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from thence to the moment when a morsel | lived here so long, how the colony is getof perspiring ice-pudding is dashed on ting on. Is it getting on at all?” our plate, preparatory to the introduction He laughed, and shrugged his shoul- by Swipes — of that rich old Château ders. “ Don't call me a pessimist,” he Margaux at forty shillings, – every detail said, “but really, I can't say it is.” of those dreadful dinners is familiar to us, Retrograding?" I inquired. their heat, discomfort, and general misery. Well,” he replied, “it depends on
Here, on the contrary, everything was what you call retrogression.” cool and fresh and pleasant. Gorgeous “Because,” said I, “the ordinary Britmasses of roses, pink, yellow, and red, ish idea of a West India colony is a place bordered by slender ferns or delicate lace where planters of enormous wealth live plant, bloomed amid the silver and glass surrounded by happy negroes, perpetually on the table, and filled the room with dancing and singing when they are not their fragrance. Instead of that abomina- working." ble Swipes and his greasy satellites, two My dear sir,” said Mr. S—, "the smart young negroes, in white jackets ideal planter is as extinct as the dodo. I and trousers, waited on us. Swift, noise- know the island pretty well, having lived less, and attentive, they seemed all eyes here upwards of forty years; and with and hands. Did you look round for the the exception of” he mentioned two or anchovy sauce? There was Joey at your three names " there are not a dozen elbow with it. Were you thirsty? Sam sugar-planters in solvent circumstances had your favorite beverage, iced to a on the island. The sugar industry, the nicety, ready in a twinkling.
staple of the island, is simply a thing of Meantime, the talk flowed on. Mrs. the past. I am sorry to say it, but it's Edgeware and Miss - were deeply in- true.” terested about the marriage of a naval "Indeed,” I replied. “I thought the officer with a Jamaica belle, which was labor question, which I suppose is the soon coming off, and at which the young great question ” (“ Only one of them,” lady was to assist as bridesmaid; also said Mr. S-), " had been solved by the about a ball, to be given by the officers coolie importation.”. of the guard-ship. Mr. S
Mr. S and the Mr. S- - laughed. “You'll find plenty judge were discussing the prospects of of people to say so,” he said ; “and persugar and some Jamaican question of haps they believe it. My answer is a land reform; while our hostess, Edge- very practical and prosaic one. ware, and myself were gossiping about were to come over on a visit to me to the natives and their habits.
Trelawney, I'd shew you, in a morning's “It is a great point with them to imitate ride, districts extending for twenty or the whites,” Mrs. said, when we thirty miles, which were formerly valuable were sitting over our coffee ; " and some sugar estates, all abandoned by their owntimes the effect is rather absurd. For ers." instance, a friend of ours, Mrs. M
“Left absolutely derelict, do you mean?" made her housemaid a present of a cast. I asked. off riding-habit and tall hat; and next "Absolutely derelict," he replied;" and Sunday the girl made her appearance in the same process is going on. Day by church with the tall bat stuck on the top day, estate after estate is being abanof a red turban. It was too much for my doned, as not worth keeping.” husband's gravity; and he made me tell “And what becomes of the land ? " I her that in England a hat and turban inquired. were never worn together.”
«In some cases, it is squatted on; in After coffee, we adjourned to the veran- others, it goes to bush ; and in many da, where we were perinitted to smoke, cases the government is taking it up, and while Miss discoursed sweet music selling it out to the people at four or five inside. Mr. S. and I got into conver-pounds an acre. Indeed,” continued Mr. sation as we leaned over the veranda rail. S- “this abandoning of estates by ing, smoking our cigars, and looking out their owners has been attended by most over the starlit bay.
disastrous consequences to the poor peo"I won't imitate our American neigh-ple.” bors," he said, laughing, "and ask you “ How is that?" I asked. what you think of the country.
