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MISCELLANEOUS., Wellington Independent, Volume III, Issue 158, 17 April 1847
The Influence of manly sports upon the
British National Character.—The character of the inhabitante of every country, civilised as well as nncivilised, is more or less influenced by their national pastimes. The huntsman on the distant *>hores of Africa becomes doubly attached to his sterile plains and pathless forests, when engaged in b trife with the powerful brute creation within his wilds. To face the lion or the leopard in his lair, is to the Indian an exciting pleasure, which he would not barter for all the riches that could be heaped upon him, for it nerves his arm against his savag e foe in the heat of deadly conflict. If we look to those regions of the earth where art and science and , all the wonderful improvements of modern times have their home, we still find the same feelings predominating—the same unvariable attachment to the sports incidental to the land of birth. Such being the fact, let us devote a few minutes to inquiring to what extent the manly sports of our own isle operate upon the mind, and affect the character of her inhabitants. It may be affirmed, without much fear of contradiction, that of the many millions composing the human race, few, if indeed any, are completely free from care of some sort or other. The titled *' man of high estate " may point with lofty mien to his proud baronial halls, or recline in dignified ease upon the soft cuhsions of his splendid equipage ; but despite his noble mansions aad his broad lands, his heart is sometimes ill at ease, and he feels that yearning after happiness which renders him miserable, notwithstanding all his grandeur and ail his power. What ought to be his refuge in bis hours of despondency ? We will tell him. Let him unbend his stern brow, share in the invigorating divertions of his tenentry, and join in the exciting sports of the chase, and his bosom will become lightened, his mental and bodily faculties strength, ened, his views of men and manners expanded, aed he will return to his luxurious mansion, or to the senate house, a wiser, a more humane, and a more nseful being. He will legislate with a clear head, a warm heart, and a patriotic ardour; advocate with sincerity aad fervour the cause of the destitute and the oppressed, improve the condition of his own immediate dependents; relieve their wants, encourage their industry, and call down blessings from the inmates of many a humble cottage, which would have continued the abode of sickness and misery, and chilling poverty, if he had remained stationary in the first petition which we have supposed him to occupy. But, besides .this, consider the salutary influence of his example ; contemplate the inducements which it holds out to others, both of corresponding and of lese exalted rank in society, to " go and do so likewise." The sturdy yeoman, hitherto, perhaps, too much .wedded to bacchanalian enjoyments or at all events to the comparatively narrow limits and : .the .creature comforts of home, will take pride in follow, ing the path trodden by the lord, or the wealthy commoner, of the district. And will not the altered state of things here alluded to be productive of equal benefit to the principles and the conduct of the lower orders of society? Most assuredly it will. Enable the poor, after the occupations of the day, instead of returning half-starved to their squalid abodes, to inhale the pure atmosphere of Heaven in some adjacent field or meadow, and there indulge with well filled stomachs, in a game at cricket, or any other rational pastime which they may prefer, and you will soon witness the change wrought upon their .spirits, their behaviour, and their feelings a s men. The cadaverous cheek, the sunken eye, the attenuated limbs, will qnickly vanish, and be re. placed by.the bright glow, and cheerful glance, and sinewy form of robust health. Content will mantle every countenance, aud dissipation be banished. The potnhouses and gin .palaces qf London and its purlieus, and.of the towns and villages of the manufacturing districts, will no longer be inundated with awarms of sottish drunkards expending their lest hard-earned jenny, and very often a portion of thei r wretched and scanty raiment, in the purchase of maddening spirituous liquors, spouting sedition and obscenity .with inflamed and haggard looks and phrensied gestures, or endeavouring in their infuriate~d\state to cut and maim and mangle each other's bodies, until conveyed by the police to a place of safety for the night, and condemned by a magistrate to expiate their folly for months in a gaol or a house of correction.
