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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 12, No. 30, September, 1873
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 12, No. 30, September, 1873" ***

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LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

OF

_POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE_.

Vol XII, No. 30.

SEPTEMBER, 1873.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
  THE NEW HYPERION [Illustrated] by EDWARD STRAHAN.
    III.--The Feast Of Saint Athanasius.
  TWO MOODS by MARY STEWART DOUBLEDAY.
  THE RIDE OF PRINCE GERAINT by MARTIN I. GRIFFIN.
  SKETCHES OF EASTERN TRAVEL. [Illustrated]
    I.--The Count De Beauvoir In China.
  A PRINCESS OF THULE by WILLIAM BLACK.
    Chapter XIV.--Deeper And Deeper.
    Chapter XV.--A Friend In Need.
  ENGLISH COURT FESTIVITIES
  RAMBLES AMONG THE FRUITS AND FLOWERS OF THE TROPICS by FANNIE R. FEUDGE.
    Concluding Paper
  A LOTOS OF THE NILE by CHRISTIAN REID.
  ECHO. by A.J.
  OUR HOME IN THE TYROL [Illustrated] by MARGARET HOWITT.
    Chapter IX.
    Chapter X.
  COLORADO AND THE SOUTH PARK by S.C. CLARKE.
  THE PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY by MARIE ROWLAND.
  ON THE CHURCH STEPS by SARAH C. HALLOWELL.
    Chapter VI.
    Chapter VII.
    Chapter VIII.
    Chapter IX.
  HOW THEY "KEEP A HOTEL" IN TURKEY by EDWIN DE LEON.
  OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
    The Californian At Vienna by PRENTICE MULFORD.
    Ghostly Warriors.
    A Warning To Lovers.
  NOTES.
  LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
    Books Received.


ILLUSTRATIONS
  THE PAULISTS.
  THE REWARD OF AN INVENTOR.
  CARDINAL BALUE.
  AN UNCIVIL ENGINEER.
  LOCOMONIAC POSSESSION.
  LE RAINCY: THE CHATEAU.
  CATHEDRAL OF MEAUX.
  BOURSAULT, THE RESIDENCE OF CLIQUOT.
  CHURCH-DOOR, ÉPERNAY.
  THE BEGGAR WHO DRANK CHAMPAGNE.
  ADMIRATION.
  MAC MEURTRIER.
  THE BLACK DOMINO.
  TAM O'SHANTER'S RIDE.
  THE CROOKED MAN.
  THE GRAVITY ROAD.
  THE ANIMATED CELLS.
  THE TRAVELER'S REST.
  PALACE AT STRASBURG.
  THE MANDARIN CHING'S CART.
  HALT OF THE CARAVAN AT HO-CHI-WOU.
  AVENUE OF ANIMALS LEADING TO THE TOMBS OF THE EMPERORS.
  PORTICO TO THE TOMBS OF THE EMPERORS.
  THE GREAT WALL: THE NANG-KAO PASS.
  CHAPEL OF THE SUMMER PALACE.
  VALLEY AND BEEHIVES.
  COWS COMING DOWN THE HILLSIDE BY A MOUNTAIN STREAM.
  A PROCESSION.



THE NEW HYPERION.

FROM PARIS TO MARLY BY WAY OF THE RHINE.

III.--THE FEAST OF SAINT ATHANASIUS.


[Illustration: THE PAULISTS.]


As I parted from my stout old friend Joliet, I saw him turn to empty
the last half of our bottle into the glasses of a couple of tired
soldiers who were sucking their pipes on a bench. And again the old
proverb of Aretino came into my head: "Truly all courtesy and good
manners come from taverns." I grasped my botany-box and pursued my
promenade toward Noisy.

The village of Noisy has made (without a pun) some noise in history.
One of its ancient lords, Enguerrand de Marigny, was the inventor
of the famous gibbet of Montfauçon, and in the poetic justice which
should ever govern such cases he came to be hung on his own gallows.
He was convicted of manifold extortions, and launched by the common
executioner into that eternity whither he could carry none of his
ill-gotten gains with him. Here, at least, we succeed in meeting a
guillotine which catches its maker. By a singular coincidence another
lord of Noisy, Cardinal Balue, underwent a long detention in an
iron-barred cage--one of those famous cages, so much favored by Louis
XI., of which the cardinal, as we learn from the records of the time,
had the patent-right for invention, or at least improvement. Once
firmly engaged in his own torture--while his friend Haraucourt, bishop
of Verdun, experienced alike penalty in a similar box, and the foxy
old king paced his narrow oratory in the Bastile tower overhead--we
may be sure that Balue gave his inventive mind no more to the task of
fortifying his cages, but rather to that of opening them.

[Illustration: THE REWARD OF AN INVENTOR.]

These ugly reminiscences were not so much the cause of a prejudice I
took against Noisy, as caused by it. At Noisy I was in the full domain
of my ancient foe the railway, where two lines of the Eastern road
separate--the Ligne de Meaux and the Ligne de Mulhouse. The sight of
the unhappy second-class passengers powdered with dust, and of the
frantic nurses who had mistaken their line, and who madly endeavored
to leap across to the other train, stirred all my bile. It was on
this current of thought that the nobleman who had been hung and the
cardinal who had pined in a cage were borne upon my memory. "Small
choice," said I, "whether the bars are perpendicular or horizontal.
You lose your independence about equally by either monopoly."

[Illustration: CARDINAL BALUE.]

I crossed the Canal de l'Ourcq, and watched it stretching like a steel
tape to meet the Canal Saint--Denis and the Canal Saint-Martin in the
great basin at La Villette--a construction which, finished in 1809,
was the making of La Villette as a commercial and industrial entrepôt.
I meant to walk to Bondy, and after a botanic stroll in its beautiful
forest to retrace my steps, gaining Marly next day by Baubigny,
Aubervilliers and Nanterre. "The Aladdins of our time," I said as I
leaned over the soft gray water, "are the engineers. They rub their
theodolites, and there springs up, not a palace, but a town."

[Illustration: AN UNCIVIL ENGINEER.]

"Who speaks of engineers?" said a strong baritone voice as a weighty
hand fell on my shoulder. "Are you here to take the train at Noisy?"

"Let the train go to Jericho! I am trying, on the contrary, to get
away from it."

"Do you mean, then, to go on foot to Épernay?"

"What do you mean, Épernay?"

"Why, have you forgotten the feast of Saint Athanasius?"

"What do you mean, Athanasius?"

The baritone belonged to one of my friends, an engineer from Boston.
He had an American commission to inspect the canals of Europe on the
part of a company formed to buy out the Sound line of steamers and
dig a ship-canal from Boston to Providence. The engineer had made
his inspection the excuse for a few years of not disagreeable travel,
during which time the company had exploded, its chief financier having
cut his throat when his peculations came out to the public.

[Illustration: LOCOMONIAC POSSESSION.]

"Are you trying, then, to escape from one of your greatest possible
duties and one of your greatest possible pleasures? You have the
remarkable fortune to possess a friend named Athanasius; you have in
addition, the strange fate to be his godfather by secondary baptism;
and you would, after these unparalleled chances, be the sole renegade
from the vow which you have extracted from the others."

The words were uncivil and rude, the hand was on my shoulder like
a vise; but there floated into my head a recollection of one of the
pleasantest evenings I have ever enjoyed.

We were dining with James Grandstone, one of my young friends. I have
some friends of whom I might be the father, and doubt not I could find
a support for my practice in Sir Thomas Browne or Jeremy Taylor if I
had time to look up the quotation. We dined in the little restaurant
Ober, near the Odéon, with a small party of medical students, to which
order Grandstone's friends mostly belonged. We were all young that
night; and truly I hold that the affectionate confusion of two or
three different generations adds a charm to friendship.

[Illustration: LE RAINCY: THE CHATEAU.]

At dessert the conversation happened to strike upon Christian names.
I attacked the cognomens in ordinary use, maintaining that their
historic significance was lost, their religious sentiment forgotten,
their euphony mostly questionable. Alfred, Henry and William no longer
carried the thoughts back to the English kings--Joseph and Reuben were
powerless to remind us of the mighty family of Israel.

"I have no complaint to make of my own name," I protested, "which
has been praised by Dannecker the sculptor. That was at Würtemberg,
gentlemen. 'You are from America,' the old man said to me, 'but you
have a German name: Paul Flemming was one of our old poets.' The
thought has been a pleasant one to me, though I have not the faintest
idea what my ancient godparent wrote. But in the matter of originality
my Christian name of Paul certainly leaves much to desire."

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF MEAUX.]

I was gay enough that evening, and in the vein for a paradox. I set
up the various Pauls of our acquaintance, and maintained that in any
company of fifty persons, if a feminine voice were to call out "Paul!"
through the doorway, six husbands at least would start and say,
"Coming, dear!" I computed the Pauls belonging to one of the grand
nations, and proved that an army recruited from them would be large
enough to carry on a war against a power of the second order.

"If the Jameses were to reinforce the Pauls," I declared, looking
toward my young host, "Russia itself would tremble.--Are you to make
your start in life with no better name?" I asked him maliciously.
"Must you be for ever kept in mediocrity by an address that is not
the designation of an individual, but of a whole nation? Could you not
have been called by something rather less oecumenical?"

"You may style me by what title you please, Mr. Flemming," said
Grandstone nonchalantly. "I am to enter a great New York wine-house
after a little examination of the grape-country here. Doubtless a
Grandstone will have, by any other name, a bouquet as sweet."

The idea took. An almanac of saints' days, which is often printed in
combination with the _menu_ of a restaurant, was lying on the table.
Beginning at the letter A, the name of Ambrose was within an ace of
being chosen, but Grandstone protested against it as too short,
and Athanasius was the first of five syllables that presented. Our
engineering friend, who was present, had in his pocket a vial of
water from the Dardanelles, which fouls ships' bottoms; and with that
classic liquid the baptism was effected by myself, the bottle being
broken on poor Grandstone's crown as on the prow of a ship.

"You are no longer James to us, but Athanasius," I said. "If you
remain moderately virtuous, we will canonize you. Meantime, let us
vow to meet on the next canonical day of Saint Athanasius and hold a
love-feast."

We drank his health, and glorified him, and laughed, and the next day
I forgot whether Grandstone was called Athanasius or Epaminondas. And
my confusion on the subject had not clarified in the least up to the
rude reminder given by my engineer.

"I had quite forgotten my engagement," I confessed. "Besides,
Grandstone is living now, as you remind me, at Épernay--that is to
say, at seventy or eighty miles' distance."

"Say three hours," he retorted: "on a railway line we don't count by
miles. But are you really not here at Noisy to satisfy your promise
and report yourself for the feast of Saint Athanasius? If you are not
bound for Épernay, where _are_ you bound?"

"I am off for Marly."

"You are going in just the contrary direction, old fellow. You can be
at Épernay sooner."

"And Hohenfels joins me at Marly to-morrow," I continued, rather
helplessly; "and Josephine my cook is there this afternoon boiling the
mutton-hams."

