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The chief natural productions of New Zealand are timber and Mr. Ward, the Secretary of the New Zealand Company, in a small flax. Of the former there are many varieties, several being excel- volume entitled Information relative to New Zealand," which lently adapted for ship-building. One of them, the cowdie, a contains a very fair and candid exposition of all the points most species of pine, is excellently fitted for masts and spars for large necessary for the guidance of the emigrants, gives the following ships. The Board of Admiralty has lately been in the fre- account of them, which we extract, as containing much in a few quent habit of procuring supplies of it by contract for the use of words, and being perfectly accordant with the accounts of other the Royal Navy. Establishments have been formed for the pur-writers, may be regarded as free from any imputation of partiality. pose of procuring spars for shipping, as well as timber for housebuilding, and several vessels have been built in the New Zealand rivers by English merchants, assisted by the natives.
Flax, or the Phormium tenax, grows wild in all parts, and appears to be indigenous and inexhaustible. It is of a good quality, and never fails in the European market, except from the improper manner in which it is dressed by the natives, who have no machinery, and satisfy themselves with separating the fibres of the vegetable, and rolling them upon the thigh with the hands. The fibre is in fact twice as strong as that of the common flax, and very nearly equal in tenacity to that of silk. At Sydney, it is manufactured both into cordage and canvas; and if proper machinery were introduced into New Zealand, there can be little doubt that persons living upon the spot, and superintend-age to New Zealand in 1817,") speaks of "a plaintive and meloing their own establishments, would produce a very marketable commodity.
So little has hitherto been done towards obtaining a perfect knowledge of the country, almost all European enterprise having been heretofore confined to the northern part of the Northern Island, that all its resources, especially those of the Southern Island, which is comparatively unknown, cannot be expected to be yet developed. The mountains are probably rich in metallic ores, and among the mineral productions actually discovered, are iron in abundance, coal, bitumen, freestone, marble, and the purest sulphur. The natives use a blue pigment, probably manganese, and a valuable green stone is found exclusively in the Southern Island. This substance is soft when first dug up, but by exposure to the air, becomes as hard as agate, and semi-transparent. The whole country abounds in clay fit for brick-making and other purposes.
No native quadrupeds exist, but those which have been introduced have thriven. The first pigs were left by Captain Cook, and the stock being increased by the visits of whaling vessels, there are now numerous herds running wild in the woods, besides numbers reared by the natives and settlers, for the supply of the numerous vessels which frequent the coast. Dogs abound, especially at the Bay of Islands, and are employed by the natives in hunting down the wild hogs; but they are supposed, from the Spanish name pero assigned to them, to have been introduced by Juan Fernandez. The cat (puhihi, New Zealand for pussy) is eaten by the natives, and its skin is highly prized. The New Zealand rat, which is also an article of food, was probably imported by European vessels. Both cattle and sheep have been introduced, and have succeeded well; the samples of wool which have been exported are of a very excellent quality; but, it is not as a grazing country that New Zealand must be expected to excel. There is quite sufficient variety in the land to afford opportunities for raising sufficient live stock for home consumption, and for exportation to a limited extent; but it is not as a pastoral, but as a manufacturing, commercial, and agricultural people that her future inhabitants must look for success.
Closely approximating in its relation to the countries of the southern hemisphere, with that of Great Britain to those of the northern; like it, surrounded with harbours, and intersected with navigable streams; possessing a soil as generous, and a climate more equable and temperate, New Zealand will probably become "the great country of that part of the world," a term used by Mr. Montefiore in his examination before the Lords' Committee in 1838, and in our opinion very justly applied.
There is one point in which the colonisation of New Zealand must necessarily assume a very different character from that of any other of our emigration fields, and this is the character and position of the natives. These people widely differ from the wretched tribes who are scattered over Australia, and from the in. habitants of the Sandwich Islands, who are too much influenced by the enervating effects of climate. The New Zealanders, although still savages, possess all the mental and bodily requisites needfu! for a quick progression in the scale of humanity. They hail the approach of European civilisation; are most anxious to avail themselves of its benefits; but being at the same time perfectly aware of the evils of a lawless community, are no less anxious for the establishment of a sufficient curb on the licentious ness of those who have already done them too much mischief.
