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What profits how to understand
The merits of a spotless shirtA dapper boot-a little hand
If half the little soul is dirt? You talk of tinsel! Why, we see
Old marks of rouge upon your cheeks. You prate of nature ! You are he
That spilt his life upon the cliques.
It looks too arrogant a jest,
You bandbox-off, and let him rest!”
and great industry have fairly won at the hands of fame. Lord Lytton—then Mr. Bulwer-sat in Parliament first, in 1831, for St. Ives; afterwards representing Lincoln and Hertfordshire. He was created a baronet in July, 1838; and in July, 1866, was raised to the peerage, with the title of Baron Lytton of Knebworth.
A SOJOURN IN THE BERMUDAS.
" Where once
Ariel in “The Tempest."
Time and a change in the mode of expressing literary amenities on the part of curious. We introduce them heres for this THE Bermudas, or Somer's Isles, are, as
every one knows, or ought to know, reason, and not with any desire “to fan a small group of islands in the middle of the afresh the ancient flame” that prompted | Atlantic, about 600 miles due east from them. It will only be necessary for us to Charlestown, South Carolina, which is the apologize for their insertion to such of our nearest land. They are popularly supposed readers as may recollect their first appear to equal in number the days of the year; ance five and twenty years ago, or may have and, counting every small rock as an island, I seen them since.
dare say they would run up to something There was an interval of four years in like it. They are composed of comminuted which Bulwer did not appear before the shell and coral, which hardens into a calpublic as a writer of fiction; but finding, as careous sandstone; and the only minerals he says, “ bad habits stronger than good in- found are small quantities of oxide of iron, tentions,” he dipped his novel-writing quill menaccanite, and a little manganese. This in ink again, and set to work on two very dis- description of their geological formation was similar stories—“Lucretia," and "The Cax-given by the late Colonel Nelson, Royal tons.” The former-having for its heroine Engineers; but their structure may be Lucretia Dalibard, one of his greatest crea- shortly described as being coral below low tiońs-drew down a storm of angry criti- water mark, and Æolian above it. cism about his head. The two chief
per- Vegetation is luxuriant in these isles; for sonages of the story were poisoners. To the tamarind, melon, banana, date-palm, palthis criticism the author replied in a long metto, bamboo, orange, and lemon flourish and able defence of his work, and an ex- well there; though the Virginian cedars, with planation of what he held to be the artistic which the rocks are clothed, are decidedly principles and ethical designs of fiction. stunted in their growth. Very lovely, too,
“The Caxtons," one of his most charm- is this spot, nestling on the broad Atlantic's ing stories, followed “Lucretia," and was bosom, where the water is of a most exquisucceeded by “My Novel.” At intervals of site bluish-green tint, and as clear as crystal, some years after one another, “What will reflecting like a mirror the graceful foliage He do with It?" and "A Strange Story," of the date-palm and dwarf palmetto. Beauwere published. “The latter was completed tiful, too, are the mimic bays which abound in 1862.
everywhere, the crystal waters gently rippling Lord Lytton has been a popular writer between the shady crags, and breaking mufor over forty years, and in that time he sically upon the sandy shore. has produced above a hundred volumes. A perfect haven of tranquillity here, and a He has a good claim to the titles of states- pleasant climate enough during the winter man and orator, in addition to those of months—December, January, February, and novelist, poet, dramatist, and essayist. Such March—when the winds are chiefly from the versatility of talent is rare indeed; yet, in west and north-west, and consequently cool all these various paths of literature, the and dry; but owing to the agency of the veteran peer has outstripped most of those Gulf Stream, which almost sweeps the shores, who have entered the lists with him. He the summer is grilling—in fact, almost unmay now rest on the laurels his great talents | bearable. The mercury does not range very
high-say an average of 84° for July, the harmless house-fly buzzes monotonously August, and September; but, owing to the round my head, occasionally settling on my dripping nature of the south-west wind which nose, whence I dislodge him with scant cerethen prevails, the atmosphere becomes satu- mony. rated with moisture, and you live in a per- But to return to the mosquitoes petual vapour bath; whilst the muscles re- rather, their bite, for that is what I relaxing, and becoming languid and flaccid, member them chiefly by. I leave you to you are completely-to use a slang phrase imagine some kind friend pricking your
-"sewn up, and feel as though you don't bare skin unceasingly with a needle for nine care one jot what becomes of you.
