiches
The stone-breaking trick
The crowd outside
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
Kafir young women
Kafir woman and child
Kafir ornaments .
Kafir young man with knob keeries
Kafir doctors .
Bound with a silken cord he kneels at
the king's feet ..
Cape Finisterre .
Michael Faraday .
SEPARATE PLATES ON TINTED PAPER.
CALISTHENIC EXER.CISES . 3 2, 3
EDITH CLAYDON'S VISIT TO iLHAFLEtEL .E 5
EDWARD CLAYDON ARRANGING LORD CionBHAI'S ESCAPE R"O TH,- TOWErl, 329
EXHIBITION PIECES IN PYROTECHNY 22 229
GOZA AND HIS COUNCILLORS IN GALA D)RESS .
GYMNASTIC EXCERCISES 1 3 432, 8-, 498
HENRY PUTS OFF TO THE PESCV OF TE BUYING SHIPS 5
HENRY THE FIFTH, KING OF ENGLAND "' r.' piece
HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON. 29
KAFIR NATIVE HUT AND YOUNG KAIRS 211
KAFIR WAGGON AND TEAM 79
LIEUTENANT HARRY NORTH DALRYMPLE PRENDEIGASTS A:T M11NDISOE 53
MAJOR F. S. ROBERTS, BENGAL ARTILLERY, riAT KOD2T,-NGE -. 62
NELSON'S CONFLICT WITH A. SPANISH LAlUNC 151
OUTSPAN"-THAT IS, UNYOKE THE OXEN 3
PRINCE HENRY'S OATH TO HIS FATHER .. 1
SIR JOHN OLDCASTLE'S ESCAPE ROM TE TOWER .. 394
SURRENDER OF HARFLEU 509
THE ABBEY 94
THE "ARDENT" BECALMED 109
THE ARDENT" ENTERING THE HARtBOUR OF 1IO JANEIRO 585
THE BATTLE OF SEDGEMOOR, 313
THE EARL OF CAMBRIDGE V IsTS CLAYDON 119
THE ELECTRIC ACHTE 43
THE HAMMOND RIFLE 43t
THE INTERRUPTION TO THE MEETING AT THE AXE 282
THE MONK WAKE BURTON AND THE PRINCE 179
THE SNIDER-ENFIELD RIFLE ... .. 273
THE ZUNDNADELGEWEHI.P--P RUSSIAN NEL':DLE GUX AND CATRIDai .19
2: '~1 VY-Z
HENRY THE FIFTH, KING OF ENGLAND.
Oh when shall Englishmen,
With such deeds fill a pen,
Or England breed again
Such a KING HARRY.-
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
BY FRANCIS DAVENANT, AUTHOR OF RALPH DE, WALDEN.11
TIE BOAR'S HEAD, EASTCHEAP--AN UPROAR IN THE POMEGRANATE.
What direi ofcnc3 from trivial causes springs !"-PoPE.
r HE Boar's Head in Eastcheap was, in the
year 1410, as fine a tavern as any that
/ -might be found in London. The house
w formerly belonged to the Abbot of St.
Alban's, who, finding it less convenient
/than expensive, got rid of it as being an
t i e M unnecessary charge upon the abbey
Sounds; and it was purchased of him by
Peter Welch, vintner, of Cripplegate.
$ Peter Welch removed to his new quar-
ters some time in the year 1402, and
converting that which had served for
Jthe refreshment of but one man into the
Means of refreshment for all who chose
a to come to him with money to spend,
called his tavern the Boar's Head, and
from the date of taking possession did
the most thriving trade possible. He
was assisted-in his business by his wife Margaret, more commonly called
' plump Meg," of whom not only did the frequenters of the tavern stand in
the profoundest awe, but Peter Welch himself, if report said truth, was on all
points whereon a decided difference of opinion existed between his spouse
and himself, obliged in the end o defer to her. She had a high-pitched voice
containing some very shrill notes which always found utterance when the good
woman was excited, and which always carried her point, though not always
by convincing the hearers. She was tall, stout, and good-looking, cleanly
to a fault, and as honest as any vintner's wife in London. She was popular
No. 132, VoL V.
with the habitual comers to her husband's house, especially she made herself
so to some of thVmc who will be mentioned presently, and if men were some-
times diV :i"/ to speak a little harshly of her because of the keen eye she
had to the ttlement of scores, they forgave her when they remembered
that if any lost or stolen property was traced to within fifty yards of her
door, and suspicion attached to any one of her customers in the matter, Dame
Margaret always knew how to lull or divert the suspicion, and even to
make matters straight by disposing of the questionable property.
The h)ou:: it elf was a large, rambling place, that h:,d been built
in the reign of Edward II. It fronted Eastcheap, and had a direct
means of crw unication with the river through the garden at the
back. It was quadrangular in shape, a broad, low archway admitting
passengers to the inner square, on one side of which were the stables and
offices, while lth: other three sides were devoted to the purposes of the tavern.
There was a .o.se-trough in the middle of the yard, a stone bench, and
sundry dog-ennels; poultry, pigeons pigs, and sheep lorded it over the
enclosure, into which now and again came an invading army of travellers'
horses, country wains, &c., upon which the lords of the domain looked with
unmixed dissatisfaction. A staircase on each side of the square led to the
railed gallery which ran right round the house flush with the floors of the
first story, and upon wooden shields fastened here and there to the wood-
work right still be seen the arms of the Abbot of St. Alban's, the former
owner. Inside, the house w,:; the perfection of comfort; every appliance
which the ingenuity of the times could suggest to minister to the ease of
man was there; and though, viewed from a nineteenth century standpoint,
the accommodation might be deemed beggarly in the extreme, from a
fifteenth century point of view it was all that could be desired. The room.
called the Pomegranate, with which we have now to do, was a spacious
apartment, and had once served as the dining-hall of the mansion. It was
forty feet lorg by twenty-three wide, it was panelled with dark stained oak,
and had a polished oak floor. A considerable quantity of handsome carving
ornamented the upper end of the room, where there had been a dais for the
high table. The dais had been removed but the carving remained, and the
three other :.dls of the room were either painted on the panels or hung with
taperotry, which Peter Welch justly valued at a large price. There were two
great fireplaces .ithr screens of carved oak belonging to each, and benches
suited to the m:-'t luxuriant lounger were scattered about, giving to the
apartment the look of a place that was intended for man to take his case in.
In the middle of tLie room was a stout wooden press containing trenchers,
knives, pots, and platters, for the use of the guests, and covered on the top
surface with bur le:1 copper, so as to prevent injury to the wood from ale-
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT. 8
drainings and such like. The floor of the Pomegranate was-strewn in those
parts where company generally sat with clean straw. There was an air of
substantial comfort about the place, and Peter Welch was not extravagant
in his self-complacency when he said that if customers were not content
with what they found in the Pomegranate, they were free to go to any place
where they could find better accommodation.
On the eve of St. John the Baptist (23rd of June), 1410, there was an
unusually large gathering at the Boar's Head, and the Pomegranate was
crowded. The Londoners had been going through their ancient annual
custom of setting the watch on the eve of St. John, and numbers of them
had come in here afterwards to refresh themselves, and to wish each other
luck over a cup of wine. Men of all sorts were thus collected-aldermen,
courtiers, citizens, and gallants whose position lay between the last twv
classes. Peter Welch had enough to do to serve them, and but for the great
assistance which Dame Margaret, whose voice was heard continuously in the
full force of its high notes, lent him, he would have failed altogether.
Margaret kept the scores, and took the money, and served the liquors,
while Peter and his men ran hither and thither on the guests' errands.
There was one part of the room-that nearest the door-from which
proceeded sounds of merriment louder and more boisterous than from any
other spot. Laughter, shouts, and snatches of songs mingled with the clatter
of pannikins; and the cries, repeated many a time and oft, for more liquor,
made up a body of noise which was deafening even in so large a room as the
Pomegranate. The chief of this party was a young man about four-and-
twenty years of age, richly dressed, and as fine a specimen of the genus homo
as one would meet in a day's walk. His head was spherically shaped, with a
broad high forehead, and his face finished gradually to the chin, giving it
an oval shape. His hair was brown, thick, and smooth; his nose was
straight and full, and his eyes were of a lustrous hazel colour, large and full
of expression. As he laughed he displayed an even, regular set of teeth,
white as snow, and lips of a healthy red. He had a little colour in his
cheeks, and was of a florid complexion, and his neck, which was, according
to the custom of the time, rather exposed, showed a fair skin of delicate
whiteness. His build was of the strongest, and his limbs were so gracefully
and firmly knit together that a stranger might have been excused for
staring at so fine a sample of humanity.* By his side were two younger
Hall's description differs slightly, from that given in the text, which is taken from
Elnmham's Chronicle. Hall says, "He was of stature more than the comen sort, of body
lene, well membered and strongly made, a face beautiful, somewhat long necked, black
cheered, stout of stomake, eloquent of tong, in martial affaires a very v t" i; of all
chivalry the very paragone"
men who bore so much likeness to him they might have been taken for his
brothers, and seated on the bench immediately opposite was one whom it
will be necessary also particularly to describe.
He was a tall man, older than his companions, and with a solemn cast of
features. He had an open, intelligent face, keen, penetrating eyes, and an
abundance of light curly hair, streaked here and there with grey. He wore
a long, heavy beard and moustache, in which particular he differed from his
companions, who were close shaven after the manner of the gallants of the
day. He was more plainly, but still handsomely, dressed than the others,
and it was noticeable that he not only refrained from singing, but occasionally,
by gesture at least, checked the roistering hilarity of the younger men. His
name was Sir John Oldcastle. The young man of four-and-twenty who
has been mentioned was Henry, Prince of Wales, and the two youths who
might have passed for his brothers were Prince Humphrey, Earl of Warwick,
and Prince John. There were with them some eight or nine young noble-
men, including the Duke of York and the Lords Fanhop'c and Willoughby,
all hot bloods, full of energy and youth, but free enough from vice. They
had been the rounds with the watch that night, and were now regaling
themselves after their manner at the Boar's Head.
What in the name of all that's dismal makes you look so gloomy,
man ?" asked Prince Henry of Sir John Oldcastle; you seem to have been
drinking deep of the stream of melancholy lately."
And it does not agree with him I take it," added Prince John. You
used not to be thus, Oldcastle," he continued, half rallyingly, half seriously.
I am altered, but certainly not melancholy," said Oldcastle, "for no
one can be sad to whom such a revelation has been mad<, as the Lord has
vouchsafed to me."
"Don't talk in that way," said Henry, "or we shall be loosing out for a
sermon directly. You are too much in the company of those Lollards to do
yourself any good, man. Depend upon it there's no sin in being jolly just
innocently as we are now. Keep more with your old friends, who will
always stand by you, instead of ruining your credit and your soul's peace
with men whose teaching is as dangerous as their lives are uncomfortable."
Do not speak so of the men you call Lollards after the detestable
example of Pope Gregory in his Bull," said Sir John. I used once to speak
in the same strain, and you may get to change your note ere you reach
God forbid!" exclaimed the prince, crossing himself; but for goodness'
sake don't let us enter into any discussions of the kind here. Sing us a
song, Oldcastle, that one about the fair maiden and the brook which you
used to sing when we were at Oxford together. Come, now, for the sake
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT. 5
of old times, and I'll promise you absolution from old Sobersides your
"I'll sing the song with pleasure," said Oldcastle, glad that the conver-
sation was turned away from so delicate a subject, and accordingly he struck
up in a clear, rich voice a song which he had often trolled to an admiring
circle of friends in the prince's rooms at New College, Oxford, where tho
two had first become acquainted.
There was a storm of applause as soon as Sir John had ended, tne people
in the other parts of the room having stayed their conversation to listen to
the melody, not only for its own sake but for the sake of the singer, who
was well known to many of them, of whom not a few looked to him as to
their support in matters of religion, hoping by his influence to avoid the
persecution which had of late sprung up under the new heresy laws.
It had been well if they had imitated the example of their friend by
suffering exciting topics to fall out of their conversation as he had done, but
the angry words of two disputants upon the subject uppermost in the minds
of men of the day, and upon which great differences of opinion existed, grew
to such a height that it produced an uproar in the Pomegranate greater
and more dreadful than any Peter Welch had heard since he had been
landlord of the Boar's Head.
It would be uninteresting to read at full length the conversation upon
which this dispute arose, but as the cloud no bigger than a man's hand
increased till it attained to the dimensions of a furious storm-holder, so did a
difference of opinion between two inconsiderable persons in the Pomegranate
breed a dissension that had well-nigh fatal consequences. At a small table
in the upper part of the room sat Benedict Wellman, a citizen of London,
and Wake Burton, a friar. The former was known for a stanch supporter
of the new opinions, against which the other was inveighing in terms that
were rather violent than persuasive; both were obstinate and unyielding, and
being heated perhaps by a little extra wine, after bearing the excitement of
the evening, their tone gradually increased in sharpness till it attracted the
attention of the other visitors.
t Why can't you two quarrel at home, if you must quarrel, instead of
coming here to disturb honest men with your noise ?" asked one man.
"This fellow is a cursed heretic," said the friar, pointing to
I'll knock your teeth down your throat if you say that again, you
pardon-monger !" cried a friend of Wellman's who was sitting near.
l Hulloa! no names there!" cried another citizen. "We'll not have the
Boar's Head made into a bear-garden."
4i He sha'n't tell lies about my neighbour Wellman," said the former
speaker fiercely, quitting the place where he had been sitting, and ranging up
alongside of his friend.
Lies is not a civil word, Master Interference!" said the friar's sup-
porter, and straightway there came from the other side of the room a
pewter flagon, aimed at the head of Wellman's friend, but which deviated
from its course, narrowly clearing the jowl of poor Peter Welch, and
eventually hitting right in the eye Joseph on his way down to Egypt,
which was the subject of the tapestry hanging on that side of the
room. The noise now attracted general attention. The Prince of Wales's
party started to their feet at the first appearance of a riot, but waited
to see which side would most need their assistance. The contest soon became
general round the table where sat the friar and Benedict Wellman, the party
cries of the opposed factions rang through the building, and the din of the
combatants scared the fowls from their roost in the shed in the courtyard.
Pots and pannikins, lumps of bread, wooden platters, and black-jacks, what-
ever missiles came first to hand, were hurled in the direction of this place, and
took effect on some one or other, whether friend or foe it did not much matter.
Sticks were freely used, and in some cases swords flashed out of their
scabbards, though the press was too close to allow of their being used. It
was impossible not to join the mele'e. The Prince of Wales and his
friends divided their forces with the intention of pulling off the contending
sides by tugging at them from the rear, and burst upon them with loud cries
such as they might have used in charging Scots or Welshmen, and which
raised to a deafening degree the hubbub that already existed.
While the excited company, heedless of the threats and screams of Dame
Margaret Welch, and heedless of the array of ostlers, serving-men, and others
who had been summoned to their mistress's assistance, but minliked the task
of going in for a wrestling-match in which the king's sons were engaged,
contended for the mastery in the Pomegranate, Peter Welch had beaten a
retreat, and set off as fast as his legs would carry him for the lord mayor
The magistrates with the watch were not a minute too soon in making
their appearance. When they arrived there was gathered round the doorway
and in the courtyard of the Boar's Head a motley crowd of ruffians from the
thieves' dens on Cornhill*--a formidable band who seemed fully disposed
To show the precise meaning of this expression, and at the same time to show how7
truly men and even localities change with the times, I append the following note from
Stow's Survey of London, the substance of it being taken from Lydgate's London
Lackpenny, an extract from which is also given. The Laclipenny is a countryman who
ias come to Lododon, and finds out by experience what many have found out since his
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT. 7
t3 contest the passage of what they looked on as an enemy's army invading
their own peculiar territory. But Master Thomas Knowles, the lord mayor,
was not one easily to be daunted, especially in a matter which concerned his
own dignity. Hie bade his men clear a lane through the mob, and instantly
to arrest any one who should dare to oppose the civil power. From the open
doors and windows of the tavern issued the sounds of the riot within, which
ever grew louder and louder as the quarrel grew more embittered.
Forcing their way lup the passage which led to the Pomegranate, Thomas
Knowles and the sheriffs managed to get into the room. There they saw a
sight which more resembled Pandemonium in rebellion than an assembly of
Christian men. Stretched on the floor, with blood streaming from their
heads, lay a score of men who had been too drunk to fight, and had got
day, that it is not the place to live in for any one who has not the wherewithal to pay his
way. "In Wetcheape he was called on to buy fine laun, Paris thread. cotton umble,
and other linen clothes and such like (he speaketh of no silks); in Cornhill to buy old
apparel and household stuff, where he was forced to buy his own hood, which le had lost zn
Westminster 11all; in Candlewright-street drapers proffered him cheap cloth; in East-
cheape the cooks cried hot ribs of beef roasted, pies well baked, and other victuals.
There was clattering of pewter pots, harp, pipe, and sawtry, yea by cock, nay cock, for
greater oaths were spared; some sang of Jenkin, and Julian, &c.; all which melody
liked well the passenger, but he wanted money to abide by it, and therefore gat him into
Gravesend barge, and home into Kent."
The following is an extract from the poem of Lydgate, a monk of Bury, who lived in
the time of ItHery the Fifth and Sixth:-
"Then to the Chepe I began me drawn,
Where much people I saw for to stand;
One offered me velvet, silke, and lawne,
An other he taketh me by the hande,
'Here is Parys thread the finest in the land.'
"Then I hyed me into East Chepe;
One cryes ribbs of befe, and many a pye,
Pewicr pottes they clattered on a heape,
There was harpe, pype, and myustrelsyo.
"Then into Corn hyl anon I rode,
Where was much stolen gere among;
I s.1uo where honge myne oune hoode,
That I had lost among the throng:
To by my own hoode I thought it wronged
I knew it well as I did my crede,
.ut for lack of money I could not siwJe
8 EDWARD CLAYDON.
knocked over with broken crowns early in the fray. Tables and benches, or
rather the remains of them, lay heaped up in a corner of the room; scarves,
coats, belts, and even shirts, which had been stripped off for the greater
convenience of the combatants, lay here and there in marvellous confusion,
while in the middle of the room a tangled mass of humanity struggled and
fought, cuffed and banged, with a power that seemed likely to shake the
house-walls down. Just as the lord mayor entered, Prince John, who was
manfully engaging a burly wool-stapler, William White by name, received a
blow between the eyes which presented a thousand stars before his sight,
made his head swim, and sent him reeling backwards against the fire-screen.
"There's payment in full for that, any way," cried one whom the mayor
recognized by his voice to be the Prince of Wales, and with the quickness of
lightning a blow was planted in the wool-stapler's breast, the thud of which
was heard all over the room, and the conqueror of Prince John was in
another instant sprawling at full length on the ground, having been tripped
up by a form as he recoiled under the unexpected driving thrust.
A loud cheer rent the air at this occurrence, and the supporters of the
princes, who had up to this moment been getting rather the worst of it, took
heart, and recommended with fresh fury upon the faces and chests of their
enemies, ignorant or regardless of the presence of the chief magistrate.
Sir John Oldcastle was performing prodigies of valour, and, while Prince
Henry stepped out of the throng to pick up his younger brother, gave two
tall Londoners to bite the dust on the floor of the Pomegranate. Victory
was gradually but surely inclining to the side of the gentlemen-for the
faction fight, which had begun upon some small question between a Lollard
and a Conservative Churchman, had changed its complexion, and assumed
the character of a contest between high and low, rich and poor. But, sad
to relate, the triumph was snatched from the brows of the conquerors in the
very moment of victory. Before the Prince of Wales could return frcm his
work of mercy to his work of vengeance, the lord mayor stopped him, and
first entreated, then commanded, him to desist from further violence, and to
lend him his assistance in quelling the riot.
"I interfered, my lord mayor, solely for the purpose of stopping the
brutes from killing each other. 'Tis a pity, now, I did so," said Henry, for
they are not fit to be touched by a gentleman's hands. See what the
wretches have done here!" he continued, pointing to Prince John whose
forehead had begun to swell and look puffy, and who had not yet recovered
from the stunning effect of the blow he had received.
I am sorry his lordship is hurt," said the lord mayor, but I must
beg of your highness to call off your friends from this disgraceful fight,
which is being continued in spite, or rather in defiance, of my presence.
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT. 9
As Thomas Knowles said this he swelled visibly with the consciousness of
dignity, and as the Prince of Wales seemed less inclined to help him than to
look after Prince John, Thomas Knowles bade his men fall on and separate
the combatants, who, weary with their exertions, and glad of an excuse for
leaving off, obeyed the summons of the lord mayor with an alacrity which
that excellent magistrate had not expected, and which gave him occasion to
say, that in consideration of their ready acknowledgment of his authority-
some said it was rather because of the quality of the combatants-he would
not order the arrest of the rioters, whom, however, he was good enough to
lecture upon the impropriety ef their conduct, and to warn that they should
not come under his notice in the same way again. He displayed the civil
power against the mob outside, among whom he made several arrests, and
then dispersed the remainder to their homes. The wounded were carried
out of the Pomegranate, and accompanied to their houses by friends; the
Boar's HIT~ was cleared for the night by the aid of the watch, and Peter
Welch was left in quiet possession of his own property.
Under the careful attention of Dame Margaret, who loudly declaimed
against the wickedness of the man who had dared to strike so fair an object,
Prince John rapidly mended. What with lumps of raw beef, which she
applied to his forehead, and a cooling lotion which she produced from her
own store of healing medicines, the young gentleman's head gave promise of
speedily reassuming its ordinary dimensions. It was, however, thought
prudent that he should remain in the safe keeping of Dame Margaret till the
morning. Prince Henry, therefore, with his brother Prince Humphrey, Sir
John Oldcastle, and the rest of their party, quitted the tavern, first leaving
a sum of money in Peter Welch's hands which even that closely-calculating
hosteller deemed enough to reimburse him for the damage done by the fight.
THE PRINCE'S VISIT TO THE PORTER AT LONDON BRIDGE.
"I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer, and, which is more, a householder,
and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any in Messina, and one that knows the
law."--Much Ado About Nothing.
