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fair one whose beauty was of a transcendant order. romance but in sober reality, a king afterwards renounced his crown to obtain possession of her charms and to make her his consort. When she entered a ball-room at Cawnpore such was the sensation she caused that she was immediately surrounded by several officers who, fascinated as it were by her appearance, appeared"dazzled and drunk with the beauty" they were gazing at. To describe such a well-known figure and face I will not attempt, but four officers kept near her every dance, to be ready to claim her hand by turns as the dances ended, and when she went away from the room before the fourth had had his turn for dancing with her, so exasperated was he that he insulted the officer who had been her partner at the time of her leaving the room, and it was with great difficulty that their mutual friends hindered them from fighting a duel. She was (if ever any being was), endowed with the fatal gift of beauty. Soon after this time she became her own mistress (having deserted her husband) and ran through her brilliant but feverish career of celebrity, so well-known that few have not heard of the charms and fame of Lola Montes.
There were also two others whose history is given in a sketch of Cawnpoor life, called "The Rival Beauties," which was published in Bentley's Miscellany for October and November, 1864.
But I would now speak of acts which were much more characteristic of gentle ladies, and more admirable than any of those which made those fair ones so remarkable. Sophia, in the work of doing good to her fellow.creatures, of visiting the sick and reading to them, in assisting to educate the soldiers' children, and inducing the natives to accept copies of the New Testament in their own language, was, heart and soul, engaged. And by the bedside of soldiers in hospital, also, she often took her place.
Even those who offer the incense of flattery to the conqueror who has waded through slaughter to pre-eminence, and who join the vulgar herd in beaping applause on him who has achieved success, are fain to render their meed of praise to disinterested benevolence, or to gratuitous charity. Who will not acknowledge the excellence. of those
"Who copy Shaftesbury's most noble part,
To ease the oppress'd, and raise the sinking heart?"
Let his mansions for the helpless poor; or the assemblages of dwellings for workmen, showing Peabody's munificence for the same cause, stand as monuments more endeared to every Briton and every generous man of any other country, and more illustrious than any of the arches or columns which have been erected to
commemorate the blood-stained deeds of the warrior And, in truth, without the colouring of exaggeration, we may say of such men
"Exegit monumentum 'ære perennius,
And while but few in the collective mass of the lords of the creation are conspicuous as leiding in benevolent movements, let us do justice to the weaker sex, who, almost all, are active in the cause of some acts of kindness, and particularly those who, like Sophia, make the course of their every-day life a series of ministrations to the sick and the suffering. Whether it is devotion to children, or self-denying charity to the helpless and poor, woman is sure to be the "ministering angel." And the men in power-the generals and colonels, who were holding the brief authority which, so high and so haughty, gives men such an overwhelming superiority over their fellow-men-were rather disposed to sneer at thebelle sœur de la charité," who went about on her errands of mercy. Still they could not but acknowledge that she filled up the complement of well-doing, which was wanting so much to make up the full measure that was due from their hands to those under their command, and they could not directly say aught against it; and, in fact, gallantry, which is the religion of the camp, wholly forbade them to meddle with it. And though it was before the time that a kind and gracious Queen led the van in every demonstration of charity, and religion had not yet ventured" to put on her silver slippers and to walk the earth with applause," yet there was something so truly amiable in the self-denying acts of Sophia's life that even the fine and the fashionable fair ones in the cantonment looked on her with surprise and admiration.
It is certainly true that it is amongst the most youthful and the least versed in the world's hateful ways that such genuine kindness is found; the total trustfulness, the single-hearted impulse of benevolence, the unconsciousness of the villainy of man, and his self-interested ways, the inscitia requities vafri juris, are all the attributes of the youthful. We hear much of the movements which are made in the way of giving women facilities to become medical holders of degrees; but setting aside the critical learning, which we cannot but think is out of their element, as well as the indispensable details which enter into a medical man's every-day practice, the sphere is wholly out of the range of compatibility with female delicacy. The duties of ministering to the sorrows and the wants of all manner of invalids has been ever, and is now more than formerly, distinctly the function of the fair sex; and Sophia visited and read by the bedsides where lay the sick and suffering. In one of her visits to the wards of the large hospital at Cawnpoor
an European attendant asked her to come to the bedside of a young soldier who was in the last extremity of delirium tremens, of whom the doctor said that it was not probable that he could recover. She was always prompt to listen to every tale of woe, so she followed the attendant. She saw stretched upon the hospital couch, in the last agony of the fearful spasm which is brought on by that disorder, the form of a youth dressed in the light cotton garments which are the only bearable ones for patients in India. She looked at his face as he gasped and writhed, and she recognised the features of the hapless Frank Maldon. He was unconscious, and, indeed, shortly afterwards he was relieved by death of his agony.
It was even so,-he had proceeded from bad to worse, -he had arrived at that stage when it was impossible for him to exist without the fearful stimulant of alcohol. Had he been in a temperate climate there might possibly have been some help for him; but in India relief was hopeless. And yet I am confidentcertain beyond any probability of doubt-that if we were to dive into the secret history of the great, the noble, and the rich, we should find many instances of victims to the same disease, though, perhaps, not under such deplorable circumstances. It scarcely matters, however, whether the couch be a bed of down or he sacking of an hospital ward, the pangs are the same-the fearful causes which lead to them are the same-the horror and the guilt are the same; and, if the weeping and the sighs of bereaved friends fall not upon the ears of the outcast, his phase of the malady is only a worse one, owing to an adverse current of circumstances. I could fill pages of paper with the names alone of those who had "fallen into evil days" through the effects of drinking. If I were to enter upon the story of the sad career of each, I could, by merely conjuring up details which memory could revert to, fill up reams of paper.