months, day and night, and even then I I never felt this total prostration in Canada, doubt whether you have an adequate idea where the mercury often ranges much bigher; of the terrible reality. But I must not forget but the very recollection of what I suffered the cockroaches; for after all their little attenin the "still vexed Bermoothes” brings the tions to me during my sojourn in Bermuda, perspiration out on my forehead even now; that would indeed be inexcusable on my and, to make it worse, the glare from the part—and I do not wish to appear ungrateful, white limestone is so trying, that the only even to a cockroach. As soon as the candles comfortable way 10 knock about is in a are lighted on a summer evening, in these complete suit of white drill, a huge white disgusting creatures come in shoals, when umbrella lined with green, and a veritable flop goes one into your tea, eddying round pair of green "goggles" on; when you form and round there, like a duck in a whirlpool; a picture that does not astonish the natives whilst another, more adventuresome, takes there one bit, but most certainly would a a fancy to your hair, and proceeds to explore Londoner, did you don such a costume, on its recesses. Rather a handsome fellow, too, a sultry day, in Regent-street.
is this Bermudian cockroach, with his shiny But, good reader, “jubes renovare dolores,” | brown coat and his long feelers, with which you would like to know some more of the i he tests everything within reach, whether it horrors that I suffered there in the dog-days. be a lump of sugar or pair of boots; for so Well, heat and glare combined are bad partial are these gentry to leather, that the enough; but the unlucky sojourner in Ber-colonists often keep their boots and shoes in muda during the heat of summer has to stout canvas bags, well secured at top, to endure additional misery, in the shape of prevent Master Cockroach dining off them. persecution by loathsome cockroaches, and He is a bit of an epicure, too, this insect, in blood-sucking mosquitoes. The latter pre- his way; and when he is tired of Wellington fer a new arrival—his blood, especially if boots, often condescends to lunch off your an Englishman, is generally rich, and there best waistcoat or Sunday hat! is lots of it. Some brute of a fly, posted as There is another insect met with in Berscout, having discovered your arrival, forth-muda-a kind of flea, called the chegoe, or with heralds it to his mates, and your doom jigger. Though very minute, this gentle,
, is sealed—at any rate, mine was; for im- man is mightily particular in the matter of mediately on landing I was set upon by a lodgings; and, unfortunately, no place seems small cloud of these winged torments, and to suit him so well as the top of your toe, considerately escorted by them to that part of where he not only locates himself, but tries the island where I fixed my abode. All to rear his young family as well
. They through the summer these pestilent flies burrow down under the skin, and deposit sucked my wretched carcase, till I was daily their eggs there, if they are not removed in becoming “beautifully less” from sheer loss of time; but the negro women are very clever blood. Not only did they persecute me by in extracting them on the point of a needle day, but at night one or two generally con- an operation they seem to take a strange trived to sneak under the mosquito netting, pleasure in.