6" HAT shall we do? Where shall we go?" asked Sir John Oldcastle
of his companions, as they came out of Eastcheap, and stopped
instinctively as not knowing what direction to take.
We've had sport enough for to-night. We had better get home." said
"For my part I'm not at all inclined for bed," said Oldcastle; "the
exercise those citizens gave me has sent my blood bounding through my veins
in the most lively fashion. I feel as fresh as a colt."
"Yes, you are something like yourself to-night," said Henry; "you
remind me of old days at Oxford, where there was not a lighter-hearted man
than John Oldcastle. Believe me you get too much in with those long-
faced rascals of Lollards, and can't help getting a trick or two out of their
books. If you'll promise always to be as you are n-w, I'll promise to be your
partner in any bit of mischief you like to be up to to-night."
Never mind Lollery, now," said Oldcastle; the question is what are
we to do?"
Oh, but I do mind," answered the prince. Come now, I'll put you
upon your honour in the matter. I'll do what you wish now and whenever
you ask me, and rest assured you'll do what I ask out of mere gratitude,
unless you are the most thankless bear unslain. So what do you propose
now, Master Lollard ?"
Let us go and let all the night-prowlers out of the Tun," said the Earl
That would be touching pitch, which will only defile us," said Old-
castle. What do you say to alarming the Tower by pretending we are
Frenchmen just landed at Billingsgate?"
"I won't agree to any tricks with the king's officers," said Henry.
"Goodness knows I have given my poor father trouble enough already.
He'll think me incorrigible if he hears of any new pranks. Besides, Sir
Robert Morley, the lieutenant, is my very particular friend; so clap the
saddle on some other horse, for this one won't take it."
Well, then, propose something yourself, and let us see if we can
manage it," said Oldcastle, "for up to the present time you have done
nothing but make objections. Now what is it you propose ?"
"Just this. Since we, who are sober-minded and would prefer above
all things to go home orderly to our beds, are undertaking an expedition
only for sake of your hot young blood- "
Ccie, no sermonizing, Hal. We've enough of that elsewhere," said
I am rejoiced to hear you say so. Still better-"
And still worse," rejoined Oldcastle, speaking in a lower and more
subdued tone, as though he were enduring some qualm of conscience for his
speech. "On second thought, Hal, I'll agree with you to go home quietly,
like honest men, to our beds."
Not a bit of it," said the prince; you proposed it, and we are not
going to let you cry off now."
A STORY OF TIE DAYS OF AGIXCOURT. 11
"No, no!" cried the others, "fair play, Sir John; you can't go back
Some glorious deed that will live in the annals of the city of London
must be done ere we sleep this night," exclaimed the Earl of Warwick,
throwing himself into a theatrical position in the middle of the street. By
yon chaste moon I swear- But he was interrupted in his rhapsody by
Sir John Oldcastle's toe finding a temporary resting-place on the inside of
his knee-joint, a fact which, being unexpected, caused him suddenly to
collapse and to tumble all pf a heap into the roadway. This friendly mode
of arresting the conversation having been duly commented on by the earl, in
language which it is not necessary to set down here, the proposition of the
Prince of Wales was heard and agreed to.
"In spite of what Sir John Oldcastle has said and done, by way of
interrupting me," said Henry, "I still maintain that it is for his benefit we
undertake any enterprise at all to-night. That being so, I do not think we
are bound, especially as he now expresses some wish to cry off, to go very
much out of our way in order to oblige him. I therefore propose we should
combine business with pleasure, that is to say, with our return home. M 1ost
of us have to go as far as Westminster, I for one, worse luck, to-night; and
what I suggest is a combined and terrible attack upon that enemy of all
votaries of night pleasures, the porter at London-bridge." Cheers in
approval of this plan for a moment interrupted the orator, who as soon as
possible proceeded to harangue his hearers upon the subject of the many
wrongs they had received at the porter's hands. To which one among us
has this odious tyrant not been exceedingly tyrannical? To which one of
us has he ever vouchsafed a civil word, much less a decorous action ? To
which one of us has he ever condescended to open his paltry gate when, we
have been unfurnished with the password? Have we not good cause of
complaint against him?" Here the prince paused.
"We have, every one of us, the old hunks!" exclaimed the company.
SWell, then," resumed Henry, we will be revenged on him to-night,
and we cari do it without trouble on our way to the bridge stairs."
4 Agreed, agreed. Lead us to dire vengeance, H al!" said Oldcastle, all
his student's blood coming to the surface, and driving away the graver
thoughts which now frequently were his; and with one consent the band of
youths, among whom were some of the noblest England could boast, moved
after their young leader in the direction of London Bridge gate. The porter
was a Londoner born and bred, and had a conception of the dignity of his
office altogether beyond what it could bear. The glitter of civic power with
which he had been familiar from his youth up had so imbued his mind that
L1 got to identify himself with it and to look upon his office as being quite
as necessary to the well-being of London as that of the lord mayor. Such
an idea in so small a body swelled till the man was puffed up with pride
unbearable-at least so those said who, like the young gentlemen now about
to pay him a visit, had frequent need to test his forbearance and good-humour
by demands for his services at unseemly hours. The more orderly portion of
the community reported favourably of the man, felt assured of his honesty
though perhaps he was a little uppishh," and not being subjected to the
annoyance which his assertion of dignity often occasioned, only smiled at
the stories told of it. Robert Wall, whose brother for many years was in
the service of the famous and honoured Sir John Philpot, merchant of
London, was the porter in question. He had served as a soldier in the last of
Edward the Third's campaigns, and had obtained his present post in
consideration of some severe wounds which disabled him from other employ-
He had many a story to tell of his youthful days spent in the French
wars, and to those who were respectful and asked him for instruction's sake,
he would, when in a good-humour, give the history of the bridge since he
had had charge of the city gate. He was especially great on the narrative
of what the rebels did when Wat Tyler led them up from Kent to plunder
the metropolis, and how he and a few like him would have certainly kept the
rebels out if it had not pleased Sir William Walworth, who was lord mayor
that year-on this point Robert Wall, though venerating the memory of that
eminent citizen, ever disagreed with him-to order the gates to be thrown
open, and entrance allowed to them. There was another theme on which at
times Robert Wall waxed eloquent, and that was the account of the heads
which from time to time had garnished the spikes on the top of his gateway;
but this was reserved for special occasions and for an audience above the
average quality. He was by no means a bad-hearted fellow; on the contrary,
children and such persons as made no question whatever about the greatness
of his dignity, knew him for their very kind and entertaining friend, and
though he ever chided beggars and vagabonds who came into London by his
bridge, he never refused them crust of bread or what broken victuals he
had to spare if any of them were an hungered. These qualities were well
known to Prince Henry and his companions, and when they proposed to pay
Robert Wall a visit it was with the idea of having a bit of fun and not of
We'll lock the old fellow in his own box," said Henry, "and then set on
some people to shout for admission to the bridge. Do you know where he
keeps the key of his lodge, Humphrey ?"
It hangs on a hook just inside the door," said the prince; "I could
get it in a minute if Robert were not there."
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT. 13
Well, we'll get him out and then reach you down the key. That'll do,
eh, Oldcastle ?"
Couldn't be better. Come along. The morning's beginning to break
there over the Tower. It's dreadfully late," said Sir John.
For my part 1 call it very early yet," said the Earl of Warwick, though
he yawned a cavernous yawn which suggested fatigue great enough to
account for his poor joke about the hour.
Don't quarrel about it," said Henry. Come, here we are," and as he
spoke the friends arrived at Robert Wall's domain at the bridge house.
"Now, then, quiet is the word, and prompt the action. All of you, except
Humphrey, go on in front towards the gate; I'll knock Robert out of
his sleep, and as soon as he comes out, which he will do grumbling and
cursing like an old sinner as he is, go you in, Humphrey, and get his key."
"Wouldn't it be better fun, Hal, to lock the old fellow out instead of
in ?" said Oldcastle.
By Jove it would A good thought that. Still the same instructions
will do, only, Humphrey, you must lock the gate as soon as you see the
coast clear, and then follow us with the key in your pocket. 'Tis a warm
night, and won't hurt his portership. Your proposal is a capital one, Oldcastle.
Now on you go!" And so saying, Prince Henry stepped up to the lodge and
began a fierce tattoo on the door, while all the others, except Humphrey,
walked on to the bridge gate as if waiting for the gate to be opened.
After the knocking, which was continuous, had gone on some time, the
casement over the door was slowly opened, and Robert Wall thrust out his
head, demanding to know who was there.
"We are pilgrims on our way to Canterbury," answered the prince,
and it is part of our vow to travel at uncomfortable times, which must
be our excuse for knocking at this hour."
Plague on you, whoever you are, that break an honest man's rest in
this unseemly fashion Pilgrims, forsooth! I warrant you are some of that
braggadocio Prince of Wales's men, to judge by the looks of you. Go home
and to bed like decent citizens. This is no time to open the bridge gate."
Worshipful sir, come down, we beg," answered Henry; I am ready t
swear I am not one of the Prince of Wales's men, nor ever likely to be, even
if the prince should mend his ways. Sweet sir, lend us the key that we
may get forward at once on our way to Canterbury."
Robert Wall shut the casement window,'and in the course of another
two minutes was heard to be descending the staircase which led from his
apartment. A grating in the lock, a short ceremony of unbarring, a creaking
of the door upon its hinges, and then the guardian of the bridge stood before
tnem. LHe was wrapped in an old sea-gown and wore a nightcap, and in
his hand he carried the key of the bridge gate. As he moved on, grumbling as
Henry had predicted he would, Prince Humphrey slipped into the doorway,
and whipping the key out of the lock on the inside, put it into the lock on the
outside, turned it, and having secured the door, followed his brother and
Robert to the bridge gate. With many expressions of gratitude for the
trouble Robert had been at in their behalf, and with many fervent hopes
that he would not take cold by coming out into the night air, the royal party
passed through the gate, which Robert opened for them.
As soon as they had got through, Robert locked the gate again, and
without waiting to look after the travellers, turned about and walked back
to his lodge. He was not aware until he had tried the latch of his own door
and found it fast that any trick had been played him, nor was he for the
moment aware of the spectators in whose sight he was performing, though
the princes and their friends were all the while peering through the grille at
the gate, watching to see what their poor dupe would do. He thought at
first that his wife had closed the door on him, and accordingly hailed her
with much force of language, bidding her come down and let him in. But
the good woman was exceedingly deaf, and being, moreover, fast asleep and
quite innocent of any unkindness towards her husband, it was some time
before she could be made aware of Robert Wall's condition.
A roar of laughter from the pilgrims," looking through the grating,
awakened the good man to a knowledge of who were his real persecutors,
and at the discovery he waxed so wroth that Sir John Oldcastle advised him,
as a friend, to beware of apoplexy, a valuable piece of advice which poor
Robert Wall did not take in very good part. He swore he would have the
law of them if there was justice to be had in London; the lord mayor was
king in the city he bade them remember, whatever the prince's father
might be elsewhere, and as sure as the lord mayor was what he was, as sure
as Robert Wall's name was Robert Wall-and, suggested the Earl of Warwick,
as sure as Robert Wall is standing outside his own door and can't get in-
as sure as the bridge was the bridge, so surely should they smart for it. Old
Robert was in a terrible rage, and would have arrested the entire party, only
he was alone and on the wrong side of the gate, and they, having had their
joke and having kept their enemy at a disadvantage till such time as his
wife came down and unfastened the upper half of the door, flung the
key through the bridge gate and scampered off to the Surrey side of the
river, not waiting to see how Robert clambered over the lower half of the
-oor. They hastened to the water side, where they took a boat for Westminster.
The sun had risen, the early risers of London were up and on foot, and
another day had begun ere our roisterers from the Boar's Head were at home
and asleep in the palace at Westminster
OUR SCHOOLMASTE R.
A TEACHING BALLAD.
E17E used to think it was so queer
To see him, in his thin grey hair,
Sticking our quills behind his ear,
And straight forgetting they were there.
We used to think it was so strange
That he should twist such hair to curls,
And that his wrinkled cheek should change
In colour like a bashful girl's.
Our foolish mirth defied all rule,
As glances, each of each, we stole,
The morning that he wore to school
A rosebud in his button-hole.
And very sagely we agreed
That such a dunce was never known--
Fifty and trying still to read
Love-verses with a tender tone!
No joyous smile would ever stir
SOur sober looks, we often said,
If we were but a schoolmaster,
And had, withal, his old white hcad.
One day we cut his knotty staff
Nearly in two, and each and all
Of us declared that we should laugh
To see it break and let him fall.
Upon his old dea desk we drew
His picture-pitiful to see,
Wrinkled and bald-half false, half trne,
And wrote beneath it--Twenty-three!
Next day came eight o'clock and nine,
But he came not: our pulses quick
With play, we said it would be fine
If the old schoolmaster were sick.
And still the beech-trees bear the scars
Of wounds which we that morning mrad
Cutting their silvery bark to stars,
Whereon to count the games we played.
At last, as tired as we could be,
Upon a clay bank, strangely still,
We sat down in a row to see
His worn-out hat come up the hill.
'Twas hanging up at home-a quill
Notched down, and sticking in the band,
And leaned against his arm-chair, still,
His staff was waiting for his hand.
Across his feet his threadbare coat
Was lying, stuffed with many a roll
Of copy-plates," and, sad to note,
A dead rose in the button-hole.
And he no more might take his place
Our lessons and our lives to plan:
Cold death had kissed the wrinkled face
Of that most gentle gentleman.
Ah me, what bitter tears made blind
Our young eyes for our thoughtless sin,
As two and two we walked behind
The long black coffin he was in
And all, sad women now, and men,
With wrinkles and grey hairs, can see
How he might wear a rosebud then,
And read love-verses tenderly.
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
HE present series of papers is intended to introduce the
reader to one of the many nations that own the British
sway-a people in several respects remarkable. Their
customs form an interesting chapter in the science of
A man; their manners, moreover, throw light on the general
condition of the race to which these people belong; so that, while studying
the Kafir in his "kraal," we are gaining an important insight into the
usages of other negro races not so easily accessible.
The name given by Europeans to these people belongs to the Arabic
tongue. In that language Kafir signifies infidel, and is applied generally
to those who do not hold the Mohammedan faith. When the Portuguese
first visited the eastern coast of Africa, they found the greater part of it
possessed or claimed by Arab settlers, from whom they learned to call the
pagan natives by this term of Kafir. In this way the name came to be
introduced into Europe as the designation of the black population of
Eastern Africa. Sometimes it is still used in the same general sense, but
commonly it is employed with a more confined meaning, and limited to the
tribes that live on the frontier of the Cape Colony and stretch north-eastward
to Delagoa Bay. They are closely connected by physical character and
language, and may be regarded as forming one nation.
The country which they occupy is a comparatively narrow strip, about~
six hundred miles long and one hundred miles wide. It lies between the sea
and the Draakenberg Mountains, which separate it from the table-land of
the interior. From the coast to these mountains it rises by successive
terraces; and as the inclination of the surface is very considerable, the
country is well drained. The large rivers which rise in the Draakenberg,
and the smaller ones which originate nearer the coast, seek the ocean with a
rapid current; bogs and stagnant waters of great extent are therefore rarely
seen, and to this circumstance we may ascribe much of the general salubrity
of the region.
There is, however, one notable exception to this statement. Towards
the north-eastern extremity of this strip of country is a low district
bordering the coast. It commences about St. Lucia Bay, and reaches to
Delagoa Bay. The inland boundary of this low region is a range of hills
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
called Bombo, They run north and south, and are about ffy miles from.
the sea. The intervening country is flat. The rivers which have descended
from the higher ground become sluggish; marshes occur along their banks,
while a dense vegetation covers much or most of the soil. It is hardly
needful to add that this part of the Kafir's country is highly pestilential; of
nine Europe m hunters who visited its southern part in 1852, only two
The X.ilfir tribes may be divided into several cs.:es. The Amaxosa are
th-:e with whom we have been longest acquainted; they live on the frontier
of the Cape Coloiy, and have several times waged war with the settlers.
Near them are the Tambookies (properly Abat embu). Towards the north-
east are the A :.-.uponda. North-eastward of these lie Nat,., and then the
Zulu country, the two forming a region which some years ago was inhabited
by as many divisions of the Kafir race. The Natal natives were called by
their neighbours Amalala; the other region included the Zulus.
The Zulus, since so famous, were of no account before the time of
Tshaka. This extraordinary man (the Napoleon of South Africa) adopted
a system of warfare unknown to his contemporaries, and became the terror
of all the people from Delagca Bay to the Cape Colony. Some of his
neighbours submitted to his rule, but others fled. W~" '.n the inhabitants of
Natal were at. ek'-ld, a few were permitted to remain as tributaries; many
more were taken captive, and incorporated with his own people; others
sought refuge in the bush, or among more distant tribes. Some of the last
found their way to the frontier Kafirs, and are now known as Fingoes.
During Tshaka's reign a few Europeans c:t.:.Llihed themselves at Port
Natal, and laid the foundation of a settlement which afterwards became a
British colony. The frightened natives gradually left the bush, and placed
themselves under the protection of the white men. Others subsequently
escaped from the Zulu country, where the bloodthirsty rule of Tshaka's
successors, Dingan and Pande, rendered their lives insecure. A contest
between Pande's sons has increased the number of refugees, and thus it has
come to pass that Natal, which was fuund by tbe white men almost without
inhabitants, pcu~:ces at this time a very large Ka.fir population.
We will now proceed to make a more partic.l r acquaintance with these
people, and visit them in imagination at their- own dwellings.
Let us suppose ourselves on board some good ship bound from the
Thames or the Mersey, and. which, having passed the Cape, is running before
the wind for Port Natal. We are not far from land, and a man at the
masthead now sights it. Looking westward we perceive a dim, misty outline,
which as we advance becomes more distinct., and*a scene is gradually un-
folded!, which, murder any circumstances, would be beautiful. Peculiarly
LLLI 1 il
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GOZA AND EIS COUNCILLORS IN GALA WAR DRESS.
,II2~I :Y b
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
delightful and refreshing to behold it in so thirsty a region as Africa is
supposed to be.
We see the country rising from the coast inland, its surface being every-
where covered with vegetation. In some places the thick jungle comes down
to the water's edge, in others you may observe clumps of bush and single
trees, which remind us of an English park. With the telescope we can see
cattle grazing on those distant hills. A kraal (which for the present we will
call a native village) lies on the side of that nearer eminence. Take the
glass, and you may distinguish its two concentric fences, with the beehive-
looking huts between them. That smoke rising from among the trees
probably indicates the position of a Kafir's garden: the women are most
likely burning weeds. Those massive clouds, seldom seen in the far interior
of this extremity of Africa, show that the rainy season has begun, and
promises the industrious cultivators an abundant harvest.
We are now only a few miles from the harbour. It lies below yonder
wooded ridge, and is concealed by a spit of sand which defends it from the
storms of the Indian Ocean. There it is. Those masts, which seem planted
in the groww:; b lng to vessels in Port Natal. A formidable bar obstructs
the entrarn,:c, : wt. as we draw not more than ten feet of water, we shall be
able to cross it. Now we pass the foaming, roaring breakers, and enter the
channel. Oa our left is the Bluff, a bold headland, surmounted by a flag-
staff belonging to the signal-station. Its sides are covered with jungle, and,
as we look up to the trees, their feathered tenants chirp or scream a
welcome. On our right we have the low sandy spit before mentioned.
Rounding the end of this spit, we are within the land-locked bay, and cast
anchor opposite the custom-house.
The bay is almost circular, and about three miles in diameter. On the
south and west we see high land, on the north is a low sandy flat. The
town of Durban stands on this flat-a very bad situation. It is at some
distance, concealed from view by the bush; but there is no lack of
spectators to receive us. The landing-place is occupied by a goodly crowd,
among wh.m we see Europeans, some on horseback and some on foot; all in
light costume befitting the climate, and one or two with ostrich-feathers
folded round the hat, this practice being adopted as a protection against the
heat. We may distinguish some natives, a few of them standing, but the
majority sitting, or rather squatting, on the beach. Two or three are very
industriously washing themselves in the shallow water; see how, with their
hands, they throw it over their dark persons, and cool and cleanse themselves
at the same time. One thought savages always dirty ? Well, but these are
not savages; that term can hardly be applied to people who, cultivate the
soil. Call them barbarians, if you please; but barbarians are not necessarily
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
dirty. If these people were taken to England and conducted through some
parts of that country, they would be much amazed and exceedingly dis-
gusted. A Kafir likes to be clean; he washes his hands and mouth before
eating, and, if possible, afterwards; he washes his hands and sometimes his
mouth before milking, and however clean may be the pail with which you
furnish him for that operation, he will carefully rinse it before he uses it.
At the same time it must be confessed that a Kafir is apt to offend the
olfactory sense. This arises chiefly from the grease with which, to defend
himself from the heat, he copiously anoints his person, and which is not
always in the purest condition. I advise you, when we have landed, always
to keep on his weather-side.
You are, of course, impatient to get ashore, and we shall soon have an
opportunity of so doing; a boat is preparing to leave the vessel, and we will
get into it without delay. Now we push off from the ship's side, and a few
strokes of the oars take us to the beach. Notice that Kafir as he swims
past, paddling like a dog-not striking out like an Englishman. At length
we are upon African soil; but these white men won't let us reflect. The
scene which surrounds us is familiar to them, and they ply us with questions
about things we are in no mind to think of. "How many days from
England?" one asks. Did you meet the Waterwitch?" inquires another.
" Was the Flying Dutchman on the berth when you left?" And so on, and
so on, and so on.
We get through the crowd as well as we can, and bargain with a cart-
man, who evidently hails from the Land o' Cakes, to carry our goods and
chattels to Durban. His cait has nothing remarkable about it, being un-
mistakably of British manufacture; but it is drawn by oxen, and of these
no less than eight are attached to it. You think it a needlessly large team,
but you don't yet know the roads. Our luggage is now in the cart, and we
had better jump in. No: you can't ride in that style. You never
travelled in a cart? Then the sooner you begin the better; we shall not
see much of the country unless we consent to rough it. The jolting?
