Изображения страниц
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Yes."

[ocr errors]

In the usual way.

[ocr errors]


of the party advanced and dropped a scara “? Content !” I cried, and walked out
heus, a bead, or some other trinket, in again.
among the folds, which was instantly secured “ This is, however, an anachronism," mut-
and concealed in the grasp of the next swathe tered the Form, as he glanced at the char-
which passed over the spot. The meaning acters on the outside, and passcd his hand
of the whole thing was plain - we were to along it. "We want you to be at least a
be mummies ! But still, my chest bone ! thousand years older than your envelope.
Was it to be broken down, like a lean tur- However, we can't help that now; we have
key's? I here arrived at the climax of my only to omit the scarabæi, etcetera, and do
humanity. I determined to resist, should you up a little looser, that's all."
the attempt be made, believing as I did that I almost cracked my cheeks with the
there was nothing in my having surrendered offort to laugh. As it was, I felt so

my skin to its basting and cooking which ooze from my left eye. It really was too
should prevent me from standing up for my good a joke.
bones, a point conceded, I knew, to the
mummy eren of the ibis and ape.

Palm trees & low tent of black sking The Feature stood beside me.

fierce sunshine - scorching sand — a blind"Am I to go into one of those cases ?" ing dust — two camels, one lying down, close

to the white bones of one of its own species, How am I to be got in?"

and looking patient and scriptural - two

bearded and turbaned Orientals, swarthy and What is that?'

profound, as if the secrets of the East lay bid By compression."

in the depth of their melancholy dignityWhat

power is to be applied ?" and myself, in my gigantic cartonage, with That" - pointing to the swathing pro- my forty-two inches bandaged down at least

three thousand years below the surface of "What ? bandaged down ?

the present, chuckling internally with pride "Precisely."

and satisfaction at the idea that the ordinary many

inches do you suppose I am dimensions of primitive humanity were so far round the breast-bone ?"

exceeded in my instance, that only an odd " Let me see; thirty-six, I suppose.” giant or so of Memphis or Thebes could be "It is plain you never made a waistcoat. found to supply me with my pasteboard. Forty-two!'

Presently a small caravan drew nigh. "Forty-two?"

"A compatriot, by Osiris !” I exclaimed, " Forty-two."

as I descried an alpaca umbrella overshadowThe Thing looked aghast. It drew one of ing a flaxen-haired, dreamy-looking young the swaddlers aside, and whispered in his ear. man, as he sat gracefully upon a hump. He stared at me with a look of astonishment, The Arabs bent low, the young Saxon touched and I heard him say to another similar offi- his brim. cial

Ah, yes !” he exclaimed, with a sort of " Forty-two inches! we are not prepared drowsy enthusiasm, espying me. "A relic of for that! --something must be done !” the ancient world! Egypt ! abode of more

I could have smiled, but for the pitch, as than men! Land of mystery, wonder, the I saw two or three of them go out hastily. pyramids ! in which mortals have lived before By-and-by (I was let alone in the meantime) history, and its very dead have not died ! they returned, bringing in a cartopage of Salam, chiefs ; you ’ve a mummy to sell. more extraordinary dimensions than any I Quel est le prix ?had ever seen, and placed it with a look of Here his dragoman interposed, and intertriumph standing up like a violoncello-case preted him into Oriental phraseology, makbefore me. I instantly stepped into it, and ing rather a free and elevated translation of requested them to do me the favor to shut it the original. The Bedouins prostrated themup. They did 80, and there was a good two selves, and could scarcely be induced to raise inches to spare between my ribs and the their foreheads from the dust. ' When they pasteboard of its inside surface.

did so, they laid their bony hands upon me,

[ocr errors]


up by the


and at the same time inentioned a fabulous “Wound up, at last." sum of money. It was fortunate that I was “Well, it is trying, this sort of up-andas tightly wrapped up in my antiquity as I down work. I suppose we are at sea ? " was, or I must have burst my hieroglyphics. “ Yes; I take it, on our way home. How I never was thought worth one-tenth of the did you come out?”. money in my life. Only think of


fetch “I promised not to tell. It was cruelty ing that much in my shroud! I expected to animals the way we were packed." nothing less than the scornful repudiation of · Made


I a bargain so absurd on the part of my coun Ay, and stowed away in cases, as hardtryman. My astonishment may be imagined, ware. when I heard the Englishman say to his “Birmingham goods, exactly. I was exdragoman -

ported single." “ Count out the cash to the fellows, and

“ How so?" balance this precious relic of a primæral “ A fellow made me up as a private spccuworld, with the last one we secured, upon lation. I came undone on board ; and was the back of yonder camel. We must be near being found out, for I had been passing off ; it 's growing hot."

for plaster-of-paris, which has no bowels, you

know. However, my man buttoned me toA gentle undulation - easy, yet uneasy gether in an old pea-jacket of his own, until sweeping, swaying, swelling - too high, too he got me ashore, and there the Arabs bad low, yet all soft and hushed, as the heaving me bandaged and dated in a twinkling." of the breast of a deep sleeper. I lay on “ Are there any more of us aboard now?” my back, pinioned, of course, but likewise

“A dozen or so.

