LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE OF POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE
Vol. XI, No. 25.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WILMINGTON AND ITS INDUSTRIES. [Illustrated]
THE ROUMI IN KABYLIA.
SECOND PAPER. [Illustrated]
A CHINESE STORY, by C.P. CRANCH.
BERRYTOWN, by REBECCA HARDING DAVIS.
THE GLACIERS OF PARADISE, by HJALMAR HJARTH BOYESEN.
THACKERAY'S "GRAY FRIARS," by AN OLD "GOWN-BOY."
A PRINCESS OF THULE, by WILLIAM BLACK.
CHAPTER IV. ROMANCE-TIME.
CHAPTER V. SHEILA SINGS.
MEDICAL EXPERT EVIDENCE, by H.C. WOOD, JR., M.D.
THE SWEET WATERS, by EDWIN DE LEON.
MADEMOISELLE STYLITES, by MARGARET VANDEGRIFT.
THE MYSTERY OF MASSABIELLE, by WILLIAM D. WOOD.
BENEDICTION, by HOWARD GLYNDON.
A NIGHT IN BEDFORD, VIRGINIA, by RICHARD B. ELDER.
OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
THE FATE OF DANGAN CASTLE.
INTERVIEWING CAPTAIN KIDD.
A DINNER EXCUSE.
LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
SHIP IN DRY-DOCK: HARLAN & HOLLINGSWORTH COMPANY.
WILMINGTON DEPOT OF THE PHILADELPHIA, WILMINGTON AND BALTIMORE RAILROAD.
THE BRANDYWINE, AND LEA'S MILLS.
IRON SHIP-BUILDING AND MACHINE-WORKS—P. 378.
CHRISTINE CREEK WITH THE DIAMOND STATE WORKS.
PLATE-IRON ROLLING-MILLS—P. 379.
MOROCCO-MAKING FACTORY.—P. 381.
COACH-BUILDING ESTABLISHMENT.—P. 381
STEAM MANUFACTORY OF SUPERPHOSPHATES.
FAUKLAND, THE SITE OF OLIVER EVANS'S MILL.
BRANDYWINE SPRINGS, ON REDCLAY CREEK.
HOUSE OF MR. J.T. HEALD.
DEPOT OF THE WILMINGTON AND WESTERN RAILROAD.
CHRISTINE RIVER, WITH WILMINGTON AND WESTERN RAILROAD BRIDGE.
CUTTING THROUGH CUBA HILL RIDGE.
VIEW OF THE WILMINGTON WHARVES.
FROM CONSTANTINA TO SETIF.
AN ARAB DOUAR.
THE STONE TURBAN.
TOBRIZ, AN ENEMY OF THE GUILLOTINE.
THE IRON GATES.
WILMINGTON AND ITS INDUSTRIES.
Sleepy travelers on the great route to Washington, having passed Philadelphia and expecting Baltimore, are attracted, if it is a way-train, by a phenomenon. The engine is observed to slacken, and a little elderly man with a lantern, looking in the twilight like an Arabian Night's phantom with one red eye in the middle of its body, places himself just in advance of the locomotive. He trots nimbly along, defending himself from incessant death by the sureness of his legs, and after a long race guides up to the station the clattering train, which is all the time threatening to catch him by the heel. "Wilmington!" shouts the brakesman. Every train into Wilmington is thus attended, as the palfrey of an Eastern pasha by the running footman. The man's life is passed in a perpetual race with destruction, and having beaten innumerable locomotives, he still survives, contentedly wagging his crimson eye, and hardly conscious that his existence is a perpetual escape.
Something quaint, peremptory, old-world and feudal strikes the traveler as adhering in this custom, by which Wilmington constantly pays for the general safety of her promenaders with the offering of a citizen's life and limbs. This impression is right. The city is the best-defined spot on the American map where the South begins and the North ends. Wilmington is, for its own part, a perfect crystal of Yankee grit, run out and fixed in a country which in the highest degree represents the soft, contented, lazy, incoherent Bourbon temper. We select it for our subject because it is so complete a terminal image. There is no other instance in the country of such sharp, close contrast. A man might step out to the city limit, and stand with one leg in full Yankeeland, thrilling with enterprise and emulation, and the other planted, as it were, in the "Patriarchal Times." Elsewhere along the effaced line of Mason and Dixon the sections die away into each other: here they stand face to face, and stare.
Wilmington's legend belongs to the general story of the settlements along the Delaware. The discoveries of its site overlapped each other, the Quakers discovering the Swedes, who had discovered the Dutch, who had discovered the Indians. It was first called Willing's Town, from a settler, and then Wilmington, from the earl of that name in England, to whom Thomson dedicated his poem of Winter. But the spirit of enterprise—the spirit whose results we are now to chronicle—came in only with William Shipley, for whose story we must refer the reader, strange as it may seem, to the latest novel of the first living master of English fiction.
This introduces to our notice the most singular literary partnership that ever was or ever will be. Dumas used to be helped out in his splendid fictions by Maquet, but Dumas and Maquet were Frenchmen, and had plenty of sympathies in common. Charles Reade, however, in his romance of The Wandering Heir, written to minister to the Tichborne excitement, takes for his helper the most unlikely colleague in nature—a grave, tranquil, intensely respectable Friend, a writer of colonial histories in a far pastoral retreat by the Delaware. Such workmen were never matched before; yet the words of Benjamin Ferris, the Wilmington antiquarian, form a part, and a telling part, of the exciting romance signed by Charles Reade. The words of Ferris, unexpectedly earning renown in a work of imagination, trace the true tale of the Quaker prophetess, Elizabeth Shipley, who brought her practical husband to Wilmington through the influence of a brilliant dream. The words of Ferris, adopted and sold to the publishers by Reade, describe the terrestrial Paradise now known as Wilmington in just those glowing and golden terms we should have needed for the prologue to this article if we had not been so anticipated. Reade, so long as he keeps up his partnership with Ferris, is safe, sane and true. It would have been well if he had kept it up a little longer, for the moment he lets go Ferris's coat-cuff he falls into mistakes—calling the Delaware hereabouts a "bay," and speaking of a prickly-pear hedge on a farm only sixty miles from Philadelphia.
The Reade Ferris legend, precluding any necessity of a story from us, brings good Elizabeth Shipley into Wilmington, which was then a garden and is now a mart, from her former home at Ridley, which was then a forest-clearing and is now a garden, being in truth the site of Ridley Park, the landscape-city which was described in this Magazine last September. The legend gives all proper emphasis to the location, endowing it with beauty enough to tempt a celestial guide from heaven for the meek Quakeress's benefit, and with practical advantages enough to tempt the worldly-minded husband. To get a high idea of the natural attractions of Wilmington, therefore, read The Wandering Heir, thus advertised gratuitously. Wilmington lies, says the author of Peg Woffington, "between the finger and thumb of two rivers," and also upon the broad palm of the Delaware. The two minor streams which embrace it are entirely different in character: one is a picturesque torrent, named by the Dutch Brand-wijn (Brandywine), from the circumstance of a ship loaded with brandy having foundered at its mouth; the other, serene and navigable, is the Christine, named by the Swedes from Christina, their favorite princess. Hereabouts George Fox, the first Quaker, built a fire in 1672 to dry his immortal leather breeches. "We came to Christian River," he says, "where we swam over our horses." The stream in that day, before the destruction of inland forests, had about six times its present volume, but it is still good for vessels of considerable burden. The thriving settlers made it carry down the harvests of the interior, and then made the Brandywine grind them. The focus of the rivers became a rich milling centre, and was also a post for whaling-ships. The Otaheitan prince stepped from the deck of the whaler to court with gifts of shells the demure Quaker maidens of Wilmington, and Kanaka sailors were almost as familiar on its wharves as Indian chiefs. About the time of the Revolution the town became a well-known station for the export of quercitron bark, and all the while the clacking mills were busy along the uneasy rapids of the Brandywine.
Shall we take a glance at a historic mill? The best location for such a structure where water-power just met tide-water, and shallops drawing eight feet could load up at the shore, was selected in 1762 for mill-buildings which still stand, and which were for many years the most famous in the country, regulating the price of grain for the United States. The business soon overflowed, and necessitated the building, in 1770, of the structures represented in the engraving on page 371, the whole group, on the two sides of the stream, being under one ownership, and known as "Lea's Brandywine Mills." Hither would come the long lines of Conestoga wagons, from distant counties, such as Dauphin and Berks, with fat horses, and wagoners persuading them by means of biblical oaths jabbered in Pennsylvania Dutch. From these mills Washington removed the runners (or upper stones), lest they should be seized and used by the British, hauling them up into Chester county. When independence was secured the State of Delaware hastened to pass laws putting foreign trade on a more liberal footing than the neighbor commonwealths, thus securing for her mills the enviable commerce with the West Indies. Much shipping was thus attracted to Wilmington, and the trade with Cuba in corn-meal was particularly large. It was found, however, that the flour of maize invariably rotted in a tropical voyage, and thereupon the commodity known as kiln-dried corn was invented at the Brandywine Mills: two hundred bushels would be dried per day on brick floors, and be thought a large amount, though the "pan-kiln" now in use dries two thousand in the same time. The dried meal was delivered at Havana perfectly fresh, and pay received, in those good old days of barter, in Jamaica rum, sugar and coffees. In the old times flour was heaped in the barrels and patted down with wooden shovels: then, when full, a cloth was laid over the top, and the fattest journeyman on the premises clambered up to a seat on the heap, to "cheese it down" and imprint his callipyge upon it. Flour thus made and branded was always safe to bring a high price, but never so high as in the short epoch of the Continental currency, when the old entries of the Brandywine Mill books show (1780) wheat bought at twenty-four pounds a bushel, a pair of the miller's leather small-clothes at eighty pounds, and some three or four hundred barrels of his flour charged at a gross sum of twenty-one thousand pounds.
