« PreviousContinue »
change glances of anxiety and disgust. Tiie captain makes a sign. A sergeant counts in a loud voice from one to fifty, and with each number the sticks fall in turn with a sharp whistle on the almost unprotected body. The tortured man does not give one sign of feeling, not a groan reveals his suffering, but his face becomes of a dark red hue.
When the sentence has been carried into effect, the blanket is removed, and the culprit attempts to rise, but he falls helplessly on his knees with convulsed features and a heavy sigh. The corporals who held him down seize him under the arms, and drag him off to the prison, where he will be left for the next fourand-twenty hours to his feelings and thoughts. "Take warning by him," the captain says to the new comers. "Drinking is the root of all evil. Whatever tricks you may have played in Europe, are forgotten here. The road to prosperity and honors lies open before you here. Only behave yourselves decently. Otherwise you will sink in the mire as deep as you hoped to rise. We are here under martial law, and can not permit any ugly tricks. Now be off, and let me see you again at nine o'clock, clean and tit to appear before the general." They are dismissed, and form into groups, with more or less evidence of agitation, according to the difference of character. Old hands inform those who care to listen that the punished man had been a | student of theology, and lost all his' chances of ordination through connection I with a young woman; in hopeless des- j pair he enlisted among the colonial j troops, and ere long was employed as a' commissariat clerk. But a gradual in-; creasing tendency to drink ruined all his' prospects: he was sent back to his bat-! Ulion as a private, eventually placed in: the second class, and was now about to! be taken back to Europe to be discharged' there as incorrigible. Such cases as this i are the great evil of the Dutch colonial i army, and yet they can not be prevented, j These troops, recruited from all parts of i the world, and the last refuge of scamps i can only be kept in order by the severest i discipline. «
Next came parade before the general. For the last time the recruits brash and clean the uniforms and accoutrements' New Series—Vol. II., No. 1.
1 which they have worn ever since they left Harderwyk, in order to appear before | their commander-in-chief. Each of them i is ordered to hold his pay-book open in ! his hand. The general with his staff i walks scrutinizingly along the ranks. i He is no old martinet who has'gained his present position by seniority. The ] Dutch army in the East Indies is always assumed to be in a hostile country, and a handful of men are called upon to hold i in subjection the warlike inhabitants of the island-world. In such a situation 'merit is the sole cause for promotion, and privileges of birth and influence are utterly thrown aside. The general is a man of middle age, with a bright spark| ling eye. The officers of his suite also i look as if they were thoroughly up to j their work. He does not heed the paybooks: he only looks at the men standing before him, who are generally ruddy and hearty owing to the voyage. How many of these powerful men will be left a short time hence 1 or have escaped the ravages of the climate and dissipation? It is not the defiant enmity of the Maylays that removes the majority of the European troops. It is calculated that out of one hundred European soldiers only six remain alive at the end of six years, and but two of them with unimpaired constitutions. The general reminds the officers to question the men as to their former vocation and acquired abilities, and a report is to be sent in on the same day, so that each may be suitably employed.
The recruits are now conducted beneath the widely-overarching verandah of one of the storehouses. Articles of clothing are served out to them suitab'e for the climate, jackets and trousers of stout blue cotton-stuff, cotton shirts and socks, light leathern shoes, and caps with a very projecting straight peak. The government is not sparing with the arti cles, for it is anxious about the welfare and life of its living capital, and it deco rates European soldiers in a way that forms a striking contrast with the native troops. Loaded with three or four 8»it* each, the recruits return to barracks, where soup and meat, rice and pimento, await them, but another desire overcomes their usual greediness. They hastily throw off the clothes they have worn 8
ever since leaving Harderwyk, and feel converted into externally new men.
