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bably young gulls. How happy they are- the creatures !—fluttering and tumbling, ducking overhead, or swimming about in lazy circles, gradually stretching so far out to sea that they appear a mere cloud of moving dots on its surface; while, now and then, some wise old bird leaves the flock, and, rising up on his broad white wings, goes careering round and round the cliffs with his shrill scream. Truly, of all blithe bird-lives, the blithest must be that of a sea-gull on the coast of Cornwall. An hour goes swiftly by, especially a final hour. And now good-by- is it for always?-to this grand, desolate coast; this smooth half-circle of grey, mysterious, limitless sea. It will always be to us a dream of solemn content, speaking of that Infinite which rounds all mortal life, and calms all mortal cares. They would be less, we fancy, if we could come here sometimes, and drop them with the dropping sun into the bosom of the wide Atlantic. Friday.-On the top of the coach. A leaf taken eut of the book of our forefathers, and a very crumpled leaf too; not by any means to be recommended to those Sybarites who are ready to "die of a rose in aromatic pain." A very different thing from the easy railway carriages where you loll in padded laziness, with your newspaper, rug, and hot-water footstool, -is this lofty cushionless perch, where you are protected only by a low iron rail from toppling over, as 1 does not seem unlikely in these terrible Cornish roads. Still, it is inevitable, and is but a little of that honest wholesome "roughing it," the best strength of Englishmen, and Englishwomen. For, most valuable to women as to men, is the power that makes the mind master of the body, so that physical inconvenience do not ruffle it. It is good,-not to be indifferent to luxuries, but to take them at their just value, being able either to enjoy them, or do without them. Undoubtedly, in many points, the last generation which travelled from London to York on the top of a coach, day and night, winter and summer, was a finer race than ours, which goes everywhere in hansom cabs, and grumbles even in its first-class railway carriages, if it cannot be allowed to defile them with cigars.
The first shock over, that coach journey of thirty-six miles was, not a martyrdom, but a keen enjoyment. One could thoroughly understand how ne's ancestors appreciated the like. How grand was the feeling, almost school-boy like, of being at the top of everything; as high as a hay-cart, and able to see far and wide across country, mile upon mile. How deliciously fresh was the grey October morning, scarcely past sunrise, as we dashed along -level with the topmast blackberry-bunches in the sunken lanes for a few miles, and then startled a sleepy town by rattling down it with our three horses and our dog. That dog was one of the personages of the day.
He was an ugly little English terrier-harmless-
the humiliating fashion termed "all-fours "-to the
We can understand, now, what a pleasant thing, in its palmy days, coach-travelling must have been, and what a character was, almost necessarily, the true stage-coachman of old,-sober, intelligent, equal to emergencies, much enduring and kindly, careful over his horses, chatty and obliging to his passengers. For to drive a mail-coach team day after day, and year after year, and to maintain authority over the many uncomfortable varieties of passengers, jammed so long into such close contact with him and with one another, must have required no ordinary amount of temper, patience, and skill. We had not traversed a dozen miles before we began to feel a certain respect for the gone-by, almost extinct, race of English stage-coachmen.
Ours was a very good specimen of the genus. His round rosy Devon physiognomy beamed with good-nature; he seemed to know everybody we met; and to be on the best of terms with all. He had a nod and a smile, and a caressing wind of the whip, for even the roly-poly urchins who climbed on every cottage gate to see the coach go by. And when, after awhile, he picked up another passenger, his whole face glowed with satisfaction, and the two talked straight on to the journey's end.
This young man-we will do nothing to identify him, though he need not be ashamed of being "put into print," quite the contrary!-hailed the coach from the door-step of an old-fashioned house, on which stood a family group, evidently gathered there to see him off. The women-kind were redeyed; one of them urged him, in a choky voice, to "be sure to write!" A little girl hung about him, and an old man lifted his carpet-bag himself to the top of the coach.
Good-by, father!" said the young fellow, cheerfully; and, honourable to relate, though some young fellows might laugh him to scorn, he put his arm on the old gentleman's shoulder, and kissed him! Ay, in the open road, and in face of the coach and its passengers! then leaped on to the box-seat, and we were off.
