« PreviousContinue »
mediately resolved upon a chase battue, and, whilst į ties amongst all ranks were so great, that the · in the act of bringing my rifle, by some unaccount Government were co npelied to do away with the able awkwardness I pulled the trigger, and the station and to garrison the place exclusively with piece went off; the ball carrying avay the peak of native Sepoys. Even these latter, if due attenmy cap, and passing clean through the ceiling. tion was not paid to the hours of drill, sometimes This proved a caution in after life with respect to succumbed to the intense heat and exercise, superthe management of fire arms which I have never added to the absurd costume that insane regulaneglected. Most fortunately the house was a tions had condemned them to wear. single story one; else there is no saying whom I Some four miles from Massulipatam, and bordermight have injured. The messrooms of the 47th ing on the sea coast, there was a small convalesand 29th were favourite resorts of a forenoon. cent encampment, which rejoiced in the name of Sometimes we went there in palkees, sometimes Tavishapoondy. During the hottest months on pony back. Once, whilst adopting this latter goodness preserve us from the coolest), the greater míode of transport, the brute that I bestrode (a number of families resorted to this place, and under Pegu pony) got the bit into his mouth, and being the umbrageous foliage of a few banian trees, accustomed to short cuts when at liberty, charged enjoyed all the pleasures of straw-hatted rusticity. through a narrow gap in a prickly pear hedge, Only one bungalow existed, which was devoted where, though squeezing myself into the smallest exclusively to the dies, tents affording shelter to space, we both contrived to carry some score or all the gentlemen thither resorting. After all, two of fearfully thorny leaves, the anguish occa- however, it certainly was a great treat to be ensioned by which was awful for the moment, abled for awhile to flee the heat and dust of that though furnishing excessive mirth at a later period city of madapollams, Massulipatam, and rusticate of the day, after S., the doctor of the 29th, had amongst the shingles and sea shells, the pleasant carefully extracted every thorn, and when the sea side odour, the unspeakably beneficial sea circulating cup had restored good humour and breeze, the crabs, the prawns, and the capital bilarity.
pomphrets that Tavishapoondy yielded. But even They were jolly reunions, those mess dinners here our enjoyments were brought to a speedy and at Massalipatam, and the officers very wisely con- unpleasant end. The old bungalow, neglected trived to dine between four and five p.m.; so that through scores of years, harboured snakes, scorthe great heat of the day had generally given way pions, and centipedes, and the first shower of rain to the milder breezes of evening, and we were not brought these unwelcome intruders swarming exposed to the insect annoyance to which I have amongst the ladies.
One child was stung-one already alluded.
old lady frightened into fits. The result was that The two greatest attractions at Massulipatam early next day the place was evacuated, and we were a swimming bath, and a billiard table; to were once more grilling under the fiery influence the former, with reckless carelessness, many a fine of the hot sun and the long shore winds. young man has resorted immediately after quitting An occasional visit to the fort where the old the latter, though the result almost invariably brigadier resided with his family-where also the entailed a fortnight's fever, and sometimes sick fort adjutant, poor S., dwelt in gloomy solitude, and leave to visit England or the Cape. But gambling, acted occasionally as parson-to some extent save for a bottle or so of champague, was never varied the wretched monotony of our life in that countenanced.
vilest of all vile Indian cantonments, Massulipatam. If evidence were wanting to testify to the in- The very name of the place causes
a thrill salubrity of the climate, the stranger has only to through my blood, which even with this long period visit the grave yard at Massulipatam. There in intervening, I can scarcely repress. deed are recorded the names and virtues of not a For fevers and heat-for insects and want of few of our unhappy countrymen - aye, and country sleep--for reptiles, sand, and prickly pear-for women and children, too. Formerly a European want of appetite and insatiable unquenchable regiment used to be stationed here, but the casual- | thirst, commend us to Massulipatam.
