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EARL OF DUNRAVEN.
[The fourth Earl of Dunraven and Mount- | pulse of the crew, the sharp quick beat of the Earl was born in 1841. Before his father's paddles on the water, and the roll of their death, while Viscount Adare, he devoted him- shafts against the gunwale, with the continuous self very considerably to literary pursuits, and hiss and ripple of the stream cleft by the curvgained a good deal of the experience afforded ing prow, combine to make a more soothing by the discharge of the varied and adventur- soporific than all the fabrications of poppy and ous duties of special correspondent. In this mandragora that can be found in the pharmacapacity he served the Daily Telegraph through- copoeia of civilization. out the Abyssinian campaign and the FrancoGerman war, and his letters contained some of the most graphic descriptions that appeared even in that journal of graphic writing during these exciting periods. He afterwards made a tour through the less frequented parts of the United States, and the result of his observations was given to the world in a book entitled The Great Divide, a work which abounds in brilliant descriptions, and which received almost universally favourable criticism. He succeeded to the title in 1871. During the last few years he has taken a prominent part in the debates in the House of Lords, and he is probably one of those marked out for office in future Liberal administrations.]
(FROM "THE GREAT DIVIDE.")
Among all the modes of progression hitherto invented by restless man, there is not one that can compare in respect of comfort and luxury with travelling in a birch-bark canoe. It is the poetry of progression. Along the bottom of the boat are laid blankets and bedding; a sort of wicker-work screen is sloped against the middle thwart, affording a delicious support to the back; and indolently, in your shirt sleeves if the day be warm, or well covered with a blanket if it is chilly, you sit or lie on this most luxurious of couches, and are propelled at a rapid rate over the smooth surface of a lake or down the swift current of some stream. If you want exercise, you can take a paddle yourself. If you prefer to be inactive, you can lie still and placidly survey the scenery, rising occasionally to have a shot at a wild duck; at intervals reading, smoking, and sleeping. Sleep indeed you will enjoy most luxuriously, for the rapid bounding motion of the canoe as she leaps forward at every im
Dreamily you lie side by side-you and your friend-lazily gazing at the pine-covered shores and wooded islands of some unknown lake, the open book unheeded on your knee; the half-smoked pipe drops into your lap; your head sinks gently back; and you wander into dreamland, to awake presently and find yourself sweeping round the curve of some majestic river, whose shores are blazing with the rich crimson, brown, and gold of the maple and other hard-wood trees in their autumn dress.
Presently the current quickens. The best man shifts his place from the stern to the bow, and stands ready with his long-handled paddle to twist the frail boat out of reach of hidden rocks. The men's faces glow with excitement. Quicker and quicker flows the stream, breaking into little rapids, foaming round rocks, and rising in tumbling waves over the shallows. At a word from the bowman the crew redouble their efforts, the paddle-shafts crash against the gunwale, the spray flies beneath the bending blades. The canoe shakes and quivers through all its fibres, leaping bodily at every stroke.
Before you is a seething mass of foam, its whiteness broken by horrid black rocks, one touch against whose jagged sides would rip the canoe into tatters and hurl you into eternity. Your ears are full of the roar of waters; waves leap up in all directions, as the river, maddened at obstruction, hurls itself through some narrow gorge. The bowman stands erect to take one look in silence, noting in that critical instant the line of deepest water; then bending to his work, with sharp, short words of command to the steersman, he directs the boat. The canoe seems to pitch heedlong into space. Whack! comes a great wave over the bow; crash! comes another over the side. The bowman, his figure stooped, and his knees planted firmly against the side, stands, with paddle poised in both hands, screaming to the
crew to paddle hard; and the crew cheer and | tailed. Not a bit of it! Not a sign of Capua shout with excitement in return. You, too, get wild, and feel inclined to yell defiance to the roaring hissing flood that madly dashes you from side to side. After the first plunge you are in a bewildering whirl of waters. The shore seems to fly past you. Crash! You are right on that rock, and (I don't care who you are) you will feel your heart jump into your mouth, and you will catch the side with a grip that leaves a mark on your fingers afterwards. No! With a shriek of command to the steersman, and a plunge of his paddle, the bowman wrenches the canoe out of its course. Another stroke or two, another plunge forward, and with a loud exulting yell from the bowman, who flourishes his paddle round his head, you pitch headlong down the final leap, and with a grunt of relief from the straining crew glide rapidly into still water.
about the place! There might have been laps, but there was no luxury. A street of straggling shanties, a bank, a blacksmith's shop, a few dry-goods stores, and bar-rooms, constitute the main attractions of the "city." A gentleman had informed me that Virginia city contained brown stone-front houses and paved streets, equal, he guessed, to any Eastern town. How that man did lie in his Wellingtons! The whole place was a delusion and a snare. One of the party was especially mortified, for he had been provided with a letter of introduction to some ladies, from whose society he anticipated great pleasure; but when he came to inquire, he found, to his intense disgust, that they were in Virginia City, Nevada, "ten thousand miles away!" However, we soon became reconciled to our fate. We found the little inn very clean and comfortable; we dined on deer, antelope, and bear meat, a fact which raised hopes of hunting in our bosoms; and the people were exceedingly civil, kind, obliging, and anxious to assist strangers in any possible way, as, so far as my experience goes of America, and indeed of all countries, they invariably are as soon as you get off the regular lines of travel.
