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Countless canoes are shooting into the stream from creeks and nooks leading to Paklat-Belo and other places far down the river, all laden to a perilous extent with mountainous piles of vegetables, fruit, and beetlenut, and for the greater part navigated by young girls, barely yet ten years of age. As these paddle along, they cry their goods plaintively, and mixed up amongst them are the canoes of the vendors of poultry, dead or alive, fish, cooked or raw, whilst a few Chinamen monopolise the meat market, consisting mostly of pork, and some dispense viands ready cooked by means of a portable cuisine firmly fixed into the centre of the canoe. The front row of houses on either side of the river have also an attractive and business-like appearance. Ranged along the balcony are samples of the silks and other goods to be had within, and seated behind these is the guardian angel of the floating shop-the only daughterthe adorable Chin-chin. Yonder grey-bearded old Arab, Russmallah Aga, came thither from the borders of the Red Sea, and is now the wealthiest shipowner and merchant at Bangkok. Forty years' continual residence has naturalised him to the soil, and he has made it a rule every consecutive year to add one gem to the ornaments of his harem. He is pretty well off as regards family, and certainly will not be ashamed to hold up his head when he meets his enemy in the gateway if ever he returns to the cities of the Prophet and carries his quiver full of arrows back with him.

As we float down the stream, we shall pass many houses occupied by tradespeople, and many others by artisans. In carved wood-work and gold and silver filigree few can surpass these people, and they are equal to the Chinese in the perfection at which they arrive in ivory and bonework. That they are skilful ship-builders the splendid men-of-war at anchor in the river or building in the docks can amply testify, and they have a literature of their own, with printing-presses, &c., complete. For these last they have to thank the indefatigable missionaries that have visited and resided amongst them. It cannot be said that they have many pastimes, open-air theatres, such as the Chinese delight in, being their only source of amusement. They are, in fact, a people that live from hand to mouth, that rise with the sun and go to roost with the birds, the entire interval between being devoted to various means and methods for living and letting live. Most of the sugar-plantations are the property of Chinamen who have settled down here, and these prefer employing Chulias from the Coromandel coast to either Siamese or the Burmese colony, settled down here. That Siam affords a vast and virgin field for enterprise none can doubt, and it would be well for the British if they pushed forward the interests of commerce with that distant country, and not lose the prestige of being the most persevering, speculative, and suecessful, as well as the wealthiest, nation in the universe.




AGAIN, as oft before ancestral* eyes,

Rocked on the rolling deep 'neath tropic skies,
Rapt in calm thought, methinks I see thee stand
On England's gliding war-ship leagues from land:
Alone, at eve, on the deserted prow,

The ripped waves gurgling, flashing far below.

Towards weather bulwark while one brown hand strays,
The other shields from sight the westering rays,

Where sinks the Day-god towards his ocean bed,
Purple and golden pomps around him spread.

Reflected gleams of crimson on thy face,

Though harsh and bronzed, yet touched with lines of grace;
Rare glints of amber in the chesnut hair
That swerves and flickers in the briny air;
A ruddy sheen upon the tarnished gold
Around thy careless, spray-drenched sea-cap rolled.
Of moderate stature-lithesome-sparely shaped,
Thy sinewy limbs in flowing blue cloth draped-
Tight round thy belted waist, thence loose it flows,
Where the shoe's buckle like a diamond glows:
Thy coarse pea-jacket flapping in the breeze
That crests with silvering foam the billowy seas.
O'er all that waste of waves the horizon rings,
Naught but yon stately frigate's cordage sings,
Thrilled by the winds-great ocean's gliding lyre!-
Naught save yon poet's latent soul of fire,

Where-in whose voiceless chant-what gifts combine
The vision and the faculty divine!"

Hushed though the hour and calm the smiling deep-
Again mast-high the billowing surges sweep;

*William Falconer's two intimate friends and shipmates, "the Hunters"-so often referred to in the biography prefixed to his masterpiece, our great national poem of "The Shipwreck"-it may here be remarked in explanation, were uncles to the present writer's grandfather, himself a post-captain in the royal navy, dying in command of his Majesty's ship Union, 98 guns, then stationed up the Mediterranean. The elder of these brothers, the one mentioned throughout the memoir of Falconer as Captain John Hunter, was afterwards better known among his contemporaries as Admiral Hunter, the governor of New South Wales, the second governor in sequence from the foundation of that colony. His younger brother, Lieutenant William Hunter, at the period of his decease in Greenwich Hospital, was numbered among the officers of that establishment. It may be further observed, in regard to these fraternal intimates of Falconer, that Admiral John Hunter and Lieutenant William Hunter were themselves nearly related to two other brothers, their namesakes, one of whom has left to the world an imperishable reputation: namely, John Hunter, the great surgeon, and his brother, Dr. William Hunter, the eminent physician.

