Imatges de pÓgina


another boat, with part of her gear and Mishaps befel them from the beginning. stores, and various articles of clothing; then A quarrel arose; most of the men returned two more dead bodies; and lastly, the to Melbourne, taking many of the stores graves of the remaining three members with them. The remaining four, Burke, of the party. From the documents found, Wills, King, and Grey, pushed onward, it at once appeared that the enterprise had with one horse, six camels, and three been marked by a series of mishaps months' provisions. They missed two or throughout. Both luggage-boats were lost | three supply parties, which were to have in a storm, with all their contents; the been ready at certain spots reached from anchors, spars, and timbers were lost in the east coast at Sydney, and were thus another storm; they had left all their driven to obtain food as best they could gunpowder behind them, and bad not after their store was exhausted. Grey wherewithal to kill birds for food; one of died of privation on the way; but the their boats, called the Pioneer, was wholly other three succeeded in reaching the Gulf lost in a third storm; and now they had of Carpentaria, on the north coast. They only the Speedwell left. So far from worked their toilsome way back to a spot converting to Christianity the barbarous called Cooper's Creek-horse and camels Terra del Fuegians (who pelted and dead, clothes ragged, provisions exhausted, robbed them wherever they appeared), strength gone. Two of them did not live their whole time was spent in a struggle to see their homes again. The authorities for

very life. Scurvy, scanty food, and the at Melbourne, uneasy at the long silence, rigours of winter told upon them slowly and apprehensive of disaster, sent off an exbut surely. They were all put upon short ploring party, in September, 1861, headed allowance in May; in June one of the crew by Mr. A. W. Howitt (son of William and died of scurvy; in July a dead fox, a half. Mary Howitt). The explorer, having some deroured fish thrown up on the beach, and idea that Cooper's Creek was the important six mice, were enumerated among the locality, searched closely, and found King articles of food in store; in August two living with some friendly natives. The other of the crew died, and their com- tale he had to tell was a sad one. From panions went nearly mad at losing them; the preceding April, the three men had early in September Maidment died; about been living most precariously, being too the oth Gardiner sank under the accumu- utterly exhausted in strength to push on lated effects of illness and starvation, from Cooper's Creek to any of the settleafter scrawling a few lines on a piece of ments. Sometimes they obtained a little paper; and the remaining two, Mr. coarse food from the natives; sometimes Williams, a surgeon, and Pearce, a boat- they gathered seeds of a plant called man, are supposed to bave succumbed nardoo, pounded them, and baked them about the same time. Captain Moorshead into cakes. One day, having seen none of of the Dido, who had called there at the the friendly natives for some time, Burke earest solicitation of Gardiner's friends in and King' tried their strength in a walk England, paid such tribute of respect as to find them. They took two pounds of he could to the remains of the seven mem- nardoo with them, and left a small store bers of this ill-planned and ill-starred expe- of it with Wills, who was too weak to dition.

accompany them. Poor Burke weakened Never did gallant men bear up more every hour; on the second day he threw bravely against accumulated sufferings than away everything he was carrying. They Burke and Wills, in their journey across supped that night on some nardoo, with Australia. They were lost, but their bodies the welcome addition of a small bird which were found under very affecting circum- King shot. It was Burke's last night. stances. In 1860, Mr. Robert O'Hara Burke The following morning he was speechless, was placed in command of an expedition, to or nearly so, and about eight he expired. start for Melbourne, plunge into the heart King, desolate and sorrowful, gave up any of the continent, and, if possible, reach the further attempt to search for the natives; northern coast, thereby giving additional he looked out for nardoo and birds, huscompleteness to the previous discoveries of banded his strength, and returned to the Leichhardt, Sturt, Eyre, Mitchell, and place where Wills had been left. Here Oxley. He had with him Mr. William another sorrow awaited him. “I found John Wills, about a dozen other persons, him,” he says in his narrative, "lying dead and a good store of camels, horses, instru- in his gunyah (a rude sort of hut), and ments, provisions, and camp baggage. the natives had been there and taken away