Sir Eothen Flimsy has jammed close to other recumbent things - five or six to his own share. The rest are all rocking away along with myself, like the for the public bodies. There, that poor fellow, dim, wooden ceiling a few feet above low 's sick. It 's well he 's tight or we might

Had I possessed eyes in my head, I be in a bad way.” could not have turned them round to see any “What a glorious thing the past is !" thing. As it was, my substituted vision had “What do you call the past ? the freedom of a swivel. I perceived that Why, three thousand years ago." we were a family party of ancient Egyptians, “ Bless you, that's my future ! I shall amongst which I was some centuries the jun- not be down there for half a dozen centuries, ior ; but, more than this, my glance pene- or so. Read my cover, ‘King Menes.'" trated the yarn next me, and got in through “I was his bee-catcher, and had a dozen the swathings of thirty centuries to the cold- of wives to help me in the swarming season." roast man inside the adjoining mummy-case.


[ocr errors]

" A-chish-o!” What were my feelings at finding that I knew

I in the treble clef, from him intimately! In fact, he and I had (in yonder mummy. See, a lady is in the case. the flesh) been in the habit of frequenting the Excuse us, madam, if we have been a little same coffee-house in town, and had actually lax, or so. smoked a cigar together towards dusk (not “0, dear! they 've put me in the draft being particularly flush in wardrobe) under of this port-hole, and I shall die of coryza ! the Opera Colonnade, not a week previous to The impossibility, too, of getting one's pocketmy what shall I call it ? mummifica- handkerchief to one's nose!” tion, I suppose. Here we were now (in the Surely I ought to know that voice ! pasteboard), side by side once more, consider- Mrs. ably reduced in the flesh, but made up in “O! breathe not my name, dear sir; I linen.

should never survive the disclosure. I was “Hallo, neighbor?''

pressed, and sent to sea, like an able-bodied " Hallo again ; who are you?

seaman; and now return, bandaged as if I Why, don't you know me?”

were bound for Greenwich Hospital for the “What?.— why – it surely can't be rest of my life. Is there no escape from such

a fate?” “Yes, it is, though. And how are you, “Lady!” exclaimed I, in a transport of old fellow?"

gallantry, "I cannot, as you see, lay myself

“ A sneeze,


at your feet. Nay, I am unable even to protruding, surmounted with the flash and place my hand on my heart; but if devotion flicker of spectacles ; parties on benches, the most sincere, determination the most straining their eyes with desperate eagerness

towards one point; nay, in the more distant Here a sailor sat down upon my face, and corners, pocket-glasses in requisition ; granbegan knocking out the ashes of his pipe on dees ushered up through the apartment to the right wing of Netpé, just where the sec- reserved seats, to have a nearer view ; and a ond tier of my hieroglyphics began, as if black board, and a red art-chair, and a presthere was no such thing as antiquity at all. ident in it; and a secretary, and gentlemen

To own that I blushed beneath the ignoble of the press, with flimsy paper and stumpy pressure of the sailcloth extremity of the tar, pencils ; and science, and authority, and would be a weakness. Nevertheless, I did pomp, and vanity, and the whole parade of feel a sense of inferiority ; and begun to antiquarianism brought to bear think that a great many thousand years do

ON ME! not add so very much to one's dignity as some Yes; there I was, laid along majestically in people imagine ; while the want of a full use the midst, pretty much like the body of Julius of the toe of the right foot, in a case of insult Cæsar; a professor, à la Mark Antony, such as this, is scarcely compensated for by mounted on a rostrum beside me, with a being cousin-german to King Shishak, and wand in his hand ; while two acolytes stood a lineal descendant of the sacred Bull. The near, each armed with weapons of gleaming fellow actually began to kick his heels against significance. I WAS TO BE UNROLLED ! The my ribs, to the tune of " Billy Taylor.” I professor placed his wand upon my nose, and would have given anything for my fair com- moved it down my body to my toes. The panion's cold, so that I could only have whole room was hushed. The short-hand sneezed. A barrel of gunpowder, I suppose, writers booked the evolution. would not have done the work more effectually. Here," said he, “ here it is at last ! He would have been blown up through the Behold the mummy from its Memphian bed! quarter-deck; and, had he come down again, That which hath lain silent with its secret for would have taken care for the future how he its cycle of centuries, in the heart of the past, came to an anchor op countenances of my unbosoms itself in your presence, and makes dynasty. As it was, I had to submit, and its confession before the assembled science of treated the fellow's familiarities with silent the nineteenth century !" contempt, feeling gratified, at least, since it An astounding clatter of applause followed was to be so (for the honor of our common this burst, so loud, that my “Hear, hear!” nation) that it was not my female friend he was unheard. had selected for his sedentary attentions. “ You have before you, Mr. President, a

