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smell seems absolutely interwoven with to; but the four agreed to spend the images of torrent-crossing, cliff-falling, time in walking round by the path pouring rain, and roaring waves.” above the obstruction, so as to see its
The talk fell upon associations of whole extent. sense with events and places ; sounds, The wet, percolating and penetrating sights, and scents, intimately connected through the softer soil, gradually acwith and vividly recalling certain oc- cumulates a weight of water behind and currences of our lives. We had missed beneath the harder and rockier porthe glimpse of the baby face and little tions, which dislodges them from their white cap from the back of the dili- places, pushes them forward, and finally gence that preceded us during the first topples them over headlong. This is portion of the day, owing to our coach generally prevented where terrace-walls having been delayed at Ventimiglia by are built up, by leaving holes here and some peculiar arrangement which re- there in the structure, which allow the quired the team that had dragged us wet to drain through innocuously; but up a steep ascent to stop and bait, if, as in the present instance, this caumerely resting instead of changing, be- tion be neglected, many days' succesfore we went on again.
sive rain is almost sure to produce the The Pont St. Louis, with the pictur- disaster in question. It had a woful esque ravine it crosses, had been passed, look, — all those garden elegances cast and the pretty town of Mentone was there, flung out upon the high-road, full in view, when we caught sight of like discarded rubbish ; pots of selected the other diligence, some way on the flowers, favorite seats, well-worn paths, road before us, brought once more to a carefully-tended beds, trailing climbers, stand-still, while a crowd of persons sur- torn and snapped branches, all lying to rounded it, and its passengers were to be shovelled away as fast as the roadbe seen, in the distance, descending, menders could ply their pickaxes and with the baby cap among them. At spades. this instant, an excited French official At length this task was accomplished; darted out from a doorway by the side the diligences were hauled over the of the road near us, raising his arms broken ground (their contents being also distractedly, and throwing his sentences “hauled over at the custom-house); up at the conductor, who understood the passengers (after the important cerehim to say that there was no going on; monial of handing their passports for inthat a whole garden had come tumbling spection, and having them handed back down across the road just at the en- by personages who kept their countetrance to Mentone, and prevented pass- nances wonderfully) were in again and ing
off again. We drove on to the spot, and found But one more torrent to cross, it was indeed so; the grounds of a where the foremost coach had nearly villa, skirting the highway on a terrace- been overset, and where the occupants ledge, had been loosened by the many of the hindmost one, profiting by exdays' rain, and had fallen during the ample, got out and walked over the footforenoon, a heap of ruins, – shrubs, bridge, in time to behold the owner of plants, garden-walls, Aowers, borders, the British accent wave his hat triumrailings, – one mass of obstruction. phantly from the coupé with a hearty
With a glance at the coupé passen- (English) “Huzza !” as the vehicle regers, another French official (the newly covered, by a violent lurch to the left, appointed frontier custom-house being from an equally violent one to the right, close at hand) stepped forward to sug- issuing scathless from the last flood gest that the “insides” could be ac- that lay in the way, - and then both dilicommodated, during the interim re- gences began at a leisurely pace to crawl quired for the cantonniers to do their up a long ascent of road, bordered on work, at a lately-built hotel he pointed each side by olive-grounds; - until the
view opened to a fine stretch of prospect, now colored and vivified by a glance of the afternoon sun, - the diminutive peninsular kingdom of Monaco, lying down in the very sea, bright, and green, and fairy-like; the bold barren crag of the Turbia rock frowning sternly in front, with its antique Roman tower and modern Italian church; the rocky heights above to the right, with their foreground of olive-trees, vine-trellises, and orange-groves, interspersed with country houses; while through all wound the ever-climbing road, a white thread in the distance, with the telegraphic poles, dwindled to pin-like
dimensions, indicating its numberless turns and bends.
As the sun sank over the far western lines of the Estrelle Mountains, and the sky faded into grayish purple, succeeded by an ever-deepening suffusion of black, unpierced by a single star, the high reach of road above Villafranca Bay was passed; and, on our turning the corner of the last intervening upland, full in view came the many lights of Nice, with its castled rock, its minarets and cupolas, its stretch of sea, its look of sheltered repose;—all most welcome to sight, after our sensational journey on the Cornice Road in a great rain.
INCIDENTS OF THE PORTLAND FIRE.
NEVER had Portland looked more
beautiful than when the sunrisegun boomed across the waters, announcing the ninetieth anniversary of our independence. The sun, which on another day should look down on the city's desolation, rose unclouded over the houses, that stood forth from the foliage of the embowering elms, or nestled in their shadow; over the quaintness of the old-fashioned churches and the beauty of the more modern temples; over the stately public edifices, and the streets everywhere decked with flags and thronged with crowds of happy, well-dressed people. Of course, the popular satisfaction expressed itself in the report of pistols, guns, and fire-crack
and all through the day the usual amusements went on, and in the afternoon almost everybody was on the
A few minutes before five o'clock, when the festivity was at its wildest, the alarm of fire rang out. Every circumstance was favorable for a conflagration, the people scattered, the city dry and heated by a July sun, and a high southwesterly wind blowing. It needed only the exciting cause in the
shape of a fire-cracker, and lo! half the city was doomed.
