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And, match me, brother ringers, the clappers ten of Leicester, That frightened storms and hags away, and battled many a
Or the famous Kentish peal that took two dozen men to move it, Or Paul's great bell, that hates small beer, and turns it sour to prove it
A grandsire bob and treble, a major and a royal,
A "maximus" to crown Old Time, to whom we should be loyal!
And young great "Tom" of Lincoln, in his lofty belfry
Beats his sire, renown'd in story, with his rich melodious
While the "lady-bells" beside him, their silvery tones are blending,
A jubilee to greet the year, o'er hill and valley sending; Huge "Tom" of Oxford's iron pulse moves with the same devotion,
And "York," colossal o'er them all, is stirred with merry motion, While "Bow," that warned the 'prentices of Cheape from brawl
Now welcomes in the new-born year in days of grace and quiet! A grandsire bob and treble, a major and a royal,
A "maximus" to crown Old Time, to whom we should be loyal!
Now GLORIA IN EXCELSIS, be the key-note of our praises,
And next, his voice for "Queen and Home," each sturdy Briton raises,
may the year now ushered in, from ev'ry belfry tower, Bring peace, good-will, and happy hearths, the source of England's power!
May statecraft shape each devious end, and round it to a blessing,
No social evils curse the land, no tyranny oppressing,
the cheering chimes we ring, wake echoes deep and tender,
From those who will no principle of truth and love surrender! A grandsire bob and treble, a major and a royal,
A "maximus" to crown Old Time, to whom we should be loyal !
Ring out the Old Year,
With feet in step, and stout arms ready
THE GOLDEN GATE.*
THE title of the present work is at least a taking one in these days, when the business of life centres in the acquisition of the favoured metals. The world would seem to wish to have implied as its chief glory that man was created to hunt for their possession, honestly or otherwise, as the chief end of his mortal existence. The brave clipper, its broad canvas shading the ocean, sets its head to the southward from England for the western United States; and rounding Cape Horn in about a hundred and twenty days, after running thirteen thousand five hundred miles arrives off the "Chrysopyla," or "Golden Gates," and enters, between towering rocks rising inland to mountains, the most magnificent harbour in the world.
This narrow entrance passed, and the rocks on which the sea breaks with tremendous fury in the calmest weather, the snowy spray dashing a hundred feet into the air, she swirls into the noble bay, which appears at once as soon as the entrance is passed, and in which are seen islands which rise two thousand feet in height, and, still further on, where the channel widens yet more, to quote the author, "the little island of Alcatraz, surmounted by a large building of red brick, with the flag of the Union waving over all. Fortifications of solid masonry defend this island, on the east of which and upon the southern shore the buildings of the city of San Francisco make their appearance. Arrived out of the strait into the wide and noble lake-like harbour, the vessel passes a long dilapidated pier, known as 'Meigg's Wharf,' on the north side of the city. She then rounds what is called Telegraph Hill,' and a little further southward anchors near a wharf on the east of San Francisco, as well as of the peninsula before noted as terminating at Fort Point, the outer side of which is exposed to the full fury of the Pacific' tempests, if it be not an Irishism to use such an expression."
The fair narrator proceeds with a description of this marvellous metropolis of an American state that, twenty years ago had not a thousand inhabitants, and now reckons one hundred and thirty thousand. It seems It seems" that the principal part of the city faces the east. Opposite is a small town, on the other side of the bay, called Oakland-a very pleasand spot, with only a few houses yet built. The Americans, with a sort of passion for the 'grandific' in all relating to themselves, call it a city. The site is delightful
*Five Years within the Golden Gate. By Isabella Saxon. Chapman and Hall.
compared with that of San Francisco, and many citizens reside there, crossing the harbour to their business and returning. The distance by a ferry is about seven miles. It is yet farther to the south that the bay attains its extreme width. The position of the city of San Francisco itself is well sheltered from the storms seaward, by a background of sandhills, which take a peninsular form, nor can any site be better adapted for maritime purposes.'
The vicinity of the city is barren, standing upon hills over which the sands have drifted, but the vicinity a few miles distant has every charm of rural beauty that can be desired. Across the harbour, at Oakland, where some of the citizens go daily, returning by a steam-ferry, as just stated, the scenery is eminently rural and beautiful, while even into the Golden City itself the sands driven up by the cool wind that sets in from the sea early in the forenoon render the streets disagreeable, as well as the temperature chilly. The city itself is marked out into squares, and each square of building is called a "block." The streets are designated by their relation to these blocks. Thus, Montgomery-street is said to be three, five, two, or so many blocks from the shore; a very plain and clear designation, still the plan gives no room for the picturesque as regards appearance.
But to our tale. The fair voyager took up her quarters in one of the fine hotels with which the city offers no mean choice. All in America are fond of hotel domiciliation. The Cosmopolitan, the Occidental, the Sick House, the American Exchange, and the Tehema, with others, offer every species of accommodation from moderate to most "luxurious" prices. In fact, the wonderful rise of this city, which now numbers a hundred and thirty thousand souls, can hardly be recorded with any degree of patience by some of our cotemporaries, who hate the United States as well as freedom at home. None, indeed, can view with more jealousy, not even the haters of the "Britisher" in America, in their turn, the present situation and future prospects of the great western republic. For our part, we think the world wide enough for all, and rejoice to see the Anglo-Saxon race giving law and freedom to so much of it.
