תמונות בעמוד


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

very like a

ble death of Lord Frederick Douglås and the kissed her hand furtively to the cavalier in her little group about her, and shows them Swiss guides and two English gentlemen on the gondola ? There were some splendid sun- the wonders of the west, as if it were that the Matterhorn. sets in those days, no doubt

land of faery wbich, while they are with her, Mr. Whymper does not seem to be an im"The first in beauty shall be first in might."

but never afterward, they tread in sweet aginative man; his book reads like the con

security. The whole human race attends the scientious work of a practical observer—an

The sunsets at Newport are often very coucher of the sun. No monarch has such a artist, too, one who can, with pencil as well beautiful. I saw one once in the summer of

following. Generally in silence, almost al. as pen, illustrate his ideas. He declares that 1872, which was imperial in splendor. It

ways in adoration, always in a more elevated he saw-and he draws it, too-a cross in the was a world on fire; the crimson glories sbot

and tender frame of mind than that which sky, very luminous, large, and distinct, after up from east and west, from north and south;

is our work-a-day habit, do we look at the tbac dreadful event. What a message, per

there was no difference of glory in the westsonal, and yet removed from our sphere, was the sun might have set in any quarter of the

We are traveling thither, and it is natural that vision ! heavens. This phenomenon I have seen be

for all wayworn people to think of the end On the day that the dreadful news came

fore, but have never had it explained. In the of the journey. to New York of the death of President Lin. days of superstition it would have been con

M. E. W. S. coln, many persons declared that they saw a

sidered an omen dire and fearful. It presaged "banner in the sky.” It was very warm for nothing but a very hot day. Another feature the season, and the western heavens had been of its splendor was its long duration. The CHARLOTTE OF BRUNSbrilliant for many sunsets. I remember the sun died very slowly that night, and the

WICK occasion and the sunset; it was not unlik

glories of his curtained death-bed remained our flag, that floating mass of crimson streaked visible for an hour.

A FADING LEAF OF HISTORY. with white, and the deep blue of the adjoin

The last of these sunsets was seen from ing sky. Whether Mr. Church got from it the deck of a steamship, just outside of the NE of the saddest tragedies, if it be one, his idea of the “ Banner in the Clouds," I do

harbor of Brest. To those who are starting not know; it certainly was suggestive of that on a sea-voyage nothing is so cheerful and

one, dimly recorded in historic annals, is that lovely picture. beautiful as a sunset such as this was—"a

of the Princess Charlotte Sophia, of BrunsEvery one who has observed sunsets has crystalline splendor, clear but not dazzling"

wick. The story, though an old one, is still been struck, no doubt, with the frequent re- -filled the west, and illuminated for us the but little known even in the dominions of the semblance to animals in the floating clouds : receding shores of la belle France and the

empire. The new light which a recent Rusdogs' heads, swans, eagles, and lions, seem to

Channel Islands. We thought of Mary of sian writer has let in upon the facts has inparticularly attend at the soirée of the de- Scotland, as she tearfully bade adieu to this

duced us to recall them at the present time. parting monarch.

lovely land. We thought, as

we looked

On the 27th of January, 1689, the Czar Hamlet alludes to this cloud-zoölogy in out to sea, of home and kindred, between Peter the Greut was married, somewhat his conversation with Polonius, whose easy wbom and us lay the dread ocean. How

against his will, to Ewdokija Feodorowna conscience first saw that it was “ backed many, how contradictory, how incoherent, Lapuchin, the daughter of a powerful Ruslike a weasel," and then was

are the ideas which cross one's mind, as such sian noble. On the 18th of February of the wbale.” There was an old superstition that å scene, under such circumstances, Aits be

following year, his eldest child, Alexis Peclouds over the sea looked like fish, while

fore the "visual orbs." Security, peace, trowitsch, was born and baptized. clouds over the mountains took the form of tranquillity, and gentle hope, these were our Owing to the absence of maternal carebirds; that clouds on the plains resembled

dreams and emotions—but, alas ! the promise Peter, having quarreled with his spouse over buffalo and lions and deer. But clouds are was delusive. We were caught next day in a serious affair, had banished her to a contoo far off to be influenced by what passes

a circular storm, the sea became like pea- vent very soon after marriage—the prince beneath them; they look like every thing by soup, we were tossed on the highest and most

Alexis was left to himself, and, until his thirturns and nothing long. They are the most sickening waves, nor did we see another sun.

teenth year, was almost wholly neglected. changeable things in Nature—ber wild and set until we entered the arbor of New

During this interval, his mind lost all sense beautiful caprices.

York,, where a wintry sky, clear and cold, of decency and respect, and his unrestricted Howells speaks, in his delightful book on

and uncoznpromising, welcomed us to duty mode of living entailed upon him some of the Venice, of the sunsets in that most dreamy and to work, after a vacation in Europe worst of habits. When, at length, he was incity. He describes one of them as being like which had been all recreation and pleasure : trusted to the care of a learned German, the tears and smiles of an angry beauty.

