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homes of those who were sworn confederates, or, at least, Fenian sympathisers. Telling Agnes, however, to keep for him or send to him, if she should learn where he was, any letters addressed "Father Prout"; for that he expected Garrett Rowan to write to him, using that cognomen.

His efforts to bring the conspiracy to a head were unceasing and self-consuming; he roused enthusiasm in the brave, decision in the wavering, and something of his own courage in the faint-hearted.

New leaders also flocked into the country, chiefly from America; among the rest General Cluseret and Brigadier-General Massey; and matters seemed to grow ripe for a wide-spread insurrection.

But arms were the great need of the Fenians. Men willing to fight were far more numerous than weapons to do battle with. At the various Constabularies throughout the land, however, were fine stands of arms. And why should they not be got possession of? There was a police station near the district of Malachy's erratic sojourn, where were numerous most excellent weapons. Then what better thing than suddenly to assail it; strip the armoury; and distribute the first-rate rifled carbines stored there to those panting to use them in the approaching war for old Ireland.

"I'll lead the assault," cried Malachy. "We'll follow you," cried scores of voices, and it was arranged that the attack should be made that evening.

Malachy was anxious that the wished-for weapons should be secured, if possible, without the sacrifice of human life. The shedding of blood-and especially in a mere preliminary affair he would only justify to himself upon the ground of unavoidable necessity. He, therefore, after posting his men skilfully around the police barrack, advanced alone towards its closed and strong barred entrance, and demanded the surrender of the arms stored within it, in the name of the Irish Republic; assuring the policemen on duty that if they would obey his call, one to which their Irish hearts should at once respond," he would guarantee their personal safety The answer was a volley from the windows of the barrack; several of the bullets cutting Malachy's dress, but fortunately leaving him unscathed.

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Upon this a score of Fenians, concealed by the smoke of the discharged carbines, rushed up to the building; some of them assailed the barricaded door with sledge hammers and broke it in; and others set fire to the lower portion of the little barrack. The police, however, retired to the upper storey, and from thence, with undaunted courage, maintained the fight.

"Surrender," cried Malachy, "we
we are a

hundred and you are but ten; I tell you you are only courting destruction, policemen; and we do not want to imbrue our hands in your blood, for you are our fellow countrymen. You have done all that honour and duty demanded. Don't be foolish men, give up the arms."

"Never," was the answer. "So long as a single life of ours remains we'll defend our trust to the last; but there is a little girl here, will you permit us to pass her out?"

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Certainly," was the response, "we don't make war on children;" and the weeping, pale, and terrified child, lowered from a window, was received with gentle hands; and with all tenderness was conducted to her mother, who stood some distance behind the combatants; for when the attack was made she happened to be away from the barrack.

Those who led her were melted to tears when they witnessed the joyful embrace of the fond mother and her child.*

At this stage of the contest a priest of the neighbourhood appeared upon the scene, attracted by the sound of musketry.

"If I get those men to surrender," he said to Malachy, "will you pledge your word of honour for their safety?"

"Here is my revolver," said Malachy, "I shall stand next you, sir, and if any one of those men, in the barrack, upon capitulation, has a hair of his head injured, I give you leave to put the contents of that pistol through my head."

Upon being parleyed with by the priest, the police were found very reluctant to submit. In all the insurrectionary outbreaks, in various counties at this time, they exhibited everywhere a splendid courage and a staunch loyalty. The priest, however, informed the besieged constables that the Fenians were preparing to surround the building with straw, from a large stack at hand, and to set it on fire; and that further resistance consequently would be only to brave a horrible death. Sergeant and men, therefore, saw that the game was up. Leaving their carbines behind, as they were told to do, they came out through the constabulary door; and the Fenians opened their ranks to let them pass.

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THE CITY OF KIACHTA AND MAIMACHEN. eye, the straggler in the market-place below,

BY M. COOK.

may find abundant materials for observation in the motley groups presenting themselves in every direction.

