Page images

etc. (duty Id.); charter parties (duty 6d.); contract notes (duty 1d.); delivery orders (duty Id.); lease, or tack, or agreement, for the letting, for any definite term less than a year, of a dwelling-house, or part of a dwelling-house, at a rent not exceeding the rate of £10 a year (duty Id.), of a furnished dwelling-house, or apartments, for any definite term less than a year (duties 6d., Is., Is. 6d., 25., and 2s. 6d.); letters of renunciation (duty Id.); notarial acts (duty Is.); policies of insurance, not life or marine (duty Id.); protests of bills of exchange or of promissory notes (duties Id., 2d., 3d., 6d., 9d., and Is.); proxies liable to the duty of Id.; receipts (duty Id.); transfers of shares in cost book mines (duty 6ď.); voting papers (duty Id.); warrants for goods (duty 3ď.). Postage stamps cannot be used for inland bills payable otherwise than on demand, for promissory notes, for foreign bills, for law or other fees, nor for any documents other than those above enumerated.

Long Trials.-Lengthy trials, like that of "Belt v. Lawes," which lasted forty-three days, have not been in fashion a dozen years. "Saurin v. Starr," the "convent case," tried

in 1869, lasted only a fortnight, which was considered a long time in those days. "Tichborne v. Lushington," in 1872, lasted 103 days, and the practice of the parties paying jurymen a guinea a day was first introduced, in lieu of their receiving the legal guinea per case. Then came" Regina v. Castro in 1873 and 1874, which lasted 188 days, and since that case the floodgates have been opened. The £5,000 damages given by the jury, although approached in a case just decided in the United States against the "New York Herald," which journal was cast in a verdict with 20,000 dollars damages as compensation for imputing the crime of arson, are probably unequalled in an action of libel in this country. In 1676, in the case of "Lord Townsend v. Dr. Hughes," £4,000 damages were given for saying that the plaintiff was an unworthy man, and acted against law and reason," and the judges, of whom Scroggs was one, declined to set the verdict aside on the ground of excessive damages. The action, however, was brought under the obsolete sta tutes against scandalum magnatum. There is an appropri ateness in the last of the causes at Westminster being tried by the last of the lawyer-barons, but it is to be hoped that the Royal Courts of Justice will not be inoculated with the modern disease of prolonged trials.—Law Journal.

[ocr errors]

The Ice-Plant. This annual plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) is remarkable for the transparent vesicles filled with water, resembling frozen dewdrops, that cover its fleshy stem and large, thick leaves. It is a striking instance of the elective power of roots, whereby plants can take up from a complex soil the materials proper to them. M. Mangon has cultivated it for seven or eight years, in La Manche, in Spain, on the same ground with cabbage, celery, etc., and while these latter had their normal composition, the iceplant, dried and burnt, furnished an ash with so much of chlorine and alkalies that at first he was inclined to think that some mistake had been made in weighing. The ashes formed of salts of soda and potash form nearly half (43 per cent.) of the dried plant. This composition recalls that of seaweed. From one hectare (2°47 acres) of ice-plants M. Mangon obtained 1,820 kilogrammes of ashes, containing 335 kilogrammes of chlorine, as much soda, and 588 kilogrammes of potash, the latter capable of furnishing 863 kilogrammes of carbonate of soda, or nearly as much as is got from incineration of one hectare's yield of the saltwort at Alicante. M. Mangon asks whether the cultivation of the ice-plant as a potash plant might not be lucrative under certain conditions; in any case, it would probably be useful, he thinks, in removing from the salt ground on the Mediterranean coasts (its place of origin) the excess of alkaline salts which render it unproductive.

