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selves with one more illustration. The only placed his troops behind such ramparts coasts of this country are dotted round with as an American army could have thrown up Martello towers, designed for protection in a few hours. The way to extract the against invaders. They have become per- sting from the Chassepot is to intrench, fectly useless. A single modern projectile while the needle-gun behind the temporary would smash them to pieces, and they could field defences would be more terrible and not carry our heavy ordnance. But there destructive than ever. The guns which are is no reason in the world why the vulner- taken into a battle-field cannot, of course, able parts of the coast should not be stud- be nearly equal in calibre to the great maded with sunk works in the form of Mon- chines which are regarded as necessary for crieff gun-pits, capable of carrying any ord- the defence of fortifications; still, every nance, alike invisible and impregnable. nation will strive to bring into conflict ar This invention, in fact, bids fair to have tillery as heavy and powerful as possible. one most beneficent result. It may make There is nothing to prevent Captain Monthe defence far stronger than the attack, crieff's invention being applied to field arand to England, whose motto is " Defence, tillery also. Natural defences would be not defiance," this will be the most invalu- taken advantage of as far as possible. They would give protection to the men, while the gun could be raised to a level at which the protection would be no impediment to the fire. Where such a position as a village is selected as the centre of a position, the spades would at once be set in motion to dig intrenchments instead of raising batteries. Altogether, the invention is one which, while it proves Captain Moncrieff's skill as a mechanician, seems destined to have as much effect upon the mode of fighting artillery as breech-loading has had upon the evolutions and requirements of infantry. Above all, it seems to put a period to the foolish outlay of money upon fortifications.
able of all boons.
From The Morning Star, Oct. 13.
CAPTAIN MONCRIEFF's invention renders it possible to raise the largest guns out of a trench to a level for firing, and by a selfacting process to sink them again for the purpose of being reloaded. A trench has many advantages over a parapet, and, even if there were no others, that of altering the position of the guns at will would be sufficient to insure its superiority. The gun under the elevator system can be moved about on a tramway, appearing at unexpected places to discharge its contents, and immediately disappearing. The objection may be suggested, that if the gun is so completely sheltered from an enemy's fire, it must also be in a position from which it is impossible to take aim. Captain Moncrieff has provided for this by means of a mirror, from the reflection in which the officer in charge can lay the gun as close upon the object aimed at as if he actually took his sight along the barrel exposed to the missiles of the enemy. . .
As regards field artillery, the new system would bring into still greater prominence that indispensable article in the campaigns of the future-the spade. All through the American war the superiority of the spade as a warlike weapon was attested. The army which could intrench itself in the shortest space of time was, other things being tolerably equal, certain of victory. The army which assaulted intrenchments was almost invariably defeated. The development of the breech-loading principle in Europe has rendered it more than ever a necessity that the hands of the soldiers should be frequently practised in the indispenable art of digging and intrenching. The Austrian commander at Sadowa would have deprived the Prussians of a great part of their superiority had he
From The Spectator.
