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"Ah, but then you see he flew high all at once!' said Barr, coolly. If he had been sensible he would have tried the petty larceny line first, and then he would have knowed by degrees how we treats patients here; but he didn't, you see.' Barr was here interrupted by a wave of the hand from a superior, and with a smile on his face at the idea of having perpetrated a joke, he hurriedly left me standing alone, as I could not visit any of the prisoners without his aid.
Edward Harrington was a young man, whose manners and exterior did not accord with a prison. He wore the degrading badge of crime, it is true, as well as the most depraved-looking of the wretches with whom he took his daily airing in the yard; but his countenance had not yet assumed the Cain-like cast of features that invariably stamps itself upon the faces of the fallen and the vile, and he still retained the carriage and the restrained deportment of one who had been conventionally educated. It is impossible to convey by language an adequate idea of a hardened, incorrigible criminal. He must be seen in order to be known. The dogged sullenness of his visage, and the bold abandoned swagger of his gait, are more forcible indices of the condition of his mind than are the oaths which he belches from the darkened, foul cavern of his spirit. Harrington possessed none of those graver attributes of the felon or murderer. A shade of irony or irritability now and again passed across his face, and sometimes a painful contraction of his features would involuntarily disclose the workings of a mind diseased, but otherwise he was as precise and gentlemanly in his deportment as if he had been at home. I liked the youth from the first time I had seen him, but I was sorry to perceive that he retained that mental confidence sufficient to enable him to act the conventionalist; not that I considered good manners out of place in a jail, but because the natural torrent of his sorrow had been too weak to irrigate his conscience with the healing waters of repentance. When he was first brought to prison he appeared to be totally cast down; tears, groans, and sobs were my only responses when I spoke to him of his condition; and when I tried to operate upon his sympathies, that I might warm his heart to receive the consolations of religion, he talked incoherently, and would not be comforted. When he became calm, he evinced more anxiety to know the relations of crime and punishment, than to listen to the precepts of religion and morality, and took more pains to catechise me concerning the spirit of human laws, than of those which are eternal and divine. I shall never forget the terrified yet indignant look which his countenance assumed when I, after repeated interrogations, informed him that young men of education, who had betrayed the trust which employers had reposed in them, or who used their education as the vehicle of dishonesty, were far more severely punished than the outcast, ignorant thief.
And shall they banish me for a first offence?' he cried, while a choking in his throat showed the intensity of his fear.
'Forgery is a grave crime, young man,' said I, seriously, 'and you have neither ignorance nor poverty to urge in extenuation of its commission. You have been instructed in well-doing, and you have been nurtured in comfort, yet you have chosen the path of shame and sorrow, and have brought grief to the soul of your only parent.'
The heart of Harrington was not originally bad; it was not primitively a hard and callous case, full of selfishness; but education-the vicious education of an abandoned companionship had corrupted it, and ruined its possessor. His mother's sorrows seemed hardly to touch him, as I spoke to him of them at first, and gradually he could converse about his former pursuits, and amusements, and companions, with an ease and carelessness that grieved me, and rendered my hopes of his redemption far less sanguine than my fears of his deeper fall were strong. He was the orphan son of a merchant of respectability. When his father died, he had been apprenticed to one of the trustees of his parent's insolvent affairs. A love of display, and false and perverted notions of manliness and spirit, had led the youth
into the company of others of his own age, whose vices and follies were too expensive for their means, and who, hurried on by infatuated appetites, paused not to consider where folly ended its career and crime took up the race. In an evil hour, and under the influence of that fearful vanity which so often plays with the gibbet to win the approbation of the thoughtless, or perhaps vicious, Edward Harrington had forged a bill upon an old correspondent of his father. It was, of course, dishonoured and protested, and, before either the partners in the banking-house, Mr Gully, or young Harrington, had well reflected on the consequences, the youth was apprehended, and the parties committed to prosecute for forgery. I had felt interested in the poor youth's case, and had endeavoured to become the medium of communication between him and home; but if he understood my intentions by the delicate hints which I gave him, he did not seem inclined to profit by them, for he appeared not to notice them. His trial had been an exposure of youthful follies that did not operate in his favour, and having been found guilty by the jury, and admonished by the judge, he was sentenced to ten years' transportation. Alas! and he so young-he was only in his twenty-third year. I thought it would have crushed him, but it did not. He had begun immediately to speculate, after his sentence, upon the probability of becoming an overseer, or some such thing, in Australia, and his spirit still retained a buoyancy which seemed, in him at least, very unbecoming.
