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In the Indian Ocean, far beyond Good Hope, / The races, which are held once a year on a lies Mauritius, one of the most beautiful, and plain near the town, known as the “Champ certainly one of the least often described, of our de Mars," last over three days, and are wel colonial possessions, of which we purpose to attended. Some valuable English blood has give a short sketch, written after a prolonged lately been introduced. The greater number of stay in the island some few years since :- horses, however, come from the Cape, and in
The island itself is of an oval form, and about some cases from India and Australia--an ordi140 miles round, the interior abounding in nary riding horse fetching from £60 to £100. beautiful mountains and mountain streams. A number of ponies are also imported from The chief town, Port Louis, lies on the north- Timon and Pegu ; they are sturdy little animals, west side, the leeward side in reference to the generally skewbald, and when once got into trade wind, and has a fine harbour. The town condition are up to any work; they fetch about is situated, as it were, in an amphitheatre of £20 to £25 each. Horses are chiefly fed on hills, and is divided into three portions. The grain-a species of chick pea, which is imported central portion contains some fine houses; for from India. Mules, many of which are brought the original town, which was of wood, was from Poitou, are used for draughts, Fedestroyed by fire soon after the surrender of males seem to be preferred as most tractable. the island to the English, and it has gradually Those imported from the Rio Plata are the been rebuilt in stone, An English church finest we have seen--some equal in size to an (called a cathedral since the island has become a English cart-horse, and which were said to be colonial bishopric), a Roman Catholic cathedral, worth from £70 to £100. Bullocks are chiefly the banks, Government offices, and the brought from Madagascar. The beef certainly Governor's town house, are among them-all | is not good, though it is sometimes gold at substantial buildings, but none possessing 18.6d. per lb.; however coarse and poor it may much beauty. The suburb on the west is be, it is always disposed of. Fish, fowls, and termed the Malabar Town, that being a generic | fruit of all sorts are sold early in the morning, name for all natives of India, of whom there is in the bazaar, a favourite resort of early risers. a large immigration.*
There is a good public library in Port Louis, At the time of our arrival the town was alive containing a fair collection of books, both with the Yamsee, or Indian Carnival, which | French and English, and nearly all the English lasts about a fortnight, during which time there and French periodicals. There is also a is an incessant beating of tomtoms, and parading Government college, with a staff of professors, of Indian idols and ghoons (tipsel pagodas), to a good library, and small museum attached the sound of all kinds of rude music, the pro- to it. cession being followed by all the population of The established religion is Roman Catholic, that caste, with their faces duly daubed with in accordance with the terms of the capitulation coloured clay and turmeric.
of 1810—the bishop, who has the title of Bishop The suburbs on the south are known as of Ruspa, being an Englishman. Mauritius Black Town, with the old French "Quartier and its dependencies, the Seychelles Island des Esclaves.” The houses are small and poor, (some 1,200 miles away), the oil islands, Amoand nearly all occupied by blacks or mulattoes. rantes, Rodriguez, and others, were constituted Notwithstanding the large population, the town a Protestant bishopric in 1854, Dr. Ryan, the is very quiet after the firing of the evening gun, present bishop, being appointed, his previous which takes place at eight o'clock in the winter experience in Alderney having fitted him well months-i.e., from the 30th of April to the 1st for the post. The Doctor's little work on of October, and at nine from the 1st of October Mauritius and Madagascar is, by-the-way, one to the 30th of April-scarcely any person is to of the best we have seen. be met in the streets. The latter, at the time There are many public offices in the island, the writer visited the island a few years since, most of the appointments being made from were lit with olive oil; but gas, we believe, has home. The salaries are generally very good. been since adopted.
The officers of the regiments in garrisons, which The theatre was at one time, we have been are generally two in number, besides some told, a very good one, but during our stay it artillery and engineers, receive an extra allowwas closed. Some of the actors and actresses ance from the Colonial Treasury," generally were natives of the island, but the proprietors known by the name “Colo." This was originally depended chiefly on companies visiting the intended to compensate for the high rates island, en route to Calcutta, or from Calcutta to charged for food and other necessaries; for the Cape Town. The theatre had been the scenes higher ranks it is very liberal, but the junior of many an emeute in the days when national rank, as, in most other places, find themselves prejudices between runch and English ran by no means over liberally remunerated. The high.
rate of this “Colo,” or island allowance, is
about three-fourths of the rate of Queen's pay olies.
for each rank, staff officers receiving a higher The woods contain many curious trees, among rate of allowance.
