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and rock plants of all colours ;' now the foliage, which aggravated in those of his family. Mademoiselle de displayed all imaginable hues-scarlet passing to red, a Rosambo, the wife of his brother, was executed with dark-yellow to a bright gold colour, reddish-brown to her husband and her mother on the same day as her light-brown, green, white, azure, in a thousand tints illustrious grandfather, M. de Malesherbes. His mother more or less faint, more or less bright.' He marked soon followed them to the grave-his father had prestriped ducks, blue linnets, cardinal birds, and purple viously died. On her deathbed she had charged his goldfinches glisten amid the verdure of the trees.' He beloved sister to write him a letter, appealing to his heard the whet-saw imitate the noise of the saw, he religious duties. When his sister's letter reached cat-bird mew, and the parrots chatter. He saw to the Chateaubriand, she also had died from the effects of south savannas studded with groves, and covered imprisonment. This event profoundly affected him. It with buffaloes ;' and the Rapids according as they are seemed as if two voices called to him from the tomb. illumined by the sun's rays, blown back by the wind, These voices were to him the voices of two saints, and or shaded by clouds, curling up into golden waves they were thus the inspiration of his ‘Spirit of Chriswhitened with foam, or rolling on in a dark-looking tianity.' current.' In fine, he entirely forgot his plan of dis- A new scene had, however, occurred in the revolucovery; and in the land of the Natchez imagined tionary drama of France. Bonaparte arose to power, * Renė,' and wrote 'Atala' and “The Natchez, in and opened to the emigrants the gates of their country. which he described so well the manners of the tribes Chateaubriand returned to France in 1800, and in con. among whom he sojourned.
nection with M. de Fontanes was employed upon the Accident, however, threw in his way a fragment of Mercury.' In this paper, part by part, * Atala' first an English journal. By this he learnt the flight of appeared. The worn-out citizen of republican France Louis XVI., his seizure at Varennes, and the intended was delighted with the frank manners and artless siminvasion of France by the emigrants. A native of plicity of this wild child of the forests of the Far West. Brittany, and therefore a thorough believer in the The civilisation of old Europe listened with pleasure divine right of kings, he felt that honour called him to the naïve thoughts of the young savage of the new to join the French royalists. He thus abandoned the world. It was a successful work, as it was felt to be American wilds and the north-west passage, and re- as fresh and new as a blackberry from the woods. turned to Europe, and entered the Prince of Condé's The publication of the Spirit of Christianity' sucarmy. When he reached his camp, it was remarked ceeded the appearance of 'Atala.' After the harsh that he came late. *But I come express from the negatives which had burst asunder the bonds of a bold cataract of Niagara,' replied Chateaubriand. The poet bigotry, it came with words of consolation to the world, made the campaign with an old damaged musket. uniting faith and reason, and throwing a holy halo over Inside his knapsack was the manuscript of · Atala,' the internal man. While Napoleon was building up his which fortunately warded off a ball which would other im rial edifice with circumstances, outward forms, wise have destroyed him. At the siege of Thionville, and the shows and shams of things, Chateaubriand on however, Chateaubriand was wounded in the thigh, his part pointed to that renovation from within, to that and left for dead in the ditch, where the small-pox, spiritual revolution and empire of the soul, which may which was then ravaging the little army, seized upon indeed be assisted by external reforms, but for which him. Some of the Prince de Lignes followers luckily they can never prove the substitute. The 'Génie du discovered him, and threw him into a wagon, in which Christianisme' is yet an admired book. To analyse it he was taken in an apparently dying state to Ostend. would be to injure it. Its aim has been indicated, but Arrived at Ostend, he was immediately placed on to be judged of, it should be read throughout. The board a small vessel bound for Jersey. It made Spirit of Christianity' was dedicated to the First Guernsey harbour, where he was carelessly put on Consul, and its author was immediately hailed by him shore, when the poor sufferer was nearly in extremity. who could ever appreciate the use of great minds. Covered with loathsome sores as he was, a poor Chateaubriand was sent by Bonaparte to Rome as first fisherman's wife pitied his fate, had him conveyed secretary to the French embassy. He arrives at Rome: to her cabin, and tended him with unremitting care he sees the Coliseum, the Pantheon, Trajan's Pillar, until his recovery. We wish we could record the name the Castle of St Angelo, St Peter's : he watches the of this good woman, which is truly worthy of being effect of the moon upon the Tiber, upon the Roman associated with that of Chateaubriand, who owed nearly mansions, and upon those illustrious ruins which are as much to her as to his mother.