The new-comer was some little time in settling himself, tying his warm "comforter" and buttoning his coat he had no great-coat; and at first, from his broad accent and general provincial air, we took him to be some young shopman, bound to see life" in Exeter or Plymouth. But when he turned round, having taken out a cigar, civilly to inquire "if smoking were disagreeable," he showed a face and manner decidedly above the country shop-keeper, and then he and the coachman fell in conversation.
And then ensued minute details, probably exaggerated enough, of the state of things in the small Devon village; which, if it were like westcountry villages in general as to its sanitary arrangements, would no doubt be decimated before the cholera was cleared out of it. The alarm was spreading fast; scarcely a hamlet or even roadside public-house did we pass, but some one asked for news about the "poor folks at Zeal." That insane terror of "cholera morbus," which in its first visitations everybody had, lingers still in full force in Devon and Cornwall. One poor woman, after listening with white face to many ghastly particulars, turned round to her neighbour with a pathetically resigned air :-"Eh, we're in the Lord's hands!" True; but if she had used her own hands to clean her dirty floor, and sweep away the dung-heap that the pigs were routing in close under her cottage window, it would have been at least as pious, and not less beneficial.
"Going to London, sir?"
"Yes, for the twenty-third time; and I hope the last. Shall be back in about two months, for good. Didn't mean to have gone up again, but I hear the cholera is very bad there. I want to take a few weeks at the cholera hospitals." (So our friend was evidently a medical student.)
"Eh, Mr. Thomas," said the poor lame old woman, looking at him almost with tears in her eyes, never mind about my niece; it's you I'm The coachman looked sideways at the fine strap-thinking of now. And 'ee's really going up to ping young fellow. "I heard you was a goin', sir. London, and the Lord knows if ee'll ever come back
"Not L. I've been in it before, and never got any harm. Besides, it's a great matter to me before I settle down here, to pick up all I can.
"It's reached here, sir. They say cholera's very preserve 'ee, and send 'ee safe home again, with a bad at Zeal Monachorum." pocket full o' love, a pocket full o' love," repeated "So I understand. Let's hear all you know the old creature, as she still stood lingering, while about it." the coachman cracked his whip.
He spoke, as heretofore, in the broad westcountry accent, but with the most gentlemanly courtesy did he help the old body out, baggage and all, and set her on a cross road leading to some retired cottages.
"Thank 'ee kindly, sir. I'm giving 'ee a peck of trouble."
"Not a bit; for I know you're rather weak on one of your legs."
"On both, sir, on both. Eh! Mr. Thomas, is that you? You that was a going up to London to the cholera?"
Our medical friend was of course appealed to on every hand. Every one seemed to know him and all his affairs, after the true pattern of provincial publicity. Most of the women greeted him with, And so 'ee be off to London, sir? The Lord send 'ee safe back again!"
"Oh yes! no fear," he would answer, with a laugh; though afterwards he was sometimes silent for a minute or two.
"So I am; and you're going to your niece's wedding. Give her my best wishes, and I hope she'll save me a bit o' the cake."
"Oh, we'll hope for the best."
"Eh, yes!" clasping her hands, and looking after him as he re-mounted. "May the Lord
"Thank'ee, thank'ee. Good-by!" called out the young fellow, as we dashed on. But he was unusually silent for the next half-mile. The question, "Which of the London hospitals are you going to?" opened a conversation in which it was almost comical to see how the provincial youth changed into the educated, gentlemanly young man, adding London breadth and polish and intelligence to his honest country ways-a rearing which has always produced the finest men, both in his profession and every other. His very tone altered, and from a dialect became the merest soupçon of an accent-rather an advantage than not to most speakers. His round, youthful, sunburnt face, when you really looked into it, had a manly decision and energy which fully accounted for the twenty-three journeys, and this last one, up to London. Frank as he was, there was not an atom of forwardness in him, or of self-consciousness. Though listening to him, one could not but have a suspicion that a young fellow, coming out of the wilds of Cornwall to work as he had worked for nine years in that tempting metropolitan isolation, that dangerous independence which is the making of strong souls, and the ruin of weak ones-must be, necessarily, rather a fine young fellow in his way.