The fine old mills are still in lively operation, manufacturing into meal about a million bushels of wheat and Indian corn every year. The principal proprietor receives us in his domain, the living image of easy, old-fashioned prosperity, and narrates the long history of the structures, showing his little museum of curiosities—now a whale's jaw bequeathed from the old fishing days, now a Revolutionary cannon-ball—and helps us to realize the ancient times by means of the music of the mill, which is loquacious now as it was under George III.
Such is a specimen of one of the stout old industries of a hundred years ago, still surviving and hale as ever, though out of its former proportion amongst the immense enterprises of modern days. This article, however, must pass out of the atmosphere of ancient tradition as quickly as possible, being intended to show the handsome city of Wilmington with its sleeves rolled up as it were, and in the thick of the hardest work belonging to the nineteenth century. When steam was introduced to revolutionize labor, and railroads came to supplement water-transport, they found the manufacturers of this prosperous town ready to avail themselves of every improvement, and pass at once from the chrysalis state into the soaring development of modern enterprise.
That is a feature the citizens point out with a good deal of honest pride—the prosperity of the old families, enabling them at once to invest in the most enormous of modern mechanical applications. The wealthy companies now found here did not go to work by calling for capital from the large cities: they went to the old stocking, and found it there. The manufacturers show you, reared in a back office or sticking on a wall, the ancient family sign, which Washington and La Fayette regarded at the time of their disasters along the Brandywine. It is one continuity of thrift.
Take, for instance, some of these Lairds of America, who build ships along the Delaware as their prototypes upon the Clyde. The Harlan & Hollingsworth Company claims to be the oldest iron shipbuilding establishment in America. The money in this concern was local. The partners were old neighbors, relatives or friends. They worked along as a firm until 1868, when the huge proportions of their business induced them to incorporate themselves as a company, still distinguished by the good old proper names. We stroll into their domain by the river-side, and if we previously cherished any notion that shipbuilding was a decayed institution in America, the lively tumult here will effectually drive the insulting thought out of our heads. Among a shoal of leviathans stretched out beside the waters there is the iron steamer Acapulco, waiting for her compound engines from John Elder & Co. of Glasgow: she is three hundred feet long (and that is a dimension that looks almost immeasurable when dry on land), forty feet beam and twenty-five hundred tons burden. Another, of similar dimensions, is building beside her, and they are both intended for the Pacific Mail Company's line, and will ply between California and China. The various operations going on upon the ground—the laying of an iron keel three hundred feet long, the modeling into true and fine curves the enormous plates for a ship's side, the joining of these so neatly that the rivets are not visible, and the bending of stout iron timbers on vast iron floors—are interesting even as a mere spectacle; and the trains of men who go about to minister to the various great machines seem like races of beings suddenly diminished in the scale of magnitude, and to be so many wise Lilliputians attending around the bodies of creatures of Brobdingnag. It is true that neat mechanical contrivances save their muscle wherever it is possible. A great plate of iron or a bundle of deck flooring is picked up, by a hand which swings down from aloft, like a visiting-card by a lady: a single man turning a windlass, it sails into the air, gets up as high as it chooses to, and drops delicately just where it is wanted along the length of the structure. Out on the wharf a double "hoister," working by steam, and able to pick up and swing a hundred tons, is used in handling the materials of the works. The dry-docks are, in winter, a singular spectacle. They are a vast hospital of interesting invalids, the patients being steamers, barges and canal-boats. For instance, the old Edwin Forrest, which has paddled up the Delaware with excursionists since a time whereof the mind of man runneth not to the contrary, comes up into the dry-dock complaining of its bunions. The dry-dock accommodates a ship as long as three hundred and forty feet, and is one hundred feet across. The gouty steamer potters comfortably in, and lays up its tired keel, while the dock is being discharged, as serenely as a patient who lays his foot on the knee of a corn-doctor: in due time, relieved and sound, the invalid is ready to take the stage of life again. Another boat comes in to be lengthened: it has growing-pains, and wants assistance. The stern is sliced off, the keel is spliced, and the adolescent leaves the docks longer by twenty feet. On the steamers that are being finished we notice the extreme beauty of the upholstery and of the engraved, inlaid and polished woodwork: it is all done on the spot, and before we leave Wilmington we shall have many occasions to admire the luxury with which the higher kinds of joinery are prepared for the various structures made there. On our way to the car-works—for this versatile corporation is a great manufacturer of railway-carriages too—we notice the throngs of workers scattered like ants over every part of the huge area, and it occurs to us to ask if there are any strikes. Our conductor is Mr. J. Taylor Gause, a big, hearty, shrewd man, who knows every bolt and rivet on the whole premises as Bunyan knew the words of his Bible.
"We never have any trouble," replies Mr. Gause; "and it is owing to a way we have of nipping sea-lawyers in the bud."
And what, may we ask, are sea-lawyers?
"Sea-lawyer is a workman's term. The sea-lawyer is the calculating, dissatisfied, eloquent man. He is the Henri Rochefort of their assemblies. A supposed grievance arises, the men have a meeting, and the sea-lawyer begins to stir them up, big in his opportunity. We find who he is, pay him on the instant, and send him away. The men run about for a while with their complaints in their heads, but with nobody to utter them by. It ends by their coming to us in a body to receive back the mischief-maker, by this time repentant. This we generally do, getting a friend converted from an enemy."
In fact, the workmen of this city do not strike. The principal remedy for the disease is a simple one. They are householders, being aided to own their own houses. They are therefore committed to the interests of the place, and do not deal in revolutions which would make wandering Ishmaelites of them.
The Harlan & Hollingsworth Company makes great numbers of railway-cars, from the ordinary kind to the most luxurious saloon-cars, and the examination of the shops is entertaining enough. Pullman, in fact, is said to have had more of his luxurious parlor-cars built in Wilmington than in any other city. As we are going, however, to see these carriages constructed where their manufacture is a specialty, we will not linger here, where they occupy but a part of an enormous establishment.
We will visit some more of the American Lairds. Pusey, Jones & Co. show you the vast extent of their premises, occupying ten acres and extending along the water in a thousand feet of wharfage. Their iron ships—one of which the artist has caught just after its completion—and other boats are moving to-day on nearly every river emptying into our Atlantic coast or the Gulf of Mexico. Steamboats of their build are now troubling the more distant waters of the Atrato, Magdalena, Orinoco, Amazon, Purus, Madeira, Tocantins, Ucayali, La Plata, Parana and Guayaquil Rivers of South America. They have other branches of manufacture, uniting the industries of the land to the toil of the sea. They turn out great quantities of machinery and many engines for paper-mills and iron-rolling mills, either of which they supply in every detail. This is an old and experienced firm, fully settled in character, credit and reputation.
Another great industrial combination is the Diamond State Works, established in 1853, occupying a whole block, and enjoying a frontage of three hundred and fifty feet on the Christine. Here are made the vast variety of things into which iron can be rolled or pinched. The eye is puzzled and pleased at the groups of intelligent machines standing up in their places and moulding with their steel fingers the rivets and the bolts; the railroad spikes, washers and fish-joints; the nuts, whether hot-pressed or cold-pressed; the lag-screws and the bolt-ends. Bars of all sizes and for an endless number of uses are pressed out like dough, and stored for sale in enormous warehouses. Mr. Mendinhall and Mr. Clement B. Smyth, the president and vice-president of this company, are of long experience in the management of their business; and the business of the company increases from year to year, demanding all the room in its commodious location, and necessitating an office in New York, where, at No. 71 Broadway, the large disbursing interests of the works are partly attended to.
Such are the bare commercial facts. But stand in one of these noisy working-grounds of a manufacturing place like Wilmington, or ride up to the top of one of their buildings on the steam-elevators which some of them employ. Think how these men of iron are changing the surface of the earth, spiking rails to the prairie in distant territories, or sending into Polynesian archipelagoes the rivet on whose integrity depends the safety of the iron ship. How needful to human progress is the conscientious perfection of their work! What tact they must employ in dealing with phalanxes of laborers of different nations and imperfect intelligence! What a stimulus to genius they are, with their readiness to catch at any labor-saving machine! See that astute-looking dwarf of an apparatus, biting off red-hot ends of rods, closing its jaws together upon them in such a way as to form a four-square mould, then smartly hitting one end so as to make a projecting head: a railroad spike is turned off in a moment. See this other making "nuts" as smartly as a baker makes ginger-nuts: some are raw and some are cooked—that is, some are punched hot and some cold, sufficing for different purposes: the cold are the softer, and the easier to "tap" or perforate with the screw—thread. Other machines are scissors trimming plates of iron like cardboard; others, in a careless kind of way, spend all their time in nipping off whatever bolts and bars are presented to them; and others make pretty rows of rivet-holes all along the edges of huge iron plates. These animated creatures of the mill, performing their tasks like child's play, are efforts of intellectual genius as truly as are the dramas of Shakespeare. And busy talents are growing up in our manufacturing centres as in hotbeds, each one trying to carry the domain of mechanical substitution a little farther, and so escape the necessity, so costly in America, of paying for man-power. In several ways a grand manufactory is a college, stimulating the human minds engaged there in the highest degree, setting a premium on intellect and culture, and reminding us that whoever caused some idea to take shape that never had an existence before, was called by the ancients a "poeta."
