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trace that the mother of the woman will meet them with this ; and when whom the elder John Trevenna mar- the contract is shown, ask for the ried, had ever been made free. She paper of manumission--the proof that had lived with her master, and had he is by law free-born. We must not been brought up by him, educated, and tell this to Trevenna, or his conscience had been made free, it was thoughtwill boggle at it; we must bide the yet nowhere could proof of this be time, and bring in our blow at the found, and there seemed reason to right moment.” think that the old negro woman We sailed homewards; and the spoke the truth. Thus, John Tre- good tidings I was bringing buoyed venna, born of a slave, would have up my heart, and I felt within the no rights, no claims, no inheritance. joy and satisfaction of achievement.
“We have them now," said Steele I had not gone forth for naught. the lawyer, rubbing his hands ; "we
We were in England—in the great and poor single individual hearts city of Liverpool. Absorbed with could not be heard or felt. my own projects, my own mission, I It is the fate of some
men to had forgotten that other interests achieve their successes at times, were agitating the world—that great when some great interest, some great events were swaying men to and fro event, overshadows and overpowers with fears and doubts and hopes. all private effort or private feelingMy own triumph, my own success, when the individual is overlooked or were all-engrossing, and I was there- forgotten in the mass. So was it with fore somewhat startled-nettled, per- me now. I was bearing within me haps--that all minds, all thoughts a knowledge which would perhaps
— seemed preoccupied and engaged. The make a few hearts happy-would streets, the quays, were all alive with gladden one small circle of humanmoving masses--all excited and agi- ity — and here came tidings which tated with some great news. In spoke to the souls of millions, which every face there was exultation-in bore joy from town to town, from every voice a tone of triumph and re- homestead to homestead, and which joicing: The joy-bells rang the same here and there tolled knells deep and note-bonfires blazed-bands took mournful, and everywhere roused up the sound of jubilee. Men seemed deep utterances of thanksgivings. mad almost with the frenzy of tri- What was I? what was my misumph—the air vibrated with it. The sion? what could they be amid all word Victory swelled from mouth this ? Nought, nought, as the bubble to mouth, flashed from eye to eye, by the bank when the full tide flows and ran like an electric touch from on, as the straw which is caught and heart to heart. Women caught it eddied along when an inundation is up, passed it onwards—though here swelling and sweeping over a land. and there was a pale cheek and tear- So we went on and on homewards. ful eye, and a boding heart, awaiting Everywhere the highways were to hear the death-roll read; children thronged, the streets crowded with shouted it out, and ran about the eager multitudes, all eager, all anxvast crowd, dancing, and re-echoing ious for tales from the battle-field. the news they heard. “What news ?” Heads were thrust from windows, “Why, where have you come from? men came forth in their shirtsNews ? Why, Bony has been beaten coachmen and guards were beset, -well beaten by our Duke!” The torn with questions which their news of the great victory at Water- meagre information could little saloo had come, and was vibrating tisfy. All they knew was that it throughout the nation, sweeping was a glorious victory: On we came ear. Yet none seemed to notice or voices anticipated my news; and how heed me, or know where I had gone, smiles, and prayers, and thanks or why I came. Even those most givings followed my utterance when interested, did little more than wel. I read Gerald's name among the come me. Not a voice said, How have slightly wounded! The colour came you sped ? So was it in the old room back into Rose's cheeks, and the at Penhaddoc. There was Rose, pale, brightness into her eye; but there pensive, trembling ; the Squire try- was ever a tremulous motion of her ing to bear a brave part, but show. lips, which told that she was praying ing the nervous touch of lip and eye; out' her thanks ; and the mothers the mothers fluttered and tearful; were sunk in silent thanksgiving; the fearful list had not yet come, and and the Squire stood up firm and none knew whether Gerald was strong again, affecting to treat the among the living or the dead. I danger as a pleasantry, though there was of no use, then-no use there ; was a moisture in the eye which so forth again I started to get the belied him. much longed-for intelligence, and I And the life of this one man was brought it; and then how my coming more, more to all, than the many was heralded and welcomed; how steps whose interests my mission concame forth to meet me, and eager cerned.