"Fine arguments, truly! You shall sleep to-night in Paris, or even
at Marly, if you see fit. I have often heard you argue against
railroads--a fine argument for a geographer to uphold against an
engineer! Now is the instant to bury your prejudice. Do you see that
soft ringlet of smoke off yonder? It is the message of the locomotive,
offering to reconcile your engagements with Grandstone and Hohenfels.
Come, get your ticket!"

[Illustration: BOURSAULT, THE RESIDENCE OF CLIQUOT.]

And his hand ceased squeezing my shoulder like a pincer to beat it
like a mallet. A rapid sketch of the situation was mapped out in my
head. I could reach Épernay by five o'clock, returning at eight, and,
notwithstanding this little lasso flung over the champagne-country, I
could resume my promenade and modify in no respect my original plan;
and I could say to Hohenfels, "My boy, I have popped a few corks with
the widow Cliquot."

Such was my vision. The gnomes of the railway, having once got me in
their grasp, disposed of me as they liked, and quite unexpectedly.

From the car-window, as in a panorama of Banvard's, the landscape spun
out before my eyes. Le Raincy, which I had intended to visit at all
events on the same day, but afoot, offered me the roofs of its ancient
château, a pile built in the most pompous spirit of the Renaissance,
and whose alternately round and square pavilions, tipped with steep
mansards, I was fain to people with throngs of gay visitors in the
costume of the _grand siècle_. Then came the cathedral of Meaux,
before which I reverently took off my cap to salute the great
Bossuet--"Eagle of Meaux," as they justly called him, and on the
whole a noble bird, notwithstanding that he sang his Te Deum over some
exceedingly questionable battle-grounds. Then there presented itself
a monument at which my engineering friend clapped his hands. It was
a crown of buildings with extinguisher roofs encircling the brow of
a hill, and presenting the antique appearance of some chastel of the
Middle Ages.

[Illustration: CHURCH-DOOR, ÉPERNAY.]

"Do you see those round, pot-bellied towers, like tuns of wine stood
upon end?" he said--"those donjons at the corners, tapering at the
top, and presenting the very image of noble bottles? There needs
nothing but that palace to convince you that you have arrived in the
champagne region."

"I do not know the building," I confessed.

"Can you not guess? Ah, but you should see it in a summer storm, when
the rain foams and spirts down those huge bottles of mason-work, and
the thunder pops among the roofs like the corks of a whole basket of
champagne! That fine castle, Flemming, is the château of Boursault,
apparently built in the era of the Crusades, but really a marvel of
yesterday. It rose into being, not to the sound of a lyre, like the
towers of Troy, but at the bursting of innumerable bottles, causing to
resound all over the world the name of the widow Cliquot."

At length we entered the station of Épernay. There I received my first
shock in learning that the only return-train stopping at Noisy was one
which left at midnight, and would land me in the extreme suburbs of
Paris at three o'clock in the morning.

Our friend Grandstone, whom we found amazing the streets of Épernay
with a light American buggy drawn by a colossal Morman horse, received
us with still more surprise than delight. He had relapsed into plain
James, and had never dreamed that his second baptism would bear fruit.
Besides, he proved to us that we were in error as to the date. The
feast of Saint Athanasius, as he showed from a calendar shoved beneath
a quantity of vintners' cards on his study-table, fell on the second
of May, and could not be celebrated before the evening of the first.
It was now the thirtieth of April. He invited us, then, for the next
day at dinner, warning us at the same time that the evening of that
same morrow would see him on his way to the Falls of Schaffhausen.
This idea of dining with an absentee puzzled me.

[Illustration: THE BEGGAR WHO DRANK CHAMPAGNE.]

We both laughed heartily at the engineer's mistake of twenty-four
hours, and he for his part made me his excuses.

Athanasius--whose name I obstinately keep, because it gives him, as
I maintain, a more distinct individuality,--Athanasius happened to
be driving out for the purpose of collecting some friends whom he was
about to accompany to Schaffhausen, and whom he had invited to dinner.
He contrived to stow away two in his buggy, and the rest assembled in
his chambers. We dined gayly and voraciously, and I hardly regretted
even that old hotel-dinner at Interlaken, when the landlord waited on
us in his green coat, and when Mary Ashburton was by my side, and
when I praised hotel-dinners because one can say so much there without
being overheard.

Dinner over, we went out for a stroll through the town. The city of
Épernay offers little remarkable except its Rue du Commerce, flanked
with enormous buildings, and its church, conspicuous only for
a flourishing portal in the style of Louis XIV., in perfect
contradiction to the general architecture of the old sanctuary. The
environs were little note worthy at the season, for a vineyard-land
has this peculiarity--its veritable spring, its pride of May, arrives
in the autumn.

[Illustration: ADMIRATION.]

One very vinous trait we found, however, in the person of a beggar. He
was sitting on Grandstone's steps as we emerged. Aged hardly fourteen,
he had turned his young nose toward the rich fumes coming up from the
kitchen with a look of sensuality and indulgence that amused me. The
maid, on a hint of mine, gave him a biscuit and the remainders of
our bottles emptied into a bowl. A smile of extreme breadth and
intelligence spread over his face. Opening his bag, he laid by the
biscuit, and extracted a morsel of iced cake: at the same time he
produced an old-fashioned, long-waisted champagne-glass, nicked at the
rim and quite without a stand. Filling this from his bowl, he drank to
the health of the waitress with the easiest politeness it was ever my
lot to see. Ragged as a beggar of Murillo's, courteous as a hidalgo
by Velasquez, he added a grace and an epicurism completely French.
I thought him the best possible figure-head for that opulent spot,
cradle of the hilarity of the world. I gave him five francs.

[Illustration: MAC MEURTRIER.]

We proceeded to admire the town. The great curiosities of Épernay,
its glory and pomp, are not permitted to see the daylight. They
are subterranean and introverted. They are the cellars. Those rich
colonnades of Commerce street, all those porticoes surmounted with
Greek or Roman triangles in the nature of pediments, of what antique
religion are they the representations? They are cellar-doors.

[Illustration: THE BLACK DOMINO.]

It was impossible to quit the city without visiting its cellars, said
Grandstone, and we betook ourselves under his guidance to one of the
most renowned.

I only thought of seeing a battle-field of bottles, but I found the
Eleusinian mysteries.

[Illustration: TAM O'SHANTER'S RIDE.]

In the temple-porch of Eleusis was fixed a large pale face, in the
middle parts of which a red nose was glowing like a fuse. Several
other personages, in company with this visage, received us on our
approach with a world of solemn and terrifying signals.

Directly a man in a cloak and slouched hat, and holding in his hands
a wire fencing-mask, extinguished with it the red nose. The latter
met his fate with stolid fortitude. All were perfectly still, but the
twitching cheeks of most of the spectators betrayed a laugh retained
with difficulty. The cloak then advanced, like a less beautiful Norma,
to a bell in the portico, and struck three tragical strokes. A strong,
pealing bass voice came from the interior: "Who dares knock at this
door?"

"A night-bird," said the man in the cloak, who took the part of
spokesman. "What has the night-bird to do with the eagle?" replied the
strong voice. "What can there be in common between the heathen in
his blindness and the Ancient of the Mountain throned in power and
splendor?"

"Grand Master, it is in that splendor the new-comer wishes to plunge."
After this imitation of some Masonic mystery the red-nosed man was
quickly taken by the shoulders and hurtled in at the door, where a
flare of red theatrical fire illuminated his sudden plunge.

"What nonsense is this?" I said to Athanasius.

"The man in the iron mask," he explained, "is in that respect what we
shall all be in a minute. Without such a protector, in passing amongst
the first year's bottles we might receive a few hits in the face."

"And do you know the new apprentice?"

"No: some stranger, evidently."

[Illustration: THE CROOKED MAN.]

"It is not hard to guess his extraction," said one of our
dinner-party. "In the East there are sorcerers with two pupils in each
eye. For his part, he seems to be braced with two pans in each
knee. He is long in the stilts like a heron, square--headed and
square-shouldered: I give you my word he is a Scotchman. For certain,"
he added, "I have seen his likeness somewhere--Ah yes, in an engraving
of Hogarth's!"

The author of this charitable criticism was a little crooked
gentleman, at whose side I had dined--a man of sharpness and wit, for
which his hunch gave him the authority. As we penetrated finally into
the immense crypt, long like a street, provided with iron railways
for handling the stores, and threaded now and then by heavy wagons and
Normandy horses, my interest in the surrounding wonders was distracted
by apprehensions of the fate awaiting the unfortunate red nose.

[Illustration: THE GRAVITY ROAD]

The gallop of a steed was heard at length, then a dreadful exploding
noise. I should have thought that a hundred drummers were marching
through the catacombs.

Relieved of his mask, fixed like a dry forked stick, wrong side
foremost, on a frightened steed which galloped down the avenue, and
pursued by the racket of empty bottles beaten against the wine-frames,
came the Scotchman, like an unwilling Tam O'Shanter. At a new outburst
of resonant noises, which we could not help offering to the general
confusion, the horse stopped, and assumed twice or thrice the attitude
of a gymnast who walks on his hands. The figure of the man, still
rigid, flew up into the air like a stick that pops out of the water.
The Terrible Brothers received him in their arms.

Hardly restored to equilibrium, the patient was quickly replaced in
the saddle, but the saddle was this time girded upon a barrel, and the
barrel placed upon a truck, and the truck upon an inclined tramway.
His impassive countenance might be seen to kindle with indignation and
horror, as the hat which had been jammed over his eyes flew off,
and he found himself gliding over an iron road at a rate of speed
continually increasing.

He was fated to other tests, but at this point a little discussion
arose among ourselves. Grandstone, his fluffy young whiskers
quite disheveled with laughter, said, "Fellows, we had better stop
somewhere. There will be more of this, and it will be tedious to see
in the rôle of uninvited spectators, and it is not certain we are
wanted. I always knew there was a Society of Pure Illumination at
Épernay. It is not a Masonic order, but it has its signs, its passes,
its grips, and in a word its secret. I have recognized among
these gentlemen some active members of the order--among others,
notwithstanding his disguise, a jolly good fellow we have here,
Fortnoye."

"You cannot have seen Fortnoye," said one of the party: "he is at
Paris."

"And who is your Fortnoye, pray?" I asked.

"The best tenor voice in Épernay; but his presence here does not give
_me_ an invitation, you see. The Society of Pure Illumination has
its rites and mysteries more important than everybody supposes,
and probably complicated with board-of-trade secrets among the
wine-merchants. We have hit upon a bad time. Let us go and visit
another cellar."

There was opposition to this measure: different opinions were
expressed, and I was chosen for moderator.

"My dear boys," I said, "as the grayest among you I may be presumed to
be the wisest. But I do not feel myself to be myself. I have received
to-day a succession of unaccustomed influences. I have been dragged
about by an impertinent locomotive; I have been induced to dine
heavily; I have absorbed champagne, perhaps to the limit of my
measure. These are not my ordinary ways: I am naturally thoughtful,
studious and pensive. The Past, gentlemen, is for me an unfaded
morning-glory, whose closed cup I can coax open at pleasure, and read
within its tube legends written in dusted gold. But the Present to the
true philosopher is also--In fact, I never was so much amused in my
life. I am dying to see what they will do with that Scotchman."