"There is a natural politeness and grandeur in their deportment, a yearning after poetry, music, and the fine arts, a wit and eloquence, that remind us, in reading all the accounts of them, and in conversing with those who have resided among them, of the Greeks of Homer. Their language is rich and sonorous, abounding in metaphysical distinctions, and they uphold its purity most tenaciously, although they had no knowledge of writing until the missionaries reduced their dialect to a grammatical form. It is radically the same with that of Tahiti, and of the kindred nations. They have an abundance of poetry of a lyrical kind, of which we have seen many specimens, in a metre which seems regulated by a regard to quantity, as in Greek and Latin. They are passionately fond of music. Mr. Nicholas (in his "Narrative of a Voydious air, which seemed not unlike some of our sacred music in many of its turns, as it forcibly reminded me of the chanting in our cathedrals." They excel in carving, of which their war canoes, carrying one hundred men, are specimens.† They display their natural talents also in their pursuit of astronomy. Mr. Nicholas assures us that "they remain awake during the greater part of night in the summer season, watching the motions of the heavens, and making inquiries concerning the time when such and such a star will appear. They have given names to each of them, and divided them into constellations, and have likewise connected them with some curious traditions, which they hold in superstitious veneration. If the star they look for does not appear at the time it is expected to be seen, they become extremely solicitous about the cause of its absence, and immediately relate the traditions which they have received concerning it." Baron Hugel, a distinguished botanist, who visited the country, affirms, as do the missionaries, that there is not, in the Northern Island at least, a single tree, vegetable, or even weed, a fish, or a bird, for which the natives have not a name; and that those names are universally known. Baron Hugel was at first incredulous about this; he thought that with a ready wit they invented names; but, on questioning other individuals in distant places, he found them always to agree.
"The most striking of their social institutions is that of chieftainship. Society is divided into three principal gradations: the Areekees, or chieftains; the Rangatiras, being the gentry or middle class, and the Cookees or slaves. The Rangatiras are bound to serve the Areekees only in war; but the Cookees are held in complete slavery by the combination of the other two orders. Prisoners taken in war, if permitted to live, are reduced to the condition of slaves. The ransom of a slave is easily effected, but slavery is, notwithstanding, a source of grievous evils to the lower classes of natives, which the introduction of British laws appears to be the only effectual mode of suppressing. The upper classes, whilst they have a certain feeling of honour, often treat their inferiors with great barbarity, against which there is at present no adequate control.
"The habitations of the natives are in little villages, or groups of huts, scattered thinly among the coasts and harbours, the mountains of the interior not being inhabited. The villages are sometimes on the top of a hill or promontory, and within a rude fortification called a pah. Wars are constantly occurring between the different tribes, and when once begun they pass from one tribe to another till the whole country is in an uproar. Feuds are prolonged
* Information relative to New Zealand, compiled for the use of colonists by John Ward, Esq., Secretary to the New Zealand Company. Second edition, corrected and enlarged. Parker, 1840. Price Two shillings.
† Mr. Earle, an artist of no mean pretensions, speaks warmly of their excellence in this art, displayed not only on their canoes, but their houses; and he also mentions, with true professional enthusiasm, the remarkable talent shown by a celebrated tattooer, Aranghie; "I was astonished," he says, "to see with what boldness and precision Aranghie drew his designs upon the skin, and what beautiful ornaments he produced; no rule and compasses could be well and seemed to enter with such interest into the few lessons of painting tainly bring him with me, as I look upon him as a great natural genius." This I gave him, that if I were returning from here direct to England, I would cerman was but a Cookee or slave, but by the exercise of his art had acquired considerable property, which he was allowed to enjoy unmolested. fact is certainly an evidence of a superior moral condition.
more exact than the lines and circles he formed." He adds, "he copied so
by the custom of every chief exacting payment in kind for the ralatives which he may have lost in battle. There is however an officer, bearing the venerable character of a herald or peace-maker, whose mediation is employed to bring about reconciliations."
It is evident that such a people as have been described above, possess all the natural requisites for forming a very valuable part of a civilised community. They have always cordially co-operated with the missionaries in all their schemes for their social improvement, and Europeans have universally met not only with hospitality, but aid and protection in the prosecution of useful designs. The New Zealand Company has set an example which we trust will be followed, and by a scheme for the amalgamation of the native and emigrant population, which promises the very best effects, have opened a new era in the annals of civilisation.
