Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

hearths have been at present? What would think there was no national conceit in the the marchands of Paris, from the Chaussée pride and glory of being an Englishman, after d'Antin to the Quartier Latin not give to see all. any of their festivals of the middle ages pro

From the Hall the majority of the guests gressing in the same unaltered steady-going went on to the Council Chamber, where the fashion as our own “Lord Mayor's Show.” presentations were to take place; and here

The procession over, I cared not what be there was amusement enough to be found in came of its constituents; and it was not until watching the toilets of the company. The the very last anniversary that I ever had the gentlemen in their court-dresses and colored chance of dining at Guildhall

, and seeing what gowns, were well enough; there was a grare became of the principal part of them. municipal appearance about them that set off

The ticket I received was wonderfully im- the scene wonderfully, nor could it have been posing; a whole sheet of Bristol board had possible to have seen so many good old honest apparently been used in its construction; and intelligent heads together any where else. it was accompanied by a plan of all the plates But we must run the risk of being considered at the table, my own being painted red, so forever ungallant in saying that the dress of that I knew at once where I was to sit. It did the ladies, with few exceptions, was in itself not say at what time dinner would be ready, worth going to see. Their costumes were not but informed ine that nobody would be admit- poor—on the contrary, they were as magnifited after a certain hour; so that, from some cent as Genoa, Lyons, and Mechlin could hazy recollection of the procession taking in make them. Neither were they old-fashioned : its distinguished guests at the obelisk about such would not have been altogether out of three o'clock, I thought four would be a prop- keeping. But they were singularly comical ; er hour to arrive at Guildhall. The ride the most heterogeneous colors, styles, and thither was by no means the least striking trimmings, were all jumbled together: and the part of the day's excitement. From Ludgate- wonderful combinations of manufactures they hill to Gresham-street my cab ploughed its wore in, and on, and round their heads, would course through the densest mob of people I require a list as long as the “ Morning Post's ” ever saw; and as they were all in the way, after a drawing-room, to describe. Caricatures and had to be " Hi’d!” and sworn at, and of the coiffures of all the early Queens of France policed therefrom, I do not believe any one and England might have been detected, by a ever received so many epithets, more or less sharp eye, amongst the company; nay, one complimentary, in half an hour. as I did during old lady had made up so carefully after Henry that time. The windows were alive with heads; VIII. that, with whiskers and beard, she would where the bodies thereunto belonging were have been wonderful. A large proportion had crammed, was impossible to guess; and not a great notion of a fluffy little feather stuck only the windows, but the balconies and cop on the left side of their heads; and all preings, the tops of shop-fronts and parapets were ferred curls to bands, when such were practicaequally peopled; and this continued all the ble — and curls of elaborate and unwonted way to the doors of Guildhall, where my ticket nature and expanse. Amongst them, to be and hat were delivered as I entered the Hall. sure, were some lovely girls who would have

The effect upon entering was very beautiful. put the west-end belles upon their metal — The long lines of tables, sparkling with glass faultless in dress and tournure as a presentaand plate, were striking in themselves ; but they tion beauty — but they were overwhelmed by were comparatively nothing. The noble build the dowagers. ing itself, with its picturesque architecture, There did not appear to be much to be seen outlined by dazzling gas jets; the brilliant star at here, for it was impossible to get near the dais, the western window, and the enormous Prince so I went back to the Hall to my place at the of Wales' feathers, of spun glass, at the east- table, and learned, to my sorrow, that dinner ern, surmounting the trophy of armor; the would not take place before seven. But there helmets, banners, and breastplates hung round; was plenty to be amused at as the more distinthe men-at-arms on their pedestals, in bright guished guests arrived, and passed on to the harness ; the barons of beef on their pulpits; Council Chamber throngh an avenue of gazers, and, above all, Gog and Magog, gazing, as being announced by name as they entered. they had gazed for centuries, on the banquet, This name, however, it was impossible to carrying fearfully spiked weapons which now- catch; every one, from the size of the place, a-days nobody but Mr. W. H. Payne is allow-ended in unintelligible reverberations. So that ed to use—and he only in a pantomime : all from "Lord Or-r-r-r!” “Mr. Baron Pr-r-r-r!" this formed a tableau really exciting; and, or “ Captain Uls-3-5-3 !" you made out what distant matters being considered, made one you conceived to be the most probable, and

