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a new and rapidly increasing source of
food into countries where it is often sorely


THERE'S ever a soft, low breathing through the fir–trees' long dark ranks,
When the violets cloud with purple the cone-strewn mossy banks;
There's a soft and murmurous stirring, how faint soe'er it be,
Though not a cloud is sailing upon the sky's blue sea.

There's a soft low simmering whisper when the summer flowers are still,
And not a sound is stirring but the sheep-bells on the hill;
There's a soft low murmur spreading all through the sombre trees,
Dim, distant lamentations of the prisoned Dryades.

It's like the distant surging of an ocean ill at rest,
Round some sleeping lotus-island hid in the golden west,
Where, on pebbles that are jewels, the long, broad, rolling tide
Shouts with a laughing anger, and a half lazy pride.

It's like the banshee's wailing, heard from a distant fen;
It's like the fairies mourning the earlier race of men,
Those chieftains who once proudly wore the bracelet, crown, and chain,
And now, beside their crumbling swords, sleep calmly 'neath the plain.

But the voices wax more terrible in the damp, cold autumn eves,
When down the long, dim riding come driving storms of leaves,
That swell to tigrish ravings, and roars, as when Jove's thunder,
Smote the crushed and stricken giants, and drave their hosts asunder.

They charge, with swelling fury, like horsemen hurled to break
The close ranks of the legions no storms of war could shake,
Those dark-browed sinewy Romans, that here once faced the spears,
And lie beneath us, all unwept but by the dew drops' tears.

When the wind, with a madman's frenzy, raves screaming in despair,
And tries to wrench, by their tangled roots, the saplings green and fair;
Those gusts of surging anger, that roll through the tossing trees,
Are the frantic lamentations of the prisoned Dryades.


SINCE the days of the ill-fated Darien
expedition, and the more recent times of
that flourishing speculation, the Eden Land
Corporation, and its slimy settlement on
the banks of the Father of Waters, the
swindling of emigrants has been a
lucrative profession. Outfitters, agents, and
shipowners have waxed fat upon it; the
scanty savings of the intending emigrant,
have been for too many years the prey of
a vile tribe of blood-suckers and parasites.
To induce emigrants to buy what they do
not, and cannot by any possibility, want;
and to supply the articles of which they
really do stand in need, at the highest
possible prices, of the lowest possible quality,
and in the largest possible quantity,
constitute one branch of this predatory profession.
To charge all sorts of expenses and
commissions for services that have not been
rendered, is the occupation of the second,
or agent department; while the
opportunities ready to the hand of the transport
or shipping branch of the business, are
charmingly profitable. Consider the berths,
for which extra payment is enforced, and
which turn out to be rickety planks; think
of the special cabin accommodation for
married couples, provided at a special
charge, and only accommodating the ship-
owner's pocket. What scope is there for
swindling, in the provisions; in the weevilly
biscuit, the damaged pork, the lime juice,
artfully prepared from alien substances
by the ingenuity of chemistry, the musty
rice, the mouldy flour! Go to any great
port of departure for emigrants, and
admire the rickety old tubs, which represent
the fine, fast-sailing, copper-bottomed
liners of the advertisements; tubs only
good enough to carry emigrants, and for
the loss of which heavy insurances easily
console owners. Talk to some of the
favourite captains and experienced surgeons,
and ponder over the probable delights of
a three or four months' voyage under their

This is the dark side of the picture. It
is by no means to be understood that all
emigrants' outfitters are cozening knaves;
that all emigrants' brokers and agents cheat;
and that all emigrant ships are ill-found,
ill-fitted, and ill-officered. The careful
emigrant can be as well and as honestly served
as any other traveller; there are good and
bad in all trades. But it unfortunately happens,
from the very nature of the case, that
the emigrant is peculiarly exposed to robbery
and deceit. He is usually in a hurry. His
chief anxiety is to get away from the old
country with its recollections of struggle,
and defeat, and vain striving. His thoughts
are all of that new land whither he is going,
where there is room and scope enough for
workers, be they ever so numerous. What
matters it if people do take advantage of
his ignorance? What matter the discomfort
and misery of the voyage, so that the
Promised Land be reached at last?

It is not always, however, to be pre-supposed