[Illustration: THE ANIMATED CELLS]

Athanasius submitted. At the end of one of the cross galleries we
could already see a flickering glimmer of torches. There, evidently,
was held the council. We stole on tiptoe in that direction, and
ensconced ourselves behind a long file of empty bottle-shelves, worn
out after long service and leaning against a wall.

Through the holes which had fixed the bottles in position we could see
everything without being discovered. The grand dignitaries, sitting
in a semicircle, were about to proceed from physical to moral tests.
Before them, his red nose hanging like a cameo from the white bandage
which covered his eyes, and relieved upon his face, still perfectly
white and calm, stood the Scot. The Grand Master arose--I should have
said the Reverend--his head nodding with senility, his beard white as
a waterfall: he appeared to be eighty years of age at least. He was
truly venerable to look at, and reminded me of Thor. He wore a sort of
dalmatica embroidered with gold. Calmness and goodness were so plainly
marked on the aspect of this worthy that I felt ashamed of playing
the spy, and felt inclined to return humbly to the good counsel of
Athanasius, when the latter, pushing my elbow behind the shelves,
said, referring to the Ancient of the Mountain, "That's Fortnoye: I
knew I couldn't be mistaken."

I was greatly mystified at discovering the first tenor voice of
Épernay in an aged man; but the catechism now commencing, I thought
only of listening.

"The barleycorns of your native North having been partially cleaned
out of your hair by contact with the two enchanted steeds--the steed
you bridled without a head, and the steed that ran away with you
without legs," said the Ancient--"we have brought you hither for
examination. We might have gone much farther with the physical tests:
we might have forced you, at the present session, to relieve yourself
of those envelopes considered indispensable by all Europeans beneath
your own latitude, and in our presence perform the sword-dance."

"So be it," said the disciple, executing a galvanic figure with his
legs, his countenance still like marble.

"If we demanded the head of your best friend, would you bring it in?"

"I am the countryman of Lady Macbeth," replied the red nose. "Give me
the daggers."

"We would fain dispense with that proof, necessarily painful to a man
of such evident sensibility as yours." The red nose bowed. "What is
your name?"

He pronounced it--apparently MacMurtagh.

"In future, among us, you are named Meurtrier."

"MacMeurtrier," muttered the Scotchman in a tone of abstraction.

"No! Meurtrier unadulterated. Your business?"

"I am a homoeopathic doctor."

"Are you a believer in homoeopathy? Be careful: remember that the
Ancient of the Mountain hears what you say."

The Scot held up his hand: "I believe in the learned Hahnemann, and
in Mrs. Hahnemann, no less learned than himself; but," he added,
"homoeopathy is a science still in its baby-clothes. I have invented
a system perfectly novel. In mingling homoeopathy with vegetable
magnetism the most encouraging results are obtained, as may be
observed daily in the villa of Dr. Van Murtagh, near Edinburgh--"

"Enough!" cried the Ancient: "circulars are not allowed here. Forget
nothing, Meurtrier! And how were you inspired with the pious ambition
of becoming our brother?"

"At the hotel table: it was the young clerks from the wine-houses.
I mentioned that I wished to be a Free Mason, and the lodge of
Épernay--"

"Silence! The words you use, _lodge_ and _Free Mason_, are most
improper in this temple, which is that of the Pure Illumination, and
nothing less. Will you remember, Meurtrier?"

"MacMeurtrier," muttered the novice again. The last proofs were now
tried upon him, called the "five senses." For that of hearing he was
made to listen to a jewsharp, which he calmly proclaimed to be the
bagpipe; for that of touch, he was made to feel by turns a live fish,
a hot iron and a little stuffed hedgehog. The last he took for a pack
of toothpicks, and announced gravely, "It sticks me." The laughs broke
out from all sides, even from behind the bottle-shelves.

Alas! on this occasion the laugh was not altogether on my side of that
fatal honeycomb!

[Illustration: THE TRAVELER'S REST.]

They had made him swallow, in a glass, some fearful mixture or other,
and he had imperturbably declared that it was in his opinion the
wine of Moët: after this evidence of taste the proof of sight was to
follow, and the semicircle of purple faces was quite blackening with
bottled laughter, when Grandstone touched me on the shoulder. My hour
for departure was come, and I had not a minute to spare.

[Illustration: PALACE AT STRASBURG.]

Apparently, the last test of the red nose resulted in a triumph: as
we were effecting our covert and hasty retreat we heard all the voices
exclaim in concert, "It is the Pure Illumination!"

Gay as we were on entering the great wine-cellar, we were perfectly
Olympian when we came out. The crypts of these vast establishments,
where a soft inspiration perpetually floats upward from the wine in
store, often receive a visitor as a Diogenes and dismiss him as an
Anacreon.

Our consumption of wine at dinner had been, like Mr. Poe's
conversation with his soul, "serious and sober." In the cellar no drop
had passed our mouths. I was alert as a lark when I entered: I came
out in a species of voluptuous dream.

All the band conducted me to the railway-station, and I was very much
touched with the attention. It was who should carry my botany-box, who
should set my cap straight, who should give me the most precise and
statistical information about the train which returned to Paris, with
a stop at Noisy; the while, Ophelia-like, I chanted snatches of old
songs, and mingled together in a tender reverie my recollections
of Mary Ashburton, my coming Book and my theories of Progressive
Geography.

"Take this shawl: the night will be chilly before you get to the
city."

"Don't let them carry you beyond Noisy."

"Come back to Épernay every May-day: never forget the feast of Saint
Athanasius."

"Be sure you get into the right train: here is the car. Come, man,
bundle up! they are closing the barrier."

I was perfectly melted by so much sympathy. "Adieu," I said, "my dear
champanions--"

I turned into an excellent car, first class, and fell asleep directly.

Next day I awoke--at Strasburg! The convivials of the evening before,
making for the Falls of Schaffhausen on the Rhine, had traveled beside
me in the adjoining car.

My friends, uncertain how their practical joke would be received,
clustered around me.

"Ah, boys," I said, "I have too many griefs imprisoned in this aching
bosom to be much put out by the ordinary 'Horrid Hoax.' But you have
compromised my reputation. I promised to meet Hohenfels at Marly:
children, bankruptcy stares me in the face."

Grandstone had the grace to be a little embarrassed: "You wished to
dine with me at the Feast of Saint Athanasius, but you mistook the
day. Your engineer is the true culprit, for he voluntarily deceived
you. The fact is, my dear Flemming, we have concocted a little
conspiracy. You are a good fellow, a joyful spirit in fact, when you
are not in your _lubies_ about the Past and the Future. We wanted
you, we conspired; and, Catiline having stolen you at Noisy, Cethigus
tucked you into a car with the intention of making use of you at
Schaffhausen."

"Never! I have the strongest vows that ever man uttered not to
revisit the Rhine. It is an affair of early youth, a solemn promise, a
consecration. You have got me at Strasburg, but you will not carry me
to Schaffhausen."

He was so contrite that I had to console him. Letting him know that no
great harm was done, I saw him depart with his friends for Bâle. For
my part, I remained with the engineer, whose professional duties, such
as they were, kept him for a short time in the capital of Alsace. In
his turn, however, the latter took leave of me: we were to meet each
other shortly.

It was seven in the morning. This time, to be sure of my enemy the
railroad, I procured a printed Guide. But the Guide was a sorry
counselor for my impatience. The first train, an express, had left:
the next, an accommodation, would start at a quarter to one. I had
five hours and three-quarters to spare.

One of the greatest pleasures in life, according to my poor opinion,
is to have a recreation forced on one. Some cherub, perhaps, cleared
the cobwebs away from my brain that morning; but, however it might be,
I was glad of everything. I was glad the "champanions" were departed,
glad I had a stolen morning in Strasburg, glad that Hohenfels and my
domestics would be uneasy for me at Marly.

In such a mood I applied myself to extract the profit out of my
detention in the city.

EDWARD STRAHAN.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



TWO MOODS.


  All yesterday you were so near to me,
    It seemed as if I hardly moved or spoke
  But your heart moved with mine. I woke
    To a new life that found you everywhere,
  As if your love was as some wide-girt sea,
    Or as the sunlit air;
  And so encompassed me,
    Whether I thought or not, it could not but be there.

  To-day your words approve me, and your heart
    Is mine as ever, yet that heavenly sense
    Of oneness that made every hour intense
    With Love's full perfectness, is gone from thence;
  And, though our hands are clasped, our souls are two,
  And in my thoughts I say, "This is myself--this you!"

MARY STEWART DOUBLEDAY.



THE RIDE OF PRINCE GERAINT.

The Ride of Prince Geraint.


    And Prince Geraint, now thinking that he heard
    The noble hart at bay, now the far horn,
    A little vext at losing of the hunt,
    A little at the vile occasion, rode
    By ups and downs through many a glassy glade
    And valley, with fixt eye following the three.

                                           _Enid_.

  Through forest paths his charger strode,
  His heron plume behind him flowed,
  Blood-red the west with sunset glowed,
  Far down the river golden flowed,
    And in the woods the winds were still:
  No helm had he, nor lance in rest;
  His knightly beard flowed down his breast;
  In silken costume gayly drest,
  Out from the glory of the west
    He flashed adown the purple hill.

  His sword hung tasseled at his side,
  His purple scarf was floating wide,
  And all his raiment many-dyed,
  As if he came to seek a bride,
    And not the combat that he sought;
  Yet rode he like a prince, and one
  Native to noble deeds alone,
  Who many a valiant tilt had run,
  And many a prize of tourney won
    In Arthur's lists at Camelot.

  Cool grasses and green mosses made
  Soft carpet for his charger's tread,
  As 'neath the oak boughs dark o'erhead,
  By belts of pasture scant of shade,
    Into the Castle Town he rode:
  He heard, as things are heard in dreams,
  The sound of far-off falling streams,
  The shriller bird-choir's evening hymns:
  He saw but only helmet-gleams,
    The smith that smote, the fire that glowed,

  The sheen of lances, and the cloud
  From many a field-forge fire, the crowd
  Of gay-clad squires, and, neighing loud,
  The war-horse with rich trappings proud,
    That arched his neck and pawed the ground;
  Old armorers grave and stern in stall,
  Where low-crowned morions, helmets tall,
  Shone gilt and burnished on the wall;
  And, shining brighter than them all,
    The eyes of maidens sun-embrowned.

MARTIN I. GRIFFIN.



SKETCHES OF EASTERN TRAVEL.


I.--THE COUNT DE BEAUVOIR IN CHINA.


Within the last twenty years the East has opened wide its gates, and
China, Japan and India are as anxious to become acquainted with
the later but more fully developed civilizations of Europe and this
country as we are to examine their social, political and industrial
systems. We have had accounts from English, American, German and
French travelers in the East, each tinged, in a measure, with the
national spirit of their respective countries. In the case of the
traveler, as of the astronomer, a certain allowance, known as the
personal equation, has to be made in receiving the accounts of his
observations.

