POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
WARWICK AND COVENTRY.
The history of England is written in living characters in the provincial towns of the kingdom; and it is this which gives such interest to places which have been surpassed commercially by great manufacturing centres and overshadowed socially by the attractions of London. The local nobility once held state little less than royal in houses whose beautiful architecture now masks a hotel, a livery-stable, a girls' school, a lawyer's office or a workingmen's club, and there are places where almost every cottage, every wooden balcony or overhanging oriel, suggests something romantic and antique. Even if no positive association is connected with one of these humbler specimens of English domestic architecture, you can fall back on the traditional home of love and poetry, the recollections of idyls and pastorals daily acted out by unconscious illustrators of the poets from one generation to another. Modern life engrafted on these old towns and villages seems prosaic and unattractive, though practically it is that which first strikes the eye. New fronts mask old buildings, as new manners do old virtues; and if we come to the frame and adjuncts of daily life, we must confess that nineteenth-century trivialities are intrinsically no worse than mediaeval trivialities.
There are in Warwick more modern houses and smart shops than ancient gabled and half-timbered houses, but the relics of the past are still striking: witness the ancient porch of the good old "Malt-Shovel," with its bow-window, in which the Dudley retainers often caroused, and the oblique gables in one of the side streets, which Rimmer, a minute observer of English domestic architecture, thus describes: "An acute-angled street may be made to contain rectangular rooms on an upper story.... Draw an acute angle—say something a little less than a right angle—and cut it into compartments; or, if preferred, an obtuse angle, and cut this into compartments also. Now, the roadway may be so prescribed as to prevent right angles from being made on the basement, but the complementary angles are ingeniously made out by allowing the joists to be of extra length, and cutting the ends off when they come to the square. The effect is extremely picturesque, and I cannot remember seeing this peculiar piece of construction elsewhere."
At the western end of High street stands Leicester's Hospital, which was originally a hall belonging to two guilds, but, coming into possession of the Dudleys, was converted into a hospital by Elizabeth's favorite in 1571. The "master" was to belong to the Established Church, and the "brethren" were to be retainers of the earl of Leicester and his heirs, preference being given to those who had served and been disabled in the wars. The act of incorporation gives a list of neighboring towns and villages, and specifies that queen's soldiers from these, in rotation, are to have the next presentations. There is a common kitchen, with a cook and porter, and each brother receives some eighty pounds per annum, besides the privileges of the house. Early in this century the number of inmates was increased to twenty-two, unlike many such institutions, whose funded property accumulated without the original number of patients or the amount of their pensions being correspondingly increased. The hospital-men still wear the old uniform—a gown of blue cloth, with the silver badge of the Dudleys, the bear and ragged staff. The chapel has been restored in nearly the old form, and stretches over the pathway, with a promenade at the top of the flight of steps round it, and the black-and-white (or half-timbered) building that forms the hospital encloses a spacious open quadrangle in the style common to hostelries. The carvings are very fine and varied, and add greatly to the beauty of the galleries and covered stair. The monastic charities founded by men of the old religion are now in the hands of the corporation for distribution among the poor of the town, and besides the old grammar-school founded by Henry VIII., with a yearly exhibition to each of the universities, and open to all boys, rich and poor, of the town, there are five other public schools and forty almshouses. The old generous, helpful spirit survives, in spite of new economic theories, in these English country towns, and landlords and merchants have not yet given up the old-fashioned belief that where they make their money they are bound to spend it to the best advantage of their poorer and less fortunate neighbors. Many local magnates, however, have departed from this rule. Country gentlemen no longer have houses in the county-town, but flock to London for the purposes of social and fashionable life. They have decidedly lost in dignity by this rush to the capital, and it is doubtful how far they have gained in pleasure, though the few whose means still compel them to stay at home, or only go to town once or twice in a lifetime for a court presentation, would gladly take the risk for the sake of the experiment. The feeling which made the Rohans adopt as a motto, "Roy ne puis—Prince ne veux—Rohan je suis," is one which is theoretically strong among the country squires of England, the possessors of the bluest blood and longest deeds of hereditary lands; but the snobbishness of the nineteenth century is practically apt to taint the younger branches when they read of garden-parties given by the royal princes or balls where duchesses and cabinet ministers are as plentiful as blackberries. Their great-grandmothers, it is true, were sometimes troubled with the same longings, for among the many proclamations against the residence in London of country gentlemen in unofficial positions is one of James I., noticing "those swarms of gentry, who, through the instigation of their wives, do neglect their country hospitality and cumber the city, a general nuisance to the kingdom;" and the royal Solomon elsewhere observes that "gentlemen resident on their estates are like ships in port—their value and magnitude are felt and acknowledged; but when at a distance, as their size seemeth insignificant, so their worth and importance are not duly estimated." There is a weak point in this simile, however; so, to cover it with a better and more unpretentious argument, I will quote a few lines from an old poem of Sir Richard Fanshawe on the subject of one of these proclamations:
Nor let the gentry grudge to go Into those places whence they grew, But think them blest they may do so. Who would pursue The smoky glories of the town That may go till his native earth, And by the shining fire sit down On his own hearth?
* * * * *
Believe me, ladies, you will find In that sweet life more solid joys, More true contentment to the mind, Than all town toys.
The solemn county balls, to which access was as difficult as it is now to a court festivity, have dwindled to public affairs with paid subscriptions, yet even in their changed conditions they are somewhat of an event in the winter life of a neighborhood. Everybody has the entree who can command the price of a ticket, though, as a rule, different classes form coteries and dance among themselves. The country-houses for ten or twelve miles around contribute their Christmas and New Year guests, often a large party in two or three carriages. Political popularity is not lost sight of, and civilities to the wives and daughters of the tradesmen and voters often secure more support in the next election than strict principle warrants; but though the men thus mingle with the majority of the dancers, it is seldom the ladies leave the upper end of the hall, where the local aristocracy holds a sort of court. In places where there is a garrison the military are a great reinforcement to the body of dancers and flirts. The society proper of a county-town is mostly cut up into a small clique of clerical and professional men, with a few spinsters of gentle eccentricity and limited means, the sisters and aunts of country gentlemen, and a larger body of well-to-do tradesmen and their families, including the ministers of the dissenting chapels and their families. One of the latter may be possibly a preacher of local renown, and one of the Anglican clergy will almost invariably be an antiquary of real merit. The mayor and corporation belong, as a rule, to the larger set, but the lawyers and doctors hold a neutral position and are welcomed everywhere, partly for the sake of gossip, partly for their own individual merits. Warwick has the additional advantage over many kindred places of the near neighborhood of Leamington, a fashionable watering-place two miles and a half distant, one of the mushrooms of this century, but in a practical point of view one of the brightest and most attractive places in England. At present it far surpasses Warwick in business and bustle, and possesses all the adjuncts of a health-resort, frequented all the year round, and inhabited by hundreds of resident invalids for the sake of the excellent medical staff collected there. One of its famous physicians was often sent for, instead of a London doctor, to the great houses within a radius of forty or fifty miles. The assembly-rooms, hotels, baths, gardens, bridges and shops of Leamington vie with those of the continental spas, and the display of dress and the etiquette of society are in wonderful contrast to the state of the quiet village fifty years ago. But it is pleasant to know that the new town has already an endowed hospital, founded by Dr. Warneford and called by his name, where the poor have gratuitous baths and the best medical advice. Not content with being a centre in its own way, Leamington has improved its prospects by setting up as a rival to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, known as the "hunting metropolis." Three packs of hounds are hunted regularly during the season within easy distance of the town, which has also annual steeplechases and a hunting club; and this sporting element serves to redeem Leamington from the character of masked melancholy which often strikes a tourist in visiting a regular health-resort.
