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237

HOW LITERATURE FLOURISHED IN GRAVELEY.

ON SENDING A CAKE TO A MINISTER WHO IAD BEEN A

FARM LABOURER.

usual oharacteristics of feminine writing, especially These contraband articles were coolly produced, that one characteristic of boundless regard for the from time to time, and read by their owner quite minister. Here are a verse or two from an as a matter of course, and with no apparent sense

of their combustibleness. Cousinly kindness at ODE.

first barely tolerated them, but by-and-bye their

exterior became familiar. One day the open book Time long ago, you used to sow,

was dipped into by a native, as it lay upon the garWith seedlip by your side;

den seat. It is written in the annals of Graveley Now, for my sake, accept a cake,

that the first trespasser was a lady. It is also Nor let it wound your pride

written in the same anuals that, having broken the To turn with me, and look and see,

ice, she began to drink more boldly. It is also The goodness of the Lord,

recorded that a serious passage in “Thaddeus of Who from the seed, in very deed, Called you to preach his word.

Warsaw,” artfully quoted without acknowledgment

of its source, by a daring innovator, was so for. Could I partake with you the cake,

tunate as to meet the approbation of one of the The moments would be dear,

deacons of one of the churches, and from that As that can't be, I'll send it thee,

hour the fortanes of fiction began to look up in And bow submissive here. Graveley. “Thaddeus of Warsaw," and

The You will not expect or require me to criticise Children of the Abbey," were read at first in verses like those. I have many similar composi. snatches, and in bye-places : afterwards in extenso tions, all breathing pious and kindly feeling, and and before the sun. “Thaddeus of Warsaw” mostly turning upon some incident of the hour. always held its own and commanded most readers, An accident to a chimney pot wakes up a sturdy until I left the place, which I attribute partly to farmer to a fierce lyric, beginning

its intrinsic superiority, but still more to its being « Beneath this humble roof,

“ founded on fact.” This, which to a critical eye My father lived of old.”

means a bad book, was a strong recommendation The return of a borrowed half-crown is cele. in the eyes of the sober-minded and uncritical brated in octosyllabics of " fatal facility."

Graveleyians.

The lady who was successful in revolutionising “The silver piece to you is sent,

the literary taste of Graveley in the matter of ficTo banish all your discontent,"

tion was a pleasant, lively, dashing little body, and so on. The figures of speech are often something of a coquette and a romp, but with questionable, and "truth” is sometimes forced strong and even passionate feelings. The general into a hateful rhyming alliance with “earth.” | impression of her was that she was a ne'er-do-well, But the general conclusion from my bundle of who would bring down somebody's, if not evers. manuscript is, that Graveley would have been an body's, grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. Yet Arcadia, in its way, if it had not been for two she eventually “joined the church,” and adorned circumstances, I. That things cost money; II. the profession she made by doing so—at least that That two men cannot marry the same woman, and was my own opinion of the matter : I fear some vice dersá-circumstances which (the philosophic of the good folk found her rather“ unsavoury," mind will not fail to observe) enter largely into the and too mercurial, but she was the flower of composition of human discomfort everywhere. Graveleyian wifehood, and a watchful and affec

These good people, then, found themselves in tionate mother. She was ever doing kindnesses, popular and entertaining literature. The circula. and concentrated in her own rosy, plump little tiug library was a thing only remotely dreamt of person the functions of Benevolent Association, in Graveley. It was believed that works of fiction Visiting Committee, Dorcas Society, and I know were read by the servants at the hall, and the not what besides. She never flinched from a sick. wicked old parson at the church had been heard to bed or a tale of trouble, and I cannot wish you a speak of "Tom Jones ;” but in my own immediate happier departure from this life than that of the circle, which comprised nearly the whole popula- frank, playful creature who first introduced fiction tion, these things were spoken of as hobgoblin into Graveley. stories. If you were seen with a story book in Her works do follow her, in more senses than your band, you would be reminded of Joseph, and In poetry, Graveley has now got as far as the infelicitous fruit which grew on that garden Crabbe and Hemans! I am told that “ Deer. wall in the "

