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might buy some plain furniture from people who will take monthly payments, and so'

I shook my head as she paused, for this was only another danger, a fresh running into debt.

Perhaps, then, dear,' she resumed, some firm might take you as a traveller. I have heard that some persons make a great deal of money in that way.'

I shook my head again. Some persons, no doubt, did well; but I knew better than she did, the long, slow, hopeless task it was for an unknown man to form a new connection. The fact is-I began; when a loud double knock at the street door interrupted me.

All this was utterly opposed to our habits. We cared not for drinking at all, save at our meals; and wine we drank but rarely. We, however, were hesitating, and restrained by a fear of seeming ungrateful to our new friend. He had no sort of hesitation about him; so, while we faltered, he had called Lizzie the servant, who at his command brought two out of the few odd tumblers which were left, with a wine-glass.

'Depend upon it, ma'am,' said he, as he handed the glass to my wife with his politest air, in which-ungrateful as I felt it was to notice itI could not even at that moment refrain from seeing something of a swagger-depend upon it that the worst thing you can do is to give way. I am sure if you keep up, your husband will keep up also. Why, ma'am, I have 'Aha! you did not think of seeing me!' he been in fixes twenty times worse than this, exclaimed.No! I thought not; but I got home twenty times over, and I have got out of early, and I couldn't rest without coming round.-them-and here I am! my own master, and Your servant, Mrs Matley. I ought to apolo- caring for nobody.-And now, ma'am !' congise for intruding like this; but I know you tinued Mr Scate, I have much pleasure in will excuse me. I am a plain man. Everybody drinking your health, with prosperity to you knows me; and Ned Scate is here to say that and your worthy husband. Why, in days to he never heard of such scandalous treatment as come, we shall have many a laugh over these your husband has met with, ma'am. That's times.-Your very good healths, both! - You what I am here for.' must not think, ma'am,' continued our visitor, that I have intruded upon you for nothing, or just to say a few unmeaning words; far from it. As I told you before, I have heard all about the shameful way in which Mr Matley has been treated, and I have spoken to some friends already in his behalf. I hope you will not think it was taking too great a liberty.'-My wife assured him that he added to the obligation by doing so.-' And I am pleased to tell you, ma'am,' he went on, 'that there is something more than a chance of an opening. I am not authorised to make an offer to-night, and therefore, looking at the matter purely in a business light, I ought to have said nothing about the affair until I was so authorised. But-if you will excuse my saying so-I was so shocked at seeing these goings-on, that I could not keep silence, and I thought you would be so dispirited at such misfortunes, that you would be glad of even a glimpse of hope.'

'Glad of it!' I said; 'I am more than glad. I do not know how to thank you sufficiently for the interest you have taken '

Just then came another loud double knock, and, as before, we heard Lizzie open the door, and a short conversation followed; then coming to the breakfast-room door, she said: 'Oh, if you please, mum, it's a gentleman as wants to see the apartments.'

My wife turned pale; so did I, as Lizzie, our little servant, ran to the door. Lizzie had begged her mistress not to send her away just yet; for, as she said, she had been in a many houses where they was sold up, and so didn't mind it ;' and added, that she would rather stay with us for her 'vittles, nor go anywhere else for wages;' so she stayed. When Lizzie had opened the door, we heard some one inquiring for Mr and Mrs Matley. The servant's reply was inaudible; but the voice said: 'Down-stairs, are they? All right; don't you trouble 'em; I'll find them out; they won't mind an old friend intruding.' Then followed a step on the stairs, a tap at our room door, and then the well-known figure and face of Mr Scate became visible.


Although the man's voice, air, and manner altogether were terribly vulgar, there was resisting this; at anyrate Susan could not resist it, and her tears broke out in earnest, and thanking him warmly, she invited him to be seated and stay a while with us.

