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meeting with him, he immediately climbed into his arms, and
"He usually, on first coming on board, after taking exercise about the rigging, retired to rest at sunset, on the maintop, coming on deck regularly at daylight. This continued until our arrival off the Cape, when experiencing a lower temperature, he expressed an eager desire to be taken to my arms, and to be permitted to pass the night in my cabin, for which he evinced such a decided partiality, that, on the return of warm weather, he would not retire to the maintop, but seemed to have a determination to stay where he thought himself the most comfortable, and which 1, at last, after much crying and solicitation from him, permitted.
"He was not able to take up small objects with facility, on ac count of the disproportion of the size of the thumb to the fingers. The metacarpal bone of the thumb has the mobility of a first joint. The form of both the feet and hands gives a great prehensile power, fitted for the woods or forests, the natural habitat of these animals, where it must be almost an impossibility to capture an adult of the species alive.
occurred in this animal. Once or twice I lectured him on taking away my soap continually from the washing-place, which he would remove, for his amusement, from that place, and leave it about the cabin. One morning I was writing, the ape being present in the cabin, when, casting my eyes towards him, I saw the little fellow taking the soap. I watched him, without his perceiving that I did so: and he occasionally would cast a furtive glance towards the place where I sat. I pretended to write; he seeing me busily occupied, took the soap, and moved away with it in his paw. When he had walked half the length of the cabin, I spoke quietly without frightening him. The instant he found I saw him, he walked back again, and deposited the soap nearly in the same place from whence he had taken it. There was certainly something more than instinct in that action: he evidently betrayed a consciousness of having done wrong, both by his first and last actions;—and what is reason if that is not an exercise of it?
"He soon knew the name of Ungka, which had been given to him, and would readily come to those to whom he was attached when called by that name. His mildness of disposition and playfulness of manner made him a universal favourite with all on board.
"He was playful, but preferred children to adults. He became particularly attached to a little Papuan child (Elau, a native of Erromanga, one of the New Hebrides group,) who was on board, and whom it is not improbable he may have in some degree considered as having an affinity to his species. They were often seen sitting near the capstan, the animal with his long arm round her neck, lovingly eating biscuit together.
"She would lead him about by his long arms, like an elder leading a younger child and it was the height of the grotesque to witness him running round the capstan, pursued by, or pursuing, the child. He would waddle along, in the erect posture, at a rapid pace, sometimes aiding himself by his knuckles; but when fatigued, he would spring aside, seize hold of the first rope he came to, and, ascending a short distance, regard himself as safe from pursuit.
"In a playful manner he would roll on deck with the child, as if in a mock combat, pushing with his feet (in which action he possessed great muscular power), entwining his long arms around her, and pretending to bite; or, seizing a rope, he would swing towards her, and when efforts were made to seize him would elude the grasp by swinging away; or he would, by way of changing the plan of attack, drop suddenly on her from the ropes aloft, and then engage in various playful antics. He would play in a similar manner with adults; but finding them usually too strong and rough for him, he preferred children, giving up his games with them, if any adults joined in the sports at the same time.
"If however, an attempt was made by the child to play with him, when he had no inclination, or after he had sustained some disappointment, he usually made a slight impression with his teeth on her arm, just sufficient to act as a warning, or a sharp hint, that no liberties were to be taken with his person; or, as the child would say, ' Ungka no like play now.' Not unfrequently, a string being tied to his leg, the child would amuse herself by dragging the patient animal about the deck: this he would goodnaturedly bear for some time, thinking, perhaps, it amused his little playmate; but finding it last longer than he expected, he became tired of that fun, in which he had no share, except in being the sufferer; he would then make endeavours to disengage himself and retire. If he found his efforts fruitless, he would quietly walk up to the child, and make an impression with his teeth in a ratio of hardness according to his treatment: that hint soon terminated the sport and procured him his liberty.