“Well," he replied, “it happens this “ Thank you much," I replied. “In way. After an estate is abandoned, fact, I am quite puzzled ; and would be somebody assuming to be owner or attoronly too glad to hear from you, who have ney [land-agent) of the property, takes it,
breaks it up into lots, and sells it to the “ The fact is,” said the judge, “ John poor people, putting the money in his Bull is taking a pull at his purse-strings. pocket. Then, fifteen or sixteen years The sums of money spent in the island in afterwards, the owner, or some purchaser former days were enormous. We had a from him, hearing the land has become bishop, four archdeacons, and a numerous worth something, comes back, and ejects clergy, paid by the State. We had a genall the people who have bought. But our eral commanding, a huge staff, and innufriend the judge can tell you more about merable functionaries. All that is a thing this than I can.”
of the past. We are dropping to our “I can,” said the judge. “What Mr.
proper level accordingly.” S- has told you is perfectly true as to “The question is, what our proper level the scandals and hardships of the present will be, and when we will reach it,” said state of affairs. And the reason of it is Mr. S- “It's a dangerous thing atthis, that the law regulating questions as tempting to prophesy; but - given an to the possession of land in this island is island without trade, manufactures, or three centuries old. This law — I'll avoid capital — with the white race decreasing technicals, to spare our fair friends — but and the black increasing — with no upper this law, in force here at the present mo- classes except a knot of salaried officials ment, would in some cases allow an owner - lastly, with an immense extent of land to stay away beyond seas for any time in the hands of government, ready to be les than sixty years; and then, when he sold to the negroes at five pounds an acre did come back, give him ten more years - it's not difficult to guess what we are to bring his action of ejectment. In drifting to.” order to confer a prescriptive right in “ What?" I asked. Jamaica, it is necessary to have had un- Simply,” replied Mr. S-, “to the challenged possession of a piece of land original state of the island before a white for twenty years, and this possession must face was seen here. The island from end be what lawyers call • adverse.'
to end will be covered with a multitude of “ That's á technical, I'm sure,” cried peasant proprietors, each cultivating his Mrs. Edgeware.
one or two acres. Emigration and cli“ Come, come !” said the judge, laugh- matic causes will thin out the few thou. ing. “ You are right, Mrs. Edgeware; it sand whites in the country, and none will is a technical, and a disastrous one for come here to replace them. It will be Jamaica peasants who become purchasers one of the quietest, most orderly, and of land. "It is enough to say, that under most standstill communities on earth. its operation a man might formally buy When the last white is gone, and the last land, pay his money for it, remain twenty- acre bought by a negro, why then five or thirty years in possession, and then Mr. S. paused. be turned out by the absentee owner.
It 66 What then?" said I. is needless to say that the common sense "Why then,” said Mr. S-, laughing, of the British legislature has swept away * John Bull will begin to consider whether the legislative cobweb."
it is worth his while to keep up an army, “You see,” resumed Mr. S- "it of officials, and to spend thousands of was the sugar industry that was the foun- pounds in keeping troops at New-Castle dation of the island's wealth. The collapse to watch Quashee planting yams.” of that, consequent on emancipation; the "And then," said the judge, rising, abolition of protection; the production of “John Bull will pension off liberally that beetroot sugar, and other things, have knot of salaried officials' you mentioned, brought about the collapse of everything Mr. S- And you and I, dean, will else. We have no manufactures - no learn whist, and betake ourselves to Bath trade, except a small trade in cattle and or Cheltenham to end our days. Goodfruit; there is no immigration - 10 influx night, good folks all. Good-night, Mr. O. of capital, and no prospect of either." I am sorry you're leaving us. Let them
“A while ago," I remarked, “when I know at home that we're not quite savages asked you was the island retrograding, up here in our hills ;” and the judge deyou said it depended on what I called parted. retrogression. Now the picture you paint seems very like what I call retrogression."