This way, ladies,' said Barr, as he returned to the yard, leading an elderly woman, in deep mourning, from the main passage into the yard, where I stood, while a gentleman, evidently some relation of the lady, followed, with two interesting-looking girls hanging upon his arms. This, ma'am,' said the official, pointing with a key through the massive stanchions of a parallelogram, 'is number one, where the little prigs as is new caught are allowed to play leap-frog for an hour a-day. It's a good amusement to them as is used to it,' said the wonderfully loquacious turnkey, and two or three of the little boys as can't stay away from us, are really expert at it.'
The widow, who was tall, had once been handsome, happy, and beautiful, bent her head, and raised her handkerchief to her eyes.
"This here cage is number two,' said Barr, evidently supposing that he was both interesting and instructing the visiter; this here is where the feminines teach each other vocal music, and the manly art of self-defence. There's a talk about making 'em work, and taking away several of the prisoners' privileges. I guess, if they had anything to say in the matter, they would protest against the change,' said the jailer sententiously.
As the group of visiters approached, I raised my hat and bowed. The sorrow-stricken family returned the salute with much apparent embarrassment, and I heard the youngest girl whisper to the gentleman, He is the chaplain. They were extremely beautiful girls, tall, and delicately formed, with pale expressive features, in which grief was blended with intelligence and benevolence. They wore black dresses of Orleans cloth, and their little bonnets of black silk were scarcely so glossy as their raven hair. Their ages might be fifteen and seventeen.
"Visiters to number twenty-nine, sir,' said Barr, winking his eye to me. I bowed again, and they passed toward the yard which led into Harrington's cell. I directed my way to another part of the jail, lest I should intrude upon the sad meeting.
I was sitting conversing with an old man, who had been convicted of poaching, and who, having wounded a gamekeeper in an affray, was about to be transported, when the cell-door was thrown open, and Giles Brook was called out into the yard to be manacled.
'Yes, yes, master,' said he, turning to me, and shaking his head before he went, you may bother me with logic, and put me out with your learning, but you wont make me believe that I am a thief for shooting a hare, or that the carcass of a leveret is worth seven years of my life and liberty.'
I followed the unhappy man into the yard, and never shall I forget the sad scene that was being enacted there. The prisoners who were about to be conveyed to the transport were joined in couples, and fastened to each other by strong iron manacles, which locked their hands together, and of which a constable carried the key. Their relatives had been allowed the melancholy privilege of seeing and conversing with them previous to their final separation, and these stood round in groups, sobbing or talking to each other in low, broken tones. The governor of the prison was there, to see that the prisoners were delivered, and to receive from the conveying officer the certificates of transfer. The chaplain, my aged and benevolent friend, moved amongst the prisoners, shaking hands with them, and looking sadly in their faces, as he gave them some kindly parting advice; and the other officers of the jail, dressed in their newest uniforms, were moving about with a busy, business-like air.
'Number twenty-nine,' said the governor, looking over his roll- Edward Harrington.'
"Number twenty-nine,' cried one of the officials, taking up the word. 'I say, Barr, unkennel that file.'
Barr slowly opened the door of the cell, and pushed in his head. 'Time's up, visiters,' he said, in a low voice. 'Your batch is a making up, prisoner.'
A low, sad, sobbing sound issued from that chamber, in answer to the jailer's intimation.
Oh, it's o' no use, ma'am,' said the turnkey, as kindly as he could. We can't put off no longer.'