We extract the Instructions on this head given to Colonel Wakefield, the Company's principal agent, in command of the expedition which sailed in May last, and with them must for the present conclude, but in our next Number we shall resume the subject.
In one respect, you will not fail to establish a very important difference between the purchases of the Company and those which have hitherto been made by every other class of buyers. Wilderness land, it is true, is worth nothing to its native owners, or worth nothing more than the trifle they can obtain for it. We are not, therefore, to make much account of the utter inadequacy of the purchase-money, according to English notions of the value of land. The land is really of no value, and can become valuable only by means of a great outlay of capital on immigration and settlement. But at the same time it may be doubted, whether the native owners have ever been entirely aware of the consequences that would result from such cessions as have already been made to a great extent of the whole of the lands of a tribe. Justice demands, not merely that these consequences should be as far as possible explained to them, but that the superior intelligence of the buyers should also be exerted to guard them against the evils which, after all, they may not be capable of anticipating. The danger to which they are exposed, and which they cannot well foresee, is that of finding themselves entirely without landed property, and therefore without consideration, in the midst of a society where, through immigration and settlement, land has become a valuable property. Absolutely they would suffer little or nothing from having parted with land which they do not use, and cannot exchange; but relatively they would suffer a great deal, inasmuch as their social position would be very inferior to that of the race who had settled amongst them, and given value to their now worthless territory. If the advantage of the natives alone were consulted, it would be better perhaps that they should remain for ever the savages that they are. This consideration appears never to have occurred to any of those who have hitherto purchased lands from the natives of New Zealand. It was first suggested by the New Zealand Association of 1837; and it has great weight with the present Company. In accordance with a plan which the Association of 1837 was desirous that a legislative enactment should extend to every purchase of land from the natives, as well past as future, you will take care to mention in every booka-booka, or contract for land, that a proportion of the territory ceded, equal to one-tenth of the whole, will be reserved by the Company, and held in trust by them for the future benefit of the chief families of the tribe. With the assistance of Naiti*, who is perfectly aware of the value of land in England, and of such of the more intelligent natives as have visited the neighbouring colonies, you will readily explain that, after English emigration and settlement, a tenth of the land will be far more valuable than the whole was before. And you must endeavour to point out, as is the fact, that the intention of the Company is not to make reserves for the native owners in large blocks, as has been the common practice as to Indian reserves in North America, whereby settlement is impeded, and the savages are encouraged to continue savage, living apart from the civilised community-but in the same way, in the same allotments, and to the same effect, as if the reserved lands had been purchased from the Company on behalf of
"A perfect example of this mode of proceeding will occur soon after your departure from England. As respects a territory purchased from the natives by Lieut. M'Donnell, the late British resident at Hokianga (who is well known to some of the chiefs of the tribe occupying both sides of Cook's Strait), and from him purchased by the Company, we intend to sell in England, to persons * A native of New Zealand who went out in the first vessel despatched by the Company, as interpreter.
intending to settle in New Zealand and others, a certain number of orders for equal quantities of land (say 100 acres each), which orders will entitle each holder thereof, or his agent, to select, according to a priority of choice to be determined by lot, from the whole territory laid open for settlement, the quantity of land named in the order, including a certain portion of the site of the first town. And one-tenth of these land-orders will be reserved by the Company, for the chief families of the tribe by whom the land was originally sold, in the same way precisely as if the lots had been purchased on behalf of the natives. The priority of choice for the native allotments being determined by lot as in the case of actual purchasers, the selection will be made by an officer of the Company expressly charged with that duty, and made publicly responsible for its performance. Wherever a settlement is formed, therefore, the chief native families of the tribe will have every motive for embracing a civilised mode of life. Instead of a barren possession with which they have parted, they will have property in land intermixed with the property of civilised and industrious settlers, and made really valuable by that circumstance. And they will thus possess the means, and an essential means, of preserving, in the midst of a civilised community, the same degree of relative consideration and superiority as they now enjoy in their own tribe. This mode of proceeding has been fully explained to Naiti. He perfectly understands that if the Company should purchase lands, and establish a settlement in the island which belongs to his family, then his father and brothers, and himself, would share equally with all purchasers of land from the Company to the amount of a tenth without purchase, including a tenth of the site of a town. He is quite alive to the advantages of possessing land where land has a high value, and will have no difficulty, we believe, in explaining them to his people. You are aware of the distinctions of rank which obtain amongst them, and how much he prides himself on baing a rangatira, or gentleman. This feeling must be cultivated if the tribes are ever to be civilised; and we know not of any method so likely to be effectual for the purpose, as that which the Company intends to adopt, in reserving for the rangatiras intermixed portions of the lands on which settlements shall be formed, "The intended reserves of land are regarded as far more important to the natives than anything which you will have to pay in the shape of purchase-money. At the same time we are desirous that the purchase-money should be less inadequate, according to English notions of the value of land, than has been generally the case in purchases of territory from the New Zealanders. Some of the finest tracts of land, we are assured, have been obtained by missionary catechists and others, who really possessed nothing, or next to nothing. In case land should be offered to you for such mere trifles as a few blankets or hatchets, which have heretofore been given for considerable tracts, you will not accept the offer without adding to the goods required, such a quantity as may be of real service to all the owners of the land. It is not intended that you should set an example of heedless profusion in this respect; but the Company are desirous, that in all their transactions with the natives, the latter should derive some immediate and obvious benefit from the intercourse."
