Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

17 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

. ....-LITERARY EXTRACTS,

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Dyfynnu
Rhannu

LITERARY EXTRACTS, STOWAWAYS.—" I am not given to losing my temper," said one captain to the writer, but I con- fess that when on one voyage we found that no fewer than fourteen men had managed to stow themselves away below, I felt inclined to give them all a ducking, and said so." This was the captain of an Atlantic liner, a man to whom the stowaway is a perpetual nuisance. Though the strictest Match is kept to prevent his getting on board, it is rare for a trip to be made without one or two specimens of the dead-head fraternity being ed. willy-nilly, free. Of course, this is not done entirely without connivance on the part of somebody on board the ship. The stokers are not infrequently the guilty parties. With thbil or others' aid the stowaway gets down into the hold and finds a dark corner in which to secrete himseli until the vessel is at sea. If then he is discovered and set to work. he does not mind. It is not wori he is afraid of, but the being without work, and the bread that accompanies it. When it is considered what an enormous thing an Atlantic liner is, and how many dark places there are in hei vast interior, it is not surprising to hear that scores of men during the course of a year get free passages across the herring pond on one ship or another-and this though a steamer never leaves port without a search being made to see that no unauthorised person is on board. Many are discovered in bunkers and other such places, and, of course, carefully con- ducted on shore; but not a few manage to elude detection, and, of course, once away from land little is to be feared from discovery. There is a curious ,notion prevalent among some sailors; it is that a stowaway is a lucky passenger to carry. Asked once why it was, an old salt answered that he never heard of 'a ship being lost that had a stowaway on board. Of course, he had an instance in point to relate. It was to the effect that a stowaway was dis- covered in hiding on an outgoing vessel at the last moment and ejected. Shaking his fist at the cap- tain, the would-be voyager cried: I'm glad you've turned me out of your rotten ship; neither she nor you will live to see Christmas Day, while I shall." The prophecy proved a true one. The vessel went down within a week of sailing, and only the second officer and a few men were saved. One wonders how such a superstition arose, if superstition it can be called. Does it arise from the notion-old as the hills-that the unfortunate are ever under the special protection of heaven, and that it is particularly displeasing to the providence that watches over such waifs if anything be done to thwart their wishes ? The foolish, the blind, chil- dren, and drunkards are proverbially said to be under such peculiar guardianship and care. Perhaps, henceforth, we must add the stowaway to the list.— Cassell's Magazine. A ZULU BRIDEGROOM.—The daughter ofa Zulu in comfortable circumstances does not leave her father's kraal without much pomp and many queer rites, which doubtless are held by her people in high esti- mation. It may be noted, too, that the marriage customs of these dusky Africans are subject to innu- merable variations, each tribe having its own pecu- liarities. Hairdressing. by the way, is an important feature both to the bride and bridegroom, and the attention paid to the coiffure of the pair would shame the; performance of a West-end hairdresser who arranges a bride's locks and fastens the orange- blossom. A cone-shaped erection, for instance, is the lawful coiffure of a Zulu wife, and this cannot be legally worn till the marriage rites are duly completed. Save for the all-important cone, the head of a Zulu bride is closely shaved, an assegai being used for the purpose whilst, as soon as a youth is of marriageable age; his head is shorn to leaveja ring round the scalp, and then liberally besmeared with fat and ochre, without which unguents no Zulu would feel fittingly decorated for his bride. When the bridegroom-elect has been shorn of of all his hair save the wool on the crown, which is trained in a circular shape and some four inches in diameter, a ring is sewn to this, of gum and charcoal; in this the Zulu thrusts long snuff spoons, needles, and small utility articles, and is very proud of his ring, which is the badge of manhood.