Pilgrim's Progress ;” and if the brook” and “Jane Eyre,” have been read by the plague had broken out, the consternation could élite of the place, and that the keeper of the post. scarcely have been greater in Graveley than it office takes in the “Words”—by which I presume was, when a female relative of one of our good my correspondent means the “ Household Words” friends who had come up from London to settle of Mr. Charles Dickens. there, was found to have brought with her " Thad. Perhaps I ought to state that the observations deus of Warsaw," by Miss Porter, and “The of the Graveleyians upon which these memoranda Children of the Abbey," by Regina Maria are founded, were made by me at the mature age Roche!

of four or five, and that they have since bein

one.

238

TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OF A COSMOPOLITE'S LIFE.

supplemented by constant intercourse with a of my reading friends that I cannot forbear remarkGraveleyian who came to London, and by a la ing upon it. I mean in the capacity of reading borious study of the MSS. in question. I should the same book an indefinite number of times withfear sentimentalism is now making sad havoc out getting tired of it. among the Graveleyians, and that « frames and In society, it is admitted that the longer you feelings” are of much more account than they know a person who is worth knowing, the better used to be there. It is the natural consequence you understand him—that you make fresh disof becoming literary.

coveries every time you see him—that, if at first he was a surprise and a pleasure, he becomes, as

he grows upon you, more and more a revelation A PRACTICAL CAUTION.

and a bettering influence. Why should it not be A day's holiday generally necessitates another understood to be the same with a book that is day's fiddle-faddling. Take twelve hour's recrea- worth reading? In fact, it is so; but few, comtion, and you hope to be able to work like a lion paratively, recognise the fact. With books, as to-morrow_but you discern, to your sorrow, that with men and women, though first impressions have you must put a bar of laziness between pleasure their own proper value, the more progress you and work. Remember this in planning out your make in mastering their idiosyncrasies, the more time.

good you get out of them. It is only when an author's trick of phrase has become quite familiar,

that you have leisure to bestow on what underlies READING BOOKS.

it, and master his secret thought. And even There is a particular in which I am often finding then, there are “ wheels within wheels" ad out afresh that I differ so widely from the majority | infinitum.

TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OF A COSMOPOLITE'S LIFE;

BEING

PAGES OF ADVENTURE AND TRAVEL.

THE ADVENTURE,

CHAPTER V.

almost as instantaneously did a chetah leap out from its lair, and with one bound disappear with

our little favourite firmly secured in its jaws. ABOUT the third day after our entering upon that Losing all control over himself

, C- very invast and almost impenetrable jungle alluded to in judicionsly set spur to his horse, and followed my last chapter, we had started, as usual, at early

as best he could upon the track of this felon dawn, with a long and dreary day's journey before of the forest. A few minutes gallop convinced us. In the jungle, though we travelled slowly, and him, however, of the futility and rashness of such our progress was often interrupted by the density an attempt ; yet, not before he had lost sight of of brambles and tiger-grass, yet the complete the narrow track that we were pursuing. He shelter afforded by the netted foliage of stately speedily became entangled amongst an impenetrable and ancient trees, that had intertwined their

maze of brushwood and brier. More and more branches through centuries of time, created a cool bewildered— deeper and deeper entangled in a and refreshing atmosphere, which enabled both part where probably human being had never before beast and man to undergo more bodily fatigue penetrated, C—and his godawallah* (who, than could bave been expected in the open country, Indian like, bad followed him on foot carrying his exposed to the fierce rays of an Indian sun;

guu for him), held a consultation as to the best moreover, everyone was anxious to be quit, as

mode of procedure, which resulted in their deterspeedily as available

, of such unpleasant neighbours mining to leave it to the instinct of the horse and as teemed in that vicinity.