lished a work on Inebriating Liquors, "that one-half of the port, "It is estimated," says Morewood, an excise officer, who puband five-sixths of the white wines, consumed in London, are the produce of the home presses." Many thousand pipes of spoiled cider are annually brought into London from the country, for the purpose of being converted into fictitious port-wine."— WineDrinker's Manual, 1830.
A Frenchman, making the tour of London, writes to his friends in Paris to the following effect :-"There is a liquor sold in this country which they call wine (most of the inhabitants call it wind); of what ingredients it is composed, I cannot tell; but you are not to conceive, as the word seems to import, that this is a translation of our word vin, a liquor made of the juice of the grape; There must be many ingredients in this liquor, from the many for I am well assured there is not a drop of any such juice in it. bitter; but though it appeared so nauseous to me and my friend different tastes, some of which are sweet, others sour, and others that we could not swallow it, the English relish it very well; nay, they will often drink a gallon of it at a sitting. Sometimes in their cups (for it intoxicates) they will wantonly give it the names of all our best wines."
THE MAN WHOM EVERYBODY LIKES.
MEN who are generally liked, men who are much liked, and men who are well liked, are not very rare; they are to be found
everywhere, and have nothing very marked about them. But the man whom everybody likes, against whom there is not one dissentient voice, is not often to be met with; he is a rare bird. However, there are a happy few who attain this pre-eminently felicitous position in the world. These favoured persons are not numerous; they move in distinct orbits, each in his own, and wide apart from one another; for there cannot be such a thing as two men whom everybody likes in the same neighbourhood-hardly in the same town, unless it be a large one; the laws of nature forbid it. They are, therefore, scattered widely over the face of society, and to be found only at remote distances from one another.
One reason why men whom everybody likes are thinly spread over the social surface is, that no given locality could support more than one of these happily-conditioned persons at a time. We say, support him, because the man whom everybody likes is in a great measure supported at the public expense; for what else, when we take it in the aggregate, is the constant and unremitting series of private hospitalities of which he partakes the incessant and endless round of dinners and suppers to which he is invited but public expenditure?—voluntary, indeed, but not the less what we have named it on that account. No moderately wealthy community, then, of small dimensions, could possibly support more than one of these favoured persons without great inconvenience.
The man whom everybody likes is invariably a jovial, jolly, good-natured soul, with a round florid face, expressive of great contentedness of mind and of much benevolence of disposition, with a little-a very little-touch of imbecility. Perhaps that is rather too strong a word—we had better say weakness. He is not a bright genius, that is certain; the man whom everybody likes never is. Indeed, he could not be that man if he were; for if he had any talent, those who had less would envy him, those who had equal would be jealous of him, and those who had more would despise him; and thus would the harmony of that system which revolves so smoothly around him, and of which he is the centre, be disturbed and distracted. As it is, things go on pleasantly; there is no rivalry, no jealousy, no contempt.