Virginia City is situated on Alder Gulch. It is surrounded by a dreary country, resembling the more desolate parts of Cumberland, and consisting of interminable waves of steep low hills, covered with short, withered grass. I went out for a walk on the afternoon of our arrival, and was most disagreeably impressed. I could not get to the top of anything, and consequently could obtain no extended view. I kept continually climbing to the summit of grassy hills, only to find other hills, grassier and higher, surrounding me on all sides. The wind swept howling down the combes, and whistled shrilly in the short wiry herbage; large masses of raggededged black clouds were piled up against a leaden sky; not a sign of man or beast was to be seen. It began to snow heavily, and I was glad to turn my back to the storm and scud for home.
Through the calm gloaming, through the lovely hours of moonlit night you glide, if the stream is favourable and the current safe; the crew of Metis, or French half-breeds, asleep, wrapped in their white capotes, all but the steersman, who nods over his paddle and croons to himself some old Normandy or Breton song. Or, landing in the evening, you struggle back from the romance of leaf tints and sunset glows to the delicious savouriness of a stew, composed of fat pork, partridges, potatoes, onions, fish, and lumps of dough; and having ballasted yourself with this compound, and smoked the digestive pipe, sleep on sweet pine-tops till you're levéed by the steersman in the morning, when you pursue your way, not miserable and cross, as you would be at home after such a mess of pottage, but bright, happy, and cheerful; capable of enjoying to the full the glories of the daybreak, watching the watery diamonds from the paddle-blades flashing in the sun, and listening to the echoing notes of A la claire fontaine, or some other French-Canadian song.
A CITY IN THE GREAT WEST.
Virginia City. Good Lord! What a name for the place! We had looked forward to it during the journey as to a sort of haven of rest, a lap of luxury; a Capua in which to forget our woes and weariness; an Elysium where we might be washed, clean-shirted, rubbed, shampooed, barbered, curled, cooled, and cock
Alder Gulch produced at one time some of the richest placer workings of the continent. It was discovered in 1863, and about thirty millions of dollars' worth of gold have been won from it. Of late years very little has been done, and at present the industrious Chinaman alone pursues the business of rewashing the old dirt heaps, and making money where any one else would starve. In truth,
he is a great washerwoman is your Chinaman, | passion for excitement, a hatred of "the town equally successful with rotten quartz and and its narrow ways," and of all and any of dirty shirts. Alder Gulch is about twelve the steady wage-getting occupations of life, miles in length, and half a mile broad. It he braves summer's heat and winter's cold, is closed at the head by a remarkable lime- thirst and starvation, hostile Indians and stone ridge, the highest point of which is jealous whites; perhaps paddling a tiny birchknown as "Old Baldy Mountain,” and it leads bark canoe over unmapped, unheard-of lakes, into the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri. away to the far and misty North, or driving Along the sides of the valley may be seen before him over the plains and prairies of a many patches of black basalt, and the bottom more genial clime his donkey or Indian pony, is covered entirely by drift, composed of laden with the few necessaries that supply all material weather and water worn out of the wants of his precarious life—a little flour, metamorphic rocks, the fragments varying in some tea and sugar tied up in a rag, a battered size from large boulders to fine sand and frying-pan and tin cup, a shovel, axe, and gravel. In this drift the float gold is found. rusty gun. Through untrodden wastes he In Montana the deposits of the precious metal wanders, self-dependent and alone, thinking generally occur in metamorphic rocks, belong- of the great spree he had the last time he was ing probably to the Huronian or Laurentian in "settlements," and dreaming of what a series. These are clearly stratified, not unfre- good time he will enjoy when he gets back quently intercalated with bands of clay or rich with the value of some lucky find, till sand, and underlie the whole country, forming chance directs him to the Gulch. After a beds of great thickness, very massive and rapid but keen survey, he thinks it is a likelyclose-grained in their lower layers, but grow- looking place, capsizes the pack off his pony, ing softer and looser in texture towards the leans lazily upon his shovel, spits, and finally surface. The superimposed formations, car- concludes to take a sample of the dirt. Listboniferous limestones and others, appear to lessly, but with what delicacy of manipulation have been almost wholly removed by erosion. he handles the shovel, spilling over its edges In this part of Montana, indeed, the forces of the water and lighter mud! See the look of erosion must have acted with great vigour for interest that wakens up his emotionless face a long period of time. The general character as the residue of sediment becomes less and of the country where placer mines exist may less! Still more tenderly he moves the circbe said to be a series of deep gulches, fre- ling pan, stooping anxiously to scan the quently dry in the height of summer, but few remaining grains of fine sand. A minute carrying foaming torrents after heavy rains speck of yellow glitters in the sun; with and in snow-melting time, leading at right another dexterous turn of the wrist, two or