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It is admitted that the present condition of things cannot last. What projects the far-seeing and intellectual Emperor of the French may have in view to remedy an impossible state of things, it would be premature to discuss. The future foundation of a kingdom of Algeria would give no present relief to the tension that oppresses army, colonists, and natives. The tribes living at a distance from the centres of population are precisely in the same position with regard to the French that they were from the beginning. This is one of the first and most important difficulties to solve. Fort Napoleon alone holds them in check. The natives dwelling within the radius of European activity are harassed, anxious, and discontented. They are always in apprehension that their lands will be taken from them, and they themselves driven into the interior. Another administrative wheel is wanted, it is argued, devoted to their interests solely, to foster, to encourage, and to give them that confidence in French integrity which they sadly lack. A general insurrection of the natives would not be put down without immense loss of life, not to
the chronic insecurity of European colonists. While the Europeans seek to expand themselves, what is well known in Algeria as « l'obstacle à la colonisation,” continues to be in full sway. The manner in which a Frenchman understands colonisation is thus explained by our old and experienced chef de bureau :
“A monsieur comes from France with numerous letters of recommendation; he takes a walk in the Mitija, and casts his eye upon a bit of land occupied and cultivated by an Arab family. The colonist in futuro asks for this land, attesting at the same time that the native occupier is the only obstacle to colonisation, and that he must be expelled. He succeeds, and signifies to the Arab that he must give up possession, and go and live on another bit of land some eight or ten leagues off, in a totally different region. The Massulman fails to perceive the justice or the advantage of these instructions, and he declines. This is just what the grantee hoped and expected. After prolonged negotiations the Frenchman leaves the native in possession, but he insists upon a heavy indemnification for the loss of his concession. What good does this transaction do to the country? None ; the state loses in powers of taxation, the native is mulcted out of a large sum of money, while monsieur, having arranged this little affair, returns to France with the profits of the transaction in his pocket, and declares that nothing can be done in Africa !"
What an enormous revenue might be raised in India if the same happy system were in vogue! The French, according to M. Hugonnet, are great in preaching morality, integrity, progress, amelioration, and civilisation in theory, but very bad in practice. The fact is, that, after thirtyyears of occupation, the great mass of the French know nothing about Algeria. A great number of books are published, and are noticed by the press, but always in the two senses which actuate all parties in France, as they tend to substantiate imperial views, or as they require to be restrained in the fear of revolutionary propagandism. Neither have anything to do with the future of Algeria, but the French people care for nothing else. In the mean time, capital and population make no movement towards a country the possession of which is not an assured fact country which is rather garrisoned than colonised. If the State, urged by public opinion, puts up grants of land at auction, the natives are the sole purchasers.
This led the preachers of liberty and equality to urge that the natives should not have the power to bid! Military chiefs entrench themselves within an impenetrable circle of ideas, the civil government is still more unapproachable. There are in Algeria no guarantees, as there once were in America, for civil and political liberty; hence the general dislike of European populations-Germans, Swiss, and others, as well as Frenchto emigrate there. It is vain to say that this or that system of administration, or this or that set of administrators, influence the colonisation of Algeria ; it is the character of the country and of the natives, the difficulty of acquiring property, the insecurity of life, and the meddling of officialism, that keep back capital and emigrants. But not one French writer can see these facts, and, to the last of those before us, they all, with the same melancholy wail of helplessness, aver that “ the superior initiative has not yet made itself sufficiently felt.” Well, Napoleon III. will probably build a mansion, plant a park, and enclose a model farm, and the “ superior initiative" will make itself felt. But will capital and population flock any the more to these bold, rocky, piratical shores? Will the emigrant dwell any the more amid the tent and God-living Telliens, or scorch under the fierce sun of the Algerian Sahara ? It is to be doubted; but still progress, if slow, is certain, so long as it pays, and the country affords a good nursery for soldiers.
SIR JOSEPH PAXTON.
By NICHOLAS MICHELL.
ANOTHER of those men whom force of mind
And genius elevate from out the crowd,
Fame, well deserved, her trumpet blowing loud-
Whose soul was steeped with beauty, and whose hand
Till they looked paradise or fairy land-
Visions of brightness in his teeming brain,
Could such conceive, such dreams from beauty gain;
They rose beneath his eye, and nations came,
Aud wondered at the structures. Greece and Rome Lent no grand models whence he caught his flame,
The “Order" Paxton's, and conceived at home. -
The soaring Transept, like a concave sea,
While founts leap high, proud in such spot to be,
He mingled with the magnates of the land,
Simple in spirit, in demeanour bland; Well did he bear his honours, meek, sedate, And, not affecting greatness, he was great. But ne'er the architect forgot his flowers;
He loved them with a passion that could die Only with his existence; mid the showers
Of favouring fortune, sickness dimmed his eye ; He slowly pined, not stricken yet with years, And friends, for many loved him, mourned with tears. A show of flowers in that great dome of glass ;
Once more he would behold them-yet once more; Slow up the transept was he seen to pass,
His cheek was pale, his eye no brightness wore; Gently they walked beside, spoke words of cheer; 'Twas his last visit—death was hovering near. Sweetly the flowers were breathing odours round him,
And shone on every side rich stores of art; He paused---looked up—a silent spell had bound hin,
The glories of the place entranced his heart; His brow was flushed, and o'er bis pallid cheek Light, as of old, an instant seemed to break. What passed within his mind 'twere vain to say.;
Haply the thought that this vast, glittering pile Would with his name be linked, when he was clay,
Sent pleasure to his soul, and woke his smile :
A high example to the million lie,
Genius and worth the best nobility:
* The last time that Sir Joseph Paxton entered the Crystal Palace was on the occasion of the recent flower-show; he was then very weak and ill, but being anxious to review the arrangement of the flowers, he proceeded to many of the stands.