"When sleeping, he lies along, either on the side or back, resting the head on the hands, and is always desirous of retiring to rest at sunset. It was at this time he would approach me uncalled for, making a peculiar begging, chirping noise; an indication that he wished to be taken into the cabin to be put to bed. Before I admitted him into my cabin, after having firmly stood against his piteous beseeching tones and cries, he would go up the rigging and take up his reposing place for the night in the maintop. He would often (I suppose from his approximation to civilization) in- | dulge in bed some time after sunrise, and frequently when I awoke I have seen him lying on his back, his long arms stretched out, and, with eyes open, appearing as if buried in deep reflection. At sunset, when he was desirous of retiring to rest, he would approach his friends, uttering his peculiar chirping note, a beseeching sound, begging to be taken into their arms: his request once acceded to, he was as adhesive as Sindbad's Old Man of the Sea; any attempt to remove him being followed by violent screams. He could not endure disappointment, and, like the human species, was always better pleased when he had his own way; when refused or disappointed at anything, he would display the freaks of temper of a spoiled child-lie on the deck, roll about, throw his arms and legs in various attitudes and directions, dash everything aside that might be within his reach, walk hurriedly, repeat the same scene over "There were also on board the ship several small monkeys, with and over again, and utter the guttural notes of ra, ra-the employ-whom Ungka was desirous of forming interesting conversaziones, ment of coercive measures during the paroxysms reduced him in to introduce a social character among the race, while away the a short period to a system of obedience, and the violence of his tedious hours, which pass but tardily in a ship, and dissipate the temper by such means became in some degree checked. Often monotony of the voyage: to this the little monkeys would not has he reminded me of that pest to society, a spoiled child, who accede; they treated him as an outcast, and all cordially united to may justly be defined as papa's pride, mama's darling, the visi- repel the approaches of the 'little man in black,' by chattering, tor's terror, and an annoyance to all the living animals, men and and various other hostile movements peculiar to them. maid servants, dogs, cats, &c., in the house that it might be inhabiting.
"When he came, at sunset, to be taken into my arms, and was refused, he would fall into a paroxysm of rage; but finding that unsuccessful and unattended to, he would mount the rigging, and hanging over that part of the deck on which I was walking, would suddenly drop himself into my arms.
"One instance of a very close approximation to, if it may not be considered absolutely an exercise of, the reasoning faculty,
"Ungka, thus repelled in his kind endeavours to establish something like sociality amongst them, determined in his own mind to annoy and punish them for their impudence; so, the next time they united, as before, in a body on his approach, he watched the opportunity, and when one was off his guard, seized a rope, and, swinging towards him, caught him by the tail, and hauled away upon it, much to the annoyance of the owner, who had no idea that such a retaliation was to take place; he continued pulling upon it, as if determined to detach it, until the agility and desperation
up the rigging, at a height sufficient to command a good view of the stranger, and sometimes take up his position on the peak haulyards, just under the flag-a signal difficult no doubt for the stranger to comprehend: there he would remain gazing wistfully after the departing stranger, until he was out of sight, give one parting, lingering look, and then come down on the deck again, and resume the sports from which the stranger's appearance had disturbed him.
of the monkey at being so treated obliged him to relinquish his hold. "But it not unfrequently happened that he made his way up the rigging, dragging the monkey by the tail after him, and thus made him follow his course most unwillingly. If in his ascent he required both hands, he would pass the tail of his captive into th prehensile power of his foot. It was the most grotesque scene imaginable, and will long remain in the remembrance of those who witnessed it, and was performed by Ungka with the most perfect gravity of countenance, while the poor suffering monkey grinned, chattered, twisted about, making the most strenuous endeavours to escape from his opponent's grasp. His countenance, at all times a figure of fun, now had terror added to it, increasing the delineation of beauty; and when the poor beast had been dragged some distance up the rigging, Ungka, tired of his labour, would suddenly let go his hold of the tail, when it would require some skill on the part of the monkey to seize a rope, to prevent his receiving a compound fracture by a rapid descent on deck. Ungka, having himself no caudal extremity, knew well that he was perfectly free from any retaliation on the part of his opponents. "As this mode of treatment was far from being either amusing or instructive to the monkeys, they assembled together in an executive council, where it was determined that, in future, the 'big black stranger,' who did not accord with them in proportions, and who demeaned himself by walking erect, wearing no tail, and was in several other respects guilty of unmonkey-like conduct, should be for the future avoided and treated with contempt; and should he again think proper to assault any of the body, they should all unite and punish him for his violent conduct. Ungka, when again he madeany atempt to renew his amusement of pulling tails, met with such a warm reception from all the litttle creatures assembled, that he found it necessary to give up take-bearing, and devote himself to other pursuits. He had, however, such an inclination to draw out tales, that being obliged, from peculiar circumstances,' to relinquish those of the monkeys, he cultivated the friendship of a little clean pig that ran about the deck, and, taking his tail in hand, endeavoured, by frequent pulling, to reduce it from a curled to a straight form; but all his efforts were in vain, although piggy did not express any ill-natural erect attitude, was kept to be consigned, on our arrival in feeling at his kind endeavours.
