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Let the opponent of such a provision for the poor—if any reflecting person in the country can on public grounds be opposed to it-let him, we say, contemplate the hard lot of the labouring classes, compelled by the importunities of beggars not only to give up a considerable share of the food actually insufficient for themselves, but also to divide their beds or their children's beds with persons of the lowest habits, and thus see their families deprived of food, of rest, health, and morality; while a large number of the wealthy classes remained listless and inaccessible within their closed doors, or were exercising their better feelings in a distant land.
We do not accuse the wealthy members of society, as a class, with indifference to the wants of the poor: we but refer to a contrast between their security against the intrusion of mendicants, and the defenceless state of the labouring classes a contrast which doubtless must have been ever present to the mind of the poor working man: and we do this to show how much the wealthy will gain by a law which provides safe means for its application in relieving poverty.
The expense, then, which we are now incurring, is not a new charge, but a wise and equitable distribution of one heretofore borne by portions of the community in very disproportionate shares, without having any tendency to obviate the mendicancy by which it was created, but, on the contrary, having a direct tendency to foster and increase that most demoralizing of all the conditions in life.
Be the expense what it may, it cannot tend to induce a more extensive reliance on the public provision than mendicancy has encouraged: nay, we maintain, that when the law shall have been for a short time in full and general operation, the number of unemployed and dependent poor will gradually decline. But expectation must have a little patience: the machinery for sustaining in orderly and decent comfort upwards of one hundred thousand human beings, cannot be created otherwise than by a very gradual process. This is not a clime in which men and families can be encamped: when they are to be lodged, durable structures must be provided, and for this work much time is necessary. We are sure that no time has been lost; nay, we regard the progress made as among the most accelerated public labours of this or any other country.
In the mean time, the law is not without working out much good for the labouring classes. Workmen of every grade have been busily employed in the construction of workhouses since the spring of 1839, for which object government has advanced upwards of a million of money, free of interest, for ten years after the commencement of relief in each Union.
We are, however, reasoning without having an argument opposed to us; for any thing like argument against the law we have not heard. In Dublin it is merely complained, that although houses are open and rates levied, the mendicants still throng the streets. But it is not shown that any thing like the same number of apparently deserving objects of relief are to be seen; they on the contrary are in the workhouses, maintained by the rates; and were it not for the poor children whom the mendicants drag along with them, the imposture would soon be stopped by its own want of success.
The policy of the law contemplates the repression of beggary and vagrancy, and all those disorders and crimes which accompany or have their origin in those habits-the encou ragement of a more productive industry-the more universal recognition of the identity of interest amongst all classes affected by the law-and with the cordial co-operation of all the intelligent classes of society which it has hitherto received, and will probably receive yet further hereafter there cannot be a doubt but that the law, when in full operation, will realize all this, and more.
To those who wish for an exemplification of the favourable working of the law, we recommend the perusal of a little work lately published under the title of " Benevola," in which the English and Irish systems of relief are well contrasted, and the tendency of the Irish provision is ingeniously exemplified. To those who will not be satisfied without a practical exemplification, we can only recommend patience; but we will say-Do not in the mean time forget the cost and other deplorable evils of Irish mendicancy.
THE PILGRIM AT THE WELL.
And the prayer of her faith it grows fervent now,
And through all her changes, the world's hope clings
But they sought in vain in the earth or seas,
THE study of natural history is one which, independent of the charm it possesses to the inquisitive and contemplative mind, in affording food for the cultivation of the highest qualities of the intellect, is also beneficial in a moral point of view, as it insensibly brings the cultivator of it to contemplate the power and goodness of his Creator. It leads his thoughts from the petty affairs of life, and, making him look with admiration and a feeling of love on every manifestation of the Divine power which surrounds him, instils into his mind one of the strongest principles of action desired by the Almighty— a feeling of universal benevolence.
There cannot be a better illustration of this latter effect which I have mentioned the study of natural history produces on the mind, than that afforded us by the history of the birth and after life of the insect I have headed this article with " the Gadfly." Strange and wonderful though the transformations be to which the butterfly and many other individuals of the insect world are subject, those of this little creature far surpass them all.
