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only wish to be to you, dear Abbot, a thoughtful worthy wife, but what Matthew says all women ought to be, thoughtful teachers of the social graces, and progressively humanise all they have to govern. Do you think so ?” Well! there was no answer, though a pretty tangible reward! But I mustn't specify it, or I should have to put on my hat, as I was very near doing awhile ago!
This is the first of September ; and on the wet page, reader, behold the picture of Messrs. Clothyards' Progress, painted by one who tries to hold the brush of IIogarth, and copy in the spirit of its only masters, Tom Fielding and Tobias Smollett. May it draw for you, here and elsewhere, some humanising pictures, as free from cant and false sentiment as they shall boldly teach PROGRESS in a spirit of mercy and truth for all things.
Up at the twinkle of six, have gone the shutters wrought out of iron, in the form of Venetian blinds, and stretching over the broad mass of rich plated glass, and harmonising with the massive granite-pointed building, that is the very pride of the Ward of Cheap. And now let us step in through the private door, that swings back with a deal of reverence for the occasion, with little Bobbin in a very prime Genoa velvet waistcoat, and Mrs. Bobbin in her gold chain and most extraordinary satin dress. Well, now, Mr. Twigg—his nose not quite so red as it used to be—ushers us up the wide rich carpeted staircase, and we smell the scent of flowers, and hear happy voices on our way. But just one glimpse of daily things before we see the holiday fruit of glorious progress. Here is the handsome parlour which the thirty young
ladies call their
own, where Isabella's foot rarely steps, then only as a friend's. See its piano, its drawings, its books, its vases of roses on this bright August day, and delicate baskets with fairy work in them-only look ! and near at hand, through this passage, a large sleeping gallery, where, on each side the whole way down, leaving the lofty roof free, are stalls, or compact little rooms, yet sacred to each owner, with all comforts, with many graces, with air, with light, that send fever and sickness far away. Here, on this side the building, which Mr. Twigg steps to, we see the young men's room, not quite so fairy-like as the ladies', as one would suppose, as it has grave books on shelves and tables, and maps, and drawings, and newspapers, without one ounce of tickling sentiment or aiming low in them, nor small digressions on elephants or serpents, nor suggestive remarks on Timbuctoo, or probability of an increase of sun at the North
Pole, but good stout strong food, such as advance hungers for; good stout beef and ale, and not flimsy kickshaws! Now, into this room, where all meet twice a-week ; sec, it is decked out for this holiday, and only through this door, and here is the drawing-room. Whilst we have been lingering away, tea and coffee have been served ; and now on the table is placed rich fruit and wine ; and what can that be that rustles among the leaves and peaches, and looks down upon the purple grapes, and flutters, and dips into the finger-glasses? why, it's Tit, that no longer droops around a parish coffin, but is an especial favourite with everybody, and left to chirp how and when he pleases, for Mr. Twigg has altered his opinion.
Ay! and this very first of September is fourth wedding-day, and here she comes on old Abel's arm ; and as he's now infirm he has a large chair placed for him, and he takes a threeyear-old young Master Abbot on his knee, and Isabella has the baby, and Kitty Merrily the little rosebud between ; and now come in all the young ladies in whitest dresses, and led by Abbot Clothyard ; and presently, with a deal of mystery, Tapbox throws open the door, and bearing in both hands a tray cunningly covered, precedes the Messrs. Clothyards' young men ; and now Bloomforth steps forward and uncovers the tray, whereupon is shown to the astonished eyes of Abel, Abbot, and Isabella a rich silver tea service, and Mr. Bobbin, who has been a long while in the secret,
tea-pot, and reads for the good of the public what is clearly engraved thereon: “From the Employed to the Employers, to testify that they can appreciate a spirit of beneficence and friendly thoughts for their advance.'
Bless us, what a bumper Abbot now pours forth ! how richly he feels paid for all his thoughts, his care, and some self-sacrifice! How old Bobbin nips his hand, and says, “Ay! Mr. Clothyard, this is the sort of thing," whilst the tears stream down his eyes ; Isabella blushes, and looks towards Kitty, and they at old Abel ; he, however, takes a pinch of snuff, for a good deal of the matter he can't quite comprehend,—he clings yet in secret heart to many old things, though he never speaks of them—Isabella has won upon
his heart too much for that! “Well, gentlemen,” speaks Mr. Tapbox, who has been favoured with a glass of wine, as he stands with the tray, “ if I may say my mind, it 's this : my 'pinion is, that a very small pinched-up Clothyard heart went into that here tea-pot, to come out, as it has
now, a precious large round loving one, as should be set on the monyment by way of example. And so here's your health, ladies and gentlemen, and your's, dear missis, and the little ones, not forgetting Tit, as has taken to chirp so extraordinarily.”
And I say,' said Bloomforth, "blessings on all those who recognise the miglity public heart."
Even whilst this picture fades from before you, reader, Isabella leads down the clance with Mr. Bobbin, and the music that is whispered in your car is beyond that of earth, for it is the voice of Nature glorifying in the happiness of her children.
COMMERCE OF TIIE ORIENTAL ARCHIPELAGO.