scattered about on every side :' he is received by the When he had recovered, the unhappy emigrant deter- Pope, who makes him sit beside him in the most affecmined to seek literary employment in London. He arrived tionate manner, and tells him, with an air of comin the British metropolis in the spring of 1793, desti- plaisance, that he has read the 'Génie du Christianisme, tute alike of friends and resources, and although freed a copy of which indeed lies open upon his table. from the small-pox, yet in indifferent health. Lodged Besides his letters from Italy, Chateaubriand has given in one of the lowest of London lanes, Chateaubriand a description of Rome and Naples in the fourth and earned a petty pittance by teaching French and making fifth books of the 'Martyrs.' . It was in Rome, beneath translations for the booksellers. His leisure time was the porticoes of the Coliseum, that the Martyrs' was more congenially employed in planning and composing conceived. One beautiful evening in last July,' writes his • Essay on Revolutions. This work caused him two Chateaubriand, 'I seated myself at the Coliseum on a years of labour, and was first published in London in step of the altar, dedicated to the sufferings of the 1796. In it his object is to prove by parallels between Passion : the setting sun poured floods of gold through ancient and modern revolutions—their like rise and all the galleries which had formerly been thronged with similar failure - that violent eruptions of society are men ; while at the same time strong shadows were cast incapable of forming phases of positive and permanent by the broken corridors and other relics, or fell on the progress. If the particular instances in this book are ground in large black masses. From the lofty parts of sometimes too strained, and the comparisons too loose, the structure I perceived, between the ruins on the much of the general view of the author may yet be right of the edifice, the gardens of Cæsar's palace, with admitted by the candid and liberal reader. The chief a palm-tree which seems to have been placed in the fault of the work was the sceptical tone which prevailed midst of this wreck expressly for painters and poets, in some parts of it. At times its author appeared to Instead of the shouts of joy which heretofore proceeded doubt Providence-progress itself. This fault, however, from the ferocious spectators in this amphitheatre on was fully redeemed in the believing, trusting pages seeing Christians devoured by lions and panthers, which he afterwards published in the Génie du nothing was now heard but the barking of dogs, which Christianisme.'
belonged to the hermit resident here as a guardian of Meanwhile the misfortunes of the emigrant had been the ruins. At the moment that the sun descended
below the horizon, the clock in the dome of St Peter's Volsci. Armed with his pen, and encamped in the resounded under the porticoes of the Coliseum.' Amid Journal des Débats,' Chateaubriand thenceforward scenes and memories like these the inspiration which waged a vigorous war with Villèle, which was rewarded produced the 'Martyrs' was nursed. From the church by the Martignac ministry with the embassy to Rome. of the catacombs he derived his heroes for that mourn Soon afterwards, however, on the coming in of the ful but exciting work. It is full of pictures of Italy, Polignac party, he resigned office, and recommenced his but its best praise is, that its heroes are sufferers, and opposition. The revolution of 1830 occurred, and placed its courage Christian.
