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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 12, No. 29, August, 1873
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 12, No. 29, August, 1873" ***

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LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

OF

_POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE_.

Vol XII, No. 29.

AUGUST, 1873.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
  THE NEW HYPERION [Illustrated] By EDWARD STRAHAN.
    II.--The Two Chickens.
  OUR HOME IN THE TYROL [Illustrated] By MARGARET HOWITT.
    CHAPTER VII.
    CHAPTER VIII.
  ON THE CHURCH STEPS By SARAH C. HALLOWELL.
    CHAPTER I.
    CHAPTER II.
    CHAPTER III.
    CHAPTER IV.
    CHAPTER V.
  INSIDE JAPAN By W.E. GRIFFIS.
  JASON'S QUEST By CHARLES WARREN STODDARD.
    I.
    II.
    III.
    IV.
  FOREBODINGS.
  DEER-PARKS By REGINALD WYNFORD.
  RAMBLES AMONG THE FRUITS AND FLOWERS OF THE TROPICS By FANNIE R. FEUDGE.
  TWO PAPERS.--I.
  A PRINCESS OF THULE By WILLIAM BLACK.
    CHAPTER XII.--Transformation.
    CHAPTER XIII.--By The Waters Of Babylon.
  GOLD By ITA ANIOL PROKOP.
  GLIMPSES OF GHOST-LAND By LUCY H. HOOPER.
  AFTERNOON By EMMA LAZARUS.
  OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
    Washington's Birthplace In 1873 By R.B.E.
    Vicissitudes In High Life.
    A Glass Of Old Madeira.
    At A Matinée: A Monologue. By C.A.D.
  NOTES.
  LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
    Books Received.


ILLUSTRATIONS
  THE FLOWERS OF WAR.
  THE INVADERS OF ROMIAINVILLE.
  STORY OF AN OLD MAN AND AN ELDER.
  MERCHANDISE IN THE TEMPLE.
  FATHER JOLIET.
  THE TWO CHICKENS.
  LOVE LEFT ALONE.
  "FOND OF CHICKEN."
  THE WIFE.
  THE LONE CRUSADE.
  TENDER CHARITY.
  NECESSITY KNOWING LAW.
  THE FERRY.
  JOVE'S THUNDER.
  SCHOOL.
  ON WITH THE DANCE!
  ENDYMION.
  HOW THE MODERN DOG TREATS LAZARUS.
  THE LAUGHING LACKEY.
  THE PRESENT.
  THE CONVALESCENT.
  THE DIVIDED BURDEN.
  SHARE MY CUP.
  BREAKING STONES.
  SICKNESS AND COURTSHIP.
  THE WAGON.
  DINNER-TIME!
  FIDELITY.
  A LITTLE VISITOR.
  FRANCINE.
  "DON'T WRING MY HEART!"
  VIEW OF TAUFERS VALLEY.
  SCHLOSS TAUFERS.
  HAPPY SOULS IN PARADISE.
  CROSSING THE TORRENT.



THE NEW HYPERION.

FROM PARIS TO MARLY BY WAY OF THE RHINE.

II.--THE TWO CHICKENS.


[Illustration: THE FLOWERS OF WAR.]

"Thou art no less a man because thou wearest no hauberk nor mail sark,
and goest not on horseback after foolish adventures."

So I said, reassuring myself, thirty years ago, when, as Paul Flemming
the Blond, I was meditating the courageous change of cutting off my
soap-locks, burning my edition of Bulwer and giving my satin stocks to
my shoemaker: I mean, when I was growing up--or, in the more beauteous
language of that day, when Flemming was passing into the age of
bronze, and the flowers of Paradise were turning to a sword in his
hands.

Well, I say it again, and I say it with boldness, you can wear a tin
botany-box as bravely as a hauberk, and foolish adventures can be
pursued equally well on foot.

Stout, grizzled and short winded, I am just as nimble as ever in the
pretty exercise of running down an illusion. Yet I must confess, as I
passed the abattoirs of La Villette, whence blue-smocked butcher-boys
were hauling loads of dirty sheepskins, I could not but compare myself
to the honest man mentioned in one of Sardou's comedies: "The good
soul escaped out of a novel of Paul de Kock's, lost in the throng
on the Boulevard Malesherbes, and asking the way to the woods of
Romainville."

[Illustration: THE INVADERS OF ROMIAINVILLE.]

Romainville! And hereabouts its tufts of chestnuts should be, or were
wont to be of old. I am in the grimy quarter of Belleville. Scene of
factories, of steam-works and tall bleak mansions as it is to-day,
Belleville was once a jolly country village, separated on its hilltop
from Paris, which basked at its feet like a city millionaire sprawling
before the check apron and leather shoes of a rustic beauty. Inhabited
by its little circle of a few thousand souls, it looked around itself
on its eminence, seeing the vast diorama of the city on one side,
and on the other the Près-Saint-Gervais, and the woods of Romainville
waving off to the horizon their diminishing crests of green. A jolly
old tavern, the Ile d'Amour, hung out its colored lamps among the
trees, and the orchestra sounded, and the feet of gay young lovers,
who now are skeletons, beat the floor. The street was a bower of
lilacs, and opposite the Ile d'Amour was the village church.

Then the workmen of the Paris suburbs were invaders: they besieged the
village on Sundays in daring swarms, to be beaten back successfully by
the duties of every successive Monday. Now they are fixed there. They
are the colorless inhabitants of these many-storied houses. The town's
long holiday is over. Where the odorous avenues of lilacs stretched
along, affording bouquets for maman and the children and toothpicks
for ferocious young warriors from the garrisons, are odious lengths
of wall. Everything is changed, and from the gardens the grisettes of
Alfred de Musset are with sighing sent. Their haunts are laboratories
now, and the Ile d'Amour is a mayor's office.

I, to whom the beer-scandals of the Rhine and the students' holidays
of the Seine were among the Childe-Harold enormities of a not
over-sinful youth, was sadly disappointed. Thinking of the groves of
an Eden, I ran against the furnaces of a Pandemonium. For a stroll
back toward my adolescence, Belleville was a bad beginning. I
determined to console myself with the green meadows of Saint-Gervais
and the pretty woods of Romainville. Attaining the latter was half
an hour's affair among long walls and melancholy houses: at
Saint-Gervais, a double file of walls and houses--at Romainville,
houses and walls again. In the latter, where formerly there were
scarcely three watches distributed amongst the whole village, I was
incensed to find the shop of a clockmaker: it was somewhat consoling,
though, to find it a clockmaker's of the most pronounced suburban
kind, with pairs of wooden shoes amongst the guard-chains in the
window, and pots of golden mustard ranged alternately with the
antiquated silver turnips.

Before the church I found yet standing a knotty little elder tree, a
bewitched-looking vegetable. A beadle in a blouse, engaged in washing
one of the large altar-candles with soap and water at the public pump,
gave me the following history of the elder tree. I am passionately
fond of legends, and this is one quite hot and fresh, only a hundred
years old. Hear the tale of the elder of Romainville.

The excellent curé of Romainville in the last century was a man of
such a charitable nature that his all was in the hands of the
poor. The grocer of the village, a potentate of terrific powers and
inexorable temper, finally refused to trust him with the supply of
oil necessary for the lamp in the sanctuary. Soon the sacred flame
sputtered, palpitated, flapped miserably over the crusted wick: the
curé, responsible before Heaven for the life of his lamp, tottered
away from the altar with groans of anguish. Arrived in the garden, he
threw himself on his knees, crying _Meâ culpâ_, and beating his bosom.
The garden contained only medicinal plants, shaded by a linden and an
elder: completely desperate, the unhappy priest fixed his moist eyes
on the latter, when lo! the bark opened, the trunk parted, and a jet
of clear aromatic liquid spouted forth, quite different from any sap
yielded by elder before. It was oil. A miracle!

The report spread. The grocer came and humbly visited the priest in
his garden, his haughty hat, crammed with bills enough to have spread
agony through all the cottages of Romainville, humbly carried between
his legs. He came proposing a little speculation. In exchange for a
single spigot to be inserted in the tree, and the hydraulic rights
going with the same, he offered all the bounties dearest to the
priestly heart--unlimited milk and honey, livers of fat geese and pies
lined with rabbit. The priest, though hungry--hungry with the demoniac
hunger of a fat and paunchy man--turned his back on the tempter.

[Illustration: STORY OF AN OLD MAN AND AN ELDER.]

One day a salad, the abstemious relish yielded by his garden herbs,
was set on the table by Jeanneton. At the first mouthful the good curé
made a terrible face--the salad tasted of lamp-oil. The unhappy girl
had filled a cruet with the sacred fluid. From that day the bark
closed and the flow ceased.

There is one of the best oil-stories you ever heard, and one of the
most recent of attested miracles. For my part, I am half sorry it is
so well attested, and that I have the authority of that beadle in the
blouse, who took my little two-franc piece with an expression of much
intelligence. I love the Legend.

[Illustration: MERCHANDISE IN THE TEMPLE.]

The environs of Paris are but chary of Legend. I treasure this
specimen, then, as if it had been a rare flower for my botany-box.

But the botany-box indeed, how heavy it was growing! The umbrella, how
awkward! The sun, how vigorous and ardent! Who ever supposed it could
become so hot by half-past eight in the morning?

[Illustration: FATHER JOLIET.]

Certainly the ruthless box, which seemed to have taken root on my
back, was heavier than it used to be. Had its rotundity developed,
like its master's? I stopped and gathered a flower, meaning to analyze
it at my next resting-place. I opened my box: then indeed I perceived
the secret of its weightiness. It revealed three small rolls of
oatmeal toasted, a little roast chicken, a bit of ham, some mustard
in a cleaned-out inkstand! This now was the treachery of Josephine.
Josephine, who never had the least sympathy for my botanical
researches, and who had small comprehension of the nobler hungers and
thirsts of the scientific soul, had taken it on her to convert my box
into a portable meat-safe!

Bless the old meddler, how I thanked her for her treason! The aspect
of the chicken, in its blistered and varnished brown skin, reminded
me that I was clamorously hungry. Shade of Apicius! is it lawful for
civilized mortals to be so hungry as I was at eight or nine in the
morning?

At last I saw the end of that dusty, featureless street which
stretches from the barrier to the extremity of Romainville. I saw
spreading before me a broad plain, a kind of desert, where, by
carefully keeping my eyes straight ahead, I could avoid the sight of
all houses, walls, human constructions whatever.

My favorite traveler, the celebrated Le Vaillant, to whom I am
indebted for so many facts and data toward my great theory of
Comparative Geography, says that in first reaching the solitudes of
Caffraria he felt himself elated with an unknown joy. No traced road
was before him to dictate his pathway--no city shaded him with its
towers: his fortune depended on his own unaided instincts.

I felt the same delight, the same liberty. Something like the heavy
strap of a slave seemed to break behind me as I found myself quite
clear of the metropolis. Mad schemes of unanticipated journeys danced
through my head; I might amble on to Villemonble, Montfermeil, Raincy,
or even to the Forest of Bondy, so dear to the experimental botanist.
Had I not two days before me ere my compact with Hohenfels at Marly?
And in two days you can go from Paris to Florence. Meantime, from the
effects of famine, my ribs were sinking down upon the pelvic basin of
my frame.

The walk, the open air, the sight of the fowl, whose beak now burned
into my bosom's core, had sharpened my appetite beyond bearing. Yet
how could I eat without some drop of cider or soft white wine to
drink? Besides, slave of convention that I have grown, I no longer
understand the business of eating without its concomitants--a shelter
and something to sit on.

The plain became wearisome. There are two things the American-born,
however long a resident abroad, never forgives the lack of in
Europe. The first I miss when I am in Paris: it is the perpetual
street-mending of an American town. Here the boulevards, smeared with
asphaltum or bedded with crunched macadam, attain smoothness without
life: you travel on scum. But in the dear old American streets the
epidermis is vital: what strength and mutual reliance in the cobbles
as they stand together in serried ranks, like so many eye-teeth! How
they are perpetually sinking into prodigious ruts, along which the
ponderous drays are forced to dance on one wheel in a paroxysm
of agony and critical equipoise! But the perpetual state of
street-mending, that is the crowning interest. What would I not
sometimes give to exchange the Swiss sweeping-girls, plying their long
brooms desolately in the mud, for the paviors' hammers of America,
which play upon the pebbles like a carillon of muffled bells? As
for the other lack, it is the want of wooden bridges. Far away in my
native meadows gleams the silver Charles: the tramp of horses' hoofs
comes to my ear from the timbers of the bridge. _Here_, with a pelt
and a scramble your bridge is crossed: nothing addresses the heart
from its stony causeway. But the low, arched tubes of wood that span
the streams of my native land are so many bass-viols, sending out
mellow thunders with every passing wagon to blend with the rustling
stream and the sighing woods. Shall I never hear them again?

A reminiscence more than ten years old came to give precision to my
ramblings in the past. Beyond the rustic pathway I was now following I
could perceive the hills of Trou-Vassou. Hereabouts, if memory served
me, I might find a welcome, almost a home, and the clasp of cordial if
humble hands. Here I might find folks who would laugh when I arrived,
and would be glad to share their luncheon with me But--ten years gone
by!

[Illustration: THE TWO CHICKENS.]

This computation chilled my hopes. What family remains ten years in a
spot--above all, a spot on that fluctuating periphery of Paris, where
the mighty capital, year after year, bursts belt after belt? Where
might they have gone? Francine!--Francine must be twenty-two. Married,
of course. Her husband, no doubt, has dragged her off to some
other department. Her parents have followed. March, volunteer, and
disentangle yourself from these profitless speculations!

Ten minutes farther on, in the shade of the fort at Noisy-le-Sec,
I saw a red gable and the sign of a tavern. As a tourist I have a
passion for a cabaret: in practice, I find Véfours to unite perhaps a
greater number of advantages.

[Illustration: LOVE LEFT ALONE.]

Some soldiers of the Fortieth were drinking and laughing in a corner.
I took a table not far off, and drew my cold victuals out of my box of
japanned tin, which they doubtless took for a new form of canteen. The
red-fisted garçon, without waiting for orders, set up before me, like
ten-pins, a castor in wood with two enormous bottles, and a litre of
that rinsing of the vats which, under the name "wine of the country,"
is so distressingly similar in every neighborhood. Resigned to
anything, I was about drawing out my slice of ham, the chicken seeming
to me just there somewhat too proud a bird and out of harmony with the
local color, when my glance met two gray eyes regarding my own in the
highest state of expansion. The lashes, the brows, the hair and the
necklace of short beard were all very thick and quite gray. The face
they garnished was that of the tavern-keeper.

[Illustration: "FOND OF CHICKEN."]

"Why, it is you, after all, Father Joliet!" I said, after a rapid
inspection of his figure.

[Illustration: THE WIFE.]

"Ah, it is Monsieur Flemming, the Américain-flamand!" cried the host,
striking one hand into the other at the imminent risk of breaking his
pipe. In a trice he trundled off my bottle of rinsings, and replaced
it by one of claret with an orange seal, set another glass, and posted
himself in front of me.

I asked the waiter for two plates, and with a slight blush evoked the
chicken from my box. The soldiers of the Fortieth opened a battery of
staring and hungry eyes.

"And how came you here?" asked I of Joliet.

"It is I who am at the head of the hotel," he replied, proudly
pointing out the dimensions of the place by spreading his hands.
"My old establishment has sunk into the fosses of the fort: it was a
transaction between the government and myself."

"And was the transaction a good one for you?"

"Not so bad, not so bad," said he, winking his honest gray eyes with
a world of simple cunning. "It cannot be so very bad, since I owe
nothing on the hotel, and the cellar is full, and I am selling
wholesale and retail."

The vanity which a minute since had expanded his hands now got into
his legs, and set them upright under his body. He stood upon them,
his eyes proudly lowered upon the seal of the claret. A pang of envy
actually crossed my mind. I, simple _rentier_, with my two little
establishments pressing more closely upon my resources with every
year's increase of house-rates, how could I look at this glorious
small freeholder without comparisons?

"So, then, Father Joliet," said I, "you are rich?"

"At least I depend no longer on my horse, and that thanks to you and
the government."

"To me! What do you mean?"

"Why, have you forgotten the two chickens?"

[Illustration: THE LONE CRUSADE.]

At the allusion to the chickens we caught each other's eye, and
laughed like a pair of augurs. But the mysterious fowls shall be
explained to the reader.

[Illustration: TENDER CHARITY.]

[Illustration: NECESSITY KNOWING LAW.]

I need not explain that I have cast my lot with the Colonial Americans
of Paris, and taken their color. It is a sweet and luxurious mode of
life. The cooks send round our dinners quite hot, or we have faultless
servants, recommended from one colonist to another: these capital
creatures sometimes become so thoroughly translated into American
that I have known them shift around from flat to flat in colonized
households of the second and third stories without ever touching
French soil for the best part of a lifetime. At our receptions,
dancing-teas and so on we pass our time in not giving offence.
Federals and Confederates, rich cotton-spinners from Rhode Island and
farmers from thousand-acre granges in the West, are obliged to mingle
and please each other. Naturally, we can have no more political
opinions than a looking-glass. We entertain just such views as
_Galignani_ gives us every morning, harmonized with paste from a dozen
newspapers. Our grand national effort, I may say, the common
principle that binds us together as a Colony, is to forget that we
are Americans. We accordingly give our whole intellects to the task of
appearing like Europeans: our women succeed in this particularly well.
Miss Yuba Sequoia Smith, whose father made a fortune in water-rights,
is now afraid to walk a single block without the attendance of a
chambermaid in a white cap, though she came up from California quite
alone by the old Panama route. Everybody agrees that our ladies dress
well. Shall I soon forget how proud Mrs. Aquila Jones was when
a gentleman of the emperor's body-guard took her for Marguerite
Bellanger in the Bois? Our men, not having the culture of costume to
attend to, are perhaps a little in want of a stand-point. Still,
we can play billiards in the Grand Hôtel and buy fans at the
Palais Royal. We go out to Saint-Cloud on horseback, we meet at the
minister's; and I contend that there was something conciliatory and
national in a Southern colonel offering to take Bigelow to see
Menken at the Gaîté, or when I saw some West Pointers and a nephew of
Beauregard's lighting the pipe of peace at a handsome tobacconist's
in the Rue Saint-Honoré. The consciousness that we have no longer a
nationality, and that nobody respects us, adds a singular calm, an
elevation, to our views. Composed as our cherished little society is
of crumbs from every table under heaven, we have succeeded in forming
a way of life where the crusty fortitude and integrity of patriotism
is unnecessary. Our circle is like the green palace of the magpies in
Musset's _Merle Blanc_, and like them we live "de plaisir, d'honneur,
de bavardage, de gloire et de chiffons."

[Illustration: THE FERRY.]

[Illustration: JOVE'S THUNDER.]

I confess that there was a period, between the fresh alacrity of a
stranger's reception in the Colony and the settled habits I have
now fallen into, when I was rather uneasy. A society of migrators, a
system woven upon shooting particles, like a rainbow on the rain,
was odd. Residents of some permanency, like myself, were constantly
forming eternal friendships with people who wrote to them in a month
or two from Egypt. In this way a quantity of my friendships were
miserably lacerated, until I learned by practice just how much
friendship to give. At this period I was much occupied with vain
conciliations, concessions and the reconciling of inconsistencies. A
brave American from the South, an ardent disciple of Calhoun, was a
powerful advocate of State Rights, and advocated them so well that
I was almost convinced; when it appeared one day that the right of
States to individual action was to cease in cases where a living
chattel was to escape from the South to the North.

[Illustration: SCHOOL.]

In this case the State, in violation of its own
laws unrecognizant of that kind of ownership, was to account for the
property and give it back, in obedience to general Congressional order
and to the most advanced principles of Centralization. Before I
had digested this pill another was administered to me in that
small English section of our circle which gave us much pride and an
occasional son-in-law. This was by no less a person than my dear old
friend Berkley, now grown a ruddy sexagenarian, but still given to
eating breakfast in his bath-tub. The wealthy Englishman, who had
got rich by exporting china ware, was sound on the subject of free
commerce between nations. That any industry, no matter how young might
be the nation practicing it, or how peculiar the difficulties of its
prosecution, should ever be the subject of home protection, he stamped
as a fallacy too absurd to be argued. The journals venturing such
an opinion were childish drivelers, putting forth views long since
exploded before the whole world. He was still loud in this opinion
when his little book of epigrams, _The Raven of Zurich and Other
Rhymes_, came out, and being bright and saucy was reprinted in
America. The knowledge that he could not tax on a foreign soil his own
ideas, the plastic pottery of his brain, was quite too much for
his mental balance, and he took to inveighing against free trade
in literary manufactures without the slightest perception of
inconsistency, and with all the warmth, if not the eloquence, of Mr.
Dickens on the same theme. The gradual accumulation of subjects like
these--subjects _taboo_ in gentle society--soon made it apparent that
in a Colony of such diverse colors, where every man had a sore spot
or a grievance, and even the Cinderellas had corns in their little
slippers, harmony could only be obtained by keeping to general
considerations of honor, nobility, glory, and the politics of
Beloochistan; on which points we all could agree, and where Mr.
Berkley's witty eloquence was a wonder.

[Illustration: ON WITH THE DANCE!]

It is to my uneasy period, when I was sick with private griefs and
giddy with striving to reconcile incompatibilities, that the episode
of the Chickens belongs. I was looking dissatisfied out of one of
my windows. Hohenfels, disappointed of a promenade by an afternoon
shower, was looking dissatisfied out of the other. Two or three
people, waiting for four o'clock lunch, were lounging about. I had
just remarked, I believe, that I was a melancholy man, for ever
drinking "the sweet wormwood of my sorrows." A dark phantom, like that
of Adamastor, stood up between me and the stars.

"Nonsense, you ingrate!" responded the baron from his niche, "you are
only too happy. You are now in the precise position to define my
old conception of the Lucky Dog. The Lucky Dog, you know, in my
vocabulary, is he who, free from all domestic cares, saunters up and
down his room in gown and slippers, drums on the window of a rainy
afternoon, and, as he stirs his evening fire, snaps his fingers at the
world, saying, 'I have no wife nor children, good or bad, to provide
for.'"

[Illustration: ENDYMION.]

I replied that I did not willingly give way to grief, but that the
main-spring of my life was broken.

"Did you ever try," spoke up a buxom lady from a sofa--it was the
Frau Kranich, widow of the Frankfort banker, the same who used to give
balls while her husband was drugged to sleep with opium, and now for
a long time in Paris for some interminable settlement with Nathan
Rothschild--"Did you ever try the tonic of a good action? _I_ never
did, but they actually say it rejuvenates one considerably."

I avowed that I had more faith in the study of Geography.
Nevertheless, to oblige her, I would follow any suggestion.

[Illustration: HOW THE MODERN DOG TREATS LAZARUS.]

"Benefit the next person who applies to you."

"Madame, I will obey."

At this moment a wagon of singular appearance drew up before my
windows. I knew it well enough: it was the vehicle of a handy,
convenient man who came along every other morning to pick up odd jobs
from me and my neighbors. He could tinker, carpenter, mend harness:
his wife, seated in the wagon by his side, was good at a button, or
could descend and help Josephine with her ironing. A visit at this
hour, however, was unprecedented.

As Charles was beginning a conversation under the hood of the wagon, I
opened the window. "Come into the room," I said.

Hohenfels maliciously opened his. "Come in," he added "Monsieur
Flemming is especially anxious to do you a benefit."

The man, uncovering, was now standing in the little garden before
the house--a man with a face at once intelligent and candid, which is
unfortunately rare among the poor rascals of his grade. Although still
young, he was growing gray: his blouse, patched and re-sewed at all
the seams, was clean and whole. Poverty had tested him, but had as yet
picked no flaws in him. By this time my windows were alive with faces.

The man, humble but not awkward, made two or three respectful bows.
"Monsieur," he said to me, "I hope you are fond of chickens. I am
desirous to sell you a fine pair."

[Illustration: THE LAUGHING LACKEY.]

Chickens for me! and what was it supposed I should do with them?
At this point the voice of the Frau Kranich was heard, clear and
malicious: "It is a bargain: bring them in."

At the same time the canvas cover of the wagon puffed outward, giving
issue to a heavy sigh.

The man went to a sort of great cage in lattice-work occupying the
back of the vehicle. Then he backed his wagon up to the sidewalk, and
we saw, sitting on the cage and framed by the oval of the wagon-cover,
a young woman of excellent features, but sadly pale. She now held the
two chickens in her lap, caressing them, laying their heads against
her cheek, and enwreathing them in the folds of her great shawl. I
could only close the bargain with the utmost speed, to be safe from
ridicule.

"Your price?" I asked.

"Fix it yourself, sir," said the man, determined to confuse me. "You
are doubtless thoroughly acquainted with poultry."

"The nankeen--colored one," spoke up again the bell-like and
inexorable voice from the other window, "is a yellow Crèvecoeur,
very well formed and lively-looking: the slate-colored one is a
Cochin-China, with only a few of the white feathers lacking from
the head. They are chef-d'oeuvres, and are worth fully forty francs
apiece."

"Only look, sir, at their claws and bills, see their tongues, and
observe under their wings: they are young, wholesome and of fine
strain--"

He was running on when I stopped him: "Here are a hundred francs for
you, brave man."

The patchwork blouse cut a caper, a look of lively joy shot from
the man's eyes, where a tear was gathering, and the wagon, from its
bursting cover, gave utterance to a sob.

"Why sell them," I asked, touched in spite of myself, "if you are so
attached to them? Is the money indispensable to you? I might possibly
make an advance."

"Ah, you are a real Christian--you are now," said the honest Joliet,
polishing his eyeball with his coat-cuff. "The good woman holds by
them, it is true. Holy Virgin! it's she that has raised them, and I
may say brooded over them in the coop. The eggs were for our salad
when we had nothing better than nettles and sorrel. But, day in and
night in, we have no other lodging than our wagon, and the wife is
promising to give me a dolly; and if we don't take out the cage, where
will the cradle go, sir?"

[Illustration: THE PRESENT.]

The calculation appeared reasonable. I received the birds, and they
were the heroes, in their boudoir under the piano, of that night's
conversazione.

[Illustration: THE CONVALESCENT.]

[Illustration: THE DIVIDED BURDEN.]

How hard it is for a life cast upon the crowded shores of the Old
World to regain the place once lost is shown by the history of my
honest friend Joliet. Born in 1812, of an excellent family living
twenty miles from Versailles, the little fellow lost his mother before
he could talk to her. When he was ten years old, his father, who had
failed after some land speculations, and had turned all he had into
money, tossed him up to the lintel of the doorway, kissed him, put a
twenty-franc gold-piece into his little pocket, and went away to
seek his fortune in Louisiana: the son never heard of him more. The
lady-president of a charitable society, Mademoiselle Marx, took pity
on the abandoned child: she fed him on bones and occasionally beat
him. She was an ingenious and inventive creature, and made her own
cat-o'-nine-tails: an inventor is for ever demonstrating the merits
of his implement. Soon, discovering that he was thankless and
unteachable, she made him enter, as youngest clerk, the law-office
of her admirer and attorney, Constabule. This gentleman, not finding
enough engrossing work to keep the lad out of mischief, allowed him to
sweep his rooms and blacken his boots. Little Joliet, after giving a
volatile air to a great many of his employer's briefs by making paper
chickens of them, showed his imperfect sense of the favors done him
by absconding. In fact, proud and independent, he was brooding over
boyish schemes of an honorable living and a hasty fortune. He soon
found that every profession required an apprenticeship, and that an
apprenticeship could only be bought for money. He was obliged, then,
to seek his grand fortune through somewhat obscure avenues. If I
were to follow my poor Joliet through all his transmigrations and
metempsychoses, as I have learned them by his hints, allusions and
confessions, I should show him by turns working a rope ferry, where
the stupid and indolent cattle, whose business it is to draw men, were
drawn by him; then letter-carrier; supernumerary and call-boy in a
village theatre; road-mender on a vicinal route; then a beadle,
a bell-ringer, and a sub-teacher in an infant school, where he
distributed his own ignorance impartially amongst his little patrons
at the end of a stick; after this, big drum in the New Year's
festivals, and ready at a moment's opportunity to throw down the
drumstick and plunge among the dancers, for Joliet was a well-hinged
lad, and the blood of nineteen years was tingling in his heels. After
fluttering thus from branch to branch, like the poor birdling that
cannot take its flight, discouraged by his wretched attempts at life,
he plunged straight before him, hoping for nothing but a turn of luck,
driving over the roads and fields, lending a hand to the farmers,
sleeping in stables and garrets, or oftener in the open air;
sometimes charitably sheltered in a kind man's barn, and perhaps--oh
bliss!--honestly employed with him for a week or two; at others rudely
repulsed as a good-for-nothing and vagabond. Vagabond! That truly was
his profession now. He forgot the charms of a fixed abode. He came
to like his gypsy freedom, the open air and complete independence. He
laughed at his misery, provided it shifted its place occasionally.

[Illustration: SHARE MY CUP.]

[Illustration: BREAKING STONES.]

One day, when Hazard, his ungenerous guardian, seemed to have
quite forgotten him, he walked--on an empty stomach, as the doctors
say--past the lofty walls of a château. A card was placed at the gate
calling for additional hands at a job of digging. Each workman, it
was promised, had a right to a plate of soup before beginning. This
article tempted him. At the gate a lackey, laughing in his face,
told him the notice had been posted there six months: workmen were no
longer wanted. "Wait, though," said the servant, and in another minute
gave the applicant a horse!--a real, live horse in blood and bones,
but in bones especially. "There," said the domestic, "set a beggar
on horseback and see him ride to the devil!" And, laughing with that
unalloyed enjoyment which one's own wit alone produces, he retired
behind his wicket.

[Illustration: SICKNESS AND COURTSHIP.]

The horse thus vicariously fulfilling the functions of a plate of soup
was a wretched glandered beast--not old, but shunned on account of the
contagious nature of his disease. Having received the order to take
him to be killed at the abattoir, monsieur the valet, having better
things to do, gave the commission to Joliet, with all its perquisites.

Joliet did not kill the steed: he cured it. He tended it, he drenched
it, he saved it. By what remedy? I cannot tell. I have never been a
farrier, though Joliet himself made me perforce a poulterer. Many a
bit of knowledge is picked up by those who travel the great roads. The
sharp Bohemian, by playing at all trades, brushing against gentry of
all sorts and scouring all neighborhoods, becomes at length a living
cyclopaedia.

[Illustration: THE WAGON.]

Joliet, like Democritus and Plato, saw everything with his own eyes,
learned everything at first hand. He was a keen observer, and in our
interviews subsequent to the affair of the chickens I was more than
once surprised by the extent of his information and the subtlety of
his insight. His wits were tacked on to a number of remote supports.
In our day, when each science has become so complicated, so obese,
that a man's lifetime may be spent in exercising round one of them,
there are hardly any generalizers or observers fit to estimate their
relativity, except among the two classes called by the world idlers
and ignorants--the poets and the Bohemians.

Joliet, now having joined the ranks of the cavalry, found his account
in his new dignity. He became an orderly, a messenger. He carried
parcels, he transported straw and hay. If the burden was too heavy for
the poor convalescent, the man took his own portion with a good grace,
and the two mutually aided each other on the errand. Thanks to his
horse, the void left by his failure to learn a trade was filled up by
a daily and regular task: what was better, an affection had crept into
his heart. He loved his charge, and his charge loved him.

This great hotel, the world, seemed to be promising entertainment then
for both man and beast, when an epoch of disaster came along--a season
of cholera. In the villages where Joliet's business lay the doors just
beginning to be hospitable were promptly shut against him. Where the
good townsmen had recognized Assistance in his person, they now saw
Contagion.

[Illustration: DINNER-TIME!]

If he had been a single man, he could have lain back and waited for
better times. But he now had two mouths to feed. He kissed his horse
and took a resolution.

He had never been a mendicant. "Beggars don't go as hungry as I have
gone," said he. "But what will you have? Nobility obliges. My father
was a gentleman. I have broken stones, but never the _devoirs_ of my
order."

He left the groups of villages among which his new industry had lain.
The cholera was behind him: trouble, beggary perhaps, was before him.
As night was coming on, Joliet, listlessly leading his horse, which he
was too considerate to ride, saw upon the road a woman whom he took
in the obscurity for a farmer's wife of the better class or a decent
villager. For an introduction the opportunity was favorable enough.
On her side, the _quasi_ farmer's wife, seeing in the dusk an honest
fellow dragging a horse, took him for a "gentleman's gentleman" at
the least, and the two accosted each other with that easy facility of
which the French people have the secret. Each presented the other with
a hand and a frank smile.

[Illustration: FIDELITY.]

Joliet, whom I have erred perhaps in comparing to Democritus, was
nevertheless a laugher and a philosopher. But his grand ha-ha! usually
infectious, was not shared on this occasion. The wanderer could not
show much merriment. A sewing-woman with a capacity for embroidery,
her needle had given her support, but now a sudden warning of
paralysis, and symptoms of cholera added to that, had driven her
almost to despair. She was without home, friend or profession.

[Illustration: A LITTLE VISITOR.]

Joliet set her incontinently on horseback, and walked by her side to
a good village curé's two miles off--the same who had assisted him to
his first communion, and for whom he subsequently became a beadle. The
kind priest opened his arms to the man, his heart to the woman, his
stable to the horse. For his second patient my Bohemian set in motion
all his stock of curative ideas. In a month she was well, and the curé
no longer had three pensioners, for of two of them he made one.

Two poverties added may make a competence. Monsieur and Madame Joliet
were good and willing. The man began to wear a strange not
unbecoming air of solidity and good morals. The girls now saluted him
respectfully when he passed through a village.

One thing, however, in the midst of his proud honeymoon perplexed him
much. Hardly married, and over head and ears in love, he knew not how
to invite his bride to some wretched garret, himself deserting her to
resume his former life in the open air. To give up the latter seemed
like losing existence itself.

One morning, as he asked himself the difficult question, a pair of
old wheels at the door of a cartwright seemed of their own accord
to resolve his perplexity. He bought them, the payment to be made in
labor: for a week he blew the wheelwright's bellows. The wheels were
his own: to make a wagon was now the affair of a few old boards and a
gypsy's inventiveness.

Thus was conceived that famous establishment where, for several years,
lived the independent monarch and his spouse, rolling over the roads,
circulating through the whole belt of villages around Paris, and
carrying in their ambulant home, like the Cossacks, their utensils,
their bed, their oven, their all.

From town to town they carried packages, boxes and articles of barter.
At dinner-time the van was rolled under a tree. The lady of the house
kindled a fire in the portable stove behind a hedge or in a ditch. The
hen-coop was opened, and the sage seraglio with their sultan prudently
pecked about for food. At the first appeal they re-entered their cage.

[Illustration: FRANCINE.]

At the same appeal came flying up the dog of the establishment, a most
piteous-looking griffin, disheveled, moulted, staring out of one eye,
lame and wild. For devotion and good sense his match could be found
nowhere. Like his horse, his wife, his house and the pins in his
sleeve, Joliet had picked the collie up on the road.

The arrival of a tiny visitor to the Bohemian's address made a
change necessary. Little Francine's dowry was provided by my humorous
acquisition of the yellow and slate-colored chickens.

With his savings and my banknote Joliet determined to have a fixed
residence. He succeeded of course. The walls, the windows, the doors,
everything but the garden-patch, he picked up along the roads.

[Illustration: "DON'T WRING MY HEART!"]

Buried in eglantine and honeysuckle, soon no one would suspect the
home-made character of Joliet's château. It became the centre of my
botanizing excursions. Francine grew into a fair, slim girl, like the
sweetest and most innocent of Gavarni's sketches, and sold flowers to
the passers-by.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such were the souvenirs I had of this brave tavern-keeper in his old
capacity of roadster and tramp. Now, after an hiatus of years, I
found him before me in a different character at the beginning of my
roundabout trips to Marly.

But what had become of my favorite little rose-merchant?

"Francine?" asked Joliet briskly, as if he was wondering whom I could
mean by such a name. "You mean my wife? Poor thing! She is dead."

"I am speaking of your daughter, Father Joliet."

"Oh, my daughter, my girl Francine? She went to live with her
godmother. It was ten years ago."

"And you have not seen her since?"

"Yes--yes--two years back. She has gone again."

"To her godmother?"

"No."

"Why so?"

"Her godmother would not receive her. Don't wring my heart so, sir!"

EDWARD STRAHAN.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



OUR HOME IN THE TYROL.

[Illustration: VIEW OF TAUFERS VALLEY.]

CHAPTER VII.


We left the Hof one August Friday--we were not superstitious--a goodly
company, sufficient to freight the rumbling old stage-wagon which
jolted daily between Bruneck and Taufers, a distance of nine miles. At
this village the sedater portion of the party were to settle down with
books, pencils and drawing-paper until the Alpine visit should have
been paid.

The valley of Taufers, running northward with a grand vista to the
north-west of the vast Zillerthal snow-fields, suggests at a distance
the idea of a stern, joyless district. When in the broader Pusterthal
the sunshine floods upland plain and slope, this important but narrow
tributary valley lies steeped in its gloomy shade, the dark sides of
the Sambock frowning grimly on the opposite shadowy Tesselberg. Great,
therefore, was the surprise of some of the party to find, as we drove
along, instead of melancholy solitude, prosperous villages basking in
sunshine, whilst little children skipped merrily, and men and women
worked amongst the golden stooks as if enjoying the labor of their
hands. Yes, strange to say, effulgent sunshine everywhere on acre
and meadow, and slanting down upon a wayside cottage garden, where
a freshly-painted Christ lay drying between tall sunflowers. This
cottage seemed the only shadow in this unexpectedly bright picture,
for, occupied by a religious image-maker, crucifixes and wooden saints
peeped wholesale out of the windows. Is it a want of sensibility in
these poor Tyrolese peasants which causes them to cling tenaciously to
such frightful material forms of religion, making them give prominence
to every conceivable sign of sacred sorrow and suffering? But the
jolting stage-wagon allowed us no time to analyze this painful,
ever-recurring feature of the Tyrol. When we next looked up we
saw above us, on a wooded crag, a square gray tower, which, once a
stronghold, appears, as if exhausted with old age, to be tottering
into the midst of lesser ruins.

It was Neuhaus, once a fortress of the rigid old barons of Tuvers.
Hugo, the sixth lord, died there in 1309, and in the chapel, which
still stands, mass is said at stated periods for the salvation of his
soul and the souls of his relations. The whole place would undoubtedly
have been given over to the owls and the bats had not two adjacent
springs--one of iron, the other of chalk and alum--been considered, a
quarter of a century since, either as preventives or as cures for
the cholera, then raging. A chalet was therefore planted on the rocks
between the chapel and the castle, and a bath-house opened, which
would probably be still much frequented on account of the beauty of
the situation were the bath-owner only a little more attentive to the
comfort of his humble guests.

The valley, apparently so gloomy, proved not only cheerful, but full
of romance and old-world memories. Other castles there were,
perched gracefully on their crags; and thus, much sooner than we
had anticipated, we found ourselves stopping at the Post in Taufers.
Rather Sand in Taufers, the single appellation being used chiefly for
the parent church, which, with a mortuary chapel and a house for
the "young and sick," stands apart. Sand and Moritz, two prosperous
villages, cluster with this group of buildings at the head of the
valley, gathering like fiefs at the foot of the fine old castle, still
one of the grandest feudal remains in ruin-bestrewn Tyrol. A third
village, Müklen, though quite distinct, lies sufficiently near to
deserve being included in the circle.

The Post, in prospect of the increase of custom occasioned by the
Pusterthal railway, had enlarged its borders during the past winter.
Nor had it been deceived in the speculation, for, although only one
up-and-down train in the day crawls along the valley, the news of the
comfortable inn in the midst of beautiful scenery had already brought
custom enough. Thus all our powers of persuasion were lost upon
the handsome sister of the young wirth, a noted beauty of the
neighborhood. "Their house was full already. Nine guests, who had
never sent word beforehand, were quite out of the question, but the
Herrschaft could be accommodated at the Elephant opposite, which was
related to the Post."

So, crossing over to the Elephant, the house being entirely empty,
we found space and cleanliness, and might have found perfect comfort
withal, had not the landlord and landlady proved in a perpetual state
of somnolency, their few waking intervals being barely sufficient
for the supply of the simplest wants. In spite of these and
other unsatisfactory auspices, such as the tea being served in a
soup-tureen, the stayers voted to remain at the Elephant in our
absence, making up for all inward deficiencies by outdoor enjoyment.

A country clown with an honest face, Ignaz by name, agreed for a
trifle to carry our bundles and ample provision of food to the Olm. He
made a serious matter of it, however, when he pertinaciously insisted
on four in the morning being the hour for starting. The dispute
finally ended by the agreement to allow Ignaz to carry our belongings
at the hour he chose, seeing that all the village was ready to take an
affidavit as to his honesty, and we being allowed the same freedom of
choice for ourselves. All having thus been comfortably arranged, we
sallied forth for an evening stroll.

A turn in the quiet village street soon revealed the great massive
castle on its plateau of rock--shattered towers, broken battlements,
oriel and bay windows jutting out here and there, its bulwarks running
down the precipice, but not, as formerly, shutting in the narrow gorge
leading into the Ahrnthal, a busy, populous valley, closed in its turn
by the snow-clad bulk of the Tauern, down which, on the farther side,
the noted Kriml waterfall plunges. Remembering, from a visit paid to
the castle in the former year, that an easy winding road, shaded
by trees and commanding splendid mountain-views, led through the
fortifications by the back of the castle to the great gateway, we
chose it in preference to the steep, perpendicular path, which, always
taken by the natives, led equally to the drawbridge and main entrance.
To our extreme regret, however, we soon found our course impeded by
the huge trunks of mighty pine trees lying in a perfect pell-mell
above and on both sides of us. A glance up the hillside showed scores
more of these slain giants. To proceed was almost hopeless, and
we were forced to rest upon some timber and mark our future course
between piles oozing with turpentine.

Whilst we were engaged in our calculations, an old crone, who had
been groping about in the crevices for chips and sticks, stopped, and
seeing us thus penned in by tree boles, eyed us with a compassionate
look. "Ja, ja!" said she, "with fallen trees all jumbled together it
is hard for the Herrschaft to move on; but it's harder for us poor
folks, who have seen the trees growing here ever since we were born,
to hear day and night the axe going hack, hack, and the trees come
thudding down. Sixteen strong Welschers from a distance do the work:
they knew well enough a Taufern would have looked long at the sixers
(ten-kreuzer pieces) before he would have shorn the mighty forests.
Look you!" and she pointed to the sky. "As far as you can see they are
felling."

We looked, and sure enough the vast woods that clothed the lofty
mountainsides were being ruthlessly cleared away. We suggested that a
protest should be made.

"Oh, na, na! The woods are none of ours. The graf de Ferraris too has
sold the estate to a gesellschaft from Vienna. They care nothing for
the castle, but are hungry for timber. The count lives a long way
off, and does not feel it, but it must eat the heart of his aged
lady mother to the fibres--she lives in the village--to know that
foreigners are sweeping down masses of trees by wholesale--trees that
have always kept the poor man's noodles boiling. And where are the
planks to come from for our houses, our barns, our stables? And how
can the cattle be kept from straying without fences of wood? Then,
too, avalanches of snow and of stones will fall, and maybe overwhelm
the village. Thanks to the Mother of God! they will drop on my grave,
but, Lord Jesus, the children and the children's children!"

Having given us these sad scraps of information, and heaving a
big sigh, the poor old soul lifted up her bundle of chips and went
fumbling forward over her stumbling-blocks.

Sad and true was the picture which she had drawn. Nor does it,
alas! belong exclusively to Taufers, but to the whole Tyrol. In many
instances the people are themselves eager for this reckless clearing.
They hope thereby to secure more pasturage, the feeding and rearing
of cattle being the great idea of wealth to the Tyroler. So they make
ready money of their timber, which now in the form of masts floats on
the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. The Venetians, requiring timber,
have turned the once beautiful, richly-wooded Dalmatia into a dreary,
barren land. In the Tyrol it is not generally foreigners, but the
natives, who unhesitatingly sweep away woods, which, causing grass and
plants to grow, have enabled human habitations to be erected on spots
that would otherwise be but dreary wildernesses, the battle-fields of
chilling winds and scorching sunshine. The precious timber, which like
refuse they cart into the clumsy yawning craters called stoves, or
else sell out of the country for economy so called, might not only
supply the land for centuries with a proper amount of fuel, either as
wood or charcoal, but bring prosperity to many a sequestered village
if turned into tools and kitchen utensils, whilst still leaving
thousands of trees for export. "The supply has never failed yet," say
the Tyrolese: "why should we replant forests to have to cut them down
again, when the ground, too, is good for grass or corn?" So the axe
lies ruthlessly at the root of every tree, for a heavy reckoning
hereafter to the Tyroler.

With a weighing and balancing over every step which we took worthy
of a diplomatist, we finally stood upon the drawbridge of the castle.
Here the savage customs of the rude days in which it was built
immediately impress the beholder. Traces remain of the ponderous iron
portcullis, heavy wooden bars, arrow-holes, and slits in the masonry
for the pouring of boiling water or oil upon adverse knight or lordly
freebooter. A steep path leads through two great entrance-gates into
the large inner court, which is erected upon the virgin rock. A roof
of old wooden shingles shelters the well, and ancient rotting timber
mingles everywhere with the impervious stone in the massive buildings
of the castle, conveying a sense of weakness and decay in the midst of
the strongest durability.