In natural beauty Warwickshire is surpassed by other counties, but few can boast of architectural features equally striking—such magnificent historical memorials as Kenilworth and Warwick castles, and the humbler beauties to be found in the houses of Stratford-on-Avon, Polesworth and Meriden. The last is remarkable—as are, indeed, all the villages of Warwickshire—for its picturesque beauty, and above all for the position of its churchyard, whence lovely views are obtained of the country around. Of Polesworth, Dugdale remarks, that, "for Antiquitie and venerable esteem it needs not to give Precedence to any in the Countie." "There is a charming impression of age and quiet dignity in its remains of old walls, its remains of old trees, its church and its open common," says Dean Howson. Close to the village, on a hill commanding a view of it, stands Pooley Hall, whose owner in old days obtained a license from Pope Urban VI. to build a chapel on his own land, "by Reason of the Floods at some time, especially in Winter, which hindered his Accesse to the Mother-Church." In the garden of this hall, a modest country-house, a type of the ordinary run of English homes, stands a chapel—not the original one, but built on its site—and from it one has a view of the level ground, the village and the river, evidently still liable to floods. The part of the county that joins Gloucestershire is rich in apple-orchards, which I remember one year in the blossoming-time, while the early grass, already green and wavy, fringed the foot of the trees, and by the road as we passed we looked through hedges and over low walls into gardens full of crocuses, snowdrops, narcissuses, early pansies and daffodils, for spring gardens have become rather a mania in England within ten or twelve years. Here and there older fragments of wall lined the road, and over one of these, from a height of eight feet or so, dropped a curtain of glossy, pointed leaves, making a background for the star-shaped yellow blossoms, nearly as large as passion-flowers, of the St. John's-wort, with their forest of stamens standing out like golden threads from the heart of the blossom. At the rectory of the village in question was a very clever man, an unusual specimen of a clergyman, a thorough man of the world and a born actor. His father and brother had been famous on the stage, and he himself struck one as having certainly missed his calling, though in his appearance and manner he was as free as possible from that discontented uneasiness with which an underbred person alone carries a burden. His duties were punctually fulfilled and his parish-work always in order, yet he went out a good deal and stayed at large houses, where he was much in request for his marvellous powers of telling stories. This he did systematically, having a notebook to help his memory as to what anecdotes he had told and to whom, so that he never repeated himself to the same audience. Besides stories which he told dramatically, and with a professional air that made it evident that to seem inattentive would be an offence, he had theories which he would bring out in a startling way, supporting them by quotations apparently very learned, and practically, for the sort of audience he had, irrefutable: one was on the subject of the ark, which he averred to be still buried in the eternal snows of Mount Ararat, and discoverable by any one with will and money to bring it to light. As to the question of which of the disputed peaks was the Ararat of the Bible he said nothing. This brilliant man had a passion for roses and gardening in general, and his rectory garden was a wonder even among clerical gardens, which, as a rule, are the most delightful and homelike of all English gardens.
One of Warwickshire's oldest towns and best-preserved specimens of mediaeval architecture is Coventry, famous for its legend of Lady Godiva, still commemorated by an annual procession during the great Show Fair, held the first Friday after Trinity Sunday and continued for eight days. From Warwick to Coventry is a drive of ten miles, past many villages whose windows and chimneys form as many temptations to stop and linger, but Coventry itself is so rich in these peculiarities that a walk through its streets is a reward for one's hurry on the road. One would suppose, according to the saying of a ready-witted lady, that the town must be by this time full of a large and interesting society, since so many people have been at various times "sent to Coventry." The origin of the saying, as an equivalent for being tabooed (itself a term of savage origin and later date), is reported to be the deserved unpopularity of the military there about a century ago, when no respectable woman dared to be seen in the streets with a soldier. This led to the place being considered by regiments as an undesirable post, since they were shunned by the decent part of the town's-people, and to be "sent to Coventry" became, in consequence, a synonym for being "cut." There are, however, other interpretations of the saying, and, though this sounds plausible, it may be incorrect. The heart of the town, once the strong-hold of the "Red Rose," is still very ancient, picturesque and sombre-looking, though the suburbs have been widened, "improved" and modernized to suit present requirements. The Coventry of our day depends for its prosperity on its silk and ribbon trade, necessitating all the appliances of looms, furnaces and dye-houses, which give employment to a population reaching nearly forty thousand. The continuance of prosperous trade in most of the ancient English boroughs is a very interesting feature in their history; and though no doubt the picturesqueness of towns is increased or preserved by their falling into the Pompeii stage and dwindling into loneliness or decay, one cannot wish such to be their fate. Few English towns that have been of any importance centuries ago have gone back, though some have stood still; and if they have lost their social prestige, the spirit of the times has gradually made the loss of less consequence in proportion as the importance of trade and manufactures has increased. The ribbon trade is indeed a new one, hardly two centuries old, but Coventry was the centre of the old national woollen industry long before. Twenty years ago, the silk trade having languished, the queen revived the fashion of broad ribbons, and Coventry wares became for a while the rage, just as Honiton lace and Norwich silk shawls did at other times, chiefly through the same example of court patronage of native industries. St. Michael's, Trinity and Christ churches furnish the three noted spires, the first one of the highest and most beautiful in England, and the third the remains of a Gray Friars' convent, to which a new church has been attached. Of the ancient cathedral (Lichfield and Coventry conjointly formed one see) only a few ruins remain, and the same is the case with the old walls with their thirty-two towers and twelve gates. The old hospitals and schools have fared better—witness Bond's Hospital at Bablake (once an adjacent hamlet, but now within the city limits), commonly called Bablake Hospital, founded by the mayor of Coventry in the latter part of Henry VII.'s reign for the use of forty-five old men, with a revenue of ten hundred and fifty pounds; Ford's Hospital for thirty-five old women, a building so beautiful in its details that John Carter the archaeologist declared that it "ought to be kept in a case;" Hales' free school, where Dugdale, the famous antiquary and the possessor of Merivale Hall, near Warwick, received the early part of his education; and St. Mary's Hall, built by Henry VI. for the Trinity guild on the site of an old hall now used as a public hall and for town-council meetings. The buildings surround a courtyard, and are entered by an arched gateway from the street; and, says Rimmer, it is hardly possible in all the city architecture of England to find a more interesting and fine apartment than the great hall. The private buildings in the old part of the town are as noticeable in their way as the public buildings; and as many owe their origin to the tradesmen of Coventry, formerly a body well known for its wealth and importance, they form good indications of the taste of the ancient "city fathers." In 1448 this body equipped six hundred men, fully armed, for the royal service, and in 1459 they were proud to receive the Parliamentum Diabolicum which Henry VI. called together within shelter of their walls, and turned to the use of a public prosecution against the beaten party of the White Rose: hence its name. One of the private houses, at the corner of Hertford street, bears on its upper part an effigy of the tailor, Peeping Tom, who, tradition says, was struck dead for impertinently gazing at Countess Godiva on her memorable ride through the town.
The great variety in the designs of windows and chimneys, and the disregard of regularity or conventionality in their placing, are characteristics which distinguish old English domestic architecture, as also the lavish use of wood-carving on the outside as well as the inside of dwellings. No Swiss chalet can match the vagaries in wood common to the gable balconies of old houses, whether private or public: one beautiful instance occurs, for example, in a butcher's stall and dwelling, the only one left of a similar row in Hereford. Here, besides the ordinary devices, all the emblems of a slaughter-house—axes, rings, ropes, etc., and bulls' heads and horns—are elaborately reproduced over the doors and balconies of the building, and the windows, each a projecting one, are curiously wreathed and entwined. This ingeniousness in carving is a thing unknown now, when even picture-frames are cast in moulds and present a uniform and meaningless appearance, while as to house decoration the eye wearies of the few paltry, often-repeated knobs or triangles which have taken the place of the old individual carvings. The corn-market of Coventry, the former Cross Cheaping, is another of the city's living antiquities, as busy now as hundreds of years ago, when the magnificent gilded cross still standing in James II.'s time, and whose regilding is said to have used up fifteen thousand four hundred and three books of gold, threw its shadow across the square. Even villages of a few hundred inhabitants often possessed market-places architecturally worthy of attention, and sometimes the covered market, open on all sides and formed of pillars and pointed arches, supported a town-hall or rooms for public purposes above. The crosses were by no means simply religious emblems: though their presence aimed at reminding worldlings of religion and investing common acts of life with a religious significance, their purposes were mainly practical. Proclamations were read from the steps and tolls collected from the market-people: again, they served for open-air pulpits, and often as distributing-places for some "dole" or charity bequeathed to the poor of the town. A fountain was sometimes attached to them, and the covered market-crosses, of which a few remain (Beverly, Malmesbury and Salisbury), were merely covered spaces, surmounted with a cross, for country people to rest in in the heat or the rain, and were generally the property of some religious house in the neighborhood. They were usually octagonal and richly groined, and if small when considered as a shelter, were yet generally sufficient for their purpose, as most of the market-squares were full of covered stalls, with tents, awnings or umbrellas, as they are to this day. The crosses were sometimes only an eight-sided shaft ornamented with niches and surmounted by a crucifix, and very often, of whatever shape they were, they were built in memoriam to a dead relative by some rich merchant or landlord. As objects of beauty they were unrivalled, and improved the look of a village-green as much as that of a busy market.
