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ing him in the bush, while the provisions for the whole camp, during the slow African travel and the many enforced halts, swell the estimates considerably. All is not gold that glitters, even to Abou and Mehmet, in their equatorial bivouacs.

The other side of Africa, the dreaded west coast, was long a favourite region with speculative ship-owners of Bristol and Liverpool. Guinea has a wealthy sound, and the Gold Coast, the Ivory Coast, and the Slave Coast, as we see their names marked in old maps, had each their votaries. No very great quantity of the sparkling yellow grains, washed by negroes from the sands of the mountain streams, ever came to Europe, and palm-oil, and ground-nuts, and the black monkey-skins, of which muffs are made, yield a larger value of exports than either gold or ivory. The western tribes are too distracted by chronic war for inland commerce to thrive, and it is far, very far, from the muddy outlets of the Brass and Bonny rivers to the green stretches of rolling forests where the elephant herds range in numbers not yet seriously thinned. But, although the black dwellers by the sea are more keenly alive to the value of coin than were their greatgrandfathers, some money is still made, in a quiet way, along the coast. Condemned muskets, damaged powder, scarlet cloth, looking-glasses, knives, beads, buttons, still rule high. Rum is in eager demand. Gaudy kerchiefs, glaring shawls, prints of violent colour and design, are yet in request at the courts of sable kings. Formerly a gun would buy a man, and that sentient chattel, being shipped and landed at Cuba, brought in from three to six hundred dollars as an average. There are yellow old brokers and supercargoes, living in rickety little stores near the tidal mud of those fever-haunted rivers on whose banks so many brave seamen lie buried, who sigh over what they call the good old days of permitted slave-dealing, when a gun could do this. And what a gun it was! Made, probably, at a total cost of from eighteen to twenty-four shillings, expressly for the African trade, and not unlikely to burst before it had fired a score of shots.

made to wear. Shoddy is a term of elastic meaning, and its principle is by no means confined to the ingenious manufacturers who labour assiduously to transmute old into new. The houses which sanguine builders, in their own phrase, run up, with their green timber, frail roofs, tremulous floors, and walls of portentous thinness, were built to sell, to let, to mortgage, but not exactly to live in. But plate-glass windows, brightly painted doors, and an innocent-looking front of spotless stucco, suffice to blind a hurried and easily led generation to the imperfections of Lumbago-terrace. Whatever may be thought of the wisdom of our ancestors, they did, at least, contrive to get a house built so that it should last, whereas whole squares and crescents of the whited sepulchres of our own time must before many years become as Tadmors in the brick and mortar wilderness.

Sometimes what was originally good has passed away, and but the outer husk remains, the shell without the oyster, or rather with a pseudo-mollusk lurking within the treacherous bivalve. There is no mistake about the merits of Maltby's bitter beer, when we can get it. The other far- famed firm, Hopper and Company, whose vats and tall chimneys are at Beerborough-on-Brent, even as those of Maltby are, send forth a pale ale of excellent virtues. Unhappily, the world-renowned trade-marks of these well-known brewers do not always protect their thirsty patrons from imbibing what is not nice, and may not be wholesome. The concoctors of the amber liquor have done what they could. There are their genuine labels on the outside of that glass impostor, the bottle. We see, and are pacified by seeing, the famous yellow crescent of one house, the celebrated red star that is the cognisance of the other. There is even a legend or inscription, giv ing us the name and address of the privi leged wight who reverently drew the pure ale from the cask, and consigned it to the bottle. But, alas! it too often happens that the frothing liquid within was never at Beerborough at all, and has no right to claim cousinship with the clear waters of It is not only for negro use that articles the Brent. The bottle has been sold and arc, like the famous razors which the Lon-resold, emptied and refilled, who knows don street hawker disposed of to the crebe months since some dulous countryman, made to sell. Α one sipped the real Beerborough nectar woollen-draper must be pretty well assured that it once imprisoned, for see, the label, that much of the cloth which he vends, through much handling, is ragged and dim, and in the fabric of which new wool is and the drink that mantles in our glass sparingly mixed with the tortured frag- is but the blood of a very inferior John ments of old garments, is certainly not Barleycorn.