Who has heard of, who has seen, the lovely Isle of streamlet murmurs with the voice of a companion, Man, with its poetical scenery, clear atmosphere, and whispers to us of memories almost past away, and crystal sea, - with its bills, its glens, its long friends lost to sight, hopes and warm feelings long and varied walks o'er hill and dale ?
since dead or grown cold. But we must leave all We know the island well. To us it is an oasis memories of the past, aud give a slight account of of life-the one spot of earth we love so dearly. the geographical and historical position of the Isle Each mountain seems an old familiar friend; each of Man.
This Island, as every one knows, is situated in the monarchs. Whether this genealogy of the aforeIrish sea; and is nearly equidistant from the three said Mannanen be correct or not, one thing seems adjacent countries of England, Ireland and Scot certain-that, in the early Mans records, he is land. Its extreme length is about 30 miles; its described both as a “ Paynim”-i. e. a heathen, breadth 12. A long range of bills intersects the and a magician ; the latter assertion being quite in island; and terminates at either end in the two character with the Manx people, who are a supermountains of North and South Barrule. The most stitious race, and would look on a magician with elevated peak of this chain is called "Snea-fell” or reverence, and feel proud of dating their origin Snafield; it is from 1,700, to 2,000 feet in height, from him. and from the summit a magnificent view, including This “ Mannanen" seems also to have been the distant outline of the three adjacent kingdoms, something of a second Prospero-to have kept may be obtained. The ascent, particularly from his island for days together under the friendly the Sulby side, is easy—and the sure footed Manx sladow of a mist when any foe threatened inrahorses or ponies will carry the traveller up with sion - to bave raised great storms to ward off sail perfect safety. Now that we have mentioned these inimical, and bidden the sun shine kindly on those Manx quadrupeds, we may as well say one word in who visited his shores with amicable intent. their favour. They are not remarkable for beauty There is, indeed, another theory with regard to of appearance, but they are remarkable for extreme this potent necromancer, and this theory is, that tenacity of foot, the usual style of their drivers he was a merchant of opulence and wealth ; sbo being to gallop down hills (strewed with loose ruled the island, uot through the magic of his stones, and which can only bear semblance to the wand, but the power of his gold. This version of sides of mountains) at full pace; and yet a Manx the tale, however, is unpoetical ; so, as everything horse never is known to stumble !
connected with the Isle of Man should breathe of We remember once being on the summit of poetry, we discard it. Laxey Hill; and we were trembling as we thought Among the early, and sometimes questionable, of the descent; however, we imagined the driver records of this island, we find that the Druids
ould drag his wheel, and get down and lead his made it their resort when they fled from the horse, so we made up our minds to shut our eyes Romans in Anglesea. This fact is borne out by and cling to the jaunting car with all our might, the frequent Druidical remains in the island - by and trust to find ourselves after an interval at the certain institutions and observances bearing token bottom of the bill. We offered to get out and of Druidical origin. The Druids, in mere point walk, but our charioteer-a rubicund Manxman- of civilisation, were of great service to the Manx laughed at the notion, or smiled rather (for the people, and rescued them from the semiManx peasantry are very respectful in their de- barbarous state in wbich they found them; bat, meanour). "He'll be all right, sure, my lady," he while advancing the cause of general civilisatics, replied; but we did not know to whem the "he" they retarded that of the Christian religion, for applied, - whether to the horse, the car, or our- Christianity had been introduced among the Mani selves ; so we sat still resigned, little knowing before this period. what we had to encounter; for no sooner were we The Druids were successful in their efforts in fairly at the summit of the hill, with the terrific this respect, until the early part of the fifth ceadescent before us, than our Jehu gathered up his tury, when Rome sent ber emissaries to the island, reins, shouted to his horse, slashed away with the and finally succeeded in establishing her owu faith whip, and off we were in a regular Manx gallop, there. So much for the early ecclesiastical contumbling here and there, dashing from side to side, stitution. Now we come to the monarchical gonow in a rut and now out of one, until we reached vernment, which we shall state as briefly as the bottom of the hill-safely-yes, safely, and possible :without a single broken bone; but with a very Towards the beginning of the tenth century, keen sense of relief, at having got over this hill; Orry, a Danish prince, having achieved other vieand a very urgent wish to know if there were any tories, determined on the conquest of the Isle of more like it before us.
