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to entrust their little girls to her for a few hours a day, that they might be taught to read and write French and to sew neatly—an accomplishment in which Moresques arc as deficient as in Latin and mathematics. She coaxed and entreated, made solemn promises not to interfere with the religion of the children—without which assurance, and its being believed, she would not have got one pupil—and at length, by tact, energy, and a few presents, she got together four little girls—such little girls, if they were like the present scholars whom I saw—dressed in full trousers and jackets, their hair twisted into long pigtails behind, and tightly bound with green ribbon, a-top of which were little caps of velvet, embroidered with gold thread. The nails of their little hands were tinged with henna, and their legs, perfectly bare from the knee to the ankle, were finished off with anklets and slippers—stockings being apparently unknown. Imagine four young objects thus attired, densely ignorant, and choked up with prejudices, brought to her swaddled up in veils by their mothers or an old servant, either of which would be equally invisible, save for a slit under the brow, permitting two black eyes to pick their way up and down the labyrinthine streets. Upon these four she set to work without delay; and by degrees, as a rumour of the school spread from household to household, by means doubtless of the morning calls which the Moorish ladies make from house to house, by stepping, like cats, from roof to roof, the school increased to thirty or forty pupils. Madame Luce then applied to the local Government for the same support which it afforded to schools for boys, on the plea that it was m vain to try and civilize the population of Algiers, while the mothers of the next generation were left in ignorance and degradation. But the Algerine officials could not be brought to see any good in educating women; and though they complimented Madame Luce on her energy, they declined giving her any money. What was to be done i Her slender purse was exhausted, and the expenses were heavy; the children had to be bribed to come, the poorer ones to be helped with food and clothes. Then there was the hire of the school-room and the purchase of school books; and though her moral aims were answering, she could not make both ends meet, and there seemed no resource but to close the school,—and on New Year's Day, 1846, the school was closed. This undaunted woman then actually resolved on a trip to Paris, across nine hundred miles of sea and land; and she straightway pawned her little plate, her trinkets, and a gold thimble given her by a friend, and started off for the capital, which she reached early in February, and there she at once memorialised the Minister of War, visited the most influential deputies, and by dint of indefatigable repre sentations saw daylight break upon the sympathizing official mind. The Parisian authorities behaved handsomely, defrayed the cost of her journey, and urged her to return at once to her work, promising aid. She obeyed, and reached Algiers in June, where she reopened her school amidst great rejoicings from parents and children. But seven months elapsed before the Home Government really fulfilled its promises, and she had often much ado to meet expenses from day to day. The Cure of Algiers gave her a little money and much sympathy; and Comte Guyot, a man high in office, helped her from his private purse; and at length, in the beginning of 1847, the dark days were over: her school was fairly adopted by Government, its expenses were defrayed, and a proper salary allotted to herself. In 1857 the school numbered 120 pupils of all ages, from four years old to eighteen. I visited it three times. On the first occasion the children were eating their dinners, which they had brought with them; on the second, they were all writing—some making pothooks in large text, and others writing from French dictation, in a small, bad, running hand. The main object is to teach them French, so as to put them in communication with Europeans; and the Arabic race display a remarkable facility in acquiring that language. I have heard Moors speak it with the most perfect ease and the purest accent. The third time the whole school was sewing—making white towels and green cotton frocks. Madame Luce pays great attention to the sewing, and to such industrial education as she can find means to impart, for the Mahometan woman has no means of gaining a respectable livelihood by her own exertions; and this deficiency is a grievous plague-spot in society, as may be easily conceived. At the Great Exposition in Paris, in 1855, Madame Luce gained a first and second class medal for work done in her establishment. Among the specimens was a set of dolls, carefully dressed in native costume, many of which were executed by a poor deaf and dumb girl, whose lot, but for Madame Luce, would have been deplorable. The school possesses a Moorish assistant, who has passed a regular examination and taken out her diploma. This young woman dresses in French costume, except when she walks out with her mother, in conformity with whose feelings she then wears a veil.
I must now draw my reminiscences to a close. They have been presented in a desultory form, yet will, perhaps, carry my readers in imagination to the wild and beautiful colony, which will for ever remain deeply impressed on the memory of one who has once beheld it. I have spoken only of Algiers itself, but I had a cursory view of a considerable extent of country. In company with a lady, who has since married and taken up her permanent residence in the neighbourhood of the town, I travelled by diligence sixty miles into the interior. Our first day's journey led us over the broad plain of the Meltidja, which separates the Atlas mountains from the Sahel—a range of hills bordering upon the coast. This plain, a hundred miles in length, and from thirty to forty in breadth, was once the granary of Rome: it is now a vast tract of desolate land, overgrown by dwarf palm, where the colon is struck down by deadly malaria, if he neglect, in the slightest degree, the minute precautions enjoined by medical advice. Occasionally the diligence rumbles heavily past a hooded Arab, tending a flock of sheep or small brown cattle, wandering at will upon the trackless tun. Such was the Chaldean shepherd who watched the stars in the plains by night, such was Moses when he sojourned forty years in the wilderness, and David, when as yet an uncrowned boy he kept his father's flocks. From age to age this eastern people, close kindred to the great nations of antiquity, sacred and profane, have presented their aspects and their customs unchanged. They preceded the Roman civilization, and remain watching their cattle now that the Roman civilization has passed away from the face of the land! It will take the partial sacrifice of a generation of colonists to redeem the land over which the Arabs have so long wandered at will. I have seen one hundred men lying in the malaria ward of the civil hospital at Algiers, and the disease, though not considered infectious, is of so deadly a nature, that the constitution, once impregnated with its fatal poison, is usually broken for life.
At Blidah, a small garrison town at the foot of the Atlas, we slept the first night. The mountains rise to a sublime wall, parallel with the length of the vast plain, barring out the interior of Africa from the rest of the world. Our second day's journey took us to the farthest point inland to which we penetrated, to Medeah, a town high up in the mountains, gained by a long day's ascent up a road which rivalled the Simplon for grandeur and engineering perfection; but, instead of coming, as among the Italian Alps, to a fair and fertile descent, we reached at sunset a billowy table land, and a strongly fortified town, and the remains of a Roman aqueduct pressed into service as part of the wall. How clear and yellow shone the western light through the double arches as we drove into the town!
On this excursion I was out nearly a week; and later in the year, when I had left Algiers, my friends penetrated ten days' journey inland, as far as the " Great Cedar Forest." My homeward route lay along the coast to Tunis, and from thence across to Genoa, in a rolling tub miscalled a steamer, being no other than that famous vessel the " Cagliari," which some months later set Europe in a ferment, being seized first by Italian insurgents, and afterwards by the Neapolitan government—to the great trouble of the poor old captain, and of " Watt and Davis," the sturdy British engineers.
I landed successively at Bougia, at Philippeville, and at Bona— outposts of French civilization. How bright and lovely was Bona on that sunny Sunday morning! the church bells ringing sweetly once more over that wild African shore, once the bishopric of St. Augustine.
At Tunis—which, like Morocco, must eventually fall under European domination—I found a low, flat-roofed town, built on a plain about ten miles from ancient Carthage: the streets were soft with fathomless dust; the sun poured fiercely down in a blinding blaze on the 17th of March; and the few European residents were quarrelling among themselves with a scandalous intensity, only to be excused by their being nine days' post from London, and having little or nothing to do, and not a book-shop of any sort in the town.
One night only I slept in the quaint Moorish inn kept by a French landlord, and sailed for Italy the next day at noon. It was in the tender mists of a soft yellow sunset that the beautiful hills of Africa faded away from my yearning eyes.
SUNNY DAYS AT OXFORD.
A Pleasant thought was that of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, when she entitled the recollections of her first visit to the "old world,"—that region "outre-mer," so full of attractions in its hoar antiquity, to the inhabitant of newly-found America—" Sunny Memories;" for such indeed arc the thoughts that arise when we call to mind some scene, not only marked by great natural beauty, but by crowded associations of the suggestive and picturesque past. Among many such memories, one now rises vividly before us,—the "sunn/' days which wc some time ago spent in Oxford
"Oxford ! only fifty-five miles from London by the old stage-coach road, and within a two hours' journey now," cry tourists, who can see nothing at all worth looking at unless five hundred miles from their own doors. "Oxford !" contemptuously repeats the admirer of all that is modern. "Oxford!" the hereditary abode, as Gibbon declared, of "port and prejudice,"—forgetful enough that, as to the latter, Gibbon had quite as ample a share, only in a different form, as "the monks of Oxford,"—forgetful too, that from her high antiquity, her blind adherence to the wretched Stuarts, and her stubborn Toryism during the reign of the Georges, are but episodes in her lengthened history. Let us contemplate that long history, and we shall hnd Oxford sending forth many a scholar whose fame was recognized in the distant schools of Italy and Spain: many a statesman who gave good counsel at the court of our Plantagenets; and many a man of letters, in later times, of whom England is justly proud. It is worth a visit to Oxford to tread the cloisters they trod, to muse upon them under the shadow of those "immemorial trees," that sheltered them in their daily walks.
But not dependent upon these' associations alone is Oxford. She is "the fair city," touched but lightly as yet by the mischievous hand of modern "improvement;" still wearing her antique beauty as a garment of exceeding loveliness,—still a picturesque city of fair arched halls, and pinnacled towers, and tall, graceful spires rising proudly above her rich clustering trees. Often had we heard of her from aged men, on whose decaying memories the one bright spot that yet lingered was beautiful Oxford,—from artists, who, familiar with the most highlylauded continental cities, had still an especial note of admiration for her magnificent High Street; soon a soft bright autumn afternoon, we found ourselves, for the first time, in Oxford.
"And this is Yarrow," said Wordsworth exultingly, when the scene on which a poef s imagination had long dwelt was at length seen by his bodily eye. A severe test this, for most scenes, but Yarrow stood it,—even though a Wordsworth gazed on its silver current. No wonder that, to our less vivid imagination, Oxford fully realized our anticipation; and as we slowly paced the High Street,—of course our first walk—we caught ourselves almost unconsciously exclaiming, "And this is Oxford! beautiful Oxford!" Little thanks, however, does the fair city owe to the two railways, save for the swiftness with which they convey her inhabitants ; for while in the " old coaching days" the approach to Oxford was celebrated as one of the most imposing of views, from the time when the eye caught the first sight of her spires from Shotover hill, to when, passing over Magdalen bridge, the handsome buildings of the Botanical Gardens on the left, and the stately towers and groves of Magdalen College on the right, formed a fitting entrance to the grand High Street, now, either railway sets you down in an obscure and dirty quarter; and the first view you have of the "classic Isis" is a sluggish, muddy stream, laden with coal barges, and resonant with the oaths of the boatmen—grimy fellows—and perhaps the shrill squalls of the slatternly naiads, who certainly do not" adorn" her banks.
But we soon pass on, and, turning toward Beaumont Street, catch some glimpses of rich trees, and the stately front of the Taylor Building*—would that, like all the buildings around, it had been Gothic I— and then we pause beside the "Martyrs' Memorial," and look round