IACHTA and Maimachen, forms, as it were, the gateway through which we pass from the Russian Empire into that of China. The authority of the Czar is recognised on one side of a long wooden building, with two doors, whilst on the other, the majesty of Pekin is supreme. Let us suppose ourselves advancing from Lake Baikal, which, in the winter season-here of long continuance-may be traversed on sledges, and, passing under the shadow of the Russian fortress, enter the con

fines of China. A large market-place is divided into two portions, in one of which the trader of St. Petersburgh, and the rest of the northern empire display their merchandise; whilst in the other, separated from it by the long wooden building we have alluded to, and entered by a narrow door, the Chinese merchant may be seen bartering his goods for those of the neighbouring empires. A number of Cossacks, with naked swords, stand at one gate; and at the other is stationed a Chinese guard to prevent anything being carried through except by a written permit from the Custom House. It might be supposed that in this double city-the connecting link between two vast empires a certain fusion of national manners, customs, and prejudices, should take place; on the contrary, the difference between the Russian and Chinese population is as strictly defined as the limits of their respective countries. A bell, which sounds at sunset, warns every subject of the Emperor to pass the barrier and enter China; whilst, at the same time, every stranger must quit Maimachen, and, stepping across the boundary-line, place himself within the dominions of the Czar. Nevertheless, if these restrictions are rigid by night, an active and profitable intercourse is carried on by day. The market-place, the point of junction of the two empires, is surrounded on the Russian side by well-built and neat houses, some of the best of which, belonging to the merchants, have stair-cases, and balconies in front, and galleries on the roof, where the inhabitants spend the evening, and whence a view may be obtained of the surrounding country. A river, covered during winter months with ice, an undulating tract, a long wooden palisading which forms the northern boundary-line of China, and, in the distance, dark pine forests and ridges of porphyry rock, form the principal features of the landscape, which presents indeed few attractions. If the gazer from the house-tops, however, can discover but few objects with which to occupy his

Camels, as distinct in appearance from those of China as the Russian merchants are from their neighbours, may be observed either bearing merchandise or proceeding to join some procession. Traders from the Celestial Empire meet you at every step; their costume is peculiar. Along gown of black silk, fitting close to the body; a hat of dark felt, nearly in the shape of a crown, with the brim turned up all round, and decorated with tassels of red silk and a copper stud, and coloured stone ball, denoting rank, are the distinguishing characteristics of a Chinese merchant's dress. They also wear oblong and angular cases made of pasteboard, and covered with black silk, to protect their ears from the cold. A lanky pig-tail depends from the head; and a long purse from the girdle, from which peeps the brass bowl of a pipe. Gravely, with earnest faces, they perambulate the Russian portion of the market-place, discussing affairs of business; entering and issuing from the houses, which, with little exception, appear the same as those to be observed in any other Russian town. Indeed, from this spot the eye can detect nothing, save among the living throng, to remind him that he is within a few steps of China.

Where Kiachta ends Maimachen begins. The bell is sounded, as we have said, at sunset. Immediately two streams of men are set in motion; the one pressing towards the narrow door, over which are engraven the cypher of Nicholas and the Russian eagle; and the other issuing from that opening and distributing itself over the town. Entering with the Chinaman-which we are at liberty to do here, if not practically-we find ourselves in the interior of a quadrangular building, and still among Russians. On the other side, however, is a corresponding door, with a wooden barrier; and stepping through, we find ourselves at once within the limits of the Celestial Empire.

The change appears magical, like the bewilderment of a dream. On the Russian side we see none but sober hues, nothing but sober solidity, and substantial unobtrusiveness. Once beyond the portal, however, and everything is different. We find ourselves in a broad wellswept street, intersected by others at right angles, and exhibiting that gaudy fluttering finery which is characteristic of China. Strange that two nations, so opposite in character and taste, should here meet in a city, the one-half of which contrasts so boldly with the other. At the corners of the street stand enormous chafing dishes of carrion, like basins, upon slender pedestals of iron four feet in

