« EelmineJätka »
than the other cities, yet so near to Zoar, on the opposite shore, as to have enabled Lot and his daughters to reach that city between break of day and sunrise, before the waters of the Dead Sea had filled up the southerly subsidence, may still present traces at the foot of the Salt Mountains, where De Saulcy avers to have detected such ; or, if buried beneath the waters, it would be at no great distance from the southwesterly shore. The width of the Dead Sea at the point in question is not so great as to forbid the first of these hypotheses. At the point where there still exists a ford across the sea, and which may be considered as the neck of the subsidence, it is barely five English miles from shore to shore; and from the supposed site of Sodom to that of Zoar, also the line of a ford in Kiepert's map, it is from ten to twelve milesten in Kiepert's map of Arabia Petræa, and twelve in that of Palestine, drawn for Robinson's “ Biblical Researches.” In Van de Velde's map it is only ten—not an impossible distance, in a hasty flight, between break of day and the time when the sun was risen upon the earth."
The chief argument to be adduced against such an hypothesis would be the earnest manner in which Lot interceded for the devoted city as being “near to flee to ;" but, after all, this was only in comparison with the mountains to which the patriarch was bid to escape by the angels, and the nearest mountains were those of Moab beyond Zoar.
HER MAJESTY'S OPPOSITION.
BY DOCTOR PINCH.
Now the thing for me
Of her Majesty's Opposition.
And flood them with derision!
With no object on earth
And excite the mirth
Oh 'twere pleasant to be
Of her Majesty's Opposition !
All to show up their false position.
Once having fix'd the Speaker's eye,
PALMERSTON, elderly evergreen,
How he liked “sitting under" LORD ABERDEEN ;
With Old Imbecility run to seed ?
Mr. GLADSTONE I'd congratulate-
On fraternity with the cause of mobs,
With the long-baird editor of Hobbes,
And then at bold Graham I'd let fly,
And all his antecedents ront,
The veteran trimmer to shame and scout,
Nor would I forget to have my fing
At Mr. James Wilson's Economist-ics,
And big blue-book statistics;
At ease, “not dead but spacheless,"
For sauce and badinage matchless,
But now a good boy, duly taught by SIR JAMES
To hold his tongue, and to prize the booty
To teach the old salts their duty.
And I'd laugh ad lib. (and ultrà) at Wood's
Which caused once more a spirit Grey
Mingle mingle as they may.
With the Pope's brass band, till they bluster'd rarely, And I'd say civil things to Mr. Lowe,
All to move the spleen of his chef, SIR CHARLIE, And I'd criticise Mr. Hayter's suavity,
And his tact in keeping stray votes in order, And Mr. Fred. Peel's precocious gravity,
And Counsellor Silvertongie BetueLL's soft-sawdor.
They might call me fractious,
While I talk'd all night,
But I'd give them my mind
Cheer'd by friends behind,
Nor the chorus for a division,
Of her Majesty's Opposition.
Of Flowers of Billingsgate adorning :
And I wouldn't go home till morning.
THE CAMP AT BOULOGNE.
BY DUDLEY COSTELLO.
The readers of the New Monthly have not, I hope, forgotten that the Stickfast steamer, from London to Boulogne, got aground last month on the French coast between Ambleteuse and Cape Grisnez, and that her passengers landed at the little village of Audresselles to pursue the rest of their journey on terra firma, in defiance of the opposition made to that movement by the steamer's irritable commander, Captain Nettle. I have nothing more to record of the proceedings of the last-named individual, save that he floated his vessel off at the next tide and took her safely into port, under a considerable press of growling and swearing, which, as there were no passengers left on board, was expended on the crew. Something, however, remains to be told of what befel the ladies and gentlemen whose “Trip" I have undertaken to describe, and the following pages are dedicated to that purpose.
A line of march is often a very straggling sort of affair, even with the best regulated armies, and as the travellers from the Stickfast made no pretensions to order or regularity, but got on how they could, it is not surprising that they did not " keep up” very closely. I cannot, therefore, give a detailed account of the movements of the whole party, but must confine myself to the select few whose fortunes I have hitherto followed.