"When dinner was announced by the steward, and the captain and officers assembled in the cuddy, then Ungka, considering himself as also one of the mess, would be seen bending his steps towards the cuddy, and entering, took his station on a corner of the table, between the captain and myself: there he remained waiting for his share of the food, considering that we were all in duty and humanity bound to supply him with a sufficiency of provender. When from any of his ludicrous actions at table we all burst out in loud laughter, he would vent his indignation at being made the subject of ridicule, by uttering his peculiar hollow, barking noise, at the same time inflating the air-sac, and regarding the persons laughing with a most serious look, until they had ceased, when he would quietly resume his dinner.
"The animal had an utter dislike to confinement, and was of such a social disposition as always to prefer company to being left alone. When shut up, his rage was very violent, throwing everything about that was lying near, or that he could move, in his place of confinement, but becoming perfectly quiet when released. When the animal was standing with his back towards the spectator, his being tail-less, and standing erect, gave him the appearance of a little black hairy man; and such an object might easily have been regarded by the superstitious as one of the infernal imps.
"Although every kindness was shown to him by the officers and crew, and sweetmeats and other niceties were given to him by them by way of bribes, to engage his confidence and good opinion, yet he would not permit himself to be taken in the arms, or caressed familiarly by any person on board during the voyage, except by the commander, the third officer, and myself; but with any of the children he would readily gambol. It was a strange fact, that he in particular avoided all those who wore large bushy whiskers.
"It was ludicrous to behold the terrified looks of the animal, if his finger was taken towards a cup of hot tea, as if to ascertain the temperature; and his attempt at remonstrating on the impropriety of such conduct, together with his half-suppressed screams, were very diverting.
"Among other amusements, he would frequently hang from a rope with one arm; and, when in a frolicsome humour, frisk about with his eyes shut, giving him the appearance of a person hanging and in the agonies of death.
"When we spoke a ship at sea, his curiosity seemed to be much excited by the novel object near us, for he would invariably mount
"When strangers came on board, he approached them with caution, and at such a distance as he considered consistent with his ideas of safety. To the ladies he did not evince any partiality; we had none on board by which we could judge whether a few days or weeks of their powerful fascinations would have any effect on him. The only lady who had honoured him with her notice was one who came on board from a ship we spoke at sea; he evinced, however, no partiality to the gentle sex, and would not permit her to caress him; whether it was the bonnet, which was of the calibre of 1828, or other portions of the lady's dress that excited his indignation I cannot say, as the animal could not communicate his opinions; whatever the cause might have been, he was evidently not eager to become acquainted with her, but would show a disposition to bite if she attempted to caress him. As she appeared at first timid of approaching him, this show of warfare may have been occasioned by it, and in some degree have made the cunning brute keep up the feeling. I was acquainted with a lady in Ceylon, who, having been bitten by a cockatoo, always evinced great terror at the approach of one which was kept by her ayah, or lady's-maid, in the house; the bird appeared aware of it, for, when he saw the lady approach, he would flap his wings, elevate his crest, shriek out, and at the same time pretend to pursue her, at which she ran away quite terrified.
"When the poor animal lay on the bed of sickness, from dysentery, produced by the cold, there was as much inquiry after his health by the officers and crew as if he had been of human form divine,' for he was a universal favourite on board; and there was much regret when he died-all his gambols and playful antics ceasing for ever. His skin, properly stuffed and preserved in its England, to one of the glass-cases in the British Museum, where he was eventually deposited *.
