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“ This is the wrong room, Hemp,” said Mr. Glue, “I suppose you're very full just now?''
• No we ain't,” replied the sheriff's officer, “ we've not got another in the 'ouse !"
“ You don't say so," said Mr. Glue, in a tone of alarm. “ Yes, I do,” returned Mr. Hemp, doggedly. “ Then, by Jingo,” exclaimed Mr. Glue," you've taken the wrong
“That's true for you,” said Captain Rhatigan, who had overheard the colloquy, “and out of this I'll not go till I'm indemnified.”
That he stuck to his word, brought Hemp on his knees, and resolved Mr. Glue into something weaker than water, need hardly be said, if the reader has formed an accurate estimate of Captain Rhatigan's character. A very handsome sum was paid him by way of compensation, and Mr. Glue consented to stop all proceedings against Fitz-Mortimer.
In the meantime, what became of the lovers at Gunter's ?
Did not Fitz-Mortimer succeed in making his peace with Emma, did he not tell her how he had merely yielded to the whim of the moment to oblige his friend Rhatigan, did he not honestly acknowledge the state of his affairs, confess to the vice of play, which he sincerely promised to abjure, and then elicit from her an acknowledgment of her regard for himself, coupled with the surprise that she was her own mistress as far as fortune was concerned, and that she freely promised him her hand?
Old Glue was eventually softened, when he found he should gain nothing by standing out ; Fitz-Mortimer was thoroughly reclaimed and once more restored to society; the wedding took place, and Captain Rhatigan, who officiated as groom's man, whispered to Frederick, as he walked into the vestry after the ceremony,
“ Didn't I tell you that luck would come of your * Advertising for a Wife ?'”
J E N N Y.
Tenuissimum carmen ancillæ, probæ, pulchræ, ornatæ, alteri denique phi. lomelæ, ad scriptum.
Trim gardens of pink and carnation,
With temples, and fountains that play,
And pretty enough in their way.
Pure rills from wild regions that run,
From air and the natural sun.
And worthy man's care and esteem,
Of dancing and French and a theme.
As choice as a peach or a plum,
H. L. M.
Let Englishmen boast of the speed of their steam,
After nearly a week's delay at Port Elizabeth, a sufficient number of waggons were at last assembled for the transport of our baggage, together with the numerous commissariat stores, ammunition, and treasure, destined for the use of the army, then supposed to be carrying on active operations against the Kaffirs.
The 18th of October was fixed on for our departure to Graham's Town ; but though so early as daybreak, we were awakened by the deep lowing of oxen, the loud cracking of ponderous whips, the jabber of Hottentot drivers, and expressive expletives of the waggon owners, the sun had reached the meridian ere any symptoms of a start were at all discoverable.
At last, by dint of incredible exertions of whips and lungs, of blows and oaths, the cumbersome vehicles gradually got under-weigh, and then moved off in slow and sleepy succession. As the waggons were some twenty in number, each dragged by from twelve to sixteen oxen yoked in couples, and as moreover these conveyances progressed in a single file” and did not care to tread too closely on each other's heels, it is not matter of surprise, that when the whole convoy was fairly in motion, it should have extended the entire length of the long straggling lane of houses of which Port Elizabeth is composed, in other words, have covered a space of ground nearly a mile in length!
But it is matter of surprise that such a slow inconvenient mode of conveyance should still continue in use for military operations, more especially in a country- like the present seat of war-broken by hills and dells, water-courses and rivers, covered in many places with dense jungle through which, as these sluggish convoys drag their long and weary length, they are at every step in danger of being cut off by an active, unseen, and lurking foe; and it is still more matter of surprise that during this, and former campaigns against the Kaffirs, a single waggon with its contents, should have e'er escaped the fate which befel those at Burn's Hill, and Trompetter's Drift!
But such is the force of prejudice and habit ; and because Van Riebeck's followers travelled in days of yore with these unwieldy conveyances, not only do they continue to be used by their descendants, but the English settlers must needs follow the example; and still more strange to tell, the same mode of carriage is likewise adopted in military operations, for the removal of the stores, baggage, camp equipage, and commissariat of an army; a system entirely subversive of every thing like expedition, certainty, or celerity in the movements of a force.
* A Dutch term, generally pronounced "track,” meaning a journey.
† The long gun used by the Dutch Boers.