angles into a principal valley, and combining three more golden grains are exposed to view. to form a little river, or, as it would be locally He catches his breath; his eyes glisten; bis called, a creek. This principal stream courses heart beats. Hurrah! He has found the in a broad valley through the mountains for colour! and "a d--d good colour too." It perhaps 60, 80, or 100 miles, and at every two is all over with your primeval forest now; not or three miles of its progress receives the all the Indians this side of Halifax or the waters of a little tributary torrent, tearing other place could keep men out of that gulch. through the strata in deep cañons for ten or In a short time claims are staked, tents erected, twelve miles, and searching the very vitals of shanties built, and "Roaring Camp" is in full the hills. Down these gulches, cañons, and blast with all its rowdyism, its shooting, valleys are carried the yellow specks torn gambling, drinking, and blaspheming, and its from their quartz and felspar cradles, hurried under-current of charity, which never will be downward by the melting snow, and battered credited by those who value substance less into powder by falling boulders and grinding than shadows, and think more of words than rocks, till they sink in beds of worthless sand deeds. and mud, there to lie in peace for ages amid the solitudes of primeval forest and eternal snow. Some fine day there comes along a dirty, dishevelled, tobacco-chewing fellow "fossicker," as they would say in Australia, prospector," as he would be called in the States. Impelled by a love of adventure, a
Although the float gold undoubtedly had its origin in the metamorphic rocks through which the streams have cut their way, yet, strange as it may appear, the exceptions where paying lodes have been found at the head of rich placer mines are extremely rare. No discoveries of any value have been made
in the rocks towards the head of Alder Gulch, | generally in gneiss. The trend of the whole from which the tons of gold-dust, panned out metamorphic series is about north-west and from the bed of the stream, must have come. south-east. It would appear as though the upper portions There was nothing to interest us in Virginia of the strata contained all the metal, and the City, or in the neighbourhood. The chances inferior layers were either very lean or entirely of good sport appeared on inquiry to be very destitute of ore. The lodes throughout all doubtful, and so, as soon as we had rested this section have a general north-east and ourselves, we decided, after a council of war, south-west strike, and dip nearly west at an to go to Fort Ellis, and have a week's huntangle of fifty or sixty degrees. The matrix ing in that locality, while we were waiting is felspar and quartz, exhibiting various for Wynne, who ought to have joined us degrees of hardness in texture, and occurring | long ago.
[Charles Anderson Read was born on 10th | Henderson,' the proprietor of several popular November, 1841, at Kilsella House, near periodicals. He retained his connection with Sligo. Misfortune compelled the removal of this establishment till the end. His widow the family to Hilltown, near Newry, where writes: "After his office hours, and only then, Mr. Read, senior, obtained the appointment he followed his favourite pursuit of literature, of schoolmaster. It was intended that Charles not at that time, as formerly, for amusement, should be prepared for the Church, but this but of stern necessity." In this manner he proproject had to be abandoned, and at an early duced numerous sketches, poems, short tales, age he was, much to his regret, apprenticed to and nine novels, the most notable of the latter a merchant in Rathfriland. He made good being Love's Service, which appeared in the use of his leisure hours, however, continued Dublin University Magazine. Indeed, it is his his study of Latin, and, under the instruction best novel, although less known than his Aileen of his mother, acquired a knowledge of Irish. Aroon, or Savourneen Dheelish, of which the He also attempted original composition, and London Review said: "We are presented with when only about fifteen he contributed verses a view of agrarian crime in its most revolting to the local journals. The business in which aspect, and there is no false glamour thrown he was engaged changed hands; the new pro- around any of the characters. Many of the prietor offered him the position of acting incidents are highly dramatic, while the diapartner, which he accepted; and subsequently logue is bright and forcible." In 1873 he he became the sole proprietor. For a short became so ill that he took a voyage to Austime success appeared to crown his adventure, tralia. He returned apparently restored to and he married in 1862. But although he health, and resumed work with as much could act firmly enough when another person's energy as ever, although he could scarcely be interest was involved, he could not act so said to have ceased work, for during the firmly when only his own safety was at stake. voyage out and home he completed two tales He gave assistance and credit to every one and a metrical version of the Psalms of David. who appeared to be in difficulty, and only a A series of stories from the classics for the year after his marriage he was obliged to close young appeared in rapid succession in Young his doors. He gave everything he possessed Folks, a periodical circulating over 100,000 to his creditors, and in the course of a few copies weekly, and we can scarcely overestiyears, by dint of hard work and much per- mate the educational influence which must sonal privation, he paid their demands in full with interest.