[Illustration: THE MANDARIN CHING'S CART.]

The journey round the world made by the count de Beauvoir in company
with the duke de Penthièvre, son of the prince de Joinville, is
entitled to especial notice, as the attentions shown to the travelers
by the Chinese and Japanese authorities enabled them to obtain the
best conditions for investigating various matters of interest.

On landing at Shanghai their hearts were gladdened by seeing "on the
quay a French custom-house official, with his kepi over his ear, his
rattan in his hand, dressed in a dark-green tunic, and full of
the inquisitiveness of the customs inspector--as martial and as
authoritative as in his native land." The appearance of the population
here struck our travelers as different from that of the native Chinese
farther south. Those were yellow, copper-colored, lean, and slightly
clad in garments of cotton cloth; these were rosy as children and fat
as pigs: they were besides wrapped up in four or five pelisses, worn
one over the other, lined with sheepskins, so that a single man smelt
like a whole flock of sheep. Their style of dress was this: half a
dozen waistcoats without sleeves, covered with a single overcoat with
extremely long sleeves, falling down to their knees. These garments
made them resemble balls of wool rather than men.

By accident, the party passed first through the quarter of the town
devoted to the restaurants. Here they were for every grade of fortune,
from the millionaire to the ragged poor. The street filled with these
latter was terrible: it swarmed with thousands of beggars, hardly
human in form and almost naked, though there was frozen snow upon the
ground. A group, seeming even joyous, attracted attention. The cause
of their happiness was a dead dog which they had found in one of the
gutters. Even, however, in this degradation the politeness of these
people struck our Frenchmen forcibly. The guests gathered about this
fortuitous repast treated each other with a ceremonious deference
strange enough in such surroundings. In a still lower stratum,
however, among even a more degraded class, whose feasts were
obtained from the live preserves carried upon their own persons, this
politeness, the last quality a Chinaman loses from the degradation of
poverty, was wanting.

A few miles from Shanghai lies Zi-Ka-Wai, a colony founded by the
Jesuits, of which our traveler gives a most interesting account. The
road to Zi-Ka-Wai lay over a sandy plain intersected with canals.
On both sides of the road were hundreds of coffins resting upon the
surface of the ground. In the northern part of China there are no
grave-yards, and the coffins were arranged sometimes in piles in the
fields. It is said that they thus remain until a change takes place
in the reigning dynasty, when they are all destroyed. As the present
dynasty has reigned about three hundred years, the accumulation may be
imagined. This traditional respect for the inviolability of the dead
is one of the chief obstacles in the way of the introduction of the
telegraph and railroad in China. A commercial house in Shanghai had
built a telegraph to Wo-Soung to announce the arrival of the mail, but
in a few days the wire was cut in more than five hundred places--at
all the points where its shadow from the rising sun fell upon the
coffins lying on the ground.

At Zi-Ka-Wai the Jesuits have an educational institution, and, dressed
in the Chinese costume, smoking the long native pipes, received their
visitors with great cordiality. Their pupils are divided into three
classes. The first consists of the children of the neighboring towns
who have been deserted by their parents and left to die of hunger.
The majority of them are lepers, and have been more or less perfectly
cured by the Fathers. When brought to the institution they are
thoroughly cleaned, being rubbed with pumice stone. They receive an
industrial as well as a literary education. In one building they
are taught to read and write, and in another are the schools for
shoemaking, carpentering, printing and other manual arts; so that,
being received at the age of five or six, at twenty to twenty-one they
are launched upon the world with an education and a trade.

There are about four hundred children in this class, and the activity,
the order and organization of the workshops, and the exquisite
cleanliness of the surroundings, are delightful to see. Near at hand
is a school of a higher grade, to which the most promising pupils
are transferred for the study of Chinese literature. The system of
teaching here is peculiar: all the pupils are required to study aloud,
and the din is in consequence deafening and incessant. Then there is
the highest class, consisting of about two hundred and fifty youths,
the sons of rich mandarins, who pay heavily for their instruction.
These are destined to become rhetoricians, and, step by step,
bachelors, licentiates, doctors, then mandarins and members of the
governing class of the Middle Kingdom. The studies are Chinese, and
the Fathers have with wonderful patience learned not only the Chinese
language, as well as its written characters, but also the nice
critical points of its idioms, so as to be able to teach with
authority the poetry and legends and the commentaries upon the
writings of Confucius. This they have done for the purpose of having
an opportunity to convert the orphans they have adopted, and thus
by degrees introduce into the government an element which will be
essentially Christian. Thus far, the profession of Christianity is
not essentially incompatible with the office of mandarin, though it
is impossible to hold this position without performing some idolatrous
rites.

[Illustration: HALT OF THE CARAVAN AT HO-CHI-WOU.]

On the 13th of March the ice was sufficiently broken to open the
navigation of the Pei-Ho, and the party started upon the steamer
Sze-Chuen for Tien-Tsin and Pekin. They were joined by an English
commissioner of the Chinese custom-house, whose position as a high
functionary of the Celestial government, together with his knowledge
of Chinese, proved of great service. The trip to Pekin was brought to
a sudden temporary close by the Sze-Chuen running aground on the bar
of the Pei-Ho, where she remained nearly two days, but was finally got
off after the removal of a part of her cargo.

The navigation of the Pei-Ho is difficult on account of the narrowness
of the stream and its exceedingly sinuous course. Frequently the
steamer had to be towed by a line passed on shore and fastened round
a tree. At Tien-Tsin the travelers landed, and witnessed a review of
some imperial cavalry regiments mounted upon Tartar ponies, with high
saddles and short stirrups. The warriors wore queues and were dressed
in long robes. Their moustaches gave them, however, a fierce martial
air, and they were armed with English sabres and American revolvers.

Tien-Tsin ("Heaven's Ford") is a city of about four hundred thousand
inhabitants, and lies at the junction of the Imperial Canal with the
Pei-Ho. The country from here to Pekin, about three days' journey by
land, is sandy, and the trip is made a very disagreeable one by the
clouds of dust, which blind the traveler and effectually prevent any
examination of the country passed through.

The cavalcade comprised seven of the native carts, each drawn by two
mules. Their construction may be thus described: A sort of barrow made
of blue cloth hangs like a box upon an axletree about a yard long,
furnished with two clumsy wheels. It is impossible to lie down in
them, because they are too short, nor can a bench to sit on be placed
in them, because they are too low. As a compensation, however, they
are so light that they can go anywhere. The driver sits on the left
shaft, where he is conveniently placed for leaping down to beat the
mules. These are harnessed, one in the shafts and the other in front,
with long traces tied upon the axletree near the left wheel. As they
are guided only by the voice, the course of the cart depends chiefly
upon the fancy they may take for following or neglecting the road;
while from the manner in which they are harnessed their draught is
always sideways, and they therefore trot obliquely.

At Yang-Soun the party was joined by a mandarin with a crystal button,
sent by the governor of the province of Tien-Tsin, Tchoung-Hao, with
a profusion of passports and safe-conducts. During the rest of the
journey this mandarin, Ching, led the way in his cart drawn by a fine
black mule, and on arriving at the villages on the route displayed
his function, as a man of letters, by putting on an immense pair of
spectacles, the glasses of which were about three inches in diameter.
At Ho-Chi-Wou the procession halted during the middle of the day,
and was photographed by one of its members. The curious crowd of
spectators which gathered in every village to inspect the "foreign
devils" scattered when the camera was posed, and for a few moments our
travelers were freed from their intrusiveness.

[Illustration: AVENUE OF ANIMALS LEADING TO THE TOMBS OF THE
EMPERORS.]

Starting next morning at daylight, at three in the afternoon the party
entered Pekin. The relief was great to leave the sandy, dusty road for
one of the paved ways which radiate from the city. The first sight of
the city struck the travelers as the most grandiose spectacle of the
Celestial Empire. In front rose a high tower, with a five-storied roof
of green tiles, pierced with five rows of large portholes, from which
grinned the mouths of cannon; while to the right and left, as far as
could be seen, stretched the gigantic wall surrounding the city, built
partly of granite and partly of large gray bricks, with salients,
battlements and loopholes, wearing a decidedly martial air. This
impression was somewhat modified, however, by the discovery that the
grinning cannons were made of wood. The entrance was under a vaulted
archway, through which streamed a converging crowd of Chinese,
Mongols, Tartars, with their various costumes, together with blue
carts, files of mules and caravans of heavily-loaded camels.

Pekin was built by Kublai-Khan about 1282, near the site of an
important city which dated from the Chow dynasty, or some centuries
before the Christian era. The city covers an enclosed space about
twenty miles in circumference. It is rectangular in form, and divided
into two parts, the Chinese and the Tartar cities. The walls of the
Tartar city are the largest and widest, being forty to fifty feet
high, and, tapering slightly from the base, about forty feet wide at
the top. They are constructed upon a solid foundation of stone masonry
resting upon concrete, while the walls themselves are built of a solid
core of earth, faced with massive brick: the top is paved with tiles,
and defended by a crenelated parapet. Bastions, some of which are
fifty feet square, are built upon the outside at distances of about
one hundred feet. There are sixteen gates, seven of which are in the
Chinese town, six in the Tartar town, and three in the partition wall
between these two. In the centre of the Tartar city is an enclosure,
also walled, called the Imperial City, and within this another,
called the Forbidden City, which contains the imperial palaces and
pleasure-grounds. Broad straight avenues, crossing each other at right
angles, run through the whole city, which in this respect is very
unlike other Chinese towns. A stream entering the Tartar city near its
north-west corner divides into two branches, which enter the Imperial
City and surround the Forbidden City, and then uniting again pass
through the Tartar and Chinese towns, to empty in the Tung-Chau Canal.

The foreign legations are in the southern part of the Tartar city,
on the banks of this stream. The top of the walls forms the favorite
promenade of the foreign settlers, and from here a fine view of the
whole city is obtained. M. de Beauvoir, however, from his more minute
examination, comes to the following conclusions: "This immense city,
in which nothing is repaired, and in which it is forbidden under the
severest penalties to demolish anything, is slowly disintegrating,
and every day changing itself into dust. The sight of this slow
decomposition is sad, since it promises death more certainly than the
most violent convulsions. In a century Pekin will exist no longer; it
must then be abandoned: in two centuries it will be discovered, like a
second Pompeii, buried under its own dust."

The gates of Virtuous Victory and of Great Purity, the temples to
the Heavens, to Agriculture, to the Spirit of the Winds and of
the Thunder, and to the Brilliant Mirror of the Mind, occupied the
attention of the party. They saw the gilded plough and the sacred
harrow with which the emperor yearly traces a furrow to obtain divine
favor for the crops, as well as the yellow straw hat he wears during
this ceremony; and also the vases made of iron wire in which he every
six months burns the sentences of those who have been condemned to
death in the empire. They visited also the magnificent observatory
built by Father Verbiest, a Jesuit, for the emperor You-Ching, in the
seventeenth century. The instruments are of bronze, and mounted upon
fantastic dragons, and are still in good condition, though they
have been exposed to the open air all this time. One of them was a
celestial sphere eight feet in diameter, containing all the stars
known in 1650 and visible in Pekin.