The Chambers of Commerce of Manchester and Glasgow, and the London East India Association, as well as several other bodies interested in the success of trade, sent in repeated memorials to the late Government in the hope of inducing it to take some measures for multiplying our relations with the Indian Archipelago. But before those applications had produced any effect there occurred a change of ministry, and it was feared that the work would have to be begun again. Fortunately for the enterprising and industrious classes, the new administration complied at once with the wishes of the country, and resolved to take the first step by forming an entrepôt an: naval station on Pulo Labuan, off the mouth of the Borneo River.
Many circumstances combined to render this policy extremely desirable :-our intercourse with China, from which so much was expected, had not proved very profitable ; our Australasian colonies, through neglect and mismanagement, had lessened greatly: their demand for our goods; or, which is exactly the same thing, haid not cnlarged their demands in proportion to the increase of their population. The mischievous delay which took place in the repeal of the Corn-laws and in the equalisation of the sugar duties circumscribed our foreign trade, so that the absolute necessity was felt of seeking new outlets for our manufactures, in order to provide employment for the rapidly increasing population at home.
What in this respect, therefore, has been done by the cabinet,
we consider to have been wisely done. Able and well-informed persons had long seen the value of Labuan, not as a means of gratifying insane ambition, but as a position useful to commerce, and no less advantageous to suffering humanity. For the effect of its occupation will be twofold. First, it will facilitate the suppression of piracy, and thus deliver the Archipelago from the worst calamity that has ever afflicted it ; and second, it will excite the emancipated populations to exert all their energies in collecting or creating the materials of that commerce by which, if by anything, they are to be raised from their present state of extreme degradation.
make some amends to them for what they have suffered from other European nations, and in part perhaps formerly from ourselves ; for our achievements in the Archipelago have not always been harmless. Even lately, if we are not misinformed, there has been a repetition of the ancient excesses, on a small scale no doubt, but not therefore the less culpable.
When the old navigators touched upon the coasts of some of these islands, of which, to the reproach of geography, the number is far from being known, they found the natives addicted as elsewhere to the admiration of baubles, as beads, buttons, brass, and gilded ornaments. At present, if we may fairly generalise from a few striking instances, articles of utility are almost exclusively prized, such as handkerchiefs to be worn as turbans, calicoes and ginghams for clothing, tools, ammunition and arms. Still the imagination of nearly all the islanders requires to be captivated by showy patterns, and brilliant colours strongly contrasted with each other; the reason of which may be that the luminous atmosphere in which they live causes sober colours to appear insipid.
But what are the extent and boundaries of the Indian Archipelago ? By what races is it inhabited ?
Are they few or many
? Are they Anthropophagi who eat each other, or men whose heads do
grow beneath their shoulders? Is it true, as our immediate forefathers seem to have believed, that their ignorance is like that of the or—that the grossness of their manners is only to be equalled by their barbarity? Are they Pagans or Mohammedans. Is the Llama their God, or do they worship Fo, or is it customary with them to bow down like the negro before the first tree they meet in the morning, and mistake the rustling of its leaves in the breeze for divine responses? The answers to all these questions,
if given at due length, would fill a volume or two. We must content ourselves, therefore, with delineating the subject in outline, and selecting a few facts from the vast accumulation before us.
The Oriental Archipelago, commencing with Sumatra, which appears to be but a prolongation of the Malay Peninsula, stretches far below the equator, and then taking abruptly an easterly direction extends through nearly fifty-five degrees of longitude, where it terminates beyond Torres Straits with the southern promontory of Papua or New Guinea. Returning to Singapore, and following the sweep of the islands northward, we find them ascending to the latitude of Ilainan in China. Within the immense circumference thus indicated we find the Philippines and the Moluccas, the land of the Papuas, the extensive islands of Celebes and Mindanao, of Timor and Flores, of Lombok and Java, and lastly, of Pulo Kalamantan, which, from its dimensions, deserves rather to be regarded as a continent. If properly cultivated, the whole population of the Chinese Empire might be transported into this Archipelago, and find abundant means of subsistence. As it is, with all the drawbacks of barbarism, and with its extremely limited trade, in proportion, we mean, to its extent, it has been roughly computed to contain nearly forty millions of inhabitants. Nor do we think the calculation at all exaggerated, since one of its islands, Pulo Kalamantan alone, if blessed with a good system of agriculture, would maintain a much larger population.
The nature and extent of the trade actually carried on cannot be very easily described or estimated, since much of it passes through channels situated beyond the range of European observation. We only know from casual hints and inferences that the thing exists, and affords constant occupation to thousands of hardy adventurers who, in prahus of small size and most primitive construction, traverse thousands of miles of sea, distributing on one hand the produce of their own country, and on the other the fabrics of Europe, obtained from Samarang, Batavia or Surabeya, but chiefly from Singapore. Formerly the merchants of China and Japan took an active part in this commerce.
The Japanese indeed disappeared early from the scene, yielding to the influence of circumstances of a very peculiar nature. While engaged in the trade, however, they displayed great intrepidity and much mercantile enterprise, proceeding regularly to the Philippines and the Moluccas, and Cochin China, and Siam, and