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Ence thickey marning hiszulf up, an' I've t all out. I wez too ious tu show him tha Rab aint no dumman wed things. Ha likes right hiz own way-ha t no wan to larn him; wiz a-zaying, yer dursn't 'yer must do thet, zo a-larning o' me; but, O e ended, in a voice of entreaty, turning to e larned, I've larned; em-tull 'em."
he woman ceased speakace fell upon the court, es of all there turned to
the prisoner. Rab's harsh obstinate face had grown grey beneath the tanned skin; his lips, pressed one on the other with the grip of a vice, looked as if no power could ever force them to unclose: then his eyes met those of his wife, and with a convulsive effort he spoke. "Twez done temperzome," he exclaimed brokenly-" powerful temperzome; ha said thic thet wez baisteous o' hur," and Rab pointed with his hand in the direction of his wife. "May ba," he continued huskily, "if yer cud find Josh Tuckitt, ha cud make things look a bit better for me."
He looked down at the snare meditatively.
"Zome o' 'em," he said, half to himself, "makes a to-do, but moast die mortal quiet."
"O Rab! come away," she repeated in a voice of agony; come away."
"Ba 'ee a-fraid I shull ba late for tha hanging?" he cried, and sprang to his feet; then without waiting for her answer he rushed past her and was hidden from view behind the thick trees. "Rab!" she called, running after him, "Rab! Rab! Rab!"
But there came no reply: later in the day she learned that he had surrendered himself to the police, but permission to see him was refused. So when evening came she crept homewards alone through the great woods, and when she had reached the spot where he had set the snare, she heard a strange cry; the hare had been caught in the wire. Covering her ears with her hands she fled away, yet ever and ever the cry followed her.
It was the day of Rab's trial: the court was crowded, and the counsel for the defence in despair; to all questions as to his motive for the crime Rab had maintained a dogged silence.
"Twezn't no haccident," he repeated; "I did it o' puppuss."
He cut short the trial by pleading guilty, and the judge, following the usual formula, rose, and having taken the black cap, turned to the prisoner and asked if he had anything to say why the sentence of death should not be passed upon him.
The ensuing silence was broken by the sound of a woman's voice. "Yer honour," Susan Finch said,
for it was she who spoke, "they tul me that tha law ba agin a woman testifying for hur husband; but ther ba thic thet ba higher than the law, an' thet ba Nater; and it ain't in nater thet a woman shid zee the man thet hur loves, an' who hur knaws tu ba hinnocent-tain't in nater, I zay, thet hur shid zee him given auver to death an' hur not to up and zay tha truth. An' I tull yer honour tha zame ez I wid tull tha Almighty if I stud a-vor' His throne, thet twezn't no murder Rab did thickey nite; twez an haccident, an' don't ee iver gaw for to believe nort else. Yer doant knaw Rab tha zame ez I do; uz wez chils togither, an' they thet ba chils togither kind o' larns wun-an-tother's hearts unconscious. Rab bain't tha sort thet takes to murder, Rab aint; ha's tempestuous o' times, an' thic strong thet ha doesn't alwiz knaw, but his heart is ez tenderzome ez a chil's. I cud tullie a skaur o' things, ony Rab aint wan o' they ez likes to ba boasted of; but I ax yer honour why ba Rab astanding a vor' ee at this yhere blessid minit? Did the perlice catch him?-naw; then why ba ha a-standing ther a-vor' ee, wi' they cruel iron things on his hands? Why, becuz Lame Tom ba wakezome: ther bain't no tother lad thet wid up an put tha rope round hiz neck rather then anything wakezome shid suffer unjust. But ther baint no call for a rope, and if Rab wid ony spake ha cud tull 'ee zo hiszulf. An' if yer ax me why ha hezn't stud up vrom tha vust an' zed it twez an haccident, then I tull 'ee it was becase I wez alwiz a-worritting o' him thet kept him to zilence. I wez alwiz a-axing questions, an' ha doan't like it, an' ha wants tu larn me. I've done a power o'
thinkin' zince thickey marning Rab gi'ed hiszulf up, an' I've reckoned it all out. I wez too mortal anxious tu show him tha way, an' Rab aint no dumman tu ba showed things. Ha likes tu do hiz right hiz own way-ha doan't want no wan to larn him; an' I wez alwiz a-zaying, yer dursn't do thic an' yer must do thet, zo ha ba jest a-larning o' me; but, O Rab!" she ended, in a voice of passionate entreaty, turning to him, "I've larned, I've larned; ony tull 'em-tull 'em.”
When the woman ceased speaking a silence fell upon the court, and the eyes of all there turned to
the prisoner. Rab's harsh obstinate face had grown grey beneath the tanned skin; his lips, pressed one on the other with the grip of a vice, looked as if no power could ever force them to unclose then his eyes met those of his wife, and with a convulsive effort he spoke. "Twez done temperzome," he exclaimed brokenly-"powerful temperzome; ha said thic thet wez baisteous o' hur," and Rab pointed with his hand in the direction of his wife. "May ba," he continued huskily, "if yer cud find Josh Tuckitt, ha cud make things look a bit better for me."
FRANKLIN AND THE ARCTIC.
WHATEVER of the unknown and strange may lie hid in the womb of Science to be revealed for the use or astonishment of future generations, it is a truism which is from day to day becoming more patent that, along certain paths of knowledge, there will soon be little or nothing left to be discovered. Notably is this the case in the field of Geography. The map-makers of whom Swift speaks, who
"O'er unhabitable downs Place elephants for want of towns," bequeathed the practice to their successors, and it persisted long after the days of the great satirist; but there will be small chance for the display of such pictorial geography in the future, even should some cartographer steeped in oldworld custom so desire. For the New Renascence has brought about an opening-up of the world such as has not been seen since the day of Vasco da Gama and of Columbus. An unknown continent a decade or so ago, Africa now no longer offers a field in which the young explorer may win his spurs; Australia has been crossed and recrossed till she has yielded up all her secrets; and every Pacific island is provided with its missionary. The coming generations will see every stream and mountain mapped, the coastline and soundings of every ocean charted, every creature correctly named and labelled (trinomially) on the shelves of every museum. To them we accord in advance the fullest measure of sympathy and pity for a heritage so dull and unprovocative of action.
however, there yet remains something of the intoxicating cup of
which our forebears, the fathers of exploration and discovery, drank in the sixteenth century. Only the dregs, it is true. The glamour and romance of the "Ultra nondum lustratą" that Schöner wrote across his globe have, with one exception, gone for ever.
Yet all this knowledge, which is to lead to a consummation from our point of view so little to be wished, has come to us not steadily and step by step, as might be expected, but rather intermittently and by fits and starts. Sometimes, even more than this, there have been periods when all record of places previously known has been lost a reculement pour mieux sauter it may, indeed, be said, but nevertheless a reculement. The Solomon Islands had to be discovered more than once; Baffin's Bay was removed fron the map; and, as we all know now, the deeds of Leif Eric, Thorvald, and their comrades became blotted out from memory alike on the eastern and the western shore of the Atlantic. Then, too, there has without doubt been a fashion in countries, as in all else. The Portuguese swept past Africa in hot haste to reach the East, and their neighbours left the New World to seek Cathay. The strange spice-hunger of succeeding days gathered Europe to the Malay Islands, while "the wealth of Ormus and of Ind" remained unheeded; and thereafter followed an era of discovery in the Pacific, bringing forth in the French as fine a race of navigators as their Peninsular predecessors, and among ourselves the first scientific cruise of discovery under one of the greatest of seamen. And lately we have seen the eyes of the world turned to
that vast continent which ever since the day of Herodotus has always presented us with the aliquid novi, and which now seems destined to do so no longer, since explorers of every nation have overrun its arid sands and reeking jungles. All these have come and gone in favour with the public; have come again in many cases, only to be supplanted again by some new competitor.
From Africa the swing of the pendulum has taken us to a region of the earth which has ever had the strongest fascination for many minds. When we wrote just now that one exception remained to protract medieval romance to the brink of the twentieth century we should, in all accuracy, have acknowledged two. For in "the realms of Chaos and old Night," the Northern and the Southern Poles, we have yet a field in every way as capable of yielding honour and distinction to the explorer as any for which our Elizabethan navigators sailed; and as difficult of access, it may be added, as the kingdom of Prester John or the coveted land of El Dorado. And when Fridtiof Nansen stands before us, as he does this month, to tell the story of his three years' struggle with the Arctic, and of that most remarkable meeting with Mr Jackson, a meeting so marvellous that had it ever been introduced into a work of fiction no critic could have withheld his gibe, -no thought of lament over the vanished romance of exploration is likely to occur to his listeners. For though African work be over, that at the Poles is not, and for that corner house in Savile Row, through whose portals so many a hardy explorer has passed, there will be a raison d'être for many a year to come.
But while we greet Nansen with the warmest welcome of which a
nation is capable, a welcome that would not be warmer were he of our own land and race, the remembrance of those who have gone before him must necessarily come into our minds. For the moment, if we except the work now being carried out under Mr Harmsworth's auspices, England seems to have laid aside the task of Polar exploration. It has been of late the day of Scandinavia and America. Compared with the voyages of the Fram and the Vega we have nothing to show; nor in the way of land journeys can we bring anything to rank with Peary's exploit in northern Greenland.
But it was otherwise in the earlier part of the century, before the tide of fashion had set towards Africa, when Arctic exploration aroused an interest far keener even than that existing at the present day. Russian, Dutchman, and Dane had done good and honest work enough; but from the 'twenties to the 'fifties it was the English flag that floated widest and most often within the Arctic seas. Parry, Beechey, Ross, and Back are names which will for all time remain as inseparable from the history of Polar discovery as that of Caxton from the invention of printing.
One other there was, destined to be even more celebrated than they. Not from the extent of his discoveries, for these, though successful enough, were not greater than those of some of his fellow navigators. Nor for the importance of them, for the finding of the North-West Passage, which may in great measure be credited to him, was a success that bore no fruit but honour. Rather was it from the unparalleled sufferings that befell him on his first land-journey, and the veil of mystery which for so many years hid the story of his death, that the name of Franklin