'Come along there!' cried the man who had first ordered the prisoner to be brought forth; and he walked, with an imperious scowl upon his face, to the cell-door, and, pushing back the less impetuous turnkey, ordered the prisoner to turn out.
Edward Harrington had been allowed to dress in his own proper raiment, until he should reach the transport; and as he came forth, with his pale face and dishevelled hair, habited in the extreme of fashion, and surrounded by his mother and sisters, who clung to him frantically and wept, I felt that he was like an exotic in that home of the depraved. Vice owns no condition. Like sin, it belongs, alas! to all estates; but, nevertheless, it is true that it germinates and grows up most in the haunts of ignorance and destitution. We grieve less for actual suffering, if we expect it or believe it to be natural to the creature that endures. In the ragged, sullen-looking urchin, who has been born in sin, reared in vice, and nurtured in iniquity, we see less to claim our sympathy than in the little, delicate child, whose innocent face belies the charge of crime. It is not right that it should be so. Vice should be abhorred whatever form it assumes; and surely the most vicious are the objects most worthy of our pity, as assuredly they have known the least of moral sunshine. Yet Harrington was so unlike the coarser, more brutalised felons around him, that no one could have failed to single him out as an object of especial sympathy. 'Let me go, mother!-Jane, Eliza, leave me!' cried the young man, evidently struggling to suppress his conflicting feelings.
Oh! Edward, Edward, we shall never see you again!' cried his sisters, simultaneously. 'We have been lonely without you, and we have been sad, but this will kill us.' 'My son, my son,' sobbed his parent, would that you had listened to the voice of your mother when you hearkened unto the words of evil companions!'
'You will drive me mad,' cried the young man, petulantly, while his eyes glared wildly around him.
'Oh, if the bubbles which danced on the surface of the cup in which you too often indulged, could have mirrored this scene, you would have paused, would you not?' and his mother looked with the most touching sadness in the face of the forger.
'If you had killed me when in my cradle I would have been spared this misery,' exclaimed the young man, boisterously.
His mother looked in his face for a few seconds silently, and an expression of intense pain passed over her own elo
quent countenance. Yes, you have suffered misery, Edward,' she said, in low sad tones, that trembled on her quivering lips; 'but bethink you, my son, has it not been the result of your own follies and crimes? I, too, have suffered misery, and scorn, and shame, and sorrow, and your poor, innocent sisters have shared it with me. We were guiltless of the deed that produced our proscription from the happiness that attends an honest fame. Have you not thought of us?'
'You have nothing to do with my misfortunes,' said the youth, sullenly, 'so have done nothing to merit contumely.'
'We have to do with you, however,' said his mother, sadly, and must remember and love you when you are far away. You only bear a small portion of the consequences of your deep, dire, disgraceful crime. The world shall point at us as the disgraced mother and sisters of a banished man.'
"You have come to upbraid me, mother,' said the young man, coldly, at the same time struggling to release himself.
'Oh, no, no!' cried his mother, sobbing aloud; 'but I wish that by the sacrifice of my life I could recall you to that condition of honesty which not a year ago was yours.'
The governor and his inferiors had refrained from interfering in this delicate and affecting scene, for the beauty of the sisters, and the eloquent agony of that mother, were too powerful and natural not to influence even the rudest of hearts. Barr wiped his dull eyes, and busied himself more than ordinarily in the arrangement of the prisoners, and even the peremptory head-turnkey, Gobby, stood mutely looking on for some seconds.
'Harrington and Giles Brooks must be coupled now,' said the governor at last, in an angry tone, as if he were ashamed of having caught himself giving way to his natural feelings while on duty. We must prevent the recurrence of such scenes as this,' he muttered; 'I shall sooner resign than be subjected to them. I say, Mr Tomlins,' he exclaimed, turning to the chaplain, with great excitement, 'I am only required to see the law executed upon malefactors; I am not expected to endure the sight of its operations upon the good and the innocent. I am not a stoic, and I will not bear this.' The tall and manly-looking governor walked rapidly up and down the yard, to hide the workings of his face, and to exclude the sight of the separation, which was now inevitable.