Many of my readers are well acquainted with that fly which in the latter part of summer is seen to be so annoying to the horse, buzzing about him, and every now and then dashing itself with some degree of violence against his sides and legs. This motion, to all appearance, is without design; but a closer study of the habits of the insect will show that, far from being the effect of chance, it is one of paramount importance to the existence of the fly, as on it depends the continuation of its species.
If attentively observed, it will be found that it is the female of this fly alone who resorts to this peculiar motion; this she does to deposit her eggs in the hair of the horse, to which they at once become attached by a gelatinous fluid surrounding them; by this mucus they are enabled to retain their hold for a few days, during which time they are fitted
to be hatched, and the slightest touch will liberate a little worm they contain. The horse, in resorting to the common practice of licking himself, breaks the egg, and the small worm contained in it adhering to the tongue of the animal, is conveyed with the food into the stomach; there it clings by means of hooks placed at either side of its mouth, and its hold is so tenacious that it will be broken before it can be detached. Here, in this strange abode, changing as it were its nature in becoming a parasite, it remains for the whole of the winter, feeding on the mucus of the stomach. At the end of the ensuing spring, having reached its full perfection in this secondary state, led by that instinct which regulates all the animated creation, from man to a monad, it detaches itself from the cuticular coat, and is carried into the vilous portion of the stomach with the food, passes out of it with the chyme, and is at length evacuated with the feces. The larva or maggot, now a second time changing its nature, seeks shelter in the ground, and after some time becomes a chrysalis; in that helpless state it lies for some weeks, when, bursting from its deathlike sleep, it wakes into life and activity in the form of a perfect fly.
There is hardly a parallel to this wonderful chain of causes and effects, and effects and causes, to be met with in all the varied and mysterious workings of nature; scarcely one which exhibits so many acts apparently so unconnected with
the ultimate results.
IRISH ODDITIES-No. I.
quaintances that he was about to favour them with his own
JACK RIVERS should have been a gentleman. His family, his property, his early education, entitled him to that dignity. Jack was not a gentleman; with perverted views of ambition he spurned the distinction, and gloried in the wellmerited title of knave. Many loftier and nobler minds have been reduced to even a lower point of moral degradation by early indulgence in gross licentious habits. Such was not the case with Jack. Immoderate sensual gratification ranked not in the catalogue of his crimes. He was no toper; was a married man at twenty, and a faithful husband all his life. Yet, Jack was an acknowledged, nay, more, a professed knave, though neither a lover of money nor a spendthrift. Shakspeare, it is said, ransacked all nature, and left almost no character untouched; yet neither in his historical por- On one occasion Jack was invited to an evening party in traits, the etchings of his own times, nor his prophetic crea- the house of his brother-in-law, a plain honest man, an extions, has he given us a picture that at all resembled Snap tensive farmer, wealthy and respectable, in every point the Rivers, the faithfully expressive soubriquet assumed by our very antithesis of his eccentric relative. The district was rehero. Nature, whimsical nature, must have been in her markable for the peace and harmony which prevailed throughdrollest mood-must have been actually studying the pic-out its entire population. Party strife and sectarian animoturesque when she cast his nativity. He certainly was a sity were here totally unknown, while intermarriages among model for an artist in that line, for he stood six feet six inches all sects cemented a unior and fostered a spirit of Christian by military standard, was extremely slender, rejoiced in the charity and forbearance, w ch, while it ameliorated the heart possession of a hatchet face ornamented with the most and breathed peace around it, shed also a lustre on the humsplendid Roman nose imaginable, illumined by two small ble community beyond the dignity which vain pomp confers ferret eyes, squinting fiercely inwards, which gave to his on the fleeting distinctions which gorgeous wealth creates. countenance the most sinister expression possible. Quite But