I have during the course of my wanderings been driven to many strange modes of transport and locomotion, from a donkey to an elephant, from a dooly to an express-train. I have given each'a fair trial, and have often moreover been reduced to my own long legs for the means of conveyance ; but whether with the caravan of the desert, the muleteer of Spain, or knapsack on back, plodding solitarily on foot, along some wild and dreary waste, never in all my peregrinations did it ever fall to my lot to meet with such “slow coaches” as the aforesaid bullock-waggons of Southern Africa.
Though celerity was therefore by no means the characteristic of our convoy, it possessed-at least in our eyes—the attraction of novelty, and as slowly emerging from the dirty, straggling and unpaved precincts of “Little Elizabeth,” it crept along the plainly defined track-showing like a white thread cast on a green carpet—which traversed the grassy, though otherwise bare and undulating plain before us, the lengthened train certainly presented not only a novel but picturesque object to the sight.
The colonists gazed from their thresholds with a vacant look of desponding apathy at our departure, as much as to say that on this, as on many similar occasions, little good was likely therefrom to accrue to them, their blasted hopes or ruined fortunes; but the Hottentot population gladly availed themselves of the opportunity to have a jubilee on this event, and the exhilarating effects of “a parting glass” were obvious not only in the men, but likewise on many of their gentle partners, who, surrounded by swarms of nearly naked young “ Totties,” and in all their drunken and picturesque array of tattered, dirty, and gaudy finery—as they preceded the waggons, shrilly sang and wildly danced with fantastic attitudes, often -thanks to a good ear and pliant limbs-not wholly without a certain degree of grace and softness.
Whilst the jovial, reckless Hottentots thus gave way to unbridled mirth, the more sedate Fingoe women under the heavy burdens they gracefully bore on their woolly heads, halted for a moment to regard us as we passed, drawing meanwhile, the only garment, a leathern kaross, more closely around their finely rounded, statue-like shapes ; grinning from ear to ear, they displayed their magnificent teeth, white as purest ivory, and which, glistening in the wide opening rents of their black hideous faces, resembled bright rows of orient pearls, skilfully encased on some dark, grotesque, and barbaric idol!
In addition to the above specimens of the two great distinctive races of Southern Africa, of the Quaiquæ and Bechuana genus, our troop on this occasion was composed of the most varied and motley set, to contribute which, the furthest extremities of the old world appeared to have been ransacked in succession.
The escort consisted of a body of Malays, a portion of one of the native levies from Cape Town, and headed by a pseudo naval officer. Moreover, for the especial protection of the ammunition and treasure forming part of our investment, a serjeant's party of the 90th Light Infantry was ordered to accompany us to Graham's Town.
This gallant corps, whilst on its way home after a lengthened term of April.-VOL. LXXXII. NO. CCCXXVIII.
service in the East, had been unexpectedly stopped at the Cape, and after years of exile, when, on the eve of re-visiting their country, their friends and all that man holds dearest on earth, these poor fellows' hopes were suddenly dashed to the ground, by being called upon to participate in the toils and hardships of an inglorious war, in which no laurels were to be culled, no honour to be gained, and which might only prolong their already protracted banishment to a most indefinite extent!
Such is the lot of the British soldier! Such is the common fate of men who are too often repaid for their heroic fortitude and devotion by coldness and neglect, by detraction and calumny!
I have seen many British regiments, but never beheld a finer corps than the gallant 90th-the bold, soldier-like bearing, the veteran look, the bronzed and bearded* countenances of these noble specimens of our troops, arrayed in a plain austere and military garb, and boldly grasping their glittering arms, offered the strongest contrast to the slight Asiatic forms, and sharp tawny features of their Malay companions. The difference was not less marked between the latter and the swarthy, thick-lipped African, or the unwieldy Dutch Boer, who passively sat in front of his waggon enveloped in the mantle of national phlegm, and the dense smoke of his pipeto him a never-failing companion.
Nor, maybe, were the “ seven field officers” before alluded to, the less picturesque part of the array ; some in the waggon, some on foot, others mounted on sorry jades, and in every variety of colonial costume, they would verily have cut a curious military figure at a review in the Phoenix Park or on Hounslow Heath!
As a specimen of the whole party on this occasion, I shall beg to introduce myself to the reader in my burgher dress and equipment.