'It's what I came for, ma'am, if you will excuse my saying so,' replied Mr Scate. 'I came to talk things over with Mr Matley-and of course yourself and to see if we can't do something to make matters straight. I'm in rather a large way of business myself, and have friends who are very influential. They could make room for a dozen like Mr Matley, and be glad to get such men. Yes, ma'am, glad to get them, for men like Mr Matley are not to be found at the corner of every street. I saw him in business, ma'am; I know what he is capable of, and will take care that others know it


'I am sure I don't know how to thank you for this disinterested kindness,' began my poor wife; to strangers too, who'


now, governor'-this was of course to methough Mrs Matley probably don't go in for such things, I have taken the liberty of bringing round a single bottle of sherry. If the quality can be beaten in all London, I can only say I have never seen the quality to beat it.'

Suiting the action to the words, he drew from one pocket of his long overcoat, which was white or drab, and made him look like a grazier, a bottle of sherry; and then he produced a knife with a number of blades and odd appurtenances, among others a corkscrew.

"Then don't thank me, ma'am,' bluntly interrupted the other don't thank me, at anyrate till I have done something more than talk about my good-will. As for being strangers, ma'am, I don't intend to remain a stranger any longer. This is not a time to stand on a lot of ceremony, and Ned Scate never cared about ceremony. He's a plain John Bull, he is.-And

'See the apartments?' we both echoed. 'Oh, he can't. Tell him, Lizzie'

'No, no-nonsense! Excuse me for the interruption,' said our new friend; but if I were you, I should have him in, and see what he is like; I should indeed. It may come to nothing, of course; but it's a chance, and my maxim in business is, never to throw a chance away.'


WHEN Humboldt was in the South Sea in 1803, about seven o'clock one evening (the 20th of February) an extraordinary noise startled the crew. At first it was like the beating of a number of drums in the distance, and then in the ship itself, especially near the poop. They thought it might be the breakers, and again they fancied the vessel must have sprung a leak. It continued to be heard without intermission for a couple of hours, ceasing entirely about nine o'clock. Humboldt did not conjecture the probable cause of the phenomenon.

Lieutenant White, of the United States navy, in an account of his Voyage to the China Seas, published in 1824, mentions a somewhat similar experience. When at the mouth of a river in Cambodia, he and his crew were astonished by some extraordinary sounds which were heard around the bottom of their vessel. 'The sounds,' he says, 'were like a mixture of the bass of the organ, the sound of bells, the guttural cries of a large frog, and the tones which imagination might attribute to an enormous harp.' The ship seemed almost to tremble with the vibration. "These noises increased, and finally formed a universal chorus over the entire length of the vessel and the two sides.' They diminished as the ship sailed up the river, and ceased altogether after a time. The interpreter who accompanied Lieutenant White attributed them to a troop of a certain kind of fish, 'which has the faculty of adhering to divers bodies by the mouth.'

The following, by Dr Buist, appeared in the Bombay Times of January 1847: A party lately crossing from the promontory in Salsette called the "Neat's Tongue," to near Sewree, were, about sunset, struck by hearing long distinct sounds like the protracted booming of a distant bell, the dying cadence of an Eolian harp, the note of a pitch-pipe or pitch-fork, or any other longdrawn-out musical note. It was at first supposed to be music ashore floating at intervals on the breeze; then it was perceived to come from all directions, almost in equal strength, and to arise from the surface of the water all around the vessel. The boatmen at once intimated that the sounds were produced by fish, abounding in the

that the fish are confined to particular localitiesshallows, estuaries, and muddy creeks, rarely visited by Europeans; and that is the reason why hitherto no mention, so far as we know, has been made of the peculiarity in any work on natural history.'

Two years later, another letter appeared in the same journal stating that 'musical sounds like the prolonged notes on the harp' had been heard to proceed from under water at Vizagapatam.

