« VorigeDoorgaan »
to establish their right to the possession of 'pleasing things.’” As remarkable is the practice of scarifying their cheeks on occasions of mourning. This they do by tearing from below each temple a circular piece of skin, about the size of a sixpence; to accomplish which the nail of the little finger is “purposely suffered to grow like an eagle's talon.” All wear the mateb, a small cord of deep blue silk encircling the neck, and the badge of Christianity. inst of all, the whole nation delights in the luxury of raw flesh. It is the grand aliment of life.
“The bull is thrown down at the very door of the eating house; the head having been turned to the eastward, is, with the crooked : sword, nearly severed from the body, under an invocation to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and no sooner is the breath out of the carcass, than the raw and quivering flesh is handed to the banquet. It is not fair to brand a nation with a soul stigma, resting on a solitary fact; but he who, like the writer, has witnessed, during the return of the foray, the wanton mutilation of a sheep whose limbs were in succession severed from the carcass, whilst the animal was still living, can readil believe all that is related by the great traveller Bruce, of the cruelties practised in Northern Abyssinia.”—Pp. 172-3, vol. iii.
But we must close, leaving untold much that is curious. Nor can we do more than merely allude to the information regarding the countries lying south of Shoa. It was gathered from natives of the several districts, and abounds with interest. We here read of numerous tribes and nations, characterized by the strangest aud most revolting manners and usages—of Galla tribes, who, while heathen in religion, and having superstitions that resemble those of Etruria and Rome, regard the Jews as their ancestors, and expect to conquer Jerusalem—of the kingdom of Enárea, half pagan and half Mahomedan—of the country of Zingero, where human sacrifices are common, and the slave merchant, as he passes the Lake Umo, throws the handsomest female captive into the waves, as a tribute to the god of the water—of the Doko, a pigmy race, (supposed by Major Harris to be the Troglodytes of Herodotus,) who are perfectly wild, pray to some uncouth deity standing on their heads, go stark naked, are ignorant of fire, live on roots and reptiles, and are annually hunted like beasts by the savage slave-dealers from Dumbáro, Caffa, and Kooloo. Finally, we read of the great River Gochob, running south and
east into the Indian Ocean, and probably that which Arabian geographers call the “River of Pigmies.” Rising in the great central ridge of mountains which divide the waters that flow east from those that flow west into the Bahr el Abiad, and more southerly, into the Atlantic, it first spreads into a lake, and then rolling onward, is joined, fifteen days’ journey south of Ená. rea, by the Omo. Hence, their united waters, after falling down the stupendous cataract of Dumbáro, pursue their course to the south-east, forming the southern limit of Zingero, and at last disemboguing into the sea. The exact spot of confluence is unknown. Major Harris thinks it is identical with the Kibbee, said to come from the north-west, and enter the sea near the town of Juba, immediately under the equator. If not the Kibbee, it must be the Quilimancy, which disembogues, by several estuaries, between Patta and Malinda, four degrees farther south. Its volume of water is very large, and it is supposed to be navigable for a long way; and from the reports, it appears, that its mouth is known and is already navigated to a considerable distance inland by white people, who frequent it in pursuit of the horrible traffic in human flesh—a traffic of which the enormity is there rendered the more glaring, because many of its victims are Christians. We have said nothing concerning the commercial and political bearings of the public mission which these volumes record. Nor do we propose to take up this important topic at the close of this notice. One word only regarding the principle and character of such undertakings. Expeditions, having for their object to take possession for a nation of an unoccupied territory, or to gain for it a footing and influence in one already peopled and partitioned, have been long known. But the unparalleled height of civilization to which our own and some other nations have now ascended, has laid them under stronger inducements, and at the same time furnished them with more efficient means than have ever hitherto been in operation, to prosecute such enterprises. We may, accordingly, expect to see them daily multiplied, and attaining to greater importance in the affairs of nations. It is evident that very different motives are conspiring to cause them. Some have sprung from political ambition alone. They have been the effects of rivalry between the great powers, prompting them to seize and
fortify themselves in new posts of attack or defence. Others aim at introducing, as it were, one people to another—at throwing down the walls of partition between communities—at bringing the influence of all to bear on the resources within the possession of each, in order that every where men may work, under the most urgent motives, and by aid of the best appliances, at the great task set to their progenitor in Eden, of subduing the earth to human dominion, and extracting from it the fullest amount of human uses. Of these the former are in principle unjustifiable and wicked, and in their effects must be pernicious. The latter are not only praiseworthy, but seem indeed to rank among national duties. To this class, the mission which Major Harris conducted professedly belongs. Having this opinion of its object, we regard it with approbation and interest, trusting that Its issue may never belie the fairness of its opening promise, and that the new people, whom our colossal Empire has drawn within the circle of its influence, may never have to tell of the injustice, oppression, and degradation which, in too many quarters of the globe, have been the sole fruits of British interference.