the Orleans family in power. This new turn of affairs On his return to Paris, Chateaubriand was named was too much for the poetical politician. He bade minister plenipotentiary to Le Valais. It was on the adieu to the Chamber of Peers; and henceforth became evening of that day when, under mysterious circum- a champion of the legitimist party and the rights of stances, the corpse of the last of the Condés was dis- the Duke of Bordeaux, for which he encountered persecovered in a ditch at Vincennes. He had been assas. cution. sinated under the oak beneath which his ancestor St With an annuity derived from the sale of his posthuLouis had even administered impartial justice. On the mous memoirs, he spent the latter years of his life in same evening, while Paris was yet pale with consterna- retirement; and died just as France was undergoing the tion, Chateaubriand sent in his resignation,
throes of a fresh revolution. Inconsistent in his theories, While in Italy, Chateaubriand had conceived the idea and to the last degree visionary, there is much to ridicule of a pilgrimage to Greece and Palestine. This he now and condemn in his political career; but he possessed determined to put into execution. In 1806 he again many admirable points of character; and the French baw Italy en route, wooed for a moment the bride of the people have singled him out for honour alone of all the Adriatic with a pure passion, embarked for Greece, writers of the Empire and the adherents of the Restopassed on swiftly to the Sparta of Lycurgus and Leo- ration. One of his most cherished fancies was to be nidas, meditated in the Cigora of Athens, touched at buried on a rocky islet near St Malo ; and his dying Smyrna, glanced at the City of the Sultan, passed to request to this effect has, we believe, been fulfilled. Cyprus, reverently saluted Mount Carmel, and fell In person Chateaubriand was short and thin; his face upon his knees, like a new Crusader, at the sight of was pale and strongly lined; his eyes beamed under the Holy City. Here he followed, step by step, the prominent brows; his forehead was ample; and as an traces of sacred tradition, and devoutly marked the old man, his large head was bald at the top, but elsefootprints on the pilgrim path of the Saviour of man- where crowned with a forest of white locks. In dress kind. From Palestine he sailed to Egypt, crossed he was neat, and even beauish. In manners he was the city of the Ptolemies, followed the Nile to Cairo, gracious, urbane, and modest; and his love for children contemplated Memphis and the Pyramids, and visited was remarkable. Chateaubriand was married, but little Tunis and Carthage. From thence he embarked for has been furnished respecting his wife; and we believe Spain, viewed the fair vale of Granada, and under the he has left no descendants. The last years of his magic portals of the Alhambra, conceived the · Last existence were employed in reading his «Mémoires Abancerage.'
d'outre Tombe,' at the Abbaye-aux-Bois, in the retireAfter an absence of ten months, in the spring of 1807 ment of which he died. This autobiography is now Chateaubriand returned once more to his native country. waited for by the world. Mrs Trollope, in her • Summer In the retirement of his hermitage in the Valeè-aux- in Brittany,' has communicated some pleasant pages of Loups, near Daulnay, he then wrote his ' Itinerary, this self-history of a celebrated man, which makes us a remarkable historical and geographical work, and desire more. For the rest, Chateaubriand had a pomafterwards completed the • Martyrs, which he had pous academical funeral in the French style, which planned at Rome. While thus engaged, the events of has not passed without animadversion. A valued writer 1814 menaced a change in France, and Chateaubriand and a delightful traveller, a poet, a gentleman, and a quitted his retreat, and hastened to mingle in the con- man with a religious heart, he has left behind him a fict. We shall slightly pass over his political career, as European reputation, which, if not grander, is yet good poets are often bad politicians, and it is often better purer than that of many of his cotemporaries. to be with the bard in the grotto consecrated to poesy and religion, than to follow him into the party-rostra of politics. Chateaubriand's first political act was his too
GOSSIP ABOUT SHARKS. famous pamphlet of. Bonaparte and the Bourbons?-a It may be wrong-1 know it is—to hate any creature production which in charity is thus passed over. The which God has made, every living thing having, it insults which were afterwards exchanged between him and the illustrious captive of St Helena were alike un- may be supposed, its uses in creation, and therefore worthy of each. After the Hundred Days, Chateau- part of a great general economy. At the same time briand followed Louis XVIII. to Ghent, where he people cannot well avoid having their antipathies. Some formed a part of his council, in quality of minister of have no great affection for rats; few look with anything state. After Waterloo, he also preserved his title, but like satisfaction on snakes and various other reptiles : refused to accept a portfolio in company with Fouché. it has been my misfortune to hate sharks. Yes, I say As a member of the Chamber of Peers, and as a publicist, it undisguisedly-of all created beings, a shark is to me he was henceforth most known. As his political credo, the most abhorrent. Born in the tropics, and living the he published his • Monarchy according to the Charter? | chief portion of my life just beyond their verge, where -an obscure and contradictory work. In the columns of the Conservateur' he, moreover, vehemently at- bathing in the sea was more a necessity than a luxury, tacked the Decazes ministry, and charged it with com- I have often come into contact in various ways with plicity in the assassination of the Duke de Berry. The this fiend of the deep. Fiend of the deep, however, is Villele ministry next entered upon power, and Chateau- not the proper term; it lurks also in shallow sunny briand was at once named ambassador at Berlin, and spots, where the brilliant white sand supports appaafterwards at London.
