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a heavy one. The instinct which prompted the Prince-Archbishops of the 13th century to affiliate Riga to the almighty Hansa League was politically, as well as economically, sound. This act was the greatest service of all. Under the Hamburg code the Merchant-Venturers of Riga prospered exceedingly and learned to ruffle it with the best of the Easterlings. This tradition was never lost. Although not as wealthy as the magnates of Hamburg or of Bremen, the merchants of Riga enjoyed a dignified ease. For the last century and more they passed their leisure in a club which, for sureness of taste, equaled anything of the kind to be found in London. The dining-room, the billiard-room, and the library were thoroughly well appointed; and in the reading-room were to be found The Times, the Economist, the Westminster Gazette, the Temps, the Matin, the Figaro, together with innumerable Russian, German, and other periodicals. There were also a yacht club and two automobile clubs, the members of which made nothing of a run to the Caucasus or the Crimea, to the Austrian Alps, Switzerland, or the Riviera. It was tradition that inspired and disciplined all this. Exactly five centuries ago the young bloods of the city founded a bachelors' association, called the “Black-Heads” (Schwarzhäupter), after their chosen patron St. Mauritius, the Pious Moor. They acted as a sort of volunteer police by land and sea, and, when occasion offered, they were not above doing a bit of buccaneering on their own account. On shore they foregathered in a building which rivaled the Great Guild for splendor and still stands as a memorial of their prowess. No Baltic town, and certainly not Petrograd, can show anything so fine as the
Black-Heads' House. On its gabled and elaborately decorated front it bears the arms of Riga flanked by those of Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen. Its collection of armor and presentation plate was priceless, and in the great banqueting-hall contemporary portraits of Gustavus Adolphus, Charles XII, Peter the Great, and the Great Catherine looked down upon" the guests. Other monuments of the period endure in the shape of a dozen churches, several of which, together with the Cathedral, were founded 700 years ago. These emerge prominently from among the newer Orthodox foundations, including also a Cathedral, erected to the number of another dozen in more recent years. The last Catholic Archbishop of Riga, William of Brandenburg, died in 1563; but, although the churches were converted to Lutheran uses, the edifices themselves remained, rich in memories. Many of these are enshrined in the old Convent attached to the Cathedral. Among secular buildings the Castle is prominent, with a 400-year-old statue of the last Grand Master of the Riga branch of the Teutonic Order. Until 1856, when the ramparts were dismantled, Riga was a first-class fortress, defended by the Dvina on the west and by a moat towards the east. One bastion alone, the Powder Tower, into which Swedish cannon-balls have burrowed deep, has been preserved. Since the fortifications were dismantled the city had grown rapidly, on both banks of the river, around the kernel of the old town. Among the public buildings which sprang up during the last half-century were new post and police offices, a railway office and a new station, the Cotton Exchange, several barracks, a polytechnic college for 2,000 students, a number of schools, new German and Russian theatres, a Lettish museum and clubhouse, and above all the stately Orthodox Cathedral. Among the newer monuments are statues of Peter the Great and of Barclay de Tolly, the son of a Scottish merchant family long settled in Riga, who commanded the Russian armies during the earlier phases of the Napoleonic invasion. Well-laid-out parks and open spaces, with accommodation for football and tennis, abound. A deathrate of only 18 per 1,000 attested the excellent hygienic policy of the municipality. . The Dvina, which at Riga is half a mile wide, is spanned by a massive iron railway bridge, that dwarfs the old pontoon structure below it. On the broad stream of the river steamferries used to ply between the old town and the further shore, where are the shipbuilding yards and the fortress of Dünamünde. Before the war, although Libau carried the Russian transatlantic traffic, the trade of Riga, inward and outward bound, stood at 4,000,000 tons, and its value at £40,000,000. This trade was borne in almost equal proportions under the Russian, the German, and the British flags. There were direct services with Petrograd and Libau; with Danzig, Stettin, Lübeck, Hamburg, and Bremen; with Stockholm, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Rouen; and with Dundee, Leith, Hull and London. Among the chief exports were flax, hides, and timber, to the value of £5,000,000 each. Eggs came next; 1,000,000,000 of them, valued at £3,500,000. Most of these, together with about £500,000 worth of Siberian butter, found a market in the United Kingdom. Cereals accounted for another £1,000,000; linseed for £750,000; indiarubber goods for £500,000. The chief imports included machinery, £2,500,000; indiarubber and copra,