were contented accordingly. From time to were divided at the table ; but whichever it time a brass band in the gallery played selec was had a right to be proud of him. He knew tions from operas; hungry gentlemen looked everybody, and all treated him with the greatwistfully at the cold capons; and frantic offi- est respect. He was a wit, too, and made cials with white wands ran about with messages some very fair puns; besides which, by his and ordered the waiters. For myself, I con- continued pleasantries, he kept the whole table fess to having settled quietly down on my alive. He took wine with all whom he saw form, and made myself as perfectly happy with were strangers, and offered them his snuff box my French roll and some excellent Madeira, with a merry speech. He was the best mixas any one could possibly have desired. ture of the fine old courtier and common coun

At length some trumpets announced the ap- cilman it was possible to conceive; and my proach of the Lord Mayor; and his proces- admiration of his good fellowship was increased, sion, including my dear old friend of childhood, when I was told that he was actually eightywith the large flower-pot-shaped muff upon his two years of age! I should like to have had head, entered the hall to a grand march. They some quiet talk with that old gentleman. He came in long array down the steps, then round must have known many youths, barely living the end below Gog and Magog, along the on their modest salary, who afterwards rode in southern side, and so up to their tables. This their own carriages in the lord-mayor's proceswas really impressive; and, as the civic author-sion-perhaps, as the chief actors. He could, ities, the judges and sergeants, the trumpeters, I will be bound, have told us stories of the and all the rest marched round, one was tempt- riots of '80, when he was a mere boy; and of ed to think much more of Dick Whittington, the banquet given to the Allied Sovereigns in and Sir William Walworth, Evil May Day, that very old Guildhall, a score and a half of the Conduit in Chepe, together with Stowe, years afterwards. But he left our table early ; Strutt, Holinshed, and Fitzstephen, than the and when he went, and told us all that he was present good Lord Mayor, Sir James Duke, going home to put on his slippers and have a and all the municipal, military, naval, and cigar, we were really grieved to part with him, forensic celebrities that accompanied him, to and could have better spared the touchy gentlethe tune of “ Oh, the roast beef of Old Eng. man near him, who did nothing but squabble land !" played in the gallery.

with the waiters, and threaten to report them. Our good friend Mr. lIarker — without The dinner was despatched—the cold turwhom I opine all public dinners would go for keys, and hams, and tongues, and the tolerably nothing, and the Old Bailey Court become a hot pheasants and partridges—in less time bear-garden gave the signal for grace, the than might be conceived. There was no lack tureens having already appeared upon the of anything. The punch was unexceptionable ; tables during the cortège ; and then what a the Madeira of the choicest; and the chamwarfare of glass and crockery, of knives and pagne unlimited. And after all this, a bevy forks and spoons, and callipash and callipee of pretty young ladies, with an equal number began! The hapless guests by the tureens, of gentlemen, appeared in the south music galhad a hard time of it in supplying their fellow- lery to sing the grace, which they did very visitors; and the rule for politeness in the well. The visitors evidently knew their busiBook of Etiquette,” which says, “ It is bad ness. They did not applaud when the grace taste to partake twice of soup,” had evidently was over, in the manner of some reckless and never been learned; for they partook not only enthusiastic spirits fresh at public dinners, who twice, but three times; and would, doubtless, look upon it as they would do upon a Cyder have gone on again but for the entire consump-Cellars chorus; but received it gravely, filled tion of the delicacy. For the vast number of their glasses, and waited for what was to come people present it was astonishing, by the way, next. Then the trumpets sounded, and were how well everybody was attended to. The answered from the other end of the Hall, and waiters ran over one another less than they the new Lord Mayor rose and proposed “ The usually do at great dinners; they recollected Queen,” and if her Majesty could have heard when you asked for a fork, and brought you how that toast was received, with an enthusione; and if it had not been for their clattering asm that made the very men-in-armor totter down all the plates and dishes against your on their pedestals, and Gog and Magog almost heels under your form, the arrangements would invisible through the haze of excitement, she have been perfect.

would have known that the expressions of her At the head of our table was the most glori- belief in the allegiance of her good old city of ous old gentleman I had ever seen. Whether London, with which she was accustomed to reFarring lon Without or Broad Street claimed spond to addresses, were beyond the convenhim as its own, I do not know, for the wards tional, after all.

