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room could keep their inquisitive eyes and fingers about noon, when the signal-man on shore (who from prying and extractive propensities. Then was usually the cook) hoisted a table-cloth at the servants, hot and worried, were perpetually carry- convalescent flagstaff
, thereby indicating that tiffin ing chests to and fro, and struggling home like was ready. modern Atlases, under mountains of literature ; By two o'clock, came the postman, with letters all the latest novels, from Hoggs or Pharoahs (or from friends we had quitted only yesterday, all, as they were facetiously termed, the King of however, inquiring as fervently after our health as Pashan, and the King of Egypt). At last the eve of though months had elapsed and leagues intervened that long-expected and anxiously awaited day of between us. Really, however, in India, this is departure would arrive. Everything, even to the not so ludicrous a practice after all. Cholera and tea-kettle, was packed, and just to give a relish to fever make sharp work with their victims, and you the thing, the last supper at home was eaten off may breakfast with a man and be asked to his the lap (for all the crockery and the glass ware funeral the same day. was packed up) and gentlemen pledged each other The afternoon was again the signal for more out of empty cocoanut shells.
boating. Some went fishing, some shooting, some Usually, two or three families, who were very shell-gathering, some butterfly-catching, some friendly, concerted these excursions between them, botanising. In short, everybody was happy and and they all rendezvoused and slept at one or the full of occupation. About sundown we all assemother's house the night previous to starting. When I bled, ready for dinner, and each one recounted his say slept, there was very little sleep in the ques or their respective exploits. tion, for what with planning pleasure excursions, Saturday evening was, however, the great event with laying down laws and regulations, with songs at Ennore; then came an immense reinforcement and snatches of ditties, it was seldom far-off day. to our numbers, swelling our ranks of a Sanday, light when the party broke up; and the ladies and passing the Sabbath, I blush to say, in boatand children managed as best they could on beds ing, billiards, and brandy-pawny. and couches, whilst the gentlemen roughed it out By the time the fortnight had expired we were on the floor. The first streak of daylight was the pretty well satiated with the pleasures of Ennore; signal for our departure. A good, strong cup of and knowing that we must, of necessity, go, so as coffee and the refreshing influence of the morning to make room for others who waited their time in air were invigorating, and soon banished any linger- due routine, why, we looked upon the thing in ing drowsiness, the result of the last night's vigils. the light of philosophers, and went away singing What incomparable music swelled the morning and as merry as we came. air as countless larks balanced their wings high It was about this period of my life that my over head and poured forth volumes of delicious uncle, who had been many years a collector, melody! Now and then the plaintive song of the seriously put the question to me about the choice paccotah men, irrigating fruit gardens, fell not of a profession, and I as seriously, without hesitaunpleasantly on the ear. Early ploughmen yoke tion, told him I would rather be a sailor or a their small but study oxen to ploughs, in form parson. Somehow or other, my military enthuand size, dating probably from the days of the siasm, though not extinguished, flickered, as it patriarch Abraham. Now and then a vicious were, in the last stage of decay. The jolly life cur would rush from the plougb-side and bark those chaps led on board of the frigate made me indignation at the intrusive stranger. Still, speculate in a new cap with a gold lace band and onward we went, and just as the sun waxed un. anchor buttons—a thing I had no right to wear, pleasantly warm, just in time to enjoy a delicious but which I nevertheless sported, to my intense, bath in the cool waters of the lake, we would secret satisfaction, always making a point of pasarrive at Ennore, and take immediate possession sing every post where sentries were stationed, reof our home for the ensuing fortnight. Aquatic ceiving and returning their salutes with all costumes were assumed, ladies and childıen came decorum. Apart from this, I had always a hanout in astonishing hats, breakfast was announced, kering for travel, and thought the sea a fine field fresh fish, fresh prawns, with good appetites from for satisfying this craving. On the other hand, I early rising and exercise, and by ten o'clock felt inclined to enter the Church, not, unhappily, everybody at Ennore was cruizing abont in the from any devout motives, but simply because I had beautiful little cutters and schooners, the property of a most conceited opinion about my own oratorical gentlemen residing at Madras. Now came the powers, and thought it must be stunning to Eclipse, now the Frolic, now the Catch-me-if-you- electrify a congregation by some extraordinary can. Then, as the breeze set in, the whole ting fleet display of palpit eloquence. put the nautical capabilities of every one to the Whilst wavering between the choice of these test. Tacking and waring, shortening sail, or two very opposite professions (which occasioned carrying press of canvas; having sham fights, exceeding mirth to my uncle and his friends), an bombarding private residences with cannon loaded incident occurred which decided me in selecting with potatoes. Oh, a jolly time we had of it on the sea. A cousin of mine, chief officer of a board; and it was really a very pretty sight to Chicco ship, was landed at Madras, in a most desee the whole fleet bearing down for the anchorage / plorable condition, having been wrecked off the
Mauritius, and exposed to every imaginable danger My cousin went round to Cochin, on the and privation. To listen to his account was to Malabar coast, where his family resided, and where add fuel to the fire of my romance. Nobody he possessed some extensive coffee plantations. At could argue me out of the sea. It was first in his invitation it was agreed that I should go tended that I should join the Golconda, Captain round by sea, and join him, he promising to find Bell, then lying in the Madras Roads. Most pro- me speedy employment in the mercantile sea videntially, things could not be satisfactorily ar. service. Accordingly, about September, 1839, I ranged; for it was this very ill-fated vessel that found myself once again afloat in that old acquaintsunk in the Chinese Seas two years afterwards, ance, the good ship Isadora, Captain Hodgson, with the greater portion of the 37th Madras bound this time for Colombo, Ceylon, and CoNative Infantry, and every other soul on board. chin.