In September 1822 he also rently just enough of cool still water to afford a bath passed the Alps to represent France at the Congress of for a troop of nymphs or children. In the most retired Verona, where he pleaded the cause of Greece, defended the interests of France on the question of the Spanish corner of such a locality, just where the tide will allow war, and returned to replace M. de Montmorency in the of his quick exit, will the brute lurk, and wo betide office of foreign affairs. In this position he differed the animal which comes within its reach! The ground with his colleague M. de Villèle on the Spanish war. shark is the most dangerous and deadly of all his deadly Some slight was offered him, which his Breton blood tribe ; for, as a negro once said, “You never see him could not bear, and another Coriolanus passed to the till you feel him.' In the open sea you have some chance for your life; for your enemy is visible from the I shall never forget: I did not know the exact nature deck of a ship, or even from a small boat; the deep- of the intimation which was wished to be given us, sea shark swimming high in the water, and in calm beyond the simple fact, that it was connected with the weather generally showing his dorsal-fin above its sur- dreaded shark. Every moment I expected to see the face. But the ground shark, as its name signifies, lies baleful shadow glide swiftly towards us, and in imagicrouched below you, glaring upwards in all directions nation I felt myself—but it is useless to attempt deas it slews itself round; its eyes take in a great extent scribing what was the nature of my feelings. They
were, in fact, all swallowed up in one sentiment of of the surface; and small chance has living flesh or terrific expectation. A very few minutes must have bone when opposed to its powerful jaws or numerous elapsed before the boat shot up to us and took us in; rows of teeth,
and yet the space seemed interminable. During the My hatred to this monster dates from a very early latter part of the time the cry of 'shark' had luckily period of my life. When about four or five years old, been suppressed, for which I was very grateful ; for Í I was once floating in a tiny canoe within the reef dreaded the effect upon my brother exceedingly. When which circled one of the islands of the Pacific. He who menting him ; but when he ascertained the reason, he
we got safe in, he was ready to pummell me for torheld me in his arms bade me look over its side, and turned quite pale and sick. It seemed that a boat, there, far down, but quite distinct in those transparent anchored some fifty yards or so from ours, had hooked waters, were several sharks sporting over the coral a large shark when we were about one-third of our way which branched from the bottom. In their gambols, back to the boat ; and the cries were for us to go they would shoot up towards the surface; and in turn back on shore, and the boat would come to us. After ing, the glancing white belly and the horrid jaws would a struggle, although the hook and line were very strong, suddenly reveal themselves. My childish dreams were
he had got off, having bent, or rather straightened the
former, while we were still some two hundred yards long after haunted by that vision; and perhaps my off. antipathy thence arose. But often since that period
When in Sydney, I went one Sunday morning to have I had cause to shudder when even the name itself bathe. I was accompanied by a friend who had just was mentioned; not so much perhaps on my own ac- arrived from the South Sea Islands. He was very count personally, as on that of others who have suffered timid, and clung to the rock, never going beyond a by them.
