Sidor som bilder

and say

« No."



And because I want them to smile, I often smile

Yes;" WHERE were you when I suffered? My heart

But as the dance grows gay, I wish I had was very faint:

dared to say It wanted a heart to lean on; where was yours at the time?

For I should not like, when we sit together, and I hope you were happy some where; I hope no

talk, and trace passing taint

Our joy coming step by step through the gloom Of the chill air I was breathing troubled your while you were away, softer clime.

I should not like to see one doubt flit over your

face: Always I think about you, and I am afraid at night;

“ Perhaps she hardly missed me, her life was For before I dream I fancy, and my dreams

so light and gay.” are fancy-marred;

Ah, a letter again! It brings no tidings to me. And I see you lying wounded, with your face I have hardly the heart to look, and I feel too upturned to the light,

tired to speak. And I cannot stoop to kiss it; and, oh, my What, you are coming home! you are crossing dream is hard !

the dear, kind sea !. Last night I read 'and waited, there was but the

You are rushing home to me now ! I shall see light of the fire,

your face in a week ! When I thought you stood behind me, and I He is coming! where are you all ? He is comdared not turn my head.

ing.! do you not know? Why was my heart so poor as to shrink from its

See, I am kissing the words which I was best desire?

afraid to read ! I think you were here for a moment; but when What are you saying, mother ? why do you look I turned, you were fled.

at me so ? Where were you at that moment? were you

"Ten years younger," mother? Yes, I should

think so indeed. thinking of me? Were you watching the turbans wind up the

Good Words. dry brown slope? And when they reached the top, and you knew

they looked at the sea, Were you dreaming of England ? had you an hour of hope ?

“ BEFORE the coal-fields are quite exhausted,” 'O!

that hope is so dreary ! I have it always here; says a writer in Once a Week, “there are Whenever it plays me false, they tell me I hopes of our getting a new source of power. must not doubt;

Sunlight is the force which is to drive our enBut though we call it hope, it is only a mask for gines and turn our mills. Ericsson, whose name fear;

in connection with the caloric engine was a few And it never lets me rest, and I think it is years back a household word, has devised and wearing me out.

made three prime movers which are impelled by

direct solar heat, collected and concentrated. He You will hardly know me again, I am grown so has found that the heating power of the sun on pale and thin;

an area of one hundred square feet is more than I looked in the glass to-day, and my face is equivalent to the mechanical work derivable from old and strange;

a single horse. The engines are not all alike. And I felt a pang of dread when they told me the One is impelled by steam generated in a sunmail was come in;

heated boiler, the others are driven by hot air. For I thought if you came home you would not They have worked so far satisfactorily that poslike the change.

sibly, by this time, bread has been made from

flour ground in a solar mill. Ericsson, howI suppose you are brown and fierce, and your ever, is not the only occupant of this field of ineyes are ready to flash;

vention. M. Mouchot claims to have spent many You walk erect and swift; you have always years in perfecting solar machines, to have pasomething to do.

tented one in 1861, and to have submitted anAh, you men are happy! you live with a burst other to the Emperor in 1866. His majesty and a dash;

could not see it work, though, for the weak point Weeping wastes us away, but work ennobles of such engines showed itself. The weather was you.

bad; the sun would not shine, and the machine

stood still. It was like a windmill in a calm or I am a pain in my home; they watch me with a watermill in a drought, and no worse than looks of distress;

either; so we must not despise solar machines, Always they soften their tones when they ask because they won't keep working at the will of me“ Dear, will you go?”

man without interruption."

[ocr errors]