- Cassell's Magazine. GOOD BUT COUNTERFEIT. — Bank cashiers have been much troubled of late by the large quantity of good silver bad money that is in circulation," re- marked an experienced servant of a well-known banking company the other day. What do I mean by good bad money' ? Why, coins made of genuine silver, which yet are false and counterfeit' according to the Coinage Acts, because they were never issued from the Royal Mint and therefore are not' of the Queen's current silver coin.' They are naturally very difficult to detect. Weight, lustre, hardness, and ring are all correct. The counterfeits can only be distinguished from minted money by slight imper- fections in the milling and a little difference of colour. The commonest coins among this false issue are crowns, half-crowns, and florins. The reason for this fraud is, of course, to be found in the present low price of silver. It can be turned into coins at so small a cost that the owners of the unlaw- ful mint have a handsome margin left for profit. If they were caught, however, the goodness of their counterfeits would not save them from the felon's dock. Cassell's Saturday Journal. Is PHOTOGRAPHY AMONG THE FINJII ARTS?—The only difficulty that arises in this manner of using photography is that the operator must be a man with a double training he must be consumately skilful in the management of his apparatus, or his best in- tentions will be defeated by the inefficiency of his mechanical methods; and he must have a thorough knowledge of those preliminaries of the painter's practice, selection and compo- sition. Life is, perhaps, too short for the same individual to combine both essentials m equal pro- portions and, as a consequence, the history of photography is full of examples of admirable artists who did not know how to record the things they felt, and of excellent mechanicians who had nothing to ex- press. Probably the best chance of obtaining artistic results is to be found in the joint effort of two people, one with a fairly intimate acquaintance with pictorial details, and the other a practised and expe- rienced photographic worker. If they are in sym- pathy and understand each other's aims, they Can hope to evolve something that will be purely a pro- duction of the camera and yet show really earnest consideration of what is important in picture- making. Whether what would come from such a partnership could ever be raised to the level of Fine Art, it is not easy to say but, at any rate, something is possible which might be presented for criticism to people who would not accept either the manipulated and laboured print, or the bold statement of obvious facts that lacks all trace of the aesthetic intention.— Alfred Lys Baldry, in the Magazine of Art for March. SOME STRANGE DONATIONS,-It is well-known and pleasing fact that several millions of pounds are annually devoted, throughout the kingdom, to the purposes of public charity, but few people are aware to what a grest extent charitable gifts in kind are nowadays sent to philanthropic institutions. These donation vary in value from a few pence to hun- dreds of pounds and although the greater number consist of ordinary articles which are easily disposed of, yet some most extraordinary gifts are frequently re- ceived, of which the outside public hears little. Quite recently two mummified hands-one with the fore- arm attached-both authoritatively stated to be over 3000 years old, were sent to the Church Army by a West-end physician, who brought them from Egypt, and they will doubtless be the means of an appreci- able accession to the funds of the organisation when disposed of. The Salvation Army also receives some curious articles at times. Jewellery of various kinds often finds its way to the Headquarters, and some little time ago a deaf-and-dumb convert presented, a perfect model in cork of one of the barracks, shoe- ing the soldiers marching in and the roughs gathered around whilst a travelling showman who recently joined the Army begged to be allowed to hand the officers his stock-in-trade, which included two re- markable-looking effigied used in his ventriloquial entertainments. The most singular donations re- ceived by the Army, however, are presented at the harvest festivals. In addition to fruit, flowers, and vegetables, presents of live stock are aft en made which are not always acceptable. For instance, at one place a calf was gieen, and was accommodated in a temporary stall on the platform. But it did not appear to enjoy the service. Whenever the band played, it made such a terrible noise that eventually it bad to be escorted to a* quiet corner outside. Birds of many descriptions have also joined in these services and a Russian cat which was presented on such an occasion kept up harvest celebrations during the night, we are told, by devouring a pound of beef sausages, which repre- sented another, though humbler, gift. At Chester recently a live donkey was led up four flights of stairs to the barracks, and handed over as a free-will offering. When the service concluded, it was dis- covered to be impossible for the animal to walk down again and, to use the words of the officer, they had to tie the thing up in a knot, wrap it up in a sack, and lower it gently and gracefully over the banisters!" We may hope that the patient animal did not suffer any ill effects from his attendance at the service.— From" Curious Charitable Gifts," in the Quiver. THBIITY WOMEN.-It seems odd that thrifty women are so often of the nagging tort. IT i8 because money-loving must always influence the dis- position towards hardness ? But then, one may be thrifty from far better reasons than mere love of money. Perhaps it is just in the differeilceof motive that the solution lies. Hoardipg and scraping for one's children should not harden the heart of the hoarder and KJAPW. But does it DeTer ?-Yr.. Humphry, •PHJJ CZAR AXD THE DOLLs.-Everybody knows the story of the wonderful Paris dolls carried by the late Monsieur Faure to the little Grand Duchess Olga when he went to St. Petersburg. Now comes the story of the reception given to the dolls by the Czar himself. The baby grand duchess was not more fascinated than her august father with these extra- ordinary dolls, which carried on a conversation as if between mother and child. After the Princess had spent an hour in their society the nurse was obliged to take her to bed, and the Emperor was left alone with the two clever artificial ladies. In an adjoining room the Empress, Monsieur Faure, and some ladies and gentlemen of the Court were talking, when suddenly a strange sound, like that of an infernal machine, was heard, followed by a loud exclamation. Everybody rushed to see what was the matter. There was the Czar, safe and sound, but with a dismal face, looking at the dolls, which he had partly undressed to find out the secrets hidden in their bosoms, while the dolls were chattering away as if they would never stop. The gentle Empress quite lost her temper. Snatching up the carpeted board on which the ladies were standing, she gave it to a gentleman near her. Please take it away," she cried. It is too bad that the Emperor spoils every- thing he touches!" But the Czar looked very penitent, and the situation was so funny, she could not help laughing. You see how it is," said the Emperor. I am not even permitted to talk to my own daughter's dolls." At this sally there was a general laugh, ard peace was restored. THEN AND Now.-Food for the body, food for the mind, beauty for the eye, music for the ear, are far more plentifully and cheaply provided for us all now than in the days that some of us remember; and all the while, too, the servitude of labour (take the word servitude for all it means) has been lessening in every direction. Though grey heads are the conse- quence of 1899, it was worth while being born in those times (in the early thirties, say), to know and to feel every day a difference so much to the good. It is a much greater difference than young people born in the fifties and after can very well believe, and in nothing is it so great as in the bettered con- dition, the fuller opportunities, the wider admission of poor men to the comforts and minor luxuries of life in every kind.—Frederick Greenwood. SHYLOCK AMONG THE ANIMALS. A student and recorder of the folk-lore of the Indians of Brazil has found current among these people a story which is a very curious and amusing variant of the Shake- spearean story of the Merchant of Venice." It re- lates that once the monkey and the jaguar met. The jaguar had a bunch of luscious plantains which the monkey craved. Please give me some plantains," he said. All right," said the jaguar, I will give you the plantains provided you catch a fawn for me." It's a bargain," answered the monkey. But," said the jaguar, if you don't get the fawn, you must let me bite a mouthful out of you." "Agreed," said the mon- key. The monkey took and ate the plantains, and forgot all about the fawn. One day the jaguar met the monkey, and said What about that fawn you were going to catch for me ?" Oh, I forgot about it," said the monkey. "Then I will take the pay for the plantains out of your hide," said the jaguar. "You can't do that unless the peccary gives the judgment," said the monkey. The peccary is the umpire among these animals. The peccary was called in, and, after hearing the evidence, said It seems all right enough, only this: How am I to make out what is the exact size of a jaguar's mouthful, and also, where is he to bite? I think the matter will have to be referred to the big snake." The big snake, noted for his wisdom, took the matter under consideration, and finally pronounced judg- ment, which was that he would have to swallow the monkey, the jaguar, and the peccary. This judgment he proceeded to execute on the spot, and did execute 80 far as the jaguar and the peccary were concerned but the monkey, being nimble and a great climber. escaped by running up a forest vine that would not bold the snake. TRIUMPH OF DUTY.—" Men," said Sir Colin Camp- bell, as that thin red line," now historic, prepared to receive the Russian cavalry, men, where you fall you must lie until the band corps picks you up. If any man leaves the ranks to help a wounded comrade, I'll post his name on the parish church. The men were Highlanders, and posting on the church door meant disgrace throughout the parish. Every laddie and lassie would turn from a posted soldier. That remark would have been superfluous to two loving brothers in Chaplain Trumbull's regiment. He tells the story in his War Memories of a Chaplain." The brothers were moving forward in a charge near Kinston, North Carolina one of them fell dead. shot through the heart. His brother, with a cry, threw himself on the body. Then as his comrades advanced he rose, took his place in the ranks and went on in the charge. Patriotism triumphed over natural affection. On the James River, a Union soldier while in the firing line was shot through the body. An officer, seeing that the man had but a little time to live, called to two soldiers to carry him to a shady place. "No, no, colonel!" said the dying man. "That would take two men from the front, and every man is needed now. I can just as well die here." And die there he did. What surpassing love for their country and ours," comments Chaplain Trumbull, was that of these tender-hearted, brave-souled sol- diers I" A SELECT ACADEMY POR DANCING.—"How They Dance in London is the title of an amusing article by Mr. Pett Ridge that appears in the Windsor Maga- zine. The real enjoyment of dancing is seen at the Saturday and Monday select quadrille assemblies held at a public hall under the direction of Mr. Jas. Turveydrop. Single tickets, one shilling; double tickets, to admit lady and gent, one shilling and six- pence. Efficient band provided. The newest valses taught. A juvenile class every Wednesday afternoon, conducted by Miss Turveydrop (late of the principal Provincial Theatres. A modern Taglioni,' vide Press). Patrons arrive at Mr. Turveydrop's hall on Saturday evenings, at half-past eight, by tram or by 'bus. Gentlemen carry slippers in brown paper par- cels, and a buttonhole is fixed inside their hat; ladies, bright-eyed and expectant, in long cloaks, and bearing fans, trip up the steps and separate there to meet again a few minutes later in the hall, where other couples are already waiting on the rout seats, and .where Miss Turveydrop, who is a little thin, perhaps, and a little old but very pleasant, flutters about in yellow, like a restless bird, chirrup- ing her welcomes. At the entrance are threatening notices: Gentlemen are requested to wear dark clothes.' And another 'It is requested that no singing .be indulged in.' The first rule is not univirsdly obeyed, for one young patron is in a ligin tweed suit, but, as compen- sation, he wears a white dress tie and new brown gloves. When the first quadrille is started (Miss Turveydrop playing with pronounced emphasis the piano, a sleepy man the violin, and Mrs. Turveydrop the harp) it is soon obvious that the second rule also is a bye-law that is not strictly enforced. Because the lancers is a medley of comic songs, it is impossible for the young men who are humorously minded to refrain from singing, as Mr. Turveydrop, in the centre of the room, shouts: Ladies' chain 1' I'm a capting in the army, Oh, yes I am. yes I am Folks may think I'm somewhat barmy, Perhaps I am, perhaps I am. Although I'm somewhat passy, I'm a good Salvation lassie, And 11 There are cliques at the Shilling Saturdays as de- finitely ring-fenced as in more expensive society, and when a youth who helps his father in the shop slides up to a lady whose father goes to the City, and says, Disengaged, miss ?' the lady whose father goes to the City gazes distantly at the youth who helps his father in the shop, and says, I beg your pardon?'in a way that makes him retire sheepishly to bewail his lowly birth. For there are at least five coteries at Turveydrop's five separate and distinct coteries, and outside of all are one or two forlorn young men and wistful young women, who are not admitted to any of the five, and these will, perhaps, some evening, find in this fact a common bond and form a strictly exclusive set of their own. Meanwhile, Miss Turvey- drop dances with the disconsolate young men, and smiles determfhedly when they stamp upon her slippers, saying, with an apologetic air, I'm afraid I haven't quite got your step,' the while her father leads the wistful young ladies out for the round dances, and talks reminiscently of Willis's Rooms in the early sixties. There is a chrysalis stage for all accomplished butterflies; this is found in the dancing academy of the minor suburbs. At the dancing academy is received, in the month of October, by the two excellent young old ladies who are called on the handbills 'directresses,' raw material, made up of clumsy young men and shy, awkw rd young women. By December these are able to da* e without maim- ing their partners by March they are accomplished young sparks, able to hold their own in any society and to conduct themselves in the barn diance with grace and elegance. For this, the amiable direc- tresses charge one shilling for one lesson, or ten-and- six till perfect.' Single lessons are for those who feel confident, but not very confident^ and, having a dance near at hand, Come to the dancing academy for a brief regilding before they shine resplendently on their peers."

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