Still,” said Mr. S-, smiling, are progressing towards peasant-proprie
BOUND. torship, which a great many people think I LAY awake for a long time that night, a very desirable state of things.'
thinking over what Mr. S— had said. 1668
It only confirmed what I had heard before I saw a lot of urchins in the school near from various sources during my stay in Craigton act some dramatic scenes with Jamaica. All the evidence showed me extraordinary spirit. On another occaihat any scheme of white immigration was sion, Charley Edgeware's servants extemout of the question. In several parts, and porized a theatre out of a half-ruined those the healthiest parts of the island, it out-house, and played the opening scenes had been tried, and failed. While the of the first part of “ Henry IV.” They white man going to Jamaica, may with rea- had posters stuck up on the trees about, sonable precautions preserve his health, and actually got tickets printed. We all there is a steady deterioration in his de went up for half an hour; and really, scendants. Nobody who has lived in the considering the difficulties they labored island can fail to notice the languor and under, the affair was a great success. listlessness and want of physique appar- The wild prince was arrayed in red and ent in the Creoles even of the purest white striped knickerbockers, an old scarwhite blood. If, then, this white racelet tunic, and a French képi stuck on the were to die out, was there any chance of back of his woolly head. But it was darkly the blacks bettering their position ? All hinted to me that they had not the faintthat I had heard or seen led me to the est glimmering idea what the speeches conclusion there was none. I know no meant which they recited so glibly. Their instance of any, even the smallest rum- teachers will tell you that up to the age shop, being owned by a black. They of thirteen or fourteen, they manifest very seem totally devoid of the mercantile in- great quickness of apprehension; but stinct. Go into any of the Kingston after that, their mental growth seems to stores. The clerks behind the counters stop. They are as imitative as morkeys, and at the desks are sometimes white, and as vain as peacocks. They imitate nearly always colored, but never black. the English in every way. A negro wedOn the other hand, the heavier_menial ding is a sight to see. I am afraid, by work is always done by blacks. There is the way, that it is the opportunity for disnothing to prevent their rising in the play that it affords, rather than any regard world apparently. A good education is for the sanctity of the tie, that induces within the reach of all, and money in them to marry at all. They have a regucomparatively large sums they can and lar swell breakfast, all sorts of joints, do save. Two generations almost have sweets, wine, fruit, etc. The funny part grown up since emancipation, so that its of this is, that the ordinary Jamaica negro degrading associations have had time to rather disliices meat, preferring a mess of pass away. Yet the Jamaica negro does split peas, rice, and salt fish. “But as the nothing. Living on next to nothing - a whites have meat, so must they. Their negro can live easily on a couple of shil. dresses on such occasions, the women's lings a week -- he saves and saves till he especially, are sometimes irresistibly ludi. buys an acre of provision-ground. If he crous, from the extraordinary jumble of has a grown-up family, he saves and saves colors and materials composing them. I till he can buy another acre, on which saw the major's cook going to a wedding. he plants a son' or daughter. The same He had a black frock-coat, white waistprocess goes on repeating itself ad infi- coat, patent boots, and an enormous bounitum; but I never heard of any instance quet. Over the waistcoat hung a huge of a negro attempting anything more eyeglass, through which, I need hardly than this. The younger men having ac: say, he could not see. So that all the quired this provision-ground, spend all difference apparently, between the negro their money on clothes.
of the past and the present is, that the It must be said in their favor that they latter can read and wears clothes. Havare a quiet, orderly, sober race; I never, ing come to which conclusion, I fell during several months' stay in Jamaica, asleep. saw a drunken negro. They are religious All my luggage being sent on early, I too; and their religious tendencies are started down hill with Charley's groom sometimes a nuisance, inasmuch as a next morning at half past six, having bid favorite spiritual exercise of theirs is farewell — a long one I am afraid to to assemble together and keep roaring my kind host and hostess. For the last Messrs. Moody and Sankey's hymns all time I crawled down the rough bridlenight. But as to ideas of progress, they paths, dismissing the groom at the bottom have none. Yet in some respects they of the hill with a gratuity which will enare intelligent enough. Especially they able him to buy the most splendid waisthave considerable dramatic powers. Il coat in Kingston. For the last time I
bumped over the uneven road, and reached | falls away slowly toward the Chesil Bank, Kingston about an hour before the “ Mo- while on the dim horizon the white rock selle" – for it was she — was to start. I of Portland stands like a huge wedge of had secured my berth beforehand, and limestone against the faint skyline. The Allen was there to welcome me to my old thick end of the wedge turns toward the place. Shortly, the hawsers were cast off land, and rises some five hundred feet in and the great screw began to throb, and I sheer height; the thin end tapers off to
on my way home again. As we sea-level in the direction of the open passed Port-Royal, a voice from behind channel, and prolongs itself under th accosted me. Stranger," it said, “I waves for many miles in the dangerous reckon Jamaiker is a one-horse consarn.” Race of Portland — a rocky ledge better It was
an American gentleman who known than loved by homeward-bound made the observation, and I am afraid ships. The cliffs in this direction have I agreed with him.
all lost their top layer of chalk by the wearing action of water, and only show the lower tiers of sandstone covering the lias
- an arrangement which has secured
for the tallest among them the name of From The Cornhill Magazine. Golden Cap. But to the west the white LYME REGIS; A SPLINTER OF PETRIFIED chalk still peeps out picturesquely above
the whole mass, through green trees and In the very deepest bend of the great broken undercliff, though its advanced West Bay which sweeps round in a wide shoulders hide the view along the shore arc from the grey Bill of Portland to the towards Seaton, and it is only in clear red coast of Devonshire near Torquay, weather that we can catch a glimpse of nestles the little forgotten borough of the distant Devonshire coast, including Lyme Regis. A quiet wee town is Lyme, the long promontory of Berry Head and set at the bottom of a tiny valley, where a the dim but bold outline of the Start. miniature river cuts its way through soft Here at Lyme the present writer generlias cliffs into the sleepy sea. On the ally poses as an idyllic Melibæus through three landward sides the hills shut in the the summer months, accompanied of town, so that every road which leaves it course by Phyllis and all the little Delias in any direction mounts at once a few or Damons. It is indeed a strictly buhundred feet or so to the level of the colic place, almost six miles from the downs above. These downs consist of nearest railway, and as yet unassailed by three different rocks, a soft blue lias be-school-boards or women-suffrage associalow, a yellow sandstone belonging to the tions.
I the Melibaus in greensand formation midway, and a grey question — depend largely upon the ish white chalk on top of all. Once upon neighboring walks for my mental stimulaa time (as fairy-tales and men of science tion, I have naturally learned to love say) the downs stretched all along the every field, path, and village for ten miles coast for many miles at a uniform height around. Moreover, being (amongst other of some six hundred feet, and showed on things) of an antiquarian turn of inind, I their seaward escarpment all three layers take an interest everywhere in the local of blue mud, yellow sandstone, and white names and the history which they contain. chalk. Gradually, however, the water has For every local name has of course a worn a channel for the little river Lym meaning, and it was first given for a defithrough the two upper strata, and at the nite reason. Thus we may regard names bottom of the small amphitheatre thus in some sort as a kind of philological fosformed stands the existing town of Lyme. sils, and we shall find that to hunt out Similar channels have been worn further their derivation and origin is not less into the east by the rivers Char and Brit, teresting to the mind (and far less rough and at their seaward extremities are built on the clothes) than to hunt for anmonthe towns of Charmouth and Bridport. ites and saurian bones in the lias cliffs Lesser valleys, again, break the line of around us. I propose, therefore, to take cliff in between these three inain open- you all, my kindly readers, for a few walks ings. So now, if you stand on Lyme in the country about Lyme, examining as Cobb — as we call the old stone pier — we go the names of the various points we the view to eastward embraces an undu- traverse ; and I hope to show you that lating coast, which dips down into fre. these splinters of petrified history are far quent hollows and rises again into bold more interesting, even to the casual obbills, till at last the whole country-side server, than you would be at all likely to
suspect at first sight. I choose Lyme | stock on the Culm, and Tavistock on the merely because I happen to know the Tavy. In each of these cases the river country well; but if I once set you upon name is Keltic, while the termination is the right track, you will be able easily to mostly English. But it is not often that look up the local names of your own the river name alone (in an oblique case) neighborhood in the same manner, and forms the whole title of the town, as at you will find the occupation, I trust, both Lyme. We have, however, a correspondamusing and instructive.
ing instance in the first recorded cognoFirst of all, a word as to the name of men borne by the neighboring village of Lyme Regis itself. The little river which Charmouth, which figures in the English has scooped out the whole combe or val. Chronicle under the form “æt Carrum." ley bears the name of Lym. This name, that is to say, at the Char. like those of almost all our rivers, is not As to the second half of the title, Regis, English but Keltic or Welsh. When the it is of course ecclesiastical or legal English conquerors — the “ Anglo-Sax- Latin, and signifies that Lyme was a royal ons,"
as old-fashioned history-books manor from the days of Edward 1. We foolishly call them — first came to Brito get the same termination in Bere Regis ain, they found the country in the posses- and Melcomb Regis; while the translated sion of the Romanized Welsh, whom the form occurs in King's Lynn - a Norfolk same history-books call “the ancient town often confounded with the little Dor. Britons.” Naturally they learned the setshire borough. names of all the physical features, such as The deeply-cleft valley of the Lym conrivers, hills, and mountains, from those tains one other village, besides Lyme among the Welsh whom they subdued in Regis itself — a picturesque group of war and kept as slaves. Many even of houses higher up the stream, nestling bethe towns still bear their Romanized or low a pretty grey church on the hillock, and Welsh titles, more or less disguised, as in known as Uplyme. In modern English the case of the great colonies London, we generally speak of higher and lower Lincoln, and Chester; but rivers invaria- towns, but in the old type of the language bly retain their old Keltic forms. This many other forms were prevalent. Such particular word, Lym, means in Keltic a are High Wycombe, Over Darwen, Under torrent, and might be aptly applied to the Marston, and Nether Compton. A Nethlittle hill-fed stream before the modern erbury occurs in this very district, near cuts, and weirs, and milldams obstructed Beaminster. But one of the commonest its impetuous course. When the ad-west-country modes of expressing comvanced outposts of the English reached parative height is that made by simply this utmost corner of Dorsetshire, they prefixing the word up. Thus, along the would naturally ask the Welsh, by signs or river Oiter, above Ottery, we meet with interpreter, what was the name of the the village of Up-Ottery; while on the little stream, and receive as an answer Wey, above Weymouth, stands Upwey. that it was called Lym. And Lym it has So, too, on the Lym, above Lyme, comes accordingly been ever since.*
Uplyme; while the main town itself is Amongst the records of Glastonbury sometimes described in old charters as Abbey is a charter of King Æthelstan, Nether-Lym-super-Mare. To the best of which grants to his namesake, Æthelstan my knowledge, this distinctively westthe thegn, six manses “æt Lyme," — that country mode of comparison by means of is to say, at the Lym. From this usage up does not extend to any of the counties grew up the modern name Lyme, just as east of Wiltshire. Pfyn has grown from the Latin phrase If we start from the wee parade at ai Fines, or Pontefract from ad Pontem Lyme on a bright summer's day we may Fractum. All through the west country, walk across to Charmouth by the cliffs names of towns are very apt to hang upon and find it a delightful excursion. The those of rivers ; such, for example, are pleasantest plan is to avoid the highway Axminster and Axmouth on the Axe. and take a leafy cartroad up the hill, Exeter and Exmouth on the Exe, Brid- which still bears the name of Colway port on the Brit, Collumpton and Culm- Lane. Perhaps, if you are a town-bred
man, you will be astonished to learn that * I owe acknowledgments for the general method not only every lane and every farm, but pursued to Mr. Isaac Taylor's “Words and Places," even every field in England, has its own and for some special local facts to Roberts's; History name, and that most of these go back in of Lyme," and Pulman's “Book of the Axe." many cases I have endeavored to correct what I believe time far beyond the date when Domesday
Book was compiled. This farm on the
to be their errors.