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Fifth Series, Volume LXXXII.
No. 2554; - June 10, 1893.
CONTENTS. L POLITICS AND PROGRESS IN SIAM. By the Hon. Geo. Curzon,
Fortnightly Review, .
643 II. VERA BLAVATSKY. By Edith Staniforth, English Illustrated Magazine, 653 III. SEVEN AND THREE. By Arthur Gaye, National Review,
666 IV. SOME ENGLISH CHARACTERS IN FRENCH FICTION. By Arthur F. Davidson, . Macmillan's Magazine,
676 V. THE LAST OF THE PEPLOws. By G. B. Burgin,
Chambers' Journal, ·
685 VI. FANNY KEMBLE. By Ella MacMahon,
692 VII. LANDSLIPS, .
All The Year Round,
697 VIII. SAFED,
Chambers' Journal, .
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tiny treasured mystery
Which by and by will be a rose ; And every day I watch to see
Its tender silken sheath unclose.
THE ARTIST'S LAST PICTURE. On the painter's easel stands The latest picture from his hands. The canvas shows a sunset glow Reflected in the lake below, While mountains farther from the sight Have caught the day's departing light, And autumn's tints upon the leaves Are paled by these the sunset weaves.
On rainy days and windy days,
It seems so frail and soft and small, I almost wonder as I gaze
If it will ever blow at all.
Oh, nevermore that rosy sky
But there will come at last, I think,
A dawn when I shall wake to see An open blossom, sweet and pink,
Where my one bud was wont to be. Spectator.
OUR GREATER SUN.
The hand that laid those colors fair,
ONE soft rich glow, half roseate and half
gold; One sea of sunset glory in the sky – Its verge invisible, its end untold
That melts into the blue insensibly. The source of all the gorgeous scene has.
met And passed the far horizon's mystic bar, But leaves its benediction brightening yet
The evening sky with glories spread afar. Long years ago, another, brighter source
Of glory passed our dim horizon line ; Nor can we see that light until, our course
Of twilight o'er, we hail the dawn divine. Its glorious after-glow alone we see, Until we wake, sun of our souls, with thee..
MARGARET KATE ULPH. Chambers' Journal.
Ah! not in night his day declined ;
REGINALD CAMBRIDGE. Sunday Magazine.
IN A LONDON GARDEN. I KNOW of gardens far away
Where thrushes in the laurels sing ; Where hyacinths stand stiff and gay,
And daffodils in clusters swing.
SHADOWS come and shadows go
All the world is full of shadows ;
In the springtime, through the meadows. Love is not the only aim
All mankind are seen pursuingPleasure, fortune, glory, fame ;
Failing these, the quest renewing After shadows, just the same. Shadows come and shadows go ;
Sorrow does not stay forever ;
Go thy way, complaining never.
But in this dim town-plot of mine,
With sooty houses hemmed about, There are no flowers fair and fine
To shake their shining petals out: Yet here and there athwart the sun
Some bright leaf glitters like a gem ; And there is one bud, only one,
A tight bud on a slender stem.
BY THE HON. GEO. CURZON.