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some of his clothes. I buried the corpse command pity whithersoever he wanders. in sand, and remained there some days; But he is impudent, and a boisterous, but finding that my stock of nardoo was swaggering fellow. Hear him as he derunning short, and being unable to gather mands compassion, with his swarthy, fat it, I tracked the natives who had been to face upturned to the blazing sun, and with the camp by their footprints, and went a long cigar between his bulging lips. some distance down the creek, shooting “Ave Maria ! here's the


blind crows and rooks on the road. The natives, man; poor fellow! Give him a medio (a hearing the report of the gun, came to threepenny-piece) somebody. Does nobody meet me, and took me with them to their hear him, el pobrecito ? Come, make haste ! camp, giving me nardoo and fish. They Don't keep the poor fellow waiting. Poor took the birds I had shot, cooked them for Cara Catambungo! He is stone blind, me, and afterwards showed me a gunyah poor fellow, and his feet are blistered and where I was to sleep with three of the single sore. Misericordia, señores. Barajo! why

The following morning they began don't somebody answer ? Which is mi talking to me; putting one finger on the s'ñora Mercedes' house? Will somebody ground and covering it with sand, at the lead me to it? Mi s'ñora Mercedes !” same time pointing up the creek, saying, Catambungo knows most of his patrons · White fellow!' which I understood to by name. Doña Mercedes appears at her mean, one white man was dead. They iron-grated window, through the bars of then asked me where the third white man which the benevolent lady offers a silver was, and I made the sign of putting two coin and a small loaf. fingers on the ground and covering them “Gracias mi s'ñora ; Dios se la pague su with sand.” And so King remained with merced!_(May Heaven reward your worthese kindly aborigines (savages we some- ship.) Who's got a light for the poor times call them !) till Howitt's party ciego ?” arrived.

Somebody favours the ciego with a light, These are some of the best known cases and Cara Catumbungo goes on his way of lost explorers whose fate was not long in smoking and humming a tune, and predoubt. The long-lost, those whose deaths sently harangues in another street. were not known for a long series of years, Will it be believed that this wanderer or are even still unknown, form a group has a farm in the country, with slaves which must be treated separately.

in his employ, and hundreds of dollars in his exchequer ? When not on beggar

beat, Catambungo retires to his possesCUBAN BEGGARS.

sions, where he lives luxuriously. Like

some of his begging fraternity, the negro That apparently hapless mendicant occasionally varies his mendicant trade by shuffling along the white, heated road of offering for sale lottery-tickets bearing a narrow street, is a blind negro, with the what he calls “lucky numbers.” The imposing nickname of Cara Catambungo. Havannah lottery is a great institution in He is attired in a clean suit of brown Cuba, and has an extraordinary fascination holland, and he wears a broad-brimmed for rich as well as poor. Each ticket panama. His flat, splay feet are bare, ex- costs seventeen dollars, and is printed in hibiting where one of his toes has been such a form as to be susceptible of division consumed by a nigua, a troublesome insect into seventeen parts, so as to suit all which introduces itself into the foot, and, pockets. The prizes vary from one hun. if not eradicated in time, remains there to dred to one hundred thousand dollars, and vegetate. Across his shoulders is slung a there are two “sorteos," or draws, monthly. huge canvas bag for depositing comestible Our friend Catambungo often invests in alms, and in his hand is a long rustic staff. fragments of unsold tickets, and on one Charity with a Cuban is a leading principle occasion he drew a prize to the value of of his religion, and to relieve the indigent seven hundred dollars, which good luck, -no matter whether the object for relief together with his beggar savings, enabled be worthy or not—is next in importance him to purchase a farm and to hire a few to disburdening the mind to a father-con- labourers to work it with. Whether from fessor. Mindful of the native weakness habit or from love of gain, Catambungo in this respect, Cara Catambungo bears his never forsook his favourite vocation, but sorrows from door to door, confident that continued to bear his sorrows from door to his affliction and his damaged foot will door, as if they still belonged to him.

