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dles simultaneously flashing in the I should imagine, the Nautch girls of
, sunlight. Close by was the old barra- India. coon in which the Portuguese used to On the following afternoon H.M.S. store the slaves prior to embarkation, Pheasant, with Major Macdonald on - a long, low, one-storied stone build- board, arrived from Opobo, which she ing without windows, a very dismal had been blockading for some weeks in dungeon in which to spend the last consequence of the behavior of the hours on one's native land.
local kings, who, acting as they do as On the margin of the creek close by, middle-men, were anxious to prevent half buried in the mud, I saw an odd- all direct communication between the shaped earthenware bowl, curiously or- buyer and the producer. With this namented with bosses. Being always end in view they had placed booms on the lookout for curios, I at once across the river, and otherwise made asked if it had been thrown away, and themselves thoroughly obstructive; the finding that it had, I whispered to Cap- result being that the crews of two of tain Boler to try to secure it for me, her Majesty's ships had been obliged to which he kindly did ; and I trium- spend most of their nights for some phantly carried off my trophy, which it time past in patroiling fever-stricken turned out had belonged to a neighbor- creeks, with hardly any greater opporing and now disused Ju-ju altar, and tunity of excitement than that afforded was one of the vessels in which the by the occasional capture of a “dugblood of the human sacrifices had been out” and her crew of two small boys, carried - with songs and dances and cargo of half-a-dozen long-legged through the town, to be tasted in turn chickens. by the inhabitants. In the town itself We dined on board that night, and we found another altar still standing, heard a great deal about the miseries and adorned with a collection of curi- attending the blockade of West African ously carved images, bowls, bits of pot- rivers, and how the damp nights in the tery, and brass rods. These were by swamps and the monotony of the work way of having been discarded and had played sad havoc with the crew, a thrown away by the present chiefs, very large percentage of whom, and who are Christians; but from the fact several of the officers, were down with of the altar and all its appurtenances fever. The captain had wished to show having been left intact, I suspect that, us the war-dance of his Kroo boys; but at the best, they have but added our just as they were about to begin the religion to their own. Near this altar doctor asked him to postpone it, as the was a group of women squatting on the chief engineer, who among others was ground, who were singing the wildest seriously ill with fever, had suddenly of tunes to the accompaniment of tom- taken a turn for the worse, and was in toms made of square pieces of wood a very critical condition. hollowed out from beneath, and of an Soon after our return to England we even simpler instrument - an ordinary were grieved to hear that Captain Johnnarrow-necked, earthenware jar, from son himself had succumbed to the efwhich they produced various deep notes fects of this deadly coast. by beating on the mouth with the palms We had a very pleasant dinner, at of their hands. These jars varied in the conclusion of which Captain Johnheight from about three feet down to a son had again to get under way to profew inches, according to the depth of ceed to New Calabar, where Major note they were intended to produce. Macdonald was due for another -palaWhile the women were singing and ver."
We were invited to accompany playing, the men and boys danced them, and offered a cabin on board ; not the war-dance, which is nearly al- but the Nubia, which was to take us ways performed by the males of savage home, was due the next day, and being tribes, but rather the class of that of afraid of crossing her en route, we had the Gawazi” women on the Nile, or, I reluctantly to decline. As it turned
out, the Pheasant returned from her |coral bead that he always wore trip before the arrival of the Nubia, so done full justice to. that we should, after all, have had After a short time a little slave came plenty of time to see this, to us, new in with two dishes on one a substanbit of country:
tial piece of roast meat, on the other Before leaving, the captain gave me palm-oil “ chop” — quite the most delithe following letter, which he had re- cious mixture that I had ever tasted of ceived the day before from an Opobo shrimps stewed in palm-oil, with just a chief, and which I reproduce as a good pinch of ground chillies. It was so example of “ English as she is” writ good that I have often regretted that by in the Niger delta :
the time palm-oil reaches England it
has lost its freshness; and although SYLVANIA VILLA, OPOBO FARM, March 26, 1889.