It is in the nature of all mortal beings, more especially in the nature of men, to forget. And well it is that the hoary wizard Time exercises its salutary influence over us to increase this mental inclination ; for if sadness were never to wear out, if past miseries were always to press keenly on us, if bygone injuries and troubles were to be ever present to us, what would the world be?
It would be a gloomy, howling wilderness. But the beneficent Creator, who has bestowed on us life and light, has also bestowed on us the gift of becoming accustomed to what has been inevitable in the past, and granted us hope to direct our thoughts to the future, here and hereafter.
Edgar Howard, like all others, felt the deadening influence of time, and rolled over his head, and he mingled in the stirring scenes of life, the episode of the past, in which the loveliest creature he had ever beheld, Coralie, played so prominent a part, began to fade into a sweet, soothing dream, and he could think of her as a pure spirit in angelworlds, rather than the earthly being whose brief life had closed in sorrow and suffering. In a word, he had got over his disappointment, acute as that had been at first.
He had enjoyed the society of other young ladies, he had admired beauty, and wit, and amiable manners, and had nearly fallen in love once or twice ; but something had always happened to make him throw off the chains with which Cupid would have fettered him, until he beheld Madeleine Stuart. She was such a bewitching little creature, so amusingly coquettish, at the same time so innocent-looking, so almost childish in her gaiety, so exceedingly graceful and pretty, that she quite fascinated him, and he was the more attracted by her because he fancied he
perceived a slight resemblance in her features, especially her eyes and her mouth, to those of Coralie.
“They are like,” he said to himself, " and yet they are very different. Wherein lies this difference?"
Had Captain Howard looked a little below the surface, a little further than the exterior shell, he might have perceived that the difference was in the mind—the mind, which can often make a plain face look charming, and the absence of which sometimes renders the most regular and exquisite features dull, vapid, and uninteresting. But Madeleine’s animal spirts did duty for intelligence ; she
was very lively when in a good humour, and then her enjouement was so fascinating that it seemed to exercise a magic charm over every one who happened to be in her society. And Captain Howard struck his flag to the little beauty, and became her captive.
How differently men are constituted. Some of them, though not vain in other respects, feel a happy conviction that whenever they choose to make a matrimonial offer it will not be rejected ; while others, generally considered conceited, are timid in this respect, and are afraid of hazarding a proposal, for fear of its being refused.
Edgar Howard was neither timid nor very confident, but he thought that it would be wiser to wait until the family returned to Woodbury, whither he expected to accompany them, and to disclose his sentiments there, than to declare them amidst the amusements and distractions of Paris. Whatever Madeleine thought, she said nothing, but she seemed to accept Edgar's attentions with pleasure ; and Agnes hoped that her capricious sister, though she had refused Lord Eskdale, might be willing to marry Alfred's gallant and most estimable cousin, Captain Howard.
One day that Agnes and Madeleine were driving out together, unac. companied by either Alfred or Edgar, an open carriage passed their closed one, and in this open carriage sat a lady very showily dressed, and a gentleman by her side. Madeleine caught a glimpse of the lady, and thrusting her head out of the carriage window, she screamed, “ Maman! maman !"
The lady, whether she heard the voice or not, did not turn round, but the gentleman, who was nearer Mrs. Percival's carriage than the lady, looked back, and hardly glancing at Madeleine, fixed his eyes beyond her on the lovely and startled countenance of her sister.
“ Stop, stop!” shrieked Madeleine. Agnes, it is mamma! Make them stop-pull the string this moment."
Agnes laid her hand on the string, but she did not pull it.
“ Tell the courier to run after that carriage and stop it !” cried Madeleine, imperiously, to Agnes, almost in the same breath giving the command to the man herself.
The carriage stopped, and the servant got down from the box to receive his orders from Mrs. Percival.
“Who was the gentleman in that carriage, Madeleine, if you know?" asked Agnes, hurriedly:
“ Then we cannot try to overtake the carriage; we cannot speak to our poor mother if that man is with her.”
“Nonsense ; you are a fool, Agnes," she said, angrily, and, leaning across her sister, she desired the man to tell the coachman to drive as fast as he could after the open carriage which had passed them, and stop it. The servant touched his hat, sprang up again on the box, and gave the order to the coachman. But it so happened that another open carriage, a cabriolet containing two gentlemen, had also just passed Mrs. Percival's conveyance, and the coachman, supposing that was the one in question, pursued it as fast as the horses would go, for the cabriolet was dashing on with great speed. The cabriolet turned down a narrow side-street, and Mrs. Percival's carriage turned the corner sharply also, and reached the vehicle with the two gentlemen just as it stopped at the door of a tailor's shop, and drew up alongside of it; whereupon the coachman officiously exclaimed:
“ Ces dames veulent vous parler, messieurs.”