Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

she did not know how her mistress would | did not even know the gentleman; but, take the offer; she was eager, because again, imagination went to work and she had not touched the piano since she showed her that he was endeavoring to left Hanford, and her soul was one that get into a government situation. Miss hungered and thirsted for music, a soul Otterbourne knew and was connected with that could only find its full expression in persons of position and influence, and pain or pleasure through music. Thus it might possibly induce them to get him a came about that Richard Cable heard her secretaryship or a colonial appointment. sing on the night he was lingering under The kind little heart made its plans; the the trees of the park. letters were thought out, and the list of those to whom application was to be made was drawn up; all that Miss Otterbourne needed to know to put all her engines in play was the name and position of the man. But when she approached the subject, however delicately, Josephine winced, changed color, trembled, and entreated permission to leave the room.

[ocr errors]

The little old lady was not without that atmosphere of romance hanging about her heart that enlarged and transformed common objects and gave them ephemeral and fantastic values and shapes. She thought about what Mrs. Sellwood had told her of Josephine, and as she had taken a great fancy for Josephine, she wanted to learn more. She wrote for particulars to her sister, but unsuccessfully, and every attempt to wrest her story from the girl equally failed. As she had so few facts on which to build, she fell back on conjecture, and speedily came to treat her conjectures as assured realities. There could be no question that Josephine was a lady, the child of gentlefolks, who had been suddenly ruined posed by the failure of the great Coast of Guinea Bank, which had recently brought down so many families. She was an orphan, and had lost everything, and she had fled her old home and its associations owing to a love-affair with a gentle- | had much family pride in her, and loved man of position to whom she had been to talk of the family greatness, its achieveengaged, but who, having no resources ments and its matches in the past. It himself, had broken off the match on her was a sad thing that Cholmondely Otterlosing her fortune. Miss Otterbourne had bourne, her brother, had died early, and in former days had several offers; but as that thus the direct male representation she never could assure herself that the ceased. As the old lady loved to talk, suitors were not in love with her estate and loved especially to talk of her nephew, rather than herself, she had refused them on whom her ambition concentrated, she all; and now, in her old age, had a long-was not silent with Josephine. ing for a little romance, and a desire to "I suppose you have seen him, Cable?" take some part in the great concert of she said. If you know Mrs. Sellwood, love that bursts from all creation, if she you have no doubt seen the captain. He were only to play a little feeble accompa- | is a very fine man, and has such splendid niment to the song of another. What a flutter it produces in an old heart on which hopes and loves have flashed and flickered and died out to white dust to be able, before the last death-chill falls, to assist at the kindling, or to fan when lighted, or to sit by and hearken to the roar of a lovefire! So poor old Miss Otterbourne having made out to her own satisfaction and sincere conviction that Josephine was in love, and had been badly treated, turned the matter about in her mind, and schemed whether it were possible for her to take up the broken engagement and hammer and weld it together again. How she was to do this, she did not know. She

"There is no help for it," said Miss Otterbourne to herself; "I must wait till I have gained her confidence. Poor young people! Poor dear girl! She is growing thin and pale here. I can see the change in her. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. It is only hope deferred, not extinguished. I am clever in these matters; I will make all right in time." so she sup- Miss Otterbourne was warmly attached to her nephew, Captain Sellwood, who would succeed to Bewdley after her de cease, when he would assume by royal license the name and arms of Otterbourne in addition to Sellwood. The old lady

eyes, like those of an ox. I wish he would marry. I am getting to be an old woman, and I want to see the young generation settled, and another rising about it. I should be happy, I think, quite happy, with little grandnephews and nieces, nephews especially, trotting about these passages, and up and down the stairs. I am afraid that Captain Sellwood must have met with a disappointment. You have not heard of such a rumor, have you, Cable?"

"There has been no such tale, Miss Otterbourne, as far as I am aware.'