My youngest brother, at the first sound of the bell, came and begged me to take him to the fire; so I went, to please him. Poor child! I little thought that by twelve o'clock at night there would be no place at home to lay the little head.
We found the fire near Brown's sugarhouse, where there was a large crowd already assembled. But, though the smoke and masses of flame were rising only from one house, the wind was blowing a perfect gale; and a foreboding of the calamity impending seemed to possess the spectators. There was none of the usual noise, and men appeared to look at the burning house with a feeling of awe. We did not stop there at all; and some idea of the rapid progress of the fire may be gathered from the fact, that about four squares distant, where, on the way up, we could see one fire, on our return we saw three, -two lighted by sparks from the first. We slowly retraced our way, and met people on every side quickening their steps in the direction of the fire.
About seven o'clock, mother and I
But all was useless. On came thought it would be wise to pack up the fire with a steady sweep. We saw our silver and valuables ; for it seemed that it was idle to combat it longer, as if we were directly in the path of the and turned all our energies to saving conflagration. Down Fore Street, and what we could. Our home was to be from Fore to Free, it was rushing on. ours no longer. The dear old roof-tree, The southwestern heavens were en- under which had assembled so many tirely shut from our view by the flames loved ones, now gone forever, - where and smoke; cinders, ashes, and blaz- the eyes of all our home circle first saw ing embers were falling like rain down the light of life, - where three of that Middle Street, and across to Congress, number closed theirs in death, — the as far as the eye could see. The scene centre of the hopes and joys of a lifetime, was terrible ; but it was soon surpassed - was to be abandoned to the flames. in fearfulness, for the work of desola- It was like tearing our heart-strings to tion was not half completed. The Irish leave it so ; but there was no time for population were the chief sufferers up to lingering. With streaming eyes and this hour. It was heart-rending to see aching hearts we started out, taking the women rushing hither and thither, what we could in our hands. There trying to save their few possessions. was by this time no vehicle to be obHere, a poor creature was dragging a tained in which we could ride ; and, mattress, followed by several little cry- supporting my mother, my sisters clinging children, her face the picture of ing to us in silent terror, we were borne despair ; there, another, with her family, along with the crowd down Middle Street stood over the remnants of her scanty to India. I cannot remember any incistock. A poor woman, who was in the dents of that walk. The hurrying throng habit of working for us, lived near the around me, the flying sparks, and the corner of Cross and Fore Streets. She roar of the engines, seem like the conhad five children and a sick husband to fusion of a dream. care for. Almost all her energies were Our sister, who met us at the door, bent in getting them to a place of safe- felt perfectly secure, and had done nothty; and the few little things which she ing towards packing. I gave her an succeeded in rescuing from the flames account of our proceedings, thinking were afterwards stolen from her by each moment of some precious thing some one of the many wretches who I might have brought away. We went gathered the spoils that awful night. to the front door, and looked out on the
It soon became evident that we must scene before us. The fire seemed to decide upon some plan of action, in come on the wings of the wind. Midcase it should come to the worst. We dle Street was ablaze; Wood's marble had two married sisters, one living hotel was in flames, together with the in India Street, the other at the west beautiful dwelling opposite. The fire end of the city. As the former had no leaped from house to house, and, if for family, and was alone, even her husband a moment checked, it was but to rush being away, and as the latter had three on in wilder fury. Churches, one by children, and a house full of company, one, were seized by the flame, and we decided that, if we must move, it crumbled into ruin before it. No hushould be to India Street. We sent off man power could arrest its fierce proone team, and my youngest brother gress. In vain the firemen put forth a with it, before the fire was anywhere strength almost superhuman: their exnear us; and then, while my. two little ertions seemed but to add to its fury. sisters assisted mother in getting things Explosion after explosion gave greater together, I worked with my brother and terror to the scene : buildings were succousin, hanging wet blankets against cessively blown up in the useless effort the walls, pouring water on the roof, to bar its pathway; the fire leaped the and taking other precautionary meas- chasm and sped on. Fugitives of ev
ery age and condition were hurrying “We must be calm and collected, through the streets, laden with every- and save what we can. John is trying thing imaginable, - especially looking to get a team to carry mother up to glasses, which seem the one impor- L-'s; the rest of us will have to tant thing to be saved during a fire. go to the graveyard. But John may My brother and cousin had not yet not be successful, so you stay here, made their appearance, nor had we and see if you can get any one to take seen anything of my brother-in-law, mother : they may do it for you, when from the other end of the city. But they would n't for a man." we knew they must be at their places I stood on the edge of the sidewalk, of business, which were now in the clinging to the horse-post, and appealed heart of the burning district. Swiftly in vain to wagons going by. the destruction hurried towards us ; “Won't you take a lady and children and people were now seen bringing in away from here?” their goods and seeking shelter on our “I can't, ma'am, not if you was to premises. O what heart-broken faces give me twenty-five dollars, not if surrounded that fearful night ! you was to give me five hundred. I'm Friends, and people we had never taking a load for a gentleman now." seen, alike threw themselves on our So it was in every case. Very many kindness; and I must say that a spirit were worse off than we were, — had not of humanity and good - will seemed even a man to help. One well-known everywhere prevalent among the citi- citizen was appealed to for help, in zens. We were now ourselves tortured the early part of the evening, by a by suspense. Could we escape, or
poor woman, - a sort of dependant of should we again have to seek refuge his family. He took her and her from the flames ? Surely the work daughter, with their effects, outside of destruction would stop before it the city, and returned to find India reached India Street ? The hot breath Street on fire and no means of getof the maddening fire, and its lurid ting through the crowd to his house, glare, were the only response. O, if which was burned, with all that was the wind would only change! But a not saved by the exertions of his wife. vane, glistening like gold in the fire- They had visiting them a lady whose light, steadfastly pointed to the south- child lay dead in the house, awaiting east. For one moment it veered, and burial. The mother took the little our hearts almost stood still with hope; corpse in her arms and carried it herbut it swung back, and a feeling of de- self up to the other end of the city! spair settled upon us.
