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stools, chairs, fruit-barrows, &c., for enabling those who chose to pay a few pence for the accommodation, to see over the heads of the crowd. Sundry fights took place between the owners of these chairs and barrows, and persons who endeavoured to spring upon them unobserved for the sake of evading the fee.”
Here is fun, and frolic, and larking, and the humorous commission of trespass, and several capital stand-up fights-all as minor incidents and interludes of the one principal scene—and all for the small charge of a penny or twopence,-and perhaps by a little adroitness, and no objection to a few fisty-cuffs, with no payment at all.
That those who constituted the crowd upon this occasion should be chiefly of the very lowest and most depraved class, will excite no surprise ; that besides dog-fighters, cock-fighters, costermongers, and half-drunken prostitutes, there should be a large gathering of pick-pockets, all as busy as bees, diving and tasting on every side, will also be recognised as a thing of common occurrence ; though we might suppose that our legislators were utterly ignorant of the facts thus displayed in illustration of the “moral lesson” it is presumed they intend to convey by these barbarous exhibitions. But what will be thought of the present condition of the public mind, when it is added, that
this crowd were to be seen, not only a great number of working-men and the better class of mechanics, but also of shop-keepers, and tradesmen. Nor does the mischievous excitement and influence end with these. Listen to the statement of the eye-witness previously quoted :
“ At the windows around also appeared many persons who were, at all events, dressed like gentlemen, and even well-dressed women were lookerson there, for the whole time. The greater number of the persons present remained on the spot long after the man was dead, and during the interval between the actual hanging and the cutting down, which seemed to be the two parts of the process which excited the most interest. The gallows seemed to be looked upon with the most perfect indifference, and laughter and coarse jokes were rife among the mob. A few minutes before nine some slight excitement began to revive, and the barrow-men again called to the crowd to pay a penny to see the man cut down, and then some comic incident occurring, shouts of laughter were allowed free vent; and so with talking, and fighting, and laughing, the hour during which the body was suspended passed away. When the executioner appeared upon the scaffold again the death-dance was recommenced.”.
The trembling spirit of a human being—of a being who has committed one of the greatest possible crimes against his species -has just been abruptly cast before the foot-stool of his MAKER ; and while his mortal remains—the bereaved mansion of the soulswings in the air, a spectacle of horror to any one who can pause to think of his crime—of what he was—of what he is scarcely a single being in all that great crowd does pause an instant to think,—but contemplates, and for the most part, joins in the demoniac hilarity and indifference of the mass around. As a finish to the “ moral lesson,”-hear this, noble lords and honorable gentlemen of both Houses !-Men, and women too, held their children upon their shoulders to enable them to see the sight, and thus imbibe the first seeds of an education precisely of that kind which may lead them in after life to act as principals rather than spectators, in murder-shows of the same kind.
WHAT IS THE FEUD ABOUT ?
BY T. H. SEALY,
“ May the jinn of the mountains, then, watch you, and send robbers in your path!”
So said Oneiza, addressing her brother.
“ For which wish,” retorted Essnousee, “may you marry a Weleed.”
“So I will, when my brother brings one hither.”
Essnousee and Oneiza were of the faction of Wezeets. The Wezeets and Weleeds were the Capulets and Montagues of Ghadames.
Oneiza and Essnousee loved one another as became their relationship, and this quarrel had its root in affection. Essnousee had proposed to adventure alone into the Sahara, on his swift Maharee camel, to ascertain the position of the Shanbâh robbers, who, to the great alarm of the worthy merchants of Ghadames, were said to be hovering in the neighbourhood of the city. His sister had in vain endeavoured to dissuade him, well knowing the danger of such a lonely excursion in the wilderness. Their discussion closed with the words above recorded.
When the last rays of the setting sun were spreading their paradise-gilding over the white walls and serrated turret tops of
Ghadames, burnishing up the green bronze of the palms, and freshening the thirsty lips of the desert, by pouring over them, in a broad, cool stream, the shadow of the oasis, Oneiza stood upon the terraced roof of her father's dwelling, and looking westward, between the stems of his date trees, and over the tops of less lofty almonds and acacias, fixed her eyes upon a black speck, which, interrupting the smooth line of the horizon, seemed a centre to the glorious archway of the sun, whose orb, half sunk, glowed like the open portal to an universe of glory beyond the saffron sky. Long had she watched that speck, and it had grown less and less. “God is great,” she said, " and the Maharee is feet and strong ; may my brother be protected from the robbers of Shanbâh, and from the jinns of the wilderness !”
As the sun went down, Essnousee, like a good Mussulman, dismounted from his camel, and prayed, with his face towards the east. He saw the golden forehead of the holy city of Ghadames, set about with its green wreath of glory ; and one tower appeared to him as a central pearl, for he doubted not that his sister was at prayer upon the roof.
God is great,” he said, " and the city of his mahrabouts is a goodly city. May the best of its Wezeets be proud of the youth who shall wear the pearl of yonder tower; and may his pride be in the light of the eyes of the sister of Essnousee.
