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room could keep their inquisitive eyes and fingers from prying and extractive propensities. Then servants, hot and worried, were perpetually carrying chests to and fro, and struggling home like modern Atlases, under mountains of literature; all the latest novels, from Hoggs or Pharoahs (or as they were facetiously termed, the King of Bashan, and the King of Egypt). At last the eve of that long-expected and anxiously awaited day of departure would arrive. Everything, even to the tea kettle, was packed, and just to give a relish to the thing, the last supper at home was eaten off the lap (for all the crockery and the glass ware was packed up) and gentlemen pledged each other out of empty cocoanut shells.

Usually, two or three families, who were very friendly, concerted these excursions between them, and they all rendezvoused and slept at one or the other's house the night previous to starting. When I say slept, there was very little sleep in the question, for what with planning pleasure excursions, with laying down laws and regulations, with songs and snatches of ditties, it was seldom far-off daylight when the party broke up; and the ladies and children managed as best they could on beds and couches, whilst the gentlemen roughed it out on the floor. The first streak of daylight was the signal for our departure. A good, strong cup of coffee and the refreshing influence of the morning air were invigorating, and soon banished any lingering drowsiness, the result of the last night's vigils. What incomparable music swelled the morning air as countless larks balanced their wings high over head and poured forth volumes of delicious melody! Now and then the plaintive song of the paccotah men, irrigating fruit gardens, fell not unpleasantly on the ear. Early ploughmen yoke their small but study oxen to ploughs, in form and size, dating probably from the days of the patriarch Abraham. Now and then a vicious cur would rush from the plough-side and bark indignation at the intrusive stranger. Still onward we went, and just as the sun waxed unpleasantly warm, just in time to enjoy a delicious bath in the cool waters of the lake, we would arrive at Ennore, and take immediate possession of our home for the ensuing fortnight. Aquatic costumes were assumed, ladies and children came out in astonishing hats, breakfast was announced, fresh fish, fresh prawns, with good appetites from early rising and exercise, and by ten o'clock everybody at Ennore was cruizing about in the beautiful little cutters and schooners, the property of gentlemen residing at Madras. Now came the Eclipse, now the Frolic, now the Catch-me if-youcan. Then, as the breeze set in, the whole tiny fleet put the nautical capabilities of every one to the test. Tacking and waring, shortening sail, or carrying press of canvas; having sham fights, bombarding private residences with cannon loaded with potatoes. Oh, a jolly time we had of it on board; and it was really a very pretty sight to see the whole fleet bearing down for the anchorage

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about noon, when the signal-man on shore (who was usually the cook) hoisted a table-cloth at the convalescent flagstaff, thereby indicating that tiffin was ready.

By two o'clock, came the postman, with letters from friends we had quitted only yesterday, all, however, inquiring as fervently after our health as though months had elapsed and leagues intervened between us. Really, however, in India, this is not so ludicrous a practice after all. Cholera and fever make sharp work with their victims, and you may breakfast with a man and be asked to his funeral the same day.

The afternoon was again the signal for more boating. Some went fishing, some shooting, some shell-gathering, some butterfly-catching, some botanising. In short, everybody was happy and full of occupation. About sundown we all assembled, ready for dinner, and each one recounted his or their respective exploits.

Saturday evening was, however, the great event at Ennore; then came an immense reinforcement to our numbers, swelling our ranks of a Sunday, and passing the Sabbath, I blush to say, in boating, billiards, and brandy-pawny.

By the time the fortnight had expired we were pretty well satiated with the pleasures of Ennore; and knowing that we must, of necessity, go, so as to make room for others who waited their time in due routine, why, we looked upon the thing in the light of philosophers, and went away singing and as merry as we came.

It was about this period of my life that my uncle, who had been many years a collector, seriously put the question to me about the choice of a profession, and I as seriously, without hesitation, told him I would rather be a sailor or a parson. Somehow or other, my military enthu siasm, though not extinguished, flickered, as it were, in the last stage of decay. The jolly life those chaps led on board of the frigate made me speculate in a new cap with a gold lace band and anchor buttons-a thing I had no right to wear, but which I nevertheless sported, to my intense, secret satisfaction, always making a point of passing every post where sentries were stationed, receiving and returning their salutes with all decorum. Apart from this, I had always a hankering for travel, and thought the sea a fine field for satisfying this craving. On the other hand, I felt inclined to enter the Church, not, unhappily, from any devout motives, but simply because I had a most conceited opinion about my own oratorical powers, and thought it must be stunning to electrify a congregation by some extraordinary display of pulpit eloquence.