about musical sounds issuing from the lake at Sir J. Emerson Tennent having heard a story Batticaloa, in Ceylon, paid a visit to the place in 1848. The fishermen told him that the sounds, which resembled the faint sweet notes of an Eolian harp, were heard only at night and during the dry season, were most distinct when the moon was nearest the full, and proceeded, they believed, not from a fish, but from a shell In the evening,' called the crying shell.' says Tennent, when the moon rose, I took a boat, and accompanied the fishermen to the spot. We rowed about two hundred yards north-east of the jetty by the fort gate; there was not a breath of wind, or a ripple except those caused by the dip of our oars. On coming to the point mentioned, I distinctly heard the sounds in question. They came up from the water like the gentle thrills of a musical chord, or the faint by a moistened finger. It was not one sustained vibrations of a wine-glass when its rim is rubbed note, but a multitude of tiny sounds, each clear and distinct in itself; the sweetest treble mingling with the lowest bass. On applying the ear to the woodwork of the boat, the vibration was greatly increased in volume. The sounds varied considerably at different points, as we moved from which they proceeded was greatest in paracross the lake, as if the number of the animals ticular spots; and occasionally we rowed out of hearing of them altogether, until, on returning to the original locality, the sounds were at once renewed. This fact seems to indicate that the causes of the sounds, whatever they may be, are stationary at several points; and this agrees with the statement of the natives, that they are produced by mollusca, and not by fish. They came lake; and there was nothing in the surrounding evidently and sensibly from the depth of the circumstances to support the conjecture that they could be the reverberation of noises made by insects on the shore conveyed along the surface of the water; for they were loudest and most distinct at points where the nature of the land, and the intervention of the fort and its buildings, forbade the possibility of this kind

of conduction.'

The next witness is a gentleman signing himself Ubique,' who wrote to the Field newspaper of October 26, 1867, as follows: On embarking on board the Danube steamer, lying at anchor in the roadstead of Greytown (Central America), on the 12th May 1867, I was informed

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Oct. 7, 1882.]

only heard at night and at certain hours. Some attributed it to fish, suckers, turtle, &c.; others, to the change of tide or current; but no satisfactory conclusion could be arrived at. When night came on, there was no mistake about the noise; it was quite loud enough to awaken me, and could be heard distinctly all over the ship. It was not dissimilar to the high monotone of an Eolian harp; and the noise was evidently caused by the vibration of the plates of the iron hull, which could be sensibly perceived to vibrate. What caused this peculiar vibration? Not the change of current and tide, because, if so, it would be heard by day. Like everything else that we cannot explain, I suppose we must put it down to electricity, magnetism, &c.'

This letter drew forth one from another correspondent, who stated that one moonlight night in 1854, when on board a steamer anchored near the Tavoy river (Tenasserim), he and others 'were struck by an extraordinary noise which appeared to proceed from the shore about a quarter of a mile off, or from the water in that direction. It was something like the sound of a stockingloom, but shriller, and lasted perhaps five or six seconds, producing a sensible concussion on the ear, like the piercing scream of the cicada; and this gave an impression as if the vessel itself were trembling, or reverberating from the sound. One or two Burmans on board said simply the noise was produced by "fishes;" but of what kind they did not describe. It was repeated two or three times.'

Three years later, in the same locality, a 'droning, drowsy sort of sound' was heard at nightfall by a correspondent of Hardwicke's Science-Gossip. It seemed to be above, below, and around. The air was all sound, and the sound was all of one kind and pitch.'

We now come to the evidence of Mr Dennehy, given in a letter anent Strange Noises heard at Sea off Greytown,' published in Nature of May 12, 1870. His statement is the more valuable because he seems to have been unaware of previous observations upon similar 'strange noises' else where. 'I have never heard of its occurring elsewhere, and I have made many inquiries,' he says. The facts recorded are briefly these. The Wye, Tyne, Eider, and Danube were iron-built vessels; the Trent, Thames, Tamar, and Solent were coppered-wooden vessels, which all, at one time or another, anchored off Greytown. The former were haunted by the strange sounds; the latter knew nought of them. They were heard at the Greytown anchorage only. Punctually about midnight the concert began, awakening nearly the whole crew, and it invariably continued for the same period-namely, two hours. The sound is described as 'musical, metallic, with a certain cadence, and a one-two-three time tendency of beat. It is heard most distinctly over open hatchways, over the engine-room, through the coalshoots, and close round the outside of the ship. It cannot be fixed at any one place, always appear ing to recede from the observer. On applying the ear to the side of an open bunker, one fancies that it is proceeding from the very bottom of the hold. Very different were the comparisons made by the different listeners. The blowing of a conchshell by fishermen at a distance, a shell held