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In Cuba, at least, beggars may be said the town at night, the total absence of to be choosers. Saturday is the day which anything like proper drainage, are farourite they prefer for transacting their business, topics with these open-air orators. because it precedes Sunday, when the Our Beggars' Opera concludes with a faithful attend high mass in the church, brilliant chorus of mendicants, who, at and go to confess. Except on Saturday, twelve o'clock, visit their patrons in large and on some festive occasions, it is a rare companies. At that hour, one of Don event for a beggar to be seen asking alms Benigno's slaves enters with a large flat in the public streets.

basket containing a quantity of small twoEvery Saturday morning I pay my re- penny loaves, which the negro places upon spects to Don Benigno and his amiable the marble floor in front of the open door. señora, Mercedes, who, like most of their Soon a crowd of beggars of all shades and hospitable neighbours, keep open house in castes, wbo, during the last half-hour, more than one way: the huge doors of have been squatting in a row under the their habitation being ajar at all hours. broad shade of the opposite houses, apAs I sit chatting with my worthy hostess, proach, and, without bidding, help to empty the street door—which has direct com- the capacious bread-basket.

Further up munication with the reception room—is the street they go picking up more crumbs boldly thrown open, and a white lady, at- at rich mansions, whose owners occasiontired in well-starched muslin, and adorned ally vary their entertainment by providing with jewels, enters. I rise, in accordance for their vagrant visitors a little ajiaco, or with the polite custom of the country, native soup. while Don Benigno offers the visitor a Cuban people are not fond of bestowing rocking-chair. The conversation proceeds their charity through the medium of a pubon subjects of general interest, in which lic institution. The only place of the kind the visitor joins. Curiously, I am never in that part of Cuba which I am describing introduced to the lady in muslin ; but the is called the Beneficencia, or almshouse, unusual behaviour of my host is soon ac- which is under the superintendence of the counted for After a few minutes the Sisters of Charity. Wealthy ladies constranger señora rises, and approaching tribute largely towards the support of this Doña Mercedes, offers her hand. Doña establishment, but, in order to provide Mercedes does not take the proffered palm, funds, public raffles are indispensable. but simply places upon it a piece of silver Nothing succeeds in Cuba so well as somecoin of the value of a franc.

thing in which chance or 'luck, combined “May Heaven reward you,” says the with amusement, is the inducement of the lady-beggar, and takes her gift and her venture, and a raffle in aid of funds for leave without another word.

the famished is always popular. Something like a Beggars' Opera may Doña Mercedes, the most benevolent of be realised whilst sitting before Don Be- ladies, tells me that she and the prosperous nigno's huge window on Saturday morn- señoras already referred to have in project ing, and watching the thriftless performers a grand bazaar for the benefit of the poor, as they pass. The entertainment “opens to which everybody is expected to conat the early hour of six A.M. ; from that tribute. The articles received for the time till the Cuban breakfast-hour of purposes of the bazaar are to be exhibited eleven, we are treated with begging solos in one of the big saloons of the governor's only: mendicants who stand and deliver house, which overlooks the Plaza de Armas, monologues like Cara Catambungo or and they will be raffled for during three Muñekon — an equally popular beggar. special evenings. For weeks Doña MerSometimes the applicant for charity an- cedes and her charitable sisters are busy nounces himself with a bold bang on the collecting and numbering the contributions door, followed by the pious ejaculation, as they arrive, or twisting the paper

Ave Maria !” The lame, or otherwise chances into the form of cigar-lights. afflicted, are content with simply directing The military square presents an aniattention to their misfortune, while the less mated scene on the evenings of the raffle. “ favoured” attract public regard by hum- Twelve tables, bearing rich cloths and silver ming a wild air, to which a gibberish candelabra, are distributed about the broad libretto is attached, or by descanting upon promenade of the plaza. Around each table social and political matters. The ill-paved are seated a score of the fairest of Cuba's condition of the Cuban streets, the ineffi- daughters, elegantly attired in evening cient supply of water, the bad lighting of costume, without any head-covering, and

