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Mr. Dean's subjects are not all of a conventional character. He has one poem "On Mr. Pickwick," and another entitled "The Potatoe" (sic). To extract poetry from a potato may not be so impossible a feat as extracting sunbeams from a cucumber, but it is no easy matter, and the idea of apostrophizing the homely vegetable in ambitious verse verges on the ridiculous. However, we must do Mr. Dean the justice to say he has done as much as could be expected towards investing the familiar object with poetic interest.
Sport in Abyssinia; or, The Mareb and Tackazzee. By the Earl of Mayo, Lieutenant Grenadier Guards. London, John Murray. 1876. This is an unpretending volume, but not the less interesting on that account. It professes to be simply a compilation from a diary kept by the author during a sporting tour in Abyssinia. What he saw and did, and the impressions made on his mind by the different events and scenes are related in a frank and easy style, without any affectation of authorship; and this gives a natural and pleasing freshness to his pages.
On the 29th of December, 1874, the author and his party landed at Alassowah, and on the 29th of March, 1875, he sailed from that port on his return home. Thus his tour extended only over a period of three months, and is not represented as having been prolific either in adventure or in game, though the novelty of the expedition and the delightful scenery afforded ample enjoyment. mode of travelling in the country is rather primitive. Parties travelling "in the king's name passed on from one chief to another by a system of compulsory service :
"After the chief's soldiers and followers had hunted up the villagers, and dragged them, kicked them, and beat them, they were made to carry our baggage. We started about one hour before sunset, the coolies having gone
in front. The reason that the soldiers treated the villagers in this way was, that the king, who was far away, had heard there were some Englishmen coming into the country, and had given orders to the chiefs or governors that we were to be treated with respect, and everything that we wanted done for us. We travelled across a large tableland with not a vestige of foliage to be seen, and no sound to be heard but now they were driven to their pens near the and then the bleating of the sheep as villages for the night. The moon rose, and we very soon found ourselves near a village called Adouguada. All our coolies had stopped; the lazy fellows had scarcely been travelling for two hours; they had handed our baggage over to the headman of the village. This is a usual mode of proceeding in Abyssinia; one is passed on from village to village, and if the villages happened to be close together the day is spent in quarrelling and in looking over and counting the baggage. When I rode up they were all talking at once and making a horrid noise, as is usual on such occasions. I villagers of Adouguada that if they did asked for a hearing, and informed the not carry our baggage I should take two cows and two sheep from the village, and stop there all that night with my servants; under these circumstances they would have to provide us with bread, &c. Brou, the interpreter, advised me to do this; he said, It is the only way to get on, and you are travelling in the king's name, and can have what you want. H. then came up with K., and we procured something to eat and some coffee. The villagers made much noise and gesticulation, and then at last picked up half our things and went off.
"We then started for Sellaadarou,
the place we were going to camp at no traces of them again; and I think that night. It was bright moonlight, it is a great chance, in a large rapid and the moon in the east, as some of river of this sort, if their carcases are my readers probably know, appears
found at all. I sent servants during very different from our moon at home. the following days up and down the It was a beautiful ride, but a little cold. river, but they were quite unsuccessful We arrived at Sellaadarou about nine in finding any trace of the beasts." p.m., or perhaps a little later. K., like an old soldier as he was, pitched the Hunting the elephant and lion camp just outside the village, in a sort
was not more successful than the of little garden that the villagers had made to grow their capsicums in ; it
attempts made to bag the hippowas surrounded by a thick thorn hedge, potami :made of boughs cut from the thorny acacia. This hedge provided us with "We had arranged with Barrakee wood without any trouble ; so we made to go for three days and sleep out, or two large bonfires to warm ourselves, bivouac, and hunt elephants ; we acate some supper, and turned in after a cordingly started straight inland tolong worrying day. The other half of wards the mountain of Walkait. After the baggage had not come up when we we had crossed the hills, under which retired to our tents.”
the Tackazzee ran, we came upon a
sort of open plain with little hills Lord Mayo does not appear to
cropping up here and there, and we had have bad much success as a sports
been following fresh elephant tracks the man. Ho has the candour to con
whole time. I must not forget to mention
that during the night a larye herd of elefess, “I am, indeed, an unlucky phants had passed close to our camp, sportsman, and I always was. and that all the jungle round was Certainly, bis ill-luck clung to him trampled and broken in every direction. in Abyssinia, for where lions, ele- I just remember, in a half-sleepy state, phants, buffaloes, and hippopotami hearing strange noises, but I thought abounded, bis chief exploits and
at the time it was only the "hippos successes were among sand-grouse,
disporting themselves in the pool below.