Up to three r M., or during the greatest heat of the day, the troops are not allowed to leave the barracks and surrounding grounds under any pretext. Some throw themselves on the beds in urder to fetch up the lost sleep of the past night; others proceed to the backyard, where Malay women keep a shop of eatables under a palm-leaf roof supported by bamboo poles. Women of all descriptions are allowed unimpeded access to the barracks at all hours of the day and night. Here blooming brown , girls, only covered from the hips to the feet by the sai-ang, or witch-like creatures who, however, are not old in years,' offer, for a trifle, fish, poultry cut up in pieces, pisangs, slices of yam, all fried in palm-oil, cucumber salad with an abundant addition of small onions, and veiy strong coffee amply sweetened with raw sugar. For the convenience of eating there are stools and benches made of plaited bamboo. The fellows eat and drink as if they had been starved yesterday, and will go without to-morrow, and hence must take advantage of to-days opportunity. At the same time they learn loving expressions and words of insult
It is getting on for four o'clock, and the drums beat. The tin vessels, which the not yet relieved baker's men bring up, contain a strongly peppered and spiced vegetable, boiled with lumps of fresh pork. The former resembles cabbage in taste, and bears a great resemblance to European garden produce. It is tasted and neglected by the overladen stomachs. The time for going out is approaching, and some of the men, who pay a little attention to their appearance, complain of the lustreless state of their , shoes. Where are they to procure blacking from 1 They are taught by comrades who have been longer in India, and prove it to their own satisfaction by experiment, that leather, when rubbed with the shells of the pisang, looks as if it hqd been varnished. And now the hour has arrived and the barrack-gates are thrown open. All those who are not on duty can remain out and amuse themselves as they please till eight o'clock. Suck is the daily rule. They stream
out, but few of them to gaze at the population among which they are cast, or to admire the landscape and the works of human hands, the contrast between the stone-built palaces of the European and the bamboo huts of the Malays; the majority flock to the Bazaar Lama, with its drinking-shops and gambling-booths. The scenes of the previous day are repeated. In an opium-house, where the smokers fall into a glorious sleep in the company of girls, there is a regular fight, because the men drunk with spirits ridicule those drunk with poppy-juice. Still, there are no sanguinaiy results, as the market-guard interferes betimes and clears the house of all the quarrelers. But, on the eventual return to barracks, the same indulgence is not displayed as on the preceding night. Those who are able to walk and stand, however staggeringly, are not interfered with, and those who fall down are left to lie where they are; but disturbers of the peace are more strictly treated. Some five or six of them are locked up. The rest mostly pass the night on their beds without undressing; the heat of the atmosphere, the fire in, their inside, permits no refreshing sleep. Even when the surrounding noise lias died out on the next morning, the captain very unceremoniously condemns the culprits to three days' undisturbed residence in a veiy disagreeable locale, merely supplied with a wooden bench, and grated windows in the roof. They are protected there from the sun's heat, and the musquitoes keep them well awake by day and night Then the entire party are conducted to the pay-office, and the pay they have saved during the entire voyage is handed over to them in glistening new gold and silver coinage, fresli from the miut in Holland. The receipt of so large an amount has a most overpowering effect upon men who for a long time past liave counted their wealth by four-j>enny-bits. They laugh, talk, and chaff one another, in spite of tbeir corporeal suffering, liosy anticipations excite them, and they revel in dreams of enjoyment. The profligates do not suspect that this is the last hour they will pass in each-other's company. On return to barracks the orders are read to them, telling them off to the battalions and garrisons in the Indian archipelago,
scattered in groups, larger or smaller, over Java aud Sumatra, Borneo and Celebes. The majority must prepare for immediate departure, because ships ready to sail are lying in the roads. Hardly one thinks of leave-taking, for they are blinded and enchanted by new hopes and prospects. The rest are not let out of ban-acts during the day, because they will reach their destination by land, and have to start the same night. The buffalo-carts are already standing at the gate to receive their baggage. And thus they set out—the majority with not very light heads—some one way, some another, with but slight chance of ever seeing Batavia again, and none of ever returning to their native land.
From the Art Journal.
Those who visited the Paris Reposition of 18(i4 will remember the striking picture by M. Fromentin, the first French painter of Oriental subjects. Its title was "Coup de Vent dans les Plaines d'Alfa (Sahara)." The sudden violence of the wind was vividly portrayed in the beaten herbage, the defensive attitude and terrified aspect of the horses, and the fluttering bernouses of their Arab riders.
The best account of the Sahara that has yet appeared in English literature is that by Mr. Tristram,9 from which we give an extract relating to the physical geography of this region:
Our ordinary application of the term "Sahara" for the great northern desert of Africa is not strictly accurate; and in these notes I have restricted its use to that portion of the country to which the natives apply it. They divide Africa • north of the line into three portions— the Tell, the Sahara, and the Desert: the Tell being the corn-growing country from the coast to the Atlas; the Sahara the sandy pasture-land where flocks and Lerds roam, from the Atlas through the Ilauts Plateaux or Steppes to the region where all regular supply of water fails;
* The Great Sahara. By II. B. Tristram, M. A. Jol.n Murray, lu the Appendix is a valuable chapter on the Geology of the Central Sahara of Algeria.