height. These are surrounded by benches, instruments, wooden drums, cymbals, and which are occupied by porters, camel-drivers, gongs, with painted faces, and grotesque and others of the same class, who bring their costumes, perform a species of play, and mainkettles to boil water at the common fire, and tain an incessant thunder of so-called music. sit smoking and drinking tea in the intervals The entertainment is of the rudest description, of employment. Little chapels generally stand yet sufficient to please the motley throng of near, through the open doors of which images spectators. An actor with a feather on his of the saints may be seen. Before each of the head was understood to represent a ghost or manufactured divinities is placed a metal dish, apparition; a golden helmet pointed out filled with consecrated water, with several another as a warrior; whilst some who repastilles, long and slender, which emit no peatedly struck their hips with a cane, were flame, but a bluish aromatic vapour. These to be regarded as horsemen. The childish diffuse their fragrance throughout the chapel, simplicity of these performances is singular; which is lighted by tapers of red tallow, placed and no less so is the interest with which the against the wall, or in the door frames, and good people of Maimachen appear to witness kindled by the piety of some passer-by. them.

The houses of this town, built of clay, flat roofed, and pierced with numerous windows, which are glazed, if we may use the term, with Chinese paper, present an exceedingly varied and gay appearance. Lamps and flags hang about them in all directions. Cords are stretched across the street, and from them hang huge lanterns of paper, with gay scrolls and decorations. The dazzling colours, which thus everywhere meet the eye, afford a strong contrast to the dull yellow hue of the wall, and of the roadway, which is of clay well beaten and smoothed; but, as we need scarcely say, totally unfit for vehicles of any kind. Crowds of Mongols, who compose what are termed the lower orders here, throng the thoroughfares, dressed in close jackets and hose of grey camels' hair-cloth. Some wooden towers, flat roofed, possessing four doors, and decorated with countless streamers, stand in various portions of the town. An octangular turret, terminated by a pyramid, rises from the top, and the whole is painted with human figures, with the faces of brutes, in bright red and green. These buildings are observatories, and differ entirely from the little chapels we have referred to, and from the gorgeous and stately edifices, in which the Manchus and Chinese nobility perform their religious rites.

Perhaps, however, the clearest method of imparting an idea of Maimachen is by describing the festival of the White Moon, or New Year, which is commenced about the middle of February, by an entertainment given by the Sarguchei, or governor, to all the principal inhabitants of the Russian and Chinese town. The entrance of the guests from Kiachta to Maimachen is accompanied with great pomp and splendour. All the streets are decorated with even more than usual brilliancy; inscriptions are written on the house fronts; candles burn in every chapel; and the sound of crackers and rockets is heard from every courtyard. The dramatic corps of Maimachen, consisting of a number of men, with musical

The feast at the Sarguchei's house is conducted on a scale of much magnificence. The banquetting room is of a rectangular form, with windows of mica-an improvement on the general custom, which uses oiled paperand furnished with tables covered with scarlet cloth. The host sits on an elevated seat at the top of the room. His guests, in dead silence, bow and take their seats. In the centre of each table is a large paper cabinet, which, being uncovered, exhibits a variety of dried fruits, arranged in separate compartments. Apricots of great size, stoneless raisins, large pears, and frozen grapes brought from Russia, are among the principal. Tea is first brought in. This is followed by hundreds of dishes of every possible description of viands, so dressed and spiced as not to be recognised. Only a few experienced epicures can point out in succession the innumerable species of mushrooms, the pieces of pork, mutton, pheasants

with fish, and other marine productions, which are brought here pickled, preserved, or in the dried shape from Pekin. A number of gelatinous sea-animals resembling worms, form a great dainty. Immense quantities of fat are used in dressing the ingredients, to counterbalance the effects of which small cups, full of weak vinegar, stand within reach of every guest, who dips his meat therein, to render it more digestible.

Chinese and Russian spirits, with tea and smoking, form a large share of the entertainment, which is prolonged for a considerable period, all eating and drinking in silence, when the guests issue forth to partake of the various diversions of the day. At the temple of the great god Fo is congregated an immense crowd. Votive offerings-whole sheep, plucked fowls, guineafowls, dressed meat, and cakes are heaped up in hillocks before the statues. An edifice of dough, often six or seven feet in height, representing a building, with the windows and doors filled with dried fruit, stands in the centre; whilst the god of fire, of a scarlet

colour, sits immovable amid the vast collection of offerings which the piety (and the piety of China is too often mere gross superstition) of his devotee has heaped around.

