Chambers Jou rnal






By 8S. Scort MoncrIEFF.

Claymore and snowshoe, toys in lava, fans Of sandal, amber, ancient rosaries, Laborious orient ivory sphere in sphere, The cursed Malayan crease, and battle-clubs From the isles of palm; and, higher on the walls, Betwixt the monstrous horns of elk and deer, His own forefathers’ arms and armour hung. —The Princess.

JUCH a collection as Tennyson de- scribes, of every clime and age jumbled together, is to be found decorating many a home throughout our land, where in the course of centuries veritable museums have been formed of family relics. In them are to be discovered objects of interest picked up in the neighbourhood, and art treasures, as well as curiosities sent from distant lands by members of the family who have gone forth, from generation to generation, to play their part in our widespread national life, yet whose treasures as well as their affections find an abiding place in the old family home, Museums they may be called ; but, coming unexpectedly under our notice, each article with its own story, they are without the rigid formality of a collection of things carefully arranged and docketed, such as can only inspire a specialist with enthusiasm.

There is a never-failing charm in a house so well garnished; only a very dull mind can be dull in such surroundings. To children it is a fairyland indeed ; for what child does not delight in seeing strange things belonging to the great world outside the nursery—the gates of which one day will be opened to him—where stirring deeds are done, and all as yet appears full of mystery and beauty ?

No number of books can teach such effective lessons in geography and history as the sight of the very white cockade worn: by a pretty Jacobite ancestress at Prince Charlie’s ball at Holyrood, or the sword that at Waterloo brought honour to the family name. The red coat the hero wore and the beauty’s stiff brocade, with

No. 145.—Vo.. III.

(All Rights Reserved. }

many another old-world garment, are still to be seen, veritable ghosts haunting the dim recesses of the garrets. A case of medals teaches the history of the Conquest of India, and more recent trophies tell of the Occupation of Egypt. The walls are hung with banners gaudily emblazoned with texts from the Koran; they were picked up on Soudanese battlefields by a soldier son after his men had routed the dervishes who so proudly carried them. What a cosmopolitan gathering it would be, what a medley of ideas might be exchanged, if these inanimate objects could enjoy the night-time in confidential talk to- gether, as the statues and pictures do—Schidone’s eager Duke and the prim Saint by Haste-thee- Luke—according to Browning’s fantastic fancy, in the room of the Venetian Lady :

With all its rarities that ache

In silence while day lasts, but wake

At night-time, and their life renew,

Suspended just to pleasure you

Who brought, against their will, together

These objects. What a fascinating night’s entertainment it would be if we could but hear the white cockade converse with the cowrie-shell girdle of an African warrior, or the straight, shining sword of Waterloo exchange experiences and discuss the art of war with the crooked Afghan knife and poisoned Zulu assagai !

No moss that during the passing of centuries is left growing about an old house is likely to be of more value than the curiosities, bric-d-brac, souvenirs de voyage—the peculiar harvest of the traveller, and the moss which, in spite of the old adage, does gather about the rolling stone. It serves to illustrate his tales, perhaps helps to prove them true, when shown to others; but to himself alone does it reveal its full charm. More especially if the traveller is also a connoisseur who does not load himself with meaningless odds and ends, picked up at random, or bought for the mere pleasure of shopping in a foreign land—a Sept. 8, 1900.


pleasure which appeals with peculiar fascination to lady travellers, who, it is to be noticed, are continually suffering from the memory of bad bargains, and rarely can recall the delight ex- perienced over a successful one.

The connoisseur, if very fastidious, has a dislike to anything bought; be would rather pick up his curio himself—is even at times forced to acknowledge petty theft—-and has a great joy in accepting odd presents. Coin pays for everything but sentiment. Do we not know that flowers bargained for and bought have none of the aroma of those that come as a gift? Above all, let the collector allow nothing to find a place in his cabinet that has not a history attached to it, giving it the right to be called a souvenir. A coin picked up by his own hand from amongst the dusty remains of the once great city of Memphis is not to be exchanged for one of gold and finest workmanship.