"His death occurred as follows:-On the 19th of March, 1831, we had reached the latitude 45 degrees, 41 minutes north, and longitude 24 degrees, 40 minutes west. The animal seemed (although clothed in flannel, and kept in my cabin) to suffer much from cold, and was attacked by dysentery. He would prefer going on the deck, in the cold air, with the persons to whom he was attached, to remaining in the warm cabin with those whom he did not regard. On the 24th he became much worse, his appetite gone, and he had a dislike to being moved; the discharge from the bowels was bilious, mixed with blood and mucus, sometimes entirely of blood and mucus, with a putrescent odour. The breath had a sickly smell, mouth clammy, eyes dull and suffused; he drank a little water occasionally, and sometimes a little tea. I gave the usual remedies of calomel and opium, as if I was treating dysentery in a human being; and although I was obliged to put the medicine down his throat myself, the animal made no resistance; and on a renewal of the doses, did not attempt to prevent it, as if aware that it was intended for his benefit. He generally remained with his head hanging on the breast, and limbs huddled together: he would, however, when yawning, inflate the pouch as usual.
THE CHARACTER of an ATHEIST.
AN Atheist, says Butler, the author of Hudibras, is a bold disputant, that takes upon himself to prove the hardest negative in the world, and, from the impossibility of the attempt, may be justly concluded not to understand it; for he that does not know nothing else of it; and he that will venture to comprehend understand so much as the difficulty of his understanding, can that which is not within his reach, does not know so far as his own latitude, much less the extent of that which lies beyond it.
*The ape and monkey tribe, although approaching so near the human race in external appearance, as well as in its omnivorous habits of diet, still differs materially, in not being able to sustain a change of climate; nor is it readily inured to a cold climate, if a native of the tropical regions.
He denies that to be which he finds by undeniable inference to be in all things, and because it is everywhere, would have it to be nowhere; as if that old jingle were logically true in all things, because it is so in nothing. If a blind man should affirm there is no such thing as light, and an owl no such thing as darkness, it would be hard to say which is the wiser owl of the two; and yet both would speak true, according to their apprehensions and experience, but false, because it is of things beyond the reach of their capacities. He draws a map of nature by his own fancy, and bounds her how he pleases, without regard to the position of the heavens, by which only her latitude is to be understood, and without which all his speculations are vain, idle, and confused. Nothing but ignorance can beget a cònfidence bold enough to determine the first cause; for all the inferior works of Nature are objects more fit for our wonder than curiosity; and she conceals the truth of things that lie under our view from us, to discourage us from attempting those that are more remote. He commits an error in making Nature (which is nothing but the order and method by which all causes and effects in the world are governed) to be the first cause; as if he should suppose the laws by which a prince governs to be the prince himself.
MACHINERY OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
sun rises, to the point whence it is to rise again, are palpable tokens of a divine mission, for the due execution of which, we who live in discussion and action, and our children's children, will be held responsible.
"The whole continent of Africa is waiting to bear testimony to our character in this respect. We are the only European nation that holds any portion of that territory, from which light can eventually be shed over the sable multitudes who occupy its central and southern districts. The incursions of the barbarians who swarm on our frontiers in the south will compel us ultimately to extend those frontiers until they touch the Nile. Men actuated by extraordinary impulses have gone forth from amongst us at the hazard and almost uniformly at the forfeiture of their lives to explore the rivers and lakes and mountains and plains, and to become acquainted with the tribes, of those magnificent though as yet unhealthy regions. They have already felt our power in the south and in the west, and know that it is irresistible. They warred with each other in order that they might make captives, and sell them to less populous climes. We have nearly put an end to that unhallowed trade, have extinguished their motives for perpetual hostilities amongst themselves, and have attempted to show them that there are other kinds of commerce, which can only be fostered by peace, extended by industry, protected by laws, blessed by religion, and capable of forming a bond, which shall connect them by the ties of interest and affection with all their brethren of the human race,-a bond never to be broken. The last shout of our people, speaking the living voice of our God, was- Break the chains of the negroes!' It is done. The next must be- Baptize them!' IT WILL BE DONE.*"
The Board of Control consists of the president and eight commissioners; of these six are Ministers already mentioned, and two are gentlemen not very different in their official character from the Lords of the Treasury-that is to say, they have very little to do. I forget who it was-I believe Mr. Creevey-who described his occupation in that office, as being confined to his attendance there whenever he found it pleasant to go into a large room furnished very hand
The office itself is a most anomalous one. A body of London merchant-adventurers, tempted by the reports which they had heard of the abundance of gold, diamonds, emeralds, and rubies