[ocr errors]

"I cannot conceive of a girl refusing him, he is so handsome, so dignified, and

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Have

"What do you think of him? you ever seen his equal? ExceptThe old lady laughed. "That is not quite a fair question;" she assumed a roguish air. Every girl thinks one man the ideal of what man should be, but after after that one, eh, Cable?" Josephine hesitated; then evaded the answer by saying: "I spoke the exact truth, Miss Otterbourne, about there be ing no reports circulating concerning Captain Sellwood; but I believe it is true, and Mr. and Mrs. Sellwood know it, that he was refused."

"Who was she?" asked Miss Otterbourne.

"A very unworthy person," answered Josephine.

That the captain was certain to visit Bewdley, and that she would have to meet bim-she in the capacity of a servant, occurred to Josephine, and made her uneasy. But on further consideration, this uneasiness passed away. It was bred of pride, and her pride was much broken. The prospect that he would come to Bewdley gave her courage and hope. Before he arrived, he would have been prepared to see her his father or mother would be

certain to do that.

She thought a good deal about him, as Miss Otterbourne spoke of him so frequently; and she trusted that his arrival would relieve her from one of her great

distresses. She could mention to him the

condition of affairs in the house. As heir to the estate, as the person responsible next to her mistress, he ought to be told everything. Then he could act as he saw fit. She would have fulfilled her duty, and the responsibility would rest on the proper shoulders.

66

[merged small][ocr errors]

The incurious men at home who dwell, And foreign lands with all their store Of various wonders, ne'er explore, Are simply frogs within a well. Certainly Dr. Guillemard is no well-frog; on the contrary, the author of the work before us -one of the most attractive

books of travel ever published as a record of English exploration-has, Ulysseslike, wandered far in distant lands, and in two handsome volumes has given us an extremely interesting account of his adventures and the results of his scientific investigations.

Ignotis errare locis, ignota videre
Flumina gaudebat, studio minuente laborem.†

The Marchesa, an auxiliary screw schooner-yacht of four hundred and twenty tons, Mr. C. T. Kettlewell being captain she visited Ceylon, Formosa, the Liu-Kiu and owner, left Cowes on January 8, 1882; Islands, Japan, Hongkong, the little-known islands of the Sulu Archipelago, and the territory of the North Borneo Company. Returning to Singapore to take in stores, the Marchesa then proceeded to Sumbawa, Celebes, and other islands of the Malay Archipelago and to New Guinea; she returned to Southampton on April 14, account of his visit to the island of For1884. Dr. Guillemard gives an interesting

mosa,

[ocr errors]

for a visit. The western half of the island but a few days only could be spared is chiefly occupied by Chinese, while the of whom an old writer in his "Account of eastern portion is inhabited by aborigines, know that these natives are very wild and the Island Formosa says: "You must barbarous, and that a certain ship called the Golden Lion being driven upon the coast by tempest, they killed the captain the natives fully deserve to this day, for and most of his crew." This reputation room wrecked on the eastern and southern certain death awaited every one shipshores of the island for many years, “the

"Tell

Captain Sellwood comes on Tuesday," said Miss Otterbourne one day. Mrs. Grundy to have the blue ready."

"I am

Josephine drew a long breath. so glad! " she said. The exclamation escaped her unintentionally. Miss Otterbourne looked surprised, and then annoyed, and said no more to her that evening.

The Cruise of the Marchesa to Kamschatka and New Guinea; with Notices of Formosa, Liu-Kiu, and various Islands of the Malay Archipelago. By F. H. H. GUILLEMARD, M.A., M.D. (Cantab.) In two vols. London: 1886.

† Ovid, Met. iv. 294.

head-hunting propensities of some of the | searches in micro-organisms, by every sacred

little boats that in China do duty for coffins, does not seem to be suffering from any par ticular press of business.

