« PreviousContinue »
latter. At Meerut the plot was concocted with overland route, to the extent of the available ship regularity and system. The insurrection occurred ping at Suez. The monsoon will not interfere during public worship. Several officers belonging materially with their progress eastward; and the to the native regiments of infantry and a cavalry steamers for Australia, as they arrive at Suez, regiment were shot by their men while attempting should be ordered round by Bombay or Madras to arrest the outbreak. The European soldiers in with European soldiers. the station fired upon the matineers. The con- The difficulties will not be entirely overcome by flict was very short and the latter fled out of town these steps ; for, although two European regifollowed by the dragoons, who cut down numbers ments—the 64th and 78th Highlanders—had of them by the way. The greater part contrived arrived at Bombay from the Persian expedition; to escape unfortunately by the Delhi road, and yet they were shipped to Calcutta, round the reached that city, a distance of forty miles. Delhi whole peninsula of India, and may arrive there is the old capital of the Moguls, and was the centre after a voyage of several weeks. When they of the Mussulman empire and power. It cannot, have reached Calcutta, they will only have gained therefore, be regarded with fervour by the the navigation to Delhi. They will not be nearer Hindoos; yet the mutineers, being joined by three to that city by any important distance than in native regiments stationed there, gained possession Bombay; and they would not arrive before its of the city, and murdered all the Europeans who walls, under three to four weeks of farther boating were unable to escape in time. The artillery, on and steaming. whose fidelity reliance has always been placed, The Government have been warned that railways joined the mutiny under a stipulation for the safety were not more necessary for peace than for warof their European officers. One report states for cotton than for soldiers. They have had that they considered themselves unable to resist, surveys for several years, capital subscribed, and and made the best terms in their power. The money ready to be paid; labour abundant, and banks were robbed of bullion to the value of one workmen anxious for wages. The delay on this mlllion pounds sterling, according to one report ; subject is a mystery. It is not chargeable on the and fifteen lacs of rupees, or one hundred and fifty Indian Railway Companies, for they have been thousand pounds, according to others. The more anxious to proceed. It remains altogether moderate sum is likely to be correct.
chargeable either upon the Board of Control or The magazine would have been secured by the the East India Company, or divisible between mutineers except for the chivalric devotion of one those parties. Last month it was a blunder for European officer. One report states that he ex. which one or both sets of officials were culpable. ploded this magazine to prevent the employment of This month it is a crime for which one or both its contents by the rebels. Another that he waited are responsible. The time may be come now when Sampson-like until the magazine was crowded progress is not probable. Railways cannot be with mutineers, and then exploded the contents, made during a period of suspicion and a state of scattering death around him; and that, although war. Still these commotions, desperate as is their greatly scorched, yet he escaped with life. This beginning, may be soon extinguished, and the people Curtian act was worthy of Rome in the best days at home are entitled to ask that Indian interests of the republic.
be not left to the management of blundering The conduct of the mutinied Sepoys in Delhi persons, who sleep over common business, until was disgraceful. All the Europeans whom they they are awakened by the shouts of resolt. could reach were slain without any distinction of The transitiou state of India obviously requires age or sex. The property accumulated by Euro- care in the selection of the native soldiers. The peans was destroyed. “A reign of terror prevailed mutineers of Meerut urged native regiments in in that old city where, until a few days previously, Delhi to join them, because the Government had European families considered themselves no less endeavoured to convert them to Christianity. The safe than in Birmingham or Manchester. Government has abstained very wisely from pro
The city had not been recaptured when the pagandism; but it has also suppressed many obmail left Bombay, but a terrible retribution will servances, cruel, immoral, and vicious in their be enacted there. If the commanding officers had character; which were connected with the relishot fisty or even ten men of the 19th and 34th gion of the high caste Hindoos. Farther, it canRegiments, some weeks previous to these events, not prevent the progress of Christianity; yet that they would have been censured bitterly at home. very desirable object may for a time rouse the Meetings might even have been called to resolve animosity of the priests and the fanaticism of the that they should be impeached, and yet that austere soldiers, if the authorities persist in the enlistcourse would have been real and substantial mercy. ment of high caste men. The newspapers state It would have prevented these revolts, and would that the local government of Bombay places perhave saved five thousand lives.