THE machinery of the Colonial Office has been for a long time in a most dilapidated state. The genius of indolence presided with absolute power through all its departments until very lately. Much of its inefficiency was undoubtedly attributable to a most injudicious economy, which reduced the number of clerks just about the period when the population of our North American and antipodean colonies began to "increase and multiply." The reader must excuse this phrase "antipodean." I mean by it Van Diemen's Land and Australia, to which New Zealand may now be added. The mismanagement of that office drove the Canadas into rebellion, and created in our West India islands a great deal of needless discontent. As to our settlements upon the coast of Africa, they were consigned to entire neglect. A better spirit, however, has at length found its way into that important portion of the machinery of our government. A commission has been ap-somely, and well supplied with fire and newspapers. The president pointed for the regulation of the distribution of all the crown and secretary are, however, efficient persons, and generally very lands in the colonies. To this commission, no doubt, will be re- fully employed. ferred complicated questions of every kind emanating from our dependencies, and rules will eventually be established for their administration upon a wise and salutary system. The idea of despatching an expedition up the Niger, with a view to cut off the trade in slaves at its very source, is a most admirable one; and we trust it will be carried into practice in such an efficient way as to prevent its being a failure, so far as our government can. It is, indeed, not new, for it was long ago suggested, but in vain pressed upon the colonial department, until Lord John Russell's accession to the presidency of that office. Measures are now in active progress, the object of which is to teach the natives that a species of commerce much more lucrative than that to which they have been hitherto accustomed may be cultivated amongst them. Orders have been given for the construction of iron steam-boats, which, as boats of that description are known to require but a slight depth of water even when fully laden, will be peculiarly suitable to the navigation of rivers abounding in rocks and sand-banks and cataracts. Thus are we at length (and let us praise the Omnipotent for it!) proceeding to fulfil the mission appointed to our nation; a mission so clearly described in a work published five years ago, and now on my table, that I hope the reader will excuse an extract from it upon this important subject.
"He must tread to little purpose the earth upon which we are placed, who does not read in letters of light, the ordinance of the GREAT GOD, whereby He has announced it to be his will, that from this island should be dispersed the knowledge of his Law, and of the happiness with which it overflows, amongst all the families of men still immersed in mental darkness and misery. All our important acts upon the theatre of the world, our impregnable positions on the sea, which gives us access to every tribe under the sun, the power we at this moment exercise from the point where that
of ivory, spices, cloths of gold and silver, and other produce and manufactures of the most precious description to be found in India, formed in the reign of Elizabeth plans for opening a trade with that country. Their first enterprises were attended with many failures, which it is not here necessary to enumerate. Gradually, as their views expanded, their numbers were augmented. In the year 1600 they constituted an association, designated the "Governor and Company of Merchants trading to the East Indies," and obtained a charter from the crown, by which they were invested with very extensive privileges. The court even then exhibited a disposition to interfere with their operations, by naming a commander of one of their expeditions. The company resisted, saying in the blunt homely language of John Bull that they were resolved not to employ "gentlemen," but "to sort their business with men of their own quality." Expedition followed expedition with increasing prosperity. Small factories were established on the coast of Coromandel. The island of Bombay having been in 1662 ceded to England by the Portuguese as part of the dowry of the Infanta Catherine on the occasion of her marriage with Charles II. was subsequently transferred to the company. Thus they became sovereigns of a small portion of the Indian territory; they have since extended that small dominion into an empire, which now may be said to reach from the borders of China on one side to those of Persia on the other, and from the ocean in the south to the magnificent range of the Himalas in the north, including the highest mountains in the world.
* Quin's Steam Voyage down the Danube, vol. ii., p. 47, 49.
Thus, a little band of merchant-adventurers, whose officers were in fact in their early expeditions little, if at all, better than a set of buccaneers for with or without provocation they made no scruple of capturing every well-laden vessel they met in the course of their voyage-eventually have become a most formidable power, having at its disposal numerous and well-appointed armies on land, and at sea a considerable fleet lately rendered all-powerful by the employment of war-steamers. Late events in India have proved that their legions are organised in the most admirable manner, and that their military leaders are men of consummate skill and dauntless gallantry. It is in leed to be regretted that their civil departments of government are as yet in a very imperfect condition. But it must, at the same time, be admitted that the establishment of legal order in an empire containing at the least 100 millions of inhabitants is an affair of no ordinary magni. tude, and which must require many years for its due establishment. From time to time, as the power of this company was enlarged, the ministers of the crown, jealous of its imperial character, sought to exercise an ascendency over it. Undoubtedly the crown may at any time revoke its charter; or whenever the charter expires, it being granted only for limited periods, may refuse to renew it. But many difficulties would stand in the way of either of these proceed ings. Some of these difficulties arise from the debt contracted by the company, which the government would of course be unwilling to take upon itself. Then there must be compensations to officers of the company, compensations for its corporate property, and a variety of other inconveniences which are altogether so numerous as to weigh down the balance in favour of the continued existence of the corporation.