I shall never forget the screams of those innocent sisters, as their gentle arms twined round the brother who had debased their family name, and disgraced them in the eyes of the cold world; I shall never forget the silent, awful agony that wrote its deep and painful impressions on the pale and blanched cheeks of that mother. The son that had been her pridc-the boy in whom she had beheld the image of a dead and beloved husband-the hope of her widowhood, and of her age-the actual blight and disgrace of her life, was being dragged from the bosom that had nurtured him, to be exiled from his native land, a broken man. There seemed to be something like an awe pervading the spirits of those who stood around, as they witnessed the grief of these superior natures, manifesting itself, not in frantic gestures and incoherent ejacu lations, but in those speechless workings which rend the heart. The forger was torn from his sisters' arms and his mother's embrace. It was as gently done as strong, rude men could do it, and Mr Tomlins, the gentleman who had accompanied Mrs Harrington, and myself, strove to soothe the females. Alas! I saw in that poor woman's eyes the deep revelation of a cureless sorrow. Her son might even attain to wealth and consideration in the land to which he was being sent, but she was stricken down for ever by the sting of his disgrace. Her heart, that nobody could see, was sobbing and bleeding within her poor bosom, that concealed from all but one eye, the darkness of its troubled currents.
A few short months, and Mrs Harrington was in her grave. She had borne up until she heard that Edward had landed in Australia, and, blessing him, and hoping
that he would become a better and a wiser man, she died, leaving her daughters to struggle for a subsistence with their needles. The disgrace of that brother's crime clung to them through life. Goodness, suffering, and beauty, were insufficient to preserve them in that society in which they had been reared, and in which the bounty of their relatives might have preserved them. They were the sisters of a convict, whose presence in the house of a relative recalled a disgraceful connection. They were pitied at first, then shunned, and finally neglected, because of their accidental relationship.
Could the man who totters on the verge of criminality only realise the sublime saying of the Roman orator, that 'man does not live for himself alone,' how cautiously would he draw back from the dark gulf of temptation! If every man could only recollect that even the most trivial word or casual deed, spoken or transacted upon this earth, floats upon the stream of life, and vibrates into the ocean of eternity, operating through numberless beings, perhaps, who have been impressed by him, surely he would guard each word and deed, as he guards his grosser legacy of gold, and would take care that it should be pure and true.
IN CONNECTION WITH THE ABORIGINES OF AMERICA.
We are indebted (says the British Colonist') to Major Anderson, of the Indian department, for the particulars of a singular discovery made near Penetanguishene. Some three years since, Canadians exploring in the neighbourhood of Penetanguishene, found, about six miles from it, a cavity in the earth, into which they thrust their 'walking-staffs,' and disturbed one or two skulls, but did not proceed further with the inquiry. From time to time the matter was considered and discussed, till at length Mr Henry Thomson and Mr Hill of the Mohawk determined to visit the spot and examine it more carefully. Provided with fitting implements, they went on with the excavation, in the course of which they threw out about 50 human skulls and a large quantity of bones. With these were found 26 or 27 copper kettles, shallow in form, about 3-16ths of an inch in thickness, and three feet in diameter. Some among them were hooped with a rude iron band, so rude that the hammer stroke is scarcely discernible except where they are rivetted. Some of those vessels are perfect, others are fractured from the extent to which corrosion has gone
reflective faculties, bearing a marked resemblance to the early Egyptians. Nor are the utensils of which we have spoken without the evidence of their pattern having an eastern origin, as will be palpable to all who shall examine the specimens in the hands of Major Anderson. One singular feature of the discovery consists in the fact, that over the cavity (or rather in the centre of it) from which these relics were procured, a tree was growing, some eighteen or twenty inches in diameter, and giving assurance of it being at least 200 years old. The questions then present themselves: Who, in the year of grace 1647, were the lords of this continent? Who then traversed the forests on Lake Huron, and indulged in their siesta on the little islands with which its bright surface is studded? Who taught the art of making copper vessels of the thickness of a penny, and of three feet in diameter, at such a period? For what purpose were such vessels constructed? It may not be unprofitable to advert for a moment to the mention of such vessels in Holy Writ, which are there always spoken of as brass. In Exodus there is the declaration-Thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his flesh-hooks, and his fire-pans.' In Numbers-The censers, the flesh-hooks, and the shovels, and the basons-all the vessels of the altar: and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers' skins.' AgainEvery open vessel which hath no covering bound upon it is unclean;' and in Ezekiel-Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and flitches, and put them into one vessel.' May it not be that some of the forms of the Israelitish faith were received by those poor Indians, long before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, and retained by them till the gigantic strides of civilisation, made subsequently to 1550, reduced them to their present abject state? We are neither antiquarians nor archæologists-would that we were!--but we do not feel the less anxious that those whose acquirements fit them for, and whose engagements are consonant with, such inquiries, should devote their attention to the subject.