Whilst wavering between the choice of these two very opposite professions (which occasioned exceeding mirth to my uncle and his friends), an incident occurred which decided me in selecting the sea. A cousin of mine, chief officer of a Chicco ship, was landed at Madras, in a most deplorable condition, having been wrecked off the

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Mauritius, and exposed to every imaginable danger and privation. To listen to his account was to add fuel to the fire of my romance. Nobody It was first in could argue me out of the sea. tended that I should join the Golconda, Captain Bell, then lying in the Madras Roads. Most providentially, things could not be satisfactorily arranged; for it was this very ill-fated vessel that sunk in the Chinese Seas two years afterwards, with the greater portion of the 37th Madras Native Infantry, and every other soul on board.

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"Sir, we had talk."-Dr. Johnson.

"Better be an outlaw than not free."-Jean Paul, the Only One.

"The honourablest part of talk is to give the occasion; and then to moderate again, and pass to somewhat else."-Lord Bacon.


I OVERHEARD two boys talking in the street the other day, and suppose their conversation may have had reference to the Shoe-black Brigade; for, as I passed by, I caught these words :-" Yes, they all has a bag, with a comb, and a brush, and a towel, and a Bible and prayer-book, and every conwenience." That boy, thought I, belongs, by natural gravitation, to the true British party of order, which associates respectabilities and Bibles under the head of its "conveniences;" things which are comme-il-faut and all fetish, more or less, but rather matters of externality, and fitting in with regularities and proprieties, than helping to a nobler life. Yet, after all, is not cleanliness next to godliness? May it not be very close in a crude mind? Does not the servant-maid carry her prayer-book wrapped round with her handkerchief? We, "the lave," cannot expect slum born Prolads to be exact in their descriptive nouns. bably my errand-boy of the other evening did not in thought degrade his Bible so much as he At all elevated the meaning of "convenience." events we may learn that the great Napier was not alone in his soldier's faith, that a single bag will contain " every convenience!"


AMONG the important minor embarrassments of life, the perverse and clashing musts of women rank high. Men, accustomed to business and to inportant enterprises, in which small things have to go to the wall when promises or principles wait accomplishment, keep up a due hierarchical arrangement in their affairs.

You and I have known what it is to rush out with an unbrushed hat to keep an appointment, or to miss seeing a friend when

work was to be done, or to sacrifice the arrange. ment of our books and papers when something else more vital was crying aloud, "despatch me first." To this sort of experience ladies in general are almost strangers. Their "musts" are all coordinated, and that most vital rule, the greater should never give way to the less, is to them a dead The house letter, or worse, an act of accusation. must be turned upside down to-morrow; must go and see Amelia, or she'll think, &c., &c.; must have a new dress, dear, before I can go out; and so forth, is their style. In fact, Fiat, whatever comes next, ruat cœlum! is their principle of action; and the most important part of a woman's activity is its post factum, as that of her letter is its post scriptum !


THE following short paragraph has been going the round of the newspapers and magazines, since the execution at Liverpool of the merchant man's captain, who murdered his subordinate :-" RESULT OF EXECUTIONS.-Four cases of robbery under the gallows, at the execution of Rogers, the seacaptain, came before the Liverpool magistrates the next day." Scraps like this are circulated with a view to insinuate the doctrine, that publie executions are demoralizing, and that the crimes which are committed by those present at them, may be taken as a proof of it; or, at least, that the witnessing of executions has no deterring effect. I would say to the opponents of the publicity of capital punishments,-get up any other public spectacle, equal in interest to the deliberate slaying of a man, by the common will of all men, expressed through the law, and see if


you do not have pockets picked as frequently when the show comes off. I know that the experiment must remain untried, simply because there can be no such spectacle; but we may see, from what takes place at even an unusually brilliant Lord Mayor's Show, or a monster "preaching," that the essential condition of pocket-picking is simply a crowd, no matter how gathered.