few yards from it, and instantly returning. Upon ralI myself, however, have had some narrow escapes lying him, he confessed his great dread of sharks. I from the scoundrels. I remember well, when a boy at assured him that in that harbour accidents never ocschool many years ago, one Saturday afternoon my rect, inasmuch as, up to that period, I had never heard
curred from any such cause; which was certainly corfather taking myself and two brothers out fishing, not of any person having been killed in it; and in the bays with the rod and flics, as in this country, but from the close to the town I should suppose that sharks scarcely boat's side, in five fathoms of blue water. We were in ever come, being in that respect very different from the a coinmon waterman's boat, such as was used in the West Indies or the coast of Africa. I took my usual harbour, which, not to be particular, was in Australia. swim out for twenty minutes or so, and returned home. We anchored about three or four hundred yards from On that same day, as I was walking with another the end of a small island; and while the waterman friend, after the morning service, a constable touched and boys fished, the old gentleman put up his umbrella him upon the shoulder, and pressed his services as a
juryman to serve on an inquest then about being held to keep off the sun and read his newspaper. After upon the body of a man that morning killed by a shark. our fishing was over, at about sunset, one of my We found the poor fellow with a terrible wound, exbrothers and I determined to bathe. My father did not tending from the upper part of the thigh to the knee, much like the idea ; but we assured him there was no the flesh being, in fact, entirely stripped from the bone. danger, and jumped in and swam to the island; and He was a convict, who had been confined in Cockatoo after running about for ten minutes, we jumped in the Island, a station for prisoners, situated about eight water again and struck out for the boat. The wind miles from Sydney higher up the harbour, and further blew pretty freshly, and the small waves washed about from the sea than the spot where I bathed that mornmy head, and forced me to swim on my side or back, to ing. The circumstances attending the accident were avoid their splashing in my face; owing to this, I did peculiar. He and some other prisoners had received not hear the shouting which had for some moments, in permission to bathe; he being the first stripped, jumped fact, been kept up by those we had left in the boat. into the water, which in every part of the harbour of The first word I did hear distinctly was a terrible one- Sydney, and the coast generally, is deep, being in that
Shark!' and at the same instant I saw those in the respect very unlike the shelving coasts of this country: boat all standing up and waving their hands, the old He had not swam more than a few yards before one of gentleman shaking his umbrella in a very emphatic the skulking ground sharks had him fast by the upper manner. I turned myself quickly round in the water. part of the thigh. One of his comrades in the most I have said before the sun was nearly down: it is not gallant manner jumped in and seized hold of him; and surprising then that, springing up as I did, the shadow after a struggle, in which all the flesh was stripped off, of my own head and shoulders should startle one so the poor fellow was got on shore; but the great artery suddenly alarmed as I was. Down I went as quickly of the thigh was severed, and he was already dead. as possible; for the only chance you have with a Another case, somewhat similar to the above, took shark is to get below him; and if you can reach the place in a remote part of the coast of Australia some bottom, to kick up a dust there, and under cover of years previous to it. Long will the catastrophe be the cloud raised, to swim in another direction. I saw remembered by sorrowing friends in that part of the nothing, however, except the white legs and body of my world, although many years have passed away since brother, who was about thirty yards behind me when it occurred; for, unlike the last case, the victim was I went down ; and I came up again. He had seen me not an outcast from society, a convict loosed from his go down, and asked me the reason for doing it. I was chains for a few moments, but a young and fair lad, glad to find that he had not heard the cries from the the pride of his fond mother, who had, by a singular boat, for he was a timid lad, and I feared the effects upon fatality, lost her husband and several other members of him. I kept constantly before him, splashing the water her family by drowning, and a friend and school-fellow in his face, and shouting, until he got into a towering of the writer of this article. He was riding in the passion. This was what I wanted; for his attention lonely bush in company with one servant; from one was drawn from the boat. The agony of those moments cattle station to another, if I remember aright. The