how often. It may

It may be a traditionary precaution, some lingering sentiment of the old highhanded days when men hid their gold and buried their savings for fear of robber and free lance, of the king's request for a benevolence, and the abbot's plea for altar dues, but it is certain that no retail dealer will confess to making a profit. This reluctance to own to a thriving state of affairs is pushed to exaggeration in those continental towns where the most manifestly prosperous tradesmen do not scruple to assure the travelling Briton that the few odd sous or groschen which he feebly tries to knock off the price of what he buys, represent the seller's whole benefit by the transaction. And yet it is to the large shop, with its long range of huge windows, and its sumptuous trophies of goods, that even humble and needy purchasers feel themselves drawn as by a magnet. It has been well remarked that if an intending buyer sallied forth to make the modest acquisition of a single egg, he or she would pass the stall where one egg lay in the vender's moss-lined basket, timidly murmuring, as it were, "Come, cook me," and would go on to yonder booth where there are eggs in chests, eggs in hampers, eggs ranged like grape-shot on napkin-covered boards, the stock-in-trade of a Croesus among egg merchants. And yet the customer would still want but one egg from all this abundance.

Old-established shops, well situated and well known, have a certain advantage over newer and more brilliant rivals of which their owners are still better aware than are those who deal there. It will be as well if the old-established shop supplies wares of reasonably good quality, though even that is not compulsory. An establishment which was once noted for real merits may go on undeservingly for a long time before it has quite tired out the patience of the public. Much depends, no doubt, on the character and the deportment of the old-established shopkeeper himself. He should sell dear, that is his sheet-anchor, for the connexion between what is cheap and what is nasty is so deeply rooted in some minds that they are prone to draw the illogical inference that what is expensive must be good of its kind. The Old-Established himself should be worthy of his emporium. An imposing presence, a grand air, are not given to all, but much may be done by cultivating a certain confident pomposity. A slow, weighty, self-assertive habit of speech, a disdainful manner, go a long way with some clients, and especially with mater

familias and her daughters. It is no bad plan to speak and look as if, on the whole, the Old-Established would decidedly prefer to get rid of his customer, and it often abashes the meek, and makes them feel as if it were a sort of favour to be allowed to pay somewhat more than the apstart ten doors off would charge for the same goods.

One uncomfortable effect of the rise and fall of prices remains to be mentioned. Each time that an article in general demand is brusquely raised or lowered as to its cost is apt to produce a singular and often permanent inferiority in its quality. The silkworm disease increased the cost of silk, and the cotton famine that of cotton, fairly enough; but silken fabrics unmixed with a large proportion of baser materials, and cotton of the ancient solidity, yearly grow rarer, while the prices show no inclination to decline. Tea was never so cheap as now, but it is all but impossible to buy at any cost the dainty well-tasted leaf of which our grandmothers made the infusion. Wine has been cheapened till it seems within reach of the poorest, but the generous grape juice is supplemented by foreign matters of every kind, from potato-spirit to essence of fruit, and bottles grow smaller by degrees and more beautifully diminutive with every decade, until, as we grow puzzled between reputed pints and slender flasks of somewhat larger dimensions, very thick at the bottom and very slim of neck, we read with wonder that our forefathers of a hundred years since could buy a genuine bottle of port wine for a shilling, of claret for eighteen-pence, and that each bottle held a fair and honest quart.


I SAID, my life is a beautiful thing,
I will crown me with its flowers,

I will sing of its glory all day long,

For my harp is young, and sweet, and strong,
And the passionate power in my song
Shall thrill all the golden hours.

And over the sand and over the stone,
For ever and ever the waves rolled on.

I said, my life is a terrible thing,
All ruined, and lost, and crushed.
I will heap its ashes upon my head,

I will wail for my joy and my darling dead,
Till the dreary dirge for the days that are fled
Stirs faint through the dull dumb dust.
And over the sand and over the stone,
For ever and ever the waves rolled on.

I said, I was proud in my hour of mirth,
And mad in my first despair.