doubtless excellent for the purpose for Captain Johnson,
which it is imported – the manufacture H.M.S. Pheasant. SIR, — I herewith much pleasure to send
soap, and the bright-colored but you one young Parrot by my boys.
rather unsavory-smelling grease which I have tried all my best to send you and is applied to railway carriage wheels old Parrot, but sorry that I cannot succeed. it is no longer suitable for culinary purI therefore beg you to receive this young poses. one, and I think please God he will in future Everything eatable on this coast is become a good bird to play with. I am described as chop ;” and judging very sorry indeed of not getting you old from our host's answers to various bird, who is already speak well. However, questions of mine on the flora and if you teach this young one he will surely fauna of his estate, he seemed to divide be a good Bird.— I remain, sir, your most nature into two great classes. "Them obedient seryant,
make chop,” or “them no good for APPIAFI.
chop,” was the only information I could On another day we rowed off to see extract from him on any subject conKing Charles Holliday, whose planta- nected with natural history. Being a tion lies on a small creek about two practical man, the “make-chop" class hours up the river. Our route lay was greatly in excess of the other, as through the same sort of scenery as we we noticed when after lunch we made had passed going to Ju-ju Town, but a tour of his scrupulously clean village the creeks were narrower, and much and well-kept estate, which was chiefly more intricate ; and in the utter ab- planted with cacao and coffee shrubs. sence of landmarks, one wondered how I had been wondering during our any one could find his way about this stroll at the remarkable absence of popwatery labyrinth.
ulation, and imagined that the people On arriving at Holliday's landing, we must all be away at the markets or elsefound him awaiting us with a few of where, when the mystery was solved his men, and were escorted by him by the appearance round the corner of through the village to his compound. two women carrying water-jars, clad Passing through a broad arched gate in the scantiest of possible costumes, way, we entered a high-walled enclos- whom Holliday imperiously waved away ure some two hundred yards square, in the moment he caught sight of them. one corner of which stood a well-built I asked why he had done so, and he European-looking house giving on to a explained that his people, not being covered courtyard. Going up a broad dressed in a style to which I was accusAight of wooden steps, we were shered tomed, he had ordered them all to reinto the dining-room, a nicely decorated main in their huts during my visit. As apartment, whose most prominent fea- we were anxious to secure some phototure was a large colored photograph of graphs of native types, this was the our bost, which had been enlarged from last thing we wanted, and the king was an amateur's negative sent to England accordingly asked to rescind his order. for the purpose, in which the large I also photographed Holliday, with
his six wives and their numerous off-| wives, dressed like the first pair ; while spring.
As the scene a good a fifth, swathed in a wrapper of broad typical example of a West African blue-and-red stripes, stands slightly in household, I will try to describe it. the background. All have little black
The left third of the picture is occu- piccanjnnies astride their hips. At the pied by the wall of a two-storied, ga- top of the wooden steps, forming the bled, wooden house, built of alternately apex of the pyramid, is the hope of the light and dark painted boards, and family, the king's eldest son a cheery pierced by casemented windows, with boy of twelve, who, dressed in a white diamond-shaped leaded panes. The linen shirt many sizes too short for eaves, projecting some twelve feet, him, is preparing to slide down the banform a broad verandah, supported by isters. In the foreground, seated on a tall wooden uprights, the feet of which stone outside the platform, the youngest rest on a dwarf stone wall, supporting wife, aged eleven, is playing with two a wooden platform, surrounded by a little slave girls, probably rather her balustrade, and approached by broad seniors — one, dressed like the elder stone steps. At right angles to these women, in a colored check cotton wrapsteps, and running diagonally across per, the other in the costume of Eve the picture from the entrance door on before the fall. She, on the contrary, the first floor to the platform, is an is arrayed in the smartest of European, open wooden staircase, of a step-ladder low-necked, short-sleeved, frilled frocks, style of architecture. In the back-evidently made for a child of six, beground is a long, low shed, its walls neath which her patent-leather shod hidden by a collection of palm-oil bar- feet dangled