With respect to the question of deterring effects, it is obvious to remark, that to the eye of a criminal, the hanging of A. B., up there, for murder, would have no particular bearing on the chances of C. D., down here, for stealing a hand. kerchief. Indeed, I should suspect, judging à priori,-I speak in ignorance of the precise facts that the race of pocket-pickers, and all the small, skulking irregulars, who gall the kibe of the Party of Order, would be averse from crimes of violence. The "area sneak" and the brigand of the highway are of different breeds, and what appeals to one would not necessarily appeal to the other. Indeed, murder is always, thank God! so exceptional a crime, that we cannot expect any class to take home to their bosoms any direct lesson from the public punishment of it; except in very rare cases, as that of Marley, the ticketof-leave man, for instance. I should think the public execution of such a criminal as that, at such a time, calculated to terrify others. But what direct lesson can any one possibly derive from the hanging of a man like Davis who, the other day, cut his wife's throat in a frenzy of gin and jealousy? What figures would represent the probability that any man, who stood or sat in sight of that scaffold, would ever cut his wife's throat in a drunken rage?

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the bad neighbourhoods of great cities, and it is nothing against the wholesomeness of the spectacle itself, that so many of the spectators are debased, unfortunate creatures who, with little to gain and nothing to lose, the outcasts of the body social, take such opportunities of flinging their defiance at all order and authority. Society has no business to have such mobs anywhere in its bosom. Nor has it any business to relegate executions to holes and corners favourable for the collection of them. But you say "An execution is a revolting spectacle, and must be exhibited in a dark place." I ask, revolting to whom? To the coddled, artificial man of town. Painful and awful it should be to every one, but if human society has the courage to decree the slaying of one of its members, it ought to have the courage to see its own decree put in force, and ought not to find it revolting." I will go farther; I will maintain that the deliberate taking away of a wicked man's life, is so solemn a thing that the sovereign (if a woman, by deputy; but women, like men who cannot, or will not, lead armies, were not intended for sovereigns), is bound to be present at it, and should be accompanied by the highest ecclesiastical functionary of his realm. It may seem a light matter down here to string up Bill Sykes, but the angels may look upon it as a very important transaction, and charge with skulking the society which will only afford to be present in the persons of an ordinary, a hangman, and a turtle eater, and yet complains when the byeways of cities (which, more than even nature, abhor a vacuum) are filled with the "scum of the earth," who make indecent noises while the ears of the doomed wretch vibrate awfully to "I am the Ressurection and the Life."


"Wretched beyond power of description," says Dr. Johnson, "would be the couple who should be compelled to settle, by force of logic, the

The truth is, it is not a question, in the first instance, of deterring or making an example. The complicated process of feeling and thinking, and social machinery, which ends in the solemn slaying of a very wicked man, starts, not from reflection or any calculation of ends, but from the primitive instinct of retribution, in virtue of which we all feel when wrong is done that the scale must be righted by the infliction of pain upon the wrong-minute detail of a domestic day" (the quotation is doer. For myself I do think,-and the more earnestly because I once thought otherwise,-that there are cases where a healthy human instinct demands the taking away of a sinner's life, -the utter putting of him out of the way-and can be satisfied with nothing less. And I insist that this instinct calls for publicity in the execution of its awards. "If this terrible thing is to be done, do it, you, in the face of the sun, and of us, who will look on and see all fair, in God's name". that is what the instinct says; repudiating all theatrical devices, like those recommended by the Lords' committee on capital punishments of "two years ago, such as the hanging out of a black flag, the tolling of a bell, and other trumpery. And here you may say, "Look on and see all fair! Who are they who look on in such cases ?" I reply, in the main they are the average mob of

not, I fear, verbatim). When the enthusiasms of youth are subsiding, and the sense of power over circumstances grows less day by day, and we begin to let things mould us, instead of trying always to mould them,-(a complexion to which we all come at last, though some of us struggle more than others with the pressure from without which is so damaging to ideals), we find that a similar remark applies to the whole of life. Well for us, if we hold fast to that optimism which is the strongest necessity of a lively conscience, and still make, at least, honest endeavours to reason out our course aright, and keep the best thing, to be done in the best way, plainly before us, as an ambition, however we may fall short of it.

Should I give Christmas boxes or not? is a question which I once thought I could answer absolutely for my own guidance-but various

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occurrences, leading to reconsideration of the whole case, have at last landed me in one of those compromises which occur so frequently that one is at last tempted to say, "There is nothing absolute-everything is relative-all life is a compromise-and under the circumstances' the true philosophy of conduct.