Now, I know nor earth, nor sky, nor sea,
Has heed or helping for one like me,
The doom or the boon comes, let it be.
For us, we can but bear.

And over the sand and over the stone,
For ever and ever the waves rolled on.

And I thought they sang, "We laugh to the sun; his mills, that he might control the water

We shimmer to moon or star;

We foam to the lash of the furious blast;
We rage, when the rain falls, fierce and fast;
But we do our day's work, and at last,
We sweep o'er the harbour-bar."

And I learnt my lesson mid sand and stone,
As ever and ever the waves rolled on.


Ir is now some years ago that the writer, with a party of friends, spent the "heated term" of an American summer in an obscure little village high up among the mountains of Vermont, where nothing but a grand depth of broad, luminous, buoyant space hindered us of the heaven above us, and it seemed as if all the kingdoms of this world lay spread at our feet.

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We lived almost wholly out of doors, in waggon and saddle, exploring forests, ravines, and all manner of mountain jaggednesses; tracking streams; saturating ourselves with sunshine, stretched whole days long on the short, sweet herbage of some solitary hillside, so that the ancient farm-house where we were supposed to be staying came to have for us the uses of the house in the Australian bush to Kalingalunga, only good to sleep on the lee-side of." Seeing us for ever abroad, wandering over hill and dale as if possessed by a naturefamine unappeased and unappeasable, all about the country-side one and another began to say to us: 'Oh, you ought to see Mr. V.'s camp at Lake Minoosac. That ought, by all accounts, to be the very thing to suit you; all woods an' water, an' nothin' else. Seen his gals drivin' through the village sometimes, hain't ye? Wear flannel dresses made short, like yourn, and drive a pair o' Kanuck ponies. Pootty nigh as black as squaws the gals be, for they're mostly either on their lake or in it the whole summer through. I hear their camp is a gret curiosity, and that Mr. V. is as proud on't as if he wasn't wuth a halfmillion, and had to get his livin' a-buildin' log-houses. You'd oughter see it, that's a fact."

Inquiries concerning this camp elicited further hearsay knowledge that gave us a really eager desire to behold the little settlement in the "forest primeval," only a dozen or fifteen miles away.

We were told that Mr. V. was a wealthy manufacturer in one of the largest towns of the state; that he had bought this lake, from which flowed the stream that turned

power; that he had an encampment on the shore of the lake that was regarded as a sort of show by the whole country round; and that in this camp he and his family spent two or three months of every summer in very primitive but jolly fashion.

Also, that he was a "dreadful polite" man, making all his visitors most heartily welcome. More trustworthy information was of the same tenor, and we were assured that if we wished to inspect this bit of sylvan life our visit would certainly not be considered an impertinence.


Finally, one crisp morning in September, we started for Lake Minoosac, taking with us, as pilot and undaunted spokeswoman, our landlady of the farm-house, an elderly spinster of very majestic bearing. filled two strong waggons, drawn by horses with no nonsense about them; and if ever strength and freedom from skittishness were desirable, they were for the last halfdozen miles of our drive. We had then left the region where farming was possible, and were up among crags and black evergreen forests, traversing mountain morasses, jolting over a ruinous corduroy road, often for a long way quite under water. At last we reached a saw-mill a mile from the lake. Here we must leave our horses, and follow, on foot, a path through the woods to the shore. The encampment was on the other side of the lake, and there was no way of reaching it practicable for our party save by boat. We should find a horn hanging on a tree at the right hand where the path debouched on the lake's edge. We were to blow this horn lustily, then wait until Mr. V. should send boats across for his unknown guests.

We found the lake, the tree, and the horn thereon. We blew the horn, and when our summons was echoed and re-echoed round the lake we seemed to ourselves such utter barbarians that we would have liked to run boat should appear. before any away But our generalissima landlady knew the ways of the camp, and had no nonsense about her either. So we stopped, and by-andbye two specks came dancing in sight far out on the silver rippleless mirror, and these grew and grew till we could discern that one roomy boat was rowed by a stalwart young Canadian, and that the other, a dainty skiff, contained an elderly gentle man, with a bare-headed, dusky half-breed girl of eleven or twelve plying the oars.