dogs to retrieve them from a dilemma far more About three hours before noon, a favourite horrible than conception ever realised. It was little spaniel, that sometimes trotted alongside of well they did so, as tbe result will clearly testify. us on foot, but oftener rode in one or the other of

Giving head to the faithful Arab, preceded by a our palanquins, suddenly leapt out of mine in pur- brace of greyhounds, and a few English pointers, suit of some stray hare that had crossed our path these two adventurers speedily found themselves way, and instantly disappeared in the dense foliage extricated from an apparently impenetrable thicket, that surrounded us on every side. C, who and to their great joy entered upon a well beaten was close behind us on horseback, endeavoured to reach the pet before evil should befall her ; but

* Indian groom.

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track, where the ruts of cartwheels gave evidence would not weary out the horse, and eventually of their having again recovered the highway from triumph over its superior speed. which they had so recklessly swerved. In this In this fearful state of affairs the chase conconclusion they were sadly mistaken. Emerging tinued for upwards of an hour and a-half, when suddenly from the intense gloom that surrounded most providentially C- came upon a large them, they found themselves in a wide open space party of wood-cutters, who had come out with that had been effectually cleared of trees and ballock carts and provisions, for a week's labour brushwood, and where, to their atter dismay and in felling timber, required for ship-building purconsternation, they beheld a herd of wild elephants poses on the sea coast of Malabar, at Cochin, and lazily disporting themselves in the sunlight that Quilon. These men, by shouts and firing of guns, here penetrated. Hardly a moment intervened frightened away the enraged elephants, and thus before their intrusion was discovered, and instantly the fugitives were most fortunately rescued. For resented. The leader of the herd, an immense a consideration, a large body of these men reconmale elephant, with tusks that would have proved ducted C- to the highroad from which he had a treasure-trove to any ivory seeker, gave the strayed, and, in their way, they encountered alarm by raising such a trumpeting as woke up and delivered the terrified godawallah, who, at echoes far and wide. Immediately the others took first sight of the elephants, had taken refuge up the strain, and then there ensued a bewildering amongst the branches of a very lofty teak tree, and fearful scene, such as few of my readers where he was exceedingly annoyed by the antics of would ever desire to contemplate. Amidst the monkeys, and whence he observed with terror that deafening clamour and roar, the crushing and two elephants, detaching themselves from the herd crackling of branches and tender plants, the pursuing his master, took up their position as chattering of frightened monkeys, the flattering sentries at the bottom of the tree, picked up C.'s of alarmed birds, the screams of the peacocks, and double barrelled gun, chucked it with such force a hundred other unaccountable, and heretofore un- into the air, that the concussion occasioned by the heard sounds, there stood that noble steed, with fall caused both barrels to explode, and not only its pallid rider, an Arab of true blood, snorting the elephants, but his other persecutors, the monforth defiance at his gigantic opponents, till, seizing keys, were put to flight by so sudden and unusual the bit with firm grasp, and despite all my terrified a sound. friend's efforts to swerve him from bis course, he It may be readily conceived in what agonies of charged boldly right in amongst the thickest of suspense the rest of the party had remained during the herd, and by the suddenness of the movement the unaccountable absence of C- At first, scattered them left and right, bringing utmost ready excuses were framed, knowing, as we did, confusion amongst their ranks-causing a like his sporting propensities ; but when breakfast effect, most probably, as was produced by the had long been discussed, and our dinner hour fatal light cavalry charge at Balaklava. This was near at hand, then indeed sad forebodings as effect, however, was but of momentary duration; to his fate arose. Our alarm was all the more no sooner had the gallant steed dashed through augmented when, towards one p.m., the greyhounds the monstrous phalanx that opposed it, than they and the other dogs, sore of foot and perfectly exwith one accord wheeled round, and trumpeting hausted, crept into the bungalow where we were forth their rage, followed in pursuit. These were lodged. The cutwal* had dispersed the whole moments of terrible suspense to poor C- village, with strict orders not to return without Away flew the terrified intruders over the narrow tidings; but it was not until night had closed over and uncertain pathway, often so wedged in with our miserable abode, that our hearts were made forest on either side, and so entangled with glad by the cheerful voice of the missing one, who, branches, as to threaten to overthrow horse and though exhausted, and without food from the prerider, a mishap that must have proved fatal to both, vious evening, raised a cheer to announce bis whilst poor C- retained just consciousness return, that made our hearts tingle again with enough to be aware that the enraged elephants, gladness. well versed in the mazy mystifications of the The day after this adventure, we reached Majungle, were hot in pursuit, carrying away before nautoddy, where we were hospitably received and them all minor objects that opposed their progress lodged by Major Beavan (Author of “ Thirty -iearing off huge brauches that might have Years in India"); then the comipandant of the caused a hale man a forenoon's occupation to lop company of Sepoys stationed there, whose house off, and even endeavouring by short cuts through was full of young subalterns, attracted hither by the jungle to get ahead and arrest their further the love of sport-for game of every description, flight. Moreover, it was a matter of great un- abounded in the neighbourhood, and the sportsman certainty as to whether the pathway led to the might take his choice from a royal tiger to a abode of civilisation, or the densest and Jeast widgeon. frequented portions of the jungle,-whether the Five days more journeying brought us to our first thing they might encounter should prove destination. friend or foe-man or tiger,—and, in any case, whether the greater strength of the elephants