[Illustration: PORTICO TO THE TOMBS OF THE EMPERORS.]

Visits to the theatres, to the temple of the Moon, that of the Lamas,
that of Confucius, and to others made the days spent in Pekin pass
quickly. Among the wonders shown was the largest suspended bell in the
world--the great bell of Moscow has never been hung--twenty-five feet
high, weighing ninety thousand pounds, and richly sculptured.

The private life of the Chinese it is almost impossible for a stranger
to take part in. To do so requires a knowledge of Chinese, which can
be gained only by years of assiduous study, and that the applicant
should, as far as possible in dress and general appearance, make
himself a Chinese. Even then, complete success is gained only by a
fortunate combination of circumstances. The streets devoted to
shops of all kinds afford, however, to the traveler a never-ending
succession of changing and interesting pictures. Yet the general
spirit of the Chinese leads them also to be sparing of all outward
decoration, reserving their forces for interior display. The
Forbidden City even, though marvelous stories are told of its
interior splendors, has outside a mean appearance. "A pagoda of the
thirty-sixth rank has more effect than the sacred dwelling of the Son
of Heaven."

In the military quarters, and in those inhabited by the nobility, the
party in their wanderings were struck with an expression of disdain
on the countenances of those natives whom they met. Elsewhere the
curiosity to see the foreigners was even greater than the Chinese
themselves ever excited in the capitals of Europe; but at home the
higher classes passed the foreigners without even turning to look at
them, or else glanced at them indifferently or disdainfully. Some of
the noble class walked, but generally they rode in carts similar to
that of the mandarin Ching. The higher the rank of the owner, the
farther behind are the wheels placed. With a prince's cart they are so
far behind that the rider hangs between them and the mule. Palanquins,
carried upon the shoulders of the porters, offer another and the most
convenient means of locomotion used in China: this method is, however,
forbidden except for princes and ministers of state.

In the busy streets of trade the scene is most animated. Thousands of
scarlet signs with gilded inscriptions hang from oblique poles raised
in front of the shops. Carts, palanquins, mules, camels, coolies,
soldiers and merchants throng the streets, while to add to the
confusion myriads of children play about your legs, and the old men
carrying their kites toward the walls add to the singularity of the
scene. The kites, representing dragons, eagles, etc., are managed
with a dexterity which comes only from a lifelong practice. They are
sometimes furnished with various aeolian attachments which imitate
the songs of birds or the voices of men. The pigeons also in Pekin are
frequently provided with a very light kind of aeolian harp, which is
secured tightly to the two central feathers of their tails, so that
in flying through the air the harps sound harmoniously. This curious,
indistinct note had excited the count's attention, and he learned its
cause from a pigeon which fell dead at his feet, having in its flight
struck itself against the cord of one of the kites. Their use was
explained by the natives as a protection against the hawks which are
very common in Pekin.

Passing one day the place of execution, the travelers were shocked to
see that the heads of the executed were exposed to the public gaze,
labeled with the crimes for which they had suffered. Such sights as
this, with the terrible filth of all the Chinese cities, the squalid
suffering of the poor and the want of sympathy with indigence and
disease, suggested to the count, as they too frequently suggest to
European visitors, that the degradation of the Chinese is hopeless.
Yet such sights were common a few generations ago in every European
capital, and the same causes which have led to their cessation there
are at work to-day in China, and bid fair to produce the same results.

The service of the custom-house, which has been put into the hands
of Europeans, and under the management of Mr. Robert Hart has been
thoroughly organized, is having a great influence in civilizing the
government, as well as in diffusing European ideas and methods among
the people. A fixed rate of charges, an honesty of administration
which is beyond question, prompt activity in the transaction of
business, have replaced the depredations and the old methods in
use under mandarin rule. It is the desire of the manager of the
custom-house to inaugurate in China the establishment of a system of
lighthouses, to organize the postal system, to introduce railroads and
telegraphs and to open the coal-mines of the empire. Success in
these reforms means bringing China into the circle of inter-dependent
civilized nations; and so far all the steps in this direction have
been sure and successful ones.

[Illustration: THE GREAT WALL: THE NANG-KAO PASS.]

On leaving Pekin, our party set out to visit the Great Wall of China,
which lies about three days' journey from that capital, on the route
to Siberia. Mongolian ponies served for the means of transportation on
this trip. These shaggy little animals were as full of tricks as they
were ugly. The cavalcade was followed by two carts for carrying the
money of the expedition. The whole of this capital amounted to about
one hundred and fifty dollars, in the form of hundreds of thousands of
the copper coins of the country, made with holes in their centres and
strung by the thousand upon osier twigs. This is the only money which
circulates in the agricultural portions of China, and a "barbarian"
has to give a pound weight of them for a couple of eggs. The country
soon began to become hilly, with the mountains of Mongolia visible in
the distance. Trains of camels were passed, or could be seen winding
in the plain below.

The next day the party arrived at the Tombs of the Emperors. These are
the tombs of the Ming emperors, one of the most brilliant dynasties of
Chinese history. They lie in a circular valley which opens out from a
great plain, and is surrounded by limestone peaks and granite
domes, forming a barren and waste amphitheatre. The grandeur of its
dimensions and the awful barrenness of its desolation make it a fit
resting-place for the imperial dead of the last native dynasty. At
the foot of the surrounding heights thirteen gigantic tombs, encircled
with green trees, are arranged in a semicircle. Five majestic portals,
about eight hundred yards apart, form the entrance to the tombs. From
the portico giving entrance to the valley to the tomb of the first
emperor is more than a league, and the long avenue is marked first
by winged columns of white marble, and next by two rows of animals,
carved in gigantic proportions. Of these there are, on either side,
two lions standing, two lions sitting; one camel standing, one
kneeling; one elephant standing, one kneeling; one dragon standing,
one sitting; two horses standing; six warriors, courtiers, etc. The
lions are fifteen feet high, and the others equally colossal, while
each of the figures is carved from a single block of granite.

At the end of the avenue are the tombs, with groups of trees about
them. Each tomb is really a temple in which white and pink marble,
porphyry and carved teak-wood are combined, not indeed with harmony
or taste, but, what is rare in China, with lines of great purity and
severity. One of the halls of these tombs is about a hundred feet long
by about eighty wide. The ceiling is from forty to sixty feet high,
and is supported by rows of pillars, each formed of a single stick of
teak timber eleven feet in circumference. These sticks were brought
for this purpose from the south of China. Though they have been in
position over nine hundred years, they appear as sound as when first
posed, nor has the austere splendor of the structure suffered in any
degree.

The sombre obscurity well befits these sepulchral dwellings, and the
dull sound of the deadened gongs struck by the guardians makes the
vaults reverberate in a singular and impressive way. Behind the
memorial temple rises an artificial mound about fifty feet high,
access to the top of which is given by a rising arched passage
built of white marble. On the top of the mound is an imposing marble
structure consisting of a double arch, beneath which is the imperial
tablet, a large slab, upon which is carved a dragon standing on the
back of a gigantic tortoise. The remains of the emperor are buried
somewhere within this mound, though the exact spot is not known: this
precaution, it is said, was taken to preserve the remains from being
desecrated in a search for the treasures which were buried with him,
while the persons who performed this last office were killed upon the
spot, in order further to preserve the secret.

[Illustration: CHAPEL OF THE SUMMER PALACE.]

From this gigantic effort to preserve the memory of the dead our party
hastened to the Great Wall, an equally immense work to preserve the
living from the incursions of their neighboring enemies. Perhaps
nowhere in the world are to be found in such close proximity two such
striking evidences of the waste of human labor when undirected by
scientific knowledge. The wall is to-day, and was from the first, as
worthless for the purpose it was intended to serve as the temples are
for obtaining immortality for the bodies they enclose.

Leaving the town of Nang-Kao, the party soon found themselves at the
entrance of the pass of the same name, and during the six leagues
which separated them from the wall the spectacle kept increasing in
grandeur. The gorge at first was savage and sombre, shut in closely
by the steep mountain-sides. Soon the first support of the Great Wall
appeared in a chain of walls, with battlements and towers, built
over the principal mountain-chain, and as far as the eye could reach
following all the peaks. The effect of this wall is most striking.
Like some enormous serpent it stretches away in the distance, climbing
rocks which appear impracticable, and which would be so without its
aid. The count was convinced that it would be as difficult to climb
it for the purpose of defending it as it would be to do so in order to
attack it. This first support of the wall is in itself a giant work.

As the party advanced in the valley, in the far distance the
crenelated outlines of two other similar and parallel walls appeared,
situated also upon the crests. The Great Wall was built about 200 B.C.
as a barrier against the Tartar cavalry. It is said to have been built
in twenty-two years. It was everywhere constructed of the materials
at hand. On the plains it was built of a core of earth, pounded, and
faced with tiles, the top being also covered with tiles and furnished
with a parapet. On the mountains of stratified rock the facing was
made of masonry, and the core of earth and cobble-stones. Where the
rock is such as fractures irregularly, the wall is of solid masonry,
tapering to the top, which is sharp. Throughout its whole length it
is defended by towers occurring every few hundred feet. Every
mountain-pass and weak point was defended by a fortified tower. At
present the wall is in various conditions of preservation, according
to the materials used in its construction. In the valleys, which were
the points to defend, it has gradually crumbled to a mere heap of
rubbish, which the plough year by year still further scatters.

The Great Wall is, however, a wonderful monument of the labor and
organization of the Chinese nation two thousand years ago. The
illustration is from a photograph taken on the spot by one of the
party. In order to take a view which should be most effective the
camera was placed upon the wall itself.

On their return to Pekin the party visited the ruins of the famous
Summer Palace, Yuen-Ming-Yuen. The avenues were formerly adorned with
porticoes, monuments and kiosques, which are now masses of ruins. Only
two enormous bronze lions, the largest castings ever made in China,
remain, and these simply because the allies could not carry them
away. To have attempted it would have required the building of a dozen
bridges over the streams between here and Tien-Tsin. The chapel of
the Summer Palace escaped destruction only from the fact that it was
situated upon a rock so high that the flames did not reach it. Looking
at the confused ruins which are all that remain of this wonderful
collection of the most admirable products of fifteen ages of
civilization, of art and of industry, the count de Beauvoir says
truly that no honest man can help shuddering involuntarily. Though
his sentiment of national loyalty is very strong, yet he cannot avoid
exclaiming, "Let us leave this place: let us run from this spot, where
the soil burns us, the very view of which humbles us. We came to China
as the armed champions of civilization and of a religion of mercy,
but the Chinese are right, a thousand times right, in calling us
barbarians."



A PRINCESS OF THULE.

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


CHAPTER XIV.

DEEPER AND DEEPER.