It may be interesting to remark here, moreover, that Admiral (then Captain) Hunter was the last person to grasp the hand of the gentle and dauntless La Perouse when that lamented navigator (so like Falconer in his destiny, and so much resembling him in his character) took his departure upon his last voyage, never to be heard of afterwards.

Again the crushing, clattering thunders roll,
The ghastly lightnings flame from pole to pole;
The groaning timbers tell the dreadful strife
The 'leaguered mariners there wage for life.
Up liquid mountain to the scowling skies
On wings of woe the fated vessel flies,
Thence sheer descending to black gulfs below,
As though to Acheron her path must flow;
Death in the wave and horror in the air,
And in each tar's unquailing heart despair.

Shrill through the shrouds the whistling whirlwind sings;
Through rattling blocks the whizzing cordage rings;

While willing hands the mizen* swift up brail,
Hark! with dire crash explodes yon giant sail,†
Torn into ribbons by one thunderous blast,
Whose repercussion strains the quivering mast.
Prone on her beam-ends, see, the vessel lies,
Till the prompt mate his whirling hatchet plies.
Keen through the splintering oak its edge descends,
And, stroke on stroke, the groaning mainmast rends.
The severed rigging next, by axe releast,

Drifts with the spars to ocean's boiling yeast:
Mast, thus, on mast abandoned to the wave,

The wrecked hull rights one brief while o'er her grave.
The shattered bowsprit by her lee bow hangs,

Trailed in the roaring surge that round her clangs:
Till, as again the blue electric glare

Lights with an instant's flash the ebon air,

Th' inevitable Hour, with dismal shock,
Hurls the doomed ship upon the fated rock.
Then-turn by turn-what tender sighs lament
The varied woes in that one ruin blent!-
Albert, the dauntless leader of the train,
Mourning the child he ne'er shall see again—
Anna, with mind so pure and form so fair,
His life's sole treasure and his heart's one care;
She whom Palemon grieves far more than life,
Now lost to love though plighted for his wife.
Palemon, he, that bold, ingenuous youth-
With glance all passion and with tongue all truth-
Whose dying words, yet echoed down through song,
The pathos of this woful scene prolong.

Such the wild dreams on swelling tides that roll
Their potent influence on that Sailor's soul,
There, where, 'mid Present lull, his Fancy hears
Dread mingled sounds of Past and Future fears;
Where, 'tranced, the visionary Storm he sees
From yon hushed deck careening to the breeze-
Heard boom of waters, seen the lightning's glare,
His brown curls flickering in calm sunlit air!

*The brailing up of the mizen (that is, the large sail bent to the mizen-mast, and ordinarily reckoned as one of the courses) is incidentally introduced by Falconer in his poem, and is there certainly productive of one of the most startling effects in his astonishing narrative of the Shipwreck. The mizen, so-called in Falconer's time, is now-a-days only known among sailors as the spanker.

†The mainsail-immediately upon the casting off of the sheet, before the seamen can stand by the weather-brace in a sudden hurricane.






DE VIGNE never did anything by halves, to use a sufficiently expressive, if not over elegant, colloquialism. He hated and mistrusted women, not individually, as he ought to have done, but sweepingly, en masse. At the same time, there was in him, naturally, too much chivalry and generosity not to make him pity "Little Tressillian," and show her kindness to the best of his power. In the first place, the girl was all alone, and had no money-two facts which appealed to his delicacy and warmer feeling; in the second, he had known her as a little girl, still held her as such, indeed, and never thought of classing her among his detested "beau sexe;" in the third, the letter of Boughton Tressillian had in a way recommended her to his care, and, though De Vigne would have been the first to laugh at another man who, at thirty-five, had taken up a girl of eighteen as a protégée, and made sure no harm could come of it, he really looked on Alma as a child, though a very attractive and interesting child it is true, and would have stared at you if you had made his kindness to her the subject of one of those jests customary on the acquaintance of a man about town and an unprotected girl-like himself and "Little Tressillian." He was kind to her, for there was a deep spring of generosity and (where he liked people) of lavish kindness. under the cynicism and chill reserve now gathered round him. As he had promised, he picked out some of the choicest books of his library, his own favourites-not such as young ladies read generally, but such as it might be better if they did-and sent them to her, with the reviews and periodicals of the month. He sent her, too, one of his parrots, for her to teach, he said, she being such an admirable adept in the locutory art, and some flowers, to put her in mind of Weive Hurst.