Many people, perhaps the majority of people, are—as some are deaf to music or blind to colour —unable to feel interest in inanimate things, even in those which, lasting from age to age, while men die and their cities crumble to dust, remain real bits of the lost life of the past ; while the antiquary holding an arrow-head in his hand can conjure as with the magic wand of fairyland a world now dead and done with, but whose influence has moulded the life of to-day.

Take the coin picked up at Memphis: what a long train of association it calls forth! There it had lain buried since the days of the Ptolemies, when, in all likelihood, in the ordinary course of everyday affairs, it had been passed from hand to hand during the decline of this, one of the mightiest of ancient cities; for Memphis rose on the banks of the Nile during the dawn of historic time. It is the Noph of the Bible; in its great palaces Menephtah held his court when Moses and Aaron pled before him for the release of his Israelite slaves; it was conquered by the army of Cambyses ; the ancients learned science and philo- sophy from its priests; Herodotus, Diodorus, and Strabo describe its marvellous temples and palaces, yet they only knew it in its decline. In its streets the early Christian sects fought fiercely with one another over trivial points of doctrine, until they were swept away by the soldiers of the Prophet, strong in the unity and simplicity of their faith. Alexandria drew away its popula- tion, and modern Cairo was built from its stones. What other city endured through longer ages and saw greater wonders? Now all that is left of its magnificence, above ground, are a few carved stones and two mutilated statues of the great Pharaoh ; the rest lies buried under mounds of tubbish shaded by date-palms. While riding through these groves our traveller paused to watch a group of fellahin load their donkey’s panniers with the débris of the ruined city, which they use as manure on their fields. To

such base uses come the palaces of the Pharaohs, and, like Imperious Cesar, dead, and turned to clay Might stop a hole to keep the wind away. Some loose earth rolling to his feet, the coin fell out, to be picked up and serve as a touchstone that has recalled such a panorama from the history of the past.

Here, again, is a bola found when digging a well on the pampas of South America, as far as the east is from the west from Egyptian Memphis, and telling of a strangely different race of men, and of a savage existence in place of advanced civilisation ; for the man who wielded this weapon was of a race in its infancy doomed to die out before it had reached maturity, while the Egyptians had grown wise and hoary during the course of uncounted ages.

Without his collection of bric-a-brac being gifted with speech in the night-time, when human beings —the puppets now filling the stage—are absent in the Land of Nod, the traveller finds the meeting together of things from diverse parts of the world, representing various stages of civilisation, suffi- ciently interesting and full of varied and never- ending food for thought.

It is not the antique only that finds a place in our traveller’s cabinets; in them are also found all sorts of odds and ends, each one sug- gestive of some notable phase of life, or, it may be, merely serving to recall charmed hours spent in some lovely land or wondrous city—hours long enough to allow of enjoyable impressions, but too short to bring about the inevitable disillusionment. Mrs Carlyle writes to a friend: ‘I assure you I have often gone into my own room in the devil’s own humour, ready to swear at “things in general and some things in particular; and my eyes resting by chance on one of my photographs of long-ago places or people, a crowd of sad, gentle thoughts has rushed into my heart, and. driven the devil out as clean as ever so much holy water and priestly exorcism could have done. Surely any charm that has the power to drive out the devil is to be weleomed—be it the loved face of a friend or the souvenir of some fair country consecrated to happy memory—when in the daily routine of life too often petty affairs and passing worries make us forget to dwell on our larger

joys, as when in negligence we allow the creeping _

ivy to crawl across the window-pane, while with one cut of a knife it may be cleared away, allowing the room to fill with light and air.

This love of gathering round one objects of romantic and historic interest was one of Sir Walter Scott’s most marked characteristics. To him every stone and stock revealed its own story, drawing from the vast storehouse of his brain some anecdote or line of ancient song to illustrate its history. He possessed this interest in every- thing from his earliest years. We find in Lock- hart’s Life of Scott that when a child of six years,

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after spending an evening with the gifted authoress of ‘The Flowers of the Forest,’ he remarked, ‘I like that lady, for I think she is a virtuoso like myself.’ ‘Dear Walter,’ said his aunt Jenny, who was putting the little lad to bed, ‘What is a virtuoso?? ‘Don’t you know? Why, it is one who wishes and will know everything” Surely he who possesses a mind that wishes to know everything must, wherever fate places him, find a harvest to be gathered, and can never be at a loss for some study to fill the flying hours with interest to himself and others.