At this season of the year, the mistress of a decent, middle-class household receives-probably by a messenger who gives a double knock intended to imitate the postman's-an envelope addressed, "On Her Majesty's Service-Income Tax-Grand Finale-The Dissolution-Important and Interesting"-inside which is a circular from Tagg and Ragg the linendrapers, who seem to have an idea that Christmas is the season for spending, and that they may come in for a few bountiful drops of the general shower of extravagance consequent upon the conventional loosening of purse-strings. Tagg and Ragg, and such like vermin, are, let us hope, pretty generally disappointed. But this is only the beginning of sorrows, and we have not yet come to " Boxes." In a few days the master of the house is favoured with a circular, beginning, "We, your faithful Scavengers,' and concluding, "We humbly request that you will not bestow your accustomed generosity upon any one who does not present a duplicate of this card, and show, upon demand of the same, a medal of Napoleon at the battle of Austerlitz." The same "accustomed generosity" is confidently looked for by a dozen or so of cringing parasites of all sorts and sizes, from the small news boy to the tall lamplighter. Everybody who does anything or brings anything, to, for, or about, or in any conceivable way related to, the house or its occupants, is inventing excuses for high-pressure assiduity of service, and finding or making opportunities of blowing his own trumpet. Newsboy has made unparalleled efforts to get Times in time. Postman says, "Thank you, sir," and hopes you will excuse his mentioning that the d'rection of that letter is not plain, and you might p'raps name it to the party, in case of accidential wrong delivery, or sent to Deadletter office. And so on, till you are more than ever convinced of the truth that was in Mr. Samuel Slick, of Slickville, when he made his immortal observation for all times and seasons,"There's a deal of human natur' in man"

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Yes, you say; and very nasty "human natur,' too! which is where the shoe first pinches, and revolt begins. What do these miserable creatures mean by croaking and fawning about me and mine for a fortnight, in hope of getting a sixpence a piece at the end of it? Why, it is a part of a system; they expect heaps of sixpences beside yours; they kiss the toe of No. 9, saying, "O, king! live for ever!" and then go and do the same at No. 10, and all up the street, and round the corner, and every where they can. So much the worse; the explanation makes the case uglier still. The degradation of these beings

is on a scale of immensity à faire peur. Nor does it mend matters that the balance may probably be righted within a month or two; that these beggars belong to a class in whom emotional reaction is strong; and that if you happen to offend him, you may be bullied and blackguarded, to your heart's content, in March, by the very fellow who, in December, licked the dust of your shoes for your accustomed generosity.

The first practical movement one makes is perhaps to discriminate in giving. Let me see. The lamplighter regularly gets drunk on my accustomed generosity; the girl who brings home the mangling-a clean, rosy-cheeked, broadbacked creature, habitually displaying a military boot and as much white stocking as a coalheaver

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makes up every Christmas a parcel of fish, flannel, oranges and nuts to her poor old father and mother down in Berkshire. Good. I will say yes to dutiful Dorothy, and no to juniper Jack. But at this point a new feature, and one on which, to speak à la Castlereagh, the question a good deal hinges, attracts attention. The appeal to my "generosity" is a sham, and a very stronglymarked quasi-compulsoriness lurks under the most modest touching of the supplicatory forelock for a box. Now, if, at the moment, I happen to have my hands full, and am with difficulty able to be just, how can I, with a clear conscience, be generous? Yet a degree, and, in practice, a pretty considerable degree, of compulsoriness seems to be necessarily attached to the existence of any special season when giving is the fashion, and the right thing with all well-conducted Christians, who have a penny to spare; for it is a sort of social suicide to confess you have not a penny to spare. But," replies the faithful scavenger, "you are compelled to pay poor's rates regularly, and your pew rent, and your subscription to the Blind School, are looked for at stated times; the association of the gift with a regularly recurring season is no reason for not giving," True, I answer-true; if the gift and the season, and the reason for the gift and the season, be all three accurately settled beforehand, either by a recog nised authority, or by agreement between giver and receiver. Rejoins now the faithful scavenger"The season for boxes is defined; all your honour has to do is to define the amount of the gift, and you are then caught in your own trap." Not so, scavenger; I want, in addition, the reason for the gift and the season. I know what I pay pewrent for, and I can drop my subscription when I please, and make all square by keeping away from church; so of other cases of a business-like, aboveboard character, where what is compulsory is known on both sides, and there is no shamming or double entendre. But what am I to pay Christmasboxes for? and how am I to get out of being worried for them if I cannot honestly pay them? Are your wages insufficient? Then come and ask me to advise you, or help you, in the work of getting more. You can do that, with no loss of


personal dignity, and I can comply or refuse, as I please. But this "box" system is a vague, clumsy, unsatisfactory institution, fit only for the childhood of civilization, and blesses neither him that gives nor him that takes.