Truth is strange, stranger than fiction;' and it may be that even here some information, all-important in our reading, lies hid. However other relics and remains may have puzzled the inquirer heretofore, we do not recollect any circumstance forcing on the mind such important questions as surround the discovery of these Indian remains at Penetanguishene.
on; while many bear on the base marks of some red pig-LIFE AND CHARACTER ON THE EAST
ment, which time has failed to remove. It is assumed that they would each contain twenty gallons. With these remains were found three conque shells, which, as our readers are aware, are altogether unknown in the inland waters. Scattered irregularly among the bones were found a number of beads-not coral, or glass, or procelain, but apparently sawn out of the conque shell, and perforated, that they might be strung. The presumption is, that this formed the original 'wampum,' before the introduction of beads, such as now grace the neck of the squaw. With these articles was found an iron axe; the rust, however, prevented any marks from being discerned. The whole of these remains and implements were placed on beaver-skins, the fur of which was destroyed, as may well be imagined, by the damp-the skin, however, remaining entire. The care bestowed by the denizens of the forest on the remains of those torn from them, when considered relatively with their rude mode of life, is passing strange.' A bed of beaver skins! how few among the civilised have had this in the 'still, cold chamber of the narrow grave!' A short distance from this spot a similar discovery has been made, on Bantry's Island, by some Canadians who were digging, and found a large worsted belt, bearing the indication of its having belonged to the sacerdotal office. With this there were some pieces of copper, of an isoceles triangular form, each weighing two or three ounces, and an agricultural implement made of copper, and fixed in a wooden shaft.
The skulls found are of a retreating character, in the portions allotted by phrenologists to the perceptive and
COAST OF SCOTLAND.
A NIGHT ON THE DEEP.