Jack was an invited guest; so was his own amiable aware of the value of these natural advantages, Jack's genius minister, the virtuous and respected Protestant rector, Mr and striking taste in dress added considerably to their effect. B; so was Dr D, a pretty tolerable wag; and so It was his invariable custom through life to wrap his outer was the Rev. Mr K, the parish priest, between whom and man in a long blue cloak, a garment little used in his day. the rector there existed a sincere unfeigned friendship. The Summer and winter, a pair of blue rib-and-fur woollen stock-priest had studied in France; was a man of high attainments, ings encased his spindle legs, gartered above the knee be- polished manners, possessed a vast fund of sparkling wit, with neath a pair of gun-mouthed unmentionables; a red nightcap as ready and as happy an expression as ever distinguished ever maintained its conspicuous place on his elevated poll, man; but his brilliant qualities were ever under the control of while an immense fire-shovel or clerical hat gave a finish to strict decorum, and, further, restrained by a lofty sense of that his unique and matchless appearance. He possessed one other dignity which should inhedge the minister of religion. He was accomplishment: he was afflicted-poh!-blessed with a most consequently an especial favourite with all classes, and an inveterate stammer in his speech a word in speaking he honoured guest at every social board. No man revered him could not utter without the most frightful contortion of coun- more than Snap Rivers, and none was more anxious, or better tenance, and unintelligible splutter, splutter, splutter. Yet, knew how, to draw out his conversational powers. no one of his attributes did he turn to such beneficial effect as this; for when he either wished to gain time, or baffle an opponent, forth came a torrent of manting sounds in all their horrific grandeur, and he who could quell the feelings of pity could rarely resist the ready propensity to laugh at the ludicrous exhibition; so Jack was generally successful. But, notwithstanding this great natural defect, whenever he pleased he could make himself well understood, by falling back upon a species of recitative, or musical method of speaking, peculiar to himself, and always commencing with a loud "ho ho!" which gave timely warning to all his ac
The party was all assembled with the exception of our hero, and as his presence and pungent remarks always contributed to the hilarity of his friends, the kind-hearted host was not half satisfied with his absence. "What the devil's keeping Jack?” had just escaped from Mr Anderson's tongue, as the door opened, and the head and shoulders of Snap Rivers made their welcome appearance. When he had fairly entered the room, he raised himself to his full height, stared deliberately around him, pulled off his hat with some attempt at grace, and exclaimed in his own fashion, Ho! ho! a goo-hoodly company, by Ju-hupiter! Ho! ho! the bla-hack-coats!"
Then casting up his eyes in the most fervent manner, he added
"From daw-hoctors and praw-hoctors, lil-lawyers and clahargymen, good Lord deliver us!"
Early in the attack, Mr Rivers," said the priest. "Ho! ho! Mr Lil-long-tongue, sure you nee-heedn't care; you're always prepared. I wo-wo-wish your brother co-cocorbie there would bib-bib-bib-borrow some of your chinwhack."
"Listen to him noo," said the host; "he's begun, an' the diel would na stop his tongue; we'll a' get a wipe in our turn.' "Never mind," said the rector. "Mr Rivers, I am happy to perceive, is charitably inclined to-night. He wishes to increase my usefulness for the benefit of his neighbours, as he never condescends to occupy his seat in church."
"And never will, Mr Modesty, till you think fit to change your tune.'
"Pray inform me how I shall accommodate myself to your taste, Mr Rivers."
There are tit-two mim-methods open to you. Either you shall pra-hactise what you pre-heach, or pre-heach what you pra-hactise !"
'You are pleased to speak in riddles, Mr Rivers; be kind enough to explain."
"Ho! ho! tha-hat is mim-more than I intended. Fu-hoo men blame me for con-ce-ling my thoughts. But I shall try to be clear. You pre-heach cha-harity, and you pra-hactise rirrir-robbery. Ho! ho! but you are a saint! Now, I am a knave; and how lies the difference? In my fif-favour to be sure, for I give the world fif-fair play-every body knows my cha-haracter."
Your character is generally known," interposed the priest; "and, as you admire candour, allow me to add, as generally execrated."
"And what is that yoo-hoore affair, Mr Law-long-tongue. Why meddle in other men's fif-fif-feuds ?"