fect confidence in its sturdy little low caste sepops. The immediate duties of the Government cannot The Government of Bengal recruited, we suspect
, be discussed with advantage in this place. They from high caste men. The low caste sepoy has must be already completed, if the men be equal to nothing to lose by the substitution of Christianity the work. Reinforcements should be sent by the l for Hindooism. Human nature has several com
mon traits in all countries and among all races. | service of the country, and will leave it indiscreetly The low caste men know that they are degraded, weak in men. The East Indian service must emdespised, and trampled down among the social ploy therefore, that additional force of Europeans, mud of the native religion, which is aristocratic, permanently. They cannot leave a great city exclusive, and hereditary in all its presumed privi- like Delhi, with its bank and bullion, its magazine leges. They cannot be expected to give them and powder, exclusively garrisoned by the native selves much trouble for its maintenance, and they soldiers. The latter may be safely trusted in the are less liable, therefore, to be drawn by the priest field, when they cannot be so securely trusted in a hood into temptation.
garrison. The British service enables them for the first The difficulties that once existed against the time in their lives to hold up their heads among employment of a large European force, would be their neighbours. It suppresses all the invidious felt no longer if India were managed by practical distinctions to which they have been accustomed men. Railways are planned to the sanitoria of for their lives, as their ancestors were for ages. the Himalayas. The chief stations of the European Its pay enriches them and gives them the hope of army could be planted in these healthy districts, wealth and the certainty of competence. The within a few days' drive of any city in India. native officers are well paid men. The 9th native The interests dependent upon the good governregiment had shewn great fidelity at one station, ment of Hindostan—and we have greater interests and a particular native officer was named as per- than the natives in that achievement-require the sonally deserving of some substantial mark of introduction of European capital and skill. Safety favour. His European commanding officer recom- from outrage, either by Santhal or by Sepoy is mended that his present pay of eighty rupees per absolutely and perfectly requisite to obtain that month or £96 per annum should be raised to one result. The great land questions of India require hundred rupees per month or £120 per annum. re-assortment; and if that country is to become the That sum to a native Hindoo of the labouring rival of the United States in the production of classes, and especially of a low caste, is fabulous cotton ; of Russia, in corn and flour; of Australia, wealth. The native officer may value his wages, in wool; of Cuba, in sugars, and of other tropical but this particular person would probably value lands in all tropical produce, it needs the help of more the Victoria Cross which the Queen can European skill in agriculture, supported by Euronow bestow on deserving men who serve under her pean energy and money. For this purpose the lag. Too few decorations or honours have been company should not oppose, but promote the inscattered among the great army of India. One troduction of European zemindars, if not upon the native officer, a man of great information, and plains of the Ganges, certainly upon the slopes of who occupied a very different position from that of the Himalayas, to whom long leases, or perpetual a soldier, always being to a considerable extent a leases, at low rents of extensive tracts of land diplomatic person, lives in this country, who twice should be conceded, who might become the saved the life of the late Sir Charles Napier in planters, or the squires, of India, as they found it battle. What has been his reward? Why, no- to be most profitable. We do not know that the thing, except a shabby deprivation of his property, banks of the Ganges or the Indus present any obor at least of his position, upon the most paltry stacle to European settlement greater than existed, ground that could be advanced, namely, that he or seemed to exist, in the southern States of America, had made money and was rich. Conduct of this or in the western isles of the Atlantic; but, cercharacter makes discontent, and if the Bengal tainly, the great uplauds of the Himalayas girding army is to be trusted hereafter the reward of good round the peninsula on every side, almost from the service should not be less certain than the re- mouth of the Indus to the root of the Malay tribution of revolt.
peninsula, present no sanatory obstructions. The Europeans serving the Company in India, At one time the East India Company opposed must be greatly increased in numbers, both officers the introduction of Europeans, with the purpose and soldiers. The officers allowed to each native of permanent settlement, upon the opinion that corps are too weak in numbers, and cannot pos- they might tread upon Hindoo prejudices. These sibly exercise the controul over their men which days are past. Hindoo prejudices will be trodden is desirable for good discipline. The European upon. That occurrence cannot be long postponed, soldiers, in the direct service of the Company, are in any part of the country. It is not even desirable not more numerous now perhaps, than they were that it should be prevented. Therefore the land when the land to be beld was not half so long or must be held by the strong arm; and guided by $0 wide. The Company, indeed, pay for the regi- the gentle hand; until its resources are elicited, ments of the royal army in their employment and its native wealth freed from those trammels during their service in, and transit to and from, that have bound both land and people in a maze of India, but the British army, in its ordinary state, ignorance and superstition for ages, until amid the is unable to meet emergencies. The Anglo-Indians wealth of the former, its inhabitants are chiefly ask twenty regiments at this moment, of whom and permanently poor; and vast regions have been one half are required by the overland route. That devastated often by hopeless famine. number can scarcely be spared from the ordinary
THE ROADS THROUGH THE WORLD.