The next expedient was to create a system of superintendancy, by which the proceedings of these imperial merchants should be brought within the cognizance, and to a great extent within the jurisdiction, of the crown: hence our present Board of Control. It is a question not yet satisfactorily settled, notwithstanding the many legislative regulations made for that purpose, how far the board does possess authority to control the decrees of the court of directors. Nothing can be done by the board without the concurrence of the court, with the exception, I believe, of the appointment of one member of the legislative council in India. The court has, it is understood, more than once refused to sanction despatches which were materially altered by the board, and to agree in the nomination of governors-general recommended by the crown. However this may be, the board, as part of our state" machinery," is indeed a most important institution, and the minister at the head of it ought to be a thorough statesman. He is, nevertheless, seldom heard of in parliament. The affairs of India-even the late brilliant actions of our armies there, the most distinguished perhaps ever éxecuted within so brief a period of time, and with such certain effect-have attracted scarcely any attention in this country. Whenever the president has any measure to propose or any communication to make in parliament, he most commonly has to address himself to empty benches! Such is our apathy as to the welfare of one hundred millions of our fellow-creatures, the great majority of whom are immersed in the most deplorable ignorance and idolatry!
The office of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a part of our state "machinery" which may be described in a few words. Counties Palatine are so called from the Latin word palatio, "palace," the owners thereof having been privileged to exercise all regal prerogatives as fully as the king was in his palace. The principal reason of such an arrangement seems to have been this: that the counties enjoying those privileges-Chester and Durham, for instance-were contiguous to countries long hostile to England, viz., Wales and Scotland, and it was desirable that the inhabitants should have justice administered at home, in order that they should not seek it at any distance, and thereby leave the border territories exposed to the incursions of the enemy. The counties palatine_just mentioned were such by prescription or immemorial usage; Lancaster was created a county palatine by Edward III. in favour of Henry Plantagenet, first earl, and then duke of
Lancaster. It had its own courts of justice, and among the rest a court of chancery. In process of time all the rights and privileges granted to this county became vested in the crown, and many modifications have been made in its prerogatives. But still the duchy exists, and the court of the duchy chamber, which is held before the chancellor of the duchy or his deputy, has jurisdiction in all matters of equity relating to lands held of the king in his right as duke of Lancaster. These lands were formerly very extensive, and embraced a large district surrounded by the city of Westminster. I rather think that William IV. surrendered to the public the whole of his revenues arising from this source; but the jurisdiction of the court still remains, though the equity side of the court of exchequer, and the high court of chancery, have a concurrent jurisdiction with it, and may take cognizance of the
The Mint is an extensive establishment situated near the Tower, where the coinage of gold, silver, and copper is carried on under the royal authority. The gold and silver bullion necessary for this purpose is usually supplied by the Bank of England; but it is competent to any individual to send in gold bullion to the Mint and have it converted into sovereigns. Individuals, however, who receive bullion from abroad, whether in gold or silver bars, find it more advantageous to dispose of their treasure to the Bank than to manage the coinage of it through the Mint for themselves, as they thus get rid of all the trouble, and also of some trifling expenses which they must otherwise incur.
The Board of Trade is a committee of the Privy Council, to which all matters relating to the commerce of the country are referred. The duties appertaining to this board have never been strictly defined. It has for many years had a president and vice-president, two secretaries, and a large establishment of clerks; but the public derived little benefit from this office until lately. Ample materials were upon the shelves of the office for furnishing many statistical tables relating to our trade in every part of the world. It was only within these last six or seven years that such tables have been drawn up with any degree of regularity. They are collected in a volume and published annually. New functions have been committed to the board by several recent acts of parliament: one of these is the examination of projects for the establishment of joint-stock banking companies, which solicit the crown for charters of incorporation. The board takes cognizance also of all private bills passing through parliament a duty the strict performance of which would be extremely useful to the public. It must, however, be confessed, that it is very practicable to render this establishment much more beneficial to the interests of our trade in general than it ever yet has been.