WE wish some one of our readers who knew the Continent thirty years ago would tell us whether it was then the custom for middle-aged or aged English men and women to travel much. It is certainly the custom now, and we, who can speak only from an experience of twelve years, have a fancy that it is comparatively recent, and a certainty that it has increased enormously during the last decade. The number of English men and women over fifty-five whom one meets in France, Switzerland, Italy and Madrid,—we do not say Spain,
is astonishing, quite sufficient to be marked as a distinct feature in the tourist's life. It is probable that the main stream of such visitors is confined to certain wellworn routes, and even to a certain class of rather expensive, very homeish, and decidedly " easy" hotels; but in those hotels, and on those routes, their presence is an unquestionable and, to some eyes, a very pleasant fact. It chanced to the writer re
cently to be on the line of the old “grand sixty would at home chuckle with glee at tour," and to be driven by stress of impedi- the thought of walking over the St. Gothard menta to hotels he rather avoids - they are with one night's rest. Such travellers, the best in the world, but one might as well when accompanied by their “families," are be in London — and he made in no less intelligible enough. "They have been forced than eight a careful calculation. Three- abroad by their daughters, like the life, fourths of the company at the tables d'hôte brighten up, and enjoy those brief periods were over fifty years of age, and a third of of second youth which are so charming to those three-fourths looked sixty, while near- all who can perceive the beauty of old age. ly a half were women, travelling either The motives of another class, too, are not alone, or attended by a courier and a maid. obscure. They have always travelled, and They were decidedly for their ends success- are loth to give up, or they are revisiting ful travellers. Accident having called his scenes admired in youth; but there are attention to their extraordinary number, he hundreds of old and apparently lonely Engmade it an occupation to watch them, and lishmen about in Switzerland every autumn arrived at the conclusion that of all travel- who never were there before, cheery old lers on these well-frequented routes, the men who take small mischances as boys take old, and especially the decidedly old, were them, who are the delight of guides, and the cheeriest, the most enterprising, and the betes noires of all travellers who hate the least embarrassed. The men, no doubt, wasting money. Who are they? Are made a point of dinner, were slow and they people who have always wanted to see slightly selfish in their choice of dishes, Switzerland and never bad the money in and showed a tendency to order a luxury youth, or men weary of England, or widunattainable on the Continent, old pale owers whose children have quitted home, or sherry: They were not very quick either what? They go about, usually alone, soineabout languages, old gentlemen who talked times in couples, with knowing faces and French very fairly getting utterly puzzled decided ways, utterly free of mauraise honte, with that tongue when spoken German fash- entirely devoid of the irritability which ion, and still more with English when pro- characterizes their compeers at thirty-five, nounced in no fashion at all. “What on the pleasantest, easiest, best informed earth,” said an old gentleman at Basle, “ tourists" to be met. with sharp grey eyes, who looked like a
Still more remarkable are the old ladies, solicitor in great practice, “ can.bloom- women of fifty and upwards, widows, spinboye' mean” and the correct suggestion sters, or it may be in a limited number of
plum pie” quite lowered his cases wives. The writer, or rather his wife, confidence in himself and his education, counted on the beaten route in a journey of
Apart, however, from these trivial weak- six weeks upwards of two hundred such nesses, the old men travelling are decidedly Englishwomen travelling without men, or, pleasant companions, very cheery, very tol- rarely, with a courier in attendance, and erant, very well informed, and adventurous inaintains that of all travellers they were to a fault.' They see everything worth see- the easiest, jolliest, and in their way least ing, and not requiring too much exertion, vexatious to other human beings. He is better than the young; keep up with facts inclined, from his own experience, to lay it much better, learn more, so to speak, from down as an axiom that wherever in Switzeranything they see, or rather fit it more land a goat can go a British female over neatly into the proper pigeon-holes of the fifty-five thinks it her duty to go, and is brain. They receive more through their perfectly safe. She can be cheated, but the mental pores, partly, we suspect, because cheating must be done en règle, which means they are less reserved, partly because on according to Murray. She can be fatigued, the Continent the liking for mature age is but it is only by the presence of weak-kneed better developed, partly, we fear, because companions of the male sex. She can be there is more cash to be got out of them, frightened, but it is only by the absence of and so the harpies take trouble to make a Protestant Church or the presence of things pleasant. Anyhow, they enjoy them- something very decidedly Ultramontane. selves without worrying other people, and Her main difficulty, after the general fact they attempt expeditions from which the that she wants two glasses of Claret, and young seem to shrink, walking, for exam- does not know what in the world to do with ple, distances they would consider in Eng- the rest of the half-bottle, is whims, but it land utterly out of the question. The is one. she surmounts with a courage and Gemmi, for instance, in England would good-humour far beyond rivalry. seem quite a walk to an Anglo-Indian of One we met, a cheery old lady of, say, seventy, and we question if many men of Inot to offend her, fifty-nine, had a clear de