Formosans being as keen as those of any axiom of medicine, we can confidently predict Dyak." In 1867 the United States consul the certain death of every inhabitant in the at Amoy concluded a treaty with Tok-e- course of the next two or three days, although, tok, the chief of the southern tribes, by with the habitual caution of a physician, we which the latter engaged to protect any strongest lingering until the end of the week. may admit the possibility of one or two of the stranger who might land, and to permit But next day everything is as usual, and the the erection of a fort as a refuge for ship-fat old gentleman who constructs the queer wrecked mariners. In 1881 a lighthouse was erected at Nan-sha, the extreme south of the island, and this part of Formosa, we are told," may now be considered tolerably safe, but for any one in search of adventure the east coast still remains open. It is more than doubtful, however, whether the results of the explorer's experiences would ever be given to the world." The gorges and precipices on the east coast of Formosa must be tremely grand.

There are few more stupendous cliffs than those of the Yosemite Valley in California, and if any one wishes for a sensation of height, combined with others, to a novice, of a less pleasing nature, he has only to

[blocks in formation]

The island of Formosa, a third part of which only lies within the tropics, is about two hundred and ten miles long and seventy broad. The soundings in the For mosa Strait, which separates the island from the mainland of China opposite Foochow, show the island to be connected ex-with the mainland by a submarine bank submerged to a depth of not more than twenty to forty fathoms. The eastern face of the island, on the contrary, abuts immediately upon a deep sea, soundings of more than a thousand fathoms being found within a short distance of its shores. Here, then, we have "the eastern limit of the vast continent with which at no very remote geological period the islands of Borneo and Sumatra were also united." The zoology of Formosa leads to the same conclusion. The study of the Formosan avi-fauna "shows that this tendency to Indian and Malayan rather than to Chinese forms is most striking." In Formosa there are forty-three species peculiar to the island - an enormous number, as our author says, considering the fact that the Chinese coast is barely sixty miles distant- and of these twenty are representatives of regions other than the adjacent mainland. The same tendency is noticeable among the mammals. These facts, as the late Mr. Swinhoe and the illustrious Mr. Wallace have shown, would lead us to conclude that

in search of birds' eggs over the grand sea wall of Hoy in the Orkneys. I have dropped my pebble over the edge of the 2,000 feet of perpendicularity which the Penha d'Aguia, in Madeira, opposes to the Atlantic surges, and have admired the glories of the ironbound coast of Norway. But all these fade into nothingness beside the giant precipices of For

mosa.

Keelung and Tamsui in the north of the island are the principal harbors; the former town partly owes its prosperity to the proximity of some coal beds, which the Chinese have for a long time worked "in the most primitive fashion;" shafts were abandoned from having become flooded. English miners were imported in 1876, and since that time the output has been steadily increasing, as much as five hundred tons per diem being an estimated quantity. The country round Keelung is charming in its rich green dress of bamboo groves and paddy; but the odors of the town, which Mr. Tainter has stig matized as the "filthiest town in the universe," are probably unrivalled.

Japan in summer is unpleasant; China more then occasionally oversteps the limits of our powers of endurance; but for breadth and expression, for solidity, tone, and execution, the perfumes of Keelung must rank far above those of either. Here the sanitary imspector existeth not, and carbolic is a thing unknown. No respectable disease can complain of not having a fair field. By all the laws that modern science has taught us, by all our re

Formosa should be classed among the recent continental islands, and also that at the time of its connection with the mainland the ancestors of the Formosan, Indian, and Malayan forms were equally dispersed throughout the intervening, and at that time undivided, continent. After the separation of Formosa and the Malayan Islands, the altered geological and climatological conditions were such as to cause the disappearance of many forms of animal life, except in localities where the required conditions, such as dense forests or high mountain ranges, still remained. The immense number of peculiar species, however, tends to show that Formosa must have be come detached from the mainland at some tolerably remote period, for we know, from a consideration of our own as well as of other

islands, that the progress of formation of a species is one of a by no means rapid charac

ter.

various kinds, does not hold out any inducement as a place of home residence; "the visitor, unless he be a naturalist, will subscribe to the opinion once expressed before the Geographical Society by a distinguished traveller, that Formosa, like Ireland, is a very good country to live From Formosa the Marchesa proceeded