What of the collection without the collector? Is there a sadder or more dreary museum any- where than that of Abbotsford? It but inspires us with regret for the absence of the master-mind. Then that other palace of curios—Strawberry Hill. Are we not glad to enjoy it through the medium of its owner’s letters? Do we not read how he winced under the stupid remarks of the idlers who came out of curiosity to inspect his treasures ? ‘And as vulgar people always see with the ends of their fingers,’ they too often did lasting damage with fingers that usually are all thumbs. ‘One’s self-love is not at all limited to one’s specific person, he complains to Lady Ossory, ‘but in- sinuates itself into everything that belongs to one —to one’s house, to one’s garden, to one’s collec- tion, and ‘feels at each thread, and lives along the line.’

For the very beau-ideal of an antiquary we turn to one of Sir Walter Scott’s finest creations. Let us seek him in his own garden, seated under the shade of a holly-tree that has escaped the shears that have trimmed its fellows in quaint device. By some magic the great story-teller, with the simplest words, makes us live in the very scene. We breathe the fresh sunny air blowing off the

North Sea. We hear the ripple and splash of the waves falling and running up the beach, calm and soothing to-day, but we know how terrible they can be when the wind blows. Let us share in the welcome given to the young Lovel, and in the invitation from Monkbarns to follow him up the winding stairs to his sanctwm sanctorum. When our antiquary has routed his ‘good-for-nothing womenkind, whom he finds so wantonly raising ‘the very ancient, peacefull dust that would have remained so for a hundred years had not these gypsies disturbed it, as they would do everything else in this world,” we follow him round his den, stepping cautiously amongst piles of books, old armour, and many strange things, treating them with the more respect when we hear what happened to Dr Heavystern when he sat down too care- lessly in that ancient arm-chair, not perceiving that in its recesses lay deadly weapons of iron bearing the alarming name of ‘craw-taes.’

After prying into every corner and listening to the many stories woven into the rambling but ever-entertaining conversation of our host, we see him draw aside a bit of old tapestry on which is pictured the ugly face of the Loathly Lady, and unlock a cabinet out of which he brings ‘two long-stalked wine-glasses, such as are seen in Tenier’s pieces,” and a bottle of what he calls rich, racy canary, with a bit of diet-cake on a small silver salver of exquisite old workmanship. ‘I say nothing of the salver, he remarks, ‘though it is said to be wrought by the old mad Florentine, Benvenuto Cellini.’

Surely here it is time for me to lay aside my pen and leave the reader to enjoy undisturbed the company of the Laird of Monkbarns and the gallant young Lovel as they sip the rich, racy canary, and taste Miss Griselda’s diet-cake.



| HEN Vaurel got back we settled our final arrangements. I was to let him know by wire, post, or mes- senger the exact day, and as nearly as possible the hour, when I should be at the mouth of the river ready to receive the Colonel, and he undertook to be there.

In the early morning we ventured to leave the Colonel in custody of Boulot, and took the wood path past Vaurel’s house to the station, in time for the early train to Rennes.

‘Tell mademoiselle that we will win if we hold him till he dies, monsieur, said Vaurel as he wrung my hand and looked as if he were going to embrace me.

I was in Combourg by eleven o'clock, and, leaving my baggage at the station, found my way

without difficulty to the Convent of the Sacred Heart.

It stood a short way out of the village, and was a great and unprepossessing establishment, with immensely high walls and an unpretentious door, which, if it suggested no warm welcome to out- siders, certainly gave one the impression that what it held inside was very tightly held indeed. In the middle of the door was a tiny grating closed with a sliding panel, which somehow brought Madame de St Ouen and her downcast eyes vividly to my mind. An iron handle hung from a chain by the side of the tight-lipped door, and I gave it a pull that woke a tinkling response somewhere far away inside.

Time was evidently of little account with the occupants of the convent. It was full five minutes before the blind eye in the door opened noiselessly


and showed me a pale coiffed face behind it, which swallowed me wholly in one hasty glance and then looked down, as though I were the world and the flesh and the devil all rolled into one.