that it was
termination to have her dog, an energetic nearly white Skye, with her in the trains. Of course no such proceeding could be endured, people in cocked hats were horrified, people in blouses were bitten by that dog. It was utterly forbidden that it should go anywhere except in the proper van; but still at three separate stations there in the waiting-room was the old lady and the dog. How she managed it was a mystery, till the third occasion, when she stepped into the compartment, carrying a great blue bag, such as lawyers' clerks put deeds in. The guard assisted her in, she weighed fourteen stone, quite politely, sniffed a little at the bag, which was vibrating wildly, but came to the conclusion, as we did also, that it was a parrot in a cage, - birds are not forbidden, or hens, as we know by disagreeable experience, and said nothing. The compartment was full, the door was shut, and the old lady seating herself with the faintest chuckle, looked round with steady eyes, asked of the air, "I wonder if anybody will be annoyed?" and drew out of the bag the Skye terrier not stifled a bit. We have not a doubt she reached Florence without once suffering the annoyance of parting with her pet. She was only a specimen of scores of women of her kind, who in autumn travel about the frequented routes, see everything, enjoy everything, set all manner of rules aside, ask anybody anything, talk an astounding tongue which no nation would acknowledge, but which is intelligible none the less; bleat gently about the charges for voitures, and enjoy themselves, we verily believe, more than any women in the world.
Who are they all? They must have money, for in a quiet way they are pillaged to a considerable extent; and they must be independent, or they could not be so free of male interference; but who are they all? Is there really a class of women longing all their lives for change, and adventure, and variety of life, who never obtain till old age a chance of realizing their aspirations? Or, when the children are married off, and the husband dead or impossible, does the thirst for excitement suddenly spring up to supply the blanks? We do not know, but this we do know, that this year there were literally hundreds, probably thousands, of Englishwomen above fifty wandering over Switzerland and North Italy, taking care of themselves, enjoying themselves, and leaving, on the whole, decidedly pleasant impressions of old Englishwomen. For one thing, they fight an evident overcharge in a quieter, more persistent, better-mannered way than any human beings on the Conti
nent, save and except young Scotchmen. There is a grave, simple, heavy-voiced way, a tone of "Is that the law now?" in which these particular people resist disbursements which somehow overawes even the Swiss, and saves them thirty per cent. upon their total expenditure. The calm way in which a Glasgow student brought a Bernese tariff to bear by the side of the Lake of Constance, and argued that he was being plundered contrary to " Swiss" law, was a thing not to be forgotten. No woman could have won such a victory as that boy did, and he will die a millionaire, which she will not.
We wish the Americans on the Continent would behave like the Scotch, whom on points they closely resemble, but they don't. Nobody in the world is quite so kindly or so tolerant as the American who knows something, but there is a class of Americans just now in Europe who are to experienced travellers the most intolerable of mankind. American gentlemen say they are "the shoddy aristocracy," but they have uniformly three distinctive and annoying characteristics, boxes for which they ought to pay rent and not merely fares, loud voices, and bad tempers. In a pretty large acquaintance with Americans of all grades, we declare that except on the Continent, we never heard a loud voice or met a visibly bad temper, and their own description of themselves is that a valise with a toothcomb and two" dickeys" is too much luggage. Nevertheless, a class with the peculiarities we have mentioned, in fact a class exactly resembling the English of thirty years since, is flooding the Continent, is ruining half its best hotels, not by extravagance, but by the introduction of a bad tone, and is concentrating on the Union all that angry distaste which for years was felt and expressed towards our own countrymen. The wildest caricatures friends of the South ever painted of Yankees are weak descriptions of some of these people, who are at last, fortunately for us, ceasing to be mistaken for Englishmen. Who they are, why they want half-a-dozen boxes apiece, why they should always quarrel with all service, what induces them to criticize the guests at tables d'hôte in an audible voice, above all, why they should be so invariably cross, passes human comprehension. Americans at home or in England display none of those foibles, and why a special class of them should give themselves that reputation on the Continent remains to be explained. The evil will pass away, but if some American satirist would laugh his travelling compatriots out of their " ways," as English
men have at last been laughed by satirists marked that she liked sweets, and gravely out of theirs, he would make the great went in for dinner. Of ten or twelve dishroutes far pleasanter to the remainder of es that child tasted every one, insisted on a mankind.