Never mind that, so long as we are not upset; our road lies across the soft
bed of the bay, the water now ebbing; and if we do get a little shaking
now, it will prepare us for worse afterwards.
Now we start. That young Kafir in front will lead the first yoke of
Oxen; that older native, who wields so large a whip, will act as driver, while
oui canny Scot superintends the whole. Do you want to know what the
driver says? You never heard such sounds come out of human mouth?
Very likely, but you never were here before. He is telling the oxen to tre!u
(which is Dutch for go on), and abusing all the lazy ones. They have been
taught to associate their names with a blow of that terrible lash, and you
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND. 21
may observe how some of them start when called to; others are more
obstinate, and will pull only when beaten. Englishman"-that black
beast who hangs back in the yoke-is one of this sort. He has been
already told in choice Italian" that he is an exceedingly great scoundrel;
but Englishman"' is proof against everything except the whip, which now
comes down upon his flank with tremendous force, and the yoke is soon
square. The lazy beasts being thus brought up to their work one after
another, the driver can allow himself to rest awhile.
Don't you think the scenery very fine? The tide not having yet run
out, the bay retains much of its lake-like aspect, and sparkles amid the
effulgence of an almost vertical sun. On two sides it seems surrounded by
high land covered with jungle; on our right is bush, in the shadow of
which we may almost be said to travel. See those brilliant flowers which
display their beauties amid foliage of a thousand tints. That major con-
volvulus peeping out from among the trees seems to claim us as an old
acquaintance. The amphibious mangrove advances in front of the purely
terrestrial vegetation, and when the tide is in appears to grow out of the salt
water; shells adhere to its trunk as to a rock; those active little crabs, dis-
turbed by our approach, seek to hide themselves among its roots. In the
distance we descry troops of long-legged birds, stalking over the moist sand
or wading in shallow pools as they seek their appropriate food.
The leading oxen now turn to the right, and through an opening in the
bush we enter Durban. "This Durban? It's only a sandy lane." A.
sandy lane it is, but don't speak of sand until we reach the nearest market-
place. Everything must have a beginning, and this is the beginning of a
street; it is fairly drawn on the surveyor's plan, and these few houses are
the earnest of many more. Nowz what do you think of the sand? here is
that same market-place. Look at those horsemen, how they kick up the
dust as they canter over the desert! Our eight oxen don't now seem a
But here is an inn, where we will alight from our carriage. Let us see
what cheer-it affords; we shall not be very particular after our long voyage.
Here is fish from the bay-not very remarkable perhaps, but it will do;
roast beef, tender and fat-a pleasant-looking dish after three months of
salt junk. Now comes venison, well larded with hippopotamus bacon.
Next we have a pauuw, which beats your Norfolk turkey hollow;"
to-morrow we might see in its place guinea-fowls or a korhaan. Water-
melons, bananas, and pine-apples (the two latter will be more plentiful in
a year or two) make a tolerable dessert. A reasonable person might
contrive to enjoy himself even amid the sand (especially as you can get
good water from the Umgeni river, though four miles distant) if such viands
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
were to be had every day. Now for a sip of Cape wine, and then a stroll
through the town.
Durban is laid out after the manner of Dutch towns in the Old Colony-
straight streets crossing each other at right angles. It is far from being
finished. In some places we shall meet with remains of the primitive bush;
in every place we shall have to lament the absence of pavements and
macadamised roads. The houses, you observe, are chiefly of one story,
covered with thatch, whitewashed, and surrounded by a verandah. You
are surprised at the number of shops? I assure you there is not one in the
town. That is not the word here-you must call them stores. Stores
are plentiful enough, and rather curious withal. Let us step into one. Did
you ever see so miscellaneous a stock? Calico, sugar, hats, rice, paper,
tea, knives, coffee, beads, brass wire, ready-made clothes! These are
Then we come to the produce of the country ready for exportation. Here
are kegs of butter, bought or bartered from the boers; not very choice
perhaps, but saleable at Cape Town and the Mauritius. In that corner are
some elephant's teeth. Beside them lie teeth of the hippopotamus (or sea-
crow), which, having a natural curve, are used by mathematical instrument
makers for the scales of quadrants. Those horns and other curiosities would
detain us too long, so let us proceed. This smaller store is appropriated to
trade with the Kafirs. You see two or three natives inside; one of them
comes to the door with a blanket in his hands. Observe how he holds it up
to the light, to discover whether it be close in the meshes; he will pay about
ten shillings for it, unless he be content with one made of cotton. Beads
and brass wire, axes and hoes, are largely purchased by the natives. You
wonder where they get the money? They milk the white cow-which
means that they get it from the white man. They work-or play-for
wages, and so are enabled to buy European manufactures, and multiply
wives to an extent unknown in their normal condition.
If we stand here much longer we shall attract too much notice from the
passers-by, who will probably set us down for Johnny Raws, ready to rush
into land-sharks' mouths. There is a boer already gazing at us. Just
notice, as we pass, the peculiar hat and dress he wears. The boers (i.e.,
farmers) are descended from the early Dutch settlers; they are strongly
prejudiced against British rule, and do not like to reside near Englishmen.
(They generally call the worst ox they have England or Englishman.)
Their prejudice, I believe, does not extend to our brethren from the north
side of the Tweed, because they imagine Scotland to be a conquered country,
and its people in the same condition as themselves. They are indeed
deplorably ignorant, and a party of them is said to have left the Vaal
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
River with waggons under the belief that by proceeding northward they
would reach Jerusalem.
It is now time to seek a waggon to be ready for our journey to-morrow.
It would be more agreeable to go on horseback, but as much of our time
will be spent among the natives, it will be convenient'to take a dwelling
with us. The South African waggon, you know, is a house as well as a
carriage. Here lives a man from whom we may hire one; there it stands,
with its white tilt or covering; but the sun is down, and we must not stay
to examine it; the mosquitoes and sandflies are beginning to bite, and we
shall do well to make all haste to our inn. The waggon will be there in the
morning, when we can examine it before starting. 'Meanwhile, let us have
tea and a night's rest.
We are up before the sun; but not much, for the sky is already crim-
soned by his approaching lustre. The waggon now arrives, and while
waiting for breakfast we will observe its structure, which has been thought
the greatest triumph of South African ingenuity." Remember that
the country is as yet without roads in the English sense of the term. If,
therefore, the vehicle were compactly made, like our own waggon, it would
be soon shaken to pieces. The boer has provided against this by making
the sides loose. They stand between the edge of the floor (which is itself
loose) and wooden uprights, and can be removed at pleasure. Two strong
boxes are placed at the ends, which thus close the waggon, but are
unconnected with the sides. To sustain the "'tilt" or cover a light
framework of sticks is affixed to the sides, which by this means obtain
internal support. On this framework are placed native mats, and on the
mats a canvas tilt. Climbing over the front box or fore chest we see a bed
frame suspended from the top of the sides, and of nearly the same width at
the waggon. The thongs by which it hangs render it a more comfortable
seat than the forechest, on which the driver sits. Boxes and small packages
can be placed under it; p'-erff ixed to the cover afford stowa.ge for still
mailer articles, while the fore and hind chests may be used for provisions
and clothes. Coming down again we may notice that the wheels are
very deeply dished, an arrangement which diminishes the chances of an
overthrow while the waggon is travelling along the sloping side of a
Thus constructed, the vehicle is admirably adapted to the country. It
can endure joltings that would soon destroy an English carriage, and if it
chance to be upset or even smashed, it can be easily righted. Should
it be needful, you might take it to pieces and send it in a boat over a swollen
river. It is said that when the emigrant farmers first came over the
Draakenberg into Natal, one of them suddenly fornl a precipice in his way.
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
To drive down it was impossible, and many people perhaps would hav%
sought a road in some other direction. But not so this boer. Having found
a path down which the oxen when out of the yoke might scramble, he tooh
his waggon to pieces, and using the trek-tow for a rope, lowered each part
separately, and so got his waggon over, or rather down, the obstruction
The trek-tow is a thick cord, made of hide, by which the yokes are connected
with the pole.
Breakfast done, we will enter the waggon and seat ourselves on the front
of the bed-frame. The driver, sitting on the fore-chest, and therefore par-
tially obstructing our view, cracks his immense whip-perhaps fifty feet
long-and, as usual, yells to the oxen, which are twelve in number. We arc
now under way, the wheels labouring through the deep sand, and our
motion is of the slowest. As we get out of the town the road improves, and
we are now going full two miles an hour. It won't be always so. When
we reach the top of a hill, the driver will make his oxen run down the
opposite side, if not too steep-a proceeding which saves time, and as the
waggon goes very much by its own momentum, saves the cattle also. For
this reason, the owner of a waggon will often prefer a hilly to a level road.
Those natives whom we meet are going into the town. There is a man
carrying a letter; you see it stuck into a slit at the end of a small reed. He
adopts this method because he has no pockets; if it were smaller, he would,
perhaps, have placed it in one of the holes cut in the lobes of his ears.
Notice that procession; a man, carrying nothing heavier than his shield and
assagais (or spears), marches in front; then, walking in Indian file, follow
several women, his wives and daughters, with baskets of corn on their heads.
They are taking it into Durban for sale. You are certainly right in thinking
that the man should bear one of the burdens, but custom assigns all such
work to the females. Those native men, who go in the same direction as
.ourselves, are carrying burdens, but they are in the service of Europeans,
for whom they think it no disgrace to do so. Their burdens are large
bundles of linen, which they are going to wash in the river. A London
laundress would be surprised to hear of clothes being washed in cold water,
but what would she say if she saw them beaten against a large stone, or
scrubbed with a smaller one? That is the process which the Kafir sub-
stitutes for rubbing. It may be commended as producing a good colour,
but prudent housewives provide their washermen with a flat board and a
"What is the driver doing?" Don't you see? he has jumped down
from his seat, and is urging the oxen as fast as possible towards one side. I
know that; but why does he play such wild tricks ? We shall be thrown
over." Not much fear of that; we shall undoubtedly be well shaken as
KAAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
the wheels go over the tufts of grass. This is bumping in perfection' Now
we get among stones-up goes one wheel over a boulder as big as a cannon-
ball; now we come in contact with one still larger; now another, and
another, and another. What English waggon could stand it? The stones
past, we are again among the grass, and, still bumping, go gradually back
to the road. Now you can see why we left it; that hole, worn by the rain,
explains the manoeuvre. If the driver had kept to the beaten track he might
have broken a spoke of a wheel, or done even more harm to the waggon.
There is a river ahead; it runs behind those reeds and bushes. We are
approaching the drift or ford, and may now see the sloping and rather steep
road which leads down to the water. As the rains have not yet caused the
stream to swell, we shall have no difficulty in getting across (though it may
be otherwise when we return). It will be advisable, as there are some
packages that might be damaged by the water, to place them on the bed-
frame. Descending the bank, the waggon seems as if it were going down
headlong; but never mind-it has often done so before. Now we are in a
deep part of the stream, where the oxen swim, and the waggon floats, and
the water comes in by the floor; but this lasts only for a moment or two,
and now the oxen are again on their feet. The ascent from the river is as
steep as the descent was, but we sha'n't stick fast; the leading cattle will be
at the top while the waggon is at the bottom, and will thus have the great
advantage of pulling on level ground. Soon we are on the summit of the
bank, and find ourselves among a mass of tall reeds, in which a crocodile or
two might be found. Beyond this we get into the thick bush which skirts
the coast, and through which a road has been cut. It seems marvellous how
any man should have found his way through such a jungle. Here and there
are open spots, but generally the bush appears impenetrable; underwood
fills up the spaces between the trees, and huge creepers, sometimes as thick
as your arm, bind the whole together.
Of the ingeniously-constructed waggon we shall, in the next number,
show an accurate representation, taken from a photograph. Meanwhile, we
introduce King Gonza and his Councillors, to whose court we are accredited.
( 26 )
KING HAL AND THE COBBLER.
(Frontzspiece, in colours, after a drawing by John Absolon.)
K ING HAL was a-hunting the swift fallow-deer,
S He dropped all his nobles, and when he got clear,
In hope of some pastime away he did ride
Till he came to an alehouse hard by a wood side,
And there was a cobbler he happened to meet,
And him in kind sort he so freely did greet:
"Pray. thee, good fellow, what hast in thy jug
Which under thy arm thou dost lovingly hug ?"
" By the mass!" quoth the cobbler, "it's nappy brown ale,
And for to drink to thee, friend, I will not fail;
For although thy jacket looks gallant and fine,
I think that my twopence as good is as thine."
"By my soul! honest fellow, the truth thou hast spoke,"
And straight he sat down with the cobbler to joke;
They drank to the king, and they pledged to each other;
Who'd seen 'em had thought they were brother and brother.
As they were a-drinking the king pleased to say,
" What news, honest fellow? come tell me, I pray?"
" There's nothing of news, beyond that I hear
The king's on the border a-chasing the deer.
"And truly I wish I so happy may be
Whilst he is a-hunting the king I might see;
For although I've travelled the land many ways,
I never have yet seen a king in my days."
The king, with a hearty brisk laughter, replied,
' I tell thee, good fellow, if thou canst but ride,
Thou shalt get up behind me, and I will thee bring
To the presence of Harry, thy sovereign king."
KING HAL AND THE COBBLER.
"But he'll be surrounded with nobles so gay,
And how shall we tell him from them, sir, I pray ?"
" Thou'lt easily ken him when once thou art there:
The king will be covered, his nobles all bare."
He got up behind him, and likewise his sack,
His budget of leather and 'tools at his back;
They rode till they came to the merry greenwood;
His nobles came round him, bareheaded they stood.
The cobbler then seeing so many appear,
He slily did whisper the king in his ear,
Saying, "They're all clothed so gloriously'gay,
But which amongst them is the king, sir, I pray?"
The king did with hearty good laughter reply,
"By my soulI my good fellow, it's thou or it's I!
The rest are bareheaded, uncovered all round."
With his bag and his budget he fell to the ground,
Like one that was frightened quite out of his wits,
Then on his knees he instantly gets,
Beseeching for mercy; the king to him said,
" Thou art a good fellow, so be not afraid.
SCome, tell me thy name." I am John of the Dale,
A cobbler of shoes, and a lover of ale."
SRise up, Sir John, I will honour thee here,
I make thee a knight of three thousand a year!"
This was a good thing for the cobbler indeed;
Then unto the court he was sent for with speed,
Where great store of pleasure and pastime was seen,
In the royal presence of king and of queen.
Sir John of the Dale he has land, he has fee,
At the court of the king who so happy as he,
Yet still in his hall hangs the cobbler's old sack
And the budget of tools which he bore at his back.
( 28 )
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE.
Your glorious standard launch again
To match another foe
And sweep through the deep
While the stormy tempests blow."
T HE great expedition which was fitting out at Toulon, under the
direction of General Bonaparte," early in 1798, excited the suspi-
cions of the British government, and Nelson was despatched to the Mediter-
ranean with a small squadron to watch its progress and ascertain its object.
Earl St. Vincent was at that time blockading the Spanish fleet in Cadiz, but
so important did the ministers of England consider the defeat of the Toulon
armament, that he was directed, if he thought it necessary, to devote his
whole fleet to that purpose. He considered a detachment sufficient, and
placed Nelson in command of it, much to the discontent of the senior
admirals of the fleet-Sir William Parker and Sir John Orde. Both these
officers were men of courage and honour, but it is to the credit of Earl
St. Vincent that he perceived something more was needful than the qualities
usually possessed by British officers; that the courage to dare, fertility of
invention, plenitude of resources, prompt decision and unflinching resolu-
tion-in a word, those attributes which, taken together, make up genius-
were required to cope with so great an emergency.
'The expedition at Toulon consisted of thirteen sail of the line, eight
frigates, two Venetian sixty-fours, and six frigates, armed en flute, two
brigs, with cutters, avisos, and gunboats-in all, seventy-two vessels of war,
exclusive of 400 sail of transports. Of this immense fleet the crews alone
were computed at 10,000 men; besides which the troops on board amounted
to about 36,000 men. The commander-in-chief was Napoleon Bonaparte,
whom a series of brilliant victories in Italy had already crowned with
brilliant reputation. Under him as his generals of division were Kleber,
Desaix, Regnier, Bon, Duqua, Menon, Vaubois, Dumuy, and Dumas,
besides eleven generals of brigades. The naval commander-in-chief was
Vice-Admiral Brueys; and his lieutenants were Vice-Admirals Villeneuve,
HORATIO VISCOUNT NELSON.
\` ~\`~:~=`~\\~\\\~\~\~, r
%, .. ,,.
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE. 29
Blanquet, and Durbs; his captain of the fleet, Commodore Gantheaume.
The flagship of the vice-admiral was the Sans-Culotte, of 120 guns, now
more appropriately re-christened as L'Orient.
A continuance of violent winds having driven the British squadron off
the port, this immense armament gladly slipped out; and, on the 19th of
May, sailed up the Mediterranean, its leader big with splendid dreams of the
conquest of Egypt and the East, and of the acquisition of military glory
which should extinguish the remembrance of the exploits of Alexander.
On the 9th of June it arrived before Malta, where the Knights of St. John
still maintained a phantom sway and shadowy state. Treachery was at
work among these degenerate successors of the famous chevaliers who had
planted the standard of the cross on the ramparts of Jerusalem, and without
attempting a resistance, Malta was surrendered on the 11th. After plun-
dering the churches and treasuries of the order, Napoleon re-embarked on
the 19th, and continued his voyage along the classic shores of the lMagnum
Mare of the Ancient World. Passing by the island of Candia, the expedi-
tion sailed anear the British fleet, buC without being seen by it, a thick haze
intervening between its utter annihilation, with the destruction or captivity
of all the troops, and of Bonaparte himself, by Nelson. But for this' fog
Europe might have been saved some years of sanguinary war, and the world
had never seen a French Empire nor England achieved a Waterloo!
On the 29th of June the French came in sight of the classic city of
Alexandria, and on the following day the army landed within three miles of
that city, but with such haste and disorder that considerable numbers were
drowned, so great was their terror lest Nelson should fall upon them! The
town of Alexandria was easily taken; and Napoleon next led his troops ove
the burning sands to Cairo. On the 21st, in the very shadow of the
Pyramids, he fought a great battle with the Mamelukes, and won an easy
victory. He then entered Cairo without resistance, and began to make"
preparations for the government of Egypt and the prosecution of his
projects of Oriental conquest. But in the midst of his splendid dreams he
was woke to a bitter reality by Nelson's destruction of the fleet he had left
Nelson, having received a reinforcement from Earl St. Vincent of the
best ships in his fleet, sailed in search of the French with a heart inspired
by an ardent longing for glory, a keen abhorrence of his enemy, and a
burning passion of devotion to his own country. Having obtained infor-
mation of their capture of Malta, he at once conceived that their ultimate
destination was Egypt, but being without frigates, could obtain no accurate
intelligence of their further movements. He arrived off Alexandria on the
28th of June, and though the French fleet was so near at hand, could learn
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE.
nothing of its whereabout. Nelson then shaped his coune for Caramania,
and thence drove along the coast of Candia, carrying a press of sail,
both night and day, with a contrary wind. The fleet continued to beat to
windward until the 19th, when it stood towards Syracuse to obtain pro-
visions and water. The entrance to that harbour is difficult, and not one
person in the British squadron had ever before attempted it, but such was
the skill of the officers, and so great the enthusiasm of their men-for the
influence of a great man draws up all beneath him to nearly his own height
-that every soul accomplished the arduous passage in safety.
Owing to the indefatigable labours of the officers and men the British
fleet in five days completed its re-victualling, and on the 24th and 25th of
July again put to sea. Once more the unresting sea hero bent his course
for Egypt, his soul afire with impatience, and his brain throbbing with
great conceptions. With a fresh breeze and a heavy sea rolling astern, his
ships cut through the yielding furrows as a falcon with I scythe-like sweeping
wings" cleaves the air; and on the 1st of August, at ten a.m., the sunlit
minarets of Alexandria, the gleaming walls of the Pharos, and the shapely
column of Pompey's Pillar rose upon the gaze of the watchful seamen
But more welcome than these classic memorials, these souvenirs of a departed
glory, was the forest. of masts which filled the Bay of Aboukir, and the
tricolour of France which waved from the walls of Alexandria. For many
preceding days Nelson had hardly taken either food, or sleep; but now,
while his ships were making ready for battle with an eagerness not inferior
to his own, he ordered his dinner to be served, and addressing his officers,
exclaimed, Before this time to-morrow I shall have gained a peerage or
Aboukir Bay commences about twenty miles to the north-east of
Alexandria, and stretches with a semicircular sweep from the Castle of
Aboukir to the Rosetta mouth of the Nile. The two horns of the crescent
are not, however, more than six miles apart. There is no depth of water
for line-of-battle ships within a league from the shore, on account of a shoal
which at that distance follows the curve of the bay, and on which there are
not more than four fathoms' soundings. On the north-west side lies a little
island, about two miles from the castle-crowned point, and connected with
it by a chain of rocks and sandbanks, which affords the only shelter from
gales that the bay possesses.
Outside of the shoal I have spoken of was arranged the French fleet, in
a convex line rather more than a mile and a-half in length. Its flank was
protected by a battery of four twelve-pounders, some light guns, and two
mortars, which had been hastily thrown up on Aboukir Isle. The ships
were anchored in the following order:-Guerrier, 74 guns; Conquerant, 74-
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE.
Spartiate, 74, Aquilon, 74; Peuple-Souverain, 74; Franklin, 80; L'Orient,
120; Tonnant, 80; Heureux, 74; Mercure, 74; Guillaume Tell, 80;
Genereux, 74; Timoleon, 74; and in an inner line, midway between the
line-of-battle ships, and the shoal, lay the Serieuse frigat, 36; Artemise,
36; and Diane, 40. There were also two brigs, several gunboats, and three
fireships. The flag of Vice-Admiral Brueys flew in the 120-gun ship
L'Orient, on board which were also Captain Honore Gantheaume and
Commodore Casa-Bianca. Le Franklin carried the flag of Rear-Admiral
Blanquet, and Rear-Admiral Villeneuve sailed in Le Guillaume Tell.
