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pages of Standish Hayes O'Grady's 'Silva Gadelica,' had not been earlier open to him. Had it been, I make no doubt he would have given us a saga immeasurably more true to the Celtic spirit than his Voyage of Maeldune,' delightful though that poem is in itself, and deeply interesting though it is as a great English poet's attempt to express the Celtic genius. To compare Tennyson's finished poem with the Irish tale from which he took it is a novel experience. I own I share Mr. Stopford Brooke's opinion as to which of them is the simpler and the more convincing.
Tennyson's other Irish poem, 'To-morrow,' was founded on the story told him by Aubrey de Vere: 'The body of a young man was laid out on the grass by the door of a chapel in the West of Ireland, and an old woman came and recognised it as that of her young lover, who had been lost in a peat bog many years before; the peat having kept him fresh and fair as when she last
His son notes: He corrected his Irish from Carleton's admirable "Traits of the Irish Peasantry," a proof of the poet's extraordinary laboriousness, and a crying comment on the want of an Anglo-Irish or Hiberno-English dialect dictionary. Tennyson certainly could not have written that intensely dramatic poem had he not been deeply sensible of the tragic side of Irish peasant life as he saw it with his own eyes so shortly after the potato famine. How gracefully too he presses into his service the poetic imagery of the Western Gael. It is, moreover, an interesting assertion of his belief in the artistic value of Irish dialect in verse; 'Irish Doric,' as he once wrote of it to me.
But to go back to our conversation, which had turned upon the preternatural, whether through the superstitious touch in the story of The Stranger's Gift' or because something was said of Macpherson's ghost machinery, I cannot recollect. Tennyson acknowledged to having taken a very deep interest in spiritualism, but he added that, though he could not account for some of the phenomena he had witnessed, investigation had led him to no valuable results, and he had therefore dropped it. Truth and falsehood were evidently woven strangely together in the minds of the mediums, who he believed corresponded to the mediaval witches. He instanced in support of this view the record of an old witch trial at which violent manifestations occurred in full court similar to the so-called 'spirit rappings' of recent séances. He went on to say that witches had, under torture, confessed VOL. III.-NO. 17, N.S.
to the most preposterous doings, such as having given maternal nourishment to young devils.
The talk then turned to national education, and he seemed eager for practical instances of its enlightening effects upon the people, derived from my personal knowledge as an inspector of schools. A generation previously he had said that one of the two great social problems impending was the housing and education of the poor man before making him our master; the other was the Higher Education of Women,' to which his 'Princess' served as a pioneer.
'Wasn't the Bard great?' said Butcher when we met next morning.
Readers of his son's noble memoir, all the world over, answer that question as emphatically as I did.
ALFRED PERCEVAL GRAVES.
THE SEPOY REVOLT AT DELHI.
A PERSONAL NARRATIVE.
TOWARDS daybreak the individual who had been most active in exerting himself in our behalf the previous day, accompanied by two others, came, and made us re-enter the hut, as he said he did not wish the rest of the villagers to know where we were concealed, some of them having openly expressed their intention of murdering us. This was pleasant news, but in our helpless condition we felt powerless to counteract their designs. It was like waiting quietly for the deathstroke, and our minds verged on despair as we thought of our impending doom. The door was then fastened upon us from outside and the men went away.
Imbued with a sickening sense of dread and apprehension as to what would follow, the reader will easily imagine what our sensations were, locked up in this wretched little hovel, without even a window to let in light or fresh air; and, to add to our troubles, Forrest had mysteriously disappeared during the night, and none of us could tell where he had gone. As the day advanced the heat became intolerable, and we were well-nigh suffocated. last, about midday, the same native returned bringing food and water. We learnt on inquiry from him that poor Forrest had not been found, and we were quite at a loss to account for his strange absence. When we had finished our meal the man again retired, but this time, at our request, left the door slightly ajar. Through this the flies swarmed in such numbers that the room was literally darkened with them. Oh, what a day we had! What with the heat, and the flies, and the suspense we were in, I thought I should have expired. In the evening we were again visited by the same persons, and more food was brought. We also succeeded in getting poor Mrs. Forrest's wound washed and dressed by the native barbersurgeon of the village. After thoroughly cleansing it from all the sand and dirt which had collected, and extracting certain portions of her dress which the bullet had carried into the wound in its
passage, he caused boiling 'ghee' (clarified butter) to be passed completely through it, and after this painful process had been repeated two or three times, a cloth was bound over both orifices of the wound. Next day it assumed a more healthy appearance, and finally commenced to suppurate; and although the treatment I have described was undoubtedly of a somewhat heroic nature, I believe it effectually prevented mortification from setting in, and was the means of saving this brave and gentle lady's life. Indeed, when I think of all she went through and suffered, it is more than astonishing that she ever survived the privations and hardships of that terrible time.