road lay for a considerable distance along the banks of a body, when suddenly one of their guides, uttering what is termed in the map a river; but which is, in a loud shriek, disappeared headlong beneath the surfact, an arm of the sea. He was about twelve years of face. His comrade, who was only a few yards off, age; and, as would be expected from a lad fresh from turned his head to ascertain the cause; but he was school, finding himself on horseback, about to proceed instantly seized, and the agonized spectators gazed to a spot where he would have plenty of shooting and on, unable in the least to aid their unfortunate comkangaroo hunting, as well as riding after wild cattle, panions, who were being torn to pieces before their he was in very high spirits. The day was very hot; eyes. For some few minutes the rushing play of fins and when, at a turn of the road, he found himself on and tails, glancing in all directions, with now and then the very verge of the cool blue water, no wonder he portions of the remains of the unhappy victims, was felt inclined to bathe. The servant, however, reminded incessant; but fresh assailants crowded to the spot, him that they had sixty miles yet to ride, and should and soon nothing but a ripple here, and a slight splash lose no time; he resolved, therefore, to bathe his feet there, indicated the locality as one where so fearful a only, which were very hot. He dismounted, as did tragedy had been so lately enacted. also the man; and pulling off his shoes and stockings, Terrible instances are all these of the ferocity and he seated himself on a flat ledge of rock, where the deadly cunning of this atrocious monster. We will water was very deep, and dipped his feet in. It was finish this article with the mention of one other slight much the same as if a person suspended his feet over incident connected with this sea lawyer,' as the sailors the side of a boat when in deep water. His head was term him, of a less melancholy termination than those turned towards the man, with whom he was at the adduced. moment speaking, when a small ground shark, about A merry party of us were once on a calm summer five feet long, rose suddenly, and seizing him by the evening pulling across a bay in a whale-boat. We were calf of the leg, dragged him off the rock into the water. proceeding to a dinner party, in fact, and of course were The man had seen the fish rise; but so rapidly was all dressed in our best, as the phrase is. Amongst our the poor lad seized, that ere he could spring forward to number was a would-be sailor, who wished to impress grasp him, the shark had already borne him shrieking upon the uninitiated an overwhelming sense of his nauaway. As in the last-mentioned case, the looker-on tical abilities. He seized every opportunity of 'showwas brave and true-hearted. He leaped into the water, ing off;' and amongst his other ambitious notions, he being a good swimmer fortunately; and, though with wished it to be believed that he could steer a whalesome difficulty, succeeded in reaching and taking hold boat. Now it must be remembered that the boat of the boy; for when a shark has a large body in its employed in the South Sea fishing is a very different jaws, it generally rushes to and fro on the surface of affair from other boats; and, in particular, it is steered the water. For a long time did they struggle, the man in a different manner, a long oar being employed, endeavouring to reach the shore, and the shark rushing which projects from the stern; whereas, in common sometimes in that direction, and at others in the oppo- boats of course, as every one knows, a rudder and site. At length, however, they reached a spot some tiller of wood or ropes are used. In steering the thirty yards or so further up the shore, and where the whale - boat the helmsman stands up, grasping the water shoaled sufficiently to permit the man to plant handle of the steering oar in one hand, balancing himhis feet for an instant to the ground. The moment self gracefully as the boat rises and falls on the seas; this happened, owing to the greater resistance offered, and it requires great skill and dexterity to keep so long the flesh instantly separated from the bones, and the a lever, projecting as it does from the stern of the boat shark swam off with the piece in his jaws. He got the for twenty feet, from suddenly (when struck by a wave, poor lad, who was half drowned and nearly insensible, for instance) acting in a forcible manner against the safely on shore; and had assistance been at hand, his person who holds it. In calm weather of course, and life might ultimately have been preserved. But the when the water is smooth, a child might steer a whalenearest aid was sixty miles off, and the limb was so boat; but the pseudo-nautical I have mentioned, I verily dreadfully wounded (the whole of the back portion of believe, thought he could steer one in a gale of wind. the leg being either torn off, or separated from the At anyrate he could not resist the opportunity which bone), that, carrying him before him on the saddle, he smooth water, no wind, and, what was of greater conwas obliged to travel very slowly. Worse than this, sequence to him, I believe, a select party of spectators to he had to encamp one, if not two nights, in the woods, witness his performance, offered for the exhibition of his before reaching the station. The poor lad died from skill; and he offered to relieve the old sailor who was tetanus or locked jaw a few days after the occurrence. steering of the task. The tar looked for a moment at the
