« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
in impressing upon all concerned a desire for their ceremonies a little more into the outer world, and exact fulfilment. It is not so much because of cordially to give him the greeting, any inconsistencies on this particular occasion, as
My good lord chamberlain, because the lord chamberlain's office is the last Well are you welcome to this open air ! stronghold of an enormous amount of tomfoolery, which is infinitely better done upon the stage in
From the Spectator. Tom Thum), which is cumberous and burdensome to all outside the office itself, and which is nega
THE NILE BOAT.* tive for any good purpose, and often positive for MR. BARTLETT is known to the public as a much harm, as making things ridiculous or traveller who can impart freshness and interest to repulsive which can only exist beneficially in the beaten routes, by the vivacity of his mind and his general love and respect, that we take this occa- artistical training. Wherever form or description sion of hoping that it is fast on the decline. is the essence of his subject, the eye of the artist
This is not the first occasion on which we have enables him to select the characteristic traits, while observed upon the preposterous constraints and his literary ability presents them with graphic efforms that set a mark upon the English court fect. Often as the Desert and Mount Sinai have among the nations of Europe, and amaze Europe- been visited of late years, Mr. Bartlett gave noran sovereigns when they first become its guests.elty and information to what would appear an In times that are marked beyond all others by exhausted theme. In The Nile Boat, he has renrapidity of change, and by the condensation of dered attractive the still triter subject of a steam centuries into years in respect of great advances, voyage from Marseilles to Alexandria, the passage it is in the nature of things that these constraints thence to Cairo, an ascent of the Nile, with an and forms should yearly, daily, and hourly, be exploration of Egyptian antiquities. come more preposterous. What was obsolete at In addition to his natural and professional adfirst, is rendered, in such circumstances, a thou- vantages, Mr. Bartlett has the experience of a sand times more obsolete by every new stride that traveller and a knowledge of the East.
He can is made in the onward road. A court that does adapt himself to circumstances, and bring out the not keep pace with a people will look smaller, qualities of the persons with whom he comes in through the tube which Mr. Stephenson is throw- contact ; while his familiarity with the East has ing across the Menai Straits, than it looked given him great advantages over a raw tourist in before.
casual meetings with the people. He has also, It is typical of the English court that its state be it said, the experience of a bookmaker ; he dresses, though greatly in advance of its ceremo- knows wbat to put in, and what to leave out. nies, are always behind the time. We would The illustrations are another feature of Mr. bring it up to the time, that it may have the greater Bartlett's works ; being really illustrations, not share in, and the stronger hold upon, the affec- plates inserted; the text and the plates belong to tions of the time. The spectacle of a court each other. This is more especially the case going down to Windsor by the Great Western with the volume before us ; where street views, Railway, to do, from morning to night, what is buildings, ruins, and water scenery, predominate five hundred years out of date; or sending such over landscape. Of course there is no comparison messages to Garter by electric telegraph, as between Mr. Bartlett's octavo and the splendid Garter might have received in the lists, in the folios that have been published on the Egyptian days of King Richard the First ; is not a good monuments ; but it presents a very good idea of one The example of the dowager queen, the subject upon a small scale. The artist is also reviving and improving on the example of the displayed in the descriptive comments : we not late Duke of Sussex, makes the present no unfit only have the impression made upon the mind, but occasion for the utterance of a hope that these the cause of it. Information is given from the things are at last progressing, changing, and works of Sharpe, Wilkinson, and others; at the resolving themselves into harmony with all other same time, modern Egypt is not overlooked. The things around them. It is particularly important street scenes of Cairo and Alexandria convey a that this should be the case when a new line of lively idea of Egyptian life and Oriental architecsovereigns is stretching out before us. It is par- ture, if the squalidness and inferior material are ticularly important that this should be the case not sunk in the plates. For their accuracy of when the hopes, the happiness, the property, the form Mr. Bartlett vouches : "the whole of the liberties, the lives of innumerable people may, illustrations were drawn upon the spot, many with and in great measure must, depend on royal child- the camera lucida.” Were it not for the intellihood not being too thickly hedged in, or loftily gible though subdued description of certain Orienwalled round, from a great range of human sym- tal practices, The Nile Boat would be a capital pathy, access, and knowledge. Therefore we substitute for the Annuals. It is a handsomer could desire to have the words of their departed book for the table; the plates are much more nurelative, “We are all alike before the Throne of merous and interesting ; the literature is at once God,” commended to the earliest understanding of our rising princes and princesses. Therefore
* The Nile Boat; or Glimpses of the Land of Egypt.