" In vain our pent wills fret,

Henry Huyssen, he made but small progress There is every thing in Venice to make beau

And would the world subdue ;

in the way of improvement. Euclid and al. tiful sunsets—water and architecture-which

Limits we did not set,

gebra were found to be ill-suited to his wild

Condition all we do." helps along a supset wonderfully, although it

and willful nature. But the poor tutor commay sound absurd to say so. To look at a We cannot command our sunsets, nor the bated with the difficulties of his position sunset after seeing St. Marks, with all its spirit in which to meet them; both must be about ten years, and then surrendered his pomp of color, its porphyry and verde - an- accidental; but one thing is certain—it is an princely pupil in disgust. tique columns, its Saracenic gates, its horse-hour most dear to the whole human race. Meanwhile, the czar, who seems not to shoe-shaped trellises, its scarlet and gold, its Toward the western heaven the poet looks have been able to keep out of matrimony, amethyst and ruby, is merely to continue the for his inspiration ; there the sighing lover had taken secretly unto himself another Wea. You are great, you are lifted up, there- looks, dreaming of his future ; there the spouse, the daughter of a poor woman, and fore you are better able to appreciate the sun- woman carries her disappointments, her sor- already famed as much for her modest deset. Then the Campanile rises so graciously rows, which she never tells; there the schol- portment as for her attractive beauty. Nothagainst the western sky

ar looks, as he demands of himself courage ing was more common in Russia and in all

to unfold a new idea. “Is not doubt the the Asiatic kingdoms than marriages between ** The last to parley with the setting sun !"

hand trembling, yet careful, that turns the sovereigns and their subjects; but that an I saw a wonderful sunset in Venice, but telescope of earnest inquiry upon the heavens impoverisbed stranger, who had been disI should have to get Tintoretto and Titian of truth?” “There look those who wear the covered amid the ruins of a plundered town, and Paul Veronese to describe it for me Ah! purple," and wonder if to-morrow will be should become the absolute sovereign of that who would not like to have lived in that cen- safe or sorrowful; thither look the dying, as very empire into which she was led captive, tory! - to have looked at the supset when if through those gates, which will soon is an incident which fortune and merit have the world was all agitation, passion, pictu- open for them; there looks the tired laborer, never before produced in the annals of the resqueness, tumult, emperors, popes, doges, thanking Heaven that another day's work is world. The charming captive, whose name when people dressed in purple and fine linen, done; there looks the soldier, as he treads was Martha, thus became, after her elevaand Beauty sat on a Venetian balcony and the disputed field; and the mother gathers / tion to rank, Catharine I. of Russia.

It was quite natural that the future em- a letter recently disclosed, “ for she is a lamb your sire, I pronounce against you my everpress should wish to secure to her own chil. in gentleness, and ill-suited to the rough lasting curse; and, as your sovereign, I can dren the right of succession to the throne. ways of a bot and basty cavalier. I pray assure you I shall find ways to punish you; To reach this end, she poisoned the mind of thee be pleased to restrain thy imperial son, which I hope, as my cause is just, God will the czar against his eldest son, and, in con- and keep back the evil reports which come take it in hand and assist me in avenging it." sequence of which, Herr Huyssen was ordered daily to my ears."

When entreaties failed, the envoys had to give an account of the intellectual prog- The birth of two children—Natalia, who recourse to strategy.

One of them offered ress of his pupil. Of course the report which died prematurely, and Peter, afterward Czar a large sum of money to Eufrosine if she he made was unfavorable; whereupon the Peter II.-did not soften the evil tendencies would induce Alexis to throw himself at the tutor was sent back to Germany, and the of Alexis ; on the contrary, it was the signal feet of his father. She plied her art of perprince was banished into the interior of Rus. for a most terrible climax. While the prin. | suasion so well that on the following day sia. Here the latter demeaned himself with cess was yet suffering from her confinement, the prince set out for Moscow. Upon his so much unreason that his imperial sire re- Alexis, more in a fit of devilish wrath than arrival the great bell tolled; a gloomy counsolved to marry him forthwith.

of intoxication, struck her so savagely with cil was convened in the castle; and the An embassador was sent to Germany in- his cane, that she fell senseless to the floor. clergy said mass in the cathedral. In soltrusted with the delicate mission of report- Those who stood near thought that she was emn tones the czar pronounced malediction ing on the charms of all the high - born dead; and a few hours later her physician on his son Alexis, deprived him of succesmaidens of the Rhine-land. The list was sent word to the czar that his daughter-in-law sion to the throne, and even disinherited him forwarded to the court, and the crême de la had been carried off by a sudden attack of in the presence of the whole assembly. crême, being selected by the czár, were bon- hysterics !

