Page images
PDF
EPUB

I pass

heart beating with almost breathless expectation. The day church-going inhabitants. I have since lived in great was fine, and the roads as good as they ever are in those towns, and seen the ways of churches and of worship, and parts. I was so happy and so proud! I was lost in dreams I am old enough now to distinguish between what is a of what I was going to see. At length the tall steeple of sential in religion, and what is merely formal or ema. St. Mary's Church came in view. It was pointed out to me

mental. by my father, as the place from which that music had come When my father had done pointing out to me the things which I had heard over the moor, and had fancied to be most worthy of notice about the church, the service was alangels singing. I was wound up to the highest pitch of most ready to begin ; the parishioners had most of them delight, at having visibly presented to me the spot from entered, and taken their seats; and we were shewu into a which had proceeded that unknown friendly music; and pew where my mother was already seated. Soon after, when it began to peal, just as we approached the village, it

the clergyman entered, and the organ began to play what i: seemed to speak, Susan is come, as plainly as it used to in- called the voluntary. I had never seen so many people a:

sembled before. At first I thought that all eyes were upon vite me to come, when I heard it over the moor. over our alighting at the house of a relation, and all that

me, and that because I was a stranger. I was terribly

ashared and confused at first; but my mother helped se passed till I went with my father and mother to church. St. Mary's Church is a great church for such a small vil

to find out the places in the Prayer-book, and being btass lage as it stands in. My father said it had been a cathe- about that, took off some of my painful apprehensions, i

was no stranger to the order of the service, having ofta dral, and that it had once belonged to a monastery, but the monks were all gone. Over the door there was stone work, confused, it puzzled me a little to find out the responses and

read in the Prayer-book at home; but' nis thoughts being representing saints and bishops, and here and there, along other things, which I thought I knew so well ; but I wen! the sides of the church, there were figures of men's heads, made in a strange grotesque way; I have since seen the troubled me since, is, that I am afraid I was too full of

through it tolerably well. One thing which has often same sort of figures in the round tower of the Temple, myself

, and of thinking how happy I was, and what a priChurch in London. My father said they were very impro- vilege it was for one that was so young, to join in the serper ornaments for such a place, and so I now think them; vice with so many grown people, so that I did not attend but it seems the people who built these great churches in enough to the instruction which I might have received I old times, gave themselves more liberties than they do now; remember, I foolishly applied every thing that was said to and I remember that when I first saw them, and before my myself, so as it could mean nobody but myself, I was ** father had made this observation, though they were so ugly full of my own thoughts. All that assembly of people, and out of sbape, and some of them seem to be grinning seemed to me as if they were come together only to shew and distorting their features with pain or with laughter, me the way of a church. Not but I received some very at. yet being placed upon a church, to which I had come with

fecting impressions from some things which I heard that such serious thoughts, I could not help thinking they had day; but the standing up and the sitting down of the peo. some serious meaning; and I looked at them with wonder, ple; the organ; the singing :-—the way of all these things but without any temptation to laugh. I some how fancied took up more of my attention than was proper ; or I thougte they were the representation of wicked people set up as a it did. I believe I behaved better, and was more serious warning.

when I went a second time, and a third time; for now ire When we got into the church, the service was not be- went as a regular thing every Sunday, and continued to do gun, and my father kindly took me round, to shew me so, till by a still further change for the better in

my

fa. the monuments, and every thing else remarkable. I re ther's circumstances, we removed to London. Oh! it was member seeing one of a venerable rigure, which my father a happy day for me my first going to St. Mary's Church : said had been a judge. The figure was kneeling as if it before that day I used to feel like a little outcast in the was alive, before a sort of desk, with a book, I suppose wilderness, like one that did not belong to the world of the Bible, lying on it. I somehow fancied the figure had a Christian people. I have never felt like a little outcast since. sort of life in it, it seemed so natural, or that the dead judge But I never can hear the sweet noise of bells, that I don't that it was done for, said his prayers at it still. This was think of the angels singing, and what" poor but pretty a silly notion ; but I was very young, and had passed my thoughts ( had of angels in my uninstructed solitude little life in a remote place, where I had never seen any thing nor knew any thing; and the awe which I felt at

THE PONGOSO :21

கப 91

nie !!! first being in a church, took from me all power but that of

The following extraordinary narrative was received by wondering. I did not reason about any thing ; I was too young. Now I'understand why monuments are put up for do not pretend to say.