After the sun had set we were permitted to go outside and cleanse ourselves in a rill of water which ran close by the hut; and what a luxury it was to wash off all the filth and dirt which had accumulated since the day we had left Delhi! Night coming on, we lay down to rest in front of the hut, and a fakeer came and treated us to an extemporary song, which from the occasional words we caught every now and again appeared a sort of panegyric on the great and mighty Sahiblogue.' Altogether we fancied the people were much more friendly, and it struck us that better news of the state of affairs might have reached them from Meerut. The night passed without any fresh alarms, and as morning dawned we were bundled back into the hut the same as before. We now made a vigorous attempt to get a letter from us taken to the general officer commanding at Meerut, but no one seemed inclined to comply with our request, in spite of the rich bribe we offered. At last, after great difficulty, we succeeded in persuading a native to risk the attempt, and Gambier, having written a few lines in French with a stick for a pen, we saw the former conceal it about his person and shortly after depart. This day went by in much the same manner as the previous one, except that we were hourly harassed by ever-recurring reports of the Telinga-log' having been seen scouring the neighbourhood in search of fugitives, and we were thus kept in a continual state of dread lest we should be discovered.
Forrest meanwhile still remained absent, nor could we ascertain what had become of him. Towards evening, however, to the no small joy of his poor wife and daughters, he suddenly appeared before the door of the hut, conducted by a couple of natives holding a piece of cloth suspended over his bare head to keep off the He was quite incapable of giving any account of himself,
but from the statements of the natives it appeared that he had been found lying almost insensible in a ditch not far off, and absolutely unconscious of how he came there. Poor Forrest! It was evident his mind was wandering when he left us so suddenly on the night of our arrival at the village.
Shortly after this we received another addition to our party by the arrival of two poor sergeants' wives, each carrying a baby in her arms. They had been wandering about, poor creatures! ever since the day of the outbreak at Delhi, not knowing what had become of their husbands, and having been subjected to every kind of indignity and vile abuse. It is needless to say how thankful they felt at finding themselves once more amongst European faces. It was now Friday evening, May 15, exactly four whole days and nights since our miraculous escape from the Main Guard, and the cantonments of Meerut, we were told, were still upwards of thirty miles distant. Supposing, therefore, that our messenger reached that place in twenty-four hours, we must needs wait here at least a couple of days longer ere assistance could possibly arrive. Two entire days! What might not happen meanwhile? Nevertheless, we lay down that night with lighter hearts than we had ever done before, and with feelings of the deepest thankfulness to Almighty God for our wonderful preservation hitherto.
Our trials, however, were not destined to be over yet, for in the middle of the night we were suddenly aroused, and informed that the sepoys had discovered our hiding-place, and were coming the next morning to seize and carry us back prisoners to Delhi. I will not attempt to describe the nature of our feelings on hearing this disastrous intelligence. There could possibly be no hope of escape now, and we were plunged in despair. The villagers, however, suggested that we should go out to a bagh (garden) a couple of miles distant, where we might hide during the day, and return in the evening when the sepoys had left. With heavy hearts and without one of us ever venturing to believe that any of the party would live to come back, we set out for the garden. I will briefly pass over the events of that trying morning, for my narrative has already become too long. Suffice it to say that we remained out there alone by ourselves, in the utmost state of trepidation and suspense, till about twelve o'clock, when some of the natives returned with the usual supply of dal and chuppatties, and the welcome news that no sepoys had shown themselves at the village, and we might now retrace our steps without fear. While we were