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should dare the effort and the rocks ? There was one chance, and that was attended with such awful risk, and seemed so mere a chance, that few would have ventured to recommend its adoption. The rockets called Carter's Rockets had never been tried in that neighbourhood before; but the principal coastguard station at Penzance, some ten miles off, possessed three of them. By order of the Inspecting-Commander these were produced; and he left his residence at Penzance, whither he had returned the preceding night, on this Sunday morning, resolved to make trial of them.
The inventor of these rockets had never contemplated their being fired from a boat, for which they seemed in no way adapted; and the directions for their use. were explicit in desiring the person who fired them to remain at a distance of full fifty feet, in order to secure himself from the danger of the great back fire from them. It was to be apprehended that the inevitable vicinity to the back fire to which a person firing one of these rockets in a boat must submit, might make the experiment a fatal one. But Cape Cornwall, the nearest point to the Brissons, is a good mile from them; therefore nothing could be done from the shore, and the apparently desperate resource of using the rockets from a boat was the only one that remained for that day; and who could say what another day and night might work on the starving unsheltered beings on the rock, even should the state of the sea the next day allow of getting close to the Brissons ?
It was a novel and perilous under taking, but the effort was to be made..
The midday sun, which alternately disappeared in black clouds and flashed strong lights through sudden gaps, gleamed out strongly on several boats taking their ways from different points of the bay towards the Brissons. From Sennen Cove came three well-manned fishing boats and a coastguard crew; the Sylvia's boat was fast making for the scene of action ; meanwhile from Pen
three miles north-east of Cape Cornwall, the Inspecting-Commander was approaching in the boat of that station.
Bursts of cheers saluted the boats as one by one they stayed their course as near the rocks as they could venture; Cape Cornwall, black with an ant-hill swarm of huddled human beings, seemed to shout with one mighty voice; and the cliffs and hollows round the bay echoed it back twofold. Then there was a great silence. The sky, black and gloomy again, seemed to add by its sombre shadow to the misgivings that were in every heart. All watched breathlessly.
The Pendeen boat, from which the rocket was to be fired, was cleared of her crew, who were ordered into one of the fishing boats, one man remaining in her. A gallant fellow, the Penzance gunner, had volunteered to fire the rockets; but as he had not had more experience in them than any one else present, which was simply none, his assistance was only accepted in making the arrangements for fixing the apparatus in the boat, and the InspectingCommander resolved that only one man should be exposed to the danger the experiment involved, and that that should be he who planned it. He himself remained alone in the boat, which was towed by one of the others into the position he wished. His preparations were soon completed.
A gentleman having much amateur skill afterwards painted this scene, and had his work presented to the chief actor in it, through a mutual friend. In his picture, the man in the rocketboat was represented with one foot well over her side, prepared, as he really was, to plunge into the sea in case of fire. Some little time later this picture was placed, in order to have some trifling injury remedied, in the hands of an inland artist. He quietly set to work to paint the leg back into the boat, explaining, on inquiry, that he did so “because it took from the repose of the picture !” But there was no repose round the Brissons on that Sunday morning; so the rocket-firer held
were, and trust to the boats near for appeared, and were greeted with joyful rescuing him from peril of water, if so cheers. The woman was being carefully he might save himself from peril of fire drawn into the Sylvia's boat, in what
The rocket was fired. From the shore, condition the far-off watchers could not a sheet of flame was seen round the boat know, but they feared. And justly; and its occupant; but it cleared away and the violence of the waves had been too he was safe. The aim, in spite of the much for her, worn and weakened as she tossing of the waves was true; the line was. She breathed still, but that was passed over the Little Brisson, but, un- all. The cord round her waist had fortunately, cut by a sharp jutting rock, tightened terribly ; the knot, probably, fell back short into the sea. A second too tightly secured by a trembling hand, rocket must be tried. There were but had dragged in the great strain on the three; should these fail, there was no rope during the struggle with those hope. Or, should the next rocket prove strong billows, so that not daring to damaged and burst ? Certain death sever it with a knife, the Sylvia's comthat, surely, to the firer! No matter; it mander had to use his teeth to loosen it. must be tried. Very soon another hissed Life was still in her then, he thought; through the air; the rope lay across the but the matter was already hopeless. rock beside the man; and, while the The crew made every effort possible they crowd on shore thundered out rejoicings, could to revive her; they covered her the woman clasped her hands as if in with their own clothes, and left nothing thanksgiving. The sun in that trium- untried of the small means they had to phant moment burst gloriously out from restore warmth and animation. But in the blackness, and glowed full upon the vain; they lifted her dead from the boat Brissons and the rescuing boats, to which to the shore she had looked at so wistall eyes were turned.
fully through so many painful hours. The man fastened the rope round his She sleeps peacefully in a Cornish wife's waist; she hesitated. They had churchyard, within sight of the sea that come down to a level ridge of the rock, brought her death. not more than twelve feet above the Better fortune awaited the attempt sea; but still it was a frightful leap, and to save her husband. He leaped in a into those boiling foam wreaths! She favourable moment; the waves battled looked down at the great surges; they more languidly with him; and he was seemed to talk together—at length cou- drawn into another boat in full conrage had come to her and she was ready. sciousness, though faint and feeble from They bade each other a loving farewell exhaustion, and landed in safety soon to -a hopeful one no doubt, but it was recover his former strength. for ever.