TO THE SOUTI.
often leads even men to do what others are doing. It seemed to me that Mr. Green, like myself, was
inclined verily to weep, although others were Nox erat, et cælo falgebat Luna sereno
there who were to accompany us, at least down to Inter minora sidera.
the town; and yet there was no particular reason Thus Horace began his fifteenth ode, and as it in his case, for he was only a stranger, and as it was partly on his account that I was doomed to might be said a wayfaring man, who had tarried expatriation, or, in a more limited sense to ex- among us for short seasons; and one also who parochialism, it is legitimate to take this round- had come of years, and might be supposed to have a-corner-way of saying, that "it was a quiet been hardened to “fittings,” which to me then moonlight night.”
were a very desecration of the inner heart's inner In these days people did not travel very fast, feelings, since I had made companionship with and we were to make some advance on this even- every bush, and friends in every brake ; and was ing, that we might start from a certain point early not in the mood of making new acquaintances, even next morning, to be at another given stage be- if that had been possible in every instance; but fore the shades of that evening fell over, to me, although new scenery, new flowers, and trees, and an unknown region ; and so on for the next streams, new houses, and new living people may day.
take the place of old in the heart, it is not posI had Mr. Green for a travelling companion, sible that old graves can ever have a rival there. and there was no probability of our falling out by, The associations and the memories connected with or losing, the way, for he was familiar with every them never flit. turn. I almost felt dowie and downcast when we To that hour it had never occurred to me, in a passed the last house of the village, as might have clear and intelligible form, that in Mr. Green I been expected reasonably, for I had no such had a rival in my remembrance of Nancy Rose ; and predilection to study as at all compensated for it did not occur until many thousands of hours there. the sacrifice that was being made of me on its after, and when it was made evident, it was also account,
made obvious that the rivalry could never have It was moonlight when we commenced our been productive of serious results ; for, of course, journey; the sky was blue and clear, the clouds my feelings towards the dead lady must Lare run that floated here and there on the edge of the entirely in a different channel from those of a horizon, were light and white little fragments of person who was by some short time her senior in clouds, that took fanciful and strange shapes— the world. sometimes like boats or ships floating over a The time of which I write is not so very long ago summer sea, and the stars were very few in -and yet even then our country superstitions and number, and rather weak. In course of our traditions chimed in harmony with, what I asterjourney we came to the large oak tree, under wards learned to be consistent with reason and which David Robertson found the children on the even with revelation, in some shape or form. They night of winter in which their mother perished were poetry, and that will nearly always be among the snow. Some of the trees were bare natural, and often true. Thus, without any of leaves even at this season, and we could see the nervous dread of kirkyards, or those who were lights from Blinkbonnie, some way above the trees stored up in them, since I lived almost in one, on the other side of the water, for the house stood the dead were not to my mind removed a great high. The moon's rays brightly sparkled upon a distance. Not having learned yet to consider space deep pool of water, over which there rose a black, as a meaningless word, in certain circumstances. tall shadow; but at this hour it seemed as if the I thought of them as merely changed, living still moon had just risen for the purpose of looking near by their old haunts, floating in the summer into and through that water, and cast, therefore, air or the winter storm, but feeling neither the no light whatever on the southern crag and trees. one nor the other in the way that we feel them,
This pot was in a straight line between the oak With this belief, not in the shape of disputation and the house of Blinkbonnie, and it was or doubt, but simply as a belief, Blinkbonnie, the Drover's Pot. Mr. Green made some pre- and even the Drover's Pot, were to me, in a subtence of looking back to the village, which must ordinate sense, as hallowed ground; at least nearly have been a pretence, for it was a good way as much hallowed
as the memory that was above the bend on which Blinkbonnie stands; and wrapped around them--that was their spirit to we were far beneath that now, so that we could mine. Therefore, I understood the old Latin not even see the reek from the chimneys. I looked poet's words better than formerly,—those words back too; not that I needed to refresh my mind in which he said how pleasant a thing it was to with another lingering look at the hills and the have a solitude wherein to weep. water, but perhaps by way of sympathy, which Another view of the case grew clear to me thea.