But Coventry, as I have said before, is a growing as well as an ancient city; and when places grow they must rival their neighbors in pleasure as well as in business, which accounts for the yearly races, now established nearly forty years, and each year growing more popular and successful. No doubt the share of gentlemen's houses which falls to the lot of every county-town in England has something to do with the brilliancy of these local gatherings: every one in the neighborhood makes it a point to patronize the local gayeties, to belong to the local military, to enter horses, to give prizes, to attend balls; and if politics are never quite forgotten, especially since the suffrage has been extended and the number of voters to be conciliated so suddenly increased, this only adds to the outer bustle and success of these social "field-days." Coventry has a pretty flourishing watchmaking trade, besides its staple one of ribbon-weaving; and indeed the whole county, villages included, is given up to manufacture: the places round Warwick and Coventry to a great extent share in the silk trade, while Alcester has a needle manufacture of its own, Atherstone a hat manufacture, and Amworth, which is partly in Staffordshire, was famous until lately for calico-printing and making superfine narrow woollen cloths: it also has flax-mills. The kings of Mercia used to keep state here, and the Roman road, Watling Street, passed through it, with which contrast now the iron roads that pass every place of the least importance, and in this neighborhood lead to the busy centre of the hardware trade, smoky, wide-awake, turbulent, educated, hard-headed Birmingham. This, too, is within the "King-maker's" county, and how oddly it has inherited or picked up his power will be noted by those familiar with the political and parliamentary history of England within the last forty years; but, though now an ultra-Radical constituency, it is no historical upstart, but can trace its name in Domesday Book, where it appears as Bermengeham, and can find its record as an English Damascus in the fifteenth century, before which it had been already famous for leather-tanning. The death, a year ago, of one of the most gifted though retiring men of the English nobility, the late Lord Lyttleton, makes it worth mentioning that his house, Hagley, stands twelve miles from Birmingham, and that both his house and his forefathers were well known as the home and patrons of literary men: Thomson, Pope and other poets have described and apostrophized Hagley. The late owner was a good antiquary and writer, but in society he was painfully shy.
The southern part of Warwickshire, adjoining Gloucestershire, or rather a wedge of that shire advancing into Worcestershire, is the most rich, agriculturally speaking, and besides its apple-orchards is famous for its dairy and grazing systems, while the northern part, once a forest, is still full of heaths, moors and woods. There is not much to say about its farms, unless technically, nor the appearance of the farm-buildings, the modern ones being generally of brick and more substantial than beautiful. Country-seats have a likeness to each other, and a way of surrounding themselves with the same kind of garden scenery, so that unless where the whole face of Nature has some strongly-marked features, such as mountains or moors, the houses of the local gentry do not impart a special individuality to a neighborhood; but in a mild and blooming way one may say that Warwickshire has a fair share of pretty country-houses and attractive parsonages. Still, the beauty of the southern and midland counties is altogether a beauty of detail and cultivation, of historical association and architectural contrast; not that which in the north and east depends much upon the beholder's sympathy with Nature unadorned—wild stretches of seashore and pathless moors, mountain-defiles and wooded tarns. Wales and Cornwall, again, have the stamp of a race whose surroundings have taught them shrewdness and perseverance, and their scenery is such that in many places, though the eye misses trees, it hardly regrets them. In the midland counties, on the other hand, take the trees away and the landscape would be scarcely beautiful at all, though the land might be equally rich, undulating and productive. Half the special beauty of England depends on her greenery, her hedges, her trees and her gardens, in which the houses and cottages take the place of birds' nests.
LADY BLANCHE MURPHY.
LITTLE BOY BLUE.
Childish shepherd, sleeping Underneath the hay, Oh would that I could whisper in your dreams, "The sheep astray!"
Couldst thou not in Dreamland, Pretty herdsman, pray, With horn and crook lead gently to the fold Thy sheep astray?
Alas for soft sweet slumber's Mistland gold and gray, While o'er the hilltops shimmering spirits lead Our sheep astray!
THE PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1878.
The exposition under one roof of products of every kind, natural and cultivated, mechanical and artistic, has a certain impressiveness from the wonderful extent and variety of the assemblage, but the effect is confusing and oppressive. The Philadelphia plan of grouping the exhibits in separate buildings was both more pleasant to the eye and more useful to the student. There is no place in Paris, however, affording room for isolated buildings of sufficient aggregate area, and the Bois de Boulogne, though immediately outside the fortified enceinte, in much the same position, relatively, that Fairmount Park holds to Philadelphia, was probably held to be too remote.
The Exposition building is too low to afford grand general views except in the end-galleries, one of which, that toward the Seine, is occupied by England and France, and the other, that toward the Ecole Militaire, by Holland and France. The four especially admirable situations for display are under the domes at the four corners of the building, and these are respectively occupied by the English colonies, the Dutch colonies, a statue of Charlemagne and a trophy of French metallic work—notably, large tubes for telescopes. The French, as most readers are aware, occupy one half of the building, and foreigners the other, the two being divided, except at the end-galleries, by a central court in which are the fine-art pavilions.
Transverse divisions separate the foreigners' sections from each other, while longitudinal divisions extending throughout the length of the building divide the various classes of exhibits subjectively. A person may thus cross the building and view the exhibits of a country in the different classes, or he may go lengthwise of the building and see what the various nations have to show in a given class. No better plan could be devised if they are all to be assembled under one roof. The same plan has been tried before, especially in the great elliptical building at Vienna. It is probable that the Philadelphia plan of isolated buildings may find imitators in the future, and then this plan of national and subjective arrangement may be carried out without the violent contrasts incident to sandwiching the machine galleries between the alimentary and chemical sections.
All the exhibits are classed under nine general groups, which are—1. Fine arts; 2. Liberal arts and education; 3. Furniture and accessories; 4. Textile fabrics and clothing; 5. Mining industries and raw products; 6. Machinery; 7. Alimentary products; 8. Agriculture; 9. Horticulture. The first of these occupies the pavilions in the central court. The second and following ones to the seventh occupy the galleries as one passes from the central court to the exterior of the building; agricultural implements and products are shown in spacious sheds outside the main building and within the enclosing fence; animals are shown in a separate enclosure on the esplanade of the Invalides. Horticulture finds a place in all the intervals wherever there is a square yard of ground not necessary for paths, and also on the two esplanades which divide the Palais du Champ de Mars and the Palais Trocadero from the river which flows between. The subjective character of the longitudinal disposition cannot be rigorously maintained, since nations that excel in one or another line of work or culture are utterly deficient in others. China and Japan, for instance, fill their galleries to overflowing with papeterie, furniture and knickknacks, while their space in the machinery hall is principally devoted to ceramics, a few rude implements and costumed figures.
The English pavilion in the Galerie d'Iena consists of four wooden structures representing Oriental mosques and kiosques, painted red and surmounted by numerous gilded domes of the bulbous shape so characteristic of the Indian architecture. In the order of position, as approached from the main central doorway, the first and third are Indian, the second Ceylonese, and the fourth is devoted to the productions of Jamaica, Guiana, Trinidad, Trinity Island, Lagos, Seychelles, Mauritius, the Strait Settlements and Singapore. Their contents, without attempting an enumeration, are rather of the useful than the ornamental, with the exception of the furniture, carpets, dresses and tissues. The Lagos collection has a number of native drums, with snake-skin heads on bodies carved from the solid wood, and it has also a very curious lyre of eight strings strained by as many elastic wooden rods fastened to a box which forms the sounding-chamber. It is individually more curious than any shown at the Centennial from the Gold Coast, but the collection from Africa as a whole is not nearly so full nor so fine. Mauritius has agave fibre, sugar, shells, coral and vanilla. The Seychelles have large tortoise-shells and the famous cocoa de mer, the three-lobed cocoanut peculiar to the island, and found on the coast of India thrown up by the sea. It received its name from that circumstance long before its home was discovered, from whence it had been carried by the south-east monsoons. Trinity Island sends sugar, cacao and rum; Trinidad presents sugar, asphaltum, cocoawood and leather; Guiana has native pottery and baskets, arrow-root, sugar and coffee.
The pavilion next to the one described has the collection sent by the maharajah of Kashmir, consisting largely of carpets, shawls and dresses, which look very warm in the summer weather. It shows, besides, some of the gemmed and enamelled work and parcel-gilt ware for which that territory, hidden away among the Himalayas, is so celebrated.