Cast-off Clothing. It is proposed to establish a society to receive gratuitously gifts of clothing of every description of male attire and to dispose of it at almost nominal prices to deserving persons in poor circumstances. To provide respectable clothing, which is more or less a necessity to large numbers of struggling persons of the clerkly class and others, is a heavy tax upon their small earnings. The object of the

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Here are 16,500 of annual revenue in favour of the proprietors, accruing from letting portions of their estates as deer preserves. But now for the other, the national side of the question. According to the given averages, these forests produce 8,800 stags and hinds. On the other hand, we find that 9,500 acres of these counties carry 3,366,000 sheep; and taking three years as the average age of all sheep, there result 156,000 Cheviots and blackfaced that could be reared and killed annually on the same area as that occupied by the deer forests.

[blocks in formation]

Tel-el-Kebir.-The battle of Tel-el-Kebir was a critical one in many respects. Lord Wolseley very wisely determined on a night march and an attack at daylight, but it required very careful arrangements to prevent confusion and to ensure punctual arrival at the enemy's entrenchments. Nothing could be more steady, silent, and obedient than our men during that tedious march in the dark. Lord Wolseley very properly relied on the steadiness of the officers and men, without which all his best-laid schemes would have been of no avail. It was just before dawn when he and I, with the staff, dismounted in the desert, and the Highlanders quietly swept past to the attack. The enemy had kept so bad a look-out that they had not a single horseman of any kind out in the desert during the night. Just at daylight a few dropping shots were heard, and the enemy's pickets in front of

their lines gave the alarm. But it was too late. The Highlanders were close upon them, and, going in with a rush, closed with the enemy inside the entrenchments, and a short but severe contest ensued. In the meantime the brigade of Graham pushed on, and with equal vigour attacked the enemy's left, and, supported by the Guards, under his Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, carried the position in their front. The enemy then broke and fled, pursued by the Cavalry and Horse Artillery, leaving all their works, sixty rifled guns, and vast supplies of munitions and hundreds of prisoners, wounded and others, in our hands. The Egyptian losses were severe, as we buried nearly 1,500 of them in their trenches, and our own losses in dead and wounded were about 459. Tired as our men were, Lord Wolseley, however, did not rest after the battle. A portion of the Infantry at once advanced on Zagazig, and captured it after a march of twenty-eight miles; while the Cavalry, under Sir Drury Lowe, marched almost continuously for sixty miles, and hardly halted till it reached Cairo, which at once surrendered.-Sir John Adye, G.C.B.

Cork Industrial Exhibition.-The exhibition to be held in Cork this summer promises to be a great success. The general plan will be similar to what has been adopted in other exhibitions, and will be arranged as follows: 1, Raw materials; 2, Machinery; 3, Textile fabrics; 4, Metallic, Vitreous, and Ceramic manufactures; 5, Miscellaneous (including manufactures used in building, decoration, furniture, church and school furnishing, etc.); 6, Fine Art; 7, Fishing appliances. There will be also a loan collection, the previously mentioned classes including articles for sale or order.

The Land of One Book.-A Welsh speaker, at a recent meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society, declared there is not a single infidel book in the Welsh language. He said:" Wales is pre-eminently the land of one book. We owe it to the influence of the Bible that we have not a single infidel book in our language, and that Popery has failed hitherto to make any progress among the pure Welsh, because they read and know their Bibles too well."

Serjeants' Inn.-The old Inn in Chancery Lane, on the extinction of the order of Serjeants, fell into the possession of Serjeant Cox. There was a slip in the article on Lawyers' Haunts in our February Part, when Mr. Delane of the "Times" was mentioned as one of the celebrities associated with the venerable site in Chancery Lane. It was in Serjeants' Inn in Fleet Street that the "Times" had a house for the use of its editor. This square was of modern erection, but on the site of an Inn inhabited by the Serjeants from the reign of Henry VI, until destroyed in the great fire of 1666.