in the air, apparently susrels, and surmounted by a corrugated pended by half a yard of white cotton iron roof. On one of the lower steps pantaloon. In the lower right-hand of the platform stands Holliday him- corner of the picture, marking the exself, scratching his chin; on his head tremity of the pyramid's base, is the is a Panama straw hat, with the broad most important personage of all brim turned down. A green cord is young gentleman of about three sumfastened round his neck, threaded mers, who, decked in a scarlet cloth through a large single piece of red shirt, which has prudently been concoral, which, hanging in the centre of structed to allow for the growth of its the upper opening of his white linen wearer, is standing in the place and jacket, takes the place of collar, neck- position proper and habitual to him – tie, and scarf - pin. A red - and - blue well to the front, in an attitude of check duster, wound round and round command. the waist beneath the coat, reaches a As the day was getting on, little below the knees, showing a few had another visit to make, we had to inches of bare black leg above the bid farewell to our pleasant and hospiwhite cotton socks, and black leather table host far sooner than I should have laced ankle-boots. Leaning over the wished. After winding our way among balustrade to his right are two of his the creeks for half an hour, our boat wives - one fat, and thirty, the other shot through the usual almost hidden equally fat, but not more than twenty entrance to that on which Dublin years old, each dressed in a single piece Green's village was situated. of check duster material passed round
was very different from the body under the arms, rather higher that which presented itself in the Holthan a European low dress, but more liday domain a dirty, badly kept vilthan making up at the skirt for its super- lage, looking damp and gloomy beneath fluity above. Legs and feet are bare, the shadow of large, overhanging trees; and a checked handkerchief wound crowds of men and women with little tightly round the head completes their clothing, and apparently less to do, attire. On Holliday's right and left, sprawling in groups near their doorsitting on the stone steps, are two other I steps ; while naked children of various
ages staggered under the weight of time, claimed wider popularity. But to enormous water-jars on their way to those who know the history of the cenand from the river. The appearance tury, Richard Owen stands out as the of, one of these, I must own, at first name of most honor and distinction in rather startled me a perfectly white the domain of science. child of some ten years old, naked as A whole generation having come to the day she was born. A closer inspec- the front since Owen withdrew from tion, however, revealed the white hair public life, to live in comparative reand pink eyes of an albino, and ex- tirement, there are many who have plained the cause of her appearance. almost forgotten his name and his
Like that of Holliday, the house of work. But the chiefs of science, the Dublin Green was surrounded by a : men of light and leading,” knew and walled yard, after passing through honored the grand old man. When his which, and ascending some steep steps, death came, there was an instant and we were ushered into a stuffy, untidily spontaneous desire that his dust should kept room, in which the head wife was be laid in Westminster Abbey. Hapsitting. She was a fat, dirty, middle- pily for the dean — who knew less aged woman with a loud laugh, and was about Owen than about Tennyson or apparently much amused at our visit. Browning, and who had expressed his After drinking some tea we took our unwillingness to receive any more dead departure, and none too soon, for a bodies into the crowded soil within the chilly' dampness was rising from the walls — it was announced that, by his river, and before we were clear of the own desire, the patriarch of science creeks it was pitch-dark.
was to be laid in Ham Church by the On Wednesday, April the 3rd, the side of his wife, who was there buried. Nubia steamed in, and the following The quaint and picturesque cottage in day saw us homeward bound, very Richmond Park, Sheen Lodge, where sorry not to be able to stay any longer he resided during the last forty years under Captain Boler's hospitable roof, of his life, was assigned to him by from which he had promised us many the queen after the Exhibition of 1851, interesting expeditions. His parting of which he was one of the commiswords were, "You must come back sioners, and to the success of which he again and do the rivers thoroughly ; ” largely contributed. The intention was an invitation which we still hope some to give another larger mansion, but at day to accept. ZELIE COLVILE. the moment there was a question as to
whether the property belonged to the
or to the king of Hanover.