Next, as we travel along the Galerie d'Iena, is the Ceylonese building, of the same ruddy brown, with gilded domes, and gay with dresses, tissues and robes of fine woven stuff made in their primitive looms, which would seem to be incapable of turning out such textures. The addition of blocks of graphite, some curiously carved into the shape of elephants, and the more prosaic agricultural productions, such as cotton, cinnamon, matting and baskets, tone down the color and exhibit the fact that the English possession has the mercantile side. Antlers of the Ceylon deer, tusks of elephants and boars, contrast with the richness and the sobriety of the other contents of the overflowing pavilion.
Another Indian kiosque, and we are at the end of the row. This is filled by the Indian committee, which also exposes its collection in twenty-nine glass cases arranged about the hall in the vicinity of the pavilions.
The prince of Wales's collection of presents, received in his character of heir-apparent of the empress of India, fills thirty-two glass cases, besides six of textiles and robes. Any tolerably full account of them would require a separate article. The interest of them culminates in the arms. For variety, extent, gorgeousness and ethnological and artistic value such a collection of Indian arms has never before been brought together, not even in India; and it fairly defies description. No man was so poor but that he could present the prince with a bow and arrow or spear or sword or battle-axe, and in fact every one who was brought before the prince gave him a weapon of some sort. The collection thus represents the armorer's art in every province of India, from the rude spears of the Nicobar Islanders to the costly damascened, chased and jewelled daggers, swords, shields and matchlocks of Kashmir, Lahore, Gujerat, Cutch, Hyderabad, Singapore and Ceylon. The highest interest centres upon two swords, which are by no means the richest in their finish and settings. One is the great sword of the famous Polygar Katabomma Naik, who defeated the English early in the present century. It has a plain iron hilt, and the etched blade has three holes near the point. The other is a waved blade of splendid polish, its hilt heavily damascened with gold and its guard closely set with diamonds and rubies. It is the sword of Savaji, the founder of the Mahratta dominion in India. It has been sacredly guarded at Kolhapur by two men with drawn swords for a period of two hundred years, being a family and national heirloom, and an object of superstitious reverence as the emblem of sovereignty. The delivery of it to the prince of Wales was regarded as a transfer of political dominion, an admission that the latent hopes of the Bhonsla family were now merged in loyalty to the crown of England.
The blades of the best weapons have been made for many ages of the magnetic iron obtained twenty miles east of Nirmul, a few miles south of the Shisla Hills, in a hornblende or schist formation. The magnetic iron is melted with charcoal without any flux, and obtained at once in a perfectly tough and malleable state. It is superior to any English or Swedish iron. It is perhaps unnecessary to remind readers that the famous blades of Damascus were forged from Indian steel. Some of the blades are watered, others chased in half relief with hunting-scenes—some serrated, others flamboyant. A very striking object is a suit of armor of the horny scales of the Indian armadillo, ornamented with encrusted gold, turquoises and garnets. Another suit is of Kashmir chain-armor almost as fine as lace. Others have damascened breastplates, the gold wire being inserted in undercut lines engraved in the steel, and incorporated therewith by hammering. Five cases are filled with the matchlocks of various tribes and nations—one with its barrel superbly damascened in gold with a poppy-flower pattern, another with a stock carved in ivory, with hunting-scenes in cameo. Enamelled and jewelled mountings are seen, with all the fanciful profusion of ornament with which the semi-barbarian will deck his favorite weapon. The splendor of Indian arms is largely due to the lavish use of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones, mainly introduced for their effect in color, few of them being of great value as gems. Stones with flaws, and others which are mere chips or scales, are laid on like tinsel. Two cases are filled with gaudy trappings and caparisons—horse and camel saddles with velvet and leather work, gold embroidery and cut-cloth work (applique); an elephant howdah of silver; chowries of yak tails with handles of sandal-wood, chased gold or carved ivory; gold-embroidered holsters and elaborate whips which will hold no more ornamentation than has been crowded upon them. The yak's-tail chowries, or fly-brushes, and the fans of peacocks' feathers, are emblems of royalty throughout the East.
The metal ware of India, shown in eight of the glass cases—some of them the prince's and others Lord Northbrook's—affords connoisseurs great delight, and also arrests the attention of those who have simply a delight in beautiful forms and colors, without technical knowledge. It might not, perhaps, occur to the casual visitor that a Jeypore plate of champleve enamel represents the work of four years. In this process the pattern is dug out of the metal and the recess filled with enamel, while in the cheaper cloisonne the pattern is raised on the surface of the metal by welding on strips or wire and filling in with enamel which is fused on to the metal. A betel-leaf and perfume-service in the silver-gilt of Mysore is accompanied by elaborately-chased goblets and rose-water sprinklers in ruddy gold and parcel-gilt, the work of Kashmir and Lucknow. The ruddy color is the taste of Kashmir and of Burmah, while a singular olive-brown tint is peculiar to Scinde. Other cases have the repousse-work of Madras, Cutch, Lucknow, Dacca and Burmah. From Hyderabad in the Deccan is a parcel-gilt vase, an example of pierced-work, the opus interassile of the Romans. The chased parcel-gilt ware of Kashmir occupies three cases: it is graven through the gold to the dead-white silver below, softening the lustre of the gold to a pearly radiance. Somewhat similar in method is the Mordarabad ware, in which tin soldered upon brass is cut through to the lower metal, which gives a glow to the white surface. Sometimes the engraving is filled with lac, after the manner of niello-work. Specimens are also shown in Bidiri ware, in which a vessel made of an alloy of copper, lead and tin, blackened by dipping in an acidulous solution, is covered with designs in beaten silver. A writing-case of Jeypore enamel is perhaps the most dainty device of the kind ever seen. It is shaped like an Indian gondola, the stern of which is a peacock whose tail sweeps under half the length of the boat, irradiating it with blue and green enamel. The canopy of the ink-cup is colored with green and blue and ruby and coral-red enamels laid on pure gold.
To attempt to describe the jewelry for the person would extend to too great a length the notice of this most remarkable and interesting exhibit, which includes tiaras, aigrettes and pendent jewels for the forehead; ear-rings, ear-chains and studs; nose-rings and studs; necklaces of chains, pearls and gems; stomachers and tablets of gold studded with gems or strung by chains of pearls and turquoises with solitaire or enamelled pendants; armlets, bracelets, rings; bangles, anklets and toe-rings of gold and all the jewels of the East. A Jeypore hair-comb shown in one of the cases has a setting of emerald and ruby enamel on gold, surmounted by a curved row of large pearls, all on a level and each tipped with a green bead. Below is a row of small diamonds set among the green and red enamelled gold leaves which support the pearls. Below these again is a row of small pearls with an enamelled scroll-work set with diamonds between it and a third row of pearls; below which is a continuous row of small diamonds, forming the lower edge of the comb just above the gold teeth.
England's colonies make a great show at the Exposition. The Canadian pagoda, which occupies one of the domed apartments at the corners of the Palais, rises from a base of forty feet square, and consists of a series of stories of gradually-decreasing area, surrounded by balconies from which extended views of the Salle d'Iena and the foreign machinery gallery are obtained. The pagoda itself is occupied by Canadian exhibits, but around it are grouped specimens of the mineral and vegetable wealth and manufacturing enterprise of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Australia, which is a continent in itself, has become of so much importance that it is no longer content with a single or with a collective exhibit, and the various colonies make separate displays in another part of the building. That around the Canadian trophy is but a contribution to a general colonial collection near the focus of the British group, where the union jack waves above the united family.
In the Australian exhibits it is only fair to begin with New South Wales, which is the oldest British colony on the island, and may be said to be the mother of the others, as Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland have been subdivided from time to time. It had a precarious political existence and slow progress up to 1851, and the obloquy attaching to it as the penal settlement of Botany Bay was not encouraging to a good class of settlers. In 1851 the whole island of 3,000,000 square miles had but 300,000 inhabitants, but the discovery of gold and the utilization of the land, for sheep and wheat especially, have so far changed the aspect of affairs that the aggregate of land under cultivation equals 3,500,000 acres, with 52,000,000 sheep, 6,700,000 cattle, 850,000 horses, 500,000 hogs, 2092 miles of railway and 21,000 miles of telegraph.
The collection from New South Wales contains a large exhibit of the mineral, animal and vegetable productions of the land—auriferous quartz and gold nuggets, tin ores and ingots, copper, coal, antimony and fossils. New South Wales prides herself especially on the surpassing quality of her wools and on the extent of her pastoral husbandry, the number of sheep being 25,269,755 in 1876, of cattle over 3,000,000, and of horses 366,000. The exportation of wool in 1876 was alone equal to $28,000,000. Then, again, she shows gums, furs, stuffed marsupials, wools, textiles, wheat and tobacco, also many books, photographs, maps and other evidences of the intellectual life of the people.