A few years ago, a sad occurrence took place on the satin vest, tights, and swallow-tail of the applicant, and coast south of Sydney. A vessel had been wrecked sniffed the air as if to ascertain what breeze brought somewhere near Twofold Bay; all her passengers and the scent of the Eau de Cologne to his nostrils, and then, the crew had escaped safely to the shore, and as they without a word, resigned the oar. I am not aware if had recovered some provisions, and had the prospect, any of the party wished for some accident to supervene, after a few days' travelling along the coast, of reaching to take the conceit out of the aspirant; certainly none 2 settlement, they were all in high spirits. They had expected anything of the sort. And yet a calamity no boats, for all belonging to the vessel had been de- did overtake the purposed diner-out when in the height stroyed at the time of her wreck. Owing to this want, of his glory, at the very moment that, while the boat they met often with great difficulties in crossing the in reality was 'steering itself,' as the term is, he was numerous creeks or rivers which fall into the sea in deluding himself into the belief that he was its unerdifferent parts of the coast they were proceeding along; ring guide. being often compelled to make long circuits to go round The blade of the steering oar, unlike those of the these, or to reach a spot where they could wade across pulling ones, was bound round with a broad band of them. All difficulties, however, of this nature had now bright copper, to strengthen it, I presume, and keep it nearly been surmounted—they were not far from the from splitting. This copper band, as the boat glided settlement: but one more creek remained to cross, and over the surface of the water, by its glistening quality then they would be within reach of assistance and sym- attracted the notice of a 'tiger shark, as it is called pathy from their fellow-creatures. Upon the arrival of (a species of the common ground shark), which rushed the whole party at the borders of this inlet, as usual two upwards, and seizing hold of the oar-blade, shook it of the men, carrying poles in their hands, entered it, in so tiger-like a fashion, that our dandy, holding the to ascertain beforehand whether or not it was fordable oar more gracefully than firmly, was hurled completely for the whole number. And their comrades seeing the overboard. Very much astonished he was, as indeed pioneers reach the middle of the creek without the were all on board; but the old sailor grasped hold of water rising above their waist, prepared to follow in his leg and hauled him in. And it was observed that the veteran tar, as he took a second look at the satin arose from the slaughter-house in question; he accomvest, tights, and swallow-tail, had a broad grin upon his panied the police thither, and found carts and wagons laden countenance. This little incident took place at a
with bullocks lying on their backs, blown out, their bellies small port south of Sydney.
inflated like drums, their eyes starting out of their heads, their tongues out: with some of them their bowels had
burst, and were lying about, yet their stomachs were SANITARY EVILS FROM SLAUGHTER-HOUSES equally distended, emitting putrid gas, and the stench was IN TOWNS.
so great, that the nose could detect it at a considerablo
distance. The following, compiled by Mr Dunhill, civil-engineer, is
The slaughter-houses must be removed from their prean abstract of evidence before the Select Committee of sent confined locality; no arrangement, however perfect in the House of Commons on Smithfield Market, May 1847. detail, can obviate the evil; the decomposition of vegeThe subject is of vital importance to many provincial table matter is very injurions, but does not seize hold of towns now afflicted with slaughter-houses in confined the system with the same intense violence that a mixture neighbourhoods :
of animal putrescence does. Dr Jordan Roche Lynch had lived and practised for
Lord Robert Grosvenor, M.P.-In consequence of medithe last fifteen years in the neighbourhood of Smithfield, houses in Paris, an edict was issued in the year 1810 that
cal reports on the evils which flowed from the slaughterthe sanitary state of which was most defective. The
public abattoirs should be constructed, and when comslaughter-houses have a most injurious influence upon the pleted, all private slaughter-houses suppressed, for which district: they generate fever, render the most simple dis- no indemnity was granted to the butchers, who raised eases malignant, and shorten the duration of life. In Bear several objections to the alteration in the system, but it Alley, a lane running from Farringdon Street to the old wall has been found in practice to work admirably well. of the city, called Break-neck Steps, there is a slaughter- slaughter-houses, each of which accommodate one, two, or
The five abattoirs which were constructed include 240 house behind six or seven houses, which are inhabited by three butchers, according to the extent of their dealings ; the humblest classes of society. The stench is intolerable, the total cost of their erection was L.800,000, and the arising from the slaughtering of the cattle and the removal revenue they yield is L.40,000 per annum. of the fæcal matter, the guts, the blood, and the skins of