Mr. Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, but by what ship, we the dead, and why the figures which are upon them are described as doing the actions which they did in their life. In my last I related to you all the circumstances of our times, and that they are a sort of pictures set up for our settlement here, and the prospect that we had of a peaceful instruction. But all was new and surprising to me on that and pleasant habitation. In truth, it is a fine country, day ;—the long windows with little panes, the pillars, the and inhabited by a fine race of people ; for the Kousies, as pews made of oak, the little hassocks for the people to far as I have seen of them, are a simple aud ingenious race; kneel on, the form of the pulpit, with the sounding-board and Captain Johnstone having secured the friendship and over it, gracefully carved in flower-work. To you, who have protection of their chief, we lived in the most perfect harlived all your lives in populous places, and have been taken mony with them, trafficking with them for oxen, for whicle to church from the earliest time you can remember, my ad we gave them iron and copper in exchange, the former bemiration of these things must appear strangely ignorant. ing held in high estimation by them. But, alas! Sir, such But I was a lonely young creature, that had been brought up a fate has befallen to me since I wrote you last, as I ald in remote places, where there was neither church nor sure never fell to thc lot of a human being.

And I am

me.

now going to relate to you one of those stories which, were

powerful and vindictive animals, and our guins were only it to occur in a romance, would be reekoned quite out of loaded with common shot. They fled at the first sight of nature, and beyond all the bounds of probability; so true

tis, and that with such swiftness, that we might as well is it that there are many things in heaven and earth that have tried to catch deer; but we got one close fire at them, are not dreamed of in our philosophy.

and doubtless wounded a number of them, as their course You knew my Agnes from her childhood ; you were at

was traced with blood. We pursued them as far as the our wedding at Beattock, and cannot but remember what Keys river, which they swam, and we lost them. an amiable and lovely girl she then was. I thought so,

Among all the depredators there was none fell but one and so did you ; at least you said you never had as bonny a youngling, which I lifted in my arnis, when it looked so bride on your knee. But you will hardly believe that her pitifully, and cried so like a child, that my heart bled for beauty was then nothing in comparison with what it be- it

. A large monster, more than six feet high, perceiving cime afterwards; and when she was going about our new

that he had lost his cub, returned, brandishing a huge settlement with our little boy in her arms, I have often club, and grinning at me. I wanted to restore the abominfancied that I never saw so lovely a human being,

able brat, for I could not bear the thought of killing it, Be that as it may, the chief Karoo came to me one day, it was so like a human creature; but before I could do this, with his interpreter, whom he caused to make a long pala- several shots had been fired by my companions at the hideous ver about his power, and dominion, and virtues, and his monster, which caused him once more to take to his heels; great desire to do much good, The language of this fellow but, turning oft, as he fled, he made threatening gestures at being a mixture of Kaffre, High Dutch, and English, was

A Kousi servant that we had, finished the cub, and I peculiarly ludicrous, and most of all so, when he concluded caused it to buried. with expressing his lord's desire to have my wife to be his

The very morning but one after, Agnes and her black own, and to give me in exchange for her four oxen, the maid were milking our few cows upon the green; I was in best that I could choose from his herd!