‘Madame the Duchesse of St Ouen?’ I said in English, and pushed my card through the grating, which closed immediately and left me to hope that something might eventually come of it.

The privilege I sought was evidently one that needed time for consideration, and was not readily accorded. I smoked four horrible ‘Caporal’ cigar- ettes before the little veiled eye winked again sufficiently to allow the passage of a folded slip of paper, on which was inscribed in thin wiry letters, ‘Madame regrets that she cannot receive M. Lamont.’

I fear the language I used, though I had the sense to keep it below my breath, would not have prospered my cause with the saints inside, as I hung in the wind uncertain what to do next. I smoked several more of the vile little cigarettes, and came to the wise decision of seeking out the curé of the village and asking his advice. If he were a decent fellow he might assist me; at the worst he could only refuse.

I found the curé without difficulty; and if I had had him made to order he could not have been more to my liking. He was a round-faced, jovial little man of about sixty, by name Pre Joseph Bonnatt, and he spoke English fluently with a strong Irish accent, which he explained by the fact of his having lived for several years in the States, and incidentally that his mother was an Irishwoman.

We became good friends immediately, and when I told him of my difficulty he laughed loud and long.

‘You expected to walk into the Convent of the Sacred Heart on presentation of your card? Why, my dear young friend, no male foot has ever defiled those sacred precincts save that of the Cardinal Archbishop, Monseigneur Godefroi ; and even then I believe the Sisters had all to do penance for a week, besides double scrubbing the floors of every room he entered. But what is it you want there ?—or, I should say, who? Not Madame Mére herself ?

‘No; it is my cousin, Mademoiselle Denise des Comptes, whose affairs I am looking after, and it is absolutely necessary that I should see her.’

‘Ah! Mademoiselle des Comptes. That is the wealthy novice whom Madame Mere is hoping to persuade into the order—sister of that young Gaston des Comptes who—— Yes, yes, I know all about it. And monsieur is her cousin ?’

I nodded without a blush. Had not made- moiselle herself elected me to that high position ; and who had a better right? We cannot choose our parents, but we can choose our sot-disant cousins.

‘I doubt if 1 can help you in the matter,’ said Pere Bonnatt, ‘though I would very much like

to do so. Madame and I are not on speaking terms. You see, she comes from above, I from below. She is an aristocrat, I spring from the soil. Now, let me see, he said, biting his thumb in perplexity—‘let me see You did not tell her what you wanted ?’ he asked suddenly.

‘I had no chance to tell her anything. But I guess she knows well enough what I wanted. She was staying with us down at mademoiselle’s house at Cour-des-Comptes, with the Abbé Dieufoy.’

‘Ah, yes! the Abbé Dieufoy. He is bon gargon ?’ and he looked at me whimsically.

‘We got on very well together. He is shrewd and sharp, I should say ; but we were on friendly enough terms.’

He nodded, and took counsel with his thumb again. Then he looked up with a twinkle in his eye.

‘If I mention a matter to you, M. Lamont, you must not take any undue advantage of it—unless you very much want to.’

‘I promise,’ I said.

‘Well, as I came from the station this morning I met a round dozen of the doves from the big nest there; and among them was a young lady, who was with them, but not of them. Is your cousin a tall girl with brown hair, and rather good-looking ?’

‘She is the most beautiful girl’—— I began, but stopped short at sight of his twinkling eyes.

‘It was doubtless she. They were, I judged, going to Dol, where there is a grand féte to the Virgin to-day. Now, if you should happen to be about the station when the train from Dol comes in, you might happen to see your cousin, you know ; and who could stop you speaking to her, if you made up your mind to do it, I don’t quite know. But, mind you, you are not to make any use of this information unless’——

‘What time does the train come in?’

‘Four o'clock.’

When the train came in I was waiting for it. The red-tape observances of the larger stations did not obtain in this rural district, and I had been permitted to take up my stand in a secluded corner of the platform without any objections on the part of the officials.

The train was crowded with women and children returning from the féte ; but the Combourg con- tingent was not a large one, and from my corner I eagerly watched the Sisters of the Sacred Heart dump themselves down on the platform with all the graceless weight of so many sacks of flour.