There are various appendices to the volumes, containing specific information regarding the natural history of the Adel country, and regarding the geology, botany, and zoology of Abyssinia. For these, the author was indepted to Dr. Roth, the naturalist of the Embassy, and they are highly valuable. There is also added an accurate copy of the Abyssinian Calendar, from which it appears that their year commences on our 29th August, which is their 1st September—that every day of the year has at least one saint, while many have a great number—and that the lives of the saints, or the detail of the miracles assigned to each day, are publicly read in the churches at the service, beginning at the cock's first crowing.
GUARANTEE of A SA1.e-cAt Alogue of Books. —The French papers give the particulars of a trial, in which the tribunals have had to decide on the question of guarantee as applicable to the description given in a sale-catalogue of books. From a collection of books and manuscripts sold M. Bohaire, the publisher, M. Tabary bought, for 300 francs, one described in the catalogue as a manuscript on fine vellum, in two folio volumes, of the ‘Epistles of St. Jerome,' and to which was
assigned the date thirteenth century. M. Tabary, afterwards discovered, on one of the latter pages of the first volume, this note –“Epistolarum
Sancti Hieronymi volumen primum finit. In no
mine Sanctae et individua Trinitatis et gloriosae virginis Maria scriptum–1468;” and, accordingly, sued the publisher for the return of his pur
chase-money. M. Bohaire pleaded his good
faith, and that he had purchased the manuscript at the sale, in 1835, of the library of M. de Courcelles, as a manuscript of the thirteenth century, and appealed to the conditions of sale in his catalogue, which prescribed that the books purchased should be collated within twenty-four hours of the purchase, whereas M. Tabary had kept the M.S. six months without complaint. The Court, however, decided that the question of collation applied only to the copy, and not to a substantive misdescription, in which case the publisher must be considered as guarantecing; and pronounced the sale void —.1th.
PIRATED ENG lish Works.-In consequence of the many applications which have been made to the Lords of the Treasury by parties arriving in England, after lengthened tours on the conti ment, relative to the seizure, under the new Copyright Act, of the single copies of pirated English works purchased by them abroad, and imported for their own libraries, an order has been made, with which our readers should be acquainted. It is thereby directed, that pirated works found in the baggage of passengers shall not be immediately destroyed, but shall be retained three months, an account containing a list of the same being sent quarterly to the board, in order to obtain the order for their destruction, which is not to take place till the expiration of a month from the date of the order. It is not generally known that there is a provision in the act, to the effect that the owners of the copyrights are entitled to import pirated editions of their works. Therefore, persons who may be possessed of pirated editions, and are anxious to retain them, should apply for the sanction of the owner of the copyright to their admission; which being obtained, they will experience no difficulty in obtaining their delivery For ourselves, we question the policy of any exception which lets in the pirated work at all. The general efficiency of the Act is endangered by this relaxation of its provisions. With these ficensed copies abroad, how are the copies of the smuggler to be distinguished for seizure ? The only remedy will be for authors to put a stamp on such copies as pass under their license—as Bibles and tracts are stamped by the societies which distribute them in charity.— .1thenaeum.
TAsso's Monum ENT.—His Majesty the King of the French has, through his Excellency Count Latour Maubourg, French Ambassador at the Court of the Holy See, caused a liberal donation to be presented to the commissioners constituted at Rome, for the purpose of erecting a monument in memory of Tasso–Court Journal.
THE ROBERTSES ON THEIR TRAVELS.
Mrs. Roberts certainly began to feel that if she hoped to sustain her reputation for being the very best and cleverest manager that the world ever saw, of all pecuniary as well as other matters, it would be necessary to lose as little time as possible in bringing to perfection her scheme for obtaining the agreeable society of Miss Bertha Harrington for her two daughters. She suffered, therefore, but one day to intervene between her last visit to Lady Moreton, and the very important one which was to decide the success of her scheme. She left her two daughters in the carriage, having previously explained to them her plan, and also in part the urgent necessity for it, and then mounted the stairs with a beating heart. She had, however, a comfortable and sustaining confidence in her own powers, and felt, as she entered the drawing-room, that her courage rather increased than diminished as the moment for profiting by it approached. Unfortunately, however, she did not find Lady Moreton alone, her dearly beloved cousin, Sophy, being seated beside her, reading scraps of news from Galignani's paper of the day, while her young niece was stationed at a table, one side of which was placed against the wall at the bottom of the room, with an open book in her hand, which, however, she did not appear to be reading, as her eyes were earnestly fixed upon the wall before her. This she of course felt would not do at all; and having gone through all her most graceful evolutions in the way of easy Parisian morning gossiping, she lowered her voice to a whisper, addressed exclusively to Lady Moreton, and said, “May I ask to have two minutes' private conversation with your ladyship?” Lady Moreton opened her eyes with a stare expressive of much more astonishment than satisfaction, and repeating the word “private” interrogatively, seemed to await a little further explanation before she ventured to accede to the request. Nobody could have understood better than Mrs. Roberts did that both the word and the accent implied a double doubt; first, as to her own right of making the request, and, secondly, as to her ladyship's
could give stronger evidence of the high value which Mrs. Roberts put upon the esteem and consideration of her own family, than the fact that her first sensation on recovering this rebuff was one of gladness that no Roberts had heard it but herself. “Do not for a moment mistake me, my dearest lady!” she exclaimed, looking at her dowager countess with eyes that seemed almost in an act of adoration from profound respect; “do not suppose it possible that I do not feel that this request would be perfectly unwarrantable, did it not concern your ladyship more than it does myself.” “Oh well, I don't want to slip out of business; though it always is a bore to such a temper as mine,” replied her ladyship, “and it is not an easy matter you see just at first, Mrs. Robson—Mrs. Roberts, I mean—it is not quite easy just at first to guess what you can have to do with any private business of mine. As to my getting up and trotting about the rooms in order to find a place for you to talk secrets in, I can't do it—indeed I cannot, Mrs. Roberts; but I’ll send the child out of the room, if that is what you want. My cousin Sophy's secrets and mine are all one and the same, so she need not stop you. Shall I send the child away?” Mrs. Roberts bowed, and smiled a most cordially well-pleased acquiescence, though she really would have been inexpressibly delighted could she have found at the moment any feasible method of despatching the Lady Forton either to the bright regions of the moon, or to the darkest cave at the bottom of the ocean. She would have cared not a farthing which. But as both were alike impossible, she was obliged to reconcile herself to the exceedingly disagreeable necessity of enduring the unremitting stare of her ladyship's great black eyes, which always seemed to come on duty with as impressive a steadiness as the equestrian sentinels at Whitehall, whenever any thing in the least degree important was addressed to her cousin. Upon receiving this signal of acquiescence from her mysterious visitor, Lady Moreton raised her voice to a tone that was very satisfactorily audible at the bottom of the room, where the young person she addressed was sitting, and said, “Go to your own room, Bertha Harrington.” The command was instantly obeyed, and then, very greatly to the satisfaction of Mrs.
inclination to granting it; and nothing December, 1844. 29
Roberts, who was beginning to feel a little nervous about her negotiation, Lady Moreton exclaimed, “If you have got an atom of feeling in you, Mrs. Roberts, you must pity me about that wet blanket of a girl. In your whole life now did you ever see a creature look and move as she does It would be bad enough, I dare say, for any body, high or low, rich or poor, but think what it must be to me! But it is no good to talk of it to you, or to any body else who does not live in my own style, and who does not know what it is to have gone on as I have done with every living soul, taking care that I should not be plagued; for even poor gouty Lord Moreton was for ever and ever ordered by the physicians to go here, there, and every where, according as they thought it would best suit me. Every body, all through my life, has always known my happy, cheerful temper, and how I hated beyond all things on God's earth, to be bored and plagued. I believe there are some people that don’t mind it. Every body is not made alike, you know, it is folly to fancy it; and Sir Christopher Harrington deserves to be burnt for daring to torment me in this way.” These words, though uttered in the sharpest possible key, fell like balm on the spirit of Mrs. Roberts, and seemed to render the undertaking so delightsully easy, that she sat exhibiting her satisfaction by a smile that became more bland and more broad every moment, despite the increasing asperity of the gay-hearted dowager. During the first part of her ladyship's speech, her ladyship's eyes had been fixed upon the tapestry portrait of her favorite dog, which she was assiduously working in a large frame that stood before her, but at length condescending to raise her eyes to the person she addressed, and whose private business, by the way, she had utterly forgotten, she perceived the strangely inappropriate expression of her countenance, and stopping short for a moment, staring at her with her needle suspended, and with rather an alarming frown upon her brow, she said, “What in the world may you be smiling and simpering at, I should like to know? There is no accounting for difference of tastes, my good madam, but my cousin Sophy and myself, I believe, think this young lady's arrival rather a crying than a laughing matter.” “My dearest Lady Moreton —my dearest Lady Forton " exclaimed the frighten
ed Mrs. Roberts in reply, “I should break my heart—I should indeed!—I am quite sure I should break my heart, if you could either of you think me capable of smiling at what must naturally make you both feel so very far from pleased. I did smile, I am quite aware of that; I did smile, my dear ladies, and the cause for which I smiled was, that my sole and only reason for coming here this morning, was in the hope that I had thought of something which might perhaps relieve you from your disagreeable difficulties about this poor, melancholy-looking young lady. I could not help smiling as I thought that perhaps I might have the exceeding great good luck and happiness of being useful to you.” “How, ma'am " returned Lady Moreton, rather drily. “I confess that I can't very well see what use you are likely to be of to me in this matter.” These words were by no means very encouraging in themselves, but the commentary which Mrs. Roberts' sharp glance caught from the eyes of Lady Forton, was less so still, for they expressed both ridicule and pride with a degree of distinctness which proved them to be very fine eyes indeed. Had poor Mrs. Roberts been as free from embarrassments at that moment as she had been six months or so before, she would probably have grown exceedingly red in the face as she looked and listened, and would have made a sudden and indignant exit, notwithstanding the imposing rank and station of her companions. But now, oor woman, she would as soon have thought of boxing their honorable ears, as of manifesting in the very least degree her annoyance. To Lady Forton indeed she did endeavor to turn a blind eye, but it never entered her head to attempt turning a deaf ear to her more important cousin. Very judiciously changing her own aspect from gay to sentimental, she replied, “I am not at all surprised to hear you say so, Lady Moreton, for few things could appear less likely than that such an idea as I have now called upon you to communicate, should ever have entered my head. But you are not aware, dear lady, I am quite sure that you are not aware, how deeply impressive your manner is, when you describe your own feelings! I saw, and I felt to my fingers' ends, the sort of heavy dragging weight which this unfortunate young lady's arrival had thrown upon you; and when I went home, I could not help saying to myself, again and again, that it was one of the most perverse and unlucky things that ever had happened; for that ninety-nine people out of a hundred might have had the very same thing happen to them, without caring three straws about it; while to your ladyship, it seemed positively like putting an extinguisher upon the very brightest candle in the world.” The simile was a very happy one, and Lady Moreton felt it to be so. She smiled, and nodded at her cousin, till the beautiful flaxen ringlets which depended from beneath her blond cap, danced, as it were, with satisfaction. “That is true, Sophy, isn't it, let who will have said it !” she observed, and then added, “You could not have hit the truth better, my good friend, if you had been King Solomon, or the Queen of Sheba either. . It is an extinguisher, and put out I shall be, as sure as you sit there to say it, unless I can find some means of throwing it away before I am turned to snuff. So now you may go on, if you will, and you need not be afraid to tell us whatever may have come into your head about it. Whether it turns out to be wisdom or folly, it can't do any harm, if we choose to take the trouble of listening to it.” “Heaven forbid I should do any harm, when I really wish to do nothing but good,” replied Mrs. Roberts, with a sort of grave propriety of manner, that seemed to bespeak attention and respect, whether what she were about to say were approved or not. “It has occurred to me, Lady Moreton,” she continued, “that I might, without the slightest inconvenience to myself, be of use to you in this matter. As the mother of two daughters, just introduced into society, I have naturally laid aside all thoughts of amusement for myself, and am devoted wholly and solely to them. This being the case, the having a third young person to watch over, and take into company, would be positively no evil at all. My introductions here, and indeed at every court in Europe, are of the very best, and most influential kind; and as it is our intention to show our children, before marriage shall have clipped their young wings, all that is best worth seeing throughout the fashionable world, we should really consider it rather an advantage than otherwise, to have just such an addition to our party as your niece, Miss Harrington. My girls are still, in the most praiseworthy manner, pursuing their various accomplishments, and it would be an encouragement and pleasure to them,
to have a companion in their studies. . We shall leave Paris on a tour to Baden-Baden in a very few days, after which we shall proceed to Italy; and if your ladyship will intrust your young relation to my care, I shall have much pleasure in undertaking the charge.” Mrs. Roberts ceased, and the ladies Moreton and Forton looked at each other steadily for a minute or two. A twinge of feeling, not very strong indeed, but in which something, a little approaching to a conscientious doubt, made a part, caused this unusual suspension of speech in the elder lady. The younger one was silent, because she chose that her cousin should speak first, and because, in fact, she had no intention of pronouncing any opinion on the subject at all, unless she found it necessary to do so, in order to obtain what she was quite determined should be the final result; such, indeed, being the invariable custom of the Lady Forton, who detested the burden of responsibility, almost as much as she liked having in all things her own way, and never interfered in any of Lady Moreton's arrangements, unless she perceived some reason to fear that they were not precisely such as she approved. Then came the word in good time, which invariably settled the question as she chose that it should be settled. Lady Forton's prodigiously large black eyes were as far as possible from having no speculation in them; in fact, they speculated in all sorts and manners of ways from morning to night; and now they were speculating, or at any rate assisting her to speculate on the meaning of the shadow of doubt, which the fair round face of her cousin exhibited. The opinions of Lad Forton had seldom any of the alloy of doubt in them, and on the present occasion they were so instantaneously and resolutely decided upon, that not all the compunctious meditations of all the aunts in the world could have sufficed to shake them for an instant Lady Forton hated the sight of Bertha Harrington. She hated the sound of her voice. She hated her noiseless movements. She hated her well-descended name. She hated both her present and her probable fortune—for she saw in each and every item something that militated against her own well-being and consequence. Lady Forton had been very beautiful; she was very handsome still, and she clung to this fading remnant of former triumph with a degree of tenacity that might fairly be compar