Some years ago, in Ireland, there was a man amongst the Roman Catholic priests called Mathew; though we are forbidden to call any man our father, he was universally styled Father Mathew. Though inimical to his creed, I reverence the acts of such a man and would be proud to call him a friend.
There is another apostle of temperance-a layman here in England, and in Parliament-where, like the Trojan prophetess he opens out a volley of invective, which the modern Teucri refuse to believe. He, Sir Wilfrid, might be called the very Quixote of the temperance movement, whose auditors think he indulges only in utopian statements. But could he grasp the power he wishes to wield, I am convinced he would, like the Irish priest, also do good.
Mr. Bright, in his plain Saxon bluntness, the indisputable
eloquence of a genuine'true-hearted Englishman, is beyond question right when he says "that the cause of temperance is damaged every day by the richest and most respectable in the land, and that until they learn to refrain it will be in vain to speak to the rabble;" and it is painful to think that, whether we consider the vice in the gross as affecting the national characters of peoples, or its influence in sinking individuals to disgrace and ruin, it is by no means the meanest, the most base, or the cruellest of men that fall under its power.
The armies of England, during the times of their warfare formerly, both in the Peninsula and elsewhere, were composed of soldiers who invariably gave way to drunkenness; whereas the foreign armies of that period, though manned by some of the basest and most cruel ruffians in Europe, had few drunkards amongst them. And with regard to private instances occurring amongst our higher orders, it is not the underhand, Jesuitical, double-dealer, or the poor-spirited, malicious, ill-bred, repulsive mannered clown, that becomes a victim to this pernicious indulgence, but generally a man of genial temperament, generous impulses, and kindly disposition-in short "a good fellow," which last two words have perhaps done as much harm as any two in the language,
And thus it happened with Frank Maldon, whose friends, comrades, and associates, all called him "a good fellow." It is, I know, painful to recapitulate the sorrowful details and the harrowing incidents that led on to his catastrophe; so I have not entered into a description of these, or even given a faint sketch of any of the scenes by which they were marked. And if I stop from entering further upon the history of the happy pair, who were formerly fellow-voyagers with him, it is that I suppose the married life of any couple, however blessed they may be, scarcely affords interest enough to engage the attention of a reader. The epochs in history, however long, which are unmarked by any startling events are, it is almost needless to say, the happiest; and so it is also with private individuals, and especially with married couples, And when the even tenor of their way was unbroken by any disturbance, however happy they as individuals were, they presented no phase of interest worthy of record. In life what is sensational is alone that which engages the attention. The landscape, which shows the peaceful smiling aspect of an abundant harvest or the artificiallyenclosed promising meadows or fields of pasturage, however pleasing to the sight, is not viewed with the glowing interest that one feels in gazing on the romatie glories of the mountain, the cataract, and the straggling wood. The pathless forest or the interminable solitude of the ocean charm the eye, while the repose of rural quietude is all too insipid to give it enjoyment.
How long I remained insensible it is a matter of impossibility to say, but when consciousness once more returned, it slowly became apparent to me that I was lying, stretched upon my back, in some dreary region of utter darkness, with nothing beneath me for a couch but the cold, damp earth, my whole frame shivering and pervaded by a sensation of great stiffness. Yet, disturbed as my faculties still were, there gradually dawned upon me the conviction that I had no bones broken. Anxious to test this view of my position--a verification of which would be reassuring even amidst the otherwise sorry plight I found myself involved in-I made an effort to rise, but my weakness, I discovered, was to great to enable me to accomplish the feat without assistance. Groping about, therefore for help from whatever might, perchance, come in my way I laid hold of an apparently projecting piece of wood-work, which, however, instantly gave way with a loud crash that stunned me for a while, by the long, hollow reverberations it brought forth in its fall. From the noise I was convinced that I had dislodged a shelf heavily loaded with some fragile ware, such as glass or crockery. But what signified to me at that moment either the damage or the uproar produced by my struggle to effect a footing? Success had crowned the attempt-despite the contretemps attending itand I once more stood erect; my limbs, thank God, whole and serviceable. Hope revived within me and whispered comfort. The desire to escape from the infernal den that had entrapped me in its meshes gave me strength; and I trusted that-disheartening as the prospect might appear-the means would yet be vouchsafed to me of finding an exit from these uncomfortable quarters. While thus I jumped at the idea of a deliverance which seemed to be, however, further from accomplishment than ever, a strange, harsh voice-evidently at no great distance-startled me with the abrupt query :-"What want ye here with all that din? Canst not find thy way out of Bullford Hall, man alive?" And then, ere I could recover my astonishment, came, in a far more subdued tone :-" Ah, well! 'tis a pleasant place to tear oneself away from-is it not?Yea, so thought Dr. Syntax when he came a courting Molly Bawn-all for her cherry lips and her own dear self!-Ah-ah!— Ah
ah !"-Then breaking out into song, came, in a quivering tone, the words of a once extremely popular ditty
"Cherry ripe, cherry ripe, cherry ripe I cry
Full and fair ones, come and buy."