"Sir, we had talk."-Dr. Johnson.
“ The honourablest part of talk is to give the occasion ; and then to moderate again, and pass to somewhat else."-Lord Bacon.
work was to be done, or to sacrifice the arrangeI OVERHEARD two boys talking in the street the ment of our books and papers when something other day, and suppose their conversation may have else more vital was crying aloud, “ despatch me had reference to the Shoe-black Brigade; for, as
first." To this sort of experience ladies in general I passed by, I caught these words :—“Yes, they
are almost strangers. Their “musts" are all coall has a bag, with a comb, and a brush, and a
ordinated, and that most vital rule, the greater towel, and a Bible and prayer-book, and every con
should never give way to the less, is to them a dead wenience." That boy, thought I, belongs, by letter, or worse, an act of accusation. The house natural gravitation, to the true British party of must be turned upside down to morrow; nust go order, which associates respectabilities and Bibles and see Amelia, or she'll think, &c., &c.; must under the head of its “conveniences;" things have a new dress, dear, before I can go out; and which are comme-il-faut and all fetish, more or so forth, is their style. In fact, Fiat, schatever less, but rather matters of externality, and fitting comes next, ruat cælum! is their principle of in with regularities and proprieties, than helping action; and the most important part of a woman's to a nobler life. Yet, after all, is not cleanliness activity is its post factum, as that of her letter is next to godliness ? May it not be very close in a
its post scriptum ! crude mind? Does not the servant-maid carry her prayer-book wrapped round with her handkerchief ? We, "the lave,” cannot expect slum born lads to be exact in their descriptive nouns. Pro
THE PUBLICITY OR PRIVACY OF CAPITAL bably my errand-boy of the other evening did not
PUNISHMENTS. in thought degrade his Bible so much as he elevated the meaning of convenience." At all Tue following short paragraph has been going the events we may learn that the great Napier was not round of the newspapers and magazines, since the - alone in his soldier's faith, that a single bag will cxecution at Liverpool of the merchantman's capcontain “every convenience !"
tain, who murdered his subordinate:-“RESTLI or EXECUTIONS.—Four cases of robbery nnder the gallows, at the execution of Rogers, the seacaptain, came before the Liverpool magistrates the
next day.” Scraps like this are circulated with WOMEN'S “MUSTS."
a view to insinuate the doctrine, that public Among the important minor embarrassments of executions are demoralizing, and that the crimes life, the perverse and clashing musts of women rank which are committed by those present at tben, high. Men, accustomed to business and to in- may be taken as a proof of it; or, at least, that portant enterprises, in which small things have to the witnessing of executions has no deterring go to the wall when promises or principles wait effect. I would say to the opponents of the accomplishment, keep up a due hierarchical ar. publicity of capital punishments, --get up asy rangement in their affairs. You and I have known or her public spectacle, equal in interest to the what it is to rush out with an unbrushed hat to keep deliberate slaying of a man, by the common wil an appointment, or to miss seeing a friend when of all men, expressed through the law, and see if
you do not have pockets picked as frequently when the bad neighbourhoods of great cities, and it is the show comes off. I know that the experiment nothing against the wholesomeness of the spectacle must remain untried, simply because there can be itself, that so many of the spectators are debased, no such spectacle; but we may see, from what unfortunate creatures who, with little to gain and takes place at even an unusually brilliant Lord nothing to lose, the outcasts of the body social, Mayor's Show, or a monster “preaching," that the take such opportunities of flinging their defiance essential condition of pocket-picking is simply a at all order and authority. Society has no busicrowd, no matter how gathered.