sound of wheel-machinery in rapid motion, the vibration of a large bell when the first and louder part of the sound has ceased, the echo of chimes in the belfry, the ricochetting of a stone on ice, the wind blowing over telegraph wires-have all been assigned as bearing a more or less close resemblance. It is louder on the second than the first, and reaches its acme on the third night. Calm weather and smooth water favour its development. The rippling of the water alongside, and the breaking of the surf on the shore, are heard quite distinct from it.' The English sailors attributed the phenomenon to what they called the trumpet-fish-a fish of their own invention, for the real trumpet-fish (Centriscus scolopax), so called from the shape of its jaws, does not exist in those



In all the cases yet adduced, the observers, it will be noticed, were on board ships or boats of some kind. Canon Kingsley, however, relates that he more than once heard the noise from the shore, in the island of Monos, in the Northern Bocas of Trinidad. 'I heard it first about midnight, and then again in the morning about sunrise. In both cases the sea was calm. It was not to be explained by wind, surf, or caves. I likened it to a locomotive in the distance rattling as it blows off its steam. The natives told me that the noise was made by a fish.' He tells us that it is frequently heard at the Bocas, and at Point à Pierre, some twenty-five miles south; also outside the Gulf along the Spanish Main.

Finally, while the phenomenon is most commonly met with in tropical seas, it is not unknown in the temperate zone. Mr Lauder Lindsay heard it in 1869 while on board a steamer anchored in the Tagus, off Lisbon. The ship's officers told him that it was produced by a fish, and was only heard at certain states of the tide.

More instances might be brought forward, but we think we have quoted enough. Let us now endeavour to generalise our facts as well as we can.

First, as to the geographical distribution of the phenomenon, we find that it has a most surprising range. In the Western hemisphere it has been heard at the mouth of the Pascagoula, in the state of Mississippi; at the mouth of the Bayou Coq del Inde, on the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico; at Greytown; at Trinidad; at Caldera, in Chili; and at several places on the Pacific coast of South America. It is thus known at wide intervals along the entire coast of tropical America. In our own half of the world we find it occurring on the coast of China; at Tavoy, in British Burmah; at Vizagapatam, on the east coast of the Indian peninsula; at Salsette, on the west coast, and at the Chilka Lake, on the east coast, of Ceylon; near Colombo, on the west of the island; in the Bay of Naples, in the Mediterranean; and at Lisbon, on the Atlantic coast of Europe. Whatever the source of the sounds, then, it must be of general distribution throughout the tropical regions of the globe.

Next, as to time-it is noticeable that the sounds are invariably heard at night; sometimes about sunset, never before it. The two-hours'

by Humboldt. Some observers describe the noise as continuous; others, as intermittent.

Although in the Greytown instances iron ships only were affected, we have abundant cases of the phenomenon being observed by those in wooden vessels. The materials of the ship, and for that matter the ship itself, would seem to have nothing to do with the production of the sound. Of course, the ship's frame may act, as any hollow body would, as a sounding-board, and thus give greater strength and amplitude to the aerial vibrations.



THE incident here narrated took place while the author was residing on the farm of a hospitable Dutchman, who for some years had conducted a good, safe, and profitable business in Cape-Town. But as being cooped up all day in a dusty office was not in accordance with his views of freedom, he left it, to turn his hand to the more simple, if not more profitable career of a farmer, in which he could indulge his love of freedom.