Language not Understanded of the Common People.-A grave and dignified D.D., after listening to the recitation of the Catechism by a class of children, was asked to make a few remarks to them, whereupon he rose and said, "I desire, my young friends, to express an unqualified approbation of this exercise. I regard the Catechism as the most admirable epitome of religious belief extant. The superintendent pulled his sleeve and asked him to explain the word epitome, which he elucidated as follows: "By epitome, children, I mean-that is-it is synonymous with synopsis.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Carlyle's "Past and Present "-I felt it do me good; felt very strongly the truth of what he says with regard to the Mammonism of our time. Mammon the god; riches, or success, heaven; poverty, or want of success, hell. This is putting the whole matter in a very striking light. It is really worth taking to heart. I often feel myself falling into this wretched and cursed spirit of our time. It requires to be watched and kept under. Carlyle always helps one to feel the greatness of our nature, its superiority to everything earthly, and to keep the earthly in its proper place.-Life of Macmillan the Publisher.

Long Hours of Shop Labour.-Lord Brabazon has made an earnest appeal in behalf of the overworked shop assistants in London and other great towns. He says:" The evidence of the evil effects of overwork and of long hours of labour, collected by the Inquiry Committee, cannot fail to convince the public, in view of the importance of preserving

a high standard of national health, of the urgent necessity which exists for taking active measures to put an end to a state of things which, according to the report of the Early Closing Association, leads to the annual sacrifice of 1,000 lives in London alone, and which sends back to the country some 3,000 to 4,000 more shop assistants to die a lingering and needlessly premature death."

Moore's Life of Byron.-I have cast Byron away with indignant contempt. The "Life" by Moore filled me with much deeper disgust than Hunt's book. Poor Byron! He never seems to have loved any one. No one seems ever to have loved him heartily. There is a most hateful sense of hollowness running through these letters. To me the neverceasing witticisms, the everlasting tittering and smirking, is most loathsome. He was not even a hearty sensualist.Life of Macmillan the Publisher.

Deepest Coal Mines in England and America.-The deepest shaft from which coal is raised is said to be at Pendleton, near Manchester, being 535 yards, or 1,605 feet. The deepest coal mine in the United States is the Pottsville, in Pennsylvania, of which the shaft is 1,576 feet deep. The output is about 200 cars of four tons each daily, or 800 tons. The Pendleton production is about 600 tons daily. The galleries are of considerable length, so that longer time is taken in getting the coal to the surface than at Pottsville, where each load of six tons (four of coal, two of waggon) is lifted by steam in less than a minute and a half.

Hydrangeas. It is stated that iron in the mould will cause hydrangeas to change their colour from pink to blue. This was discovered by the growth of some in a tip, or place where refuse from iron furnaces is thrown, over which soil had been laid. Watering with iron-impregnated water is Isaid to have the same effect.

Proposed Ship Canal Through Florida.-An influential company has been formed to further the enterprise of constructing a ship canal across the upper end of the peninsula of Florida. The projected line is from a point on the Suwanee River to a point from Jacksonville, Florida, on the St. John's River, a distance of something over sixty miles. The tide water of one river will thus be connected with the other, without requiring either lock or dam. The cost is estimated at $20,000,000. The New York Board of Trade estimates that there passes annually through Florida Pass three times the amount of commerce which goes through the Suez Canal, which cost $95,000,000. The annual losses from wrecks along the southern coast of Florida is placed at $5,000,000. The projectors of the canal claim that it will save 800 miles of the most dangerous navigation in the world -for such it is described by Commodore Maury-for vessels going to and from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico; that it will reduce insurance one per cent., and that it will reduce the freight on grain-seeking foreign markets 15c. to 20c. per bushel, and on cotton from $1 to $2 per bale.-The Times.

[ocr errors]

From the Sublime to the "Ridiculus Mus."-It is related of Mdlle. Rachel, the great tragédienne, that one night in 1848, when she was going to declaim the "Marseillaise on the stage of the Théâtre Francais, personifying the Republic with a Phrygian bonnet, and carrying a tricolour standard, she paced about the green-room rehearsing in a terrible voice fragments of Rouget de l'Isle's hymn, "Aux armes, Citoyens," etc. But suddenly she uttered a piercing scream, dropped her flag, and threw herself into the arms of the actor Regnier. She had seen a mouse !