the garden, and William was toddling about pulling flowers, As he made the proposal in presence of my wife, she when, all at once, the women were alarmed by the sight of was so much tickled with the absurdity of the proposed a tremendous ourang-outang issuing from our house, which barter, and the manner in which it was expressed, that she they had just left. They seem to have been struck dumb laughed immoderately. Karoo, thinking she was delighted and senseless with ainazement, for not one of them uttered with it, eyed her with a look that surpasses all description, a sound, until the monster, springing forward, in one mo. caused his interpreter to ake another palaver to her con

ment, snatched up the child and made off with him. Incerning all the good things she was to enjoy, one of which stead of coming to me, the women pursued the animal with was, that she was to ride upon an ox whose horns were

the child, not knowing, I believe, what they were doing. tipped with gold, I thanked the great Karoo for his kind The fearful shrieks which they uttered alarmed me, and I intentions, but declared my incapability to part with my

ran to the milking green, thinking the cows had fallen on wife, for that we were one flesh and blood, and nothing the women, as the cattle of that district are ticklish for could separate us but death. He could comprehend no pushing when any way hurt or irritated. Before I reached such tie as this. All men sold their wives and daughters the green where the cows stood, the ourang-outang was fully as they listed, I was told for that the women were the half a mile gone, and only the poor feeble, exhausted wo. sole property of the men. He had bought many women

men, running after him. For a good while I could not confrom the Tambookies that were virgins, and had never given ceive what was the matter, but having my spade in my above two cows for any of them; and because he desired to hand, I followed spontaneously in the same direction. Behave my wife, he had offered me as much for her as would fore I overtook the women, I heard the agonizing cries of purchase four of the best wives in all the two countries, my dear boy, my darling William, in the paws of that horand that therefore I was bound to give her up to him. And rible monster. There is no sensation of which the human when I told him, finally, that nothing on earth could in- heart is capable, that can at all be compared with the hor. duce me to part with her, he seemed offended, bit his thumb, ror which at that dreadful moment seized on mine. My knitted his brows, and studied long in silence, always cast- sinews lost their tension, and my whole frame became lax ing glances at Agnes, of great pathos and languishment, and powerless. I believe I ran faster than usual, but then which were perfectly irresistible, and ultimately he stuck I fell every minute, and as I passed Agnes, she fell into a his spear's head in the ground, and offered me ten cows and fit. Kela-kal, the black girl, with an astonishing presence a bull for my wife, and a choice virgin to boot, when this of mind, had gone off at a tangent, without orders, or with proffer was likewise déclined, he smiled in derision, telling out being once missed, to warn the rest of the settlers, which me I was the son of foolishness, and that he foretold that she did with all expedition. I pursued on, breathless, and I should repent it. Three times he went over this, and altogether unnerved with agony; but, alas ! I rather lost then went away in high dudgeon. Will you, Sir, believe, than gained ground, or will any person alive believe, that it was possible I could I think if I had been fairly started, that through despera. live to repent this!

tion I could have overtaken the monster ; but the hopelessMy William was at this time about eleven months old, ness of success rendered me feeble. The truth is, that he but was still at the breast, as I could never prevail on his did not make great speed, not nearly the speed these ani.

mals are wont to make, for he was greatly encumbered with lovely mother to wean him; and, at the very time of which the child. Yon, perhaps, do not understand the nature of I am speaking, our little settlement was invaded one night these animals-neither do I: but they have this peculiarity, by a tribe of those large baboons called ourang-outangs, that when they are walking leisurely, or running down hill, jiongos, or wild men of the woods, who did great mischief they walk upright, like a human being; but when hardto our fruits, yams, and carrots. From that time we kept pressed on level ground, or up hill, they use their long arms a great number of guns loaded, and set a watch ; and at

as fore-legs, and then run with inconceivable swiftness.

When flying with their own young, the greater part of length the depredators were again discovered. We sallied them will run nearly twice as fast as an ordinary man, for out upon them in a body, not without alarm, for they are the cubs cling to them with both feet and hands ; but as

up.