Nelson's force was composed as follows :-
Culloden, 74 .
Swiftsure, 74 .
Ships of the line
THE BRITISH FLEET.
Captain Edward Berry.
Captain Thomas Louis.
S ,, Davidge Gould.
S ,, John Peyton.
,, Samuel Hood.
*. ,, Sir James Saumarez.
,, George Westcott.
S ,, Henry Darby.
S ,, Thomas Troubridge.
S ,, Ralph Willett Miller.
Alexander John BalL
S. ,, Benjamin Hallowell.
S Thomas Thompson.
VIEW OF THE FORCE OF THE TWO FLEETS.
Frigates (the Leander) 1 *. 3
Broadside guns 1,012 1,196
Weight of metal, in lbs. 10,895 14,029
Number of men 7,401 9,710
Size, in tons 20,660 25,560
The superiority of the French in guns, men, and ships was therefore
decided; their position was a strong one; and a fleet at anchor has a certain
advantage in defence over a fleet under canvas. But not only had the
French no Nelson, their crews were inferior to the British crews, and they
had no officers able to cope in seamanship, professional ability, or enthusiasm
with a Hallowell, a Thompson, a Troubridge, a Saumarez, a Miller. Never
was a fleet better manned than that which Nelson led to victory at the Nile.
The ships were weather-beaten and storm-shattered, but their commanders
had been trained under a Nelson and a St. Vincent, and included some of
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE.
the finest sailors that ever maintained the honour of the Red Cross.
Happy the commander who has such lieutenants to execute his orders;
happy the lieutenants who were under so great a chief !
When the French admiral obtained intelligence of the approach of
Nelson, his ships were lying at single anchor, without springs on their
cables, and with a great proportion of their men ashore getting water. He
immediately recalled them on board, and the frigates, by his direction, sent
some of their men to strengthen the crews of the ships of the line. At
three p.m. he made the signal to prepare for battle, and detached 'the Alerte
and Railleur brigs on a vain errand to decoy the foremost British ships on a
shoal off Aboukir Island.
By four p.m. the whole of Nelson's fleet was in sight, coming up
under a press of sail, whereupon Brueys ordered his ships to cross top-
gallant-yards, as if intending to get under way. But observing that some
of the. advanced British ships brought to, and concluding (it is supposed)
that they would not attack until the next morning, when the shoals might
be more easily avoided, he signalled that he should remain at anchor. As
soon as he was undeceived in his conclusions, he ordered each ship to lay
out an anchor in the south-south-east, and to send a stream cable to the
ship next astern of her, making a hawser fast to it in such a manner as to
spring her broadside towards the enemy." Then, at about 6h. 20m. p.m.,
he hoisted his colours, and awaited the shock of battle.
The moment that Nelson perceived the French array his genius
intuitively devised a plan for neutralising its advantages of position. He
knew that where there was room for a French ship to swing, there was
room for a British ship to anchor, and he accordingly determined to keep
entirely on the outer side of the French line, and station his vessels, as far
as he was able, one on the outer bow, and another on the outer quarter of
each of the enemy's. When he explained to Captain Berry the scope fo
his design, that excellent officer exclaimed with transport, If we succeed,
what will the world say ?" There is no if in the case," replied Nelson
that we shall succeed is certain: who may live to tell the story is a very
At four p.m., when within ten miles of the enemy's position, Nelson
ordered his ships to prepare to anchor by the stern, and shortly afterwards
signalled that he meant to attack the French van and centre. So the
British continued their stately advance, with the westering sun shedding a
golden glory on their swelling canvas and weather-beaten sides. At
5h. 30m. p.m., when nearly abreast of the extremity of the shoal, the
signal was made to form in line of battle ahead and astern of the admiral,
and about the same time Nelson hailed Captain fHood, of the Zealous, and
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE. 83
asked him if he thought there was sufficient depth of water for our ships
between the enemy and the shore? "I don't know, sir," replied Hood,
"l but, with your permission, I will stand in and try." Nelson assented; and
the Zealous, then with thewind on the starboard quarter, bore away, and
rounding the shoal, brought the wind on her starboard beam. At this time
the Goliath was a little in advance of her. Shortly afterwards the Van-
guard, who was next astern of the Zealous, hove to to speak a boat. Some
of the other ships were thus constrained to shorten sail, and at the same time
the Theseus was directed to run past the admiral, and be his second ahead.
At about six p.m. Nelson made the signal for the fleet to fill in and
stand on with heaving canvas and flashing prows. The British ships
leaped forward, and with incredible rapidity and precision-which the
French, gazing at, could not but admire-bore down upon the enemy in tho
following order :-Goliath, Zealous, Orion, Audacious, Theseus, Vanguard,
Minotaur, Defence, Bellerophon, Majestic, Leand ir. At some distance to
the northward the Culloden was labouring to get up, and at a still greater
distance to the westward toiled the Alexander and Swiftsure. The British
ships now hoisted their colours with many a ringing cheer, and subsequently
the enthusiastic tars displayed in various parts of the rigging the immortal
"The flag that's braved a thousand years
The battle and the breeze."
At twenty minutes past six, as the purple light gathered slowly in the
cloudless eastern sky, and spread in solemn lustre over the silent sands of
Egypt, the French ships hoisted their tricolours; and the Conquerant
followed by the Guerrier, opened fire upon the Goliath and Zealous, then
in line close to each other, and the island battery commenced a distant
cannonade. Ten minutes later the Goliath, shooting in advance of Hood,
crossed the head of the French line, and delivering a raking broadside
into the Guerrier, bore for that vessel's inner bow, as her position in the
coming battle. But her anchor did not drop in time; she ran past the
Guerrier, and finally brought up abreast of the inner or larboard quarter.
of the Conqudrant. Then Captain Foley began and maintained a vigorous
fire, occasionally aiming a few telling shot at the Sdrieuse frigate and the
Hercule mortar-brig, which lay in the second line.
Hood meanwhile placed the Zealous where'Foley had meant to place the
Goliath, viz., abreast of the Guerrier's larboard bow, and greeted her with
a close and steady broadside, which in less than five minutes brought the
Frenchmen's foremast clattering about their ears. The sun was setting,
and no other British ships had yet discharged a gun. This first blow was,
THE BATTLE OF THE NILE.
therefore, hailed with a thrice-rolling cheer from the whole of Nelson's
fleet. The third vessel in the French array was the Spartiate. She
was ,encountered by the Theseus, who anchored abreast of her within
300 yards. The Orion, steering ahead of the Zealous, ran down
the enemy's line to grapple with the Aquilon; but as she forged through
the laboring waters the Serieuse frigate had the audacity to cannonade
her. Turning upon this young antagonist, as some well-skilled gladiator
might upon a young and inexperienced novice, she staggered, and shook,
and tore her to pieces with a murderous fire. Her masts snapped like
reeds; her hull gaped at every seam; and with a shudder of distress
she cut her cables, and ran upon the shoal-to sink. Fortunately for her
crew, a part of her upper works remained above water. This severe
chastisement inflicted, the Orion dropped her anchor, and, veering away,
brought her head to wind nearly in a line with the Theseus, and abreast
of the Peuple-Souverain, with her aftermost guns trained to bear upon the
larboard bow of the Franklin.
Meantime the Audacious drove through the gap-about 160 yards-
between the Guerrier and Conquerant, and, anchoring, swung round head
to wind, with her artillery playing upon the Conquerant's inner bow.
We have thus the four advanced ships of the French beset by five
The rear-admiral had resolved, before he attempted the French rear, to
complete the capture or destruction of their van; and in pursuance of this
design, his flagship edged away towards the outer side of the line, receiving
a severe fire as she passed. At twenty minutes to seven p.m. she anchored
within eighty yards of the Spartiate's starboard beam. About five minutes
later the Minotaur, anchoring ahead of the Vanguard, found herself opposed
to the Aquilon; and the Defence, also keeping outside. the French line,
brought up abreast of the Peuple-Souverain.
Thus by seven p.m., as the "brown shadows" of the twilight fell upon the
sea, the five advanced ships of the French-i.e., Guerrier, Conquerant,
Spartiate, Aquilon, and Peuple-Souverain-were grappling with eight British
men-of-war-Goliath, Zealous, Orion, Audacious, Theseus, Vanguard,
Defence, Minotaur, and Nelson had so far succeeded in bringing a superior
force to bear upon the enemy's van.
The next ship in the British line was the Bellerophon, the Billy
uffian" of our old sea-salts. She dropped her stern-anchor so as boldly
to bring up abreast the immense sea-decker, L'Orient, of the French
admiral. At this moment the British ships hoisted their distinguishing
lights-four at the mizen peak displayed horizontally.
( 85 )
THE PECCARI IN THE WESTERN WORLD.
BY BENEDICT REVOIL.
INTRODUCED BY SIR LASCELLES WRAXALT,4
ALL animals, as a general rule, are seized with terror at the discharge of a
fowling-piece, and if they have escaped the lethal lead they fly as
they can with all the rapidity that terror imparts to their feet or wings.
The peccari is possibly the only one in nature which cannot be accused of
this cowardice. I will even go further, for I have proof that if the sound of
a gun resembled that of the volcanic detonations of Hecla and Chimborazo,
instead of being a very ordinary explosion, the peccari would feel its rage
redoubled, and would grow more irritated in proportion as the danger in-
creased. This animal seems utterly insensible to those nervous influence
and inevitable starts which noise, in whatever shape it may be produced,
makes man and beast undergo. Although the height of the peccari rarely
exceeds two feet, and a yard in length from the groin to the beginning of
the tail, it is for all that one of the most dangerous animals in North
The peccaries live in herds whose number varies from ten to fifty.
Their jaws are armed with tusks like those of the wild boar, but are straight
instead of being bent, and they are, probably owing to this shape, more
terrible and deadly. These formidable tusks, which are sharp as a razor,
vary in length from four to five inches. The movements of the peccari are
as quick as those of a squirrel, and the strength of their shoulders, neck,
and head is so great that nothing can resist their impetuous attack. Exped
rience has proved to hunters that, as the peccaries never hesitate to attack
any obstacle in their way, whether alive or dead, the safest way is to bolt on
meeting them. As they habitually rush in a body upon anything that
checks their progress, and fight till the last of them is killed, it is absolutely
useless to oppose them, for they would cover with wounds the man od
animal, and the victory would cost more than its worth.
Everybody, then, flies at the sight of these animals-men, dogs, and
horses; there is a general bolt, and the peccari is the terror of the Nimrods
of the New World.
This strange animal is indubitably the connecting link between the
domestic hog and the wild boar. The shape of the body resembles that of
the pig, but its bristles, scattered in patches over a warty skin, possess the
36 THE PECCARI IN THE WESTERN WORLD.
faculty of standing erect like porcupines' quills when it is in a passion; and
in this it more resembles the boar than any other of the breed. The bristles
of the peccari are coloured in belts, the part nearest the skin being white,
and the tips of a chocolate colour. The peccari has no proper tail, and in
place there is a fleshy protuberance. Another remarkable peculiarity is that
this animal has no navel. On its back above the rump there is a shape-
less wart, containing a deposit of musky fluid, which evaporates so soon as
the animal becomes irritated, in the same way as with the civet-cat and the
musk-rat of South America.
The shoulders, neck, and head of the peccari resemble the boar, but the
end of the groin is generally more delicate and thin. The feet and legs are
like those of the boar. The food it prefers is berries, acorns, roots, sugar-
cane, grain, and reptiles of every description.
The strange habits it displays in sleeping are very noteworthy. The
lair of the peccari is always situated in the midst of the impenetrable cane-
brakes which grow at swampy spots, round tall and old trees. The wind
and lightning seem to attack by choice these isolated oaks and maples, the
giants of the Texan forests, which are found hurled down on river banks,
and covered with a trellis-work of lianas and wild vines. These trunks,
which generally measure eight or ten yards in circumference, are nearly
always hollow, and serve as a nocturnal refuge for the peccaries. These
animals select every night a hollow tree which may contain thirty of them;
they enter it backwards, the last keeping its nose out, and mounting guard.
so to speak.
The Texan planters, who fear the peccaries, have vowed a deadly feud
against them, not only on account of the ravages they commit in the fields, the
murder of their dogs, and the mutilation of their horses, but also on account
of the ridiculous position in which a meeting with the peccaries places them
-that is to say, the alternative of bolting full pelt, or climbing up a tree;
the planters, I say, seize every opportunity offered them for destroying these
dangerous neighbours. So soon as one of them discovers a hollow tree which
appears to him frequented by peccaries, he organises a most amusing, though
very dangerous, hunt. For it to succeed there must either be rain or a fog
to obscure the atmosphere. Usually the peccaries do not leave their abodes
during such disagreeable weather. Half-an-hour before daybreak the
hunter, armed with a rifle and a good stock of cartridges, posts himself in
ambush opposite the entrance of the lair. Here he waits, hidden from sight,
till the light permits him to begin firing. As soon as he can perceive the
piercing eyes of the peccari stationed as sentry, and behind which its com-
rades are lying asleep, he takes a careful aim and fires. The animal, struck
by the bullet, darts out of the tree, and writhes in agony on the ground.
rIIE PECCARI IN THE WESTERN WORLD. 37
The hunter has scarce had time to reload his rifle ere a subterranean
growling is heard, and two other eyes post themselves at the opening Which,
a few minutes previously, was occupied by sentry No. 1. A second shot is
heard, and another victim experiences the fate of the first; and so on up to
the twentieth, or even' the thirtieth, unless one of the animals, excited by
the frequent explosions, does not await the bullet that threatens it, but
dashes at the hunter, followed by all the other peccaries that had been
sleeping behind it; in which case there is only one thing for the hunter to
do-bolt at full speed, and shin up the nearest tree.
If during the firing the leading peccari falls dead in the opening of the
tree, and obstructs it, the animal behind it pushes the- lifeless mass until
it can find an issue. As these animals are ignorant of the danger, and
do not know whence it comes, they are equally unacquainted with fear,
and boldly rush, the first as well as the last, to meet the danger. They
never attack an enemy concealed from them; their instinct will not guide
them unless the hunter shakes the branches behind which he is sheltered,
or they hear in a certain direction a noise which indicates the position of
The previous remarks appear incredible, but I solemnly declare that
such was the mode of hunt employed by the Texans at Caney Creek
and Bragos bottom when, towards 1848, the country was impracticable
owing to the number of peccaries infesting it. At the present day peccaries
have become very rare, owing to their constant slaughter by the planters,
and they might, were it necessary, be counted.
I shall never forget the first adventure that happened to me at a peccari
hunt. I had letters of introduction to a planter at Caney Creek from his
brother, who is still living at New York, and is an intimate friend of mine.
Mr. John Morgan emigrated to Texas in 1837 with his brother, the youngest
of the three, and his plantation was certainly the finest in the country. I
was a poor sportsman compared with these two bold pioneers, and hence they
took a pleasure in initiating me into the dangers of a trapper's life in this
primitive country. I listened with intense pleasure to the numerous hunting
stories which are the favourite theme of the borderers after dark.
The peccaries for some time past had been committing great ravages in
Mr. Morgan's corn and maize fields, and he had declared deadly war against
them. Naturally, the men told me about their exploits and dangers. It
amused me to hear them vow vengeance when they showed me their best
dogs accidentally ripped up by the Texan boars; accidentally I say, for no,
dog cares ardently for the pursuit of peccari-hunting after having engaged
in it once.
One morning Mr. John Morgan, on returning home to breakfast, told us
THE PECCARI IN THE WESTERN WORLD.
that he had been to judge for himself of the damage done to his corn-fields
by a bear and by a herd of peccaries. He soon found the track of the bear,
and was following it when he found himself face to face with a herd of
peccaries, who were whetting their tusks upon the maize stems, and cutting
the corn down round them as a scythe would do it. It was too late to
effect an honourable retreat, for he had boen seen by the peccaries, who,
according to their wont, darted at once in pursuit, grunting and gnashing
their tusks together at every step. To stop and fire his rifle was impossible,
and Mr. Morgan was forced to run for his life. He darted towards a fence,
and was lucky enough to reach it before the peccaries caught him,. He
climbed on to the highest rail, and the peccaries rose on their hind-legs
and began tearing the wood with their tusks. The rails were tarred, and
Mr. Morgan assured us he found himself in the position of I"a hen dancing
on red-hot iron," while he fired with all possible speed. He had killed
several peccaries, but the fury of the remainder seemed to increase.
Suddenly he felt the rail giving way under his feet, and before he could
grasp anything he found himself lying on his back in a canebrake on the
other side. To pick himself up and bolt once more did not take Mr. Morgan
a minute. At last he reached the house, fortunately without meeting any
more of the enraged peccaries.
We hastily finished breakfast, and at once made preparations to find the
bear, which was a more dangerous neighbour to the Morgans than the
peccaries. We all three mounted, preceded by a negro, who blew a cow's
horn, as he said, for the purpose of terrifying the vermin of hogs."
The pack of dogs was superb. All were trained for bear-hunting, and
belonged to a cross-breed of bull and bloodhound. Their skin bore traces
of wounds from the tusks of the peccaries and the formidable nails
of the bear. While advancing in the direction of the projected hunt
Mr. Morgan gave me the requisite instructions to avoid an awkward
meeting with the'peccaries. He advised me more especially not to resist,
but to bolt, unless I wished to have my horse hurt, and run the risk of
having my legs ripped open. I naturally promised to be most prudent,
but the delighted barking of the dogs soon drove from my mind all thought
of the dangerous game we were going to attack.
We had reached the canes, and our horses had the greatest difficulty in
forcing their way through the intertwined leaves and wild vines, which
rendered a passage impracticable. A lizard would have found great
difficulty in crawling along the paths on which we urged our steeds. We
eagerly followed the bloodhounds, which uttered formidable barks. But
suddenly a terrible uproar was audible ah-ead of us, accompanied by yells
enough to make one's hair stand on end. Each of us took his own road
THE PECCARI: IN THE WESTERN WORLD. 3;0
as he thought best suited for getting the chance of a shot at B muin, for
that was really the animal the dogs were pursuing g
The horse on which I was mounted dashed into the. thickest coppice,
indulging in pranks which required all my skill as a rider to prevent mrd
from being thrown. During this time the bear was at bay at a spot near
the one where I was. All at once it dashed forward and passed a few yards-
from me, though I was unable to see it owing to the density of the leafy
veil that hid it from my sight. At this moment my horse became furious.
I found it impossible to guide itj and felt myself lifted out of the saddle by
the lianas that entangled me on all sides. Luckily I had the presence of
mind to tug at the reins, and regained my balance without thinking .of the
bruises I had received. The shock forced me to comprehend the perplexing
position in which I was, and I then thought about cutting my way out of
the copse by help of my hunting-knife.
At the same moment the bear, which had found my three comrades after
it, returned towards me followed by the dogs, and tearing 'down'the canes
and creepers in its passage. My horse wva then seized with a terror which
rendered it more furious than the first time. It dashed ahead, but turning
round to free itself, it was soon caught in a network of creeping plants,
whose solidity would have defied the powerful arm of a Samson or 'a Hercules.
At this imminent moment the bear again passed me, harassed by the dogs,
which were savagely biting it.
On seeing the ferocious animal, my horse began backing so tremendously
that I felt suffocated by the pressure of the lianas which opposed my retreat
from the thicket. With great efforts, and the loss of my entire coat-sleeve,
whose rags remained hanging to the brambles, I succeeded in liberating my
arm, and with the help of my bowie-knife I cut so many branches that I
succeeded in getting out of the labyrinth. At this moment I was able to
listen to the formidable concert of snorts, yells, barking offered us by the
horses, the dogs, and the bear, which was facing its enemies. I advanced as
well as I could in the direction of the fight, which seemed to be coming off
at the foot of a gigantic tree. I distinctly heard the shouts of my hosts,
who, like myself, were approaching the centre of operation.
All at once John Morgan and I pierced the hedge of canes which con-
cealed us from each other. In the midst of a bare space of about ten yards,
which had been levelled by the combatants, we perceived the bear trying to
clamber up a tree. The dogs, which felt themselves backed up by the
approach of the hunters, had made a final dash at their ferocious foe, to6
whom they clung on all sides. Mr. Morgan and myself tried in vain to find
a spot on the bear's hide: in which to lodge a bullet: we were afraid of
killing the dogs.
THE PECCARI IN THE WESTERN WORLD.
While we were hesitating about using our guns, and the bear was
shaking off the dogs in all directions, a herd of peccaries suddenly appeared,
and simultaneously charged bear, dogs, and hunters. The shouts, the yells,
the general bolt, can only be appreciated by those who have found them-
selves in a similar situation. The dogs rushed towards us with their tails
between their legs. The bear, rendered mad by bites, behaved as Satan
would do in holy water, and blindly distributed death around with its paws
The first feeling of us four was one of stupor, but soon the consciousness
of the danger we were incurring aroused us from our momentary stupor.
We must be off !" Mr. Morgan cried in a voice expressive of anger and
insane laughter. His brother and the negro who followed us joined him in
crying, The peccaries! the peccaries! let us escape!"
This unexpected cry was drowned by the discharge of our rifles into the
midst of the canebrake, where the peccaries were performing an irregular
charge. Our horses, impelled now more by fear than by our spurs, soon
carried us back to Mr. Morgan's plantation, where I carefully placed in my
portmanteau the shooting coat which would remind me, should I ever forget
it, of my first meeting with American peccaries.
Shortly after this adventure I embarked at Galveston to return to New
Orleans, and thence to the North. At night, when I descended to the cabin
of the Star of the West, a pioneer from Western Texas, who was seated
with his friends at a table on which were glasses filled with brandy punch,
was telling them about a peccari hunt, which I carefully noted down at the
:-time. Here it is:-
"I was staying," said the Texan hunter, "with a friend of mine, a
farmer, at Trinity Swamp. You are aware that we planters are very fond
of sport, and hence my friend and myself spent all our days rifle in hand.
