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share the new experience of a foreign that, among other experiences, I was meal ; but as luck would have it for now able to count that of having seen my purse, the hotel larder was ex- such a primitive mode of doing away hausted, and no fresh supplies could be with the dead. got till the next day, so I entertained Another of the quaintest sights in them to sake, beer which they Japan is a fire. Hundreds of houses called birru—and mashed potatoes, in are often burued in the space of a few which they revelled, and of which each hours, and little or nothing can be individual wrapped up a little in tissue done to stop the progress of the flames, paper and stored it in his sleeve pocket, especially on a windy day. If you exto show his admiration of foreign cook- cept the roof, which is made of tiles, ing. Bread also was very popular. Japanese houses are built entirely of As I was thus entertaining my noisy straw, wood, bamboo, and paper. In guests, the father of the deceased en- the poorer districts houses are packed tered the room and presented me with close together, and therefore if one a neat box of sweetmeats, tied with a happens to catch fire sometimes the pretty gold ribbon, and a card in the whole street is burned down with inshape of an arrow, which sign accom- credible rapidity, and the fire only panies nearly all gifts in the land of stops at some open space where it canthe Rising Sun, as they say that it not possibly spread further. It is not brings with it happiness, long life, and unusual in Tokyo, or some of the joy. The delight of the poor old man larger towns, to hear of a thousand or was great when I sat down to the table even more houses having been deand drew him a pen-and-ink sketch of stroyed in an afternoon or during the the funeral procession of his daughter, night. No one is more afraid of fires with which I presented him, together than the Japanese, and high ladders with one or two European articles that are posted at short intervals all over he saw in my room and that took his the towns and in all the larger villages, fancy. The sketch produced such a ou the top of which ladders a watchsensation among my guests that they man sits all night, and in case of fire forsook “what was coming” of the rings a large bell hanging from the top. dinner, and dragged me back again to If rung at long intervals, the fire is their house. Though I was 'very tired distant, and one need not worry oneI submitted with a very good grace to self about turning out of one's foutheir invitation, for I did not feel quite tangs ; if rung a little quicker, the fire sure how many more might turn up if is not far, but there need be no apprethe dinner was brought to its legitimate hension ; but if the bell is vigorously conclusion. Besides, a Japanese sitting and quickly tolled, then you may as on a chair is no more the graceful be- well say good-bye to your house, being that he is when squatting on the cause in perhaps a few minutes it will ground, and I was afraid if they stopped be reduced to a mass of ashes. The much longer, I should have a bill sent Japanese are wonderful at turning out in for smashed furuiture. More sake at all lours of the night, even for going and tea-ilrinking went on, and finally, to look at a tire, and men, women,
and towards midnight, I was able to part children in the coldest nights in winter from my new friends, not without hav- think nothing of walking five or six ing thanked them heartily for the “en- miles to go and look at a big blaze. If joyment?? they had given me during the fire happens to be near, the excitethat afternoon. I retired to my room ment increases in proportion to the and went to bed ; and, of course, you probability of one's house being burnt will say — you had a nightmare ; but down. You see people half scared and no, I had not. I slept peacefully all screaming, getting water wherever night, and though for several days I they can in pails, wash-basins, tubs, or could not get the bad smell out of my anything they can lay bold of, and nose and my clothes, I was not sorry throwing it all over the woodwork so
as to diminish the chances of its catch- | The majority of them were squatted ing fire. Then as the fire draws nearer, down on the ground warming their and the only water available has al- hands on some of the fallen beams still ready been consumed, the process of on fire, others were quietly smoking saving what one can is put into prac- their tiny pipes, while the officers were tice. The amido, or wooden shutters, chatting among themselves, not a bit and the shojis, paper walls, are quickly concerned about what was going on, taken down and brought into a safe and puffing away at cigarettes. There place; the mats are lifted out of their were a good few who were busy with places, and, with the few articles of the hose, but they amused themselves furniture, are quickly removed ; so in giving the spectators cold douches that when the fire comes it only de- rather than by trying to put out the stroys the wooden frame of the house fire. A few amateur firemen and the roof – that is all. It is sel- struggling hard with an old-fashioned dom that life is lost in these fires, ex-toy pump, but the water had to be cept sometimes when children or old brought up from the river in buckets people are unable to move, and, once and thrown into the pump, and by the surrounded by flames, they cannot be time the next bucketful arrived, the reached and often perish.