By W. H. Bartlett, Author of "Forty Days in the Deswe could desire to bring the chief of the court eri.” Published by Hall, Virtue, and Co.
instructive and amusing. The book is a compen-source of delay also has arisen in the Ramadan. dious coup-d'æil of Egypt as it is.
the “ month of fasting," whośe inauspicious moon Besides all these, there are the story and inci- succeeded this night. My servant is a rigid and dents of a book of travels, with sketches of man- pious Mussulman, and pilgrim to boot; several
times a day he prostrates himself upon the deck. ners and society ; for Mr. Bartlett can perceive Happily, his zeal in my service seems to keep pace the mental and moral characteristics as well as with his piety, and his fury against the worthless those of the external form. This is a smart little Reis more than equals the fervor of his prayers. 1 portrait of the gamin of Cairo.
was condoling with him on the hardship of preThe Caireen donkey-boy is quite a character, and paring so many good dishes, of which he could not
partake on account of his religious principles; mine in particular was a perfect original. He was when he gravely smiled, and assured me that i small and spare of frame ; his rich brown face relieved by the whitest of teeth and the most bril- was under a mistake, there being a special exemp
tion in behalf of travellers, who, in consideration liant black eyes ; and his face beamed with a of their fatigues, were allowed to perform their merry yet roguish expression, like that of the Span- month's fasting by future instalments, à discretion, ish or rather Moorish boy in Murillo's well- in the same manner as Sancho liquidated his thouknown masterpiece, with whom he was probably sand lashes. I asked if this merciful provision also of cognate blood.' Living in the streets from extended to the Reis and sailors ; but this idea he infancy, and familiar with all the chances of outdoor life and with every description of character in their ordinary vocation, the exemption did not
indignantly repudiated ; as they were only laboring -waiting at the door of a mosque or a café, or apply to them; and this curious distinction without crouching in a corner of the bazaar-he had ac
a difference themselves admitted, all but the Reis quired a thorough acquaintance with Caireen life; himself-a man of no religion-a practical infideland his intellect, and I fear his vices, had become a Kafir, as Saline indignantly told him, who, insomewhat prematurely developed. But the finish-stead of religiously working and not eating, would ing-touch to his education was undoubtedly given only eat and not work, sleeping like a dog during by the European travellers whom he had served; the greater part of the day. The rest, from the and of whom he had, with the imitativeness of his old steersman to the last of the crew, never, to my age, picked up a variety of little accomplishments, knowledge, infringed in the slightest instance the particularly the oaths of different languages. His terrible rigor of this prohibition ; the cravings of audacity had thus become consummate ; and I have heard him send his fellows to — as coolly and in hunger they indeed contrived in some measure to
satisfy, by taking their meals shortly before sunas good English as any prototype of our own me-rise ; but, with their beloved Nile at hand, not a tropolis. His Mussulman prejudices sat very drop of water passed their lips during the burning loosely upon him, and in the midst of religious ob- summer's day, nor were they even free to amuse servances he grew up indifferent and prayerless. the vacuum of their stomachs by the fumes of the With this inevitable laxity of faith and morals, consoling pipe ; listless and languid, they labored contracted by his early vagabondage, he at least
at the toilsome tracking as usual, though with diacquired an emancipation from prejudice, and dis- minished energy, until the hour of sunset. Then played a craving after miscellaneous information, the welcome pipe might safely be taken up; for ] to which his European masters were often tasked remarked they always began with it; and after to contribute. Thrown almost in childhood upon their temperate meal they were full of merriment, their own resources, the energy and perseverance singing often to a late hour in the night. I frequentof these boys is remarkable. My little lad had, ly endeavored insidiously to undermine the faith of for instance, been up the country with some Eng- the poor old steersman with arguments of expedilish travellers, in whose service he had saved four ency drawn from his weakness and from the comor five hundred piastres, (41. or 51.) with which he passion of Allah, urging him to take the food which bought the animal which I bestrode ; on whose his infirmities really required; but he remained sprightliness and good qualities he was never tired
impenetrable to all my infidel solicitations and of expatiating, and with the proceeds of whose labor he supported his mother and himself. He
tempting offers. had but one habitual subject of discontent-the It is probable that the Western peoples have heavy tax imposed upon his donkey by Mehemet little conception of the true state of social morals Ali; upon whoin he invoked the curse of God—a in the East, from the difficulty of stating the truth curse, it is to be feared, uttered not loud but deep without offending. Polygamy—the practical if by all classes save the employés of government. His wind and endurance were surprising : he would not theological notion of the soulless nature of trot after his donkey by the hour together; urging women—the absence of intellectual pursuits in all and prodding it along with a pointed stick, as read- classes—the fineness of the climate, which does ily in the burning sandy environs, and under the not require the hard labor of northern regions-noon-day sun, as in the cool and shady alleys of with the system of domestic slavery, mild as it is the crowded capital ; running, dodging, striking, and shouting with all the strength of his lungs, had descriptions of dancing-girls, but we never
-corrupt society to its very core. We have often through the midst of its labyrinthine obstructions.