1 and the desert, the region which extends
, thence almost to the watershed of the
Niger—arid, salt, affording no sustenance
j to cattle or sheep, but where the camel
| snatches a scanty subsistence, and which
is, excepting in its rare oases, equally in
, hospitable to man.
The physical and geological characteristics of these regions vary considerably, but they are all comprehended by the Bedouin under the term "Mogreb," or laud towards the sunset, of which the j eastern limit is the Gulf of Cabes, and the western Atlantic.
If we cast our eyes on the map of Africa, we shall see no portion of the globe apparently so compact—so self-contained. A peninsula, attached to Asia alone by a narrow isthmus, Africa exhibits no islands, like those which encircle Europe, struggling as it were to be freed from the continent. No deep gulfs aud bays indent her shores: she stands compact and solid. The geological convulsions which have dislocated Europe have met with an impenetrable barrier in the ridge of the Atlas, which has sternly repelled every encroachment. But we shall find within this self-contained continent very distinct lines of severance in its physical geography.
lu the first place, the natural history of the Atlas, bears scarcely any affinity to that of the rest of the continent; and this distinctiveness may at once be traced to natural physical causes. To the natr uralist North Africa is but an European island, separated, it is true, from Europe, by the Mediterranean, but far more effectually isolated from Central Africa by that sea of sand, the Great Desert. The Atlantic isolates it on the west, while a comparatively narrow but most impenetrable desert of ever-shifting sand cuts it off from Tripoli and Egypt, which on their part seem to lean rather on Asia than on Africa. No link attaches Barbary to the rest of the continent: no river supplies an arterial communication; not the most insignificant streamlet forms either a bond of union or a frontier line; the long Atlas chain abruptly terminates in Tunis, and sends not one solitary spur towards Africa; it rather seems by one of its branches to claim kindred with Europe. So far the Arab geographers are accurate in coupling "Mogreb" with Europe instead of Africa. They, too, have the tradition mentioned by Livy, Pliny, and Seneca, that Spain and Morocco were once united—an idea which must so naturally suggest itself to any one who has sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar, that it is needless to imagine that it had any foundation in historic memory.
If we might here hazard a conjecture, it would be that the same convulsions and upheavals which at the close of the Tertiary epoch indented the southern coasts of Europe at the same time drained the ocean which hitherto had rolled over the plains of the Sahara, and submerged the low-lying lands which probably united the Canaries and Madeira to the main land. The natural history of these islands is so essentially European as to point to an identical center of creation. We may then imagine that, towards the close of the later geological epoch, Barbary was a vast peninsula, linked to Europe by Gibraltar, and washed on the south by the ocean of the Sahara, on the north by that inland lake which is now the Mediterranean.
But when, leaving the southern slopes of the Atlas, we enter upon the Sahara, the physical and geological characteristics are changed at once. Upon the surface of the secondary and some of the tertiary deposits we stumble over beds of rounded pebble and large gravel, besides the extraordinaiy mountains of pure rocksalt which in various places rises suddenly from the lime-stone.
To picture the Sahara, imagine what the north-east portion of England would be if completely drained of its streams and denuded of its vegetation; wooded dells transformed into rocky naked nullahs, and tillage plains covered with a soil pulverized by the combined action of heat, wind, and attrition.
With all its monotony, the Desert has its varieties. One day you laboriously pick your steps among bare rocks, now sharp enough to wound the tough sole of your camel, now so slippery that the Arab horse can scarce make good his tooting. Another day you plunge for miles knee-deep in loose suffocating sanddrifts, ever changing and threatening to bury you when you halt Sometimes a v~'d pebbly suriace permits a canter for
hours over the level plain amidst dwarf leafless dust-colored shrubs. Perhaps, on surmounting a ridge, the mirage of a vast lake glittering in the sunshine excites both the horse and his rider. On, on gallops the wiry little steed over sand hard and crisp, and coated with a delicate crust of saltpetre, the deposit of the water which at rare intervals has accumulated there and formed the Chotts and Sebkhas of the Desert. Occasionally the traveler is gladdened and refreshed by pitching his camp in a dayat, or reposing for a few nights under the palmtrees of an oasis.
The name of the late Abraham Lincout, greatly lamented President of the United States, is embalmed in the memory of vast multitudes in this land and in other lands, and his character and deeds are recorded in the annals of history for all coming ages, and for the admiration of mankind.