The remaining toasts could only be heard apocryphal piece of festivity inseparable from by those at the principal table; but when the striking a light guitar. ladies left, the gentlemen went up, and stood The dancing was famously kept up with about on the forms and benches to see and unabated spirits,” as newspapers say of a ball. hear the "great guns” of the meeting. Af- To be sure, the more refined Terpsichorean terwards tea and coffee were served in a long nerves were occasionally shocked by hearing room to the right of the council chamber; and subdued wishes for “the Caledonians. The then dancing began in the latter apartment, majority, too, preferred the polka to the waltz; until the part of the hall above the railing was and mistrusted themselves in the deux temps

. cleared for the same purpose. During this But they were evidently very happy, and period the company had an opportunity of see believed greatly in every thing about them; ing two very clever pieces of scenic view which and if.we could always do the same in were displayed to be looked at through windows, society we should have little to grumble at. on what might possibly otherwise have been a At last, not choosing to let the world generally blank wall. These were modeled representa- know at what hour my faithful latch-key put tions of the Tower, and the Rialto, at Venice. me in possession of that most inestimable They had a charming effect; the sober light property, one's own bed-room, I slipped off, and air of tranquillity thrown over them being and arrived at home with calm propriety, filled an excellent contrast with the noise and brils with gratitude to the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs

, lianey of what was in reality “the ball of dazzling and the Corporation generally, for a very hoslight,” usually treated as a poetic and perhaps pitable (and to me a very novel) entertain

ment.

Bentley's Miscellany.

HUNTING IN WESTERN TEXAS, AND VISIT TO SAN ANTONIO DE

BEJAR, IN 1843.

BY A TRAVELLER.

During a lengthened residence in Galveston similar species met with in the jungles of AfIsland and its vicinity, when my occupations rica or India, and may be easily tamed. permitted, I devoted myself to sporting, or, as In the autumn of 1843, having affairs to called in Texas, hunting. Bird-shooting is attend to in Western Texas, and being at denominated “gunning.

Galveston, I made arrangements for starting. In winter, wild geese, wild ducks, brant, The first was to find my half-wild Comanche canvass-backs, sand-hill cranes, &c., are met mustang, which had been loose on the iswith in great numbers, and are brought down land for months; and having sought for the with buck-shot, either on the wing or from an animal myself in vain, I offered a reward to ambush. As spring approaches, quails, wild whoever would bring him to me. In a day or pigeons, and the delicate prairie-hen, (a species two a Scotsman, who had the reputation of beof grouse) afford sport for small shot; but the ing a “first-rate ” horse-stealer, produced my magnificent wild turkey requires a small rifle- mustang, which was in capital condition, obball, er buck-shot. Before the warm weather serving that he had friendly recollections of sets in, oystering and turtle parties are formed; me when out in the “ Lafitte” privateer, on a and when summer is approaching, fishing on cruise after some Mexican transports; and the the coast, in the bays and rivers, affords profit only remuneration he required was to take a able amusement, in the shape of red-fish (as drink with one from the old country. large and finer than cod), mullet, trout, perch, Discarding all European gear for myself or cat-fish, &c., &c. In these expeditions, woe horse, I patronized the straight Comanche sadbe to alligators, rattle-snakes, opossums, rac- dlo, as better adapted for travelling over a oons, fox, wolf, skunk (polecat), peccary, or rough country, and in not being liable to get wet Mexican hog! and when in the deep woods of when fording rivers, and moreover well suited the lower country, exciting indeed is the chase to carry a blanket or two and well-filled saddle of the puma (lion of Texas), the tiger, and bags. Habiting myself in buckskin, broadleopard. These last three wild animals are brimmed hat, and stout Mexican mantle or much smaller, and have none of the ferocity of poncho; armed with a double-barrelled gun,

one of which was a rifle ; a pair of pistols in need no particular description, but the latter my belt, and a bowie-knife, (the couteau-de- require some notice. chasse of the country); a store of bullets, The Ranchero, or herdsman, has a preponshot, powder, coffee, sugar, tobacco, and a derance of Spanish blood over the Indian. change or so of linen, I started alone, in the Still, he is an uncultivated being, who passes month of August, for Western Texas. the greater part of his life in the saddle, herd