How tall and gracious and beautiful made- moiselle looked beside the others, a queen lily in a bed of cabbages, though her sweet face sank into a soberness almost equal to theirs as the train passed and she turned to join her companions.

Then some sudden delightful instinct caused her to look up, right into my corner. If she had known I was there she could not have looked at me straighter, and my heart leaped



joyfully and beat a triumphant march at the sudden glad light that shone out of her eyes and the lovely colour that swept into her face at sight of me.

The Sisters had gathered round her like a bodyguard of protecting hens; but I pushed through them with a ‘Pardon, pardon, made- moiselle!’ right and left, and met Denise half- way.

‘Oh, Cousin Hugh!’ she cried, and blushed deeper still at the word. ‘How glad I am to see you!’

‘Not more glad than I am—Denise! But I could not come before. Where can I speak with you? I have a great deal to tell you.’

She spoke rapidly to the dourest of the Sisters, whose austere upper lip was ornamented with a slight black moustache, and whose flat bosom was decorated with a larger brass crucifix than any of the others. The Sister pursed her thin lips still tighter and murmured. Mademoiselle insisted, with a touch of anger, that she had a right to speak to her cousin, and that she intended to in any case; and the Sister yielded to the point of permitting half her flock to go on in front of us and half to follow behind, while we two walked together in between.

‘Mr Lamont,’ said mademoiselle before I had time to begin my story, ‘I must get away from here. I am sorry I ever came. It will kill me if I stop much longer. It is not peace—for me at all events—it is imprisonment, and I cannot stand it. This is the first time I have passed the gate since I went there. It is crushing the spirit out of me. I would sooner work for my living and let them have all the money than stop here.’

She poured all this out in a quick, hot torrent that came straight from her heart, and her face and eyes were all aflame with the strong feeling that was in her.

My heart leaped towards her and shouted, ‘Come with me! Come with me!’ but I managed to keep silent.

‘It was a mistake my coming here,’ she said again. ‘I was afraid of it; but you advised it, and I came. But—but—you promised to help me. You must get me away. Now, what can you do to help?’

‘You trust me, Denise ?’

‘Absolutely! You know I do. More, I’——

I do not know what she was going to say, for she was in a state of very great excite- ment.

‘Then let me take you away for good and all. Come and be my wife.’

‘Oh Hugh! do you mean it?’ she cried.

‘I have meant it since the first moment I

saw your picture in the Salon. You know it, Denise.’

‘Yes, she said in a whisper, ‘I knew it.’

She walked in silence for a moment, and then said eagerly, ‘When? Now?’

‘Can you stand it another week, dearest?’ I said ; and then I told her rapidly of the position of affairs at Cour-des-Comptes, and of our decision to carry the Colonel off to sea, and to hold him there until he spoke.

‘I am going now to Southampt 1 to charter a yacht. I can be back here in « week. The yacht can wait at St Malo. What do you say ??

‘I shall count the hours,’ she said joyfully. ‘I can stand it now.’

‘How am I to get at you?’ I asked. ‘I tried to see Madame Mére, but she declined the pleasure, and the little curé here tells me no man is allowed to set foot inside those big walls,’

‘And it may be a month before I am allowed outside again. What can we do?’

‘I shall manage it somehow. You are quite sure’

‘I am quite sure,’ she said quickly.

‘And you will be ready when’

‘I shall be ready, she said; and then, softly and sweetly as we drew near to the convent gate, ‘You have made me very happy, Hugh.’,

It was surely as strange a wooing as man could well have. I had hardly dared to look at her, and as for touching her hand in the midst of that phalanx of marble modesty, it was not to be thought of for a moment. What pains and penances it might have subjected my dear girl to I could not imagine; but I was very desirous of doing nothing to shock the feelings of her keepers, and when the moment of part- ing came I did no more than touch the tips of her fingers and looked the rest of all I felt; I then bowed obsequiously to the cold-faced sister- hood, and walked away on air, the richest man in all the world.

I went straight back to Ptre Bonnatt, and as soon as he saw me he said, ‘Hh, bien! You have seen her ??