On the failure of his business he made his way to London, where he obtained an engagement in the publishing office of Mr. James
1 In after years this gentleman persuaded Mr. Read to undertake a voyage to Australia in the hope that it might check the fatal disease (consumption) which had attacked
him, and made all necessary arrangements to enable him to do so in comfort.
have been exercised upon such a mass of readers by the representation in a popular form of the adventures of "Achilles,” “Odysseus," "Hercules," and "Jason."
During his last two years he was engaged in the most grateful task he had ever undertaken, namely, the production of The Cabinet of Irish Literature. With all the enthusiastic admiration of his country, its people, and its literature, which is characteristic of Irishmen, he regarded this work as one which ought to have appeared long ago; he believed that it would prove of the deepest interest to his countrymen, enabling them to realize the long roll of brilliant poets, orators, and prose writers which was their heritage, and he took it up reverently. One of his chief aims was to show how many of those authors who hold a first place in "English literature" belonged to his country.
Knowing that his time here was to be brief, he worked arduously, craving only for strength to complete this book. There is no more pathetic incident in literary biography than the appeal he made to his medical adviser when, a few weeks before the end came, feeling himself extremely feeble, he put the question: "Can I live for six months, so that I may finish this book?" The doctor (a faithful friend) felt it to be his duty to say, "I am afraid not;" and the answer was received in silence. He turned quietly to the duties of the day, setting his house in order, diligently utilizing every moment of strength, writing with his own hand when he was able to sit up, and at other times dictating to his wife. It was during this period that the poem "Beyond the River" was composed; it was found by Mrs. Read in his desk after his death, and it was evidently inspired by his thoughts of her. He died at his residence, Thornton Heath, Surrey, on 23d January, 1878.
The sorrow which is felt for his early death is in large measure relieved by the remembrance of how much he achieved; but there will always linger in the minds of those who knew him well a regret that he had not lived longer. Imaginative, and yet possessed of what is called common-sense to a remarkable degree,―prudent, and yet generous to a fault in helping those who were unfortunate,-he earned and deserved the respect of all with whom he came in contact.1]
1 For this sketch of the life of Mr. Read we are indebted to the pen of Mr. Charles Gibbon, author of Robin Gray, and other well-known novels.
AN IRISH MISTAKE.
"I cannot reach Sligo now before dark; that's certain," I muttered, as I hoisted my knapsack an inch or two higher, and began to cover the ground at my best rate. "However, the sooner I get there the better."
Presently I reached a spot where four roads met, and while I stood doubtful which to take a gig driven by some one singing in a loud key overtook me. At sight of my lonely figure the gig was halted suddenly, and the driver ceased his song.
"Ah, thin, may I ask, is your honour goin' my way?" said a full round voice. "It's myself that's mighty fond of company o' nights about here."
"I don't know what your way may be," I replied. "I wish to go to Sligo."
"Ah! thin, an' it's that same Sligo, the weary be on it, that I'd be afther goin' to myself," answered the driver. "But your honour looks tired-manin' no offince-an' perhaps you'd take a lift in the gig?" "Thank you; I will take a lift," I replied, as I stepped forward and sprang quickly to the seat. "The truth is, I feel rather tired, as you say."
"An' has your honour walked far?" asked the driver, as the gig rolled on towards the town.
"I've walked from Ballina since morning," I replied quietly.
"From Ballina! There, now, the Lord save us!" cried the man, as he half turned in his seat and gazed at me in astonishment. Why, that's a day's work for the best horse in the masther's stables."
"Your master must keep good horses, if I may judge by the one before us," I answered.
"The best in all the county, your honour, though I say it. There isn't a gossoon in the three baronies but knows that."
"Your master's a bit of a sportsman, then?" "Yes, your honour; an' if he'd stick to that, it's himself'd be the best-liked man from Ballina to Ballyshannon. You wouldn't find a better rider or a warmer heart in a day's march. But thim politics has been his ruin with the people."
"Oh, ah! I have heard that Sligo is rather a hot place during elections," I replied. "But surely the people don't turn upon their friends at such a time?"
2 Quoted by permission of the Messrs. Chambers.