To commence with the charger I had brought round from Cape Town, he was a strong, active, wiry animal, though certainly no beauty, and moreover, bearing such evident affinity to Pharoah's lean kine, that this, my Bucephalus, had already been dubbed “ Nagpore" (nag-poor) by Colonel Punall, the acknowledged wit of the party.
A pair of holsters in front of my saddle, one of them containing a double-barrelled pistol for offensive, the other a well-filled brandy flask for defensive measures ; the former in case of need against the Kaffirs, the latter for the purpose of guarding against cold, colic, or other disagreeables, incident to the roughing we were likely to encounter during the ensuing campaign ; the above, together with a tourniquet, some bandages, and a few medicines condensed in small compass, constituted a sort of portable commissariat, arsenal, and dispensary.
Behind the saddle, compactly rolled up, was stuffed a good patent water-proof great-coat, of the latest and most approved manufacture, which often, on subsequent occasions, proved a staunch and warm friend, one moreover possessing an infinite quantity of dry humour, and by whom my feelings were never doomed to be damped; the saddle itself was
In this “musquito" war, as there was not often time for the pipe-clay observances of the “regulations,” the beard and moustache were in our division of the army suffered to grow, and formed useful appendages as a protection to the face, against the blistering effects of a tropical sun and dry cutting wind, two inconveniences often combined in this part of the world.
+ It is needless to observe that for obvious reasons, many of the names of persons mentioned in the ensuing narrative are fictitious.
studded in front and rear after the usual colonial fashion, with semicircular rings, which, from their shape, are here called : “Ds”.
This circumstance elicited from our inveterate punster, the observation, that by coming out on this expedition we were all fairly D-D, that we must, moreover, not only now be on our Ps and Qs, but look well to our Ds, as much depended on (from) them. From mine hung on one side a huge Indian scimitar, too heavy to be with comfort suspended from the waist, once the property of a renowned Decoitee, or river-pirate; but, divested of its Asiatic attributes, this roving blade now appeared in the civilised garb of a regulation hilt and brass scabbard, whilst, to counterbalance it on the other side, was hooked a Spanish “ Botta,” or leathern flask, which often had carried a supply of water, and may be, more frequently of good "vino seco” amidst the Sierras of Andalusia, or across the wild heaths of Estremadura.
So much for the means of transport, commissariat, &c. Now for the personal part of the equipment: a broad-brimmed beaver, with a bit of ostrich feather, “à la Charles the First," a shooting-jacket, containing capacious pockets, a pair of (pardon, fair reader, the vulgar term) brown courderoy breeches, terminated by the lately invented “Antigropelos," or, as P-termed them, “ Antiscrofulous” boots; (which, by-the-by, I found on all occasions most invaluable, and, therefore, take this opportunity of making honourable mention of their inventor, Mr. Warne), a long Indian bamboo hog-spear in hand, a grisly unshorn beard and moustache, which,“ like stubble-field at harvest-home,” was certainly no adornment to a weather-beaten phiz, but which time subsequently rather improved in appearance, and lengthened to respectable Mahomedan dimensionssuch was the outward man and horse of one of the “ seven;" and-always excepting the hog-spear-I did not (whatever they might aver to the contrary) see much difference as to a similar brigand-like appearance in the rest of my companions; though from them I occasionally heard certain vague
and distant allusions to Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe. However, whatever the resemblance I might have borne to either of those worthies, I was certainly not better provided with an esquire, or attendant, for my Sancho Panza was a drunken, unwieldy, discharged, Irish soldier ; whilst the man “ Friday” was personified by a young Hottentot, rejoicing in the name of Jacob, who was as fond of “Cape smoke,"* sleep, and idleness, as
of his tribe. Such was the general appearance of the party, which, on the 18th of October, 1846, left Algoa Bay to “ trek” towards the frontier. The hour of departure had, as I observed before, been fixed early in the morning, but, owing to innumerable delays, it was late in the afternoon ere the last waggon cleared the “ turnpike gate” which marks the entrance of that unprepossessing assemblage of straggling colonial habitations, known as Port Elizabeth.
Let not the word “turnpike" deceive the unsophisticated reader, or lead bim to imagine a smooth even progress over Macadamised roads ; for the public thoroughfare from the only sea-port in the eastern province to its capital, a distance of one hundred miles—to the disgrace of the colonial government be it said-deserves about as much the name of a road, as the mule tracks and dry water-courses in Spain are entitled to the high-sounding appellations of “ Caminos reales.”
* A sort of coarse cheap brandy, made in the colony.