There are no active volcanoes in Formosa, but constant evidences of volcanic action throughout the island show that it forms a link in the great chain which runs from Kamschatka southward to the Phil-out of." ippine Islands. Hot springs and solfataras are found near Tamsui, and sulphur, to the Liu-Kiu (Loochoo) group of islands, though forbidden by the Chinese governwhich lie two hundred and fifty miles ment, is produced and exported to Hong- E.N E. of Formosa. These islands have kong. The three or four millions of been seldom visited by Europeans, as Chinese that people Formosa gain their they lie far out of the beaten track, and living chiefly as cultivators of the varied the inhabitants are disinclined to permit vegetable products of the rich soil. They the exploration of their country. They are not a mining people. The country produces enormous quantities of rice in the plains and also sugar; in jute, indigo, tobacco, tea, grass cloth fibre, rattans, and rice-paper so called,* a considerable trade is carried on. The dense primeval for ests of Formosa produce an almost inexhaustible supply of camphor. The tree which yields the camphor of commerce is a kind of laurel (Camphora officinarum), and the Chinese inhabitants of Formosa steadily advance in their search for this valuable wood, which fetches high prices at Hongkong and other Chinese ports, but the export of late years has steadily diminished owing to the hostility of the natives, for additional ground "is only gained at the cost of many a Chinaman's head." Formosa, though not strictly tropical, is extremely hot; the rainfall in the north and east is very heavy during the prevalence of the north-eastern monsoon. From November to the end of April more than one hundred inches fall at Tamsui, due to the Kurosiwo, or Japanese current, the Gulf Stream of the East. As the monsoon blows over this heated water, and comes in contact with the great mountain ranges in the north and centre of the island, a surcharge of moisture is precipitated, and to the eastern coasts of China "Formosa acts as a sort of umbrella," and the winter and spring in those Chinese districts are a period of almost uninterrupted sunshine. Notwithstanding its pleasant European name, Formosa, being no stranger to climatic eccentricities of

The so-called rice-paper used by the Chinese for painting on is the pith of a plant of the ivy family, the Aralia papyrifera of Sir William Hooker. Dr. Guillemard says it is peculiar to Formosa, and grows wild in many parts of the island "It is pared concentrically by hand, and the thin sheets produced are moistened and joined at the edges, and finally pressed and dried, when it is ready for the Chinese artist to depict upon it the discords in red and green he so generally affects,"

visited

were visited by Captain Basil Hall in 1816, who gives the first detailed account in later times, in his "Voyage of the Alceste and Lyra;" he describes the inhabitants as a quiet and peace-loving race, to whom traders, rum, guns, and other implements of civilization are practically unknown, and whose natural tendencies seem to be towards virtue rather than vice. The voyagers of the Marchesa were curious to know how far the changes of threequarters of a century had served to destroy the many charms of the self-styled "nation that observes propriety;" and happily, as Dr. Guillemard says, they were not doomed to be disenchanted. Commodore Perry, an American, whose account, however, of the character of the inhabitants does not tally with that given by Captain Basil Hall-for he says the people are ignorant, cunning, and insincere this group of islands in 1854, and spent several months in Okinawa-sima, the largest island of the archipelago; he established a treaty between the two countries, in which the Liu-Kiuans agreed to show all courtesy to vessels sailing under the American flag. These islands are partially volcanic, and "form one of the links in the great plutonic chain that skirts the eastern shores of Asia, and, passing southward through the Philippines and Moluccas, joins the southern and yet more remarkable belt which traverses Sumatra, Java, and the islands to the eastward." Landing at Napha-Kiang on an excellently built pier in the inner harbor, the voyagers were beset by crowds of natives whom curiosity had attracted. It was with the utmost difficulty that they were able to make way through the dense mass of humanity which surrounded them, but there was "no disorder or horseplay, such as would have been the case in England;" not a single woman was visible, but children perched on their fathers'