The gentleman was, of course, Mr. V., and he came on shore to welcome us and

get an idea of our quality. He was a stout man, with beautiful grey hair lying in loose rings about his neck, in the shade of a huge sombrero; a face pale but for its sunburn, and lighted up with brilliant blue eyes, keen, yet beaming with humour and kindness. Our spokeswoman explained that we were boarders at her house, and so enchanted with the whole region round about that we proposed fitting up, for use in succeeding summers, a rustic retreat of our own, and that we desired, if we might so far trespass on Mr. V.'s kindness, to see his encampment, that we might better understand the needs and manner of a genuine woods life.

at ease.

In two minutes we were placed wholly "Intrusion? Not a bit of it. People of the right sort couldn't intrude, and he was wishing this morning some one would look him up, for his family were away for a week, and he was lonely enough. Our faces were passport enough, and he should be glad to help any one to a knowledge of a healthful, rational, delightful way of spending the summer holiday. And what's the last news from Sherman? You'll see he'll be at the Gulf in a week! And now for the boats."

We were soon stowed away, but just as we had pushed off from shore another party of visitors came in sight up the pathway, and these shouted to stop the boats. Mr. V. ordered his skiff to be stopped, assured the new-comers that no more could be taken by the boats this trip, but that they should be sent for so soon as we had reached the other side.

The lake was three miles broad; the shores a wilderness. While we crossed, Mr. V. told the two or three whom he had taken into his own boat how he first came to think of this kind of summer outing.

"I bought this lake," he said, "that I might have the right to build a dam at the outlet, and so save myself from having my mills stopped, and men idle five or six weeks every summer. There had first to be a road cut through to the river from the turnpike south of us before the dam could be touched. I came up myself to oversee the work, found the lake full of fish, and was so much better in health after three or four weeks roughing it in a shanty, that I said to myself, 'No Saratoga for my wife and girls this year; no fishing in the Raquette or Saranac for me.' I made the men build a landing-pier, a bath-house, and what I think you'll say is the handsomest log-house you've ever seen. The

girls took to my notion at once, and were wild to come; but my wife was so ill that we brought her on a bed, and by very short stages. She got better directly, however, put on a flannel gymnastic suit like her girls, learned to fish and to row, is only under a roof at night or when it rains, and to-day looks, and is, ten years younger than the first summer she came up here. Since then we have done a good deal about the camp. We have a log stable now for a pair of tough Canadian ponies, and we can entertain forty people for a week, giving them lake trout and mountain strawberries or raspberries every day, and all of them good beds under cover. We contrive to amuse ourselves, too, so that there is always mourning when the order comes to break up camp. We take care of ourselves, mostly, for we only bring up the housekeeper, this little girl rowing us, and a man to look after the horses and boats. I fish, and do the heavy carpentering; my wife and daughters have cleared up the wood, and put in fancy touches for an acre round the camp. The girls have learned to shoot and swim; they have their friends here; they make excursions with the ponies for twenty miles round; things move pretty lively, in short."

Gay enough the encampment looked as we drew near and nearer it. The ground rose gently from the water's edge, and perhaps twenty rods up the slope stood the log-house, with a dozen or more snowy tents scattered about it. On its northern

side a noisy brook sprang from a rocky ravine into the lake, the rock at the ravine's mouth running out and up into a bold little promontory, amid whose crags a hemlock, two or three cedars, and a tall birch, found footing and sustenance. The white bole of the birch and its tremulous foliage, already a pale gold, stood out against the evergreens. On one of the black, shaggy cedars a Virginia-creeper hung itself about in pale pink and crimson masses; and high above this bit of lovely grouping and colouring a tall flag-staff rose, from which the stars and stripes floated lazily in the soft air.

Quite a little flotilla of boats lay around the pier. There was a fish box, and a clever contrivance for keeping milk and butter cool.