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with only a scarf or shawl lightly protect- cannot be prevailed upon to sit either to
ing their fair shoulders. Doña Mer- an artist or to a photographer. Whenever
cedes looks charming in a pink grenadine the subject is broached by me, El Rey del
dress, and with her luxuriant black hair Orden grins, shakes his head knowingly,
tastefully arranged, as a Cuban señora and observes, in the only English with
alone knows how. Each lady adopts her which he is conversant :
most insinuating manner in order to dis- Oh ye-s; vary vel, no good, good
pose of her twisted tickets, the greater mornin'."
portion of which contain, of course, blanks, Pancho is a genuine white man, but

age or a consolatory couplet like a motto in a and exposure to the sun and wind have cracker, for the gratification of the un- bronzed him to a mulatto colour. He has successful purchaser. There is loud cheer- a picturesque Saint Francis beard, and a ing when a prize is drawn, especially if benign, strongly marked countenance. He it happen to be of importance, like the wears a coat of many shaded cloths, which, “ grand prize,” which consists of a prettily buttoned up to his neck, gives him a miliworked purse containing six golden onzas tary appearance, while it economises his (twenty pounds sterling).

linen. Upon his head is a tall beaver hat, Crowds of beggars are assembled within which has seen better days, but which the range of the plaza, and some of them occa- Order King is careful to keep well brushed. sionally invest in a medio or peseta's worth Pancho is slightly crazed in his intellect, of tickets, but as coloured people are never and his monomania consists in the belief permitted to mix with white folk in public, that he is not a beggar, but a benefactor their tickets are handed to them by officials to his country. With this notion, no perappointed for that purpose. Some of those suasion will induce him to accept a donablacks are “retired” slaves: in other tion in the shape of coin. Those who are words, negroes who have become free, acquainted with Pancho's weakness, and either by devoting their savings of many are desirous of relieving his wants, must years to the purchase of their liberty, or do so through the medium of stratagem. by having the latter left them as a legacy If they succeed in imposing upon El Rey by an indulgent master. Those who have del Orden by prevailing upon him to ability and industry make the most of their “ borrow food or raiment, they consider precious gift by devoting their energies themselves amply rewarded for their act to trade or to music, for which accomplish- of charity. The only article which the ment negroes have often a natural inclina- King of Order will deign to accept is foolstion; but the infirm or the inactive-and of cap writing-paper, because he believes that these there is always a majority-are re- the use to which he applies it will be beneduced to penury, in which condition they ficial to mankind in general, and to Cuba fall naturally into begging ways, and pros- in particular. He fills his foolscap with per accordingly.

correspondence, which he addresses to the That intelligent-looking black who craves highest authorities; the favoured recipients of me a peseta in order to buy a small being his excellency the governor, the bundle of tickets for the raffle, is a well- alcalde mayor, and members of the town known beggar. His name is Roblejo, and council. Whenever any political or social he owes his freedom to the publication of question is raised, the Order King is sure a book of poems written by himself. As to despatch an important document bearsisted by a benevolent littérateur, Roblejo ing his opinion and advice. His majesty was enabled to transfer his poetic lucu- is usually his own letter-carrier, unless he brations into readable form, and the novelty can meet with a trustworthy messenger in taking the public fancy, subscribers were the shape of a priest, an officer, or a policefound sufficient for the purpose of printing man. The matter contained in these mothe book, and effecting the author's eman- mentous memorials occupies from eighteen cipation.

to twenty closely written sheets, and is " Holá, Don Pancho! How goes it with always prefaced with the imposing headthec?” The individual whom I address ing: “Yo, el Rey" (I, the king). is probably the most popular beggar in the Pancho's indigence and infatuation have

His real name is Pancho Villergas, a romantic origin. This old, shabby-lookbut he is commonly known as El Rey del ing object before me was at one time a Orden (the Order King). I have often well-to-do planter, and held a high position endeavoured to secure a faithful likeness among merchants. One fatal day he beof this illustrious gentleman, but Pancho came enamoured of a Creole coquette, who

cruelly jilted him. The disappointment a conquered town. One of these regiments turned his brain. People attributed his was posted in Castle William (afterwards harmless insanity to eccentricity, and mer- Fort Independence), on Castle Island, chants transacted business with him as of nearly three miles south-east of Boston. old, till one heartless scoundrel, taking on the arrival of these troops the comadvantage of his misfortune, swindled him missioners, who had retired for several ont of a large sum of money, and this deed months to the castle, returned to the town, eventually led to Pancho's insolvency and as if no longer afraid of open violence. utter ruin.

The men of Boston quickly chafed

under these restraints, and complained OLD STORIES RE-TOLD.

that troops had been forced upon them

contrary to the spirit of Magna Charta "THE BOSTON MASSACRE."

and the letter of the Bill of Rights, which The natural discontent produced in forbids the raising a standing army in America by the unwise Stamp Act passed times of peace without the consent of parin 1765, culminated in 1775 by the break- liament, and, above all, in the very

face of ing out at Lexington of the War of In- an Act of Parliament against the quarterdependence. But the first blood actually ing of troops in America. shed in the lamentable conflict was in Unconscious of the powder magazine on March, 1770, when an affray took place which they stood, the commissioners, backed between the English soldiers and the up by the troops, now treated matters with colonists, which American historians have a high hand. Governor Bernard, without ever since dignified with the title of the consulting the council, gave up the State " Boston Massacre.” The very full details House to the troops, who at once occupied of this collision, contained in an official re- the Merchants’ Exchange on the lower floor, port transmitted to the Duke of Richmond, and the various chambers where the reBenjamin Franklin, and various members presentatives of the province and the of the English Opposition, enable us to give courts of law held their meetings. The a very graphic picture of colonial life at council chamber alone was left to the agthe time of the outbreak of the war, and to grieved citizens. The governor, also, by show very minutely the state of irritation every means but force, endeavoured to that then prevailed in New England. occupy an old manufactory (the site of

The repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766 Hamilton - place), belonging to the prowas unfortunately followed by measures vince, as a barrack. He besieged it with that still more aggravated the oppressed soldiers, who maltreated the occupants, colonists. In 1767, five commissioners but did not obtain possession, owing to the were therefore sent out to Boston under resolute resistance of the keeper. Greatest the pretence of relieving and encouraging insult of all, he posted a main guard, with American commerce, but really to aid the two field-pieces, only twelve yards from the local government to repress all opposition. State House, as if to overawe the local The commissioners, eager to gratify the legislature. The general court, highly reministers at home, at once threw them- senting this open attempt at intimidation, selves on the side of Governor Bernard, refused to sit, and were in consequence and began by dismissing from office a adjourned to Cambridge (the well-known member of the local parliament who suburb), to the inconvenience of many opposed their views. The difficulty of members. Respectable inhabitants were access to them, and their arrogant be- vexed and insulted by the repeated chalhaviour, made the five commissioners still lenging of insolent sentinels posted in all more obnoxious to the people. In October, parts of the town at the doors of officers' 1766, at the representation of these in- lodgings. Captain Wilson, of the Eightytruders, the home government sent out ninth, had, it was generally reported, four regiments, which were landed under excited negroes to join his regiment and cover of the cannon of several vessels of desert their masters, and, as some said, war lying in the harbour with springs on urged them to cut their masters' throats their cables, and guns loaded, ready to and steal their property; but this was, no open on the town in case of resistance. doubt, exaggeration. Further irritation, The soldiers landed without molestation, however, was produced by several magisand yet marched on to the common trates being attacked by parties of soldiers, with muskets charged, bayonets fixed, and by the rescue of riotous men from the peace drums beating, 'as if taking possession of officers, by a musket being fired in the

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