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Alba is recorded to have shed those crocodile
tears adverted to by Schiller in his History of
the Fall of the Netherlands.

When I visited the Hôtel de Ville, I was
shown the keys of the city gates, which it is
customary to present (as a mark of honour)
to sovereigns and other distinguished
personages on their solemn entry into Brussels.
These keys are made of silver, and are
masterpieces of workmanship. On the handle of one
of them, the city itself is represented in most
artistic carving. If these keys had tongues
what strange tales might they not tell of the
many changeful events of which Brussels has
been the scene! During the last fifty years,
the keys of Brussels have been presented
under very various circumstances to three
very different masters;—Napoleon, William
of Nassau, and Leopold of Saxe-Coburg.


No one can question the good intentions of
our country in persisting in the slave blockade.
Putting out of consideration the enormous
sums an over-taxed people are made to
contribute to this African slave war, the question
remains, whether such intentions are productive
of the end they have in view. That the
horrors of the passage from Africa to Brazil
are often frightfully aggravated by the dread
of pursuit and capture by our cruisers, is well
known. That, instead of providing something
like a convenient space for their human
cargo, and endeavouring to land all in health
and safety, the traffickers in human flesh now
only build the smallest and slightest "clippers"
in which they stow as many slaves as they
can possibly pack together, and only strive to
make the run as fast as they can, is equally
well known. And why? Because our
cruisers have raised the price of black flesh
in the Brazilian market, and the slave trader
knows that, if he can only escape capture once
in three voyages, and on that occasion land
only a third of his cargo alive, he will have
made an excellent profit on the three

How hard a slaver will strive to escape
capture, and how easily she will tumble to
pieces, the following sketch will show. It is
a true story in every-thing but names.

On a glorious day, with a bright sun and
a light breeze, Her Majesty's brig Semiramis
stood along under easy sail, on a N.W. course
up the Channel of Mozambique. Save the
man at the wheel and the " look-outs " in
the tops, every one seemed taking it easy.
And indeed there was no inducement to
exertion; for the sky was cloudless, and the
temperature of that balmy warmth that
makes mere existence a luxury. The men,
therefore, continued their " yarns " as they
lounged in little groups about the deck; the
middies invented new mischief, or teased the
cook; the surgeon divided his time between
watching the flying-fish and reading a new
work on anatomy (though he never turned a
fresh page); while the lieutenant of the
watch built " châteaux-en-Espagne," or
occasionally examined with his telescope the blue
hills of Madagascar in the distance.

"Sail ho! " shouted the look-out in the

"Where away? " cried the lieutenant,
springing to his feet, while at the same
moment every man seemed to have lost his
listlessness, and to be eager for action of any

"Over the starboard quarter, making Sou'-

The captain hastened on deck, while the
second lieutenant ran aloft to have a look at
the strange craft.

"What do you make her out, Mr. Saunders?"
asked the captain.

"A fore-and-aft schooner, Sir, hull down."

"'Bout ship," cried the captain; and in an
instant every man was at his post.

"Helm's a lee "—" raise tacks and sheets"
—" mainsail haul," &c.; and in five minutes
the Semiramis was standing in pursuit of the
stranger, while the men were employed in
"cracking on " all sail to aid in the chase.

What is it that makes a chase of any kind
so exciting? The indescribable eagerness
which impels human nature to hunt any-thing
huntable is not exaggerated in " Vathek,"
in which the population of a whole city is
described as following in the chase of the
black genie, who rolled himself up into a ball
and trundled away before them, attracting
even the halt and the blind to the pursuit.
But who shall describe the excitement of a
chase at sea? How eagerly is every eye
strained towards the retreating sails! how
anxiously is the result of each successive
heaving of the log listened for! how many
are the conjectures as to what the stranger
a-head may prove to be! and how ardent
are the hopes that she may turn out a prize
worth taking! For be it remembered that,
unlike the chase of a fox on land, where no
one cares for the object pursued, cupidity is
enlisted to add to the excitement of a chase
at sea. Visions of prize-money float before
the eyes of every one of the pursuers, from
the captain to the cabin-boy.

The Semiramis being, on the tack she had
now taken, considerably to the windward of
the stranger, there was every chance of her
soon overtaking her, provided the latter held
the course she was now steering. But who
could hope that she would do that? Indeed,
all on board the brig expected every moment
to hear that she was lying off and running
away. If she did not do so, it would be almost
a proof that she was engaged in lawful
commerce, and not what they had expected, and,
in truth, hoped.

An hour had passed, and the Semiramis had
visibly gained on the schooner; so much so,
that the hull of the latter, which was long,

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