While I was making these vain atOur house was full. One poor lady, tempts, John drove up in a light, openwith a little baby only a week old, lay topped buggy. We hurriedly got mothon a sofa in one of the rooms ; near
er and E
into it, and gave into their her, bent over in a rocking-chair, sat charge the jewelry and silver, and they an old woman who had not been out
I could not but tremof her house for five years, with a look ble for their safety. The road seemed of hopeless bewilderment on her wrin- impassable, so dense was the strugkled face. But people were now begin- gling crowd. On every side the fire ning to move from our house. India was raging. Looking up India Street Street was almost blocked up. Every it was one sheet of fame, and equally kind of vehicle that went upon wheels, so before us. It looked like a world from a barouche to a wheelbarrow, on fire, for we could see no smoke, passed by laden with furniture. it was too near for that, — and the
At this moment my brother and heat was terribly intense. brother-in-law approached, blackened al- There was no time to be lost. Both most beyond recognition. It was not un- our servants and M-'s were away til C-spoke that I really knew him. spending the Fourth, so we had to de
pend entirely on ourselves. Our back over again in words that fearful night, fence was soon torn down, and we all and relating to each other some of those worked as we never had before. We incidents of the fire which can never saved a good deal, but not one half of all be told. A little friend of ours, when what we brought from our house in the leaving her home, took in her arms her first place. We had thrown things out doll, nearly as large as herself; obliged of the window, and C- and — to flee a second time, her mother told worked hard dragging them out of the her it was useless to try and save the yard, until, scorched and almost suffo- doll, and she must leave it there. With cated, they were compelled to desist. many tears she laid it on the sofa, feelThe flames were upon us so quickly, ing, no doubt, as if she were leaving a it seemed incredible that they could human being to be burnt. The next have seized the house so soon after we day, a friend brought to her the identithought we were in danger.
cal dolly, which had been found in the "Thank God, we are all safe!” cried graveyard! The little one's joy may M-, sinking upon the ground in the be imagined. graveyard, where we took refuge. She One of the women in the Irish quarter tried to look cheerful; but the sight picked up her big pig in her arms and before her - her house in flames- and carried it to a place of safety, then rethe thought of her husband's absence turned to take care of her children and overcame her, and she burst into tears. furniture. A woman went by our house I laid the two little girls upon the
grass ; in the early part of the evening bent and, wearied out, they soon fell asleep. nearly double beneath the weight of a It was a strange scene in that quiet trunk strapped upon her back. We old cemetery, where the dea
saw women that night with loads under than a century had lain undisturbed in which almost any man would have stagtheir graves. Where only the reverent gered in ordinary circumstances. tread of the mourner, or of some vis- Before we were supposed to be in itor carefully threading his way among danger, I walked out with a young the grassy mounds, was wont to be friend to see what progress the fire known, crowds of frantic people were was making. At a corner we observed hurrying across ; while here and there a woman with a child about eight years were family groups clustered together, old, talking, in great agitation, to a lady, watching the destruction of their prop- and evidently urging her to accede to erty.
some request. My companion sugHow long the remaining hours gested that we should see if we could. seemed ! Would the daylight never aid her in any way. As we approached, come? The children slept on, and we the lady had taken the child by the four talked in low tones of the morrow. hand, with the words, “What is your
At length, faint, rosy lights began to address ?” which was given. We instreak the eastern horizon, and slowly quired if we could be of
service. the day dawned. The sun rose un- “No, thank you,” was the reply. “I clouded above the hills, sending down asked that lady to take care of my his beams upon the desolation which daughter. I keep store on that street the night had wrought, lighting up the
My husband is out of islands and the blue waters, flecked town, and I don't know what I shall with sail-boats.
do!” — and, wringing her hands, she Not less welcome to us, J- now
I have wondered since also appeared, — with a hay-cart, whose what was the fate of the little girl driver he had engaged to come and re
thus intrusted to the care of stranmove us. Our goods were put into it; gers; for the lady went in the direction we took our places among them, and, as afterwards swept by the fire. soon as the tardy oxen could carry us, One family, whose house the flames were safe in my sister's house, living did not reach until near two o'clock in