Next morning Sheila was busy with her preparations for departure when
she heard a hansom drive up. She looked out and saw Mr. Ingram step
out; and before he had time to cross the pavement she had run round
and opened the door, and stood at the top of the steps to receive him.
How often had her husband cautioned her not to forget herself in this
monstrous fashion!

"Did you think I had run away? Have you come to see me?" she said,
with a bright, roseate gladness on her face which reminded him of many
a pleasant morning in Borva.

"I did not think you had run away, for you see I have brought you some
flowers," he said; but there was a sort of blush in the sallow face,
and perhaps the girl had some quick fancy or suspicion that he had
brought this bouquet to prove that he knew everything was right,
and that he expected to see her. It was only a part of his universal
kindness and thoughtfulness, she considered.

"Frank is up stairs," she said, "getting ready some things to go
to Brighton. Will you come into the breakfast-room? Have you had
breakfast?"

"Oh, you were going to Brighton?"

"Yes," she said; and somehow something moved her to add quickly, "but
not for long, you know. Only a few days. It is many a time you
will have told me of Brighton long ago in the Lewis, but I cannot
understand a large town being beside the sea, and it will be a great
surprise to me, I am sure of that."

"Ay, Sheila," he said, falling into the old habit quite naturally,
"you will find it different from Borvabost. You will have no
scampering about the rocks with your head bare and your hair flying
about. You will have to dress more correctly there than here even;
and, by the way, you must be busy getting ready, so I will go."

"Oh no," she said with a quick look of disappointment, "you will not
go yet. If I had known you were coming--But it was very late when we
will get home this morning: two o'clock it was."

"Another ball?"

"Yes," said the girl, but not very joyfully.

"Why, Sheila," he said with a grave smile on his face, "you are
becoming quite a woman of fashion now. And you know I can't keep up an
acquaintance with a fine lady who goes to all these grand places and
knows all sorts of swell people; so you'll have to cut me, Sheila."

"I hope I shall be dead before that time ever comes," said the girl
with a sudden flash of indignation in her eyes. Then she softened:
"But it is not kind of you to laugh at me."

"Of course I did not laugh at you," he said taking both her hands in
his, "although I used to sometimes when you were a little girl and
talked very wild English. Don't you remember how vexed you used to be,
and how pleased you were when your papa turned the laugh against me by
getting me to say that awful Gaelic sentence about 'A young calf ate a
raw egg'?"

"Can you say it now?" said Sheila, with her face getting bright and
pleased again. "Try it after me. Now listen."

She uttered some half dozen of the most extraordinary sounds that any
language ever contained, but Ingram would not attempt to follow her.
She reproached him with having forgotten all that he had learnt
in Lewis, and said she should no longer look on him as a possible
Highlander.

"But what are _you_ now?" he asked. "You are no longer that wild girl
who used to run out to sea in the Maighdean-mhara whenever there was
the excitement of a storm coming on."

"Many times," she said slowly and wistfully, "I will wish that I could
be that again for a little while."

"Don't you enjoy, then, all those fine gatherings you go to?"

"I try to like them."

"And you don't succeed?"

He was looking at her gravely and earnestly, and she turned away her
head and did not answer. At this moment Lavender came down stairs and
entered the room.

"Hillo, Ingram, my boy! glad to see you! What pretty flowers! It's a
pity we can't take them to Brighton with us."

"But I intend to take them," said Sheila firmly.

"Oh, very well, if you don't mind the bother," said her husband. "I
should have thought your hands would have been full: you know you'll
have to take everything with you you would want in London. You will
find that Brighton isn't a dirty little fishing-village in which
you've only to tuck up your dress and run about anyhow."

"I never saw a dirty little fishing-village," said Sheila quietly.

Her husband laughed: "I meant no offence. I was not thinking of
Borvabost at all. Well, Ingram, can't you run down and see us while we
are at Brighton?"

"Oh do, Mr. Ingram!" said Sheila with quite a new interest in her
face; and she came forward as though she would have gone down on her
knees and begged this great favor of him. "Do, Mr. Ingram! We should
try to amuse you some way, and the weather is sure to be fine. Shall
we keep a room for you? Can you come on Friday and stay till the
Monday? It is a great difference there will be in the place if you
come down."

Ingram looked at Sheila, and was on the point of promising, when
Lavender added, "And we shall introduce you to that young American
lady whom you are so anxious to meet."

"Oh, is she to be there?" he said, looking rather curiously at
Lavender.

"Yes, she and her mother. We are going down together."

"Then I'll see whether I can in a day or two," he said, but in a tone
which pretty nearly convinced Sheila that she should not have her
stay at Brighton made pleasant by the company of her old friend and
associate.

However, the mere anticipation of seeing the sea was much; and when
they had got into a cab and were going down to Victoria Station,
Sheila's eyes were filled with a joyful anticipation. She had
discarded altogether the descriptions of Brighton that had been given
her. It is one thing to receive information, and another to reproduce
it in an imaginative picture; and in fact her imagination was busy
with its own work while she sat and listened to this person or the
other speaking of the seaside town she was going to. When they spoke
of promenades and drives and miles of hotels and lodging-houses, she
was thinking of the sea-beach and of the boats and of the sky-line
with its distant ships. When they told her of private theatricals and
concerts and fancy-dress balls, she was thinking of being out on the
open sea, with a light breeze filling the sails, and a curl of white
foam rising at the bow and sweeping and hissing down the sides of the
boat. She would go down among the fishermen when her husband and his
friends were not by, and talk to them, and get to know what they sold
their fish for down here in the South. She would find out what their
nets cost, and if there was anybody in authority to whom they could
apply for an advance of a few pounds in case of hard times. Had they
their cuttings of peat free from the nearest moss-land? and did they
dress their fields with the thatch that had got saturated with the
smoke? Perhaps some of them could tell her where the crews hailed from
that had repeatedly shot the sheep of the Flannen Isles. All these and
a hundred other things she would get to know; and she might procure
and send to her father some rare bird or curiosity of the sea, that
might be added to the little museum in which she used to sing in days
gone by, when he was busy with his pipe and his whisky.

"You are not much tired, then, by your dissipation of last night?"
said Mrs. Kavanagh to her at the station, as the slender, fair-haired,
grave lady looked admiringly at the girl's fresh color and bright
gray-blue eyes. "It makes one envy you to see you looking so strong
and in such good spirits."

"How happy you must be always!" said Mrs. Lorraine; and the younger
lady had the same sweet, low and kindly voice as her mother.

"I am very well, thank you," said Sheila, blushing somewhat and
not lifting her eyes, while Lavender was impatient that she had
not answered with a laugh and some light retort, such as would have
occurred to almost any woman in the circumstances.

On the journey down, Lavender and Mrs. Lorraine, seated opposite each
other in two corner seats, kept up a continual cross-fire of small
pleasantries, in which the young American lady had distinctly the best
of it, chiefly by reason of her perfect manner. The keenest thing she
said was said with a look of great innocence and candor in the large
gray eyes; and then directly afterward she would say something very
nice and pleasant in precisely the same voice, as if she could not
understand that there was any effort on the part of either to assume
an advantage. The mother sometimes turned and listened to this aimless
talk with an amused gravity, as of a cat watching the gambols of a
kitten, but generally she devoted herself to Sheila, who sat opposite
her. She did not talk much, and Sheila was glad of that, but the
girl felt that she was being observed with some little curiosity. She
wished that Mrs. Kavanagh would turn those observant gray eyes of hers
away in some other direction. Now and again Sheila would point out
what she considered strange or striking in the country outside, and
for a moment the elderly lady would look out. But directly afterward
the gray eyes would come back to Sheila, and the girl knew they were
upon her. At last she so persistently stared out of the window that
she fell to dreaming, and all the trees and the meadows and the
farm-houses and the distant heights and hollows went past her
as though they were in a sort of mist, while she replied to Mrs.
Kavanagh's chance remarks in a mechanical fashion, and could only hear
as a monotonous murmur the talk of the two people at the other side
of the carriage. How much of the journey did she remember? She was
greatly struck by the amount of open land in the neighborhood
of London--the commons between Wandsworth and Streatham, and so
forth--and she was pleased with the appearance of the country about
Red Hill. For the rest, a succession of fair green pictures passed
by her, all bathed in a calm, half-misty summer sunlight: then they
pierced the chalk-hills (which Sheila, at first sight, fancied were of
granite) and rumbled through the tunnels. Finally, with just a glimpse
of a great mass of gray houses filling a vast hollow and stretching up
the bare green downs beyond, they found themselves in Brighton.

"Well, Sheila, what do you think of the place?" her husband said to
her with a laugh as they were driving down the Queen's road.

She did not answer.

"It is not like Borvabost, is it?"

She was too bewildered to speak. She could only look about her with a
vague wonder and disappointment. But surely this great gray city
was not the place they had come to live in? Would it not disappear
somehow, and they would get away to the sea and the rocks and the
boats?

They passed into the upper part of West street, and here was another
thoroughfare, down which Sheila glanced with no great interest. But
the next moment there was a quick catching of her breath, which almost
resembled a sob, and a strange glad light sprang into her eyes. Here
at last was the sea! Away beyond the narrow thoroughfare she could
catch a glimpse of a great green plain--yellow-green it was in the
sunlight--that the wind was whitening here and there with tumbling
waves. She had not noticed that there was any wind in-land--there
everything seemed asleep--but here there was a fresh breeze from the
south, and the sea had been rough the day before, and now it was of
this strange olive color, streaked with the white curls of foam that
shone in the sunlight. Was there not a cold scent of sea-weed, too,
blown up this narrow passage between the houses? And now the carriage
cut round the corner and whirled out into the glare of the Parade,
and before her the great sea stretched out its leagues of tumbling and
shining waves, and she heard the water roaring along the beach, and
far away at the horizon she saw a phantom ship. She did not even look
at the row of splendid hotels and houses, at the gayly-dressed
folks on the pavement, at the brilliant flags that were flapping and
fluttering on the New Pier and about the beach. It was the great
world of shining water beyond that fascinated her, and awoke in her a
strange yearning and longing, so that she did not know whether it was
grief or joy that burned in her heart and blinded her eyes with tears.
Mrs. Kavanagh took her arm as they were going up the steps of the
hotel, and said in a friendly way, "I suppose you have some sad
memories of the sea?"

"No," said Sheila bravely, "it is always pleasant to me to think of
the sea; but it is a long time since--since--"

"Sheila," said her husband abruptly, "do tell me if all your things
are here;" and then the girl turned, calm and self-collected, to look
after rugs and boxes.

When they were finally established in the hotel Lavender went off
to negotiate for the hire of a carriage for Mrs. Kavanagh during her
stay, and Sheila was left with the two ladies. They had tea in their
sitting-room, and they had it at one of the windows, so that they
could look out on the stream of people and carriages now beginning to
flow by in the clear yellow light of the afternoon. But neither the
people nor the carriages had much interest for Sheila, who, indeed,
sat for the most part silent, intently watching the various boats that
were putting out or coming in, and busy with conjectures which she
knew there was no use placing before her two companions.

"Brighton seems to surprise you very much," said Mrs. Lorraine.

"Yes," said Sheila, "I have been told all about it, but you will
forget all that; and this is very different from the sea at home--at
my home."

"Your home is in London now," said the elder lady with a smile.

"Oh no!" said Sheila, most anxiously and earnestly. "London, that
is not our home at all. We live there for a time--that will be quite
necessary--but we shall go back to the Lewis some day soon--not to
stay altogether, but enough to make it as much our home as London."

"How do you think Mr. Lavender will enjoy living in the Hebrides?"
said Mrs. Lorraine with a look of innocent and friendly inquiry in her
eyes.

"It was many a time that he has said he never liked any place so
much," said Sheila with something of a blush; and then she added with
growing courage, "for you must not think he is always like what he
is here. Oh no! When he is in the Highlands there is no day that is
nearly long enough for what has to be done in it; and he is up very
early, and away to the hills or the loch with a gun or a salmon-rod.
He can catch the salmon very well--oh, very well for one that is
not accustomed--and he will shoot as well as any one that is in the
island, except my papa. It is a great deal to do there will be in the
island, and plenty of amusement; and there is not much chance--not
any whatever--of his being lonely or tired when we go to live in the
Lewis."

Mrs. Kavanagh and her daughter were both amused and pleased by the
earnest and rapid fashion in which Sheila talked. They had generally
considered her to be a trifle shy and silent, not knowing how afraid
she was of using wrong idioms or pronunciations; but here was one
subject on which her heart was set, and she had no more thought as
to whether she said _like-a-ness_ or _likeness_, or whether she said
_gyarden_ or _garden_. Indeed, she forgot more than that. She was
somewhat excited by the presence of the sea and the well-remembered
sound of the waves; and she was pleased to talk about her life in the
North, and about her husband's stay there, and how they should
pass the time when she returned to Borva. She neglected altogether
Lavender's injunctions that she should not talk about fishing or
cooking or farming to his friends. She incidentally revealed to Mrs.
Kavanagh and her daughter a great deal more about the household
at Borva than he would have wished to be known. For how could they
understand about his wife having her own cousin to serve at table?
and what would they think of a young lady who was proud of making her
father's shirts? Whatever these two ladies may have thought, they were
very obviously interested, and if they were amused, it was in a far
from unfriendly fashion. Mrs. Lorraine professed herself quite charmed
with Sheila's descriptions of her island-life, and wished she could
go up to Lewis to see all these strange things. But when she spoke of
visiting the island when Sheila and her husband were staying there,
Sheila was not nearly so ready to offer her a welcome as the daughter
of a hospitable old Highlandman ought to have been.

"And will you go out in a boat now?" said Sheila, looking down to the
beach.

"In a boat! What sort of boat?" said Mrs. Kavanagh.

"Any one of those little sailing boats: it is very good boats they
are, as far as I can see."

"No, thank you," said the elder lady with a smile. "I am not fond of
small boats, and the company of the men who go with you might be a
little objectionable, I should fancy."

"But you need not take any men," said Sheila: "the sailing of one of
those little boats, it is very simple."

"Do you mean to say you could manage the boat by yourself?"

"Oh yes! It is very simple. And my husband, he will help me."

"And what would you do if you went out?"

"We might try the fishing. I do not see where the rocks are, but we
would go off the rocks and put down the anchor and try the lines. You
would have some ferry good fish for breakfast in the morning."

"My dear child," said Mrs. Kavanagh, "you don't know what you propose
to us. To go and roll about in an open boat in these waves--we should
be ill in five minutes. But I suppose you don't know what sea-sickness
is?"

"No," said Sheila, "but I will hear my husband speak of it often. And
it is only in crossing the Channel that people will get sick."

"Why, this is the Channel."

Sheila stared. Then she endeavored to recall her geography. Of course
this must be a part of the Channel, but if the people in the South
became ill in this weather, they must be rather feeble creatures.
Her speculations on this point were cut short by the entrance of her
husband, who came to announce that he had not only secured a carriage
for a month, but that it would be round at the hotel door in half an
hour; whereupon the two American ladies said they would be ready, and
left the room.

"Now go off and get dressed, Sheila," said Lavender.

She stood for a moment irresolute.

"If you wouldn't mind," she said after a moment's hesitation--"if you
would allow me to go by myself--if you would go to the driving, and
let me go down to the shore!"

"Oh, nonsense!" he said. "You will have people fancying you are only
a school-girl. How can you go down to the beach by yourself among all
those loafing vagabonds, who would pick your pocket or throw stones at
you? You must behave like an ordinary Christian: now do, like a good
girl, get dressed and submit to the restraints of civilized life. It
won't hurt you much."

So she left, to lay aside with some regret her rough blue dress, and
he went down stairs to see about ordering dinner.

Had she come down to the sea, then, only to live the life that had
nearly broken her heart in London? It seemed so. They drove up
and down the Parade for about an hour and a half, and the roar of
carriages drowned the rush of the waves. Then they dined in the quiet
of this still summer evening, and she could only see the sea as a
distant and silent picture through the windows, while the talk of
her companions was either about the people whom they had seen while
driving, or about matters of which she knew nothing. Then the blinds
were drawn and candles lit, and still their conversation murmured
around her unheeding ears. After dinner her husband went down to the
smoking-room of the hotel to have a cigar, and she was left with Mrs.
Kavanagh and her daughter. She went to the window and looked through
a chink in the Venetian blinds. There was a beautiful clear twilight
abroad, the darkness was still of a soft gray, and up in the pale
yellow-green of the sky a large planet burned and throbbed. Soon the
sea and the sky would darken, the stars would come forth in thousands
and tens of thousands, and the moving water would be struck with a
million trembling spots of silver as the waves came onward to the
beach.

"Mayn't we go out for a walk till Frank has finished his cigar?" said
Sheila.

"You couldn't go out walking at this time of night," said Mrs.
Kavanagh in a kindly way: "you would meet the most unpleasant persons.
Besides, going out into the night air would be most dangerous."

"It is a beautiful night," said Sheila with a sigh. She was still
standing at the window.

"Come," said Mrs. Kavanagh, going over to her and putting her hand in
her arm, "we cannot have any moping, you know. You must be content to
be dull with us for one night; and after to-night we shall see what we
can do to amuse you."

"Oh, but I don't want to be amused!" cried Sheila almost in terror,
for some vision flashed on her mind of a series of parties. "I would
much rather be left alone and allowed to go about by myself. But it
is very kind of you," she hastily added, fancying that her speech had
been somewhat ungracious--"it is very kind of you indeed."

"Come, I promised to teach you cribbage, didn't I?"

"Yes," said Sheila with much resignation; and she walked to the table
and sat down.

Perhaps, after all, she could have spent the rest of the evening with
some little equanimity in patiently trying to learn this game, in
which she had no interest whatever, but her thoughts and fancies were
soon drawn away from cribbage. Her husband returned. Mrs. Lorraine had
been for some little time at the big piano at the other side of the
room, amusing herself by playing snatches of anything she happened
to remember, but when Mr. Lavender returned she seemed to wake up. He
went over to her and sat down by the piano.

"Here," she said, "I have all the duets and songs you spoke of, and I
am quite delighted with those I have tried. I wish mamma would sing a
second to me: how can one learn without practicing? And there are some
of those duets I really should like to learn after what you said of
them."

"Shall I become a substitute for your mamma?" he said.

"And sing the second, so that I may practice? Your cigar must have
left you in a very amiable mood."

"Well, suppose we try," he said; and he proceeded to open out the roll
of music which she had brought down.

"Which shall we take first?" he asked.

"It does not much matter," she answered indifferently, and indeed she
took up one of the duets by haphazard.

What was it made Mrs. Kavanagh's companion suddenly lift her eyes
from the cribbage-board and look with surprise to the other end of the
room? She had recognized the little prelude to one of her own duets,
and it was being played by Mrs. Lorraine. And it was Mrs. Lorraine
who began to sing in a sweet, expressive and well-trained voice of no
great power--

  Love in thine eyes for ever plays;

and it was she to whom the answer was given--

  He in thy snowy bosom strays;

and then, Sheila, sitting stupefied and pained and confused, heard
them sing together--

  He makes thy rosy lips his care,
  And walks the mazes of thy hair.

She had not heard the short conversation which had introduced this
music; and she could not tell but that her husband had been practicing
these duets--her duets--with some one else. For presently they sang
"When the rosy morn appearing," and "I would that my love could
silently," and others, all of them in Sheila's eyes, sacred to the
time when she and Lavender used to sit in the little room at Borva.
It was no consolation to her that Mrs. Lorraine had but an imperfect
acquaintance with them; that oftentimes she stumbled and went back
over a bit of the accompaniment; that her voice was far from being
striking. Lavender, at all events, seemed to heed none of these
things. It was not as a music-master that he sang with her. He put as
much expression of love into his voice as ever he had done in the old
days when he sang with his future bride. And it seemed so cruel that
this woman should have taken Sheila's own duets from her to sing
before her with her own husband.

Sheila learnt little more cribbage that evening. Mrs. Kavanagh could
not understand how her pupil had become embarrassed, inattentive, and
even sad, and asked her if she was tired. Sheila said she was very
tired and would go. And when she got her candle, Mrs. Lorraine and
Lavender had just discovered another duet which they felt bound to try
together as the last.

This was not the first time she had been more or less vaguely pained
by her husband's attentions to this young American lady; and yet she
would not admit to herself that he was any way in the wrong. She
would entertain no suspicion of him. She would have no jealousy in her
heart, for how could jealousy exist with a perfect faith? And so she
had repeatedly reasoned herself out of these tentative feelings, and
resolved that she would do neither her husband nor Mrs. Lorraine the
injustice of being vexed with them. So it was now. What more natural
than that Frank should recommend to any friend the duets of which he
was particularly fond? What more natural than that this young lady
should wish to show her appreciation of those songs by singing them?
and who was to sing with her but he? Sheila would have no suspicion
of either; and so she came down next morning determined to be very
friendly with Mrs. Lorraine.

But that forenoon another thing occurred which nearly broke down all
her resolves.

"Sheila," said her husband, I don't think I ever asked you whether you
rode."

"I used to ride many times at home," she said.

"But I suppose you'd rather not ride here," he said. "Mrs. Lorraine
and I propose to go out presently: you'll be able to amuse yourself
somehow till we come back."

Mrs. Lorraine had, indeed, gone to put on her habit, and her mother
was with her.

"I suppose I may go out," said Sheila. "It is so very dull in-doors,
and Mrs. Kavanagh is afraid of the east wind, and she is not going
out."

"Well, there's no harm in your going out," answered Lavender, "but
I should have thought you'd have liked the comfort of watching the
people pass, from the window."

She said nothing, but went off to her own room and dressed to go out.
Why she knew not, but she felt she would rather not see her husband
and Mrs. Lorraine start from the hotel door. She stole down stairs
without going into the sitting-room, and then, going through the great
hall and down the steps, found herself free and alone in Brighton.