but on


no particular sense of the difference be

tween them! What a strange chaos would THERE are few things which give so clear this world seem to any spectator, could an idea of the multiplicity and diversity of we but come to knowledge of such, who life as the glimpses which history affords us had the power to watch its simultaneous of the different occupations carried on at scenes at a glance from some starry tower the same moment by men belonging to the of observation or low-placed bastion of same age and educated under the same cir- heaven. cumstances. No doubt the contrast con- Few men have come to such note as he tinues through all periods, and becomes but did in his generation of whom there is so greater as civilisation progresses; but yet little to tell as of Anson, apart from the the circumstances of life in the backwoods work which was his hour of revelation. or in the bush, wherever our boys may have About his origin and the preliminaries of gone to carry on the conflict with external his career we know not much more than we nature, are so softened by perpetual tidings do about those of his ship — where she was of them, and by all the aids that science built or what became of her, matters of litand knowledge can give, that it strikes the tle importance in comparison with what she, imagination less than in those days when and what he, did in their moment of splenthe highest sophistications of artificial soci- did service and action before the world. ety at home were going on side by side One small book, the scene of which is laid, with the most appalling struggles of primi- not in the haunts of civilised men, tive man amid the untamed winds and seas. the high seas and uninhabited islands of the In the eighteenth century science had not Pacific, contains all our sailor's history, penetrated everywhere, inquisitive, yet be- though it embraces only some three or four neficent, with the lamp which is never so years of his life. Eleven big volumes are blessed as when it lights up those blank not enough for Horace, out of whose variwastes of land and water through which the ous editions, commentators, and critics, a wanderer of old had to grope his darkling whole library might be made. But we will way. And nothing can be more startling not attempt to carry on the comparison. and abrupt, for instance, than the contrast Anson was a sea-captain, evidently known between such an impersonation of his pe- to his superiors as a man worthy of trust, riod as Horace Walpole and the man whose but not otherwise remarkable, when he was brief story we are about to tell. About chosen to head the squadron which made the first we know almost everything that him famous. He was “ of a family at that can be known — his “long lean ” form time new and obscure,” says Lord Mahon, stands in the very front of the stage, be- “nor had he the advantage of distinguished powdered, belaced, bescented, not unkind talents. After his expedition it used to be or unattractive in its way, a thing of velvet said of him that he had been round the and embroidery and fine arts and good world but never in it; he was dull and untaste, with his hands full of pleasant dainty ready on land, slow in business and sparing occupations, in which every dilettante (and of speech.” A silent unexpansive man, we use the word with no scornful meaning) thinking much and saying little, able to must feel a certain tenderness of sympathy. keep his own counsel, maturing slowly in Yet to think that while he was writing his his mind plans which no urgent need of letters and collecting his anecdotes about sympathy in his nature tempted him to rekings and princes and ministers of state, veal prematurely: with a silent sense in and Patapan, his white dog — while he was him - disclosed not by words but by acciunpacking his curiosities and hanging his dental indications of fact -- of the beauty pictures and building pasteboard Gothic at and splendour of nature, such as belonged Strawberry, Anson, for his part, was going to few men in his time: and with a steady round Cape Horn! And that the two men force of resolution and modest undemonmight have shaken hands at some antiquated strative valour which no difficulties could street-corner, not many months before, and appal. Such is the aspect in which he appears to us dimly to do his work; not him out of its senses, and all but destroyed its but his work being the notable, ever-mem- credit and mercantile standing in the world orable thing. It is on the standing-ground twenty years before. The South Sea Comof this achievement alone that Anson has pany, as has been already described in these any right to a place in the chronicles of his sketches, had gained at this terrible price country. But to be beyond all rivalry in a the privilege of sending one ship a-year to nation like England, identified with naval the supposed golden coasts of South Ameradventure and the supremacy of the seas, ica. Trade, which then as always was apt the sailor of the age, is no small distinction. to have confused ideas of truth and honour, During the same period there is no English did what it could to exploiter to the best of general whom we can identify as its soldier. its crafty powers this grudging concession; Marlborough was over; Wellington was and as the best means of doing so, sent its not begun. A crowd of incapable second one ship, attended by a little fleet of smallor third rate commanders were doing what er vessels, the office of which was to throw they could as they have done more or in endless contributions of their own cargo less in all ages

to neutralise the steadfast as the freight of the first became exhausted, valour of British soldiers. They gained us converting the never-emptying hold of the a defeat at Fontenoy, glorious, it is true, privileged ship into a kind of inexhaustible but no thanks to them; they made the army Widow's cruse. The Spaniards became contemptible in Scotland; they did what suspicious of this trick, as was natural. they could to reduce its prestige every- And when a Spanish ship, bigger and strongwhere. But in this unheroic age one man er than she, encountered on the high seas did vindicate for the sister profession its old the seeming innocence of a little English laurels, and leave a tradition upon which trader, it is not wonderful, perhaps, that the great seamen of another generation questions should be asked in an unamiable could be formed. He stands between Drake way and with disagreeable results. and Nelson, uniting in his sober person Sea-captains, possessed or possessing something of the romance of individual ad- themselves of an amateur right of search, venture impersonated in the former, with are not distinguished for a gentle use of it, something of the legitimate warfare and na- whatever their nation may be ; and Spanish tional importance of the other. On him sea-captains, if tradition speaks truly fell the splendid mantle of the adventurers tradition which even in very recent times of Elizabeth's time, though his unobtrusive has been awkwardly justified — were excepfigure bears little resemblance to theirs. tionably arrogant and cruel. About halfWhile all the other public officers of Eng- way between the explosion of the South land were wasting the public money upon Sea Company and the setting out of Anunsuccessful expeditions and untrustworthy son's expedition the opening and conallies, Anson alone spoiled the enemy. The cluding acts of the draina – in the year Spanish galleon, golden romance of mer- | 1731 a certain skipper, named Jenkins, chandise, once familiar to the British imag- master of the Rebecca, was met at sea and ination, rose again under his sober touch overhauled by a Spanish guarda-costa. As into a wealthy reality before the country's he had nothing contraband on board which astonished eyes. The South Seas had but could be seized, the unfortunate himself recently shaken the whole fabric of society was laid hold upon by the spiteful visitors. in this island, and made the very kingdom They nearly hanged him, frightened him to totter. It was a sordid tragedy when played death, and at last tore off his ear. “Carry in Change Alley; but it took to itself a that to your king and tell him of it," cried noble human investiture when carried out the insolent tyrants throwing it at him. in a second exciting chapter amid the fairy Bleeding and furious the poor man made islands and awful rocks of the Southern his way to England, and, “with his ownSeas.