"You mistake, Mr Rivers; he who interrupts the harmony of society is accountable to every member. You have rudely burst the bounds of decorum to-night; you have unfeelingly assailed a mild and amiable gentleman; your charge is as unjust as your manner is coarse and vulgar, and both are as execrable as any thing, save the malice that prompted the attack."
"Ho! ho! I might as well have rir-roused a hive of hornets. You black-coats fight among you-yourselves like cat and dog, but you will not allow others to interfere with the claw-hoth, I perceive."
Your greatest enemy wo-ont brand you with that crime," replied Rivers, "for you ride rough-shod over all that come in your way."
"Nothing gives me greater pleasure, I admit, when I meet such characters as you; for history furnishes no likeness of you, and among living men we would seek in vain for your fellow."
Ho! ho! your French politeness is less polished than stringent to-night, I think. I don't admire it much. I would rather see your native talent in its native Irish dress. Out with the sentiments of your heart, plainly, man, and at once say, 'Out of h, Rivers, you're matchless.'
Oh no, I cannot profit by your advice. I felt my own want of ability, and therefore left the picture to be dashed off by an abler hand. The truthfulness of your sketch no person will venture to dispute."
"Always doing a little,” said the good-natured doctor, "but nothing worth notice. Any snaps with yourself of late, my conscientious friend?"
Good, doctor, good; seldom at a loss for a sly hit. A-a-and to tell you the truth, I have mere trifles to boast of since I diddled the fellows in the pa-harish of Billy."
“I am not aware of the circumstance; pray what was it ?” said the doctor.
"Lil-lil-let our brilliant host tell you; he was a witness to the transaction," said Rivers; "besides, unfortunately, my tongue was not made by the same craftsman that manufactured my brains."
"How happy for your neighbours!" said the priest; "could your tongue give ready expression to the subtle plottings of your skull, we would be deluged with a torrent of knavery. But, Mr Anderson, do favour us with the story."
By my conscience, then, it will do but little credit to Jack, in any honest man's mind; but if you will hae it, then you must hae it. About three months ago there was a property to be sold by public cant in B- ls, and, to be sure, the devil drives it to Jack's cars. Weel! the lease was a perpetuity, very valuable, and fifty pun' o' a deposit was to be paid doon on the nail. Very weel, he comes owre and engages me to gang alang wi' him to buy the place. But on the morning of the sale when I called on him, what was my surprise to see him dressed up in a rabbitman's coat, tied roun' wi' a strae rope, a hat owre the red nightcap, no worth thrippence, wi' breeks, shoes, and stockings that would disgrace a beggarman. Weel, in spite o' a' I could say, aff he starts in that fashion, and you'll grant a bonny figure he cut amang respectable men; but diel hait he cared; for while the folk was gathering, he sets himsel up on a kind o' a counter, and begins beating wi' his heels, and glancing roun' him like a monkey, and jabbering the purest nonsense. I actually thought I would hae drapped through the earth wi' perfect shame, though I was a little relieved when I saw he was set down for an idiot, and heard the gentlemen freely crack their jokes on him. Weel, the auction commenced, and when twa or three bids were gi'en, he looks up at the cant-master so innocently, and says, in his ain style, Ho, ho, may I gie a bid?' To be sure, my fine fellow,' says the man, laughing doon at him; bid up, and nae doot ye'll get the property.' The bidding was up to £150. £200, cries Jack, amid the roars o' the company, £250,' says another. £300,' says Jack, and he skellied up at the cant-master in such a fashion as nae living man could stand. You could hae tied the hail gathering wi' a strae, while Jack kept glowering about and whistling, and beating time to the tune wi' his heels."
"And what tune did he whistle?" said the doctor.
"The diel a mair or less nor the Rogue's March,’” said the narrator. "But when the roars had subsided, the cantmaster, to humour the joke, takes up Jack's bid, and he says, Three hundred pounds once-three hundred pounds twicethree hundred pounds, three three three-all done?—three times!' and down, in fine, he knocks a property worth three thousand, adding, The place is yours, my man.' by my sowl,' says Jack, springing off the counter, the place is mine; and pulling a bag out of a side pocket, and placing it on the table, he added, And there's your required deposit for you! But he may tell the rest himsel."