It is very difficult to distinguish between the proper functions of the Secretary-at-war, and of the Commander-in-chief of the Forces. The latter seems to have all the patronage, and the former all the constitutional responsibility for the right exercise of that patronage. All orders for the management of the army emanate from the office of the secretary-at-war, and are sent direct to the commander-in-chief, who is bound to execute them. But the power of promotion is claimed exclusively by the
Undoubtedly the Commissioners of the Admiralty, or, in point of fact, the First Lord-or rather, indeed, the political, as distinguished from the permanent secretary,-exercises much of the patronage of that office; and although the chief is usually a member of the cabinet, he only acts, as to the distribution of the navy, under orders signified to him by the secretaries of state for foreign affairs or the colonies. The mere regulation of the navy,such as the sending out squadrons for exercise, or supplying the usual stations, or altering the destinations of vessels from one station to another, or directing the construction of new ships-belongs wholly to the Board of Admiralty; but the secretary-at-war and the commander-in-chief exercise their functions upon a different plan altogether. Perhaps the true constitutional course would be to combine the officers of both into one board, and that upon the president all the responsibility should be devolved.
It is the business of the Ordnance to regulate all matters relat- add to this notion of solidity and security. In Persia, on the ing to the artillery. contrary, the entrance to most houses, even those of persons of We have thus gone through a considerable portion of the "ma-high rank, is more like the hole of some den than of a dwelling for human beings; and the rickety, open-seamed, miserably-fitted chinery" of the state, so far as its executive departments are convalve with which it is closed, does assuredly ill merit the appellation cerned, but undoubtedly Parliament is the great "machine," the of a door. vast steam-engine, by which the whole is set in motion. We will say something about it in future papers.
THE CITY OF THE PLAGUES.
A VIEW OF BAGHDAD UNDER ITS COMBINED VISITATIONS OF
MR. FRASER, the well-known Persian traveller (justly celebrated for his hard riding and able writing), has issued a new work, the title of which we give below*. From it we extract the following picture of Baghdad under a visitation of combined plagues during 1831. A valued friend, who was a resident in Baghdad during the whole of that disastrous period, says, "Strongly coloured as Mr. Fraser's statements may seem to the reader, to me they appear weak and diluted, as compared with the deathly images and indescribable feelings which occur to me with every recollection of that direful time. Unless it were that, in the gracious providence of God, the mind gets used to its burdens, and the heart to its wounds, I know not that one might see such things and live!"
The famine, to which Mr. Fraser but slightly alludes, co-existed with both the plague and the inundation, and did not follow, as he seems to state, although it continued for some time after the other calamities had abated the cause being, that the siege prevented provisions from being brought into the town, even after the plague had ceased to destroy, and the flood had subsided.
Baghdad, the once famous capital of the great empire of the caliphs, and so familiar to every reader of the " Arabian Nights' Entertainments," is now the capital of a pashalic of the Turkish empire. It is divided into two parts by the Tigris, which is here about 750 feet wide, in full stream. The pashas of Baghdad, for more than a century, have been little more than nominally dependent on the Turkish government; and it was owing to a vigorous attempt made by the late Sultan Mahmoud to reduce Daood Pasha, in 1831, that famine and war were added to the other plagues.
"Nor are the streets of Baghdad by any means totally unenlivened by apertures for admitting light and air. On the contrary, not only are windows to the streets frequent, but there is a sort of oriel, or projecting window, much in use, which overhangs the street and generally gives light to some sitting-room, in which may be seen seated a few grave Turks, smoking away the time; or, if you be in luck, you may chance to find yourself illuminated by a beam from some bright pair of eyes shining through the halfclosed lattice. These sitting apartments are sometimes seen thrown across the street, joining the houses on either side, and affording a pleasing variety to the architecture, particularly when seen, as they often are, half shaded by the leaves of a date-tree that overhangs them from a court within. There was something in the general air of the tout-ensemble-the style of building—the foreign costume-the mingling of foliage, particularly the palm-leaves, with architecture, when seen through the vista of some of the other and better-known countries; yet I could scarcely say which straighter streets-which called up a confused remembrance of -a touch of Madeira-of the West and East Indies, all commingled-something, at all events, more pleasing than the real scene before me. When would anything in a Persian town have called forth such recollections?