* Native magistrate.

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CHAPTER VI.

that five or six of these hired palkees, laden with INSIDE A PALANQUIN.

fresh imported griffins, bound on a formal round I care not who asserts to the contrary, and this of morning calls, get up a kind of hurdle, tearing is a bold challenge, but I maintain that there is no along full speed, screaming and jostling, till mode of conveyance at once so luxurious and con- some abrupt turning brings them into violent convenient as a good Indian palanquin. Admitting tact with each other, and the result is a lamentable that for speed it will bear no comparison with lieap of ruins-bearers with bruised heads and other vehicles, and for appearance is far less skins, broken poles, and smashed panels, and, in dignified than a four-in-band; still I persist that the centre, endeavouring to extricate himself from for distance, night travelling, and a hot climate, a chaos of ruined materials, gentleman Cadet for a country where hotels or inns are things get Snibbey in a profound state of bewilderment. to come, nothing can compete with a good palan

Sometimes it also occurs that ludicrous mis. quin, carried by a well assorted private set of lakes, rather aggravating to the bearers themselves, bearers. Every respectable resident in India are brought about from ignorance of the people's employs private sets of palanquin bearers, who language and customs. An old anecdote is current are in regular monthly pay; and, in addition to at Madras of a very corpulent shipmaster, whose their stipulated business of carrying to and fro, weight threatened to force the bottom out of the make themselves useful in a dozen different ways palanquin, and grievously oppressed the unhappy

- they dust the furniture, sweep up the dry men, who could only just crawl along with their leaves and litter in front of the house, help to burden. Conscious of his own misfortune, anwater the garden, carry cocked-hatted looking noyed at the notice be evidently attracted, and chito(the Indian for billet-doux), or scented enraged at the snail's pace they were creeping invitations to balls from house to house, run for along at, the stout man lay smothering his anger the doctor, help to pull the punkah, water the till bis fevered imagination interpreted the usual euscuss blinds during the prevalence of fierce hot sing-song nasal drawl of the poor bearers into winds, fetch chatties of water to the bath, rig up insulting insinuations towards himself. Their swings or make palm leaf toys for the children, ah-be-fah pe, ground over and over again, sounded sing Hindoo love ditties to soothe fractious master to bim amazingly like a big fat pig, and so roused Bills, carry baby and the ahmah* in the best his indignation, that he jumped out af the palantongon down to the beach before sunrise (and quin, and violently assaulted the astonished and never tell tales when ahmahs, liable to human unoffending men. frailties accidently, meet with chokera and carry