One morning, while walking alone on the skirt of a wood, I met a herd of
peccaries. I was at the time ignorant of the vindictive character of these
confounded wild hogs, so I imprudently fired at one of them and killed it.
At once the rest of the herd darted at me and attacked me with their tusks.
I tried to defend myself with the butt of my rifle, but as soon as one of the
assailants was rolled over another took its place. Quite exhausted, I ran to
a tree, and, hanging to one of the branches, I speedily hoisted myself up to
.a fork about fifteen feet above the ground.
S "I confess that I was in a very painful position. One hour, two hours,
three hours passed, but no help arrived. My terrible besiegers surrounded
the tree on which I was perched like Simeon Stylites on his column, and did
not appear to have the slightest intention of retiring. All at once an idea
passed through my mind-perhaps my friend is seeking me. I said to my-
THE PECCARI IN THE WESTERN WORLD. 41
self, If I fire a shot, he will hear it and come to my deliverance. While
giving him this signal, could I not put my powder to a good purpose, and
kill one of these infernal peccaries ? I at once put my idea into execution,
and the largest of the animals rolled at the foot of the tree. One idea leads
to another. I had twenty bullets in my bag, and I only counted nineteen
peccaries before me. Nothing would be easier than to kill them one after
the other, as I had done the first. I began firing, and incessantly loaded
and discharged my rifle, giving at each victory a Hurrah !' which made the
forest ring again. At last the incessant firing caught my friend's attention,
and at the moment when he made his appearance I killed my last peccari.
You may judge of his stupefaction at the sight of the massacre.I had
All the persons to whom the Texan told this story took a great interest
in it, and .congratulated the hunter on his skill in firing.
Two months after, I was going down the Mississippi from St. Louis to
New Orleans, on board the Black Eagle steamer, and my Texan hunter
happened to be among the company. At night the passengers gathered
round the stove, talked about polecats, business, and sporting adventures.
My Texan (it was then that I recognized him) did not forget his peccaries.
What was my surprise on hearing the following variation:-
"One hour, two hours, three hours passed; no help arrived, and I felt
very uncomfortable both bodily and mentally. I tried to change my position,
but lost my balance and fell. Fortunately, I let go my rifle, stretched out
my arm, and seized a branch. I hung thus in a very awkward position; my
feet were only about a couple of yards from the ground, and I saw the
peccaries leaping around me to seize me and tear me to pieces. Luckily,
their efforts were in vain. I fancied myself saved; but only think what the
instinct of these animals is! Several of them lay down on their bellies,
others mounted on their backs, and thus formed a sort of staircase, up which
an enormous peccary ran and caught me by the right heel. I resisted with
the other leg, and kicked like a horse. During the struggle the live staircase
broke down, and there was my peccari hanging by her tusks on my foot,
while its companions ran round us with awful grunts. It was an infernal
row. My arms were beginning to tire, and I foresaw with terror that I
must soon let go the branch. All at once a shot rang in my ears. The
shock made me fall-I rolled on the ferocious peccary-it was dead! My
friend, who came up at the right moment, had killed it. At once picking
up my rifle, I joined him, and we soon got the best of our enemies; twenty-
five peccaries were left on the field of battle."
This narrative, told with imperturbable coolness, accompanied by ex-
pressive gestures, and in a voice that revealed emotion, really made several
THE PECCARI IN THE WESTERN WORLD.
of the Texan's hearers turn pale, especially those who had not enjoyed a life
in the woods.
A fortnight later, strange to say, among the passengers on board the Red
Rover, which was going up to St. Louis, I met my Texan hunter. A large
party of Kentuckians surrounded him, and were listening to a hunting
story. I did the same, but judge of my astonishment, my stupefaction,
when I heard the narrator give his story the following transformation:-
"One hour, two hours, three hours passed," said the hunter; "no help
arrived. I felt that my strength was becoming exhausted. I might have
tried to kill all the peccaries, but unluckily I had thrown my rifle on the
ground in order to climb up the tree. What was to be done? I was about
to yield to despair, leap among my besiegers, and make a desperate sortie,
when suddenly my friend appeared before me. As soon as he saw me in this
terrible position, without even thinking of the danger he would himself
incur, he aimed at the largest peccari and killed it. The herd at once
turned against him, uttering terrible grunts. The instinct of self-preserva-
tion urged my friend to imitate me, and he climbed up the first tree he came
to. I then descended while the peccaries were leaping up at the tree on
which my friend was perched. I seized my rifle, loaded, and sent a bullet
after one of the animals. They then rushed upon me, but I regained my
branch as quick as a squirrel. My friend descended in his turn, advanced
within range, killed one of our adversaries, and returned to his tree. I
jumped down again, reloaded, killed another peccari, and was once more
chased, but reached my branch safe and sound. To make a long story
short, I repeated this manoeuvre fifteen times, my friend did the same, and
the stupid animals never failed to run after the last shooter. When we had
killed them all we counted heads: there were exactly fifteen peccaries at the
foot of my tree, and fifteen others around that in which my friend had
The fertile imagination of the Texan hunter really surpassed every-
thing I could have dreamed of in this line. I asked the captain of the
steamer who seemed to be intimate with the narrator, the place of his birth,
and learned that this hero of the woods hailed from the banks of the
Wabash. I was consequently edified, as my readers will be, thus to learn
that the valley of the Wabash is one of the numerous tracks where American
Munchausens are raised.
~~' C~0pl- 1
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.
JTOW many boys have looked with almost speechless wonder on the
mysterious vibrations of the little needle in an electric telegraph office,
or paused to watch the clerk sending a message by a succession of nervous.
jerks,with the handle underneath the needle! On another occasion he has
been watched with equal surprise when intently observing the restless
vibrations of the needle, and from it dictating a message to another
clerk, who makes it intelligible to the outer world by writing it down on
paper. There seemed to be some communication with another world, some
league with spirit land, yet on inquiry everybody knows that it is only one
of the numerous telegraph offices to be found at almost every railway
station, but very few can explain the why and wherefore of those peculiar
movements of the needle, or give a reason for the wires along the railway.
They believe it is done by electricity, but how it is generated are at a loss to
explain. Yet in its practical detail the electric telegraph is comparatively
simple; the only difficulties to be found are in some of the almost disused
complicated instruments for transmitting messages from place to place. The
simplest and most universally-adopted machine for electric telegraphy is the
single (or double) needle instrument. It is the one most extensively em-
ployed on the railway telegraphs of Great Britain, and has the advantage of
durability and quickness. We purpose to show how an electric telegraph
on this principle can be made by any boy with a tolerable knowledge of
the use of a few tools, and we promise him many hours of amusement to
himself and instruction to his friends in the successful working of it.
The first part to be made is the indicating-needle and stand, or the instru-
ment by which messages are received. Procure two pieces of wood, each
eight inches long by six wide, and about half-an-inch thick. One of them
must be morticed tightly into the centre of the other, the two forming the
hape of the letter T. The upright piece can be rounded off to a point at
the top, or cut in the form of a gable of a house, according to taste, as at
A, Fig. 1. Next purchase about one dozen yards of fine copper wire covered
with cotton from any optician or electrical instrument maker. Silk is
generally used for covering or insulating" the wire, but cotton will answer
equally well, and is much cheaper. Also obtain a small magnetic needle,
such as is used for pocket-compasses, from two and a-half to five inches long
-the longer and lighter the better. We will suppose you have met with a
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.
needle three inches long; you must then wrap the wire about four Qr five
times round a piece of flat board three and a quarter inches wide, and about
a quarter of an inch thick, making a coil about half-an-inch wide. The
edges of the board should be rounded off, so that when the coil is removed
it will appear like B, Fig. 1. Then carefully press a thick needle through the
centre of the coil to open out the wires sufficiently to admit of a spindle about
one thirty-second of an inch thick, as represented at C, back view of Fig. 1.
The coil ought now to be fastened with its two holes against either side of
the upright A. Bore a hole through this board larger than the'spindle, to
meet the holes through the coil, and screw a piece of thin sheet brass or tin
against it with a hole in it in which the spindle D (Fig. 1) will revolve
freely. The other end of this spindle can work in a piece of sealing-wax
put on the coil when hot. If the end of the spindle is pressed part way
through the wax before it sets, a hole will be made in which it will revolve
very smoothly. The magnetic needle must be fixed on the spindle when the
latter is in its place in the coil as at E (Fig. 1), but if this cannot be
managed by an amateur, it will be better to wrap the coil carefully (without
a piece of wood), so as to inclose the needle when on its shaft. The end of
the spindle that projects in front of the upright A should just touch the
inside of the little metal or wooden crossbar F (Fig. 1), and also carry a
mall finger of thin ivory or bone between the cross-piece and the upright,
as at G (Fig. 1). Care should be taken in constructing this part of your
apparatus to make the needle and its indicator revolve very freely, as much
of the effective working of the telegraph depends upon it. The lowest or
south end of the magnetic needle should have a little thread or silk wrapped
round the extreme end, sufficient to keep the north pole uppermost. The
ends of the coil of wire B may be trained down the upright and along the
surface of the bottom piece until they reach the edge, where they should be
cut off, and about one inch from the end scraped free of the cotton covering.
We now come to the battery. It is the source of the electricity, and is
constructed in various forms. The simplest is made of two or three earthen-
ware or porcelain jars, about five or six inches deep and two or three inches
diameter. Each gallipot or jar must contain a piece of sheet zinc (AA,
Fig. 2) bent into a circular form (without the edges touching), sufficiently
small to easily enter the jar, and large enough to allow a similar, but of
course smaller, piece of copper (BB) to rest inside the zinc. There ought to
be at least a quarter or half an inch distance between each metal, care being
taken that they do not touch at the bottom. The zinc of each jar must
communicate with the copper of the one next to it by a piece of copper wire,
the union of the wire with the plates being effected by soldering or riveting.
If this is properly arranged, it will be found that a plate of copper at one
FRONT. SIDE. BACK.
FI C. 3.
+. A. B. C.
E. F. FH.
STOP. Co ON.
M. N. O. P.
R. S. T.
U. V. W.
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. 45
end of the row of jars, and a plate of zinc at the other, are without wires.
The former of these is called the "positive" pole of the battery, the latter
the negative." To each of these poles copper wires (CC, Fig. 2) must be
fastened, about four or five feet long. When all the plates are connected
and in their places, fill the jars with water to within an inch from the rim,
then add sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol) very slowly to each jar until the water
begins to slightly effervesce. Unless the acid is added slowly, there will be a
tendency to burst the jars, and as it doe3 not immediately show its presence
in the water, too much of the acid would be poured in. The sulphuric acid
(for galvanic batteries) can be procured at a moderate cost, and care must be
taken to keep it away from the fingers or clothes, as it is a very powerful
We will now try the efficacy of your battery. Press either the posi-
tive or negative wire upon one of the clean ends of the coil wires on the
indicating instrument, having a piece of indiarubber or folds of cloth under
the fingers. While holding it there bring the other wire to the stand in
exactly the same manner, when the magnetic needle in the coil ought to fly
to right angles or across its former position. If it only vibrates to one side
for about a quarter of an inch, it will be very fair for a first attempt, but if
not, add a little more acid to the battery, though care should be taken not to
pour in more than about doubles the effervescence-this will generate a
stronger current of electricity, and perhaps sufficient to make the needle
vibrate; but as the plates rapidly dissolve away in a very powerful solution,
the strength of the battery should be increased by adding another jar with
its plates, instead of pouring more acid into the water.
We have given no directions for the number or size of the jars of the
battery, as it will be found much more convenient to make one small at first,
and then-add to it until the current is sufficiently strong to move the needle
tolerably smartly. A great deal will depend upon the length and weight of
the magnetic needle, but particularly in its freedom in the supports at each
end of the spindle, as a very clumsily-working needle will require a stronger
current to move it. In trying your battery no fear need be entertained of
feeling an electrical shock; the indiarubber or cloth under the fingers is
merely to prevent an insensible escape of electricity, or to insulate the wires,
as it is technically termed. If a battery of any kind can be borrowed, we
would recommend you to try the effect with it first. Most surgeons have a
single-cell Smee's battery, which will affect a moderate-sized magnetic needle
some distance off, but whatever battery you use, never lower the plates into
the acid solution until wanted, and always remove them when done with, as
they dissolve away rapidly if left for any length of time in the acid. We
will suppose you have now got your battery in working order. You have no
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.
doubt observed that whenever you raise either of the battery wires from the
stand of the indicating instrument, the needle returns to its upright position,
'and on resuming the connection between the battery and the indicator, the
needle always turns in the same direction; but try the effect of crossing the
hands, and reverse the wires, taking care not to allow the wires to touch
each other where they cross, and the needle will vibrate in the opposite
Before proceeding further let us gratify our natural curiosity by
pondering the reason of these curious effects. The electricity that flows out
of the battery along the wire at the positive pole is termed "'positive
electricity," and that that enters by the opposite wire negative" electricity.
The positive electricity, in passing through the coil, is compelled to follow
the course of the wires, as the cotton which surrounds them prevents its
escape from one wire to another; but the magnetic needle is so sensitive to
any presence of electricity, that it instantly turns to right angles to its usual
position, and remains there as long as any of the subtle fluid is passing. The
electricity, after finding its way through every turn of the coil, enters the
jar at the negative end. If the wires are exchanged, so that the positive
current enters the coil by the opposite wire, it will flow in the opposite
direction, and the needle will deviate to a position exactly the reverse of its
former one. At this stage of our work let us imagine the two wires of the
indicating instrument to be prolonged for any number of miles, and a person
was so placed that he could observe the movements of the magnetic needle
by the outer or indicating one, then we can readily understand how a person
at the battery end of the wire, by making a series of connected and discon-
nected currents, first in one direction and then in the other, could cause a
corresponding number of movements of the needle at the opposite end of the
miles of wire. This is the principle of the electric telegraph, the letters of
the alphabet and numbers, &c., being each represented by two or three
vibrations of the needle to either the right or left. But you may perhaps
ask how is the constant trouble of changing the wires lessened or obviated ?
It is effected by the transmitting instrument, which is the last part of the
electric telegraph we have to construct.
Make two wooden levers (AA, Fig. 3), about four inches long and half-
an-inch square, and let them vibrate in two supports (CC, Fig. 3), at two
inches distance from each other, in the middle of a piece of board (D,
Fig. 3) about seven inches square. The long arm of each of these levers
must carry two brass or iron screws (EE, Figs. 3 and 4), projecting a
quarter of an inch underneath the levers. Four similar screws are to be
screwed into, but not through, the board D immediately under those in
the levers (see side-view of Fig. 3 represented at Fig. 4). These two screws
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. 47
must touch each other when the lever is pressed down, and should be kept
a quarter of. an inch apart by an elastic band (F, Fig. 4) passed over the
short arm of the lever. We have only shown one lever in the side-view at
Fig. 4, but each lever must be constructed exactly alike. It will also be
well to glue a piece of wood (G, Fig. 4) to the board to keep the lever
always in the same position. Next procure some tolerably fine copper bell-
wire, and fasten it down as represented at Fig. 3, being kept firmly in its
place by little staples made of bent pins with their heads cut off. The wires
(LL, Fig. 3) must be in connection with the screws in the board, by passing
once round and under their heads, the screws being afterwards tightened
down upon them. Care must be taken to slip a small piece of india-rubber
or gutta-percha between the wires where they cross at I, Fig. 3. Lastly
screw slips of sheet brass or pieces of wood about an inch and a half long
over the ends of the wire at K, M, N, O, Fig. 3, and similar ones at L in
the stand of the indicating instrument (Fig. 1), taking care that those at
K and M, if metal, do not touch. These pieces of wood or metal should
each have two screws, one of which is not driven home. The ends of the
wires leading from N and 0, Fig. 3, and branching out into four arms,
should be wrapped round a piece of stiff wire to form a spiral spring.
Now place the levers in their supports, and afterwards attach each of the
spiral wires to one of the screws in the levers, as represented at Fig. 3,
taking care that the spiral part is long enough to allow a full play of the
levers. The union of these wires must be effected similar to those under-
neath by passing round the screw-head.
We must pause in our work to explain that there is now no necessity to
have two wires between the battery and indicating instrument, as we had
previously. Though the current must pass along one and back through
the other, to complete the "' circuit," as it is termed, it is fortunate that the
earth itself can be made to take the place of one wire, thus removing the
trouble and expense of providing our electric telegraph with more than one
wire from place to place. The way to effect this forms the completion of
our apparatus. A short wire or chain should be attached to the end of the
wire (M) by putting it under the piece of wood, screwing it down so as
to press or cramp the two wires together. The other end of this chain or
wire may rest on the fender or against a bell-wire in the room, to allow
any electricity to enter the earth. Next place the indicating instrument
at one and the battery at the other end of the room; attach the wires of
the latter by the cramps to each of the wires (N and 0, Fig. 3) of the
Transmitting instrument; then bring a single wire (which corresponds with
the wire along the railway) from K, Fig. 3, of the transmitting instrument
to one of the wires on the stand of the indicating instrument. Lastly make
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.
a communication from the other wire of the latter instrument with the
earth, as explained for M, Fig. 3.
We will now send a message across the room. Press down one of the
levers tolerably firm, and let some one watch the needle at the other end.
Recollect whichever way it turns that lever or "key" will always make it
deviate in the same direction. Raise the hand from this key, and press down
the other; the needle answers in the opposite direction. Then to begin with
the alphabet. Press the key that makes the needle deviate to the left, raise
it, and repeat the movement; this will, of course, cause two beats left or-A.
Then B is represented by first one beat left, then three right, and so on. As
each Ltter has a different set of movements to show it, they are usually
arranged with the requisite beats, either right or left, represented by little
strokes under each letter, and the whole list is pasted under the indicating
needle, and you should put another on the board of the transmitting instru-
ment. Where you see a small mark attached to a long one, the short beat
must be given first, where practicable. For instance, D" on the list given
at Fig. 5 is once to the right first, and then to the left, which distinguishes
it from R," represented by once to the left first, and then to the right;
but, of course, in the letter K the long stroke to the left comes first, then right,
and again left. The star or one beat left is given to show the end of a word.
It requires practice to transmit and read off these letters quickly; but
as it is your object to show and explain your telegraph, there is no necessity
to send a message as rapidly as a clerk that has to serve the public, and make
a livelihood by it.
To make your apparatus more complete, put two little pegs of wood or
bone about a quarter of an inch long on each side of the indicating needle,
as at KK, Fig. 1. The needle will rap against these, and show by sound as
well as sight that a message is being sent. Also give your insulated coil of
wire a coat of sealing-wax dissolved in spirits of wine, to preserve its
The chief care to be taken in making an electrical apparatus of any kind,
but especially for telegraphic purposes is to insulate all the wires where a
current has to pass. Where the wire passes over wood, it is sufficiently
insulated; but the wire that goes across the room must be suspended by
pieces of string from nails in the wall, or anything to carry it clear of all
metals and moisture, as these would draw off nearly all your electricity.
In conclusion, we can only remind our young readers that, though
electricity is a very good-natured sort of fluid (if it be a fluid), and can be
got out of almost anything, no practical apparatus can be made without a
little trouble, and we would also recommend them to remember the good
Latin motto, Nil desperandum."
( 49 )
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
BY THE AUTHOR OF "KING OF TRUMPS," ET(.
IN FOUR CHAPTERS.
HY it was that Davies and I held together so firmly as we
Sdid I have never been able to determine. I am certain that
I was not fond of him, and I have strong reasons for believing
that he did not particularly like me. I have a suspicion
That I often even hated him. Certainly there was nc
other fellow at Seymour's Court with whom I quarrelled so frequently or
so fiercely as I did with Vaughan Davies.
I am inclined to think that a sort of moral cartilage analogous to that
material one which coupled the Siamese twins must have bound us together.
Notwithstanding our numerous and furious differences, we could never
manage to be independent of each other. In a certain odd fashion of
our own we were allies during the whole term of my stay at the Court.
There were undoubtedly some points of similarity between us which were
sure to strengthen, if not sufficient to produce, this alliance. For instance,
neither Davies nor I liked, or often went in for, legitimate school pastimes,
a circumstance which (properly enough) hindered our popularity with the
rest of the fellows, and generally threw us together in the playground.
Now upon this friendship (or whatever else it may more appropriately be
called) which subsisted between Davies and myself, mainly turns the romantic(
story that I am about to relate ; for had it not been for his influence over
me, unquestionable it is that I should never have played that grand and
heroic part which will be found to be associated with my name in the f, -
It was the year 1846. In those days the summer holidays began in the
middle of June, and ended at the close of July. On a fine afternoon
therefore, at the beginning of August, I found myself experiencing those&
peculiar sensations which can only be felt when the paternal carriage which
has just cruelly brought you back to bondage sweeps more cruelly away
again without you, taking of course your good father (who at the moment
appears to you to be the dearest, most sacred person in the world), and
enabling you to realise with uncomfortable vividness the fact that you will
travel no more homewards, except via the post, for half-a-year to come.
I was never able to admit to myself, even under the depression of post-
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
vacation feelings, that Seymour's Court was anything less than an exceed-
ingly fine old house. On the present occasion I remember being particularly
struck with the quaint beauty of the picturesque Elizabethan iaansion,
which seemed as though it ought to be the scene of occurrences far more
romantic and exciting than the composition of hexameters, or the solution
of the problems of Euclid. I am half-senible, too, that at that moment
there arose in my heart a sort of determination to extract if possible a little
more romance and excitement out of my life at the Court during the :oming
half-year than I had hitherto been able to derive from it. In short, I began
the new term of school-labour in a certain unsettled frame of mind, which
perchance may have been the real cause of the irregular occurrences which
Having left the dominie (who had accompanied me out to the porch to
see my father off) at the door of his study, I proceeded to the wardrobe-
keeper's room to yield up the keys of my trunks, and if possible to gain
from her a definite answer to the important question where I was to sleep.