“Never was prince forgotten,” says the royal ored with invitations to appear personally Peter the Great received the intelligence record, “in so sovereign and authentic a before him. Of course he reserved the right of the princess's death on the 20th of Octo. manner." of rejecting all bidders.

ber, 1715, and, being then at Schlusselburg A trial for high - treason followed this In this matrimonial game money was no busily employed on his works, he set out in- awful humiliation; and, on the 7th of July, object; but beauty, grace, and mental cul- stantly for the capital. On the way he him- | 1718, it was publicly announced that the ture, were every thing. Those who were so self was seized with illness, and was forced Grand-duke Alexis had died in prison, “in fortunate as not to be chosen were returned to take to his bed. In tbe midst of his grief consequence of over-excitement."

Recent to their mammas, bearing the gifts of dia- the announcement came that the empress had research proves that he was murdered by a mond necklaces and rings as compensation been delivered of a prince, which speedily German named Weide, at the order of Pefor their trouble. His esty's choice fell changed sadness into joy. In the ensuir ter the Great. upon the Princess Charlotte Sophia, of Bruns- confusion, poor Charlotte was almost forgot- At this point the tragedy may be said to wick-Wolfenbüttel, daughter of Duke Louis,


But rumor had already sounded her end; and the mystery, if such it was, to begin. the head of a branch line of the reigning dread alarms, and Alexis, fearing the wrath Twenty years later, Chevalier Bossu pubhouse of Brunswick. Accordingly, the nup- of his father, had fled to his country-house. lished in Paris a book which is now a rare tials were celebrated at Targow, in the palace Meanwhile a grand carnival proclaimed the curiosity, entitled “New Travels in North of the Queen of Poland, on the 25th of Octo- new birth. Splendid entertainments, balls America in a Series of Letters," in which he ber, 1711. The bridegroom was in his twen- and fireworks, followed one another in rapid affirmed that he had seen the Princess Charty-second year, the bride in her eighteenth. succession, and universal hilarity prevailed. lotte, “who was thought to have died long

The Princess Charlotte was one of those Elsewhere, a coffin robed in black, and fol. ago," at a plantation in Louisiana. She was, soft and dreamy beauties, with fair blue eyes lowed by only a few attendants, was borne he said, there well known by her own name; and a head full of romance, so often met with into the fortress of St. Petersburg, and de- and that he had the full particulars of her in Germany. At the time of her marriage posited in the Church of Saints Peter and romantic career. From these statements, corshe was little more than a child in years, Paul. Later a horseman rode to the royal rected by the recent researches of Kersakoff, and none the less so in manners and modes palace and announced that the remains of who, having had free access to imperial recof thought. Alexis, on the contrary, was Princess Charlotte Sophia, consort of the ords at St. Petersburg, has at length disclosed wholly given up to low, sensual pleasures, heir-apparent of all the Russias, were in- the truth, we shall briefly complete one of and mean, vicious company. At their earliest terred.

the strangest stories in existence. interview he had conceived an antipathy to Time elapsed, and it soon appeared that As early as 1714 the Countess of Königs. his betrothed, and had no desire at all to the czar had not really forgotten 'the gentle mark, mother of Maurice of Saxony, and an marry.

girl who, deserving a better fate, had missed attendant on the Princess Charlotte, urged As might have been expected under such ber road to happiness; neither had he failed the latter to escape from Russia in the guise rcumstances, there was no love wasted by to notice the absence of his son. The death of a servant. But the plan was frustrated. the woung couple. From a state of indiffer- of the neglected wife was a sore affliction to In the following year, and amid the joy which

prince lapsed into one of savagery, Peter's mind; but he boped that it might be announced the birth of a son of Catharine, and on eve act toward "sary occasion he did not hesitate to

the means of reforming the prince. Accord. the princess, having somewhat recovered his wife in the most brutal man- ingly be wrote him a letter, accusing him of from the assault already mentioned, was sener. When, at

length, he received into his murder, but promising forgiveness if he cretly placed on board a Prussian vessel, and palace a former mi

istress, by the name of would only amend his conduct. “I desire landed on the southern shore of the Baltic. Eufrosine, and his wir,

fe made complaints to your answer personally or in writing," the let- At the same time the countess and the the czar, the prince was

sorely enraged, and ter concludes, or I must deal with you as beat the princess most cru

physician played a bold game. A sham burial

à criminal.” Alexis replied, “I intend to was originated. A wax figure, skillfully ment in return from the czaelly. A chastise

embrace the monastic life, and I request your moulded, was placed in a coffin, which, while affair worse. gracious consent to that effect."

the bells were tolling, was hurried away and gretted her sorrowful plight, andy in tears, re

For a while the affair was dropped, and released from her brutish lord.' longed to be

consigned to a sepulchre in the Church of She even

the czar departed on a journey into Germany Saints Peter and Paul. There were but few wrote to her father, Duke Louis," him to take steps for dissolving her entreating and France. The grand-duke, fearful of his

mourners, and the ceremony was brief. A life, fed, accompanied by his mistress, to false announcement was speeded to the capi. But Louis was as proud and haught marriage.

quarters unknown. Seven months passed | tal, and no one, in the excitement of the was weak, and would take no steps p as she

away, during which time the czar heard noth-hour, paused even to give it reflection. throw that fortune which, he believeo over

ing from his son. One day two Russian enlikely to make of bis offspring an

At the proper season, the princess, having voys overtook Alexis in Naples, and placed recovered and regained sufficient strength, However, he was not wholly insensible tpress. tortures of her situation. “ Keep a wate the in his hands a letter from bis father. “ If proceeded to Strasburg, and thence to Paris.

you do not return home,” it read, " by virtue Here she disposed of her jeweiry, and, in eye on my daughter,” he beseeches the czahful

brin of the power I have received from God as company with Swiss emigrants, set sail for


ence the

Charlotte, dail only made the



America. She arrived at New Orleans, where | folding it away in his pocket, exchanging a induced by the governor-general to repair, on she was recognized and saluted by Count few words with the commander of the vessel, board a Dutch vessel, to the Isle of Bourbon, d'Aubaut, a member of the French diplomatic and making arrangements as to his luggage, where they resided for many years. In 1754 service, who had formerly known her well, he leaped into a small-boat and was rowed the count was removed by an epidemic fever, and, we may add, become enamored of her ashore. Not ten hours had elapsed before and his death was soon followed by that of at St. Petersburg.

he was again at the feet of the princess. his child. The count was a handsome fellow, but Only a few words were interchanged, and In the succeeding autumn, 1755, the widFery shy. He had not the courage, even her doom was sealed. There was no obstacle ow, whose cup of sorrow was now filled to: when confident that some unknown cause had in the way; and she had shed her last tear the brim, went to live in the Faubourg Montestranged her from her husband, to ingratiate before the portrait of him whom she loved martre, near Paris, but six years later she rehimself in the princess's favor. But day and even amid hatred. Two months later the tired to Brussels, at the invitation of some: night he was haunted by her matchless beau. Princess Charlotte, with simple ceremony, of her old friends. The story of her missorty, and yet circumstances compelled them to became the Countess d'Aubaut.

tunes, though made known to a precious few, remain longer apart.

How suddenly, at times, a change falls reached the ears of Ferdinand Albert II., After a while the princess, still regarding upon a scene of happiness and contentment; Duke of Brunswick-Bevern, who allowed her her Sviss companions as in one sense her and how unexpectedly the bitter enters into an annual pension of sixty thousand florins. guides, followed them from their first landing the sweet! Only a few brief years had sealed Although constantly beset by troubles on in New Orleans to a place fisty miles up the the union of a loving couple when Count all sides, and even persecuted by the Romish river. Here she purchased a small planta- d'Aubaut fell dangerously ill. “There is no propaganda, she resisted all invitations to tion, and, with the help of others, planned to hope of a recovery," said the physician to again join her family. By deeds of charity, cultivate it. Count d’Aubaut had not ceased the faithful wife, save in a speedy return to she endeared herself to the poor of Brussels, to dog her footsteps. Wherever she went he Europe.” The princess—for surely fortune and finally died, a steadfast believer in Protpursued, until a bright idea entered into his may not alter her rank !—was quick to beed. estantism, in September, 1772, aged seventymind.

Gathering together her all, she, her husband, eight. Having assured himself of her determina and their little daughter, sailed first to Le Perhaps this is all that will ever be known tion to remain always in America, the count | Havre, and thence to Paris.

of the story of the sorrowed wife of the bastened back to New Orleans, and from the At Paris she lived in the utmost retire. Grand-duke Alexis. For many years after gorernor-general, who was his near relative, ment, nursing her husband and caring ten- her death, the most remarkable incidents of obtained a perpetual ownership of a large derly for her child. Occasionally she would ber career were concealed from the public; tract of land bordering on the Mississippi, wander unattended through the garden of the and, until recently, bistorical researches were together with a release from his diplomatic Tuileries, without disclosing either her name powerless to recall them. There can be no service.

or her singular fortune. One day during one doubt that her eventful life was surrounded This tract of land happened to adjoin the of these solitary promenades she was unex- with even darker mystery than has yet been estate of the Princess Charlotte; and, having pectedly joined by her daughter, to whom cleared up. But, even as it is, its roman. erected a small dwelling for himself, he looked she addressed a few words in German. Aticism imparts to it an air of falsebood; foppard to the day when perchance Fortune gentleman who happened to be passing by while, on the other hand, the knowledge of right permit him to enlarge it for the recep- was thus attracted to her. For a single in- sworn testimony makes the seeming fiction tion of his idol.

stant their eyes met, and she knew that her more remarkable than truth. The poet, if The days and the weeks passed by, and secret was discovered, for the gentleman was not the historian, may yet pay honest tribute the count had succeeded in winning the no other than Count Maurice of Saxony, tem- to the memory of the ill-starred Charlotte of friendship of the princess. This friendship porarily sojourning in Paris.

Brunswick, daily became more intimate; and, while the She could not prevent him from address

GEORGE LOWELL AUSTIN. princess no longer hesitated to disclose the ing her by her own name, nor refuse his comstory of her misfortunes, the count became pany to her own humble lodgings. But she most sincere in his expression of sympathy. exacted his promise not to betray her secret

A WELSH MINING FEUD. He was not blind to perceive that his own to any one before three months should have eminently handsome appearance, his perfect elapsed.

DR and graceful manners, and his fine culture, Once a week Count Maurice found him.

ceased coroner of Flintshire, Wales, made a deep impression upon the heart of self at the abode of the princess, to whom he was at the time of his death the oldest corothe lonely lady; and the courtesy and confi. was in the habit of bringing sundry good ner in Great Britain. He was very deaf, very dence with which she always received him things for her happiness. At last, however, old, and brimful of “yarns" connected with made him bold to sue for her heart and hand. he found during one of his visits no need of his official experience. What he termed the But no; she resolutely refused any offer of calling again. The whole family, “tempted “Buckley Mountain Feud” was one of the marriage.

of the devil,” said Count Maurice, had fled most interesting and sanguinary of the many Count d'Aubaut was in despair, and to to parts unknown! Half in anger and half cases in which his professional services had tarry longer in the presence of one whom he in despair, the count discovered the princess's been called in requisition. could not claim as bis own was death itself. secret to King Louis XIV., who at once wrote What is called Buckley Mountain is an Abandoning his estate, and bidding farewell an autograph letter to the Queen of Hungary, elevated table-land about three miles east of to the princess, he returned to New Orleans, the eldest daughter of Duke Louis of Bruns- the market-town of Mold. Its inhabitants where he engaged passage on board a vessel wick. In this missive he assured her of the were formerly a savage, quarrelsome race, houod for Marseilles. In less than an hour safety of her sister, and added, “ The king will divided like the Scottish Highlanders into the ship was to sail, and the count had al. not prove chary of his best services to induce

" clans." There were the Williamses, the ready ended his preparations for departure. the princess, who seems to have been pursued Joneses, the Hugheses, the Griffiths, the MorWith an idle turn of mind he paced to and by some ill-fortune, to return to that family gans, and the Shepherds, and bitter family fro upon the deck; a small package lay there, which has long mourned her decease.” feuds often raged between them. Coal-mining on which a half-sheet of a newspaper, the I know not what confidential method the and coarse-stone pottery manufacture emVercure Hollandois of the year 1718, had been king resorted to to insure the fulfillment of ployed most of the adult males; and it was placed by some strange hand.

his promise. But certain it is that, when no infrequent occurrence to see the military dropped, and rested for a moment on a fate- the Count d'Aubaut and his wife were again ordered from Chester to suppress their interfal paragraph; and there he read, as one not discovered by the officials of his majesty, it necine conflicts. The soil is mostly freehold, sorrowful, of the death of the Grand-duke was not in France, but in Louisiana ! They and the coal-mines are worked on the princi. Alexis at St. Petersburg!

had returned thither in a vessel sailing direct ple of shares-each mine being divided into It is easier to imagine his feelings tban from Nantes.

thirty-two shares, and each share being desigto describe them. Grasping the paper and After long intercession, the couple were nated a half an ounce."

His eyes

[ocr errors]


At one time eight relatives of the name let down the shaft, and then securely stemmed been materially extended. Another cousin of Hughes were associated with an equal into the top of the shot-hole. The bottom filled Evan Huglies's place, and there was number of the name of Roberts in work. end of the line being now secured, and sur- still a sharp rivalry between the eight Grifing what was termed the Great Ash Mine, rounded by fine powder, and the other end in fiths and the eight Hugheses. so named from the fact that the shaft had the hands of the bank's-man, the man below In order to make plain what is to follow, been put down close to an immense ash- gave the usual signal, and was forthwith a short explanation of the mine is necessary. tree. The coal lay deeper here than in most drawn to bank. A red-hot ring, three or four The two shafts, then, occupied each an end other sections of the mountain, but it was a inches in diameter, was then taken from the of the long side of a parallelogram the thicker seam, and of superior quality, and "hut” fire; the end of the cord was quickly Great Ash, or “downcast shaft,” at the the Hugheses and the Griffiths were hence passed through it; the ring shot down the south, and the Great Oak, or “upcast shaft,” esteemed particularly fortunate all over the shaft, and the blast was fired.