The day was come—the day ap- with his uncle and cousins ere he pointed for the final decision, and we began. were all at Trevenna's house awaiting "Now, then, uncle, by seeing all the cousin. Gerald had come, had your friends here, and the lawyer come with despatches, and was sit- there, I suppose you are made up ting by Rose's side. As he had said, for a fight, so the sooner we begin the one great fight had stamped the the better. Now, then, you know impress of manhood firmly and inde- my terms,—the management of the libly on him, and he observed to me, estate now, or I secure it and the too, “Why, old fellow, you look só niggers for ever, by selling the remuch older and wiser," and perhaps version; and I have already put in ;
I it was so. Events ripen men more my protest against the manumission than time, and the strength of an of a single nigger till this thing is acted resolve was reflecting itself in decided. There's the bond, lawyer ; form and face. Rose was all radiant, you can make the most of that.” all beaming, and could do nought The keen eye fell over it with apsave look into her lover's face, or parent calmness, but with earnest stroke the scar which the Squire attent. Quickly, yet surely, it scanswore the jackanapes had given him- ned every word, and digested every self to look interesting, though he term. acknowledged in an under-tone that “We acknowledge this,” he said, he believed the Grenfell blood had slowly and coolly. ‘My friend and never produced a finer fellow, and client will not dispute it; it bears his that he had certainly grown a man, name, and he will abide by it. of whom the old ancestry need not 'Twould seem, too, that the slaves be ashained. There was a swing of are included in the property and the the gate, and the cousin came up the agreement. We may perhaps degarden path, swaggering and flaunt- fend your claim to a right in the ing, and looking defiant. He was after-profits; but, first of all, as a rather dazzled at seeing the assem- orm, you know, we must demand blage and the number of calm, un- proof of your being the rightful legal moved faces ; but conscious of the heir of John Trevenna, and request power he held, his native assurance to see the ticket of manumission soon returned, and he had scarcely granted to your mother's mother, as exchanged the ordinary courtesies she, we know from evidence, was a
born slave : of course, you can show the man as he spoke? There were it ; but we must proceed by forms. the same features—the same look
None seemed to heed this demand yet it seemed as though a bright light, much, or as of any importance ; some mysterious influence had fallen done, save the cousin. On him it on him ; such as tales say magic struck like a thunderclap. His face power can shed over men and things. grew yellow with pallor; his eyes It was the clear soul and the free glared fiercely round and round, but heart shining out through the man, met nothing save strong confident and manifesting themselves. glances; he gasped for breath, and Listen, John. I never heard this sank almost helplessly into a chair. before ; never guessed-never dreamStarting up with a fierce effort, he ed of it. It came to me now for the rushed at Steele, and said,—“This is first time-a revelation and a sura quibble, lawyer-a cursed quibble. prise. But think not I will take adYou know I'm free born, so does vantage of the power thus gained, for uncle. Wasn't my mother old ought save to benefit the poor slaves Veaner's heiress, and isn't that on my estate. If what I hear be true, enough ?”
you would be one of them. As soon “I am afraid we must require as forms can be drawn out, that shall more," was the steady answer. "We be cancelled ; you and yours shall be must see the paper of manumission, or free beyond doubt, beyond
cavil. The have evidence of its existence. None bond was between brothers who loved is to be found in Barbadoes, at least.” one another. He believed you a free
“You have been there, then, spy- born son-so did I. It shall still be ing, have you? Ah ! there's your in- binding. This is my proposal : I will former, is it,” he said, as Quamino ap- give you now the value of my slaves peared and disappeared at the door. to free you from your difficulty, and ** You've been tampering with these reserve to myself the power of dealinfernal niggers, who'll swear black ing with them as I will. The estate is white, or white black, to serve a shall pass to you at my death. What turn. That old hag has been tattling, I have saved since shall be Rose's I s’pose ; but we'll try the law yet. portion and a fair one, too. So let And now I'm got up, I'll have the there be peace between us. So let bond to the letter. You can't make old memories pass away; and the us show the ticket. Everybody last atonement for the past be offerknows 'twas made out ; and I'll ed,” he added, in a low voice. fight this cheat, this quibbler, whilst For an instant the West Indian I've a drop of blood or an acre to seemed about to hurl defiance on all, spare."