Some people may suppose that it is a very easy thing to attain the enviable character which we are just discussing; but it is by no means so; on the contrary, it is very difficult. Only think of the amount of good-nature required-the forgiveness of spirit, the forbearance, the patience, the ever-watchfulness not to offend, the constant flow of animal spirits, the eternal good-humour, let the world wag as it will. Only think of all this, and we have no doubt you will at once acknowledge it is no easy matter to become a universal favourite. Then, again, to retain this ticklish position, a man must be everything to everybody; he must refuse no requests, at whatever cost of trouble or inconvenience to himself; and he must make none that may be in the slightest degree disagreeable to any one. Above all things, he must never attempt to borrow money; any approach to this would instantly hurl him down from his high place. On the other hand, he must be too poor to lend; too poor to admit of any one dreaming of borrowing from him; because applications for loans, and refusals of these loans, would equally operate against his popularity. He must, then, be just rich enough to keep him out of other people's pockets, and poor enough to keep them out of his.
The man whom everybody likes is, as already hinted, of a jolly presence; he is always in excellent bodily condition-fat as a whale. This in part proceeds from his own good-nature; but in part, also, from the excellent living to which his character of universal favourite introduces him. He is one of those pets of the world whom it delights in feeding well—it battens him like a stalled ox. It does not think of bestowing honours on him of any kind, but it takes great pleasure in gorging him with savoury and substantial food; it gives him dinners and suppers, as many as he can set his face to, and sometimes a great many more; he has
often, indeed almost always, more invitations than he can possibly falls to the lot of few men; for with such is the man whom everyovertake, notwithstanding a capacity for eating and drinking which body likes most especially provided. It is one of his qualifications for the happy position he is placed in, and without which he never could attain it. It is, in truth, amazing the quantity of work of this kind which he has to go through, and not less amazing the quantity he does go through. His presence is as certain at every merry-making within the limits of what may be called his district, or locality, as mine host's self; besides this, he has to undergo a good deal of eating and drinking-a sort of skirmishing it may those new friends whom he is from time to time meeting at the be called-without the pale of his own particular circle, to oblige
tables of the old.
whom everybody likes is almost uniformly tragical?—killed with Would it be believed, however, that the final end of the man kindness, he usually dies of apoplexy.
THE HIGHLAND BOYS.
Ir is now many years since a Highland family came to reside in my neighbourhood. They had once been in a respectable way, but a series of misfortunes had reduced them to a state of great poverty and destitution. The house which they now came to occupy, then, was one proportioned to their decayed circumstances-meani and low-rented. I had two or three times remarked a tall, stout, elderly man, indifferently dressed, passing and repassing my window. There was something in his appearance that struck me; it was respectable, despite the shabbiness of his apparel; he was evidently, in short, one of those who have seen "better days." His grave face, too, saddened by misfortune, had an expression of intelligence and melancholy thoughtfulness about it that was exceedingly affecting; his was, but too plainly to be seen, a crushed and broken spirit. He was too far advanced in life to hope ever to accomplish any improvement in his condition; and the heart-withering conviction of this mournful truth seemed to be pressing him to the earth. His stout, almost gigantic frame, was fast bending; and even in his slow and measured tread there was something sad and solemn.
Interested by this man's appearance, I made inquiry regarding him, and found that his name was Donald Cameron. A little further inquiry put me in possession of the information briefly stated at the outset of this little history.
Here for some time the matter rested, when another circumstance revived my interest in the poor Highland family. I had frequently remarked, amongst the youngsters in our vicinity, two boys, in whose looks and manner there was something totally different from those of the other lads with whom they associated. The latter were coarse, boisterous, and vulgar; the former, mild, modest, and gentle, yet presenting, in every lineament of their fine open countenances, indications of a latent firmness and manliness of character, which was wholly wanting in those of their more noisy and obstreperous companions.
Struck by these appearances, I made inquiry regarding the boys also, and found that they were the sons of Donald Cameron. The difference, then, I had remarked in the manner and bearing of these lads was national. It was the Highland character developed under circumstances that rendered it peculiarly striking. I at once recognised it, for it was well known to me, and marked, with increased confidence in former convictions, the strong contrast between the mild, gentle, yet manly looks of these poor boys, the natural politeness of their manner, the evident kindliness of their dispositions, and the noisy, vulgar, blackguard bearing of their lowland, town-bred associates.
From this moment I kept an eye on the two young Highlanders, showed them some little kindnesses, encouraged them to frequent my house, and to become the playmates of my children; the modesty and gentleness of their manners rendering them most desirable companions for the latter, who, I saw, had not to fear from them the contamination to which an intercourse with the
other boys of the street exposed them. My young Highlanders were given to no vices; their behaviour was ever quiet and composed, and their language ever marked by the most perfect modesty and propriety. The lads used occasionally to take my younger ⚫ children abroad, and I never felt more at ease with regard to their safety, when absent, than when told that they were under the protection of John and Donald Carheron.