We will explore another of these great working-places—this time, a group of mills as large as a modest village, yet devoted to one special product. In 1864, Mr. Henry B. Seidel purchased a rolling-mill which had already been in operation with varied success for eighty years, and established the manufacture of large plates for iron ships and boilers. In a few years, associating with himself his superintendent, Mr. Hastings, he greatly enlarged his operations, and the firm found their edifice too small. An ample new one, one hundred and twenty-five feet long, was put up in 1870, upon the Church street side of their property, and with the introduction of all the new machines became capable of the quickest and completest operations. Seidel & Hastings now run both mills, and turn out, when working night and day, at the rate of between five and six thousand tons of plate iron per annum. They prepare their own "blooms" of charcoal iron at a great forge erected on their premises: this forge has five fires, and is provided with the engines and blowing-cylinders for the manufacture of boiler iron, and the monster steam-hammers necessary in its preparation. Nature's products are here taught manners with a witness: whatever shape they enter in, they leave in the form of pie-crust. The tough old genius of iron, which has been trying since the creation to build itself into mountains or dissipate itself in bogs, is taught by the powerful persuasions of these gentlemen to pack and toughen itself into cards, and is only recognized by the foreman when he takes count of stock as "plate inch and a half" or "plate one-eighth."
But the reader has had enough of iron. We will relieve him—though we cannot promise not to revert to the metals—with a glimpse of some different kinds of employment. Nothing, now, can be softer than kid, nothing more scholarly than a morocco book-binding, nothing is more brilliant in the autumn woods than sumach, nothing is more graceful than the pet goat of Esmeralda. We will pay a visit to one of the morocco-factories, premising that our independent little city of Wilmington has a wide reputation in the trade for her excellence in this special article, and that her product in morocco is actually the largest single item of her trade, the production last year having exceeded two million dollars' worth. We will enter a specimen factory, where the tame African goats playing about the yard, by putting their skins into contact with the powdered sumach lying up stairs in the bags, are to yield us specimens of about the best American morocco known to commerce. The superiority of the Wilmington product is attributed by buyers to something in the quality of the Brandywine water, but probably the high condition and tone of the workmen has more to do with it. In Wilmington, where a workman finds that a given rate of wages represents better living and more happiness than in any large city, the labor obtainable for the pay is naturally of a higher character; and this, in a business where everything depends upon hand manipulation, is a controlling influence. The factory we select is that of Pusey, Scott & Co., at Madison and Third streets, five stories high and a hundred and sixty feet deep. Over this scented labyrinth we go, up stairs and down; now among the slippery vats, where the hides are deprived of their hair; now into a bright room, where half a dozen pretty sewing-machine girls are stitching the wet, slimy skins into bags; now into gloomy cellars, where these bags are filled with sumach-dust and water. The scene in these dark apartments, where many of the workmen are negroes, is especially high-flavored and like a chapter in Vathek. Writers usually talk of "life in the iron-mills" as conducing to the development of herculean strength. But iron-workers are apt to be dry and wiry, their flesh half sweated off and their complexions unnaturally pale. For true muscular development, rather Flemish and beefy in quality, we would instance the workmen in this department of a morocco-factory. The skins when filled with water are very heavy, and the jolly fellows who play at aquatic games with them, now ducking into the tanks, now holding a bag under the hopper whence the sumach descends, and anon stirring, manipulating and inspecting the mass of floating pillows, are true heroes out of Rubens' pictures. The scenes up stairs again, where young Swedes and Irish boys dress the dry skins, painting them over with black, and polishing and graining them by rubbing them with stones (a back-breaking operation, apparently, in the attitude of laundresses bent over an eternal washboard), are all highly entertaining. In the store-rooms we see the handsome sheets of morocco, including the kangaroo skins from Australia, perforated here and there with the hunter's shot, and distinguishable by the enormous flap which has, in the creature's life, encased the tail. Among them all the little orphaned kid skins, clothed in mourning colors and so soft and small, look very innocent and interesting. The distinguishing claim of Wilmington is that of having been the pioneer to introduce machinery into this as into other kinds of business. Several kinds of labor-saving apparatus are explained to us, and the foresight in building the apartments so that the skins travel from stage to stage with the least possible lifting is pointed out. These economies are said to be unmatched in the world. In this manufacture the relations of employers with employed, and amongst each other, would appear to be particularly happy. The morocco-makers of Wilmington seem to believe that worth makes the man, that readiness to do a favor to fellow-manufacturers is what shows the true "grain," and that "the rest is naught but leather and prunello." In dealing with their men, Messrs. Pusey, Scott & Co. have kept up the best relations, and have solved the difficult, the crucial problem in these latitudes, of inducing whites and negroes to labor side by side at the same task in harmony. We believe that this one fact alone, if we were able to develop it eloquently, would be found to stamp the character of the principals with the best traits of benevolence, tact and sense. Mr. Warner, our guide through the premises, concludes the exhibition by showing us a curious set of great books in the counting house, where the foreman of each department records his answer daily to a list of printed questions, stating his figures, his ideas, reports, suggestions and complaints. This diurnal inquisition, which morally gives ventilation to the whole establishment, and relieves difficulties at their start, seems to be another indication of an enviable relationship, keeping up an excellent, old-fashioned sympathy between employers and operatives.
From morocco-dressing to carriages, which are curtained and cushioned with morocco, is not a difficult step. La Bruyere, who wrote a whole book without making any transitions, would have passed without effort from the establishment of Pusey, Scott & Co. to the coach-factory of McLear & Kendall. It should be premised that coach-building is another of the very special successes of Wilmington. She produced last year an amount, in cash value, of carriages greater than her iron ships, greater than her cotton fabrics, being one million four hundred thousand dollars. The engraving shows the outside magnitude of McLear & Kendall's factory, the largest in the city, but cannot show the curious effect of the great show-room, filled with rockaways, buggies of all kinds, and park phaetons. The building, which was put up in 1865, is on Ninth, King and French streets, and is two hundred and eighteen feet in length. These makers produce annually fifteen hundred vehicles, which are shipped to all parts of the United States. An engine of forty horse-power assists the workmen, of whom a hundred and seventy-five are kept in employment, earning the high wages commanded by skilled labor, or, on an average throughout the factory, twenty dollars per week.
After the ponderous establishments near the mouth of the Christine, and the neater sorts of industries which can be carried on within the city, we come to notice some of the mills and factories up stream. Many of these are of great antiquity.
Walton, Whann & Co. boast that fully one-half the arrivals and departures of shipping at Wilmington are in connection with their business. What is that business? Why, it is the revival of the fertility of the South, exhausted by the land-murdering agriculture of slavery. The demand from the cotton regions since the war has been enormous for the best artificial fertilizers, and the appreciation of the particular kind made by Walton, Whann & Co. is very marked. Planters have learned the fact, which science and experience demonstrate, that a reliable compost must be now used for the remunerative culture of cotton, as well as of their corn and other staples; and their preference for the superphosphate prepared by this firm over most other fertilizers is evinced by the fact that their demand has for several years been largely in excess of the supply. We need not wonder, then, at the formidable preparations made for this mighty overdriven business. The cargoes discharging by means of steam-power into the barges proceed from mills covering several acres of ground, and worked by three engines, aggregating one hundred horse-power. Think of it! the strength of one hundred horses overtasked day by day to provide this magic powder, through which the tired real horse is to drag the plough in so many thousands of distant acres! The machinery for grinding the organic materials is of the most approved excellence, and is tested by the turning out, with the power stated, of full fifteen hundred tons of the phosphate per month. A visit to the store-house of this factory is a strange sight, reminding the tourist of the open-air cemetery of the Capuchins at Rome. It is a realm of bones. Bones from the South American pampas, bones from the pork-packing houses of Cincinnati, bones from the grazing plains of Texas, come here to mingle. The skeletons of half a continent meet in these whirling mills for a prodigious Dance of Death, being most emphatically denied what is the last wish of all sentient creatures—rest for their bones.
This factory is on the Christine River, just outside the limit of the city. On Redclay Creek—a tributary to the Christine, running into it parallel with the Brandywine—a number of mills have seated themselves, attracted by its swift torrent, amid scenery of steeps and rapids comparable to that on the Lehigh about Mauch Chunk. Of these the most interesting traditions attach to the Faulkland Mills. Their name may remind the reader of the first novel of the late Lord Lytton—Falkland, written in 1828—but it was given to the spot long before in designation of a primitive settlement, Faulk's Land. The association with this site is that of Oliver Evans, the true inventor of the locomotive, who here worked and dreamed in a mill enriched with his contrivances.