my poor William shrunk from the monster's touch, he was approach, and were apparently preparing for a vigorous reobliged to embrace him closely with one paw, and run on sistance; but on our guide, who was one of their own three, and still in that manner he outran me. O may never tribe, going up to them, and explaining our views, they re. earthly parent be engaged in such a heart-rending pursuit:ceived us joyfully, and proffered their assistance. Keeping still his distance before me, he reached the Keys From this people we got the heart-stirring intelligence river, and there the last gleam of hope closed on me, for I that a whole colony of pongos had taken possession of that could not swim, while the ourang-outang, with much acute-country, and would soon be masters of it all; for that the ness, threw the child across his shoulders, held him by the Great Spirit had sent them a queen from the country be. feet with one paw, and with the other three stemmed the yond the sun, 10 teach them to speak, and work, and go to river, though then in flood, with amazing rapidity. It was war; and that she had the entire power over them, ai! at this dreadful moment that my beloved babe cast his eyes would not suffer them to hurt any person who did not vie on me as I ran across the plain towards him, and I saw offence to them; that they knew all she said to them, ant him holding up his little hands in the midst of the foaming answered her, and lived in houses, and kindled fires like flood, and crying out “ Pa! pa! pa!" which he seemed to other people, and likewise fought rank and file ; that they utter with a sort of desperate joy at seeing me approach. had taken one of the maitlens of their own tribe to wait

Alas! that sight was the last, for in two minutes there upon the queen's child; but because the girl wept, the quæa after the monster vanished with my dear child, in the jun- caused them to set her at liberty. gles and woods beyond the river, and there my course I was now rent betwveen hope and terror-hope that this was stayed ; for, to have thrown myself in, would only was my own wife and child, and terror that they would be have been committing suicide, and leaving a destitute wi. torn to pieces by the savage monsters, ratber than gisaa dow in a foreign land. I had therefore no other resuurce Of this last, the Lockos (the name of this wanderia; but to throw myself down, and pour out my soul in lamen- tribe) assured us we needed not to entertain any appiche tation and prayer to God. From this state of hapless misery sions, for that they would every one of them die rather I was quickly aroused by the sight of twelve of my coun than wiong a hair of their queen's head. But that it be. trymen coming full speed across the plain on my track. hoved us instantly to surround them; for if they erre They were all armed and stripped for the pursuit; and

came to understand that we were in pursuit, they word! four of them, some of whom you know, Adam Johnstone, make their escape, and then the whole world would be Adain Haliday, Peter Carruthers, and Joseph Nicholson,

turn or detain thein. being excellent swimmers, plunged at once into the river,

Accordingly, that very night, being joined by the Lockos, and swam across, though not without both difficulty and we surrounded the colony by an extensive circle, and cosdanger, and without loss of time continued the pursuit. had them closely surrounded. The monsters flew to arris

tinued to close as we advanced. By the break of day we All pursuit was in vain.

About three months after this sad calamity, one evening, at the word of command, nothing daunted, forming a cirde on returning home from my labour, my Agnes was missing, round their camp and queen, the strongest of the males beand neither her maid-servant, nor one of all the settlers, ing placed outermost and the females inmost ; but al could give the least account of her.

armed alike, and all having the same demure and melae. I was now determined to attack the native chief, who, I choly faces. The circle being so close that I could not se thought, had stolen her. Just when we were on the eve of inside, I went with the nine red-coats to the top of a ciul commencing a war, which must have been ruinous to our that in some degree overlooked the encampment, in order settlement, à black servant of Adam Johnstone's came to that, if my Agnes really was there, she might understand me, and said that I ought not to fight and kill his good

who was near her. Still I could not discover what was chief, for he had not the white woman. I was astonished, within ; but I called her name aloud several times, and in and asked the Kaffre what he meant, when he told me that about five minutes after that, the whole circle of treinenhe himself saw iny wife carried across the river by a band

dous brutal warriors ilung away their arms and retired of ponyos, (ourang-outangs,) but he had always kept it a

backward, leaving an open space for me to approach their secret, for fear of giving me distress, as they were too far queen. gone for pursuit, when he beheld them. He said they had In the most dreadful trepidation I entered betireen the her bound, and were carrying her gently on their arms'; but hideous files, being well guarded by soldiers on either hand, she was either dead, or in a swoon, for she was not crying, and followed by the rest of the settlers; and there indeed I and her long hair was hanging down.

