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what was Magdala. The expedition returned to the coast almost immediately. In less than a week after the capture of Magdala it was on its march to the sea. On June 21st the troop-ship Crocodile arrived at Plymouth with the first detachment of troops from Abyssinia. Nothing could have been more effectively planned, conducted, and timed than the whole expedition. It went and came to the precise moment appointed for every movement, like an express train. That was its great merit. Warlike difficulties it had none to encounter. No one can doubt that such difficulties too, had they presented themselves, would have been encountered with success. The struggle was against two tough enemies, climate and mountain ; and Sir Robert Napier won. He was made Baron Napier of Magdala, and received a pension. The thanks of both Houses of Parliament were voted to the army of Abyssinia and its commander. It was on this occasion that Mr. Disraeli delivered that astonishing burst of eloquence which for the hour turned the attention of the country away from Lord Napier's triumph, and almost succeeded in making the capture of Magdala seem ridiculous, Lord Napier, Mr. Disraeli declared, had led the elephants of India bearing the artillery of Europe through African passes which might have startled the trapper of Canada and appalled the hunter of the Alps; and he wound up by proclaiming that "the standard of St. George was hoisted upon the mountains of Rasselas." All England smiled at the mountains of Rasselas. The idea that Johnson actually had in his mind the very Abyssinia of geography and of history, when he described his Happy Valley, was in itself trying to gravity. Of the rhetorical passage, it is proper to speak in the words with which the author of Rasselas once interrupted the two ambitious eloquence of a friend. “Sir, this is sorry stuff," said Dr. Johnson, " let me not hear you say it any more.” The worst of Mr. Disraeli's burst of eloquence was that it could not be got rid of so easily. The orator himself
might have gladly consented to let it be heard no more. But the world would not so willingly let it die. Ever since that time, when the expedition to Abyssinia is mentioned in any company a smile steals over some faces, and more than one voice is heard to murmur an allusion to the mountains of Rasselas.
The widow of King Theodore died in the English camp before the return of the expedition. Theodore's son, Alamayou, age seven years, was taken charge of by Queen Vic. toria, and for a while educated in India. The boy was afterward brought to England; but he never reached maturity. All the care that could be taken of him here did not keep him from withering under the influence of an uncongenia! civilization. His young life was as that of some exotic that will not long bear the transplantation to a foreign air. Doubt less, too, the premature tumult and troubles of his early years told heavily against him. “There is little difficulty," says the grim leech in the “Fair Maid of Perth," in blighting a flower exhausted from having been made to bloom too soon.”
No attempt was made to interfere with the internal affairs of Abyssinia. Having destroyed their monarchy, the invaders left the Abyssinians to do as they would for the establishment of another. Sir, Robert Napier declared one of the chiefs a friend of the British, and this chief had some hopes of obtaining a sovereignty of the country. But his rank as a friend of the British did not prevent him froin being deteated in a struggle with a rival, and this latter not long after succeeded in having himself crowned king under the title of John the Second. Another Prester John was set up in Abyssinia.
HE Irish Peasant to his Mistress" is the name of one
of Moore's finest songs. The Irish peasant tells his mistress of his undying fidelity to her. “Through grief and through danger" her smile has cheered his way. “The darker our fortunes the purer thy bright love burned;" it turned shame into glory; fear into zeal. Slave as he was, with her to guide him he felt free. She had a rival; and the rival was honored, " while thou wert mocked and scorned.” The rival wore a crown of gold ; the other's brows were girt with thorns. The rival wooed him to temples, while the loved one lay hid in caves. “ Her friends were all masters, while thine, alas, are slaves !” “Yet," he de. clares, “cold in the earth at thy feet I would rather be than wed one I love not, or turn one thought from thee."
The reader already understands the meaning of this poetic allegory. If he failed to appreciate its feeling it would be hardly possible for him to understand the modern history of Ireland. The Irish peasant's mistress is the Catholic Church. The rival is the State Church set up by English authority. The worshippers in the Catholic faith had long to lie hid in caves, while the followers of the State Church worshipped in temples. The Irish peasant remained through centuries of persecution devotedly faithful to the Catholic Church. Nothing could win or wean him from it. The Irish population of Ireland-there is meaning in the words
were made apparently by nature for the Catholic faith. Hardly any influence on earth could make the genuine Celtic Irishman a Materialist, or what is called in France a Vol. tairean For him, as for Schiller's immortal heorine, the kingdom of the spirts is easily opened. Half his thoughts, half his life, belong to a world other than the material world around him. The supernatural becomes almost the natural for him. The streams, the valleys, the hills of his native country are peopled by mystic forms and melancholy legends, which are all but living things for him. Even the railway has not banished from the land his familiar fancies and dreams. The "good people” still linger around the paths and glens. The banshee even yet laments, in dirge-like wailings, the death of the representative of each ancient house. The very superstitions of the Irish peasant take a devotional form. They are never degrading. His piety is not merely sincere; it is even practical. It sustains him against many hard trials, and enables him to bear, in cheerful patience, a lifelong trouble. He praises God for everything; not as an act of mere devotional formality, but as by instinct; the praise naturally rising to his lips. Old men and women in Ireland who seem, to the observer, to have lived lives of nothing but privation and suffering, are heard to murmur with their latest breath the fervent declaration that the Lord was good to them always. Assuredly this genuine piety does not always prevent the wild Celtic nature from break, ing forth into fierce excesses. Stormy outbursts of passion, gusts of savage revenge, too often swept away the soul of the Irish peasant from the quiet moorings in which his natural piety and the teachings of his Church would hold it. But deep down in his nature is that faith in the other world and its visible connection and intercourse with this; his reverence for the teaching which shows him a clear title to im. mortality. For this very reason, when the Irish peasant throws off altogether the guidance of religion, he is apt to
rush into worse extravagances and excesses than most other men. He is not made to be a rationalist; he is made to be a believer.
The Irishman was bound by ties of indescribable strength and complication to his own Church. It was the teacher of that faith which especially commended itself to his nature and his temperament. It was made to be the symbol and the synonym of patriotism and nationality. Centuries of the cruel, futile attempt to force another religion on him in the name of his English conquerors, had made him regard any effort to change his faith, even by argument, as the attempt of a spy to persuade a soldier to forsake his flag. To abandon the Catholic Church was, for the Irishman, not merely to renounce his religion, but to betray his country. It seemed to him that he could not become a Protestant without also becoming a renegade to the national cause. The State Church set up in Ireland was to him a symbol of oppression. It was Gessler's hat stuck up in the marketplace; only a slave would bow down to it. It was idle to tell him of the free spirit of Protestantism; Protestantism stood represented for him by the authority which had oppressed his fellow-countrymen and fellow-Catholics for generations; which had hunted men to the caves and the moun. tains for being Catholic, and had hanged and disembowelled them for being Irish. Almost every page of the history of the two countries was read with a different interpretation by the Irishman and the Englishman. To the English Student Spenser was a patriot as well as a poet; to the Irish scholar he was the bitterest and most unthinking enemy of Ireland. To the Englishman of modern days Cromwell was a great statesman and patriot; the Irishman thought of him only as the remorseless oppressor of Ireland and the author of the massacre of Drogheda. The English: man hated James II. because he fought against England at the Boyne ; the Irishmen despised him because he gave up