Evans, like Fitch, is one of the world's lost renowns. Had the legislators of his time possessed sagacity enough to endow his inventions, the advantages of steam-transport would have been anticipated by several years, and the glory would have radiated from the Delaware River instead of from the Hudson. His design for a locomotive was sent to England in 1787, disputing priority with the "steam-wagons" of James Watt. He built steamboats at Philadelphia in 1802 and 1803, and ran them successfully, antedating by five years the Clermont of Robert Fulton—Fulton, whom people are beginning to regard, with Mr. Stone, author of the recent History of New York, as the man who has received the greatest quantity of undeserved praise of all who ever lived. Oliver Evans, born in 1755 of a respectable family, was a miller at Faulkland, where his smaller inventions were first put in use. The plank just under the apex of the roof, which he used to retire to as his private study, was shown until 1867, when the old mill was burned. Up among the swallows, as he lay on the board—to which, as Beecher expresses it, he "brought the softness"—the children of his genius were conceived and delivered. The mill was full of his labor-saving machines, which clattered to the babbling Redclay. One of his notions was the mill "elevator" (an improvement of something he had seen in Marshall's mill at Stanton), by which grain was raised to the top of the building in buckets set along a revolving belt which passed from the roof to the bottom, distributing the wheat with spouts to the bolt. This was set up, by contributions among the millers, at Shipley's great mill in Wilmington, and also introduced into his own, where his other inventions of the "conveyer" and the "hopper-boy" attracted the stares of the rival millwrights. Poor Oliver was known to the fat millers of this neighborhood as the inconvenient person who was always wanting the loan of a thousand dollars to carry out a new invention. The "thinking men" among them sagely argued that his improvements would benefit the consumer, by increasing the supply of flour and making it cheap—a clear detriment to the interests of capital. Then Oliver plunged desperately into his idea of steam-motion, losing the faint vestiges of his repute for wit, and died poor and heartbroken in 1819, the hero of an unwritten tragedy. The happy hours of his life were the hours on the dusty plank in the mill-gable at Faulkland.
Evans's mill was bought in 1828 by Mr. Jonathan Fell, and turned into the spice-grinding establishment which is still operated by his descendants on the same ground. But Fell's business was much older than that purchase, being a good representative of the ancestral industries that exist in such numbers among Penn's settlers. Early in this century the passengers in Front street in Philadelphia laughed at the juxtaposition of a sign just put up with an older one, the two reading thus: "James Scholl—Jonathan Fell." He had purchased the spice-grinding business of an English immigrant on that site, and now the same business is carried on at Faulkland, one hundred and seven years from its commencement, in the thirteenth generation of Fell's descendants, after a career of accumulated and undeviating success. Moving the factory to Faulkland, and retaining the Philadelphia situation as a warehouse, the family have kept the old system unchanged, served by employes as steady as themselves, two of the latter having died of old age after forty years in their service. The present works of C.J. Fell & Brother, combining steam and turbine-wheel power, are represented as the most complete in America, and produce a great variety of condiments, which season the traveler's meal in whatever State or Territory of the Union he may visit.
A chalybeate spring at Faulkland, formerly much resorted to, is now in railway communication with Wilmington, and will recover its ancient prestige. Under the ownership of Mr. Matthew Newkirk, the late railway manager of Philadelphia, a large hotel at the Brandywine Springs was filled with rich Southerners for many summers, but the house was destroyed by fire, and the flow of visitors turned aside. One of the smaller houses, with accommodation for two hundred guests, is the present claimant for watering-place custom. Its situation, with the fine water-scenery, and a natural coliseum of wooded hills, is very attractive, and the restorative properties of the spring are proved and valuable.
One more interest attaches to Faulkland. Close by were the earthworks where Washington protected his army, expecting the British attack, but, drawn from his intrenchments by a flank movement, was tempted on, to sustain disaster at Chadd's Ford on the Brandywine.
We have just mentioned the site as in railway communication with the city of Wilmington. It is time to speak of the town in its relation to means of transport and as a railroad centre.
The location of the burgh, so near the ocean, on the beach of an immense river, and in the clasp of two smaller but partly navigable streams, kept it, in the old times, outside the latitude of railway improvement. Its naval facilities were thought to be sufficient for what business it had. The Baltimore line from Philadelphia passed through it, and could move its freight either north or south. With the development of its iron manufactures, however, the necessity of other connections became pressing, and in 1869 a road was opened to the coal-regions at Reading, crossing the Pennsylvania Central at Coatesville. Another road leads to New Castle. And now a short road has been opened to the westward, through a very rich region for way-freight; and with some notice of this, an artery for various mines and quarries, we finish our duty toward Wilmington as a railway nucleus.
The Wilmington and Western Railroad has not yet got over the excitement of being constructed. The creative spirit, it may be said, was Mr. Joshua T. Heald, an enterprising Wilmingtonian, already a director of the Wilmington and Reading line. It was he who drummed up the stock-subscriptions among his fellow townsmen. On July 8, 1871, he struck the first pick into the line as president, and in October, 1872, the road was opened for travel as far as Landenberg in Pennsylvania. The Wilmington and Western Road crosses Christine River in the suburbs, then follows the valley of Redclay Creek, past all its mills and local improvements, sends visitors to Brandywine Springs, and passes the birthplace of the inventor Oliver Evans, while its contemplated extension will pass it close to the birthplace of Robert Fulton, in the Peachbottom slate region of Pennsylvania. No bad omen for a steam-road, to have had its ground first broken at the cradle of one steam inventor and to lead to the cradle of another!
Regarding a map, to the west of Wilmington we see that there is a continuous tier of counties, from one extremity of Pennsylvania to the other, which has no great railway running east and west. A few of these counties are penetrated by feeders to the Pennsylvania Railroad or by other lateral roads, but they are not opened by any general comprehensive system; yet this section of Pennsylvania is one of the richest in mineral wealth. It has limestone, slate, iron ore, bituminous coal and other deposits. From one extremity to the other it is a region well worth development, and sure to reward by a large and valuable traffic the line of railway which will carry its products to the tide-water markets for sale or transhipment. The road is still an infant, but a good symptom is, that within six weeks of its opening the gross earnings of the company had reached a sum more than equal to the weekly interest on its bonded debt. Its extension to Oxford and the Susquehanna River is a matter for the immediate future.
So much for the facilities of moving Wilmington's many products by railway. It would be too unjust, however, to pay court to these roads, which are matters of yesterday, and show no attention to the system of water-transport for the sake of which her site was chosen two hundred years since.
Long years ago, Wilmington millers, wishing to ship flour to Philadelphia, used to walk down to Market street wharf, and pulling a bellcord that hung outside a little brick office by the river, summon to his duty the easy-going and cheerful freight-clerk of the transport line. The old sign, with the name of "Warner" upon it, is still upon the office, but the bell is gone, and the premises of Charles Warner & Co. have blossomed out into store-sheds and coal-sheds beyond all calculation. The guiding instinct of the firm was found to be concentrated in the handsome head of Mr. E. Tatnall Warner, a son and now a partner; and it was he who sketched out the amplitude of the store-houses, and determined to bring the line into victorious competition with the rail for all the freight of the port that would bear slow moving. The wharves of Warner & Co. now extend from Water street to the Christine River, and from Market to King streets. There are three communications daily with Philadelphia, and tri-weekly ones with New York and Boston. Their Philadelphia line consists of two steam-barges of one hundred and fifty tons, and they are constructing a third at a shipyard we have yet to examine—that of the Jackson & Sharp Company—of two hundred and fifty tons burden. The four railroads of Wilmington—the Baltimore line, the Wilmington and Reading, the Western, and the Delaware Road—all run their cars by continuous rails to the wharves of Warner & Co., where freight is transferred from cars to steamers with extreme rapidity, by four steam-hoisters placed on the ground for the purpose. A stationary engine also takes hold of the cars, and moves them from place to place on the rail as wanted. The handling by steam-power—a great change from the days of the old bell under the eaves!—of course reduces greatly the necessity for mere human porters. The steamers ply to a wharf at Chestnut street, Philadelphia, and also, as aforesaid, to New York. In respect to the latter port, the Messrs. Warner anticipate an early day when various novel manufactures established at Wilmington will demand new freights from the New York market, and to hasten that day they offer very strong inducements for return cargoes. Such is a specimen of a transport-office, transformed from old-fashioned ideas to the newest ambitions of the time. While the iron road will always collect a large portion of moving merchandise, there will still be another large portion for which the superior cheapness of water-transport will be a successful inducement.