"And what followed, Mr Rivers?" said the doctor. "Wha-hat followed! Why, you-oo would have thought the fellow was stuck, or af-flicted with my own impediment; but after some attempts he stammered out, Oh, every person knows I was only in jest.' 'Ho! ho! my boy,' said I, but every person here shall know that I ne-ever was more in earnest. If I be a fool, my money's no fool. Ho ho! gentlemen, you enjoyed your jokes at my expense; but it's an old saying, he may laugh that wins; the tables a-a-are The laugh was against Jack, and he bore the punish-turned, and it's my time now, I presume.' ment with good temper, collecting himself, however, for a re- And, Mr Anderson," said the doctor, "did all present newal of hostilities. After tea, as was the custom on such quietly submit to the imposition?" occasions, the ladies and such of the young men as preferred female society withdrew to another apartment, while the majority of the elderly gentlemen, including the clergymen, the doctor, and Snap Rivers, collected round the host to enjoy the comforts of the bottle; and as the steam began to rise, the hilarity of the party got up in proportion. After various gay sallies, Rivers said,
'Well, Master Galen, how goes trade now? the se-hexton are se-heldom idle, I believe."
"Why, to tell the truth, every sowl in the place was dumfoundered, and stared at each other like as mony idiots. The cant-master made some new objection about ruining him, but Jack very glibly replied, The sale is good and lawful. After more than three bids, the property was knocked down to me. The terms have been duly complied with, the deposit tendered before witnesses, and here is the remainder of the purchase money at your service when the deeds are perfected. I grant you were more merry than wise on this oc
casion; and if you wish to know whom you have to deal with, it may be sufficient to inform you that I am Snap Rivers of the Doaghs; you have likely heard the name before;' and out he marched as cool as a cucumber."
The rector knew less of his parishioner than did the rest of the party; he therefore listened in amazement to the relation; but when the host had concluded, as if to assure himself that he was not dreaming, he said, “ And, Mr Anderson, did all this really occur?"
"I'faith I assure you it did."
"And is it possible that you could lend yourself to so nefarious and disreputable a transaction?"
"It's no the first time Jack has made a tool o' me," said the simple-minded host: "he inveigled me there just to make a witness o' me. I was innocently led into the affair; but besides what you have heard, I have neither more nor less to do with it."
"And do you really intend to retain the property, Mr Rivers?" warmly inquired the indignant rector.
"Do I intend to retain it! Lord, how simple you would appear! Ho! ho! retain it! to be sure I will, and a very good thing it is, let me tell you.'
Well, sir, under these circumstances it is my duty to be plain: you and I can have no further acquaintance," said the
Snap appeared surprised, and with a vacant stare, or at least a well-feigned look of simplicity, he modestly inquired, "And why, may I ask, shoo-oo-ood you cut my acquaintance ?"
"These arguments," replied the rector, "might satisfy a Jew, but have no force on the Christian mind. You have no moral right. It is true, the law of the land may protect you, yet still you retain that to which in justice you have not even a shadow of claim."
"And were I to answer according to your merits, a horsewhip would afford the fitting reply. Respect for my own character forbids that appeal, and protects your insolence. Yet you go not unchastised. The cupidity of your heart, like every other crime, engenders its own punishment; and though you appear to glory in acts which shock the feelings of all other men, yet, despite your coarse ribaldry, there is an avenger within your own breast, which with scorpion venom stings you to madness, and will never cease its gnawings till penitence, a very unlikely consummation, pour its healing balm on ulcers seared and encrusted by the fires of iniquity!"
"Ho! ho! how very familiar you black-coats are with horrors! How very glibly you can talk of hell where devils dwell, and thunder out damnation.' Now, I think you priests should be more modest. It would serve your interests better to merely consign us to purgatory."
Your own acts, Rivers, determine such cases."
Ho! ho! I am aware of that; but, notwithstanding, cannot a little bit of clerical hocus-pocus serve us on a pinch ?" "The habitually profane have little to hope for either from God or man; they sneer at blessings mercifully offered, and too frequently die in their sins."