beheld my wife, my beloved Agnes, standing ready to fe About the beginning of last year a strange piece of intel-ceive me, with little William in her right hand, and a ligence reached our settlement. It was said that two maids beautiful chubby daughter in her left, about two years old, of Kamboo had been out on the mountains of Norroweldt, and the very image of her mother. Conceive, if you can, gathering fruits, where they had seen a pongo taller than Sir, such a meeting! Were there ever a husband and wife any Kousi, and that this pongo had a bsautiful white boy met under such circumstances before ? Never since the with him, for whom he was githering the choicest fruits, creation of the worldl! The tivo children looked healthy and the boy was gamholling and playing around him, and and beautiful, with their fur aprons ; but it struck me af leaping on his shoulders.

first that my beloved was much altered; it was only, howThis was a piece of intelligence so extraordinary and so ever, caused by her internal commotion, ''by feelings which much out of the common course of events, that every one of overpowered her grateful heart, against tvhich nature could the settlers agreed that it could not be a forgery, and that not bear 11); for on my first embrace 'she fainted in my it behoved us to look after it immediately. We applied to arms, which kept us all in suspension and confusion for a Karoo for assistance, who had a great number of slaves long space The children fled from us, crying for their from that country, much attached to him, who knew the mother, and took shelter with their friends the pongos, who language of the place whither we were going, and all the seemed in great amazement, and part of them began to passes of the country. He complied reulily with our re withdraw, as if to hide themselves. quest, giving us an able and intelligent guide, with its many As soon as Agnes was somewhat restored, I proposed of his people as we chose. We raised in all fitty Malays that we should withdraw from the camp of her sarage coand Kousis; nine Britiei soldiers, and every one of the set-lony; but she refused, and told me that it behoved her to tlers that could bear arnis went with us; so that we had part with her protectors on good terms, and that she must in all nearly an unrest men, the backs being armed with depart without any appearance of compulsion, which they pikes, and all the rest with suiores, guns, and pistols. We might resent; and we actually rested ourselves during the journeyed for a whole week, travelling much by night, and helt of the day in the sheds erected by those savage inharesting in the shade by day, and at last we came to the se bitants of the forest. My wife went to her hoard of prori. cluded district of which we were in search, anul in which sions, and distributed to every one of the pontos his share We found a temporary village, or camp, of one of those in of frnit, succulent herbs, and roots, which they ate with dependent inland tribes. They were in great alarm at our great composure. It was a curious scene, something like

what I had seen in a menagerie ; and there was my little highly of the pongos, of their docility, generosity, warmth William, serving out food to the young ourang-outangs, of affection to their mates and young ones, and of their ircuffing them, and ordering them, in the broad Annandale resistible strength. She conceived ihat, however, to have dialect, to do this, that, and the other thing; and they were been a tribe greatly superior to all others of the race, for not only obedient, but seemed flattered by his notice and she never could regard them in any other light than as correction. We were then presented with delicious fruits ; dumb human creatures. I confess that I had the same sort hut I had no heart to partake, being impatient to have my of feeling while in their settlement, for many of the young family away from the midst of this brutal society; for, as females in particular were much comelier; than negro salong as we were there, I could not conceive them safe or vages which I have often seen; and they laughed, smiled, fairly in my own power.