‘I have seen her and spoken to her, thanks to you.’

‘Nay, nay, do not incriminate me,’ he laughed ; ‘though it is a pleasure to me to get round the old lady. She is so very, very good, and so very, very wanting in heart.’

I was strongly tempted to tell him the whole matter, and it would have been such a very great pleasure to talk to somebody of mademoiselle. But I had the common-sense not to do so and maybe it was just as well.




<7/ET no one imagine, from the title F| of this article, that the country referred to is rich in gold or diamonds; on the contrary, the mineral wealth of the Transvaal of South America is inconsiderable. The designation is here applied to the republic of Paraguay on account of its geographical posi- tion and past history, which bear many striking points of resemblance to the South African Transvaal.

Like the Transvaal, Paraguay occupies an inland position, surrounded by nations with whom she has waged destructive warfare. Paraguay has still serious disputes with these nations on com- mercial questions, especially as to tariff duties ; for, having no port of her own, she is at the mercy of the countries in possession of the sea- board.

Although the frontiers of Paraguay are ill- defined (being still to a great extent in dispute), and no reliable census of the population has been taken for many years, it may be said that both in size and population the country approxi- mates to the Transvaal ; it is situated in precisely the same latitude, and has a similar climate ; like the Transvaal, also, the main occupation of the native inhabitants is the rearing of cattle, what trade and manufactures exist being almost entirely in the hands of foreigners.

From an historical standpoint, the similarity is almost equally striking. Like the Transvaal, Paraguay has waged (and for a time successfully) awar of the most sanguinary character against forces which may well be described as overwhelm- ing. The war was fought out to the bitter end; it lasted five years, and ended only after the sheer exhaustion of the Paraguayans, the almost complete extermination of the male inhabitants capable of bearing arms, and the death in battle of their leader.

Paraguay, which once formed part of the vast possessions of the Spaniards in the New World, declared her independence in the year 1811. The reins of power were shortly afterwards seized by the renowned Dr Francia, who con- stituted himself Dictator, a position which he held until his death in 1840, at the age of eighty- three. Francia was admired by Carlyle, who set him up as one of his heroes; but the description given of the Dictator by Washburn, some time Minister of the United States to Paraguay, is much less flattering. Doubtless Francia was a man of remarkable energy and will-power, and knew how to rule the docile Paraguayans, believing in the maxim enunciated by his successor, Lopez, that terror was a more potent force than so-called patriotism in quelling the unruly element always present in a South American republic. He in-


augurated a system of espionage the most complete perhaps that ever existed in any country ; his spies were sO numerous that it was scarcely possible for two or three people to meet together in the capital without one of his secret emissaries being among them. Every one distrusted his neighbour ; brother suspected brother, the son his father, and the father his son; for no one knew when he might be in the company of a secret agent of the Dictator, ready to report any word inadvertently spoken. Nor was it necessary, to justify arrest, that a man had spoken against that august per- sonage ; if any one heard a word spoken unfavour- able to Francia and did not immediately denounce the speaker he was held to be equally culpable, and immediately seized and thrown into prison —perhaps even a worse fate might befall him. Francia was held in such terror that even his name was no longer pronounced by the people, and the only designation by which he was known was that of El Supremo (‘The Supreme One’). It is said that Francia on his deathbed thanked Heaven that he had no enemies—he had shot them all; but the same story is told of more than one South American president, and it is probably as true of one as it is of the other.

The way Francia treated the ‘Outlanders’ of his time is instructive. He maintained as a prin- ciple, and rigidly enforced it, that no foreigners were to be allowed to enter the country. If, by chance, any misguided foreigner did manage to enter the country, he was not permitted to leave, and was kept strictly a prisoner; while it was almost impossible to escape, as the river was the only practicable outlet.

The ill-usage of the celebrated naturalist Bonpland was not creditable to the Dictator. Bonpland was travelling on the frontier of the Argentine Republic, just adjoining the Para- guayan frontier, when he was seized by Francia’s order as a spy, and carried prisoner into Paraguay. There he was detained for ten years, when the Dic- tator, almost without a moment’s warning, ordered him to leave the country. It is probable that he was forced to do this by pressure exerted by the French Government, which had long been trying to obtain Bonpland’s release.