Two days have elapsed, and Oneiza, from her turret, has seen ño moving speck upon the western wilderness. Again, the sun is upon the horizon, and she looks towards the open portal, in hope to see the wanderer emerge, doubtless bringing back strange stories from the inner realms of glory. Nothing, however, appears to break the sweeping line of the desert's edge. The undulations of the ground have put on purple mantles of shadow, and looped them with gold cord. The shade which has rested all the sunny day upon her heart is of more mournful hue; and it
grows deeper “God is great,” she murmurs, “and submission to his will is the part of the faithful ; but oh, Prophet Mahomet, that it be not so written !”
Another day has passed, and another. A week has gone by, and Oneiza has gazed daily from the tower ; but no form of life has she seen moving upon the hard, iron ocean of the desert. In all directions round has she watched, but her gaze has been chiefly towards the west ; and she has been haunted by the thought that the speck upon the horizon would again appear at sunset, in the
centre of the glory of the sinking orb. But again and again the curtain has fallen upon the day, and brought night upon her heart : a night deep, solemn, melancholy ; yet not without a moonlight of hope. “ There are Shanbâh in the wilderness,” she
so but God can find shelter for his people. There are jinns in the mountains, but they tremble at the prayers of the
Twelve days had elapsed from the departure of Essnousee, when Oneiza descried from the tower, at morning, a stream of life winding over the desert, in the direction of the mahrabout city. It came, however, not from the west, but the north-east, and brought more of trouble than hope to the spirit of the Ghadamsee maiden. All the town had, for sometime, been filled with the idea of a Shanbâh invasion ; and the men of Ghadames had furbished up their arms, and were prepared to dispute the ingress of the marauders through the gaps of their crumbled walls. There was doubt as to the direction in which the robbers might descend upon them, though the Shanbâh territory lay to the north-west. The force, too, in which the enemy was approaching had been very variously estimated, some asserting with confidence that the band was not fifty in number, and others, with equal confidence, adding a cypher, or two cyphers, to those figures. Some Shanbâh prowlers had certainly been met with, within four days' journey of the city ; but no one pretended to have seen the main band, Other brave youths besides Essnousee had gone forth as scouts ; but those who had returned had met with no enemy, and had discovered no tracks, such as indicate the recent passage of a large number of horses, camels, or men. discovery of such marks did not, however, prove anything ; for the harder parts of the Sahara take no impression from the foot of man or beast; and in the sandy portions, when wind is blowing, any track is soon obliterated. Could the black specks she saw, moving down a distant valley, as thick and busy as a caravan of ants, be the army of the Shanbâh robbers, bringing desolation to the oasis ? Oneiza sought her father, and led him to the tower top.
More experienced eyes than those of Oneiza were already upon the same moving objects ; and the merchants of Ghadames were delighted, as they recognised a peaceful caravan from Tripolione which, they thought, would not at this time have ventured across the desert. Many hastened forth to meet the travellers,
and conduct them to the city. No doubt, a large proportion of them were themselves Ghadamsees.
Numerous, that afternoon, were the greetings in the marketplace. “ Have you met Al Hazin ?” “What news in Tripoli ?” “ Have you seen the Shanbâh ? “ Al Hazin went forth, two days since, on the Tripoli route, to bring us news of the robbers. He has not since been seen.
« Al Hazin is with us. He joined the caravan. But we have dark news for Yahia, the father of Essnousee. God is great : all must bow to his will. We saw a new grave, near the well of Kossa ; and the bones of a Maharee will whiten beside it. We knew the Maharee : who but knew the tall camel that bore Essnousee upon the desert ? The robbers were merciful to the dead : they gave burial to him they had murdered.”
When Yahia was informed of the death of his son, he bent his eyes upon the earth : “ It was written !” he said. * God is great ; but he gives not to all all his gifts. To one valour ; to another wisdom. My son was brave.
Oneiza, too, was told of the death of her brother. “ It was written ! she said ; and she wept.
When Essnousee left Ghadames, he journied two days towards the west. The tall Maharee will travel much faster and much further each day than the smaller camel of the coast. He then turned towards the north and east, describing in his course an arc of a circle, of which Ghadames was the centre. Adopting this plan, he might feel almost certain that by the time he arrived due north of the city he would have crossed any route by which the Shanbâh would advance
Ghadames. Essnousee, though young, was experienced in Saharan travelling. Accustomed to hunt the mufflon, the antelope, and the ostrich, to traverse the desert at all seasons, on foot, on horseback, and on his tall Maharee, none could be better fitted than himself for an expedition such as he had undertaken ; but though cautious as well as brave, he was not secure against the perils of the route. At night he chose his resting-place, whenever practicable, at some distance from any ordinary path, and in places where the ground would not show the print of a camel's foot. Ere he slept he would pass a cord round one of his ancles, and link it to a leg of the Maharee, lest the latter should wander in the night. Sometimes, both by night and day, he would leave his camel, ascend on foot some rocky ridge or other high ground, in order to