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more bearable here than in the hell they had
left behind at Ava.  They had many petty annoyances
to undergo, much cruel and causeless
terror to master in the best way they could,
much brutality to suffer, many venomous snakes
to kill, and the pangs of hunger and the failing
of hope to bear; but they had escaped the
spotted men, the Father with his oaths and the
savage with his club, and they could bear what
evils they had with greater equanimity because
of this relief.

Before long a strange visitant was brought to
them. In the dead of night a heavy cart was
heard rumbling towards their solitary
prison. It stopped before the doors; they
heard the loud roaring of a wild beast, and
then several men brought in a huge cage, where
a magnificent lioness was confined, and set it
down in the midst of them. The old jailer
was as much surprised as any of them, and he
had had no warning of this new prisoner, and
knew no more than themselves what it meant.
They all thought, of course, that it was intended
to fling them one by one to the beast; and so
they passed the night in a state of misery and
fear not to be described. But day followed day,
and no such orders came from head-quarters.
The poor lioness moaned and roared with the
pains of hunger, but no food had been assigned
to her, and the old jailer did not dare to go
beyond his orders: and day by day her moaning
and her roaring grew weaker and weaker,
until at last she sank and diedstarved to death
in the sight of them all. They never felt certain
that this ending had been intended, but rather
looked on it as a failure of the plan which their
great enemy, Pacahm-woon had devised. They
then heard that they were to be sacrificed as
omens of good luck, to be buried alive in the
sight of the army which the generalissimo had
raised, and which was to put an end to the war
by exterminating the British; but this plan,
too, never came to an issue, and in the mean
time, the Pacahm-woon died. And then they
felt comparatively safe.

The British army always advancing and always
successful, helped to clear the air for our poor
captives. The Burmans were made to feel
themselves defeated; indemnification to the amount
of one million sterling was demanded, the
release of the white prisoners was also demanded,
and, after various delays and negotiations,
on the sixteenth of February, eighteen hundred
and twenty-six, Gouger and two others
were liberated, and set out on their way
to join the British forces. A few dangers, a
few delays, and the sickness of hope deferred
sometimes fluttering round the heart, and then,
maimed, bruised, weakened, unmanned, our poor
countryman sank down on the deck of the Diana,
once more free, but a ruined man for years to
come. His sufferings had been too much for
him, and it was long before his mind recovered
its tone, or his body his health. Kindness and
civilisation healed him at last, and now, as an
old man, he tells us this strange history of
Eastern barbarity thirty-five years ago, in
language so fresh and forcible that the thirty-five
year seem but yesterday.  And now we all wait
for the time when the power of the West shall
put an end to these barbarities of the East;
when freedom and civilisation shall shine over
Asia as well as over Europe, over India as well
as over England, and all the nations under our
influence be brought into harmony with our
milder laws, and into acceptance of our better


THE town is blackening on the sky,
Its muffled thunder rolls away,
To weary heart and languid eye
There beams a holier light of day.
O sorrow-lined and throbbing brow,
Long pressed against the bars of toil,
What ecstasy awaits thee now
On yonder sunny stainless soil!

The opening landscape stretches wide,
An endless swell of hill and plain,
With, through the golden haze descried,
A distant glimmer of the main.
The woodland minstrels carol clear
From out each green sequestred nook,
And 'neath their leafy haunts I hear
The laughing answer of the brook.

And losing here all sense of wrong,
I feel no more the clutch of care,
And dream a world of light and song
Where all are happy, all is fair.
But o'er me, steals the envious eve,
And spreads a veil of sober grey,
When, as I take reluctant leave,
A glory dies along the way.

The fading landscape fills with change,
The flowers grow sadly pale and droop,
And writhing trees with shadows strange
Across my darkening pathway stoop.
Long branches thrust from bank and crag
Seem, in the dim and dubious light,
Bare withered arms of some lone hag,
Whose incantations thrill the night.

Again the engine thunders on
My car of triumph hours before
The vision and the bliss are gone,
Yet Memory hoards her golden store.
And there, perchance, may burst a gleam
In after hours of weary noise,
That may recal this passing dream
Of  happy sights and holy joys.


IN a recent number of this journal a workman
described the terrors of water when bursting
its bounds in a mine.*  Fire is a no less
appalling enemy, and, in the course of a lengthened
career as Inspector of Mines, it once occurred
to me to be in a pit when it was ignited.
However long I may live, it is not likely that the
recollection of its horrors will be dimmed by the
lapse of time.

The pit in questiona large onewas very
dangerous in consequence of the quantity of gas
which the coal contained. I had spent one day

*Peril Underground, No. 103, page 61.