"Such were the impressions received from what I saw in passing through the town; but the banks of the river exhibited a very different and far more attractive scene. The flow of a noble streami is at all times an interesting object; but when its banks are occupied by a long range of imposing, if not absolutely handsome buildings, shaded by palm-groves and enlivened by hundreds of boats and the hum of thousands of men, and its stream spanned by a bridge of boats, across which there is a constant transit of men and horses and camels and caravans, and a great traffic of all sorts, the coup-d'ail formed by such a combination can hardly fail of producing a very animated picture: and such, undoubtedly, is the view of the Tigris from any one of many points upon its banks, from whence you can command the whole reach occupied by the present city.
"The first sight of the Tigris was not certainly what I expected; I cannot just say I was disappointed, but I had expected a broader river. I believe, however, it is better as it is, for now the eye commands both banks with ease. With the river façade of "To those who come from Persia," says Mr. Fraser," and most of the houses have numerous lattices and oriels, or projectthe town I was agreeably surprised. We saw few blank walls, as especially who have been sickened with such a succession of ruin ing windows, looking out upon the stream. There is a handsome and desolation as that which had wearied our eyes, the first sight mosque, with its domes and minarets, close to the bridge, itself a of Baghdad is certainly calculated to convey a favourable impres-pleasing object; and altogether there is an agreeable irregularity, sion; nor does it immediately wear off. The walls, in the first and a respectable loftiness in the line of buildings that overhang place, present a more imposing aspect-constructed as they are of the stream upon its left bank, which imparts an interesting variety furnace-burned bricks, and strengthened with round towers, to the view. The right or western side is by no means so picpierced for guns, at each angle, instead of the mean-looking, mud- turesque in its architecture; but its large groves of date-trees, built, crenelated, and almost always ruinous inclosures which surround the cities of Persia. Not that the wall of Baghdad is mingled with buildings, render it also a pleasing object from the perfect-far from it. I speak only of its external appearance ;more populous side." and the gates also, though in a very dilapidated condition, are certainly superior to those of their neighbours.
"On entering the town, the traveller from Persia is moreover gratified by the aspect of the houses, which, like the walls, are all built of fire-burned bricks, and rise to the height of several stories: and though the number of windows they present to the street is far from great, yet the eye is not constantly offended by that abominable succession of mean, low, crumbling, irregular, zigzag masses of mud, divided by dirty dusty clefts, undeserving even of the title of alleys, that make up the aggregate of a Persian city.
"It is true that the streets, even here, are for the most part mere alleys, and abundantly narrow, unpaved, and, I have no doubt, in wet weather, deep and dirty enough; but in riding along them, particularly in dry weather, one is impressed with the idea that the substantial walls to the right and left must contain good, weathertight, comfortable domiciles; while the stout, comparatively wellsized, iron-clenched doors with which the entrances are defended, Travels in Koordistan, Mesopotamia, &c., including an Account of parts of those Countries hitherto unvisited by Europeans. With Sketches of the Character and Manners of the Koordish and Arab Tribes. By J. Baillie Fraser, Esq., author of "The Kuzzilbash," "A Winter's Journey to Persia," &c. In 2 vols. London: Bentley, 1840.
"Towards the end of the career of Daood Pashah, that is, in the year 1830, his enemies prevailed in the councils of the Porte, and his downfall was resolved upon; but so firmly had he established himself in his place, that not all the power of Constantinople would have been able to effect his overthrow, had not a mighty arm interfered to pull him down. Daood had long applied him self to the formation of an efficient army, and had succeeded so well that he might have laughed to scorn all the military array which the Sultan could have sent against him. Thus stood matters when, in the commencement of 1831, the plague which had been desolating Persia made its appearance in Baghdad. Ins ulated cases had occurred, it was said, so early as the preceding November, but they were concealed or neglected; and it was not until the month of March 1831, that the fatal truth of the plague being in and increasing in Baghdad, became notorious and undeniable.
"On the last day of March, Colonel Taylor shut up his house, in accordance with the painful but necessary custom of Europeans, who find, by experience, that if this precaution be taken in time, they generally escape the malady, which appears to be communicable only by contact or close approach to leeward of an infected person. On such occasions all articles from without are received through wickets cut in the wall, and are never touched till passed