pumps had been three or four minThe sight of a fire in Japan is rather utes without a drop of water! They pretty. I remember seeing a beautiful wore very picturesque costumes, but one at Osaka, the “ Venice of Japan," unfortunately, like most thiugs picturfor, like her Italian sister, she is inter- esque, they were more ornamental than sected by a wide river and by numer- useful. ous canals. The hotel I was staying The city of Tokyo possesses small at was on the river embankment, and steam fire-engines, that are run all if I remember aright, it was the night over the town on every possible occaafter Christmas. I was peacefully sion; and I remember one day at a sleeping when the fire-bell, hastily great fire near the quarter of Akasaka, rung, woke me up. I bounded from one of these engines was taken so my bed and looked out of the shojis. near the flames that the wheels caught It was a lovely sight! Against the fire, and it was reduced to a wreck bedark sky a huge flame rose towering up fore the careless firemen had time to on the opposite bank of the river, and notice that instead of their putting out a column of black smoke stood perpen- the fire, the fire was devouring their dicularly in the perfectly still air. valuable machine ! Hundreds of lanterns of different sizes However, there is no doubt that the and colors, carried by men, women, and Japanese have a certain amount of children seemed to be racing along the natural intelligence, though they unembankment and over the bridges. fortunately possess no stability of charThe reflection of the fire and of all the acter. When, as years go on, their other moving lights iu the water, gave capricious and somewhat childish naa most fantastic appearance to the ture shall have somewhat altered and spectacle I was gazing upon. I took a become more serious ; when, instead
Ι sketch of it as well as I could, and then of taking things lightly as they have having dressed proceeded to the spot. done till now, they will go to work to Through the kinduess of a policeman adapt Western civilization to them. I was able to get quite close to the selves instead of adapting themselves working firemen, and their work was a to Western civilization, I am certain source of great amusement to me. that, both as individuals and as a naThey were not excited over it at all, on tion, the Japanese will have a great the contrary, I never saw men so cool. future before them.
A. HENRY SAVAGE-LANDOR.
From The Gentleman's Magazine. A body of carabinieri were to be drawn BRIGANDAGE PAST AND PRESENT.
up just out of gun-shot range, lest the It is not so very long ago that in the prisoner and the gold should both reItalian mainland brigands might be turn to the mountains. They were studied in the flesh. A Southern Ital- friends, seven friends, that escorted ian of about sixty told me, not long ago, Moëus to his carriage. Each of them that he well remembered a case of drew a ring off his finger and presented capture by brigands near Salerno. An it to the guest. (Brigands, forty years English milordo was known to intend ago, were so happily placed that they visiting Pæstum. The band lay in wait could renew their supply of rings for him, seizing by mistake another within a week or two during the tourist traveller, whose name was Moëns, my season ; hence these keepsakes were acquaintance assured me; but foreign less valuable as marks of generosity
are not his strong point. and sacrifice than as simple tokens of Mr. Moëns was kept prisoner for weeks, kindly feeling !) The captive, like a during which time, he told my inform- more famous prisoner, confessed that ant, he visited every grotlo and hiding- he “regained his freedom with a sigh.” place in the La Cava and Salerno He had had a very enjoyable time with mountains, the brigands fitting about his captors. That is the fact of the for fear of a rescue. But, in spite of matter ; and he freely admitted as rarely spending two nights in the same much. Indeed, the middle-class Enlair, it was no hard life! They were glishman found himself in much more hospitable. fellow's those Italian Robin polished society than that to which lie Hoods. Every evening they sang for was accustomed. Who, in his own Moëns, and sang splendidly. They circle, were such accomplished musiprovided him with much meat, which cians ? Who had such graceful ways, they toasted lightly on wooden sticks such ingenious kiudness for guests ? before their burning logs, to please his Who — to descend to mioutiæ could English palate ; and they regaled bim bow or smile with such exquisite courtwith tea — of all the unlikely things liness as even the least of these knights to find in Salernian caves ! (They of the road ? No, no ! The modern thoughtfully stole it for him from pass- Italians who pick and steal are not kith ing travellers.) By the help of his and kin of the historic brigands ! entertainers, the - Englishman commu- To prove that it is not " these degennicated with the English ambassador, erate days " that make of Dick Turpin and the ambassador with the home a common thief, I beg to offer a little government. The brigands demanded anecdote of brigands in Sicily. I have
rausom of £3,000. English diplo- it from "a friend of the family ” macy said : “Put down your brigands. that is to say, almost from the principal Restore to this nation her citizen.” actors. It is a Fra-Diavolo-like story. Italian diplomacy replied : "We A Germau lady told me that about can't!” — only, of course, both sides four years ago a family of compatriots used diplomatic language. Meantime, of hers rented a villa for the season the brigands, from a safe distance, kept near Palermo. All the elders were up a sort of chorus : "You can have imperatively, and quite unexpectedly, him for £3,000 ; ” and their govern- summoved home, but a convalescent ment, in fear of English gunboats, daughter could only leave the south at agreed to pay the ransom !