ness to have such mobs anywhere in its bosom. With respect to the question of deterring Nor has it any business to relegate executions to effects, it is obvious to remark, that to the eye of holes and corners favourable for the collection of a criminal, the hanging of A. B., up there, for them. But you say “ An execution is a revolting murder, would have no particular bearing on the spectacle, and must be exhibited in a dark place.” chances of C. D., down here, for stealing a hand. I ask, revolting, to whom ? To the coddled, kerchief. Indeed, I should suspect, judging artificial man of town. Painful and awful it à priori, -I speak in ignorance of the precise facts should be to every one, but if human society has
—that the race of pocket-pickers, and all the the courage to decree the slaying of one of its small
, skulking irregulars, who gall the kibe of the members, it ought to have the courage to see its oron Party of Order, would be averse from crimes of decree put in force, and ought not to find it" violence. The “area sneak” and the brigand of volting.” I will go farther; I will maintain that the highway are of different breeds, and what the deliberate taking away of a wicked man's life, appeals to one would not necessarily appeal to is so solemn a thing that the sovereign (if a the other. Indeed, murder is always, thank God! woman, by deputy; but women, like men who so exceptional a crime, that we cannot expect any cannot, or will not, lead armies, were not intended class to take home to their bosoms any direct for sovereigns), is bound to be present at it, and lesson from the public punishment of it; except should be accompanied by the highest ecclesiastical in very rare cases, as that of Marley, the ticket- functionary of his realm. It may seem a light of-leave man, for instance. I should think the matter down here to string up Bill Sykes, but the public execution of such a criminal as that, at such angels may look upon it as a very important a time, calculated to terrify others. But what transaction, and charge with skulking the society direct lesson can any one possibly derive from the which will only afford to be present in the persons hanging of a man like Davis who, the other day, of an ordinary, a bangman, and a turtle eater, and cut his wife's throat in a frenzy of gin and yet complains when the byeways of cities (which, jealousy? What figures would represent the pro- more than even nature, abhor a vacuum) are filled bability that any man, who stood or sat in sight with the "scum of the earth,” who make indecent of that scaffold, would ever cut his wife's throat noises while the ears of the doomed wretch vibrate in a drunken rage ?
awfully to “I am the Ressurection and the Life.” The truth is, it is not a question, in the first instance, of deterring or making an example. The complicated process of feeling and thinking, and social machinery, which ends in the solemn slaying of a very wicked man, starts, not from reflection
CHRISTMAS BOXES. or any calculation of ends, but from the primitive Wretched beyond power of description," instinct of retribution, in virtue of which we all Dr. Johnson, " would be the couple who should feel when wrong is done that the scale must be be compelled to settle, by force of logic, the righted by the infliction of pain upon the wrong. minute detail of a domestic day" (the quotation is doer. For myself I do think,—and the more not, I fear, verbatim). When the enthusiasms earnestly because I once thought otherwise,—that of youth are subsiding, and the sense of power there are cases where a healthy human instinct over circumstances grows less day by day, and we demands the taking away of a sinner's life,--the begin to let things mould us, instead of trying al. utter putting of him out of the way—and can be ways to mould them,—(a complexion to which satisfied with nothing less. And I insist that this we all come at last, though some of us struggle instinct calls for publicity in the execution of its more than others with the pressure from without awards. “If this terrible thing is to be done, which is so damaging to ideals),-—we find that a do it, you, in the face of the sun, and of us, who similar remark applies to the whole of life. Well will look on and see all fair, in God's name"- for us, if we hold fast to that optimism which is that is what the instinct says; repudiating all the strongest necessity of a lively conscience, and theatrical devices, like those recommended by the still make, at least, honest endeavours to reason Lords' committee on capital punishments of “two out our course aright, and keep the best thing, years ago, such as the hanging out of a black to be done in the best way, plainly before us, as flag, the tolling of a bell, and other trumpery. an ambition, however we may fall short of it. And here you may say,
“ Look on and see all Should I give Christmas boxes or not? is a fair! Who are they who look on in such cases ?" question which I once thought I could answer I reply, in the main they are the average mob of absolutely for my own guidance--but various
occurrences, leading to reconsideration of the is on a scale of immensity à faire pour. Nor does whole case, have at last landed me in one of those it mend matters that the balance may probably be compromises which occur so frequently that one righted within a month or two; that these beggars is at last tempted to say, “There is nothing abso belong to a class in whom emotional reaction is lute-everything is relative—all life is a com- strong; and that if you happen to offend him, you promise--and under the circumstances' the true may be bullied and blackguarded, to your heart's philosophy of conduct.
