Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

in chorus to enliven the toilers. endeavouring to keep order The whole gathering bore such and placing the more riotous an aspect of jollity and good of the soldiery under arrest. fellowship that no stranger From this time onwards the would have deemed that it was young French sieur began to in reality a seditious meeting- find travelling afoot much less the individuals who were thus pleasant than before. Some of honoured being almost invari- those to whom he had letters ably men imprisoned for high of introduction viewed him treason.

The same compli- with suspicion because he was ment was, however, occasion- a Frenchman, and therefore ally paid to others well affected presumably revolutionary towards the Government–Mr agent. Others again, whose own Moore, our author's host, being sympathies inclined towards one of the few thus specially revolt, on learning that he was singled out. The digging and provided with passports from gathering completed, the whole the Irish Government, immediassembly formed in military ately concluded that he was a array and marched off six spy sent out by the authorities deep to the sound of horns to report upon the condition and trumpets, each digger of affairs in the disaffected carrying his spade upon his districts. These last, however, shoulder, whilst the mounted Latocnaye was frequently able force closed in behind. These to disarm by the simple expedipotato - diggings were shortly ent of unfurling his umbrella afterwards prohibited by the and displaying its green lining. Government.

The aspect of Dublin, too, he In Belfast Latocnaye came found to have changed mightin for King George's birthday ily, and not for the better, rejoicings. The town was illu- during the months that he had minated in honour of

the been away.

Instead of routs auspicious occasion, and the and assemblies, there soldiers of the garrison in nothing now but drilling and particular distinguished them- arming. All the upper classes selves by demonstrations of were joining the yeomanry, the loyalty that were somewhat counsellors and attorneys had alarming to the rest of the their own companies, both inhabitants. They carried mounted and foot, and not their officers shoulder - high only the professors and studthrough the streets, and ran ents of Trinity College, but about cheering and break- even the revenue officers and ing all windows that were the merchants of the city were not lit up. They made their all enlisting, and had each way down even into the back their own special corps that streets and alleys, and con- they belonged to. tinued the work of destruc- Latocnaye was only present tion there. General Lake, the at one public function, and it officer in command, was riding was of a vastly different nature about the streets all night, from that festive occasion of

[ocr errors]

was

[ocr errors]

the previous year when the upon some day which was Lord - Lieutenant had sailed named, and though such ruminto the Canal Basin amidst

ours always proved baseless, the acclaiming multitudes. yet Latocnaye began to mark The printer of the 'Press,' the groups of men hanging about organ of the United Irishmen, the quays and corners of the who had been put on trial for streets whose squalid rags and the seditious utterances of his scowling faces brought back newspaper, was sentenced to forcibly to his mind the early pay a fine of five hundred days of the French Revolution. pounds, and to stand in the He had intended to prolong his pillory for several hours. Dur- stay in Ireland for some time, ing the whole time of his ex- and even to undertake another posure the two rebel leaders, tour through the central parts Lord Edward Fitzgerald and of the island and along the Arthur O'Connor, stood one on canals and waterways, but he either side of him, to cheer had had enough of the one and encourage him during the revolution which he had exordeal; and he himself, sur- perienced. He had no desire rounded though he was by to find himself involved in ansoldiers, and with his head and other, or rather in an insurrechis hands protruding from the tion, for the shrewd young wooden frame, was yet bold Frenchman entertained enough to call out to the doubts as to what the outcome crowd to keep up good heart, of any rising in Ireland must for the Republicans of France be. The Government there, he would soon come to their aid deemed, were not likely to again, and the next time that display the weakness and inthey came they would not fail capacity of the ruling powers of their purpose.

Within & in France, but for which the

a few days his friends had raised tide of anarchy, in his judga subscription of no less than a ment, might in its beginning thousand pounds for him, and have been stayed. None the another printer was found with less he thought that a country sufficient hardihood to carry on where uprising and civil war the ‘Press,' of which later on were imminent was not a desirArthur O'Connor himself un- able place to linger in, and

, dertook the editing.

accordingly he sailed away to More than once it was given Scotland in the early days of out in Dublin that the expected 1798, just before the outbreak general rising would take place of the Irish Rebellion.

no

6

SOME MEXICAN VOLCANOES.

It was about the middle of sworn that the crimson of the August when I sailed from dawn and the green of the sea Jamaica to Vera Cruz in the were fighting for supremacy good ship Darien of the then amongst her tresses. Of course West India and Pacific Line. I was wrong; I saw her once It is the right thing to call more in the train, bound for every ship in which one travels Mexico City, and the “golden “the good ship,” but for un- glory

glory” was radiant as ever, mitigated discomfort give me, possibly even a carat or so not the Darien, indeed, but any brighter. ship which plies in tropio seas If, however, the dawn, on during the heat of summer. that day of nearing Vera Cruz, The journey was uneventful, disillusionised me in one rethe heat intense. We were

spect, in another it made up a small party in the saloon: for it. Never, till I die, shall some three or four commercial I forget the glory of that suntravellers, who, when I in- rise.