The house was now again inhabited. It had been and water the soil that lay above him: and he bought and furnished for the unprovided and the could not have gone away with just so perfect young. Light steps were morn and even upon its confidence as he had that everything he said stairs, and bright eyes glanced from its windows, would be done to the very letter, from the grass brighter far than its dazzling lights on winter and oats for his ponies, to the pensions for his evenings. A home had to be made for them, and servants,—nor could he have felt in his last years we know nothing of where our roads through the the pleasure that he had in building or buying up world are to lead us, at least in the world. Mr. the old estate to something like the importance it Rose was journeying from the east to meet his had in the county before the madness of spending daughter. That was his road, and he was never got into the old family. to meet her. His daughter was walking up and It seems to me, moreover, except for this event, down, to and from, her future home, making it that all the plans and projects commenced by Nancy ready for him, but she was never to dwell there, Rose would have perished or fallen into decrepior to see him in this life. There were little feet tade; for Mrs. Doctor More grew aged and frail, running here and there, to meet him of whom he and died at last, and no other lady seemed able never thought; and she was preparing a home for to take her place, except the young orphans, them, whom she never saw, and who knew her whom she sheltered, when David Robertson took not. When the time came, her walk ceased; them from beside their dead mother beneath the among other reasons that they might have old oak tree. more room in that large house, and that it might be It may seem strange that I have never men. theirs.
tioned the family name of the old owners of BlinkAnd so I journeyed on, having folded out bonnie, especially as nothing more discreditable another roll of the history in my own mind, and was connected with it than the folly of extravasatisfied myself more than formerly, that it was all gance ; but the present family have always been very right. For some time after that winter- known as the Roses—for they took to that name, night's storm and its consequences, that is to say, no doubt, from the wish of their granduncle, and for some time after I knew them—it need not according to law; since all these things were at. be concealed that I cherished a kind of animosity tended to by Mr. Cairns, who then was a living towards the little orphans, entirely circumstantial, epitome of all the statutes, and more methodical and owing to their possession of a place, that it and precise than the town clock, which not seldom seemed to me never could be, and never should was what the old lawyer was never once known to have been occupied; but that vanished, whether be--out of time. from a more reasonable view of the matter, or Some theories of that kind I wrought out in the their own influence, for they were kindly children, moonlight night, and then turned to my own busi loving all that should be loved, as if they followed ness and thoughts. the footprints of their predecessor, signifieth not, and is not very clear.
Their whole history to this period of their lives was very odd and singular. Their bringing toge.
CHAPTER XXIV. ther of the associations of the old owner; and the claims of the new owner upon Blinkbonnie; their weary road from the American lakes to the Scotch At that time, although Edinburgh has not sprung water side; their sudden lift from the very depths into greatness like her giant sister, Glasgow, of calamity and misfortune to comparative comfort which has grown of late years like the crinoline of and even wealth; the death of their mother within young ladies, threatening in both cases to leave sight of the home aud almost on the very land that room for nothing else upon the earth ; yet even the had been once her husband's, and would bave been metropolis was on a more limited scale than now. her own by a chain of circumstances unconnected It consisted more distinctly than at the present with him, and while she went mournfully on her time of the Old Town and the New. Now it has way, deeming herself and his children but outcasts the new, new town to the north, and Newington from their ancestral home-were all stronger to the south, --with many additions to the west. circumstances than one could find in a novel. The railways have introduced new features into a
Then that one road in life had to close beneath city which was then only considering whether the huge oak tree, for if it had run over a little steamers could be sent to sea, and doubting, in farther it seems certain or probable that old Mr. some odd quarters, whether they were not a conRose would not have had the lightsome home of his travention of Providential laws, and likely to bring old age, after he had contented himself with the destruction upon their owners. thought that he must die alone : would not have had The architecture and gardens of Ediuburgh are around him when he passed out of the world those probably more changed than any other features of loving hearts and soft hands that closed his eyes, the city. The latter wore a raw and young apwhen death crossed over his face, and his long life pearance like boyhood ; and people rather thought was ended; and round bis grave there could not of what they would be than what they were. The have come, as there came, young mourners to tend' architecture of the New Town was massive and plain,
2 B 2
but defective in those decorative additions that for it got more than ordinary cultivation. When have been made to it in recent times.