Man. He succeeded in his determination, and But to our description of the island-or rather, ascended the throne under the title of "Rex correctly speaking, to our notice of it. First, as Manniæ et Insularum.” King Orry died after a to the name the “ Isle of Man"-sometimes time, and was succeeded by his son, and then by written with the double final consonant “Mann." a line of Danish and Norwegian kings, wbo at This name is supposed to be a corruption of that last surrendered the island to Alexander the Third, of “Mannanen Mac Ler," from whom the Manx of Scotland, for the sum of 4000 marks— £3,666 people date their origin, and who is supposed to 13s. sterling. The Manx people, however, did have been the original founder and legislator of not submit unresistingly to the Scottish yoke ; this people.
internal quarrels and rebellions were the coaseNow this same Mannanen Mac Ler, or Mac quences, until Edward I. seized on the island, and Lir, or Mac Lear, some traditions state to have
gave it to John Baliol, to be held by him as a fel been the son of Alladius, king of Ulster, and of the crown.
Robert Bruce afterwards recobrother to Fergus, the first of the Scottish vered it; but it was retaken by Edward II. After
this, by grant, or otherwise, the island came into where a good solid education may be obtained at a the possession of several noble families, and very low rate. finally became the property of the Stanley family, Next we notice Peel-a mere fishing village, one of whom was created Earl of Derby by Henry situated on the West coast of the island, of little VII., of England. The courageous conduct of a importance, known only as being the chief scene lady of this house, in defending Castle_Rushen of the herring fishery–interesting from the beauty against the Parliamentary forces of England, of its situation on a bold rocky coast, and from its during the reign of Charles I., is a well-known holding the ruins of its venerable castle ; a place historical fact.
of sad associations ; rendered famous by the incarFrom the Derby family, through the female line ceration of many noble prisoners ; among the more of succession, it descended to James, second Duke illustrious of whom may be named the unfortunate of Athol. With some alterations as to the dis- Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Glo'ster, who was posal of revenue, this family retained possession condemned on the charge of witchcraft, and senof it until 1829, when the whole of the remaining tenced to perpetual imprisonment by Henry VI. interest in the island was purchased by the Eng. We have been in the dungeon, which for fourteen lish Government for the sum of £416,000. It years was the sad scene of this unhappy lady's would appear, by the tone of the Manx ballads of anguish. We have paced up and down its gloomy that day, that this purchase of their island by the length ; looked from its narrow port-hole windows, British crown was anything but agreeable to the on the broad expanse of sea, the only thing visible; inhabitants. One of their songs, conveying this listened to the sullen plash of the waves against idea, runs thus :
the rocks and walls, and wondered at man's igno. For the babes unborn will rue the day
rance and savage cruelty, in condemning a woman, That the Isle of Mann was sold away ;
a creature bred in the lap of luxury, reared with For there's ne'er ay old wife that loves a dram, tenderness and care, to so horrible a fate, on so But what will lament for the Isle of Mann.
idiotic, so foul a charge. This poetical effusion does not present a very There is a legend connected with this castle, flattering view of the “old wives of the Manx which may not be deemed out of place here. It land. We must hope that under the British rule is said that, in olden times, when the castle was they have improved.