WITHIN the elbow of the arm of the German Ocean which constitutes the Moray Frith lies the seaport town of Fraserburgh, in what sailors would call the 'bight of a bay.' Viewed from the sea, it has a very picturesque appearance. On the north-eastern headland or promontory stands Kinnaird Castle, now used as a lighthouse, but once famous as the stronghold of the Frasers of Saltoun in feudal times. Southward, about two miles from this point, a ridge or chain of rocks stretches fully a mile eastward into the deep sea, and mostly covered at low water. In the middle of this dangerous ledge there is a gap, or what the fishermen term a hause, through which, at stream tides, small vessels occasionally pass. On the rocky terrace, which here forms a point of the mainland, stands a cluster of fishing villages, that look as solid and enduring as if they had been hewn out of the grey-stone rock of which they are built. Midway in the semicircular sweep of yellow sand, which here lines off the bay, and over the sandbanks which flank the floodmark of the tide, there is a fine tract of prairie land opening up a highly cultivated country, in the foreground of which may be seen, peering through a clump of old firs, the present residence of Lord Saltoun. Here, in the quiet retirement of the far north, unattended by any retinue of officials, and undisturbed by the intrusions of obsequious visiters, the hero of many a battle-field and the conqueror of China now rests on his laurels. He has neither wife nor child to
share his fortune, and his chief companion is his mother,
'Twas a dark and stormy morning when we made our acquaintance with the geography of this spot. The little craft in which we had taken passage from the Moray Frith was all at once laid a-beam by a gale which came suddenly away from the south-east. In one short hour the sea was changed from the calmness of a lake to the wildness of an eastern tornado, and the waves which lippered along or over our washboards now playfully lashed our sides as if we had been in the Bay of Biscay. Our captain was a stranger to the coast, and, being unacquainted with the set of the tide, missed his calculation; and when we fondly hoped to be running for the harbour with the light bearing north-west of the compass, our vessel struck. Again she struck, and the third mighty wave heaved us over the hause of Cairnbulg-Brigs,' the nautical name by which the chain of sunken rock previously described is known. Once over and into deep water, the little bark trembled, as it were, on recovering from the shock, and while we looked at each other wistfully, no one had power to speak. 'All hands to pump' was the first order; and for a time the democracy of necessity made us work together-captain, mate, crew, and passengers-for dear life; and by this united effort we were saved.
The storm is over, and the mighty moving mass of water is quiet and smooth again as a sea of glass. The bay is studded with tiny craft of all shapes and sizes, from France, Holland, Belgium, Russia, Prussia, Norway, and England. Where the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.' The herrings are now on the coast, and all kinds of animals, clean and unclean, hunt them as prey. Three hundred boats have just left the harbour of Fraserburgh to fish under the dead of night. In these three hundred boats are fifteen hundred men; and as almost every man has a wife and children, at least six thousand mouths are looking to be fed from the produce of this night's labour. The fleet, when under sail, is a fine sight. Bending to the breeze, and managed with as much ease and freedom as the engine-driver commands his locomotive, the boats walked the waters like things of life,' until they reach the offing of the Dogger-Bank, where a shoal of herrings, of some ten miles in length, two in breadth, and probably a quarter of a mile in depth or thickness, were now laying in wait for a smooth and land-wind to dart shorewards to the shingly bottom to spawn.
to be near the bottom, the buoy-rope is lengthened; if near the surface, it is shortened; and each net is tied to the other until the whole extends a thousand yards from the boat, and swing with the tide. To prevent the herrings from seeing the meshes of the nets in the water, the twine is dyed brown by the liquid of oak or birch bark, which also prevents the hemp from rotting, by being thus made impervious to wet. On this invisible surface the herrings rush, and having got their heads in just over the ear, in drawing back the cord lays hold of the gill, and thus keeps them fast.
As soon as the nets are down, four out of every five of the fishermen roll themselves up in the sails, or stow themselves away in the forebreast of the boat to take a sleep, while the other keeps watch. Every boat now shows a light from the bow or stern; a floating light is sometimes placed on the outer end of the nets; and when the whole fleet from the coast, numbering some twelve or thirteen hundred boats, are fully lit up, the scene looks like a gala night in China, when the feast of lanterns' illuminates the bay of Canton.
Scarcely had the dead silence of night settled down upon us, when a peal of solemn music burst on the ear. The fine harmonious swell of the Old Hundred' psalm tune rose from a concert of voices, and spread its soft and delicious melody over the wide expanse of the quiet waters. For a time all heaven seemed vocal, and the soul a symphony of song. What meaneth that?' we inquired at our solitary watchman, as the music ceased and was followed by the voice of prayer. 'These, sir, are the missionaries, who pray and sing every night when their nets are down;' and then we learned that amongst those hardy sons of the ocean there are not a few pious, worthy men, who contrive to get as near to each other as possible at night, to engage in prayer and praise. The primitive character of Christianity is nowhere more remarkably exhibited than in the life of these devout fishermen. Every night they are prevented from going to sea they meet for prayer; and one evening, while resident in the locality, we happened to be present at one of their meetings. The room, in which some twenty or thirty men were asembled, was a hired lodging. During the fishing season of July and August, the fishermen leave their own little huts, and rent rooms in the fishing towns. It was in one of these rooms where this prayer-meeting was held. In one end was a fireplace, and around it a few children sat playing with the dying embers. Near by was their mother, seated on a low stool, with a Bible in her hand. On her right a patriarchal-looking, greyhaired, weather-beaten countenanced man was turning Stowed away in the 'stern-sheets' of one of these boats, over the leaves of a New Testament, brown as umber and as fine a clipper,' to use the description of our captain, yellow as gamboge with smoke. He was dressed in a suit as ever split a wave,' it was our privilege to enjoy a night of hodden-grey, jacket, waistcoat, and trousers, well on the deep. For two hours we had been under sail, but patched with white canvass and blue serge, the place of douced when Monivaird Hill' dipped its saddle-back in some large horn buttons that had been torn off being the water on the landward horizon. This was the New-supplied by wooden pins fastened to the eye-holes by a few tonian measurement of our distance from the shore to a point in the offing, where a good fishing had been secured the night before. The whole fleet, now under bare poles, looked like a forest of naked pines gradually disappearing, as one after another was dropped from the step and socket, to keep the boats easy while they lay at the nets.
The sun was now down, and our fishermen turned to the nets. Then commenced the shotting, that is, the casting of the nets into the water, and keeping the boat on line with the buoys. Each net is fifty yards long and six yards deep, the size of the meshes being fixed by act of Parliament. They measure nearly one inch square; the practical effect of which is to keep out the large herrings and let through the small, by which the coarse or large herrings are left to multiply the spawn-a philosophy which must satiate the heart of the veriest Malthus that ever lived. Along the upper edge of the net is fastened a bolt-rope, to which buoys are attached at equi-distances from each other, and from which the nets are suspended in the sea by stones in the foot-rope, or tied to the lower edge of the net like a sheet. If the fish are conjectured
warps of net twine on the centre, over the ends of which
For three hours this meeting continued, and at nearly midnight each went to his own home. The religion of these fishermen is that of Christian enthusiasm. They look on themselves as immediately identified with the apostles in habit, in feeling, and association, and the very accessories of their profession are made to minister to a spirit of devotion. They read few books except the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress;' and although this necessarily keeps them ill-informed as to the progress of society, it serves to deepen their religious feeling and increase their
reverence for the divine law.
But to return. The midnight hours were spent in cheerless languor. Not a sound was heard but the scream of the sea-fowl, and now and then the blow of a whale. Even our watchman went a-dozing while his fellows soundly slept. About three o'clock the sea all at once changed its colour from a deep black to a silvery white, on seeing which all hands were called, and a desperate effort made to get the nets aboard. The fish, it seems, had now struck-that is, a shoal had run against the nets; and as the herrings when fast first rise to the top and lie flat on the surface of the water for a time, we were now in the crisis of hauling a boatful, or seeing the nets sink to the bottom with the weight of fish. In one hour the nets were in, and sixty barrels, or 42,000 herrings, lay dead in our boat. This was a heavy take, and one which rarely crowns the labours of the industrious fisherman. Sail was then made for the land, and by seven o'clock we were ashore. Here we found that almost every boat had got a good take. There could not be fewer than six or seven thousand crans or barrels of herrings landed that morning, which, at the current prices, were equal in value to three thousand pounds sterling!