Mild, gentle, and inoffensive as my two Highland boys were, I knew well, from knowing well the character of their race, that a brave and manly spirit reposed beneath that quiet and still exterior; a spirit which circumstances could in an instant call into strong display. Knowing this, then, it did not much surprise, although it certainly at first did somewhat vex me, to find, one day as I was going home to dinner, my young friend, Donald Cameron, just closing a desperate combat, in which he had been engaged in the street, with a boy much bigger and older than himself. Donald's antagonist, who had undergone some severe punishment, as his eyes, and mouth, and nose bore witness, had just given in as I came up to the scene of action.
On reaching Donald, who was so excited that he had not observed my approach: I seized him by the arm. The boy turned round in alarm, gazed on me doubtingly for an instant, and burst into tears.
"What's the meaning of this, Donald? I said, somewhat Sternly. "I did not expect to find you in a situation of this kind fighting with blackguard boys in the streets. It is not like you, and I am sorry for it."
"I am sorry for it, too, sir," replied the boy, wiping his eyes, "but I could stand it no longer."
Stand what, Donald?" said I. "That boy's ill-usage, sir. For a long time past he has been in the habit of twitting my brother and myself with our poverty, and calling us all sorts of bad names, insulting our country, and mocking our accent. He thought we were sumphs" (his own expression) "because we submitted so long to his insolence without resenting it. But," added the boy, with unwonted animation, "I have taught him another lesson, I'm thinking; he'll not twit my brother and me again with either our poverty or our country, I fancy."
I subsequently made inquiry into the case, and found it to be precisely as Donald had stated; with this addition, that it was John who first dared the insulter to mortal combat, and that Donald had insisted on taking his place, on the plea of being the elder and the stouter. The boys had borne long and patiently with the insolence of the heartless young rascal, whom they had at length so severely but justly punished.
Shortly after this, the Camerons removed to a distant part of the city, and for about four years I neither saw nor heard more of them. At the end of that period, I was one day somewhat surprised by the intimation that two young Highland soldiers were at the door, and desired to see me. Thinking, after a moment's reflection, that the men had been billeted on me, I desired the servant to show them in, that I might settle terms with them. The two lads walked into the apartment where I was, and two finer looking men I had never seen. "All plaided and plumed in their tartan array"-for they wore the full Highland military garb, they indeed looked splendid.
"Well, my lads," said I; "a billet, I suppose?" The young soldiers smiled and blushed. You don't know us, sir, I dare say," said one of them, in a quiet and modest tone.
"Bless me! Donald and John Cameron!" I exclaimed, extending a hand to each. "I did not indeed know you in that martial dress. So, you have listed-you have turned soldiers?"
"Yes, sir," replied Donald, in his usual quiet way. "There are a number of our friends in the ―th regiment, (the regiment to which we belong,) and we thought that, on the whole, we could not do better than join them. We have always had an inclination that way; at any rate, most of our male relations have been in the army."
was under orders for the Peninsula-the war was then raging; that they were to march to the point of embarkation on the following morning, and that they could not think of departing without bidding me farewell.
Next morning, at an early hour, I witnessed the departure of the gallant regiment to which my young friends belonged. It was a stirring sight the level sun struck full upon the forest of bayonets that bristled over the close and steady ranks; the colours of the regiment floated on the morning breeze; and the martial music of the band, playing a lively Scottish strathspey, completed the effect of the warlike display. I placed myself close by the line of march of the corps, in order to interchange a parting salatation with my young friends. I recognised them marching gravely and steadily, side by side, in the front rank of the leading company; they were amongst the flower of the regiment. They saw me, too. I nodded. They returned the sign of recognition by a rapid stolen side glance and faint smile; military subordination would permit no more. They moved on, others followed, and in a few minutes the entire regiment nad defiled past the spot on which I stood. At this point in this little story I have a long leap to make-a leap of no less than eight years.