fully garrisoned, a black dog-a spectre hound, of The principal towns in the island are Douglas, grim and threatening aspect-each night came Castletown, Peel, and Ramsey. Douglas far ex. from his goblin territory, and traversing the long, ceeds the others in size and population, and is the stony passage leading from the captain's quarters chief seat of commerce. It is beautifully situated, to the guard-room, squatted his unwelcome person on the bay of the same name, and possesses both a or presence (whichever may be most consistent with harbour and a pier, the latter erected at a cost of his goblin nature) before the guard-room fire ; re£22,000. Public schools, libraries, mechanics' in. maining there till cockcrow, and then returning stitutions, and, in fact, institutions of all kinds, whence and as he came. One night (so the story abound in Douglas, as well as churches and chapels goes) a soldier, rendered most valiant through of every sect and denomination. The town itself the medium of bis potations, determined to face (the old town we mean) consists of long and irre- this dreaded hound; and for that purpose followed gular streets, and is anything but inviting in bim along the stony passage we have already menappearance; but new streets and squares have of tioned. What happened is not recorded, but it late years been built, and they are a great im- is supposed that he had entered into some fearful provement on the old localities.
struggle with the spectre, for on his returning to There are several good hotels; the “Castle the guard-room, he was speechless. He never reMona,” and the Fort Ann are considered the best. covered from his midnight adventure, but died a The former of these was originally the residence of few days after, without disclosing what he had the Duke of Athol, and was built by him at a cost seen, or what had happened to him. Now this is of £35,000. It is a magnificent building, standing the legend, and all lovers of poetry will, of course, in its own grounds, and looks, like what it was once, yield it implicit credence. For our own part, all a fine old ducal mansion.
we can say is that we have walked through the Castletown, the scene of insular Government, passage, taken the same route as the spectral may be considered the next point of importance in hound, but not having met him, or seen any traces the island. It was originally called « Rushen.” of him, we are not, on our own individual respon. The principal object of interest here is the Castle ; sibility, prepared to corroborate the tale. “Castle Rushen,” now used as a prison, and also Peel Castle is built on a rocky island, which can containing apartnients for the accommodation of scarcely be called such, as it is only separated by a the various courts of law. This editice, which is in small sound from the mainland. perfect preservation, is of Danish architecture; the Ramsey is the last place of which, for the predate of its erection is placed somewhere about sent, we shall give any particular account. This 947; but this is a matter of uncertainty.
town is on the eastern, or opposite side of the Castletown also contains several excellent schools, island, about sixteen miles from Peel. With the as well as King William's College, founded in 1830, I bright blue bay before it, stretching far and far
away—the rocky headlands of Manghold promon. But these attachments come on very insidiously, tory, and the point of Ayre, bounding the view on and so it was in the present instance. either side ; the great bills towering behind, and She still walked with him in the clear moon. looking down on the little place as if they loved to light, and listened to him as he talked to her, and stand there and protect it-Ramsey is as beautiful questioned him of all that ber mind craved to a spot as human mind could desire. Then its know-for Lord Roland had a clear and cultivated glens, and valleys, and mountain walks—its trick intellect, and chained the girl to him as much by ling streams, and tiny waterfalls ! Ramsey, with its strength as by anything else. all thy faults, thou art a very lovely place, and we But a dreadful trial was in store for Kate; a love thee very dearly still. We recollect thy glo- trial she had never expected. An old uncle of rious bay, with the bright moon shining on it, and Lord Roland's died, and left him the whole of bis making it seem like a sea of magic light—and that vast property. Of course this cleared away all moon, no moor was ever so bright as the moon necessity on his part for a lengthened residence in which shone in Ramsey.
the Isle of Man; he bad learned to love berBut in connection with this town, a tale comes perhaps we might say he had contracted the habit into our mind; a tragedy of humble life-one of of loving her, for very often, after all, what is mis. those sad events which hold a world of woe, and taken for love is nothing more than a babit. We yet which excite in the callous multitude no are thrown constantly with some one, and we stronger expression of sympathy than a careless naturally look for the daily companionship of that “ poor thing," simply because the sufferer was one of one, and we miss such when we cannot have it. the wild flowers of the field, and not a prized But this is not love; it is the mock gem; the exotic of the hot house of the world!