Mr Thomas Dunhill, civil-engineer, had devoted mnch the animals. When they clean the guts, the matter is time and anxious attention to this question, feeling that turned out; some of the heavier parts of the manure are the present system of slaughtering the food for 2,000,000 preserved to be carted away, but a great deal of it is of souls, in the heart of the city, and in densely-populated carried into the sewers, which have gully-holes; and in the localities, materially affected the sanitary condition of the summer months, the heat acting upon the fæcal matter, metropolis ; and this conviction has been confirmed by causes its decomposition, and carburetted and sulphu- personal examinations in the districts where slaughterretted hydrogen gas, and carbonic acid gas, all of which houses abound. He had also visited several of the slaughterare fatal to animal life, are disengaged, and rush out of the houses in the neighbourhood of Smithfield, Newgate, gully-holes, so that a blind man's nose will enable him to Leadenhall, Aldgate, and Clare Markets; more filthy places avoid approaching these outlets. Whenever he (Dr Lynch) he cannot conceive to exist than these Aceldamas of goes into places or houses contiguous to the slaughter- blood: there is a total absence of drainage, ventilation, houses, he is compelled to hold his nose all the time he is and natural light; the machinery is imperfect; the water there, the stench is so great. He has patients in all those supply inadequate and impure; the blood and filth aconhouses. They are never free from the effects of it; and mulate in the cellars for months; and he was always ill when the people there are dangerously ill, he is without after inspecting them. the hope, by any exercise of skill, of restoring them to Not the least important feature in the establishment of health. He invariably makes it a rule to intreat them to out-lying abattoirs is, that bone-boiling, skin-dressing, glac, conquer their repugnance to go into the workhouse, in gut, and horn manufactures, and numerous other noxious order that they may have better air ; and if they accede, crafts in connection with the offal and refuse of slaughterthe medicines that would have failed in the noxious houses, highly prejudicial to the public health, and intoatmosphere before, restore them in most instances to lerable nuisances where they are now carried on, would health. The people where such smells are “ drink;” it is a shortly find their way out of town to the neighbourhood of kind of instinct--they fly to it; they fancy that the stimulus the depòts of the matériel they require. resists the noxious agency of the foul air they are breath
He had visited the abattoirs at Paris: the continental ing; and they are right: malaria, such as is generated in system formed a striking contrast to that pursued in this these slaughter-houses, is a narcotic poison; it oppresses country-nothing could be better devised than the plan both body and mind; and under the influence of this adopted in France; and he derived such infinite pleasure physical and mental depression, they instinctively resort from witnessing the improvement, that he has never ceased to the gin-shop, which aggravates their distresses, by ex- to urge the importance of its adoption in this metropolis, tracting from them the means of living perhaps better and every other city throughout the United Kingdom. than they do.
Charles J. B. Aldis, Esq. M.D., physician to the LonThe sewer which receives the refuse of the slaughter- don and Surrey Dispensaries, was physician to the Farring house in Bear Alley comes down the declivity, and runs don Dispensary in 1844, which at that time was situated under two houses occupied by a Mrs James and a Mrs in the locality of several of the metropolitan slaughterBethell, in Farringdon Street. În every part of Mrs James's houses. Small-pox and fever were very prevalent, the nunhouse the stench is so strong, that he frequently fore- ber of cases exceeding those of other dispensaries, though warned them that they would have an attack of fever. situated in as densely-populated a district, which he attriThe lady in question was attacked with erysipelas in the buted to the inhalation of accumulated poison generated head and face, and died, in spite of everything that could in the slaughter-houses. The decomposition of animal be done, and showed evidence, even after death, of the matter therein gives out poison of the most viruleat state the system had been in, owing to the absorption of nature. Upon visiting these places, he found quantities of putrid poison, emanating from the decomposition in that blood, paunches, and their contents, strewed all over the sewer of animal matter from the slaughter-houses, which ground, and heaped up in the corners, which were giving gives out sulphuretted hydrogen and carbonic acid gas in out a miasma redolent of small- pox and fever; indeed immense quantities.
there were no less than seven cases of the former at the There is a slaughter-house in Fox and Knot Court; it is Farringdon Dispensary in one day-an instance surpassing a very large establishment, and the proprietor endeavours all his experience. In the vicinity of Bear Alley, a birdto keep down its offensiveness; he has recourse to every fancier who resided there could keep no birds alive; has means he can devise to counteract the bad effects; he has been obliged to prescribe for patients outside their houses, it sluiced and washed frequently; and notwithstanding he for fear of being sick with the vapours from the slaughterhas the advantage of a steep declivity to the main sewer of houses gaining access to the courts and alleys, which, the Fleet, the stench, especially in warm weather, is most being destitute of ventilation, pervades every room in the intolerable. A few months back, he (Dr Lynch) was houses, dealing out disease and death amongst the inhaobliged to interfere, in consequence of the people right bitants. and left in this locality being attacked with sickness of the William A. Guy, Esq. M.D., is physician to King's Colstomach, bowel complaint, and fever; they stated it all lege Hospital ; considers slaughter-houses in the midst