£2,000,000; cotton and jute £1,000,000; herrings and tea, £500,000 each. But Riga had long ceased to be content merely to fetch and carry for others. During the last 20 years several hundred factories had sprung up, including foundries, cotton spinneries, pulp mills, china factories, and an indiarubber manufacturing company, which was the largest of its kind in the Empire. This industrial development had brought about a marked change in the city and its surroundings. Two years ago the Russians started scrapping and dismantling all this complicated machinery, and left little more than an empty shell. It remains to be seen how far Riga, after the war, will be able to get back on to its new high road to prosperity. During two decades of industrial activity the population had doubled, and numbered, before the exodus, over 500,000. The backbone was the Baltic-German element. It amounted to between 40 and 45 per cent. Together with an enterprising Lettish element, numbering 15 to 20 per cent, the Lutheran element was estimated at about 60 per cent. The Russian and Orthodox element numbered about 20 per cent, and the Jews about 15 per cent. The Russian element was largely accounted for by the Bureaucracy. Under the régime of martial law the German element could but bow to the ordinances prohibiting the German language, not only in official intercourse, but also in private. But Russia would be the poorer if the spirit which created the great Republic of the Baltic should be crushed out of existence. If the city did not exist it would have to be created. A tradition which goes back 500 years before Peter founded his Burgh on the Neva is an asset that any Empire may be proud of. With all her intense pursuit of prac
tical ends, the good sense bred of independence and of association with a larger world across the sea saved Riga from narrowness of mind. Riga already a hundred years ago was more cultivated than either Moscow or St. Petersburg, more appreciative of artistic sweetness and light even than Königsberg, or many another Prussian town. Riga was never a university town. She never gave birth to a Kant. She preferred to give birth to his publisher. But she welcomed Herder and Hardenberg within her walls. In 1837, too, Riga applauded
Wagner's lost overture “Rule Britannia," and sheltered the composer while he wrote the music to Bulwer's "Rienzi."
With the same just sense of proportion the City Fathers have not allowed the warehouses, elevators, and factoryshafts of the new era to efface the historic aspect of the city. The towering spires of the old Catholic churches and the Castle still dominate the foreshore of the old town, with its mile of open market on the quays, under the shadow of gables that bear the hall mark of the Hansa.
Man's resting instinct is not strongly developed, and even those who are not tethered to toil are apt to go on too long. The stimulus of psychological motives is often strong enough to make us disregard biological warnings, and there are familiar devices, such as a pipe, by which fatigue signals can be muffled. But one of the well-known symptoms of approaching the danger zone of fatigue is a hypersensitiveness to sounds, especially noises, to which unfagged brains with plenty of energy to spare are quite indifferent. Cases have been recorded of the jaded hearing the ringing of the door-bell in a house many yards off, and when ordinary urban sounds begin to be an unusual source of irritation it is a hint to those who can that they should seek the country. For there can be no doubt that part of a country holiday is in the rest to the ears. The great hush that wraps the hills is more refreshing than sleep.
They say that the noisiest thing in the world is a sun-spot, a roaring whirlpool of gases in the sun's atmosphere sometimes thousands of miles in diameter; but of the whirlpool which Hux
ley discerned in every organism we usually hear no sound. Matter and energy are continually passing in and passing out-a turmoil of molecules, yet all to us seems quietness! There are combustions and explosions, solutions and hydrations, reductions and fermentations; the living body, Sir Michael Foster used to say, is "a vortex of chemical and molecular change"; and yet our ears hear nothing of the bustle. In all these growing creatures round about us in the woods and meadows there is in every dividing cell an extraordinary manoeuvring and meticulous splitting of nuclear rods, yet all is quieter than a dumb-show. Walt Whitman has spoken, we think, of the bustle of growing wheat, but the striking feature about vital processes is their silence. How quietly are the houses broken down and built up again in the streets of the living body; how silently, like ghosts, do the molecules of these colloid crowds rush past one another! Lucky, indeed, this is for us; in the midst of the crowded life of the country we enjoy quietness, and one panting locomotive in the distance makes more to-do than all the
millions of animals and plants, except in the season of the singing of birds (some golfers complain of the larks on the links putting them off), and on such unusual, rather artificial, occasions as the separation of the lambs from their mothers. Then the whole night is full of clamor. In temperate countries, where violent changes are rare, most of the sounds of the inorganic world are subdued. There is, indeed, the roll of the thunder, the battery of the angry sea, the howling of the storm, the ominous crash of avalanche and landslip, the roar and cannonading of the forest fire, the groaning and travailing of the earthquake, and the booming of the cataract, but all these are more or less unusual. What we are more accustomed to, what we have come to love, are gentler, subtler sounds with some music in them—the sob of the sea, the sough of the wind in the wood, the song of the purling brook, the crickle-crackle of the brittle, withered grass and shriveling herbage, the sigh with which the parched ground receives the heavy rain, and the little sounds that the breeze makes when it rings the sun-dried bluebells by the wayside or makes the aspen leaves quaver, or sets the heather tinkling, or gives a whisper of gossip to the bulrushes beside the lake. It always seems worthy of remembrance that for many millions of years inorganic sounds were the only sounds upon the earth, for it was not until living creatures had been cradled and fostered for many aeons that they found voice. Insects were the first to break the silence, and, as is well known, their sound-production is almost wholly instrumental. Buzzing or humming is mainly due to rapid vibrations of the wings, which often strike the air more than a hundred times in a second, but there is sometimes a special quivering instrument near the base of the wing.