And so we moved heavily, dreaming on, specimen of mummification, perfect in preserlaid corpse-like in lengths together, heaving vation, and unique in dimensions. Observe together, sinking together - luggage, freight, the capacity of chest ! - (Forty-two inches, weighed by the ton, charged for as goods, tailor's measure, I murmured, but without chalked over, ticketed, corded, stowed away, the words being caught.] Let no man say creaking and groaning as we heaved, and that there were not giants in those days. If straining with the straining timbers, dam- we have grown in wisdom we have certainly aged by bilge-water, nibbled by rats, rubbed not increased in stature, since the twentieth and chafed by hard corners ; in a word, leftdynasty. Observe, sir, how carefully and to ourselves, save when serving for cushions accurately they set forth the titles of the to the sail-cloth sterns of lubberly foremast- deceased. Here, in this running band of men, who evidently had the best of it. Thus hieroglyphics, any newspaper reporter (of we drove on, on, ever moveless though which class I see such able representatives in advancing, helpless masses, cold, damp, the room) could read the name, family, prodead

fession, age, and period. To them I appeal

to testify to the accuracy of my interpreA lighted hall! - - as eager a set of sarans tations." as I have seen for a long time! The whole Both young men bent with double zeal room actually alive with curiosity. Beaks over their pencils. I knew they might as

well be asked to put the thread of the pro- got the bandages a little loosed about my fessor's discourse through the eye of Cleo- feet, and then, starting up with a stentorian patra's needle.

Now, then !" I made full drive at the " The object before you," he continued, assembly, who, falling back with the most “appears, from his shell

, to have been hunts- frantic gestures of horror and dismay, began man to the high-priest of Isis, in the reign to tumble over each other in their endeavors of King Sheshouk, of the twenty-second to escape from the apartment. By the time dynasty. You see the several symbols - the the tumult was at its height, I had released dogs and deer - the mitre and padoch my right hand; and catching a glance of my the royal emblem inclosed in a circle, as much original tormentor - the Thing - amongst as to say, all round my crown - and the the crowd, I rushed upon him, and, seizing sacred ring with wings. Here is Netpé, you him by the ear, wrung it violently, exclaimsee, with a slight burn on her right pinion, ing caused, no doubt, by the close proximity of “ Is it possible you ’ve the face the lamp the embalmers used in the process. This individual, therefore, may have lived - “What's all this? Why, I've had a may ? — nay, must have lived [I actually devil of a queer dream! You, my dear fel. shook with laughter at the emphasis) at least low? You, best of friends ! excellent, worldthree thousand years ago, when, considering famous JONATHAN FREKE SLINGSBY? Is it you his profession, he may have helped Herodotus who have been hunting and haunting me for to kill the field-mice at Pelusium ; have the last six hours?" drawn the cover for King Cambyses, and “ Me!” replied that worthy personage. have even whipped the hounds from before “ Why, my excellent friend, it is but this the feet of Bucephalus !”

instant I have dropped in, and found you A buzz of mingled delight and astonish- fast asleep in your arm-chair, with the invitament greeted this announcement, followed by tion for last night's "unrolling' clasped cries of “ Cut him up!

“ Unbox firmly between your fingers. You have just him!” “ Unroll bim ! “ Have him made a desperato effort at one of my whisout!” In the midst of which, the two kers, which I only avoided by surrendering myrmidons set to — saw, hammer, and chisel an ear to your discretion." - and had my pasteboard off in a jiffey. " This instant ? Then a disputed point in For a moment I felt uncertain what to do, the philosophy of dreams is cleared up forwith my linen exposed, in its not very elegant ever! You must know, Jonathan, a long condition, and a strong bouquet de Cleopatre and intricate series of adventures has been about it, to the gaze of such an assembly ; suggested by your presence. This series has, but at last, feeling that a few minutes must therefore, passed through my mind, and imstrip me, not only of my vesture, but of my pressed itself through all its successive comhonor and dignity, and leave me no older than binations, in a moment of time. Dear Jonthe spectators, I made a desperate resolve to athan, how many questions more puzzling are anticipate the result, and take the matter set at rest by simply encountering a friend ! into my own hands. I waited until they had

THE VINE AT HAMPTON COURT. — Having Hambro' kind. The original vine from which made the following note of the vine at Hampton this cutting was taken still flourishes in Essex, Court, and of its parent at Valentines, on a re- at the seat called Valentines, in the parish of Ilcent visit to them, it may be useful in your utili- ford, near Wanstend, where it was planted in tarian miscellany. The vine at Hampton Court 1758. In 1835 it bore 4 cwt. of grapes, and the is the largest in Europe, its branches extending stem girted 24 inches. In one season £300 was over a space of 2,300 feet. It was planted from realized by the sale of its fruit. — Notes and a slip in the year 1768, and generally bears up-Queries. wards of 2,000 bunches of grapes, of the black