separate glass of claret, and at last fixed the affections of her over-filled little person
on some cheese-cakes. First she ate her From The Spectator. own share. Then she sidled up to her BABY TRAVELLERS.
governess, remarked in American that she
had not had half enough, and, in French, English travellers on the Continent that the lady opposite was clearly English, rarely or never take young children with and, under cover of her chatter, quietly them. French people do, Russians do, and stole and bolted the poor woman's cheeseso do Americans, though the latter seem to cakes. Then she turned to her mother; prefer boys and girls just out of the nursery. but her mother had passed the dish, and we Germans, however, seem to be the great thought she was at the end of her resources. offenders, wealthy persons of that nation Not a bit of it. In the shrillest and calmest thinking no shame to be accompanied by of trebles she ordered the head waiter, entire families, children, governesses, nurs- then about fifty feet off, “ to bring papa es, wet-nurses, and all. What with one some more cheesecakes," clutched three, people and another, children are numerous and putting one on the governess's plate,– enough on the great routes to form a dis- either out of a theory of restitution, as we tinct feature in tourist life, a class well hope, or an idea of making her an accomworth studying, a race who supply to ob- plice, as we fear,- bolted the other two, and servers perhaps the most distinct and curi- then nudged her mother for admiration. ous of all subjects of speculation. They With insignificant variations of circumare, to begin with, so very separate and so stance she was the typical American female very national. We would undertake in child as encountered in Switzerland, the any hotel on the Continent to tell the na- most independent, self-helpful, greedy littionality of any child by the arrangements tle imp alive. Male children from that conmade for his or her food, and by his or her tinent, we are bound to say, are different, relations to the servants. There is the their main characteristics being a portenAmerican child, first, whose position is the tous gravity, and a certain slow, but real, simplest and easiest conceivable. She, if politeness wonderful to behold. Outside above three years of age, is “ a grown up," the table d'hôte the last remnant of self-repaid for like any other guest, entitled to straint seems to be thrown off, balconies the same privileges, displaying the same en- are turned into play rooms, passages into tire independence of any kind of control, racecourses, till the entire building seems and evincing all the curious national con- given over to shrill-voiced, dyspeptic, hightempt for servants of all grades. An Amer- spirited litole imps, who in an hour or so ican child of four in a Swiss hotel is per- attract to their sides a cosmopolitan assemfectly capable of ordering a petit verre after bly of all colours and ages, make them all as dinner, and if she did would get it without wicked as themselves, and, we are bound the slightest interference from mamma, or the to add, rule them all with the most serene governess, or indeed any human being ex- aplomb. cept possibly the waiter, who would speedily Next to the American children, the Gerbe brought to a due sense of his position and man are the most prominent; but their responsibilities. Dining at Zurich, a few prominence is not at dinner. There they days since, the writer noticed a perfect spec- are at work on the business of life, and are imen of the kind. She was a bright-eyed, remarkable only from the half quizzical, fair-haired little thing, probably seven years half servile attention paid to them by their old, but in appearance scarcely five, who fathers, and their astounding linguistic camarched into the room with the air of min- pacity. One of them, who sat opposite us gled curiosity and pomp so comical in sharp à fortnight since, a meek, staid-looking, children, made way for her father, a grave self-impressed little person, with red hair, man of fifty, but calmly ordered her mother talked three languages with equal fuency, to take another chair. Mamma had seated ordered her father's wine, dictated some herself outside her husband, and Baby in- extraordinary combination of footstools and tended to sit between her and the gover- chairs which ultimately seated her about ness. This arrangement accomplished, and six inches above the table, and was watched å waiter who proffered a high chair sum- by her father, a widower obviously, with a marily sent into disgrace, Baby unrolled sort of admiring awe. Somehow she was her napkin, read the menu carefully, re- like Pauline in°Currer Bell's Villette, and
before she had been in the hotel three hours | pay a franc for a glass, then, as the train some specialty in the child was recognized; started, buy the glass itself, and then, when everybody nodded, or rather bowed, to her, the little imp threw glass and water out of salutes which she returned with the grav- window in a pet at the delay, take him on est of inclinations,- and the waiters watched his knee and spend half an hour in vain ather as if their places depended on her fiat. tempts to bring him to a happier mood. We have an impression, quite without evi- One could understand after that why freedence, that her father was a man of consid- dom of bequest seems unnatural to Frencherable rank, but anyhow, in twenty-four men. Sulkiness among French travelling hours the child had made her presence dis- children is, however, very rare. As a rule, tinctly felt throughout the house, and so they seem as happy as birds, and like birds completely asserted her position that if she they are everywhere at once, till they form had ordered champagne for breakfast some a distinct feature in the prospect. Their one would have brought it without a glance to momentary importance pleases them, and seek the father's consent. She, of course, so does the variety of scene, and when not was not typical, being in her way a char- suffering torments from indigestion they acter and, as we suspect, but do not know, generally contrive to fill the hotels with aided by her father's place in the world; life, and movement, and happy if somewhat but it is true that, next to the Americans, shrill laughter. Though not left indepenthe Germans seem to accord their children dent, they are left with servants much more the most liberty, to treat them with the than English children are, and not always least reference to disparity of age. Both with the most beneficial result. They see nations spend for their children, too, with too much of the great vice of French sera liberality which approaches extravagance; vants, their indifference to truth. Apthe Germans lugging about small armies proaching Paris from the South a little of retainers, and the Americans submitting, while since, the writer and his wife noticed on their behalf, to the most preposterous a child, obviously of very good class, atclaims. We met in the Oberland one party tended by two nursemaids, and a young of nine, for whom a careful mother had not seminarist, whose relation to the party was only engaged nine mules, but nine guides, not easily intelligible. Arriving at the all strictly charged to prevent the slightest ticket station, the superior bonne produced attempt at rapid motion. two tickets, and remarked audibly that she intended to carry the child through without paying for a third. The little lady was about seven; but the conductor was informed, with all the gravity of a Frenchwoman when telling a deliberate lie, that she was under two. "Under two! butMesdames." It was of no use, she was under two, and the conductor turned to the theological student, still reading his breviary. "At least, Monsieur, you will not affirm a story so monstrous, so incredible." The seminarist half-raised his eye-lids, bowed in a manner quite sacrosanct, and replied, "I know the child, and she is under two." Well," affirmed the conductor, with some slight temper, "if you get that child through the barrier without a ticket I'll eat her," and disappeared. The women seemed frightened - having, we suspect, received the fare from their mistressand we anticipated a scene; but we had underrated French ingenuity. "Fan must play baby," said the nurse, and Fan was obviously delighted. In a minute or two she was stripped, clad in a nightgown or chemise of some sort, a handkerchief folded over her head, her hair combed back, and she herself transformed into a baby in long clothes. No human being could have detected the deception, unless he had no
The French children are much less independent. French mothers also allow their children to join the table d'hôte, but they do not allow them such independence, on the contrary, restraining them, if anything, more than English people do. On the other hand, they pay them infinitely more attention. A Frenchman cares probably a great deal more about his dinner than an Englishman, but he will interrupt it much more frequently to talk to a child, will mix its wine more carefully, will discuss with a waiter more at length the suitability of particular dishes. The American child seems to rule the family much more; but the French child absorbs it, and has, we suspect, much more influence upon its movements. It is very unusual, for example, for any but a French family to seat a servant at dinner; but they, if they have children with them, do it constantly, solely that the little ones may be well and quickly looked after, and compelled rigidly to observe les convenances. A certain forethought for the little people, a sense that they have rights, is very perceptible in their arrangements, the care sometimes, no doubt, degenerating into most injurious fondness. We saw a French father whose son, about five, had expressed a wish for water en route to Chur,