An immense bid which Wilmington makes for future greatness is in the excellence of her harbor. Shipping there is at once safe and unimpeded in its exit. The Delaware and its bay below the city are broad and without sudden bends. Ice does not gather, and the influence of the ocean, by its tidal movement and salt water, makes the breaking of a channel comparatively easy. The Christine harbor, from any point near its mouth, can be kept open to the sea in all ordinary winters by a stout and well-built tug. The Christine is much wider—probably by three times—than the Chicago River, upon which every ton of the magnificent commerce of that great city is delivered. It has a better entrance and deeper water, as well as greater breadth. Wilmington believes she has a better issue for her manufactures in the Christine and Delaware than Glasgow possesses in the Clyde. The Clyde is narrower and more difficult to keep in order than the Christine, and Glasgow's facilities for getting materials for shipbuilding are not as great as Wilmington's.
The difference in the cost of production of iron ships in Wilmington and on the Clyde, exclusive of the premium on gold, is at this time about ten per cent. only. Taking the present price of gold (fourteen), this increases the difference to about twenty-four per cent. The falling off in the price of gold, which is so generally expected, together with the advance in labor in Great Britain, and the consequent advance in the price of iron there, will soon bring the cost nearly equal in both countries. Indeed, if our shipbuilders would use the light and inferior iron in their ships that is used on the Clyde, the cost would not now materially differ. This will not be done, however, for reasons that are too evident to need stating; and by waiting until the prices have adjusted themselves naturally and permanently, a more lasting and desirable prosperity will be gained. Meditating these considerations, Wilmington is quite serene and fearless under the present temporary depression of American shipbuilding.
There are some features connected with the life and education of the operatives so abundant in this town, some additional industries, a few items of religious history, and a few evidences of modern taste or luxury, that we wish to consider; but these must be reserved for a second paper.
THE ROUMI IN KABYLIA.
The Roumi who leaves Constantina for Setif has a choice of two routes—one picturesque, lively and covered with Roman remains; the other perfectly arid, and distinguished by the fact that in five miles there are just four trees.
He turns, however, as he settles himself in his stirrup amongst the interested Arab population of Constantina, to cast a last look at the ugly French streets in which, as a tourist, his lot was cast. The Arab quarters, where life still flows on in the old African style, have seized his attention exclusively, and he remembers with a kind of contemptuous remorse that he has paid no regard to the smart modern edifices and offices that belong to French occupation. Yet one of these, at least, the staring Napoleonic Palais de Justice, would yield him a romance from time to time.
Here, in December, 1872, twenty-one natives of the Belezma were tried at a court of assizes for the massacre, last April, of twelve French colonists. The affair was a sequel of the French-Prussian war. The natives, for a long time past on good terms with strangers, became insolent, boasting that France was ruined, and that all the French would soon disappear from Algeria. Some of the tribes, however, remained, if not friendly, at least less hostile. The revolt had become almost general, and on the 21st of April the sheikh Brahim of the Halymias informed the little colony near Batna that they were no longer safe in the forest, and offered to escort them into Batna. These colonists were the workmen at the saw-mills of a M. Prudhomme, about ten miles out of the town. The Europeans, consisting of thirteen men, one woman named Dorliat and her four children, set out the next morning, accompanied by Brahim and about forty of his men. On arriving in a ravine they were suddenly attacked by a large body of the rebels. Six of the party, who were in the rear, succeeded in escaping, but twelve of the men were massacred. Madame Dorliat, it is said, owed her life to a native named Abdallah at the saw-mills, who, on seeing her in tears before starting, said to her: "Woman, you have nothing to fear: no harm will be done to you or to your children. As for the men, I will not answer for them." As she continued to weep, he added: "Listen! When you see the guns pointed at your breast, say this prayer: 'Allah! Allah! Mohammed racoul Allah!' and you will be saved." He also taught the same prayer to her children. In the midst of the slaughter several Arabs had leveled their firearms at her to shoot her, when she remembered Abdallah's lesson, and throwing herself on her knees to them repeated the invocation. The murderers stopped, made her say it over again, and asked, "Do you mean it?" On her replying in the affirmative they spared her, but stripped her entirely naked, and took from her three of her children: she only recovered them thirty-two days later, and one of them died from a sabre-cut in the head, received during the fight. The woman's husband was among the killed, and so was the proprietor of the mill, M. Prudhomme. Of the twenty accused brought to trial at Constantina, twelve were condemned to death and three to hard labor; the others, among whom was the sheikh Brahim, being acquitted.
Severe justice is the only condition on which French supremacy can be maintained in the country, and probably for the general Arab populace the rule of the Gauls is a judicious one. But it is to be questioned whether the rule of talion is the right one for the Kabyles. In 1871, at the height of the French troubles with the Commune, formidable revolts were going on among the descendants of those untamable wretches whom Saint Arnaud smoked out in a cave. In July the garrison at Setif heard the plaint of a friendly cadi, named D'joudi, who had been wantonly attacked for his loyalty to the French by some organized mutineers under Mohammed Ben-Hadad. The poor wretch had been obliged to flee, with his women and his flocks, into the protection of his country's oppressors. Since the chassepot has succeeded in reducing the Kabyles once more to a superficial obedience, the courts have been busy with the sentences of their insubordinate leaders. France imitates England's sanguinary policy in her treatment of rebellious and semi-civilized tribes. Eight of the leaders of the Kabyle revolt of 1871 have been condemned to death, and a number of others have been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. The Kabyles will take their revenge when another European war places the Algiers colonists at their mercy.
The guides who accompany the traveler serve, in the absence of the trees, to attract his scrutiny. These mountain Arabs are superb fellows. Lips almost black, and shaded with lustrous beards, set off their perfect teeth, white, small, and separated like those of a young dog. Their black eyes are soft or stern at will. They are usually of middle size, large-chested, as befits Arabs from the hills, with small heads and finely-tapered wrists and ankles. They are dressed in red, with a covering of two bornouses—a white one beneath, and a black one fastened over. Long iron spurs are attached to their boots of red morocco, which come up to the knee; for the Algerian Arab, a bare-legged animal when walking, is a booted cavalier when mounted. The white haik, or toga, is fastened around the temples. The horse of the principal guide is a fine iron-gray, with an enormous tail of black—high-stepping, and carrying his elaborately-draped burden as proudly as a banner.
In contrast to this imposing guard of honor, the traveler minces along on a dumb, timid mule, who smells the ground in a sordid and vulgar manner, and is guided by a pitiful rope bridle. Such are the hackneys and the guides, engaged on the recommendation of the commandant of Constantina, who undertake to carry us to Setif and on to Bou-Kteun in Kabylia.
Setif, the ancient metropolis of this part of Mauritania, and celebrated for a brave defence against the invading Saracens, is now the healthiest spot occupied by the French in all Algeria. It lies on a great table a mile above the sea, is fortified, and has four good streets, but pays for its salubrity by the extreme outspokenness of the climate. It is subject to snow for six months, and is enveloped in a cloud of dust the other six. It is in the midst of a great grain-producing country, and is famed for its market, held every Sabbath. The surrounding folk dress for market, instead of dressing for Sunday, and exhibit the whitest of bornouses above the dustiest of legs as they sit crooning over trays of eggs or onions, brought far on foot through the powdery roads.
As we leave Setif we are overtaken by the lumbering stage-coach, which plunges and jolts over the road to Sibou-Areridj—a coach apparently about the age of the carriage of General Washington, for Algeria is the infirmary of all the worn-out French diligences. Sibou-Areridj is reached and passed, and a few miles farther on is encountered an Arab douar, or assemblage of tents forming a tribal fraction. This woven village, although we have attained the limits of Kabylia, reminds us that we have not yet reached the Kabylian abodes: an Arab lives in a tent in all localities outside the great cities—a Kabyle, never. However poor the hut in which the Kabylian artisan starves and labors, it must be a solid mansion founded upon the soil, and its master must feel himself a householder. Our douar proves to be an encampment belonging to the marabouts, or high religious orders, situated on a large plot of ground in the ownership of the saints, and extending up to the limits of Kabylia. Composed of a circle of tents numbering about fifty, and exhibiting numbers of fine horses picketed near the tent-doors, it is as fine a specimen as we shall see of the patriarchal life inherited from the unfatherly father of Ishmael. The pavilions are of a thick camel's hair stuff, very laboriously made by the women, which swells up in the rain and completely excludes moisture. They are striped brown and yellow, but a splendid tabernacle in the centre, of richer colors and finer fabric, bears at the apex a golden ball with plumes of ostrich feathers, the sign of authority. This tent is oval in form, resembling an overturned ship. It is the residence and office of the sheikh, or chief of the douar: several douars united form a tribe, governed by a caid. We venture to visit the sheikh, assured by our spahi guides that we shall be welcome. We are received blandly by the officer, offensively by his dogs, a throng of veritable jackals who scream around our feet as we enter. The interior, rich and severe at once, exhibits saddles and arms, gilded boxes and silken curtains, without a single article of furniture. The sheikh treats us to mild tobacco in chiboukhs—another sign that we are not yet in Kabylia: never is a Kabyle seen smoking. We reciprocate by offering coffee, made on the spot over our spirit-lamp—a process which the venerable sheikh watches as a piece of jugglery, and then dismisses us on our way with the polite but final air which Sarah may be supposed to have used in dismissing Hagar.
The douar, like a city, has suburbs of greater squalor than its interior, and among them, under the palm trees, we see women washing clothes or engaged in the manufacture of couscoussou, a dish common to the Arab, the Kabyle and the traveler hereabouts, and so important that a description of its preparation may be acceptable.