The streets meanwhile continue crowded; and the populace, by every means within their power, seeks to enjoy the grand object of the day-amusement. A number of police maintain order; and severe indeed is the punishment inflicted on those who presume to raise a disturbance. The offender is seized, chained, and immediately hurried to the pillory, where he stands for hours, without food, and with his hands fixed in a board above his head. Sometimes his mouth is filled with a composition the most loathsome and revolting that can be imagined; and, occasionally, other punishments, such as in Russia are termed paternal, are inflicted. The dread of the summary visitations conduces, indeed, to the maintenance of order, and affords a striking example of Chinese civilization.

Superstition, of course, exercises much influence in Maimachen; but among the better class of merchants is displayed much good sense in this respect. A German traveller relates, that being in the house of one of these men during the period of the festival, he imprudently ate from a dish of dried fruits, placed on a separate table in a corner of the room, which, as was explained to him by his Russian attendant, was a sacred offering to one of the domestic gods; but the merchant, with the tolerance of an enlightened man, smiled with dignity, and merely protected his god from further pillage, by ordering a fresh supply of fruits for the consumption of his guests. Such instances as this are rare, especially in a country like China, whose population is notorious for its hostility and insolence to strangers.

The inhabitants of Maimachen carry on, with much success, several branches of industry; and some of them paint with considerable boldness, if not with skill: their carving is highly elaborate. But the importance of the place must be traced chiefly to the fact that Kiachta and Maimachen constitute the channel through which the trade of China and Russia flow from opposite directions. An immense amount of merchandise annually passes the barrier, and is paid for either in money or goods. Altogether, the place is thriving, and would be an agreeable temporary halting place, were it not for the fact that many of the Chinese here are so negligent of personal cleanliness as to be positively obnoxious.

Nevertheless, in spite of the uncleanliness of its inhabitants, its quaintness, its restrictive laws, Maimachen constitutes a curiosity which no traveller on the southern borders of Russia should fail to visit. We have touched only on

a few of its characteristic features. But the evening bell sounds; the vast crowds of Russian and Chinese, which are so mingled that separation appears impossible, rapidly break up, and the tide of population flows in two distinct directions. The narrow portal opens, and from it emerges into the market-place the throng of those who are not privileged to remain in Maimachen; on the other hand, every Chinaman hastens within his own native city. We again pass the barrier, and once more stand within the empire of Nicholas of Russia, quitting in a moment one sphere of civilization to sleep in another.

The aspect of London, and that of Kamschatka, do not differ more materially than does the double named city of Maimachen and Kiachta, where we have but to pass through a narrow door to exchange the monotonous and sober grandeur of Russia for the dazzling brilliancy of China.

DAMASCUS AND MOUNT LEBANON IN 1873.

BY JOHN D. MILBURN.

PART IV.

S we returned from Salahijeh we saw an interesting spectacle. In order to repair one of the numerous canals or aqueducts, the Barada had been dammed back or diverted into another channel, some distance above the city. We saw a large concourse of people flocking towards Damascus, shouting and gesticulating; truly a curious mob in their dressing-gown like garments and red toepeaked slippers. We began to fear there had been some disturbance between the hybrid sects, and even that the feud had been settled by blood-letting; but no!-it was nothing of this. The Barada had just been allowed to resume its wonted course, and these citizens had come to welcome the return of the water. The Chaldees Magi and Parsees worshipped fire, but were the bulk of the Damascenes not professed Mahommedans, I should have called these people water-worshippers.

Every garden is watered by the Barada. It is the Nile of Damascus, and like the Egyptian river, it fertilises wherever it touches the earth. It is not surprising, therefore, that but little of the river emerges on the further side of Damascus. The Barada has its source in Jabet es Sharki (mountain of the East), whose cool freshness it brings down to the plains. As already stated, it traverses the gorge of Suk (Wady Suk Barada), where it is swollen by numerous rills and mountain-brooks, born of the melting snows. At times it rushes through rocky defiles and chasms, descends

precipitous heights in foaming and roaring cascades, and on reaching the plain meanders along in statelier progression. After fulfilling its missions to the city and its gardens, what remains of it is but a parched and sickly stream, as it struggles across the Marj (meadow), and loses itself amongst the reeds of the Morsley lakes, named the Bahr et Mory (lakes of the meadow, or Bahret-esh-Shurkieh and Bahret-etGiblich), Eastern and Western Lakes.