I was

on deck a full formed them that I was bound hour before dawn, a good peron a trip to climb the Mexican formance for a habitually lazy volcanoes, were uncertain whe- man, but the grilling heat of ther to regard me as a harmless my cabin would account for lunatic or a suspicious person- much. I found that we were age endeavouring to get the about thirty miles from Vera better of them with some new Cruz, steaming due westward ; sample; one horrid boy of ten or the dim outline of the coast, or twelve summers, who confided rather the inland mountains, in me, with practical illustra- showing up faintly against the tions, that a toothpick was a starry heavens. As morning really useful article, because approached, this dim outline you could use one end for the hardened, as the figures on teeth and the other for the the sheet when the focus nails! and one fair damsel of the magic - lantern is adonly. Alas! she never ap- justed, and as my eye followed peared. I saw her when I their indented outline with embarked at Kingston, and keen satisfaction,- What was marked the “golden glory of that? her hair." That night was A crimson cloud over the culrough, and much crockery was minating-point of the ridge ? broken, including, so I was Impossible, in such a cloudless afterwards told, some bottles sky. It is! it must be! the in the fair one's cabin. In the snow-capped peak of Orizaba early dawn, as we were near- catching the first glow of the ing Mexico, I saw her for the sunrise. No doubt about it second time, and, from a curi- soon; the crimson turns to ous optical illusion, could have gold, the gold to gleaming VOL. CLXXXVI. -NO. MCXXVIJ.

Z

moun

[ocr errors]

white. How could a

of dances, boliche parties, and taineer who had seen a sun- excellent

suppers, combined rise in the Alps mistake it? with occasional late sittings How could he fail, and I as- at the roulette and baccarat suredly did not, to swear to tables, were not the best trainconquer that summit, if it were ing for mountain expeditions. possible?

It was at the Club one daythat But these distant views are a genial doctor, on hearing that all very well in their way. It is I proposed to attack the three high time to get to the base, if volcanoes, said, “Well, my boy, not to the summit, of one volcano I'll lay you 3 to 1 against your at any rate. One day's pause getting up all three of them, at Vera Cruz, and then two and evens that you don't climb days at Fortin, and one at the two." "I'll take you,” said I, town of Orizaba, served only “but what in?" "Hats," was to intensify my desire to tread the answer, which for a mothe summit of that glorious ment rather staggered me. peak, seen from this point as a The Mexican hat, conical, wide white cone with a ridge of fan- brimmed, and about two feet tastio rocky pinnacles stretch- high, is one of the most striking ing to the westward. Another features of the landscape to the view as

we reach the high stranger's eye. Every Mexican, plateau at San Andres, and from the poorest peon to the then the train bears us forward richest ranch - owner, may be through fields of agave, source seen wearing one, the former of the national drink-pulque, often going without boots to towards the historic city of spend another dollar on his headMexico. As we approach, ap- covering. You may pay almost pears a rival vision. The twin anything for them from one volcanoes, “Popo” and “The to several hundred dollars, the White Lady," rise up in all price varying with the amount their beauty on our left, and of gold or silver lace with which tempt me from my allegiance. they are embroidered. But I am firm : Popocatepetl medium for betting, however, a and Ixtaccihuatl I hope to hat I found meant 10 dollars, olimb, Orizaba I will.

or, as exchange went then, I must confess that the city about 25s. of Mexico, full of interest and Some few days later, accomgaiety, and the very hearty panied by a friend, Dr S. from welcome extended to me by Washington, I started off to do friends at the Anglo-American battle with the first of the and the Jockey Clubs, put all giants, Popocatepetl. We took thoughts of climbing out of my train to Amecameca, a pretty head for at least ten days. It little village, delightfully situwas only when I had been laid ated at the base of the twin a bet, or rather two, about my volcanoes, where Dr S., whose success in getting to the top Spanish was more fuent than of the three volcanoes, that I my own, saw to the collecting realised that a continual round of guides, ponies, provisions,

As a

[ocr errors]

&e., and after luncheon

we streaming eyes, for the wood started at 2 P.M. for the hut, smoke was most pungent, the which is used as a shelter for unusual scene. Our meal de the Indians who are employed spatched, we retired to the in extracting sulphur from the straw couches in a crater of the volcano. Here it the room, and settled down, is usual for those who intend but not to sleep. The wind ascending Popocatepetl to spend raged and howled outside, and the night-I should hardly say even in the tropics, at a height to sleep, unless our experience of 13,000 ft. above sea-level, was an exceptionally bad one. “the wind bites shrewdly, it is We left Amecameca in brilliant very cold.” Through the cracks sunshine, and the shade of the between the stones camo forest through which our steep piercing draught of freezing path led was at first most air (it was now snowing hard gratifying, but as we neared outside), so that we lay with the tree limit a sad change took one side in a temperature of place in the weather. Heavy about 32 Fahr., while the other clouds encircled the giant's roasted in smoky clouds from head, and cold blasts of wind, the wood fire. The atmosphere

. with occasional drifting showers became ever thicker with smoke of rain and sleet, came whirling of fire and tobacco, blended down from the snows above. with the steam from sodden We were wet, cold, and hungry clothes and the natural smell when we reached the hut, and of humanity, mainly unwashed worse than that, dispirited, for humanity, while through all the weather gave but little pierced the insistent, permeatpromise of a successful ascent ing smell of burning sulphur, next morning. The hut was and that delightful gas, sulcrowded with Indians, who had phuretted hydrogen, which rebeen driven down from the sembles nothing so much as summit of the mountains by rotten eggs. And so we waited the bad weather, and the atmo- for the dawn. sphere was indescribable. It It came dismally. At 4 A.M., was a picturesque scene enough: when we ought to have made a a large open fire in the middle move, it was still snowing and of the room shed a ruddy, sleeting hard, but at five it flickering light on the roof began to get clearer, and about beams and the rough walls of six we started to ride up to the stone and wood. Against it snow-line.

Soon we

found the figures of the Indians, that our own legs would carry ranged round in a circle of us better than the ponies, willvarying poses, were dimly sil- ing little animals though they houetted through the smoky were.

The track was very A friendly welcome was rough, and the rarefied air told extended to us, and soon our on them greatly. It seemed guides were busy preparing a cruelty to animals to ride such meal, while we sat, smoking in grunting, gasping little beasts, self-defence, and watched with 80 got off and led

we

« PreviousContinue »