In the opening of a small tent, then, we paused to watch an old moukere (or daughter of Araby), whose hands look as if she had been stirring up the compost-heap of bones, pickings and dirt before the door. With these hands she rolls dexterously a quantity of moistened flour upon a plate. Long habit has made it easy to her, and in an incredibly short time she has formed a multitude of small grains—her hands, it must be said, looking a great deal cleaner after the process. On the fire is a pot of water, just placed. She interrupts her labor to throw in a piece of kid, which, with a quantity of spices, she stirs around with her callous hand, almost to the boiling-pitch of the water. She then addicts herself once more to the manufacture of the flour-grains, of which she has directly made a perfect mountain. The water now boiling, she places the granulated paste in a second earthen pot or vase, whose bottom, pierced like a colander with holes, fits like a cover upon that in which the meat is boiling. The steam cooks the grains, which are afterward served upon a platter, with the meat on top and the soup poured over. All travelers agree that, when you do not witness the preparation, couscoussou is a toothsome and attractive dish, fit to be set beside the maccaroni of Rossini.
On the plateau outside the douar we find the cemetery, with its tombs; for the Arab, content to sleep under tissue while he lives, must needs sleep under mason-work after he is dead. Under the koubba, or dome, is seen a sarcophagus covered with a crimson pall, the tomb of a dead marabout: banners of yellow or green silk, the testimony of so many pilgrimages to Mecca, hang over the dead. In the graveyard round about are tombstones roughly sculptured, and the stone turbans indicating the cranium of a Mussulman; the Arab, again, after building his house of camel's hair, ordering his last turban to be woven by the stone-mason!
We pass along a sterile country, with chalky rocks cropping from the ground and making our way increasingly difficult. All is dry as a lime-basket. The climate here, completely wanting in the sense of a just medium, knows no resource between the utter desiccation of all the water-courses in summer and an outpouring in winter which carries away trees, crops and arable earth, presenting the farmer with a result of boulders and sand. The rocks sound beneath our animals' feet for an hour or two: we dip into a ravine and attain Bou-Kteun, our first Kabylian town.
It is night, and we invoke the hospitality of the village chief, called by the Kabyles the amin. Our prayers are not refused. The amin receives the strangers, not so much from a feeling of social etiquette, of which he knows little, as from his religion, which commands him to receive the guest as the messenger of God. He comes to the threshold, kisses our hands without servility, waits on us at a supper which he is too polite to share, and presents us with a prayer at our bedside. Bou-Kteun, situated halfway up the "Red Plateau," guards the pass called the Gates of Iron. It is an uninteresting village, the official house being alone respectable amidst a town of huts. As the amin accompanies us a little way outside the burgh, we remark, among the young orchards, stumps of olive and fig trees sawn away at the base. The amin shows them with sad satire, saying in explanation, "French Roumi:" it was the Christian French.
That is the term, meaning no compliment, which the Kabyle fits to all Europeans alike. In vain the Frenchman, writhing with intellectual repugnance, explains that he is not a Christian—that he is a Voltairean, a creature of reason, an illumine. The Kabyle continues to call him a Roumi, which will bear to be translated Romanist, being imitated from the word Rome and applied to all Catholics. These same tribes doubtless called Saint Augustine a Roumi, and he returned the epithet Barbari or Berbers—a name which the emperors applied with vast contempt to the hordes and mongrel population of exiles and convicts that peopled Mauritania, and which the natives retained until the Arab invasion, when they changed Berber for Kebaile.
The Romans conquered the shores and the plains. You find none of their ruins among the mountains, where the Berbers, from the Roman occupation to the French, have preserved an independence never completely subdued.
The Kabyle villages are united into federations. If these federations engage in quarrels—which is by no means rare—or if a village is menaced by an enemy, signals are placed in the minarets to appeal to the towns of the same party. These are easily seen, for all the villages are on hilly crests and visible from a distance. From the summit of Taourit el Embrank we can count more than twenty of these Kabyle towns, perched on the peaks around us, and separated by profound chasms.
Every trait points out the distinction between the Kabyles and the surrounding Arabs. The Arabs seek laziness as a sovereign good; the Kabyles are great artificers. The Arabs imprison their wives; the Kabyle women are almost as free as our own. The Kabylian adherence to the Mohammedan faith is but partial, and is variegated by a quantity of superstitions and articles of belief indicating quite another origin. While the Koran proclaims the law of retaliation, eye for eye and tooth for tooth, the more humane Kabyle law simply exiles the criminal for ever, confiscating his goods to the community. It is true, the family of a murdered person are expected to pursue the homicide with all the tenacity of a Corsican vendetta, but the tribal laws are kept singularly clean from the ferocity of individual habits. A strange thing, indicating probably a derivation from times at least as early as Augustine, is that the Kabyle code (a mixture, like all primitive codes, of law and religion) is called by the Greek term canon (kanoun). An institution of great protective use, in practice, is the safe-conduct, or anaya, a token given to a guest, traveler or prescript, and which protects the bearer as far as the acquaintance of the giver extends: it may be a gun, a stick, a bornouse or a letter. The anaya is the sultan of the Kabyles, doing charity and raising no taxes—"the finest sultan in the world," says the native proverb. The Kabyles press into all the towns and seaports for employment with the same independence as if they were a neighboring nationality. They build houses, they work in carpentry, they forge weapons, gun-barrels and locks, swords, knives, pickaxes, cards for wool, ploughshares, gun-stocks, shovels, wooden shoes, and frames for weaving. They weave neatly, and their earthenware is renowned. In addition, they are expert and shameless counterfeiters. Yes, the fact must be admitted: these rugged mountaineers, so proud, and, according to their own code, so honorable, never blush to prepare imitations of the circulating medium, which they only know as an appurtenance and invention of their civilized conquerors. In his rude hovel, with all the sublimities of Nature around him, this child of the wilderness looks up to the summits of the Atlas, "with peaky tops engrailed," and immediately thereafter looks down again to attend to the engrailing of his neat five-franc pieces, which can hardly be told from the genuine. This multiplication of finance was punished under the beys with death. The bey of Constantina arrested in one day the men of three tribes notorious for counterfeiting, and decapitated a hundred of them. There was lately to be seen at Constantina the executioner who was charged with this punishment, the very individual who cut off the ingenious heads of all these poor money-makers, and did not "cut them off with a shilling." He appeared to modern visitors as a modest coffee-house keeper in the Arab quarters, who would serve you, for two cents, a cup of coffee with the hand that had wielded the yataghan. He was an old Turk, with wide gray moustaches, dressed in a remarkable and theatrical fashion. He wore a yellow turban of colossal size, and an ample orange girdle over a dress of light green. Poor Tobriz—that was his name—was violently opposed to the introduction of the guillotine in Algeria. In the days of his prosperity an enormous sabre was passed through his flaming girdle. In the early years of the French conquest Tobriz was employed in the decapitations, which were executed with a saw, and must have been a horrible spectacle. He remembered well the execution of the hundred counterfeiters in one night, and their heads exposed in the market.
A rapid descent from Bou-Kteun to the bed of a river of the same name, and a pursuit of the latter to its confluence with the river Biban, lead through impressive ravines to the Iron Gates. The waters of the Biban, impregnated with magnesia, leave their white traces on the bottoms of the precipices which enclose them. The mules pick their way over paths of terrible inclination. At length, at a turn in the overhanging reddish cliffs, where a hundred men could hold in check an entire army, we find ourselves in front of the first gate. It is a round arch four yards in width, pierced by Nature between the rocks. The second is at twenty paces off, and two others are found at a short distance. Between the first and second we observe, chiseled in the stone above the reach of the water, "L'Armee Francaise, 1839," engraved by the sappers attached to the army of the duke of Orleans on the passage of the expedition.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
A CHINESE STORY.
None are so wise as they who make pretence To know what fate conceals from mortal sense. This moral from a tale of Ho-hang-ho Might have been drawn a thousand years ago, Long ere the days of spectacles and lenses, When men were left to their unaided senses.
Two young short-sighted fellows, Chang and Ching, Over their chopsticks idly chattering, Fell to disputing which could see the best: At last they agreed to put it to the test. Said Chang: "A marble tablet, so I hear, Is placed upon the Bo-hee temple near, With an inscription on it. Let us go And read it (since you boast your optics so), Standing together at a certain place In front, where we the letters just may trace. Then he who quickest reads the inscription there The palm for keenest eyes henceforth shall bear." "Agreed," said Ching; "but let us try it soon: Suppose we say to-morrow afternoon."
"Nay, not so soon," said Chang: "I'm bound to go, To-morrow, a day's ride from Ho-hang-ho, And sha'n't be ready till the following day: At ten A.M. on Thursday let us say."
So 'twas arranged. But Ching was wide awake: Time by the forelock he resolved to take; And to the temple went at once, and read Upon the tablet: "To the illustrious dead— The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang." Scarce had he gone when stealthily came Chang, Who read the same; but, peering closer, he Spied in a corner what Ching failed to see— The words, "This tablet is erected here By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear."