The way in which I became acquainted with Pietermann was this. For some months I had been down with fever, contracted under the combined effects of exposure to a tropical sun, and the irregular mode of life which I had for some time been accustomed to. As soon as the doctor pronounced me strong enough to walk, he gave me marching orders to remove to a more congenial district. So away I went to a village some hundred and fifty miles distant, where the fresh air and strength of body which I so urgently required were to be had. On arriving at the village, I put up at the only hotel in the place, and it was here I made the acquaintance of Mynheer the Dutchman. One evening, while sitting outside under the veranda of the hotel, Pietermann drove up to have his 'liquor,' and attracted no doubt by my thin, pale, worn-out looks, asked me how I was in health. We soon fell into an affable chat, as I found him a man of very interestThe exact evidence at hand from the domain ing experiences. Dutchmen are a kind, goodof natural history respecting the sounds emitted natured, and polite people, ready at any time by fishes, does not perhaps fully satisfy the to give a helping hand to any worn-out and cravings of the student of natural history, for dejected foreigner. In the course of half an the reason that such evidence is both difficult hour, therefore, I gradually unfolded to him to obtain, and, as the foregoing remarks have my plans; and immediately, with that hosshown, also presents puzzling points for deter-pitality so general to the South African Boer, mination in the matter of the causes of the sounds. he invited me down to his farm, distant some Dr Dufossé, who has made the production of thirteen miles. I hesitated, but told him I would sound by fishes a special study, says that whilst give him my answer in a couple of days. The many fishes produce sounds, there is great variety time came, and I decided to accept his offer with in the manner in which the noises are evolved. many thanks. He having come up to the village Thus the movements or friction of the pharyngeal with produce, I saw him, and gave him my bones, and the vibration of the muscles of the answer; and in the afternoon, we commenced swimming-bladder, which acts as a sounding- our journey to the farm. board, are two common methods of sound-production in fishes. We know that one of the Gurnards (Trigla) produces loud sounds, ranging, as Mr Darwin remarks, nearly over an octave, by means of the intrinsic muscles of the swimming-bladder. More curious, however, is the case of fishes belonging to the genus Ophidium. Here, the male fishes alone are provided with a drumming-apparatus, consisting of bones and muscles developed in



In most cases, the phenomenon occurs in salt or brackish water. But it has been known to occur in fresh water. So we can argue nothing from the nature of the water.

can be taken by imitating the noise, especially during the spawning season. Even with all this, however, much remains to be explained regarding these curious submarine sounds heard in various localities and at various times.

Lastly-and this is the only generalisation that we can fairly draw from the observations yet recorded-the sound is usually heard at or near the mouths of rivers.

It was perhaps this sweet and pleasing sound that gave rise to the myths of mermaids and sirens. The mariners of old, who never ventured beyond their own coasts, would be quite as likely to hear it as we are; for there is no instance on record of the music being heard at sea; and with their usual facility in inventing a pretty and poetical cause for everything, they would soon find authors for the dulcet tones in nondescript beings dwelling in submarine caves and grottos. The fishermen and sailors of our own day almost universally ascribe the sounds to fish. At Lisbon it is the corvina,' whatever that may be; at Baltimore it is the 'cat-fish ;' in the West Indies it is the 'trumpet-fish ;' in Ecuador it is the siren' or 'musico;' at Naples it is the 'maigre' or 'drum-fish;' in Ceylon it is not a fish at all, but the 'crying shell;' and so


When we were fairly en route, I began, with an Englishman's inquisitiveness, to ask about sport. What game is there to be had on the farm?'

"Ah! said he, turning round with a merry twinkle in his eye. 'Sport; well, no doubt I shall be able to find enough for you.'

I inwardly rejoiced at this; but my joy was suddenly cut short.

"O yes; there are any amount of rats, and




Chambers's Journal, Oct. 7, 1882.]


bucks in the bush, and perhaps a stray tiger or two [the Cape leopard]. Besides these, you will have plenty of birds to go at.'

So I found that, after all, I should not be so badly off as at first appeared.

By this time we had reached the farm, where we were welcomed by the wife and a whole troop of daughters. Before I had been there many days, I was wearied of the daily routine of the house, which was extremely monotonous; and I welcomed the day when I should be strong enough to take my rifle and saunter away in search of game.

One morning, however, my host informed me that he had all but bought three hundred sheep, and intended the next day to go and complete the purchase at a farm about thirty miles away. He asked me to accompany him; which I readily promised to do, as I knew that I should be able to get a glimpse of Nature in her loveliest garb, and perhaps a stray shot or two at some animal. All that day, we were preparing for the proposed journey; for we had various mysterious articles, which were indispensable on such an expedition, to take with us.