The home-cured herrings are chiefly reds. This process of cure is quite different from that of the other, or white fish. In preparing red herrings, the gut is not taken out, and they are only left about forty-eight hours in the salt before they are hung in the smoke-house. The first step in this process, after being packed as white herrings, is to run a spit of about a yard or a yard and a half long through the gills of a dozen or a score of herrings, which are then spread out at equal distances and swilled through two or three waters. They are then hung in frames in the open air or in covered sheds to dry, after which they are placed in the red-herring house. This house is generally about fifty feet long, fifteen broad, and thirty high. It is divided into say four compartments, each compartment having a framework which admits of the spits being hung the one above the other at given distances from the top to within ten or twelve feet of the floor. When the house is full, a few fires are kindled with oak, birch, or beech-wood, and kept so low with sawdust as to prevent flame and keep up a constant smoke. The roof of the house being tiled without plaster, the smoke escapes leisurely, and thus a fresh supply is constantly obtained. When the herrings begin to get firm, the fires are strengthened, and the fish are cured so as to suit the different markets of Scotland and England. The London market takes straw-coloured, soft, plump, large herrings; Glasgow and Liverpool high-coloured, hard-dried fish; the one cure being effected in three days, the other in a fortnight or three weeks.
Nearly half a million of people are in one way or another connected with or dependent on the herring-fishery of Scotland. A branch of business thus extensive is well worthy of every encouragement, and a class of people so interesting deserves the warmest sympathies of the wise and the good.
THE MONKS OF OLD.
the same source that we owe the cultivation of letters, the transcription of historical events, and the compilation of books during that period when it was accounted mean of a noble to learn to read or write. The heroes of the battlefield and tilting-ring affected to despise what they were perfectly incompetent to perform and did not understand, just as a nature like Samuel Johnson's would affect to laugh at those delicate poetical allusions of a mind like Gray's, because he did not and could not feel them nor appreciate them.
THERE are few institutions, however reprehensible they may be in their general character, and however false the principles upon which they are based may be generally considered, which do not present themselves to us under some one or other aspect of good. Monachism, which may be Having thus seen how the herrings are caught, few termed associated anchoritism, possesses all those attributes words will serve to show how they are cured. As soon of condemnation which attach to that solitary state, having as the boats land, the fish are carted or carried to the indeed greater power either for good or evil. But while this curing yard. Here they are poured into large square is admitted, it cannot be denied that it is to the monks we boxes, and women commence gutting them. Three wo- owe the preservation of the Greek and Roman literatures men generally form themselves into what is called a crew, during those dark ages which succeeded the destruction of or joint-stock trio. Two of these, with a short-bladed, the Roman empire, when the strong hand was reckoned sharp-pointed knife, nip out the gut and gill by a process the greatest good, and he who could write his name with of throat-cutting which cannot be described. Yet so ex-fire and blood was accounted the noblest of men. It is to peditiously is this work done, that one woman will gut two thousand five hundred herrings an hour! The third woman of the crew packs the fish into barrels. The herrings, when newly gutted, are tumbled into a large tub, beside which the packer stands, and with a tin plate scatters over them as much salt as serves to ruse them well, in other words, to salt them for the first course in the packing, which is finished by laying the herrings nearly on their backs, with the heads to the side of the barrel, and one fish over every other two in the centre. Between each row is thrown a good sprinkling of salt; and as each course, as it rises, crosses the one immediately below it, some seven hundred herrings are thus crammed into an ordinary-sized cask, the dimensions of which, like the size of the meshes in the nets, are fixed by act of Parliament. After standing a few days, the greater part of the salt becomes brine, and in this the herrings float, and will keep for a year without damage. The shrinking of the fish in process of cure continues for about ten days. At the end of fourteen days the government officer inspects them, and if found properly cured, brands the cask with a red-hot iron, which leaves the impression of an imperial crown. They are then ready for shipment, and are mostly disposed of for exportation to Ireland and the Continent.
The monks were the historians and the educators of their era; they preserved the books already in their possession by diligently transcribing them and sending the copies to other monasteries, and they took great pains in educating the young priests during their noviciate. In all large establishments of the order, there was an apartment called the writing-chamber, where study could also be prosecuted. Here the manuscripts were produced, under the supervision of the abbot, prior, subprior, and precentor of the convent, which committee was distinguished by the cognomen of antiquarii. The Anglo-Saxon monks were considered to be amongst the most beautiful of penmen, and they it was who originated the small Roman letters we now use, instead of the black-letter. The transcribing of books was considered to be one of the