"Yes; it was a hard grind," he said; "but I passed all right: and now I am going to start as a general practitioner. I did not intend to go up to London again, but settle down here this autumn.' (Was he thinking of "settling" in any particular way?) "However, I must take a turn at that cholera
Some miles further on, an old woman poked her head out from the inside of the coach, hallooing vociferously. "Hold hard!" shouted the medical student. work; and, since I am up, I think I shall go in for "Shall I jump down and let 'ee out?” my M.D.-it's a great help to a man even in the
country. I may be plucked-very likely I shall; still I can but try for it."
And, whatever he thought of himself, his interlocutor could not help thinking that many men have a worse chance of success. May he have won it! We were now going through the rich Devonshire country, nooky villages, crossed by streams and glens and ancient bridges, churches and parsonage. houses, which were a picture to behold; while in the distance, a long winding horizon line, blue and fair, lay the Dartmoor hills. A lovely landscape, rich with life, and all that was pleasant in life!--and to think of this young fellow going forth from it to what? Yet he was only doing his duty, and as he said himself, in answer to the old woman's pathetic benediction-"We'll hope for the best."
He was evidently a social personage, for he let fall many a fact about concerts, and dinners, and dances, hereabout, which he was now leaving behind, and he was eager to send a message to some school-fellow whom the coachman knew, but whom he himself had not seen for many years. And, as luck would have it, a few minutes later this identical person came driving past, highly respectable, in a pretty chaise, being now a well-to-do married man.
"Yes, mother's alive, and father too, and all of 'em; all well and jolly."
"Chilly work, rather," he said; "six hours on the top of a coach. But one soon gets warm; good morning."
He lifted his hat and passed on, politely nonintrusive and we never saw him more.
"Hollo! don't you know me?" cried our young doctor, quite excited. And greetings were changed between the coach and the phaeton, friendly but brief.
But that young doctor will long stand to us as a
"Are you often in these parts now?"
As the train moved
"Delighted to hear it. of as
I'll expect you when you come back from London. Good-by."
"Good-by, and glad to see you, old fellow!" So the two school-fellows parted, the doctor aying meditatively: "No, I shouldn't have known him. It's queer, meeting in this way; I haven't seen that fellow for thirteen years."
youths, who looked as if they already repented of
Our last sight of our medical friend was at the
This was the last incident of the journey, 2 except the picking up of 19 a serjeant and three recraits, slouching, stolid, chubby-faced Devon
Bude Haven.-Back View, under the Storm Tower.
NOTE.-THE JEWS OF SAFED.
THERE was published by me in Good Words for December, 1865 (page 915), and afterwards republished in my Eastward," the following statement:
"One terrible story was to the effect that the punishment of death had been inflicted on a Spanish Jewess the day before we reached Safed, for a crime in which one of the Rabbis who tried and condemned her was himself notoriously implicated. We begged the Consul to make further inquiries on the subject. This he did, assuring us that all he heard was confirmed by an intelligent Jew, who, though he hated the proceeding, feared to speak. Such is the reign of terror."
This was narrated as a fact to me and my friends by the Austrian Consular Agent, Mr. Miklasiewicz, in his own house. Sir Moses Montefiore-whose name is associated with all that is true and lovely and of good report-addressed a courteous letter to me contradicting the report as being, from his knowledge of Jewish law and customs, manifestly false. Since then Sir Moses has for the sixth time visited Palestine, and when there he received at Jerusalem two deputies, with whom he had corresponded for thirty years, from the Safed congregation, who recounted to him the true facts of the case, concluding their statement by saying, "There has been no trial, no punishment of death, nor was the Rabbi in the slightest degree implicated. Indeed, no Jewish authority in the Holy Land, nor in any part of the world, has ever passed sentence of death since the close of the great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem." Sir Moses has embodied the whole evidence received from Safed in pp. 40-42 of a published Report on his mission to the Holy Land.
The following statement on the same subject has also been received by me from the English Consul, Mr. Rogers :
"Copy of a Letter to the Rev. the Chief Rabbi of Safed.
"DAMASCUS, August 4, 1866.
"SIR,-I have received your letter dated July 23, in which you inform me that Sir Moses Montefiore has required from you an explanation regarding some charges brought against the Rabbis of Palestine in general, and against those of Safed and Tiberias in particular, in an article written by the Rev. Dr. Macleod in last December's number of the periodical entitled Good Words, and which you now ask me to refute.