Chirping or trilling is due to some sort of “stridulating” organ, one hard part being scraped against another, as the bow on the fiddle—it may be leg against wing, or limb against body. A true voice, due to the vibration of vocal cords as the air from the wind-pipe passes over them, began in the amphibians, but did not come to its own till birds and mammals appeared on the scene. As the inorganic sounds of Temperate zones are, on the whole, less violent than those of the Tropics, so is it also with the sounds made by our animals. They may be included in the reproach implied in Heine's definition of silence as the conversation of an Englishman. How little we have that can be compared with the serenading of the tree-frogs, the orchestra of grasshoppers and Cicadas, the chatter of parrots and monkeys in warmer countries! Except during the time of bird-courtship our country is certainly very quiet. We visited the other day an apiary with about a hundred hives; the air was thick with bees, and their coming and going along the broad glass-covered tunnel of an observation hive was like the Strand at a crowded hour. There were hundreds of thousands of bees, and though the hum was stronger than we ever heard before, even in an avenue of limetrees in flower, it simply filled the air with a pleasant, tremulous bourdon of sound. We went in the August gloaming to a beautiful lake hidden in a forest of Scots pine and spruce. As far as one could see there were only two birds visible, a pair of dabchicks, diving every minute or two, and uttering now and then the gentlest possible whit-whit which one would not have heard if the hush had not been almost inviolate. Now and again a silvery trout leaped high, suggesting Excalibur; but that was all—till suddenly a ring-dove gave voice, with
its deep, rich coo-roo, wonderfully soothing and tender. (One must not allow agricultural interests to obtrude on such occasions.) Not far off, someone, we know not why, had set fire to a giant ant-hill, which was flaming on the top and glowing deep red in its recesses. But from the conflagration, with its tens of thousands of victims, and from the mêlée hurrying from the burning city there came no sound at all. It is not so much that the country is sparsely peopled with animals—a fallacious impression due to the “cryptozoic” habits of the great majority— it is simply that relatively few animals act rapidly on matter, for that is the cause of sounds like the woodpecker's hammering, or the snipe's drumming; and that most of our animals have soft voices, or have not very much to say.
In midsummer in the North of Scotland there is hardly any darkness at all—one can sometimes see to read at midnight, and there are not more than two hours when the larks at least are not singing. Now, however, the silent hours must be longer, yet in the very dead of night we hear the dwellers in darkness on the hunt. There is the hedgehog, for instance, which calls incisively in the stillness with a peculiar voice between grunt and squeal. Even in Aberdeenshire the whir of the nightjar is sometimes heard and the loud clap of its wings together, as it hawks for nocturnal insects, or the vibrating “churr” of the male seated lengthwise on a branch. The shriek of the barn-owl and the tu-whit, tu-who of the tawny owl are familiar night sounds, and some people say they can hear the voice of bats. Soon after cock-crow one is wakened by the rather startling, raucous bark of certain black-headed gulls who come to see whether there are any fragments left where the hens are fed, and they are soon followed by the more cheerful jackdaws. Then,
on the adjacent moor, the cock grouse welcomes the sun, swifts then begin their chase—they will be soon leaving us—and their half-triumphant, half-delirious cry, in bad weather and in good, is the last thing we hear at night. Particular places have their characteristic sounds, which we listen for expectantly. The moorland would be incomplete without the melancholy cry of the curlew, with a melodious ripple at the nesting time; in the bed of the stream we wait for the oyster catcher's alarm-whistle keep-keep; by the estuary we enjoy the redshank's warning with a pleasant trill in it, which the male raises to a higher power in spring; among the furzebushes beside the dry wall the stonechats seem to “chap” the stones together; the peewits cry plaintively from the farmer's fields; as we take a short cut across the heathery “preserve” grouse after grouse proclaims our trespass with a ridiculously silly cachinnation kok-kok-kok; but best of all we like “the moan of doves from immemorial elms.” It is only in manuals of psychology that we get pure sensations and pigeon-holed perceptions, for around all the country-sounds that have become dear to us there have gathered memories, associations, ideas, and we hear with more than the hearing of the ear. As we walk at nightfall across the common, noiselessly we think, a dog barks just once or twice from a cottage door half a mile away, and then, before the utter quietness is resumed, we hear the children turn in bed, the click-clack of their mother's knitting-needles, the rustle of the newspaper which the shepherd is reading by the fireside; and we see back into prehistoric times when man, whose life depended on recognizing and interpreting sounds, began to evolve the first cousin of a wolf into the trusty guardian of his herds and hearth. So is it with the