After noticing the duel in which a popular character among the inhabitants of the city fell, to the disgrace of modern manners, and alluding to the irregularities and strange scenes that occurred on the first rush to the regions of gold, now put an end to so effectually, that, as far as sight is concerned, no city is so well regulated, so that New York itself in comparison is a painful spectacle, the fair writer describes one of the early establishments which stood where the town hall is now situated, as she heard it detailed.
"There was once a house called El Dorado, occupying the place
of a wooden building of three stories, of the same name and purpose, erected in 1850 in ten days for a gambling-house. It was stated that the most extraordinary scenes took place there which imagination can conceive. The gold acquired by hard labour had been there squandered by men of every nation except the Chinese. Men flocked thither with their gains, and were not easy until they partook in the chance of increasing their store still farther, or losing all. On every side was seen the wildest excitement at faro-tables, monte, roulette, trente-un, and rouge et noir. There was lost recklessly, in a mode as.sudden as it was acquired, that gold for which they had already risked their health, and were now staking, or ready to stake, their last means of existence for more or none. There, too, women, but not women of America nor England, but of old Spain, Mexico, and Peru, might be observed as deeply concerned in the games as their companions of the sterner sex. I was informed that the Spaniards in general played at monte, and that they won or lost with the same proud indifference or deep gravity that are the characteristics of a people so little elevated intellectually."
But all that could offend-and much there was to offend-of crime, backed by gains to a large amount squandered recklessly, much of those kinds of disorder and crime originating in the peculiar situation of the persons who had met there a medley from all countries to hunt for gold, the reckless and abandoned, the industrious, the laborious, and idle; in such a state of society, it was necessary to proceed to action as it were in self-defence. Hence was formed by the people the celebrated "vigilance committee," the first step of law and justice necessitated in a society of crime and wanton villany run wild. There are, too, some curious anecdotes told of individuals, male and female, who had gone apparently to seek their fortunes in the land of wealth, and been thrown into want upon their resources being exhausted. The means for a livelihood to which they little suspected they should ever be driven were wanting. Thus, in alluding to music meetings and lager-bier cellars, and those who attended them as musicians, the author says:
"I was informed, and have no reason to doubt the truth of my information, that an individual of the old French noblesse had been seen exercising his talent on the violin at those places for the purpose of procuring a livelihood. What a lesson of change for a member of the oldest order of nobility in Europe to be thus reduced; but not without its use as a warning to the assumptions of the aristocracy of all modern nations, based as they are upon stubble, and for so long claiming regard from idle tradition and a foundation in airy imaginings. In such a case as that of this poor man, truth seems stranger than fiction. Who would have
dreamed of it in the proud days of the Bourbon court, with all its wit and far-resounding pride and profligacy, that one of the 'order' should become thus degraded? Our democracy is laid on a stronger foundation than ignorance in coat-armour and turning cut-throats at the command of popes or pagans,' remarked a shrewd Yankee, conversing on the change the French revolution had operated."
There are instances of this nature given of a most painful character, particularly among those who left with families, driven to painful extremities to live, having, in coming at all, made false calculations. This work will thus be useful in the way of warning.
The Chinese and their doings figure among these notes. The Celestials visit the city in great numbers, and work hard and well for small wages, never being seen idle. Though thievish enough if left to themselves, when, perhaps, of the very lowest caste, but if a Chinese servant be wanted, and one of the chief Chinese merchants gives him a recommendation, the man's honesty may be relied on; no instance of the contrary being known. They are excellent washermen, and getters-up of clothes. The rogues, when found among them, are exceedingly cunning. They tell the following story of one:
"Some weeks ago a Chinaman was convicted of grand larceny, and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. The night before his departure for San Quentin (the state prison of California) he contrived to shove the blankets belonging to his bed through the grating of his cell to a confederate on the outside, with a note, which ran about as follows; To mollow I go jail four year. You chatchum blanket. I come back, you pay me the dollar.' The note was found, but the county is still minus the blankets."-Neveda Paper.
There are above thirty churches in San Francisco. Two Catholic cathedrals, a French Catholic church, and a chapel of St. Ignatius. Grace cathedral is of the English episcopal persuasion, as is Trinity and the church of the Advent. The congregationalists have one. The Presbyterians and Baptists have two churches each, and the Methodists and Unitarians one each. The establishments for religion are ample, and the immorality charged upon the town by some, if real, is practised unseen, which is more than can be said of London or New York. Nor are charitable establishments of every kind wanting. The following would be worthy of imitation in England. Bankrupts there, it seems, often easily "re-establish themselves in business. Frequently in other countries the worst sufferers by the husband's bankruptcy are his innocent wife and children. California has nobly provided for this class of victims by her Homestead Law.' By the provisions of this law every husband can settle on his wife, by simply