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][subsumed]


HE village was divided by a smart little stream into two parts, Upper and Lower Deane. The former consisted chiefly of labourers' cottages, scattered in groups of three or four tenements, in the window of one of which a few ordinary articles were for sale, such as tapes, buttons, thread, and some yards of common print at one counter, small grocery, cakes, lollipops, and different sweets on the other. In one of the poorest of these lived the Dame Foster mentioned by Mrs. Hutton, and thither Ernest proceeded to make further inquiries. Hardly had he reached the threshold when the mother appeared with a baby on her arm and pressed him to enter, adding that two of her children were very ill and likely to die, and she did not know what to do with them. A glance into a very untidy room showed two little beings on a small bed with a ragged coverlid over them, their faces flushed, their eyes unnaturally large and bright, tossing about upon pillows that displayed a lamentable lack of cleanliness. never fallen in Ernest's way to visit the poor in their cottages, or, indeed, to come into any close contact with them, so that he was ignorant of their habits and homes. What he now saw surprised as much as it shocked him. His first thought was to ask the mother if she had seen the doctor.

It had

"He lives so far, and I have nobody to go after him, so I sent for Miss Lacy, who is very good to me."

"For Miss Lacy!" exclaimed Ernest, sharply, amazed at such a responsibility resting upon one who seemed to him only a degree or two removed from childhood, and whose inexperience must completely unfit her for the burden.


Yes; and she is gone to Lower Deane to get some physic and some arrowroot and a bit or two to tempt the poor children to eat."

"Then Miss Lacy has been out in the rain all this while? It is a long walk to Lower Deane, at least for her."

"I 'spose so, sir. I did not think about the wet, my children were so very, very bad. I am sure I beg your pardon and the young lady's too," said Mrs. Foster, beginning to think she had done wrong, and that the gentleman was about to scold her; "and Miss Etta would go. She is an angel, that she is. When she comes to the property we shall all be better off. These dirty cottages are to be pulled down and she will build new ones, and she will do a many things to better us, she says. Old Mr. Rivers never thought much about us."

"I have heard it said that he is a just landlord," returned Ernest.

"He may be; I don't know nothing about being just, but of course he is not Miss Lacy. He never did come among us and speak kind, and help us as she does. And she means to do much more by-and-by. I only hope my children will live to benefit;" and turning towards the bed where

the little ones lay, she raised her apron to her eyes.

"Have you no good neighbour to help you nurse your children, no one to advise you?" asked Ernest, knowing that among the poor many have remedies of their own in which they place more faith than in those of the faculty. It struck him also that any opinion must be better than innocent Etta's, whom he was anxious to withdraw from such a weighty responsibility.

'Yes, Dame Martin comes whenever she can, but she is as poor as I am and cannot do anything for me."

This, then, was the secret of Miss Lacy's popularity. Ernest understood it all now. With advice. she gave alms, and the one was sought in order to secure the other. It was but natural. One glance round that belittered room explained why Miss Lacy should come as an angel and her visits be so very welcome. Nevertheless he felt uneasy. The children appeared to be really ill and far beyond the skill of an amateur. If Étta Lacy took upon herself to doctor them what might not be the result? And he could not hide from himself that, in her ignorance of life, and with her self-reliance, she was capable of doing so. The quality which, while regarded only as a foible, amused him, now alarmed. He was, however, a little reassured by the answer to his next question.

"What had Miss Lacy given them ?"

"Nothing yet; she was gone to Lower Deane to fetch physic and other things."

"Then I will go and meet her, and we will see what can be done.'

[ocr errors]

Ernest turned away amid a volley of thanks only half deserved. He was principally uneasy on Etta's account. Her indiscreet promises and partially divulged schemes for the future might do her serious harm.

Left to herself he felt certain she would do something to exasperate Mr. Rivers, who, caring nothing for delicate shades of character or peculiarities of temperament, would take the broadest and most palpable view of her sayings and doings, and resent them in the manner that most accorded with his own wishes. This new revelation of her imprudence made him feel that, as a man of honour, he was bound to warn and guard her against herself, and, if need be, explain the peculiar position in which they were both placed. He felt that the only chance of obtaining a hearing was to approach her in the plainest and most commonplace way, and the sooner it was done the better. Perhaps there would never be a more convenient opportunity than the present.

