Слике страница

leased is the fittest place. The island of Zanzibar is, he said, about twice the size of the Isle of Wight, and the town of Zanzibar occupies the position of Cowes. It has been conquered and lost over and over again by the Arabs coming down from Arabia, and in consequence is peopled by a kind of hybrid race, half Arab, half negro, called Swaheli. (I cannot answer for that word being spelt correctly, I can only spell it as it sounded.) The present Sultan is an enlightened man, a great admirer of all European customs, and has done much to improve the town, making good roads, lighting it, introducing police, &c. The town is divided into two parts, the upper or Swaheli part, where the houses are large, substantial, and built of stone; and the lower, or negro part, principally inhabited by slaves, the houses being mere huts of wattle and daub. The Swaheli dialect, being a mixture of the Arab and negro language, is very expressive, and once learnt, enables you to hold communication with almost any of the East African tribes, being as it were the French of Eastern Africa, so that wherever you go you are sure to find some one who can speak it. The climate is of course hot, the thermometer seldom falling below 80°, except in that part of the year which answers to our winter, when it may go down to 60° or 70°. There is a long rainy season from March to June, and another in November, after either of which one is liable to attacks of fever. The days are much the same length all through the year, the night always setting in at half-past six,

Now I come to the actual work. The slaves are brought down in gangs from the interior, and shipped for the Island of Zanzibar. It is reckoned that for every one who reaches the coast alive nine have died en route from starvation and ill-treatment. During the passage across from the mainland, the English cruisers, who are constantly on the lookout, capture as many of the vessels as they can, and release the slaves. Then it is that the Mission steps in. The

English Government simply releases the poor wretches, and they are so completely broken down by the horrors of their long journey, that unless something were done for them, they must either die at once of destitution, or be sent south to Natal or other places, where they would be forced to work and become to all intents and purposes slaves again. Instead of this the Missionaries take charge of them, the young children are sent off to the boys and girls' schools respectively, to be baptized and brought up as Christians; the adults are retained at the station, taught to understand what freedom means, well fed, kindly treated, and put into the way of earning their own living. Then the choice is given them of either returning to their own country, or remaining at the station. Not one of them ever wishes to return; they have no home to go back to, their villages and towns have been burnt down, they have found out that the English are their friends, and prefer to stay with them.

By degrees, a free Christian settlement is being formed at Masasi, some few miles inland,—there are about two hundred there already,-and as the permission to settle there is considered a very great privilege, it is held out as a reward to those who conduct themselves best. The town is built with regular broad streets, and there is a temporary Church built of bamboo, the body of the Church being not unlike an open shed, while the east end is walled in with mud bricks. This part is fitted up like the chancel of any of our churches at home, has its altar, with proper hangings for the different seasons. There is a regular choir now of Christian men and boys, and they have daily morning and evening services. The Christians and catechumens sit apart, the former occupying the part of the church nearest to the altar, and the font is placed between them. This is apparently used only for infant baptism, for we were told that adults were baptized in the river, after first turning to the west to renounce the devil, and then to the east to proclaim their faith in CHRIST.

The boys in the school, of whom there are about eighty, besides those who have already left, are being trained, some of them to be future teachers, and those who are less intelligent as labourers, carpenters, printers, &c. The great object is to get a native ministry, and then by means of these released slaves when ordained as Christian priests, to spread the knowledge of God's truth through all the native tribes. The girls in their school are being trained and taught to take their place as Christian wives in the future.

It is hoped that there will soon be a permanent stone church at Masasi, the cost of which would, it seems, be no more than £100,-stone being remarkably cheap. I must not forget to tell you that not one of the noble band of priests and deacons working out there receives any pay beyond just his food and clothes. They all work simply for the love of God. Mr. W. did not tell us this, but the Vicar did, as he said he thought it ought to be known.

We were next told a little about Mr. W.'s own station at Umba, a little farther north. He has his little church there, with its daily service at half-past six morning and evening. Some few among the people will drop in every day, and a great many on Sunday, both from Umba itself, and from other towns in the forest. But he said they were obliged to hoist a flag in order to let them know when Sunday came, all days being much alike to them. As many children as they can persuade come to school every morning, and the afternoon and evening are spent in seeing the elder people, or going round among the other villages.

Just before starting for England he said he had received a message from a town at some distance, asking for some one to come and teach them. He paid them a visit of two or three days, in order to find out whether they really desired teaching, or only wanted to get Europeans among them for the sake of

gain. The answer he got was, “We wish you to come and teach us, the Mahometans are not good, they do not treat us well, they say one thing, and do another, therefore we would rather you Christians came to teach us about God." And so he hopes on his return to take up this town too, and have a station there.

The natural religion of these people seems to consist principally in a fear of evil spirits, who are supposed to have their dwelling in the enormous baobab trees. To these they offer sacrifices and gifts in the hope of averting their anger. At the same time they do believe in the existence of a Supreme Being Who created all things, though they do not think that He cares much about them. Theft and murder they consider crimes, and punish accordingly.

The station farthest inland is at Lake Nyassa, where Mr. Johnson has long been working single-handed. The Bishop lives on the island of Zanzibar, his church being built on the site of the old slave market.

But I fear my letter is too long, only I could not resist the wish to tell your readers something of what has so deeply interested myself.—Yours, &c., X. Y.Z.

Queries. COLD AS THE SNOW," ETC. SIR,—Can any of your readers tell me who are the authors of the following Poems ? 1, “Good Friday,” beginning

“ Cold as the snow." 2,“ Self Accusation,” beginning “ In the white robes of his Priesthood.” 3,"Bethany,” beginning

“Six days before the Passover."
4, commencing

“ Lay Thy hand upon me
When I fall asleep,
Through the silent hours
Close beside me keep."

Yours, &c., VERA.


SIR,-I shall feel very much obliged if any of your readers can tell me of a

Handwriting and also a Practising Society.—Yours, &c., K. P.

have been greatly needed. Address Miss St. John, Slinfold, Horsham.



NEEDLEWORK REQUIRED. Needlework, children's frocks, ladies' underlinen, is wanted by the sister of a poor governess, who is in great poverty; and by several poor women. Their prices are moderate, and their work good. Address, Governess, care of Editor C. C.

Members wanted : ladies or gentle

Foreign Reading Society. For rules, stamped envelope to Miss Westall, 3, Belmont Park, Lee, S.E.

CHILDREN'S ASSOCIATION. Wanted to form a penny association amongst children to help forward the work of the Home for Sick and Crippled Children, under the Sisters of S. Saviour's Priory. Very simple rules. All information gladly given by Miss Tyte, Woodside, Cambridge Park, Twickenham.

PAINTING AND ETCHING CLUB. Members wanted for a Painting and Etching Club. Apply for rules to the Hon. Secretary, Miss Reeves, Heathfield, Wimbledon, S.W.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT. SIR,—Will you kindly let me acknowledge the response made to my appeal in the Churchman's Companion last July for my poor people's Lending Library in Saltash ? I have received a parcel from Mrs. Davenport, containing chiefly magazines, and another without the donor's name containing four volumes of the Churchman's Companion, and the Life of Sister Dora.

For this kind help I am very grateful, and I am happy to assure my good helpers that the library is very popular and is doing good work. With my best thanks to you and them,-Yours, &c., JULIAN MORETON.


A Work Society has been started to help the S. Saviour's Sisters, who are working in great poverty in four different parishes in the East end of London. Members are much needed, and particulars will be gladly sent. It is hoped many will be induced to join, as during the past winters warm garments

Notices to Correspondents. Hilda. You will find an answer to your question respecting the objections of dissenters in a small work—price fourpence-entitled “Reasons for being a Churchman, with answers to objections,” published by Messrs. Masters and Co.—Your question as to Sisterhoods can only be answered by private application to the Superiors of the different communities, as their rules and arrangements vary considerably.

Oriens requests us to state that a small number of copies have been received from Jerusalem of the Processional Office at the Holy Sepulchre, which can now be obtained by applicants transmitting two shillings through the Editor.

Helen. 8. Monica was the mother of S. Augustine,“ the child of (her) many prayers.” Her history is to be found in any collection of the lives of the Saints.

Hetta is requested to send her present address.
Accepted : “ The New Year's Welcome."

[blocks in formation]

GEORGE walked


and down outside Brewas Place until Mr. Carter came out, bent upon at once returning to Burnt Ash for remedies, so he bade his young friend spring up in his gig beside him. On hearing of the last night's attack, he only stopped at his surgery to give directions to his assistant, and then drove George back, although he candidly said, only just to satisfy his own mind. Probably there would be no return of any such spasm of pain for a long time; and, if there were he could never be fetched in time to render effectual aid to this kind old friend of his own younger and more struggling days. Dulcibella now knew, and could do as well as he, all that ever could be done. He paid a friendly visit only ; but, whilst talking of Arthur and the Deffords, made his own observations, and not unfavourably. Nevertheless, though George knew this, he could not help drawing Dulcibella out upon the lawn after tea, when their father was walking up to the Great House, with Freda and Kathleen as companions, to say out the thought of his full heart.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ It must be nearly two years before I could come here in any case -and-and if our dear old father goes earlier what becomes of this dear place—and of you all ?”

'I suppose his executors must put in some one to hold the living for you ;-—and we must go."

“And Arthur might have been fully qualified a year ago!" and George almost stamped his foot in his impatience, “ fancy a stranger sitting in our father's chair, even in this house,—much more taking his place in the church.”

“I cannot bear to fancy it," said Dulcibella, dumbly.

“And ever since old George Erle of Shrewsbury bought the living, 1701, an Erle has never failed to hold it !"

And a' George Erle,' too !” and Dulcibella smiled a little, and pressed the young man's arm kindly, “so superstitious people might not only think the succession will not fail now, but was always really intended to be yours.”

“Ah! if the first George had lived, all would have been safe and well !” and the second George of this generation looked around lawn, and house, and yews and meadows, with a deep silent affection and sense of coming grief.

“And all may be well, still! Our dear father has naturally such a strong vigorous constitution, leads such a healthy life !—now that Burnt Ash is off his hands, he has again only just as much parish work as he can both do, and do well, and with ease to himself.” Well, happily I shall be twenty-two next March ; so Easter year

I can be made deacon, and come straight home here to help him, if these attacks have told by then.”

They sauntered up and down in silence a few minutes. Would Arthur have been jealous could he have seen Dulcibella's growing confidence in this "little shrimp of an Erle,” as he'd often himself but eighteen months ago called George, to the young lad's great vexation ? Scarcely; for his own life-long counsellor, consoler, fond adorer, had been found thirteen months ago, and for ever in another; and Dulcie would thus have found herself strangely forsaken, in many to her very essential, as well as sacred and familiar ways,—for a better help-meet-bad she really been the present helper in the Bromley Street needs.

George, also, liked to feel Dulcibella's arm within his own; to take counsel with her; to feel that he was at length becoming old enough and man enough to be of some value and comfort in his home. Both

« ПретходнаНастави »