This period, then, had passed away, when as I was one day entering a hotel for the purpose of inquiring for a friend, whose arrival in town I was daily looking for, I encountered two military officers; they were apparently just going out. We passed each other, but had hardly done so when the two gentlemen suddenly stopped and turned round. Aware of this movement, I turned also, and we looked at each other for a second in the embarrassed manner of uncertain recognition. This feeling, however, was entirely confined to them; for I had no recollection whatever of having ever seen either of them before. At length one of the gentlemen, disengaging himself from the other, advanced towards me, and with a polite bow, and well-turned prefatory apology for In some putting the question, asked if my name was not surprise at this knowledge of my name by persons whom I deemed utter strangers to me, I replied that it was.
"So I thought," said the querist, smiling. added, turning to his friend, “I was right; this is Mr. The person addressed came forward.
"You are at a loss, I see, sir," resumed the former. "You have indeed the advantage of me," I replied. "You don't, then, recognise in the two persons before you a certain pair of graceless lads, to whom you showed much kindness at a time when few were kind—to whom you were a friend when friends were scarce.”
"Can it be possible?" I exclaimed, under a suddenly awakened recollection of the countenances of the young men; "Donald and John Cameron!"
"The same and no other," replied the former, smiling. "Here we are, you see, safe and sound, after having both taken and given a good many hard knocks, one way and another."
Need I describe the shaking of hands that followed, or the mutual hospitalities that succeeded ?—it is unnecessary.
The two brothers were now captains; a rank to which they had raised themselves by repeated instances of singular bravery and by general good conduct; both of which, fortunately for them, had chanced to come under the special notice of the Duke of Wellington, who had promoted Donald to an ensigney on the field of battle, and John, shortly after, to the same rank, for his gallantry in leading on a forlorn hope, after its commanding officer, all its subalterns and non-commissioned officers, had fallen killed or wounded.
Let me not omit to add, that these warm-hearted lads were, when I met them, just leaving the hotel, at which they had arrived but the evening before, to call upon me. They had not even yet forgotten the trifling kindnesses I had shown them in the season of their youthful adversity. Their father, it is gratifying to say, lived to see his boys with epaulettes on their shoulders, and to enjoy the heartfelt gratification, which none but such a parent can feel, of The young men now proceeded to inform me that their regiment witnessing the advancement of his manly children.
CHANCES OF LIVING IN LONDON.
LONDON, as we remarked in our preceding paper, is the most varied and extensive field for labour of any city in the world; and so, also, it presents the most varied and extensive field for expenditure of any place on the earth. Nothing too costly which cannot be procured at the all-powerful command of wealth; nothing too mean or trivial to be sold or purchased. The word "annihilation" is unknown in the London vocabulary of TRADE. Men may spend years in our metropolis, and fancy themselves well acquainted with it; and yet a newly-arrived stranger may inform them of branches of business carried on of which they had been utterly ignorant. All grades of rank, wealth, and character are, in our streets, perpetually crossing each other. The merchant, strong on the Exchange, may not be distinguished from the poor clerk; the comfortable official, who can look forward to something more than bread and water being made sure to him for a long life, shakes hands with the man whose thoughts are filled with intense anxiety about bills coming due; the snug annuitant jostles the exquisite; and the exquisite turns away from the beggar. In one house men are dining at the rate of ten shillings or a guinea; not far from it is a place where hundreds feed at the rate of from eightpence to a shilling. Nothing for nothing is the motto in London; a "consideration," or "value received," enters into the idea of all services rendered; and those who cannot afford to yoke a horse or an ass to their vehicles, get their cat'smeat drawn by dogs.*
The keen competition which exists causes a degree of obliging civility to pervade the manners of shopkeepers, which, perhaps, is hardly to be equalled all over the world, except in Paris. Coppers wrapped up in paper for you; petty purchases obligingly sent home; directions given with care and precision; and showers of thanks when accounts are paid. Add to this, that London is the cheapest market in the world; not the cheapest in the respect of the mere amount of money paid for provisions, but the cheapest, taking into account the variety, excellence, and quantity supplied. Management, however, is required in taking advantage of this comparative cheapness: for while the best of choice things is picked out, and hurried away to the "West-end," to be sold at an enhanced price, those of the middle and working classes who live in the neighbourhoods of the great markets have a considerable advantage over those who live in the suburbs.