On the death of Francia the country was plunged into anarchy, the chief power being ulti- mately seized by a lawyer, Carlos Antonio Lopez, who reigned as a despot for twenty-one years (1841-62). Notwithstanding that his rule, like that of Francia, was despotic, the country was prosperous, as it had also been in Francia’s time. Lopez did a great deal to encourage industry: he established arsenals, shipbuilding yards, foundries, and manufactures of various kinds, engaging engineers and skilled mechanics in Europe for these purposes. Many of the steamers employed.



in the subsequent war with the allies were built in the shipyards in Asuncion.

On the death of Lopez the First, he was suc- ceeded by his nephew, Francisco Solano Lopez, whose career had so baneful an effect on the destinies of Paraguay. He devised the most ambitious schemes, by which he was to become the Napoleon of South America, annexing the adjacent territories and securing an outlet on the sea for Paraguay. He had no sooner assumed the reins of power than he commenced to make war- like preparations for the invasion of the neigh- bouring republics. In the year 1865, without warning, he seized some Argentine steamers lying in the river, and so committed the first act of war. When the war broke out Lopez had an army of sixty thousand men and about two hun- dred pieces of artillery—approximately the same force as the Boers possessed at the commencement of hostilities. He sent a fleet up the river and took possession of the principal towns of Matto Grosso, a large interior province of Brazil, which, being in a peculiarly isolated position and in- sufficiently garrisoned, could offer little resistance. He then overran the Argentine province of Cor- rientes, occupying the principal towns, and ad- vanecing as far as the Brazilian frontier town of Uruguayana. But he had now reached the end of his tether, for Uruguay and Brazil had joined hands with Argentina, and they had lost no time in collecting troops. Lopez, who had received a severe check at Uruguayana, found his communi- cations threatened, and was forced to retreat. Although the Paraguayans gained some victories at the commencement of the war, the tide soon turned against them, and they were forced to retreat into their own territory. They had still command of the river, the only practicable means of access to Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay ; and for many months the allied fleet was kept at bay by the fortress of Humaita, a series of earth- works under the command of a Scotsman named Thompson, and further strengthened by a boom stretched across the river at this point, which prevented the passage of the warships. At length, one day when the river was in flood, there hap- pened to be sufficient water over the boom to allow the hostile vessels to pass; this they accord- ingly did, forcing their way past the fort, which was thereafter untenable, and Asuncion itself lay at the mercy of the allies,

The war was by no means closed, however, by the capture of Asuncion, for Lopez now retreated with his army northwards, hotly pursued by the allied troops. During the latter part of the war the hardships suffered by the people were terrible. As all the available able-bodied males had been drafted into the army, no labourers were left to till the fields, and a period of absolute famine supervened. The people were forced to live on wild fruit, insects, and any sustenance which

could be picked up in the woods. Thousands died of famine and disease. They had long before been short of ammunition ; but the spirit of the people was unshaken. When no more balls were to be had for their cannon, and scarcely any iron was left in the country, the churches donated their bells, and these, with such balls and scraps of iron as were picked up on the battlefields, were sent to the foundries to be melted down and cast into shot and shell.

The adverse end, however, could not be pre- vented. After suffering untold hardships, the little band, under the command of Lopez, now reduced to some ten thousand men, reached the banks of the river Aquidaban, in the north of Paraguay. Here, on the Ist of March 1870, they were overtaken by the allied troops. A last stand was made, but unsuccessfully. The men, weakened by hardships, famine, and disease, were unable to make any further resistance, and were eventually surrounded. A party of Brazilians came upon Lopez just as he was preparing to cross the Aqui- daban. They called on him to surrender, wishing to capture him alive ; but he answered by drawing his revolver and firing on his pursuers, whereupon he was transfixed by a Brazilian lance, and fell in the mud of the river, where he expired—a humiliating end for one who had fought so bravely for his country.