The information I received was of a kind which might either be satisfac-
tory or very much the reverse. I was to occupy, I learnt, a small chamber
situated on the second floor called the green room;" one which, as I knew,
contained two beds only. Everything now turned upon the reply to the
query, who was to share the green room with me ? and this intelligence
Mrs. Summers was unable to supply.
The green room, I may here remark, was a chamber that had been often
coveted as a dormitory by the more daring and larky inmates of Seymour's
Court. Tradition said that in past days more than one final exit from the
house of bondage had taken place through its window; and I knew it to
be a fact that from that window you might easily reach the level leads which
encircled the house, and that under shelter of the deep embattled parapet
you might follow those leads till you gained the bell-turret, whose loopholes
would readily admit the person of a boy of moderate dimensions, and whose
winding staircase would conduct you to the ground, a single lock being the
only further obstacle to escape. However, I had no intention of leaving
the court, and did not therefore think any better of the green room because
of the facihties for flight which it was alleged to afford. My only desire
with respect to the chamber was that some jolly amusing fellow who could
U romances or ask riddles might share it with me.
Having finished my business with Mrs. Summers, I went into the first
schoolroom: there were two of them, neither being of large dimensions.
Here I immediately met Davies, whom I addressed coldly, feeling at the
moment that I did not like him at all, and inwardly resolving that I woald
be intimate with him no more. He did not seem hurt at my manner. On
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
the contrary, his own demeanour was that of a person who wishes to be
distant and lofty. Having exchanged a chilly commonplace or two with my
former friend, I passed on. One of us at least, and I think both, felt
satisfied that the old alliance was broken off for good and all.
On reaching the second schoolroom I heard news which I was right glad
to hear. Basil had been told by one of the servants that he was to occupy
the green room, and I of course concluded that he was to share it with me.
Edward Basil was a fellow whose regard I had coveted ever since the day
,of my advent to the Court. He was a handsome, dashing lad, with blue-
black curly hair, great shadowy eyes of deep violet colour, and a tanned face
lighted brightly on the cheeks with carmine flames. He was a chap who
always did everything well-except his work; and then even the blunders
he made over his studies (and they were numerous enough) seemed to derive
a kind of gracefulness from the grace of the person who made them. Out
of school Basil was a faultless hero; for bravery a perfect Hector, and for
strength a Hercules.
To get into the same room with Basil was exactly what I wished. I
hoped that his majesty would now begin to recognize in me the devoted
subject that I had ever been to him. I formed plans for exhibiting my
loyalty forthwith. Alas! I little guessed the strange turn which events
were about to take-the mighty antagonism which the Fates had decreed
,should spring up between my royal hero and myself !
That afternoon dragged by heavily. There was no work doing, and in
the evening the fellows all turned out for cricket. As usual I felt indis-
posed for the game; and strolling away from the level field where the
wickets were set-a place within the limits of the court grounus-I got into
a pleasant pathway shadowed by beautiful beech-trees, beside (but some
distance below) which ran a clear, deep stream, the boundary between the
school territory and that which was in the possession of Sir Arthur Villiers,
Bart., the gentleman residing in the neighboring mansion.
I had not long been walking here when to my surprise (and I must add
disgust) I sawv Davies lying under the trees near the pathway. I could not
be so uncivil as to pass him without speaking, and once having spoken I
found that I was again falling under the old inscrutable spell. Yes, in ten
minutes' time I knew for certain that he and I were growing intimate once
more. The old banter was passing between us--the familiar uncompli-
mentary epithets which we had always been accustomed to bestow upon
each other largely, were again on the lips of us both.
We had been strolling about together, probably for a longer time than
we were at all aware, when my attention was arrested by a slight sound in
the water which ran near us. Peering down through the trees, I discovered
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
a small dog splashing about in the stream, also the small dog's owner, a little
girl of about nine years, who stood on the summit of the farther bank,
evidently trying to coax her pet into mounting the steep ascent-a feat he
appeared to be unable or unwilling to accomplish.
There could be no mistake as to the identity of the young lady. She
was unquestionably Miss Edith Villiers, a divinity whom during the last
half-year I had devotedly (though, alas! from a distance) worshipped.
Upon a fresh sight of her angelic beauties the passion which had formerly
burnt in my bosom towards her was suddenly rekindled. In the holidays
my affection for her had been temporarily displaced by a passing attachment
-which I now regarded as foolish and mistaken-for one Miss Lizzie
Maltravers. But now once more the flame of my love burnt true. Once
more Edith Villiers's fair curls, forget-me-not eyes, and lips of coral, seemed
to me to embody the perfections of feminine beauty, and Edith Villiers
became again the Beatrice of whom Dante had sung, the sweet Juliet of
Shakspeare, the Amy Robsart pictured by Sir Walter-in short, all the
miscellaneous heroines of my boyish worship.
The fair enchantress was evidently unconscious of our nearness. All her
attention was concentrated upon the stupid little brute, which had not the
sense to desist from the attempt (as I now saw, clearly a fruitless one) to
climb the almost perpendicular bank before it, and swim a few yards farther
to a more shelving shore. Her attention, indeed, was too entirely centred
upon the unreasoning pet, for all of a sudden she made a false step, her
pretty heels slipped forwards from under her, and lo! down the bank the
darling came in a sitting posture. There being, moreover, nothing par-
ticular to prevent her, when she reached the stream, from still continuing
this sitting descent, she did continue it till her whole blessed little person
had disappeared in the water! With a horrified shriek which cut my heart
in two the child slid out of sight, and the greedy stream that had swallowed
her lapped and swirled noisily over her head as though licking its chops after
the deglutition of the dainty morsel.
I said that the cry cut my heart in two, and I said so advioedly. Half
of that heart was now concerned in Miss Edith's rescue, the other half in
the preservation of my own life; for not being able to swim an inch, I
knew that for me to jump into the stream after the pretty baby who was
submerged would infallibly be to sacrifice two lives in the endeavour to save
one. However, I can confidently state that I had distinctly entertained the
idea of making a hero of myself, and more, that I had actually unbuttoned
three buttons of my waistcoat by way of preparation for a descent into the
It has always been so with me. I can boldly affirm that I have never
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
been wanting in heroism of purpose and intention. But at the moment of
trial something has generally intruded itself between my brave plans and
their execution; and perhaps to the cruel intervention which oppressed me
on the present occasion it may be attributed that my heroism on Edith's
account ultimately followed (as will be seen hereafter) a course nearly allied
to stratagem. Baffled in one direction, my gallantry was naturally made
ready to exert itself in another.
The case was this. Just as I had determined to sacrifice myself for'' an
idea"-that is to say, to abandon this muddy vesture of decay" in what I
knew must be a fruitless effort to rescue Edith-just then I heard the
underwood-twigs and last year's dry beech-leaves crackle behind me; and
all of a sudden Basil appeared. He swung himself down the bank on
drooping boughs; dashed right and left his jacket, waistcoat, and boots;
and then took a clever header into the stream, frightening the fish, I suspect,
into the notion that their doom was come. In a few seconds his curly black
head appeared again; and snorting defiantly and striking out boldly, he
managed to hold above water the baby nose and lips which half-a-minute
ago had been lost to our sight. The ready cry which issued from those lips
showed that Edith was still in that condition called life; and a few strong
strokes from the muscular limbs of her rescuer brought the little lady safe
Basil finished the thing off as neatly as he had begun it. Very soon we
saw the dripping boy kneeling front the little lassie on the edge of the
further bank, and heard him tell her, for the sake of soothing her baby
alarms, that it was only a strange bit of fun after all, and that there was
nothing the matter in the world. In reply to which assurances the darling
half-laughed and half-cried; and then, in the prettiest way conceivable,
clasped her white hands round his brown neck, and giving him an honest,
sounding kiss upon his ruddy cheek, said-
Oh, you dear good boy to save me Take me home to mamma-take
me to mamma directly, if you please."
Those two figures, at the moment, formed one of the most beautiful
pictures I have ever seen. I could not help even then acknowledging to
myself the comeliness of the group. But let the reader guess, if he can, how
my heart was now burnt to a cinder with jealousy. How may I describe
my feelings towards my curly-headed rival? I won't attempt to do it,
except by admitting-what ought to tell a great deal-that from first to
last no symptom, however slight, of irresolution or weakness had been
observable in Basil's conduct. He now immediately prepared to obey
the child's suggestion. Having authoritatively directed us to fling his
lately discarded clothes across the stream to him, he hastily put them
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
on; and then, as he led the confiding little lassie homewards, called out
"Thanks to you fellows for mooning about here after the tea-hour. If
I hadn't been sent to look for you, I should never have had the chance of
doing this little job."
Davies and I turned towards the court. I saw from my comrade's face
that he divined the course my thoughts were taking, and that he was deter-
mined to add keenness to my jealousy by giving utterance to some observa-
tion in Basil's praise.
"That was uncommonly well done," he presently remarked, with that
provoking sidelong glance of his pale eyes which was wont to act upon my
temper like cantharides upon one's skin; and I heartily wish I'd been the
one to win the kiss," he added. But, alas! we are not all heroes, and as
you know, none but the brave deserve the fair.'"
I did not answer, except by a surly grunt. I ran a few yards ahead, to
express my disgust and unwillingness to talk; and with those yards between
us all the way, we two returned to the court.
As we came out from tea, half-an-hour later, there was Basil being made
everything of (as we could see through the half-opened door) in Mrs.
Summers's room. The dame was evidently delighting to honour his young
heroship. While he sat with his feet on the fender (opposite a fire lighted
no doubt expressly to comfort his chilled limbs), she handed him fragrant
cups of tea and dainty morsels of toast baked with her own hands.
I passed moodily on to the first schoolroom, and sat down to my
writing-desk. Everybody else was now talking of the late adventure; and
one and all, of course, sang Basil's praises loudly. I, meanwhile, was
registering in my heart a dark and dreadful vow-to accomplish by hook or
by crook the discomfiture of Edward Basil with respect to the fair princess
of whom he dared attempt to deprive me. And to this vow I appended
another-to win from Edith such a kiss as she had given my rival.
To convince myself of the solemn reality of these mental resolves, an
to strengthen my belief in the unchangeable nature of my present passion
for the baronet's daughter, I now drew from my desk a small oblong pocket
of pink tissue-paper, and deliberately destroyed the same. Perhaps as I did
so I may have given just one sigh for Lizzie Maltravers-for the packet had
contained her hair. But yet this decided course of action relieve I my
feelings; and now that the only relic of my holiday flirtation was no longer
in existence, I felt that flirtation, as compared with my present devotion to
Edith Villiers, to be only as the glowworm's spark to moonlight, or as the
sedge-warblers' twitter to the songs of nightingales.
I now felt more rejoiced than ever that Basil was to share my room,
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
My devotion to his royal person had flown as suddenly as fledglings leave
the nest. No feelings but those of black rebellion towards him had now
any place in my heart. But I delighted in the thought of being alone with
him, that I might vent my spleen and jealousy upon him in the form of cool
indifference or trenchant sarcasm.
Bedtime came. It happened that I was detained in the wardrobe-
keeper's room for some little time after the other fellows had gone upstairs.
At length, my inventories having been duly checked, Mrs. Summers release
me, and to the green room I posted. I remembered several ridiculously
faulty renderings of Virgil and Ovid to which Basil had committed himself
in past days; and with feelings which I of course admit to have been pro-
foundly base, but which I hope the reader will endeavour to excuse by
calling to remembrance the vehemence of the passion which had taken
possession of my breast, I designed to employ these reminiscences for the
purpose of putting my rival to shame.
But my designs were frustrated. On entering the green room I described
upon the pillow of one of the beds the head, not of Basil, but of that pro-
vokingly ubiquitous animal, Davies. The servant's information had been
incorrect, and I was to pass my nights for the whole half-year in the neigh-
bourhood of that semi-friend between whom and myself it seemed there was
destined to be a perpetual quarrelling cohesion.
Bless me, Davies!" I exclaimed, with no attempt to conceal my
impatience at his uninteresting presence, "you don't mean to say that's
your ugly face there ?"
4 Hold still, monkey !" answered Davic--that was a favourite expression
of his when I showed any symptoms of excitement-"I do, though. And
which is uglier, yours or mine ?"
Query ?" I politely replied.
You're a queer chap, at any rate!" rejoined my comrade facetiously;
and when I had remarked that he was another," our profitable conver-
sation dropped. By mutual consent we were now out of friends" (as we
both designed) for a long time to come.
That night I dreamt a strange dream. I thought I was perpetually
trying to shoot Basil with a lumbering old blunderbuss of my father's.
There was a kind of home-sickness vaguely hanging about the vision, which
of course is to be expected in all dreams which visit one at the beginning of
the half-year. But the main emotion was my desire to be rid of my rival,
which, as it seemed, I could not be, for the old machine hung fire repeatedly,
until I flung it down in disgust. At last I thought Davies Ltepped forward
and quietly handed me a revolver. I levelled it at the enemy, and it went
off, doing, as I felt certain, terrible execution, altho-'hh in -the puzzle of
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
waking-for I left the dream-world at the moment-I could not tell whether
Basil or myself had perished.
By one of those strange freaks which were essential to the indescribable
affinity subsisting between Davies and myself, both he and I found ourselves
in the morning inclined to be practically oblivious of last night's mutual
discourtesies. I cannot pretend to account for this. Certain it is, how ver,
that when we began to dress, the vacillating mercury of our friendship had
risen to a figure even above its average height.
Of course, under these circumstances I told my dream. After listening
to the narration, Davies became mysterious. He was given to mystery in
the calmer moments of our friendship. As fogs arise when wind and storm
are absent, so would he grow dark and oracular when not quarrelling.
"Don't you see," he said with extreme gravity, "that this dream of
yours has a deep significance? I understand the meaning if you do not.
It is this: till you place yourself in my hands you will never successfully
compete with your rival Basil in the matter of Edith Villiers."
"Will you undertake," I asked, L to assist me honestly ?"
In consideration of the dream, and because I learn from it that it is
my fate to do so, I will, for I must!" he replied.
Done !" I rejoined warmly. Help me to cut out Basil." We shook
hands, and entered into a solemn alliance and covenant offensive and
defensive against Basil, with the special object of my displacing him from
the affections of Miss Villiers.
Through the mullioned window of the green room could be had a pretty
peep of Sir Arthur Viliiers's house and gardens. It became apparent to me
while we were dressing that something unusual was going on in those
regions. Planking, and posts, and flagstaffs were plainly to be seen strewn
over the sloping lawns, and workmen moved busily about among these
tokens of preparation. I called Davies's attention to the discovery I had
made, and we determined to inquire at an early opportunity as to the
precise significance of what was going forward.
But now our thoughts were forcibly recalled to the stern realities of
sphool-life. An early reading of Greek Testament in the dominie's study
revealed probably to all of us who took part in it that our knowledge had
been growing rusty in the holidays, and needed to be polished up quickly.
After breakfast, Basil, Davies, and I laboured together for many hours in
the same class; and our minds were so full at one time of aorists and
futures, at another of questions as to long and short syllables, the admissi-
bility of spondaic lines, and the appropriateness of doubtful synonyms, that
our particular relations to each other out of school were, I think, pro tenpore,
pretty nearly forgotten.
( 57 )
O LATHER and hot water,
And she was a squire's daughter,
And her maiden name was Fish,
Pa middle-aged and hearty,
She went often to a party
At her own particular wish.
At her own particular wish
She went often to a party
Yet was she never hearty,
For her maiden name was Fish,
And, O lather and hot water,
And was she not the squire's daughter?
But ere going to a party
With the squire, who was hearty,
Her hair, of course, had to be dressed,
And a man whose fortunes "riz" well,
And that party's name was Frizwell,
Was into the business pressed.
And she liked him and she loved him,
And she ducked him and she doved him,
And with him went walking in the park 3
And thus set the brain on fire
And aroused the awful ire
Of no end of military sparks.
And when they meet at 3Boodle's,
Or sup at Noodle-Doodle's,
Each man a secret harbours
Which 1 dare not:now explain,
Lest you should sharp attain
To a 'knowledge of myfirst, which is--
But the barber did not love Miss Fish:
He felt himself to be awfully bored,
Misericorde! Misericorde I
In fact he was heartily sick of the dish,
And he made up his mind (if he'd any to make),
A villainous shaky step to take.
He went straight to the squire
Of Muddlebrain Shire,
And he says, and he says, says he,
"Your grace and my lord may feel quite assured
The trial was great, but I was not allured,
Though your che-ild is in love with me."
The squire's enraged, the squire is furious,
White hot frantic! comical! curious!
He summons his daughter, he faces the pair.
You love him?" I do, and he loves me."
Oh no, miss, the love was on your side, you see;
In love matters really, sir, I had no share!"
"1 believe you, my boy," says the squire quite hearty,
6 You have only just frizzled her up for a party,
And you are no party for her as you know."
Barber bows, rubs his hands, and says he's not in love,.
And poor little miss leaves the room with a shove
From the squire in saying, There, you'd better go."
He soaps up the barber and .gives him some money,
Cash accepted with wMrds'rather weeter than honey,
Then off goes the Barbter With his smirking face,
Not feeling that he is in 'Myy second's case.
And the barber he took-a publichhouse,
And away with; mel1aroly;
He made it a first-rate place to pay,
And led a life so)jolly,
That travellers, tourists,- anglers, ail,
Put up at the sign of the- Golden iBall,
From daisy time to holly.
He never seemed to feel tUat he had done a sin,
He only seemed to ,now he ,ewas landlord of- my third.
He died. She died!
You may deride-
Laugh in your hollow laughter, laugh;
Quaff brandy, wine, or half-and-half-
The truth is on our side.
Both died, and then their ghosts appeared,
No more in love, no more endeared,
But they went walking here and there. !
Miss Fish and Frizwell, what a pair,
As in the picture you may see,
Then give the answer unto me,
For that reveals the whole
MY whole is seen in every room
Unless, indeed, it's wrapped in gloom;
Behead me, then there will be seen
A girl not very old, I ween;
Again behead; if you can't guess,
You are what's left, I must confess.
A PUZZLE! a puzzle? No puzzle, I fear,
The puzzle's unpuzzled in picture here.
Pudding and pantomime,
Tell me in pretty rhyme
What should we have at this Christmas tim~
What is the best for us,
What's the sure test for us,
What should reign over us
Pass no critical stricture,
But look at the picture.
Tell me somehow-
Say, can you read it,
Now that you've seed it'f
We all of us need it.
I wait, with a bow.
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
THE BETHLEHEM CHAMBER-THE DYING KING.
How I came by the crown! O God forgive;
And grant it may with thee in true peace live."
/T HEN the Prince of Wales and Sir Thomas Erpingham reached the
palace at Westminster they found the king's condition had changed
very much for the worse. The best physicians in England had been in
attendance from the moment of his seizure, but all their skill could not give
him relief. He had a short while before, at Eltham, been dangerously ill, but
had recovered, and his friends had hoped to see him once more like his former
self. A dreadful malady, however, resembling leprosy, had marked him for
its own. His handsome face and manly body were covered with boils and
blains of a loathsome character, which baffled all the treatment of the
learned, and the disease was gradually but surely making its way into the
system, reserving the vital parts for its most toothsome morsels. There were
found men who did not scruple to put themselves in the judgment-seat of the
Almighty, and to declare that this loathsome disease in the king was God's
punishment for his having put Scroope, the Archbishop of York, to death in
1405, when he was condemned and executed on the clearest evidence of
complicity in the treason of the young Duke of Norfolk, after having been
allowed to escape the punishment which should have befallen him for what
he knew of the Percies' rebellion, which ended with Shrewsbury fight.
At the court was collected a numerous company of those whom the king's
sickness had prompted to come to him, some for their own, some for his
interest; some anxious to know what likelihood there was that the sun which
warmed them would set, and anxious to make their arrangements accordingly;
some-but they were fewer-anxious to know in what way they could
minister to the dying man's comfort. Among the latter was Thomas de
Elmham, a monk of Cluny, formerly a Benedictine of Canterbury, a man
learned above the generality of his kind, and with as kind and charitable
a heart as ever beat under a cassock. He had some eccentricities, gathered
probably from his singular mode of living, and to the eyes of a modern he
would have appeared pedantic, but while it is to him we are indebted for
much of what we know respecting Henry V., it. was to him that Henry IV.
was indebted for ghostly comfort in the hour of death. Around the door *
which led into the king's chamber were the Earls of Westmoreland,
Dorset, Kent, Huntingdon, and Cambridge, the Bishop of Norwich, Sir
Robert Umfraville, and the Lords Fanhope, Willoughby, and Beaumont.
Within the chamber were the three princes, Thomas, John, and Humphrey,
the Earl of Warwick, the Abbot of Westminster, and Thomas de Elmham.
Of all the king's friends, however, there was not one of whom it could be
said more truly that his heart was in the right place than Sir Thomas
Erpingham, a model of faithfulness, tried in evil fortune and in good fortune,
and never found to vary in his loyalty to the cause and person of his master.
He was emphatically one of that rare order of servants who "sweat for duty,
not for hire," and who, with nobleness of character enough to li;t them far
above the imputation of cringing or fawning, are found to render an
unquestioning obedience, content to do their duty because it is such, and to
leave the question of their master's duty to the judgment of that master's
There were many different opinions respecting the character and
disposition of the Prince of Wales. To some he appeared the incarnation of
all that was undesirable in a king, a reckless pursuer of his own pleasure, a
thriftless man, a favourer of the disorderly, a contemner of the wise and
prudent, and a mocker of all that was grand and good. His course of life
had, perhaps, to narrow-minded men, and to those who had not a thorough
knowledge of his character, somewhat justified this opinion, and it was the
misfortune of the dying king to be so undecided in his estimate of his eldest
son's nature as to halt between the opinion of those who held him for a
reprobate and those who looked upon him as the most noble soul alive. For
there was a section, larger, perhaps, than the other, which held that the
occasional wildness of the prince's behaviour was but the sign of a free and
lively spirit, lacking a proper sphere in which to exhibit itself, but which
would, when occasion served, take the form of life-giving energy in the
direction of public affairs and be a blessing to the kingdom of England.