content, in March, by the very fellow wbo, in At this season of the year, the mistress of a December, licked the dust of your shoes for your decent, middle-class household receives--probably accustomed generosity. by a messenger who gives a double knock in. The first practical movement one makes is tended to imitate the postman's—an envelope perhaps to discriminate in giving. Let me see. addressed, “On Her Majesty's Service-Income The lamplighter regularly gets drunk on my acTax-Grand Finale --- The Dissolution--Impor customed generosity; the girl who brings home tant and Interesting”-inside which is a circular the mangling--a clean, rosy-cheeked, broadfrom Tagg and Ragg the linendrapers, who seem backed creature, habitually displaying a military to have an idea that Christmas is the season for boot and as much wbite stocking as a coalbeaver spending, and that they may come in for a few --makes up every Christmas a parcel of fish, bountiful drops of the general shower of extrava- fannel, oranges and nuts to her poor old father gance consequent upon the conventional loosening and mother down in Berkshire. Good. I will of purse-strings. T'agg and Ragg, and such like say yes to dutiful Dorothy, and no to juniper vermin, are, let us hope, pretty generally disap- Jack. But at this point a new feature, and one pointed. But this is only the beginning of sor- on which, to speak à la Castlereagh, the question rows, and we have not yet come to “ Boxes." In a good deal hinges, attracts attention. The appeal a few days the master of the house is favoured to my "generosity” is a sham, and a very stronglywith a circular, beginning, “We, your faithful marked quasi-compulsoriness lurks under the most Scavengers,' and concluding, “We humbly modest touching of the supplicatory forelock for a request that you will not bestow your accustomed box. Now, if, at the moment, I happen to have my generosity upon any one who does not present hands full, and am with difficulty able to be just, a duplicate of this card, and show, upon demand how can I, with a clear conscience, be generous ? of the same, a medal of Napoleon at the 'battle Yet a degree, and, in practice, a pretty considerof Austerlitz." The same "accustomed generosity” able degree, of compulsoriness seems to be necesis confidently looked for by a dozen or so of cring sarily attached to the existence of any special ing parasites of all sorts and sizes, from the small season when giving is the fashion, and the right news boy to the tall lamplighter. Everybody thing with all well-conducted Christians, who who does anything or brings anything, to, for, have a penny to spare; for it is a sort of social or about, or in any conceivable way related to, suicide to confess you have not a penny to spare. the house or its occupants, is inventing excuses “But,” replies the faithful scavenger, "you are for high-pressure assiduity of service, and finding compelled to pay poor's rates regularly, and your or making opportunities of blowing his own pew rent, and your subscription to the Blind trumpet. Newsboy has made unparalleled efforts School, are looked for at stated times; the assoto get Times in time. Postman says, “Thank ciation of the gift with a regularly recurring you, sir," and hopes you will excuse his mention- season is no reason for not giving," True, I ing that the d’rection of that letter is not plain, answer-true; if the gift and the season, and and you might p'raps name it to the party, in case the reason for the gift and the season, be all three of accidential wrong delivery, or sent to Dead accurately settled beforehand, either by a recog. letter office. And so on, till you are more than nised authority, or by agreement between giver and ever convinced of the truth that was in Mr. receiver. Rejoins now the faithful scavengerSamuel Slick, of Slickville, when he made his “ The season for boxes is defined ; all your honour immortal observation for all times and seasons,— has to do is to define the amount of the gift, and “ There's a deal of human natur' in man"
you are then caught in your own trap.” Not so, Yes, you say; and very nasty "human soavenger; I want, in addition, the reason for the natur,'” too! which is wbere the shoe first gift and the season. I know what I pay per. pinches, and revolt begins. What do these rent for, and I can drop my subscription when I miserable creatures mean by croaking and fawn- please, and make all square by keeping away from ing about me and mine for a fortnight, in hope of church; so of other cases of a business-like, abovegetting a sixpence a piece at the end of it ? Why, board character, where what is compulsory is it is a part of a system ; they expect heaps of known on both sides, and there is no shamming or sixpences beside yours ; they kiss the toe of No. double entendre. But what am I to pay Christmas9, saying, "O, king! live for ever!" and then go boxes for ? and how am I to get out of being and do the same at No. 10, and all up the street, worried for them if I cannot honestly pay them? and round the corper, and everywhere they can. Are your wages insufficient ? Then come and So much the worse; the explanation makes the ask me to advise you, or help you, in the work of case uglier still. The degradation of these beings getting more. You can do that, with no loss of
personal dignity, and I can comply or refuse, as I hearts of ours recognise generosity for a virtue. please. But this “ box" system is a vague, clumsy, Something within us often prompts us to give full unsatisfactory institution, fit only for the child measure, heaped up, running over, in our transachood of civilization, and blesses neither him that tions with our fellow-creatures. Everybody does gives nor him that takes.