Leaving the “ Pirate's Isle"'* by the ferry ing cattle and horses, hunting wild cattle, at Virginia Point, with myriads of musquitos mustangs, deer, and buffalo. Unused to comand horse-flies now as companions, generally fort, and regardless of ease and danger, he halting at a settlement at sun-down ; or if be- has a hardy, brigand, sunburnt appearance, nighted in the woods, or having lost my way, especially when seen with his high, broador my mustang got tired, I camped for the brimmed hat, buckskin dress, Indian pouch night at any convenient spot.

and belt ornamented with various colored I visited the ever-memorable battle-field of beads, armed with his rifle, pistol, and knife. San Jacinto, where the sanguinary Santa Anna He is abstemious in the way of food or strong was beaten and made prisoner by the Texans drink, but passionately fond of bis "cigarito in 1836. They generously gave him his lib- de oja de maize.” As a useful and judicious erty; and in return, on his arrival in Mexi- companion on a long journey, or on a trip into co, he made a lengthened and savage war upon the woods, it would be difficult to recommend Texas until last year, when Texas was annexed his equal. to the United States.

The Peon, or laborer, bas generally more Visiting Houston, the then seat of Govern- of the Indian in his composition than the forment, and paying my respects to President mer. He is superstitious and ignorant, and Sam Houston, I crossed the Brazos river at has but little of the energy of the Ranchero. San Felipe, founded in 1824 by S. F. Austen The Peon resides in the city and suburbs, (the father of Texas), now in ruins and de- tilling and cultivating the productive land, or serted, having been burnt by Santa Anna, a“ labores (small farms), and appears of a few days before the battle of San Jacinto. contented disposition. In Mexico the Peon is Remaining a few days at Columbus, on the nearly as much a slave as the Negro is in the Colorado river, visiting La Grange, Austin, southern states of America. His usual dress on the same stream, and Gonzales, on the is a calico shirt, wide calico trousers, a fancy Guadaloupe river, I arrived at last at San An- colored girdle about his waist, his jacket tonio de Bejar, “the Thermopylæt of Tex- thrown carelessly over his shoulder in sum

mer, a broad-brimmed hat, the band studded Descending into its romantic and pictu- with silver grnaments and colored beads. resque valley, the deserted missions of Con- Early in the morning he goes to mass, then to cepcion and San José are seen; and on ap- work; after dinner he sleeps his siesta ; and proaching nearer, the ruins of the devoted in the evening amuses himself by tinkling his Alamo present themselves. On the western rude guitar to his mistress, dancing zapateos, bank rises the towering steeple of the so-called smoking, and gambling at times. cathedral; and through the bright and almost The females of the Rancheros and Peons tropical foliage peep the castellated houses of are pretty, good-natured, and obliging. They the Spanish and American resident, and the dress plainly, but tastefully; and well know square huts of the Rancheros and Peons. The how to show off their figures and feet when river, which is clear and sparkling, is general tripping to matins or vespers, their heads and ly fordable, formed by tepid springs a few | greater part of their faces coquettishly covered miles distant. The Texans, in their raptures with the black mantilla. These are the votaregarding this locality, call San Antonio their ries of the bayle and fandango: they flock to Vale of Avoca.

the scenes of mirth and music, conducted The then population of San Antonio might with decorum and gentleness. From early be classed under the following heads: A very evening to the soft hour of twilight, they may few opulent Mexican residents, foreign mer be seen, in the summer season, going in joychants, Rancheros, and Peons. The two first ous groups to sequestered parts of the river,

to bathe ; and there the curious eye might * This is in allusion to Galveston Island having occasionally observe them gliding about in the been the residence of Jean Lafitte, the “Pirate of the limpid stream, their regularly-formed, bronzed Gulf," from 1817 to 1821.

faces peeping above the surface of the water, + Called so on account of the slaughter of about and their black hair floating over

their 160 Texans in the Alamo fort, by Santa Anna, a few weeks before he himself was taken prisoner. David

shoulders. Crockett was one of the victims.