Then, under all these circumstances I think it as wise to have nothing to do with your purgatory."
"I wish it may not be your fate to go farther and fare worse.'
"Well, the devil couldn't bandy compliments with you, Mr K; so I think, brother Bill, you had better push about "The reason is plain," said the rector; "you are in pos- the jorum. The priest has too much tongue for me to-night, session of a property surreptitiously obtained. You have and there's no moving his temper. But wait a bit: if I don't deeply injured the proprietor, ruined the auctioneer, and in-gage him to his heart's content, the first public place I meet stead of feeling remorse, you glory in the nefarious deed." him in, my name's not Snap Rivers." The party separated "Ho! ho! is that the way the land lies? Why, man, did good friends, and the priest paid no attention to the threat. not I purchase it at a public sale? and was I not the highest A month had elapsed, and Mr K- - having business in the bidder? If the auction was ill managed on their parts, am I nearest town, found himself on the market-day perusing a to blame?" placard, announcing the exhibition of a large beautiful milkwhite bullock, said to be a ton weight. In the midst of his reading the priest was surprised to hear himself called by name. “Ho! ho! Mr K come hither!" His eye followed in the direction of the sounds, and at about a perch distant he beheld Rivers, dressed as usual in his long blue cloak, gun-mouthed breeches, blue rib-and-fur stockings, his red nightcap and fire-shovel hat-as ludicrous a figure, "take him for all and all," as ever stood in a market. “ Ho ! họ ! Mr K. come hither," and the priest, not unwillingly, obeyed the summons. The meeting occurred just in the market-place. The little square was thronged to excess. The anxiety of business sat upon every countenance, and hundreds, passing hither and thither in the ardent pursuit of their own affairs, might have passed their most intimate friend without recognition; so true it is that the contemplative man is never more in solitude than in the midst of a crowd. But the first salutations over, Rivers entered eagerly into conversation with the priest, on topics of mutual interest; with not unwarrantable familiarity he laid his hand on his shoulder, continued to talk earnestly, insinuated his finger into a button-hole, without apparent motive caught him by the collar, then grasped it firmly; and that done, to his victim's consternation he pulled off his fire-shovel hat, left the red nightcap uncovered, and with much vigour brandishing the chapeau, began to call an auction. The market-people deemed him mad. The priest felt no desire to be disposed of by public sale, but Snap laboured most earnestly in his new vocation.
"Well, I am rejoiced to hear these noble sentiments from you, Mr Rector, although your high tone smacks a little of prudery. I trust you will cherish them; and if you do, what the devil, I ask, will become of your tithes, to which you have less claim than I have to the property? I gave something for it, yoo-oo give nothing at all for them; and yet you have the confounded impudence to rebuke me for one solitary act of knavery, while you practise the same trick on hundreds yearly."
The rector vouchsafed no reply, but retired to the ladies, disgusted with the hardened villany of his ribald parishioner, who laughed in triumph at the clergyman's discomfiture; and turning to the priest, he said,
"Well, Master Glib-tongue, what do you think of the affair? Did not I badger Mr Modesty in prime style? I think he will not readily volunteer his infernal impudence again, after such a lesson."
"I know, Snap," said the priest, "you are a consummate scoundrel. You have treated a most amiable man with unfeeling rudeness, and you deserve the reprobation of every right-thinking mind. Your legal swindling is bad, but your unblushing advocacy of the principle is worse; and if any thing still more flagrant can be conceived, your base and savage retort upon your own pastor is the very climax of your heartless villany."
"Ho! ho! Mr Bladderchops, you have taken up the cudgels, with a vengence. But you should remember the proverb, Come into court with clean hands.' What are you better than Mr Modesty? You don't take the tithes, simply because you can't get them. You don't rob by act of parliament, but you wheedle the money out of some, and frighten it out of others, with the magic of your priestcraft."
Mr Anderson was in agony, and interposing said, "I think, Jack, if you had any decency or feeling for me, you would'nt insult a clergyman at my table. You might be satisfied with driving one out of the room."