Victoria has so far progressed in riches and civilization that it has turned its back upon the past, and shows principally its wheat, skins, paraffine, wine, gold, antimony, lead, iron, tin, coal, timber, cloth and a large range of productions which have little peculiar about them, but are interesting in showing what a country of 88,198 square miles, with a population of 224 persons in 1836, can attain to in forty years. It has now 840,300 inhabitants, and exports over $56,000,000 annually. Its total production of gold is about L200,000,000 sterling. Though one of the smallest colonies on the mainland, it is about equal in population to three-fourths of the sum of all the others, and its largest town, Melbourne, with a population of 265,000, is said to be the ninth city of the British world. Passing by the evidences of prosperity and enterprise—which are, however, nothing but what ordinary retail houses would show—we pause for a while at the excellent collection of native tools and implements, and the weapons employed in war and the chase by the aboriginal inhabitants—wooden spears of the grass tree, and, among many others barbed for fishing and variously notched for war, one which does not belong to Australia, but has evidently been brought from the Philippines, and should not have been included. The same might be said of several Fijian clubs and a Marquesas spear barbed with sharks' teeth, which are well enough in their way, but not Victorian. The collection of shields, clubs and boomerangs is good and is highly prized, as they are becoming scarce in the colony, but the types prevail over the greater part of the island continent, and no alarm need be felt about the speedy extirpation of the natives when we think of Western Australia with 26,209 inhabitants in a territory of 1,024,000 square miles, most of it fine forest, and consequently fertile when subdued to the uses of civilization.
South Australia, with its 900,000 square miles of land, extending over twenty-seven degrees of latitude from the Indian to the Southern Ocean, and with a width of twelve degrees of longitude, is stated to be the largest British colony, but has a population of only 225,000. The appearance of the South Australian Court differs from the Victorian in the greater predominance of raw materials and the smaller proportion of manufactures. Copper in the ore as malachite, and in metal and manufactured forms, is one of the principal features of the court. Emeu eggs, of a greenish-blue color and handsomely mounted in silver as goblets, vases and boxes, are the most peculiar: they formed quite a striking feature at the Centennial. The resemblance of the climate to that of California is indicated in the cultivation of wheat in immense fields, which is cut by the header and threshed on the spot, also by the enormous size of the French pears, which grow as large as upon our Pacific coast. The olive also is becoming a staple, as in California, and the grape is fully acclimated and makes a very alcoholic wine. The product in 1876 was 728,000 gallons.
Western Australia is among the latest settled, and has a territory of 1280 by 800 miles, of which the so-called "settled" district has an area about the size of France, with 26,209 inhabitants. It can hardly be considered to be crowded yet. Its mineral exhibits are lead, copper and tin ore; silks, whalebone; skins, those of the numerous species of kangaroo and of the dingo or native dog predominating. The woods are principally eucalypti, as might be supposed, but endogenous trees are found toward the north, and are shown. Corals and large tortoise-shells show also that the land approaches the tropics. The collection of native implements includes waddies and boomerangs, war- and fishing-spears, shields of several kinds—including one almost peculiar to the Australians, made very narrow and used for parrying rather than intercepting a missile. The netted bag of chewed bulrush-root is similar to that shown at the Centennial, but the dugong fishing-net, made by the natives of the north-west coast from the spinifex plant, I have not before observed. Western Australia was not represented at the Centennial.
Queensland is the most recently established Australian colony, and comprises the whole north-east corner—between a fourth and a fifth—of the island. As it extends twelve degrees within the tropics, its productions partake of a different character from those of the older colonies, and sugar, corn and cotton are staples. The Tropic of Capricorn crosses the middle of the province. The southern portion has 7,000,000 sheep, but the exports of the gold, copper and tin mines exceed those of the animal and vegetable industries. The colony has the finest series of landscapes in the Exhibition, painted upon photographs, which may be recollected by those who visited the Centennial. The cases contain corals, shells—especially very fine ones of the huitre perliere—beche-de-mer, so great a favorite in China for stews; dugong-hides, with the oil and soap made therefrom; silk, tobacco, manioc, fossils, furs and wool.
New Zealand has but a small show, but it is very peculiar. The Maoris are a very fine race of men, both physically and intellectually, and have many arts. The robes of New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), and especially the feather robes, evince their aptitude and taste. They are very expert workers of wood, and their spears, canoes, feather-boxes and paddles are elaborately carved, and frequently ornamented with grotesque faces with eyes of shell. Their idols are peculiarly hideous, and have a remarkable similarity in their postures and expression to those of British Columbia in the National Museum at Washington.
The section occupied by the Cape of Good Hope is somewhat larger than that at the Centennial, but is perhaps hardly as interesting. The wars against the Kaffirs, and the want of harmony between the Dutch settlers and the dominant English race, have produced an uneasy feeling not compatible with a general interest in so distant a matter as a European exposition. The Cape, with its dependencies, has an area of 250,000 square miles and a population of nearly 750,000. Prominent in the collection are the elephants' tusks and horns of the numerous species of antelope, which are found in greater variety in South Africa than in any other part of the world. Horns of bles-boks, spring-boks, water-boks, rooi-boks, koodoos, elands, hartebeests and gnus ornament the walls, in company with those of the native buffalo and the wide-reaching horns of the Cape oxen, of which fourteen or sixteen yoke are sometimes hitched to the ponderous Dutch wagons. Hippopotamus-teeth and ostrich-feathers indicate clearly enough the section we are in. Maize has been fully acclimated in Africa, and mush and milk now form the principal food of the whole Kaffir nation. It has spread nearly all over Africa, but some central portions yet depend entirely for farinaceous food upon the seed of the sorghum and dourra. On the Zambesi corn in all stages of growth may be seen at all seasons of the year.
The United States section, after all its troubles in getting under weigh—the very appropriation itself not having been made until after the English exhibit had all been selected, arranged on the plan and the catalogue printed—is a collection to be proud of. The arrangement is good, except for a little crowding. The space in the Palais is forty thousand square feet, with thirty thousand additional in an outside building. The latter has the agricultural implements, mills, scales, wagons and engines, with the displays of oak and hickory in the forms of wheels, spokes and tool-handles, which are exciting so much interest in Europe at the present time. There is no good substitute for hickory to be found in Europe, and it is the difference between American hickory and English ash which causes the great disparity between the proportions of American and English carriage-wheels. That we should copy the latter for the sake of a fashion is marvellous.
It is not to be denied that the ingenuity and versatility of Americans have caused them to excel other nations in many lines of manufacture. The public opinion of Europe regards their triumphs in agricultural implements as the most remarkable; but the nation which made the machine-tools for the government manufactories of small-arms both of England and Germany has established its right to the first rank in that class of work also. The system of making by rule and gauge the separate parts, which are afterward fitted, has come to be known as the "American system," and is exemplified in the magnificent collection of the American Watch Company of Waltham; the Wheeler & Wilson sewing-machine, which is the only sewing-machine with interchangeable parts at the Exposition; the Remington rifle and shot-gun, and the Colt revolvers.
There is nothing in the building in better taste in its line than the Tiffany gold and silver ware, and the carriages of Brewster are generally admired. Carriages are, however, such a matter of fashion that an exhibit of that kind cannot suit all nations, and what one considers graceful is to another strange and bizarre. There is no question of the fine quality, however: of course a nation with elm for hubs and ash for spokes wonders at American temerity in making wheels so light, and the casual observer thinks our roads must be better than the European to justify them. As one English builder has, however, contracted lately with an American firm for five hundred sets of wheels, they will have an opportunity soon of testing the quality of our woods.
The exhibition of fine locks and of house-furnishing hardware is justly considered as among our triumphs, the Yale, Wheeler-Mallory and Russell & Erwin manufacturing companies being notable in this line. The saws of Disston have no equals here: the axes of Collins & Douglas, the forks and spades and other agricultural tools of Ames, Batcheller and the Auburn Manufacturing Company are unapproached by the English and French. The wood-working machine of Fay & Co. and the machine-tools of Darling Browne & Sharpe challenge competition.
These are not a tithe of the objects in regard to which we are proud to have comparisons instituted; and in some of the less ponderous articles, such as Foley's gold pens and White's dental tools and dentures, we have the same reason for national gratulation. Such being the case, we feel reconciled to the comparative smallness of our space, which has precluded as much repetition in most lines of manufacture as we find in the exhibits of other nations.
Our agricultural machinery is well though not fully represented. Reapers and mowers, horse-rakes, grain-drills and ploughs are abundantly or sufficiently shown—harrows and rollers not at all; and if they had been, they would have added nothing to the English and French knowledge on the subject. Owing to the exigences of space, weighing-scales and pumps are included in the agricultural building, and the exhibition of Fairbanks & Co. deserves and receives cordial approval.