"The first point in the quotation you select from the article alluded to, is, that a Jewess had been condemned to death by the Rabbis of Safed. You inform me that the woman referred to was suspected of adultery with a Moslem, and that she was banished to Damascus.
"I know nothing of this case, but I certify that a few days ago you brought to my Consular Office a Jewess who stated her name to be Romanos, and that you declared her to be the woman referred to in the article by Dr. Macleod. She also stated that she had been accused of adultery and that you had banished her from Safed, and that she is now married and living in Damascus.
"As the name of the woman is not given by Dr. Macleod, I cannot certify that this is the person alluded to; though I may add that I think it very probable that she is the person of whom some ill-disposed Jew of Safed informed the Austrian Consular Agent, stating that she had been put to death by your orders. And furthermore I may state, that during a residence of more than eighteen years in this country I never heard of any one having been put to death by order of the Rabbis. The Turkish Government, in giving to the spiritual heads of the various religious communities a certain limited jurisdiction over their respective followers, did not vest in them the power of taking the life of a fellow-creature; and I do not believe that the jurisdiction granted has ever been so construed. "The second point complained of, is, that a Jew came from Austria with his son:-that he died in Tiberias, and that the Rabbis sought to appropriate his money; and with that view shut up the dead father with the living son in a cave during sultry weather, to induce the latter to give up the money.
"That abuses frequently occur in the appropriation by the Rabbis of the property belonging to those Jews who die in either of the four Holy Cities, I cannot deny. The anecdote related by Dr. Macleod of what occurred to me when I was Cancelliere in her Majesty's Consulate at Jerusalem, is a proof that I have had some experience on the subject. On that occasion the Secretary of the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem called out to the Sheikh of Siloam to prevent the burial of a British Jew, because the money and property were sealed up under the Consular seals; and the Sheikh came with many peasants and drove us away under a shower of stones with which they pelted us, and obliged us to leave the corpse until a reinforcement was obtained from the city. This case was fully reported at the time of its occurrence by Mr. Consul Finn, and the offending parties punished, though those who instigated the movement went scotfree. Still I think that the case of the young man having been locked up with the corpse may probably have been related to Dr. Macleod in a very exaggerated form.
"In conclusion I would observe, that I think that the ends of justice would be fully satisfied in these cases by your inquiring strictly from the original informant, and if the cases be untrue, the informant should be made either to retract his statements or to state the ground of his assertions.-I am, &c. &c. &c., "E. T. ROGERS."
With these statements before him, the Editor of Good Words and the Author of "Eastward" has no hesitation in stating his conviction, even without the cross-questioning of witnesses, and without the Consul being heard in his own defence, that the first story is false. The Consul must have been misinformed or imposed upon with reference to the death of the woman, which is the main point in dispute. The writer has much pleasure in giving publicity to refutations of the charge made against the Rabbis. He will watch with anxiety lest the Consul should in any way suffer for stating what the writer firmly believes was his honest conviction regarding the character and conduct of the Rabbis. But he ventures to express the hope that, for the sake of the poor Jews in Palestine, and in order to elevate them physically, morally, and socially, a commission, or committee, of a few sagacious Jews from Europe and America should calmly and patiently investigate the real condition of their brethren in the Holy Cities, and obtain full evidence regarding it-not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles-and not from the Rabbis only, but from the people and in such a form as would ensure protection to life and property to those whose evidence might be against "the powers that be" within the Synagogue. In saying this he does not for one moment insinuate that the Jews in Palestine are in any degree worse than Christians, or Scotch Presbyterians, would be if placed in the same peculiar circumstances; but he humbly thinks that these circumstances have a tendency from their very nature to foster tyranny on the part of the rulers, and a slavish spirit on the part of the ruled, with greed, sloth, deceit, and selfishness on the part of all. He believes also that those who minister charity so liberallyand who are more liberal and charitable than the rich Jews in Europe and America?-to their poor brethren in Palestine, may make this almsgiving a greater instrument than it has hitherto been for effecting needful economic and social reforms. No man living has done so much for his brethren in Palestine as Sir Moses Montefiore, and no man has more unselfish longings for their good; but it is quite possible that many evils may exist which even he may not suspect or dream of, and that just because of the very purity of his own intentions, the nobleness of his own nature, and his character as "an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile." EDITOR OF "GOOD WORDS."
A London Story.