before saw the sensual character of the exhibition In all countries the national prejudices linger and its admirers so clearly brought out. longest amongst the poor, and Egypt is not an exception to the rule. True Mahometanism, which
About noon the following day, we saw the groves is leaving most other classes, takes refuge with the and minarets of Beni-souef, the first town of imboatmen of the Nile.
portance on the western bank of the Nile. A few
articles of provision were wanting, and the boat Tracking is toilsome for the men, and small is was towed on to the usual landing-place; while I the progress thus made against the current; a new preferred walking along the shore, I found it so excessively hot as to wish myself back again ; and Besides the use made of his works in the course was about to hail the vessel, when the sound of of the travels, Mr. Sharpe supplies an Historical music caught my ears, and I perceived an assem- Introduction, which gives a sketch of Egyptian blage of people under the shade of a cluster of sonttrees near the river, and, rising now and then over
history from the earliest ages to the Mahometan their heads, the braceleted arms and castanets of conquest; and as Mr. Bartlett introduces a good the famous “ Ghawazee,” or dancing-girls; who, deal of modern history into the text, the reader banished from the capital, were forced to carry has a summary of the subject. This is useful, their voluptuous allurements further up the river. and gives variety ; but the literary character of Having often wished for an opportunity of witness- the book depends upon that matter which is more ing their performances, I slipped among the mis- directly the product of observation. cellaneous assemblage who clustered around an elevated platform on which the girls were dancing, and, as I flattered myself, unperceived; for, on
From the Examiner. such occasions as these, one is not curious to be conspicuous. But my Frank hat, and the umbrella Passages in the Life of Mrs. Margaret Maitland, which I carried on account of the heat, betrayed
of Sunnyside. Written by Herself. Three rols.
Colburn. me; and an officer of the pasha, leaping up from his seat, pushed aside the rabble, and, taking me We have read this book with unusual pleasure. by the hand, hoisted me up on the platform, and It has points of merit in the delineation of middlemade me sit down by his side; a distinction which class Scottish life and character, which may comI was equally unwilling to accept or, without of
pare with Miss Ferrier, Galt, Lockhart, and Wilfence, unable to decline.
The stage or platform might have been some son ; and the spirit in which it is written is at thirty feet square, partly overshadowed with trees, once singularly quiet and modest, and full of shrewdand partly covered with a rude awning of palm ness and good sense.
The author has opinions in leaves; yet the heat was almost overpowering: which we do not altogether go along with her; the river floated slowly past like boiling oil, and being a more resolute partisan of Free Kirk than the distance was one undistinguishable blaze of ourselves, and having, as far as we can gather, heated mist. Around the platform were grouped less faith than we think desirable in sanitary and a number of the pasha's officers, civil and military, some on low seats, and others squatted on the other material reforms as applicable to even the ground. The most part seemed men grown gray spiritual wants of the poor. But she enforces reunder a system of cruel oppression, of which they spect for her opinions by her mode of urging them, were the agents; their faces were grave to cold- and every page of her book testifies to her sincerity, ness ; hard and cruel lines were about their eyes and her simplicity of feeling and good faith, and her mouths, and they rarely moved a muscle but when uncanting piety. some little by-play of the dancers specially addressed to themselves brought a hideously sensual smile
The story is very inartificial, and in several across their pallid faces. These personages occu
points not very probable. Its interest is almost pied the seats of honor; and behind them, as well solely derived from the tone and manner of the as below, were crowded together fellahs and boat- supposed narrator—Mrs. Margaret Maitland. She men, women and children of all ages, equally in- writes in the dialect common to gentlewomen of tent upon enjoying what may be considered the the middle class in the country places of Scotland. national dance. The two dancing-girls who were she is of a family of " ministers,” who have long ministering to the delight of this respectable audience seemed half overcome witli the heat, the preached the gospel in the parish of Pasturelands. excitement, and raki, which an old white-bearded and we have a glimpse of her childhood and youth fellow from a neighboring café administered at the in the quiet manse, just enough to explain the forend of every dance. They had once been hand- mation of her character, and the sober, thoughtful, some, but were now, though young, decidedly humble, yet not uncheerful tone of her mind. She usé, worn out with early profligacy, and bedaubed has had a love engagement, which she has herself ad nauseam with a thick layer of vermilion. Their closed on finding the character of her lover to be dress consisted of very large loose trousers of silk, and a tight-bodied vest open at the bosom, and at variance with the humble and religious habits having long sleeves, with a large shawl wreathed of her family and home—but this circumstance round and supporting their languid figures; they does not appear, save in her manner of looking at were also profusely decorated with gold coins and worldly and unworldly things, until towards the bracelets. When I ascended to my post of honor, end of the story. Meanwhile, the generation living or rather humiliation, they were merely figuring in in her youth has passed away, and a second and lazy and somewhat graceful attitudes around the third have taken its place. She has remained unplatform, clicking their castanets, and exchanging married, still faithful where she had loved first ; speaking glances with the hoary sinners around; but on my seating myself, one of them saluted me and is become mistress of Sunnyside. Her brother with a pas of such an equally original and unequiv- has succeeded to the kirk and manse of Pastureocal character as elicited a burst of laughter and lands, and his children, boys and girls, are growing applause from old and young, brought the blood up around her. Then comes the incident on which into my cheeks, and made me wish myself anywhere the main story turns. She receives a supposed else than where
The dance then began; but I am not going, like some travellers, to give orphan child of her own name, but not otherwise what Byron calls “a chaste description" of it;
related to her, Grace Maitland, to whom she gives suffice to say, that at first modestly coquettish, it the shelter of her home, the utmost care and love became by degrees the excitement of wanton of her heart, and the benefit of her thoughts and phrensy, and at length died away in languor. precepts; till the relatives of the child reclaim
A SCOTTISH DOMINIE.
her for their own purposes.
These latter form spirit was stirred within me there, standing at the the subsequent adventures and vicissitudes of the gate of Sunnyside with the bairn's hand in mine, book, and are baffled by the clear sight and right- and her eyes shining into me, as if she was reading principled soul which the persecuted girl has inher- my very heart; the bit little thing! with the spirit
within her that would never die: and I resolved ited from Mrs. Margaret Maitland. We may call within myself, from that day, that the bairn the this the moral of the story-and it is an excellent Lord had sent to my lone and quiet house should be one. If the heroines of romance generally did but to me as my own blood and kin. receive and retain such advantages, half the horrors
JOURNAL-KEEPING AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. and sufferings which form the staple of their woes would have no peg of probability to hang upon. You want me to keep a journal, Mary. It would The story has a quiet happy ending, as befits what not do ; so long as one's life consists of things done, has gone before.
it is well enough ; but when it is things thought, What we have said, however, can but convey an important, then I am afraid it would be a very un
and things imagined, that are uppermost and most idea of its framework. Its beauty is in the minute healthy amusement, the keeping of a journal. You and truthful touches of detail, and in the exact will see it illustrated in some religious biographies verisimilitude of the pictures of Scottish life in which you and I have read together, where was the condition described. Nor, even if we had laid bare the nervous anatomy of some mind—the space, could this be better exhibited by extracts. bitterness which the heart only knoweth--the joys No extract could convey correctly, for example, fluctuating feelings which do not remain the same
which a stranger may not intermeddle with-the Mrs. Maitland's pious habit of measuring things by for an hour, set down and dwelt upon till the autoScripture teachings, and of squaring all she thinks biographer grew morbid. So let us eschew jourand does to the verity of Christian precept and nal-keeping, Mary, until we have attained that time Biblical example. It would be as difficult to trans- (if we ever attain it) when my aunt and I shall fer the picture of a Scottish servant which is so have set up our peaceful reign at Oakenshaw, our vividly yet steadily presented in the little character dominion of placidness and good-will—and I would of Jenny. And we should vainly attempt to give even debar it then, if any one of us, even my aunt the reader a notion of the humble and elderly. ward, and to grow melancholy.