According to Porter, the Nahr-el-Awaj loses itself in another lake (Bahret Hiyouch), some distance further south, and all the smaller streams which do not first meet these two rivers pour their waters into one or other of these marshes-fit habitat of the bittern-from which there is no outlet. As the waters attenuate themselves over the broad area of the lakes, they are evaporated or absorbed by the sand of the desert.

Other travellers speak of a River Berde flowing out the Bahret et Marj, which they represent as one large lake-Herodotus himself speaks of it as such, but winter and summer, drought and rain, must make a great difference both in the size of the rivers and the configuration of the lakes. It is possible that the Mahr et Berde may have been dried up when Porter explored these lakes, for it is mentioned by several travellers, yet Porter passed five years in Damascus as missionary, and has given us the truest and best description of Syria yet published-and, moreover, made the rivers of Damascus his special study. He even corrected geographical errors with respect to Syria, from observations and measurements of his own. For instance, he found that Baalbec, instead of laying to the N.E. of Damascus, actually lay North, and rather inclining to the west of the city.

Such are the rivers of Naaman, and such is the repute for beauty in which Damascus is held in the east, that it is related of Mahomet, when following his uncle's caravan to Bosruli and Damascus, or driving his camels, and, of course, before he conceived the bold idea of setting up a creed, that Damascus burst first on his view from a mountain. The future prophet, amazed at its beauty, turned hastily away, saying something to this effect-"There can be but one Paradise for Mahomet, and that is in Heaven."

In the "Koran" Paradise is described as follows:-" And, besides these, there shall be two other gardens, of a dark green. In each of these shall be two fountains pouring forth plenty of water. In each of these shall be fruits and palm trees and pomegranates. Therein shall be agreeable and beauteous damsels, having fine black eyes, and kept in pavilions from public view. Therein shall they

delight themselves, lying on green cushions and beautiful carpets."

In another chapter Mahomet tells his followers :- "This is the description of Paradise which is promised to the pious. It is watered by rivers; its food is perpetual, and its shade also; this shall be the reward of those who fear God."

Again, the Moslem's mind is entranced with visions of black-eyed musk-maidens, joining with the angel Prafel in heavenly harmony, and trees rustling their boughs in unison thereto, and sounding the bells which had been affixed to their branches.

These descriptions were certainly most allur ing to the sunburnt children of the shifting deserts, to whom an oasis was an event, and a sylvan river a thing of their dreams. When the Arabs streamed northward under the fierce Khaled, they would seem to have been fully alive to the delights of such a terrestrial type of Paradise as Damascus, for they gave themselves up to ease, luxury, and profligacy.

Mahomet well knew human nature, and by virtue of this knowledge obtained mastery over the minds of his neighbours. A grand intellect was his, and, what was more to the point, a satanic subtlety. His creed appeals to men's vices and baser selves, rather than to their virtues and better selves. For this reason, doubtless, the spurious creed quickly took root and flourished.

Mahommedans are brave in battle, and rush willingly on death, for beyond the grave-on the other side of mortality-there is nought but pleasure and licentious delight. It is a mere metamorphosis from a life full of woes and ills and bitter pangs, to a state of existence where transcendental happiness is perpetualto, at any rate, a Mahommedan understanding. In fact, the translated believer is the spoilt child of the universe. The seven heavens were made for him, the stars dance to him, celestial women worship him, and angels sing to him. But the Moslem's foretaste of Paradise upon earth has always marred their terrestrial fortunes, and checked their otherwise irresistless career. Where are the Caliphs now, and the Moguls? Where are Arabia, Persia, Egypt, and Mountania? And where will soon be Turkey?

It is the hobby of many tourists, and even travellers, to extol the pious Moslem, who is so much better and more devout than his godless European fellow man. See the Moslem reverentially praying and prostrating himself upon the ground, and beating his breast. This he can do several times daily. He does it because it is mere routine and habit; just for this many Christians are to be found at church on Sundays, in our own country. I have seen Ma

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