BY GEORGE MAC DONALD, Author of "David Elginbrod," "Alec Forbes," &c.
CHAPTER V.-MORE ABOUT GUILD COURT.
MES. BOXALL was the mother of Richard Boxall, the "governor" of Thomas Worboise. Her John had been the possessor of a small landed property, which he farmed himself, and upon which they brought up a family of three sons and one daughter, of whom Richard was the eldest, and the daughter, Lucy, the youngest. None of the sons showed the least inclination to follow the plough, or take any relation more or less dignified towards the cultivation of the ancestral acres. This aversion when manifested by Richard occasioned his father considerable annoyance, but he did not oppose his desire to go into business instead of farming; for he had found out by this time that he had perpetuated in his sons a certain family doggedness which he had inherited from one ancestor at least an obstinacy which had never yet been overcome by any argument, however good. He yielded to the inevitable, and placed him in a merchant's office in London, where Richard soon made himself of importance. When his second son showed the same dislike to draw his livelihood directly from the bosom of the earth, and revealed a distinct preference for the rival element, with which he had made some acquaintance when it school at a sea-port at no great distance from his bome, old John Boxall was still more troubled, but gave his consent-a consent which was, however, merely a gloomy negation of resistance. The cheerfulness of his wife was a great support to him under what he felt as a slight to himself and the whole race of Boxalls; but, he began, notwithstanding, to look upon his beloved fields with a jaundiced eye, and the older he grew the more they reminded him of the degenerate tastes and heartlessness of his boys. When he discovered, a few years after, that his daughter had pledged herself, still in his eyes a mere child, to a music-master who visited her professionally from the next town, he flew at last into a terrible rage, which was not appeased by the girl's elopement and marriage. He never saw her again. Her mother, however, was not long in opening a communication with her, and it was to her that Edward, the youngest son, fled upon occasion of a quarrel with his father, whose temper had now be1 come violent as well as morose. He followed his second brother's example, and went to sea. Still the mother's cheerfulness was little abated; for, as she said to herself, she had no reason to be ashamed of her children. None of them had done anything they had to be ashamed of, and why should she be vexed? She had no idea Lucy had so much spirit in her. And if it were not for the old man, who was surely over-fond of those fields of his, she could hold up her head with the best of them; for
there was Dick-such a gentleman to be sure! and John, third mate already! and Cecil Burton sought after in London, to give his lessons as if he were one of the old masters! The only thing was that the wind blew harder at night since Ned went to sea; and a boy was in more danger than a grown man and a third mate like John.
And so it proved; for one night when the wind blew a new hayrick of his father's across three parishes, it blew Edward's body ashore on the west coast.
Soon after this, a neighbouring earl, who had the year before paid off a mortgage on his lands, proceeded in natural process to enlarge his borders; and while there was plenty that had formerly belonged to the family to repurchase, somehow-oranother, took it into his head to begin with what might seem more difficult of attainment. But John Boxall was willing enough to part with his small patrimony-for he was sick of it-provided he had a good sum of ready money, and the house with its garden and a paddock, by way of luckpenny, secured to him for his own life and that of his wife. This was easily arranged. But the late yeoman moped more than ever, and died within a twelvemonth, leaving his money to his wife. As soon as he was laid in his natural inheritance of land cubical, his wife went up to London to her son Richard, who was by this time the chief manager of the business of Messrs. Blunt and Baker. To him she handed over her money to use for the advantage of both. Paying her a handsome percentage, he invested it in a partnership in the firm, and with this fresh excitement to his energies, soon became, influentially, the principal man in the company. The two other partners were both old men, and neither had a son or near relative whom he might have trained to fill his place. So in the course of a few years, they, speaking commercially, fell asleep, and in the course of a few more, departed this life, commercially and otherwise. It was somewhat strange, however, that all this time Richard Boxall had given his mother no written acknowledgment of the money she had lent him, and which had been the foundation of his fortune. A man's faults are sometimes the simple reverses of his virtues, and not the results of his vices.
When his mother came first to London, he had of course taken her home to his house and introduced her to his wife, who was a kind and even warmhearted woman. But partly from prudence, partly from habit, Mrs. Boxall senior would not consent to be the permanent guest of Mrs. Boxall junior, and insisted on taking a lodging in the neighbourhood. It was not long, however, before she left