These knew his generous nature, his openness of manner, his nice sense of
honour and justice, and the clearness of his judgment, and knowing these
they knew also how free he was from actual vice, and they were bold to
prophesy for him a glorious future. To prop up, however, for some purposes
of their own, the ill opinion which the king was wont to harbour of his son,
there were many pickthanks with double tongues, having a double portion of
adder's poison under them, who magnified the prince's vagaries in the king's
sight, and misrepresented his conduct invariably to his disadvantage. King
Henry's belief in the prince's folly and madness was at times shaken by
special acts of the young man, as when he successfully organised a campaign
against the Welsh chiefs who had risen about the matter of Lord Grey of
Ruthyn; when he obeyed without hesitation the order of the chief justice
committing him to prison; and lastly, and most impressively, when at
Shrewsbury fight he bestrode the prostrate body of the king, and though
himself wounded, fought and overcame the Douglas, and afterwards slew the
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
valiant Hotspur. It was with this uncertainty on his mind, an uncertainty
increased by Henry's long absences from the court, which he found dull and
stifling to his freedom-loving spirit, that the king sent for his eldest son when he
found himself seized with what he rightly considered to be his mortal sickness.
There had been a prophecy current among the people that the king
would take the Cross and win the Holy Land, and Henry appears to have
intended some such project so soon as the affairs of his kingdom should be
settled enough to allow of it; but up to the hour now written of no
opportunity had offered for him to carry his pious wish into execution,
though Thomas of Elmham tells us the prophecy was fulfilled in the
In one of the rooms of the palace at Westminster was a famous piece of
tapestry representing the Holy Family at Bethlehem, with the wise men
who came to bring gifts. This room was called, from the tapestry that
furnished it, the Bethlehem Chamber, and was known, as other rooms were
known, by some distinctive object of decoration or furniture, as were the
Star Chamber, the Chambre Markolph, the Painted Hall, the White Hall.
It so happened that the king was nearest to the Bethlehem Chamber when
he felt the pains of his last sickness, and into it he was accordingly carried,
and in it he remained till his death. In this way the prophecy seemed to a
fanciful imagination to be fulfilled, since it was in Bethlehem that the king
died, and thence that he set out for the true Holy Land.
It was into the Bethlehem Chamber that Prince Henry and Sir Thomas
Erpingham made their way after they had landed at the palace-stairs. They
found the king lying on a couch wrapped in furs (it was the eve of St.
Cuthbert, 19th March), and so far gone as scarcely to be recognized. He
looked up as they entered, and his face immediately lighted up with a
pleased expression, as if he had been anxiously awaiting their presence. The
Prince of Wales walked up to his father's bedside, and tenderly inquired
how he did.
"I have done my work, Harry, and am going to leave you," said the
You are ill, father-would we might doubt that! but hope compels us.
to doubt the conclusion you predict for the illness," answered Harry.
Hope!-there is no hope! I am dying, Harry, and I look on the
approach of death as on the coming of a friend which will rid me of a
number of heavy cares. There is something I wish to say to you, Harry, in
private. Bid these men withdraw."
The prince signified his father's wishes to those present, and when they
had been obeyed, walked to the bedside and knelt down to catch the sick
man's words, which were spoken in a very low tone.
"You know, Harry," said the king, "by what title I gained the crown
which now presses me into my grave. Richard wronged me fully and
foolishly, robbed me of my estates, and, had he been able, would have taken
off my head. I had the sympathy of all men, except those few who were
creatures of Richard's own and lived upon his favours, and strong in this
and the justice of my cause, I undertook to right myself. You remember
how we came from Brittany with a few ships and a small band of friends,
and landed, doubtful of the feeling of the country towards us, at Raven-
spurn, in Yorkshire; you remember the conditional adhesion- of North-
umberland and Westmoreland to our cause, and the oath which I took on
the Holy Sacrament at Doncaster, that my sole aim in coming was to
recover my stolen duchy. Events rolled on too quickly to allow of my
controlling them, and though I trust I may be forgiven for giving way to
the suggestions of men as much, though in a less degree, wronged by
Richard, it was not right, in view of the oath which had been sworn, to
consent to take the crown. I took it without shadow of title beyond that
which the consent of the fickle multitude, and the discontented spirits at the
moment, gave me; the challenge I made at my coronation, though done in
the name of the Ever-Blessed Trinity, contained no valid assertion of right.
I have been at the best a usurper, holding with difficulty what I won by
indirectness, and I am doubtful how my acts may appear in the sight of
'God. The fruit borne by the seed which I sowed has been bitter indeed.
My stanchest friends and supporters, those who helped me to the throne,
have rebelled against me, and I have been forced to add fresh blood to that
already spilt, in order to keep the ship of my fortune afloat. Plot after plot
has been laid against my life, and I seem to have been spared from one plot
after the other in order that the wrath of Heaven may be more signally shown
upon me. Look upon me, Harry. Is this the man who was reckoned the
handsomest in King Richard's court-whose name was sounded with highest
praise in civilized countries, who was looked on as the happiest of all men,
when he was a prince almost a king, and with an allowed title, but without
the carking cares, without the sins of kingship ? The very men for whose
sake I have imperilled my soul, by consenting to their cruel motions towards
the weak in faith, do mock and deride me. They do not tell it to me, but
in their hearts they think so, and behind their hands, till I be gone, they
whisper it that this-horrible disease you see upon me is God's punishment
for having put to death a traitor, one of their own body, a man who
suffered by as righteous a sentence as ever was carried out, and who had no
pretext for the rebellion he raised against me. When I am dead, the abjects
will come and make grimaces at my tomb. Beware, Harry, of treason.
Look for it in your closest friends and supporters. Such is the teaching of my
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
experience, and such will be the teaching of yours. Happy they used to call
me! Happy in all the circumstances of my life. And so I was; but now the
whole world hates me, my friends have fallen away, and even my own flesh
and blood has revolted so often as to make me tremble for its safety when
left to its own guidance." Here the king, much moved, hid his face in the
bedclothes, and groaned for the disquietness of his soul. After a pause
he went on again, but as if unconscious of his son's presence, and as if
apostrophising the kingdom he was about to leave-' What will become of
this poor England? With care and pain I have kept it; how will it thrive
when youth, and folly, and baneful influences are all it has to rest on ?
Surely honour and the place it holds among the nations will be taken from
it, and it will be the haunt and home of vice, the leader of all iniquity, the
reproach of all the earth. Yet no, my heir will not suffer this. He is
young-God bless him!-and full of generous life; he is not defiled by the
pitch he has so often touched; he will amend his ways, and curb the
foolish; he will be jealous of my kingdom's honour, and guard it from the
blows of civil strife; and he will make its name more glorious than I have
done. He will have better title, better means, more opportunity, more
strength. Where is my heir? Harry, are you near me? Where is
Clarence ? Where is Gloucester? Ho there! I lack service."
Be calm, my lord," said the prince, kneeling by his father's side, and
taking hold of his hand; "your heir is here. I am Harry. You bade the
others leave the room while you spake something in private to me."
Have I not been speaking? It seems as if I had done nothing else but
talk this twenty hours past. Oh, yes, there was something I wished to say.
Did you hear me when I talked just now?"
I did, my lord, and sorry and ashamed I was to hear your just
accusation against my unworthy self. It is indeed true that much of my
conduct these four years past must have caused you deep anxiety. I am
heartily sorry for it, and now on my knees beg your forgiveness; and that
you may theeasier grant it, let me bid you remember that these reports of
me have come to you through such channels as it did not consort with my
disposition to purify, though greatly they needed such a service. For some
reasons-I know not what-it has pleased mefi who should have known
better to vilify me to your majesty. I have been faulty, and freely I
confess as much; but that I have shown myself quite unworthy of your
love and regard I do not think it, and I would entreat your majesty not to
believe it. As to your title to the crown, you won it as fairly as ever king
won crown, by your own address and with the good-will of the people. As
you give it to me so will I maintain it with my sword against foreign foes
and home traitors. On my honour, and by what you remember of me at
Shrewsbury, I swear to do you right and justice, and to keep the glory of
the crown untarnished."
As Henry spoke thus he stood up, and his words, delivered with much
force and energy, were like fresh life to the dying king. He rallied at the
sound of them, and lifting himself up in bed, and resting on his left elbow,
extended his right hand, exclaiming, "There spoke my son." He then
went on in a prophetic strain to foretell the glory which should surround
the name of Harry the Fifth, and to foreshadow the line of policy which
should be pursued towards foreign nations, and especially towards France.
Having commended to his son's care the other princes and some old servants,
including the courageous chief justice, the king desired he might be left alone
with his confessor, and the Prince of Wales withdrew, promising to be with
his father again early on the following morning.
T HERE are they now, those well-known boys,
Who shared my sorrows and my joys,
While in pursuit of knowledge;
Who played with me, and worked and laughed,
And jumped and skated, fought and chaffed,
At dear old Gillsland College?
There's Jones, who used to bully me,
I can't help chuckling when I see
How Mrs. J. now scolds him;
And Perceval, that awful "soft,"
Is now a lord-my hat is doffed
Whene'er my eye beholds him!
Browne, knacky Browne, as he was named,
For his gymnastic prowess famed,
Can't get up without panting;
And slim Jem Groves, that dandy swell,
Who used to run and skate so well,
Has had to take to Banting!
Tompkins-I thrashed him well one day--
Is now my landlord-I must pay
My rent to him each quarter;
Richards, then quite sans 'tin,' sans cake,
Some day a millionaire will make:
He's wed a miser's daughter.
Collins, that dab at every game,
When last I saw him was dead lame,
A martyr to rheumatic;
And Green, that lavish, generous chap,
The college swell, *has not a rap,
And lodges in an attic!
Young Tommy Page, my little pet,
Is married, and has I forget
How many little Pages;
And lazy East is now M.A.,
And wrote, or so at least they say,
That Work on Sanscrit Sages' I
Pascoe, who used to tell us states,
Writes novels now; I hear the sales
Are something quite astounding;
Fast Price has donned the Church's gown,
A wondrous change-now all the town
Is with his zeal resounding
Jack Coverdale, who used to be
An awful "muff," is now M.P.;
The "House" must be delighted;
Allen the sharp, and Edward Brett,
Were both in Friday night's Gazette,
One bankrupt, t'other knighted!
So wags the world. How time has fled!
Some single live, and some' are dead.
But be they saint or sinner,
Each goes his way and I go mine;
Just now it is my time to dine,
,May I enjoy my dinner!
PRINCE HENRY'S OATH TO HIS FATHI1IR.
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
BY FRANCIS DAVENANT, AUTHOR OF RALPH DE WALDEN."
PRINCE HEIRY'S HOUSE IN LONDON-THE EARL OF CAMBRIDGE'S MARE-A
GAME AT QUOITS-A SUMMONS TO WESTMINSTER.
"PRINCE HENRY. How doth the king?
PRINCE IHUPMIREY. Exceeding ill."-Henry IV.
SWO years have passed since the events narrated in the last
chapter, and we next see the Prince of Wales as he is standing
on the brink of a great change both in himself and in the
The prince's London residence, when he chose to live
according to his position, c.,s the large, handsome house on Fish-street-hill
which had formerly belonged to the Black Prince. It was conveniently
situated on the slope of the hill, and commanded a fine view of the river in
one direction, and of the Tower in another, and was backed by the higher
part of Fish-street. A good deal neglected during the reigns of Richard II.
and Henry IV., it had not been put into thorough repair by the present
owner, who had only done enough to make the place habitable, and had not
been at the trouble to restore the ancient and elaborate decorations which its
builder had given it. It was in the nature of a barrack, and was the refuge
not only for some of the prince's questionable companions, with whom, for
his humour's sake, or because he wished to study character, he chose occa-
sionally to associate, but also for not a few old pensioners-men who had
served their country in war, and whom, having been laid high and dry on
the shore of old age, the country did not recognize, and would have
suffered to starve. Henry pleased himself in their society, declaring that it
was a long way more agreeable than that of the musty old fellows whc
surrounded the court of his reserved and somewhat melancholy father.
Here, too, he received his friends, and they were many and from among
all classes-noblemen, citizens, farmers, soldiers, and-some thought tdo
many of them-priests. Of the Lollards he reckoned only few among hit.
acquaintance, not that he disliked them as men, though he sincerely deplored
what he deemed their errors, but because they held him in dread as one who
was at heart quite opposed to them, even though he had for one of his most
intimate friends the man to whom they looked as their head, Sir John Old-
castle. This being so, the Lollards did not seek his company, and he, as a
matter of his own personal taste, did not encourage them, though with one
or two besides Sir John Oldcastle he had, as will be seen in the course of
this narrative, an intimate acquaintance. Of the priests who visited him
was one who, as he will play an important part in this story, may as well
be spoken of here. This man was Friar Randolph, the queen's confessor, a
man of strange ways and strange mode of living, who pretended to some
knowledge of the black art, and had several times come under suspicion when
sudden deaths had occurred among people of note. He was a short man,
squarely built, with short thick neck and a large bony head, penetrating little
eyes, a flat nose, and a mouth which was the only redeeming feature in his
face and made the lower part of it, otherwise coarse and heavy, almost good-
looking. He was professed in the order of St. Benedict, and wore the
sombre weeds of that brotherhood. The regular clergy hated and envied
him; there was a natural spirit of independence about him which they dis-
liked; but as he had no cure, and was moreover careful not to give any
handle against himself, they had not been able to bring more than a powerful
battery of slander to bear upon him. They envied him because of his position
at the court, and of the great influence which he unostentatiously exerted
there. He, content with his position, and tolerably well assured of holding
it, could afford to let them say what they pleased, reckoning on his own
power to check them if they attempted to act adversely towards him. This
man was a constant visitor to the Prince of Wales, over whom he had con-
siderable influence, and who listened to his counsels with an amount of
willingness and obedient attention that somewhat scared those, both Church-
men and Lollards, who looked upon Henry as their immediately future king.
The room in Henry's house which was specially reserved for his own use
was a large apartment on the ground floor, having three windows that faced
the east. It was handsomely panelled with wainscot, and ornamented with
such things as indicated the tastes of the proprietor. A fine pair of stag's
antlers were pinned over the fireplace, while foxes' heads and brushes, otters'
skins, and other trophies won in hunting, decorated one side of the room.
Round two other sides were arranged, with manifest eye to effect,
arms offensive and defensive, implements of the chase, fisherman's gear,
and other means of work or amusement. On a small table in a recess
between the fireplace and the window lay a couple of lutes, in the use of
which the prince greatly excelled, being esteemed by those best qualified to
judge, one of the ablest musicians of the time.
In this room it is that we now see Henry with one who was without
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
question his most intimate friend and trusted companion, Sir John Oldcastle
not being excepted. For besides that a very great change had come over
the mind of that nobleman, he had, by his marriage with the daughter of
Lord Cobham, withdrawn himself a good deal from the society of his former
associates, and had assumed, in right of his wife, the title of Lord Cobham,
and also had taken up his residence at Cowling, the property of the family
This intimate friend, from whom Henry had no secrets, and whom he
avowedly cherished before all others, was Lord Scrope of Masham, a noble-
man possessed of large wealth, and of influence equally large, in the county
of Lancashire. He was several years older than the prince, whom he
did not the least bit resemble, either in appearance or disposition. He
was slighter in build, and seemed to have been cast in a much less
substantial mould; his hair was red, and his delicate, almost feminine-
looking face had an expression of insincerity about it which contrasted
unfavourably with the manly, decided, if a trifle too decided, cast of
features of the Prince of Wales. He had a nervous manner, which showed
itself in his every act, however trifling, as by twitching the hands, playing
with whatever came first to his fingers, and by a restlessness of the eyes
most significant to see. Were it not that men said there were excellent
qualities in the man, and that he was a wise governor of his property, a
considerate landlord, and a regular waiter on all the duties of his religion,
one might have thought that this man, with his insincere look and his
unmanly way, was chosen for a companion by the Prince of Wales
mainly in order to show how great a difference there was between them.
There were two qualities, however, which they had in common, and which
were, perhaps, the cords that bound them together-these were a love of
music, with some proficiency in the utterance of it, and a passionate love of
sport. When riding across country with the staghounds or foxhounds, who
of the company followed so boldly or so artfully as the Prince of Wales and
Lord Scrope ? It seemed as if ardour in hunting was the only quality left
to the latter to show that he came of Norman ancestry. None so fearless in
this as he, none who took more delight in the sport for its own sake. Such
was Lord Scrope of Masham, who bore the key of all Henry's counsels,"
and knew the "very bottom of his soul." He was with Henry on the
,occasion which will presently be declared, he and the Duke of York, son to
Edmund of Langley, and one with him who, early in the present reign, had
joined the Earls of Kent, Huntingdon, and others in a plot to slay the king
at Oxford, but who ever since had remained a bright example of loyalty,
won by the clemency which had spared his life when even his own father
went against him.
I am very sorry to hear of his majesty's sickness," said Scrope.
Yes, it has increased of late very much, and I confess to feeling very
anxious as to the result," replied Henry. "It is at such a time that I feel
how much some of my conduct must have pained him."
No one knows better than the king how thoroughly that was only
youthful energy displaying itself-innocently too, when compared with what
it might have been, as is daily seen in less noble-minded men," said Scrope.
"None of that nonsense now, Scrope. I have behaved in a shameful
way to my poor father, instead of being, as I ought to have been, his chief
support and friend in the trying position which he has found it to be King
of England without the ghost of a title, and in spite of the disaffection of
some of the greatest nobles."
"As to title," said the Duke of York, "he surely had the best one
possible when the people of England agreed to receive him."
"' Tut, tut, man; what had the people of England to do with it? The
people of England were the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, and
the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the good long sword which my father
tarried in his scabbard. The people's will is quite a new foundation for a
title," said Henry.
'Tis not a bad one though," remarked Scrope, "and if I remember
rightly the instruction my old tutor gave me, your namesake Henry I., when
getting the crown without, as you say, the ghost of a title,' told the people
that if he could only rely upon their support he would not care a button for
all the power of the Norman barons."
Well, whatever title my father had it is not quite politic in me to
question it," said Henry, smiling.
"( You know to whom you speak," said Scrope, "and that there is no
flaw in the title according to our vision."
"I hope not," replied Henry; but be assured of one thing-as in my
opinion his majesty won his kingdom with the sword, so by the sword do I
mean to keep it, should the crown ever light on my head. We'll have no
treason in my time, Scrope, for besides that traitors shall find I do not bear
the sword in vain, I mean to reign in the loves and affections of the people
so that there shall be no excuse for treason. However, enough of this. I
earnestly hope it will be many a long day ere I shall be called upon as Henry
the Fifth, and then in my mind the people' that you speak of would do better
to elect my brother, John Sobersides, and make me his grand falconer, or
huntsman, or headbreaker, for that is a trade much more to my liking than
playing the monarch. Hast thou seen the Earl of Cambridge lately ?"
asked Henry, turning the conversation into a different channel.
I saw him two days ago at the Bishop of Winchester's," said Scrope.
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
How much does he want for that bay mare of his that he was riding
on Monday ?" said Henry.
Ah! she's a beauty and no mistake about it," cried the Duke of York.
"I have been at him to try and get her from him. You may succeed where
I failed, but he swore he would not part with her for any sum whatever,
though it were offered as the dying wish of his dearest friend."
"Then there's but poor chance for any of us, but the mare is a marvel
of horseflesh. I flatter myself I know a horse from a jackass, and the other
day when that creature of his came floating, flying down the street, I
thought I had never seen so superb an animal. Her chest is wonderful, so
is her shoulder; her head and neck are perfect, and for cleanness of limb,
neat feet, and springy-looking pasterns I never saw her equal. Is he beyond
proof do you think ?" asked the prince again.
I believe he is," said York; for to tell you the truth I have a notion
he means to make a present of her."
"Indeed! I wish he wc ald select me for his donee. I would ever freely
confess the obligation," said Henry.
Yes, but you know the mare is rather slight for a man's riding, and
I have a shrewd suspicion that he means to give it to a lady."
Oh, ho He must be rather far gone, then, for on my honour I would
not bestow that mare if she were mine on any woman that ever was born-
not even on the fair Katherine of France, whom I have never seen, and
whom my father is always threatening to make me marry," said Henry.
If I am right," said York significantly, "'the lady my lord of
Cambridge wishes to honour dwells much nearer home."
Indeed !" said Henry. Is it a secret, then, that you speak so myste-
riously about it ? Where does the lady live ? Who is she ?"
I speak under correction," said York, "and know nothing certainly, for
the Earl of Cambridge is as close as a clenched fist in his private affairs; but
he is for ever riding about in the neighbourhood of St. Anne's, Aldersgate-
not, I imagine, because he needs the privilege of its sanctuary, though he
is drawn that way by some charm of wondrous potency."
St. Anne's, Aldersgate!" exclaimed Henry, looking surprised and angry
at the same time. "What the mischief does he there ?"
Perhaps you've not heard, my lord, of the beauty of St. Anne's parish
-a citizen lass, daughter to a skinner I believe she is, of whom all the city
talks. For my part, though I have not seen her, I am ready to find the general
voice correct, and that describes her as one of the most beautiful maidens in
London. Now perhaps your lordship sees the loadstone which draws the
Earl of Cambridge."
And it is for this lass the mare is intended ?" said Henry inquiringly.
I gathered as much from what Cambridge told me when he refused to
let me have the mare. But he did not say it was for Edith Claydon-for a
lady, he said, and I of my curiosity found out who the lady was," answered
Edith Claydon!" exclaimed Henry suddenly and almost fiercely. Are
you sure that was the name ?"
As sure as I can be of anything I do not know from absolute know-
ledge," said York. I'm ready to wager twenty nobles on it."
But the Earl of Cambridge is a married man," said Lord Scrope.
"You must surely be mistaken."
"L Will you take my wager of twenty nobles ?" asked the Duke of York,
not noticing how much the Prince of Wales was put out by what had been
said, though he tried his best to hide his excitement.