give such measure now and then. A merchant, Shall I say, then, that Christmas-boxes are a suppose, pays his clerk a handsome salary, and the relic of semi-barbarous times, when it was natural clerk is satisfied ; but when Christmas comes, our to seek to relieve violent outbursts of the bad friend the merchant-and there is no better specipassions by strong displays of the kindlier ? That men of the fine old English gentleman than a they are in the nature of an occasional mulct or steady-going English merchant-our friend the commuted form of duty—the duty being "sweet merchant thinks to himself, “ Perhaps I have been charity,” and the proper time for its fulfilment peevish now and then with Jackson, and certainly every day in the year? That they must disappear he had a hard pull with that last balance sheet; by degrees, as life becomes increasingly equalised, he may have had his shortcomings towards me; and duty of all kinds a daily wear instead but then I'm the stronger, and the richer, and on a of a holyday penance ? All this I may say, and vantage ground, and I will tell him to draw a not be very wide from the truth. Yet are there a check for ten pounds.” And so in other cases. few words to be said in behalf of “boxes." And Once more- there are the very, very poor ; said they shall be, if you please.
and it is hard lines to prevent you or me saying at •Society is composed of two classes —those that Christmas, “I will try to remember the poor have too little or barely enough for their present always ; but, really, on this anniversary something wants, and those that have always something in rises in my throat which insists upon my remem. excess of their present wants. In her heart of bering them with an open hand, and I'll do it, and hearts, society knows very well that the bargains sleep the sounder for it. driven by those who have a surplus with those Finally; much may be done, by force of chawho have none, are not just in the sight of high racter and intelligence in the givers, to refine and heaven, though they may be legally, economically, elevate the conditions of Christmas giving. To or conventionally so; and she feels that an discourage all solicitations for the vaiis; to bestow occasional fine or mulct is due, and takes ad. them in a frank and manly (or womanly) way; to vantage of an ancient custom to pay it with a make them the occasions of even the briefest incheerful face. I regard “boxes,” then, as one of terchange of thought and feeling on noble subthe forms in which Capital confesses to Labour jects with the recipients
, and to distribute them that all is not yet right between them,
with careful discrimination, are obvious steps to But soppose it were-would “boxes” cease, that end, and calculated to make an embarrassing determine, and be void ? They might, but some social institution tolerable, if not useful and pleasubstitute would find a place, so long as these
THE ABSORPTION OF INDIA.
INDIA has been governed since the battle of of a rather dry member of a statistical society, to Plassey, or for a hundred years, as an empire, his fellow enthusiasts in figures, rather than that always containing a larger population than the of a statesman to a Parliament whose members can British islands, by a Company, whose power was check and control his proposals. delegated from our Crown and Parliament. Alter- The power of the East India Company was ations in the charters of the East India Company circumscribed at the last renewal of the charter, have limited their power at each of the recent by the introduction to the Directory of new renewals. Still the Company have been considered members, as Government nominees. The elements an independent sovereignty in some very important of the Company were absolutely changed by that particulars. They have European and native act, although no benefit as yet has been apparent armies of their own; although the commissions to from the change. their officers proceed from the British sovereign. The power of the East India Company is exerThey annex territory, and they mke peace or war cised under the supervision of the Board of Conwithout consulting the Imperial Parliament. They trol. The ceremonies rendered necessary by this conclude treaties of which we hear nothing offi- divided responsibility before anything can be done, cially. They impose taxes and they incur debts are extremely injurious, and would have long ere without Parliamentary control; for, although an now ruined the Anglo-Indian empire, if its Execuannual budget for India is now produced to the tive had not acted often without consulting their Commons at the close of each session, yet the superiors. ceremony, in all its parts, resembles the statement By some jealousy, for which there never could