How his rescuers were received on With the rope round her, one end of their return, may well be imagined. it in her husband's hand and the other That 12th of January will not soon be in one of the boats, she plunged into the forgotten on that coast, and a deep, sea. And, at that fatal moment, three though sad interest will long cling round monster billows, one after the other, the lonely Brissons. surged along, and it seemed as if all Not very long afterwards, the remainthere would be lost. From the Cape ing rocket was tried at Penzance for the boats seemed to have sunk. “They experiment, with the usual precautions. are gone !" was groaned through all the It proved a spoilt one, and burst. What multitude; women shrieked and wept; the result must have been had the perhaps there were some strong men second rocket failed on that stormy whose eyes swam in tears.
Sunday, and this been made use of, may That alarm soon passed—the boats re- be felt and shuddered at.
DAY BY DAY.
We will not clasp it as it flies,
And kiss its lips and brow :
In its delicious Now.
Away in sad disdain :
It never comes again.
Its noontide and its eve:
Live while we live, giving God thanks We will not see it clear:
He will not let us grieve.
BY ONE WHO KNEW IT WELL. It was twelve years since I had seen a stranger in the very quarters I know Paris, where at one time I had spent, best, looking in vain for old streets, bealmost continuously, nearly twelve years wildered by new boulevards, clambering of my life, comprising those when im- over perpetual rubbish heaps. Talk of pressions are keenest and memory is the nuisance of London stoppages when most retentive ; whilst from thence till the pavements are taken up in the the period of my last visit, not a year autumn for gas or water, or sewerage purhad passed without my seeing it again, poses ! Why, it is a mere trifle to Paris, so that my acquaintance with it had in those quarters where the houses thembeen, up to that time, practically an selves are being taken down on all sides, uninterrupted one. I spent but a very and, whilst one is painfully occupied with few days there on this occasion; but I one's feet in stumbling over rubbish, never spoke to an Englishman whilst I one has the further chance of being was there, and the frank and intimate knocked down by falling materials. So relations which I had kept up there, or tiresome became this wilderness of never which, by means of other similar ones, finished street-novelty, that the old I was able to form, gave me abundant Faubourg St. Germain, which I used to means of insight, whilst, as it so hap- hate, grew quite pleasant to me, from the pened, either those relations themselves simple fact of having been mostly left or the other purposes of my visit carried untouched. There, at all events, I knew me far and wide in almost all directions whence I came and whither I was going. throughout the city, so that I was able I said that this first impression was, more than once to tell of, or to show to no doubt, a selfish one. The next one my Parisian friends, streets and public was, no doubt, satisfaction at seeing the improvements of which they were yet broad avenues for light and air, which ignorant.
have been cut through some of the I suppose the first thing which one darkest and most unhealthy quarters, must mention in speaking of Paris are the pleasant green squares so thronged these same public improvements, or what with people, the completion of certain are called such. My first impression, a really great public works, such as the selfish one, I confess at once, was one of Louvre, the clearing of the Hôtel de intense disgust. I found myself almost Ville, of the tower of St. Jacques de la
Boucherie, and most useful of all, the Halles. But after a certain number of peregrinations it became only too obvious that the public salubrity was in general only a secondary consideration in what had been done. Clear as day-light shone out one idea, which must have stood at all times first and foremost in the mind of the ruler--to hinder popular revolution. There is a show,Paris, the Paris of the Rue de Rivoli, the Champs Elysées, the Chaussée d'Antin, whither. strangers flock, where all the dearer aniusements are concentrated. Let this be treated as a piece of ornament, a sort of jewel for the world's pleasures ; lavish treasure upon it, keep it wide and airy from end to end, and, at the same time, keep employed there, by perpetual changes and reconstructions, as large a portion as possible of the working population, away from their homes in the dangerous quarters. Through those dangerous quarters again drive right and left broad straight streets and boulevards— straight, that the cannon may sweep them; broad, that there be space to shell a house at the first bullet that speeds from its windows. Plant on all sides your barracks, each a fort in itself; insulate your public buildings, that they too may be turned into forts. Among the very best for such purposes are theatres, so handy for receiving and marshalling whole bodies of men. Raise these, too, in the dangerous quarters : two huge, hideous ones on the quays fronting each other will not be too many. Is Paris safe ? No, not yet. So, to amuse the badauds, of course, we will have a gunboat stationed on the Seine, always ready to shell the city from its great water-way.