at the north. From each shaft a drift iwo mountain. There were a good deal of rivalry One fine spring day Sam and old Bill Con- hundred feet long ran due east, and the parand frequent quarrels among them ; but it way were at bank, and Evan below had just allelogram was completed by running another was mostly good-natured rivalry carried on prepared bis blast in the manner described, drift north and south, joining the ends of by boasting, feats of strength, and physical and had given the signal to be hauled to these two easterly drifts. They had thus cut prowess. But when it became widely known bank. It was nearly noon, and a half-witted clear round a rectangular mass of coal, two that Evan Hughes, a handsome, stalwart son of the old bank's-man was walking quiet- thousand feet long by two hundred feet young man of twenty, and Samuel Griffiths, ly along behind an adjoining bedge with his broad, which they would work away by secan equally lithe and promising young Her- father's dinner. He heard the “shot” fired, tions and pillars until it was exhausted. The cules, were bitter rivals for the heart of Miss and hurried to the pit-heap. There he saw air that descended the Great Ash Shaft, had Anne Shepherd, everybody in Buckley knew Sam Griffiths jumping and swearing around; it been permitted, would have rushed along there was strife a-brewing.

he saw the smoke pouring up the shaft; he the straight gallery and right up the Great Anne was the daughter of a stone-pottery saw his father's little dog ; but he saw neither Oak Shaft, without ventilating the three other manufacturer, who, without education, had his father nor Evan Hughes.

sides of the parallelogram where the men risen from the ranks, and accumulated a “Where's fayther and Yeaven ?” asked were working; but there were massive doors handsome fortune. Wealth did not make him the poor, half-witted lad.

placed close to the foot of each shaft in the arrogant. He was still “hail fellow, well Sam's blood was up, and he struck poor straight gallery between them, to divert the met!” with every hard-toiling miner on the Dick on the cheek and blacked his eye. The air through the workings. There was a large mountain ; and he did not hesitate to state, lad ran home, and Sam went half-way to the escape of gas from the coal-face, and the when in his cups in the Red Lion parlor of a Great Oak Shaft, howling wildly for assist- pure air that descended the Great Ash Shaft night, that Sam Griffiths and Evan Hughes

The fearfully - mutilated bodies of consequently ascended the Great Oak very were the two brightest young men on the young Hughes and the old man Conway were much charged with carburetted hydrogen. mountain, and that he would be satisfied with brought to bank, and a few hours after Coro- The mine was worked on two shifts. On aleither of them for a son-in-law.

ner Peter Williams held an inquest. Sam ternate weeks the Hughes party went down Sam and Evan had wrestled, and run, and Griffiths was the only important witness. He the Great Oak Shaft at 4 A, M. and worked jumped, and pitched the stone, with varying testified that Bill Conway, being old and till 12 m., while the Griffiths party descended success, and with eager animosity. Nothing stupid, had, at Evan Hughes's signal to the Great Ash at 4 P. M. and worked till midbut Anne's threat that she would discard the “wind up,” gone for the red-hot ring by mis- | night. Each party had their own doorkeeper, first one who made a blackguard of himself take. That, seeing the old man's terrible whose sole duty it was to see that the door kept them from open and deadly hostilities. blunder, he (Sam) had rushed from behind was kept shut at all times, or closed instantBoth knew she was a girl of pluck, and would the “but," where he had been asleep, to pre- ly after any person connected with the mine keep her word, and hence their fierce spirits vent the mischief, but that he had only ar- had passed through it. Although there was were kept in the outward bond of peace. rived in time to see the glowing ring shoot a considerable escape of gas, the air-current

Meantime, the Great Ash Colliery was down the shaft. Almost instantly, the old was so direct and strong that the men worked turning out well; the seam was promising, man had discovered his fearful error, and, with open oil-lamps; and, albeit, there bad and the "dip" was very gradual and uniform. stricken with horror and remorse, he had been pretty severe “blowers," as sudden It was, therefore, resolved to sink another plunged bead-first down the shaft just as the spurts of local gas are termed, no danger shaft direotly north of, and about two thou- smoke and débris from the blast were rising. was apprehended by either of the gangs who sand feet from the Great Ash Shaft; and it “It was all the work of half a minute," he owned and worked the mine. was estimated that, by the time this new shaft said to the coroner and jury; "and it was It was now three years since Evan Hughes was put down, the workings would be driven all over before I could reach the spot. As met his sad fate; and on a fine May morning from the Great Ash to meet it, and thus se- for 'shouting,' I was struck speechless with there were great rejoicings in the village. cure perfect ventilation by means of an “up- fear.” The jury accepted the explanation- Bunting waved from every available flag-staff, cast” and a “downcast" shaft. Evan Hughes there was none other to offer-and, though the and the gutters in front of the four ale-houses and Sam Griffiths were employed to sink silly lad Conway, by his curious antics and literally ran beer. The Griffiths were in high the new shaft, which was christened the expressive pantomime, seemed to have some- feather, for Sam and Anne Shepherd had Great Oak. They took alternate shifts of thing on his mind, he did not understand the been married in the morning. Long before four hours, one “boring,” while the other, as. nature of an oath, and was consequently not noon the bride's proud sire was purple in the sisted by an old bank’s-man, named Bill Con

face with pledging the young couple, and with way, drew up the clay and stone with a rope There were imposing funeral-services in urging others to do likewise. Gayly-dressed and windlass. When they descended to the Buckley on the following Sunday. The vil- groups of youths and maidens danced round limestone, each man drilled his blast-hole lage maidens, with white handkerchiefs on the May-pole on the village green, and everywith a hand-hammer, like that used by stone- their heads, and sprigs of rosemary, rue, and body was in a supreme state of enjoymentdressers, drilling it about twelve inches deep, balm, in their hands, walked before Evan all except Mrs. Hugbes, poor Evan's mother, and then charging it with coarse blasting- Hughes's coffin, singing pathetic dirges, until and Hannah, his twin sister. The merrypowder. No fuse was used for igniting the the graveyard was reached ; but Anne Shep- making palled on their hearts. It recalled charge; but a copper-pointed “needle” was herd had been seized with a fit wben she beard the lost one-the flower of the flock who had placed on the powder, and allowed to stand the fatal tidings, and was unable to attend so miserably perished, and who to-day might until the hole was tightly stemmed with clay- | the young man's funeral.

have been Anne Shepherd's husband. Thereslate. Then the needle was carefully with- Time passed. The Hughes family began fore, they retired early in the evening, and drawn, and the hole filled with a finer grain to repine less for the untimely end of the by closing doors and windows tried to exof powder. The “shot" being thus far pre- pride of their family. The Great Ash and clude the sounds of merriment. While the pared, the man below sung out for the cord, the Great Oak Shafts were now each in oper. day's festivities were being prolonged far when one end of a tightly-twisted line was ation, and the workings underground had into the night, the mother and daughter re



tired to rest. Sleep fell upon their sad eyes; Into the black, yawning pit she descended persons to squabble for a time, and then to and each woman dreamed a dream-a dream without fear or trepidation, and when the

leave off for good? The very essence of squab$0 marvelously uniform in detail that it was bottom was reached she stepped briskly out

bling is that it is incessant, or at any rate inas if the two had sat and watched the same of the “corve," proceeded to the air-door

termittent. Then, nothing else is so full of

delusions--not even love. To a non-squabtableau. near the bottom of the shaft, and securely

bler, one who squabbles is like They saw the three men sinking the Great propped it open. Then she walked along the Oak Shaft; they saw Evan charge and prime two thousand feel that separated her from

"He that would stem a fiream with sand,

Or fetter flame with silken band," his shot, and then attach the end of the fir- the Great Ash Shaft, and, reaching the airing-cord;" they heard him give the signal to door there, securely propped it open. The or attempt something equally futile. Some of be hauled to bank; they saw old Bill Con- air-current now shot direct along the shortest the features of squabbling are almost refreshaf begin to turn the windlass ; they saw route between the two shafts, and by its vio-ing in their extreme strangeness. Take aside Sam Griffiths steal out of the “hut" with lence extinguished her light; but she re

any individual squabbler; withdraw him out

of ear-shot of the one or more of his fellowthe red-bot ring and slip it down the rope ; turned undismayed by the darkness or thie

creatures whom he is in the habit of exercisthey saw the old man quit hold of the wind- inequalities of the rugged tramway, until

ing the cunning of his trade with, and then lass in horror; and they saw the powerful she reached tlie shaft where she had de

twit him sharply on the subject. We will imyoung murderer dash the old man down the scended. Then she shouted to Dick, who

agine a few of his retorts, leaving out the reshaft in the face of the shower of stones started the horse, and she was wound up marks which call them forth, as too obvious thrown up by the esplosion.

until she reached the bank in safety. The for specification : Mother and daughter awoke in the solemn horse was now unhitched and returned to “Ia squabbler? Heavens! are you crazy ? midnight and discussed their dream with the stable, and the girl and the crazy lad

Why, I'm the most peaceable creature trembling and with awe. And they clung to

earth! It is absurd for you to preach to me; made quick progress homeward. each other, and comforted each other, and

go and talk to them! Why can't they leave Before daybreak, every man and woman

me alone, I should like to know? I never uttried not to believe it. Just then John on Buckley mountain was plunged into a par

tack any one; what you heard me say was simHughes, the husband and father of the two oxysm of grief and wailing. The Great Oak

ply in self-defense !" Women, entered ; and after some banter-he and Ash Colliery had exploded, and, with the Still there is a raison d'étre in all things. Fis in liquor—the women again slept. exception of the door-keeper, every man of No doubt if people realized the futility of

" It was a most extraordinary circum- the Griffiths gang, who had gone to work at their ostensible ends in squabbling, they stance," Coroner Williams used to say, “but | 4 a. M., was torn and scorched into shreds would give up practice then and there ; but is both these women dreamed the self- same and patches and scoria of humanity. As far

it quite certain that would be a safe course to dream over again." as the coroner could gather from the door.

