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leaves turn back, and the white fleecy cotton is seen. In September this is picked off and carried in baskets to be ginned, wbich means shaking out the dust, mixing the fibre together, and breaking it up out of the hard knob or ball. It is then pressed in bales, which are bound with iron hoops fastened with a hole and button, and shipped off to England. The crop is often injured by caterpillars, which will spoil and eat up a field of 100 acres in 24 hours. Their march over a road sweeps the sand just as if it had been pressed and rolled. They breed amazingly fast. Usually they never came two years in succession, for hogs and cattle trampled out and broke their eggs on the ground, and poultry kept by the negroes and planters eat up ovæ and grubs in the fields. Of late it has not been so, for hogs and poultry are much diminished in numbers as a result of the war. There is no plant so independent of the rain as the cotton shrub, which is a real sun-plant, never so flourishing as when enjoying a succession of hot burning rays It ought to have been called the sun-flower.
Very different is the rice-plant. It is raised on wet flat land; there must be trenches round the field to flood the rice during growth. It springs up like wheat, and is brown in the grain ; the outer husk is taken off at the mill, and the inner kernel furnishes the famous white rice of commerce. The water-ditches grow stagnant, and from the dark sluggish surface rises up malaria, which is so fatal to white men and can only be borne continuously by black men. It will be hard to get along on the rice-plantations without the freed-men.
Chinese are now penetrating to the South. They bear the climate well, and make diligent, useful labourers. They would arrive in greater numbers, but for restrictions placed upon emigrants by exclusive Mandarins and popular superstitions.
No woman can leave China, unless she is able to steal away, disguised as a man. The Chinese emigrants to America bring a supply of coffins with them. It is an “article of faith" that they should be buried in their owu land. All stipulate for their remains to be sent home to China.
Maize is a great crop in the South, and when ground and made up into innumerable varieties of corn-cake by negro-cooks, is a favourite food by no means to be despised. The first sight I had of a maize-field took me quite by surprise. There stood the Anakim wheat-stalks, from the top of each floated narrow green pennons, which waved in the wind like the standard-tipped shafts of Mexican lancers. But where was the gem? Midway up the plant you will discover it, each ear of golden grain set in an emerald sheath more deftly than pearl in a jewelled crown. Dame Nature is an artificer too cunning and accomplished to stoop from her pedestal to imitate man's device, but she encourages those who love her to draw from her models their finest conceptions of the beautiful. Our truest and most faithful copy is at the best, as the “golden rose” of Italian Pontiffs by the side of our English gardens' queen.
HE exigencies of war called forth one contingent of
soldiers after another. Like a snowball the Northern armies gathered as they rolled, and at length reached colossal dimensions. When the first ray of peace lighted upon the mass, it dissolved and fell away as does a glacier under an April sun; each waif and stray of the mighty gathering being again and almost instantly absorbed into channels of peaceful labour. The sight of such a dispersion, effected so quietly, was a wonder to Europe; and added another bolt in the fabric of freedom. There are still however some memorials which remind us of the war trail. In Northern cities
find crippled men serving in a Soldier's Messenger Corps, their badge of S.M.C. indicating a position analagous to that of our commissionaries. In Northern bomes you often see a picture which is a great favourite, viz: Admiral Farragut issuing his orders at the bombardment of Fort Fisher. The brave seaman stands in the shrouds of his ship, cool and unmoved amid the bursting shells of Confederate guns. This act was equalled by an incident at the siege of Charleston. Lieutenant Schaffer, of Georgia, would hoist the Confederate flag on Fort Sumpter, and then stand by its side. The Federals, moved by his bravery, dipped their flags to him, and then he retired. At the same siege, a gun which was in the charge of two Irishmen exploded ; in the smoke they could not see this : so one of them went up to his officer and asked him if he had seen a stray “columbiad ?” People in Charleston became so familiar with the process of being
66 under fire,” that they grew careless of danger. As soon as a puffof smoke indicated the approach of an iron messenger, the street boys would run out to pick up the exploded shell for old iron.
My friend Mr. Inglis lived for a year in New Orleans towards the end of the war. He kept his individuality as a British subject all the time; for this, he was hated by some as an Englishman, and supposed to favour the Southern cause. All males in the city were ordered to join the Federal army, or procure a pass of exemption from the commanding General. Inglis had his papers of nationality in his pocket, and relied upon them as a sufficient reason for not obtaining a pass. One morning, he was arrested by a negro patrol, for want of this permit. The guard detained him in prison, for four days, until the British Consul who was absent at Mobile, returned to New Orleans, and procured his liberation by proper explanations. The city swarmed with detectires in secret guise, and many regiments of negro troops were quartered there. On the day of Mr. Lincoln's assassination, men durst not speak to each other. The first thing that our British friend saw on going to his counting-house that morning, was a Southerner hanged from a lamp-post, by the black soldiers ; and a little later, on the same day, they hanged another near his office. Then a negro came along, doubled the body into a packing-case, and flung it into the lake.
A gentleman of New York described to me the state of feeling there. The people were almost frenzied about the
At first they did not realise the magnitude of the struggle, but day by day it gained upon them that they were in for a “big thing” in fighting. The Americans
are very sensitive, and when the London - Times” was read by them as it came in mail after mail, it lashed them into fury, and their blood rose to fever heat. It became painful for British residents to meet Americans, even personal friends, so they kept together in compact circles of their own. It was distressing to notice delicate ladies become so familiar with bloodshed as to sneer at anything sbort of a holocaust of victims. Englishmen were pressed into the Southern army, and a system of espionage prevailed in New York. Ministers obtained appointments as chaplains in the army, in order to don uniform and sword. In their churches they gloried to preach up the war as a religious crusade, some of them even declaring that every soldier who fell in battle would at once receive his reward of life eternal in Paradise. In contrast to this I have heard a negro conduct a week-night service in Brooklyn, who had laboured on the defences at Wilmington; and I have listened to a young man preach, who was for 18 months a prisoner within the wretched Libby.
My friend William Graham was drafted three times; the last time he was marched down from his place of business in Wall-street under fixed bayonets to the depôt of Company B. The Captain, a burly Irishman, seemed determined to have the Englishman in the army nolens, volens, and at length Graham took his penknife and cut out his name from the roll, as an effective manner of vindicating his nationality. His American friends came forward to testify to the truth of his statements, and he was not again troubled. Early in the war times, the long bridge over the Potomac at Washington, was guarded at the Virginian end by Confederate sentries. A Yankee stageman, whose horses were on that side, wanted to recover them and he represented himself to the guard as a farmer from Tennessee. The sentinel let him pass,