puzzled with some abomination of an old poet's
, The suburbs and grounds around the city were I was wont to go and do somețing with the bos, rough, and although no other town in the county and upon returning to our little table, I was helped has the same profusion of public grounds, and over the Latin style. none, perhaps, in Europe, has grounds equally Poor Mr. Green ; it is very early yet; the sun grand and varied, yet they were rarely used, with has scarcely casi a beam upon the Firth; he is the exception of the Meadows, and were not in a only awakening the laziest of the sea-gulls on the very agreeable condition for common use. The Bass; Inchkeith is lying in the morning mist, superiority to civil law enjoyed by a small district and the windows have not put on the screen of around the Abbey, and the King's-park gave gold and silver spangles, wherewith they will give value to the former as lodgings, and to the latter back his “good morning” by and by. It is very as a lounge for persons who deemed it imprudent early, and you need not put my box and my to extend their morning or evening walk up the flower into the chill air until the day be fully Canongate, but the Radical Road was then only a dawned, and the sun shine out upon it. There, subject of talk.
now, you need not even touch its little learesIn after years I have often wondered, when and don't, if you please, water it so with tears, hearing people talk with some sort of enthusiasm which drop and drop, as if the thyme were a living in London of Highgate-hill, and Hampstead. creature in a deep pit of sorrow. Poor Mr. heath, what they would pay for Salisbury Crags Green, the secret is coming gradually up, or windand Arthur's Seat, in Hyde-park or Regent's ing itself out, when you leave the bedroom-door park. It might be doubtful whether the con open for the benefit of your sleeping protege, who struction of a pyramid would not pay the specula- does not sleep, but wakes and thinks, as boys will tors in these quarters; while in Edinburgh, where think. Well, he may have loved her more than the work has been done since the foundation of me—he is better, and has a warmer heart! the world, little or nothing has been tried more by I thought not, then, dear, kind friend, of all the man for its improvement.
good I gathered from your guidance. And, chiel A street of plain houses, with interminable of all, the evils warded away by your presence ; stairs, as I suppose, who never reached the top of which seemed to be not often, but sometimes a them, looked full in the front of Arthur's Seat, restraint by the way, in that dangerous time when and were convenient for the college and other half our boys in years grow men in crime, under class rooms. Our two windows were on the third the miserable pretence of a legitimate curriculum; floor, and for some little time my head was rather and the very heart of the intellect of the next light as I looked from them, but that feeling all generation, is rotted in its place by contact with wore away. We had no garden, but the green corruption before it scarcely knows its meaning, park before us was sometbing; and the high to preserve the fees of a few old—some of them crags beyond it looked like far away among the very old-gentlemen, and secure the worst of all hills.
monopolies--the monopoly of literature, With a feeling that there was some design or Not always did I think; yet, now and then, it device laid against my comfort in bringing me to seemed to cross my mind as a gleam of light, that that crowded haunt to wrestle mentally with Latin I also was like our box of thyme, guarded and prosody and Greek verbs, I submitted to the guided for another's sake, and she was with the yoke, more especially as Mr. Green, who was the dead-taught and warned--and helped onward, only “kent” face I then met, and my only compa- because she would have been pleased to mark mg nion, was a very indulgent overseer. Gradually I progress; and then it seemed as if a hand from found out more of his weak points than I had Kirkhowe was leading me still
. formerly known. One of them was connected We thought not then of all the steps that with a small box of earth, which he had brought would be taken, and all the sacrifices to be met, from Kirkhowe, and a tiny sprig of thyme that he and the work to be braved, and the short time to had gathered from Kirkhowe graveyard; for he be given for it all, before that good heart, that said that he liked to have something from the old turned even to the box of thyme, at morn and night, place growing beside him. He did not tell me would cease to mind earthly flowers and be for everthat the pretty stalk of thyme grew once upon a more at rest, even that rest which remaineth. grave, but would have been as well pleased if I The thyme is withered, withered, dead and had believed that it came from Mrs. More's, or gone. The eyes that looked on it so sadly weep our own garden; yet, being a minister in a half
The flowers in the land that is afar ofi way, he could not conveniently and distinctly mis. wither not, but bloom ever and never fade ; and represent the case. However, I did not need to surely they must know them all well now, for it is inquire, for I could have told him the very spot so long, long ago since the first passed away, and from which it was cut, seeing I knew every root long, even since the second went through the dark that grew there. I promised to attend the thyme gate into the flowery laud where no heart grieves, carefully, and kept my word. Not being a diffi- and no eye weeps, cult plant to manage, it spread out very beautifully, Our months passed away, one year after another