the risk of her life. What were these The “bigh contracting parties ar- poor people to do? Every one said ranged that seven of the outlaws should the country“ was so unsafe ;” life and descend to a particular point upon the property were “not respected at all.”' highway, where a carriage should be in My friend's friends consulted a neighwaiting. The money would be handed bor who knew Sicily long and well, over to the seven ; their prisoner to use and they received this strange advice : the carriage for his journey to Naples. I“ Call upon the brigands ; say you
contide in their honor; that you leave any property, belonging to that villa. your villa and the young lady in their Wheu, two years later, the signorina keeping — all will then be well.” And tedesca was about to be married, her all was well! Nightly one or other of friendly outlaws sent her a pretty and the dreaded band would call to inquire valuable present ! Whose property after the health of the convalescent. had that present previously been ? Fresh flowers were presented on each | Who were the former owners of Mr. occasion. After a while the brigands Moëns' seven rings ? And did these sang a serenade. Judging it to have questions trouble Moëus or the bride been appreciated, from time to time from the Fatherland ? If so, I am they repeated their musical attention. sure both beneficiaries said, and truly The girl felt that these indeed must felt : “How kind of those nice fellows, be “the mildest-mannered [men] that all the same !” « Le Roi des Monever cut a throat." Needless to say, tagnes,” to one who knows the truth the gentle brigands never troubled about brigauds, does not seem screamany person, and never appropriated iug farce at all; it reads like history !
THE OLDEST WATERING-PLACE IN THE came a stratum of aes rude, a kind of copWORLD. — The oldest watering-place in the per dice, such as were first used as exchange world is within a five hours' carriage drive in the beginning of the history of money ; from Rome, and is situated on the Lake of and the place occupied by the aes rude Bracciano, celebrated for the castle which gave evidence of an epoch prior to the first bears its name, and now the property of civilization of Etruria. I must add that, the Odescalchi family. Close to the castle even under this most ancient layer of aes is a little hamlet, called Vicarello, supposed rude, there were still earlier votive offerto have taken its name from Vicus Aurelii, ings in the form of flint implements. Here and remarkable for the ruins of an impe- then was a bathing establishment dating rial villa, attributed to Trajan. It is also back to centuries before the foundation of known for its mineral waters, once called Rome; and the baths still in so perfect a Aquæ Auraliæ, but now called by their state that not one of their offerings had primitive name of Aquæ Apollinaræ, of the been displaced. These successive deposits Antonine Itinerary. It was not till the of coins and other objects represented the year 1852 that the real name of the waters offerings of those who drank, or those who was known ; and this is how it took place : bathed in the waters. They were called Some workmen were employed in excavat- stipae, and were offered as much to solicit ing the ground for the foundations of a the naïads for recovery as to thank them new establishment, when they came upon after recovery. During the Emperor Aua reservoir, full of mineral waters, which gustus's illness, every order of the people were covered by a vault of Etruscan work threw stipae yearly in the Curtius Lake, to manship. This vault was immediately re- beseech for Augustus's health. (“Omnes moved, and the water pumped out. This ordines in lacum Curtii quotannis pro sadone, it was observed that the bottom of lute ejus stipem jaciebant."). the reservoir was occupied by a dense mass
E. D. Berry, in “Atalanta.”. of gold, silver, bronze, and other metallic coins, etc. Fortunately, every precaution was taken to remove these coins, etc., in MIRROR MENUS. - The newest freak of the order they were found ; and upwards of fashion in Paris is a looking-glass stand for a ton in weight of these coins, etc., were the menu. Ladies can see how they look thus extracted. The upper layer consisted at table. Madame Heine took the other of coins bearing the effigy of the Roman day to her daughter, the Princess of Moemperors up to Trajan ; under these came naco, four dozen of these mirrors, with more ancient types of coins; and under- frames in repoussé silver of exquisite neath these came those massive coins workmanship. The fashion has come from known as aes grave signatum. Finally [Russia.