"Her room looked so pitifully dull, poor child!" said he, one morning, when I was lunching with him. "Those flowers will brighten it up a little, and she'll care for them more than I. Raymond, did you send Robert down with those things to Richmond?"

"Yes, Major."

I chanced to look at the man as he spoke; he was the new valet, whom De Vigne thought such an acquisition. He was a smooth, fair-faced fellow, really gentlemanlike to look at, not, ça va sans dire, the "gentlemanism" of high breeding, but the gentlemanlyism of many an oily parson or sleek parvenu. There was a sly twinkle in his light eyes, and a quick, fox-like glance as he answered his master, which looked as if he at least attached some amusement to the Major's acquaintance with the pretty little artiste at St. Crucis on the Hill.

De Vigne never remembered the presence of servants; he thought Nov.-VOL. CXXIII. NO. CCCCXCI.


they had no more eyes or ears than the chairs or tables around him. They served him as the plates or the glasses did, and they were no more than those to him; else, wise man as he was, he ought to have recollected that, if he wished to draw no notice upon Alma, he should not have sent his servants to her with books and flowers. More mischief, reports, and embrouillements have come from the prying eyes, coarse tongues, and second-hand slanders of those "necessary evils" than we ever dream of, for the buzz of the servants' hall is often as poisonous as the subdued murmur of the scandal-retailing boudoir above stairs. How it came about, I don't know, but Alma, some way or other, was not long kept in petto. Some three weeks after that, Sabretasche, Curly, Tom Severn, Vane Castleton, and one or two other men, were at De Vigne's house. We had been playing Loo, his favourite game, and were now supping, between three and four, off all the delicacies and first-class wines his chef and cellar could offer us, chatting of twoyear-olds and Derby books, of bons mots and beauties, of how Mademoiselle Fifine had fleeced Little Pulteney, and Bob Green's roan mare won a handicap for 200 sovs.-the talk that is chatted over a late suppertable and choice champagne cup, in real life; though, no doubt, real life is shockingly frivolous, and all wrong altogether, and we ought-though you know we never do-out of "healthy novels" of "muscular Christianity" (by the way, what may that mean?) to have been puzzling out our several missions, discussing how to christianise India, analysing the Origin of Species, or blackening everybody else's character and whitening our own, which is, I believe, the received recipe for "regenerating" society.

It was curious to see the difference between men's outer and inner lives. There was Sabretasche lying back in the very easiest chair in the room, witty, charming, urbane, with not a trace on his calm delicate features of the care within him that he had bade Violet Molyneux not tempt him to unveil; there was Tom Severn, of the Queen's Bays, with twenty "in re's" hanging over his head, and a hundred "little bills" on his mind, going to the dogs by express train, who had been playing away as if he had had Barclay's to back him; there was Wyndham, with as dark and melancholy a past as ever pursued a man, a past of which I know he repented, not in ostentatious sackcloth and ashes, but bitterly and unfeignedly in silence and humility, tossing down Moët's with a gay laugh and a ready jest, as agreeable in the card-room as he was eloquent in the Lower House; there was Charlie Fitzhardinge, who, ten years ago, had accidentally killed his youngest brother, a Benjamin tenderly and deeply loved by him, and had never ceased to be haunted by that fair distorted face, laughing and chatting as if he had never had a care on his shoulders; there was Vane Castleton, the worst, as I have told you, of all Tiara's sons, a fellow without heart, honour, or conscience, fatal to women and disliked by men; with his low voice, his fair smooth brow, his engaging address, nobody would have thought he would have hurt a fly, yet we called him butcher, because, in his petty malignity, he had hamstrung a luckless mare of his for not winning a Sweepstakes he had intended her, and had shot dead the young brother of a girl, the daughter of a clergyman (whom he had eloped with, and left three weeks after without a shilling to help herself), for trying, poor boy!

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