But to return to the argument with which I on flirtations). All these, in addition to carrying started. Travelling by train is doubtless agreeable the Burra Sahib to his office, and fetching him and expeditious, when the journey occupies only a home in the evening.

few hours, or at most a day and night. Travel as A fine, sturdy, healthy, good humoured people I have done, with hardly an hour's interval

, between are these Hindoo bearers, full of good feeling, London-bridge and Marseilles, and however warm willing, active, and of herculean strength. Seldom and comfortable the first-class carriages, the thing jangling amongst themselves, always neatly clad, is no longer a joke; you feel as if every bone in and profuse and scrupulous in ablutions; respect your body was bruised ; you feel as every man ful and respectable, and usually all of a 'like feels that has not winked at sleep for three nights stature and equal strength. I speak of private you are fit to go to bed, and to do nothing else. sets that are chosen by the head bearer, who is Travel, as I have done also, on horseback, for himself a perfect Adonis, with a voice that can be thirty hours at a stretch, and, tell it not, ye Fates, heard a mile off on a calm day, and who is usually what is the result ? If you had been broken on a possessed of the faculty of telling poochey.carah wheel you could hardly be a greater martyr for a (tanul, ogre, or ghost) stories, which hush the period. Travel on a camel's back, as I have been most obstreporous of Anglo-Indian children into idiot enough to travel, and how do you feel after terrified slumber. Such, at least, is a fair picture the first hour or so, with regard to breath and of the sets employed by us; ordinarily they are

stiffness ? Journey upon an elephant, with a well the same all over the presidency, and carry you fitted, howdah, and, apart from the elephant's with a precision and ease that renders the motion vagaries, such as filling his trunk at every puddle, hardly perceptible, and tends to soothe one to and deliberately squirting the contents all over rest. Such is not the case, however, with hired you—Heavens ! the very recollection is productive bearers, who carry hack palkees at so much a day. of an ague. So with regard to stage-coaches, These are a very inferior class of people, and carriages, cabs, carts, waggons, onnibuses, all these seldom of the true caste; rarely of an equal height, are agreeable enough, and full useful for a measured the deficiency has to be made up by a mass of

distance. But I should like to see the man who shoulder cushions, the slipping or mal-arrangement would undertake to travel night and day in these of which cause excruciating joltings to the unfor-without dismounting, save for a few minutes at a tunate victim inside. And it not unseldom happens time, and so continue travelling through eight

successive days and nights, as I have travelled, dawk in a palanquin. With a couple of thousand

* Wet nurse.

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miles to traverse, give me the palanquin before wiches, newspapers, and a book or two. So much any other mode of conveyance.

for the upper end. From the knees downwards I remember an old anecdote told of a stage (the knees of a full-grown man, not such a precq.. coachmao, when railways first came into vogue, cious traveller as I was) extended, at an elevation which certainly was the most clearly defined ex. of a foot and a half from the bedding, a firm planation of the difference between where are you ? shelf, with a ledge, and a good secure drawer in and there you are. The "old whip,” hard upon it

. Here was packed away hat box, dressing case, the new fangled innovations, brought matters to a desk, more books, more papers, (aud in most gencrisis

, and his argument to a dead settler, by illus. tlemen's palkees, cigars) and other odds and ends, trating two imaginary accidents, and drawing his whilst in the drawer itself were brushes and own satisfactory conclusions from the results. "A combs, looking glass, peus and ink, and other little railway," said he, “why there's the engine goes requisites. Over this shelf, suspended from the a busting, or is blown up, or running into each ceiling of the palanquin, was a strong open net, other, or over pressempieces (precipices) and then capital contrivance for preserving oranges aud where are ye? Whereas a coach wheel may bolt other fruit, so refreshing on a sultry day, and of, or a haccident occur—mayhap you get a bruise which on this present, occasion, was well filled or two--mayhap a broken limb; but there you with mangoes and custard apples, which were are—we sees you, and we picks you up, and car- sadly diminished in proportion as the first day's ries you to a hospital —now that's what I call a journey drew to a close. Under tic mattrass hadequate advantage.” Precisely so—I am per. itself