From The Spectator, 20 Oct. the condition of any animal, even human THE JEW-BUTCHER'S CASE.

beings, under violent affections of the brain

which are supposed to be attended by insenSTRANGE are the caprices which fasten sibility: odium upon particular individuals and leave

But if we judge entirely by the sensations the thousands or millions of others who are of the animals, we might find it difficult to disnot distinguishable from the few free from cover any mode of slaughtering which should blame. Here is Yankoff Cohon gibbeted be- not be cruel. The exhibition of anæsthetics fore the public by a Royal Society for un- is supposed to promote the infliction of death lawfully and cruelly ill-treating and tortur- without pain; but how does anæsthesia ing a certain ox. Yankoff has done nothing affect the meat? Might it not only modify more than every person of his race in his the form of cruelty by inflicting it upon the business, which is a strictly lawful business, consumer of the meat instead of the slaughbas done from time immemorial, – a period tered animal, and adding to the chances of in his case extending far beyond the epoch poisoning already created by the practice of of Richard the Second. Yankoff is a Jewish" blowing" muiton? In fact, there seems butcher; and, errors excepted, circumstances no escape from cruelty by slaughtering, unconsidered, he slaughters oxen as Moses was less we resort to the vegetarian system ; yet understood to require that oxen should be how cruel would it not be thought to enslaughtered by the chosen people. Ever force that diet upon any but the enthusiasts since the days of the Jewish lawgiver, it is who assemble at feasts of cabbages and supposed by that people, the solemn laws apples ? embodied in the Mishna and Gemara have It is difficult to avoid cruelty, in this world, pronounced it to be necessary, inoral, and the quality is so thoroughly interwoven with pious, to slaughter oxen by venesection, in the customs of society. Why is Yankoff order to the complete exhaustion of the blood-Cohen picked out, when we scarcely look vessels. According to the legend, an elucid- into the most peaceful home but we find ation of which is circulated by the Society cruelty in some form ? If we were to render prosecuting, the custom originated in the the butcher merciful, we should sometimes propensity

of the Jews to idolatry and demon- detect the cook playing strange antics with Worship; and their præ-Mosaic custom of eels and cod; the philanthropist himself setting apart the blood of beasts in order to will go angling; the high-mettled racer is appease their demons rendered it necessary for consigned by his kind master to the knacker's the faithful people to purify their own diet by yard, to feed for the last hours of his life rejecting that demoniac bonne bouche. Here upon the tail of his neighbor, perhaps his this was a custom originating in a sense of rival. The cheap advertiser keeps two-legged religious purity. It has now became odious animals in his workshop, coerced to an emand intolerable in the eyes of a Christian So-ployment which is slow suicide, by the ciety enforcing a statute of the English Par- scourge of present starvation. Even the liament; so strikingly does the standard of Ecclesiastical judges, with their highly polvirtue and mercy change with the lapse of ished intellects, penetrating into the most ages. But there is at all events nothing sacred recesses of the home, are so perplexed which distinguishes Yankoff Cohen from the by the niceties of the subject, that the quesbalk of the Jewish people, and it is a simple tion which is the opprobrium of their courts caprice which stigmatizes him especially. is “ What is cruelty ? " Ask an Ecclesias

The object of the Society seems to have tical judge whether Yankoff Cohen can be been to oblige the Jews to adopt “ the Christ- taken as a picked specimen. ian " mode of slaughter : but when the Half of the cruelty lies in the animus or Christian mode is explained, really it does malignity, the other half in the wantonness not present that beautifully merciful aspect of the infliction. If a man must do the act, which we have expected. The Jewish butch- and has no malice, he is not cruel, though er shaves the throat of the animal before he he may be ignorant : and in truth nine-tenths commences his phlebotomy, and the beast is of the cruelties committed are ignorance some time in expiring. The Christian butch- more than malice. It is poor work, dealing er knocks the animal down and cleaves the in detail with those who are more victims of skull with a pole-axe, and then through the a barbarous custom than its authors. If we aperture he inserts a cane, which he twists want to prevent worse cruelties than those about. The animal lingers under the pro- practised in the Jewish slaughter-houses, we cess of renesection ; but a medical man afárms must enlighten the understandings by educathat “ pain is annihilated” by the blow of tion, improve the taste by training, and the pole-axe. How is this known ? Has an teach the practicability of better usages. ox ever been questioned upon the subject? But we shall not hasten our reforms by apThere is indeed nothing more obscure than I pealing to the police magistrate and asking

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »