Изображения страниц

wide, impede the proceedings very materially. It the moral effect of matrimony, proceeded to exhort is surprising how many horses, mules, and oxen, their flocks to enter into the state, both privately have been sacrificed in the endeavor to establish and from the pulpit; and the negroes, observing this mode of tillage permanently. One of my that they were likely to be looked on more favoraneighbors lost sixteen oxen in ploughing about bly by their pastors, and that the ceremony was twenty acres; and, after all, some hands were sufficiently short and easily gone through, were obliged to go over it with the shovel. In order to soon induced to be married in considerable numget through their work, those who used the plough bers. It is said that several applications were were under the necessity of giving the cattle enor- made to clergymen to undo the knot soon after it mous quantities of oats, in itself an extremely ex- was tied; and that the parties, finding this to be pensive contingent, and to spell (or relieve) them impracticable, speedily disseminated the extraordiin the middle of the day; so that one set, varying nary information among the rest, which led to some from three to six, was employed no more than four falling off in the monthly lists of marriages. hours at a time. This, rendering so many indis- Many of them declared at this period that pensable, made the general expense as high as that “Marry no for nigga 't all, da Buckra fashion;" of manual labor, taking the mortality into consid- and seemed to have a rooted aversion to it. The eration, and it was not nearly so effectual. custom of the whites, however, and the example

In fact, cane culture is more like garden cultiva- which their increasing self-esteem since the era of tion than any other. The drills or cane-holes run emancipation has led them to adopt, have gradually across the beds or space between every two drains. established a marriage on the same footing as They are from two to two and a half feet wide, and among ourselves; an institution which all think from one to two feet deep, according to the soil. they should experience once in their lives. They The earth taken out of them by the shovel is de- go through the ceremony; but I grieve to say posited on a bank of the same width as the hole, that in too many cases it is an idle form, in every (the space between every two holes being so called,) sense of the word. They have generally been on and is used, in weeding, to earth up the young the most intimate footing before-perhaps living plants after the weeds are removed ; the bank on together; and it happens too often that they disaone side being taken for that purpose, and on the gree, and, without requiring the sanction of the other as a place on which to deposit the weeds. In law, separate, and take new mates, according to the these holes the cane tops are planted either in a old African habit. My wife has just been shocked double or single row, very much in the same way by such a case in her own household. The houseas potatoes are planted in England ; and in about a maid and butler, both young, were married eighteen fortnight the sprouts appear. In six weeks they months ago; we gave them a marriage-dinner and require a first weeding and earthing or moulding; some presents. They continued in our service, ocand in general they need one more moulding and cupying rooms in the offices which were built for weeding, and two weedings without the moulding, our servants; but in the course of six months they before they are considered to be beyond the plant- began to fight, and the noise and tumult in their er's care. In the last weeding, the process of quarter became so frequent, that, after repeated adstripping or trashing is gone through; which con- monitions, I warned them off, and finally they went sists in detaching the dead leaves from the canes, away, he to town to live with another woman, and to allow a free circulation of air. From this brief she to reside with a settler in the new village here. sketch, it is evident that the greatest care is neces- Unhappily, this is not the only instance that has sary in performing every operation connected with occurred among our domestics within the short the culture of this plant. If the drains are ob- space of four years. Our cook, a woman of about structed in any way, or if they are not cleaned or forty, six months ago, without any violent quarrel, dug out regularly, the canes will not grow. If the deserted her husband, a man with only one leg, and latter are not properly planted, and if the weeding went to live with the engineer of the estate—the and moulding be not carefully performed, the crop black one. I mean, a youth of twenty ; while his will be very indifferent. Again, if the stripping lawful wife, a girl of his own age, by whom he had be done by reckless persons, they will break down two children, went to a neighboring estate to reside canes, and be as destructive as so many cows turned with a mere lad of about sixteen, who had been into the field. Indeed, one has only to comprehend working a short time here. The cook and her the nature of the work that is essential to the proper helpmate had been joined together for at least a growth of the cane, to understand how much the dozen years. From these occurrences, in the limplanters suffer by the existing disorganization of ited sphere of my establishment, an idea may be their laboring population.

formed of the extent to which such enormities pie

vail over the province. There is little doubt that Of the improved morals of the negroes Mr. when the tie becomes in the slightest degree irkPremium speaks more than doubtfully, and thus some, no sense of impropriety, or feeling of reexplains the statistical returns of marriages, on ligious awe for the commands of the Most High, which much laudation has been built.

will prevent them from separating. In many cases

I have heard of, the separation has been made with More than twenty years ago, the evangelical cordial good humor on both sides. In general, the party in England, scandalized beyond measure at children, if there are any, go with the mother ; in the state of concubinage which prevailed among fact, she usually bears the chief burden of their our black population, inculcated in every way the maintenance when the pair live together; and I am necessity for marrying them without delay, and the of opinion that the wife is the more meritorious of different clergymen were spurred on to bring about the two in nine cases out of ten—the husband being this desirable event as often and as speedily

as pos- commonly a tyrant, and forcing the wife, more masible. These worthy men, finding that they might jorum, to be his slave in the house. He contribsubject themselves to the charge of remissness in utes just what he chooses to the funds required for the discharge of their duties, and some of them supporting his family, while she must supply whatactuated, it may be, by the same ideas in regard to ever is deficient, or brave his wrath, which is vented



usually in blows ; and he squanders his gains among vants were able to dislodge him. I would not percompanions or other women, in drinking and de- mit them to kill him; and they were both sulky and bauchery.

surprised, when he glided rapidly down the outer

steps and on to the lawn without being assailed by If the writer's style were less literal, the more every sort of offensive weapon that might come to novel-like parts of the book would have greater hand. interest than the exposition of the losses of the planters, misdoings of the negroes, and the dia

From the Examiner. tribes against all parties at home. The following Judas Iscariot. A Miracle-Play in Two Acts. passage, from a description of the snakes of the With other Poems. By R. H. Horne. Author colonies, may be taken as an example of Mr. Pre- of “ Orion," &c. Ollier. mium's natural history.

We alluded with commendation to these poems Depredations are frequently committed among soon after they were published. We have since the ducks of the estates by a variety of the boa pe- waited for an opportunity of showing how highly culiar to this part of America, called the camoeny ; our praise was deserved, and cannot find a better a snake that takes his prey generally in the water, than that of the season of solemn festival with under which he lurks, with his head up, so as to which such subjects as Mr. Horne's miracle-play observe without being observed ; and when an aquatic fowl is discovered, he steals upon and are more peculiarly connected. seizes it. They are of immense size, it is said, in

Mr. Horne's view of the character of Judas is some localities. The largest I have seen founded on that which has been taken by Archtwenty feet long; it had just swallowed a Muscovy bishop Whately, but which originated, we believe, duck, which it seized in the middle of a numerous in Germany. It supposes that Judas, whose reflock, raising such a noise as brought one to the morse and suicide are hardly to be accounted for spot, who saw the snake and gave the alarm. He in the ordinary notion of him as a sorry traitor was shot by repeated fusillades, but not before he influenced by no greater bribe than a sum of about had gotten the duck into his gullet. The negroes are not afraid of them, and they eat them with sixty shillings, precipitated the sentence of his great gusto.

Master, under the impression that he was only This one was no sooner floating on the water, hastening the development and triumph of his ce without much motion, than the man who owned the lestial powers. prey jumped in and attacked him with a knife, rip

As for Christ's voluntarily submitting to ping up his throat and stomach, where he found his property only half-way down, and whence he speed- stripes and indignities, and to a disgraceful death, ily extracted it. In fact, the protuberance caused when it was in his power to call in to his aid by the bird was visible from the bank of the trench. more than twelve legions of angels,' no such Notwithstanding its great length, this reptile was thought," says the archbishop, seems ever to not thicker than a stout man's leg at the calf. They have occurred to the mind of Judas, any more than are darker than the boas of the east, but beautifully it did to the other apostles.

But the marked also with a variety of colors; black, white, difference between Iscariot and his fellow-apostles and brown predominating. Indeed, I would say, from what I have seen, that the venomous snakes was, that, though he had the same expectations are the most revolting in appearance. The blood and conjectures, he dared to act out his conjeosnake is understood to be of this description ; and tures ; departing from the plain course of his it resembles strongly an enormous earth-worm, be- known duty, to follow the calculations of his ing just of that color, and usually from four to six worldly wisdom and the schemes of his worldly feet long. There is another sort, of a deep grass- ambition ; while they piously submitted to their green hue, and of similar length; while the coral Master's guidance, even when they understood not snake, from eighteen inches to three feet, glides the things that He said to them.” along among the flowers and shrubs near a house, in the gay colors of scarlet, black, and white, which

In the first act of Mr. Horne's play Judas ao characterize the substance from which it takes its cordingly thus soliloquizes, after having been irriname. The whip snake is the most familiar with tated by the taunting scribes and Pharisees, and man, being generally found near houses. It is so longing, in a inost uu-Christian spirit, to be nained from the resemblance it bears to the thong revenged : of a whip, and is perfectly innocuous.

Some years ago, when in the colony, and visit- Would I were Christ !-or that the power he holds ing a bachelor friend who lived in a retired situa- So placidly, were given to my hand tion, I was one day reclining on a sofa and read- For one short hour! ing, the house being perfectly still, and no person The tokens of a season ripe for change nearer than the kitchen, when a snake of this va- Greater than man e'er dreamed of, fill the sky, riety moved so silently into the room that he was And the earth mutters underneath my feet in the middle of it before I was aware of his pres- " 'Tis time! 't is time!" The overthrow and scar ence. He seemed to look for some things, as if he tering knew they should be there ; insects, probably, for of the old thrones, temples, and synagogues, I observed him to pick up a spider. At last he Halls of injustice, schools of ignorant scribes, espied me, and, raising his head, in an instant was And palaces of pharisaic pride, coiled up instinctively for defence ; but immediately Whose owners preach humility-all hang afterwards, when I got on my feet, he retreated Upon the breath of Jesus. He passeth on, with great expedition below the sideboard, and con- Teaching and healing, nor can I discern trived to ensconce himself so between it and the One smile of secret consciousness that soon wall, that it was only after detaching it the ser-| All this shall end and his true kingdom como,

Somewhat he lacketh. He is great of soul, And in especial save him from this night-
Filled with divine power, but too angel-sweet See him not-know him not-nor ask for him.
For turbulent earth and its gross exigencies ;

(Rising in terror.)
Strong in design, and magnanimity,
Forbearance, fortitude, and lovingness,

Where is the man called Judas?—where is he? He lacketh still the vehement kingly will

Thunder is in my brain—the clouds are silent. Will, bred of earth and all that it inherits

No where, Lord-no where Judas is no more! To seize the mountain by its forest hair

(Voices of a distant crowd.) And whirl it into dust. On that soft plain,

In the midst of this despair Judas hears the The Temple of his Father—the true SpiritStraightway might we erect, and not lie hid

friends and relations of Christ coming to attend the In secret places, like forlorn wild beasts

crucifixion. They pass him, lalking of the meekWho dread the hunter's spear. Why doth he wait? ness of the sufferer, and not unobservant of the Would he were seized !-condemned to instant betrayer. Mary Magdalen, with a finely-condeath

ceived return of her once violent feelings, is inSet on a brink, and all his hopes for man clined to curse Judas ; and she says: Endangered by his fall-till tnese extremes Drew violent lightning from him !

The grave will utter

A shriek at his approach. Christ is betrayed ; none of the consequences take place which Judas looked for; and the The mother of Christ bids her not “ disturb the betrayer again soliloquizes. The poetry now greatness of the hour.” Lazarus passes, rises in force and passion. Mr. Horne's favorite, Cold with the shadows of the grave upon him, Marlowe, of whom he sometimes reminds us, not as an imitator but a class-fellow, could not have and says he will pray for Judas; but not doing so surpassed the close of the following passage. It before he disappears, the wretched criminal calls is a masterly specimen of that most terrible of all after him not to forget it. Distant sounds are then things—the mixture of familiar speech, expressive heard of the ponderous hammers that nail Jesus to of agonized sincerity, with the most portentous sen- the cross, (a grand conception,) and Judas is hurried sations of novelty and despair. There is the con- by them into suicide. He tears up som

some trailing sciousness that would fain escape from its doom thorns, which he winds round his neck; and, rushunder the easiest pretences of the possibility of so ing up into a tree, brings it down with his dying doing, with the overwhelming conviction of its weight, and is covered with its crashing boughs and hopelessness and absurdity. We might imagine foliage. An earthquake succeeds ; graves open ; a great actor venturing to utter the words, “No and the spirits of the dead appear, gazing around where, lord, no where," with something even of them. A more ingenious as well as poetical modo an idiot smile. Judas has been attempting to tear of adhering to the actual nature of the death of up a grave to hide him in ; and he enters with Judas, without subjecting it to the mean idea of a handful of earth clutched in his fingers":

“hanging," could not have been devised.

This fine conclusion might have been rendered Judas. If he, being Son of God, consent to die, perhaps still finer, if the sounds of the hammer Seeming to prove the truth of all their taunts ;

had been accompanied by the sudden darkness If, with the power he hath to smite this cityThe temple, tabernacle, all the hosts

which is said to have followed on Christ's death. And men of valor-pharisees, scribes, priests

The first blow might have smitten the scene into He will not speak-he will not lift his hand ;- night-time, and Judas then been made visible again If truly, God, in him, can with a thought by lightning. But Mr. Horne may have thought, Bring earthquake underneath Jerusalem,

and with reason, that this would have rendered the To swallow all, save his own chosen flock

consummation of the deed itself improbable ;Yet he consent meekly to be nailed down Upon a felon's cross, which they have sworn

too likely to scare away the executioners. TheTo plant on yonder mount, between two thieves,

ology, on the other hand, may be ready with a There, 'midst revilings, taunts, and jeers, to die- reply to this ; and, indeed, there is no end to The drooping head, the languishing swoll'n limbs-questions of the kind theological or critical. He-our Lord Jesus-whom I have betrayed, We need not add anything to what we have Dying this death-0 God, the Eternal Eye! intimated in the course of our criticism respecting Scorch up this reasoning—blight each maddening this miracle-play. We shall only state, that, on

senseConfuse my life with any creeping thing,

our first perusal of it, we thought it too short to So iha! I know it not-make me a stone,

exhibit the whole history and character of Judas ; Wherefrom no iron-heel shall strike one spark

but, on reading it again, we became sensible of its Make me a darkness let me melt to rain,

sufficiency of matter, as well as abundant power And steal beneath the earth! I hear them coming! of treatment; and we are of opinion that no reader (Judas drops on his knees.)

of sacred history, or lover of poetry, should fail

to possess himself of the little book of sixty-four Seest thou, Jehovah, him thou fashionedst With strength and order, what he hath become?

pages which contains a poem so full of grandeur A wild and hideous perplexity.

and passion. That hideth from himself! Oh, pass him by,

Nor is this, by any means, ils whole value; for E'en as this clot of earth, which he scraped up the miracle-play is followed by a set of minor To look for death, and leave this upper hell- poeins, the best that Mr. Horne has written. They do him that final justice which he has too often Away he sped with shimmering glee! withheld from himself by an over-ambitious haste

Dim, indistinct—now seen-now gone, and a neglect of study and selection. He has been

Night comes, with wind and rain-and he

No more will dance before the morntoo much in the habit of setting his will before his

Far out at sea. judgment; of supposing that genius can dispense with the taste and training to be gathered from

He dies unlike his mates, I ween ; books and scholarship; of crowding thought upon

Perhaps not sooner, nor worse crossed;

And he hath felt, and known, and seen, thought, and image upon image, for the sake of

A larger life and hope though lost, proving his resources, without sufficiently heeding

Far out at sea! either complete relevancy in the matter or propriety in the manner. The fault has been analogous to

THE SLAVE. -A SEA-PIECE, OFF JAMAICA. what is called want of keeping by painters, and by

(Before the Abolition.) society want of tact.

None of Mr. Horne's larger Before us in the sultry dawn arose works, not even his Orion, in which there are

Indigo-tinted mountains; and ere noon things worthy of the greatest poets, have been alto

We neared an isle that lay like a festoon gether free from this fault; perhaps none of his And shared the ocean's glittering repose. previous works at all, with the exception of the Death of Marlowe. But he seems at length to

We saw plantations spotted with white huts;

Estates midst orange groves and towering trees , have felt, if not critically discerned, his way out

Rich yellow lawns embrowned by soft degrees ; of it. We hope he has done both, in order that Plots of intense gold freaked with shady nuts. his future footing may be as sure as his powers

A dead hot silence tranced sea, land, and sky: and his sympathies deserve to be ; and, to this end,

And now a low canoe came gliding forth, we would exhort him, whenever he doubts the pro

Wherein there sat an old man fierce and swarth, priety of anything he is about to write, and partic-Tiger-faced, black-fanged, and with jaundiced eye. ularly if specially inclined to write it, to construe Pure white, with pale blue chequered, and red fold the doubt against himself. He can afford it;

Of head-cloth 'neath straw brim, this Master having a rich remainder, of the finest kind, to merit

wore; our praise and thanks. Nothing else could set

While in the sun-glare stood with high-raised oor him right in his poetical workmanship, but a course A naked Image all of burnished gold. of the severest critical reading, with all scholarly Golden his bones-high-valued in the marthelps to boot : and we doubt if even this would

His minted muscles, and his glossy skin ; suffice, unless he could begin with suspecting the Golden his life of action—but within fallibility of certain of his moods of mind.

The slave is human in a bleeding heart. We conclude with selecting, from the miscellaneous poems before us, two sea-pieces of different

From Upsala an account is given of a curious characters, the one admirable for what may be glimpse into the past conceded to high-born curicalled its light_pathos, the other for its strength osity. The Dukes of East Gotha and Dalecarlia, and coloring. The first, with its ritornello, (which students at that University, conceived a desire to renders it a kind of serious rondeau,) is touched look bodily on the mortal remains of Gustavus Vasa, with all the airy grace of a musician. "The second - which lie in the vaults of the cathedral of that has the solidity and splendor of one of the Vene- city. Accordingly, by special authorization of the tian painters. Both appear to have been written king, the marble sarcophagus containing the body

was opened, that the young princes might look upon in the scenes which they describe ; for one of Mr. the long dead. The historical lesson which they Horne's best trainings as a poet has been his ex- sought they found not—but they found another. perience of remote countries.

“And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up, but his face is

covered with a mantle.” Decay has shut the lineaFar out at sea—the sun was high,

ments of Gustavus Vasa beyond the opening of even While veered the wind and flapped the sail

the royal key. The body was a skeleton—but the e saw a snow-white butterfly

garments of velvet and silk, with gold and silver broDancing before the fitful gale,

cade, were fresh. The crown, the sceptre, the globe, Far out at sea.

the ornaments of the scabbard inclosing the royal

sword, and the massive golden buckles of the girdle The little stranger, who had lost

and shoes adorned with precious stones, were still His way, of danger nothing knew;

entire—but muscle and sinew were rotted away. Settled awhile upon the mast,

The baubles lavished to illustrate the dead were Then fluttered o'er the waters blue,

there to mock him.-There is worse teaching for a Far out at sea.

prince than that which the young dukes got by the

open tomb of Gustavus Vasa. Such a proclamation Above, there gleamed the boundless sky;

of the earthly style and titles, in such a presence, Beneath, the boundless ocean sheen;

must have gone direct to the heart of even youth. Between them danced the butterfly,

The text was there, with its comment; the triThe spirit-life in this vast scene;

umphal shout, with its echo—for echo is always a Far out at sea.

sigh, even when it repeats the voice of triumph.


From the Spectator.

cast up; and here, like the moon, these things are URQUHART'S PILLARS OF HERCULES. *

found which are lost elsewhere.

A shuttle and loom to weave, pins to knit, scio A BIG boy with a turn for paradox, who had sors to cut, or needles and thread to sew, are requimanaged to take a leaf out of Mr. Disraeli's last them all; it is a web, but not wove (in the mod

site for every other dress. The haïk dispenses with book,

might have written one part of The Pillars ern sense of the word); it is a covering, but neither of Hercules at school. The phenomena of the cut nor stitched. When Eve had to bethink herMediterranean and its currents (what becomes of self of a durable substitute for innocence, this is the water? what becomes of the salt ?)—some what she must have hit upon. The name it bears salient points in the history of the peoples who is such as Adam might have given had he required formerly visited the aforesaid sea or inhabited its it in Paradise" that which is wove," i. e., web. shores--bits of Spanish and of Moorish story, with

It is only a web, yet is it coat, great-coat, troua tediously long commentary—a comparison be- for all and everything in one. Being but the sim

sers, petticoat, under and over garment, enough tween the inhabitants of Barbary and of Europe, plest of primitive inventions, it outvies in beauty, greatly to the advantage of the Africans (Mr. and overmatches in convenience, the succeeding Urquhart claiming for the Moors the preëminence centuries of contrivance and art; it completes the which Mr. Disraeli assigns to the Jews)-the tale circle—the last step being not to return to, but of the capture of Gibraltar by the British and merely to perceive the beauty of the first concepDutch, with sundry assertions (in matters of tion, and yield a barren and æsthetic applause to diplomacy the Urquhart decrees, not argues) as to

the perfection of the primitive design.

The haïk and the kuscoussoo are here united. If the mischief of the fortress to Great Britain, &c. you heard of any other people having the one, you -might all have been written for a theme, with would inquire whether they had not also the other. the subject “ given out," and the full flowing style Here in one sentence is it shown that the Jews, once acquired. Other topics of the volume might when they entered the wilderness, had both. possibly require the suggestion of the reality to set

If they wore the haïk in the wilderness, they the writer's pen going. Mr. Urquhart takes an had it when they entered the Holy Land; for, as oriental bath; and thereupon writes a disquisition change old habits. The people they drove forth

they did not want new clothes, so would they not on bathing among the Romans, the Moors, and the were the Brebers, who wear it to-day. The Jews Orientals, and non-bathing among some other peo- went to Egypt from the Holy Land. Abraham, ples, ourselves included, with a passing touch on therefore, wore the haïk ; and, having seen him in cheap bath-houses, and the Mosaic and Moslem that dress, I can imagine him in no other. notions of uncleanliness. The traveller went on a It belongs but to a small portion of the human sporting excursion, though he seems to have killed family to have a change of raiment for the night-a nothing; but he ate of the national dish called striking peculiarity of this dress is its adaptation

to both purposes: kuscoussoo, and anon he favors the reader with the

The Greek robe was white; it was put on as a whole story of it ; how it is made, which is practi- clothing, and was at the same time a covering such cal information-how to eat it—what authors have as might be used to slcep in at night. It was not said of it-bread compared with kuscoussoo ; in- put on to fit as a dress ; it was ample in its folds, cluding a digression upon wheat and its original and fell to the feet; it covered them all over. But country, which is not known to Urquhart, but he citation of authorities is superfluous-look at the

statue of Demosthenes. makes up for it by describing the origin of the

But the Greeks may have invented it. The • damper” of New South Wales, says a word on Greeks were copiers, or copies; they improved Indian corn, pronounces England in the art of what they received, but in the beginning they were cookery behind every other people," informs the wild and rude. This dress belongs to early simworld that pilaf is never eatable “ when made by a plicity, and to the people who from the first were Christian," and closes the topic with some remarks preeminent in poetry: on teeth. In the course of his excursions Mr. and haik, that the only quostion is, “ Was it orig

The resemblance is so evident between the toga Urquhart set eyes on the Moorish haik; which he inal or borrowed ?" and, if borrowed, " Whence traces to the garden of Eden, to father Abraham, did it come?" As the Greeks stood to the Pheto the Jews in the wilderness, to the Greeks, to nicians, so did the Roman to the Etruscans. Critthe Romans.

ical inquiries had already traced that people to If Prometheus had set himself down to consider, with them. Their tombs, into which a lady has

Canaan; recent discoveries have made us familiar not how many things he could invent for man, but conducted us, transport us to the life and manners what single invention would serve him most, he might have fixed on the haïk. It is not known in of the Old Testament. A traveller in Barbarv Arabia, Judæa, or any part of the East; it is men- might take them for the ancient sepulchres of this tioned by no ancient writer ; yet on its intrinsic country. In the tombs you have over and over characters I claim for it the rank of first parent of again the haïk. costume. It is found in Barbary. Who, then, Enough of this. There are in the volumes shall assign to it a date? The region is a nook in not perhaps better things, but things more approthe ocean of time, where the wrecks of all ages are priaie to travel-accounts of interviews with va

* The Pillars of Hercules ; or a Narrative of Travels rious adventurers whom crime or misfortune has in Spain and Morocco, in 1848. By David Urquhart, carried to Africa, or with persons in some official The Spirit of the East," &c. L. two volumes. Pub. capacity. There are also descriptions of nature lished by Bentley

and of art, though the kind of digression and dis

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »