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Fifth Series, Volumo XXXVII.
No. 1970. — March 25, 1882.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Fight Dollars, remitted directly to the Publishers, the Living Age will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.
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Single Numbers of l'HE LIVING AGE, 18 cents.
FOR LIFE AND DEATH.
We're rough and stern, we on the seaboard “Naught to be done” – eh? It was that he
And can't forget, or smooth a rankling
wound. The doctor, as you stopped him at the door? Nay, never try to smile and shake thy head,
Come close; there's just one thing left to be I could ha' told thee just as well afore.
said, I haven't lived these thirty year to want
Before I'm dumb forever, underground. Parsons or women telling what is nigh, When the pulse labors and the breath is scant, Last night they watched the lifeboat driven And all grows dim before the glazing eye.
The rocket battling vainly with the blast, I felt that something gave here, at my heart,
While the good barque, amid the roar and In that last tussle, down there on the Scar.
wrack, Nay, never cry, fond Jassie as thou art,
Drove headlong – struck — and lay there Thou wilt do fine without me – better far.
hard and fast. Thou'st been a good and patient wife to me
They neither saw nor heeded; as the flash Sin' that spring day, last year, when we were
Of cold blue fire lit all, above, below, wed.
The French flag flying o'er the whirl and I never meant so cold and strange to be.
crash, Come, an' I'll tell thee. Sit here by my bed, “ Louise, Dunkerque,” the letters on her
prow. So, where the sunshine rests upon thy hair. It shows almost as smooth and bright as I saw, plunged, fought, and reached the sinkhers,
ing bark, The girl I wooed in Dunkerque, over there
The old hot poison fierce in every vein, Fie, how the thought the slackening life. Seized on two sailors, shrieking in the dark, blood stirs !
Bore them to land, and turned to swim Oh, wild black eyes, so quick to flash and fill ! again.
Oh, rich red lips, so ripe for kiss and vow! Clasping the rigging yet one man I found; Did not your spell work me enow of ill,
I caught him, struggled on; the beach was That you must haunt and vex me even now?
“ Louise !" he gasped, and 'mid the roar
around, I swore, as we drove out into the gale,
I knew the voice last heard on Dunkerque And staggering down mid-channel went the Pier.
boat, Never at Dunkerque Pier to furl my sail, While I and the old Lion kept afloat:
The murderer's lust surged to the throbbing
heart, The pier where she and her French lover laughed
The murderer's cunning loosed the saving
hand. At the poor trusting fool who had his due ; Quick though his hand flew to his keen knife's 'Twas but to let him go; I'd done my parthaft,
Praised and avenged! Why, thus 'twere The English fist was yet more quick and But she — No cloud on her bright life
well to land. true.
An' I could ward it; love and hate at strife She and her beaten sweetheart, do they prate A moment, then, snatched from the breaker's Yet of her triumph ? Let them, an' they crest, please.
I dragged him, stunned and bleeding, back I shall know naught about it, lying straight
Somehow I hurt myself, and so it's over,
And better so for all. Thou'lt rear the lad pass, Thou wilt forget thy stormy April days.
Nor tell him all the wrong his mother hau; And sometimes — for thou'rt kind — when
stars are out Thou'rt young and bonnie still, my wench. In the green country, where no tempests Thou'lt make
blow, A happy wife yet. Choose some quiet chap Thou'lt say, “Thy father had his faults, no Who'll love the little 'un for thy sweet sake,
doubt, And bear thee to some inland home, may- But still, he died to save his bitterest foe." hap.
All The Year Round.
From Blackwood's Magazine. moneyed minority of the helpless middle ROMANCE IN BUSINESS.
class went in perpetual terror of violence There is more romance in the world and exactions. In the way of personal than ever there was, though it changes adventure, think what yarns the forecasits aspects and becomes popularized as tle men in the Phænician fleets must have society grows older. Any keen-sighted had to spin, when, after their interminable bystander at one of the great London rail. cruises to Tarshish and elsewhere, they way stations can hardly doubt it, as he came home with their holds full of apes watches the crowded morning trains dis- and ivory. Everything seen by those charging their loads on the bustling plato primitive navigators and their successors forms, and traces the deep-worn signs of was new and strange: ruthless savages the never-ending struggle for existence on were everywhere in waiting for them on faces sharpened by intelligence, that are the inhospitable coasts they skirted withsickly, anxious, or excited. And what a out a compass; monsters were known to freight of hopes and cares, of doubts and lurk in the currents and whirlpools of the eager ambitions, is carried out of port in ocean; and rumor, distorted by unfamiliar each ocean steamer that puts forth from tongues, magnified mysterious perils till our shores for America or the colonies ! the wildest tales took form and substance. Material might be found in the feelings As to the feats of the seamen of antiq. or passions of the passengers — to say uity, fancy might have to fill in the notling of the actual stories of the older meagre outlines supplied by sacred or of them for any number of sensational secular writers; but if we leave the hazes studies of character by such an analyst of of semi-mythical story for the adventures human nature as George Eliot. The emi- of the Middle Ages, we emerge into the grants who go abroad to seek their fortunes clear light of history. The Italians, sucare of all ranks; and the more ignorant or ceeding the Greeks and their Roman unsophisticated they may happen to be, ancestors, have inherited the empire of the more apprehensive they may feel of the seas. We see the men of Pisa and the unknown that lies before them; while Amalfi, the Venetians and the Genoese, enterprise goes hand in hand with educa- fitting out expedition after expedition for tion, and the great majority of the middle the gorgeous East, storming cities, setclasses are forced into a battle of life in tling colonies, making wars and alliances which the prizes are to the intelligent, the with kings and emperors, — and all, be it enduring, and the fortunate. Most of remembered, in the way of trade. Chive them, it is true, inust be content to scrape alrous soldiers, like the “blind old Danalong as best they can. Yet even careers dolo,” or Embriaco, the dashing crusader that are apparently the most uneventful of Genoa, might be carried away by the are often sufficiently checkered; while thirst for fame, and seek to emulate the to counterbalance some brilliant triumphs, exploits of the martial heroes of feudal. there are failures which are simply unmit- ism. But it was the policy of their States igated tragedy.
that furnished them with the means of As for the stirring romance of the olden fighting, and that policy was steadily time, it chiefly took the form of warlike directed to opening up profitable markets. adventures. Yet even then there were The Genoese in particular, warlike as striking exceptions, and the story of trad. they showed themselves, were traders par ing under difficulties from the earliest excellence — so much so, that when the ages might furnish abundant material for fanaticism of the Crusades, fanned by a most fascinating work. Great gains by the preaching of zealots, was plunging commerce were only to be got at extreme half western Europe into insolvency, they personal risk. Any peaceful trader with never lost their heads for a moment. the reputation of wealth was likely enough Peter the Hermit would have thundered to lead the life of the lucky digger among to heedless ears had he set up his pulpit the roughs and refugees of a mining in a Genoese piazza. They sent their camp in the Sierra Nevada; and the l Meets to Palestine, it is true, but only to
carry freights of Crusaders; and the lead- fond of indulging. Then, where there ers who chartered their galleys had to was a Jewish colony in a city, the inhabipay handsomely, either in hard cash, ortants were locked up like wild beasts in concessions of mercantile privileges. So their quarter after certain hours. Nor it was all in the way of business that they was the humiliating confinement altohired out the famous crossbowmen who gether unwelcome, since in a measure it served against the Montforts in Brittany, assured their safety. Yet every now and and fought for the unfortunate French then would come an outbreak of popular monarchy at Crecy.
fanaticism, when the mob insisted on We have merely indicated some of the having their share in the spoil, which was most stirring episodes in mediæval trade; ordinarily monopolized by their betters. and its chronicles of active adventure are Any improbable fable of Jewish bigotry scarcely so thrilling as the stories of sus served for the pretext; and the general tained endurance by money-getters. The form of these fables showed that churchwhole history of the Jews is sensational, men were more or less at the bottom of from the time they were singled out as the movement. It was a Christian child the chosen people ; but nothing concern- stolen and sacrificed with horrible rites, ing them seems more wonderful than the or an insult to the sacred wafer that had tenacity of resolution with which they been sanctified in transubstantiation. would persist in growing rich, though The ready credence given to those matheir reputation for wealth and their help. lignant reports showed the horror with lessness must have made their lives well. which the infidel Jew was regarded ; and nigh intolerable. The Jew had no protec- yet the people who held bim practically at tion from the Church, which was almost their mercy, had more substantial grievthe sole shelter of the feeble from the ances against him. For he throve by tyranny of the strong. On the contrary, usury, more than by ordinary trade; and the superstition of the age, which other. we may be sure that his terms were suffiwise put some check on violence and ciently extortionate. In the first place, exactions, was all enlisted against him. having monopolized the mediæval loan and Kings curried favor with the clergy by discount business, he could deal with the plundering the common victim, and, by impecunious very much as he pleased. consecrating a share of the spoil, made He knew that he made an enemy when he easier terms with their confessors. Each placed a loan, and the speculations on rapacious baron and robber knight was which he staked his life were risky enough always on the look out to lay hands on the to justify him in charging usurious interwandering Israelitish trader, and to hold est. The acquisitive and greatly enduring him to ransom. If the Jew were rich, he race had just as much precarious protechad to bleed his money-bags freely before tion as it chose to pay for; it had to the castle gates were unbolted for him. resign itself to a fluctuating percentage of He might be penniless and an object of sacrifices; and the perpetual apprehencharity 10 bis kinsfolk, but no one be. sion of ruthless exactions must have been lieved his asseverations of poverty: he more trying to covetousness than the bitwas put to the torture all the same, tillter reality. Yet they persisted in the possibly he expired in agony. The scene worship of Mammon with the same conin the dungeons of Torquilstone, which stancy with which they clung to their Scott has depicted so vividly, was no im- crced, and suffered for the sake of their aginary one. in the cities, the Jew had money with the sublime heroism of mar. to wear the meanest clothing when he tyrs. went abroad; though probably at family Passing on to times comparatively festivals, when the house was shut up, his recent, we have the romantic perils of the women were dressed in the most costly southern trade, when Moorish corsairs garments and jewellery. So be had not swept the Mediterranean, and when the even that vain satisfaction of display in captive merchant or mariner had to lanwhich his enfranchised descendants are guish in captivity till his friends could
forward the amount of his ransom; when | tions of some family of landed gentry with the ailing succumbed to the hardships of the gold that had been stained with the the bagnio, and the strong who were unre- blood of Indians and Spaniards, or with deemed were chained to the benches of the more infamous gains of the cold. the galleys, and had to face the Christian blooded slave-trade. shot while mercilessly flogged to their
But modern joint-stock enterprise may tasks. Many a fiction that falls far short be said to have been fairly floated with the of the reality has been composed on the gigantic bubble companies of the eighmiseries of these floating bells; on the teenth century. Strangely enough, the desperate sea-fights of the pirates with sums risked in the infancy of those underthe cruisers of the Christian powers, and takings were relatively out of all proporthose that were manned by the warlike tion to anything that has been witnessed knights of Malta ; on the scenes that were in our own times, which are generally bewitnessed when the church-bells and the lieved to be the days of speculation par signal-fires announced a descent on some excellence. Nor, so far as the romance of unguarded bay of the Mediterranean. widespread suffering and ruin was conNot that the Grand Turk and his Moorish cerned, are they ever likely to be surtributaries had a monopoly of piratical passed. The Scotch, though energetic trading. The buccaneers, who succeeded and enterprising enough, have a wellthe gentlemen adventurers, and were the earned reputation for “canniness," — yet precursors of the modern privateersmen, Scotland actually went mad over the Dacalled themselves traders after a fashion. rien scheme; and the difficulties interThe money they invested in swift-sailing posed in the way of the enterprise, only ships brought them in great profits and urged the Scots to foolhardy and desperquick returns, though the risks were pro- ate persistence in it. Disowned by the portionate. With a courage worthy of king who had granted their charter; innobler objects, they made it their business trigued against by his servile represento seize the harvests that others had gath- tatives abroad, who closed the foreign ered in. In their own wild way, like the bourses and our colonial markets to them; vindictive Frenchman De Montbar, they deserted by the wealthy subscribers in set up for redressers of wrong and minis. England, Holland, and the Hanseatic cit. ters of righteous vengeance; and so they ies, – they still pressed forward the Daspeculated in the capture of Spanish gal. rien venture on their own account, sending leons, and of the strongly fortified sea- expedition after expedition on forlorn ports that were the treasure-houses of the hopes to a pestilential territory infested Indies. And some of these early adven- by savages and menaced by a powerful turers may be said to have been among civilized enemy. We may measure the the original promoters of joint-stock enter- hopes that were doomed to crushing disprise. Not only did they club their appointment by the fact that half the coin means to fit out their ships, associating then circulating in the northern kingdom their crews with them on the co-operative had passed into the coffers of the ill-fated system, but they found sleeping partners company; while the mortality among the among respectable merchants, who were miserable adventurers shows figures still content to pocket a handsome though un- more melancholy. certain percentage, while closing their
When Patterson dazzled his countryeyes to questionable proceedings. Non people with visions of his Darien Él olet was the British Solomon's “most Dorado, be addressed himself to their princely answer " when informed by Mas- intelligence as well as to their cupidity. ter George Heriot that the money pro.The site of the proposed colony had com. cured for his necessities came from an manding commercial advantages; and had Alsatian usurer of indifferent repute. it not been for an outbreak of English Non olet was the motto of many a decent jealousy, the scheme might have been a church-goer in the good cities of London grand success. Even the English“South or Bristol when he built up the founda-' Sea bubble” had a certain solid founda