ers," hurried out to Hampton Court to lay For, in fact, Anson's expedition was but the facts before the Duke of Newcastle, the dénouement and climax of the strange Rut Walpole was at the height of his pacific national whirlwind which had rapt England reign, and the Ministry had no desire to be

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

made acquainted with facts which might | little as careless readers on either side of the sea
disturb the peace of the nation. Poor now know it, lay involved. Shall there be a
Jenkins carried his ear away with him and Yankee nation, shall there not be? Shall the
exhibited it in the clubs, and had it written new world be of Spanish type, or shall it be of
about in newspapers. The story became a English? Issues which we may call immense.”
historical matter, and rankled slowly in the Of such issues Anson knew nothing, nor
national mind. Eight years after, when the thought. His own conception of his mis-
country was tired of peace, and Walpole's sion is set forth with much straightforward
opponents were vigorous enough to take perspicuity and absence of pretence by Mr.
the field against him, Jenkins's ear suddenly Walter, bis Chaplain, and the compiler of
sprungʻinto sight and worked England up his narrative. “ When it was foreseen that
into fury. The events thus fall into each a war with Spain was inevitable, it was the
other with a logic rarely to be found in opinion of some considerable persons then
matters of fact. The South Sea Company charged with the administration of affairs
dishonestly abused the privilege (such as that the most prudent step the nation could
it was) of sending one ship a-year to South take on the breaking out of the war was
America. The Spaniards, seizing the first attacking that Cr yn in her distant settle-
small stray that came in their way, avenged ments, for by this means it was supposed
this big dishonesty on Jenkins, innocent that we should cut off the principal re-
victim, who had nothing to do with the sources of the enemy, and should reduce
matter. And so it came about that the them to the necessity of sincerely desiring
English nation, feeling one of its Bersekar a peace, as they would thereby be de-
impulses of battle coming on, blazed up prived of the returns of that treasure by
into a sudden explosion of long-smoulder- which alone they could be enabled to carry
ing wrath, and declared war with Spain. on a war.”
The first, and, as it happened, last step Such was the cause and such the objects,
taken in the matter was the sending forth conscious and unconscious, of Anson's ex-
of two naval expeditions ; one with much pedition. To molest the Spaniard, steal
flourish of trumpets and immense parapher- his treasures, disperse his ships, acquire if
nalia of war under Admiral Vernon, which possible a standing-ground on those golden
came to miserable failure and ruin. The shores from whence future expeditions might
other, small, badly manned, neglected in operate, and avenge the national honour
all its preliminaries, which was to brighten which had been outraged. He had other
to its pristine glory the naval renown of intentions in his private mind besides ;
England, and add, perhaps, the only fresh little science, beneficent sailor-thoughts of
and genuine laurel produced by the genera- tracking out the pathless waters on the other
tion to the national crown.

side of the world, and leaving a clear road
“ The Jenkins-ear question,” says Carlyle, for those who should come after him — and
in one of those wonderful vivid glances across floating dreams, perhaps, of the golden
the mists of history which give his works their galleons which might make a man's fortune
greatest charm, “which then looked so mad to all in the way of his duty; but duty and
everybody, how sane has it now grown! In obedience to orders first of all — the usual
abstruse ludicrous form there lay immense complication of motives which are present
questions involved in it which were curious in every human enterprise, and link on
enough, certain enough, though invisible to


individual work by its sides and coreverybody. Half the world lay hidden in em

ners to the general plan of life. bryo under it. Colonial Empire, whose is it to

The squadron sailed eight months later
be? Shall half the world be England's for in-

than had been tended, according to Eng-
dustrial purposes, which is innocent, laudable,
conformable to the multiplication-table at least lish use and wont, and in such an imperfect
and other plain laws ? or shall it be Spain's for 'state of preparation as proves the unity of
arrogant-torpid, sham-devotional purposes, con-

the official mind in all ages and circum-
tradictory to every law? The incalculable Yan- stances. It had been intended that the ex-
kee nation itself, biggest phenomenon (once pedition should be strengthened by a con-
thought beautifulest) of these ages, this too, siderable body of effective soldiers –