The vehicle which held Mrs. Crake and her fair daughter, also provided accommodation for Mr. Sawkins, who was excepted from the general category of pedestrians on account of the severity of his corns and general physical debility. It was that description of earriage which in Paris is called a “coucou," in the provinces a “patache,” and with us might be designated a covered cart without springs, very much off its balance, and throwing all the weight upon the collar.
The order of march was as follows:
Mr. Pike announced at starting, in language of his own, that he would lead “ the wan," but as a measure of precaution, and indeed for what he (as well as Prince Gortsehakoff) called “ strategical reasons,” he " threw out” Messrs. Shum and Snoddy as “wedettes," with particular instructions not to suffer themselves to be “outflanked” or “ cut off;" selecting for his “staff,” whom he prudently directed to keep close beside him for fear of a “surprise," Mr. Worts, who was invested with the rank of brigade major, and Mr. Twigg with that of aide-de-camp. Albert Criddle, in whose bearing gallantry and manliness were alike conspicuous, took up a position near the patache, where he could see and converse with, as well as protect the object of his affeetions; Ruggles, of the nautical mind, “ kept a bright look out,” as he phrased it, “ on the weather-quarter," which, in plain English meant, on the other side of the cart; and Mr. Crake, being relieved from the care of attending to either wife or daughter, fraternised with the gentleman in the blouse who owned the patache and drove it, sometimes sitting on'the shaft, and sometimes-indeed, very often-rushing forward to tug at the horse's
bridle and urge him forward with the butt-end of his whip and untranslateable maledictions.
That Mr. Pike acted with consummate judgment in sending Messrs. Shum and Snoddy in front to feel the way, instead of undertaking that task himself, was very soon made apparent, for they had not proceeded half a mile before they suddenly foundered up to their waists in a bog. It is true that Achille, the patache-proprietor, shouted to them to keep to the right, and thus avoid the tourbière, but as they did not understand a word he said, and had no experience in bog-trotting, they kept, of course, to the left, and were-as Mr. Crake remarked—“in for it." The getting out again involved them in a good deal of dirt and difficulty, and when once they stood on dry land again they declined the duty of pioneering any further, and were ordered by the indignant commanderin-chief to the rear, where they slowly followed the patache, the mud and water squelching in their boots at every step they took. Mr. Pike and his staff, profiting by experience, also "fell back on the main body," and in the course of an hour “debouched” upon Ambleteuse, “ right in front”—that is to say, Ambleteuse was right in front of them, and they entered it.
As the French people are the earliest risers in the world—some suppose they never go to bed—the whole population of the village was what Mr. Crake called “on the kee-vee," and showed quite as much curiosity as was agreeable to the unexpected travellers : rather more, perhaps, than was altogether pleasant to Messrs. Shum and Snoddy, whose mud-bath had not greatly improved their personal appearance. A few words, however, from Achille explained the meaning of this sudden invasion, and they were not made prisoners, as Mr. Sawkins had anticipated when first the party were surrounded. On the contrary, a breakfast of bread, milk, and eggs was purveyed at the little inn, which, by-the-by, bears the sign of " Le maquereau frais," and thus cheered and refreshed—the gentlemen “topping off” with small glasses of fiery brandy, known in the neighbouring camp as “sacré-chien"—the pilgrims once more pursued their route.
They stood in need of a little brandy, even if it was not exactly the best of its kind, for they had a long pull across the country to Macquinghen, and from thence to Wimille. There is something in a French hill which makes it seem as if you could never get to the top of it, and something in a French cross-road which very much makes you wish that you had never set foot on it. The hills which Messrs. Pike and Company breasted, and the roads along which they laboured, sufficiently tested their mettle, and what Mr. Sawkins suffered in the hinder partof the patache-where he was not provided, like the ladies, with a cushion, has since supplied him with a subject that bids fair to rival the reminiscences of Coxheath.
On an eminence just above Wimille the party came in sight of the camp, and halted to view it and take breath at the same time ; Mr. Pike, as skilful in castrametation as in most other military matters, openly condemned the huts which, he said, were not near so “soldierlike” as tents and marquees, his principal reason being, that "you couldn't strike 'em and carry 'em off in the baggidge-waggings.” Mr. Pike would have amplified on this theme, but the ladies and Mr. Sawkins