herself, had a tendency to look back instead of forScottish dominie, Reuben Reid, wind-bound on his way to the pulpit and driven by a stress of no-talents to the school, yet an aspirant notwithstanding to He had been licensed by the kirk as a preacher the hand of Mrs. Margaret in her elderly spinster- of the Gospel in his young days, but, being in no hood, and rejected by the latter with a most good-manner gifted in respect of preaching, had never natured sense of his merits as well as his defects. been called by any people. Also being but a poor The reader must be referred to the book itself. man's son, he never had interest enough to get a He will find it as full of homely and small details called, no long since, by one that has just a bye-or
presentation, and therefore was (as I have seen it as one of Wilkie's pictures, and hardly less true. dinary gift in the way of writing books and papers) He will find very little that is sudden or startling-wind-bound in a school : the which means (in my what there is of that kind, such as the character comprehension) comparing a man to a boat, that of Grace's father and the elopement of her cousin, he had not strength enough, nor sails enough, to is not at all good. But he will enjoy the unaffected, carry him over the wild sea or down great waters,
but was just blown by the lown land breeze to shelsimple, commonlife tone of the book, and occasion
ter in the crook of a quiet burn, and by reason of ally be as touched by its truth as if Miss Ferrier the hurry and troubling of the bigger streams, were not yet silent, or the authors of Lights and could not win out again. Also he was an inofShadows and Adam Blair were peopling Scottish fensive body, and had a manner of lifting up his manses again. The meeting, at the close of hands, and crying “ Eh, me !" when he was surthe tale, of Mrs. Margaret and the lover of her prised, that made folk laugh at him. youth, (rich and an old bachelor-for he has re
PHILOSOPHY OF THE TAWSE. mained single too,) is perhaps one of the best specimens we could mention of the power and tact of
I laugh while to myself, (said Reuben,) at the the writer in avoiding the propensity to exaggerate can have a perception of the bairn's nature, mair
way the wee vexations take their pawmies, for ye in circumstances of great temptation.
mostly in that way than in any other.
There are We do not profess to exhibit the merits of Mrs. some of a fearful nature, that will draw back the Margaret Maitland by means of quotation-but hand when the tawse comes down, in an unwise we give a few brief touches of a clever and pleasing coward spirit, seeing they maun bear the pain some kind.
time, whether they will or no. And there are
some that hold their arm bold out, to get it over at THE FIRST GLIMPSE OF GRACE MAITLAND.
once ; and there are some mair especial the women She was a bit little thin genty-looking bairn, bairns, (for ye are ever a pawkie sect, Miss Marwith a face no to be forgotten, though I could not get,) that will look me fair in the cen, as if they say it was bonnie. There was no color in her thought their bit shining faces would stop my hand. cheeks, and she had dark hair ; but the eyes ! I There is one lassie wean---puir wee wifie, she has never saw the like of them. The little face was had a sore time of it with the measles-Femia like a shady corner when they were cast down, and Telfer, wha will glint at me with her blue een when she lifted them it was like the rising of the and her smile till I can scarce think to bring down stars in the sky: no that they were sharp, but like the tawse. It 's aye a light pawmie Femie gets, a deep stream flowing dark and full. I'ruly my for a'that she 's as tricky as a young foal.
From the Spectator of 15 Dec.
Perhaps Manchester may still retain a
lingering regard for honesty. Now, although a BRITISH REPUDIATION.
contract may be vicious in its origin, and thereCOMMERCIALISM, says Mr. Milner Gibson, has fore open to be annulled, you cannot in common succeeded to the ascendency of the Feudalism which trading honestly annul it except upon one condiit conquered. But if we are to accept the ingen- tion—that you return all the fruits which have ious gentleman's declaration of mercantile morals, accrued to you under the contract. Granting that the commercialism of our day, we must conclude, the Parliament of 1810 could not bind the Parliahas degenerated from the commercialism which ment of 1850, and that the latter can refuse the conquered feudalism, and is bent on committing bill drawn upon it by the former, still the repubankruptcy and suicide. In Mr. Gibson's picture, diator is bound to return all that has been obtained the old commercialism is to the modern what a under the contract of 1810. How would you merchant-prince of old might be to a modern em- effect that? Surely you are not going to refuse bezzling clerk. Modern commercialism, wise in the bill and at the same time keep the goods conits generation, has discovered that the test of all signed to you, on which that bill was drawn? truth is the balance in the profit and loss account; No ; the lowest trading honesty forbids any such ancient commercialism took a higher and broader swindling. view. Mr. Milner Gibson-member of Parlia- Try it by broader principles of justice, this ment for Manchester, ex-minister of trade, and new Manchester doctrine-upon the broad princandidate prospectively for a higher office-carries ciples which are eternal. The Parliament of the modern spirit into statesmanship, and advo- 1810, having made a vicious contract, cannot bind cates a national movement for making a “tremen- the Parliament and generation of 1850 ; but you dous sweep" of certain expenditure, by favor of a
are not in a condition to annul the contract and newly-imported moral principle. He is speaking restore things to the footing of 1810 : you must of the annual charge on the Consolidated Fund- take things as you find them, and if not morally
bound by the letter of 1810, you are in spirit He did not think that any contracts, although bound to treat the interests concerned according to they might be settled by act of Parliament, were the actual merits of the case. Now take the permanent if they were not rightly settled. He position of the actual fundholder, or even any believed that the government should only have as much money given to it as would pay for the
grant-holder, on its merits, in regard to commervices to be rendered. If they adopted such a prin- cial equity, humanity, and national faith ; and say ciple as that, it would make a tremendous sweep. how, with a view to those great principles, you
will wipe out the contracts of 1810. It is true that Mr. Gibson seems to apply this It is said that the Parliament, elected by the to charges upon the Consolidated Fund not of the living and constituted for a term, has only a temnature of interest for the national debt; but the porary function and cannot decree a permanent principle is manifestly applicable to the whole obligation ; which is true in so far as the decree charge on the Consolidated Fund. Is this the must remain subject to the acquiescence of future Manchester echo of Mr. Francis Newman's argu- parliaments; but the principle on which the argumentative pamphlet on our national obligations— ment is founded goes much further than that. the first whisper of an English “repudiation” in Speaking strictly, no earthly power is continuous the market-place—the "point of the wedge ?"|-neither hereditary nor transmitted, according to If so, the debt is doomed, and we now living may the common acceptation of the terms. The polisexpect to hear among fundholders the panic cry ical intelligence and action of to-day have been of " Sauve qui peut !”
developed by the intelligence and action of our Such a revolution would make mince
meat of forefathers ; but the institutions which they planted “ commercialism,”-that is, it would destroy all continue only by our sufferance, and would fall to the credit on which commerce subsists, and would the ground but for our voluntary and active supconvert all commerce into retail trading over the port. A nation, like an individual, may at any counter. But retail trading over the counter is day discontinue practice and begin anew. impracticable for great and civilized nations. Is Thus each day the institutions of the country subMr. Milner Gibson desirous of consummating the sist as it were by a renewed act of creation. But reign of his boasted commercialism on its funeral happy is it for the country whose intelligence and pyre, and instituting the reign of its successor faith are such that the renewed creations of each and antagonist, Communism?
successive day exactly resemble those of the last, Commercialism had better take a thought before until full and deliberate judgment sees fit to subit accept the fatal gift of repudiation. It is not stitute for an institution to be changed, one not quite such common sense or such practical policy lower but higher and more powerful. That is as it seems to 'cute Anglo-Yankees. It is true true organic energy, that is symmetrical developthat a contract originally wrong cannot be logically ment, that is vigorous freedom, that is strength of upheld ; but there are a thousand reasons which intelligent will. In this view, though the Parliamay forbid its repudiation. We will say nothing ment of 1850 is not bound by the Parliament of of honor and dignity, because Manchester, for the 1810, it will renew the institutions renewed by the moment, is not disposed to listen to those argu-Parliament of 1849, and so on from year to year