The rain had recommenced and fell plentifully. The ground was sodden, the leaves changed but sparsely fallen were every now and then wrenched from the trees by heavy gusts swaying the branches to and fro, and scattered by the storm. It was ugly weather for that fragile girl to brave. Whilst admiring her pluck he could not help feeling satisfaction at her anticipated discomfiture. Finding that she had overtaxed her powers, would she not be glad of help, and perhaps amenable to advice? So he argued as he tramped through the rain and mud, but without meeting the object of his solici

tude. Two or three villagers, encountered on the road, had seen nothing of her. Perhaps, dismayed at what she had undertaken, she was waiting at Lower Deane for some conveyance to bring her home, and he should arrive in time to take care of her. He pursued his way. After walking about a mile, two small objects came in sight, one of which, as it approached nearer, was not unlike a moving mushroom. A second glance showed it to be Etta, struggling forward under a huge umbrella, which nearly concealed her diminutive form, and was giving her a great deal of trouble, judging from the twirls and gyrations she was perpetrating. The other figure was a small lad carrying a basket, who was so little occupied with the difficulties the lady had to encounter that when the wind blew her, so that she fell tripping over a heap of stones lying on the side, he contented himself with a cool "hullo," and stood still.

"Imprudent, foolish Miss Lacy!" said Ernest, as he came to the rescue, but in a tone so kind it was hardly possible for her to take offence, as he lifted her up, and drawing her arm through his, sheltered her carefully under his own umbrella. "You seem very wet; have you been long in the rain ?"

"It appeared long, but I do not think I minded the rain so much as that dreadful thing I borrowed," replied Etta, glancing at her wet clothes and then shaking her disengaged hand in the air. 'I did not like to let it go, but it has nearly broken my wrists."

"You would not listen to me, Miss Lacy, because you probably thought my advice intrusive, but surely that is an unkind judgment. When people live together in the same house, is it not to be expected that they should take some interest in each other?"

"I only meant to go as far as the village," re-. plied Etta. The question of mutual interest she avoided, desiring on that point neither to give nor take.

"I followed you to Mrs. Foster's," continued Ernest, "and heard from her where you had gone. If you wanted anything from the chemist's why did you think it necessary to go yourself in such weather? With so many lads about the farm it would have been easy to send."

Raising her little head, Etta looked at him in sheer amazement, her most exaggerated dreams of exercising authority having never extended to giving an order out of doors. But she simply answered,

"Mr. Rivers would not have liked me to send any one."

"Nothing would have been easier had I known you required anything."

Yes, but Etta had strong feelings against making her movements and proceedings common property. She would have liked a messenger, but not to divulge the message. Like many others, too ignorant of life to see far, she was secretive from fear of opposition.

But Ernest had something more serious in view than playing at conversation; and whilst shielding her from wind and wet, proceeded to give her more particulars of his interview with Mrs. Foster, to whose cottage he had been directed by Mr

Reade's housekeeper when he went to the vicarage in quest of herself. Surprised, yet at the same time secretly gratified, Etta was nevertheless disturbed lest her liberty of action should be invaded. The latter feeling soon became dominant, and her eyes flashed with unmistakable displeasure when Ernest pointed out the danger that might arise from prescribing remedies without being acquainted with medicine. She flushed hotly and answered sharply that she knew what she was doing.

"I see some suspicious-looking parcels resembling medicine bottles," observed Ernest, ignoring her visible irritation. "Unless ordered by a medical man, let me advise you to throw them away, and we will send and ask Philips to come and see the children, who appear to me much too seriously ill for amateur doctoring."

To throw away real medicine, bought at the chemist's out of her small purse, and to return to Mrs. Foster, acknowledging herself incompetent, was counsel too unpalatable to be received graciously.