pleasure in. It is dangerous to walk bareused nine months in the year—and then came footed on the floor in summer here, for you that particularly unmusical hum, which sig- are likely to fall in with a chegoe. nally “murdered sleep.” Ah, that ominous Another pest in Bermuda is the red ants, music! I seem to hear it now, though sitting which swarm during the summer months, in a comfortable room in this most com- anıt attack so remorselessly every article fortable hotel, where the winged invader of food, that you are obliged to keep your hath never been, but where, in his stead, provender in a safe, with each of its legs
standing in a vessel of kerosine oil, as the the slow mode of locomotion, and expressed only protection against their ravages. Now, a wish that we had railroads instead; when this oil is to the red ants what pork is to the out popped an irate old lady from the cabin, Jew—they utterly abominate it; but so cun- who declared "that, for her part, she was
, ning are the little rascals, that if by chance quite content with things as they were;" a lucifer match be dropped into the vessel, she wanted “none of them nasty railroads;" they will use it as a raft, and thus safely get and, lastly, "that she meant to remain in over the object of their abomination—when, Bermuda to the end of her days. She never of course, they can easily run up the legs of had left it, and she never would; for she the safe. If a bird or anything else be sus- knew no place under the sun at all compended from the larder ceiling over-night by parable to it!" I was never more taken aback a string, no matter how long or fine, you in my life, and made no attempt to contradict will see these ants ascending and descending the wrathful old dame; who, seeing that the it by myriads in the morning, whilst the day was her own, shook her head menacingly object itself is one mass of them.
at me, and vanished into the cabin! I supBut the reader doubtless would like to pose the suddenness of her appearance had know something about the people in these something to do with my discomfiture, for distant isles; before discussing whom, how she came up like a Jack-in-the-box! However, I must say a word or two upon other ever, she was but a type of all the white subjects. Of course, owing to their small colonists, who, taken as a body—though area—twenty square miles—and rocky na- there are some notahle exceptions--are a ture, railroads are unknown in the Ber-narrow-minded and bigoted set, who think mudas; and instead of gliding over the there is no place like Bermuda, and no smooth bars of steel at forty miles an hour, people like themselves. you jolt through lovely lanes, bordered with The better classes are chiefly small merorange and lemon trees, and the beautiful chants; and I should say their salient characoleander, in queer, old-fashioned vehicles, teristics were extreme caution, and an inorguiltless of springs, and drawn by wiry-look- dinate self-esteem. Broad and liberal views,
either in a political or commercial sense, are The roads, though extremely uneven na- almost unknown amongst them. Pettifogturally, are kept in fair order, on the whole; ging would, perhaps, be the correct term to and turnpikes are unknown.
apply to their general transactions. HamilThe Bermudas are shaped like a horse-ton, the “Queen of Cities” in the opinion of shoe somewhat, with one of its curves about many of these gentry, is the chief town in double as long as the other; and of the three Bermuda, and contains the Parliament buildmain islands, the first and second-beginning ings. It is in reality a large village, with at the east end—are connected by a cause- a population of about 4,000 souls, and has way just completed, and the second with the little to recommend it beyond picturesquethird by a bridge. The islands are girt with ness of situation. It is built on the margin a double elliptical belt of coral reefs, upon of a pretty bay; and the houses of white which the waves break with great fury; but sandstone, with their big verandahs festhe inside waters, being partially land-locked, tooned with beautiful creepers, and bright are usually tolerably tranquil
, though severe green jalousies, have a very striking effect. . “white squalls" (as they are termed) occa- The merchants do not live over their stores, sion:ally burst over the hills, when the 'Mu- but away in the country, in those pretty, dian flat-bottomed boats are the safest things snow-white villas, nestling among the green to be in.
cedars, that you see on the other side of Sailing boats of good size, belonging to Hamilton Water, as It is called. FrontHer Majesty's Government, daily ply be- street, which extends along the harbour, is tween the two chief towns, St. George's and the principal one; for here are nearly all the Hamilton; and both white and coloured folk stores. Its hot, dusty appearance in summer are allowed to use them, provided they have is somewhat diversified by the Pride of India the requisite permit from the local control trees planted along the water's edge. And officers. Queer people were encountered in here it is that the small merchants aforesaid these boats sometimes; and I remember one do chiefly congregate, busy in receiving their day, when going to Hamilton, and chatting goods from the ships in the harbour. The with a friend on deck, I chanced to lament shops are very indifferent, the goods second