"Ho! ho! Mr Numskull, but you're thin in the skin! You have a wonderful leaning towards the corbies; you might fairly volunteer to defend the rector, but I beg you to let the priest answer for himself,"
Ho, ho! oh yes! oh yes! hear ye! hear ye!"
And the people did hear, and did flock around the pair. The priest's feelings may be fancied more readily than pourtrayed. He at once saw his tormentor's aim; he knew that violence would only serve to increase the awkwardness of his position, and with much presence of mind he resolved quietly to baffle, and if possible to turn the table upon Rivers. The crowd rushed rapidly to the centre of attraction. Mr K remained apparently unconcerned, and Snap was the object of every eye, as he continued vociferously to bawl, "Hear ye! hear ye! oh yes! oh yes!" The gaping spectators were lost in wonderment. No one could either divine the cause of the uproar or explain the strange conduct of the man in the cloak. At length the priest, seizing the favourable moment, pulled off his hat, and with a serene look and respectful tone thus addressed the assembly
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour of informing
you that Mr John Rivers of the Doaghs, this long gentleman at my shoulder with the blue cloak and red nightcap, purposes in his present remarkable dress to ride the white bullock' three times round the market this day for your amusement; the performance to begin precisely at 12 o'clock.' Three thundering cheers announced the delight of the crowd, while Rivers, baffled, disappointed, astonished, perfectly dumfoundered, slackened his gripe, fell back a few steps, and stared most fixedly at the placid countenance of the priest; he gaped and struggled for utterance; the muscles of his face played in wild commotion. He solemnly raised his hands and eyes in the attitude of prayer, and at last was enabled to bawl, or rather half sing, All that ever you did upon me was but a flea-bite to this. So, to make up matters, you shall dine with Yellow Peg and me to-morrow; you are the only man that ever could say he was more than a match for Snap Rivers." H. H.
INTERIOR OF THE GREAT EGYPTIAN
AFTER dining with Caviglia, dear A, to continue my yarn, we started by moonlight for the Pyramid, in company with the Genius Loci, and duly provided with candles for exploration. I must premise that Caviglia, whose extraordinary discoveries you are doubtless well acquainted with, has just been set to work again by Colonel Vyse, Mr Sloane, and Colonel Campbell, our Consul-General at Cairo. He is at present attempting to make further discoveries in the Great Pyramid; and as soon as he gets a firman from the Pasha, intends to attack the others.
The shape of this Pyramid has been compared to "four equilateral triangles on a square basis, mutually inclining towards each other till they meet in a point.' Lincoln'sInn Fields, the area of which corresponds to its base, wholly filled up with an edifice higher by a third than St Paul's, may give some idea of its dimensions.
The entrance is on the northern face of the Pyramid, on the sixteenth step, though you can ride up to it, such immense mounds of fallen stones have accumulated at the base. A long low passage, most beautifully cut and polished, runs downwards above 260 feet at an angle of twenty-seven degrees, to a large hall sixty feet long, directly under the centre of the Pyramid, cut out of rock, and never, it would appear, finished. This was discovered by Caviglia; the passage before this time was supposed to end about half way down, being blocked up with stones at the point where another passage meets it, running upwards at the same angle of 27, and by which you might mount in a direct line to the grand gallery, and from that to the king's chamber, where stands the sarcophagus, nearly in the centre of the pile, were it not for three or four blocks of granite that have been slid down from above, in order to stop it up.
By climbing through a passage, formed, as it is supposed, by the Caliph Mamoun, you wind round these blocks of granite into the passage, so that, with the exception of ten or twelve feet, you do in fact follow the original line of ascent. We descended by it. Close to the opening of this passage on the grand gallery is the mouth of a well about 200 feet deep, by which we ascended from the neighbourhood of the great lower hall. Two or three persons had descended it before Caviglia's time, but he cleared it out to the full depth that his predecessors had reached, and believing it went still deeper, hearing a hollow sound as he stamped on the bottom, he attempted to excavate there, but was obliged to desist on account of the excessive heat, which neither he nor the Arabs
Think what his delight must have been, when in the course of clearing the passage which I mentioned to you leads directly from the great lower hall, smelling a strong smell of sulphur; and remembering he had burnt some in the well to purify the air, he dug in that direction, and found a passage leading right into the bottom of the well, where the ropes, pick-axes, &c., &c., were lying that he had left there in despair, on abandoning the idea of further excavation in that direction as hopeless.
Up this well, as I said, we climbed, holding a rope, and fixing our feet in holes cut in the stone; the upper part of the ascent was very difficult, and bats in numbers came tumbling down on us; but at last we landed safely in the grand gallery, a noble nondescript of an apartment, very lofty, narrowing towards the roof, and most beautifully chiselled; it ends
towards the south in a staircase, if I may so term an inclined plane, with notches cut in the surface for the feet to hold by; the ascent is perilous, the stone being as polished and slippery as glass; before ascending, however, we proceeded by another beautifully worked passage, cut directly under the staircase to a handsome room called the queen's chamber. Returning to the gallery, we mounted the inclined plane to the king's chamber, directly over the queen's. The passage leading to it was defended by a portcullis now destroyed, but you see the grooves it fell into. His majesty's chamber is a noble apartment, cased with enormous slabs of granite, twenty feet high; nine similar ones (seven large and two half-sized) form the ceiling.
At the west end stands the sarcophagus, which rings, when struck, like a bell. From the north and south sides respectively of this room branch two small oblong-square passages, like air-holes, cut through the granite slabs, and slanting upwards-the first for eighty feet in a zigzag direction, the other for one hundred and twenty.
It is Caviglia's present object to discover whither these lead. Being unable to pierce the granite, he has begun cutting sideways into the limestone at the point where the granite casing of the chamber ends has reached the northern passage at the point where it is continued through the limestone, and is cutting a large one below it, so that the former runs like a groove in the roof of the latter, and he has only to follow it as a guide, and cut away till he reaches the denouement. "Now," says Caviglia, "I will show you how I hope to find out where the southern passage leads to."
Returning to the landing-place at the top of the grand staircase, we mounted a ricketty ladder to the narrow passage that leads to Davison's chamber, so named after the English consul at Algiers, who discovered it seventy years ago; it is directly above the king's chamber, the ceiling of the one forming, it would appear, the floor of the other. The ceiling of Davison's chamber consists of eight stones, beautifully worked; and this ceiling, which is so low that you can only sit cross-legged under it, Caviglia believes to be the floor of another large room above it, which he is now trying to discover. To this room he concludes the little passage leads that branches from the south side of the king's chamber. He has accordingly dug down the calcareous stone at the farther end of Davison's chamber, in hopes of meeting it; once found, it will probably lead him to the place he is in quest of.-Lord Lindsay's Letters from the East.
JOHN PHILPOT CURRAN.-Mr Curran happening to crossexamine one of those persons known in Ireland by the significant description of half-gentlemen, found it necessary to ask though perfectly familiar to him, the witness affected not to a question as to his knowledge of the Irish tongue, which, understand, whilst he at the same time spoke extremely bad knowing your own language than of not knowing any other." English. "I see, sir, how it is: you are more ashamed of
A barrister entered the hall with his wig very much awry, and of which not at all apprised, he was obliged to endure from almost every observer some remark on its appearance, till at last, addressing himself to Mr Curran, he asked him, "Do you see any thing ridiculous in this wig?" The answer instantly was, Nothing but the head."
Bills of indictment had been sent up to a grand jury, in the finding of which Mr Curran was interested. After delay and much hesitation, one of the grand jurors came into court to explain to the judge the grounds and reasons why it was ignored. this person, said "You, sir, can have no objection to write Mr Curran, very much vexed by the stupidity of it will then be a true bill. upon the back of the bill ignoramus, for self and fellow-jurors;
Mr Hoare's countenance was grave and solemn, with an expression like one of those statues of the Brutus head. He seldom smiled; and if he smiled, he smiled in such a sort as seemed to have rebuked the spirit that could smile at all. Mr Curran once observing a beam of joy to enliven his face, remarked, "Whenever I see smiles on Hoare's countenance, I think they are like tin clasps on an oaken coffin.”
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