"I shall do no harm; my remedies are perfectly safe," she rejoined, in a tone of pique. "Possibly," he replied; "but should there be a mistake, you are in an awkward position." Etta raised her eyes quickly.

"A very slight knowledge of chemistry opens a new world, and a large one too, of affinities and repulsions," he went on. "What is good in one case may be very bad in another. Come, Miss Lacy, don't be angry with me for trying to help you; trust me for what I am, a friend wishing to be of use to you. If I am not much deceived, there is a threatening of something serious in that cottage. Should those children die, or one of them, I fear Mrs. Foster will be as loud in her censures as she now is in your praise, and, most probably, she would be unreasonable enough to lay the death at your door. From their want of education the poor pass rapidly from one extreme to the other."

"I must call at the cottage as I go by; I have several things to give Mrs. Foster," said Etta, partly mollified by the kindness of his manner, and partly rebelling against his interference. "I hope the boy won't be stupid and pass the house. I wish you had not sent him on before me."

Every now and then she peeped from under the umbrella at the risk of receiving a shower of drippings, striving to distinguish the lad's figure through the misty atmosphere. Ernest secretly hoped he would blunder on to the Hall, but was disappointed. At the cottage he stood with his basket, waiting to be relieved of its contents as well as to be paid the promised sixpence. Selfsufficient as Etta habitually was, she now had grace enough to be unwilling to unpack the basket before him, yet this she was obliged to do in order to return it by the boy with the umbrella. Certainly the oranges, first taken out, were innocent enough, if the children were able to take them, nor could there be much harm in a few cakes and lemons for lemonade. Three paper parcels were next laid upon the table, upon which Ernest fixed his eyes with unrepressed curiosity. "This," said

Etta, turning to Mrs. Foster, and offering one of them,"contains tamarinds to make a cooling drink for the children, as you tell me they suffer from thirst. You have only to pour boiling water upon them and let it cool. That cannot hurt,' she added, addressing Ernest triumphantly. She knew she was right, having only repeated the instructions she had received,

[ocr errors]

"And what of those?" he asked, indicating the two remaining packets yet untouched, which, still in their paper casings, had not so harmless an appearance. "These are, I suppose, the safe remedies of which you spoke. May I venture to suggest that you leave them in the hands of Dr. Philips, and by no means burden yourself with such a serious charge? The best thing we can do is to hurry home, that I may send and request him to call here this evening. Mrs. Foster's eldest boy will have left work by that time, and will be able to fetch whatever medicine may be required. Pardon me, but you must not be allowed to do that," said Ernest, using a little force to draw her away from the bed over which she was now leaning in order to lay her cool hand upon the brow of the farthest child, who seemed the most flushed and restless. 66 Come away now; the sooner we reach the Hall the sooner can we get Philips here."

Unwilling to be thwarted in carrying out her notions of kindness and benevolence, Etta yielded with reluctance, and not before Mrs. Foster, feeling the full value of the young man's suggestion, had added her tacit persuasions by thanking them for hurrying through the rain for the sake of her little boys.

"Give them the oranges; they will be refreshing and will, I know, do them good," said Etta, endeavouring to maintain her composure by speaking authoritatively, though secretly humiliated by Ernest's disapprobation.



RNEST having, as he hoped, counteracted or supplemented Etta's amateur doctoring, next bethought himself as to how he could best check other imprudences which might be more disastrous to her individually. This free speaking of her future projects to persons like Mrs. Foster was likely to injure her with Mr. Rivers. But with a person of Etta's susceptibilities the subject required delicate handling. He wished to befriend, nay more, he thought it an imperative duty to warn her, yet feared it would not be possible to avoid rousing the latent perversity which flashed out every now and then. With intentions so good he was surprised at the awkwardness he felt in approaching the subject, especially as Etta, tramping onwards in rigid silence, gave him no assistance. Probably she was already offended, but, whether or no, he felt the present opportunity must not be lost. He was the first to break the long pause.

"From Mrs. Foster's manner of speaking of you I presume you often pay her a visit ?" he began.

« PreviousContinue »