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THE natural place of refuge for a hunted man
is an island. None but those who have known
what it is to be pursued from place to place,
who have been aware of such and such blood-
hounds upon their track, of such and such
scouts waiting at given points to lead them
down to death or captivity, can form an idea
of the feeling of security engendered by the
knowledge that there is between them and
their enemies a bulwark far more impregnable
than any gabion, glacis, bastion, or
counterscarp, that Vauban ever dreamed of,
in the shape of a ring of blue water. So
islands have been, in all ages and circum
stances, the chosen places of refuge to men
who could find no rest elsewhere for the soles
of their feet. Patmos was the elected asylum of
St. John the Apostle. In Malta, the last
Christian knights of Palestine, driven from
their first island refugeRhodesfound a
haven of safety, and founded a city of strength
against the infidels. The expiring embers of
the Druidical priesthood smouldered away in
the impenetrable groves of the island of
Anglesey. The isles of Greece were the eyries
of poetry, and art, and liberty, when the
mainland groaned beneath the despotism of
the thirty tyrants. The Greeks located their
paradise in the islands of the blest. Madeira
spread forth pitying, protecting arms to two
fugitive lovers. Charles Edward hid in Skye.
Once within the pleasant valleys of Pitcairn's
Island, Jack Adams and the mutineers of the
Bounty felt secure and safe from courts-
martial and yard-arms. There is a hiding-place
for the pursued of sheriffs in the island of
Jersey and in the Isle of Man; in which latter
insular refuge Charlotte de la Tremouille,
Countess of Derby, sheltered the last
remnants of the cause of the Stuarts against
Oliver Cromwell. The dogs of Constantinople
found protection from the sticks and stones
of the men of Stamboul, in an island in the
Bosphorus. The last of the London marshes
staunchly defy drainage from the strongholds
of the Isle of Dogs; and there is a wall of
strength for the choicest London fevers, and
the dirtiest London lodging-houses, against
Inspectors Reason and Humanity and their
whole force, in and about the mud embankments
of Jacob's Island.

But, chief and pre-elect of islands on which
camps of refuge have been built, is the one we
are happy enough to live in, the Island of
England. There are other islands in the world,
far more isolated, geographically speaking, far
more distant from hostile continents, far more
remote from the shores of despotism. Yet to
these chalky cliffs of Albion, to this Refuge
misnamed the perfidious, come refugees from
all quarters of the world, and of characters,
antecedents, and opinions, pointing to every
quarter of the political compass. The oppressor
and the oppressed, the absolutist and
the patriot, the butcher and the victim, the
wolf and the lamb, the legitimist as white as
snow and the montagnard as red as blood, the
doctrinaire and the socialistmen of views
so dissimilar that they would (and do) tear
each other to pieces in their own lands, find a
common refuge in this country, and live in
common harmony here. The very climate
seems to have a soothing and mollifying
influence on the most savage foreign natures.
South American dictators, who have shot,
slaughtered, and outraged hecatombs of their
countrymen in the parched-up plains of
Buenos Ayres and Montevideo, roar you as
mildly as any sucking doves as soon as they
are in the Southampton watermake pets of
their physicians, and give their barbers silver
shaving dishes; pachas of three tails, terrible
fellows for bowstringing, impaling, and
bastinadoing in their Asiatic dominions, here
caper nimbly in ladies' chambers to the
twangling of lutes; hangers of men and
scourgers of women forego blood-thirstiness;
demagogues forget to howl for heads; and
red republicans, who were as roaring lions in
the lands they came from, submit to have
their claws cut, and their manes trimmed,
drink penny cups of coffee, and deliver pacific
lectures in Mechanics' Institutes.

England, then, is the Patmos of foreign
fugitivesa collection of Patmoses, rather;
almost every seaport and provincial town of
any note having a little inland island of refuge
of its own; but London being the great
champ d'asile, the monster isle of safety, a
Cave of Adullam for the whole world. It is
with this Patmos that I have principally
to do.

Years ago, Doctor Johnson called London
"the common sewer of Paris and of