and cried very much like human creatures. At my wife's Agnes then stood up, and made a speech to her subjects, injunctions, or from her example, they all wore aprons; and accompanyiog her expressions with violent motions and the females had let the hair of their heads grow long. It contortions, to make them understand her meaning. They was glossy black, and neither curied nor woolly; and, on understood it perfectly; for when they heard that she and the whole, I cannot help having a lingering affection for her children were to leave them, they set up such a jabber the creatures. They would make the most docile, powering of lamentation as British ears never heard. Many of ful, and affectionate of all slaves; but they come very soon them came covering and fawning before her, and she laid to their growth, and are but short-lived, in that way apher hands on their heads; many, too, of the young ones, proximating to the rest of the brute creation. They live came running, and lifting up the children's hands, put them entirely on fruits, roots, and vegetables, and taste no anion their own heads. We then formed a close circle round mal food whatever. Agnes and the children, to the exclusion of the pongos, I asked Agnes much of the civility of their manner to that still followed behind, howling and lamenting ; and her, and she always described it as respectful and uniform that night we lodged in the camp of the Lockos, placing a For a while she never thought herself quite safe when near triple guard round my family, of which there stood great the queen; but the dislike of the latter to her arose enneed. We durst not travel by night; but we contrived tirely out of her boundless affection for the boy. No motwo covered hurdles in which we carried Agnes and the ther could possibly be fonder of her own offspring than this children; and for three days a considerable body of the affectionate creature was of William, and she was jealous tallest and strongest of the ourang-outangs attended our of his mother for taking him from her, and causing him steps, and some of them came fearlessly every day, as she instantly to be weaned. But then the chief never once left said, to see if she was well, and if we were not hurting the two queens by themselves ; they had always a guard her.

day and night. My Agnes's part of the story is the most extraordinary of I have no objection to the publication of these advenall. But here I must needs be concise, giving only a short tures in Britain, though I know they will not obtain croand general outline of her adventures ; for, among dumb dit; but I should not like that the incidents reached the animals, whose signals and grimaces were so liable to mis. Sydney Gazelle, as I intend emigrating to that country as interpretation, much must have been left to her own con soon as I receive value for the stock I left at the settlements; jecture. The creatures motives for stealing and detaining for I have a feeling that my family is scarcely safe as long her appeared to have been as folloirs :

as I remain on any part of the coast of Africa. And, for These animals remais always in distinct tribes, and are the sake of my rising family, I have an aversion to its being perfectly subordinate to a chief or ruler, and his secondary known that they were bred among creatures that must still chiefs. In their expedition to rob our gardieus, they had be conceived to be of the brute creation. Do not write till brought iheir sovereign's sole heir along with them, as they you hear from me again; and believe me ever your old afnever leave any of the royal family behind them, for fear fectionate friend,—W. MITCHELL. (Cape of Good Hope, of a surprisal. It was this royal cub which we killed ; October 1, 1826.-Alirive Tales. and the queen, his mother, having been distractedly inconsolable for the loss of her darling, the old monarch had set

CHARACTER OF MR, HUME. oni by night to try, if possible, to recover it; and, on not finding it, lie seized on my boy in its place, carried him We select Joseph Hume as the object of this sketch, be hoine in safety to his queen, and gave her to him to cause we think his character has been more misrepresented nurse! She did so. Yes, she positively did nurse him at and his inerits more undirvained, than those of any existing her breast for three months, and never child throve better member of the House of Commons ;-because he has fought than he did. By that time he was beginning to walk, and harder, and to nore practical purpose, for that consideration aim at speech, by imitating every voce he heard, whether which he now enjoys, than any other man we could name; af beast or bird; and it had struck the monsters as a great -and because, at this moment, he is really the most imtues that they had no means of teaching their young sove portant man, out of oihce, in the British Senate. True, reign to speak, at which art he seemed so apt: This led be possesses not one cuality calculated for dazzling the to the scheme of stealing his own mother to be his instruc- crowd ;-true, he cannot roar like Hobhousc, draw out a tor, which they efiected in the most masterly style, binding syllogisin like Denman, raise a pyramid topped with Latin, and gagging her in her own house, and carrying her from like Mackintosh, or break an adversary on the wheel like a populous hamlet in the fair forenoon, witliout having Brougham ;-true, he never delivered a finished orationbeen discovered. Their expertness, and the rapidity of their nor, perhaps, ever uttered a perfect sentence ;- but equally motions, Agnes described as inconceivable by those who had true, he never chose a nseless subject on account of its sound, never witnessed them. They showed every sort of tender and he never shrunk from what he conceived to be a pub. ness and kindness by the way, proftering her plenty of lic duty, on account of the hostility which it stirred up in fruit and water ; but she gave herself totally up to despair, others, or the labour which it occasioned himself. Upon till behold, she was introduced to her own little William, | parade days, he does not rend the air and rattle the benches plump, thriving, and as merry as a cricket, gambolling away like some others that we could name; but when these have among lis brutal compeers, for many of whom he had con. once let themsclves off, they are as inefficient as discharged ceived a great affection; but then they far outgrew him, blunderbusses ; they go away, “one to his farm, and anwhile others as fast overtook him in size.