The problem of the day in agricultural machinery is the automatic binder, and eight efforts in that line are shown at the Exposition—six from America and two from England. The subject of machinery, however, is deferred for the present, but in speaking of general exhibits one cannot avoid a slight reference to that feature which is so prominent in the United States section.
Where there is so much that is beautiful and admirably arranged it seems ungenerous to cite failures, but the pavilion in the eastern corner of the Palais and the Salle de l'Ecole Militaire connecting it with the pavilion of the Netherlands colonies are very disappointing. The French exhibit of sheet-metal work in the eastern corner is quite remarkable, but its merit in an industrial point of view scarcely authorizes the prominence that is given to it in one of the four grand positions for display which the building affords. Even the Galeries d'Iena and de l'Ecole Militaire across the ends of the building, although their ceilings are high and gorgeous with color, and their sides one mass of windows in blue and white panes, do not afford such striking positions as the four corner pavilions. One expected, very naturally, that so admirable a position would be made the most of by a people of fine artistic sense; and this has been done in two of the other similar situations by the Netherlands colonies' trophy and the Canadian pagoda. The Charlemagne statue, which occupies the fourth pavilion, has so much sheet-metal work around it that it is not worthy to be classed with these. In the sheet-metal pavilion we see admirable exploitation of sheet brass, copper and iron in the shape of telescope-tubes, worms for stills, bodies and coils for boilers, vacuum-pans, wort-refrigerators and various bent and contorted forms which evince the excellence of the material and of the methods. This is hardly enough, however, to justify the occupation of the position of vantage, and the trumpery collection of ropes, lines, nets, rods and hooks which is intended for a fishing exhibit only emphasizes the decision, acquiesced in by the public, which pays it no attention.
The same is true—in not quite so great a degree, however—of the Galerie de l'Ecole Militaire, which is principally devoted to, and very inefficiently occupied by, a number of stands at which cheap jewelry, meerschaum pipes, glass-blown ships, ivory boxes and paper-knives, artificial flowers and stamped cards are made and sold as souvenirs of the Exposition. In addition to these, and several grades better, are a couple of Lahore shawlmakers, dusky Asiatics, engaged with native loom and needle in making the shawls for which India is celebrated. Then we have a jacquard loom worked by manual power, and the large embroidering-machine of Lemaire of Naude, and the diamond-workers of Amsterdam working in a glazed room which affords an excellent opportunity of seeing them without subjecting them to the annoyance of meddlesome visitors.
As if for contrast, the Galerie d'Iena at the other end of the building is replete with the most gorgeous productions of India and France. One half of it is occupied by the Indian collection of the prince of Wales and the exhibits of the East and West Indian colonies of Great Britain, just described—the other half by a pavilion, the recesses of which show the Gobelin tapestries, while the richest productions of Sevres are placed in profusion around it and occupy pedestals and niches wherever they could be properly placed. The combined effect of the individual richness of the things themselves and their lavish profusion constitutes this gallery the gem of the Exhibition. As if the thousands of gems on the gold and silver vessels and richly-mounted weapons and shields of the prince of Wales's collection were not rich enough, a kiosque has been erected in which the state jewels of France are displayed on velvet cushions, conspicuous among them being the "Pitt Diamond," the history of which is too well known to need repetition here.
The models, plans and raised maps of the hydraulic works of Holland are ever wonderful. They are principally the same that were exhibited in the Main Building at the Centennial, but there are some additional ones. All other drainage enterprises sink into insignificance beside those of Holland. Since 1440 they have gradually extended until they include an area of 223,062 acres drained by mechanical means. The drainage of the Haarlem Meer (45,230 acres), which was the last large work completed, is abundantly illustrated here, both as to the canalization and the engines, the latter of which are among the largest in the world. The engines are three in number, and the cylinders of the annular kind, the outer ones twelve feet in diameter, and each engine lifting 66 tons of water at a stroke: in emergencies each is capable of lifting 109 tons of water at a stroke to a height of 10 feet at a cost of 2-1/4 pounds of coal per horse-power per hour—much cheaper than oats: 75,000,000 pounds are raised 1 foot high by a bushel of coal. The next great work is the drainage of the southern lobe of the Zuyder Zee, the plans for which have been made and the work commenced. It is estimated that the mean depth is 13 feet, and that by a multitude of engines the water may be removed at the rate of 1 foot of depth per annum. Some 800,000,000 tons were pumped out of the Haarlem Meer, but that work will be dwarfed by the new enterprise.
The Dutch system of mattresses, gabions, revetting and sea-walls have furnished models for all the continents, the mouths of the Danube and the Mississippi being prominent instances. The railway bridge over the Leek, an arm of the Rhine, at Kuilinburg in Holland, is an iron truss, and the principal span has the same length as the middle arch of the St. Louis bridge—515 feet. It is shown here by models and plans.
The largest and most instructive ethnological exhibit from any country at the Exposition is that from the Netherlands colonies in the East and West Indies. The Oriental forms by far the larger portion of it, and has an imposing trophy in one of the four most advantageous positions in the building. The base of the apartment is about one hundred and forty feet square, and the domed ceiling at a height of one hundred and fifty feet rises from a square tower whose sides are round-topped windows of blue and white glass in chequerwork. These give full illumination and a gay appearance to the spacious hall, in which the trophy rises to a height of eighty feet. The pyramidal structure has an octagonal base of forty feet diameter with inclined faces, from which rises a second octagonal portion of smaller size. A series of steps above this is crowned with a conical sheaf of palm-stems, whose fronds make an umbrella of twenty feet diameter. The peak is a pinnacle of bamboos, with a Dutch flag pendent in the still atmosphere of the hall. From each angle and side of the octagon radiates a table, and these are lavishly covered with specimens of the arts and manufactures of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes and other of the Dutch colonial possessions in the Malay seas. Here are models of the junks, proas and fishing-craft, each structure pegged together and destitute of nails. The large mat sails depend from yards of bamboo; the rudders are large oars, one over each counter; the decks are roofed with bamboo, ratan and the inevitable nipa-palm leaves. The smaller craft, made of hollow tree-trunks, have the double outrigger, and the finer ones have shelters of bamboo and palm-leaf. The fishing-craft have large dip-nets suspended from bamboo poles by cords, which allow them to be drawn up when a passing school of fish is observed by a man perched above.
On another table are models of the fishing-weirs and traps made of poles which must be forty feet long in the originals, and are driven closely alongside each other so as to enclose and detain the fish, which may enter at the funnel-shaped mouth, whose divergent sides are presented up stream. On the bamboo piles are the floors supporting the palm-leaf shelters of the fishing family, and upon the various parts of the structure lie the spears, rods and nets by which the fish are withdrawn from the inner pond, which it is so easy to enter and so hard to escape from. Various forms of weirs are shown, and a multitude of fish-baskets, whose conical entrances obligingly expand to the curious fish, but only present points to him when he seeks to return. Bamboo and ratan, whole or split, afford the materials for all these baskets and cages.
Other tables have the land-structures, from the elaborately-carved wooden bungalow with tiled roof of the residency of Japara in Java to the bamboo hut with palm-leaf sides and roofs of the maritime Dyaks of Borneo. Here we have a bazaar of Banda, and there a hut of the indigenes of Buitzenzorg in the interior of the fertile island of Java. Among the rudest houses shown are those of Celebes, that curious island, larger than Britain, which seems to rival the sea-monster, with its arms sprawling upon the map. One house on stilts is fitted up with a complete equipment of musical instruments, the wooden and brass harmonicons with bars or inverted pans resting upon strings and beaten with mallets. Here also is a weighing-machine for sugar products, the floor resting upon the shorter beam of a lever, while the long arm extends far out of doors. Rice-granaries elevated on posts above the predatory vermin are shown in various forms, and are set in water-holes to guard against the still more obnoxious ants, which are not content with the grain, but eat house and all.
Another table has implements of agriculture—ploughs, harrows, rakes, carts, sleds, all as innocent of metal as the oxen which draw the various instruments; wheels for irrigation made of bamboo, both frame and buckets; various cutting, weeding and grubbing implements, made by a sort of rude Catalan process from the native iron ore. The plough is a little better than that of Egypt of three thousand years ago, and the sickle is inferior. When Sir Stamford Raffles, who was governor during the short control of Java by the British, asked why they used the little primitive bent knife (ana-ana) which severs from the stalk but a few heads of rice at a time, they answered that if they presumed to do otherwise their next crop would be blasted.
One of the tables, however, furnishes a grave disappointment. It is an innocent-looking suspension bridge, the middle third of which is supported by a series of piles and the floor roofed in with canes and palm-leaves. It is a model of a bridge over the Boitang Toro, and one expects to find it of the ratan which is of general use and grows two hundred and fifty feet long; but no: it is of telegraph wire! So much for the intrusion of modern devices when one is revelling in one of the most interesting ethnological exhibits ever gathered. We have, however, but to turn round to be consoled. Here is the roller cotton-gin, which was doubtless used in India before the conquests of Alexander. Then we have the spinning-wheel, which differs in no important respect from that of England in the thirteenth century, and is similar to, but ruder than, that used by our great-grandmothers, when "spinster" meant something, and a girl brought to the home of her choice a goodly array of linen. This was before cotton was king, and before factories were known either for cotton, flax or wool. Was it a better day than the present, or no? Things work round, and the roller-gin is now the better machine, having in the most perfected processes supplanted the saw-gin. This may be news to some, but will be admitted by those who have examined what the present Exposition has to show. Here also is the bow for bowing the cotton, the original cotton-opener and cleaner. We cannot, either, omit the reeling mechanism for the thread nor the looms of simple construction, which can by no means cost over a couple of dollars and yet make fine check stuffs, good cotton ginghams. Perhaps we might allow another dollar for the reed with its six hundred dents of split ratan.
Curious and bizarre chintzes are shown in connection with the machinery, and some doubtless made by the processes described by Pliny eighteen hundred years ago. Other calicoes are made by at least two processes which are comparatively modern in England, but certainly two thousand years old in Asia. One is the direct application of a dye-charged stamp upon the goods. Another is known by us as the resist process, and consists in printing with a material which will exclude the dye; then putting the goods in the dye-tub; subsequently washing out the resist-paste, when the stamped pattern shows white on a colored ground. Some of the pieces of calico make me suspect the discharge process also, in which a piece of goods, having been dyed, is stamped in patterns with a material which has the faculty of making the dye fugitive, when washing causes the pattern to appear white on a colored ground.
We have not quite done with these tables. There are two great resources of a people besides work—love and war. "If music be the food of Love, play on." But will playing on the instruments of Java and other islands of those warm seas conduce to the object? The gamelan, or set of native band instruments, has one stringed instrument, several flageolets, a number of wood and metal harmonicons and inverted bronze bowls, all played with mallets: there are also gongs of various sizes, bells and a drum. The metal harmonicon is known in Javanese language as the gambang, and I have no better name to propose. The leader's instrument is the two-stringed fiddle (rebab), almost exactly the same as the Siamese sie-saw, which is also admirably named. Among the gambangs at the Exposition is a wooden harmonicon with twenty bars, and seven bronze harmonicons with bars varying greatly in size and shape, and consequently in tone, and in number from eight to twenty-one in an instrument. The mallets also vary in weight. The bonang is an instrument with inverted bronze bowls resting on ratans and struck with mallets. They are of various sizes and thickness, and corresponding tone and quality, and are arranged in sets of fourteen, two rows of seven each, on a low bench like a settee. They vary in one from twenty to twenty-four centimetres in diameter, and in the other from twenty-seven to thirty-two. They are intended, doubtless, to agree with the chromatic scale of the island, but are faulty on the fourth and seventh, as it seems to me, and yet, contrary to Raffles, Lay and other writers, are not pentatonic, in which the fourth and seventh are rejected altogether and no semi-tones are used. There is no doubt that the pentatonic is the musical scale of all Malaysia, and probably of all China; and none also that the diatonic, almost universal in Europe, is the musical scale of portions of India. What conclusions of ethnologic import may be drawn from this cannot here be more than suggested, but the latter fact seems to bear upon the association of the Hindoos with ourselves in the great Aryan family, Our do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do correspond with the Hindoo sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa, and the intervals are the same—two semi-tones, of which the Malaysian is destitute. The Hindoos have also terms in their language for the tonic, mediant and dominant, so that they know something of harmony, of which the Malays seem quite ignorant.
The flageolets from Java are all made on the principle of the boy's elder whistle, but have finger-holes—generally six, but sometimes only four. Two bamboo jewsharps—as I suppose I must call them—about a foot long, and with a string to fasten to the ear, as it seems, are much like two from Fiji in the Smithsonian. There are plenty of drums from Amboyna, Timor and the islands adjacent. The most unpromising and curious of all, however, is the anklong of Sumatra, which is all of bamboo, and has neither finger-holes, keys, strings nor parchment. Three bamboo tubes, closed below, are suspended vertically, so that studs at their lower ends rattle in holes in a horizontal bamboo. This causes them to emit musical sounds of a pitch proportioned to their length, as in an organ-pipe. The respective lengths of the three tubes are as one, two and four, so that the note of two is an octave graver than one, and that of four an octave graver still. Thus, when they are shaken the sounds are in accord. Twelve similar sets of three each are suspended from a single bar, and their lengths are so proportioned that they sound the musical scale—the three in the first frame, we will say, sounding the tenor C, the middle C and the C in the third space in the treble clef; the next set the corresponding D's above, and so on. It really does not sound so badly as one might suppose.
Here is a table, conchological, entomological and ornithological, which might stay us a while if we were making a catalogue. A conch-shell twenty inches long and ten in diameter will do for a sample—not a small gasteropod! They do not excel us so much in butterflies as I had expected, but some of the beetles are fearful things—six inches long, and with veritable arms on their heads each five inches long, with elbow-joint, wrist and two claws on the end of a single finger. Next is a praying mantis, a foot long and with double-jointed arms like the beetles,
That lifts his paws most parson-like, and thence By simple savages, through mere pretence, Is reckoned quite a saint amongst the vermin.
Other tables have weapons, shoes, table-furniture and knickknacks.
After this environment we have small space for the trophy itself. It is gorgeous with tiger and leopard skins, and with the weapons of the hill and maritime tribes under the Dutch sway, and a profusion of the ruder implements of the less accessible regions whose inhabitants only occasionally show themselves in the settlements. We see in this most interesting collection spoons and knives made from the leg-bones of native buffaloes and of deer; wooden battleaxes with inserted blades of jade; spears of bamboo and of cocoawood tip-hardened in the fire; arrows of reed with poisoned wooden tips; swords of dark and heavy cocoawood; shields of wood hewed with patient care from the solid log; wooden clubs; water-jars of a single section of bamboo and holding twelve gallons; gourd bottles, grass slippers, bark clothing, plaintain hats, cows'-tail plumes; and a host more which may be omitted. On the various faces of the structure and upon the steps are profusely arranged the various objects, over which the canopy of palm gracefully towers.
All that has been described occupies the central space beneath the dome. Around it and occupying the corners are a thousand specimens of wood, canes, fibres, seeds, gum, wax, resins, teas, hideous theatrical figures, savage weapons, rich fabrics, filigrain jewelry and tea-services. Here also are pigs of tin from regions famous for it twenty centuries ago, blocks of native building stones, minerals, ores and agates. Here are models of mining-works, smelting-sheds, sugar-houses, plans and maps.
On one side, occupying a very modest space, are contributions from Guiana, exemplifications of the habits, methods and productions of the country—manioc-strainers and baskets, river-boats, animals, woods, minerals, fruits and tobacco. Figures of a negro and negress of Paramaibo propped against the counter seem utterly lost at the sights around.
EDWARD H. KNIGHT.
WALKING TO ST. SYLVESTER'S.
Bertie Lisle was sorely driven and perplexed for a few days after his triumphant performance on the organ. His letter was not a failure, but further persuasion was required to make his success complete; and during the brief interval he was persecuted by Gordon's brother.
Mr. William Gordon, when amiable and flattering, had an air of rough and hearty friendliness which was very well as long as you held him in check. But when, though still amiable, he thought he might begin to take liberties, it was not so well. He was hard, coarse-tongued and humorous. And when Mr. William Gordon had the upper hand he showed himself in his true colors, as a bully and a blackguard. Bertie Lisle, not yet two-and-twenty, was no match for this man of thirty-five. He owed him money—no great sum, but more than he could pay. Now that matters had come to this pass, Lisle was heartily ashamed of himself, his debts and his associates; but the more shame he felt the more anxious he was that nothing should be known. He had sought the society of these men because he had wearied of the restraints of his home-life. Judith checked and controlled him unconsciously through her very guilelessness. He might have had his liberty in a moment had he chosen, but the assertion of his right would have involved explanations and questions, and Bertie hated scenes. He found it easier to coax Lydia than to face Judith.
But this state of affairs could not go on. Bertie had once fancied that he saw a possible way out of his difficulties, and had hinted to Gordon, with an air of mystery, that though he could not pay at once he thought he might soon be in a position to pay all. If he hoped to silence his creditors for a while with this vague promise, he was mistaken. Gordon continually reminded him of it. He had not cared to inquire into the source of the coming wealth, but if Lisle meant to rob somebody's till or forge Mr. Clifton's name to a cheque, no doubt Gordon thought he might as well do it and get it over. If you are going to take a plunge, what, in the name of common sense, is the good of standing shivering on the brink?
Unluckily, Lisle's idea presented difficulties on closer inspection. But as he had gone so far that it was his only hope, he made up his mind to risk all. He saw but one possible way of carrying out his scheme. It was exactly the way which no cautious man would ever have dreamed of taking, and therefore it suited the daring inexperience of the boy. Therefore, also, it was precisely what no one would dream of guarding against. In fact, Bertie was driven by stress of circumstances into a stroke of genius. He took his leap, and entered on a period of suspense, anxiety and sustained excitement which had a wild exhilaration and sense of recklessness in it. He suffered much from a strong desire to burst into fits of unseasonable laughter. His nerves were so tensely strung that it might have been expected he would be irritable; and so he was sometimes, but never with Judith.
Thorne listened night after night for the man with the latch-key, but he listened in vain. He was only partly reassured, for he feared that matters were not going on well at St. Sylvester's. Indeed, he knew they were not, for Bertie had strolled into his room one day with a face like a thundercloud. The young fellow was out of temper, and perhaps a little off his guard in consequence. When Gordon amused himself by baiting him, Lisle was forced to keep silence; but in this case it was possible, if not quite prudent, to allow himself the relief of speech.
"What is the matter?" said Percival, looking up from his book.
Bertie, who had turned his back on him, stood looking out of the window and tapping a tune on the pane. "What's the matter?" he repeated. "Clifton has taken it into his stupid head to lecture me about some rubbish he has heard somewhere. Why doesn't some one lock him up in an idiot asylum? The meddling fool!"
"If that is qualification enough—" Thorne began mildly, but Bertie raged on:
"What business is it of his? I'm not going to stand his impudence, as I'll precious soon let him know. A likely story! He didn't buy me body and soul for his paltry salary, though he seems to think it. The old humbug in a cassock! It's a great deal of preaching and very little practice with him, I know."
(He knew nothing of the kind. Mr. Clifton was a well-meaning man, who had never disturbed his mind by analyzing his own opinions nor any one else's, and who worked conscientiously in his parish. But no doubt Bertie had too much respect for truth to let it be mixed up with a fit of ill-temper.)
"Take care what you are about," said Percival as he turned a leaf. He looked absently at the next page. "I don't want to interfere with you—"
"Oh, you! that's different," said Lisle without looking round. "Not that I should recommend even you—"
"Don't finish: I hope the caution isn't needed. Of course you will do as you think best. You are your own master, but I know you'll not forget that it is a question of your sister's bread as well as your own. That's all. If you can do better for her—"
Bertie half smiled, but still he looked out of the window, and he did not speak. Presently the fretful tapping on the pane ceased, and he began to whistle the same tune very pleasantly. At last, after some time, the tune stopped altogether. "I believe I'm a fool," said Lisle. "After all, what harm can Clifton do to me? And, as you say, it would be a pity to make Judith uneasy. Bless the stupid prig! he shall lecture me again to-morrow if he likes. He hasn't broken any bones this time, and I dare say he won't the next." The young fellow came lounging across the room with his hands in his pockets as he spoke. "I suppose he has gone on preaching till it's his second nature. Talk of the girl in the fairy-tale dropping toads and things from her lips! Why, she was a trifle to old Clifton. I do think he can't open his mouth without letting a sermon run out."
Thorne was relieved at the turn Bertie's meditations had taken, but he could not think that the young fellow's position at St. Sylvester's was very secure. Neither did Judith. Neither did Bertie himself. The thought did not trouble him, but Judith was evidently anxious.
"You do too much," said Percival one day to her. They were walking to St. Sylvester's, and Bertie had run back for some music which had been forgotten.
"Perhaps," said Judith simply. "But it can't be helped."
"What! are they all so busy at Standon Square?"
"Well, the holidays, being so near, make more work, and give one the strength to get through it."
"I'm not so sure of that. I'm afraid Miss Crawford leaves too much to you, and you will break down."
"I'm more afraid Miss Crawford will break down. Poor old lady! it goes to my heart to see her. She tries so hard not to see that she is past work; and she is."
"Is she so old? I didn't know—"
"She was a governess till she was quite middle-aged, and then she had contrived to scrape together enough to open this school. My mother was her first pupil, and the best and dearest of all, she says. She had a terribly up-hill time to begin with, and even now it is no very great success. Though she might do very well, poor thing! if they would only let her alone."
"And who will not let her alone?"
"Oh, there is a swarm of hungry relations, who quarrel over every half-penny she makes; and she is so good! But you can understand why she is anxious not to think that her harvest-time is over."
"Poor old lady!" said Percival. "And her strength is failing?"
Judith nodded: "She does her best, but it makes my heart ache to see her. She comes down in the morning trying to look so bright and young in a smart cap and ribbons: I feel as if I could cry when I see that cap, and her poor shaky hands going up to it to put it straight." There were tears in the girl's voice as she spoke. "And her writing! It is always the bad paper or the bad pen, or the day is darker than any day ever was before."
"Does she believe all that?" the young man asked.
"I hardly know. I think she never has opened her eyes to the truth, but I suspect she feels that she is keeping them shut. It is just that trying not to see which is so pathetic, somehow. I find all manner of little excuses for doing the writing, or whatever it may happen to be, instead of her, and then I see her looking at me as if she half doubted me."
"Does the school fall off at all?"
"I'm not sure. Schools fluctuate, you know, and it seems they had scarlet fever about six months ago. That might account for a slight decrease in the numbers: don't you think so?"
"Oh, certainly," said Percival, with as much confidence as if boarding-school statistics had been the one study of his life. "No doubt of it."
They walked a few paces in silence, and then Judith said, "Perhaps she will be better after the holidays. I think she is very tired, she is so terribly drowsy. She drops asleep directly she sits down, and is quite sure she has been awake all the time. I'm so afraid the girls may take advantage of it some day."
"But even for Miss Crawford's sake you must not do too much," urged Percival.
"I will try not. But it is such a comfort to me to be able to help her! If it were not for that, I sometimes question whether I did wisely in coming here at all."
"If it is not an impertinent question—though I rather think it is—what should you have done if you had not come?"
"I should have stayed with an aunt of mine. She wanted me, but she would not help Bertie, and I fancied that I could be of use to him. But I doubt if I can do him much good, and if I lost my situation I should only be a burden to him."
"Perhaps that might do him more good than anything," Percival suggested. "He might rise to the occasion and take life in earnest, which is just what he wants, isn't it? For any one can see how fond he is of you."
"He's a dear boy," Judith answered with a smile, and looked over her shoulder. The dear boy was not in sight.
"Plenty of time," said Percival. "But it is rather a long way for him, so often as he has to go to St. Sylvester's."
"He doesn't mind that. He says he can do it in less than ten minutes, only to-day he had to go back, you see."
"It isn't so far as it would be to St. Andrew's," Thorne went on. "By the way, have you ever been to your parish church?"
"Never. I don't think your description was very inviting."
"Oh, but it would be worth while to go once. The first time I went I thought it was like a quaint, melancholy dream. Such a dim, hollow, dusty old building, and little cherubs with grimy little marble faces looking down from the walls. When the congregation began to shuffle in each new-comer was more decrepit and withered than the last, till I looked to see if they could really be coming through the doorway from the outer world, or whether the vaults were open and they were the ghosts of some dead-and-gone congregation of long ago. And when I looked round again, there was the clergyman in a dingy surplice, as if he had risen like a spectre in his place. He stared at us all with his dull old eyes, and turned the leaves of a great book. And all at once he began to read, in a piping voice so thin and weak that it sounded just like the echo of some former service—as if it had been lost in the dusty corners, and was coming back in a broken, fragmentary way. It was all the more like an echo because the old clerk is very deaf, and he begins in a haphazard fashion when he thinks it is time for the other to have done. So sometimes there is a long pause, and then you have their two old voices mixed up together, like an echo when it grows confused. It is very strange—gives one all manner of quaint fancies. You should go once. Nothing could be more utterly unlike St. Sylvester's."