Not only was the old castle dismantled, but apparently entirely
abandoned this summer evening. We were preparing to return without
seeing the interior when a little maiden arrived from the village, who
with flushed face and timid mien drew the castle key from under a
big stone, stood on tiptoe and turned the heavy lock, and the door
creaking on its hinges we were left to wander at our will through
old wainscoted rooms in the dreamy twilight. No spirit of modern
restoration had ever reached them: they were allowed to remain just
as inconvenient, but also just as quaint, as on the day of their
erection. There were gloomy recesses enough, but there were likewise
graceful carvings, mottoes, rare tracery and wood-work; while, strange
to say, in several chambers grotesque wooden birds were suspended from
the ceiling like malformed ducks, conveying at first no idea of the
Holy Dove which the old lords had desired to symbolize, yet probably
in those unquiet days their best conception of this emblem of peace.

The barons not only fought, squabbled and feasted, but prayed too
in their fashion; so we came upon the chapel, disfigured by barbaric
effigies, tawdry ornamentation and flimsy modern artificial flowers.
It is still used for the weekly mass which, as at Neuhaus, is read
here for the peace of the turbulent lords of Tuvers. Still, within
the memory of man a hermit occupied some narrow chambers adjoining the
chapel. He had retired amongst these ruins of transitory greatness to
warn his fellow-creatures against carnal passions, prayed for the dead
and shrived the living. The old anchorite has passed, we hope, into
heavenly repose, but cinders, which may almost be called holy ashes,
still lie scattered on his deserted little hearth.

The banqueting-hall, a fine though low room, supported on solid
rounded arches, contains innumerable flour-and corn-bins, which,
though dating from the Middle Ages, are still in perfect condition.
Here knight and baron caroused, here mummers have played and bears
have danced, whilst sword and spur clanked upon the rude stone floor.
In the ladies' bower above many a minne-singer has struck his lyre.
Nay, Oswald von Wolkenstein, a prince amongst troubadours, wearing
his golden chain and brilliant orders, has brought tears from many a
gentle eye as he sang to his harp his pathetic elegies, the cruelty of
Sabina his lady, and his adventures in England, Spain and Persia.
He was a noble, courtly knight, conversing in French, Moorish,
Catalonian, Castilian, German, Latin, Wendisch, Lombardic and Russian;
and his bones lie in the great cloister of Neustift, not half a day's
journey from Taufers.

How often, too, has the shrill sound of the bugle called to feats
of arms in the court, to hawking and hunting in valley and
mountain-forest! How many a crusader against Turk, infidel, _Prussian_
and _Hussite_ has crossed the wooden drawbridge upon his war-horse!
Yes, and what an excitement in the noble Catholic household when in
the adjoining Ahrnthal the peasants, becoming enamored of Lutheranism,
rose in the peasant war of 1525! How darkly, too, must they have
painted the fanatical bauer Barthlmä Duregger of St. Peter's in the
Ahrnthal, who, after being taken prisoner, escaped near their
postern gate to circulate threats of fire and murder throughout the
neighborhood, vowing to reduce Bruneck to ashes! Reappearing with a
band of twelve poachers and twenty-six laborers, and accompanied
by Peter Baszler of Antholz, he robbed and plundered the clergy,
stripping the worthy priest Andreas Spaat of all his worldly goods,
so that he died in the utmost poverty. Although much blood was shed
in their pursuit, this lawless, misguided man and his band were never
taken. Great as their sin would naturally seem to the noble family at
the castle, no less lamentable and equally worthy of torture and
death would the heretics of Bruneck appear. About the same time the
sacrilegious books, as they were called, of Zwingli and Luther were
sold there openly, conventicle hymns were sung in the streets, and the
priest Stephan Gobi preached against the holy doctrine of confession
and the invocation of saints; whilst the schoolmaster Bartholomew
Huber, though he could not find time to teach the children the
catechism, puzzled their innocent minds with Virgil's _Georgics_ and
Cicero's _Letters_. Toward the end of the sixteenth century the heresy
was suppressed, when the lords and ladies of Taufers Castle sang no
doubt a triumphant Te Deum in their chapel. The inmates were not then
barons of Tuvers proper, for the title having early become extinct
the castle passed into many noble hands, sometimes reaching those of
royalty. Such a booty never remained unoccupied, until, coming
into the possession of Hieronymus, count of Ferraris, in 1685, his
descendants gradually permitted it to fall into ruin, its evil days
culminating under the present count, who sold the estate a few years
since to a speculating company, who merely value it for the timber.
The rooms which still remain habitable are tenanted by peasants and by
the sixteen pitiless wood-cutters.

Seven o'clock the next morning found Frau Anna, E----, the two
Margarets and our good Moidel bound full of life and spirits for the
Eder Olm. We had soon left the village of Moritz behind us, and were
climbing a shady wood-path, when we met a peasant-woman with her
daughter, and she exclaimed, "What! Herrschaft going to Rein! What big
eyes they will make over the stones!"

Sure enough, very big eyes were made by some of the Herrschaft. After
ascending to a meadow amphitheatre, then resting in a sunny wood,
redolent of pine odors, near the foundations of a ruined stronghold,
the Burgkofel, we came upon a realm of gigantic boulders. Some, in
the shape of huge granite slabs, formed a rude, continuous broadway;
others, scarred and furrowed, but softened and beautified by golden
and silver lichen, torn by storms and snow from the cyclopean
mountain-walls, were scattered topsy-turvy on either hand; many had
become lodged in the river, where they carried on a steady defence
against the tumultuous Giessbach, which, having its rise in mountains
ten thousand feet high, leapt, foaming milky white, over and between
them, forming a long series of bold cascades for a distance of half a
dozen miles. The road continued by the boisterous rapids, hemmed in on
the other hand by woods and threatening mountain-walls. The thunder of
the waters prevented continuous conversation: we therefore admired in
silence the grandeur of the scene and the magnificent glimpses which
slight curves in the road afforded ever and anon of neighboring
mountain-peaks and wooded valleys below.

No carriage of any kind can ascend this road. It would be difficult
indeed for horses; nevertheless, the herds of cattle traverse it
in the journey to and from the Olm, their hoofs being able to find
foothold on the rock. Moidel said that the cattle were so delighted
to go to the Alps for the summer after the winter's confinement in
the stall that they made the journey with a kind of joyful impatience,
going on still more eagerly as they approached the end. "Not so,
however," added Moidel, "with the pigs. I have often sat and cried on
these rocks at their perverse ways when I have had to bring them up.
They would only stand still and grunt while I begged and prayed and
pushed. When they reached the top a new spirit soon seized them: they
were here, there and everywhere--in a week's time leaping like goats,
as if they had taken to wine."

We made the climb slowly, and noon was long passed when we reached
the saw-mills, the first houses in the mountain parish of St. Wolfgang
or Rein. The busy, purring mills stood on the edge of the Sarine at
the extremity of a flat mountain-valley intersected by innumerable
brooks, which, continually overflowing, turn it constantly into a
lake. The grass had been under water a week previously, but was now
sufficiently dry for us to sit and rest. Whilst we were so doing,
Ignaz, our _träger_, stood before us, his empty basket on his back.

"The barn is swept and garnished in readiness for the Herrschaft, and
their bundles and parcels are arranged there in beautiful order--many
bundles, and far heavier than they looked last night." Ignaz, however,
was of opinion that though the pay was small the gentry meant well
by him, and therefore he had not scrupled to take the food the worthy
farmer's wife had offered him, leaving the Christian soul to be repaid
by the gentlefolks when they came. And, moreover, he had advised the
landlord at Rein that the gentry were passing through, so that they
should not fail to find eatables ready, seeing hunger and weariness
were best consoled by food.

After which communication we regarded Ignaz as much less a clown than
he looked. Pushing forward, we soon saw the little inn shining forth
a mile farther up the valley--a small white chalet, with the
pink-checked feather beds hanging to air in the upper gallery.

Moidel looked grave over the dinner which the interposition of Ignaz
had prepared for us. "The place is called Rein (clean)," she said,
"but it is none of the cleanest. A Graf once reached Rein, and he
thought it so pastoral that he asked at the inn for a drink of new
milk, but the landlord shook his head and asked for other orders,
seeing there was none in the house. Then the Graf said he would take
cream, but the landlord shook his head and asked for other orders.
Fresh eggs? Yes, the landlord said there were eggs, and begged him to
step into the zechstube until they were boiled. When they came they
made the very room smell, and the Graf in disgust ordered wine. This
was speedily forthcoming, but with so dirty a glass that the Graf,
making a long face, angrily called for the reckoning and departed."

After Moidel's tale, and certain recollections of our own concerning
the little hostel last year, we all approached the house with very
humble expectations. The wirth, already on the lookout, received
Moidel and two of the party as old friends, and hearing no nay he
marshaled us up stairs, and flinging open a bed-room door, looked
proudly triumphant as even Moidel uttered an exclamation of surprise.

Whether constant reminders from his neighbors of the Graf's
unfortunate visit, or a wave of civilization from the Pusterthal had
reached this secluded mountain-inn, certain it is that twelve months
had wrought a marvelous change here. Whilst the rest of the house
remained rough, dirty and primitive, the landlord had devoted all
his powers of taste and judgment upon this upper chamber. Leaning
complacently against the door, he received our congratulations on the
pretty ceiling and walls of carved deal wainscot, on the grand new
bed, and the bouquet of fresh Edelweiss in a wash-basin, but showed
surprise that the fiery tigers and gliding serpents which in a couple
of gilt frames adorned the walls received no flattering comments from
our lips. He next displayed a visitors' book, containing already some
half dozen names, watching closely the astonishment it should produce
in us as he prepared the table for our meal. But even the study of the
names had to be interrupted, for he had purchased some steel knives
and forks, which were, he considered, to bring him great credit and
reputation; nor could he complete his work without hinting at the
superiority of his table-cloth and napkins. Fortunately, a call from
below that the pancakes were ready enabled us to have a little laugh
to ourselves. Linen being used in all peasant houses, he had discarded
it as vulgar, wearing himself an unbleached cotton shirt with an
incipient frill, and supplying his guests with a table-cloth and
napkins of the same material from an empty wash-basin.

We had already discussed two dishes of hot pancakes--really worthy of
commendation--enjoyed an hour's rest, taken coffee, and were rising to
depart, when the landlady appeared with a hop, skip and jump. She was
a lively, voluble little woman, who, though she had attired herself
for us in two enormous cloth petticoats, a stuff bodice and yards of
Bohemian lace in frills and ruffles, by way of displaying the wealth
of her wardrobe, bobbed and curtseyed as if set on wires. Great was
the difficulty, between the amusing, friendly wife and the husband
proud of her and his inn, either to pay our bill or get away. They
declared there was no hurry about the reckoning, and pressed us still
to stay. Seeing our resolution, the wirth with a sigh produced a brown
painted board from under his arm, a piece of chalk from his pocket,
made the bill, gave us change out of a tea-cup, and amidst reiterated
invitations to return if not satisfied with the barn, we tore
ourselves away, their friendly good-byes and good wishes floating
after us.



CHAPTER VIII.


We now left the Reinthal and turned into the side-valley of
Bachernthal. It was the 17th of August, but the little plots of corn
still waved long and green, giving a feeling of early summer. We
were in a perfect paradise of an Alpine valley. Before us the great
near-lying mountains, the princely Hoch Gall and the Gross Lengstein
Glacier, shone like molten silver against the intense blue sky, whilst
the Schnebige Nock rose pure and isolated across the narrow valley,
suggesting to one of the party the simile of the swan-breasted maiden
of Northern mythology.

After passing several chalets we came to that of the Eder Olm. It
belonged to the Hofbauer, and was occupied by his _pächter_ or bailiff
the year round. Here, too, was the barn which we were to use as
our night-quarters during our stay. It was a great wooden building,
divided into three compartments, one being two-thirds filled with hay,
on which we were intended to sleep. It was true that Josef the pächter
had succeeded by means of sweeping and a little arrangement in making
the barn really attractive; but, alas! alas! we had hardly begun
preparing our beds when the horrible discovery was made that under the
surface the hay was soaking wet. Josef could hardly be blamed for not
telling us, as in the Tyrol the people regard lying on wet or dewy
grass as a natural system of hydropathy.

We had not shawls and cloaks enough to construct beds upon the barn
floor, and the pächter's house, though substantial, was but a dark
den, already stuffed full with wife and children. Must we, then,
really return to the inn at Rein with its ornamental snakes and lions?

It was dusk out of doors, but pitch dark within, save for the dim,
uncertain light of a horn lantern, and, all regularly worn out with
our ten miles' climb, we sighed for bed. It was futile, however,
simply to exchange expressions of dismay; so, groping about, to our
joy we alighted suddenly upon several bundles of clean, fresh straw
stowed away in the farthest recess of the opposite division. In a
trice a dangerous corn-chopping machine had been removed, the straw
loosened and spread out, and, covered with shawls and water-proof, it
formed as comfortable a great bed of Ware as ever weary bones could
desire. Forming a row, the tired wanderers were soon sleeping
the sleep of five just persons, the sound of several neighboring
waterfalls soothing rather than disturbing slumber.

In the early morning it was put to the vote and carried that eider
down and spring mattresses were useless innovations after luxurious
straw, and that whilst some benighted people might regard us as having
been in purgatory, we had been in paradise, and hoped to be there
again within twenty-four hours. And the barn, too! How poor in
comparison seemed a conventional house on this sweet Sunday morning!
We had prudently filled all the large apertures in the eaves and
wooden sides the night before with hay, but there were plenty of
crevices for the sun to peep in by, whilst with wafts of mountain-air
it entered freely by the folding barn door as Moidel gently passed in
and out, on breakfast matters intent. Corn- and grain-bins, sieves,
flails and ladders pleased us better for the nonce than formal
furniture, although none the less convenient did we find the great
square wooden table and the benches which the pächter had thoughtfully
placed on the threshing-floor which formed the central division.

[Illustration: SCHLOSS TAUFERS.]

On one side of the barn a small room had been boarded off. It
contained empty milk-pans, ox-bells, old ropes and cords, together
with two chests and two pairs of men's strong leather boots.
This, Moidel suggested, should be used as joint store-room and
dressing-room. Fortunately, however, we had applied it to neither
requirement, when a singular occurrence took place which might be
classed as a ghost-story at night or an optical delusion by day. The
great barn-door quietly opened, Moidel having gone out and shut it,
and two figures--one in soiled homespun shirt and _loden_ trousers,
wooden clogs, with a little black leather skull-cap on his head and a
pipe in his mouth; the other older, in leather breeches, brown knitted
worsted jacket, and an old black silk handkerchief tied round his
neck--glided in. We could have sworn that they were Jakob and the old
senner Franz, but no response came to our exclamation of recognition,
and in a second they had vanished into the said little room, where all
remained, however, as silent as before. Two of us now began even to
doubt, but the other two were positive, that figures had floated
in. Ten minutes later the mystery was solved by the identical Jakob,
attended by Franz, reappearing from the chamber, not, however, in
the hard-working dress in which they had entered, but in full
Sunday array, the leather boots upon their feet and broad-brimmed,
flower-bedecked beavers in their hands. Poor Jakob! sore must
have been his perplexity when, in the hope of slinking into his
wardrobe-room unobserved, we had come open-eyed upon him in his soiled
array. At the cost of apparent rudeness, arising chiefly from shyness,
he had silently disappeared, the old servant following his example.
Now, however, they could both freely welcome us to the Olm, expressing
the pleasure it would give them to accompany us to the senner huts on
their return with Moidel at ten o'clock from church.

This was Jakob's first introduction to Frau Anna and E----. He eyed
them closely and silently for some minutes; then said, "I like them:
they look good!" and so they went to mass.

The barn and chalet called Eder formed part of the Hofbauer's lower
Alp, where a little later in the season the cattle were brought down
for several weeks of pasturage before they descended to their winter
home. We were now bound in company with the returning church-goers for
the group of senner huts belonging to the larger still more elevated
tract, which the Hofbauer rented in company with five other bauers.
Leaving the meadows very shortly after quitting our night-quarters,
where we seemed already in the very bosom of the snow-mountains, we
began again to ascend through a wood of primeval pines and fir trees,
long gray moss hanging from their hoary branches like patriarchs'
beards, whilst round their stems, amidst a chaos of rocks, were spread
the softest carpets of moss and lichen. In the centre of the wood,
where an opening covered with the finest turf afforded an agreeable
resting-place, as usual a cross--that most familiar object in a
Tyrolese landscape--had been erected. In this instance, more striking
and melancholy than ever, for this general point of attraction to
peasants seemed here, in the very heart of the mountains, to be
forgotten and despised. Small in size, as if wood had been grudged
in this land of wood, the writing on the cross erased by storms,
the dissevered arms and limbs were painfully scattered on the sward
below--type indeed as of a powerless Saviour unable to save or to
bless. Indeed, so offensive and discordant did this pitiable emblem
appear, and in such mocking contrast to the sublimity of the scene,
that we spoke of it to Moidel, as, laden with our eatables, she came
slowly up behind. "Ah," she replied, "it is not that the cross is
left unregarded, nor is it age which has thus damaged it, but the wild
storms and lasting snows. A new cross is often erected, but it has not
long been exposed before it is again utterly defaced. The herdsmen
and senners, however, see the meaning under it, and it keeps them
straight, Fräulein."

Well-intentioned but slow of apprehension, these poor peasants cling
to a carved Christ, and feel a horrible alarm, as if you were offering
them a vacant creed, when you touch upon anything higher. Thus Moidel,
though very intelligent, looked somewhat grave and quiet until the
woods opened and she had to point out the senner huts. These were rude
but very picturesque log cabins, built in a clearing amongst a steep
chaos of rocks, with the glaciers and the majestic peak of the
Hoch Gall shining above all. Five were dwelling-houses, the rest
cattle-sheds and barns: our people's hut was the highest of the group,
and we had a long climb over the boulders before we reached it.

Seeing us approaching, good old Franz, who had gone forward in
advance, fastened on his apron and fried marvelous monograms and
circles of cream batter, of which we, the guests, were soon partaking
in the best room, otherwise the store-room and dairy. The hut was
divided into two compartments, both entered by adjoining doors from
the outside. Seated on milking-stools in somewhat dangerous proximity
to pans of rich cream, balls of butter and cheeses, the salt and
meal-bin served as our dining table. In the kitchen, Franz, resting
from his successful culinary labors, sat with Moidel and Jakob by the
hearth, where huge blocks of stone kept the fire in compass, the smoke
curling out of the door, and enjoyed in return some of our ham, wine
and almond cake.

[Illustration: HAPPY SOULS IN PARADISE.]

The hut was close quarters, even for the two ordinary inmates: there
were, however, innumerable contrivances for stowing away all kinds of
useful things, besides notches in the thick wooden partition for hands
and feet when at night they crept to their burrow of hay under the
low eaves. Everything with the exception of the old stone floor was
scrupulously clean: without, the pigs dabbled in the mire between
the rugged rocks, and nettles grew, but beyond, mountains, woods and
illimitable space were spread in uninterrupted fullness.

Resting after dinner at a little distance from the huts, we learned
from Jakob, who was full of excitement on the subject, that shortly
after we left the inn at Rein the preceding evening a gentleman
from Bohemia arrived. He immediately communicated to the wirth his
intention of ascending one of the three great mountains rising from
the Bachernthal, either the Hoch Gall (11,283 feet high), the Wild
Gall or the Schnebige Nock, both some thousand feet lower, but perhaps
even more attractive, as still possessing the charm of untrodden
summits. The wirth consequently sent for a fine, clever young fellow,
Johann Ausserkofer, a friend of Jakob's, and whose home we had passed
on the previous night before reaching the Eder Olm. He had ascended
the Hoch Gall with two gentlemen in the August of the former year,
and now recommended an attempt at the still virgin Wild Gall. The
arrangement being speedily made, for extra help and security Johann
fetched his younger brother, Josef, as a companion, and the little
party started by torchlight at two o'clock in the morning.

Jakob now produced a telescope, through which he hoped we might detect
moving figures amongst the snow of the Wild Gall. In vain we strained
our eyes through the greasy old telescope, for neither moving figures
nor stationary black dots were visible. Even Jakob with his eagle
eye confessed to seeing no trace of man either amongst the irregular
ash-colored rocks or upon the snowy curves of the Wild Gall, which,
like a huge white-crested breaker at sea, upheaved itself in the air
as in the very act of turning. Quite as solitary and untrodden did
it look as its still more stately sister, the Hoch Gall, a mountain
deservedly the especial pride of the district, its lofty pinnacle
piercing the sky, whilst a vast sheet of thick, pure snow hung
straight and smooth down its concave sides, a huge mountain-buttress
linking the lower portion of this snow pyramid to the white,
glittering expanse of the Gross Lengstein Glacier--a buttress of
many thousand feet, standing prominently forth like an antediluvian
monster, on whose gigantic pachydermatous flanks the shattered,
blasted stems of dead uniform fir trees shone out a silvery gray,
mingling in color with the loose, glittering débris which had slidden
into the upland valley just below. Two silver threads descending from
the glaciers of the Hoch Gall wound through these fallen stones into
the green turf of the Bachernthal, but whether formed of snow or water
it would have been difficult to decide, had not ever and anon a sound
as of a distant train been borne upon the breeze, proving them to be
brooks, which helped to swell the roaring, tumbling Giessbach, whose
boisterous acquaintance we had already made.

The Hoch Gall, which has been twice ascended, was first attempted in
1869 by a very adventurous, clever young Alpine climber, Karl Hofmann,
the only son of a well-known physician of Munich--a youth of whom it
is said that no study was too difficult, no danger too great, no
peak too high for him. Innumerable were the mountains which he scaled
between 1866 and 1870, and of which he wrote excellent, accurate
descriptions: then laying down his young life--he was but
twenty-three--on September 2, 1870, in the fierce battle of Sedan, his
spirit passed away to mightier slopes, to more delectable mountains.

Again, in the August of 1871, after our first visit to the Olm, the
ascent was repeated by two other members of the Tyrolese Alpine Club,
Herr Richter and Herr Strüdl. They brought with them two experienced
men--one the chief guide of the Gross Glockner, the other of the
Venediger Spitze--and, except for Hofmann's written description, had
to plan and calculate for themselves, there being no local knowledge
of the mountain attainable, as the two guides who accompanied the
young explorer were also dead.

Although well provided with their own guides, they thought it right
to take some active young man of the neighborhood with them, in order
that he in his turn might help future climbers. At the recommendation
of the landlord of Rein--who on this important occasion commenced
his visitors' book--they chose for the purpose Jakob's friend, Johann
Ausserkofer. They started by torchlight one Monday morning, and after
a steep climb through a wild mountain-forest on the opposite side of
the Bachernthal, crossing a vast glacier and the crevasse between the
Hoch Gall and the Wild Gall, began the real ascent, which proved so
perpendicular as to be achieved principally with the aid of ropes.
After a toilsome nine hours and a quarter they had the good fortune to
reach the summit in safety. The weather was favorable, and the view,
in Richter's opinion, far surpassed the much-vaunted panorama from the
Kriml Tauern. A long rest, and raising a cromlech in memory of their
bold achievement, and then the steep descent over snow and glaciers
was effected, and St. Wolfgang reached after fourteen hours of toil
and great danger.

[Illustration: CROSSING THE TORRENT.]

At half-past four, Jakob, having crossed the valley in search of his
oxen, came upon the Bohemian gentleman--whose name afterward proved to
be Dr. Hecht--with the two Ausserkofers, and learned their adventures
in the ascent of the Wild Gall. After clambering over steep, slippery
glaciers they had begun the climb proper at five o'clock in the
morning, Dr. Hecht pushing forward in order to be the first human
being who had ever placed his foot upon the summit of the mountain.
He had indeed almost reached the highest point when a dark, terrific
chasm suddenly yawned beneath him, entirely cutting off all farther
progress. The three explorers, although considerably dejected by
the disagreeable check and the waste of labor and time which it
had involved, determining not to be baffled, resolved to make a
considerable détour. After having, with much trouble, reached a lower
plateau, they attacked the precipitous, almost invincible mountain
from another side, the still early hour of the day alone permitting
the renewal of the attempt. Leaving their telescope and provisions to
await their return, they boldly scrambled, crept and worked their way
up the scaly side, and finally reached the summit in safety. The view
thence they declared to be magnificent. They too raised a cromlech,
and then a giddy descent followed. However, all three were full of
spirits when Jakob met them, and the Ausserkofers declared that they
were ready henceforth to pilot any other tourist to the summit for a
moderate four or five gulden apiece.

Jakob, as herdsman, had left us at three o'clock to look after the
cattle, we strolling with him as far as a wild old wood which formed a
strange contrast to this Sunday afternoon, as lovely an August day as
ever rejoiced the earth. The near yet unattainable Hoch Gall glittered
coldly white between the stems and branches of gigantic pines, which,
scathed and bleached by lightning and storm, rose in the form of
ruined towers or lay tumbled about in the wildest, dreariest confusion
amongst the rugged enormous rocks, fit emblems of the forest in
the Inferno inhabited by the souls of the lost. Nor was this stern,
forbidding scene enlivened when a melancholy man, carrying the dead
body of a goat across his shoulders, crossed the torrent on a fallen
tree and advanced slowly up the craggy path, followed by a little boy
timidly picking his way behind.

"Ach, Mathies, in God's name, another goat!" said Moidel, lifting
her eyes from a little book, the life of the odd, humane Joseph II.,
which, bought for a few kreuzers at a fair, was worth as many guldens
in the pleasure which it gave her.

The man glanced from under his eyebrows, and answered with a sigh,
"_Gott hat's so wölln, Diendl_" ("God would have it so, maiden"); and
then he added in dialect, "It was a beautiful creature. I missed it in
the reckoning last night. After mass I strode far and wide searching
it, until an hour since I found the body hanging by a hind hoof from a
cleft in the Auvogl Nock. See, it has broken its leg in its struggles.
Ah, poor beast! A solitary, cruel death, _und hast ma g'nomma mei
Ruah_" ("and it has taken my rest from me").

"Poor Mathies! his half dozen goats are all that he has in the world.
He rents one of father's huts, but since he has brought them to the
Olm two or three are already dead." This Moidel explained to us as he
moved dejectedly forward. "Father, however, told him that our Olm was
bad for goats. They not only slip from the rocks, but grow thin and
weakly. Just the reverse of the cattle. Onkel Johann--there is no one
so deep as he in cattle--says that every blade of grass on our Olm is
worth half a pint of milk. And it's not the air, nor the water,
nor the winds that make it wholesome, but some law that he cannot
understand. Who can? There is Jagdhaus, a wonderfully fertile
_sennerei_ an hour beyond Rein. It is far finer than our Olm, which
is so mountainous that timid new-comers amongst the cattle must first
teach themselves to walk about; but at Jagdhaus, which is as large
as a village, all the land is smooth, fat pasturage for miles. Yet
a curse rests on the place for which neither priests nor farmers can
account. Some seasons, it is true, all goes well, but in others the
cattle are suddenly bitten, fall dead, and their flesh then turns
black and rustles like paper. Some say that it is an insect or animal
that attacks them; others, that it is caused by the grass which they
eat; and there are again others who are sure that it is a phantom
which, touching them, blasts them. And there seems reason in the idea,
because when the priest of Taufers, who has an Olm there, goes and
says mass and prays for the cattle, or when the _Sterniwitz_ (landlord
of the Stern), who has acres of pasturage and many heads of cattle at
Jagdhaus, pays a Capuchin to go thither and pray, the murrain ceases."

In Moidel's tale we had almost forgotten our long walk back to the
barn and the arrangement for supper previously at the huts. Now, it
curiously happened that whilst waiting for the tea-pan--rather than
tea-kettle--to boil, I accidentally alighted upon a people's calendar,
published at Brixen for the current year, protruding its somewhat
greasy pages from behind a churn; and after turning over long
black-and red-lettered lists of fasts and feasts, came upon some
pertinent advice to the Tyrolese farmers by Adolph Trientl, concerning
_Milzbrand_. He described it as a dreadful pestilence, the scourge
of many a mountain-pasture. Hundreds of cattle, he tells them, are
sacrificed to it yearly. Even the deer and lesser game die from the
contagion, as well as human beings; death in the latter case being
occasioned either by eating the meat of diseased animals or by having
cuts or wounds which have come in contact with the victims. Even the
bite of a fly which has fed on the contaminated meat will propagate
the malady. Hides or reins made of the skins are known years after
to reproduce Milzbrand. Where the body of an affected animal has been
buried the ground becomes contagious for a long run of years, the
cattle pasturing there being attacked. The only remedy consists in
burning the contaminated body, and then keeping the live-stock from
the place where the victim fell. When Milzbrand appears the farmer
feels he has no option between sacrificing his cattle and abandoning
for a season his rich pastures. And yet a little attention might soon
cause a remedy, the evil often arising from the water of a particular
pool or brook, which if carefully guarded against makes the rest of
the Alp perfectly secure.

When I ventured to quote from the calendar to Moidel, suggesting that
at Jagdhaus it might certainly be the water, she remained impervious
to any new views on the subject. "There was Milzbrand, and that might
arise from the water, for all she knew, but at Jagdhaus it was a rod
of God, which only prayer averted."

Adolf Trientl appears to be a Tyrolese priest, who travels annually
through his native land watching closely the agriculture and domestic
economy, and trying, countenanced by government, to help his country
people to an easier working life, healthier houses and more profitable
land. To the credit of the clergy of Brixen, his practical often pithy
remarks are published in their church calendar. He and his colleagues
must, however, use almost supernatural patience and energy before they
can move a Tyroler one jot from the beaten path which his ancestors
have taken for a thousand years before him. The people are perfectly
content, it is pleaded, with the existing state of things: why should
they change their sowing or ploughing any more than the sun his course
or the mountains their position? Changes, like bad weather, breed
discontent.

We had brought no books with us for our five days at the Olm, and in
the pauses of our out-door enjoyment the calendar, greasy rather from
contact with butter and milk than with fingers, afforded amusing,
profitable reading: a lecture may often be pleasant to hear when not
addressed to one's self.

Moidel, Jakob and Franz, though they had looked with blind eyes on
the print, did not turn deaf ears when we spoke; only we had to manage
that all we said and thought did not come as a quoted sermon, but as
suggestions and inquiries from us, who did not know half as much about
a dairy and farm-life as they did. First of all, we tried to make them
believe that the staff of life need not of necessity be rye bread
of so hard and flinty a nature as to require in every house a square
wooden board and iron chopper to cut it.

"Yes," said Moidel, "it is very hard for old people, who must needs
sop it, but while one's teeth are good the crunching is a pleasure.
And then it must needs be dry, because the oven can only be heated
once in three months. I wish it could come round oftener, for there
is no going to bed on baking nights, with some three hundred loaves to
pop into the oven."

"How could the poor bake often," suggested Jakob, "when there is only
one oven amongst them in the village?"

"Why," said we, looking very learned, "you have a common schoolmaster,
and a common swineherd, and a common goose-boy: why not have a common
baker, who knew how to make good, light dough, and could bake a good
batch of bread for each family weekly?"

To Franz, eating good bread only a few days old appeared woeful
extravagance. "Bread," he said, "should be like rocks to last, not
like snow to melt away. The rye meal would fly before the wind at that
rate, and where would the poor man then be?"

Butter and cheese-making, however, involved hours of deep discussion.
You would indeed have thought that man merely came into the world to
make butter and cheese. Personal experience after two summers in
the Tyrol had made us reflect very much upon the butter and cheese
question. Whether regarded as a luxury or a necessity, the Swiss
Gruyère and Emmenthal cheese and the fresh dainty pats of butter made
the contrast striking in the Tyrol. The milk and cream were rich and
delicious, but became simply loathsome when transformed into butter
or cheese. We wondered how and why it was that we could never obtain
perfectly palatable butter, until we discovered the universal practice
of churning it, without salt, into huge oblong balls, large as the
nave of a wheel, which naturally soon turn rancid. It does not on this
account lose its value to the natives, who use very little butter,
melting it down into a clarified dripping called Schmalz for their
endless fryings and frizzlings. This badly made butter is, however,
often adorned with the emblems of the Passion, such as the cross,
ladder, crown of thorns and nails. It was so at the Hofbauer's Olm.
It is considered to enhance the value of the butter _Kugel_ or ball,
especially when given to the priest in payment for masses said for
dead relations. The Ursuline Sisters were paid for Moidel's education
in butter.

And the native cheese!--meagre cheese, as it is justly called--a
poor, insipid, not overclean curd cheese. The curds are often merely
squeezed in a cloth, then turned out and placed upon an upper shelf to
dry, where they look like the back portions of gigantic skulls until
damp and mould somewhat destroy the resemblance. The kind called fat
cheese is not much better. It is, however, made with greater care, and
dried in bands of pine bark in the Alpine kitchen. This distasteful
butter and cheese, the sole result of gallons of rich milk and cream
and many a long summer week upon the lofty Alp, becomes still
more distasteful when the milk and cream are kept in the one hot,
over-crowded sleeping-room, or in a dairy where the goatherd sleeps
amongst the milk-dishes. The mountain dwellings are dark and badly
constructed, and if furnished with a proper dairy, the prejudiced
housewife often refuses to use it, believing that cream will not set
unless the milk is warm; thus, much becomes sour, and is either thrown
away or turned into a still more inferior cheese. Or she purposely
lets the cream become rancid before she churns, that the children
may not take too great a fancy to the Schmalz, and thus it may last
longer!

We had tasted already too much of this milky tree of knowledge not to
learn with pleasure from the Brixen calendar that in different parts
of the Tyrol co-operative _sennereien_ had been started with the
greatest success. A manager was employed in each who understood
perfectly the Swiss mode of cheese-making and the best manner of
churning. Thus, the most excellent produce was gained from the same,
or rather from a smaller, quantity of milk, when the reckless waste
was deducted. Each shareholder had the right of skimming the milk
from his own cows, taking what he required for his personal use, or
he might send his entire share of butter, cheese, whey and goats' milk
with the common stock to market, where such co-operative wares already
brought the highest price. Thus, the farmer gained both ways, not only
receiving more money, but saving in dairy utensils, house room and
fuel, and his wife in labor.

Great was our glee over these enlightened and successful efforts; but
a friendly dispute immediately arose when one amongst us expressed a
surprise that the half dozen bauers who shared the Olm in common
did not manage matters on this improved principle. They would find
themselves richer, more care-free men. Moidel declared her inability
to form an opinion. Old Franz, however, had much to say. He thought
it would be foolish. Why need the Hofbauer mix himself up with others,
when he only wanted to make meagre cheese for family use, while if
there were any over it always brought its worth in kreuzers at the
market? And then the pounds and pounds of butter were all wanted for
Schmalz. It might be sweeter, it is true, if they could melt it down
at the hut, but then there was the fear of setting the place on fire,
and the home-melted Schmalz went fast enough, as Moidel knew. And as
for the artificial Schmalz which was being sold in the towns now,
it was made of palm-oil, fresh suet and butter, and colored with
the yellow dye called Orleans; and people praised this machine-made
Schmalz and talked of progress! But he hoped, so long as he handled a
frying-pan, to stick to good old Schmalz and good old ways.

MARGARET HOWITT.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



ON THE CHURCH STEPS.

CHAPTER I.


What a picture she was as she sat there, my own Bessie! and what a
strange place it was to rest on, those church steps! Behind us lay the
Woolsey woods, with their wooing fragrance of pine and soft rushes of
scented air; and the lakes were in the distance, lying very calm
in the cloud-shadows and seeming to wait for us to come. But to-day
Bessie would nothing of lakes or ledges: she would sit on the church
steps.

In front of us, straight to the gate, ran a stiff little walk of white
pebbles, hard and harsh as some bygone creed.

"Think of little bare feet coming up here, Bessie!" I said with a
shiver. "It is too hard. And every carriage that comes up the hill
sees us."

"And why shouldn't they see us?" said my lady, turning full upon me.
"I am not ashamed to be here."

"Churches should always have soft walks of turf; and lovers," I would
fain have added, "should have naught but whispering leaves about
them."

But Bessie cut me short in her imperious way: "But we are not lovers
this morning: at least," with a half-relenting look at my rueful face,
"we are very good friends, and I choose to sit here to show people
that we are."

"What do you care for _people_--the Bartons or the Meyricks?" as I
noticed a familiar family carriage toiling up the hill, followed by
a lighter phaeton. I recognized already in the latter vehicle the
crimson feather of Fanny Meyrick, and "the whip that was a parasol."

"Shall I step out into the road this minute, and stop those ladies
like a peaceable highwayman, and tell them you have promised to marry
me, and that their anxiety as to our intimacy may be at rest? Give me
but leave and I will do it. It will make Mrs. Barton comfortable. Then
you and I can walk away into those beckoning woods, and I can have you
all to myself."

Indeed she was worth having. With the witchery that some girls know,
she had made a very picture of herself that morning, as I have
said. Some soft blue muslin stuff was caught up around her in airy
draperies--nothing stiff or frilled about her: all was soft and
flowing, from the falling sleeve that showed the fair curve of her arm
to the fold of her dress, the ruffle under which her little foot
was tapping, impatiently now. A little white hat with a curling blue
feather shaded her face--a face I won't trust myself to describe, save
by saying that it was the brightest and truest, as I then thought, in
all the world.

She said something rapidly in Italian--she is always artificial when
she uses a foreign tongue--and this I caught but imperfectly, but it
had a proverbial air about it of the error of too hasty assumptions.

"Well, now I'll tell you something," she said as the carriages
disappeared over the top of the hill. "Fanny Meyrick is going abroad
in October, and we shall not see her for ever so long."

Going abroad? Good gracious! That was the very thing I had to tell
her that morning--that I too was ordered abroad. An estate to be
settled--some bothering old claim that had been handed down from
generation to generation, and now springing into life again by the
lapsing of two lives on the other side. But how to tell her as she
looked up into my face with the half-pleading, half-imperious smile
that I knew so well? How to tell her _now_?

So I said nothing, but foolishly pushed the little pebbles aside with
my stick, fatuously waiting for the subject to pass. Of course my
silence brought an instant criticism: "Why, Charlie, what ails you?"

"Nothing. And really, Bessie, what is it to us whether Fanny Meyrick
go or stay?"

"I shouldn't have thought it _was_ anything. But your silence, your
confusion--Charlie, you do care a little for her, after all."

Two years ago, before Bessie and I had ever met, I had fluttered
around Fanny Meyrick for a season, attracted by her bright brown
eyes and the gypsy flush on her cheek. But there were other moths
fluttering around that adamantine candle too; and I was not long in
discovering that the brown eyes were bright for each and all, and that
the gypsy flush was never stirred by feeling or by thought. It was
merely a fixed ensign of health and good spirits. Consequently the
charm had waned, for me at least; and in my confessions to Bessie
since our near intimacy it was she, not I, who had magnified it into
the shadow even of a serious thought.

"Care for her? Nonsense, Bessie! Do you want me to call her a mere
doll, a hard, waxen--no, for wax will melt--a Parian creature, such
as you may see by the dozens in Schwartz's window any day? It doesn't
gratify you, surely, to hear me say that of any woman."

And then--what possessed me?--I was so angry at myself that I took
a mental _résumé_ of all the good that could be said of Fanny
Meyrick--her generosity, her constant cheerfulness; and in somewhat
headlong fashion I expressed myself: "I won't call her a dolt and an
idiot, even to please you. I have seen her do generous things, and she
is never out of temper."

"Thanks!" said Bessie, nodding her head till the blue feather
trembled. "It is as well, as Aunt Sloman says, to keep my shortcomings
before you."

"When did Aunt Sloman say that?" I interrupted, hoping for a diversion
of the subject.

"This morning only. I was late at breakfast. You know, Charlie, I was
_so_ tired with that long horseback ride, and of course everything
waited. Dear aunty never _will_ begin until I come down, but sits
beside the urn like the forlornest of martyrs, and reads last night's
papers over and over again."

"Well? And was she sorry that she had not invited me to wait with
her?"

"Yes," said Bessie. "She said all sorts of things, and," flushing
slightly, "that it was a pity you shouldn't know beforehand what you
were to expect."

"I wish devoutly that I had been there," seizing the little hand
that was mournfully tapping the weatherbeaten stone, and forcing the
downcast eyes to look at me. "I think, both together, we could have
pacified Aunt Sloman."

It _was_ a diversion, and after a little while Bessie professed she
had had enough of the church steps.

"How those people do stare! Is it the W----s, do you think, Charlie? I
heard yesterday they were coming."

From our lofty position on the hillside we commanded the road leading
out of the village--the road that was all alive with carriages on this
beautiful September morning. The W---- carriage had half halted to
reconnoitre, and had only not hailed us because we had sedulously
looked another way.

"Let's get away," I said, "for the next carnage will not only stop,
but come over;" and Bessie suffered herself to be led through the
little tangle of brier and fern, past the gray old gravestones with
"Miss Faith" and "Miss Mehitable" carved upon them, and into the leafy
shadow of the waiting woods.

Other lovers have been there before us, but the trees whisper no
secrets save their own. The subject of our previous discussion was not
resumed, nor was Fanny Meyrick mentioned, until on our homeward road
we paused a moment on the hilltop, as we always did.

It is indeed a hill of vision, that church hill at Lenox. Sparkling
far to the south, the blue Dome lay, softened and shining in the
September sun. There was ineffable peace in the faint blue sky, and,
stealing up from the valley, a shimmering haze that seemed to veil the
bustling village and soften all the rural sounds.

Bessie drew nearer to me, shading her eyes as she looked down into the
valley: "Charlie dear, let us stay here always. We shall be happier,
better here than to go back to New York."

"And the law-business?" I asked like a brutal bear, bringing the
realities of life into my darling's girlish dream.

"Can't you practice law in Foxcroft, and drive over there every
morning? People do."

"And because they do, and there are enough of them, I must plod along
in the ways that are made for me already. We can make pilgrimages
here, you know."

"I suppose so," said Bessie with a sigh.

Just then Fanny Kemble's clock in the tower above us struck the
hour--one, two, three.

"Bless me! so late? And there's that phaeton coming back over the hill
again. Hurry, Charlie! don't let them see us. They'll think that we've
been here all the time." And Bessie plunged madly down the hill, and
struck off into the side-path that leads into the Lebanon road. The
last vibrations of the bell were still trembling on the air as I
caught up with her again.

But again the teasing mood of the morning had come over her. Quite out
of breath with the run, as we sat down to rest on the little porch of
Mrs. Sloman's cottage she said, very earnestly, "But you haven't once
said it."

"Said what, my darling?"

"That you are glad that Fanny is going abroad."

"Nonsense! Why should I be glad?"

"Are you sorry, then?"

If I had but followed my impulse then, and said frankly that I was,
and why I was! But Mrs. Sloman was coming through the little hall: I
heard her step. Small time for explanation, no time for reproaches.
And I could not leave Bessie, on that morning of all others, hurt or
angry, or only half convinced.

"No, I am not sorry," I said, pulling down a branch of honeysuckle,
and making a loop of it to draw around her neck. "It is nothing,
either way."

"Then say after me if it is nothing--feel as I feel for one minute,
won't you?"

"Yes, indeed."

"Say, after me, then, word for word, 'I am glad, _very_ glad, that
Fanny Meyrick is to sail in October. I would not have her stay on this
side for _worlds_!"

And like a fool, a baby, I said it, word for word, from those sweet
smiling lips: "I am glad, _very_ glad, that Fanny Meyrick is to sail
in October. I would not have her stay on this side for _worlds_!"



CHAPTER II.


The next day was Sunday, and I was on duty at an early hour, prepared
to walk with Bessie to church. My darling was peculiar among women in
this: her church-going dress was sober-suited; like a little gray nun,
almost, she came down to me that morning. Her dress, of some soft gray
stuff, fell around her in the simplest folds, a knot of brown ribbon
at her throat, and in her hat a gray gull's wing.

I had praised the Italian women for the simplicity of their
church-attire: their black dresses and lace veils make a picturesque
contrast with the gorgeous ceremonials of the high altar. But there
was something in this quiet toilet, so fresh and simple and girl-like,
that struck me as the one touch of grace that the American woman can
give to the best even of foreign taste. Not the dramatic abnegation
indicated by the black dress, but the quiet harmony of a life atune.

Mrs. Sloman was ready even before Bessie came down. She was a
great invalid, although her prim and rigid countenance forbore any
expression save of severity. She had no pathos about her, not a touch.
Whatever her bodily sufferings may have been--and Bessie dimly hinted
that they were severe to agony at times--they were resolutely shut
within her chamber door; and when she came out in the early morning,
her cold brown hair drawn smoothly over those impassive cheeks, she
looked like a lady abbess--as cold, as unyielding and as hard.

There was small sympathy between the aunt and niece, but a great deal
of painstaking duty on the one side, and on the other the habit of
affection which young girls have for the faces they have always known.

Mrs. Sloman had been at pains to tell me, when my frequent visits to
her cottage made it necessary that I should in some fashion explain to
her as to what I wanted there, that her niece, Bessie Stewart, was in
nowise dependent on her, not even for a home. "This cottage we rent
in common. It was her father's desire that her property should
not accumulate, and that she should have nothing at my hands but
companionship, and"--with a set and sickly smile--"advice when it was
called for. We are partners in our expenses, and the arrangement can
be broken up at any moment."

Was this all? No word of love or praise for the fair young thing that
had brightened all her household in these two years that Bessie had
been fatherless?

I believe there was love and appreciation, but it was not Mrs.
Sloman's method to be demonstrative or expansive. She approved of the
engagement, and in her grim way had opened an immediate battery of
household ledgers and ways and means. Some idea, too, of making me
feel easy about taking Bessie away from her, I think, inclined her to
this business-like manner. I tried to show her, by my own manner, that
I understood her without words, and I think she was very grateful to
be spared the expression of feeling. Poor soul! repression had become
such a necessity to her!

So we talked on gravely of the weather, and of the celebrated Doctor
McQ----, who was expected to give us an argumentative sermon that
morning, until _my_ argument came floating in at the door like a calm
little bit of thistledown, to which our previous conversation had been
as the thistle's self.

The plain little church was gay that morning. Carriage after carriage
drove up with much prancing and champing, and group after group of
city folk came rustling along the aisles. It was a bit of Fifth Avenue
let into Lenox calm. The World and the Flesh were there, at least.

In the hush of expectancy that preceded the minister's arrival there
was much waving of scented fans, while the well-bred city glances took
in everything without seeming to see. I felt that Bessie and I
were being mentally discussed and ticketed. And as it was our first
appearance at church since--well, _since_--perhaps there was just a
little consciousness of our relations that made Bessie seem to retire
absolutely within herself, and be no more a part of the silken crowd
than was the grave, plain man who rose up in the pulpit.

I hope the sermon was satisfactory. I am sure it was convincing to a
brown-handed farmer who sat beside us, and who could with difficulty
restrain his applauding comment. But I was lost in a dream of a near
heaven, and could not follow the spoken word. It was just a quiet
little opportunity to contemplate my darling, to tell over her
sweetness and her charm, and to say over and again, like a blundering
school-boy, "It's all mine! mine!"

The congregation might have been dismissed for aught I knew, and
left me sitting there with her beside me. But I was startled into the
proprieties as we stood up to sing the concluding hymn. I was standing
stock-still beside her, not listening to the words at all, but with
a pleasant sense of everything being very comfortable, and an
old-fashioned swell of harmony on the air, when suddenly the book
dropped from Bessie's hand and fell heavily to the floor. I should
have said she flung it down had it been on any other occasion, so
rapid and vehement was the action.

I stooped to pick it up, when with a decided gesture she stopped me.
I looked at her surprised. Her face was flushed, indignant, I thought,
and instantly my conscience was on the rack. What had I done, for my
lady was evidently angry?

Glancing down once more toward the book, I saw that she had set her
foot upon it, and indeed her whole attitude was one of excitement,
defiance. Why did she look so hot and scornful? I was disturbed and
anxious: what was there in the book or in me to anger her?

As quickly as possible I drew her away from the bustling crowd when
the service was concluded. Fortunately, there was a side-door through
which we could pass out into the quiet churchyard, and we vanished
through it, leaving Mrs. Sloman far behind. Over into the Lebanon
road was but a step, and the little porch was waiting with its cool
honeysuckle shade. But Bessie did not stop at the gate: she was in no
mood for home. And yet she would not answer my outpouring questions as
to whether she was ill, or what _was_ the matter.

"I'll tell you in a minute. Come, hurry!" she said, hastening along up
the hill through all the dust and heat.

At last we reached that rustic bit of ruin known popularly as the
"Shed." It was a hard bit of climbing, but I rejoiced that Bessie, so
flushed and excited at the start, grew calmer as we went; and when,
the summit reached, she sat down to rest on a broken board, her color
was natural and she seemed to breathe freely again.

"Are they all hypocrites, do you think, Charlie?" she said suddenly,
looking up into my face.

"They? who? Bessie, what have I done to make you angry?"

"You? Nothing, dear goose! I am angry at myself and at everybody else.
Did it flash upon you, Charlie, what we were singing?"

Then she quoted the lines, which I will not repeat here, but they
expressed, as the sole aspiration of the singer, a desire to pass
eternity in singing hymns of joy and praise--an impatience for the
time to come, a disregard of earth, a turning away from temporal
things, and again the desire for an eternity of sacred song.

"Suppose I confess to you," said I, astonished at her earnestness,
"that I did not at all know what I was singing?"

"That's just it! just what makes it so dreadful! _Nobody_ was thinking
about it--nobody! Nobody there wanted to give up earth and go straight
to heaven and sing. I looked round at all the people, with their new
bonnets, and the diamonds, and the footmen in the pews up stairs, and
I thought, What lies they are all saying! Nobody wants to go to heaven
at all until they are a hundred years old, and too deaf and blind and
tired out to do anything on earth. My heaven is here and now in my own
happiness, and so is yours, Charlie; and I felt so convicted of being
a story-teller that I couldn't hold the book in my hand."

"Well, then," said I, "shall we have one set of hymns for happy
people, and another for poor, tired-out folks like that little
dressmaker that leaned against the wall?" For Bessie herself had
called my attention to the pale little body who had come to the church
door at the same moment with us.

"No, not two sets. Do you suppose that she, either, wants to _sing_ on
for ever? And all those girls! Sorry enough they would be to have to
die, and leave their dancing and flirtations and the establishments
they hope to have! It wouldn't be much comfort to them to promise them
they should _sing_. Charlie, I want a hymn that shall give thanks that
I am alive, that I have _you_."

"Could the dressmaker sing that?"

"No;" and Bessie's eyes sought the shining blue sky with a wistful,
beseeching tenderness. "Oh, it's all wrong, Charlie dear. She ought to
tell us in a chant how tired and hopeless she is for this world; and
we ought to sing to her something that would cheer her, help her, even
in this world. Why must she wait for all her brightness till she dies?
So perfectly heartless to stand up along side of her and sing _that_!"

"Well," I said, "you needn't wait till next Sunday to bring her your
words of cheer."

In a minute my darling was crying on my shoulder. I could understand
the outburst, and was glad of it.

All athrill with new emotions, new purposes, an eternity of love,
she had come to church to be reminded that earth was naught, that the
trials and tempests here would come to an end some day, and after, to
the patiently victorious, would come the hymns of praise. _Earth_
was very full that morning to her and me; _earth_ was a place for
worshipful harmonies; and yet the strong contrast with the poor
patient sufferer who had passed into church with us was too much for
Bessie: she craved an expression that should comprehend alike her
sorrow and our abundant joy.

The tempest of tears passed by, and we had bright skies again. Poor
Mrs. Sloman's dinner waited long that day; and it was with a guilty
sense that she was waiting too that we went down the hill at a
quickened pace when the church clock, sounding up the hillside, came
like a chiding voice.

And a double sense of guiltiness was creeping over me. I must return
to New York to-morrow, and I had not told Bessie yet of the longer
journey I must make so soon. I put it by again and again in the short
flying hours of that afternoon; and it was not until dusk had fallen
in the little porch, as we sat there after tea, and I had watched the
light from Mrs. Sloman's chamber shine down upon the honeysuckles and
then go out, that I took my resolution.

"Bessie," I said, leaning over her and taking her face in both my
hands, "I have something to tell you."



CHAPTER III.


"I have something to tell you;" and without an instant's pause I went
on: "Mr. D---- has business in England which cannot be attended to
by letter. One of us must go, and they send me. I must sail in two
weeks."

It was a thunderbolt out of a clear sky, and Bessie gave a little gasp
of surprise: "So soon! Oh, Charlie, take me with you!" Realizing in
the next instant the purport of the suggestion, she flung away from my
hands and rushed into the parlor, where a dim, soft lamp was burning
on the table. She sat down on a low chair beside it and hid her face
on the table in her hands.

Like a flash of lightning all the possibilities of our marriage before
many days--arranging it with Mrs. Sloman, and satisfying my partners,
who would expect me to travel fast and work hard in the short time
they had allotted for the journey,--all came surging and throbbing
through my brain, while my first answer was not given in words.

When I had persuaded Bessie to look at me and to answer me in turn,
I hoped we should be able to talk about it with the calm judgment it
needed.

"To leave my wife--my wife!"--how I lingered on the word!--"in some
poky lodgings in London, while I am spending my day among dusty boxes
and files of deeds in a dark old office, isn't just my ideal of our
wedding-journey; but, Bessie, if _you_ wish it so--"

What was there in my tone that jarred her? I had meant to be
magnanimous, to think of her comfort alone, of the hurry and business
of such a journey--tried to shut myself out and think only of her in
the picture. But I failed, of course, and went on stupidly, answering
the quick look of question in her eyes: "If you prefer it--that is,
you know, I must think of you and not of myself."

Still the keen questioning glance. What new look was this in her eyes,
what dawning thought?

"No," she answered after a pause, slowly withdrawing her hand from
mine, "think of yourself."

I had expected that she would overwhelm me in her girlish way with
saucy protestations that she would be happy even in the dull London
lodgings, and that she would defy the law-files to keep me long from
her. This sudden change of manner chilled me with a nameless fear.

"If _I_ prefer it! If _I_ wish it! I see that I should be quite in
your way, an encumbrance. Don't talk about it any more."

She was very near crying, and I wish to heaven she had cried. But she
conquered herself resolutely, and held herself cold and musing before
me. I might take her hand, might kiss her unresisting cheek, but she
seemed frozen into sudden thoughtfulness that it was impossible to
meet or to dispel.

"Bessie, you know you are a little goose! What could I wish for in
life but to carry you off this minute to New York? Come, get your hat
and let's walk over to the parsonage now. We'll get Doctor Wilder to
marry us, and astonish your aunt in the morning."

"Nonsense!" said Bessie with a slight quiver of her pretty, pouting
mouth. "Do be rational, Charlie!"

I believe I was rational in my own fashion for a little while, but
when I ventured to say in a very unnecessary whisper, "Then you will
go abroad with me?" Bessie flushed to her temples and rose from the
sofa. She had a way, when she was very much in earnest, or very much
stirred with some passionate thought, of pacing the parlor with her
hands clasped tightly before her, and her arms tense and straining at
the clasping hands. With her head bent slightly forward, and her brown
hair hanging in one long tress over her shoulder, she went swiftly
up and down, while I lay back on the sofa and watched her. She would
speak it out presently, the thought that was hurting her. So I felt
secure and waited, following every movement with a lover's eye. But
I ought not to have waited. I should have drawn her to me and shared
that rapid, nervous walk--should have compelled her with sweet force
to render an account of that emotion. But I was so secure, so entirely
one with her in thought, that I could conceive of nothing but a
passing tempest at my blundering, stupid thoughtfulness for her.

Suddenly at the door she stopped, and with her hand upon it said,
"Good-night, Charlie;" and was out of the room in a twinkling.

I sprang from the sofa and to the foot of the stairs, but I saw only a
glimpse of her vanishing dress; and though I called after her in
low, beseeching tones, "Bessie! Bessie!" a door shut in the distant
corridor for only answer.

What to do? In that decorous mansion I could not follow her; and my
impulse to dash after her and knock at her door till she answered me,
I was forced to put aside after a moment's consideration.

I stood there in the quiet hall, the old clock ticking away a solemn
"I-told-you-so!" in the corner. I made one step toward the kitchen
to send a message by one of the maids, but recoiled at the suggestion
that this would publish a lovers' quarrel. So I retreated along the
hall, my footsteps making no noise on the India matting, and entered
the parlor again like a thief. I sat down by the table: "Bessie will
certainly come back: she will get over her little petulance, and know
I am here waiting."

All about the parlor were the traces of my darling. A soft little coil
of rose-colored Berlin wool, with its ivory needle sheathed among the
stitches, lay in a tiny basket. I lifted it up: the basket was made
of scented grass, and there was a delicious sweet and pure fragrance
about the knitting-work. I took possession of it and thrust it into my
breast-pocket. A magazine she had been reading, with the palest slip
of a paper-knife--a bit of delicate Swiss wood--in it, next came in my
way. I tried to settle down and read where she had left off, but the
words danced before my eyes, and a strange tune was repeating in my
ears, "Good-night, Charlie--good-night and good-bye!"

One mad impulse seized me to go out under her window and call to her,
asking her to come down. But Lenox nights were very still, and the
near neighbors on either side doubtless wide awake to all that was
going on around the Sloman cottage.

So I sat still like an idiot, and counted the clock-strokes, and
nervously calculated the possibility of her reappearance, until I
heard, at last, footsteps coming along the hall in rapid tread. I
darted up: "Oh, Bessie, I knew you would come back!" as through the
open door walked in--Mary, Mrs. Sloman's maid!

She started at seeing me: "Excuse me, sir. The parlor was so--I
thought there was no one here."

"What is it, Mary?" I asked with assumed indifference. "Do you want
Miss Bessie? She went up stairs a few moments ago."

"No, sir. I thought--that is--" glancing down in awkward confusion at
the key she held in her hand. She was retiring again softly when I saw
in the key the reason of her discomposure.

"Did you come in to lock up, Mary?" I asked with a laugh.

"Yes, sir. But it is of no consequence. I thought you had gone, sir."

"Time I was, I suppose. Well, Mary, you shall lock me out, and then
carry this note to Miss Bessie. It is so late that I will not wait for
her. Perhaps she is busy with Mrs. Sloman."

Something in Mary's face made me suspect that she knew Mrs. Sloman
to be sound asleep at this moment; but she said nothing, and waited
respectfully until I had scribbled a hasty note, rifling Bessie's
writing-desk for the envelope in which to put my card. Dear child!
there lay my photograph, the first thing I saw as I raised the dainty
lid.

"Bessie," I wrote, "I have waited until Mary has come in with her
keys, and I suppose I must go. My train starts at nine to-morrow
morning, but you will be ready--will you not?--at six to take a
morning walk with me. I will be here at that hour. You don't know how
disturbed and anxious I shall be till then."



CHAPTER IV.


Morning came--or rather the long night came to an end at last--and at
twenty minutes before six I opened the gate at the Sloman cottage.
It was so late in September that the morning was a little hazy and
uncertain. And yet the air was warm and soft--a perfect reflex, I
thought, of Bessie last night--an electric softness under a brooding
cloud.

The little house lay wrapped in slumber. I hesitated to pull the bell:
no, it would startle Mrs. Sloman. Bessie was coming: she would surely
not make me wait. Was not that her muslin curtain stirring? I would
wait in the porch--she would certainly come down soon.

So I waited, whistling softly to myself as I pushed the withered
leaves about with my stick and drew strange patterns among them. Half
an hour passed.

"I will give her a gentle reminder;" so I gathered a spray from the
honeysuckle, a late bloom among the fast-falling leaves, and aimed
it right at the muslin curtain. The folds parted and it fell into the
room, but instead of the answering face that I looked to see, all was
still again.

"It's very strange," thought I. "Bessie's pique is not apt to last so
long. She must indeed be angry."

And I went over each detail of our last night's talk, from her first
burst of "Take me with you!" to my boggling answers, my fears, so
stupidly expressed, that it would be anything but a picturesque
bridal-trip, and the necessity that there was for rapid traveling and
much musty, old research.

"What a fool I was not to take her then and there! She _is_ myself:
why shouldn't I, then, be selfish? When I do what of all things I want
to, why can't I take it for granted that she will be happy too?" And
a hot flush of shame went over me to think that I had been about to
propose to her, to my own darling girl, that we should be married as
soon as possible _after_ I returned from Europe.

Her love, clearer-sighted, had striven to forestall our separation:
why should we be parted all those weary weeks? why put the sea between
us?

I had accepted all these obstacles as a dreary necessity, never
thinking for the moment that conventional objections might be
overcome, aunts and guardians talked over, and the whole matter
arranged by two people determined on their own sweet will.

What a lumbering, masculine plan was mine! _After I returned from
Europe!_ I grew red and bit my lips with vexation. And now my dear
girl was shy and hurt. How should I win back again that sweet impulse
of confidence?

Presently the household began to stir. I heard unbarring and
unbolting, and craftily retreated to the gate, that I might seem to be
just coming in, to the servant who should open the door.

It was opened by a housemaid--not the Mary of the night before--who
stared a moment at seeing me, but on my asking if Miss Bessie was
ready yet to walk, promised smilingly to go and see. She returned in
a moment, saying that Miss Bessie begged that I would wait: she was
hurrying to come down.

The child! She has slept too soundly. I shall tell her how insensate
she must have been, how serenely unconscious when the flower came in
at the window.

The clock on the mantel struck seven and the half hour before Bessie
appeared. She was very pale, and her eyes looked away at my greeting.
Passively she suffered herself to be placed in a chair, and then, with
something of her own manner, she said hurriedly, "Don't think I got
your note, Charlie, last night, or I wouldn't, indeed I wouldn't, have
kept you waiting so long this morning."

"Didn't Mary bring it to you?" I asked, surprised.

"Yes: that is, she brought it up to my room, but, Charlie dear, I
wasn't there: I wasn't there all night. I did shut my door, though I
heard you calling, and after a little while I crept out into the entry
and looked over the stairs, hoping you were there still, and that I
could come back to you. But you were not there, and everything was so
still that I was sure you had gone--gone without a word. I listened
and listened, but I was too proud to go down into the parlor and see.
And yet I could not go back to my room, next Aunt Sloman's. I went
right up stairs to the blue room, and stayed there. Mary must have put
your note on my table when she came up stairs. I found it there this
morning when I went down."

"Poor darling! And what did you do all night in the blue room? I am
afraid," looking at her downcast eyes, "that you did not sleep--that
you were angry at me."

"At you? No, at myself," she said very low.

"Bessie, you know that my first and only thought was of the hurry and
worry this journey would cost you. You know that to have you with me
was something that I had scarce dared to dream."

"And therefore," with a flash of blue eyes, "for me to dare to dream
it was--" and again she hid her face.

"But, my precious, don't you know that it was for _you_ to suggest
what I wanted all the time, but thought it would be too much to ask?"
For I had discovered, of course, in my morning's work among the dead
leaves on the porch, that I had desired it from the moment I had
known of my journey--desired it without acknowledging it to myself or
presuming to plan upon it.

At this juncture breakfast was announced, and the folding doors thrown
open that led into the breakfast-parlor, disclosing Mrs. Sloman seated
by the silver urn, and a neat little table spread for three, so quick
had been the housemaid's intuitions.

"Good-morning, Charles: come get some breakfast. You will hardly be in
time for your train," suggested Aunt Sloman in a voice that had in it
all the gloom of the morning. Indeed, the clouds had gathered heavily
during the parlor scene, and some large drops were rattling against
the window.

I looked at my watch. After eight! Pshaw! I will let this train go,
and will telegraph to the office. I can take the night train, and thus
lose only a few hours. So I stayed.

What rare power had Bessie in the very depths of her trouble, and with
her face pale and eyes so heavy with her last night's vigil--what gift
that helped her to be gay? Apparently not with an effort, not forced,
she was as joyous and frank as her sunniest self. No exaggeration of
laughter or fun, but the brightness of her every-day manner, teasing
and sparkling round Aunt Sloman, coquetting very naturally with me.
It was a swift change from the gloomy atmosphere we had left behind in
the parlor, and I basked in it delighted, and feeling, poor fool! that
the storm was cleared away, and that the time for the singing of birds
was come.

I was the more deceived. I did not know all of Bessie yet. Her horror
of a scene, of any suspicion that there was discord between us, and
her rare self-control, that for the moment put aside all trouble,
folded it out of sight and took up the serene old life again for a
little space.

"Aunt Maria," said Bessie, pushing aside her chair, "won't you take
care of Mr. Munro for a little while? I have a letter to write that I
want him to take to New York."

Aunt Maria would be happy to entertain me, or rather to have me
entertain her. If I would read to her, now, would I be so kind, while
she washed up her breakfast cups?

How people can do two things at once I am sure I cannot understand;
and while the maid brought in the large wooden bowl, the steam of
whose household incense rose high in the air, I watched impatient for
the signal to begin. When the tea-cups were all collected, and Aunt
Sloman held one by the handle daintily over the "boiling flood,"
"Now," she said with a serene inclination of her head, "if you
please."

And off I started at a foot-pace through the magazine that had been
put into my hands. Whether it was anything about the "Skelligs," or
"Miss Sedgwick's Letters," or "Stanley-Livingstone," I have not the
remotest idea. I was fascinated by the gentle dip of each tea-cup,
and watched from the corner of my eye the process of polishing each
glittering spoon on a comfortable crash towel.

Then my thoughts darted off to Bessie. Was she indeed writing to her
old trustee? Judge Hubbard was a friend of my father's, and would
approve of me, I thought, if he did not agree at once to the hurried
marriage and ocean journey.

"What an unconscionable time it takes her! Don't you think so, Mrs.
Sloman?" I said at last, after I had gone through three several papers
on subjects unknown.

I suppose it was scarcely a courteous speech. But Mrs. Sloman smiled a
white-lipped smile of sympathy, and said, "Yes; I will go and send her
to you."

"Oh, don't hurry her," I said falsely, hoping, however, that she
would.

Did I say before that Bessie was tall? Though so slight that you
always wanted to speak of her with some endearing diminutive, she
looked taller than ever that morning; and as she stood before me,
coming up to the fireplace where I was standing, her eyes looked
nearly level into mine. I did not understand their veiled expression,
and before I had time to study it she dropped them and said hastily,
"Young man, I am pining for a walk."

"In the rain?"

"Pshaw! This is nothing, after all, but a Scotch mist. See, I am
dressed for it;" and she threw a tartan cloak over her shoulder--a
blue-and-green tartan that I had never seen before.

"The very thing for shipboard," I whispered as I looked at her
admiringly.

Her face was flushed enough now, but she made no answer save to stoop
down and pat the silly little terrier that had come trotting into the
room with her.

"Fidget shall go--yes, he shall go walking;" and Fidget made a gray
ball of himself in his joy at the permission.

Up the hill again we walked, with the little Skye terrier cantering in
advance or madly chasing the chickens across the road.

"Did you finish your letter satisfactorily?" I asked, for I was
fretting with impatience to know its contents.

"Yes. I will give it to you when you leave to-night."

"Shall we say next Saturday, Bessie?" said I, resolving to plunge at
once into the sea of our late argument.

"For what? For you to come again? Don't you always come on Saturday?"

"Yes, but this time I mean to carry you away."

A dead pause, which I improved by drawing her hand under my arm and
imprisoning her little gray glove with my other hand. As she did not
speak, I went on fatuously: "You don't need any preparation of gowns
and shawls; you can buy your _trousseau_ in London, if need be; and
we'll settle on the ship, coming over, how and where we are to live in
New York."

"You think, then, that I am all ready to be married?"

"I think that my darling is superior to the nonsense of other
girls--that she will be herself always, and doesn't need any
masquerade of wedding finery."

"You think, then," coldly and drawing her hand away, "that I am
different from other girls?" and the scarlet deepened on her cheek.
"You think I say and do things other girls would not?"

"My darling, what nonsense! You say and do things that other girls
_cannot_, nor could if they tried a thousand years."

"Thanks for the compliment! It has at least the merit of dubiousness.
Now, Charlie, if you mention Europe once in this walk I shall be
seriously offended. Do let us have a little peace and a quiet talk."

"Why, what on earth can we talk about until this is settled? I can't
go back to New York, and engage our passage, and go to see Judge
Hubbard--I suppose you were writing to him this morning?"

She did not answer, but seemed bent on making the dainty print of her
foot in the moist earth of the road, taking each step carefully, as
though it were the one important and engrossing thing in life.

"--Unless," I went on, "you tell me you will be ready to go back with
me this day week. You see, Bessie dear, I _must_ sail on the fixed
day. And if we talk it over now and settle it all, it will save no end
of writing to and fro."

"Good-morning!" said a gay voice behind us--Fanny Meyrick's voice. She
was just coming out of one of the small houses on the roadside. "Don't
you want some company? I've been to call on my washerwoman, and I'm so
glad I've met you. Such an English morning! Shall I walk with you?"



CHAPTER V


If I could have changed places with Fidget, I could scarce have
expressed my disapproval of the new-comer more vehemently than he.
Miss Meyrick seemed quite annoyed at the little dog's uncalled-for
snapping and barking, and shook her umbrella at him in vain. I was
obliged to take him in hand myself at last, and to stand in the road
and order him to "Go home!" while the two young ladies walked on,
apparently the best of friends.

When I rejoined them Fanny Meyrick was talking fast and unconnectedly,
as was her habit: "Yes, lodgings in London--the dearest old house in
Clarges street. Such a butler! He looks like a member of Parliament.
We stayed there once before for three days. I am just going to settle
into an English girl. Had enough of the Continent. Never do see
England now-a-days, nobody. All rush off. So papa is going to have a
comfortable time. Embassy? Oh, I know the general well."

I looked beseechingly at Bessie. Why wouldn't she say that we too
would be there in London lodgings? Perhaps, then, Fanny Meyrick might
take the hint and leave us soon.

But Bessie gave no sign, and I relapsed into a somewhat impatient
_résumé_ of my own affairs. Yes: married quietly on Saturday; leave
here on Monday morning train; take, yes, Wednesday's steamer. I could
arrange it with my law-partners to be absent a little longer
perhaps, that there might be some little rest and romance about the
wedding-journey.

Two or three times in the course of that morning--for she stayed with
us all the morning--Fanny Meyrick rallied me on my preoccupation and
silence: "He didn't use to be so, Bessie, years ago, I assure you.
It's very disagreeable, sir--not an improvement by any means."

Then--I think without any malice prepense, simply the unreasoning
rattle of a belle of two seasons--she plunged into a description of
a certain fête at Blankkill on the Hudson, the occasion of our first
acquaintance: "He was so young, Bessie, you can't imagine, and blushed
so beautifully that all the girls were jealous as could be. We were
very good friends--weren't we?--all that summer?"

"And are still, I hope," said I with my most sweeping bow. "What have
I done to forfeit Miss Meyrick's esteem?"

"Nothing, except that you used to find your way oftener to Meyrick
Place than you do now. Well, I won't scold you for that: I shall make
up for that on the other side."

What did she mean? She had no other meaning than that she would have
such compensation in English society that her American admirers would
not be missed. She did not know of my going abroad.

But Bessie darted a quick glance from her to me, and back again to
her, as though some dawning suspicion had come to her. "I hope,"
she said quietly, "that you may have a pleasant winter. It will be
delightful, won't it, Charlie?"

"Oh, very!" I answered, but half noting the under-meaning of her
words, my mind running on deck state-rooms and the like.

"Charlie," said Miss Meyrick suddenly, "do you remember what happened
two years ago to-day?"

"No, I think not."

Taking out a little book bound in Russia leather and tipped with gold,
she handed it to Bessie, who ran her eye down the page: it was open at
September 28th.

"Read it," said Fanny, settling herself composedly in her shawl, and
leaning back against a tree with half-shut eyes.

"'_September 28th_'" Bessie read, in clear tones which had a strange
constraint in them, "'Charlie Munro saved my life. I shall love
him for ever and ever. We were out in a boat, we two, on the
Hudson--moonlight--I was rowing. Dropt my oar into the water. Leaned
out after it and upset the boat. Charlie caught me and swam with me to
shore.'"

A dead silence as Bessie closed the book and held it in her hand.

"Oh," said I lightly, "that isn't worth chronicling--that! It was
no question of saving lives. The New York boat was coming up, if I
remember."

"Yes, it was in trying to steer away from it that I dropped my oar."

"So you see it would have picked us up, any how. There was nothing but
the ducking to remember."

"Such a figure, Bessie! Imagine us running along the road to the gate!
I could scarcely move for my dripping skirts; and we frightened papa
so when we stepped up on the piazza out of the moonlight!"

To stop this torrent of reminiscences, which, though of nothings, I
could see was bringing the red spot to Bessie's cheek, I put out my
hand for the book: "Let me write something down to-day;" and I hastily
scribbled: "_September_ 28. Charles Munro and Bessie Stewart, to sail
for Europe in ten days, ask of their friend Fanny Meyrick her warm
congratulations."

"Will that do?" I whispered as I handed the book to Bessie.

"Not at all," said Bessie scornfully and coldly, tearing out the leaf
as she spoke and crumpling it in her hand.--"Sorry to spoil your book,
Fanny dear, but the sentiment would have spoiled it more. Let us go
home."

As we passed the hotel on that dreary walk home, Fanny would have
left us, but Bessie clung to her and whispered something in a pleading
voice, begging her, evidently, to come home with us.

"If Mr. Munro will take word to papa," she said, indicating that
worthy, who sat on the upper piazza smoking his pipe.

"We will walk on," said Bessie coldly. "Come, Fanny dear."

Strange, thought I as I turned on my heel, this sudden fond intimacy!
Bessie is angry. Why did I never tell her of the ducking? And yet when
I remembered how Fanny had clung to me, how after we had reached
the shore I had been forced to remind her that it was no time for
sentimental gratitude when we both were shivering, I could see why
I had refrained from mentioning it to Bessie until our closer
confidences would allow of it.

No man, unless he be a downright coxcomb, will ever admit to one woman
that another woman has loved him. To his wife--perhaps. But how much
Fanny Meyrick cared for me I had never sought to know. After
the dismal ending of that moonlight boat-row--I had been already
disenchanted for some time before--I had scarce called at Meyrick
Place more than civility required. The young lady was so inclined to
exaggerate the circumstance, to hail me as her deliverer, that I felt
like the hero of a melodrama whenever we met. And after I had met
Bessie there were pleasanter things to think about--much pleasanter.

How exasperating girls can be when they try! I had had my _congé_ for
the walk home, I knew, and I was vexed enough to accept it and stay at
the hotel to dinner.

"I will not be played upon in this way. Bessie knows that I stayed
over the morning train just to be with her, and piled up for to-morrow
no end of work, as well as sarcastic remarks from D. & Co. If she
chooses to show off her affection for Fanny Meyrick in these few hours
that we have together--Fanny Meyrick whom she _hated_ yesterday--she
may enjoy her friendship undisturbed by me."

So I loitered with my cigar after dinner, and took a nap on the sofa
in my room. I was piqued, and did not care to conceal it. As the clock
struck five I bethought me it was time to betake me to the Sloman
cottage. A sound of wheels and a carriage turning brought me to the
window. The two young ladies were driving off in Fanny Meyrick's
phaeton, having evidently come to the hotel and waited while it was
being made ready.

"Pique for pique! Serves me right, I suppose."

Evening found me at the Sloman cottage, waiting with Mrs. Sloman by
the tea-table. Why do I always remember her, sitting monumental by the
silver urn?

"The girls are very late to-night."

"Yes." I was beginning to be uneasy. It was nearing train-time again.

"Such lovely moonlight, I suppose, has tempted them, or they may be
staying at Foxcroft to tea."

Indeed? I looked at my watch: I had ten minutes.

A sound of wheels: the phaeton drove up.

"Oh, Charlie," said Bessie as she sprang out, "you bad boy! you'll
miss your train again. Fanny here will drive you to the hotel. Jump
in, quick!"

And as the moonlight shone full on her face I looked inquiringly into
her eyes.

"The letter," I said, "for Judge Hubbard?" hoping that she would go to
the house for it, and then I could follow her for a word.

"Oh! I had almost forgotten. Here it is;" and she drew it from her
pocket and held it out to me in her gloved hand. I pressed the hand
to my lips, riding-glove and all, and sprang in beside Fanny, who was
with some difficulty making her horse stand still.

"Good-bye!" from the little figure at the gate. "Don't forget, Fanny,
to-morrow at ten;" and we were off.

By the wretched kerosene lamp of the car, going down, I read my
letter, for it was for me: "I will not go to Europe, and I forbid you
to mention it again. I shall never, never forget that _I_ proposed
it, and that you--_accepted_ it. Come up to Lenox once more before you
go."

This was written in ink, and was sealed. It was the morning's note.
But across the envelope these words were written in pencil: "Go to
Europe with Fanny Meyrick, and come up to Lenox, both of you, when you
return."

SARAH C. HALLOWELL.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



INSIDE JAPAN.


A double pleasure rewards the pioneer who is the first to penetrate
into the midst of a new people. Besides the rare exhilaration felt in
treading soil virgin to alien feet, it acts like mental oxygen to look
upon and breathe in a unique civilization like that of Japan. To feel
that for ages millions of one's own race have lived and loved, enjoyed
and suffered and died, living the fullness of life, yet without the
religion, laws, customs, food, dress and culture which seem to us
to be the vitals of our social existence, is like walking through a
living Pompeii.

I confess to a chronic desire to explore the Island Empire in which I
dwell. Having already, in the central provinces of Japan, trodden many
a path never before touched by foreign foot, I yearned to explore
the twin provinces of Kadzusa and Awa, which form the peninsula lying
between the Gulf of Yeddo and the Pacific Ocean. A timely holiday and
a passport from the Japanese foreign office enabled me to start toward
the end of March, the time when all Japan is glorious with blossoming
plum trees, and the camellia trees in forests of bloom are marshaled
by thousands on the mountain-slopes.

I was glad to get away from Yeddo: I had a fit of anti-Caucasianism,
and wished to dwell a while amidst things purely Japanese. There
were too many foreigners in Yeddo. In that city of only eight hundred
thousand Japanese there are now full two hundred foreigners of all
nationalities; and of these, fifty or more are Americans. It was too
much like home and too little like Japan. Should I go to Yokohama,
the case was worse. Nearly twelve hundred of the sons of Japheth dwelt
there, and to reach that upstart European city one must travel on a
railway and see telegraph-poles all along the line. What _was_ the
use of living in Japan? Every young Japanese, too, in the capital is
brainful of "civilization," "progress," "reform," etc. I half suspect
a few cracks in the craniums belonging to some of the youths who wish
to introduce law, religion, steam, language, frock-coats and tight
boots by edict and ordinance. There was too much civilization. I
yearned for something more primitive, something more purely Japanese;
and tramping into the country I should find it. I should eat Japanese
food--profanely dubbed "chow-chow;" sleep in Japanese beds--on the
floor; talk Japanese--as musical as Italian; and live so much like an
old-time native that I should feel as one born on the soil. By that
time, returning to Yeddo as a Japanese of the period, I should of
course burn to adopt railways, telegraphs and balloons, codify the
laws, improve upon United States postage, coinage and dress-coats, and
finish off by annexing the English language after I had cut out all
irregularities and made all the crooked spelling straight.

So, resolving to be a heathen for a week at least, I left Yeddo one
afternoon, though it took several hours to do so: the big city is one
of distances more magnificent than those of Washington. I started in
a _jin-riki-sha_, which baby-carriage on adult wheels has already been
described, so as to be tolerably familiar to all American readers.
The "team" of this "man-power carriage" consists of two men, pulling
tandem--one in the shafts, the other running ahead with a rope over
his shoulder, and, until the recent passage of a law commanding
decency, attired only in his cuticle and a loin-cloth two inches wide.
You take three coolies when you wish to be stylish, while four are
not an unknown sensation in Yeddo. With these and fresh relays you can
travel sixty, or even eighty, miles a day; and I have known one man to
run thirty miles on the stretch.

Of all the modes of traveling in Japan, the jin-riki-sha is the most
pleasant. The _kago_ is excruciating. It is a flat basket, swung on
a pole and carried on the shoulders of two men. If your neck does
not break, your feet go hopelessly to sleep. Headaches seem to lodge
somewhere in the bamboos, to afflict every victim entrapped in it. To
ride in a kago is as pleasant as riding in a washtub or a coffin slung
on a pole. In some mountain-passes stout native porters carry you
pickapack. Crossing the shallow rivers, you may sit upon a platform
borne on men's shoulders as they wade. Saddle-horses are not to be
publicly hired, but pack-horses are pleasant means of locomotion.
These animals and their leaders deserve a whole chapter of description
for themselves. Fancy a brass-bound peaked pack-saddle rising a foot
above the animal's back, with a crupper-strap slanting down to clasp
the tail. The oft-bandied slur, that in Japan everything goes by
contraries, has a varnish of truth on it when we notice that the most
gorgeous piece of Japanese saddlery is the crupper, which, even on
a pack-horse, is painted crimson and gilded gloriously. The man who
leads the horse is an animal that by long contact and companionship
with the quadruped has grown to resemble him in disposition and
ejaculation: at least, the equine and the human seem to harmonize well
together. This man is called in Japanese "horse side." He is dressed
in straw sandals and the universally worn _kimono_, or blue cotton
wrapper-like dress, which is totally unfitted for work of any kind,
and which makes the slovens of Japan--a rather numerous class--always
look as if they had just got out of bed. At his waist is the usual
girdle, from which hangs the inevitable bamboo-and-brass pipe, the
bowl of which holds but a pellet of the mild fine-cut tobacco of the
country. The pipe-case is connected with a tobacco-pouch, in which
are also flint, steel and tinder. All these are suspended by a cord,
fastened to a wooden or ivory button, which is tucked up through the
belt. On his head, covering his shaven mid-scalp and right-angled
top-knot, is a blue cotton rag--not handkerchief, since such an
article in Japan is always made of paper. This head-gear is usually
fastened over the head by twisting the ends under the nose. With a
rope six feet long he leads his horse, which trusts so implicitly
to its master's guidance that we suspect the prevalence of blindness
among the Japanese pack-horses arises from sheer lack of the exercise
of their eyesight. These unkempt brutes are strangers to curry-combs
and brushes, though a semi-monthly scrubbing in hot water keeps them
tolerably clean. Their shoes are a curiosity: the hoofs are not shod
with iron, but with straw sandals, tied on thrice or oftener daily.
Grass is scarce in Japan, and oats are unknown. The nags live on
beans, barley, and the stalks, leaves and tops of succulent plants,
with only an occasional wisp of hay or grass.

In certain districts horses of one or the other sex, as the law
determines, are kept exclusively. Horses of the gentler sex in Japan
are usually led by women. During part of my journey to the place which
I am about to describe the leader of the mare I bestrode was a maiden
of some forty summers--a neat, spare, vinegar-faced sylph, who had
evidently long since left the matrimonial market, and had devoted
herself to making one horse happy for the rest of her pilgrimage. That
she was neither wife nor widow I discovered, not by asking questions,
but by the manner in which her hair was dressed. Japanese virgins and
wives have each distinct coiffures, by which, apart from the shaven
eyebrows and the teeth dyed black of the married women, the _musume_
or young maiden may be known. The widow who has resolved never to
marry again (always too old or ugly) is distinguished by her smooth
skull, every hair of which is shaved off. A lady of rank may also be
known by her coiffure; and many other distinctions are thus noted.

I waited three-quarters of an hour for my horse and its leader to
appear at the post-relay at which I sat down, and was stared at during
that time by about three hundred pairs of eyes. The populace of
each village turned out _en masse_ to see the foreigner, and they
diligently improved their time in examining him from crown to
boot-sole. Like everything else in the rural districts of Japan, my
guide was not in a hurry, and could not understand why a foreigner
should be. But finally arriving, she bowed very low and invited me
to climb up on the saddle, and off we started for a mountain ride of
eight miles.

A Japanese pack-horse, at his best, seems always swaying between two
opinions: his affection for the bestower of his beans and that for the
repose of the stable mutually attract him. On this occasion the little
woman gently led the horse over the rough places and down the steep
paths with the ejaculation, _Mite yo! Mite yo!_ but when the beast
stopped too long to meditate or to chew the bit, as if vainly trying
to pick its teeth, a lively jerk of the rope and a "You old beast!
come on," started the animal on its travels. Finally, when the
creature stopped to deliberate upon the propriety of going forward at
all, the vials of the wrath of the Japanese spinster exploded, and I
was tempted to believe her affections had been blighted. But when we
met any of her friends on the road, or passed the wayside shops or
farm-houses, the scolder of horses was the lady who wished all _Ohaio_
("Good-morning"), or remarked that the weather was very fine; and when
joked for carrying a foreigner, replied, "Yes, it is the first time I
have had the honor."

I need not trouble the reader with many details of geography. My
trip lasted eight days, during which I passed over two hundred miles,
two-thirds of the way on foot. I made the entire circuit of the lower
half of the peninsula, but shall dwell only on my visit to Kanozan
(Deer Mountain), famous for its lovely scenery, temple and Booddhist
monastery. From the top of the mountain there are visible innumerable
valleys, nearly the whole of the Gulf of Yeddo, and the white-throned
Foosiyama, called the highest mountain in Japan and the most beautiful
in the world. We spent the night previous in Kisaradzu, the capital
of the now united provinces, and a neat little city, just beginning to
introduce foreign civilization. Its streets were lighted with Yankee
lamps and Pennsylvania petroleum. Postal boxes after the Yankee custom
were erected and in use. Gingham umbrellas were replacing those made
of oiled paper. Barbers' poles, painted white with the spiral red
band, were set up, and within the shops Young Japan had his queue
cut off and his hair dressed in foreign style. Ignorant of the
significance of the symbolic relic of the old days, when the barber
was doctor and dentist also, and made his pole represent a bandage
wound around a broken limb, the Japanese barber has, in many cases,
added a green or blue band. Not being an adept in the use of that
refractory language which Young Japan would so like to flatten out and
plane down for vernacular use, the Japanese barber is not always happy
in executing the English legend for his sign-board. The following are
specimens:

                  "A HAIR-DRESSING SALOON FOR
                    JAPANES AND FOREIGNER."

                        "SHOP OF HAIR."

                   "HAIRS CUT IN THE ENGLISH
                      AND FRENCH FASHION."

Passing out of Kisaradzu, and winding up to Kanozan over the narrow
bridle-path, we pass the usual terraced rice-fields watered by
descending rivulets, and the usual thatched and mud-walled cottages,
which characterize every landscape in Japan, besides long rows of
tall _tsubaki_ (camellia) trees, forty feet high and laden with their
crimson and white splendors. Along the road are the little wayside
shrines and sacred portals of red wood which tell where the worshipers
of the Shintoo faith adore their gods and offer their prayers without
image, idol or picture. The far more numerous images and shrines
of Booddha the sage, Amida the queen of heaven, and hundred-armed
Kuannon, tell of the popular faith of the masses of Japan in the
gentle doctrines of the Indian sage. The student of comparative
religions is interested in noticing how a code of morals founded
upon atheistic humanitarianism, in its origin utterly destitute
of theology, has developed into a colossal system of demonology,
dogmatics, eschatology, myths and legends, with a pantheon more
populous than that of old Rome. Many of the images by the wayside are
headless, cloven by frost, overturned by earthquakes, and so pitted
by time as to resemble petrified smallpox patients rather than
divinities. Nature neither respects dogma nor worships the gods made
by men, and the moss and the lichens have muffled up the idols and
eaten the substance of the sacred stone. Here Booddha wears a robe
of choicest green, and there the little saxafrage waves its white
blossoms from the shoulder of Amida, rending asunder her stone body.
Even the little stone columns which contain a guiding hand pointing
out the road to Kanozan are dedicated to Great Shaka (Booddha).
Passing one of the larger temples, we meet a company of pilgrims.
Actual sight and reasoning from experience in other lands agree in
telling me that they are women, and most of them old women. They
return my salute, politely striving to conceal their wonder at the
first _to-jin_ they have ever looked upon.

I would wager that these people, like most of the rustics in Japan,
have always believed the foreigners from Europe and America to be
certainly ruffians, and most probably beasts. Many of them,
without having heard; of Darwin or Monboddo, believe all the "hairy
foreigners" to be descendants of dogs. Their first meeting with a
foreigner sweeps away the cobwebs of prejudice, and they are ashamed
of their former ignorance. In extorting from Japanese friends their
first ideas about foreigners, I have been forcibly reminded of some
popular ideas concerning the people of China and Japan which are still
entertained at home, especially by the queens of the kitchen and the
lords of the hod.

After the fashion in Japan, I inquire of the pilgrims whence they came
and whither they are going. Leaning upon their staves and unslinging
their huge round, conical hats, they give me to know that they have
come on foot from Muja, nearly one hundred and fifty miles distant,
and that they will finish their pilgrimage at Kominato--where the
great founder of the Nichiren sect (one of the last developments of
Booddhism in Japan) was born--twenty-seven miles beyond the point
at which we met. I inform them that I have come over seven thousand
miles, and will also visit Nichiren's birthplace. "_Sayo de gozarimos!
Naru hodo?_" ("Indeed, is it possible?")

I have reached their hearts through the gates of surprise. A foreigner
visiting Nichiren's birthplace! And coming seven thousand miles too!
The old ladies become loquacious. They pour out their questions
by dozens. Do you have Booddhist temples in America? Of course the
Nichiren sect flourishes there? When I politely answer No to both
questions, a look of disappointed surprise and pity steals over both
the ruddy and the wrinkled faces. "Then he is a heathen!" says the
expression on their faces. How strange that no Booddhist temples exist
in the foreigner's country! Ah, perhaps, then, the Shintoo religion is
the religion of the foreigner's country? "No? _Naru hodo!_ Then what
_do_ you believe in?"

It did not take long to answer that question. There is no country in
the world in which Christianity has been more publicly and universally
advertised. For three centuries, in every city, village and hamlet and
on every highway, the names of Christianity and its Founder have been
proclaimed on the edict-boards and in the public law-books of the
empire as belonging to a corrupt and hateful doctrine; which should
a man believe, he would be punished on earth by fines, imprisonment,
perhaps death, and in _jigoku_ (hell) by torments eternal. "Whosoever
believeth in Christ shall be damned--whosoever believeth not shall be
saved," was the formula taught by the priests for centuries. I pointed
to the board on which hung the edicts prohibiting Christianity, and
told them I believed in that doctrine, and that Christ was the One
adored and loved by us. A volley of _naru hodos_, spoken with bated
breath, greeted this announcement, and I could only understand the
whispered "Why, that is the sect whose followers will go to hell!"
The old ladies could not walk fast, and we soon parted, after many
a strange question concerning morals, customs and the details of
civilization in the land of the foreigner. Be it said, in passing,
that the present liberal and enlightened government of Japan, in spite
of priestly intolerance and the bigotry of ignorance, resisting even
to blood, has decided upon the recission of the slanderous falsehoods
against the faith of Christendom; and Japan, though an Asiatic nation,
will soon grant toleration to all creeds.

The path wound up through higher valleys, revealing bolder scenery.
Afar off, in the sheen of glorified distance, the water slanted to the
sky. The white bosoms of the square-sailed junks heaved with breezy
pulses, the mountains were thrones of stainless blue, the floods
of sunny splendor and the intense fullness of light, for which the
cloudless sky of Japan is remarkable, told the reason for the naming
of Niphon, of which "Japan" is but the foreigner's corruption,
"Great Land of the Fountain of Light." Anon we entered the groves
of mountain-pines anchored in the rocks, and with girths upon which
succeeding centuries had clasped their zones. They seemed like
Nature's senators in council as they whispered together and murmured
in the breeze that reached us laden with music and freighted with
resinous aroma. Reaching a hamlet called Mute ("six hands"), I sit
outside an inn on one of the benches which are ever ready for the
traveler, and shaded overhead by a screen of boughs. A young girl
brings me water, the ever-ready cup of tea, and fire for the pipe
which I am supposed to smoke. A short rest, another hour's climb and
walk, and we are in the village of Kanozan, which is scarcely more
than a street of hotels. Situated on the ridge of the mountain, it
rises like an island in a sea of pines.

In imagining a Japanese hotel, good reader, please dismiss all
architectural ideas derived from the Continental or the Fifth Avenue.
Our hotels in Japan, outwardly at least, are wooden structures, two
stories high, often but one. Their roofs are usually thatched, though
the city caravansaries are tiled. They are entirely open on the front
_ground_ floor, and about six feet from the sill or threshold rises a
platform about a foot and a half high, upon which the proprietor may
be seen seated on his heels behind a tiny railing ten inches high,
busy with his account-books. If it is winter he is engaged in the
absorbing occupation of all Japanese tradesmen at that time of
year--warming his hands over a charcoal fire in a low brazier. The
kitchen is usually just next to this front room, often separated
from the street only by a latticed partition. In evolving a Japanese
kitchen out of his or her imagination, the reader must cast away the
rising conception of Bridget's realm. Blissful, indeed, is the thought
as I enter the Japanese hotel that neither the typical servant-girl
nor the American hotel-clerk is to be found here. The landlord comes
to meet me, and, falling on his hands and knees, bows his head to the
floor. One or two of the pretty girls out of the bevy usually seen
in Japanese hotels comes to assist me and take my traps. Welcomes,
invitations and plenty of fun greet me as I sit down to take off my
shoes, as all good Japanese do, and as those filthy foreigners don't
who tramp on the clean mats with muddy boots. I stand up unshod, and
am led by the laughing girls along the smooth corridors, across an
arched bridge which spans an open space in which is a rookery, garden,
and pond stocked with goldfish, turtles and marine plants. The room
which my fair guides choose for me is at the rear end of the house,
overlooking the grand scenery for which Kanozan is justly famous all
over the empire. Ninety-nine valleys are said to be visible from
the mountain-top on which the hotel is situated, and I suspect that
multiplication by ten would scarcely be an exaggeration. A world of
blue water and pines, and the detailed loveliness of the rolling
land, form a picture which I lack power to paint with words. The water
seemed the type of repose, the earth of motion.

Enjoying to the full that rapture of first vision which one never
feels twice, I turned and entered the room, which made up in neatness
what it lacked in luxury. Furniture in a Japanese house there is
none. Like all the others, the floor of my room was covered with soft
matting two inches thick, made into sections six feet long and three
feet wide, and bound with a black border. The dimensions of a room may
always be expressed by the number of mats. The inside of the mats is
of rice straw, the outside is of the finest and smoothest matting.
There are no chairs, stools, sofas or anything to sit down upon,
though, having long since forgotten the fact, we find a ready seat on
the floor. On one side of the room, occupying one-half of its space,
is the _tokonoma_, a little platform anciently used for the bed, two
feet wide and five or six inches high. In one corner is a large vase
containing four or five boughs broken from a plum tree crowded with
blossoms, and a large bunch of white, crimson and dappled camellias,
both single and double. In the centre is the sword-rack, found in
every samurai's house, yet now obsolete, since Japan's chivalry have
laid aside their two swords. On the other half of the room, occupying
the same side as the tokonoma, is a series of peculiar shelves like
those of an open Japanese cabinet, though larger; and at the top of
these is a little closet closed by sliding doors. The other three
sides of the room are of sliding partitions six feet high, made of
fine white wood, latticed in small squares and covered with paper,
through which mellow, softened light fills the room. On the plastered
wall above the latticed sliding doors hangs a framed tablet on which
are written Chinese characters, which, having the Japanese letters
at the side, tell in terse and poetical phrase that "This room is the
chamber of peaceful meditation, into which the moonlight streams."
Some of the lattice and other work is handsomely carved and wrought,
and a paper screen along the wall which separates this room from the
next is covered with verses of Japanese poetry. Were it cold weather,
a brazier, with some live coals in it, would be brought for us to
toast our hands and feet and to shiver over, as stoves and hard coal
are not Japanese institutions. First of all, however, at present, one
of the _musumes_ brings me a _tobacco-bon_ or tray, in which is fire
to light my pipe, the Japanese scarcely having a conception of a man
who does not smoke.

My description of a Japanese room will answer, in the main, for any
in Japan _as it was_--from the artisan's to the emperor's. Even
the palaces of the mikado in Kioto never contained tables, chairs,
bedsteads or any such inconvenient and space-robbing thing. The tables
upon which they ate, played chess or wrote were six inches or a foot
high. A Japanese of the old style thinks the cumbrous furniture in our
Western dwellings impertinent and unnecessary. In the eye of aesthetic
Japanese a room crowded with luxurious upholstery is a specimen of
barbaric pomp, delighting the savage and unrefined eye of the hairy
foreigners, but shocking to the purged vision and the refined taste
of one born in great Niphon. No such tradesman as an upholsterer or
furniture-dealer exists in Japan. The country is a paradise for young
betrothed couples who would wed with light purses. One sees love in a
cottage on a national scale here. That terrible lion of expense, the
furnishing of a house, that stands ever in the way of so many loving
pairs desirous of marriage and a home of their own, is a bugbear not
known in Japan. A chest of drawers for clothing, a few mats, two or
three quilts for a bed on the floor, some simple kitchen utensils,
and the house is furnished. Why should we litter these neatly matted
rooms, why cover with paint and gilding virgin wood of faultless
grain, or mar the sweet simplicity and airy roominess of our
(Japanese) chambers by loading them with all kinds of unnecessary
luxuries?

These reflections are broken in upon by Miss Cherry-blossom, one of
the maids, who glides in, kneels upon the floor, and sets down a tiny
round tray with a baby tea-pot and a cup the size of an egg. Pouring
out some tea, enough to half fill one of these porcelain thimbles, she
sets it in the socket of another yet tinier tray, and bowing her head
coquettishly, begs me to drink. Having long since learned to quaff
Japan's fragrant beverage guiltless of milk or sugar, I drain the cup.
Miss Cherry-blossom, sitting upright upon her heels, folds her dress
neatly under her knees, gives her loose robe a twitch, revealing to
advantage her white-powdered neck, the prized point of beauty in a
Japanese maiden, and then asks the usual questions as to whence
I came, whither I am going, and to what country I belong. These,
according to the Japanese code of etiquette, are all polite questions;
and in return, violating no dictum which the purists of Kioto or Yeddo
have laid down, I inquire her age ("Your honorable years, how many?").
The answer, "_Ju-hachi_," makes known that she is eighteen years of
age. Chatting further, I learn what things there are to be seen in the
neighborhood, whether foreigners have been there before, the distance
to the next village, the history of the old temple near by, etc. All
this is told with many a laugh and a little pantomime--she naturally
committing the mistake of speaking louder and faster to the foreigner
who cannot fully understand her dialect or allusions--when a new
character appears upon the scene.

A very jolly, matronly-looking woman, evidently the landlady, pulls
aside one of the sliding paper doors, and bowing low on her hands and
knees, smiles cavernously with her jet-black teeth, which, like all
correct and cleanly women in Japan, she dyes on alternate days. She
asks concerning dinner, and whether it is the honorable wish of the
visitor to eat Japanese food. The answer being affirmative, both
matron and maiden disappear to prepare the meal, evidently thinking it
a fine joke. No such thing as a common dining-room exists in Japanese
hotels. Caste has hitherto been too strictly observed to allow of such
an idea. Every guest eats in his own room, sitting on his calves and
heels. The preparations are simple, though of course I speak now of
every-day life.

Miss Peach-blossom appears, bearing in her hand a table four inches
high, one foot square, and handsomely lacquered red and black. Behind
her comes a young girl carrying a rice-box and plate of fish. Most
gracefully she sets it down with the apology, "I have kept you long
waiting," and the invitation, "Please take up."

On the table are four covered bowls, two very small dishes containing
pickles and soy, and a little paper bag in which is a pair of
chopsticks. The place of each article is foreordained by gastronomic
etiquette, and rigidly observed. In the first bowl is soup, in the
second a boiled mixture consisting of leeks, mushrooms, lotus-root
and a kind of sea-weed. In a third are boiled buckwheat cakes or
dumplings, and _tofu_ or bean-curd. In the porcelain cup is rice. In
an oblong dish, brought in during the meal, is a broiled fish in soy.
Lifting off the covers and adjusting my chopsticks deftly, I begin.
The bowl of rice is first attacked, and quickly finished. The
attendant damsel proffers her lacquered waiter, and uncovering the
steaming tub of rice paddles out another cupful. It is etiquette to
dispose of unlimited cups of rice and soup, but a deadly breach of
good manners to ask to have the other two bowls replenished. Of course
at the hotels whatever the larder affords can be ordered. Boiled eggs,
cracked and peeled before you by the tapering fingers of the damsels,
are considered choice articles of food. Raw fish, thinly sliced and
eaten with radish, sauce, ginger sprouts, etc., is highly enjoyed by
the Japanese, who are surprised to find the dish disliked by their
foreign guests. A member of one of the embassies sent to Europe
confessed that amid the luxuries of continental tables, he longed for
the raw fish and grated radish of his native land. Some articles of
our own diet, especially cheese and butter, are as heartily detested
by the Japanese as their raw fish is by us. The popular idea at home,
that the Japanese live chiefly on mice and crawfish, and that the
foreigners are in chronic danger of starvation, is matched by that of
some Japanese, who, finding that the "hairy foreigners" do not eat
the food of human beings--_i.e._ Japanese--wonder what they do eat. A
member of the present embassy in Europe, when first leaving his native
land, was thus addressed by his anxious mother: "Now, Yazirobe, you
are going to those strange countries, where I am afraid you will get
very little to eat: do take some rice with you." I confess that on
first landing in Japan I could not relish Japanese diet and cookery.
Barring eggs and rice, everything tasted like starch or sawdust. The
flavors seemed raw and earthy, or suggested dishcloths not too well
scalded. I suspect that a good deal of Philadelphia and Caucasian
pride lined the alimentary canal of the writer. Now, after a ten-mile
tramp, a Japanese meal tastes very much as it does to one native and
to the diet born.

Besides the young damsel who presides, there is another, less neatly
dressed. Her apron is suggestive of the kitchen, and altogether she
seems a Cinderella by the fireplace. This damsel is evidently a supe
or scullion. She is not so self-possessed as her superior companion,
and while observing the foreigner with a mild stare, unskillfully
concealing her mirth, she finally explodes when he makes a _faux pas_
with the chopsticks and drops a bit of fish on the clean matting.
Thereupon she is dispatched to the kitchen for a floor-cloth, and
severely lectured for laughing aloud, and is told to stay among the
pots and pans till she learns better manners.

Dinner over, a siesta on the soft mats is next in order. These mats
seem made for sleep and indolence. No booted foot ever defiles them.
Every one leaves his clogs on the ground outside, and glides about in
his mitten-like socks, which have each a special compartment for the
great toe. My waiting damsel having gone out, and there being no such
things as bells, I do as the natives and clap my hands. A far-off
answer of _Hei--i--i_ is returned, and soon the shuffling of feet
is heard again. The housewife appears with the usual low bow, and,
smiling so as to again display what resembles a mouthful of coal, she
listens to the request for a pillow. Opening the little closet before
spoken of, she produces the desired article. It is not a ticking bag
of baked feathers enclosed in a dainty, spotless case of white linen,
but a little upright piece of wood, six inches high and long, and one
wide, rounded at the bottom like the rockers of a cradle. On the
top, lying in a groove, is a tiny rounded bag of calico filled with
rice-chaff, about the size of a sausage. The pillow-case is a piece of
white paper wrapped around the top, and renewed in good hotels daily
for each guest. One can rest about four or six inches of the side of
his _os occipitis_ on a Japanese pillow, and if he wishes may rock
himself to sleep, though the words suggest more than the facts
warrant. By sleeping on civilized feathers one gets out of training,
and the Japanese pillows feel very hard and very much in one place.
The dreams which one has on these pillows are characteristic. In my
first some imps were boring gimlet-holes in the side of my skull,
until they had honeycombed it and removed so much brain that I felt
too light-headed to preserve my equilibrium. On the present occasion,
after falling asleep, I thought that the pillow on which I lay pressed
its shape into my head, and the skull, to be repaired, was being
trepanned. My head actually tumbling off the pillow was the cause of
the fancied operation being suddenly arrested. A short experience in
traveling among the Japanese has satisfied me that they are one of
the most polite, good-natured and happy nations in the world. By
introducing foreign civilization into their beautiful land they may
become richer: they need not expect to be happier.

W.E. GRIFFIS.



JASON'S QUEST.


I.

This is a story of love for love, and how it came to naught. In it
there shall be no marrying from mercenary motives; the manoeuvering
mother-in-law is suppressed; Nature takes her course; and in the
climax I strive to prove how sad a thing it is that men are modest and
women weak.

Still, I do not lose faith in humanity, but hope for better things in
the broad, bright future. I would respectfully call attention to
the moral of this tale, and, as for the heroes and heroines of the
hereafter, I cheerfully leave them to regulate their affairs upon a
different basis; which basis, I devoutly believe, will be one of the
inevitable results of time.

But, lo! the heroine approaches and the story begins!

       *       *       *       *       *

Life with some of us is but the grouping of a few brilliant or sombre
tableaux, which are like the famous lines in an epic that immortalize
the whole. Maud's life was such a one, and her years had been rather
unpicturesque until now, when the shadows began to deepen and the
lights to grow more intense. In fact, she seemed to be approaching
some sort of a climax, and she began to grow nervous about it, being
just woman enough to dwell somewhat anxiously upon her anticipated
_début_, and to hope for at least a decent appearance in her
extremity.

The good-hearted, commonplace people of a pleasant country down the
coast--which I will call Dreamland for convenience' sake--thought
of Maud only as a gentle and humane little lady, with a comfortable
income and a character above reproach. So Maud abode in peace with her
maids at the seaside cottage, spending the still hours of Dreamland
between her rose-garden on the sunny slope to the southward and the
conservatory of lily-like nuns on the hill toward the sea.

Maud was unhappy in a world which had treated her very kindly indeed,
and it was simply because she had a dove's heart, that was always
fluttering in a strange place, and the face of a nun, that was for
ever getting looked at by all sorts of people, much as it disliked
that kind of treatment from the best of them.

The only reason why Maud preferred such a dull place as Dreamland to
the splendid metropolis up the coast was that she might have a quiet
time of it, and not be annoyed by the impudent metropolitans. In fact,
she was tired of her lovers--all save one, a fine young fellow named
Jason, but better known in Dreamland as John. I have mentioned, I
believe, that Maud was in very good circumstances: I am sorry to
add that Jason wasn't. He was rich only in his untried youth and the
promises of a glorious manhood.

Jason loved Maud, and she knew it as well as she ever knew anything in
her life--she knew it without his having told her. Had she not divined
it by the infallible intuition of the heart, she might have lived
believing herself unloved, for Jason hadn't the remotest idea of
mentioning the fact. He could barely live comfortably by himself,
frugal as he was; and he would not go to her empty-handed, though
Heaven knows she had enough for two, and was dying to share it with
him. He went his way, and the way was tedious enough in those days.
Like a mirage, happiness glimmered before him, but his upright and
patient steps brought him no nearer to its alluring vista.

Youth is impatient and sanguine, and Jason, in his impetuous and
hopeful youth, besought the oracle, whose prophetic utterances seemed
to imply that his future and his fortune lay in some distant land,
and that it would be wise for him to seek it at once. Jason, like his
illustrious predecessor, resolved to go over the sea in search of the
golden fleece. It was the most adventurous thing he ever did, and Maud
thought it a hopeless and a willful act; yet she could do nothing
but hold her peace, while her poor heart was as near to breaking
as possible--much nearer to breaking than it is usually safe for a
maiden's heart to be.

So Jason gathered his mates--a reckless lot they were, too--and,
having laden his barque and swung into the stream, his men said their
final adieux, receiving quantities of pincushions and bookmarks, so
indispensable to Argonauts, as testimonials of eternal fidelity from
the maids of Dreamland.

Jason strode to the cottage and kissed the hand of Maud as if it
were the hand of a princess; after which, with much embarrassment, he
plucked a rose from her garden, while a pang pierced his heart till it
ached again, and a thorn probed his finger till a drop of blood
fell upon a myrtle leaf; which leaf Maud coveted, and keeps to this
day--hugged to her in her grave-clothes.

It is of course best that this life should not be perfect, for the
life to come might suffer by comparison; yet it is one of the cruelest
decrees of Nature--if Nature has really decreed what seems so wholly
against her--that a woman's heart must bide its time and be silent in
the presence of its natural mate while every attribute of her being
implores his recognition; and that the truest men are too honorable
or too proud to yield themselves, having no offering but their honest
love to lay at the feet of their mistresses. If it were not so, the
princess would not have mourned in her garden for her flown mate, and
there would have been much happiness on short notice.

Driven forth by the propitious winds, the barque fled from the shore,
while Maud, seated among her roses, with weeping and wringing of
hands, poured out upon the winds the burden of her love.

Why didn't Jason catch a syllable of that fervent prayer, reef, and
come home to her? Then I need not have written this history, and all
would have been well in Dreamland. But he didn't. He heard nothing
but the sibilant waters as they rushed under his keel: he thought of
nothing but the rose that was withering in the secret locker of his
cabin, and of the wound in his heart that was gaping and as fresh as
ever. So the night-winds hurried him onward, and the darkness absorbed
the outlines of the dear Dreamland coast.

Maud watched the barque while it lessened and lessened in the
distance, and the clouds blew over her, and it grew chilly and damp in
the rose-garden--as chilly and damp as though it were not the abode of
a princess who was beloved of the noblest of men. She watched the sail
till it faded suddenly beyond the headland, and between it and her
loomed the dark towers of the convent. Out on that troubled sea,
seeking the golden fleece in some remote kingdom, tossed on the
treacherous waves for her sake, in her white and radiant dreams she
beheld Jason. Yet ever between him and her, hiding the lessening
barque from the slope of the rose-garden, loomed the dark towers of
the convent.



II.


Jason and his fellows coursed the seas, scanning with eager eyes
the cloudy belt of the horizon, hopefully seeking some signs of the
Fortunate Islands, of whose indescribable beauty and untold wealth
they had heard many surmises. Day after day they pressed on between
the same blank sky and the same blank sea, but there was no token to
gladden the eyes of the watchers. Jason grew impatient at last: he had
called upon nearly all the saints in the calendar, and was growing to
be a very poor sort of a Catholic, inasmuch as he doubted the efficacy
of his prayers and the ability of saints to answer them. He didn't
realize that there might be good reasons for their not being answered
under the existing circumstances; which is a matter worthy of the
consideration of all of us.

The fact was, the Fortunate Islands were not one-half so wonderful as
had been represented; and the saints knew it well enough. Had Jason
invested there, as he purposed doing at the time of his embarkment,
he might have sunk all that he possessed--which was little enough
to float, as one would think--and then Maud might have tended her
rose-garden and carried fruit-offerings to the sweet-faced nuns
till she was gray and limping, for all Jason's fine notions of
independence--namely, a good income from the rise of stocks in the
Fortunate Islands, and two souls and two hearts doing the same sort of
thing at the same time, with complete and unqualified success, in that
sweet rose-garden on the sunny slope to the southward.

That was the way life went with Captain Jason of the Argonauts, called
John, for short, in Dreamland, while the crew growled a good deal at
their ill-luck, and began to fear that if things went on in that way
much longer they would have more fasts than Fridays in the week. Those
were trying times for all of them, and when land was made at last, and
it proved to be a temptation and a snare, Jason ordered a special fast
and a mass for the salvation of the souls in imminent peril. Out in
the world at last, thousands of miles from the unsophisticated
people of Dreamland, Jason beheld the dread Symplegades rocking their
enormous bulks upon the waves, and liable at any moment to swing
together with a terrific and deadly crash. Probably they were whales
at play: it may have been two currents of the sea rushing into
each other's arms: at all events, it was something deluding, though
temporary, and perhaps the selfsame difficulty experienced by the
original J. when he went after the original fleece.

My hero was young and unschooled in the world's wickedness, but he
knew that where two opposing elements come together with much force,
whatever happens to lie between them must suffer. What should be done
was a question of no little importance to the Argonauts. Most of
them were in favor of running the risk of a collision and letting the
vessel drive straight through. Jason thought this a judgment worthy
of young men whose lady-loves give expression to their most sacred
sentiments by gifts of pincushions and bookmarks. But he had something
to consider more than they--yea, more than any other living man--in
exemplification of the pleasing fallacy that besets all lovers in all
ages. Blessed be God that it is so!

The original Jason in the fable let loose a dove upon the waters, and
the dove lost only a tail-feather or two when the clashing islands
clashed their worst, and in the moment of the rebound the Argo swept
through in safety. The modern J. thought of this in his predicament,
and having turned it in his mind, he concluded that whereas the
pioneer Argonaut did not meet his princess till after his encounter
with the elements, he was not worthy of consideration; for had he
known her and loved her as some one knew and loved some one else
at that moment, most likely he would not have valued his life so
slightly. He clewed up his canvas like a wise mariner, and lay to
while the Symplegades butted one another with their foreheads of
adamant, and the sea was white with terror all about them. Jason
was no coward: he would have braved the passage had he alone been
concerned in the result; but for Maud in her rose-garden and for the
future, dear to him as his hope of heaven, he paused and trembled.

It is a pity there should be so little pausing and trembling among
the clashing islands when life hangs in the balance and the odds are
against it. But there always has been and always will be this little,
because we believe that nothing but experience is capable of teaching
us, and experience invariably teaches it all wrong end to, so that we
begin our lesson with a disaster and conclude it with a slow recovery.

During Jason's hour of deliberation his guardian angel, who was the
only one having his interests really at heart, and who loved him
unselfishly,--this angel advised him in the similitude of a dream to
"luff a little and go round the obstacles." Jason luffed, and passed
on with colors flying; which was doubtless much better than trying to
squeeze through the floating islands in the midst of an exceedingly
disagreeable sea.

Then came the land beyond, the long-sought kingdom, full of arts and
wiles. Jason was beset with ten thousand temptations, and was more
than once upon the point of falling into a snare, when, however, he
seemed to behold the apparition of his withered rose, which bloomed
and blushed again at such times, and gave out a faint fragrance, so
like a breath from that Eden on the sunny slope that he paused and
grew strong, and was saved.

His troubles were not yet over. There was the bargaining for the
golden fleece, and the tempting offer of the dragons' teeth which
he was to sow. They were the lusts of the body, that, once planted,
spring up an armed force of bloody and persistent accusers. But
that precious rose! How it blossomed over and over for his especial
benefit, a perpetual warning and an unfailing talisman--a very
profitable sort of blossom to wear in one's button-hole in these
times! But such blossoms are scarce indeed.

In due course of time that potent charm got him the golden fleece in a
very natural and business-like way, and, rejoicing in his possessions,
Jason returned to his vessel and trimmed his sails for home.

Merry the hearts that sailed with him, and fresh the winds that wafted
them onward, while, as is usual at sea, nothing occurred during the
voyage worth mentioning an hour after its occurrence. Jason in his new
joy had almost forgotten that withered token. In deep remorse at his
thoughtlessness, he sought his treasure, and, horror of horrors! every
leaf had fallen from the stem, the blossom was annihilated for ever.
He dwelt upon this episode morbidly, as upon a presentiment: he
pictured in his mind the hill-slope cottage deserted, the rose-garden
wasted and full of tares, and the bleak wind blowing whither it listed
through those avenues of beauty, for desolation possessed them all. He
groaned in spirit and wrestled with his new and invisible adversary,
beseeching the Most Merciful, from the bitterness of his suspense, a
speedy deliverance or a happy death.



III.


There were thistles and tares in the unkept rose-garden, and
the cottage was abandoned to a sisterhood of doves, who mourned
perpetually for their lost princess. The place was desolate, yet there
had been no sudden desertion of it. For many months no news had been
heard of the Argonauts. They were considerably overdue: the sages of
Dreamland shook their grizzly heads. They were just as sage and shaky
in those days as in these degenerate times. The maids of the hamlet
wept for a season, then turned from sorrowing, dried their tears, took
unto themselves new lovers, and the world wagged well in Dreamland.

But Maud was a truer soul than any amongst them: she prayed hourly
for Jason's prosperity, and was trusting and hopeful until it seemed
almost that something had whispered to her the fate of the voyagers.
Then she mourned night and day: she went into retirement with the
sweet-faced nuns at the headland, whose secluded life had ever been
very grateful to her. She gave out of her bounty to all who asked, and
rested not then, but sought the sick and the suffering, and they were
comforted, and blessed her who had blessed them. They began to think
her half an angel in Dreamland, and it seemed as though she were not
made for this world at all. The same thing happens now occasionally,
and in this way we acknowledge our shortcomings before our fellow-men
and women when we find some one considerably above the average who
shames us into confessing it. I hope the Recording Angel is within
hearing at these precious moments.

The world certainly possessed no charms for one of Maud's temperament:
it never did possess any for her. She was as out of place in it as a
mourning dove in a city mob. Her spirit sought tranquillity, and she
found it in the serene and changless convent life. You and I might
seek in vain for anything like peace of spirit in such a place: we
might find it a stale and profitless imprisonment; and perhaps it
speaks badly for both of us that it is so. The violet finds its silent
cell in the earth-crevice by the hidden spring a sufficient refuge,
and rejoices in it, but the sea-grass that has all its life tossed in
the surges would think that a very dull sort of existence. There are
human violets in the world, and human sunflowers and poppies, and
doves also, and apes and alligators; and some of them come within one
of being inhuman; and sometimes that _one_ drops out, and the inhuman
swallows up the human.

Maud was the mourning dove seeking its bower of shade: she used to
fancy herself a nun, and followed the prescribed duties of the house
as faithfully as Sister Grace herself. She knelt in the little chapel
of the convent till her back ached and her knees were lame, but it was
a never-failing joy in time of trouble, and her time of tremble had
come. Maud said many prayers before an altar of exceeding loveliness,
where fresh flowers seemed to breathe forth an unusual fragrance.
There was a statue of the Virgin, said to possess some miraculous
qualities: tradition whispered that on two or three occasions the
expression on the face of the statue had been seen to change visibly.
Maud heard of this, and was very eager to witness the miracle, for it
was thought to be nothing less than miraculous by the good Sisters.
She bowed before the altar for hours, and dreamed of the marble face
till she seemed to see its features smiling upon her and its small,
slim hand beckoning her back to prayer. She grew nervous and pale and
almost ill with watching and waiting, and at last was found prostrate
and insensible at the foot of the statue, overcome with excitement
and exhaustion. When she grew better she vowed she had seen the head
bowing to her, and the hands spread over her in benediction: no one
could deny it, for she was alone in the chapel. After that there was
a feast of lilies at the convent, and Maud became Sister Somebody or
other, and never again set foot beyond the great gates of the convent
wall.

The consecration was doubtless a blessing to her, for she was happy in
her new home, and found a sphere of usefulness that employed her hours
to the best advantage. Moreover, she grew to be a sensible nun, and
ceased to look for supernatural demonstrations in the neighborhood of
the chapel. She grew hearty, and was cheerful, and sang at her work,
and prayed with more honesty and less sentiment. Her life was as
placid as a river whose waters are untroubled by tempestuous winds,
and upon her bosom light cares, like passing barges, left but a
momentary wake.

As Maud mused in her cell one day, through the narrow barred window
she caught a glimpse of the burnished sea bearing upon its waves a
weather-beaten barque inward bound. There was danger that her mind
might wander off, piloted by her dreamy and worshipful eyes. She
arose, drew across the opening a leathern curtain, and returned with
undisturbed complacence to her prayers.



IV.


Jason, having among his freights the veritable golden fleece, still
coursed the seas, but beheld with rapture the fair outlines of the
Dreamland coast traced in the far blue and mysterious horizon. The
wind freshened: hour after hour they were nearing port, and as the
whole familiar picture grew more and more distinct, Jason saw the
convent towers looming like a great shadow, and afterward the sunny
slope whereon the rose-garden grew.

The manner of his quitting the barque before she was fairly within
communication with the shore was hardly worthy of his calling. I
forbear to dwell upon this exhibition of human weakness, for almost
any one in Jason's shoes would have been equally regardless of the
regulations, and in consequence proportionally unseamanlike.

With soiled garments and unshorn beard Jason ran to the hill. No one
of the idlers in port recognized the returned wanderer, and he assured
himself of the fact before venturing upon his visit to the dove-cot
where Maud dwelt, for he wished to gaze upon her from afar, and in
silence to worship her, unknown and unregarded. When he reached the
wicket, breathless with haste and excitement, he at once beheld the
ruin of his hopes--the thistles in the paths, the roses overgrown and
choked with weeds, the sad and general decay. Jason smote his breast
in a paroxysm of despair, while the doves fluttered out from the porch
of the cottage in amazement at the approach of a human foot to their
domains.

What could it mean? he asked himself again and again, while suspicions
taunted him almost to madness. Up and down that disordered garden he
paced like a ghostly sentinel; the doves fluttered to and fro, and
were dismayed; the night-winds came in from the chilly sea, and the
dews gathered in his beard. Through the deepening dusk he beheld the
lights of the little town below him: across the solemn silence floated
the clear notes of the vesper-bell. Jason turned toward the tower on
the headland. A single ray of light stealing from one of the high,
narrow windows shot through the mist toward heaven. "The ladder
of Jacob's dream," said Jason: "on it the angels are ascending and
descending in their visitations. Oh that I, like Jacob, might receive
intelligence from these!"

With the heaviest heart that ever burdened man he returned to the town
and entered the open doors of the church, seeking a few moments of
repose. An alien in his own land and unwelcomed of any, Jason sought
the good priest and learned the fate of Maud. She was dead to the
world and to him. It was but the realization of his fears, and he
was in some measure prepared for it; yet the best part of the man was
killed with the force of that blow. His only hope was gone. He set
his house in order, like one about to leave it, never to return:
his golden fleece was made over to enrich the convent, and, as the
magnanimous offering of a homelesss and nameless voyager, it delights
the happy creatures within those walls, and the shrine of the Virgin
was made more wonderfully beautiful than it is possible to conceive.

That night Jason walked in the shadow of the lofty walls and poured
out his sorrowful prayers upon the winds that swept about them. Once
in his agony he beat at the massive gates, demanding in the name of
God and of mercy admittance for a lost soul that had no shelter save
under that roof, and no salvation away from it; but his bleeding hands
made no impression upon the ponderous doors, and the silent inmates
at prayer heard nothing save their own whispers, or dreamed in their
cells of heaven and of peace.

So the cry of that hopeless soul rang up to the stars unanswered, and
the night frowned down upon him with impenetrable darkness.

End of the tragedy of Jason's Quest, which might easily have been a
pleasant comedy if Maud had only spoken her mind in the right place.
Will women never learn--since God has given them the same instincts
with man, to love, to trust, to doubt, to hate and to make themselves
at times disagreeable, even with a more complete success than men in
each of these lines of dramatic business--that God must have intended
also that they should have the equal right to choose the particular
object upon which they may exercise those various offices of love,
trust, etc., etc.? I shall never cease to wonder why they are
persistently and stupidly silent through six thousand years, content
to let their hearts wither and die within them, or surrender at
last to the wretched apology for a lover who offers himself as a
substitute, and is surprised at rinding himself accepted.

To be sure, it is less dramatic. Jason might have come back and
married Maud: there would have been a pretty wedding and some
delightful hours before things grew dull and commonplace, as they must
have done ultimately. That rose-garden would have come to grief
when once the children got to playing in it; Jason, on some tedious
afternoon, when overhauling old letters and the like, would have
thrown out that withered rose (of precious memory), quite forgetful
of its significance; Maud would have lost her myrtle leaf in
house-cleaning. Yet what were the odds? A withered rose and a myrtle
leaf are scarcely worth the keeping.

You will remember how it turned out in the days of the gods: Jason
wearied of Medea and the children; Medea was disgusted with such
conduct, and behaved like a savage; there was general unhappiness in
the family; and I blush for my sex--which is Jason's--whenever I think
of it. Now, if my Jason had married his Maud, it would have scarcely
been worth noticing beyond the simple register in the _Daily
Dreamlander_, after having been thrice published from the pulpit
between the Gospel and the Creed--"Jason to Maud."

As Jason was not heard of after the windy night under the wall of the
convent, there were many surmises concerning his disappearance. It was
thought that he had again embarked upon some voyage of discovery.
I believe he had, and it was a desperate one for him. The other
Argonauts married such maids as were left unmarried, and they did
well to do so. Some of the old sweethearts regretted their haste, and
looked enviously upon the new brides of Dreamland; but most of them
were satisfied with their children, and contented with such husbands
as Heaven had sent them.

Life grew slow in the little drowsy seaport; the old tales of
the Symplegades were stale and tedious; the Argonauts had become
spiritless and corpulent and lazy. One night a great gale swept in
from the sea: the earth fairly trembled under the repeated shocks
of the breakers. Old people looked troubled and young people looked
scared, and on the worst night of all the convent bell was heard to
toll, and then everybody feared something dreadful was happening to
the nuns, and everybody lay still and hoped it would soon be over.
The nuns wondered who rang the bell; and when every one had denied all
knowledge of it, it was known that most likely the devil had rung it,
for it was a dreadful night, and such a one as he best likes to be out
in.

In the morning, when the wind and the sea had gone down somewhat,
the wreckers found a stark corpse among the rocks under the headland,
lying with its face to the tower. It was dreadfully mangled: no
one could identify it as being any one in particular, and it
was impossible to know whether death had occurred by accident or
intentionally; so it was shrouded and put away out of Christian burial
in the common field of the unfortunate. The nuns sang a _requiem_, as
was their custom, and Maud prayed earnestly for all followers of the
sea; and the echo of her _miserere_ is the saddest line in the story
of Jason's Quest.

CHARLES WARREN STODDARD.



FOREBODINGS.


  What weight is this which presses on my soul?
    Powerless to rise, I sink amidst the dust:
  The days in solemn cycle o'er me roll,
    While, praying, I can only wait and trust.

  --Trust the dear Hand that all my life has led
    Through pastures green, by waters pure and still:
  If now He leads me through dark ways and dread,
    Shall I dare murmur, whatsoe'er His will?



DEER-PARKS.


There is nothing in England at the present day much more distinctly
an institution of that country than its deer-parks. Although it
seems probable that the Saxons had some sort of enclosed or partially
enclosed chases where deer were hunted or taken in the toils, the
regular and systematic enclosure of parks would appear to have come
in with the Normans. According to the old Norman law, no subject
could form a park without a grant from the Crown, or immemorial
prescription, which was held presumptive evidence of such a grant.

On the Continent there would appear to have been much more strictness
in this respect than in England. "In April, 1656," says Reresby in his
travels, "I returned to Saumur, where I stayed two months: then I went
to Thouars in Brittany, where the duke of Trémouille hath his best
house. Thouars is looked upon as one of the best manors in all
France, not so much for profit (a great extent of land there sometimes
affording not much rent), but for greatness of tenure; five hundred
gentlemen, it is said, holding their lands from it. Going to wait on
the duke, I found him very kind when I told him my country, the late
earl of Derby having married his sister. [1] He commanded me to dine
with him, and the next time mounted me upon one of his horses to wait
on him a-hunting in his park, which, not being two miles about, I
thought of little compass to belong to so great a person, till I found
that few are allowed to have any there save the princes of the blood.
So true is it that there are more parks in England than in all Europe
besides."

A large park would appear to have been among the many luxuries of the
princely Medici, for Reresby says: "Ten miles from Florence the duke
hath another country-house, nothing so considerable in itself as in
its situation, standing betwixt several hills on one side, covered
with vines and olive trees, and a valley divided into many walks by
rows of trees leading different ways: one leads to a park where the
great duke hath made a paddock course by the direction of Signior
Bernard Gascoigne, an Italian, who, having served our late king in
his wars, carried the pattern from England. Near to this house,
Poggio-Achaiano, is another park, the largest in Italy, or rather
chase, said to be thirty miles in compass."

Foremost amongst English parks is Windsor. The immense tracts by which
Windsor was formerly surrounded consisted of park and forest. Windsor
Forest has gradually diminished in size. In the time of Charles I. it
contained twelve parishes, and probably covered not less than 100,000
acres. According to a survey in 1789-92, it amounted to 59,600 acres,
of which the enclosed property of the Crown amounted to 5454. Like all
the other forests in England, it has been much encroached on, and now
consists of only some 1450 acres adjoining Windsor Great Park. The
rest of the land formerly composing it has been sold or leased. Enough
of the forest remains, in conjunction with the park, to enable the
visitor to make many delightful excursions. The most agreeable way
of seeing this sylvan country is on horseback. Perhaps nowhere in the
world can one get a more delicious canter. By a little management it
is easy to take a ride of twenty-five miles without more than a couple
of miles off the turf. In 1607 the Great Park was stated at 3650
acres: it consists now of about one thousand acres less.

The principal royal park in modern days, next to Windsor, is Richmond.
This covers more than two thousand acres, and, thanks to the railway,
may almost be regarded as a lung of London, being only eight miles
distant from the city. Richmond Park is as replete as Windsor with
historical association, and came into especial importance in the reign
of Charles I. That king, who was excessively addicted to the sports of
the field, had a strong desire to make a great park, for red as well
as fallow deer, between Richmond and Hampton Court, where he had large
wastes of his own, and great parcels of wood, which made it very fit
for the use he designed it for; but as some parishes had rights of
commonage in the wastes, and many gentlemen and farmers had good
houses and farms intermingled with them which they had inherited or
held on lease, and as, without including all these, the park would not
be large enough for Charles's satisfaction, the king, who was willing
to pay a very high price, expected people to gratify him by parting
with their property. Many did so, but--like the blacksmith of Brighton
who utterly refused to be bought out when George IV. was building his
hideous pavilion, and the famous miller of Potsdam, that Mordecai at
the gate of Sans Souci--"a gentleman who had the best estate, with a
convenient house and gardens, would by no means part with it, and made
a great noise as if the king would take away men's estates at his own
pleasure." The case of this gentleman and his many minor adherents
soon caused a regular row. The lord treasurer, Juxon, bishop of
London, who accompanied Charles to the scaffold, and other ministers
were very averse to the scheme, not only on account of the hostile
feeling it had evoked, but because the purchase of the land and making
a brick wall of ten miles around it, which was what the king wanted,
was a great deal too costly for his depleted exchequer. However,
Charles, with his usual fatal obstinacy, would not hear of abandoning
the scheme, and told Lord Cottington, who did his utmost to dissuade
him from it, "he was resolved to go through with it, and had already
caused brick to be burned and much of the wall to be built." This
beginning of the wall before people consented to part with their land
or common rights, increased the public feeling on the subject, and,
happening at a time when public opinion was growing strongly
against arbitrary rule, was no doubt one of the circumstances which
contributed to Charles's fall.

George II. and Queen Caroline lived much at Richmond, and the
interview between Jeanie Deans and Her Majesty took place here.
Jeanie, it will be remembered, told her ducal friend that she thought
the park would be "a braw place for the cows"--a sentiment similar
to that of Mr. Black's Highland heroine, Sheila, who pronounced it "a
beautiful ground for sheep."

The practice of hunting deer in a park, now quite a thing of the past,
appears to have been very prevalent at Richmond during this reign, and
apparently was attended with considerable risk. In a chronicle of 1731
we read:

"_August_ 13, 1731. The royal family hunted a stag in Richmond new
park: in the midst of the sport, Sir Robert Walpole's horse fell with
him just before the queen's chaise, but he was soon remounted, and Her
Majesty ordered him to bleed by way of precaution.

"_Aug_. 28, 1731. The royal family hunted in Richmond Park, when the
Lord Delaware's lady and Lady Harriet d'Auverquerque, daughter to the
earl of Grantham, were overturned in a chaise, which went over them,
but did no visible hurt. Mr. Shorter, one of the king's huntsmen, had
a fall from his horse, and received a slight contusion in his head.

"_Sept_. 13, 1731. Some of the royal family and persons of quality
hunted a stag in Richmond Park. A stag gored the horse of Coulthorp
Clayton, Esq., and threw him. The Lady Susan Hamilton was unhorsed.

"_Sept_. 14, being Holy Rood Day, the king's huntsmen hunted their
free buck in Richmond new park with bloodhounds, according to custom."

It will be noted that this sport took place at a season when no
hunting is now done in England.

There are two other small royal parks within a walk of Richmond--Bushy
and Hampton Court. Both contain magnificent trees.

The New Forest is now the only royal appanage of the kind, and the
House of Hanover has never made use of it for hunting purposes,
although the Stuart kings were very fond of going there. It was to
enjoy this territory that Charles II. commenced the magnificent
palace at Winchester, the finished portions of which are now used as
barracks. Nell Gwyn's quarters at the deanery are still shown. Up to
1779 there was a great tract of royal forest-ground near London, on
the Essex side, known as Enfield Chase, containing numbers of deer. If
we remember rightly, it is alluded to in _The Fortunes of Nigel_.

There are many more parks in the south than in the north of England--a
circumstance which is remarkable, having regard to the wilder
character of the ground in the former.

According to a valuable work on parks published a few years ago by
Mr. Shirley, a large landed proprietor, there are three hundred and
thirty-four parks still stocked with deer in the different counties
of England, and red deer are found in about thirty-one. It is
supposed that the oldest is that attached to Eridge Castle, near that
celebrated and most ancient of English watering-places, Tonbridge
Wells, in Sussex. It is very extensive, and there are no less than
ninety miles of grass drives cut through the park and woods. Almost
the largest park is that attached to the present duke of Marlborough's
famous seat, Blenheim. A large proportion of this magnificent demesne
formed part of Woodstock Chase, a favorite hunting-seat of British
sovereigns from an early date up to the time of Queen Anne. It was
then granted by the Crown to the hero of Blenheim, far more fortunate
in respect of the nation's gift than the hero of Waterloo, whose grant
of lands lay in a swamp which it cost him a little fortune to drain.
Next to Blenheim, in point of size, stands Tatton in Cheshire,
the seat of Lord Egerton. It contains 2500 acres, and the portion
appropriated to deer is far larger than at Blenheim. Tatton is from
ten to eleven miles around.

Another extensive park, 1500 acres, is that at Stowe, the duke of
Buckingham's. When in 1848 the family misfortunes reached a climax
which necessitated the sale of everything in Stowe House, the deer
in the park were sold off. But twenty-five years have rolled by, and
restored in a great degree the prosperity of the family. The duke is
again living at his splendid ancestral seat, is by degrees restoring
to their former home as the opportunity offers many of its scattered
treasures, and has restocked the park with deer.

Two parks pre-eminently famous for the magnificence of their oak
timber are Keddleston, Lord Scarsdale's, in Derbyshire, and Bagot's
Park, Lord Bagot's, in Staffordshire. The latter, which contains a
thousand acres, is a very ancient enclosure. It contains, besides the
deer, a herd of wild goats said to have been presented by Richard II.
to an ancestor of the present owner.

Parks vary from a paddock of twenty-one acres to twenty-eight hundred,
but the most usual dimensions are from one hundred and fifty to four
hundred acres. For a _multum in parvo_ of beautiful park scenery the
traveler in search of these charming specimens of the picturesque may
be advised to take a tour in Herefordshire and Worcestershire; and
if he be a horseman he will do well to ride through the country.
"Anyone," says Mr. Shirley, "who ascends the steep crest of the
Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, and looks down from the summit of
the ridge on the western side of the hills upon the richly wooded and
beautifully undulating country which lies stretched beneath as far as
the mountains of South Wales, would at once be struck with the 'bosky'
nature of the scenery, and its perfect adaptation for the formation of
deer-parks and sylvan residences."

Grimsthorpe, Lady Aveland's (inherited from the dukes of Ancaster,
extinct); Thoresby, Earl Manvers's, formerly the duke of Kingston's,
father of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; and Knowsley, Lord Derby's, are
also very large parks.

A writer on Grimsthorpe in 1774 says: "On a former visit I was told
that the park was sixteen miles and three quarters in circumference,
and esteemed the largest in England: since then it has, nevertheless,
been somewhat enlarged, but different spots in it are cultivated."

A few parks have been created and others restocked during the present
century. In Norfolk, Lord Kimberley, the present secretary of state
for the colonies, has restored the deer which were removed during the
present century, saying, it is reported, that "a place is not a place
without deer"--a sentiment shared by many of his countrymen regarding
an ancient grand-seigneur home. In the same county a new park has
been created at Sandringham, the seat of the prince of Wales, the deer
having been brought from Windsor. Sandringham Park and Woods were half
a century ago a sandy waste, but fell into judicious hands and were
admirably planted. The modern history of the place is remarkable.
Toward the close of the century it became the property of a French
refugee, Mr. Matou. This gentleman having been driven from his native
country by the Revolution, conceived somehow the idea of importing
from Sicily immense quantities of rabbit skins, which were used for
making hats of a cheap kind which passed for beaver. In this way he
acquired a large fortune. In England he mixed in the best society, and
became very intimate with Earl Cowper, first husband of the well-known
Lady Palmerston, and at his death bequeathed Sandringham to the
Honorable Spencer Cowper, that nobleman's younger son, who married
Lady Blessington's stepdaughter, Lady Harriet Gardiner, after her
divorce from Count d'Orsay. When the prince of Wales was casting round
for a country-seat, Sandringham was selected. Lord Palmerston was then
in office, and some ill-natured things were said as to the sale of his
stepson's place having been a much better thing for Mr. Cowper than
for the prince of Wales. Vast sums have since been spent here.

Where a deer-park has long existed on his paternal estate, it goes
to an Englishman's heart to give it up. An incident in point occurred
about twenty years ago. In a secluded part of Devonshire, approached
by the narrow, high-hedged, tortuous lanes characteristic of that part
of the country, stands a magnificent old Tudor mansion known as Great
Fulford Hall. Here for upward of six hundred years have been seated
the Fulfords, a family of Saxon origin, the rivals of the Tichbornes
in antiquity. The mansion of Fulford was garrisoned by Charles I., and
taken by a detachment of Cromwell's army in 1645. The marks they left
behind them may be seen to this day. The Fulfords have supporters to
their arms, a very rare circumstance in the case of commoners. These
supporters are two Saracens, and were granted in consideration of
services in the Crusades. "Sir Baldwin de Fulford fought a combat
with a Saracen, for bulk and bigness an unequal match (as the
representation of him cut in the wainscot at Fulford doth plainly
shew), whom yet he vanquished, and rescued a lady." This gentleman's
granddaughter was the mother of Henry VIII.'s favorite, Russell, first
earl of Bedford, and the Fulfords are connected with a hundred other
ancient and honorable houses. But for a long time the heads of the
house have failed "to marry money;" and when this happens for two
or three generations in the case of a country gentleman with a large
family to portion off, the result must usually be impecuniosity. Thus,
when the late Mr. Fulford succeeded to the family property in 1847,
he found himself the owner of a majestic old dilapidated mansion,
surrounded by a deer-park, which had been gradually growing less until
the portion of the park devoted to this purpose was little more than a
big field.

Like his ancestor in the time of "the troubles," Mr. Baldwin Fulford
was a Conservative, and had been very useful to his party. It was
intended, therefore, to reward his services when the time came by a
county office, which would have placed him at ease pecuniarily. When
this office fell vacant the Tories were "in," and all seemed secure
for Mr. Fulford's interest. But there's many a slip 'twixt cup and
lip. A gentleman applied to the prime minister for the place for a
friend of his, whose services to the party he duly dilated on.
"I understood," said his lordship, "that Mr. Fulford's claims are
considered paramount." "Mr. Fulford!" was the rejoinder. "I scarcely
thought that such a place as this would be an object to Mr. Fulford--a
gentleman of great position, with a deer-park and all that sort of
thing." "A deer-park! You surprise me. I understood that Mr. Fulford's
circumstances were extremely reduced. This alters the matter."
Unfortunately, the, minister committed himself too far to draw back
before making inquiries, when he learned that a deer-park having
existed at Fulford for some four or five centuries, its owner had
kept as a memento of grand old days a little remnant of the herd in
a paddock, as before mentioned. He never recovered the blow of this
disappointment. The heir to the property is, we believe, a son of the
late bishop of Montreal. The family motto is "Bear up"--one eminently
suited to its present condition, and we may hope that it will be
followed so successfully that this ancient stock, which has held for
so long a high place among the worthies of Devon, may once more win
the smiles of Fortune.

Many of the most picturesque parks are but little known, lying as
they do remote from railway stations. Mr. Nesfield, the great
landscape-gardener, considers that Longleat, the marquis of Bath's,
near Warminster, has greater natural advantages than any park in
England, and that these have been made the most of.

Lord Stamford's park of Bradgate, in Leicestershire, is in the highest
degree interesting. It is mostly covered with the common fern or
brakes, and the projecting bare and abrupt rocks rising here and
there, with a few gnarled and shivered oaks in the last stage of
decay, present a scene of wildness and desolation in striking contrast
to some of the beautiful adjoining valleys and fertile country.

Another gem of its kind is Ugbrook. This is situated a few miles from
the Newton-Abbot station of the South Devon Railway, and lies in a
rocky nook on the confines of Dartmoor. Macaulay, whose brother was
vicar of the neighboring parish of Bovey-Tracey, knew it well,
and tells us in his _History_ that Clifford (a member of the Cabal
ministry) retired to the woods of Ugbrook. He was a lucky man to have
such paternal acres to retire to, but probably the visitor to-day sees
this park in a condition which Charles's minister would indeed have
enjoyed. There is no place in England where a man may feel more
grateful to those who have gone before him for their taste and
forethought in creating a sylvan paradise. Although not very large,
this park contains almost every variety of scenery. There is a grove
gloomy from the heavy shadows of the magnificent trees which compose
it, glorious avenues of lime and beech, and monarch-like trees, which,
standing alone amid an expanse of sward, show to the fullest advantage
their superb proportions. Entering the park on one side, the road
winds beside a river, to which the bank gently slopes on the one hand,
whilst on the other it rises precipitately, clad with the greenest
foliage. An especial feature of this place is what is known as "the
riding park," a stretch of smooth turf extending some miles, from
which you may get a view over thirty miles, with the rocky heights of
Dartmoor Forest, where the autumn manoeuvres take place this year, on
the one hand, and the Haldon Hills on the other. This ancient heritage
is still the property of the Cliffords, the present peer being eighth
baron in direct descent from the lord treasurer. The Cliffords have
always remained constant to the Roman Catholic faith, and a Catholic
chapel adjoins the mansion.

A discriminating foreign tourist writes of Lord Hill's park,
Hawkstone, in Shropshire, which, also lying rather off the beaten
track, is comparatively little known: "I must in some respects give
Hawkstone the preference over all I have seen. It is not art nor
magnificence nor aristocratic splendor, but Nature alone to which it
is indebted for this pre-eminence, and in such a degree that were I
gifted with the power of adding to its beauty, I should ask, What can
I add? Imagine a spot so commandingly placed that from its highest
point you can let your eye wander over fifteen counties. Three sides
of this wide panorama rise and fall in constant change of hill and
dale like the waves of an agitated sea, and are bounded at the horizon
by the strangely formed, jagged outline of the Welsh mountains, which
at either end descend to a fertile plain shaded by thousands of lofty
trees, and in the obscure distance, where it blends with the sky, is
edged with a white misty line--the Atlantic Ocean."

Moor Park, in Hertfordshire, is remarkable for the following tradition
concerning it: In Charles II.'s reign it was bought by the duke of
Monmouth, whose widow--she who

  In pride of youth, in beauty's bloom,
  Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb--

is said to have ordered the heads of the trees in the park to be cut
off on being informed of her husband's execution. This tradition is
strengthened by the condition of many of the oaks here, which are
decayed from the top. The duchess sold the place in 1720, thirty-five
years after the duke's death. This is the Moor Park of apricot fame,
but not the one where Sir William Temple lived when Swift was his
secretary.

Most of the oldest and finest trees in England are naturally to be
found in the deer-parks. At Woburn, the duke of Bedford's, is the
largest ash--ninety feet high and twenty-three feet six inches in
circumference at the base. The Abbot's Oak, on which the last abbot
was hung, stands, or lately stood, here. It is remarkable that oaks
are more often struck by lightning than any other trees. At Tortworth,
Lord Ducie's, in Gloucestershire, is a chestnut asserted to have been
a boundary tree in the time of King John. So late as 1788 it produced
great quantities of chestnuts. At five feet from the ground this tree
measured fifty feet in circumference.

The lover of fine trees should wander through the glades of Lord
Leigh's park at Stoneleigh, in Warwickshire, where tall and shapely
oaks grow with such symmetry that you do not guess their size, and are
surprised to discover on measuring them how great it is.

  Oh, how I love these solitudes
    And places silent as the night--
  There where no thronging multitudes
    Disturb with noise their sweet delight!
  Oh, how mine eyes are pleased to see
    Oaks that such spreading branches bear,
  Which, from old Time's nativity,
    And th' envy of so many years,
  Are still green, beautiful and fair
  As at the world's first day they were!

Writing of the confines of the ancient forest of Sherwood, Mr. Howitt
says of those sylvan delights: "The great woods have fallen under the
axe, and repeated enclosures have reduced the open forests, but at
the Clipstone end still remains a remnant of its ancient woodlands,
unrifled except of deer--a specimen of what the whole once was, and a
specimen of consummate beauty and interest. The part called Bilhaghe
is a forest of oaks, and is clothed with the most impressive aspect
of age that can be presented to the eye in these kingdoms. Stonehenge
does not give you a feeling of greater eld, because it is not composed
of a material so easily acted on by the elements. But the hand of Time
has been on these woods, and has stamped them with a most imposing
character. The tempests, lightnings, winds and wintry violence of a
thousand years have flung their force on these trees, and there they
stand, trunk after trunk, scathed, hollow, gray, gnarled, stretching
out their bare, sturdy arms, or their mingled foliage and ruin, a life
in death. All is gray and old. The ground is gray beneath, the trees
are gray with clinging lichens--the very heather and fern that spring
beneath them have a character of the past. If you turn aside and step
amongst them, your feet sink in a depth of moss and dry vegetation
that is the growth of ages, or rather that ages have not been able to
destroy. You stand and look round, and in the height of summer all
is silent: it is like the fragment of a world worn out and forsaken.
These were the trees under which King John pursued the red deer six
hundred years ago, these were the oaks beneath which Robin Hood led
up his bold band of outlaws.... Advance up this long avenue, which the
noble owner of the forest tract has cut through it, and, looking right
and left as you proceed, you will not be able long to refrain from
turning into the tempting openings that present themselves. Enter
which you please, you cannot be wrong. These winding tracks, just
wide enough for a couple of people on horseback or in a pony phaeton,
carpeted with a mossy turf which springs under your feet with a
delicious elasticity, and closed in with shadowy trunks and flowery
thickets--are they not lovely?"

In the time of Elizabeth the largest park in Warwickshire, and one
of the very finest in England, was that which surrounded the castle
rendered classic ground by the immortal limning of Scott--Kenilworth.
In a survey taken in the time of James I. it is stated that "the
circuit of the castle mannours, parks and chase lying round together
contain at least nineteen or twenty miles in a pleasant country, the
like both for strength, state and pleasure not being within the realme
of England." Kenilworth came to an end in Cromwell's time, a period
very unfavorable to these sylvan paradises. He had the park cut up and
divided amongst various grantees. How much damage was done to the
park interest by the civil wars the following extract from the Life of
Margaret, duchess of Newcastle, attests: "Of eight parks which my
lord had before the wars, there was but one left that was not quite
destroyed--viz. Welbeck Park of about four miles compass; for my
lord's brother, Sir Charles Cavendish, who bought out the life of my
lord in that lordship, saved most part of it from being cut down; and
in Blore Park there were some few deer left. The rest of the parks
were totally defaced and destroyed, both wood, pales and deer; amongst
which was also Clipston Park of seven miles compass, wherein my lord
had taken much delight formerly, it being rich of wood, and containing
the greatest and tallest timber trees of all the woods he shad;
insomuch that only the pale-row was valued at two thousand pounds. It
was watered by a pleasant river that runs through it, full of fish and
otters; was well stocked with deer, full of hares, and had great
store of partridges, poots, pheasants, etc., besides all sorts of
water-fowl; so that this park afforded all manner of sports, for
hunting, hawking, coursing, fishing, etc., for which my lord esteemed
it very much. And although his patience and wisdom is such that
I never perceived him sad or discontented for his own losses and
misfortunes, yet when he beheld the ruins of that park I observed him
troubled, though he did little express it, only saying he had been
in hopes it would not have been so much defaced as he found it, there
being not one timber tree in it left for shelter."

The number of deer-parks in Scotland and Ireland is small. The
principal park in the former is that of the duke of Buccleuch at
Dalkeith Palace, near Edinburgh. At Hamilton, belonging to the duke of
that ilk, are wild cattle similar to those at Chillingham.

A wonderfully picturesque Irish park is Rockingham, the Hon. L. King
Harinan's, in the county Roscommon. The traveler will observe this
beautiful and very extensive demesne as he goes from Boyle to Sligo.
It is at the foot of the Curlew Mountains, and contains a magnificent
sheet of water surrounding an island on which stands an ancient
castle, still inhabitable. At Strokestown, in the same county, is a
small park, where Mr. Mahon, its former owner, planted many years ago
all sorts of forest trees, to see how far the deer would eat them: the
only tree they entirely avoided was the beech.

There is nothing grander in the three kingdoms than Lord Waterford's
seat, Curraghmore. Taken with the adjoining woods, the demesne
contains five thousand acres. The special feature of this superb place
is grandeur; "not that arising from the costly and laborious exertions
of man, but rather the magnificence of Nature. The beauty of
the situation consists in the lofty hills, rich vales and almost
impenetrable woods, which deceive the eye and give the idea of
boundless forests. The variety of the scenery is calculated to please
in the highest degree, and to gratify every taste."

At Lyme Park, the splendid old seat of the Leghs in Cheshire, "a very
remarkable custom," says Lysons, "of driving the red deer, which has
not been practiced in any other park, either in England or abroad, was
established about a century ago by an old park-keeper, who occupied
that position for seventy years, dying at over one hundred years of
age. It was his custom in May and June, when the animals' horns were
tender, to go on horseback, with a rod in his hand, round the hills
of this extensive park, and, having collected the deer, to drive them
before him like a herd of common horned cattle, sometimes even opening
a gate for them to pass through. When they came to a place before the
hall called the Deer-Clod, they would stand in a collected body as
long as the spectators thought fit; the young ones following their
dams, and the old stags rising one against another and combating with
their fore feet, not daring at this season of the year to make use of
their horns. At the command of the keeper they would then move forward
to a large piece of water and swim through the whole length of it,
after which they were allowed to disperse."

Following the example of the abbots, many of the bishops formerly had
deer-parks, and up to 1831 the bishop of Durham, a prince-palatine
in his diocese, had a park at his country-seat, still his residence,
Bishops-Auckland; but now the only prelate enjoying this distinction
is the bishop of Winchester, at Farnham Castle, in Hampshire.

"There are some," says a writer in an early number of the _Westminster
Review_, "who enclose immense possessions with walls and gates, and
employ keepers with guns to guard every avenue to the vast solitudes
by which they choose to be surrounded. Let such men pitch their
tents in the deserts of Sahara or the wild prairies of America. What
business have they here in the midst of a civilized community,
linked together by chains of mutual obligation and dependence?" These
observations apply to few private parks now-a-days. Permission to
drive, ride or walk through them is rarely refused. Almost the only
cases where there is much strictness in this respect are those of
parks situated near a great watering place, such as Brighton or
Tonbridge Wells. Thus, at the former, Lord Chichester's rule is that
all persons on horseback or in carriages may pass through his ground,
but foot-passengers are not allowed. The late Lord Abergavenny, a man
of very shy and retiring disposition, was the least liberal park-owner
in England. The gates of his superb demesne of Eridge very rarely
revolved on their hinges; and this was the more remarkable, inasmuch
as he did not reside there more than three months in the year. The
story was told that at his accession to the property he had been
more liberal, but that one day he was seated at luncheon alone when,
suddenly looking up, he observed to his horror three proletarians
flattening their noses against the window-pane, and gaping with
exasperating interest at the august spectacle of a live lord at
luncheon. To pull the bell and issue an order for the immediate
removal of the intruders was, in the graphic language of the dime
novel, the work of a moment; and from that hour the gates of Eridge
were so rigorously sealed that it was often a matter of difficulty
even for invited guests to obtain admittance.

It may seem very ill-natured sometimes to refuse admittance on
easy terms to such places, and to act apparently in a sort of
dog-in-the-manger spirit. But it should be borne in mind that the
privilege when accorded has not unfrequently been abused, more
especially by the "lower middle class" of the English people, whose
manners are often very intrusive. Such persons will approach close
to the house, peer into the windows of private apartments, or push
in amongst the family and guests while engaged in croquet or other
out-door amusements. Another common offence is leaving a disgusting
_débris_ lying about after a picnic in grounds which it costs the
owners thousands of pounds yearly to keep in order. The sentiment from
which such places are kept up is not that of vulgar display. They
are hallowed by associations which are well depicted by the late Lord
Lytton in an eloquent passage in _Earnest Maltravers_:

"It is a wild and weird scene, one of those noble English parks at
midnight, with its rough forest-ground broken into dell and valley,
its never-innovated and mossy grass overrun with fern, and its
immemorial trees, that have looked upon the birth, and look yet upon
the graves, of a hundred generations. Such spots are the last proud
and melancholy trace of Norman knighthood and old romance left to the
laughing landscapes of cultivated England. They always throw something
of shadow and solemn gloom upon minds that feel their associations,
like that which belongs to some ancient and holy edifice. They are the
cathedral aisles of Nature, with their darkened vistas, and columned
trunks, and arches of mighty foliage. But in ordinary times the gloom
is pleasing, and more delightful than all the cheerful lawns and sunny
slopes of the modern taste."

REGINALD WYNFORD.

[Footnote 1: This was the famous Charlotte de la Trémouille, so
admirably portrayed by Scott in _Peveril of the Peak_. Her direct
male heirs terminated in her grandson, the tenth earl, and she is now
represented in the female line by the duke of Atholl, who through her
claims descent from the Greek emperors.]



RAMBLES AMONG THE FRUITS AND FLOWERS OF THE TROPICS.

TWO PAPERS.--I.


"Well, Abdallah, what have you in view that can tempt one to a ramble
on such a breezeless morning as this?" was my question of the turbaned
exquisite who had just presented himself on the balcony where we sat
at sunrise inhaling the fragrant breath of a thousand flowers. We
were at Singapore, that little ocean gem at the foot of the Malayan
peninsula, where, fair as a pearl, she nestles in the crested coronet
of the deep blue sea. The whole island is but twenty-seven miles long,
with a width varying from three to twelve; but in no other area of
such limited dimensions can the tourist find so much of enchanting
beauty and picturesqueness, or such a variety of tropical products, as
in this "garden of the East." Without mountains, but with its central
peak of Bookit Timá rising about six hundred feet above the sea, the
scenery is diversified with richly-wooded hills, evergreen dales,
and luxuriant jungle-growth drooping over and reflecting its graceful
fringes in many a little babbling brook. The fruits of the island are
varied and luscious, the foliage perennial, and its myriads of flowers
so gorgeously tinted, so redolent of balmy odors, that one is fairly
bewildered with the superabundance of sweets. Of course we were
nothing loath to tarry a few weeks on this fairy isle, and we gladly
availed ourselves of the opportunity thus afforded to enrich our
herbariums and sketchbooks with new specimens by making occasional
excursions to the jungles, and now and then a picnic to some of the
thirty smaller islands that surround Singapore. But as the foreign
tourist in those enervating tropical regions is not slow to acquire
the Oriental love of ease and inveterate aversion to fatigue even in
pleasure-seeking, we usually left our Mussulman comprador to seek out
objects of interest and report to us beforehand, thus saving us from
the weariness of many a bootless expedition, and catering to the
precise tastes and desires of each of us in the way of adding to our
treasures.

On the morning in question Abdallah had just brought in the invariable
morning coffee, served in the purest and tiniest of porcelain cups;
and while we listlessly sipped the fragrant Mocha he seemed scanning
our faces with more than usual interest, evidently expecting just such
a question as I had asked. What a picture he was as he stood there
in flowing robes and huge turban, with his jet black moustache and
bronze-brown complexion, one small hand placed over the heart in token
of his absolute devotion to the foreign sahibs, and his lithe, supple
form leaning forward in the most obsequious attitude imaginable! His
answer was characteristic:

"Well, Madam Sahib, I find much beautiful flower, but not all where
lady sahib can go, unless she can ride in sampán. Some roads too small
for palanquin, and lady sahib's satin slipper must not be soiled with
dust or mud. But I engage one big sampán with six men to pull, and, if
the foreign sahibs all please, we make one grand picnic to Pulo Nánas
(Pineapple Island) and Pulo Panjan. They can ride first to where boat
is waiting, visit Pulo Nánas, take breakfast under orange tree, see
much fine fruit trees, and then go to Pulo Panjan, where I gave orders
for dinner to be served for the sahibs."

"But pray tell us who is to serve it," laughingly responded one of our
party. "Are we to have monkeys or wild squirrels for caterers? It must
be one or the other, as I am sure I have been informed that neither of
those islands are inhabited by human beings."

"No man there, true, sahib," was our Mussulman's ready rejoinder.
"But I send small boat with two men to pull, and two cooks, with rice,
fowls, and everything wanted for breakfast and dinner. I believe they
already at Pulo Nánas, cooking breakfast; the palanquins are also at
the door; and so, if it be the sahibs' pleasure, it is better to start
before the sun gets very high."

All this certainly promised well for us pleasure-seekers, and was no
doubt quite as satisfactory an arrangement for our scheming comprador,
who always took care to add to every charge a very liberal commission
for his own valuable services. We well knew that he was cheating us
on a grand scale, but of what avail was such knowledge? We should
gain nothing by discharging one who had at least the merit of being
good-looking, well-mannered and pleasant-speaking, only to engage
another less civil and probably no more honest. And in India all
disbursements for personal and household expenses are made through
these compradors or stewards--not of necessity, but because it is
the custom of the country, and in the East one never rebels against
established usage.

Our preparations were soon made: sketchbooks, drawing materials and
covered baskets for specimens were transferred to the keeping of
our faithful Mussulman, and we set out, anticipating a day of rare
enjoyment. We were fortunate in securing the company of Mr. M----,
the accomplished president of the Anglo-Chinese College, who had
spent some thirty years in Singapore, and was well acquainted with its
localities and objects of interest. He was like a complete volume with
illustrations on everything pertaining to the East, could answer all
manner of unheard-of questions about things that everybody else had
forgotten, and had always ready an appropriate anecdote or story just
to the point. His very dress was characteristic. It consisted of loose
trousers of gray linen, and an old-fashioned white hunting-coat with
Quaker collar, and huge pockets that would have answered very well
for the saddle-bags of an itinerant surgeon. These were designed
as receptacles for such stray "specimens" in botany, geology or
conchology as he might chance to discover _en route_; while thrust
into a smaller breast-pocket he carried a brace of huntsman's pistols,
with antique powder-horn and shot-pouch slung over the shoulder. His
hat was a Panama with low, round crown and a rim nearly as large as
an ordinary umbrella. A Chinese youth, an orphan adopted by Mr. M----
years before, accompanied his patron in a full suit of yellow nankin
made _à la Chinoise_, with broad-brimmed straw hat, long, braided
queue, and the inevitable Chinese fan. The rest of us donned our white
linen "fatigue suits," and leghorn hats of such vast dimensions as
bade the wearers have no thought for umbrellas. Thus equipped, we
were ready for all sorts of emergencies--climbing rocks, diving into
jungles or wading through muddy creeks.

The drive was for the most part through spice plantations and groves
of orange and palm, and, without delays, would have brought us in an
hour's time to the coast. But we could not consent to press onward
to the goal ahead without pausing for at least a glimpse of the many
objects of interest on the way. First we strolled over a plantation
of black pepper cultivated by Chinamen. The vine is a creeper with
a knotty stem that if unpruned will reach the height of near thirty
feet, but in order to render the vines more productive they are kept
down to about a dozen or fifteen feet, and each is trained over a
separate pole or prop. At each joint of the stem the plant puts out
its fibrous tendrils, grasping the prop, and so climbing to the top.
Whenever a vine happens to trail on the ground these tendrils, like
strawberry "runners," shoot into the earth, but then they bear no
fruit. The branches are short, brittle and easily broken, the leaves
deep-green, heart-shaped and very abundant, and the blossom a cluster
of small white flowers, almost destitute of odor. The fruit hangs in
long clusters of some forty or fifty grains each, somewhat after the
fashion of the wild grape, though much more diminutive in size. Until
after it has reached its full size it is green, when at maturity of
a bright red, and black only after it has become thoroughly dry. When
the berries begin to redden the bunches are gathered and spread upon
mats in the sun to dry: then the corns soon wither, turn black and
drop from the stems, becoming thus the shriveled black pepper known in
commerce. What is known among us as white pepper was formerly supposed
to be a different species from the black; but the sole difference is
in the curing, that intended for white pepper being placed in baskets
under water until sufficiently swollen for the exterior pellicle to
rub off by rolling in the hands after being again dried in the sun.
The plants are propagated by cuttings, which are generally placed some
six feet apart, sometimes being trained over the trunk of an old tree,
and at others over a strong stake. The vines commence bearing the
third year, and continue to do so for a dozen or more, when they
are rooted up, new ones having been previously planted to take their
places.

We next called at two gambier plantations, both owned and conducted by
Chinamen who came to the island a few years before as common coolies.
The gambier (_Funis uncatis_) was formerly called terra japonica, from
being supposed to be an earth and to come from Japan. It is grown
on sandy soil or dry hills, and requires very little labor in
cultivation. It is a slender-stemmed, vine-like shrub with oval-shaped
leaves and pale purplish flowers in clusters. The seeds germinate in
forty days, and the seedlings are transplanted when about nine inches
high. When full grown they reach a height of ten feet or more, and
after the first year the leaves and branches are regularly gathered
and prepared for the market. Men and boys were engaged in plucking
the leaves and conveying them, in mat-bags suspended on each end of a
bamboo staff, to the boiling-ground. Here they were boiled until the
water was evaporated, and the inspissated juice deposited, which we
afterward saw drying in little squares. It is a powerful astringent,
having one-tenth more tannin than any other substance known. It is
used by the natives as a dye, also as a salve for wounds and for
chewing with betel-nut and tobacco, besides being largely exported
to Europe for tanning leather and for dyeing. All through the gambier
plantations, and in every department of the labor of preparing it
for the boiler, I observed that not a female was to be seen, and on
inquiring the reason was gravely told that gambier plants would not
flourish if touched by a woman! "Sensitive plants" indeed, so readily
to discern the difference between the handling of the two sexes!

Our next call was at a coffee plantation, where we saw sixty thousand
young and healthy coffee trees, and two-thirds of them in a bearing
condition, yielding in the aggregate not less than fifty thousand
pounds of dry coffee per annum. The trees are beautifully formed, and
rise naturally to the height of sixteen feet or more, but when under
culture are kept at five or six feet for the convenience of collecting
the ripe fruit. They are planted in rows, the leaves grow opposite
each other, and many sessile flowers are produced at their insertion.
The blossoms are pure white, and when the plants are in full bloom
nothing can exceed their beauty or fragrance, the branches looking
as if frosted with snow, while the air is filled with the delicate
perfume. But the scene is brief as enchanting: the flowers fade a few
hours after they are full blown, to be succeeded by tiny berries that
are at first green, then a yellowish red, and finally ripen into a
rich crimson or purple; after which, unless gathered at once, they
shrivel and drop from the tree. This is about seven months after the
blooms make their appearance. The pulp is torn off and separated
from the seeds by means of a machine, and the grains, after being
thoroughly washed, are dried in the sun and put up in bags. Chek
Kongtwau, the Chinese proprietor of the plantation, not only walked
with us over his grounds, and answered all our questions with
exemplary patience, but insisted that we should go into the house, be
presented to his wife and partake of a lunch. He regaled us with tea
and coffee of his own growing and curing, excellent turtle steaks,
boiled rice, and curry made of shrimps and cucumbers stewed together.
For vegetables there were the Malay lobak, a tender white radish, and
the cocoa-nut bud stewed in the milk of the ripe fruit; and as dessert
we had placed before us, for the first time, the far-famed durian, so
universal a favorite among Orientals as to command a higher price than
any other fruit in market, yet so abominably disgusting in smell that
the olfactories of few strangers can tolerate its approach. To me the
odor seemed precisely that supposed to be produced by the admixture of
garlic and assafoetida; and as a plate piled with the rich golden pulp
was placed before me by our hostess, I came so near fainting as to be
compelled to seek the open air. The old Chinaman followed me, and
when he had learned the cause of my indisposition, laughed heartily,
saying, "Wait a year or two. You have not been in the country long
enough to appreciate this rare luxury. But when you have become
initiated into a knowledge of its surpassing excellences, never an
orange, pineapple or other fruit will you touch when a durian can be
had."

Just as we were re-entering our palanquins, Chek Kongtwau inquired
whether we had yet seen the anoo palm or sago tree, of which he said
there was but a solitary specimen in the island, most of the sago
manufactured at Singapore being brought in its crude state from the
swamps of Sumatra. He told us the famous tree was several miles from
his house, out of our direct route, but if we had time to visit it he
would undertake to guide us safely through the jungle to and from the
tree. We found it standing in solitary grandeur in a low swamp, and
lifting its long pinnated leaves from the extreme top of a trunk full
thirty feet high and twenty-eight inches in diameter. Its general
appearance is not unlike the cocoa-nut palm. Our conductor called the
sago tree _sibla_, but the Malays give it the name of _rumbiga_. They
say that each tree, if kept properly pruned down, will produce at
least five hundred pounds of pith per annum; but it soon degenerates
if suffered to grow to any considerable height. The pith is soaked
in large troughs of running water until it dissolves and afterward
settles, the sand and heavy dirt sinking beneath it, and the fibres
and scum floating on top. After being separated from these impurities
the sago is dried, and then granulated by passing it through
perforated plates till it becomes smooth and polished like so many
pearls, when it is packed in boxes and bags for sale. We did not see
the process that day, of course, but afterward at the large factory on
the river a few miles above the settlement.

One more plantation, a grove of the stately areca-nut or betel trees,
we determined to visit before taking the boat. The smooth road was
bordered everywhere with the beautiful melastoma or Singapore rose, of
perennial foliage and always in bloom, underneath acacias and palms;
and the very earth was carpeted with beauty and fragrance enough to
have formed the bridal-couch of a fairy queen. Over such a highway
three miles were quickly made, and we alighted at the entrance of a
narrow lane that led to the abode of Cassim Mootoo, the Malay owner
and cultivator of the betel-nut plantation. At the outer door a stone
monster of huge proportions and uncouth features kept guard against
the uncanny spirits that are supposed to frequent out-of-the-way lanes
and dreary passages. The planter received us pleasantly, accepted our
apologies for troubling him, and offered to show us over the grounds.
He was far less courtly in manners than the Chinese coffee-cultivator,
to whom we should scarcely have ventured to offer a fee, while out of
the Malay's cunning eyes there gleamed the evident expectation of a
snug bonus of silver rupees, which he received as a matter of course
when we bade him adieu, and having counted them over and jingled
them for a moment in his fingers, he thrust them into his pouch as he
re-entered the house.

We found the areca trees planted in rows, and growing to the height of
some forty feet, with straight, branchless trunks, terminated at the
top with ten or twelve pinnated leaves, each of which is full five
feet long. The fruit grows in clusters immediately below the tuft
of leaves. The outer shell is of a bright golden hue, that gradually
deepens to crimson as the fruit matures, and when opened shows a
brown, astringent nut about the size of a nutmeg. This is the portion
chewed with chunám and tobacco all over the East; and its use is so
universal that one seldom meets a man, woman or child of any Oriental
nation whose mouth is not filled, always and everywhere, with the
execrable mixture. Pepper leaves are sprinkled with chunám (lime) and
rolled up: a slice of betel-nut with a quid of tobacco is placed in
the mouth first, and then the rolled-up leaf is bitten off, and all
masticated together. When a visitor calls the betel-box is immediately
passed to him; and as in regard to the eating of salt in Western Asia,
so, in the eastern and southern portions, those who have once partaken
of betel-nut together are ever after sworn to faithful and undying
friendship. The use of the areca-nut preserves the teeth from decay,
but keeps them stained of a disgusting brick-red color.

On the outer edge of Cassim's plantation, where the soil was damp, we
noticed several long rows of the nepah palm, generally known as attap,
and extensively used for thatching houses in the East. It has the same
huge pinnated leaves as most of the other palms, but is destitute of
the long straight trunk, the leaves commencing from near the root, and
the entire height being seldom more than twelve or fourteen feet. We
saw also a few specimens of the hutan, a strange-looking palmate shrub
with leaves fifteen feet long, which are generally used by the Malays
for sails, in lieu of canvas, for their piratical proas. But the
strangest of all the palms we saw was the talipát, so called from the
Bali word _talipoin_, a priest; and the name was originally derived
from the fact that the sacred fans used by Booddhist priests in
their religious ceremonies are formed of its leaves. This fan is a
prescribed item of clerical costume, and no conscientious Booddhist
priest ever appears without this long-handled fan held directly in
front of his face, to prevent the sacred countenance from coming in
contact with anything unclean. The sacred books of the Booddhists and
Brahmins are also written on the talipát palm leaves, as are many
of their historical records and scientific works. This mammoth tree
sometimes reaches the height of nearly two hundred feet, and its trunk
the circumference of twelve feet. It lives to the age of nearly a
century, but blossoms only a single time; during the whole period of
its existence. The flower, some thirty feet in length, bursts with a
loud explosion at maturity, and in dying scatters the seeds that are
to produce the next generation of trees. A single leaf will sometimes
measure forty feet in circumference; and it is no unusual sight on the
Malabar coast, where storms are so fierce and sudden, to see ten or
fifteen men finding shelter in a boat over which is spread a single;
palm leaf, which effectually shields all from both wind and rain. When
the storm has subsided the huge leaf may be folded up like a lady's
fan, and is so light as to be readily carried by a man under one arm.
The talipát never grows wild, it is said, as do most of the other
palms; and it reaches its greatest perfection in the island of Ceylon.
All that I ever met with were under cultivation, being tended and
nursed with the utmost care. Indeed, half a dozen talipát palm trees
are a fortune in themselves, the leaves being very profitable as
merchandise, while a crop may be gathered every year during a long
life, and then the tree be of sufficient value to be bequeathed to the
heirs of the owner.

Bidding adieu to our Malayan host, we once more entered the
palanquins, and in a little while were set down on the coast, where
lay our sampán with flag hoisted and pennons gayly flaunting in the
breeze. First we passed Battu Bliah, "the sailing rock"--so called
from its fancied resemblance to a ship under widespread canvas; then
around an abrupt projection of Erskine's Hill, in a narrow passage
between Singapore and Baltan Máteo, we came in full view of
the promontory upon the highest point of which is built the
palace-bungalow of the old sultan-rajah who held sway over the island
previous to its purchase by Sir Stamford Raffles for the British
government, in 1819. The old rajah has passed away, but the bungalow
is still occupied by his son, a pensioner on the English Crown, and
one of the most daring pirates in all that region--successful enough
to have achieved a fame for prowess, but too crafty ever to be caught.

At Pulo Nánas, where we were to lunch, we found the cloth was already
laid on the green grass under the protecting shadow of a huge orange
tree, whose ripe golden fruit offered a dainty dessert. We took our
seats with the "professor" at the head, and were soon discussing the
merits of boiled chicken, fried fish, omelette, oysters, turtle eggs
and sundry fruits and confections with the zest created by seven hours
of active exercise in the open air. Then came the reaction, inclining
every one more to repose than research, and the hours would probably
have been dreamed away barren of adventures, had it not been for our
indomitable professor. We had missed him but a moment, when suddenly
he reappeared, holding at arm's length what seemed in the distance
about a dozen brown, scaly snakes a yard long, all strung together.
Simultaneously the entire company sprang to their feet and started for
a race as this regiment of frightful reptiles was thrust into their
midst by the radiant "dominie," whose face was fairly aglow with
mischief. "Where did they come from? What are you going to do with
them?" exclaimed everybody at once, turning to look at the monsters as
they lay passive and motionless where the professor had thrown them.
"Give them to Saint Patrick, to keep company with those he drove out
of the Emerald Isle; or we'll have them for dinner if you prefer,"
was the laughing response. Reassured by the non-combatant air of the
dreaded reptiles, we ventured a nearer approach, and our astonishment
may readily be imagined when we found not snakes, but simply a cluster
of the pendent blossoms of the rattan tree (_Arundo bambos_), one of
the strangest of all the floral products of the tropics. They hang
from the tree in clusters usually of ten or twelve, each a yard or
more in length, looking like a soldier's aigrettes suspended among the
green leaves, or perhaps still more like a string of chestnut-colored
scales threaded through the centre. Waving to and fro in the summer
breeze, as I afterward saw them, intertwined with the graceful
tendrils of the beautiful passion-flower with its rare feathery
chalice of purple and gold, and flanked on every side by ferns of
exquisite symmetry, reflecting their dainty fringes in the clear
waters, the _tout ensemble_ is one of radiant loveliness, seemingly
too fair to be hidden away among lonely jungles.

Consigning our newly acquired treasure to the keeping of the
comprador, we sauntered forth in search of other discoveries, and were
richly rewarded by finding several perfect specimens of the monkey-cup
or pitcher-plant (_Nepenthes distillatoria_). This plant is found in
moist places, such as are suited to the growth of ferns, mangroves
and palmate shrubs. It has pendent from each leaf a natural pitcher or
elongated cup, growing perfectly upright and capable of holding a pint
or more of liquid. It is provided also with a natural cover, which
when closed prevents the ingress of leaves or rubbish falling from
other trees. The most curious circumstance connected with this strange
plant is, that it is nearly always found full of pure, sparkling
water, and that the lid closes of itself as soon as the receptacle is
full, and opens whenever it is empty. The water is thus protected from
dust, and kept always fit for the use of thirsty travelers, as well as
of the immense troops of monkeys that inhabit tropical jungles. When
the dainty cup has been drained of its refreshing contents, this
wonderful little plant again throws wide the portals of its exhausted
receptacle for the free entrance of rain or dew. Another plant, one
we had often heard of, and sought for without success, the so-called
oyster tree, was found, and proved to be nothing very wonderful after
all. It is simply an ordinary oyster or other shell-fish, that, tired
of lying in the mud, concludes by way of variety to try swinging
in the air for a while, and so fastens itself to the long, pendent
branches of the mangroves that grow luxuriantly on the shores of most
tropical islands.

There seeming to be no more objects of interest to detain us at Pulo
Nánas, and our chuliahs having already gone on to prepare dinner at
Pulo Panjan, we rallied our forces and followed suit. It was already
four o'clock, and so near the equinoctial line, where there is no
twilight, it is dark soon after six; but then Pulo Panjan was on our
route homeward, and we should have time at least to dine and gather
some of the beautiful flowers for which the island is famous, as well
as to taste the white pineapple, a rare and exquisite variety that
grows here in great abundance. Both rind and pulp are of a pale
straw-color; hence the name, to distinguish this species from the
ordinary golden-colored fruit, which is far inferior to the white.
Those we obtained were magnificent specimens--large and juicy, with a
flavor to tempt the appetite of the veriest epicure. Abdallah peeled
them in such a way as to remove the bur entire, and brought them
to our grassy "board" on pure white porcelain plates garnished with
wreaths of fragrant flowers. Never were the gods feasted on nectar
and ambrosia more divinely luscious than the white pines and golden
mangoes, the rich juicy grapes and sparkling sherbet, with which
we were regaled on that bright summer eve at the base of the old
flagstaff towering above our heads.

We had not much time for roaming, but gathered whole handfuls of the
lotus or water-lily, with its pale-blue, golden or rose-tinted blooms
gleaming up from the sparkling waters like the fabled charms of
mermaid or sea-nymph. There are many varieties of this exquisite
flower--blue, pink, carnation, bright yellow, royal purple fringed
with gold, and, more beautiful than all, pure, virgin white, with
the faintest possible rose tinge in the centre of each section of the
corolla, a just perceptible blush, as of its own conscious loveliness.
This last variety is the royal flower of Siam: it is borne before
the king at weddings, funerals and all state festivals, and the royal
reception-rooms are always beautifully decorated with the young buds
arranged in costly vases of exquisite workmanship. The costly silk and
lace canopies over the cradles of the infants of the king's family
are also made in the form of a lotus reversed; and it is said that in
cases of fever or eruptive diseases the leaves of the fresh lotus are
spread over the royal couches, as being not only sanitary, but more
agreeable to the invalid than the ordinary linen or silk bedding.
Guided by the rare rich perfume of its waxen buds, we found a choice
specimen of the bride-like moon-creeper, and bore if off, vine, blooms
and all, to a place among the floral adornments of our own home.

We reached home at eight o'clock, after a cruise, by sea and by land,
of thirteen hours; but the day had been so replete with enjoyment that
we scarcely felt conscious of fatigue, and were off again the next
morning, soon after sun-rise, for a ride to Bookit Timá ("hill of
tin"), the central and loftiest peak of Singapore Island. It is nine
miles from the city, with a smooth road to the very summit, so that
we might go either in pony palanquins or on horseback. We chose the
latter, as affording us better opportunity for observation and
the collection of "specimens," and, as we could readily gain the
mountain-top in season for a nine o'clock breakfast, the heat would
not be oppressive. Abdallah despatched the chuliahs, each with a stout
load of provisions, table-ware and cooking-utensils, at dawn, and
when we arrived our _déjeuner_ was ready to be served. The viands were
tempting and the cookery faultless, but we could scarce do justice to
either, so eager were we to begin our explorations on the summit and
sides of this beautiful hill, or rather hills, for there are twin
peaks closely connected, and each presenting an enchanting view of
verdant fields and fertile valleys, of the neighboring city, the wide
expanse of blue waters beyond, and the shipping in the harbor. Having
satisfied ourselves with gazing at the distant prospect, we began to
descend in search of adventures, sending our ponies ahead to await
us at the base of the mountain, where we were to dine. Onward
we strolled, gradually descending, every step marked by
novelties--flowers, grasses, weeds and shrubs vieing with each other
in varied and glad-some beauty. At length we sat down to rest beneath
a huge bombax or cotton tree (_Bombax ceiba_), its widespread branches
and thick foliage shielding us effectually from the noonday sun, a
fragrant blossom falling occasionally into our laps or pelting us over
head and shoulders, while with every passing zephyr the fleecy down
from the ripe bolls floated hither and thither, looking for all the
world like a snow-storm, except that the sun was shining luminously
in the clear heavens. This tree must have been sixty feet in height,
a grand, noble type of a green old age after scores of years well
and usefully spent, still vigorous and productive. We met specimens
afterward even taller and larger than this, and they are said
sometimes to reach the height of a hundred feet. The timber is light
and porous, and is in great demand for boats. Lower down, the various
palms, especially the cocoa-nut and cabbage, were all about us. The
former is found in nearly every tropical clime, and is of all trees
the one most indispensable to the East Indian, furnishing him with
meat, drink, medicine, clothing, lodging and fuel. The ripe kernel of
the nut, besides being eaten, has expressed from it an excellent oil,
that feeds all the lamps in an Oriental house, supplies the table with
a most palatable substitute for butter, and the belle with a choice
article of perfumery; the green nut affords a delicious beverage
to the thirsty traveler; the fibrous covering of the nut is readily
converted into strong and durable cordage, and the polished shells
into drinking-cups, ladles and spoons; the leaves are frequently used
for thatch, the wood for lathing and musical instruments, and the sap
for toddy, an intoxicating drink very common in the East. The tree is
graceful and pretty, with a tuft of large pinnated leaves at the top,
and nestled cosily in their midst are the clusters of fruit. It grows
to the height of forty or fifty feet, is long-lived, and bears fruit
nearly the whole year round. The cabbage palm is much less common in
a wild state, and few planters will take the trouble to cultivate
it, since a whole tree must be destroyed to obtain a single dish. The
edible part consists of snow-white flakes found just inside the bark
near the top of the tree. When stewed in the expressed juice of the
cocoa-nut it constitutes one of the most luscious dishes I have ever
eaten. The tree is tall and large, and the pinnated leaves very long.

In the moist portions of the jungle toward the foot of the hill were
whole groves of the fragrant pandanus, ferns of infinite variety, and
a species of wild mignonette with a perfume like that of commingled
strawberries and lemon. Now and then we paused beneath the thick
green foliage of the _Magnolia grandiflora_, as it towered in stately
grandeur above its sister flowers, acknowledged queen of the parterre,
and dispensing with genuine Oriental profusion its rare and delicious
perfume. A step farther and our gaze was riveted by the modest purity
of the spotless japonica, the fragrant tuberose and Cape jessamine,
the graceful passion-flower, with its royal beauty and storied
reminiscences, the peerless dauk-málé, fragrant and fair, the _Kalla
Indica_, with its five long petals of heavenly blue, the gold-plant
of the Chinese, and crimson boon-gah-riah of the Malays, the last two
consecrated symbols in the religious rites of those nations. What a
medley of sweets, flaunting their gay colors in the bright tropical
sunshine! Then the innumerable company of roses--tea, moss, perpetual,
cluster, climbing, variegated, and a score of others--how fair, fresh
and fragrant they are, peerless, queen-like still, even amid such a
gorgeous array of ripe floral charms! These, and a thousand others for
which we have no names in our language, are scattered profusely over
those sunny lands of dreamy beauty, vieing with each other in rare,
rich perfume, exquisite grace of form and matchless blending of their
warm, ripe colors.

The next day we dined at Dr. Almeida's, and in his magnificent garden
found several choice specimens of both the _Victoria regia_ and the
_Rafflesia Arnoldi_, the two largest flowers in the world, each bloom
measuring two feet in diameter. But the rarest of all the doctor's
treasures was the night-blooming cereus. There were six blooms in full
maturity--four on one stalk and two on another--creamy, waxen flowers
of exquisite form, the leaves of the corolla of a pale golden hue
and the petals intensely white. The calyx rises from a long, hollow
footstalk, which is formed of rough plates overlapping each other like
tiles on a roof. From the centre of this footstalk rises a bundle of
filaments that encircle the style, stamens springing also from the
insertion of the leaves of the corolla, lining it with delicate beauty
and waving their slender forms with exquisite grace. But the
real charm of the cereus is its wondrous perfume, exhaled just at
night-fall, and readily discernible over the circuit of a mile. The
peculiar odor cannot be understood by mere description, but partakes
largely of that of sweet lilies, violets, the tuberose and vanilla.
After the bud appears the growth is very rapid, often two or three
inches a day--that is, in the height of the stalk, the flower
expanding proportionately. When fully grown it begins to unfold
its charms as the twilight deepens into night, and reaches perfect
maturity about an hour before midnight: at three o'clock its glory is
already beginning to wane, though scarcely perceptibly; but at dawn
it is fading rapidly, and by sun-rise only a wilted, worthless wreck
remains, good for nothing but to be "cast out and trodden under foot
of men."

FANNIE R. FEUDGE.



A PRINCESS OF THULE.

BY WILLIAM BLACK, AUTHOR OF "THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF A PHAETON."


CHAPTER XII.

TRANSFORMATION.


Had Sheila, then, Lavender could not help asking himself, a bad
temper, or any other qualities or characteristics which were apparent
to other people, but not to him? Was it possible that, after all,
Ingram was right, and that he had yet to learn the nature of the girl
he had married? It would be unfair to say that he suspected something
wrong about his wife--that he fancied she had managed to conceal
something--merely because Mrs. Lavender had said that Sheila had a bad
temper; but here was another person who maintained that when the days
of his romance were over he would see the girl in another light.

Nay, as he continued to ask himself, had not the change already begun?
He grew less and less accustomed to see in Sheila a beautiful wild
sea-bird that had fluttered down for a time into a strange home in
the South. He had not quite forgotten or abandoned those imaginative
scenes in which the wonderful sea-princess was to enter crowded
drawing-rooms and have all the world standing back to regard her and
admire her and sing her praises. But now he was not so sure that that
would be the result of Sheila's entrance into society. As the date of
a certain dinner-party drew near he began to wish she was more like
the women he knew. He did not object to her strange sweet ways of
speech, nor to her odd likes and dislikes, nor even to an unhesitating
frankness that nearly approached rudeness sometimes in its scorn
of all compromise with the truth; but how would others regard these
things? He did not wish to gain the reputation of having married an
oddity.

"Sheila," he said on the morning of the day on which they were going
to this dinner-party, "you should not say _like-a-ness_. There are
only two syllables in _likeness_. It really does sound absurd to hear
you say _like-a-ness_."

She looked up to him with a quick trouble in her eyes. When had he
spoken to her so petulantly before? And then she cast down her eyes
again, and said submissively, "I will try not to speak like that. When
you go out I take a book and read aloud, and try to speak like you;
but I cannot learn all at once."

"_I_ don't mind," he said. "But you know other people must think it
so odd. I wonder why you should always say _gyarden_ for _garden_ now,
when it is just as easy to say _garden_?"

Once upon a time he had said there was no English like the English
spoken in Lewis, and had singled out this very word as typical of one
peculiarity in the pronunciation. But she did not remind him of that.
She only said in the same simple fashion, "If you will tell me my
faults I will try to correct them."

She turned away from him to get an envelope for a letter she had been
writing to her father. He fancied something was wrong, and perhaps
some touch of compunction smote him, for he went after her and took
her hand, and said, "Look here, Sheila. When I point out any trifles
like that, you must not call them faults, and fancy I have any serious
complaint to make. It is for your own good that you should meet the
people who will be your friends on equal terms, and give them as
little as possible to talk about."

"I should not mind their talking about me," said Sheila with her eyes
still cast down, "but it is your wife they must not talk about; and if
you will tell me anything I do wrong I will correct it."

"Oh, you must not think it is anything so serious as that. You will
soon pick up from the ladies you will meet some notion of how you
differ from them; and if you should startle or puzzle them a little at
first by talking about the chances of the fishing or the catching of
wild-duck, or the way to reclaim bogland, you will soon get over all
that."

Sheila said nothing, but she made a mental memorandum of three things
she was not to speak about. She did not know why these subjects should
be forbidden, but she was in a strange land and going to see strange
people, whose habits were different from hers. Moreover, when her
husband had gone she reflected that these people, having no fishing
and no peat-mosses and no wild-duck, could not possibly be interested
in such affairs; and thus she fancied she perceived the reason why she
should avoid all mention of those things.

When in the evening Sheila came down dressed and ready to go out,
Lavender had to admit to himself that he had married an exceedingly
beautiful girl, and that there was no country gawkiness about her
manner, and no placid insipidity about her proud and handsome face.
For one brief moment he triumphed in his heart, and had some wild
glimpse of his old project of startling his small world with this
vision from the northern seas. But when he got into the hired
brougham, and thought of the people he was about to meet, and of the
manner in which they would carry away such and such impressions of the
girl, he lost faith in that admiration. He would much rather have
had Sheila unnoticeable and unnoticed--one who would quietly take her
place at the dinner-table, and attract no more special attention than
the flowers, for example, which every one would glance at with some
satisfaction, and then forget in the interest of talking and dining.
He was quite conscious of his own weakness in thus fearing social
criticism. He knew that Ingram would have taken Sheila anywhere in her
blue serge dress, and been quite content and oblivious of observation.
But then Ingram was independent of those social circles in which a
married man must move, and in which his position is often defined for
him by the disposition and manners of his wife. Ingram did not know
how women talked. It was for Sheila's own sake, he persuaded himself,
that he was anxious about the impression she should make, and that he
had drilled her in all that she should do and say.

"Above all things," he said, "mind you take no notice of me. Another
man will take you in to dinner, of course, and I shall take in
somebody else, and we shall not be near each other. But it's after
dinner, I mean: when the men go into the drawing-room don't you come
and speak to me or take any notice of me whatever."

"Mayn't I look at you, Frank?"

"If you do you'll have half a dozen people all watching you, saying
to themselves or to each other, 'Poor thing! she hasn't got over her
infatuation yet. Isn't it pretty to see how naturally her eyes turn
toward him?'"

"But I shouldn't mind them saying that," said Sheila with a smile.

"Oh, you mustn't be pitied in that fashion. Let them keep their
compassion to themselves."

"Do you know, dear," said Sheila very quietly, "that I think you
exaggerate the interest people will take in me? I don't think I can be
of such importance to them. I don't think they will be watching me as
you fancy."

"Oh, you don't know," he said. "I know they fancy I have done
something romantic, heroic and all that kind of thing, and they are
curious to see you."

"They cannot hurt me by looking at me," said Sheila simply. "And they
will soon find out how little there is to discover."

The house being in Holland Park they had not far to go; and just as
they were driving up to the door a young man, slight, sandy-haired and
stooping, got out of a hansom and crossed the pavement.

"By Jove!" said Lavender, "there is Redburn, I did not know he knew
Mrs. Lorraine and her mother. That is Lord Arthur Redburn, Sheila:
mind, if you should talk to him, not to call him 'my lord.'"

Sheila laughed and said, "How am I to remember all these things?"

They got into the house, and by and by Lavender found himself, with
Sheila on his arm, entering a drawing-room to present her to certain
of his friends. It was a large room, with a great deal of gilding and
color about it, and with a conservatory at the farther end; but the
blaze of light had not so bewildering an effect on Sheila's eyes as
the appearance of two ladies to whom she was now introduced. She had
heard much about them. She was curious to see them. Many a time had
she thought over the strange story Lavender had told her of the woman
who heard that her husband was dying in a hospital during the war, and
started off, herself and her daughter, to find him out; how there was
in the same hospital another dying man whom they had known some years
before, and who had gone away because the girl would not listen to
him; how this man, being very near to death, begged that the girl
would do him the last favor he would ask of her, of wearing his name
and inheriting his property; and how, some few hours after the strange
and sad ceremony had been performed, he breathed his last, happy in
holding her hand. The father died next day, and the two widows were
thrown upon the world, almost without friends, but not without means.
This man Lorraine had been possessed of considerable wealth, and the
girl who had suddenly become mistress of it found herself able to
employ all possible means in assuaging her mother's grief. They began
to travel. The two women went from capital to capital, until at
last they came to London; and here, having gathered around them
a considerable number of friends, they proposed to take up their
residence permanently. Lavender had often talked to Sheila about
Mrs. Lorraine--about her shrewdness, her sharp sayings, and the odd
contrast between this clever, keen, frank woman of the world and the
woman one would have expected to be the heroine of a pathetic tale.

But were there two Mrs. Lorraines? That had been Sheila's first
question to herself when, after having been introduced to one
lady under that name, she suddenly saw before her another, who was
introduced to her as Mrs. Kavanagh. The mother and daughter were
singularly alike. They had the same slight and graceful figure, which
made them appear taller than they really were, the same pale, fine
and rather handsome features, the same large, clear gray eyes, and
apparently the same abundant mass of soft fair hair, heavily plaited
in the latest fashion. They were both dressed entirely in black,
except that the daughter had a band of blue round her slender waist.
It was soon apparent, too, that the manner of the two women was
singularly different; Mrs. Kavanagh bearing herself with a certain
sad reserve that almost approached melancholy at times, while her
daughter, with more life and spirit in her face, passed rapidly
through all sorts of varying moods, until one could scarcely tell
whether the affectation lay in a certain cynical audacity in her
speech, or whether it lay in her assumption of a certain coyness and
archness, or whether there was any affectation at all in the matter.
However that might be, there could be no doubt about the sincerity of
those gray eyes of hers. There was something almost cruelly frank
in the clear look of them; and when her face was not lit up by some
passing smile the pale and fine features seemed to borrow something
of severity from her unflinching, calm and dispassionate habit of
regarding those around her.

Sheila was prepared to like Mrs. Lorraine from the first moment she
had caught sight of her. The honesty of the gray eyes attracted her.
And, indeed, the young widow seemed very much interested in the young
wife, and, so far as she could in that awkward period just before
dinner, strove to make friends with her. Sheila was introduced to
a number of people, but none of them pleased her so well as Mrs.
Lorraine. Then dinner was announced, and Sheila found that she was
being escorted across the passage to the room on the other side by the
young man whom she had seen get out of the hansom.

This Lord Arthur Redburn was the younger son of a great Tory duke;
he represented in the House a small country borough which his father
practically owned; he had a fair amount of ability, an uncommonly high
opinion of himself, and a certain affectation of being bored by the
frivolous ways and talk of ordinary society. He gave himself credit
for being the clever member of the family; and if there was any
cleverness going, he had it; but there were some who said that his
reputation in the House and elsewhere as a good speaker was mainly
based on the fact that he had an abundant assurance and was not easily
put out. Unfortunately, the public could come to no decision on
the point, for the reporters were not kind to Lord Arthur, and the
substance of his speeches was as unknown to the world as his manner of
delivering them.

Now, Mrs. Lorraine had intended to tell this young man something about
the girl whom he was to take in to dinner, but she herself had been
so occupied with Sheila that the opportunity escaped her. Lord Arthur
accordingly knew only that he was beside a very pretty woman, who was
a Mrs. Somebody--the exact name he had not caught--and that the few
words she had spoken were pronounced in a curious way. Probably, he
thought, she was from Dublin.

He also arrived at the conclusion that she was too pretty to know
anything about the Deceased Wife's Sister bill, in which he was, for
family reasons, deeply interested, and considered it more likely that
she would prefer to talk about theatres and such things.

"Were you at Covent Garden last night?" he said.

"No," answered Sheila. "But I was there two days ago, and it is
very pretty to see the flowers and the fruit; and then they smell so
sweetly as you walk through."

"Oh yes, it is delightful," said Lord Arthur. "But I was speaking of
the theatre."

"Is there a theatre in there?"

He stared at her, and inwardly hoped she was not mad.

"Not in among the shops, no. But don't you know Covent Garden
Theatre?"

"I have never been in any theatre, not yet," said Sheila.

And then it began to dawn upon him that he must be talking to Frank
Lavender's wife. Was there not some rumor about the girl having come
from a remote part of the Highlands? He determined on a bold stroke:
"You have not been long enough in London to see the theatres, I
suppose."

And then Sheila, taking it for granted that he knew her husband very
well, and that he was quite familiar with all the circumstances of the
case, began to chat to him freely enough. He found that this Highland
girl of whom he had heard vaguely was not at all shy. He began to feel
interested. By and by he actually made efforts to assist her frankness
by becoming equally frank, and by telling her all he knew of the
things with which they were mutually acquainted. Of course by this
time they had got up into the Highlands. The young man had himself
been in the Highlands--frequently, indeed. He had never crossed to
Lewis, but he had seen the island from the Sutherlandshire coast.
There were very many deer in Sutherlandshire, were there not? Yes, he
had been out a great many times, and had had his share of adventures.
Had he not gone out before daylight, and waited on the top of a hill,
hidden by some rocks, to watch the mists clear along the hillsides and
in the valley below? Did not he tremble when he fired his first shot,
and had not something passed before his eyes so that he could not see
for a moment whether the stag had fallen or was away like lightning
down the bed of the stream? Somehow or other, Lord Arthur found
himself relating all his experiences, as if he were a novice begging
for the good opinion of a master. She knew all about it, obviously,
and he would tell her his small adventures if only that she might
laugh at him. But Sheila did not laugh. She was greatly delighted to
have this talk about the hills and the deer and the wet mornings.
She forgot all about the dinner before her. The servants whipped off
successive plates without her seeing anything of them: they received
random answers about wine, so that she had three full glasses standing
by her untouched. She was no more in Holland Park at that moment than
were the wild animals of which she spoke so proudly and lovingly. If
the great and frail masses of flowers on the table brought her any
perfume at all, it was a scent of peat-smoke. Lord Arthur thought that
his companion was a little too frank and confiding, or rather that she
would have been had she been talking to any one but himself. He rather
liked it. He was pleased to have established friendly relations with
a pretty woman in so short a space; but ought not her husband to give
her a hint about not admitting all and sundry to the enjoyment of
these favors? Perhaps, too, Lord Arthur felt bound to admit to himself
there were some men who more than others inspired confidence in women.
He laid no claims to being a fascinating person, but he had had his
share of success, and considered that Sheila showed discrimination
as well as good-nature in talking so to him. There was, after all,
no necessity for her husband to warn her. She would know how to guard
against admitting all men to a like intimacy. In the mean time he
was very well pleased to be sitting beside this pretty and agreeable
companion, who had an abundant fund of good spirits, and who showed no
sort of conscious embarrassment in thanking you with a bright look
of her eyes or by a smile when you told her something that pleased or
amused her.

But these flattering little speculations were doomed to receive
a sudden check. The juvenile M.P. began to remark that a shade
occasionally crossed the face of his fair companion, and that she
sometimes looked a little anxiously across the table, where Mr.
Lavender and Mrs. Lorraine were seated, half hidden from view by a
heap of silver and flowers in the middle of the board. But though they
could not easily be seen, except at such moments as they turned to
address some neighbor, they could be distinctly enough heard when
there was any lull in the general conversation. And what Sheila heard
did not please her. She began to like that fair, clear-eyed young
woman less. Perhaps her husband meant nothing by the fashion in which
he talked of marriage and the condition of a married man, but she
would rather have not heard him talk so. Moreover, she was aware that
in the gentlest possible fashion Mrs. Lorraine was making fun of her
companion, and exposing him to small and graceful shafts of ridicule;
while he seemed, on the whole, to enjoy these attacks.

The ingenuous self-love of Lord Arthur Redburn, M.P., was severely
wounded by the notion that, after all, he had been made a cat's-paw
of by a jealous wife. He had been flattered by this girl's exceeding
friendliness; he had given her credit for a genuine impulsiveness
which seemed to him as pleasing as it was uncommon; and he had, with
the moderation expected of a man in politics who hoped some day to
assist in the government of the nation by accepting a junior lordship,
admired her. But was it all pretence? Was she paying court to him
merely to annoy her husband? Had her enthusiasm about the shooting of
red-deer been prompted by a wish to attract a certain pair of eyes at
the other side of the table? Lord Arthur began to sneer at himself for
having been duped. He ought to have known. Women were as much women
in a Hebridean island as in Bayswater. He began to treat Sheila with a
little more coolness, while she became more and more preoccupied with
the couple across the table, and sometimes was innocently rude in
answering his questions somewhat at random.

When the ladies were going into the drawing-room, Mrs. Lorraine
put her hand within Sheila's arm and led her to the entrance to the
conservatory. "I hope we shall be friends," she said.

"I hope so," said Sheila, not very warmly.

"Until you get better acquainted with your husband's friends you will
feel rather lonely at being left as at present, I suppose."

"A little," said Sheila.

"It is a silly thing altogether. If men smoked after dinner I could
understand it. But they merely sit, looking at wine they don't drink,
talking a few common-places and yawning."

"Why do they do it, then?" said Sheila.

"They don't do it everywhere. But here we keep to the manners and
customs of the ancients."

"What do you know about the manners of the ancients?" said Mrs.
Kavanagh, tapping her daughter's shoulder; as she passed with a sheet
of music.

"I have studied them frequently, mamma," said the daughter with
composure, "--in the monkey-house at the Zoological Gardens."

The mamma smiled, and passed on to place the music on the piano.
Sheila did not understand what her companion had said; and indeed
Mrs. Lorraine immediately turned, with the same calm, fine face and
careless eyes, to ask Sheila whether she would not, by and by, sing
one of those northern songs of which Mr. Lavender had told her.

A tall girl, with her back hair tied in a knot and her costume copied
from a well-known pre-Raphaelite drawing, sat down to the piano and
sang a mystic song of the present day, in which the moon, the stars
and other natural objects behaved strangely, and were somehow mixed up
with the appeal of a maiden who demanded that her dead lover should be
reclaimed from the sea.

"Do you ever go down to your husband's studio?" said Mrs. Lorraine.

Sheila glanced toward the lady at the piano.

"Oh, you may talk," said Mrs. Lorraine, with the least expression of
contempt in the gray eyes. "She is singing to gratify herself, not
us."

"Yes, I sometimes go down," said Sheila in as low a voice as she could
manage without falling into a whisper, "and it is such a dismal place.
It is very hard on him to have to work in a big bare room like that,
with the windows half blinded. But sometimes I think Frank would
rather have me out of the way."

"And what would he do if both of us were to pay him a visit?" said
Mrs. Lorraine. "I should so like to see the studio! Won't you call for
me some day and take me with you?"

Take her with her, indeed! Sheila began to wonder that she did not
propose to go alone. Fortunately, there was no need to answer the
question, for at this moment the song came to an end, and there was a
general movement and murmur of gratitude.

"Thank you," said Mrs. Lorraine to the lady who had sung, and who was
now returning to the photographs she had left--"thank you very much.
I knew some one would instantly ask you to sing that song: it is the
most charming of all your songs, I think, and how well it suits your
voice, too!"

Then she turned to Sheila again: "How did you like Lord Arthur
Redburn?"

"I think he is a very good young man."

"Young men are never good, but they may be very amiable," said
Mrs. Lorraine, not perceiving that Sheila had blundered on a wrong
adjective, and that she had really meant that she thought him honest
and pleasant.

"You did not speak at all, I think, to your neighbor on the right:
that was wise of you. He is a most insufferable person, but mamma
bears with him for the sake of his daughter, who sang just now. He is
too rich. And he smiles blandly, and takes a sort of after-dinner view
of things, as if he coincided with the arrangements of Providence.
Don't you take coffee? Tea, then. I have met your aunt--I mean, Mr.
Lavender's aunt: such a dear old lady she is!"

"I don't like her," said Sheila.

"Oh, don't you, really?"

"Not at present, but I shall try to like her."

"Well," said Mrs. Lorraine calmly, "you know she has her
peculiarities. I wish she wouldn't talk so much about Marcus Antoninus
and doses of medicine. I fancy I smell calomel when she comes near.
I suppose if she were in a pantomime, they'd dress her up as a phial,
tie a string round her neck and label her 'POISON.' Dear me, how
languid one gets in this climate! Let us sit down. I wish I was as
strong as mamma."

They sat down together, and Mrs. Lorraine evidently expected to be
petted and made much of by her new companion. She gave herself pretty
little airs and graces, and said no more cutting things about anybody.
And Sheila somehow found herself being drawn to the girl, so that she
could scarcely help taking her hand, and saying how sorry she was to
see her so pale and fine and delicate. The hand, too, was so small
that the tiny white fingers seemed scarcely bigger than the claws of
a bird. Was not that slender waist, to which some little attention was
called by a belt of bold blue, just a little too slender for
health, although the bust and shoulders were exquisitely and finely
proportioned?

"We were at the Academy all the morning, and mamma is not a bit tired.
Why has not Mr. Lavender anything in the Academy? Oh, I forgot" she
added, with a smile. "Of course, he has been very much engaged. But
now I suppose he will settle down to work."

Sheila wished that this fragile-looking girl would not so continually
refer to her husband; but how was any one to find fault with her when
she put a little air of plaintiveness into the ordinarily cold gray
eyes, and looked at her small hand as much as to say, "The fingers
there are very small, and even whiter than the glove that covers them.
They are the fingers of a child, who ought to be petted."

Then the men came in from the dining-room. Lavender looked round to
see where Sheila was--perhaps with a trifle of disappointment that she
was not the most prominent figure there. Had he expected to find all
the women surrounding her and admiring her, and all the men going up
to pay court to her? Sheila was seated near a small table, and Mrs.
Lorraine was showing her something. She was just like anybody else. If
she was a wonderful sea-princess who had come into a new world, no one
seemed to observe her. The only thing that distinguished her from
the women around her was her freshness of color and the unusual
combination of black eyelashes and dark blue eyes. Lavender had
arranged that Sheila's first appearance in public should be at a very
quiet little dinner-party, but even here she failed to create any
profound impression. She was, as he had to confess to himself again,
just like anybody else.

He went over to where Mrs. Lorraine was, and sat down beside her.
Sheila, remembering his injunctions, felt bound to leave him there;
and as she rose to speak to Mrs. Kavanagh, who was standing by,
that lady came and begged her to sing a Highland song. By this time
Lavender had succeeded in interesting his companion about something or
other, and neither of them noticed that Sheila had gone to the piano,
attended by the young politician who had taken her in to dinner. Nor
did they interrupt their talk merely because some one played a few
bars of prelude. But what was this that suddenly startled Lavender to
the heart, causing him to look up with surprise? He had not heard the
air since he was in Borva, and when Sheila sang

  Hark, hark! the horn
  On mountain-breezes borne!
  Awake, it is morn,
      Awake, Monaltrie!--

all sorts of reminiscences came rushing in upon him. How often had
he heard that wild story of Monaltrie's flight sung out in the small
chamber over the sea, with a sound of the waves outside and a scent of
sea-weed coming in at the door and the windows! It was from the shores
of Borva that young Monaltrie must have fled. It must have been in
Borva that his sweetheart sat in her bower and sang, the burden of all
her singing being "Return, Monaltrie!" And then, as Sheila sang now,
making the monotonous and plaintive air wild and strange--

  What cries of wild despair
  Awake the sultry air?
  Frenzied with anxious care,
      She seeks Monaltrie--

he heard no more of the song. He was thinking of bygone days in Borva,
and of old Mackenzie living in his lonely house there. When Sheila had
finished singing he looked at her, and it seemed to him that she was
still that wonderful princess whom he had wooed on the shores of the
Atlantic. And if those people did not see her as he saw her, ought he
to be disappointed because of their blindness?

But if they saw nothing mystic or wonderful about Sheila, they at all
events were considerably surprised by the strange sort of music she
sang. It was not of a sort commonly heard in a London drawing-room.
The pathos of its minor chords, its abrupt intervals, startling
and wild in their effect, and the slowly subsiding wail in which it
closed, did not much resemble the ordinary drawing-room "piece." Here,
at least, Sheila had produced an impression; and presently there was
a heap of people round the piano, expressing their admiration, asking
questions and begging her to continue. But she rose. She would rather
not sing just then. Whereupon Lavender came out to her and said,
"Sheila, won't you sing that wild one about the farewell--that has the
sound of the pipes in it, you know?"

"Oh yes," she said directly.

Lavender went back to his companion.

"She is very obedient to you," said Mrs. Lorraine with a smile.

"Yes, at present," he said; and he thought meanly of himself for
saying it the moment the words were uttered.

  Oh, soft be thy slumbers, by Tigh-na-linne's waters;
  Thy late-wake was sung by Macdiarmid's fair daughters;
  But far in Lochaber the true heart was weeping
  Whose hopes are entombed in the grave where thou'rt sleeping.

So Sheila sang; and it seemed to the people that this ballad was even
more strange than its predecessor. When the song was over, Sheila
seemed rather anxious to get out of the crowd, and indeed walked away
into the conservatory to have a look at the flowers.

Yes, Lavender had to confess to himself, Sheila was just like anybody
else in this drawing-room. His sea-princess had produced no startling
impression. He forgot that he had just been teaching her the necessity
of observing the ways and customs of the people around her, so that
she might avoid singularity.

On one point, at least, she was resolved she would attend to his
counsels: she would not make him ridiculous by any show of affection
before the eyes of strangers. She did not go near him the whole
evening. She remained for the most part in that half conservatory,
half ante-room at the end of the drawing-room; and when any one talked
to her she answered, and when she was left alone she turned to the
flowers. All this time, however, she could observe that Lavender and
Mrs. Lorraine were very much engrossed in their conversation; that
she seemed very much amused, and he at times a trifle embarrassed;
and that both of them had apparently forgotten her existence. Mrs.
Kavanagh was continually coming to Sheila and trying to coax her back
into the larger room, but in vain. She would rather not sing any more
that night. She liked to look at flowers. She was not tired at all,
and she had already seen those wonderful photographs about which
everybody was talking.

"Well, Sheila, how did you enjoy yourself?" said her husband as they
were driving home.

"I wish Mr. Ingram had been there," said Sheila.

"Ingram! He would not have stopped in the place five minutes, unless
he could play the part of Diogenes and say rude things to everybody
all round. Were you at all dull?"

"A little."

"Didn't somebody look after you?"

"Oh yes, many persons were very kind. But--but--"

"Well?"

"Nobody seemed to be better off than myself. They all seemed to be
wanting something to do; and I am sure they were all very glad to come
away."

"No, no, no, Sheila. That is only your fancy. You were not much
interested, that is evident; but you will get on better when you know
more of the people. You were a stranger--that is what disappointed
you--but you will not always be a stranger."

Sheila did not answer. Perhaps she contemplated with no great hope or
longing the possibility of her coming to like such a method of getting
through an evening. At all events, she looked forward with no great
pleasure to the chance of her having to become friends with Mrs.
Lorraine. All the way home Sheila was examining her own heart to try
to discover why such bitter feelings should be there. Surely that girl
was honest: there was honesty in her eyes. She had been most kind to
Sheila herself. And was there not at times, when she abandoned the
ways and speech of a woman of the world, a singular coy fascination
about her, that any man might be excused for yielding to, even as any
woman might yield to it? Sheila fought with herself, and resolved that
she would cast forth from her heart those harsh fancies and indignant
feelings that seemed to have established themselves there. She would
_not_ hate Mrs. Lorraine.

As for Lavender, what was he thinking of, now that he and his young
wife were driving home from their first experiment in society? He
had to confess to a certain sense of failure. His dreams had not been
realized. Every one who had spoken to him had conveyed to him, as
freely as good manners would admit, their congratulations and their
praises of his wife. But the impressive scenes he had been forecasting
were out of the question. There was a little curiosity about her on
the part of those who knew her story, and that was all. Sheila bore
herself very well. She made no blunders. She had a good presence, she
sang well, and every one could see that she was handsome, gentle and
honest. Surely, he argued with himself, that ought to content the most
exacting. But, in spite of all argument, he was not content. He did
not regret that he had sacrificed his liberty in a freak of romance;
he did not even regard the fact of a man in his position having dared
to marry a penniless girl as anything very meritorious or heroic; but
he had hoped that the dramatic circumstances of the case would be
duly recognized by his friends, and that Sheila would be an object of
interest and wonder and talk in a whole series of social circles. But
the result of his adventure was different. There was only one married
man the more in London, and London was not disposed to pay any
particular heed to that circumstance.



CHAPTER XIII.

BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON.


If Frank Lavender had been told that his love for his wife was in
danger of waning, he would have laughed the suggestion to scorn. He
was as fond of her and as proud of her as ever. Who knew as well as
himself the tenderness of her heart, the delicate sensitiveness of her
conscience, the generosity of self-sacrifice she was always ready to
bestow? and was he likely to become blind, so that he should fail to
see how fair and frank and handsome she was? He had been disappointed,
it is true, in his fancies about the impression she would produce on
his friends; but what a trifle was that! The folly of those fancies
was his own. For the rest, he was glad that Sheila was not so
different from the other women whom he knew. He hit upon the profound
reflection, as he sat alone in his studio, that a man's wife, like
his costume, should not be so remarkable as to attract attention.
The perfection of dress was that you should be unconscious of its
presence: might that not be so with marriage? After all, it was better
that he had not bound himself to lug about a lion whenever he visited
people's houses.

Still, there was something. He found himself a good deal alone. Sheila
did not seem to care much for going into society; and although he did
not much like the notion of going by himself, nevertheless one had
certain duties toward one's friends to perform. She did not even
care to go down to the Park of a forenoon. She always professed her
readiness to go, but he fancied it was a trifle tiresome for her; and
so, when there was nothing particular going on in the studio, he would
walk down through Kensington Gardens himself, and have a chat with
some friends, followed generally by luncheon with this or the other
party of them. Sheila had been taught that she ought not to come so
frequently to that studio. Bras would not lie quiet. Moreover, if
dealers or other strangers should come in, would they not take her
for a model? So Sheila stayed at home; and Mr. Lavender, after having
dressed with care in the morning--with very singular care, indeed,
considering that he was going to his work--used to go down to his
studio to smoke a cigarette. The chances were that he was not in a
humor for working. He would sit down in an easy-chair and kick his
heels on the floor for a time, watching perhaps the sunlight come in
through the upper part of the windows and paint yellow squares on
the opposite wall. Then he would go out and lock the door behind him,
leaving no message whatever for those crowds of importunate dealers
who, as Sheila fancied, were besieging him with offers in one hand and
purses of gold in the other.

One morning, after she had been indoors for two or three days, and had
grown hopelessly tired of the monotony of watching that sunlit square,
she was filled with an unconquerable longing to go away, for however
brief a space, from the sight of houses. The morning was sweet and
clear and bright, white clouds were slowly crossing a fair blue sky,
and a fresh and cool breeze was blowing in at the open French windows.

"Bras," she said, going down stairs and out into the small garden, "we
are going into the country."

The great deer-hound seemed to know, and rose and came to her with
great gravity, while she clasped on the leash. He was no frisky animal
to show his delight by yelping and gamboling, but he laid his long
nose in her hand, and slowly wagged the down-drooping curve of his
shaggy tail; and then he placidly walked by her side up into the hall,
where he stood awaiting her.

She would go along and beg of her husband to leave his work for a day
and go with her for a walk down to Richmond Park. She had often heard
Mr. Ingram speak of walking down, and she remembered that much of the
road was pretty. Why should not her husband have one holiday?

"It is such a shame," she had said to him that morning as he left,
"that you will be going into that gloomy place, with its bare walls
and chairs, and the windows so that you cannot see out of them!"

"I must get some work done somehow, Sheila," he said, although he did
not tell her that he had not finished a picture since his marriage.

"I wish I could do some of it for you," she said.

"You! All the work you're good for is catching fish and feeding ducks
and planting things in gardens. Why don't you come down and feed the
ducks in the Serpentine?"

"I should like to do that," she answered. "I will go any day with
you."

"Well," he said, "you see, I don't know until I get along to the
studio whether I can get away for the fore-noon; and then if I were to
come back here, you would have little or no time to dress. Good-bye,
Sheila."

"Good-bye," she had said to him, giving up the Serpentine without much
regret.

But the forenoon had turned out so delightful that she thought she
would go along to the studio, and hale him out of that gaunt and dingy
apartment. She should take him away from town: therefore she might put
on that rough blue dress in which she used to go boating in Loch Roag.
She had lately smartened it up a bit with some white braid, and she
hoped he would approve.

Did the big hound know the dress? He rubbed his head against her
arm and hand when she came down, and looked up and whined almost
inaudibly.

"You are going out, Bras, and you must be a good dog and not try to
go after the deer. Then I will send a very good story of you to Mairi;
and when she comes to London after the harvest is over, she will bring
you a present from the Lewis, and you will be very proud."

She went out into the square, and was perhaps a little glad to get
away from it, as she was not sure of the blue dress and the small hat
with its sea-gull's feather being precisely the costume she ought to
wear. When she got into the Uxbridge road she breathed more freely,
and in the lightness of her heart she continued her conversation
with Bras, giving that attentive animal a vast amount of information,
partly in English, partly in Gaelic, which he answered only by a low
whine or a shake of his shaggy head.

But these confidences were suddenly interrupted. She had got down to
Addison Terrace, and was contentedly looking at the trees and chatting
to the dog, when by accident her eye happened to light on a brougham
that was driving past. In it--she beheld them both clearly for a brief
second--were her husband and Mrs. Lorraine, so engaged in conversation
that neither of them saw her. Sheila stood on the pavement for a
couple of minutes absolutely bewildered. All sorts of wild fancies and
recollections came crowding in upon her--reasons why her husband was
unwilling that she should visit his studio, why Mrs. Lorraine never
called on her, and so forth and so forth. She did not know what to
think for a time; but presently all this tumult was stilled, and she
had resolved her doubts and made up her mind as to what she should do.
She would not suspect her husband--that was the one sweet security
to which she clung. He had made use of no duplicity: if there were
duplicity in the case at all, he could not be the author of it. The
reasons for his having of late left her so much alone were the true
reasons. And if this Mrs. Lorraine should amuse him and interest him,
who ought to grudge him this break in the monotony of his work? Sheila
knew that she herself disliked going to those fashionable gatherings
to which Mrs. Lorraine went, and to which Lavender had been accustomed
to go before he was married. How could she expect him to give up all
his old habits and pleasures for her sake? She would be more generous.
It was her own fault that she was not a better companion for him; and
was it for her, then, to think hardly of him because he went to the
Park with a friend instead of going alone?

Yet there was a great bitterness and grief in her heart as she turned
and walked on. She spoke no more to the deer-hound by her side. There
seemed to be less sunlight in the air, and the people and carriages
passing were hardly so busy and cheerful and interesting as they had
been. But all the same, she would go to Richmond Park, and by herself;
for what was the use in calling in at the studio? and how could she go
back home and sit in the house, knowing that her husband was away at
some flower-show or morning concert, or some such thing, with that
young American lady?

She knew no other road to Richmond than that by which they had driven
shortly after her arrival in London; and so it was that she went down
and over Hammersmith Bridge, and round by Mortlake, and so on by East
Sheen. The road seemed terribly long. She was an excellent walker,
and in ordinary circumstances would have done the distance without
fatigue; but when at length she saw the gates of the Park before her,
she was at once exceedingly tired and almost faint from hunger. Here
was the hotel in which they had dined: should she enter? The place
seemed very grand and forbidding: she had scarcely even looked at it
as she went up the steps with her husband by her side. However, she
would venture, and accordingly she went up and into the vestibule,
looking rather timidly about. A young gentleman, apparently not a
waiter, approached her and seemed to wait for her to speak. It was a
terrible moment. What was she to ask for? and could she ask it of this
young man? Fortunately, he spoke first, and asked her if she wished to
go into the coffee-room, and if she expected any one.

"No, I do not expect any one," she said; and she knew that he would
perceive the peculiarity of her accent; "but if you will be kind
enough to tell me where I may have a biscuit--"

It occurred to her that to go into the Star and Garter for a biscuit
was absurd; and she added wildly, "--or anything to eat."

The young man obviously regarded her with some surprise; but he was
very courteous, and showed her into the coffee-room and called a
waiter to her. Moreover, he gave permission for Bras to be admitted
into the room, Sheila promising that he would lie under the table
and not budge an inch. Then she looked round. There were only three
persons in the room--one, an old lady seated by herself in a far
corner, the other two being a couple of young folks too much engrossed
with each other to mind any one else. She began to feel more at home.
The waiter suggested various things for lunch, and she made her choice
of something cold. Then she mustered up courage to ask for a glass of
sherry. How she would have enjoyed all this as a story to tell to her
husband but for that incident of the morning! She would have gloried
in her outward bravery, and made him smile with a description of
her inward terror. She would have written about it to the old man in
Borva, and bid him consider how she had been transformed, and what
strange scenes Bras was now witnessing. But all that was over. She
felt as if she could no longer ask her husband to be amused by her
childish experiences; and as for writing to her father, she dared
not write to him in her present mood. Perhaps some happier time would
come. Sheila paid her bill. She had heard her husband and Mr. Ingram
talk about tipping waiters, and knew that she ought to give something
to the man who had attended on her. But how much? He was a very
august-looking person, with formally-cut whiskers and a severe
expression of face. When he had brought back the change to her she
timidly selected a half crown and offered it to him. There was a
little glance of surprise: she feared she had not given him enough.
Then he said "Thank you!" in a vague and distant fashion, and she
knew that she had not given him enough. But it was too late. Bras was
summoned from under the table, and again she went out into the fresh
air.

"Oh, my good dog!" she said to him as they together walked up to the
gates and into the Park, "this is a very extravagant country. You have
to pay half a crown to a servant for bringing you a piece of cold pie,
and then he looks as if he was not paid enough. And Duncan, who will
do everything about the house, and will give us all our dinners, it
is only a pound a week he will get, and Scarlett has to be kept out of
that. And wouldn't you like to see poor old Scarlett again?"

Bras whined as if he understood every word.

"I suppose now she is hanging out the washing on the gooseberry
bushes, and you know the song she always used to sing then? Don't you
know that Scarlett carried me about long before you were born, for you
are a mere infant compared with me? and she used to sing to me--

  Ged' bheirte mi' bho'n bhas so,
      Mho Sheila bheag òg!

And that is what she is singing just now in the garden; and Mairi
she is bringing the things out of the washing-house. Papa is over in
Stornoway this morning, arranging his accounts with the people there;
and perhaps he is down at the quay, looking at the Clansman, and
wondering when she is to bring me into the harbor. The castle is all
shut up, you know, with cloths over all the wonderful things, and the
curtains all down, and most of the shutters shut. Do you think papa
has got my letter in his pocket, and does he read it over and over
again, as I read all his letters to me over and over again? Ah--h! You
bad dog!"

Bras had forgotten to listen to his mistress in the excitement of
seeing in the distance a large herd of deer under certain trees.
She felt by the leash that he was trembling in every limb with
expectation, and straining hard on the collar. Again and again she
admonished him in vain, until she had at last to drag him away down
the hill, putting a small plantation between him and the herd. Here
she found a large, umbrageous chestnut tree, with a wooden seat round
its trunk, and so she sat down in the green twilight of the leaves,
while Bras came and put his head in her lap. Out beyond the shadow
of the tree all the world lay bathed in sunlight, and a great silence
brooded over the long undulations of the Park, where not a human
being was within sight. How strange it was, she fell to thinking, that
within a short distance there were millions of men and women, while
here she was absolutely alone! Did they not care, then, for the
sunlight and the trees and the sweet air? Were they so wrapped up in
those social observances that seemed to her so barren of interest?

"They have a beautiful country here," she said, talking in a rambling
and wistful way to Bras, and scarcely noticing the eager light in his
eyes, as if he were trying to understand. "They have no rain and no
fog; almost always blue skies, and the clouds high up and far away.
And the beautiful trees they have too! you never saw anything like
that in the Lewis, not even at Stornoway. And the people are so rich
and beautiful in their dress, and all the day they have only to think
how to enjoy themselves and what new amusement is for the morrow. But
I think they are tired of having nothing to do; or perhaps, you know,
they are tired because they have nothing to fight against--no hard
weather and hunger and poverty. They do not care for each other as
they would if they were working on the same farm, and trying to save
up for the winter; or if they were going out to the fishing, and very
glad to come home again from Caithness to find all the old people very
well and the young ones ready for a dance and a dram, and much joy and
laughing and telling of stories. It is a very great difference there
will be in the people--very great."

Bras whined: perhaps he understood her better now that she had
involuntarily fallen into something of her old accent and habit of
speech.

"Wouldn't you like, Bras, to be up in Borva again--only for this
afternoon? All the people would come running out; and it is little
Ailasa, she would put her arms round your neck; and old Peter
McTavish, he would hear who it was, and come out of his house groping
by the wall, and he would say, 'Pless me! iss it you, Miss Sheila,
indeed and mir-over? It iss a long time since you hef left the Lewis.'
Yes, it is a long time--a long time; and I will be almost forgetting
what it is like sometimes when I try to think of it. Here it is always
the same--the same houses, the same soft air, the same still sunlight,
the same things to do and places to see--no storms shaking the windows
or ships running into the harbor, and you cannot go down to the
shore to see what has happened, or up the hill to look how the sea
is raging. But it is one day we will go back to the Lewis--oh yes, we
will go back to the Lewis!"

She rose and looked wistfully around her, and then turned with a sigh
to make her way to the gates. It was with no especial sort of gladness
that she thought of returning home. Here, in the great stillness, she
had been able to dream of the far island which she knew, and to fancy
herself for a few minutes there: now she was going back to the dreary
monotony of her life in that square, and to the doubts and anxieties
which had been suggested to her in the morning. The world she was
about to enter once more seemed so much less homely, so much less full
of interest and purpose, than that other and distant world she had
been wistfully regarding for a time. The people around her had neither
the joys nor the sorrows with which she had been taught to sympathize.
Their cares seemed to her to be exaggerations of trifles--she could
feel no pity for them: their satisfaction was derived from sources
unintelligible to her. And the social atmosphere around her seemed
still and close and suffocating; so that she was like to cry out at
times for one breath of God's clear wind--for a shaft of lightning
even--to cut through the sultry and drowsy sameness of her life.

She had almost forgotten the dog by her side. While sitting under the
chestnut she had carelessly and loosely wound the leash round his neck
in the semblance of a collar, and when she rose and came away she let
the dog walk by her side without undoing the leash and taking proper
charge of him. She was thinking of far other things, indeed, when she
was startled by some one calling to her, "Look out, miss, or you'll
have your dog shot!"

She turned and caught a glimpse of what sent a thrill of terror to her
heart. Bras had sneaked off from her side--had trotted lightly over
the breckans, and was now in full chase of a herd of deer which were
flying down the slope on the other side of the plantation. He rushed
now at one, now at another: the very number of chances presented to
him proving the safety of the whole herd. But as Sheila, with a swift
flight that would have astonished most town-bred girls, followed the
wild chase and came to the crest of the slope, she could see that the
hound had at length singled out a particular deer--a fine buck with
handsome horns that was making straight for the foot of the valley.
The herd, that had been much scattered, were now drawing together
again, though checking nothing of their speed; but this single buck
had been driven from his companions, and was doing his utmost to
escape from the fangs of the powerful animal behind him.

What could she do but run wildly and breathlessly on? The dog was now
far beyond the reach of her voice. She had no whistle. All sorts of
fearful anticipations rushed in on her mind, the most prominent of all
being the anger of her father if Bras were shot. How could she go back
to Borva with such a tale? and how could she live in London without
this companion who had come with her from the far North? Then what
terrible things were connected with the killing of deer in a royal
park! She remembered vaguely what Mr. Ingram and her husband had been
saying; and while these things were crowding in upon her, she felt
her strength beginning to fail, while both the dog and the deer had
disappeared altogether from sight.

Strange, too, that in the midst of her fatigue and fright, while she
still managed to struggle on with a sharp pain at her heart and a
sort of mist before her eyes, she had a vague consciousness that her
husband would be deeply vexed, not by the conduct or the fate of Bras,
but by her being the heroine of so mad an adventure. She knew that he
wished her to be serious and subdued and proper, like the ladies
whom she met, while an evil destiny seemed to dog her footsteps
and precipitate her into all sorts of erratic mishaps and "scenes."
However, this adventure was likely soon to have an end. She could go
no farther. Whatever had become of Bras, it was in vain for her to
think of pursuing him. When she at length reached a broad and smooth
road leading through the pasture, she could only stand still and press
her two hands over her heart, while her head seemed giddy, and she did
not see two men who had been standing on the road close by until they
came up and addressed her.

Then she started and looked round, finding before her two men who were
apparently laborers of some sort, one of them having a shovel over his
shoulder.

"Beg your pardon, miss, but wur that your dawg?"

"Yes," she said eagerly. "Could you get him? Did you see him go by? Do
you know where he is?"

"Me and my mate saw him go by, sure enough; but as for getting
him--why the keepers'll have shot him by this time."

"Oh no!" cried Sheila, almost in tears, "they must not shoot him. It
was my fault. I will pay them for all the harm he has done. Can't you
tell me which way he will go past?"

"I don't think, miss," said the spokesman quite respectfully, "as you
can go much furder. If you would sit down and rest yourself, and keep
an eye on this 'ere shovel, me and my mate will have a hunt arter the
dawg."

Sheila not only accepted the offer gratefully, but promised to give
them all the money she had if only they would bring back the dog
unharmed. She made this offer in consequence of some talk between her
husband and her father which she had overheard. Lavender was speaking
of the civility he had frequently experienced at the hands of Scotch
shepherds, and of the independence with which they refused to accept
any compensation even for services which cost them a good deal of
time and trouble. Perhaps it was to please Sheila's father, but at any
rate, the picture the young man drew of the venality and the cupidity
of folks in the South was a desperately dark one. Ask the name of a
village, have your stick picked up for you from the pavement, get into
a cab or get out of it, and directly there was a touch of the cap and
an unspoken request for coppers. Then, as the services rendered
rose in importance, so did the fees--to waiters, to coachmen, to
game-keepers. These things and many more sank into Sheila's heart. She
heard and believed, and came down to the South with the notion that
every man and woman who did you the least service expected to be paid
handsomely for it. What, therefore, could she give those two men if
they brought back her deer-hound but all the money she had?

It was a hard thing to wait here in the greatest doubt and uncertainty
while the afternoon was visibly waning. She began to grow afraid.
Perhaps the men had stolen the dog, and left her with this shovel as
a blind. Her husband must have come home, and would be astonished and
perplexed by her absence. Surely, he would have the sense to dine
by himself, instead of waiting for her; and she reflected with some
glimpse of satisfaction that she had left everything connected with
dinner properly arranged, so that he should have nothing to grumble
at.

"Surely," she said to herself as she sat there, watching the light
on the grass and the trees getting more and more yellow--"surely I am
very wicked or very wretched to think of his grumbling in any case.
If he grumbles, it is because I will attend too much to the affairs of
the house, and not amuse myself enough. He is very good to me, and I
have no right to think of his grumbling. And I wish I cared to amuse
myself more--to be more of a companion to him; but it is so difficult
among all those people."

The reverie was interrupted by the sound of footsteps on the grass
behind, and she turned quickly to find the two men approaching her,
one of them leading the captive Bras by the leash. Sheila sprang to
her feet with a great gladness. She did not care even to accuse the
culprit, whose consciousness of guilt was evident in his look and
in the droop of his tail. Bras did not once turn his eyes to his
mistress. He hung down his head, while he panted rapidly, and she
fancied she saw some smearing of blood on his tongue and on the side
of his jaw. Her fears on this head were speedily confirmed.

"I think, miss, as you'd better take him out o' the Park as soon as
may be, for he's got a deer killed close by the Robin Hood Gate, in
the trees there; and if the keepers happen on it afore you leave the
Park, you'll get into trouble."

"Oh, thank you!" said Sheila, retaining her composure bravely, but
with a terrible sinking of the heart; "and how can I get to the
nearest railway station?"

"You're going to London, miss?"

"Yes."

"Well, I suppose the nearest is Richmond; but it would be quieter for
you--don't you see, miss?--if you was to go along to the Roehampton
Gate and go to Barnes."

"Will you show me the gate?" said Sheila, choosing the quieter route
at once.

But the men themselves did not at all like the look of accompanying
her and this dog through the Park. Had they not already condoned a
felony, or done something equally dreadful, in handing to her a dog
that had been found keeping watch and ward over a slain buck? They
showed her the road to the Roehampton Gate, and then they paused
before continuing on their journey.

The pause meant money. Sheila took out her purse. There were three
sovereigns and some silver in it, and the entire sum, in fulfillment
of her promise, she held out to him who had so far conducted the
negotiations.

Both men looked frightened. It was quite clear that either good
feeling or some indefinite fear of being implicated in the killing of
the deer caused them to regard this big bribe as something they could
not meddle with; and at length, after a pause of a second or two, the
spokesman said with great hesitation, "Well, miss, you've kep' your
word; but me and my mate--well, if so be as it's the same to you--'d
rather have summut to drink your health."

"Do you think it is too much?"

The man looked at his neighbor, who nodded.

"It was only for ketchin' of a dawg, miss, don't you see?" he remarked
slowly, as if to impress upon her that they had had nothing to do with
the deer.

"Will you take this, then?" and she offered them half a crown each.

Their faces lightened considerably: they took the money, and with a
formal expression of thanks moved off, but not before they had taken a
glance round to see that no one had been a witness of this interview.

And so Sheila had to walk away by herself, knowing that she had been
guilty of a dreadful offence, and that at any moment she might be
arrested by the officers of the law. What would the old King of Borva
say if he saw his only daughter in the hands of two policemen? and
would not all Mr. Lavender's fastidious and talkative and wondering
friends pass about the newspaper report of her trial and conviction?
A man was approaching her. As he drew near her heart failed her, for
might not this be the mysterious George Ranger himself, about whom her
husband and Mr. Ingram had been talking? Should she drop on her knees
at once and confess her sins, and beg him to let her off? If Duncan
were with her or Mairi, or even old Scarlett Macdonald, she would not
have cared so much, but it seemed so terrible to meet this man alone.

However, as he drew near he did not seem a fierce person. He was an
old gentleman with voluminous white hair, who was dressed all in black
and carried an umbrella on this warm and bright afternoon. He regarded
her and the dog in a distant and contemplative fashion, as though he
would probably try to remember some time after that he had really
seen them; and then he passed on. Sheila began to breathe more freely.
Moreover, here was the gate, and once she was in the high road, who
could say anything to her? Tired as she was, she still walked rapidly
on; and in due time, having had to ask the way once or twice, she
found herself at Barnes Station.

By and by the train came in: Bras was committed to the care of the
guard, and she found herself alone in a railway-carriage for the first
time in her life. Her husband had told her that whenever she felt
uncertain of her where-abouts, if in the country, she was to ask for
the nearest station and get a train to London; if in town, she was to
get into a cab and give the driver her address. And, indeed, Sheila
had been so much agitated and perplexed during this afternoon that
she acted in a sort of mechanical fashion, and really escaped the
nervousness which otherwise would have attended the novel experience
of purchasing a ticket and of arranging about the carriage of a dog in
the break-van. Even now, when she found herself traveling alone, and
shortly to arrive at a part of London she had never seen, her crowding
thoughts and fancies were not about her own situation, but about the
reception she should receive from her husband. Would he be vexed
with her? Or pity her? Had he called with Mrs. Lorraine to take her
somewhere, and found her gone? Had he brought home some bachelor
friends to dinner, and been chagrined to find her not in the house?

It was getting dusk when the slow four-wheeler approached Sheila's
home. The hour for dinner had long gone by. Perhaps her husband had
gone away somewhere looking for her, and she would find the house
empty.

But Frank Lavender came to meet his wife in the hall, and said, "Where
have you been?"

She could not tell whether there was anger or kindness in his voice,
and she could not well see his face. She took his hand and went into
the dining-room, which was also dusk, and standing there told him all
her story.

"This is too bad, Sheila!" he said in a tone of deep vexation. "By
Jove! I'll go and thrash that dog within an inch of his life."

"No," she said, drawing herself up; and for one brief second--could he
but have seen her face--there was a touch of old Mackenzie's pride and
firmness about the ordinarily gentle lips. It was but for a second.
She cast down her eyes and said meekly, "I hope you won't do that,
Frank. The dog is not to blame. It was my fault."

"Well, really, Sheila," he said, "you are very thoughtless. I wish you
would take some little trouble to act as other women act, instead of
constantly putting yourself and me into the most awkward positions.
Suppose I had brought any one home to dinner, now? And what am I to
say to Ingram? for of course I went direct to his lodgings when I
discovered you were nowhere to be found. I fancied some mad freak had
taken you there; and I should not have been surprised. Indeed, I don't
think I should be surprised at anything you do. Do you know who was in
the hall when I came in this afternoon?"

"No," said Sheila.

"Why that wretched old hag who keeps the fruit-stall. And it seems you
gave her and all her family tea and cake in the kitchen last night."

"She is a poor old woman," said Sheila humbly.

"A poor old woman!" he said impatiently. "I have no doubt she is a
lying old thief, who would take an umbrella or a coat if only she
could get the chance. It is really too bad, Sheila, your having all
those persons about you, and demeaning yourself by amending on them.
What must the servants think of you?"

"I do not heed what any servants think of me," she said.

She was now standing erect, with her face quite calm.

"Apparently not," he said, "or you would not go and make yourself
ridiculous before them."

Sheila hesitated for a moment, as if she did not understand; and then
she said, as calmly as before, but with a touch of indignation about
the proud and beautiful lips, "And if I make myself ridiculous by
attending to poor people, it is not my husband who should tell me so."

She turned and walked out, and he was too surprised to follow her. She
went up stairs to her own room, locked herself in and threw herself on
the bed. And then all the bitterness of her heart rose up as if in a
flood--not against him, but against the country in which he lived, and
the society which had contaminated him, and the ways and habits that
seemed to create a barrier between herself and him, so that she was
a stranger to him, and incapable of becoming anything else. It was a
crime that she should interest herself in the unfortunate creatures
round about her--that she should talk to them as if they were human
beings like herself, and have a great sympathy with their small hopes
and aims; but she would not have been led into such a crime if she
had cultivated from her infancy upward a consistent self-indulgence,
making herself the centre of a world of mean desires and petty
gratifications. And then she thought of the old and beautiful days up
in the Lewis, where the young English stranger seemed to approve of
her simple ways and her charitable work, and where she was taught to
believe that in order to please him she had only to continue to be
what she was then. There was no great gulf of time between that period
and this; but what had not happened in the interval? She had not
changed--at least she hoped she had not changed. She loved her husband
with her whole heart and soul: her devotion was as true and constant
as she herself could have wished it to be when she dreamed of the
duties of a wife in the days of her maidenhood. But all around her was
changed. She had no longer the old freedom--the old delight in living
from day to day--the active work, and the enjoyment of seeing where
she could help and how she could help the people around her. When,
as if by the same sort of instinct that makes a wild animal retain
in captivity the habits which were necessary to its existence when
it lived in freedom, she began to find out the circumstances of such
unfortunate people as were in her neighborhood, some little solace was
given to her; but these people were not friends to her, as the poor
folk of Borvabost had been. She knew, too, that her husband would be
displeased if he found her talking with a washerwoman over her family
matters, or even advising one of her own servants about the disposal
of her wages; so that, while she concealed nothing from him, these
things nevertheless had to be done exclusively in his absence. And was
she in so doing really making herself ridiculous? Did he consider her
ridiculous? Or was it not merely the false and enervating influences
of the indolent society in which he lived that had poisoned his mind,
and drawn him away from her as though into another world?

Alas! if he were in this other world, was not she quite alone? What
companionship was there possible between her and the people in this
new and strange land into which she had ventured? As she lay on the
bed, with her head hidden down in the darkness, the pathetic wail of
the captive Jews seemed to come and go through the bitterness of her
thoughts, like some mournful refrain: "By the rivers of Babylon, there
we sat down; yea we wept when we remembered Zion." She almost heard
the words, and the reply that rose up in her heart was a great
yearning to go back to her own land, so that her eyes were filled with
tears in thinking of it, and she lay and sobbed there in the dusk.
Would not the old man living all by himself in that lonely island be
glad to see his little girl back again in the old house? And she would
sing to him as she used to sing, not as she had been singing to those
people whom her husband knew. "For there they that carried us away
captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us
mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion." And she had sung in
the strange land, among the strange people, with her heart breaking
with thoughts of the sea and the hills and the rude and sweet and
simple ways of the old bygone life she had left behind her.

"Sheila!"

She thought it was her father calling to her, and she rose with a
cry of joy. For one wild moment she fancied that outside were all the
people she knew--Duncan and Scarlett and Mairi--and that she was once
more at home, with the sea all around her, and the salt, cold air.

"Sheila, I want to speak to you."

It was her husband. She went to the door, opened it, and stood there
penitent and with downcast face.

"Come, you must not be silly," he said with some kindness in his
voice. "You have had no dinner. You must be hungry."

"I do not care for any: there is no use troubling the servants when I
would rather lie down," she said.

"The servants! You surely don't take so seriously what I said about
them, Sheila? Of course you don't need to care what the servants
think. And in any case they have to bring up dinner for me, so you may
as well come and try."

"Have you not had dinner?" she said timidly.

"Do you think I could sit down and eat with the notion that you might
have tumbled into the Thames or been kidnapped, or something?"

"I am very sorry," she said in a low voice, and in the gloom he felt
his hand taken and carried to her lips. Then they went down stairs
into the dining-room, which was now lit up by a blaze of gas and
candles.

During dinner of course no very confidential talking was possible,
and indeed Sheila had plenty to tell of her adventures at Richmond.
Lavender was now in a more amiable mood, and was disposed to look
on the killing of the roebuck as rather a good joke. He complimented
Sheila on her good sense in having gone in at the Star and Garter for
lunch; and altogether something like better relations was established
between them.

But when dinner was finally over and the servants dismissed, Lavender
placed Sheila's easy-chair for her as usual, drew his own near hers,
and lit a cigarette.

"Now, tell me, Sheila," he said, "were you really vexed with me when
you went up stairs and locked yourself in your room? Did you think I
meant to displease you or say anything harsh to you?"

"No, not any of those things," she said calmly: "I wished to be
alone--to think over what had happened. And I was grieved by what you
said, for I think you cannot help looking at many things not as I
will look at them. That is all. It is my bringing up in the Highlands,
perhaps."

"Do you know, Sheila, it sometimes occurs to me that you are not quite
comfortable here? And I can't make out what is the matter. I think you
have a perverse fancy that you are different from the people you meet,
and that you cannot be like them, and all that sort of thing. Now,
dear, that is only a fancy. There need be no difference if only you
will take a little trouble."

"Oh, Frank!" she said, going over and putting her hand on his
shoulder, "I cannot take that trouble. I cannot try to be like those
people. And I see a great difference in you since you have come back
to London, and you are getting to be like them and say the things they
say. If I could only see you, my own darling, up in the Lewis again,
with rough clothes on and a gun in your hand, I should be happy. You
were yourself up there, when you were helping us in the boat, or when
you were bringing home the salmon, or when we were all together at
night in the little parlor, you know--"

"My dear, don't get so excited. Now sit down, and I will tell you all
about it. You seem to have the notion that people lose all their finer
sentiments simply because they don't, in society, burst into raptures
over them. You mustn't imagine all those people are selfish and
callous merely because they preserve a decent reticence. To tell you
the truth, that constant profession of noble feelings you would like
to see would have something of ostentation about it."

Sheila only sighed. "I do not wish them to be altered," she said by
and by, with her eyes grown pensive: "all I know is, that I could
not live the same life. And you--you seemed to be happier up in the
Highlands than you have ever been since."

"Well, you see, a man ought to be happy when he is enjoying a holiday
in the country along with the girl he is engaged to. But if I had
lived all my life killing salmon and shooting wild-duck, I should have
grown up an ignorant boor, with no more sense of--"

He stopped, for he saw that the girl was thinking of her father.

"Well, look here, Sheila. You see how you are placed--how we are
placed, rather. Wouldn't it be more sensible to get to understand
those people you look askance at, and establish better relations with
them, since you have got to live among them? I can't help thinking
you are too much alone, and you can't expect me to stay in the house
always with you. A husband and wife cannot be continually in each
other's company, unless they want to grow heartily tired of each
other. Now, if you would only lay aside those suspicions of yours, you
would find the people just as honest and generous and friendly as any
other sort of people you ever met, although they don't happen to be
fond of expressing their goodness in their talk."

"I have tried, dear--I will try again," said Sheila.

She resolved that she would go down and visit Mrs. Lavender next day,
and try to be interested in the talk of such people as might be there.
She would bring away some story about this or the other fashionable
woman or noble lord, just to show her husband that she was doing her
best to learn. She would drive patiently round the Park in that close
little brougham, and listen attentively to the moralities of Marcus
Aurelius. She would make an appointment to go with Mrs. Lavender to
a morning concert; and she would endeavor to muster up courage to ask
any ladies who might be there to lunch with her on that day, and go
afterward to this same entertainment. All these things and many more
Sheila silently vowed to herself she would do, while her husband sat
and expounded to her his theories of the obligations which society
demanded of its members.

But her plans were suddenly broken asunder.

"I met Mrs. Lorraine accidentally to-day," he said.

It was his first mention of the young American lady. Sheila sat in
mute expectation.

"She always asks very kindly after you."

"She is very kind."

He did not say, however, that Mrs. Lorraine had more than once made
distinct propositions, when in his company, that they should call in
for Sheila and take her out for a drive or to a flower-show, or some
such place, while Lavender had always some excuse ready.

"She is going to Brighton to-morrow, and she was wondering whether you
would care to run down for a day or two."

"With her?" said Sheila, recoiling from such a proposal instinctively.

"Of course not. I should go. And then at last, you know, you would see
the sea, about which you have been dreaming for ever so long."

The sea! There was a magic in the very word that could, almost at
any moment, summon tears into her eyes. Of course she accepted
right gladly. If her husband's duties were so pressing that the
long-talked-of journey to Lewis and Borva had to be repeatedly and
indefinitely postponed, here at least would be a chance of looking
again at the sea--of drinking in the freshness and light and color of
it--of renewing her old and intimate friendship with it that had been
broken off for so long by her stay in this city of perpetual houses
and still sunshine.

"You can tell her you will go when you see her to-night at Lady
Mary's. By the way, isn't it time for you to begin to dress?"

"Oh, Lady Mary's!" repeated Sheila mechanically, who had quite
forgotten about her engagement for that evening.

"Perhaps you are too tired to go," said her husband.

She was a little tired, in truth. But surely, just after her promises,
spoken and unspoken, some little effort was demanded of her; so she
bravely went to dress, and in about three-quarters of an hour was
ready to drive down to Curzon street. Her husband had never seen her
look so pleased before in going out to any party. He flattered himself
that his lecture had done her good. There was fair common sense in
what he had said, and although, doubtless, a girl's romanticism was
a pretty thing, it would have to yield to the actual requirements of
society. In time he should educate Sheila.

But he did not know what brightened the girl's face all that night,
and put a new life into the beautiful eyes, so that even those who
knew her best were struck by her singular beauty. It was the sea that
was coloring Sheila's eyes. The people around her, the glare of the
candles, the hum of talking, and the motion of certain groups dancing
over there in the middle of the throng,--all were faint and visionary,
for she was busily wondering what the sea would be like the next
morning, and what strange fancies would strike her when once more
she walked on sand and heard the roar of waves. That, indeed, was
the sound that was present in her ears while the music played and
the people murmured around her. Mrs. Lorraine talked to her, and was
surprised and amused to notice the eager fashion in which the girl
spoke of their journey of the next day. The gentleman who took her in
to supper found himself catechised about Brighton in a manner which
afforded him more occupation than enjoyment. And when Sheila drove
away from the house at two in the morning she declared to her husband
that she had enjoyed herself extremely, and he was glad to hear it;
and she was particularly kind to himself in getting him his slippers,
and fetching him that final cigarette which he always had on reaching
home; and then she went off to bed to dream of ships and flying clouds
and cold winds, and a great and beautiful blue plain of waves.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



GOLD.


  A day of bright reflections on the pond,
  And wavering shadows over moss and frond:
  A wayward breeze, the summer's latest born,
  Teased the stiff grain and bent the stately corn,
  Or rocked the bird-nests in the prickly thorn.

  Above, the lavish sun filled air with gold;
  Again, below, on mimic waves it rolled,
  And hid in lily cups. Her netted hair
  Gleamed in the splendor, bright beyond compare,
  Forming about her head a nimbus rare.

  The velvet mullen raised its yellow head,
  The buttercups like precious ore were spread:
  Like golden shuttles flung by spirit hands,
  Weaving invisible their magic strands,
  Darted quick orioles in joyous bands.

  Fond helianthus turned her fervent face,
  Meek antirrhinum paled and grew apace;
  Late dandelions, robed in cloth of gold,
  With golden-rod, upsprung from out the mould,
  And pensive, gold-eyed daisies pranked the wold.

  As snowy, gold-rimmed cloudlets hide the sky,
  So hid her eyelid's golden fringe her eye:
  As every growing beauty of the earth
  But figures forth great Nature's hidden worth,
  So my love's charms from her pure heart had birth.

  Pure heart of gold to me that day was given,
  And promise true as gold made earth a heaven;
  Then far away fled every doubt forlorn;
  We felt for us the Golden Age reborn,
  And envied none their gold from labor torn.

ITA ANIOL PROKOP.



GLIMPSES OF GHOST-LAND.


It is no longer the fashion to scoff at tales of the supernatural.
On the contrary, there is a growing tendency to investigate subjects
which were formerly pooh-poohed by most persons claiming to be well
informed and capable of reasoning. It is, however, without propounding
any theory or advancing any opinion that I record a few instances of
apparently supernatural, or at least inexplicable, occurrences. I can
vouch for the truth of nearly all the stories I am about to relate,
one of them only not being either my personal experience or narrated
to me by some one of the actors in the scene.

My first story shall be one that was told to me by an aged lady who
was one of the friends of my youth, and who often mentioned this
strange incident of her placid, yet busy life. She was a sensible,
practical woman, the last person in the world likely to be led astray
by an overheated imagination or deceived by hallucinations. Her early
youth had been passed in the country, her father being a wealthy
farmer. She had formed a close intimacy with the daughter of a
gentleman living at some distance from her father's farm, and the two
were seldom apart. An invitation given to my friend (whom I shall call
Mrs. L----) to visit some relatives in a neighboring city caused a
brief separation between the two girls, and they parted with many
protestations of enduring affection. On the day appointed for Mrs.
L----'s return she set out at the prescribed hour. The latter part
of her journey was to be performed on horseback. On a bright sunny
afternoon in June she found herself, about five o'clock, drawing
near her father's house. Suddenly in the broad road before her she
perceived a female form walking rapidly toward her, and, to her
delight, recognized her friend coming, as she thought, to meet her.

"I will make her go back with me and take tea," was Mrs. L----'s
thought as she whipped up her horse in her haste to greet the dear
one, who was all the more beloved on account of their temporary
separation. But as she approached the figure, and before she had had
time to speak, or indeed to do more than notice that her friend looked
very pale and ill, her horse, an unusually quiet, steady animal,
seemed struck with sudden terror, reared, shied, and finally plunged
into a hollow by the roadside, from which she had some difficulty
in extricating him. When she did succeed in bringing him back to the
level road she found, to her astonishment, that the young girl had
disappeared. Around her lay the open fields, before her and behind
her the road--all in the bright lustre of the summer afternoon--but no
trace of the figure could she see. Completely mystified, she hastened
home, there to learn that her friend had died suddenly that very
morning.

The next incident I shall narrate was told me by a German gentleman
whose mother was the heroine of the tale. His father had been
appointed to some public office in a small German town, and among
the emoluments of the place was the privilege of residing in a large,
old-fashioned, but very handsome mansion. The husband and wife set off
in high spirits to inspect their new abode, to which some portion of
their furniture had already been transferred. They went from room
to room, inspecting and planning, till they came to an apartment
the ceiling of which was elaborately decorated with plaster Cupids,
baskets of flowers, etc., modeled in high relief, and with a
centre-piece of unusual size and magnificence. A small table, the only
article of furniture the room contained, was placed directly under
this centre-piece. The young wife, rather weary of her researches, was
standing beside this table, and was leaning on it while she went on
talking with her husband, when suddenly a loud, imploring voice called
from down stairs, "Caroline! Caroline! come down to me--come!"

"Who can that be?" asked the husband in amazement. "I fastened all the
doors and windows before we left the lower rooms."

Again came the loud call, this time with an accent of agonized
entreaty: "Caroline! oh, Caroline! come down--_do_ come!"

The young couple hesitated no longer, but hastened down stairs. There
was no one there. Doors and windows were securely fastened, and the
old house looked as solitary as when they had first entered it.

"Very strange!" said the gentleman. "But now that we _are_ down here,
Caroline, suppose we take a look at the garden?" So they sallied forth
to examine that portion of their new domain, but scarcely had they
entered it when they were startled by a loud crash within the house.
Looking up, they saw volumes of what appeared to be smoke issuing from
the window of the room they had just quitted, and fearing that the
room was on fire, they quickly returned to it. There was no fire: what
had appeared to be smoke was only a cloud of dust, for the massive and
elaborately ornamented ceiling had fallen, and the heavy centre-piece
had crushed to fragments the table against which the young wife had so
lately been leaning. But for the warning voice her destruction would
have been inevitable. My informant went on to state that the pieces
of the shattered table were preserved as sacred relics by his parents,
and that his mother always declared that she had recognized in the
mysterious voice that of a dear relative long before deceased.

It was once my fortune to pass some weeks in a "haunted house." I was
quite young then, a mere school-girl in fact, and the friend whom I
came to visit was also very young; and both of us were too gay and
frolicsome to care much for whatever was strange or startling in our
surroundings. Not that we ever saw anything--my friend herself, the
daughter of the house, had never done so--but the sounds we heard were
sufficiently odd and inexplicable to fill us with astonishment, if not
with terror. Twice during my visit I was roused from a sound slumber
by a loud, heavy crash, resembling that which might be caused by
the overthrow of a marble-topped washstand or bureau, or some other
equally ponderous piece of furniture. The room actually vibrated, and
yet a close scrutiny of that and the adjoining apartments failed to
reveal any cause for the peculiar noise. It was a sound which could
not possibly have been produced by cracking furniture, falling bricks,
scampering rats, or any other of the numerous causes of supposed
ghostly sounds. The room overhead was used as a linen-room, and was
always kept locked; and besides, the noise (which I afterward heard
on another occasion in broad daylight, when I was wide awake) was
unmistakably _in_ the room where we found ourselves. My friend told me
that she had heard it very often--so often, in fact, that she had
got quite used to it, and no longer felt any emotion save that of
curiosity.

There was another room in which (also in broad daylight) I heard a
strange crackling sound like the rustling of a large sheet of stiff
paper or parchment turned slowly in the reader's hands. This noise
also was one of frequent occurrence. Among the things seen by other
members of the family was a light that glided over walls and ceiling
in points inaccessible to outside light or reflection. Then there was
a lady in black silk who had more than once been seen gliding about
the house, but who always disappeared when accosted or followed. Three
slow, solemn raps sometimes sounded at dead of night at the door of
one member of the family, a skeptical and irascible old gentleman.

But, strange to say, all these uncanny sights and sounds portended
nothing, and seemed to be utterly without a purpose or a cause. The
house was a cheerful modern one, and the father of my friend was
its first occupant; so there was nothing in the past to which these
unearthly occurrences could refer. Nor were they warnings of coming
misfortune. Neither death nor disaster ever followed in their train,
and in due course of time the family ceased to trouble their heads
about them--were not at all frightened, and scarcely even annoyed.
There were other sounds which I did not myself hear, but of which I
was told--stealthy footsteps that paced a certain corridor at dead
of night; a sharp, rattling noise like hail dashing against the
window-panes, and one or two other trifling yet equally unaccountable
occurrences. Once, too, a young lady visiting the house heard in the
next room to that in which she was loud and lamentable sounds, as of
a woman weeping bitterly and in sore distress. She listened in
considerable perplexity for some time, fearing to intrude on the
sorrows of some member of the family; but at last she resolved to go
and proffer aid, if not consolation. As he approached the door between
the two rooms the sound suddenly ceased, and, to her amazement, she
found the adjoining apartment not only empty, but with the door locked
and bolted on the inside.

I once knew a young lady who, on going to pay a visit to a friend who
had recently moved into a new house, was asked to walk up stairs,
and on complying saw an old woman preceding her up the staircase.
Supposing her to be one of the servants, she took but little notice
of her, though struck by the peculiarity of her gait, a sort of jerky
limp, as though one leg was shorter than the other. In the course of
conversation with her friend she mentioned the old woman, and asked if
she was the housekeeper. "Housekeeper? no," said the lady: "we have no
such person about our house. You must have been mistaken." The visitor
then described the person she had seen, and when she mentioned the
peculiar limp her hostess seemed startled. After a pause she said:
"No such person lives here _now_, but the woman who took care of this
house before we rented it was exactly such a person as you describe,
and was lame in just such a manner. But she died here about six weeks
ago--I think in this very room--so your eyes must certainly have
deceived you." The lady still persisted that she had seen the old
woman; so the servants were called and the house thoroughly searched,
but no intruder was discovered.

I have known several instances of persons who have seen the "fetch" or
apparition of a living person, called in Germany the "Doppelgänger;"
yet, though such appearances are usually supposed to portend the death
or illness of the person thus strangely "doubled," I have never
yet heard of a case where any unpleasant consequences followed. For
instance, an old friend of mine, a gentleman of undoubted veracity,
once told me that on one occasion he entered his house about
five o'clock in the afternoon, and ran up stairs to his mother's
bed-chamber, where he saw her standing near the centre of the room,
clad in a loose white gown and engaged in combing out her long black
hair. He remained looking at her for some moments, expecting that
she would speak to him, but she did not take notice in any way of his
presence, and neither spoke nor looked at him. He then addressed her,
but, receiving no reply, became indignant and went down stairs, where,
to his amazement, he found his mother seated by the parlor window,
dressed and _coiffée_ as usual. It was some years before he would
trust himself to tell her of what he had seen, fearing that she might
consider it an omen of approaching death, and indeed, though not a
superstitious man, he was inclined so to view it himself; but his
mother lived for many years after the appearance of her wraith. I also
knew a young gentleman to whom the unpleasant experience of beholding
his own double was once vouchsafed. He had been spending a quiet
evening with some young ladies, and returned home about eleven
o'clock, let himself into the house with his latch-key and proceeded
to his own room, where he found the gas already lighted, though turned
down to a mere blue spark. He turned it up, and the full light of the
jet shone on his bed, which stood just beside the burner, and there,
extended at full length, lay--himself. His first idea was of a
burglar or some such intruder. But his second glance dispelled that
impression. He stood for some moments gazing at the prostrate figure
with feelings which must have been anything but agreeable: he noticed
little peculiarities of his own dress and features, and marked the
closed eyelids and easy respiration of slumber. At length, plucking up
courage, he attempted to pass his hand under the pillow to draw out a
small revolver which he usually kept there, and as he did so he felt
the pressure of the pillow as though weighed down by a reclining head.
This completely unnerved him. He went out of the room, locking the
door on the outside, and spent the remainder of the night on a sofa in
the parlor. He did not re-enter his chamber till broad daylight, when,
to his delight, he found that his ghostly visitor had vanished.

The next story on my list was narrated to me by one of the most
sensible and intelligent women I ever met--a lady of great strength
of character, joined to a fine and highly cultivated mind. During
her childhood my friend (whom I shall call Mrs. X----) dwelt with her
parents in a large, roomy house in the vicinity of one of our inland
cities. The house was a double one, a solid, substantial structure
built of stone, and had been purchased by her father a short time
before the occurrences which I am about to relate. A wide lawn at the
back of the mansion sloped down to the bank of a small stream,
along the verge of which, without intervening bank or path, ran the
terminating wall of the grounds. The stables were also situated at the
foot of this lawn, and the back windows of these stables looked out on
the water. Mrs. X---- had several brothers and sisters, all of whom,
as well as herself, were still children at the period of which she
spoke.

One summer evening her parents accepted an invitation to take tea with
a friend, and went out, leaving the children at play in the library, a
room which opened on the main hall on the ground floor. The front
door was open, and as it grew dark a large hanging lamp which fully
illuminated the hall was lighted, so that every part of it, as well as
the staircase, was fully illuminated. Late in the evening the children
were disturbed at their play in the library by the sound of heavy
footsteps ascending the outer steps and then pacing along the hall.
Imagining that it was their parents who had returned earlier than
they expected, they rushed to the door to greet them, but to their
astonishment they could see no one, though the heavy steps were
still heard traversing the hall, ascending the staircase, and finally
resounding on the floor of a room overhead. The children summoned the
servants, who merely laughed at their story, till one of the maids,
who had been busy up stairs, came down and said that her master and
mistress must surely have returned, as she had heard them walking
along the entry and afterward entering one of the rooms. Upon this,
one of the men-servants went up stairs and made a careful search, but
without rinding any one. In the midst of the excitement the lady and
gentleman of the house returned home, and upon hearing the story the
gentleman himself instituted a second and more vigorous search, which,
like the first, was wholly without result.

Some time after this the children were playing under their nurse's
care on the lawn at the back of the house one gray, dismal afternoon
in the early autumn. The attention of the whole party was suddenly
attracted by the figure of a man passing slowly outside of the
stone wall that stretched along the foot of the lawn, and finally
disappearing behind the stable. As he did so a tremendous uproar arose
among the horses in the stable, and on examination one of them, a
remarkably fine and docile animal, whose stall happened to be next the
window that opened on the water, was found to be in a perfect ecstasy
of terror, plunging, rearing and struggling to get loose in a manner
that rendered the task of releasing and removing him anything but an
easy or even a safe one. After the horse was got out of the stable and
led away, the question arose, What had frightened him? Could the man
they had seen passing behind the stable have done anything to terrify
him? Then, for the first time, it dawned on the minds of the whole
party that no human being could have walked where they had seen the
passing figure, as the wall rose straight from the verge of the water,
and there was no pathway between the wall and the stream, which in
that spot was deep, though not very wide. Strange to say, the horse
could never be induced to re-enter that stable, but always manifested
signs of wild alarm and excitement when brought even to the door,
though in all other respects he was perfectly gentle and tractable.

Owing to the size of the family, one of the large garret-rooms
had been fitted up as a bed-room for one of the younger boys, who
preferred having a chamber of his own to sharing the apartment of
one of his brothers. He had not occupied it long before he began to
complain of frightful dreams, and more than once he came trembling
down stairs and took refuge in his mother's room, terrified by
something horrible--_what_, he could not define, but something that
came into his room at night and roused him from his slumbers. Thinking
that the child was merely nervous and excitable, she changed the
arrangements, put him to sleep in the bed-room of one of his brothers,
and gave up the apartment in the garret to one of the servants. But
in a very short time the complaints were renewed: the girl could not
sleep on account of that vague, strange horror, which often drove her
shrieking and half awakened from her bed. So the lady had the room
dismantled, and used it as a lumber-room, and during the remaining
years of her occupancy of the house was troubled no more.

As time passed on, the increasing exigencies of his growing family
induced Mrs. X----'s father to purchase a house in town, and he
accordingly rented his country-mansion to a childless pair, a
clergyman and his wife. The new residents had not been long installed
when a series of ghostly disturbances began in real earnest. I believe
that nothing more was ever _seen_, but the kitchen at night, when all
the family had retired, would at times become the seat of an appalling
uproar of inarticulate voices and clashing dishes and dragging
furniture. If any one was bold enough to venture down stairs, the
noise would suddenly cease, and the kitchen itself never showed any
trace of these unearthly revels, every plate, dish, cup and chair
remaining in its accustomed place. Then, too, the footsteps of the
invisible intruder were heard again, and often while the minister was
writing in his study the steps would be heard coming through the door
and across the room, and the unseen visitor would seat himself in
the chair that usually stood opposite to that of the clergyman at the
writing-table, when a sound as of the pages of a large book with stiff
paper leaves being slowly turned would usually ensue. The minister
often addressed his invisible companion, but never received any reply
to his questions or his appeals.

On hearing these strange stories, Mrs. X----'s father determined upon
trying to trace out the history of the house before it came into his
possession. He learned that it had originally been occupied by the
person who built it, a man of low origin, who, being looked upon as
a pillar of the Church by the congregation to which he belonged,
had been entrusted with the task of collecting certain sums due to
it--whether actual income or subscriptions I do not now recollect. At
all events, he never paid over the money, but launched out into sundry
extravagances rather unusual for a man in his station of life, amongst
which was the erection of this large and handsome house. But from the
time the house was finished a blight seemed to fall upon his life. He
gave up all his religious and regular habits, frequented evil company,
took to drinking, and finally, in a fit of delirium tremens, hanged
himself in the very garret room of which I have before spoken. The
scenes at his funeral were said to baffle description. The corpse
was laid out in the kitchen, and thither all his late boon-companions
repaired and turned the sad ceremonial into a hideous orgy. Among
other horrible deeds, they took the corpse from the coffin, propped it
up in a chair and poured whisky down its throat.

The incidents which I have related happened when Mrs. X---- was a
child, and she is now in the prime of womanhood. When she finished
her story I recollected that scarce a year ago I had read in a
Philadelphia paper an extract from one of the journals of the town
near which this house stood, giving an account of an investigation
which was then taking place of the cause of sundry strange
disturbances occurring in this very house. The extract closed with the
history of its builder and first occupant, tallying exactly with what
she related to me, though with fewer details. So, after all these
years, the perturbed spirit still refuses to rest.

The narrative with which I shall conclude this chapter of ghostly
experiences is one for the truth of which I am not prepared to vouch,
as I was neither an actor in its scenes nor was it related to me by
one who was. Yet were the incidents of any other than a supernatural
nature I should consider the authority from which I learned them as
unquestionable.

A few years ago a lady in quest of summer lodgings for herself, her
sister and her children (her husband being absent) was offered a
large, old-fashioned house in the vicinity of one of our seashore
resorts on highly advantageous terms. Having inspected the house and
found it, though old, in good repair, she engaged it joyfully, and
a few weeks after the date of her first negotiations she was settled
there with her family. For some time nothing occurred to mar the peace
of the household. The children enjoyed the fresh sea-breezes, their
pleasant sports on the beach and the large airy rooms, while the
ladies sewed and read and looked after household matters and took long
walks after the fashion of most people during the summer season by the
seaside. One night, when the mother was about to retire to rest, one
of her younger children, a bright little boy, called to her from his
sleeping-room. Fearing that he was ill, she hastened to him.

"Mamma," he said very earnestly, "I wish you would tell that strange
woman to keep out of my room."

"What woman, dear?" asked his mother, convinced that he had been
dreaming.

"I don't know her name, and I can't see her face because she wears a
big sun-bonnet, but she comes and stands at the foot of my bed, and
she frightens me."

"Well, never mind, dear. Go to sleep, and if ever she troubles you
again, come into my room and sleep with me," answered the mother,
still thinking that the child had been wakened by an uneasy dream. The
little fellow, thus soothed and consoled, soon fell asleep, and
slept soundly till morning. But a few nights afterward the child
came running into his mother's room at dead of night, panting and
terrified, and exclaiming, "Mamma! mamma! she has come again!" His
mother took him into her arms, and soon caressed away his fears, but
thinking that the child's uneasiness was caused by his sleeping alone,
she had his bed moved into her own chamber, and fitted up the vacant
apartment as a guest-chamber. Soon after this the servants began
to complain of strange sights and sounds for which they could not
account, and one burning July day the sister, who was seated by the
parlor window, happened to say, "Oh, I am so warm!" when a voice,
seemingly from the cellar, made answer, "And _I_ am so cold!" Struck
with amazement, she called, but no one replied, and subsequent
investigation proved that there was no one in the cellar at that
moment, nor could there have been, as its only door was always kept
locked.

I cannot now recall the details of various strange occurrences which
afterward took place, but will pass on to the final one, which may be
considered as the dénoûment of the whole story. The lady of the house,
a strong-minded, practical woman, had always sternly rejected the
theory that the odd incidents that annoyed her had any supernatural
origin; so, disregarding them wholly, she sent an invitation to an
old friend of hers, a clergyman, to pay her a visit of some weeks'
duration. Her invitation was accepted, and in due time her guest
arrived and was put in possession of the spare bed-room. Night coming
on, the whole household retired to rest. Early in the morning the
active hostess rose to see that all was in order for the further
entertainment of her guest, when, on going into the parlor to unfasten
the shutters, what was her amazement to find him there extended on the
sofa, and looking very ill, as though he had passed a wretched night!
In answer to her anxious questioning he stated that on retiring to
rest he had fallen into a profound slumber, from which he suddenly
woke, and saw a woman wearing a large sun-bonnet, which completely
concealed her face, standing beside his bed, the moonlight which shone
into the room rendering every detail of her figure distinctly visible.
Supposing that she was one of the servants who had come to his room to
see that he was perfectly comfortable and wanted nothing, he spoke to
her. What she replied, or how he first became convinced that the Thing
before him was no form of flesh and blood, I cannot now remember; but
I recollect two particulars of the interview: one was, that she told
him to look for her in the cellar; the other, that he asked her why
she wore a sun-bonnet, and she answered, "Because the lime has
spoilt my face." At this his failing senses forsook him, and when
consciousness returned his ghostly visitor had disappeared.

His hostess heard him in silence. As soon as breakfast was over she
requested him to accompany her to the cellar. Careful examination soon
revealed a spot where some of the stones with which it was paved had
been removed and afterward replaced. Assistants with proper tools were
procured, the stones were lifted, and after a few minutes of vigorous
digging a mass of lime was disclosed, in which was found imbedded
a quantity of calcined fragments of bone, which medical authority
afterward pronounced to be portions of a human skeleton. These poor
remains were carefully removed, placed in a box and interred in a
neighboring cemetery, and the "woman in a sun-bonnet" was seen no
more.

Subsequent investigation into the history of the old house revealed
the following facts. It had originally been occupied by a retired
sea-captain and his only son, the latter a wild, reckless youth of
evil character and confirmed bad habits. A young girl went to live
there as a servant, and for some months seemed well contented with her
place, but afterward she became gloomy and unhappy, and was frequently
seen in tears by the neighbors. At last she disappeared, and it was
given out by her employers that she had gone to visit some friends at
a distance, but she did not return, and suspicion was already directed
toward the old man and his son, when one morning the house was found
to be shut up, its inhabitants having found it expedient to remove
as silently and secretly as possible. The girl was never heard of
afterward. The discovery of the bones led to the supposition that the
younger man had seduced her, had afterward murdered her to conceal his
original crime, and that he had then buried the body in the cellar,
taking the precaution to cover it with quicklime.

As I said at the beginning of this article, I neither wish to propound
any theories nor to deduce any conclusions from the relations I have
given. I can only reiterate my statement that they came to me from
sources the reliability of which I cannot question. I have carefully
excluded everything relating to the supernatural which I ever heard
from the lips of ignorant and superstitious persons, and have only
recorded such incidents as bore an added weight of evidence in the
shape of the sense, intelligence and unquestionable veracity of their
relators.

LUCY H. HOOPER.



AFTERNOON.


        Small, shapeless drifts of cloud
  Sail slowly northward in the soft-hued sky,
    With blue half-tints and rolling summits bright,
  By the late sun caressed; slight hazes shroud
    All things afar; shineth each leaf anigh
        With its own warmth and light.

        O'erblown by Southland airs,
  The summer landscape basks in utter peace:
    In lazy streams the lazy clouds are seen;
  Low hills, broad meadows, and large, clear-cut squares
    Of ripening corn-fields, rippled by the breeze,
        With shifting shade and sheen.

        Hark! and you may not hear
  A sound less soothing than the rustle cool
    Of swaying leaves, the steady wiry drone
  Of unseen crickets, sudden chirpings clear
    Of happy birds, the tinkle of the pool,
        Chafed by a single stone.

        What vague, delicious dreams,
  Born of this golden hour of afternoon,
    And air balm-freighted, fill the soul with bliss,
  Transpierced like yonder clouds with lustrous gleams,
    Fantastic, brief as they, and, like them, spun
        Of gilded nothingness!

        All things are well with her.
  'Tis good to be alive, to see the light
    That plays upon the grass, to feel (and sigh
  With perfect pleasure) the mild breezes stir
    Among the garden roses, red and white,
        With whiffs of fragrancy.

        There is no troublous thought,
  No painful memory, no grave regret,
    To mar the sweet suggestions of the hour:
  The soul, at peace, reflects the peace without,
    Forgetting grief as sunset skies forget
        The morning's transient shower.

EMMA LAZARUS.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHPLACE IN 1873.


Was George Washington born in Great Britain or America? Absurd as
this question must sound to an American, it has been gravely discussed
within the last few months by a writer in the London _Notes and
Queries_, who has the effrontery to say that Washington's own brief
assertion in a letter to the effect that he was born in Virginia
cannot be conclusive. "No man's unsupported testimony," he adds, "as
to the place of his birth would be taken in evidence in a court of
justice, for his knowledge of the event must necessarily be from
hearsay or from records." This is silly enough. I did not see the
whole article, or learn by what arguments the writer endeavored
to substantiate his doubts, if he really had any, as to the true
birthplace of the _Pater Patriae_, but, feeling some interest in the
matter, I cut out the slip containing the quotation just given,
and enclosed it in a letter to a prominent gentleman living in
Westmoreland not far from Wakefield, the estate on which the
birthplace--or rather the site of it--is situated, with a request that
he would reply to it. He did so promptly and almost indignantly.

"I am amazed," says he, "at the contents of the printed slip you send
me. That any man of ordinary intelligence, living within the bounds
of civilization, could be ignorant of or doubt the fact that General
Washington was born in America, I did not for a moment suppose." He
goes on to say that if Washington's biography, written by so many
competent hands, and founded upon sources the most authentic, and
particularly the Lives of Marshall, Sparks and Irving, were not
sufficient to convince incredulity itself, he is at a loss to know
what would. Certainly, he would not attempt the task himself. In
addition to the well-known biographies, traditions and memoranda
attest the fact beyond the possibility of enlightened doubt.
Other credible and corroborative records are not wanting. "Had the
question," he concludes, "been asked of Dr. Livingstone by some
savage in the depths of the African jungles, it would not have been
surprising; but to come from a writer in _London_, it is inexpressibly
marvelous, and looks like a relapse into barbarism."

Among the memoranda alluded to is a fac-simile of the entry of the
birth of Washington in the Bible of his mother, which is given in
Howe's _Historical Collections of Virginia_, as follows:

"_George Washington son to Augustine and Mary his Wife was Born 11'th
Day of February_ 173-1/2 _about_ 10 _in the Morning and was Baptized
the_ 3'th (sic) _of April following M'r Beverley Whiting and Cap'n
Christopher Brooks godfathers and M'rs Mildred Gregory God-mother."_

There are no marks of punctuation, and Howe states that the original
entry is supposed to have been made by Washington's mother. If so, the
handwriting, not very unlike Washington's own, is unusually masculine,
compact, even and clear for a woman's. Howe's book was published in
1836. At that time the old family Bible, a much dilapidated quarto
with the title-page missing, and covered with the striped Virginia
cloth so common in old days, was in the possession of George
W. Bassett, Esq., of Farmington, Hanover county, who married a
grand-niece of Washington. At that time, too, the birthplace, which
had been destroyed previous to the Revolution, was much more plainly
marked than it is now. From its associations, and from its natural
beauties as well, the place was doubly interesting. Standing half
a mile from the junction of Pope's Creek with the Potomac River,
it commanded a view of the Maryland shore and of the course of the
Potomac for many miles. The house was a low-pitched, single-storied
frame dwelling, with four rooms on the first floor, and a huge chimney
at each end on the outside--the style of the better class of houses of
those days. A stone, placed there to mark its site by G.W.P. Custis,
bore the simple inscription:

"HERE, ON THE 11TH OF FEBRUARY (O.S.), 1732, GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS
BORN."

Such was its appearance in 1834 or '35, when Howe visited it. Its
present condition may be gathered from what the writer of the letter
in response to the London querist has to say about the site itself,
that being all that is left of a place so memorable and so deserving
of perpetuation:

"I have had no opportunity to obtain the sketch I promised you.
Indeed, there is virtually no material to make a sketch of. The
birthplace is now simply an old field lying waste, with indistinct
vestiges of a human habitation. An old chimney stands which belonged
to an outhouse (kitchen or laundry), some remains of a cellar, and the
foundations of a house in which tradition states Washington was born.
There was a stone slab, with a simple inscription, placed on the spot
some sixty years ago by G. W: P. Custis, to denote the place, but it
was long ago removed from its original position, mutilated and broken,
so that only a fragment remains."

That a place of such interest--one might call it sacred--should be
left to decay and obliteration is no new thing in Virginia. Enemies
might well declare that neglect of her mighty dead is characteristic
of the old commonwealth. The truth is, she has a great many dead to
care for, and of late years all her time has been absorbed in the care
of her living. But something has been done, or attempted to be done,
to rescue Washington's birthplace from oblivion. As far back as 1858
an act was passed by the General Assembly of Virginia, accepting from
Lewis Washington a grant of the "site of the birthplace of George
Washington, and the home and graves of his progenitors in America,"
and appropriating five thousand dollars "to enclose the same in an
iron fence," etc. Hon. Henry A. Wise, governor of Virginia at the time
this act was passed, entered with zeal and alacrity upon the work, the
execution of which was entrusted to him by the Legislature--went in
person to Westmoreland, examined carefully the sites, negotiated with
the owner of the adjacent farm for right of way, adopted a plan for
the enclosures and tablets, and began a correspondence with mechanics
and artisans at the North with a view to the speedy completion of the
work, and--just then his term expired, the war soon followed, and the
matter was of course dropped.

The money appropriated, together with the accrued interest, is now
in the treasury of Virginia, and although Governor Walker in his late
message did not bring the subject to the attention of the Legislature,
the long-delayed work will be consummated sooner or later, and "a neat
iron fence" with a few plain slabs will be erected on the hallowed
spot. But it strikes the present writer that five thousand dollars, or
even ten thousand dollars, form rather a small sum for such an object,
and that "a neat iron fence" is not exactly the thing that the place
and its memories demand. But not a dollar more may be expected of
Virginia at this time. She owes too much, and has too little. If one
of the many Northern gentlemen who are lavishing their hundreds of
thousands on colleges and other charities would come to Westmoreland
and put something a little better than a "neat iron fence" around the
birthplace of Washington, he would do a noble deed for himself and for
both sections of his lately estranged country.

R.B.E.



VICISSITUDES IN HIGH LIFE.


The London papers lately recorded the death of a lady who was the
representative and last descendant, save one sister, of a house famous
in English history. This was Lady Langdale, widow of Bickersteth,
first and last Lord Langdale, and sister of Harley, last earl of
Oxford. Lady Langdale had but one child, who married Count Teleki, a
Hungarian nobleman, and pre-deceased her mother, dying childless. Lord
Langdale was the son of Mr. Bickersteth, surgeon, of Kirby-Lonsdale,
Westmoreland. He was brought up to his father's vocation, and
traveled, as physician, with the earl of Oxford.

Impressed, no doubt, with Mr. Bickersteth's extraordinary abilities,
Lord Oxford advised him to go to college and read for the law, which
offered greater prizes than the medical profession. Accordingly,
he entered at Cambridge, and in 1808 graduated as senior wrangler.
Twenty-seven years later, in 1835, he married the daughter and heiress
of his friend and patron, and the year following was created a peer.

His brother Edward was the celebrated evangelical leader in the Church
of England. Bred to the law, he abandoned that profession for holy
orders. Their nephew, son of their brother John, is the present bishop
of Ripon.

The Harleys have been seated for six or seven centuries in
Herefordshire, at Brampton-Bryan and Egwood, properties which in part
remained in Lady Langdale's possession. By marriage! with the heiress
of the Vaughans in the fifteenth century, they became possessed of
Wigmore Castle, the ancient heritage of the extinct earls of Mortimer,
and great estates which added to their consequence.

When Charles II. made a batch of peers on his restoration, the
Harley of that day displayed a rare modesty. The king offered him a
viscounty, but he declined the honor, "lest his zeal and services
for the restoration of the ancient government should be reproached as
proceeding from ambition, and not conscience;" and so scrupulous was
he that his being made a knight of the Bath even was done without his
knowledge, he being then at Dunkirk, and Charles inserting with his
own hand his name in the list. But his son was destined for a higher
dignity, for he it was who became in the tenth year of the reign of
Charles II.'s niece, Queen Anne, earl of Oxford and Mortimer, being
the famous Harley of that reign, linked in our memories with St. John
Lord Bolingbroke, the Mashams, Marlboroughs, Swift, Addison, Pope, and
the host of brilliant men which makes the reign of one of the feeblest
women who ever sat on a throne a period of almost pre-eminent interest
in English annals to men of cultivated mind subject to the influence
of association. By Elizabeth Foley, daughter of the first Lord Foley,
of Witley Court (sold, about thirty-five years ago, with the bulk
of the Foley estates, for £990,000 to Lord Dudley, who married Lady
Mordaunt's sister), the famous lord treasurer, Oxford, had one
son, the second earl. He was the friend of Swift, to whom the dean
addressed so many letters. A man of literary tastes, he spent a
portion of his immense fortune in forming the finest library of the
period, and it is to him the student is indebted for the magnificent
collection known as the "Harleian," which subsequently became, by
purchase, the property of the nation, and is deposited in the British
Museum. He married the greatest heiress of the day, Lady Henrietta
Cavendish-Holies, only daughter and heir of the duke of Newcastle (of
the Holies creation--the present duke, a Pelham-Clinton, derives from
a different descent). He left but one daughter. She married the second
duke of Portland, grandson of Dutch William's pet page Bentinck, whom
he imported into England, and loaded with honors and emolument until
even the House of Commons of _that_ day cried out loudly, "Enough!
stop!" Through this lady the Bentincks got Welbeck, the duke of
Portland's chief seat to-day.

Meanwhile, the Oxford honors and patrimonial estates in Herefordshire
passed to the second earl's first cousin, and so on, in regular
succession, until the earldom became extinct by the death of Lady
Langdale's brother a few years ago. One of Lady Langdale's sisters
married a General Bacon. At the time of the marriage he was but a poor
captain, and his wealth did not much increase, whilst his family did,
and his wife, the once beautiful Lady Charlotte, Byron's "Ianthe"--to
whom he addressed the famous lines which form the prelude of _Childe
Harold_, beginning,

  Not in those climes where I have late been straying--

had to see her daughter a governess in the family of a Cornishman,
once a common miner! One of her daughters is now married to the son
of Lord Mount Edgecumbe's agent. It seems that the sisters could not
forgive the mesalliance, as they deemed it, for Lady Langdale's will
shows no bequest to the Bacons.

Lady Langdale had another sister, who married a son of Doctor
Vernon-Harcourt, long archbishop of York, grandfather of "Historicus,"
the well-known political letter-writer of the London _Times_. This
lady died about the same time as Lady Langdale. One sister only, the
wife of a foreign nobleman, survives. She is the last of the Harleys
of the great minister's line.



A GLASS OF OLD MADEIRA.


We had met in Europe some dozen years ago--I from Massachusetts,
he from Carolina. We both looked grave for an instant as a friend
presented us to each other, naming our respective residences, and then
both laughed cheerily, and were good friends ever after. We enjoyed
_Tartuffe_ and the _Mariage de Figaro_ in company with each other at
the Theatre Francois, heard Mario, Grisi, Gratiano and Borghi Mamo in
Verdi's _Trovatore_ at the Opéra Italien, danced with _les filles
de l'Opéra_ at Cellarius's saloons, and had many a midnight
carouse afterward at the Maison Doré. Nor had our time always been
unprofitably spent. Toward Easter we journeyed together to Rome, and
stood side by side before the masterpieces of Raphael and Domenichino
in the Vatican, strolled by moonlight amid the ruins of the Coliseum,
and drank out of the same cup from the Fountain of Trevi; often
visited Crawford's studio, where then stood the famous group which
now adorns the frieze of the Capitol at Washington, and by actual
observation agreed in thinking his Indian not unworthy of comparison
with the famous statue of the Dying Gladiator. We stood together on
the Tarpeian Rock, and, looking down upon the mutilated Column of
Trajan and all the ruins of ancient Rome, read out of the same copy of
Horace the famous ode beginning, "Exegi monumentum aere perennius."
We were both passionately fond of sculpture and of painting, and often
sat for hours before the glorious Descent from the Cross of Daniel da
Volterra in the Chiesa della Trinità dei Monti, the principal figure
in which is said to have been sketched by Michael Angelo, and which,
although less widely known, appeared to our minds equal in execution
and superior in grandeur to any other painting in the world.

After our return to this country I happened to go South one winter,
and spent a month with my friend on his plantation in the low country
of Carolina. It seemed to be our fate to meet amid the ruins of
the past. But the war had not then occurred, and we had many a hunt
together, in which, after a glorious burst of the hounds through the
open savannas, I brought down more than one noble buck. On other days
we would drive with the ladies along the broad beach upon which stood
the summer residences of the neighboring planters. And sometimes we
would stroll lazily about the lanes of his estate, basking in the
mellow sunshine in the midst of February, and chatting of Capri and
Sorrento in a climate equal to that of Italy.

And we met again the other day in the streets of a Northern city. He
looked older certainly, and very careworn, but his eye was as bright
as ever and his voice as cheery.

"Come and dine with me," he said after we had given each other a
hurried account of our present abodes and occupations. "You will find
me in rather modest and decidedly airy lodgings, and I cannot offer
you either wild-ducks or venison. A rasher of bacon and a glass of
madeira as we chat over old times: what say you to the bill-of fare?
You remember the old French adage, 'Quand on n'a pas ce que l'on aime,
faut bien aimer ce que l'on a.'"

"A quelle heure, mon ami?"

"Four o'clock."

And at five that afternoon we were seated together, the remnants
of our frugal repast removed, and on the scrupulously polished old
mahogany table which separated us stood a cut-glass decanter of
old Carolina madeira, the bouquet of which filled the room with its
fragrance.

"Fill your glass, Harry: 'tis not the fragrance of the wine, but the
sentiment connected with it, which prevents me from offering you a
pipe. The odor of the best Virginia would seem to me a desecration.
There are only a dozen bottles left in that cupboard. I never uncork
one except for a near friend. 'Tis out of fashion now: hock and
champagne have taken its place; but, do you know, I like it the better
on that account. It reminds me of the past, and, though still a young
man, it is one of my greatest pleasures to dwell on the picture which
a glass of it never fails to recall to my imagination. You remember
Woodlawn? For five-and-twenty years, during the whole of a long
minority and subsequent travels abroad, those old bottles stood
wreathed with cobwebs in the garret of the old mansion. You drank one
with me in 1859. The rest were buried at the commencement of the war,
and this is one of the few which survived it. There are not many of
your compatriots to whom I would tell the story of its preservation,
for it illustrates a feature of feudal attachment which they
persistently refuse to believe possible.

"You remember the stately old negro who occupied the porter's lodge at
Woodlawn, and who told you with such pride that he and his ancestors
had always occupied a favored post near the great house? You remember,
too, his grand air, fashioned after the gentlemen of the olden time,
the contemporaries of Washington, Rutledge and Pinckney? And in what
awe and reverence his fellow-servants stood of him! Well, when the war
fairly began, and all hope of amicable adjustment was exhausted, I did
what every true man on either side was bound to do--raised a company
for the service, removed my family to an up-country farm, and left Old
John in charge of my residence and interests in the low country. The
Federal gunboats soon appeared upon the coast, entered the bay and
ran up the rivers. Many of the younger people went off with them, but
during the long and dreary four years which ensued Old John remained
staunch at his post, cultivating the land as best he might, and
sending constantly supplies of money and provisions to his mistress.
At last the whole thing broke down: Lee surrendered, Johnston
surrendered. Troops as well as gunboats swarmed in all directions. Not
only regular soldiers, but raw negro levies, occupied the towns and
were posted through the country. Stories were circulated that I was
killed, that I was captured; and the latter statement was true. There
were rumors that the land was to be divided among the negroes, and one
dark night in the early summer of 1865 some drunken sailors, escaped
from the gunboats lying in the bay, raised a mob of negroes from the
various plantations and gutted nearly every house in the parish. Among
others they came to mine eager for wine, and John was pointed out by
some of the neighboring negroes as knowing where it was concealed. The
sailors threatened his life: he refused to tell. They held a pistol to
his head, but the old man remained staunch in his refusal. Provoked by
his fidelity, at length they brutally beat him with the butts of their
pistols until his gray hairs were dabbled in gore, and went off to
other plunder, telling their followers to take what they wanted from
my residence. But, bruised, bleeding and crippled though he was, Old
John still defended his master's property, and sitting on the front
steps of the house kept the whole crowd at bay by the firmness and
dignity of his attitude. I heard of the affair first from a white man
who lived in the neighborhood, and it was not until I asked him about
it that he told me himself. The next day he gave to my own people
the furniture remaining in the house to keep until I came back, but
positively refused to allow them to take of the crops that had been
gathered any more than was required for their subsistence, and this
he regularly shared out to them at stated intervals. And when, after
a long imprisonment and much enfeebled myself, I landed one evening at
the wharf which leads up to the house, the first figure which met my
sight was the old man faithfully guarding the barns. His eyesight was
too dim for him to see me, but as soon as he heard my voice he seized
my hand with passionate fervor, pressing it repeatedly to his lips and
bedewing it with tears. Can you wonder if he has shared my fortunes
ever since? But not at Woodlawn. The negroes generally were wild with
the notion of freedom, and utterly ignorant of the practical meaning
of the term. To me they were always civil and affectionate, but I
preferred that some other than myself should teach them its rugged
lesson, and immediately leased the place for a term of years to one
better fitted than I to derive profit from it under the new system.
The gentlemen and the negroes are the two classes upon whom the first
results of the fearful revolution in society caused by the war fell
with heaviest weight. Both were totally unprepared for it, and both
have so far suffered cruelly. A year ago Old John died, faithful
and cared for to the last. A few months ago the lease I had executed
expired, and I visited the estate again. All the glamour of the past
had disappeared. The home of my fathers knew me no more, and I have
sold it. Cuffee, whom you remember as my body-servant, who followed
me through the war, and bore me on his back from the battlefield upon
which I was severely wounded, and who would have come with me here
had circumstances permitted of my retaining his services,--Cuffee has
taken to politics, and now represents the county in the Legislature
of the State; and the last figure that I remember seeing as I left
the place was that of old Sary, the sick nurse, her long black hair
streaming in the wind (you remember she was an Indian half-breed), her
feet bare, her petticoat ragged and limp, standing in the lane
which leads from the house--her arms akimbo, a sort of miniature Meg
Merrilies--screaming out to me, 'You left you own plantashun.' Yes,
I have left my own plantation, and am grubbing out a modest and
sometimes a rather precarious existence elsewhere. But for all that,
it is more wholesome than mouldering among the ruins of a past that
can never return. The fight has been fairly fought, and New England
has won the day. Germany is up, France is down; Italy united, the pope
existing on sufferance in the palace where erstwhile emperors did him
homage. I don't quarrel with Fortune. Nay, in many things I dare say
the world has benefited by the change. And so, when I take my children
sometimes to look at Crawford's famous group, I even enjoy the spirit
of pride with which they look upon the figure of America, and the zest
with which they enjoy the vigorous onslaught of the pioneer on the
forest tree; but my own eyes seek the Indian chieftain reclining in
mute despair on the right of the group, and I have a strange sympathy
with the fortune which his very attitude so forcibly indicates. Our
battle of Dorking has been fought, and, whatever may be the fate of
the next generation, all that is left to me of home or of country are
the golden drops which sparkle in this tiny glass."

RAMBLER.



AT A MATINÉE: A MONOLOGUE.


Oh Dear! I meant to be very early, people do look so cross when you
squeeze by them. I don't think it is exactly proper, either, when
they are men. Here is my seat, No. 10: that girl has piled all her
waterproofs on it. Why don't she take them away quicker? and I wish
she wouldn't grope about my feet for her overshoes.

I never sat right next to the orchestra before. What a convenient
railing to hang my umbrella on! Provoking it should rain so to-day.
There now! my waterproof is all disposed of, and I know my dress is
all right, so I shall enjoy myself.

What a ridiculous girl beside me! _Such_ a bunch of curls! The two
young men on the other side look like gentlemen: the one this way
especially nice--lovely eyes and moustache. I'll look round the house
as far as I can without moving. Can't see much, though, for I'm so
near the front. Why on earth didn't brother Bob put me where I could
see the people?

Why, there's Lucy Morris! I can't bear that girl: her hair is almost
the color of mine. A vacant seat beside her, too; so she came with
some one. Wonder who it is? I hope she won't see me.

Oh, how funny! The musicians come up out of a hole just like the tame
rats at the Museum, nasty things!--the rats, I mean. The man right
in front of me has a trombone. I know what it is, because the name
is written on his music. I'm so glad, for I never knew exactly what a
trombone was until now. And what a funny instrument! He doesn't blow
at all for ever so long, and then suddenly comes in with two or three
toots.

But, good gracious! there's Dick Livingstone! I saw him come in at
that door. I'm so glad I came! He asked me night before last at Mrs.
Harris's if I was coming to the matinée, and of course I said "Yes,"
though I didn't have the slightest idea of doing so until he spoke.
But what--! He has taken the seat by that Lucy Morris, and has given
her a programme. I hate that girl!

There goes the curtain. What a stupid play! Why did I come? The damp
will ruin my dress. Oh, that horrid girl! Well, of all the ridiculous
acting I ever saw, this is the worst! I should think they would be
ashamed to put such people on the stage. He is opening her fan. A fan
to-day! absurd! I _won't_ look again. How that man rants! I'm sure I
don't know why I came: I might have known how poor it would be.
Even _I_ can see that Leicester and Mortimer have dresses at least
a hundred years apart. I wonder if their legs are stuffed? Oh dear!
that's hardly proper. What Dick can see to admire in that girl is
beyond my comprehension. Such airs and graces!--all put on; and how
she makes eyes at him! I can feel it behind my back.

How absurdly Queen Elizabeth is dressed! and what a fright she is! And
I wore my new hat, too: he said he liked blue so much. I could just
cry, I am so provoked. It's all her fault, I know. Oh! the play! Yes,
Dudley is making love. Ridiculous! There, the curtain's down at
last, and--what--! Dick is getting up: he looks as if he were saying
good-bye. There's Lucy's uncle: he sits down beside her--he must have
brought her. Oh, what a relief! After all, it was very natural for
Dick to take the vacant seat, he is so thoughtful always. Lucy can
talk pretty well sometimes, too. If she only had some idea of dress!
There! I'm sure Dick saw me, but of course I shall take no notice.

Upon my word, the young man next me is admiring the girl's hair on the
other side of me. It's hideous--red as a carrot, and stuck on at that.
Thank Goodness! my hair hasn't a tinge of red in it--pure _blonde
cendré_--but I have to pay awfully to match it. Wish I could tell that
young fellow her hair is all stuck on. Hark! the nice one says,

"Why, it is all her own--I see it growing" "S-s-s-h!" says the other:
"she'll hear you." "Loveliest hair I ever saw," continues No. 1: "pure
gold, not a tinge of red--" It's _my_ hair they are discussing. What a
nice fellow he is! I'll just turn a little away, so he can study
that curl which really does grow out of my head. It is worth all
the trouble it gives me, for it makes the others seem so natural. I
declare, he is looking right at me: suppose he should speak? I should
_die_! Nonsense! he is bowing to a lady in the dress-circle. I know
he'd like to do something for me. Brother Bob says girls can't be too
careful. I might drop something. Not my handkerchief--that _would_ be
improper--but my opera-glass case: nothing could be said against that.
Oh my! I haven't used my glasses yet, I'm so near the stage. I'll
look round the house; so here goes. "Thank you, sir," with my sweetest
smile and such a nice flutter. I saw him nudge his friend.

There goes the curtain again. Mary queen of Scots: I thought she was
prettier. Oh, the act is really over; I actually forgot everything but
the stage. My eyes are all wet. But it won't do to cry: they would be
red. I don't quite like some of the words they use, though--they make
one feel queer. Now, why couldn't they say "illegitimate child"? It
means just the same; besides, it's longer.

I wonder how Dick Livingstone liked it? _Mr_. Livingstone, I should
say. Brother Bob doesn't think it nice for girls to speak of young men
by their first names. But then brothers are so particular about their
own sisters, though, Goodness knows, they flirt enough with other
people's. Bob and Kate Harris, for example, and yet he preaches at
_me_!

Oh, the young men are going out. They push by as well as they can,
but still they crowd unpleasantly. I am sure I've seen that nice one
somewhere. They are going to stay away, too, I think, for they have
taken their over-coats. If only Dick--Mr. Livingstone, I mean--

Oh, there's the curtain again. It's really quite interesting. I was
mistaken about the actors: they do very well indeed. Queen Elizabeth
is excellent, and so are they all. It shows how careful one ought to
be not to judge too hastily. That's what mother always says. I won't
do so again.

Well, that play is over--now for the comedy. Some one says it is still
raining. I hate a waterproof, my figure looks so well in this suit.
I might carry my cloak over my arm, but then I'm afraid the rain will
ruin my dress. I _must_ wear the waterproof and be a dowdy. I don't
believe, after all, that it would hurt the underskirt, and then, with
the umbrella up, I should have to take his arm. I shouldn't like
to get this dress spoiled, either. I know mother wouldn't give me
another. Brother Bob says men don't care so much about women's dress:
they like to see a sensible girl. I don't believe that; besides, I
have thick boots, and I'm sure that's sensible. I don't care: I won't
wear the waterproof unless it is a perfect deluge. My goodness! I
don't see Dick anywhere! Suppose, after all, he didn't come to meet
me? and I gave him that flower at Mrs. Leslie's, too! I wish the thing
was over.

But oh, what a pretty dress! and how sweet she is! I had no idea she
could be so cunning, after being such a tragedy queen. The man on the
stage actually kissed her. Bob says they don't really kiss, though.

I'm sorry it's over. Oh dear! I don't like being alone in such a
crowd. Brother Bob wouldn't have let me come, I know, only he thought
I should meet the Davidsons. No matter: I'll never tell him. I do
believe Dick hasn't stayed, after all. I'll just put on my waterproof
and thick veil, and go home and have a good cry.

Oh, Mr. Livingstone, how you startled me! I had no idea you were here.
Yes, I am by myself: certainly you may escort me home. Take a walk in
this pouring rain? Why, it's all sunshine!

C.A.D.



NOTES.


Wellnigh half a century has elapsed since the discovery of the
beautiful Venus of Milo (the exact year was 1825), and yet now, for
the first time, the endless discussions regarding two doubtful and
interesting points in its history have been set at rest. These two
points are--first, the original pose of the statue; and, secondly, the
reason of its being armless. After so many years of dispute over
these questions, it occurred at length to M. Jules Ferry to do what of
course ought to have been done long ago--namely, go to the very spot
whence the statue was exhumed, and there talk with all the surviving
witnesses of the exhumation. M. Ferry not long since put his idea into
execution, went to Milo, took into consultation with him M. Brest,
son of the consul who procured the statue for France, and found and
cross-questioned two Greeks who were present at the unearthing of
the statue. M. Ferry has collected the details of his labors in an
elaborate communication to the Académie des Beaux Arts, but a brief
indication of the results obtained may be made as follows:

First, then, the Venus was found in 1825 at the foot of a little hill,
where it had been covered up by successive crumblings of the earth
above. The proprietor of the ground, wishing to clear a little more
of the soil for his planting, chanced to strike the statue with his
shovel. "It was on its base, erect," said the two Greek peasants to
the French minister. "With one hand she held together her draperies,
and in the other an apple"--the same, doubtless, that Paris had just
given her. Such, very briefly, is the clear, short, definite, decisive
story which puts an end to ten thousand disquisitions and hypotheses
about the pose. The evidence thus given is that of people who actually
saw what they describe. But, secondly, what of those "long-lost arms"?
and how came they to be lost? The body of the Venus was formed of
two blocks, and the arms were afterward fastened upon the trunk. When
discovered, it was intact. M. Brest, the French consul, instantly
bought the Venus for five hundred dollars, while the Turkish
government on its part hurried off a small vessel to bring it away,
offering the owner of the farm fivefold the French price, or something
like two thousand five hundred dollars. A French _aviso_, sent by M.
de Rivière, the ambassador at Constantinople, arrived on the scene at
the very moment when the Turks had got possession of the statue, and
were embarking it on their vessel. A dispute arose at once, and in the
material as well as legal confusion the arms of the Venus, which had
been detached for safer transportation, were missed. The people of
the neighborhood got up a story that the arms were carried off by the
Turkish vessel out of chagrin and spite, but this seems to be mere
surmise where all else is clear.

       *       *       *       *       *

The story of Demosthenes and the pebbles is familiar. Less familiar,
we venture to say, is the theory that declamation is sometimes the
cause of stammering; or, rather, that stuttering impels a man to
talkativeness, and the yielding to this tendency fixes the habit of
stammering and makes it worse. Hence it might plausibly be argued that
it is the rostrum, or the very emotion of speaking in public, which
makes some orators become stammerers. At all events, in Paris an
institution has been founded expressly to remedy stuttering; and M.
Chervin, its director, not long ago presented before a meeting of the
learned societies at the Sorbonne some interesting statistics on his
specialty. These statistics seem to show that stuttering is in direct
proportion with the habit of speaking, and that the more one speaks
the more one stutters. This is certainly an unexpected result of the
restoration of freedom of speech in France. M. Chervin mentions a
village of eighteen hundred souls where everybody, without exception,
undeniably stutters. What strange dialogues, says Jules Claretie (who
cites these points in _l'Indépendance Belge_), must take place there!
A very curious fact is, that stammering is less frequent in the north
of France than in the south. In the north-east it is least known, and
most in the south-east. For example, all things being equal, for six
stammerers in Paris there would be twenty-five in Lyons and seventy in
Marseilles. The admitted garrulity or fluency of southern speaking
is often the cause or the preface to stammering. Thus, comically
concludes M. Claretie, oratorical habits threaten to make stammering
become the order of the day, and for one Vergniaud there will be ten
stutterers, and ten more stutterers for one General Foy. Nevertheless,
in earlier days, Camille Desmoulins stammered, and yet spoke but
little at the Convention. It does not appear that Charles Lamb was
a garrulous person, and in the familiar experience of daily life we
rarely find stutterers to be rapid talkers. Still, this latter
fact really helps M. Chervin's theory, since we may conclude it
is precisely because stammerers find that a very rapid utterance
increases their defect that they force themselves to speak
deliberately, and also not to tire the vocal muscles. Hence, apart
from the jesting inference which M. Claretie, in French journalist's
fashion, is bent son twisting out of the scientific statistics, there
would appear to be a mutual influence, perfectly comprehensible,
of rapidity in utterance and a tendency to stammering. We could not
safely go on to generalize that only voluble people become stutterers,
or that all stutterers are unusually garrulous and unusually eager in
enunciation; but we may conclude that if they are thus careless and
rattling in delivery, their peculiarity will be likely to grow more
marked, and that accordingly a natural tendency to the same defect is
developed by the same habits or necessities of much and rapid talking.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two illustrations of nineteenth-century precocity, rather superior
to the generality of anecdotes regarding the wisdom of the rising
generation, we find in recent French papers. One of them is originated
by the _Moulin-à-Parole_. Madame de B. was visiting, with her baby,
her friend Madame X. After chattering three-quarters of an hour,
without giving anybody else a chance to put in a word, Madame X.
pauses, when Baby immediately takes up the burden of conversation.
Madame X., getting tired at last, says, "Why do you talk so much,
mignonne? It isn't nice for a little girl like you to do so." "Oh,"
replies Baby very graciously, "it is only so that mamma may rest!" A
little lad furnishes the other instance of the premature sagacity of
modern childhood. A famous merchant has four children, three daughters
and a boy named Arthur. Two of the former die successively of
consumption, and at the funeral of the second a friend of the family
comes to offer his compliments of condolence, and, patting little
Arthur's head, tells the poor lad the house must seem lonely to him
now. "Yes," briskly replies Arthur, whom his father has brought up
to accurate ideas, "here we children are reduced _fifty per cent_."
Worthy to take charge of these children would have been the prudent
bonne of whom _Charivari_ speaks. The morning after engaging herself
to Madame R. she hastened to that lady with her finger wrapped in a
handkerchief, and in an agitated voice asked if the _converts_ were
real silver. "Why so, Nannette?" "Because, I just pricked my finger
with a fork, and I know that if it is plated copper I ought to take
the precaution of having the place bled." "Don't be alarmed," replies
the lady, smiling despite herself at the young girl's innocence, "my
plate is all solid." "Ah," says the bonne with a sigh of relief, "I
am so glad!" The day after, the simple young lady disappeared with all
the silver. It is not every bonne that would take such precautions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Paris has always been famous among modern cities for its genius and
industry in adding variety to its cuisine, either by the audacious
invention of new dishes or the felicitous combination of old
ones--either by discovering new sources of food or new methods of
preparing it. It was a curious incident in the late history of
the city that what had been a fashionable whim became a hard
necessity--that after Saint-Hilaire and the hippophagists had
struggled to introduce horseflesh as regular provender, the siege of
Paris made horseflesh a prized rarity. But the zest resulting from
the enforced diet of dogs, cats, rats and monkeys in bombardment days
appears to have been so great that we now hear of an enterprise worthy
to have a Brillat-Savarin to celebrate it--namely, the formation of
a society under the presidency of the naturalist Lespars, designed to
bring into vogue as eatable a great class of living creatures whose
presence now inspires ordinary persons only with disgust. A naturalist
who devotes himself to eating such creatures with a motive so
philanthropic deserves our praise, though we may not be able to
personally imitate his heroic example. Among the choice dishes
mentioned by one paper as selected to figure at the first public
banquet of M. Lespars are a plate of white worms, a bushel of
grasshoppers, and a broil of magpies seasoned with the slugs that
infest certain green berries. One regards this announcement with more
or less incredulity; but little doubt seems to hang over the assertion
that the dormouse has just been introduced into the list of French
game-dishes. The puzzle for the cooks seems to be with regard to the
proper sauce for the new delicacy; but this matter does not trouble
the little chimney-sweeps, who find the animal so long associated in
poetry and in fact chiefly with their own humble career, now rising
to the dignity of game, and commanding a price for the table. Piedmont
has thus far furnished the larger part of the displays of _marmottes_
in Paris stalls. The chief trouble in making rats, magpies and other
delicacies of that sort really popular amongst the poorer classes is
that the latter do not possess adroit cooks to disguise the original
flavor under aromatic adjuncts, nor yet the money to buy the necessary
spices and side-dishes, nor the high grade of champagne wines with
which the wealthy and noble patrons of "food reform" commonly wash
down unpalatable viands.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.


Rousseau. By John Morley. 2 vols. London: Chapman & Hall.

It was in the natural course of things that modern criticism,
ever aiming at a wider comprehension, a keener analysis, a greater
independence of judgment and expression, should test itself anew on a
subject affording so full a scope and so sure a touchstone as the life
and writings of Rousseau. The character of Rousseau, with its strange
blending of delicate beauty and repulsive infirmity, requires to be
handled with the firm but tender and sympathetic touch which the nurse
or the physician lays upon a child afflicted with sores. His career,
with its alternations of obscurity and conspicuousness, of tumult and
torpidity, of wretchedness and rapture, must be followed with an
eye keen to detect the springs and alive to the subtle play of
circumstance and impulse. His influence, if not more profound, more
varied, extensive and direct than that of any thinker and writer since
Luther, is to be traced in the whole history of his own and of later
times, under manifold aspects and amid momentous changes of spirit and
of form. In the case of most men who have helped to mould the
ideas and direct the tendencies of an age, it would be difficult to
determine what each has contributed to the general result, or to say
with certainty that the work performed by one would not, if he had
been wanting, have been equally accomplished by others. On the other
hand, there are a few master-spirits--men not of an age but for
all time--whose power has been so deeply infused, so generally
and silently absorbed, that it would be vain to inquire how it has
operated in detail. We cannot indicate the course or fix the limits
of its action: we perceive only that without it our intellectual life
must have been dormant or extinct. Rousseau belongs to neither of
these classes. His power was not general but specific, not creative
but stimulative, not a source of perennial light but the torch of
a conflagration; yet it was original and independent, it did not
co-operate but clashed with that of his contemporaries, and while it
acted upon minds far higher and broader than his own, it received no
aid except from disciples and imitators. Of the French Revolution
we may say with precision and confidence that it owed primarily its
peculiar character--its austere ideals and wild distortions, its
illimitable aspirations and chaotic endeavors--to the extent to which
the nation had become imbued with his spirit and theories. In regard
to literature, it is not sufficient to point to a long list of
celebrated writers, from Chateaubriand and De Staël to Lamartine and
George Sand, whose works have reflected the characteristic hues of
his sentiment and style; or to adduce particular instances of his
influence upon writers of higher and more contrasted genius, such
as Goethe and Byron, Schiller and Richter: what is to be noted, as
underlying all such examples and illustrations, is the fact that a
literature distinguished from that which had immediately preceded
it by earnestness, simplicity and depth, by spontaneous and vivid
conceptions and freedom from conventional restraints, had its
beginning with him, appealing to emotions and ideas which he was the
first to call into renewed and general activity. In education, in art,
in modifications of religious opinion and of social life, the same
force, if less measurable and distinct, is everywhere apparent either
as an active participant or a strong original impulse.

It need hardly be said that, as productions of genius, the writings of
Rousseau cannot hold any rank proportionate to the effect which they
thus produced. They are not among the treasures that constitute our
intellectual capital, the possessions which we could not lose without
becoming bankrupt. They are rather among the instruments which,
having served their purpose, may be laid aside, however interesting as
mementoes or admirable as curiosities. Their highest qualities--their
fervor, simplicity and grace--do not of themselves disclose the secret
of their power. From the point of view of mere literary criticism we
are apt to be more observant of their defects than their beauties. By
the side of earlier and later models they are seen to be deficient in
the very qualities--force of passion and depth of thought--by which
they startled or enthralled contemporary readers.

If we turn to the man himself, we might imagine at the first glance
that none could have been less fitted for the position of a leader of
thought, a founder of systems and schools, the apostle of a new era.
The career for which Nature seemed to have destined him, and which, in
truth, he may almost be said to have followed, was that of a vagabond,
or at the best a recluse. Of all the advantages we desire and
anxiously seek for our children, Rousseau enjoyed none. Poverty,
degradation and neglect weighed upon him from his birth. The evil
in him was unchecked, the good unfostered, by any training hand. The
opportunity and the faculty of acquiring any substantial nutriment
from books seemed alike denied him. His intercourse with mankind
through all his earlier and the greater part of his later life was
confined to the ignorant, and with these alone was he ever able
to hold any harmonious relations or any grateful interchange of
sentiment. Physically, mentally and morally diseased, weak yet stern,
sensitive but unpliant, equally devoid of courage and of tact, he
could not come in contact with the world without suffering a shock
and swift recoil that drove him back to the refuge of solitude--to the
mute companionship of external Nature or the brooding contemplation of
himself. Even the ideals which, despite his practical aberrations
from them, he yet intensely worshiped, had, in his conception of them,
little connection with the activities of life: truth, simplicity,
order, purity and peace were ideas that occupied his soul only to fill
it with a horror of reality, with yearnings for an idyllic repose,
with dreams of a state which he persuaded himself had been the
original condition of the race, in which virtue and right must prevail
through the mere absence of occasion for wrong or temptation to evil.

Yet it is not in some radiance breaking through this cloudy
environment, it is not in this or that faculty overcoming all
obstacles, it is in the entirety of his nature as originally formed,
and as moulded or marred by circumstance and fate, that we shall find
the secret of that spell which he exercised over men of all classes
and characters. The culture which might have sweetened and perhaps
ennobled his life would have unfitted him for his mission. It would
have brought him more or less into harmony with his age; and it was by
his utter and vehement opposition to its habits and opinions that
he turned the stream into a different channel. Not only his finer
intuitions and purer tastes, but his unsatisfied desires, his errors,
his remorse, urged him to make war upon it, as the step-mother that
had sought to enervate or brutalize his mind while defrauding him of
his inheritance. He held up the image of its corruption, shallowness
and false refinement, and that of a life of simple manners and
unperverted instincts. That he depicted this as the real life of
a primitive epoch only gave greater pungency to the contrast.
The eighteenth century, aroused to the consciousness of its own
degeneracy, its false and artificial existence, readily accepted an
idealized Geneva, an idealized Sparta, as the type of a primitive
community, the model on which society was to be refashioned. What the
"pure word of God" had been to the Reformers, that "Nature" became to
the revolutionists in all departments of thought and action, in poetry
and music as in philosophy and politics--a shibboleth to rally and
unite all the elements of discontent and aspirations for change, a
universal test by which to try all doctrines and systems. In either
case, as was soon discovered, the test would itself admit of diverse
interpretations; but in the mean while the solvent had taken effect,
the authority of custom and tradition had been overthrown, old
organizations had crumbled into dust.

That the agitation thus evoked should have produced many grotesque,
many frightful results, cannot seem strange. Long before the lower
strata had been reached the surface was in a state of ebullition.
Polite society was delightfully thrilled with a feeling of its own
depravity, and found in the novel sensation the zest that had been
wanting to its jaded powers of enjoyment. Nor was it awakened from its
illusions by the first eruption from below. In a transport of delirium
it threw away, as if they had been idle gems, of use only when cast
into the public treasury, the privileges and prerogatives that had
formed the basis of the monarchy. Thenceforth the only effort was to
secure a _tabula rasa_ on which to rear that new and perfect state
of which the model was at hand, if only the proper materials could be
found and the foundations be laid. Of the men who acquired a temporary
mastery, three only, by the massive force of practical genius, were
able to free themselves from the fascination of the common ideal. But
Mirabeau and Danton were overborne by the full tide, and Napoleon,
when he arrested it in its languor, turned it into depths from
which it emerged the other day to sweep away his column in the Place
Vendôme.

In thus glancing at the vast proportions of the subject, we have
wandered far from the range of Mr. Morley's work, which has a special
purpose with well-defined limits. It is not a complete biography of
Rousseau, much less a history of his times. It gives no full or vivid
portraiture of character, no adequate narrative of events, no summary
even of results. It is an analytical study, an examination of the life
and works of Rousseau with a view to determine their precise nature
and quality, rather than their relative value or bearings. Within
these limits it exhibits ample knowledge and skill, combined with
a searching but tolerant judgment. Without labored discussion or
passionate apology, it clears away entangling prejudices and current
misconceptions, to assume a position from which undistorted views may
be obtained. At times, indeed, Mr. Morley carries his impartiality
to the verge of indifference. His certificate of Grimm's "integrity"
rests on very slender grounds, and the Memoirs of Madame d'Épinay
are subjected to no such scrutiny as the circumstances of their
composition and preservation call for, before their statements can be
accepted as authority. But whatever minor defects may be found in the
book, the general spirit and execution are admirable. It is full of
interest and suggestiveness both for readers to whom the subject may
not be unfamiliar, and for those who may hitherto have neglected to
explore it. Above all, it is valuable as marking the line to which
English criticism has advanced, its capacity for treating complicated
and delicate questions with clearness, frankness and entire fairness.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pascarel: Only a Story. By "Ouida," author of "Tricotrin,"
"Folle-Farine," "Under Two Flags," etc. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott
& Co.

The genius of "Ouida" is _sui generis_, and must in part create the
standards by which it is to be judged. Her works are so different from
the common type of modern novels that they demand to be looked at from
a different point of view. The present standard of excellence in prose
fiction seems to be the conformity of character and incident to what
is actually seen in life. It is a good test for all mere stories, but
is manifestly _not_ the test by which to gauge the recent works of
"Ouida." She does not aim at this pre-Raphaelite delineation of men
and things as they are. Her characters are idealizations: her later
books are prose-poems, not only in the affluence and rhythm of their
style, but in the allegoric form and purpose which, pervade them. This
characteristic is plain enough in _Tricotrin_ and _Folle-Farine_, but
finds its most marked expression in _Pascarel_. "Only an Allegory"
would be a more expressive sub-title for the book than "Only a Story,"
for the story is the mere thread which sustains and binds together a
series of parables and crystallized truths. Most of these, indeed,
she has embodied in former works, but nowhere as in _Pascarel_ is the
author's design to teach them made so manifest.

The book is almost wholly free from that extravagance of expression
and recklessness of all established codes of taste which have diverted
attention from her purpose, and led to a false estimate of the
character and tendency of her writings. It has none of the hindrances,
for instance, which prevent many from seeing the magnificence of the
conception in _Folle-Farine_. Its object is to enforce the lesson that
the only true greatness is that which loses sight of self--that Love,
and Love alone, is, both in its insight and its purpose, divine.
"Love sees as God sees, and with infinite wisdom has infinite pardon."
"Laughter and love are all that are really worth having in the world,"
but to gain them "one must seek them first for others, with a wish
pure from the greed of self." "The world owes nothing to so personal
a passion as ambition." "The first fruits of a man's genius are always
pure of greed." What makes a great artist is the "vital, absolute
absorption of personality in his love of art." The experience of the
donzella (which constitutes what there is of the story), a nobler,
and, we think, a _truer_, type of womanhood than Viva, yet with a like
over-estimate of the advantages of wealth and position, brings her
to the conviction that Pascarel is right. These truths, however, find
their most effective illustration in the wealth of Italian tradition
and history with which the pages abound. "Here is the secret of
Florence, sublime aspiration--the aspiration which gave her citizens
force to live in poverty and clothe themselves in simplicity, so as
to give up their millions of florins to bequeath miracles in stone
and metal and color to the future." "In her throes of agony she kept
always within her that love of the ideal, impersonal, consecrate, void
of greed, which is the purification of the individual life and
the regeneration of the body politic." "Her great men drew their
inspiration from the very air they breathed, and the men who knew they
were not great had the patience and unselfishness to do their minor
work for her zealously and perfectly." The workmen who chiseled the
stones and the boys who ground the colors "did their part mightily
and with reverence." The unrivaled works of art which are the true
greatness of Italy owe their existence to the self-forgetfulness of
their makers. So the love of Italy is in its essence a love for that
which is best and noblest in human nature--"the consecration of self
to an object higher than self." This love, however, to be true, must
be more than perception or sentiment--it must bear fruit in _likeness_
to that which it admires. "Each gift which men receive imposes a
corresponding duty." "We are Italians," says Pascarel after recounting
the glories of Italian achievement: "great as the heritage is, so
great the duty likewise." As a companion-book of Italian travel,
_Pascarel_ has a special value, suffused as it is throughout with
the blended charm of picturesque beauty and magical associations that
belongs to the country and the people.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Books Received_.

The Great Events of History, from the Creation of Man till the Present
Time. By William Francis Collier, LL.D., Trinity College, Dublin.
Edited by an experienced American Teacher, New York: J.W. Schermerhorn
& Co.

Words and their Uses, Past and Present: A Study of the English
Language. By Richard Grant White. New edition, revised and corrected.
New York: Sheldon & Co.

Manual of Land Surveying, with Tables. By David Murray, A.M.,
Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics in Rutgers College. New York: J.W.
Schermerhorn & Co.

The Greatest Plague of Life; or, The Adventures of a Lady in Search of
a Good Servant. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

Snatches of Song. By Jeanie Morison (Mrs. Campbell of Ballochyle).
London: Longmans, Green & Co.

The Life and Times of Philip Schuyler. By Benson J. Lossing, LL.D. New
York: Sheldon & Co.

Lewis Arundel: A Novel. By Frank E. Smedley. Philadelphia: T.B.
Peterson & Brothers.

Our Forest Home. By the author of "Robert Joy's Victory." Illustrated.
Boston: Henry Hoyt.

Philip Earnscliffe: A Novel. By Mrs. Annie Edwards. New York: Sheldon
& Co.

Heart's Delight. By Mrs. Caroline E.K. Davis. Illustrated. Boston:
Henry Hoyt.





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