It is scarcely necessary to dwell upon his personal histoiy, the great events of his public life, and the teirible scenes which environed his last hours, or attempt to describe the funeral obsequies and mourning millions, who gazed with sad hearts and moistened eyes at the funeral train, as it swept along from Washington, a distance of some thousand or fifteen hundred miles to his ever memorable mausoleum in the West. Such a life—such a personal and public history —such a death so tragic and awful— such a funeral with its attendant circumstances of public grief and sorrow along the avenues of our principal cities, villages and hamlets, gazed at by witnessing and attending millions, presented such a funeral scene, as earth has seldom beheld, or history recorded. His name and biography have been written on many hearts, in many lauds. We desire to offer our humble tribute of grateful respect and admiration of his name and character by embellishing this number of the Electic with a fine Portrait of his face and form as a permanent record. A brief biographical sketch is all that will be needful on these pages to accompany his portrait, as a more extended history of his life and character is to be found in numerous forms in the current annals of our land.
Abraham Lincoln, was born in Harden county, Kentucky, February 12, 1809.
His ancestors, who were Quakers, went from Berks Co., Penn., to Rockingham Co., Va., and from there his grandfather Abraham removed with his family to Kentucky about 1782, and was killed by Indians in 1784. Thomas Lincoln, the father of Abraham, was born in Virginia, and in 1806 married Nancy Hanks, also a Virginian. In 1816 he removed with his family to what is now Spencer Co., Ind., where Abraham, being large for his age, was put to work with an axe to assist in clearing away the forest, and for the next ten years was mostly occupied in hard labor on his father's farm. He went to school at intervals, amounting in the aggregate to about a year, which was all the school education he ever received. At the age of nineteen he made a trip to New Orleans as a hired hand upon a flat boat In March 1830, he removed with his father from Indiana and settled in Macon Co., 111., where he helped to build a log cabin for the family home. In the following year he hired himself at $12 a month to assist in building a flat boat, and afterwards in taking the boat to New Orleans. On his return from this voyage his employer put him in charge as clerk of a store and mill at New Salem, then in Sangamon, now in Menard Co., 111. On the breaking out of the Black Hawk War in 1832, he joined a volunteer company, and to his surprise was elected captain of it, a promotion which, he says, gave him more pleasure than any subsequent success in life. He served for three months in the campaign, and on his return was in the same year nominated a whig candidate for the legislature. He next opened a country store, which was not prosperous; was appointed a postmaster of New Salem, and now began to study law by borrowing from a neighboring lawyer books which he took in the evening and returned in the morning. The surveyor of Sangamon Co. offering to depute to him that portion of his work which was in his part of the county, Mr. Lincoln procured a compass and chain and a treatise on surveying, and did the work. In 1834 he was elect
ed to the legislature by the highest vote cast for any candidate, and was reelected in 1830, 1838, and 1840. In 1836 he obtained a license to practise law, and in April, 1837, removed to Springfield, and opened an office in partnership with Ma
'jor John F. Stuart. He rose rapidly to distinction in his profession, and was especially eminent as an advocate in jury trials. He did not, however, withdraw from politics, but continued for many years a prominent leader of the whig party in Illinois. He was several times a candidate for presidential elector, and as such, in 1844, he canvassed the entire state, together with part of Indiana, in behalf of Henry Clay, making almost daily speeches to large audiences. In 1846 he was elected a representative in Congress from the central district of Illinois, and took his seat on the first Monday of Dec. 1847. In Congress he voted for the reception of anti-slavery memorials and petitions. He voted 42 times in favor of the Wilmot proviso. On Jan. 1C, 1840, he offered to the house a scheme for abolishing slavery in the district by compensating the slave-owners from the treasury of the United States, provided a majority of citizens of the district should vote for the acceptance of the proposed act. In 1849 he was a candidate for the U. S. Senate, but the legislature was democratic, and elected Gen. Shields. After the expiration of his congressional term Mr. Lincoln applied himself to his profession till the repeal of theMissouri Compromise calledhim again into the political arena. He entered with energy into the canvass, which waa to decide the choice of a U. S. Senator in place of Gen. Shields, and was mainly to his exertions that the triumph of the republicans and the election of Judge Trumbull to the Senate was attributed. AttheRepublican National Convention in 1856, by which Col. Fremont was nominated for President, the Illinois delega
| tion ineffectually urged Mr. Lincoln's nomination for the Vice-presidency. On
I June 2, 1858, the Republican State Convention met at Springfield, and unanimously nominated him as candidate for U. S. senator in opposition to Mr. Douglas. The two candidates canvassed the state together, speaking on the same day at
\ the same place. The result of the elec