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

- Col

[ocr errors]

onel Bland's regiment, and three independ- sailors was deficient by three hundred men, ent companies of one hundred men each.” who were to be supplied to him at PortsBut when the moment of embarkment mouth; but in place of these all he could came, Anson found that this fine promise muster, after a weary waiting of five or six of land-forces had been transmuted into months, was a hundred and seventy sea“ five hundred invalids to be collected from men, made up by some odd marines and the. out-pensioners of Chelsea College." | other accidental auxiliaries. Thus retarded No wonder that he was “ greatly chagrined and thwarted at every point, he managed at having such a decrepid detachment allot- to sail at last, in September, 1740 (his inted to him," all the more, no doubt structions being dated January 31). His though of this the historian tells us nothing squadron consisted of his own ship, the

- that Sir Chaloner Ogle's expedition Centurion, of sixty guns; the Gloucester, “twenty-five big ships of the line, with of fifty; the Severn, of fifty; the Pearl, of three half regiments on board; fireships, forty (these two were soon lost, and rebombketches in abundance, and eighty turned inglorious home); the Wager (which transports, with six thousand drilled ma- has a separate story of its own), of twentyrines,” going out to Jamaica to Vernon, to eight; and the little Trial sloop, of eight perish and come to nothing before Cartha- guns. This little cluster of vessels, with gena was getting ready by his side, and their imperfect crews and hollow-cheeked snatching all the good things in the way of invalids, left Portsmouth, no doubt, with a men from his very mouth. His vehement glare of not ungenerous envy and high inremonstrances, even though backed by dignant mettle, at the “twenty-five big those of Sir Charles Wager, a lord of the ships of the line,” which were getting ready Admiralty, had no effect. The pensioners to go to their work the easy way, with were “ the properest men that could be em- every appliance for success, while this little ployed,” was the judgment of certain “per- devoted expedition went out to make a sons who were supposed to be better judges path for itself across the wildest waters of soldiers” than either of the Admirals, known to man, at a bad season, and with writes the Chaplain, with suppressed indig- everything against it. Not a word says nation. The invalids themselves, however, the mild historian of any such contrast; were of Anson's mind. “All those who had his record been the only one, we should had limbs and strength to walk out of never have known what a wealthy splendid Portsmouth deserted, leaving behind them squadron was preparing side by side with only such as were literally invalids, most the Centurion and the Gloucester. Yet of them being sixty years of age, and some the reader may be permitted to imagine in of them upwards of seventy.' Two bun- such a case some sharper thrill of resoludred and fifty-nine of these unhappy vic- tion, as he cast a last glance on the busy tims of officialism came sadly on board the dockyards, darting through the Commoship, Anson and his sailors no doubt stand- dore's mind. To come home no worse, ing by with disgust and pity. . “ It is diffi- were least said, than these same brave gencult," says the sympathetic Chaplain, “ to tlemen! let storm or foe do their worst to conceive a more moving scene than the em- bring back to England some token of what barkation of these unhappy veterans; they a man can do when least supported by forwere themselves extremely averse to the tune and the great! He is silent, and lets service they were engaged in, and fully ap- fall never a word to tell us what was in his prised of all the dangers they were after thoughts. But still it would be no wonder wards exposed to; the apprehensions of if that high stimulant of indignation, which which were strongly marked by the concern is so often mixed in the cup of England's that appeared in their countenances, which public servants, should have tingled through was mixed with no small degree of indigna- Anson's veins as he “ tided " silently down sion to be thus hurried from their repose the Channel, the wind already in his face, into a fatiguing employ to which neither and his troubles begun. Had he known the strength of their bodies nor the vigour what the difference of the coming home of their minds were any ways proportioned, would be, it might not, perhaps, have been and where, without seeing the face of an so well for the discipline of his mind. But enemy, or in the least promoting the suc- at this moment, at least, Vernon, a popucess of the enterprise, they would in all lar hero, had it all his own way. probability uselessly perish by lingering And the very winds conspired with the and painful diseases; and this too after Admiralty and its officials against the brave they had spent the activity and strength of little squadron. Having been detained so their youth in their country's service." long at home, their only hope of tolerable

Nor was this all: his complement of weather in rounding Cape Horn was that

« FöregåendeFortsätt »