, spread out between two sheets, was the fectly of honest John's opinion—with this even limited change of linen, &c., allowed for the more “ hadequate advantage” that my palanquin journey, and what was soiled was transferred to a has no wheels to lose ; no restive or kicking flat tin box on the outside, which covered twohorses to contend with ; if an accident happens at thirds of the palkee roof. There was, moreover, all, its the poor bearers' shins that suffers, not outside of the palanquin, and just over the front mine, and the utmost inconvenience I am put to pole, a large open wicker-work basket, well fastis the abruptness of the jolt.

tened to the iron rods that secured the pole, and And now for the inside of my palanquin-that which contained a large sized goglet of water, palanquin in which I travelled, and where I found bottles of wine and beer, a few spare tumblers, and myself cosy and snug, when I opened my eyes a plate or two. Behind, in a similar position, and on the eventsul morning recorded in the second similarly secured, were metal basins and jugs, chapter. My palanquin, then, was about six foot with a wooden camp wash-hand stand, and with long by three broad, and three in height—for what Jonathan calls all the fixings. The sliding model, see specimen in the museum at the India doors of the palanquin opened on either side, at House--I mean the small model in the glass case. least two fooi wide, and had, in addition, threc It was lined throughout with green morocco, well distinct sets of curtains, which all rolled up into padded and stuffed. The mattrass and the cushions a comparatively small space at the top. There (one flat and one round one) were covered with were greeu silk curtains for fine weather, oil cloth the same material, also well stuffed and padded ; ones for wet, and euscuss blinds to shut out tbe over these, at night time, or when anxious for a dreadful long shore winds, which are bad enouglı nap, the head bearer carefully spread blankets and in the best house, but insufferable out of doors. sheets, and placed a couple of bed pillows, when | By keeping these damp, and renewing the supply my palanquin became as laxuriant à four-poster of water at every puddle or stream we came as one could wish for in a hot climate. At other across, the scorching wind lost its effect, and blew times, these were removed and folded together, and in cool and invigorating. Talk to me of luxuries placed behind the palanquin cushion, so as to prop and inventions in travelling. I should like to one up into a comfortable sitting posture, then know what could surpass the comforts of that the palanquin answered for an easy chair or palanquin ? It was a portable palace, a locomocouch. The cushion, moreover, was so arranged tive drawing-room, a dining room, studio, bedby means of leather straps and buttons, as to ad. room, everything and all things at once and in mit of my altering the angle of support for the It was an enchanted castle ([ recollect back, dy raising or lowering the cushion at thinking so at the time) in which I had only to pleasure, when growing weary of one posture. harbour a wish, and that wish was instantly gratiBebind my head, and over either shoulder, were a

fied. I thought "mango," and straightway fisted couple of carriage lamps, fixed outside the palan- one out of the curtain, “ wine and water," it was quin, but which threw all the light, when they at my right and lest, so with biscuits, so with were lit at night, into the interior, through small anything to read, so with sleep, so with all the panes of glass, which bad curtaius io shroud the shadows from light to darkness; and, at night, glare at pleasure. On either hand, also, were

vice versa. I had only to close the sliding doors, pockets and contrivances for holding a tumbler, a and the brilliant glare of day was gone. To let bottle, a small goglet* of water, biscuits, sand loose a flood of light from the lamps at night, and

impenetrable darkness fell into the roadside * Indian porous jars.

hedges. No monarch newly come to the high

a

one.

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