Next morning at four o'clock, I was roused by a friendly shake, and told to dress as quickly as possible. I made a hasty toilet, and hurried out to the stoep-a raised platform in front of the house-and took my seat in the cart, in which were inspanned or harnessed two horses. These carts are something similar to our own, but very much lighter, and made without springs, hence one can imagine the terrible jolting a person receives when riding in such a vehicle, without cushions, over hard stony ground, at full gallop, for a Dutchman never thinks of letting his horse walk. For discomfort, let me have the genuine Cape cart.

After innumerable hand-shakes and 'qua-morrows'-for this constitutes a never-failing portion of the proceedings when going away, be it but for a few hours-we started off, and before breakfast-time were halfway towards our destination. After staying a short time at a village on the way, we reached the place where Pietermann had purchased the sheep, nothing of any consequence happening beyond our seeing a few monkeys and an eagle, the latter, however, beyond range. Before we had been at the farm ten minutes, all was bustle; the sheep had to be counted, then caught, marked with the monogram of the buyer-no easy work under a sun which marked pretty near ninety-five degrees in the shade. However, this, by the help of a dozen Hottentots, was done, and after partaking of refreshment, we, about four P.M., turned our horses homeward. With the object of showing me some wonders of which my host had spoken in the morning, we agreed to return home by a nearer though more dangerous route.

About six P.M. we reached a small hamlet, and here we must outspan. As is usual in every village, there was an hotel, and this we entered. Up to this time, I had thought Pietermann was a moderate drinker, but very soon I was undeceived. Glass after glass of Cape smoke or brandy did he toss down his throat, till he soon became very much affected by it. It was now close upon eight o'clock, and we had a dangerous route to traverse


ance of a storm. When, therefore, he insisted on starting for home, I tried to persuade him to remain all night. But, no; the more I pressed, the more determined he was to proceed. After several fruitless efforts, we inspanned the horses and brought them round to the hotel door. The landlord-an Englishman-came to me and said: 'I don't like the idea of your going home with Pietermann round the "Nek." Will you stay all night?' 'No,' I said. 'If Pietermann will persist in going, I will go with him.'

He returned me no answer till I was seated in the cart; then he whispered and said I should have to be very careful, as there were several places which were exceedingly dangerous, but one especially, called 'Slagters Nek,' so named on account of a dreadful slaughter of troops by natives, years before. For two hundred yards, I was told, this road runs parallel with a precipice, then there is a sharp bend, at which I would have to be careful, or we might go over. 'But keep the horses well in hand,' said my adviser, ‘and you will be all right.'

Pleasant advice to one who had never travelled the road before, and with two strong vicious animals, and an inexperienced driver like myself. But I put a bold face upon matters, and said I should get through all right. The horses were, strange to say, extraordinarily frisky. Whether it was that they had had too much corn and too little work, or that they knew they had a strange driver, I do not know; but true it was, they were like two horses which had never been in harness before. Into the cart tumbled the Dutchman, with the help of the bystanders, and off we started like a whirlwind, with a caution from all present.

Many had been the comments upon the Englishman bold enough to drive old Pietermann's horses; and from what I could gather from their conversation-carried on in Dutch, yet partly understood by me-none of them much envied me the drive through B- Kloop and round the Nek.' But on we went till the entrance of the 'Poort' was gained. Here nature had been very busy, making it a complete network of fortresses, and had so hemmed in the inhabitants, that it was no light task to get out. In seeking to reach the other side of the mountains, instead of going in a straight line, they were compelled to go along the base of one hill, then round a bend, back again, and so for miles ere they reached their destination. For three miles through the 'Poort,' it was comparatively easy to travel; but the remaining ten was a regular series of chasms, boulders, and riverbeds, making it unsafe for one unacquainted with the road to travel. In some places you would have a plateau to cross; at another, as if to vary the monotony, there would be a huge yawning chasm to pass; and, to crown all, a road at the utmost extent sixteen feet wide.

In passing these chasms, travellers had to be very careful, or an unlucky move would precipitate them over the brink. Every few yards, there were huge rocks, some of which had been dislodged from the mountain side by the rain, and thence rolled into the road. Those in the river-beds had been brought down by the fearful velocity of a tropical storm; and these are rarely, if ever removed as the Dutchman thinks it too

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