This one idea, I say, of profound dis. trust, of unappeasable dread, on the part of the ruler towards his people, is the master-key to Paris improvements.” There is one very simple proof of it. Paris is far from being all improved. There is yet, on the contrary, for those who' may choose to look for it, a vast unimproved Paris ; wherever, outside of the show-Paris, a quarter is not
population, Paris is just what it was. I had heard a great deal of the imperial cleanliness of Paris, --of Paris being a cleaner city now than London. My feet and my nose soon undeceived me of any delusions I might have entertained in this respect. Travel out of the showParis, with its wide streets and gutters tucked under the foot-pavements, and you will find just what you were accustomed to in the days of Louis-Philippe. Sometimes even the old single surface gutter in the middle still subsists.. Where it has been replaced it has been replaced only by the double surface side-gutters, the most admirably adapted of all devices for splashing the foot-passenger from head to foot. The extravagant multiplication of bonnes-fontaines seems only to stimulate the inveterate propensity of Parisian house-wives to pour out all mentionable slops, and chuck forth all mentionable refuse, into the public way, of which the public scavengers, as of old, proceed afterwards with their brooms gently to stimulate the course, and diffuse the perfume. In short, the peculiar smell of Paris sewerage, entirely distinct from London, is quite the same as it was ; still, through whole quarters, in the driest weather, a street of moderate width consists simply of a very narrow strip of dry stones in the middle with a broad expanse of wet ones on either side. Other streets, equally broad, remain wet in such weather from side to side ; some are never dry for a week in the 'twelvemonth. In short, allowing for the much drier climate, the artificial, avoidable filthiness of Paris (always excepting the show-quarters) appeared to me still immeasurably greater than that of London.
Having convinced myself by ocular experience that sanitary considerations ranked as a very secondary motive in Paris improvements, that narrow streets and splashy gutters and filth were very little thought of wherever they might be deemed politically harmless, I had no difficulty in believing what I was assured of, but was not able to verify for myself, that in many of the
show-quarters themselves, sanitary con- slightly-literate ruler, by, his practical siderations for the interior had been qualities, may exercise some reflex action entirely overlooked, — every building upon art, as well as history. His caparegulation of the municipal law set at city for construing Cæsar may be but nought,-kitchens placed in situations slight; but, in the great work of transwhere by their heat they would most lating the Commentaries, he will not be actively develop germs of disease from satisfied till he has thoroughly underother sources, and the like. Nor should stood every detail, local or practical it ever be overlooked that, the greater Models of every Roman engine of war width of the public ways narrowing always have been constructed and experimented the disposable area for building, the upon; the archæological problem of the builder seeks his profit in height; and Roman galley has been solved ; nay, it those who know the painful diseases is said that nothing but a representation which are entailed on the poor popula- of the many millions which the experition of Paris by the necessity of toiling ment would cost has stopped him from to the upmost flats of their lofty houses, verifying, for a mere whim, the tale of can never look with complacency on the the last Punic war, as to the ropes made frightful height of the new erections. of the Carthaginian matrons' hair. Indeed the more than uselessness of No doubt it is this practical temper many of the alterations in the show- of the third Napoleon's mind which has quarters was most painful. It is not only enabled him to preserve his wonderful money thrown away, but a worse thing tenure of power. He has sought to substituted for a better. Quiet, healthy occupy, to enrich, to amuse his people. streets, with many a garden scattered He has succeeded to a great extent. among them, are to pieces ; houses, not You hear, at Paris, great complaints of only perfectly solid and well-built, but the stagnation of trade; yet I never saw in themselves beautiful and charac- anywhere such outward appearances of teristic, often almost new, are pulled prosperity. To the last I remained down to make streets twice as broad, with amazed, almost stupefied, at the activity houses twice as high, and, like many of of public communications in Paris, the the public buildings of the present day, throngs of people, the throngs of hideously ugly in their stony magnifi- carriages. Whole classes, it is evident, cence. Over and above the political now ride that walked forinerly. On idea, it is impossible not to trace here two occasions, I saw blouses in carriages, the vulgar ambition of the parvenu, and worn by perfectly sober, steady men, who would fain leave no memorial evidently going about their business. behind him of what has preceded him, “What is not done now," I asked å and recommence all history from the friend, “ with the money that used not date of his rule. A certain grand to be spent on coach-hire?” “It is not vulgarity, if I may so call it, appears to put by," he replied. Much the same me, indeed, characteristic of most of answer was given me by others to whom the works of the imperial rule. Im- I spoke on the subject. The general posing as is the completed Louvre, artists opinion seems to be, not that people are will tell you how far superior were the much richer, but that they spend more. details of the original plans of the seven- Beneath such habits lies evidently a teenth century. The imperial want of sense of abiding insecurity. “Let us taste is notoriously even greater than eat and drink." .... And, indeed, the that of Louis-Philippe himself. The wine-shops were evidently thronged, far enlightened love of art possessed by the above anything that I had ever known; Orleans princes, which gave them a whilst the multiplication of cafés and Scheffer for a teacher and a friend, has restaurants, in the show quarters, or given way to an imperial partiality for in the show-streets and boulevards of dead game and semi-dirty genre sub- the dangerous quarters, was no less jects. Yet the tasteless and but astonishing.