The days of the governador and alcalde

as.'

on the

have passed away forever; and in their place | Round the springs is an almost impenetrable are seen the American mayor, sheriff, and wood ; and under the huge branches of its giant constables.

trees we "fixed our pallets,” consisting of our Excepting in the few principal families and saddles for pillows, horse-cloths for beds, and foreign residents, the inhabitants still adhere our Mexican mantles for covering. We had to the tortilla or maize-cake as bread; and a our supper, which was quickly prepared. One sort of olla podrida, seasoned with garlic and of the party made the fire ; another mixed up red pepper,

is their favorite food. The never the Indian corn-meal with water and salt, failing stone metate, on which the maize is baking it in the frying-pan — this was our ground, to make the tortilla ; a hide stretched bread; another made coffee ; another broiled upon a frame, serving for a bedstead ; a few the dried meat on sticks; and the other two low stools, a small table, a little crockery, watered and hobbled the horses round the their clothes, a few valuables in an antique camp. tyunk, and jorongos, or Mexican blankets, Late in the evening, it blew a coolish constitute the catalogue of their worldly “norther” (as yet the freezing and wintry effects.

“northers” have not set in), which cleared the San Antonio has ever been the theatre of sky; and, when the moon was up, we anticistrife and bloodshed, and hardly a wall or pated sport amongst the wild turkeys, or, as house has escaped the effects of cannon-balls: called by the Mexicans, "guajalotes.” The even the church bears evidence of very rough moon being now bright, three of us left camp, usage. Those turbulent times have passed; the other three remaining on guard. Creeping and whatever may be the result of the present silently through the woods, we got under the war between the Americans and Mexicans, branches of a huge cotton-wood tree, espying San Antonio has a good chance of becoming a upper ones a dozen or more wild turkeys flourishing city in the hands of the former. at roost. Each of us marked his bird; and at

Having remained some time at San Anto- the word “Fire !" the woods reëchoed again, nio and its vicinity, I was one of a party of and three wild turkeys, large and fat, came six, principally with the object to hunt the tumbling down through the foliage. We rebear in the Guadaloupe mountains.

turned with our game, had a cup of toddy, and We were better armed than mounted; and then to sleep, each keeping a guard of two hours it was pretty clear, had we got into a " diffi- during the night. culty » with the Indians, we should have By day break we had had our sylvan mealhad to fight, for but little dependence could be breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper are pretty placed on the retreating movements of our much the same in the woods. and commenced mustangs. In addition to rifles, pistols, and travelling over an undulating country, covered bowie-knives, we had our spears, such being with frost-oak, with here and there pieces of useful instruments at times in a bear-hunt. rock, and occasionally a few siliceous pebbles We loaded two mules with Indian corn-meal, seen. During the day we shot many fine deer, salt, bacon, groceries, tobacco, some whiskey, with the object of making bags of their skins an iron pot, coffee-pot, frying pan, and tin by taking them off whole -- to contain the wild pannikins. All were habited in buckskin, honey we expected to get in the woods. Large each having his warm Mexican mantle, or flocks of turkey-buzzards hovered above us, xorongo.

eager to dart down on the carcasses of the deer. We left San Anionio the beginning of Octo- These birds will follow hunters and Indians ber; but ere we started, an old Indian fighter, great distances, in the hope of getting any my respected friend, Colonel Jack Hays, flesh that is not eaten. Moreover, when one “guessed that six was too small a party to is in an Indian country, a flight of these birds go far into the Indian country, without we seen in the distance, hovering about, ofttimes wanted to get up a fight with them d-d warns the solitary hunter not to approach the red rascals,” adding, “Citizens, before you trail of a body of Indians. slope, come and have a drink.” This we did, We camped on one of the branches of the at the French consul's groggery; then, light- Salado river, where we had fine rich musquiting our “ Alamo pipes,” left for the woods. grass for our horses. This grass is excellent

Travelling a few miles, we camped down for food for sheep. the night at the springs or head waters of the We had some rough travelling to the Cibolo San Antonio river. Here we saw numberless river (“Cibolo,” the Indian name for buffalo), even-running streams, issuing out of a lime- The country traversed was hilly, and covered stone rock containing silica, giving rise to four with insulated masses of the limestone of the streams, which soon unite, and form one of district; and in the gullies it was seen the clearest and prettiest rivers in the world. stratified. During heavy rains the Cibolo,

« ZurückWeiter »