Our country readers are aware that there are various quarters in London abandoned to the poorest orders of the people; that these quarters are composed of old houses, where hordes of the rat and the bug dispute, or at least share, possession with swarms of human beings; and that the poor honest labourer, the knavish beggar, the thief, the coiner, and other degraded characters, take shelter in them. Several of these quarters have different characteristics, such as Spitalfields for silk-weavers, St. Giles's for Irish, &c. &c. A kind correspondent has favoured us with a description of one of these localities, which we here introduce, as it may let some of our readers know what are "the chances of living" in one spot, not far from the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace.
Westminster, with all its aristocratic associations, its splendid mansions, and corresponding wealth, has still withal its dark spots; and although the favoured abode of royalty itself, yet not an arrow's flight from the perfumed chamber and gorgeous saloon may be seen the dreary dwelling of misery and wretchedness. The scene, indeed, of the present sketch is not more than a quarter of a mile from the palace.
Among the streets in Westminster, formerly occupied by the aristocracy and gentry, Orchard-street was once conspicuous; and the houses in which Oliver Cromwell and Mr. Pitt once lived are still to be seen: but its glories are all faded, and rooms which
The writer of this forgot, for the moment, that, by the New Metropolitan Police Act, dog-carts are prohibited, under a penalty, after the 1st of January, 1840. They have, therefore, already disappeared.
have been honoured by the presence of the statesman and the courtier, now echo the sounds of low revelry or misery. The lodging-house, to which we propose introducing our readers, is in this street we have mentioned. Its exterior presents a dingy face of crumbling brick, begrimed by the soot and smoke of years. The elevation consists of four stories, the first two of which are lighted by windows whose heavy sashes denote antiquity. Amusing are the methods employed to refuse the wind and the rain admittance-tattered garments; crowns of old hats; brown paper, and paper rendered brown; and not unfrequently, some culinary utensil, are all pressed into the service of stopping a hole; and so varied are the contrivances for this purpose, that the several windows seem more like a rag-merchant's shop than anything else. A board is attached to the wall on the right-hand side of the door, on which appears in rude letters - "Lodgings for single men; beds, 3d. a night." On entering we found the door open, and the hall spacious and panelled, as is the case in most of the houses in Westminster. We proceeded until we came to a room on the right; and on knocking at the door, were desired to enter, when a Babel of tongues was silenced by our unexpected appearance, and a scene as extraordinary as can be conceived presented itself. The apartment was full of men and women, though the former predominated. Some were seated on broken chairs and stools, round a filthy table, eagerly devouring all kinds of messes, washed down by tea and coffee, (for the meal was breakfast,) porter, ale, and gin. Others, again, were on their knees before the fire, broiling a red herring, or slice of fat bacon. Some appeared to have just left their beds, or, as is more probable, being obliged to quit them, had descended to the common room in a state of dishabille, and were proceeding to attach their tattered rags to their persons in the best way they could. There were females endeavouring to make a stocking perform its duty one day more-others, combing their dishevelled hair, or fastening their ragged dresses: and running along one side of the room was a bench, on which were seven men smoking and drinking. The total number of individuals in the room, which was about twenty feet square, amounted to twenty-four, of which eighteen were males and the rest females.
The furniture was of the most meagre description, and consisted of one table, some half-dozen broken-backed chairs, and a couple of benches. The walls were dotted with gaudily-coloured prints, the subjects of which were of a licentious nature; and over the fire-place was a board, on which appeared a set of rules, of which the following is a copy :—
"Beds 3d. a night.
No man to leave the house without paying for his night's lodging.
No smoking allowed in the bed-rooms.
No Licker above a pint allowed at a time."
It would be difficult to convey anything at all like a correct idea of the effluvia of this room. It reeked of all kinds of villanous compounds. Rusty bacon, salt herrings, fried onions, (a vegetable greatly in favour with the lower orders,) gin, porter, and tobacco, sent forth their powerful odours, and vied with each other in concocting one abominable whole. Such was the scene which the room common to the nightly lodgers exhibited; and having remained as long as was necessary to our purpose, we gladly left it to pursue our investigations elsewhere; when, though poverty alike met us, yet was it surrounded by a less tainted atmosphere.
The lodging-house consisted of twelve rooms, of which number six were set apart for nightly lodgers; and the remainder, with the exception of the common receiving-room, occupied by families renting one or more rooms. Those destined for nightly lodgers were prepared to receive twenty-four persons, four beds being in each room; but it frequently happens that a greater number are congregated together, as the beds are often shared by persons too poor to be able to afford even 3d. a night for the luxury of having a bed to themselves. The beds were of the most