pursue? Is it not owing to the reckless deIn the morning Mrs. Hughes met Dick man's ante-mortem statement, he had gone

struction of spiders that we are inflicted so inConway, the idiot lad, took him aside, and down the pit as usual, but had almost imme. supportably by flies? “Always hesitate to

pull down,” says somebody, “ unless you are questioned him about what he saw that day diately been horror-struck to discover that the

ready with something better to build up.” when he lost his father. He indicated by door was open and that the air was blowing On reflection we find there are too many of dumb show how some one was thrown down straight along the Great Ash Gallery instead our acquaintance of undoubted brains who inthe shaft, and how some one else was struck of coming along the eastern workings. There-dulge in squabbling, for there not to be some on the face, meaning himself.

upon, he had slammed the door and had run sort of reason or advantage in the pursuit. Mrs. Hughes shortly after died. The doc. as fast as he was able to shut the door at the Surely so venerable and wide-spread an institors who attended her were not agreed re. other end of the gallery. The miners, mean.

tution must have “ something in it,” notwithspecting her malady; but Dr. Jones, of Mold, time, had returned into their workings and

standing that squabbling has its unpleasant was certain that her mind was gone, and that were shouting and swearing about the air.

side, even as medicine, surgery, and the galshe was the victim of hallucinations. Han. When both doors were closed, the air re

lows, bave theirs. Of course all serious quar

rels, wherein important interests constitute the nah, the twin daughter, now devoted herself turned into its proper course, carrying with

bone of contention, must here be left quite out exclusively to her father. She would fre- it all the gas that had accumulated during of the question. There is something in the quently descend the Great Oak Shaft while these four hours. Of course, it ignited like very sound of the word which proclaims it he was at work, and carry ale, hot coffee, tea, a spark of gunpowder, and with irresistible petty. “Squabbling !” The poor, mean, litetc., to him; and consequently she achieved force swept through the mine and burst up tle dissyllable seems to say: “I am a mongrel a kind of envied notoriety on the mountain the two shafts with a gigantic tongue of

begot by ridicule and born of contempt. Not for her bravery in descending the coal-mine. flame and a report like Titanic artillery.

those who practise what I describe ever stood She had several admirers; but lier kind words The idiot boy had remained out of bed in

sponsors at my christening. Though whole

hours are devoted to me in kitchen, bedroom, and light looks seemed reserved for her fa- expectation of some catastrophe, and when

and parlor, I am always banished from the ther. On his part, he repaid her with an af- he saw the two vivid flashes and heard the

latter the moment any company arrives; and fectionate admiration that approached idol- heavy reports, he danced around the village

if from long habit I so far forget myself as to atry; and it was his boast that when his street, crying “ Hoorah ! hoorah ! for Hannah

thrust my nose in before visitors, they invaribead was laid low Hannah would be a lady.

Griffiths and me! Who's got a black eye ably rise and depart in all haste, leaving their On a dark December midnight, a few now? Hoorah !"

hosts a prey to shame and vexation--who months after her mother's death, Hannah By this demonstration of crazy Dick, Han- nevertheless instantly take me again to their Hughes and the idiot lad Conway stole quiet. nah was suspected, and she made an open

embraces; and, strange to say, while conly away from Buckley village and proceeded confession of the terrible crime to Coroner

demning me in the bitterest language-often toward the Great Oak Shaft. Her father and Peter Williams, stating, at the same time,

cursing me with terrible oaths—and laying on

each other the blame of having called me in, bis companions would have stopped work at that she had been incited to the deed by the

they yet remain completely devoted to me both twelve o'clock, and the two nocturnal pedes- double dream and the certainty that Samuel

then and ever after." trians avoided the road by whicli the miners Griffiths had murdered her twin brother,

Persons who are sane on all other subjects woald return to their homes. When Hannah She was lodged in Flint Castle to await her talk the wildest folly upon this. We have and Dick reached the pit-heap all was still trial, but evaded her probable fate by suicide. said very few squabblers admit that they as the grave. The horse had been loosed


squabble at all, and those who do admit it from the “gio" windlass, and lay sleeping in

claim that they squabble purely for the reforhis straw, and not a star cheered the gloomy

mation or improvement of the squabblee. A Tault of heaven. Hannah soon obtained a SQUABBLING. mother is constantly nagging away at a daughlight; the stable-door was opened ; the gin

ter-unmarried, of course-of'say six-and-twen

ty winters. The latter looks worn and borse was harnessed and hitched into the

S it a vice, a disease, a mere bad habit, or

IS accustomed shafts for raising the coal; the

blighted. It is wonderful that after all those

what? At first siglit it is a most puzzling / years mamma should not have found out that Foung woman took her seat on the “corve," trick of poor humanity ; and apparently an the system is a failure, and either changed or basket, and told Dick to “lower away." incurable one. Who ever knew two or more it, or tried the effect of no system at all, since

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »