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to my friends and to the police, that I
escaped with so slight a punishment.


I MET, in a close City square,
  A Linnet-hawker, hawking loud;
And, though small melody was there
  To draw a member from the crowd,
A mournful thought went with his song,
  That secretly attracted me:
So, fixed I stood, and brooded long,
  While thus he chimed in rudest key;—
    "Linnets, linnets, full-song linnets, O!"

The fledgling bliss, the wavy flight,
  The feathery ecstacies that flow
From freedom in the airy light,
  The little captives may not know.
Of their own birthright robb'd, alas!
  What voice of anguish might they lift
In music for the time that was
  Betrayed by so divine a gift!
    Linnets, linnets, full-song linnets, O!

Far from their woodland joys are they!
  Far, far from the forsaken nest,
And from their parents far away!
  Who sit and brood with vacant breast
Amid the sunlight on the leaves,
  Where now a fitful song they sing
Of sorrow that more inly grieves,
  And will not hope in anything:
    Linnets, linnets, full-song linnets, O!

But nowsince evil has its good
  A latent truth the soul knows well;
What mission have the stolen brood
  In this great City's depths to dwell?
It is to cheer the sick at heart
  With Eden songs of country days;
Of grass, and balm for every smart;
  Of freshness, flowers, and woodland ways.
  Linnets, linnets, full-song linnets, O!

And, through their little throats, a stream
  Of sweet impulsive song will flow;
To somea yearning and a dream;
  To alla sweet relief from woe.
Heard, spirit-like, the tide to stem
  Of toiling men, who muse and moan
To breathe the woods again!—for them,
  Old Linnet-hawker, still sing on:
    Linnets, linnets, full song linnets, O!


THERE is a class of our fellow-subjects in
the East which appears to have been somewhat
unfairly dealt with by writers of Indian
books and Colonial historians, inasmuch as no
notice has been taken of them, save in some
of the official returns of the population issued
by the Colonial Office, in which, by the way,
they figure rather prominently as regards
number. I allude to the burgher inhabitants
of our large colonial towns: within the tropics.

In Europe, the term "Burgher" was applied,
in olden days, to all citizens, or dwellers in
principal towns, carrying on trades or
professions therein. In the East, or, rather,
within the tropics, it. is used to designate the
descendants of old Portuguese and Dutch
colonistsa class at once numerous and
respectable. At the Cape colony they form the
majority of settlers; but, in the tropical settlements
of Ceylon, Singapore, &c., they are
greatly outnumbered by other races. When
the former island was taken possession of by
the British forces, many of the Dutch civil
servants returned to Holland or went on to
Java; but very many were too poor to travel,
or preferred remaining where they had been
born. Their descendants have continued to
fill many leading posts in the colonial
establishments, and nearly all the minor
appointments in the Judicial and Revenue
Departments are bestowed upon these and the
Portuguese burghers. The Dutch have been,
and are to this day, very careful not to intermarry
with any Cingalese; thus their habits
and their characters have undergone but
little change. The Portuguese, on the other
hand, have been far less scrupulous on this
point; and their descendants of the present
day are to be seen of every shade and grade
from the well-clad medical student, to the
half-starved, half-naked street-sweeper, or
the bazaar-keeper.

Until very recently, there was little, if any,
social intercourse between the European and
burgher classes: a line of demarcation had
been drawn between the two races, which very
few dared to pass. This extended to such
of the proscribed colonists as held important
posts under Government, who, while their
abilities and characters were owned and
respected by their European fellow-civilians,
found no admittance within the threshold of
their homes.

If, however, the English colonists contrive
to monopolise the best berths in the service,
the burghers have managed to secure to
themselves the most comfortable dwellings,
with the best gardens. The same jealous
exclusiveness which has so completely
separated these two classes, impels the European
to take up his residence in a quarter
as far removed as possible from the suburbs
usually occupied by the burghers. The
English merchants and civil servants will be
found located along the edge of some high
road, within a very small patch of burnt-up
paddock, once green. Their tenements are
of no particular order, being mostly long
rambling white-washed places, very like huge
rabbit-hutches. A few palms occasionally
make an attempt at shading the dusty hot
verandah in front; while small tufts of
cinnamon-bushes are to be seen withering
away in the parched sand, evidently disgusted
with their circumstances. How different the
dwellings of the burghers! Some of these, it is
true, are in the midst of the pettak, or native
town, but most of them will be found
scattered about in quiet shady lanes. Many are
quite hidden from the passer-by, amidst a
dense little forest of fruit-trees, rose-bushes,

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