Encourage, we repeat, those manly pastimes, and you will have no cause to repent of a.course so politic and commendable, but agree wiih us in opinion, that such sports are the germs of sound morality and permanent happineßß-*-of national prosperity and of national honour. Gallant Action—ln the middle of fc-.e great St. I/iwrence there is, nearly opposite to Montreal an island called St. Helens, between which and the shore the stieam,, about three quarters of a mile broad, rjjns with very great repidiiy, and yet, notwithstanding this current, the intense .cold of winter invariably freezes its surface. The winter I am Fpeaking of was unusually severe, and the ice on; the St. Lawrence particularly thick ; however, while: the river beneath was rushing towards the ten, the tee was waiting in abeyance in the middle of the stream until the narrow /astness- between Montreal and St. Helens should burst and allow the whole [ Haass to break into pieces, and .then in stupendous
confusion to hurry downwards towards Quebec. On St. Helens there was quartered a small detachment of troops, and, while the breaking up of the ice was momentarily expected, many of the soldiers, mufflsd in their great coats, with thick storm gloves on their bunds, and with a piece of fur attached to their cape to prevent their ears from being frozen, were on the ice employed in attending to the road across it to Montreal. After a short suspense,which increased rather than allayed their excitement, a deep thundering noise announced to then) that the process had commenced. The ioe before them writhed.heaved up, burst, broke into fragments, and the whole mass, excepting a email portion which remaining rivetted to the shores of St. Helens, formed an artificial pier with deep water beneath it, gradually moved downwards, Just at this moment of intense interest a little girl, the daughter of an artilleryman on the island, was seen on the ice ia the middle of the river, in an altitude of agony and alarm. Imprudently and unobserved she had attempted to cross over to Montreal, and was hardly half way when the ice broke above, below her, and in all directions gave way. The child's fate seemed inevitable, and it was exciting various sensations in the minds.and various exclamations from the mouths of the soldiers, when something in the breast of Thomas Neill, a young sergeant in the 24th regiment, who happened to be much nearer to her than the rest, distinctly uttered to him the monosyllables, " o,'iick march 1" and in obedience thereto, fixing his eyes on the child as ia a parade bandarole, he steadily proceeded towards her. Sometimes just before him, sometimes just behind him, and sometimee on either side, an immense piece of ice would pause, rise up on end and roll over, so as to occasionally to hide him altogether from view. Sometimes he was seen jumping from a piece that was beginning to rise, and then, like a white bear, carefully clambering down a piece that was beginning to sink; however, onwards he proceeded, until reaching the Uttle island of ice on which the poor child stood, with the feelings of calm triumph with which he would have surmounted a breach, he firmly grasped her by the hand. By this time he had been floated down the river nearly out of sight of his comrades. However, some of them, having run to their barracks for spy glasses, distinctly beheld him about two miles below them, sometimes leading the child in his hand, sometimes carrying her in his arms, sometimes '' halting," sometimes running " double quick," and in this dangerous predicament he con» tinued for six miles, until, after passing Longeuil, he was given up by his comrades as lost. He remained with the little girl floating down the river for a considerable time; at last, towards evening, they were discovered by some French Canadians, who, at no email risk, humanely pushed off in a canoe to their assistance, and thus rescued them both from their perilous situation. The Canadians took them to their home ; at last, in due time, they returned to St. Helens. The child was happily restored to its parents, and Sergeant Neiil quietly returned to his barracks.—The Emigrant, by Sir F. B. Head.
Liquid Malt and Hops.—We have been favoured with a specimen of liquid malt, for the manufacture of which a patent has been taken out and we understand it will be extensively offered to the public in March. If tbe anticipations of the patentee are carried out, this will be the commencement of a new era in brewing, as the use of the new article will render mashing and boiling unnecessary. The liquid malt, mixed with water at the proper temperature, will make a wort, ready for fermenting and barrelling in less than an hour ; and as there is, we are told, no waste, a cheap wort, and beer for the smallest family will be readily obtained. " Brewing will," says our informant, "henceforward be as easily accomplished as tea making, and the strength of the wort as easily regulated." This speculation will cause a va&t increase in the consumption of barley, as tbe luxury of new wort may now be bad at sea, and the liquid, highly concentrated, may be imported at little risk and small cost. —Norfolk Chronicle.
TijE Duke and the Public.—The great captain is falling daily in general estimation. His Grace persisting in refusing to sanction the ayowed wishes of, the Whig Ministry to abolish flogging in the army, sanctioned as i.t is understood to be known Tyith the greatest parsonage in the world, one who is so beloved throughout the empire that to contradict the slight ■β-t hint of her opinion, much more to set up a counter opinion, is considered sacrilege, this resistance of the Duke io a demand of she whole nation, has not tended to raise him in public opinion. Even those proverbially well dis ciplined journals 'lie military newspapers join in the national sentiment. Tuus speaks the Naval and Military Gazette of the 3rd October :—"ln a moral or political sense what ,was accomplished by the Battle of Waterloo that had not been acconplished by the Battle of Trafalgar ? ! It is true that by our great and glorious military yictory the peace of Europe wag [ '•conquered." But, for that conquest; the h roes of Tiafalg-ir had in a greati meaiiiro |i,a ed the way. If Wellington,! by hid prowess, placed hors de combat the
tyrant of Europe, Neleon, at desperate odds, had dealt an equally fatal blow to that tyrant's aim at maritime supremacy— had annihilated t'e navies of France and Spain, had swept every hostile fleet from the ocean. Had the French aud Spanish fleet proved victorious, all Europe would have been humbled to the dust, and Spain —perhaps even England—-must have become a province of France. Where, then, would have been the Battle of Waterloo? Yet, whilst the dying solicitations and prayers of the Victor of Trafalgar have been to this day unheeded—coldly, cruelly ungratefully unheeded—upon the Victor of Waterloo wealth and honors and power unbounded, have been profusely heaped. Statues, even in his life-time, have been raised to his honor in almost every part of the British Empire. Have these proud and glorious testimonials awakened sympathy or gratitude in his breast towards the men—the heroes equally with himself who made him what he is? No! not an iota ! On the other hand, notwithstanding the intervention of the reign of a Sailor King-—a King who personally knew and loved the departed—more than fony years (!) have elapsed, and though aided by the gift of a foreign potentate ('Oh shame, where is thy blush ! '), f he metropolitan subscription for a memorial proved insufficient to cover the expenses of a petty column with the caricatured effigies of the hero of Trafalgar stuck on its top !"
MISCELLANEOUS., Wellington Independent, Volume III, Issue 158, 17 April 1847
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