At last Barrakee, who was going in snipe, quail, guinea-fowl, pigs, and
front, said that we were getting very such “ sinall deer":
close to the elephants, and that we
must leave our mules behind us, and “I heard, in a pool below the ford follow them up the rest of the way on where we had crossed, some animals foot. Not long afterwards we saw two making an unusual noise, grunting and elephants in the distance movivg slowly blowing. I went down with my gun. along. We tried to stalk them, but we bearers to the edge of the river, and, did not succeed. Barrakee took us to behold! there were eight fine hippopo- some water, where we drank, and close tami disporting themselves in the river, by which, as we came up to it, were much in the same way as the old river- some pigs lying asleep under a tree. horse at the Zoo may be seen swim- An Abyssinian tried to knock one over ming about his tank. They reared with the butt of his gun, for we did themselves out of the water and ex- not like to fire, being so close to the posed their heads and part of their elephants. necks, sometimes opening their enor- “ After we had halted for a little time mous jaws so that I could see their and rested ourselves, Barrakee said we white tusks. I fired at the nearest of should move on, and he took us to the the herd, and hit him behind the ear; he top of a steep little hill, where he said began bleeding profusely, and waltzed we were to pass the night, and fronı round and round in the water, causing whence could sec
the whole tremendous waves. At last in about country round us. Brou, and a couple half an hour he sank, and we saw him of men that Barrakee had with him, no more. I shot at several more, and built
We ate I believe, killed another, but we luncheon, and then we sat down to
watch for any elephant that might perchance be about. We had thus waited for about an hour when Barrakee leaped up and said he saw two elephants in the distance, so we got our guns and went off to stalk them. The elephants were walking towards the south, following the main body of the herd which had passed very early in the morning. Our object was to cut them off on their way, and Barrakee led us sometimes over the low hills, and sometimes round the sides of them, and we gradually approached nearer the two elephants, who were moving along swinging their trunks about, and sometimes stopping to pick off a bit of a shrub which looked more dainty than the rest. At last there was only one little hill for us to go over, and to cross it would bring us right across the path of the two elephants.
We were creeping along very quietly when, as we came to a few rocks, where, in the rainy season, a torrent evidently poured down, Barrakee stopped suddenly and said, 'Ambasa!' which is Amharic for lion. I snatched hold of my express, rushed up and saw a fine male lion moving slowly away among the rocks. At the moment I was going to fire, H. came up and fired his heavy rifle close behind me; both barrels went off at once, and I thought at first I was shot, as nine drams of powder is rather a large charge to be let off close to one's ear. I missed the lion; so did H. I loaded again and ran after him and fired, and missed. The elephants, which were not more than forty and fifty yards off, went off in another direction, and the lion, passing through some trees, put up' a herd of large deer, which went also in a different direction. It was a sight grand enough, but we had made a terrible mess of the whole thing: we ought not to have fired at the lion, and, as the servant said, 'If you had killed the elephants, plenty of lions would have come to pick the bones.' I may tell my readers that the lions in Abyssinia are not like the familiar picture that is everywhere to be seen of animals with enormous manes, as the species in this country have no mane at all. We then walked back to the hill whereon we were to
camp that night, all of us disappointed and crestfallen."
The Abyssinians, Lord Mayo informs us, are the only black race of Christians existing;" but, as regards the purity and rationality of their religious belief, we fear a favourable opinion cannot be entertained. They are represented as "great bigots, and the whole country is very much at the present time under the influence of the priests. The King himself is very particular about his religious observances, and priests and monasteries are very often richly endowed." The version in vogue among them concerning the "Fall of Man" runs thus:
"Adam and Eve, who lived in a beautiful garden, were happy and contented, till one day the serpent came and said to Eve, Where is Adam?' She answered, 'He is in another part of the garden. So the serpent sneeringly said, Oh, indeed, do you think so?'
Eve rejoined, For what reason do you sneer?' The serpent replied, "You think yourself the only woman in the world?' and she said, Yes, and a most beautiful woman.' The serpent then said, Adam often stays away from you, does he not, now? I will show you another woman; on which he produced a looking-glass. Eve saw her image reflected in it and immediately became jealous. The serpent then said, 'If you wish to secure Adam's love for ever and ever, you must eat of the fruit which I will point out to you.'
"So came about the fall of man, according to Abyssinians. This is quite consistent with Abyssinian character and ideas, as probably no people are more vain or conceited than they; jealousy in all things is one of their chief failings."
Though this volume only professes to contain the notes of a sporting tour, still there is interspersed throughout a good deal of
instructing information concerning mind in a healthy state requires no
Mr. Pattison here writes more
which is learnt for a Essays on the Endoument of purpose. Science which is not Research. By various Writers. H. disinterested ceases to be science.” S. King & Co.-It might naturally in that case, we fear there is be expected that a volume of essays
not much science among us, by Oxford Fellows on University ever likely to be. The number matters would contain much that is of those who have at once the worthy of attention at the present
power and the will to scale the time, and the expectation is amply heights of science and dive into fulfilled in the present case.
But the depths of learning-to "scorn the writers travel over a wider delights and live laborious days” in range of topics than the title of the the pursuit of knowledge for its book implies, treating rather of own sake-must always be very university management in general small. It is not every one who is than simply the endowment of gifted with Jr. Pattison's apperesearch.
tite for reading and power of diMr. Pattison, who was the first gesting what he reads. The to preach years ago the doctrine Jesuits, who, he tells us, first inthat the universities should be not troduced the prize system, evinced merely teaching and examining a true knowledge of human nature institutions, but also seats of learn- as it is, if not as it ought to be. ing, commences the volume with Undoubtedly it would be better an interesting - Review of the if knowledge were sought simply Situation,” in which he sketches on its own account; but it is of the past history and present little use to indulge in Utopian position of the universities in re- dreams and aspirations as to what lation to the legislature and the might be done if men were what country.
they ought to be. We must take As to what future changes should them and deal with them as they be made, he is rather sparing of In this practical country and remark, partly, perhaps, because he material age education would be at has treated that subject at length a much lower ebb if it were not in a former work, and partly be. fostered by rewards and bounties cause he does not feel called upon in some shape or other; though to commit himself to specific de- Mr. Pattison says the absence of tails just now. He does, however, external stimulus to study is "the unhesitatingly condemn the system only true foundation on which a of holding out prizes in the shape university can be placed," and deof fellowships, scholarships, and ex- nounces idle fellowships" as "the hibitions as inducements to the prizes by which we attract numbers pursuit of learning and science. who have no vocation for either He holds that a youthful intelligent science or letters to pretend to study
science and classics till they are plead not only expediency, but the twenty-two." He does not openly original intention of founders of advocate their abolition ; nor will colleges and long usage. There they be converted to professor- can be no doubt that the chief ships or appropriated to the en. purpose for which colleges were dowment of research without strong founded, and endowments instiopposition and careful deliberation. tuted, was that the fellows and Mr. Cotton rightly observes :
scholars might be enabled to devote
their whole life to study; and for " Sinecure fellows and college tutors may be both alike historical fully fulfilled. Consequently, those
many years this purpose was faithabuses and economical blunders, who ask for the endowment of rebut they may yet have their place search are merely seeking to effect in a country which can afford to
à restoration, not a revolutionindulge its taste for anomalies.
restoration, too, which all acknowHigher education in England has
ledge to be desirable. It would been moulded according to the
seem, therefore, that the issue candemands of the academical curri.
not be doubtful. culum, and has been stimulated But in addition to the opposition into its present efficiency by the
which will certainly be made to the hopes engendered by university
abolition of the “ idle fellowships,” premiums. Much yet needs to be
there is the difficulty of devising done before its condition can be
any feasible scheme for endowing regarded with entire satisfaction.
research likely to meet with general It would be mischievous to with
acceptance, and work well.
Mr. draw the stimulus at a time when
Pattison, who has pondered the the minor endowed schools are still subject perhaps longer and more struggling in the pangs of a second
carefully than any one else, shrinks
from proposing any definite plan.
” , cognition.”
higher function which we now deAs to the desirableness of some mand of a university is, and how permanent provision for the encour- a university is to be organized agement of original research in for its performance, are matters on science and literature, there cannot which even the most advanced be two opinions, though it is not thinkers may well at present not very easy to see the essential dif
see their way." ference, so far as the worker is The other writers who touch upon concerned, between giving money the subject show similar caution. for intellectual work already done. The late Professor Covington, how.
, and paying beforehand for work to ever, in his evidence to the Combe done hereafter. Of course the mission of 1852, which is here rework of the discoverer in science printed in an appendix, entered and the original investigator in with some hesitation into more literature is of a higher character, explicit detail; and the appendix though of less marketable value, containing his remarks, together than that of the mere learner; still, with that consisting of an extract in both cases pecuniary resources
from Professor Max Müller's "Chips are necessary, and may surely be from a German Workshop,” forms sought and accepted without de- a more important contribution to stroying the value of the work done. the practical discussion of the
The advocates of endowments for proper subject of the volume than the encouragement of research may can be found elsewhere in it. He