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BY JULIA ALEYNE.
HOULD one feel the longing for sylvan adventure, and for a nomadic life for a few weeks during the sultry summer weather, nothing can be more delightful than a trip over the waters of some of the beautiful lakes which lie scattered through New England, and which, embosomed amid shadowy peaks of lofty mountains, lie peacefully under their rock-bound shores, like gems of fairy-land. After the fashion and folly of Saratoga and Long Branch, it is certainly refreshing to spend a few weeks on the margin of the lovely little lake called by the Indians Memphremagog,
"Where through a sapphire sea, the sun
Sails like a golden galleon."
and south winds, and heavy aromatic perfumes.
It was nightfall when we reached Memphremagog House, Newport, at the upper or southern end of the lake, and the fullorbed moon was shining with unusual splendour upon the quiet scene, tinging with silver mountain, rock, and water. Before us rose the mountains, their dark masses looming up in silent majesty as we looked northward; beneath us gleamed the lake, lucid as some bright crystal, glistening as a thread of silver, its island-gemmed surface and green lines of shore winding in charming curves of remarkable beauty, all blending in a scene not soon to be forgotten. Music came to us in long, exquisite strains, as we promenaded on the broad piazzas, and, now rising and falling in low fitful gusts, mingled with the gentle lapping of the water and the soft sighing of the wind, then trembling in the air a moment, a dissolving rainbow of sound," died gradually away; while in the pauses came through the open windows the merry laughter of the dancers -for when the full moon comes the gailydressed throng adjourn to the ball-room. It is the way they treat moonlight at a summer resort.
Fashion can never be dominant here, for nature has scattered her gifts too profusely to admit of being slighted for the tinsel and glitter of artificial life. When tired of gaiety, one can readily seek relief by climb-" ing some of the majestic hills and mountains; by trolling in the quiet lake-for the fishing and sporting are excellent; or by sailing over its placid waters, and enjoying the grandeur and loveliness around. The bold, rocky shores, the numerous wooded islands, the shadowy peaks of lofty mountains, rising in some places to 3,000 feet in height The name of the lake-Memphremagog directly over one's head; with slopes of luxu--is of course Indian, and means riant forests of greenest verdure-all combine to heighten the charm of this "Beautiful Water," and make it for the time a dream of delight!
Or, should one prefer, he can wander away from the lake to the wild brooks, and angle among the alders, dreaming all day long; or rise at daybreak and go out on the lake, and watch field after field of white lilies "flash open as the sun touches them with his spear;" or during the quiet afternoons lie down among the farmers' fields, where myriads of gay corn-poppies flaunt over his head, and stain his fingertips with the red berries that hang like globes of light gleaming among the tall grass, bathing himself in warm sunshine,
ful Water." The lovely sheet of water to which it is given lies directly on the Canadian border, and is the charming rival of Lake George, which it resembles in conformation, being about thirty miles long and from two to five miles in width.
Every morning and afternoon the little steamer which boasts the not uncommon name of the "Lady of the Lake," runs through the lake from Newport to Magog, a Canadian town, with a background of forest, at the northern end. The captain of the boat has known every point upon these waters for a lifetime, and can amuse you with stories and legends innumerable relating to the old-time history of this wild and secluded region. He, as well as the older in
habitants, can unfold many a wild tale of smuggling in bygone days. "Skinner's Cave," a narrow den, some thirty feet deep, in an island near Owl's Head, is still pointed out as the favourite place of concealment for smugglers in years past. The story goes that Uriah Skinner, the bold smuggler of Magog, took refuge from pursuit in this cave and there perished. Steaming northward from this island, the great mountains rear their huge masses into view-Owl's Head and Elephantus, a huge pile of dark cliffs resembling a gigantic elephant; while away in the distance Jay Peak and Mount Orford -the highest mountain in Lower Canada -are to be seen. Sailing along under these lofty peaks, looming up black and dismal over our heads, the wild grandeur of the scene is deeply impressive.
On one occasion a party of us stopped at the old landing at the foot of Owl's Headwhich is in a deep gorge between two lofty peaks and made the ascent of the mountain. The boat landed us at the wharf of that "land-locked and mountain-shadowed hotel," the "Mountain House," which some years ago used to be a favourite resort for summer tourists, but its many rooms are now all mouldy and deserted. There is no road to this hotel, and no way of getting to it except by boat. A very good path winds round the mountain, all the way to the summit, although in some places it is very steep and rocky. There are curious and prominent waymarks on the ascent, for it is said that a chapter of Masons annually hold their meetings on the highest peak, and leave mystic tokens of their presence on the way. Upon reaching the summit, however, we were well paid for our trouble. The prospect is extensive and grand beyond description -stretching to Montreal, the St. Lawrence, over the whole extent of the lake, with the ranges, peaks, and villages of Canada, Vermont, and New Hampshire in the distance. In fine weather you have a view of Mount Washington-that Mecca of the mountain tourist-dim, distant, and golden. The clusters of islands and bays in the lake proper, the combination of summits, slopes, and forests, green lines of shore, with their constantly changing outlines, and sometimes the whole blending system of hills, forests,shores, and islands reproduced in the still waters, a hanging shadow-picture of wondrous beauty beyond the reach of art to transcribe—all
made up a scene to be remembered for a lifetime.
While on the mountain we encountered a heavy storm, and arrived at the Mountain House just as the clouds were breaking away. The sun came out, touching the clouds with gold-which seemed to float upon the unmoved surface—and built up a gorgeous rainbow which reached almost across the lake: it was a beautiful combination, the clouds, the lake, and the rainbow, all glorious with light.
From the summit of the mountain can be seen the peaks Pisgah and Hor, looming up dark and gloomy. Between these lofty masses, in a deep and shadowed basin, lies that remarkable little bit of water-Lake Willoughby. This lake is twelve hundred feet above the sea, and is entirely surrounded by a wall of mountains, with a little opening at the north end, where flows out a stream so large that the backwoodsmen have built mills upon it, within three miles of its source.
Round Island lies directly in front of Owl's Head, a "cedar-crowned swell of rockbound land," rising from the lake about half a mile from the base of the mountain. All along this portion of the lake, and crowning the heights (for here the shores are abrupt), are beautiful villas, the residences of wealthy Canadians. The boat stops at Georgeville, and then steams across the lake to Gibraltar. Point Magog is the terminal point-and from there we began the return trip to Newport, viewing the scenery in reverse order.
There are many delightful walks and drives all around Newport. Clyde and Coventry Falls are very near, and well worth visiting, and the drive to the summit of Jay Peak is one which all should take. Indeed, our only regret was that we could not spend. weeks amidst this grand and varied scenery. But September was approaching, which, with chastening breath, blows the gayest of the gay throng of pleasure-seekers away.
And so, in the gray dawn of an early summer morning, we stole away from our pleasant lake-side retreat; and as we cast a last glance, through the dim early light, at the massive hills rising up before us, we gave a parting thought to the pleasant companions we had left, and the many gay and pretty girls who were now soundly sleeping, dancing, in dreams, with tireless partners, at a ball that had no ending.
HOW JOINT STOCK COMPANIES ARE MANUFACTURED.
acquits him, inasmuch as he affirms that he believed then and still believes the mine to be worth all that was paid for it; but the unanimous verdict, that he was guilty of very gross indiscretion in abusing his official position, is one in which everybody in and out of the House agrees. The investigation lays bare the nefarious methods by which great public companies-under the Limited Liability Act-have been organised in England, and the results. As several Canadian enterprises have been handled of late years in like manner, to the serious loss of English investors and the detriment of Canadian interests and credit, the exposure is well worthy of our study.
The Emma Silver Mine in Utah had begun to yield profits in 1871, when, as always happens in the West, claimants to the pro
TRANGE to say, it has fallen legitimately within the province of the United States Legislature to expose the working of an English Joint Stock Company. The present Congress has been occupied in little else than investigating, not the measures of the administration, but the shortcomings of its members. Controlled by a Democratic majority, it conceives its duty to be to unearth scandals, which are to be used as arguments during the forthcoming Presidential election. Unfortunately the hunt has been too successful, but at the same time it has been pursued with a glee and zest so unpatriotic as to excite public feeling against the party which for factious purposes has rejoiced in exposing the nation's dishonour. The mere assertion of a door-keeper of the House, uncorroborated by any proof, is accepted as ground of sus-perty at once sprang up, to contest the title picion against Speaker Kerr, a man of unblemished character; and private letters of Mr. Blaine, which will bear several constructions, are produced simply to spoil his chance of the Presidency by throwing a mere shadow of a doubt on his integrity. Accusations are being bandied about more heedlessly than indiscriminate praise ever was in an assembly where all were agreed; bearing false witness has become almost a business, and the trade of Titus Oates has been revived. While the most flagrant case of official corruption is that of Gen. Belknap, perhaps the most interesting investigation to us is that which was recently concluded, into the connection of Gen. Schenck with the Emma Silver Mining Company of London.
Gen. Schenck, while Ambassador at the Court of St. James, allowed his name to appear as a director in the prospectus of that Company. This was bad enough; but to make matters worse, he received a favour from the vendor in such a shape, and at such a time, as to lay himself open to the imputation of fraud. Of this the committee
of the occupant. In the territories a man
The terms of
Hankey, being too weak to carry them out, resigned in favour of Albert Grant, the most astute company-monger of the age.
When once a broker undertakes a job of this nature, he becomes arch-conspirator. Vendors and all others are expected either to be quiescent, or to obey his injunctions, and to say and do what he commands, without question or compunction. The broker finds directors, concocts the prospectus, fees newspapers, manipulates the stock, and generally, as deus ex machina, makes what is worthless appear as of untold value, and a swindling extortion look like a generous gift to the public. When, however, a man as notable or notorious as Baron Grant is secured, he never appears upon the stage.
In the Emma affair Grant was fortunate in having the assistance of two such able and skilled speculators as Park and Stewart. While he selected names from his long list of available directors, (all prominent brokers are supposed to have at command a number of influential directors, including a fair sprinkling of M. P.s, and of needy noblemen to whom the fees are a consideration, and who are too ignorant to be inquisitive), Messrs. Park and Stewart went in search of a man ostensibly to protect the interests of the American shareholders of the company. By a happy accident they secured the services of the American Minister. Mr. Park met him at dinner, told him of his business, and out of pure charity offered him £10,ooo, with which to purchase that amount of stock, engaging to pay two per cent. per month (which was afterwards reduced to one and a half per cent.), and to take back the stock at par any time within a year. Shenck accepted the favour, and, as a consequence, when asked to become a director could not refuse. He felt that the course he was pursuing was strange to diplomacy, but he consented on finding that the Duke of Saldanha, Minister from Portugal, was on the board of directors of a Lisbon tramway company, which, as events have shown, was organised on the same plan as the Emma, and with the same unpleasant consequences to all concerned.
A strong board having been secured of well-known men, whom the unwary public supposed to be heavy investors, but who, besides receiving a salary of £500 a year each, had been duly qualified by a donation of stock, the prospectus was issued. The
property, which, by transactions among themselves, the sellers had valued at $1,500,ooo, was offered at $5,000,000. The quantity of ore extracted from April 25th to Sept. Ist was said to have been £231,089, instead of £158,068, the figure by which the mine had been recommended to Coates and Hankey. A dividend of one and a half per cent. per month was guaranteed-equal to 18 per cent. on the capital-which was to be paid out of resources in hand, and out of ore said to be in sight of the net value of £357,750. The public, however, were not informed that of the £1,000,000 they were asked to give, nominally, for the mine, Baron Grant, of whom they never heard in that connection, was to get as his fee almost as much as the mine was deemed by the vendors to be really worth; that the lawyers, who drew up the prospectus so cunningly that the public would have no redress when they should discover themselves swindled, were to receive a comfortable fortune; that the bankers, who had merely introduced Messrs. Park and Stewart to Messrs. Coates and Hankey, were to have what would serve many a small banking firm as capital; that the brokers who had been too weak to engineer the scheme should receive nevertheless a consideration for handing it over to the Baron; and that even the metal brokers who had previously sold the ore on a good commission, were to be richly recompensed for the loss they would sustain if they should not continue to be employed by the new organisation. These and other equally significant facts were kept carefully concealed : the public rushed to subscribe, and the amount demanded was offered twice over.
When made aware of the action of Gen. Schenck, the American Government requested him to withdraw from the direction, which he did, though he effectually contravened the spirit of his instructions by writing a letter of resignation, in which he stated that he left the board from private motives, and that he retained the fullest confidence in the mine and all connected with it. Having become possessed of so much stock, it is clear from the evidence (though he denies it) that the General tried to make the best of it by speculation. Very properly, the Investigating Committee condemns this conduct, and Mr. Hewit, who submitted the report, in a bitter, biting speech also condemns the administration for allowing a