| which we may mention the ebony tree, the panThe barracks are roomy stone buildings, those danas or screw palms,* the traveller's tree, and at Port Louis having, we believe, been originally many others. Nearer the coast we find the storehouses of the French East India Company. singular mapon trees, with their huge swollen The roofs are of wood, covered with wooden trunks, and plenty of cocoa-nut palms, shingle or “hardeaux," and strengthened in all The growth of orchidaceous plants too in the kinds of ways to resist the force of hurricanes. woods is very luxurious. The knowledge of These roofs, like those of some of the “mou- simples among some of the old blacks is said to lins," or sugar-mills, in the interior of the be very great, and we believe many curious island, which are of very considerable span, are properties of the great variety of plants found ingenious and complicated specimens of joinery. here might be collected by any one who took A charge of 25s. per month is made to each the trouble to do so, and spoke the Creole officer for the quarters he occupies.
patois of the island with sufficient facility. The island is divided into districts, of which Sugar being the staple of the island, the Port Louis, Pamplemousees, Riviere du Rem- sugar plantations, or habitations as they are part, Flacq, Grand Port à Mahebourg, Rivière called, demand a short notice. These are geneNoir or Black River, Plains Wilhelm and Moka rally laid out in rectangular forms of about 200 (so called from coffee planting having been first acres each, and divided by narrow roads, the tried by the French there) are the chief. Each sides of which are generally planted with trees district is presided over by a resident magis- to break the force of the wind. Tamarind trate. There is a considerable force of gen. trees are most commonly thus planted. Near darmerie in the island; the European portion the coast, however, the Madagascar pine or consisting chiefly of discharged soldiers, who “ Filhao" (Casuarina laterifolia) has been exwear a blue uniform, with caps resembling those tensively planted. The stems of these trees are worn by the “out-pensioners” in England; as remarkable for their elasticity and power of they are armed with a staff and rattle, and on resisting the force of the wind as the trees themnecessary occasions with cutlass and pistols. selves are for their rapidity of growth. The There are a considerable number of peons, or soil is a rich red loam, in some cases closely Indian police, attached to the force, who wear approaching in colour to black, formed by the the native dress, and are distinguished by a disintegration of the Busatos, which is here coloured belt worn over the shoulder. The everywhere present. force is under a chief of police, an officer of the Much guano, chiefly from Ichaboe, is used in Royal Artillery, who receives a salary of about the older plantations, as well as “ poudrette," $1,200 a year.
the latter being formed out of the town sewage. The Governor receives a salary of £7,000 per The sewage matter being removed nightly, and annum (the allowance was, we believe, formerly manufactured by a company known as “La greater), and has a good town as well as a pretty Societé des Inodorés," a very profitable investcountry residence, the last-named retreat having ment, the shares of which, a few years ago, were been the Governor's residence in the days of yielding dividends of 20 to 22 per cent. Canes the French occupation. The salary is large, from nearly every sugar-producing country may though perhaps not too much so, compared be seen under growth; the sugar-making season with the revenue* of the Island, which is more beginning about August and ending about than double that of the largest West India Christmas. islands.
The coolies or Malabars are located in small There is a very considerable portion of the villages, or, as they are termed, camps on each island under cultivation, though it appears plantation, to the cleanliness of which great difficult to ascertain the exact number of acres. attention is paid. The greater part of this was covered with The mountains in the interior, as we have dense forest when the island was first discovered. already stated, are very numerous. We give Large tracts of forest land still exist in the the heights of some of the principal ones :interior of the island, and which from the Montagne de Pieterbotte ...... 2691 English feet. luxurious growth of creepers or“ lianes;” many, Montagne de la Ponce .........2665 of great beauty, are almost impassable. A great Montagne de la Rivière Noire.2717 many spotted deer and wild hogs exist in the Montagne de la Decouverte ...1063 , woods. These animals are said to have been Montagne du Corps de Garde 2364 , first introduced by the French. Large numbers We must not conclude this hasty sketch withof martinst of the small green parrokeet, and a out saying a word on the hospitality shown to small grey monkey also exists; the two latter strangers. The hearty welcome with which all are said to have been introduced by the Por-new-comers are greeted, must leave pleasing tuguese, and are sometimes eaten by the blacks. recollections in the memories of all wanderers
whose fate has led them to sojourn for a time
on the bright and sunny shores of “Là Belle * The revenue was estimated in 1861 at 330.0002., ' Maurice.”
VIATOR and the expenditure at 230,0001.
† Indian starlings, said to destroy the borer or worm in the sugar canes.
* Here known as the Vacoa.
THE TO I L E T.
(Specially from Paris.)