So, on the appointed day—both innocent As babes, of course—these honest fellows went And took their distant station; and Ching said, "I can read plainly, 'To the illustrious dead— The chief of mandarins, the great Goh-Bang.'" "And is that all that you can spell?" said Chang. "I see what you have read, but furthermore, In smaller letters, toward the temple-door, Quite plain, 'This tablet is erected here By those to whom the great Goh-Bang was dear.'"
"My sharp-eyed friend, there are no such words!" said Ching. "They're there," said Chang, "if I see anything— As clear as daylight!" "Patent eyes, indeed, You have!" cried Ching. "Do you think I cannot read?" "Not at this distance, as I can," Chang said, "If what you say you saw is all you read."
In fine, they quarreled, and their wrath increased, Till Chang said, "Let us leave it to the priest: Lo, here he comes to meet us." "It is well," Said honest Ching: "no falsehood he will tell."
The good man heard their artless story through, And said, "I think, dear sirs, there must be few Blest with such wondrous eyes as those you wear. There's no such tablet or inscription there. There was one, it is true; 'twas moved away, And placed within the temple yesterday."
A straggling old house, painted yellow, and set down between a corn-field and the village pasture for family cows; old walnut trees growing close to its back and front, young walnut trees thrusting themselves unhindered through beet and tomato patches, and even through the roof of the hennery in the rear, which had been rebuilt to accommodate them, spreading a heavy shade all about, picturesque but unprofitable.
Old Peter Guinness used to sit on the doorstep every hot summer evening, smoking his cigar, and watching the hens go clucking up to roost in the lower branches and the cattle gathered underneath.
"What a godsend the trees are to those poor beasts!" he said a dozen times every summer.
"Yes. We risk dampness and neuralgia and ague to oblige the town cows," Mrs. Guinness would reply calmly.
"I shall cut them down this fall, Fanny. I'm not unreasonable, I hope. Don't say a word more: I forgot your neuralgia, my dear. Down they come!"
But they never did come down. Mrs. Guinness never expected them to come down, any more than she expected Peter to give up his cigar. When they were first married she explained to him daily the danger of smoking, the effect of nicotine on the lungs, liver and stomach: then she would appeal to him on behalf of his soul against this debasing temptation of the devil. "It is such a gross way to fall," she would plead—"such a mean, sensual appetite!"
Peter was always convinced, yielding a ready assent to all her arguments: then he would turn his mild, cow-like regards on her: "But, my dear, I smoke the best Partagas: they're very expensive, I assure you."
Long ago his wife had left him to go his own way downward. As with smoking, so with other ungodly traits and habits. She felt his condemnation was sure. It was a case for submission at the female prayer-meeting; bemoaning his eternal damnation became indeed a part of her religion, but the matter was not one to render her apple-cheeks a whit less round or her smile less placid. The mode in which Peter earned their bread and butter interfered more with her daily comfort and digestion. Dealing in second-hand books, half of which were dramatic works, was a business not only irreligious, but ungenteel. She never passed under the swinging sign over the door without feeling that her cross was indeed heavy, and the old parlor, which had been turned into a shop, she left to the occupancy of her husband and Kitty.
Out of the shop, one summer afternoon, had come for an hour the perpetual scrape, scrape of Peter's fiddle. He jumped up at last, suddenly, bow in hand, and went to the doorstep, where his stepdaughter sat sewing. From the words he had overheard in the next room he was sure that the decisive hour of life had just struck for the girl, and there she was stitching her flannel and singing about "Alpine horns, tra-la!" She ought to have known, he thought, without hearing. A woman ought to be of the kindred of the old seeresses, and by the divine ichor or the animal instinct in her know when the supreme moment of love approached.
But what kind of love was this coming to Kitty?
He twanged the strings just over her head, to keep her from hearing, but quite out of tune, he was so agitated with the criticalness of the moment. But then most moments were critical to Peter Guinness, and agitation, his wife was wont smilingly to assure him, was his normal condition.
He anxiously watched Catharine's restless glances into the room where her mother and the clergyman sat in council. She had guessed their object then? She was opposed to it?
A thoughtful frown contracted her forehead. Suddenly it cleared: "Oysters? Yes, it is oysters Jane is broiling. I'm horribly hungry. I could go round the back way and bring us a little lunch in here, father. They'll never see us behind the books."
"Shame on you, Kit! You're nothing but a greedy child." But he laughed with a sudden sense of relief. She really was nothing yet but a healthy child with a very sharp remembrance of meal-times. It would be years before her mother or Mr. Muller would talk to her of the marriage or the work they had planned for her.
"Just as you please," taking up her flannel again. "Very likely it will be midnight before we have supper: Mr. Muller often forgets to eat altogether. From what mother tells me, I suppose approving conscience and a plate of grits now and then carry him through the day. It's different with me."
"Very different, Kitty. Don't flatter yourself that you will ever be like him in any way. William Muller is a Christian of the old type. Though, as for grits, a man should not disregard the requirements of the stomach too much," with an inward twinge as he smelt the oysters. He began to play thoughtfully, while Kitty looked again through the book-shop to the room beyond. The books about her always made unfamiliar pictures when one looked at them suddenly. They lay now in such weights of age and mustiness on the floor, the counters, the beams overhead, the yellow walls of them were lost in such depths of cobwebs and gloom, that they made a dark retreating frame, in which she sat like a clear, fine picture in the doorway, the yellow sunset light behind her. She could see her mother looking in at her, and the plump, neat little clergyman in his tight-fitting ribbed suit of brown and spotless shirt-front. He gently stroked his small black imperial as he talked, but his eyes behind their gold eye-glasses never wavered in their mild regard of her. Kitty grew restless under it.
"Mr. Muller is talking of the class of books you keep, father," she said, lowering her voice: "I'm sure of it. They are as unsavory in his nostrils as to the reformers in the village. They'd all excommunicate you if they could."
"Guinness, Book Agent, Kitty," finishing his tune with a complacent scrape, "has been known for twenty years, while Berrytown belongs to yesterday. But the intolerance of these apostles of toleration is unaccountable. They mean well, though. I really never knew people mean better; yet—" He finished the sentence with a shake of the head, solemnly burying the fiddle in its case.
Both he and Catharine turned involuntarily to the window. Five years ago there had been half a dozen old buildings like the Book-house stretched along Indian Creek, the roofs curled and black, the walls bulging with age and damp. Now, there was Berrytown.
Berrytown was the Utopia in actual laths, orchards and bushel-measures of the advance-guard of the reform party in the United States. It was the capital of Progress, where social systems and raspberries grew miraculously together. Thither hied every man who had any indictment against the age, or who had invented an inch-rule of a theory which was to bring the staggering old world into shape. Woman-Suffrage, Free-Love, Spiritualism, off-shoots from Orthodoxy in every sect, had there food and shelter. Radical New England held the new enterprise dear as the apple of her eye: Western New York stretched toward it hands of benediction. As Catharine looked out, not a tree stood between her and the sky-line. Row after row of cottages replete with white paint and the modern conveniences; row after row of prolific raspberry bushes on the right, cranberry bogs on the left—the great Improved Canning-houses for fruit flanking the town on one side, Muller's Reformatory for boys on the other. The Book-house behind its walnut trees, its yellow walls clammy with lichen, was undeniably a blot, the sole sign of age and conservatism in a landscape which, from horizon to horizon, Reform swept with the newest of brooms. No wonder that the Berrytownites looked askance at it, and at the book-fanciers who had haunted the place for years, knowing old Guinness to be the keenest agent they could put upon the trail of a pamphlet or relic.
The old man grew surly sometimes when sorely goaded by the new-comers. "There's not a man of them, Kitty," he would say, "but has ideas; and there's not an idea in the town five years old." But generally he was cordial with them all, going off into rapt admiration of each new prophet as he arose, and he would willingly have stood cheek by jowl with them in their planting and watering and increase if they had not snubbed him from the first. Book-shops full of old plays, and a man who talked of Scott's width of imagination and Clay's statesmanship, were indigestible matter which Berrytown would gladly have spewed out of her mouth. "What have aimless imagination and temporizing policy to do with the Advancement of Mankind? Dead weight, sir, dead weight! which but clogs the wheels of the machine." Any schoolboy in Berrytown could have so reasoned you the matter. While Catharine was growing up, therefore, the walnut trees had shut the Guinnesses into complete social solitude until deliverance came in the shape of Mr. Muller.
Besides her supper now, Catharine wanted her share of this visitor. Nothing else, in fact, came in or went out of her life. Outside lay emancipated Berrytown, to unemancipated Kitty only a dumb panorama: inside, her meals, her lessons and perpetual consultations with her mother on bias folds and gussets while they made their dresses or sewed for the Indian missions. Kitty was quite willing to believe that the Berrytown women were mad and unsexed, but ought the events of life to consist of beef and new dresses and far-off Sioux? She laughed good-humoredly at her own grumbling, but she looked longingly out of the window at the girls going by chattering in the evenings with their sweet-hearts; and certainly the Man coming into her life had affected her not unpleasantly. Not that the clergyman, with his small jokes and small enthusiasms, was any high revelation to her mind; but there was no other.