From The Fortnightly Review. as follows : Au area of two hundred and POLITICS AND PROGRESS IN SIAM. fifty to three hundred thousand square
miles supports a population which the
foolish fancy of writers has elevated to SIAM is a country which, though it from thirty to forty millions, but which lies, but little off the beaten track of the best authorities and oldest residents Asiatic travel, is rarely visited by mem- estimate at between six and nine-milbers of the globe-trotting genus. They lions, of whom probably one million or linger a week amid the enchanting more are Chinese. The bulk of this bowers of Ceylon, and they pass at population is concentrated in the valley express speed through the equatorial of the Menam, or “ Mother of Waters,” showers of Singapore. But for Bang- which is the Nile of Siam, diffusing, kok they seldom turn aside, and in their through numerous confluents, creeks, recollection Siam is merely a name on and canals, the rich waters over the the map, instead of a coign in the mem- country, whence the rice crops spring ory. Indeed, the extent of popular that are the staple source of occupation, knowledge about Siam in England did livelihood, and export. Great teak fornot a short time ago probably much ests line the banks of its upper tributaexceed the fact that it is a country ries, fish swarm in the lower 'reaches, which produces and cherishes white together supplying the second and third elephants, and once produced, while national industries and sources of leaving others to cherish, a peculiar wealth. The advantageous position of variety of twins. Even in writings the Menam valley, which is the geoupon the subject a singular embroidery graphical centre of the Indo-Chinese of fiction has been woven round the peninsula, has always given to the peoreal Siam. Ludicrously exaggerated ple that held it a superior influence and estimates of its population and re- importance, and ains how it is that sources have been given by writers a nation with so troubled and obscure a claiming to be competent; and it is one history as the Siamese has extendeil of the regrets of the visitor that he and exerts its authority over regions so can find no modern work with respect- widely different in character and situaable claims to accuracy or research. tion as the northern Malay states, the The visits of Siamese princes to En- valleys of the Salwin and the Mekong, gland in recent years, and their partici- and even the remote highlands that pation in the advantages of English border upon Tonkin and Annan. public school and university education, Many of these outlying portions are have somewhat dissipated the prevail- still unvisited and unknown ; though ing ignorance, and have acquainted our yearly more and more of their secrets countrymen with the fact that here lies are being surrendered to the energies another nation endeavoring to pass principally of French explorers, who, through the stubborn throes of a second for motives of adventure, commerce, or birth, eagerly affecting the externals, if politics disguised as either, have connot really convinced by the spirit, of ducted for years a systematic investigamodern civilization, and aspiring to tion of eastern and north-eastern Siam. follow at a distance in the enlightened The characteristics of the inhabitants footsteps of Japan. A visit to the coun- of the Menam basin are more familiar. try and its capital will provoke surprise The men are dark-skinned, lithe, wellat the extent of the progress which has proportioned, robust ; the women have already been made, but will also dis- beautiful figures and busts and an erect close the long vistas that inust still be stature - advantages which are set off traversed before Siam can claim to by the national dress, consisting of a have successfully fortified her integrity linen cloth drawn across the bosom against the dangers by which it is below the armpits, and of the Siamese threatened.
panung, or petticoat, tucked up and Figures and facts may be summarized | fastened between the legs (like the
Cambogian sampot, with which it is cardinal national vices. A Siamese will identical), so as to constitute a sort of stake money on anything ; licensed breeches or drawers. This garment is gambling-houses exist in the cities, and worn by both sexes and all classes from are a large source of income to the govthe king to the bond-slave, the differ- ernment, who farm out the monopoly ; ence in material, cotton or silk, being a royal lottery is extensively patronized the only indication of rank. Both men in Bangkok. The gambling-houses and and women of the lower orders have the pawnshops, which are their corolbare legs and feet. In the upper classes lary, and which are stocked with objects the men wear a white cotton jacket pawned or stolen, are a disgrace to the above the panung, and both sexes wear capital. In some streets every other white or colored cotton stockings and house is a pawnshop, kept by a Chinashoes.
man. If suppression of these places To an European eye ihe yood looks, were found difficult, at least a great if they anywhere exist, of both men reduction in their numbers might be and women are irremediably destroyed made, while substantial by the universal use of the betel, which would accrue to the crown by the imblackens and corrodes the teeth, and position upon them of a heavy tax. causes them to protrude, which renders The Buddhist priesthood in Siam is the spittoon an indispensable article of very powerful, and is the possessor furniture, and is responsible for the of splendid temples, considerable engreat splashes of red saliva that may be dowments, and great privileges, a seen everywhere adorning the ground, position which may be explained, not as they have been ejected from the so much by the vitality of the relimouths of the passers-by. Like their gious spirit, as by the fact that every fellows in Annam, the Siamese women man in Siam, from the king downenjoy great freedom and influence. wards, is compelled at some period in Being of a most mercantile and man- his life, usually after he has attained