First FIGURE: Visiting Toilet.-Dress of shorn from the heads of the sick, but the locks pou de soie, with figured satin stripes, body of the dead are cut off for the same purpose; round, sleeves close-fitting, finished with bias and the sale of this article is one of the many pieces at the bottom. As outer garment, a modes by which the hospitals of France add to velvet jacket trimmed with swan-down. Catalane their income. bonnet, in the Sicilian style, made of velvet, and | From prisons also not a little human hair fastened on the head by a crape scarf of the finds its way to the market; and, in contrast same tint as the velvet, bordered with white with this source of supply, there are the conblond.
vents, from one of which alone one hundred SECOND FIGURE: Full Toilet.-Pou de soie pounds' worth of bair has been obtained- the dress, with a long train cut in deep vandykes at shorn locks of young ladies who have taken the the bottom, bordered by a narrow plaited / veil. flounce; black velvet collar, studded all round What a wondrous scene would a modern with white beads; sleeves tight, ornamented at ball-room present, could each lady, old and top with a bias piece and guipure, and at bottom young-for your snow-white octogenarian hair with the same trimming, simulating a mousque-| fetches a higher price than any other-be accomtaire cuff. In the hair a; comb with a jet panied by the appearance of the original owner gallery.
of her borrowed coiffure, I think I see the The usual style of coiffure is a round water- shudder, and the blanched cheeks that would fall, surrounded by a heavy plait, and worn ensue, despite the liberal bloom de Ninon and rather high on the head. The front hair pearl powder that too frequently accompanies frequently adjusted in three or four curls or them. While on the subject of the head-dress, puffs, pinned at the ends, and raised high it is as well to observe that all sorts of fancy over the forehead. Diadems of plaits are combs, generally made with a broad band, or more generally becoming : these are elevated gallery as it is now called, and decorated with in the centre, and are studded for dress chains à la Beneton, large beads, crystal or with various ornaments. In all cases the head- enamelled flowers, are very much in favour. dress is very voluminous, proving Nature a For evening wear, the corsage is generally low, pinching step-mother in the quantity of her and tight-fitting at the waist, but laid in box supply, wbich, however, the hair-dressers take plaits round the neck; a strap constitutes the care to handsomely rectify. For a large pro-sleeve, and with it is worn a chimisette of musportion of the beautiful waterfalls, coils, curls, lin and lace, with a short puffed sleeve. Evenand braids that adorn our modern beauties, we ing peplums are generally of bright-coloured are indebted to some “stocking-knitting Au- silk over a white skirt, and the antique style is vergnat, or cow-keeping Dauphinois.” “We frequently adopted : these are fastened on the are, however," observes an American writer on shoulders by cameos or medallions; they fit the the subject, "well assured that the hair is well neck in box plaits, and are not confined at the cleansed from all impurities by a chemical pro-waist, but fall a little below it, and gradually cess." This writer assures us that if two ounces slope into deep points at the side, when a of sick hair, or hair from the head of a sick white peplum is desired to be worn with a white person, were mixed with two pounds of good or light-coloured dress, if bordered with wild hair, the dealers would instantly detect it; but roses or scarlet geranium, and made of rosthis must be while in its natural state, and not grain : it has a very pretty effect. after it has been subjected to the chemical pro- For dinner-dress, sleeveless jackets of Chan cess—the boiling and baking which is undergoes tilly are in vogue, made with an epaulet, before being worked up by the hair-dresser : one and worn with coloured silk dresses - loose of whom, working only amongst the upper ten saques of Cluny lace are also much admired. thousand, tells us that not only do dealers visit Here the threatened short dresses are left the hospitals of Paris to purchase the hair to the demi-monde, with whom they originated.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
POETRY accepted, with thanks. — “Dangerous ;”, Hulme ; on the above subject, for which we are
• Alice Gray ;” “Trying and Failing;" "Abo! much obliged. We are desirous of further comsence;" “The Ship's Return."
munications, especially from Ireland, Scotland, and PROSE received, but not read.-Continuation of the Midland Counties of England,
“Shadow on the Wall”-3 parts. “The Lees of POETRY.-Onee more we repeat that we do not parCalthorpe;" “Rambles, &c.;"" "Scbool-girl Honour" | chase poems. —too long for the “ Leaves."
MSS, returned to authors.--"Meteors, &c.;" "A The Moon. We have received communications from Village Sketch ;" “ The Happy Village;" “ What is
“C. M.,” Cork ; “M. C.," Stockport; "C. H.," | Wit?” “ Captain Cavendish's Story.
PRINTED BY ROGERSON AND TUXFORD, 246, STRAND.