Shall I say, then, that Christmas-boxes are a relic of semi-barbarous times, when it was natural to seek to relieve violent outbursts of the bad passions by strong displays of the kindlier? That they are in the nature of an occasional mulct or commuted form of duty-the duty being "sweet charity," and the proper time for its fulfilment every day in the year? That they must disappear by degrees, as life becomes increasingly equalised, and duty of all kinds a daily wear instead of a holyday penance? All this I may say, and not be very wide from the truth. few words to be said in behalf of "boxes." said they shall be, if you please.

Yet are there a


Society is composed of two classes-those that have too little or barely enough for their present wants, and those that have always something in excess of their present wants. In her heart of hearts, society knows very well that the bargains driven by those who have a surplus with those who have none, are not just in the sight of high heaven, though they may be legally, economically, or conventionally so; and she feels that an occasional fine or mulct is due, and takes ad. vantage of an ancient custom to pay it with a cheerful face. I regard "boxes," then, as one of the forms in which Capital confesses to Labour that all is not yet right between them,

But suppose it were-would "boxes" cease, determine, and be void? They might, but some substitute would find a place, so long as these


hearts of ours recognise generosity for a virtue. Something within us often prompts us to give full measure, heaped up, running over, in our transac tions with our fellow-creatures. Everybody does give such measure now and then. A merchant, suppose, pays his clerk a handsome salary, and the clerk is satisfied; but when Christmas comes, our friend the merchant-and there is no better specimen of the fine old English gentleman than a steady-going English merchant-our friend the merchant thinks to himself, "Perhaps I have been peevish now and then with Jackson, and certainly he had a hard pull with that last balance sheet; he may have had his shortcomings towards me; but then I'm the stronger, and the richer, and on a vantage ground, and I will tell him to draw a check for ten pounds." And so in other cases.

Once more-there are the very, very poor; and it is hard lines to prevent you or me saying at Christmas, "I will try to remember the poor always; but, really, on this anniversary something rises in my throat which insists upon my remembering them with an open hand, and I'll do it, and sleep the sounder for it."


Finally; much may be done, by force of character and intelligence in the givers, to refine and elevate the conditions of Christmas giving. discourage all solicitations for the vaiis; to bestow them in a frank and manly (or womanly) way; to make them the occasions of even the briefest interchange of thought and feeling on noble subjects with the recipients, and to distribute them with careful discrimination, are obvious steps to that end, and calculated to make an embarrassing social institution tolerable, if not useful and pleasant.


his fellow enthusiasts in figures, rather than that of a statesman to a Parliament whose members can check and control his proposals.

The power of the East India Company was circumscribed at the last renewal of the charter, by the introduction to the Directory of new members, as Government nominees. The elements of the Company were absolutely changed by that act, although no benefit as yet has been apparent from the change.

INDIA has been governed since the battle of | of a rather dry member of a statistical society, to Plassey, or for a hundred years, as an empire, always containing a larger population than the British islands, by a Company, whose power was delegated from our Crown and Parliament. Alterations in the charters of the East India Company have limited their power at each of the recent renewals. Still the Company have been considered an independent sovereignty in some very important particulars. They have European and native armies of their own; although the commissions to their officers proceed from the British sovereign. They annex territory, and they mke peace or war without consulting the Imperial Parliament. They conclude treaties of which we hear nothing officially. They impose taxes and they incur debts without Parliamentary control; for, although an annual budget for India is now produced to the Commons, at the close of each session, yet the ceremony, in all its parts, resembles the statement

The power of the East India Company is exercised under the supervision of the Board of Control. The ceremonies rendered necessary by this divided responsibility before anything can be done, are extremely injurious, and would have long ere now ruined the Anglo-Indian empire, if its Executive had not acted often without consulting their superiors.

By some jealousy, for which there never could

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