his aging temperament, they become the majority, to enter its ranks, to shave self-constituted stewardesses, treasur-his head, and don the yellow robe, to ers, and lucksters of the home, or live in the monastery, and beg his shop, or store. They may be seen by food from door to door in the mornthe hundred going to market, cach ing, w eat nothing from noon to nightseated alone in her own canoe with her fall, and to take part in the prescribed wares spread out before her. The last temple ritual and teaching. The last king kept a bodyguard of Amazons, king served for over twenty years in with red coats and trousers and small the priesthood ; and the present king carbines; but the present sovereign and the crown-prince have both filled has converted them into a species of their turn. So monk-ridden a country interior palace police. The national does not afford a favorable field for character is docile, indolent, light- Christian missions; and though the hearted; gay. The Siamese are devoted French Catholics have been long and to the holiday-making and cerenionies honorably established in the country, and processions which accompany the and America has also a band of enermost important anniversaries or inci- getic workers, Siam is one of the few (lents of life, death, and religion, and arenas from which British propaganwhich cause
an infinite amount of dists have wisely held aloof. money to be squandered and time lost. The capital, Bangkok, occupies a fine They love games : kite-flying, a sort position on either, but principally on of : shuttlecock-football, and fighting the left bank of the Menam, at a diswith cocks, crickets, beetles, and fish; tance of twenty-live miles by water though it is to be surmised that the from the sea. It is not an old city, main attraction of these pursuits con- having been entirely built during the sists in the scope thereby afforded for last hundred years, after a change of betting and gambling, which are the capital had been necessitated owing to
the complete destruction of Ayuthia, | little more closely, and see that the the former seat of government, by the water of the river is surcharged with Burmese in 1767. The Menam at and every abomination, or who follow the below the city presents the uniform malodorous and shallow creeks, will be characteristics of the rivers of Indo- inclined to share the opinion of the China. It has a bar at its mouth, which English engineer who pronounced it does not admit of the passage of vessels one of the dirtiest cities of the East, drawing more than thirteen and a half the home of cholera, small-pox, and feet, and which the Siamese are said to fever. Bangkok has, however, enorcherish as the palladium of their city mously changed during the last ten from maritime invasion. The broad years ; for in addition to the river-city and tranquil bosom of the river is of which I have been speaking, and the framed by bananas, palms, and bam-city proper, containing the palace, pubboos, elegant wats, or pagodas, gleam lic offices, and principal buildings, súrupon the water's edge ; houses built rounded by a white battlemented wall, upon piles or pontoons line the margin ; a new land-city has sprung into existand crowds of boats dart up and down ence, containing many miles of well-laid the stream or attend the floating mar- streets, fringed by private residences kets. At length the signs of life, and shops, and extending far back from movement, and shipping become more the river frontage. The first street in numerous ; the chimneys of big rice- the city was opened by the last king; mills are seen pouring a pitchy trail of but the bulk of these civic improvesmoke into the air ; spacious buildings ments has been executed by his sucin the European style adorn the bank; cessor, who may be termed the Haussand the six miles of continuous city mann of modern Bangkok. Along the life, containing a population which ex- principal streets runs a tramway, which actitude compels me to reduce from the already pays fifteen percent. to its six hundred thousand to seven hundred shareholders ; not content with which thousand of most writers to the more return, the managing spirits are stretchmoderate total of one hundred and fifty ing an overhead electric cable to suthousand to two hundred thousand, be- persede the Siamese ponies which at gin to unroll. Bangkok is a city that present pull the cars. The streets are has excited the most opposite verdicts, laid upon a substratum of brick, and a according to the circumstances under steam - roller sustains European illuwhich it is contemplated. Those who sions. Telegraphi and telephone wires regard it from the picturesque or senti- line the roadway ; and when Europeans mental point of view will be fascinated are seen dashing by in well-appointed by the broad and crowded river, with vehicles, the spectacle might well be its hundreds of branching canals and one many a thousand miles removed creeks, alive with canoes, sampans, from Siam. market-boats, cargo-boats, houseboats, To an Englishman, undoubtedly, the gunboats, shrieking launches, and big most striking feature of moderu Bangmerchant steamers from Hongkong or kok is the predominance of English Singapore. The gilded spires of the associations and ideas. Of the Eurotemples, and the glittering tiled roofs pean population, who number between of the shrines soar high into the air on six hundred and seven hundred, over either side ; and if this animated scene one-third are English, and of these be further enhanced by the pageantry some forty to fifty are in the govof the annual processions, when the ernment employ. The next strongking visits the temples in a flotilla of est commercial influence is that of the barges and canoes of state - the nearest Germans, who, however, play no politmodern analogue to the aquatic festivals ical part. In the third rank stand the of the Venice of the Doges — few pret- Danes, of whom some twenty to thirty tier sights can be conceived. Those, are government employés, and are popon the other hand, who scrutinize á ular with the Siamese, being capable,