and to dare consequences, when his His eyes were quite bloodshot now look softened, and his heart changed, -his forehead covered with clammy and he stepped towards his unclesweat, and his face blood red-his kissed his hand, and went forth with limbs quivering and shaking with his hat over his brows, and a totter
ing step. That kiss was a sign of “This temper is of no use, my good peace. All felt it to be so, and that sir,” said the lawyer.
“ We are not
the end of the trial was come; and pretending to quibble or dispute ; but that henceforth there would only be we must ask if you are prepared to light on the hearth-brightness in prove yourself the free-born son of the future. John Trevenna. Otherwise this bond Oh, don't look at me,” said Steele. is naught—is neither binding in law “Here is the fellow who did it all. nor honour.”
He found it out. You must thank He had risen and tried to speak, him.” And I looked around to meet but his voice would not come-words these thanks as my rightful meed ; would not flow-and with a heavy but Rose's eyes were bent on Gerald's muttered curse, and a withering look, -the Squire had grasped Trevenna he was about to dash out through by the hand. The mothers were lookthe open door when Trevenna's voice ing on their children. I was nothing stopped him.
-I, who had brought all this peace, "John, John-Nephew, stop and all this happiness. So another stage
What was the change in was passed, another act ended.
The last scene of that dear memory young life which was then borne is rising now. Summer had heralded forth in hope and fear, now moved all the changes--all the eventful out in the fulness of joy, a fair young periods of our little history. Again bride, beside him who was to be her it was summer, and the gate of Tre- husband. And the elders, the fathers venna's house opened once more for and mothers, were around them, no a procession. The bells were ringing longer anxious or doubtful of a fumerrily. There were schoolboys, too, ture, but assured and happy. in the lane, and the light shades were Thus the light passed from the chasing one another across the blue hearth, but left its brightness behind sky, and the rooks were cawing and a brightness which shone there on whirling round. Quamino was pre- and on o'er long happy years, and set sent, too, more gorgeous than ever, only when life set; and then, even having taken advantage of a license then, leaving, as the sun does, a linto order his own livery, by making gering glory: every strip of lace broader, and deep- And has it shed no brightness on ening every colour; and strutted out me-me, the lone man? Yes ; Rose's with a dignity quite above and beyond children have climbed on my knee noticing any remarks about cocka- the light of her happiness has floated toos or peacocks, or pickle herring, around me; and her memory, her which might come from Beelzebub spirit, have gleamed again and again and other friends.
in dark hours, as now, a light on this All was as before, save that the lonesome, lonely hearth.
CHERBOURG-THE PORT AND FORTRESS.