The reason why Henry was thus excited shall be duly explained in
another chapter. He was able, however, now to turn the conversation
from what was evidently a subject too interesting-too private, perhaps-
to bear being talked of in the way usually adopted by the Duke of York.
Lord Scrope, who knew this as well as all other of Henry's secrets, kept a
prudent silence upon it, and merely declining the Duke of York's bet,
helped his friend to change the topic of discourse by proposing to the duke
a game at quoits.
"You owe me my revenge for the other night, you know, Scrope. We'll
play for the same stake," said York.
Yes, the same stake, or double if you like," said Scrope, "'for I tell you
I am going to win."
"Y You think so or you wouldn't propose to play," said the duke; but
in spite of your bragging I'll take you at double stake-that will be thirty
nobles the game."
What fools you are," said Henry,'L to throw away your money on such
nonsense! You had better by half give it to me, as the most deserving
object on which to bestow your alms. I've almost forgotten what a groat
I have not enough for your lordship's acceptance, so throw away what
I have upon Scrope and quoits," said the duke, two unworthy objects, as
ever were coupled."
Well, since you will not give me money,, I'll heap coals of fire on
your head by giving you what is far more precious, all free and for
nothing, and. that is my advice: keep. a bright look-out or Scrope will
Thank you for nothing," said Lord Scrope, his face the least bit flushed,
for he felt the force of the remark as one to whom. the insinuation was not
A STORY OF THE DAYS OF AGINCOURT.
without a possible application, though in the present case it was no more
than a random thrust, aimed at nothing in particular.
You will find what you want in the bowling-alley," said Henry. All
I stipulate for is that I be not bored after you have done playing with an
account of how near this quoit fell, or how far that one overreached, or any
other details of a game which I cordially hate as the devil does holy water.
Here's more attractive stuff for me," and as he spoke Henry took up one of the
lutes from the table, and played a tune which he had heard at Westminster
Abbey at the last high mass, and which he had been trying to pick out ever
since. The Duke of York and Lord Scrope left the room for the bowling-
alley, and Henry walked up and down endeavouring to persuade his lute to
discourse as he wished it. It was seldom that he tried in vain this or
anything else that he attempted, but somehow or other, whether he was not
in the cue for it, whether there was anything wrong with the instrument, or
from whatever cause, he could not squeeze out the notes he wanted,
The thing's bewitched, I think," said Henry, peering into the inside of
it. Have you been playing on it, eh, Tom?" he added, addressing a large
black cat, which had its dwelling on the window seat, and was one of
Henry's constant companions. Tom merely blinked his eyes several times in
answer to the question and began a violent bout of purring, as was his wont
whenever his master favoured him with any notice; but other answer gave
Henry laid down the lute, and putting Tom on his shoulder leaned out of
the window, and began thinking over what he had heard about the Earl of
Cambridge. His thoughts were not of the pleasantest order, if one might
judge from his restless manner and, still excited look. Perhaps this had
something to do with the obstinate silence of the lute; even Tom, with all
his wisdom, was not able to fathom the secret of his master, still less to lend
him any assistance, so after remaining for some time unnoticed in spite of a
purring loud and vigorous enough for twenty cats, he put his claw on
Henry's head, and so brought the reverie-maker back to a sense, of his
position and 6f Tom's existence.
Enough of that, my friend," said Henry, heaving Tom into the sweet-
briar hedge which ran along the front of the house on. the roadside. You
have done me one service, however-you have waked me from a wonderfully
stupid day-dream. If Cambridge," said Henry to himself, firmly, "is
meditating any villany, or if he is seeking to amuse himself at the expense of
one of the sweetest and most innocent-minded maidens in the world, though
I trust, like, and admire him, I'll punish him as thoroughly as ever Norman
William punished his rebels. However, I had better wait for more informa-
tion before I get into a virtuous rage or come out in the troublesome
character of a knight-errant. Halloa, Edward, Edward! come here, lad!"
This he said as he stepped out into the passage between his own room and
the door into the garden; and, obedient to his call a youth of delicate build,
fair, and of a handsome countenance, who was Henry's own body-servant or
squire came out of the waiting-room at the'end of the passage.
Go home, Edward, this morning," said Henry, "and tell your father
to have those furs he was to get for me ready against this evening, when I
will be at his house to see them. Do you understand?"
"Yes, my lord. I will be off immediately," said the youth.
Don't forget to kiss your pretty sister for me, boy-mind you don't
forget that," said Henry again. Edward smiled, promised to execute his
master's orders in that respect also, and was just going away when a loud
and hasty summons at the front gate of the house attracted attention.
Some one in a hurry," said the prince; but he need not spoil my gate
for all that. Run, Edward, and see who it is." Edward ran off, and the
prince walked out into the bowling-alley, where Lord Scrope was playing a
losing game with a temper that might have been better, and the Duke of
York, in a genial, cheery way, was giving him all the encouragement which
men who are playing losing games heartily dislike to receive, most of all from
their adversaries. Henry was protesting against any appeal being made to
him, according to the conditions he had imposed upon the players, who were
at issue upon some point involved in their game, when his squire came to him
bringing an elderly nobleman with him, who required to see the Prince of
"It is not often Sir Thomas Erpingham is good enough to visit me,
though I desire his company more often than I get it. Welcome, Sir
Thomas. What is your errand to me?" asked Henry.
"Your highness is very good," said the knight. "I am come straight
from Westminster, where my lord your father lies exceedingly ill."
"Dangerously?" asked Henry.
I fear so," answered Sir Thomas. He has been taken suddenly worse.
He bade me come for you."
In less than five minutes the Prince of Wales and Sir Thomas Erpingham
were in the boat which had brought Sir Thomas to the city, and were being
rowed on the top of the tide by eight sturdy watermen in the direction of
the king's palace at Westminster.
( .76 )
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
4 $ ~' --- **
RAXnII Yo1-UN WOMEN.
(From a Photograph on the Spot.)
W E now begin to see the open country again, and breathe more feeely
aE we leave the hot bush. A long pull up this slope, and a few joltings
over these hills (which emigration agents call gentle undulations), and we
are at our journey's end. Outspan (i.e. unyoke) the oxen, and let us have a
While that is preparing we perceive that we are on the edge of a valley
which stretches away to the right and left. Looking down, we observe that
it is deep, though not very wide, and its sides rather steep. Along the
bottom runs a small river (every stream is here called by that name),
generally hidden by the bush which grows upon its banks, but occasionally
glancing into view. The broad path near us has been worn by the cattle in
their frequent passages across the valley. From the point where we stand,
it proceeds towards the left, and pursues a slanting direction down the slope.
We can trace its course as it winds among the grass and wild indigo bushes,
until it reaches a ford, where the stream glides over a smooth bed of rock,
and immediately foams amid huge boulders. Having crossed the river, the
path bends to the right and ascends the opposite slope. Those women who
climb it so slowly have been to the ford for water, and are returning with
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
the vessels on their heads. Higher up a much older woman is staggering
under a heavy load of. firewood. Where those tall trees throw their short *
shadows over the path some young men are driving cattle, which are
probably going towards the purchase of a wife. Passing the corner of that
inclosed garden they receive a welcome from some women behind the fence.
The kraal, which lies near the top of the slope, is evidently in commotion;
half-a-dozen people, and as many dogs, rush out of the gateway, and the
cattle, if not the men, are received with enthusiasm.
!., c >, \
____ -'7b _
KAFIR WOMAN AND CHILD. (From a Photograph on the Spot.)
Let us notice the kraal a little more. It consists, you observe, of two
circular and concentric fences, with a number of huts or houses between
them. The outer fence is for protection against wild animals and other,
enemies; it is formed of bushes, and has, at the lower side, an entrance or
gateway, which at night is closed by means of poles placed across it except
when a large bush is dragged in from the outside. The inner fence is less
substantial, and incloses the cattle-fold. The huts or houses resen-bl
gigantic beehives. .They are constructed of straight sticks fixed in the
ground, bent down and tied together, so as to form a strong framework.
A covering of flags or coarse grass is then placed over the frame, and
fastened by strips of a climbing plant called monkey-rope; another covering
of short grass is added, and neatly fastened down with sticks. One or more
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
poles support the roof inside. The entrance to each hut is small, about
11 feet high. The hut immediately opposite the gate is for the owner's
use; his wives, each having a separate dwelling, occupy the houses on both
sides of it; then come those of his married sons, and one which is set apart
for the unmarried men; those near the gate belong to dependants. A kraal
is, therefore, a domestic establishment, and not, in the ordinary sense of
that term, a village; it is occupied by the owner's family and servants.
Don't fancy that l kraal" is a Kafir word; it is too ugly for one; it is
supposed to be a corruption of the Spanish corral;" the native term is
umu-zi (zi being the root, and umu the prefix).
Having now taken our second breakfast, we leave the waggon here (for it
would be difficult to get it across the valley),,and walk over to the kraal. We
take the broad path we noticed before; but stand aside for awhile-a herd
of cattle is being driven home, and we let them go down before us; we have
a good opportunity of inspecting them as they pass. They are, we see, very
small, and some of them very graceful. The hump on the shoulders reminds
one of the Brahmin breed of India,; cattle having the same peculiarity are
found in the north of Africa and in Madagascar; while the Egyptian
monuments show us that the cattle bore the hump on this continent at a
very early period. African cattle, are not always small, and we may meet in
Natal with instances of large beasts obtainedfrom, other tribes.
The cows yield little milks, which is used chiefly in a, curdled (sour)
state. In this condition it is called, ama-si (commonly. shortened into amas),
and forms a large part of the people's food. Butter is made by shaking milk
in a calabash, but it is not an, article of diet; it is employed for anointing
the skin-a process which improves the appearance of these people and
promotes their comfort. It is not often that a Kafir slaughters his cattle,
except for sacrifices or to celebrate a marriage; rich men sometimes kill an
ox for the purpose of giving a feast, but ordinary persons cannot afford so
to do. Yet a Kafir's appetite for beef is excessive.
We are now near the ford, and stop one moment to look up the river.
It is lined on both sides with bush, which would afford an agreeable shade
this hot day. Those nests which you observe hanging from the branches
have been formed by a bird, whose instinct teaches it to secure in this
manner the safety of its eggs and young. That other nest belongs to the
black and, an insect it would be unwise to disturb. When the frontier
Kafirs torture an evil-doer (commonly called by Europeans a witch) they
sometimes. fix him, to the ground, and break the nests of these ants over his
person; the insects thus liberated and excited cover the victim's body, and
inflict, with their venomous bites, excruciating pain.
But standing. in the middle of a rather rapid stream is not altogether
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
pleasant, so we proceed and ascend the opposite bank. Now we are on dry
land again, and here again is our path; but we stop once more-there is a
blacksmith under those trees, and it is interesting to examine his smithy. He
has chosen the side of the river that he may, without difficulty, cool his
iron. The fire, you observe, is made against a white ants' heap (sometimes
it is made in a hole in the earth), through which a passage is formed to
serve as a channel for the blast. The bellows consist of a skin or leather
bag, with a horn at the corner of one end, and an opening at the other
To the sides of this opening, or mouth of the bag, two sticks are fastened so
as to be parallel to each other. In working the bellows these two sticks are
brought together, when the mouth of the bag is closed. It is then pushed
downwards or forwards, a process which forces a current of air through the
horn, and as that is inserted in the tunnel through the ant-heap, the cur-
rent is conveyed to the fire. To maintain a continuous blast two bellows
are connected with the tunnel, and an assistant, with one in each hand,
works them alternately, and produces sufficient heat to render iron malle-
able. The fuel is charcoal. That flat stone serves for an anvil; the
hammer is very rude, and when heavy blows are required the attendant
gives them with a large stone. In this way, and with much patience, the
smith is able to produce hoes, axes, and assagais of a temper far superior to
that of English-made weapons which are sometimes sold to the natives.
Tl B iron is obtained by smelting the ore, with which the country abounds.
This native artisan is an interesting object to contemplate. His processes
are of the rudest-perhaps he is little in advance of Tubal Cain-and we
see here one of the earliest stages of an art which has been carried to such
high perfection at home.
We climb the hill-these women with baskets on their heads are the
smith's wives bringing him a supply of charcoal. Their number proves his
wealth, and in a rude state of society the worker in iron is likely to be
rich. Who so important ? He furnishes the implements required for culti-
vating the soil; he supplies the means of hunting and the weapons of war-
fare; from him the people obtain knives, axes, and metallic ornaments, he
is at once the smith, the cutler, and the jeweller of his neighbourhood, and,
as he knows how to charge for his work, you may expect to find him
We now reach the kraal, and enter through the outer gate. There
grouped about the huts are several individuals, both men and women,
some talking, others working. When Kafirs are seen standing they present
very fine figures: reasonably tall, they are straight and lithe; they carry
the head with dignity, and move without any of that slouching, awkward,
shambling gait so often seen at home; they are among Nature's gentlemen,
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
though here, as elsewhere, you may perceive a difference between the
demeanour of great men and persons of inferior degree. But a Kafir sel-
dom stands: for his own comfort he sits or squats on the ground (as these
individuals are doing) whenever it is practicable; and, in the presence of a
superior, standing would be a mark of disrespect. It must be granted that
IKAFIR OIDAIIE NTS.
(From objects principally collected by Rev. J. GWood)
squatting (the posture of the men alone) is not a graceful attitude, nor does
it seem a comfortable one, but they have been accustomed to it from infancy,
and the flexibility of their limbs is much increased by the daily practice of
anointing themselves with grease.
The prevailing colour, you observe, is a mixture of black and red, the
result being a sort of chocolate brown or old mahogany tint. There is but
one person in the group who can be called decidedly black. It is very
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KAFIR WAPGONT AND TEABM.
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
probable that we shall meet, in the course of our rambles, with a few
instances of olive and of copper colour. You cannot have failed to notice that
a dark skin is not disagreeable to look on, and prevents that feeling of dis-
gust which one would otherwise experience at seeing people so little clothed,
IKArm ORNAMENTS. (From objects principally collected by Rev. J. G. Wood.)
There is a good deal to interest us about the kraal, but we cannot stay
longer; the shadows are lengthening, and we.will return to-morrow to wit-
ness the wedding ceremonies.
There are many curious points connected with Kafir marriages, and
perhaps you may come to think that these people have not always been in
their present degraded condition.
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
For instance, the ties of consanguinity are very highly respected. If a
man were to marry a blood relation he would be looked upon with horror,
and the union be held invalid. It is worth mentioning that a Kafir never
eats milk at the kraal of a person into whose family he might marry. It is
possible that this singular custom originated in economy. Milk is sometimes
scarce, so that if a man with half-a-dozen daughters were obliged to regale
all their admirers with this much-valued food, there would be very little left
for himself and his family.
Affinity, or relationship by marriage, does not impose the restraints that
prevail among others. A man, for example, may marry two sisters, but
custom requires some remarkable observances between persons so connected.
The husband must avoid the society of his wife's mother. He may not
enter the same hut with her. If they should chance to meet on the road, one
or the other must turn away-he perhaps screening his face with his shield,
while she hides behind a bush. If they have occasion to speak they must
still keep apart. It is equally singular that neither may pronounce each
other's proper name. The custom applies to other relationships than this
one; but in any case, if the man were to make the woman a present of a
cow or ox, all the restriction on intercourse would be removed.
It is commonly said that a Kafir purchases his wife, and there is too
much reason for the assertion. We may find traces, however, of an earlier
and better practice. The word used to express the transaction is not that
which we should translate buy"; it is altogether different, and signifies
etymologically to remove a cutting or pain. We may conclude, therefore,
that the cattle given for a wife were designed originally as a compensation
to the mother for the trouble which had been occasioned by her daughter's
marriage, and for the pain felt in parting with her child. This would imply
that the cattle belong to the mother, and we shall soon see that this is the
case. The practice of making an express bargain seems to be modern. The
ancient usage was probably this, viz., that, at the conclusion of the ceremony,
the bride's male friends made a demand for cattle to take away her mother's
pain, but not for any stipulated number. It is easy to see how this custom
might degenerate into a previous arrangement.
When a man takes his first wife, all the cows he may possess are regarded
as her property; she uses the milk for the support of her children, and after
the birth of her eldest son they are called his cattle. By strict law (that is,
custom) the husband cannot dispose of them without her consent. If then
he wish to take a second wife, how shall he obtain cattle to endow her and
reward her mother? In many cases this has been done by theft, and in
Natal young men can earn wages; but in the proper normal condition of the
people he'mu.t (as a Kafir expressed it to me) call his first wife goody boy;
KAFIR AND KAFIRLAND.
he must coax and persuade her to give him the necessary means, or bother
her till she consents. In that case she would be entitled to the services of
the new wife, and, when tTiat wife's daughter is married, she would claim
the cattle given for her, and thus get back those she had furnished to her
husband. The cattle assigned to the second wife are subject to the same
rules, and so on while fresh wives are taken. Any wife, however, may
furnish the cattle requisite to obtain and endow another. It is probable
that the rights of the women are sometimes violated; but the usage is so
much respected that when a woman sells maize to Europeans, the price
belongs to herself. May it not be said that these Kafir wives possess
privileges to which Englishwomen can lay no claim, and do we not possess,
in this fact, a remarkable evidence that the Kafirs were not always so
barbarous ? It is difficult to conceive any people among whom polygamy
prevailed putting such an amount of power into the hands of the first
When a wife's eldest son marries, the cattle are furnished from his
mother's herd; but when a younger son marries, he must borrow them,
unless he steal, or in Natal earn wages. The ease with. which cattle canbe
procured in the last way has occasioned, in this colony, a great increase of
polygamy; young men often marry at an early age, and I have known one
who could hardly have seen more than twenty summers rejoice in the
possession of three wives. The elders do not seem to like this state of things;
the father of the youth just mentioned swore by iis father's bones that, if
his son took a fourth wife, he would turn him out of his kraal.
When a man does leave the paternal habitation, and establish a kraal
of his own, he takes with him, not only the cattle of his mother's house, but
all its defendants, his brothers, his sisters, and his mother. This is a.
complete separation of the wife from her husband; she becomes an important
member of her son's household, and is regarded with a consideration which
seems to furnish an additional evidence that these people have not always
treated their-women with barbarity.
( 84 )
THE RED CLOAK PLOT.
BY THE AUTHOR OF "KING OF TRUMPS," ETC;
IN FOUR CHAPTERS.
N the afternoon of the day following that of my return to
SSeymour's Court, Mr. Byne, one of the tutors, proposed a
ramble in preference to set games in the playground.
Byne was popular, although I, personally, did not like him,
and his proposal was eagerly caught at.
After dinner, therefore, we all set off, perhaps two dozen of us, for our
number was still far from being complete. Just as we were going out of
the lodge gates a footman from the house overtook us. Asking for Basil,
the servant placed in my rival's hands a pink note which he said his master
had desired him to bring. Basil, who was walking with Davies, opened
the missive, read its contents with a flush of evident pleasure, and then
placed it in Davies's hands.
I wished to know what this meant, and drew so near to the couple that
I could hear what they said.
"How jolly I" exclaimed Davies. Of course we know what this means.
What a stunning thing it must be to be a hero, Basil! I wish I were in
your shoes !"
,To this congratulatory and complimentary speech Mr. Basil did not
reply, except by a short laugh peculiar to him. Seeing Byne some little
way ahead, the handsome fellow bounded forward towards him, probably
to acquaint the usher-with whom he was reputed to be thick"-as to the
contents of the note which he had received.
I now tried to get near to Davies myself. But Davies, it seemed, was
determined to have nothing to do with me. Whenever I began to approach
him he stealthily moved off and joined some one else. At first this made me
savage; at last I saw that my ally had some particular reason for avoiding
me. I reflected that this reason might not improbably be connected with
our recent compact. Accordingly I desisted from the attempt to walk with
Davies; and, following the rest of the school alone, I presently attracted
the attention of, and was honoured by a visit front, my rival Basil himself.
THE RED CLOAK PLOT. 85
Basil, it was clear, had not the faintest notion of the depths of enmity
which possessed my love-stricken bosom with respect to him. I could not,
either, suddenly announce my state of feeling, for I felt that a certain
amount of reticence and reserve was due to my own dignity. I therefore
adopted an elevated gravity of demeanour, which I remember considering at
he' time a masterpiece of policy and a complete success. I was, honestly,
dying to know the nature of the communication which my rival had just
received, for I firmly believed that it had 'been addressed to him by some
member of the Villiers family. But I completely veiled my curiosity, and
Basil (perhaps from delicate and considerate feelings towards me, of which
I was quite unworthy) forbore to enlighten me. Meanwhile, when, in the
course of conversation, any reference was made to the occurrence of the
previous day, I alluded to that provoking evidence of my adversary's superior
skill and courage as a matter-of-course event, scarcely worthy of any note or
The hero soon wearied of my society, and I do not wonder that he did..
He left me for more congenial companionship, and once more I was alone.
We had now reached a large common, and the sun being somewhat oppressive,
the Byne ordered a halt. We sat down in groups upon the fine turf, in the
shade of furze and bramble bushes. I found myself seated solitarily amongst
sprays of unripe blackberries, watching the movements in a gipsy encamp-
ment some hundred yards distant, while the merry lizards came and whisked
about in the sunshine beside my legs, and the gay stone-chats called to me
from the topmost boughs of neighboring brambles.
I could not help wishing that Davies would come and clear up my
perplexities, and while I was in the act of wishing, he came. Supposing
every one else to be some distance off, he sat down beside me, and began to
talk unreservedly; having first upbraided me for endeavouring to hold
communication with him suspiciously soon after his conversation with
From this reproof I saw that he was laying his plans for the accomplish-
ment of our scheme, and I was therefore prepared to listen to him with
interest and reverence.
S"Well," I asked, what's up with Basil now ?"
Let 'me mention while it occurs to me that I think one of Davies's
attractions in my sight must have been his perfectly imperturbable coolness.
There was something about his pale grey eyes and straw-coloured hair, his
pink and white complexion and equable smile, which gave one the impression
of inexhaustible self-possession, and since this desirable quality was one in
which I had ever been remarkably deficient, its manifestation in him
influenced me, I suppose, more than it would otherwise have done.