diamond paste; contrast it with the real stone, On the road between Ramsey and Peel stood a and its cheat appears ; subject it to some test, and large, gloomy house, of which scarcely a vestige its real value is discovered. now remains. It was, in the days of which we Lord Roland thought a great deal about going write, an inn, kept by two old people of the name away, but he never thought of taking her with of Christian, who lived there with their daughter him and making her bis wife-no, now he was a Kate, a very
beautiful girl of some seventeen sum rich man he felt that could never be. While mers. How this Kate, with her laughing blue poor, and when he had before him the prospect of eyes and dimpled smile, and those cheeks that spending his life in the island, he fancied she literally seemed to have stolen the bloom from the might be his amusement, his toy ; but now, when roses, which flowered all around the latticed she seemed to stand between him and his former window of her bedroom, could be the child of any friends and companions, why it was a different persons so dry, hard, and forbidding as Roger affair. At first he lacked the courage to tell Kate Christian and his wife, remains a mystery, which that he was going away from her, but he broke it the country people resolved by imputing to the to her by degrees--at first he spoke of the "profairies (all Manx people believe devoutly in faries) bability of being obliged to leave for a short time" the sin of having changed one of their own race -and even that drove a dagger to poor Kate's for the progeny of the innkeeper.
heart—then he hinted at the day when he would Whether this were true or not, it is certain that be obliged to go-and Kate could have dropped Kate was just about as beautiful as aught of as, with outward calm, sbe listened to him. mortal clay could be--and this her old father, with “You will soon be back, dear Roland," she even bis blind eyes, could see-and even more would say, “soon be back, the sun will never than that be could see, and it is a pity he did not shine on me while you are gone." see to some good purpose, that a certain young " It shone on you before I came Kate; you Lord Roland, who had come to the island to would soon forget me." But he did not believe escape from various unpleasant consequences of a what he uttered; in his vile selfishness, he did not reckless life, resulting from unliquidated bills and wish to believe it. the like, was winning poor Kate's heart. Now At last a letter came from his mother requiring good Kate Christian, with all her goodness and bis instant return. He showed it to Kate; he all her beauty, was no fitting mate for one of a told her he could linger no longer and what did noble stock; and so Lord Roland himself felt; the poor child do ? She clung to him in agong yet he still sat, and talked, and sang with the girl ; of grief; she besought him not to leave her; she still looked on her lovely face, with eyes which had an instinctive feeling that the diamond of his spoke the admiration his tongue also uttered. affection would not stand the test-the ope great
And Kate almost worshipped him. Had any test of absence-she offered, nay, she implored, told her that he would have wronged her, she to be allowed to go with him—she set aside every would have laughed them to scorn. She never feeling which should have made her drive him thought how their intimacy would end; she did from her, and she offered to accompany bin--ans. not feel herself worthy of being his wife, such a thing—so that she need not part from him. And thought would have seemed presumption to her ; he basely profited by her devotion, and accepted but anything except the wife-her mind was too the fearful sacrifice. Weeks passed on quickly; pure even to conceive or entertain that thought. I yet Lord Roland still lingered near Kate. Some
times he felt anxious about her--for her sweet go with bim. She had pled to him in vain-and face did not at all times now wear its sunny now she would suffer rather than again crave that aspect ; it became sad, very sad—and a smile which he denied. So she lay there on his shoulder, never lit up those lovely eyes, save when they very still and quiet, and thinking of nothing but looked into Roland's, and reflected his glance. his departure. Every feeling of earth was en bo
On a clear and balmy night, a summer night in died in that one thought. the Isle of Man, they walked together along the As she walked home, she seemed in a kind of cliffs which lead from Ramsay towards the point dream; for when he spoke she did not answer him, of Ayre. The path was broken and uneven ; but but kept her eyes fixed on some distant spot. Kate did not mind, for Roland's arm was round
was round Suddenly she stopped, and trembled violently. her, and she could not fall while upheld
by him. “ Roland !"-her voice was in a whisper—"do Alas, poor girl! her greatest fall was caused by you hear that low, mournful, melancholy chaunt, him. At times something very like a sob would coming like the breath of the southern wind over come from her, and there were large drops rolling sea and land? Can you not hear it, as it dies down her pallid cheeks. How could he cause such away and then swells again on the trembling anguish, when he had the power of transforming it senses ? It tells of woe-of death. There !-see to pure and spotless joy? How could he refrain you not that tall spectral form striding from peak from saying—“Mine, Kate, mine—my own, my to peak of yon distant mountains ?—and that scream wise; let the whole world stand between us with echoing through the rocky glen ? Roland ! you its sophistry and its false doctrines of convention- must hear that !-but,” and she flung his hand ality-with its sneer, and pride, and cowardice P” impatiently away, "you are of southern blood, and But he did not do this. He feared to hold up to your dull senses open not to the fairy sounds of the world, as the future Lady Roland, the simple, our island.” unknown Manx girl, while he did not fear (that He looked at her in alarm. Her wild excite. which was a far more worthy object for fear) to ment startled him : her face was pale as death ; break her heart, and sin in doing that.