Sheen Lodge became vacant before the From The Leisure Hour. rights of the crown to the larger house SIR RICHARD OWEN, F.R.S., LL.D., K.C.B.
were settled, and Professor Owen told The long illness and great age of Sir Prince Albert, as he then was called, Richard Owen had prepared us for the that, if allowed to choose, he would announcement of his death, on Decem- greatly prefer the Lodge in Richmond ber 18, aged eighty-nine. No name Park. The arrangement was more illustrious in the world's annals made, with the approval of the queen, appeared in the crowded obituary of who had always had warm personal the year 1892. Many were the men of regard for the professor. science who then passed to the major- In this charming retreat Professor ity, some of them also at a great age, Owen found a congenial and comfort
Sir George Airy, the astronomer able home. Gradually the grounds royal, and Professor Adams, the joint were planted with all manner of trees, discoverer with Leverrier of the planet till it became quite a modern ArboreNeptune. The two greatest of the tum. He was also a great grower of poets of the Victorian age, Whittier roses. On the green lawn of the Lodge, and Tennyson, who died near the same overlooking Richmond Park, he re
ceived many a distinguished visitor, he afterwards learned that the young and enjoyed the company of his friends. queen was sitting to listen to the expoHumble tenants shared the protection sition, while the prince was pointing and kindness of the good master. His with the rod to the diagrams on the presence in the garden, when without blackboard. She knew the learned strangers, was the signal for flocks of lecturer better before long, and it was birds to greet him, settling on his head by royal invitation that Owen accompaand shoulders ; and he well knew the nied the Prince and Princess of Wales tastes and habits of these unimprisoned on their Nile voyage and first visit to pets and pensioners. He was as ob- Egypt. servant as Gilbert White of Selborne, Having not long ago, in 1883, at the or his friend and neighbor Mr. Jesse. time of his retiring froin official life, Indoors he was almost always busy. given in the Leisure Hour a memoir of His one favorite recreation was music, Professor Owen, with a pretty full noin which he had the finest taste. His tice of his chief works, accompanied by own instrument was the violoncello, a portrait kindly sent by himself, it is which it was a treat to see the philos- not our purpose here to enter into deopher handle.
tails. Our desire is only to lay a wreath Throughout his last long illness, on the tomb of one so loved and honmany incidents were from time to time ored. The scientific journals have recorded, showing the honor in which given copious descriptions of his vari- . he was regarded, and the affection ous books and writings, the mere cataborne to him. With the most distin- logue of which would fill pages of our guished of his neighbors at Richmond magazine. A list of them, with dates and Kew he had always been on terms and all particulars, will no doubt form of intimacy, and the Princess Mary of an appendix in the official life, which Teck, with her family, were unwearied is announced to be undertaken by Sir in their attentions. It was this that Richard's grandson, the Rev. R. S. led the Prince of Wales, near the end, Owen. through them to seek to have a last “His contributions to literary and interview. This gracious and consid- scientific periodicals alone,” says Miss erate action was also manifest in the Agnes Crane in her interesting memoir message which was sent from Marlbor- in the Leisure Hour in 1883, 66 number ough House, also through the Princess nearly four hundred. Many of these Mary, to convey the prince's regret and are important memoirs embodying new sympathy after death. The message facts and valuable discoveries.
They was thus worded :
are to be found in the Philosophical Will you kindly express, in my name, my Transactions' (of the Royal Society), deepest sympathy with Sir Richard Owen's in the journals and magazines of the daughter-in-law at the loss of her distin- Linnean, the Zoological, the Geological, guished father - such an old and valued and other societies, in the reports of the friend of mine. ALBERT EDWARD. British Association ; and in numerous
The telegraphic message sent by the other publications." queen was equally prompt and warmly One of the earliest memoirs was on expressed. She knew how deep was the “Nautilus,” published by the Counthe prince consort's affection for Sir cil of the Royal College of Surgeons, Richard Owen, and she had often been when Owen was only twenty-seven herself present when in olden days the years of age. His collaborateur iu this professor came to give instruction to work was Dr. George Bennett of Sydher children in natural history. Owen ney, who was fortunate enough to proused to tell of his first visit to the pal-cure a specimen during a cruise in the ace for this purpose. When Prince Polynesian seas. George Bennett must Albert and the boys, with others in now be of extreme age, having been attendance, were in the room, he no- one of the earliest settlers in New ticed that the door was left open, and South Wales, and his “ Zoological Re