The results of this disastrous war are shown by the following figures: The population of Paraguay, which according to the census of 1857 was 1,337,439, had declined in the year 1873 to 221,079, nearly all women, children, and very old men. Although the losses in battle were terrible, the greater part of this decline was caused by hardships, famine, and disease. Even at the present day, though one meets many old women in Paraguay, very few old men are to be seen ; but of course in the younger generation the disparity of sexes is not great.

For many years after the war nearly all the work in Paraguay devolved upon the women, even to the maintenance of order; for female police were not merely a_ possibility to form material for the comic papers—they were a fact. To this day much of the work that is done by men in other countries is done by women in Paraguay ; in the country districts, for example, women are still employed as butchers.

Foreign capital and foreign labour are still needed to develop the vast resources of Paraguay ; under their vivifying influence her lost prosperity may be regained, and even surpassed. The Para- guayan Government, well aware of this, recently passed a land-law which is one of the most liberal in the world, and offers special induce- ments to immigrants. Yet, notwithstanding the genial climate and fertile soil, it is doubtful if the country will ever become a favourite field of emigration for the surplus labour of Great Britain.





R10 we not dine to-night with the eee) 150th—I mean “The Duke of bee pariZs) Ulswater’s”—eh, Wooly?’ asked Ke is eo the Governor of ‘Gib’ of his Ke... aide-de-camp a day or two after the latter’s adventure in the cork-woods, ‘Bother these new-fangled names !’ the old gentleman muttered under his thick white moustache. ‘How can a man be expected to remember such rubbish at my age? The ser- vice is going to the dogs—that’s the long and short of it—when they send a man into action with a name like that plastered all over him.’

‘Yes, sir; it’s to-night with the Duff—I mean the “East Rottenshire,” sir,’ answered Wooly, narrowly escaping calling the gallant regiment, whose reputation as the old 150th was European, by their newly-acquired name of ‘the Duffers.’ For, to the consternation of the army generally, and the 150th in particular, a new order had lately come into force, for the benefit of the army tailors it was supposed, by which the uniforms had been completely altered and the time-honoured old numbers swept away. Much to their rage, the 150th had been saddled with the appalling and crack-jaw title of ‘The Duke of Ulswater’s Field Fencibles, or East Rottenshire Regiment,’ although they had no connection with either His Grace in the north or that well-known county in the south ; and, as the obnoxious order decreed that the initial letter of each word composing the new title should be placed on the shoulder- straps instead of the discarded numbers, the result, as far as the 150th was concerned, had been disastrous. The wretched regiment had been branded by Her Majesty’s War Minister, D.U.F.F.E.R., and as ‘the Duffers’ they speedily became known; even with their old number re- stored or their title changed, they will be known as long as they exist by that most inappropriate name.

‘Pray see that there is no muddle about my bottle to-night,’ continued the Governor. ‘Really, I can hardly help laughing every time I meet Pooker, he still looks so savage. So do be very careful to-night, Wooly, and see that the butler quite understands my wishes.’ Then, chuckling to himself, the old war-horse strode away to his sanctum, leaving his A.D.C. grinning from ear to ear.

The Governor, having lately returned from England, where he had been summoned to receive an honour given him for past services, had been undergoing a series of dinners given by the civil and military inhabitants of the Rock to celebrate the event. As he was a most abstemious man, the unwonted quantity of wine he was

obliged to swallow night after night at these feasts had caused him much annoyance; and when at last his nose began to display danger- signals, and his liver to rebel, he determined— unknown but to a chosen few—to dodge the bottle somehow. With this laudable object in view, he had hit upon the expedient of having a bottle of toast-and-water prepared at home; and it was Wooly’s duty to arrange with the host of the evening, under a pledge of solemn secrecy of course, that the butler should take charge of the decoction, and, after His Excellency’s glass had been twice filled with champagne, keep it filled for the rest of the evening with his own particular brew. This little ruse had worked admirably on two or three occasions, until at the last dinner, a regimental one, the toast-and-water bottle had somehow or other got astray, and an under-butler (having got hold of it) had un- wittingly filled Major Pooker’s glass with the decoction instead of with Pomery and Greno. The rage ‘and astonishment of the bibulous warrior as he lovingly sucked down half a glassful at a gulp may be imagined, and _ his language was such that—— Well, Wooly got all the blame, which he