"It's something to hear a heavy step about the house, and to see the carpet kicked crooked," she said sometimes. Her mother would shake her hand gently and smile.
She shook her head and smiled in precisely the same way now. Mr. Muller, who had grown excited as he talked, felt a wave of insipid propriety wash over his emotions, bringing them to a dead level.
"However the matter may conclude," said Mrs. Guinness pleasantly, "why should you and I lose our self-control, Mr. Muller? Now, why should we? Ah?"
There was something numbing in the very note of prolonged interrogation. The folds of Mrs. Guinness's glossy alpaca lay calmly over her plump breast; her colorless hair (both her own and the switch) rolled and rose high above her head; her round cheeks were unchanging pink, her light eyes steady; the surprised lift of those flaxen eyelashes had made many a man ashamed of his emotions and his slipshod grammar together.
Mr. Muller was humbled, he did not know why. "It is practical enough, I suppose," he said irritably, "to ask what Catharine herself thinks of marriage with me?"
"You never tried to discover for yourself?" with an attempt at roguish shrewdness.
"No, upon my honor, no!" The little man fairly lost his breath in his haste. "I have a diffidence in speaking to her."
"To Kitty!" with an amused, indulgent smile, which worsted him again.
He struggled back into the hardest common sense: "Of course it is not diffidence in me. I feel no hesitation in discussing the question of marriage with anybody else. My family wish me to marry: my sister has suggested several young ladies to me in well-to-do religious families in the city. There are marriageable young women here, too, whose acquaintance I have made with that object in view. Very intelligent girls: they have given me some really original views on religion and politics. One can talk to them about anything—social evils or what not. But Catharine—she is so young! It is like broaching marriage to a baby!"
Mrs. Guinness was silent. The sudden silence struck like a dead wall before the little man, and bewildered and alarmed him: "Perhaps, Mrs. Guinness, you think I ought not to look upon Catharine as another man would? I should regard a wife only as a fellow-servant of the Lord? I oughtn't to—to make love to Kitty, in short?"
"She is a dear, pious child. I love to think of her in the midst of your Reformed boys," said the lady evasively.
There was another pause. "Of course, you know," he said with an anxious laugh, "I never had a serious thought of those young ladies chosen by my sister. Social position or wealth does not weigh with me, Mrs. Guinness—not a feather!" earnestly. If he really had meant to give her a passing reminder that marriage with Kitty would be a step down the social grade for him, he was thoroughly scared out of his intention. As he talked, reiterating the same thing again and again, the heat rose into his neatly-shaved face and little aquiline nose.
Mrs. Guinness observed his agitation with calm triumph. She knew but one ladder into heaven, and that, short and narrow, was through her own Church. Kitty was stepping up on a high rung of it. Once the wife of this good Christian man, and her soul was safe. A sudden vision of her flitted before her mother in grave but rich attire (fawn-colored velvet, for instance, for next winter, trimmed with brown fur), to suit her place as the wife of the wealthy Muller, head of the congregation and the Reformatory school: she would be instant, too, at prayer—meetings and Dorcas societies. This was Mrs. Guinness's world, and she reasoned according to the laws of it. She rejoiced as Hannah did when she had safely placed her child within the temple of the Lord.
And yet with that hint of the social position of the Mullers had come the certainty to her that this marriage could never be. A shadow had stood suddenly before her—a boy's face, the only one before which her calm, complacent soul had ever quailed or shrunk. The pleasant, apple-cheeked woman, like the rest of us, had her ghost—her sin unwhipped of justice. She stood calmly as Mr. Muller hurried his explanations, piling them one on top of the other, but she did not hear a word of them. If he should ever hear Hugh's story! Dead though he was, if that were known not a beggar in the street would marry Catharine.
But since Fanny Guinness was an amiable, pink-cheeked belle in the village choir, she had never turned her back on an enemy: why should she now? Hugh Guinness had hated her as the vicious always hate the good, but she was thankful she had smiled and greeted him with Christian forbearance to the very last. As for this danger coming from him, now that he was dead, the safest way was to drag it to the light at once. All things worked together for good to those who loved the Lord—if you managed them right.
"Of course," she said, as if just finishing a sentence, "you are indifferent to social rank. And yet it will be no slight advantage to you that Catharine has no swarm of needy kinsfolk. Her own father died when she was a baby. Mr. Guinness is the only near friend she has ever known except myself. He had a son when I married him—" The boy's name stuck in her throat. For a moment she felt as the murderer does, forced to touch his victim with his naked hand. "Hugh—Hugh Guinness—was the lad's name."
"I never heard of him," indifferently.
"No, it is not probable you should. Long before Berrytown was built he went to Nicaragua. He died there. Well," with a little wave of the hand, "there you have Kitty's whole family. It will be better that she should be so untrammeled, for the interests of the school."
"The school? I'm not a Reformatory machine altogether, I suppose!" He had been watching Catharine, who was moving about in the shop. When he was not in sight of her he always remembered that she was a mere child, to be instructed from the very rudiments up after marriage, and that the Guinnesses were ten degrees, at least, below him in the social scale. But she was near—she was coming! The complacent smile went out of his trig little features: he moved his tongue about to moisten his dry lips before he could speak. He was absolutely frightened at himself. "There's more than the school to be thought of, Mrs. Guinness," he blurted out. "I—I love Catharine. And I want this matter settled. Immediately—within the hour."
"Very well. You will be satisfied with the result, I am sure, Mr. Muller. I give Catharine to you with all my heart." But she did not look any more at ease than he. They both turned to look at Kitty, who came toward them in her usual headlong gait through the shop.
Her mother scanned Catharine when she came in as she had never done before. She was "taking stock" of her, so to speak: she wished to know what was in the girl to have secured this lover, or what there was to hold him should he ever hear Hugh's damning story. Her eye ran over her. She was able to hold her motherly fondness aside while she judged her. Kitty was flushed and awakened from head to foot with the excitement of this single visitor.
"At her age," thought Mrs. Guinness, "I could have faced a regiment of lovers. Kitty's weak: I always felt her brain was small—small. She has nothing of my face, or address either. There's no beauty there but youth, and her curious eyes." She never had been sure whether she admired Kitty's eyes or not.
But clergymen and reformers were as vulnerable as other men to soft, flushing cheeks and moist lips, and Mr. Muller, as she judged from his agitation, was no wiser than the rest. He pressed nervously forward, bridging his nose with his eye-glasses.
"Catharine, my child, will you walk out with me? I wish to consult you on a little matter."
"Oh, with pleasure," said Kitty.
Her mother stood aghast. Like the mass of women, she viewed the matter of love from the sentimental, L.E.L. stand-point. It had been a forbidden subject to Kitty. Her heart her mother supposed, slept, like the summer dawn, full of dreams, passion, dewy tenderness, waiting for the touch of the coming day. What kind of awakening would the plump "Will you marry me?" of this fat little clergyman be? In the street of Berry town, too! in the middle of the afternoon! If it were only moonlight!
"Pray wait until evening, Catharine: you're always famished for your supper," she cried anxiously.
"But I'm not hungry now at all," running up the stairs. For politeness' sake Kitty would lie with a smile on her mouth though a fox were gnawing at her stomach. Something in her running reminded Mr. Muller that she was a school-girl and he a middle-aged noted reformer. He fidgeted about the room, looking at the prints of La Fayette and Franklin on the whitewashed wall, and the Tomb of Washington done in faded chenilles by Mr. Guinness's first wife, buttoning his gloves with an anxious frown.
"I'm sure I don't know what my sister Maria will say to this," after one or two uneasy laughs. "I never mean to be eccentric, yet somehow I always am different from anybody else. Now, in church-matters—I never intended to leave the orthodox communion, yet when I showed how my Church was clinging to worn-out dogmas, and opened my Reformatory in Berrytown, the Free-Religionists in Boston seized me, and printed my opening sermon under one cover with that of an Oneidaite and a Spiritualist. Do I look like a medium or a Free-Lover? That was going a little too far, I take it."
"Ah?" came Mrs. Guinness's calm interrogatory. No more.
William Muller was a man of culture and a certain force in one direction, and when pleading the cause of the vicious children to whom he was giving his life could hold men of real mental strength attentive and subdued. He did not know why, when this commonplace little woman had her steady eye on him, he should always dribble out all his weakness to her. But he did it—talked on in a leaky way of his squabble with his church and the praises he had received in newspapers for his school, until he heard Kitty's step on the stairs.
"Ah! there she is!" he cried relieved.
Catharine came back, close buttoned in a brown dress, with high-laced boots, and a light stick in her hand. She used to call it her alpenstock, and make all Switzerland out of the New Jersey sands with it. She ran in to kiss her father good-bye, blushing and delighted. It was the first time she had ever walked with any man but himself. "Here's an adventure!" she whispered. Every day she and Peter expected an adventure before night. She drew back startled at the strange, uneasy look he gave her. Her mother, too, pulled her hastily away, and walked beside her to the gate.
"Child," she whispered breathlessly, "he is your lover."
"Lover?" said Kitty aloud. "Lover?" But Mr. Muller joined her at the moment, and opening the gate motioned for her to precede him. They went down the quiet street together.