A SEABOARD is a great power; it of egress, a means of extending and is also a great responsibility. It developing their resources and opens to a people a second empire, strength ; by some it is accepted a great thoroughfare of expansion merely as a boundary and frontier and possession ; it involves, also, a incurring exposure and demanding necessity of defence and protection. security. In either case it is a posBefore, however, it becomes a power session which imposes on a nation or a necessity of defence, it has been aspiring to take a high place among an outlet for the wants and the sup- the principalities and polities of the plies of a population. Fishermen world the destiny of becoming sooner have drawn their food and found or later a naval power, and, as a their livelihood along the shores, and natural consequence, its ports and merchants have built their barks and harbours become docks, arsenals, laden them in the ports and har- and fortresses. bours, long ere the policies of national To France, at first, her extensive interests or international balances seaboard was rather a difficulty, and have recognised them as necessary a responsibility, than a power. Her and useful agents in their systems. ambitions and tendencies were all The fisher-boats and the merchant- rather territorial than maritime. Her barks are the regular antecedents of inland frontier and her army were the vessels of war and naval armaments; great objects of her attention and conthey first show the value of a sea- cern. To push forward the one, to board, and suggest its conservation; maintain and develop the other, was in them are nurtured and prepared the great aim of national aggrandisethe elements of maritime offence and ment, the great effort of national redefence. To some people it is a sources. The pressure of competition possession eagerly adopted as a point with a rival powerful on the seas, the
enlargement of political systems, the in others the people wills and the opening of communications with new result is, that in one case the action worlds, forced her beyond the sphere will be more constant and consisof Continental economies, and com- tent ; in the other, that the power pelled her, in assertion of the position to sustain it will be more elastic and of a great power, to create and pos- enduring. The decretal system has sess a navy, The genius of her great produced the navy of France ; it has princes and statesmen long foresaw clothed it with abundant materialthis necessity, and had fixed on the has harboured it in magnificent strategic points where the great ports ports ; yet the life - blood which militaires should be constructed. should feed it-should give it full Their plans were many years in vitality and vigour--must flow from abeyance ; circumstances delayed the impulses, and receive a movetheir fulfilment, but the judgment ment from the pursuits of a people. of posterity and the course of events Spite, however, of obstacles natural confirmed their choice of positions. and national, spite of reverses and The fact that they were ever strate- defeats, it has raised a naval power, gic, ever selected with military aim formidable in appearance, formidable and purpose, with a view to the in reality, more formidable, perhaps, balance of power rather than the in its structure than in its resources, development of a marine, and were yet formidable ever as the assertion ever parts of certain bases of attack of the resolve of a great nation. or defence, insured the recognition of The seaboard had three faces-one, their importance by those who in- opening to the Mediterranean, touchherited or adopted the polities which ed on the coast - lines of the conthey represented. It also made the tinental kingdoms of the south, and locality a greater object than the abutted on the African shores; annatural fitness. The position was other broadly fronted the Atlantic, chosen, and the port must be made. and a third looked forth on the coast
The creation of a marine must be of England. Polities gave the earliever a great work—a work which, est and most prominent importance aided by natural facilities and na- to the first. The Mediterranean was tional influences, must necessarily be then the great outlet of commerce, slow in its progress; but when under the great arena of navies ; Spain was taken as a measure of statecraft, and a naval power holding and commandin defiance of obstacles, must be a con- ing its entrance; Carthagena and quest of difficulties to be achieved Gibraltar were to be balanced, the only at great cost of time and energy. corsairs of Algiers and Barbary Such was it with France. The mari- checked, the commercial influences time population of an extended coast of the Italian cities controlled, in offered à fair supply of the man-power, order that France might maintain though not equal, perhaps, to that among its maritime neighbours the which the demand of more com- position which its military force gave mercial nations afforded ; but the it on land. To effect this, the statespopular favour and the national manship of Henri Quatre designed tastes helped not to foster the for- the construction of a great war-port. mation of a marine, and every stage Toulon was fixed upon as offering in its advance was a decree of state. the greatest natural and strategic The seaboard, too, presented few advantages. Marseilles, which had natural advantages; and it was only a been the harbourage of the old succession of great and continuous galleys, was given over to the reefforts which established on it the quirements of commerce.
Louis grand cordon of the ports militaires. XIV. recognised the design as suited The last of these efforts would seem to his system, and resolutely adto have burst on the world as a sur- vanced it. Vauban planned its deprise ; and yet the history of the fence; the events of the time furthernation for the last two centuries ed its progress. Thus, following the shows it to be only the part of a fluctuations of the French marine, fixed and persistent purpose. In some and the changes of polities, somenations the government decrees, and times neglected and overlooked,