her lips moved ; she had forgotten him-every“Kate-dear Kate”-and his cruel voice, cruel thing—in the vivid pictures of her own imagination, in its tone of mocking, cheating kindness, whis- She walked on quickly beside him, until they came pered to her—" Kate ! look up, dear love !--you to one of those breaches or valleys which intersect do not repent this compact between us ; surely the cliffs. For a moment she stood on the edge you, Kate, reared in this wild spot, are above the of the precipice; she staggered, and would have fancies of the world. Nay, dear—do you doubt fallen, but he caught her in his arms. me? Do you deem that, because no priestly cere- “Kate!” She seemed to be awaking from a mony has passed between us, I can forget, forsake dream. you? Speak, and say if this little trembling hand “I fancied, dear Roland,” she said, “that I could be mine more exclusively for the fancied tie was alone, that you had left me, and the elfin of the golden marriage circlet?"
guardians of the island seemed to lead me on What could she answer, poor child ? She was whither I knew not; but come, Roland, the fancy unskilled in the cheating sophistry he used. She is passed away now.” felt all she wished to utter, but lacked courage to He led her carefully on, and for the first time, tell him all she felt.
perhaps, he felt as seriously towards her as such a “Look up, Kate dear”-and he smiled on her; man could feel. He even thought, could he ven. " I shall not be gone for long, and then, when I ture to marry her ? He had spent many and many return, our future life will be spent here, wandering a happy month with her, but marriage was a along these lovely shores, listening to the rippling different thing. “She would not be happy in of the dancing waves, and the distant cry of the his station of life," he argued. "She would sad sea bird, who calls its absent mate; and we meet with perpetual mortifications and slights." shall feel for the poor lonely bird, Kate, and, look- All sophistry! He could have made her happy ing into each other's eyes, whisper— Even thus we anywhere, and be knew it only too well. were absent, lonely, once ; but that time is past.'” Within the next four and twenty hours, Roland
“Roland”—and she clung more closely to him stood on the pier at Douglas. And Kate ! poor -"why must you go to that great noisy town, forsaken Kate, wept in her Ramsey home, until where everything will make you forget me? Can she wept her tears away; and then her grief you not be happy here—as happy as you have been became too deep, for this expression of ber hitherto ?"
He shrank from her question and her pleading Weeks and months passed, and Roland lingered glance; for even then he was looking forward to still in London. Could he be expected to rememthe morrow as the time of his departure.
ber poor lonely Kate ? He-surrounded with a “Kate,” he said, “I must leave you for a time. thousand objects of interest, was it reasonable to Don't think of the sorrow of our parting-look for expect this, of him; the mere man of pleasure to the joy of our meeting again."
cling to that one gentle, loving nature ? When Bat Kate could not obey him. She did not first he went away, she believed he would come complain again, however ; she did not again ask to back very soon; then when that hope faded, she