other to his merchandise,”—one to his rastime, and another Agnes immediately took her boy under her tuition, to his private business : while Joseph Hume stands firm at and was soon given to understand that her will was to be his post, in fair weather or in foul, applaudeil or deserted. the sole law of the community; and all the while that they He is a statesman of the Franklin school :-he conies upon detained her, they never refused her in aught save to take his adversaries with the figues of arithmetic, and before her horre again. Our little daughter she had named Bead their heavy array, the lighi and gaudy troops of the figures trice, after her maternal grandmother. She was born six of speech cannot stand for a moment. This has been evinced months aud six days after Agnes's abstraction. She spoke again and again. All the light missiles of wit, and all the

toothed matters of invective, have been literally rained at must be Joseph Hume. Along with this firmness there is him from both sides of the House ; but he stood, like the a considerable indication of honesty.' You instantly protower of Belus amidst the confusion of tongues, or his na. nounce that the man will neither change a subject por tive hills during a snow storm ; he shook not at the noise a mode of treating it, without being in earnest. He rises and the blast; he bore no dint from the flakes; but, wait. to speak. His manner is unseemly, his accent strongly ing his opportunity, he (with the whole strength of his arm, and even disagreeably provincial, and his language both ini. and it is not a weak one) launched at them Cocker's Arith accurate and inelegant ; but still, somehow or other, you metic, which very seldom failed to take effect.

find yourself obliged to listen to it, and though he never When Hume came into Parliament, there were strong rounds, and seldom completes a period, he is aways intelliprejudices against him. The circumstances of the times gible, and very often convincing. No doubt, the constant identified him with clamouring demagogues, in a manner occurrence of numbers in what he says, and his habit of which he neither desired nor merited; the whig aristocracy sometimes mistaking those numbers, make him unpleasant kept aloof; and by all their small followers he was held as to mere lovers of language; but with those who can judge a man upon whom a joke might always be played off with of things as well as words, he is, though sometimes very favour, and the reversionary recompense of a dinner and a tedious, never absolutely tiresome. There, too, the char. compliment. During all this time, however, Joseph Hume acter of such a man as Hume is open to misrepresentation. was no theoretical dreamer in politics, as little was he a Of those who attend the House of Commons, so as to be man who sought to overturn the state, the church, or any able to form any opinion of the members, there are many one branch of either. Educated in a more severe manner, who come there as mere loungers, or as the listeners of their he had none of the ambition or the levity of those who favourite orators; and to them the following of Hume thought to put him down; but he had strong intuitive per- throngh his long and intricate calculations, is a work of ceptions of right and wrong; and these he directed, not to aversion. To the intelligent within the House, and the what was the most fair and fascinating in theory, but to rational without, he, however, appears in a very different what was most useful and most within reach in practice. point of view. They regard him, as indeed posterity will We remember that, about the middle of the first session, regard him, as being, though far from the most splendid, the wise ones, who prophesied in the train of their idols on one of the most straight-forward, persevering, and useful both sides, predicted that next session, he would be lowered ; labourers of the age; and possessing those substantial and in a third, he would either be silent or sunk into some qualities, he may well leave others to enjoy the show. lv. little government office ; but here he is still, as earnest and deed, he must so leave them, for he is not at all equal to as active as ever ; and though we agree, that he sometimes the field-day parade of the orators—as little as they are speaks when he should be silent, we say, without fearing equal to his every-day duty.-Anonymous. contradiction, that he is more listened to than ever. We are sure too, that the enlightened members now at the head of the financial and commercial departments of government

BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA. will admit, and admit without hesitation, that they have The Indian army, in the first occupation of Fort Wilprofited more, and to better purpose, by Joseph Hume, than liam, did not commit any outrage ; but when the nabol by all others on the left hand of the Speaker; and though entered, accompanied by his general, Meer Jaffier, he sent he generally both argues and divides against them, we find for Mr Holwell, and burst into violent reproaches at his them frequently acting upon his suggestions. Though | having attempted to defend the place against the ruler of Hume sits with, and divides with the Old Opposition, we Bengal. He expressed also the most extreme dissatisfaction cannot regard him as being one of their party. The fact at finding in the treasury only the small sum of 50,000 is, that he has formed a party and opposition wholly his rupees. Yet, after three interviews, he dismissed him with own, and were we to apply a distinctive epithet to him and assurances, on the word of a soldier, that no harm should the few who follow his steps—though with less energy and be done to him. Mr. Holwell returned to his companions, perseverances, we should call them the Financial Opposition and found them surrounded by a strong guard, who led the inen who work the sledge hammer to ministers in them into a veranda, or arched gallery, coustructed to shaping reductions of taxation and expenditure.

shelter the soldiers from the sun and rain, but which ex. For this purpose no man is better fitted than Hume, cluded the chambers behind it from light and air. Some either in body or in mind ; in body he is a perfect colossus quarters of the fort being on fire, they were involved in so in point of strength; and that strength, together with the thick a smoke as inspired them with the apprehension that emperance and regularity of his habits, makes him able to a design was formed to suffocate them; but the guard were imdergo fatigue which would exhaust any other man. Of merely looking out for a proper place of confinement. his mind, firmuess and patience are the leading characters ; They pitched upon a chamber employed as the common and those characters are so strongly marked in his form | dungeon of the garrison, called the black hole ; it consist

. and face, that no man who has read the debates, has occa- ed of a space eighteen feet square, with only two small sion, upon entering the House of Commons, to ask which windows barred with iron, opening into the close veranda, is Joseph Hume. You perceive him sitting by his pillar, and scarcely admitting a breath of air. Into this namn in a dress equally remarkable for its plainness and its clean- receptacle, the whole of the officers and troops 146 in ness

. There is nothing of the for or the sloven about him. number, were compelled to enter ; and, on their venturing You never find him lounging; yon never

hear him laugh; to remonstrate, the commander ordered every one who and when he speaks to those about him it is always respect- should hesitate to be instantly cut down. Thus were they ing the business before the House, or the contents of some forcibly thrust into this fearful dungeon, into which the papers, a pile of which are always beside him. If he be whole number could with difficulty be squeezed; the door without his hat, you are instantly struck with the appear was then fast barred from without. Their first impression, ance of his head. It wants the dazzling eloquence of that on finding themselves thus immured, was the utter impossi

. of Mr. Canning; it has not the acuteness of that of Hus-bility of surviving one night, and the necessity of extricatkisson ; you seek in vain for the perspicnity of Golerich ; ing themselves at whatever cost. The jemautdars, or Indian and you can mark no trace of the dark-lowering strength guards, were walking before the window, and Mr. Holwell of Brougham; but there is in it a firmness of purpose, an sceing one who bore on his face a more than usual expres. inflexibility of temper, and a truth to the end, which acom-sion of humanity, adjured him to procure for them room pany not, and perhaps cannot accompany these more splen- in which they could breath, assuring him next morning of did qualities. There is no imagination, and neither a beam a reward of 1000 rupees. The man went away but I of wit nor humour; and the power of oratory is entirely turned, saying it was impossible

. The prisoners, thinking lost in the deep retiring of the eyes. Bit the lower lateral the offer had been too low, tendered 2000 rupees

. The parts of the forehead, and, above all, the firm setting of the inan ragain wenty-and returned, saying that the na hata nose

, and the hard line" to which the lips are compressed, I was asleep, and no one durst awake hin. The lives of l. tell you that this, and none other that you see in the House I meu were nothing in comparison to disturbing for a mha

« PreviousContinue »