The log-house was indeed very beautiful. It was built of straight, smooth logs, neatly joined, with no interstices to be filled by mud or mortar. The ends of the logs were fantastically cut and toothed; the gables,

the window-caps, and ledges, had a rustic decoration of gnarled, knotted branches and roots; and a piazza ran along the whole front, whose pillars were of unbarked red cedars, and whose floor was of bits of branches closely arranged in a pattern that nowhere repeated itself, like Chinese strawwork. Variations of the same tasteful handicraft were to be seen in the benches and seats scattered about; in a table, whose top was a mosaic of twigs, with a many-pronged pedestal of twisted roots. Brackets of hardened fungi, beautifully freaked and striped, supported baskets and vases of bark and osier, in which ferns, red-berried dwarf cornel, and partridgeberry vines, and pale orchids, were growing.


The house had one large living-room. "This is our rainy-day retreat," explained our cheerful host. You see we all have our diversions." These were an open deal case filled with books and papers, a flute and violin, cards and chess, a work-table with a pretty litter of birch-bark embroidery this last done with beads, coloured quills, straws, and feathers-and a long work-bench, where all sorts of fairy carpentry seemed to be carried on. The materials were piled upon it-contorted branches and roots-and our host pulled out drawers to show us more delicate treasures - twigs covered with lichens and pendent mosses, oak-balls, clusters of seeds and dried berries, packets of golden wheat, oats, millet, nodding grasses, tame and wild birds' nests, feathers, and eggs, pressed ferns and mosses, rolls of bark, red and grey cup-moss, all manner of cones, and bud-roughened spruce twigs. On a shelf above the bench were ranged bits of artistic work in varying stages of completion-a tiny flower-stand, brackets and photograph easels, wall-baskets, and some odd carven root faces and figures. The implements were simple-some dainty pincers and hammers, fine wire and copper nails, a watch-spring saw and a glue-pot, for the girls' use; some rougher tools for Mr. V. "I can hardly tell you," he said, "the recreation and delight we take at this bench, and in the picking up of our materials. We bring back something from every stroll, and are always finding out beautiful things, and contriving to adapt them to our purposes. It has been a constant training of eye, hand, and heart, and as good for us elders as for the young ones.

"It has been good for others, too, for we scatter our works pretty well. Indeed,

most of our Christmas presents to town friends are hammered, joined, glued, and carved in the summers here. They are greatly admired, and people begin to imitate them and contrive clever designs of their own. And it's curious how the simple people round about here, the coal-burners and lumber-men, collect odds and ends for us.

"It's their own notion. Every year one brings some queer root, another a fungus, or fossil, or mineral, and the small farmer who supplies us with milk has taken to chair and table-making, and threatens to beat me hollow. I live in hopes that some day education'll be more sensibly conducted, and people be taught to use their eyes, and find out the wonders and glories lying unnoticed all round us.

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'Why, when I was a boy it was a little reading and writing, a great deal of spelling and figures, geography that never got beyond the dullest statistics, and a little philosophy and chemistry as dry as sawdust, and as valuable for deadening pur poses. I wanted to know about the clouds, the grasses, why the leaves changed colour in autumn; I watched the ants, bees, birds, tadpoles, and caddis-worms; I pestered with questions about what nobody knew or cared anything till I promise you my own father thought me a half-sawny for years, and died, I believe, wondering still how it was that I had turned out a tolerably practical, successful business man. If he can look in on me here he certainly finds me clean daft now!


"I see you're looking at our cook-stove," he went on presently; "that stove has smack of civilisation that I'm rather ashamed of. You see we have the open fireplace, too, and there are two or three gipsy-kettle arrangements round outside. But my wife insisted on the stove. Like a true Yankee, she wanted her warm bread and pancakes for breakfast, and can't take to ash-cakes and johnny-cakes baked on a board before the fire. I tell her it's out of all keeping here, but she declares anything's better than smoky food, and we all eat as if we agreed with her,"

A little sleeping-room out of the living. room was fitted up with rude bunks of deal, one above the other, but looking very comfortable with their piles of deer. skins, and the floor was warmly carpeted with skins also. The walls of both rooms were lined with birch-bark, and dotted with many ingenious contrivances for sup porting household articles with economy of

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