shoulders regarded the visitors with sol- one of the few things that Englishmen eat emn infantine wonder and quiet approval. with their fingers, and, with the habitual goodThe streets have a most peculiar appear- breeding of his race, endeavored to follow his ance, for the houses are built in little host's example. Seizing the vegetable by its compounds, separated from the street and head, he was at first somewhat dismayed to from one another by massive walls com- daunted, he again returned to the charge, got find it come off in his fingers; but, nothing posed of large blocks of coralline lime- a firm hold lower down, and commenced stone, eight to fourteen feet in height and operations. There are doubtless many things of great thickness, sloping outwards at the in the cuisine of our country which are more base like those of the old feudal castles of interesting than the butt-end of a shoot of Japan, and beautifully built. They seem tinned asparagus, and he was munching it to be of great antiquity, and the islanders with a comical air of mingled wonder and do not continue to build them at the pres-resignation, when one of us, whose gravity ent day; they were originally constructed was least disturbed by the proceeding, took for purposes of defence. Every man's compassion on him, and mildly suggested that in general there was more nutriment to be obhouse is literally his castle, the entrance tained at the soft end. His advice was at to which is through a narrow and easily once adopted, but the sudden change of exdefended door in the high wall. pression to one of complete satisfaction and approval was so irresistibly comic that we were one and all convulsed with suppressed laughter.

Within the scene changes, and in a second of time one is transported to another country. The houses, built entirely of wood, and dark brown with age, display their interior with the inviting hospitality so characteristic of Japan. The inmates, ignorant of the chairs and tables of Western civilization, recline peacefully on the thick oblong mats of plaited rice-straw, and play at shattering their nerves with the contents of liliputian teacups and still more liliputian pipes. Outside is the familiar garden that all of us, whether from books or from actual experience, know so well. The pebbly paths leading to miniature bridges over embryonic lakes, the little stone lanterns, the quaintly clipped trees- all are Japanese; and as one makes a rapid passage back to the LiuKiu Islands through the gate, not a shadow of doubt remains in one's mind as to the justice, ethnographically speaking, of their having

[ocr errors]

fallen under the dominion of the Mikado.

The vice-governor of the islands was invited on one occasion to dine on board the Marchesa, and he accepted the invitation; he was accompanied by the secretary of the governor, and a little Japanese doctor called Uyeno, who, "possessed of a vocabulary of some thirty or forty English words and nearly as many French," acted as interpreter. "The conversation at first hung fire, but the champagne being very much approved of, it became more lively as dinner went on, and before long everything was progressing swimmingly." Though knives and forks were almost unknown to the visitors, they managed them with praiseworthy dexterity after watching the right mode of using them.

Among the many dishes that must have been new to them was asparagus, and it evi

dently puzzled them to guess its origin. Uyeno's first essay at eating it was not very successful. Looking nonchalantly around, he discovered-and, doubtless, made a mental note of the fact that this was apparently

Shiuri, the capital of Okinawa-sima, possesses remarkable fortifications, which include within their three lines a vast area; the masonry is almost Cyclopean in character, and the blocks of stone are joined with wonderful accuracy. Besides the three distinct lines of irregularly constructed fortifications, "there is a perfect labyrinth of smaller walls, among which it would have been no difficult matter to lose one's self; while the citadel within the inner line rises here and there into picturesque towers and battlements, delightful to an artist's eye." Some of the walls are more than sixty feet high and of enormous thickness, and in the old days of bow-and-arrow and hand-to-hand fighting must have been impregnable.

At the south end of the courtyard of the castle of Shiuri is the entrance to the ancient palace of the kings of Liu-Kiu, a holy of holies into which no European appears to have penetrated previously to Dr. Guillemard's visit. We can imagine the interest with which our author passed between the two huge stone dragons that guarded the entrance, and found himself within the sacred precincts. But, alas! there was nothing but damp and dismal memorials of past Liu-Kiuan glory; as the visitor passed through room after room, through corridors, reception halls, women's apartments, through a perfect labyrinth of buildings, he witnessed only a state of indescribable dilapidation.

The visit to these islands resulted in

very little in the way of curiosities or zoological specimens; there seems to be great paucity of bird life; but the shortness of the visit and the crowds by which our travellers were surrounded, prevented

« ElőzőTovább »