It was a beautiful, bright, clear day, though the wind was a trifle
chilly, and all around her there was a sense of space and light and
motion in the shining skies, the far clouds and the heaving and noisy
sea. Yet she had none of the gladness of heart with which she used
to rush out of the house at Borva to drink in the fresh, salt air
and feel the sunlight on her cheeks. She walked away, with her face
wistful and pensive, along the King's road, scarcely seeing any of
the people who passed her; and the noise of the crowd and of the waves
hummed in her ears in a distant fashion, even as she walked along
the wooden railing over the beach. She stopped and watched some men
putting off a heavy fishing-boat, and she still stood and looked long
after the boat was launched. She would not confess to herself that
she felt lonely and miserable: it was the sight of the sea that was
melancholy. It seemed so different from the sea off Borva, that had
always to her a familiar and friendly look, even when it was raging
and rushing before a south-west wind. Here this sea looked vast and
calm and sad, and the sound of it was not pleasant to her ears, as
was the sound of the waves on the rocks at Borva. She walked on, in a
blind and unthinking fashion, until she had got far up the Parade,
and could see the long line of monotonous white cliff meeting the dull
blue plain of the waves until both disappeared in the horizon.

She returned to the King's road a trifle tired, and sat down on one of
the benches there. The passing of the people would amuse her; and now
the pavement was thronged with a crowd of gayly-dressed folks, and the
centre of the thoroughfare brisk with the constant going and coming of
riders. She saw strange old women, painted, powdered and bewigged in
hideous imitation of youth, pounding up and down the level street, and
she wondered what wild hallucinations possessed the brains of these
poor creatures. She saw troops of beautiful young girls, with flowing
hair, clear eyes and bright complexions, riding by, a goodly company,
under charge of a riding-mistress, and the world seemed to grow
sweeter when they came into view. But while she was vaguely gazing and
wondering and speculating her eyes were suddenly caught by two riders
whose appearance sent a throb to her heart. Frank Lavender rode well,
so did Mrs. Lorraine; and, though they were paying no particular
attention to the crowd of passers-by, they doubtless knew that they
could challenge criticism with an easy confidence. They were laughing
and talking to each other as they went rapidly by: neither of them saw
Sheila. The girl did not look after them. She rose and walked in the
other direction, with a greater pain at her heart than had been there
for many a day.

What was this crowd? Some dozen or so of people were standing round
a small girl, who, accompanied by a man, was playing a violin, and
playing it very well, too. But it was not the music that attracted
Sheila to the child, but partly that there was a look about the timid,
pretty face and the modest and honest eyes that reminded her of little
Ailasa, and partly because, just at this moment, her heart seemed to
be strangely sensitive and sympathetic. She took no thought of the
people looking on. She went forward to the edge of the pavement, and
found that the small girl and her companion were about to go away.
Sheila stopped the man.

"Will you let your little girl come with me into this shop?"

It was a confectioner's shop.

"We were going home to dinner," said the man, while the small girl
looked up with wondering eyes.

"Will you let her have dinner with me, and you will come back in half
an hour?"

The man looked at the little girl: he seemed to be really fond of her,
and saw that she was very willing to go. Sheila took her hand and led
her into the confectioner's shop, putting her violin on one of the
small marble tables while they sat down at another. She was probably
not aware that two or three idlers had followed them, and were staring
with might and main in at the door of the shop.

What could this child have thought of the beautiful and yet sad-eyed
lady who was so kind to her, who got her all sorts of things with her
own hands, and asked her all manner of questions in a low, gentle and
sweet voice? There was not much in Sheila's appearance to provoke fear
or awe. The little girl, shy at first, got to be a little more frank,
and told her hostess when she rose in the morning, how she practiced,
the number of hours they were out during the day, and many of the
small incidents of her daily life. She had been photographed too,
and her photograph was sold in one of the shops. She was very well
content: she liked playing, the people were kind to her, and she did
not often get tired.

"Then I shall see you often if I stay in Brighton?" said Sheila.

"We go out every day when it does not rain very hard."

Perhaps some wet day you will come and see me, and you will have some
tea with me: would you like that?"

"Yes, very much," said the small musician, looking up frankly.

Just at this moment, the half hour having fully expired, the man
appeared at the door.

"Don't hurry," said Sheila to the little girl: "sit still and drink
out the lemonade; then I will give you some little parcels which you
must put in your pocket."

She was about to rise to go to the counter when she suddenly met the
eyes of her husband, who was calmly staring at her. He had come out,
after their ride, with Mrs. Lorraine to have a stroll up and down the
pavements, and had, in looking in at the various shops, caught sight
of Sheila quietly having luncheon with this girl whom she had picked
up in the streets.

"Did you ever see the like of that?" he said to Mrs. Lorraine. "In
open day, with people staring in, and she has not even taken the
trouble to put the violin out of sight!"

"The poor child means no harm," said his companion.

"Well, we must get her out of this somehow," he said; and so they
entered the shop.

Sheila knew she was guilty the moment she met her husband's look,
though she had never dreamed of it before. She had, indeed, acted
quite thoughtlessly--perhaps chiefly moved by a desire to speak to
some one and to befriend some one in her own loneliness.

"Hadn't you better let this little girl go?" said Lavender to Sheila
somewhat coldly as soon as he had ordered an ice for his companion.

"When she has finished her lemonade she will go," said Sheila meekly.
"But I have to buy some things for her first."

"You have got a whole lot of people round the door," he said.

"It is very kind of the people to wait for her," answered Sheila with
the same composure. "We have been here half an hour. I suppose they
will like her music very much."

The little violinist was now taken to the counter, and her pockets
stuffed with packages of sugared fruits and other deadly delicacies:
then she was permitted to go with half a crown in her hand. Mrs.
Lorraine patted her shoulder in passing, and said she was a pretty
little thing.

They went home to luncheon. Nothing was said about the incident of
the forenoon, except that Lavender complained to Mrs. Kavanagh, in
a humorous way, that his wife had a most extraordinary fondness for
beggars, and that he never went home of an evening without expecting
to find her dining with the nearest scavenger and his family.
Lavender, indeed, was in an amiable frame of mind at this meal (during
the progress of which Sheila sat by the window, of course, for she had
already lunched in company with the tiny violinist), and was bent on
making himself as agreeable as possible to his two companions. Their
talk had drifted toward the wanderings of the two ladies on the
Continent; from that to the Niebelungen frescoes in Munich; from
that to the Niebelungen itself, and then, by easy transition, to the
ballads of Uhland and Heine. Lavender was in one of his most impulsive
and brilliant moods--gay and jocular, tender and sympathetic by turns,
and so obviously sincere in all that his listeners were delighted
with his speeches and assertions and stories, and believed them as
implicitly as he did himself. Sheila, sitting at a distance, saw and
heard, and could not help recalling many an evening in the far North
when Lavender used to fascinate every one around him by the infection
of his warm and poetic enthusiasm. How he talked, too--telling
the stones of these quaint and pathetic ballads in his own
rough--and--ready translations--while there was no self-consciousness
in his face, but a thorough warmth of earnestness; and sometimes, too,
she would notice a quiver of the under lip that she knew of old,
when some pathetic point or phrase had to be indicated rather than
described. He was drawing pictures for them as well as telling
stories--of the three students entering the room in which the
landlady's daughter lay dead--of Barbarossa in his cave--of the
child who used to look up at Heine as he passed her in the street,
awestricken by his pale and strange face--of the last of the band of
companions who sat in the solitary room in which they had sat, and
drank to their memory--of the king of Thule, and the deserter from
Strasburg, and a thousand others.

"But is there any of them--is there anything in the world--more
pitiable than that pilgrimage to Kevlaar?" he said. "You know it, of
course. No? Oh, you must, surely. Don't you remember the mother who
stood by the bedside of her sick son, and asked him whether he would
not rise to see the great procession go by the window; and he tells
her that he cannot, he is so ill: his heart is breaking for thinking
of his dead Gretchen? _You_ know the story, Sheila. The mother begs
him to rise and come with her, and they will join the band of pilgrims
going to Kevlaar, to be healed there of their wounds by the Mother of
God. Then you find them at Kevlaar, and all the maimed and the lame
people have come to the shrine; and whichever limb is diseased, they
make a waxen image of that and lay it on the altar, and then they are
healed. Well, the mother of this poor lad takes wax and forms a heart
out of it, and says to her son, 'Take that to the Mother of God, and
she will heal your pain.' Sighing, he takes the wax heart in his hand,
and, sighing, he goes to the shrine; and there, with tears running
down his face, he says, 'O beautiful Queen of Heaven, I am come to
tell you my grief. I lived with my mother in Cologne: near us lived
Gretchen, who is dead now. Blessed Mary, I bring you this wax heart:
heal the wound in my heart.' And then--and then--"

Sheila saw his lip tremble. But he frowned, and said impatiently,
"What a shame it is to destroy such a beautiful story! You can have no
idea of it--of its simplicity and tenderness--"

"But pray let us hear the rest of it," said Mrs. Lorraine gently.

"Well, the last scene, you know, is a small chamber, and the mother
and her sick son are asleep. The Blessed Mary glides into the chamber
and bends over the young man, and puts her hand lightly on his heart.
Then she smiles and disappears. The unhappy mother has seen all this
in a dream, and now she awakes, for the dogs are barking loudly.
The mother goes over to the bed of her son, and he is dead, and the
morning light touches his pale face. And then the mother folds her
hands, and says--"

He rose hastily with a gesture of fretfulness, and walked over to the
window at which Sheila sat and looked out. She put her hand up to his:
he took it.

"The next time I try to translate Heine," he said, making it appear
that he had broken off through vexation, "something strange will
happen."

"It is a beautiful story," said Mrs. Lorraine, who had herself been
crying a little bit in a covert way: "I wonder I have not seen a
translation of it. Come, mamma, Lady Leveret said we were not to be
after four."

So they rose and left, and Sheila was alone with her husband, and
still holding his hand. She looked up at him timidly, wondering,
perhaps, in her simple way, as to whether she should not now pour out
her heart to him, and tell him all her griefs and fears and yearnings.
He had obviously been deeply moved by the story he had told so
roughly: surely now was a good opportunity of appealing to him, and
begging for sympathy and compassion.

"Frank," she said, and she rose and came close, and bent down her head
to hide the color in her face.

"Well?" he answered a trifle coldly.

"You won't be vexed with me," she said in a low voice, and with her
heart beginning to beat rapidly.

"Vexed with you about what?" he said abruptly.

Alas! all her hopes had fled. She shrank from the cold stare with
which she knew he was regarding her. She felt it to be impossible
that she should place before him those confidences with which she had
approached him; and so, with a great effort, she merely said, "Are we
to go to Lady Leveret's?"

"Of course we are," he said, "unless you would rather go and see some
blind fiddler or beggar. It is really too bad of you, Sheila, to be so
forgetful: what if Lady Leveret, for example, had come into that shop?
It seems to me you are never satisfied with meeting the people
you ought to meet, but that you must go and associate with all the
wretched cripples and beggars you can find. You should remember you
are a woman, and not a child--that people will talk about what you
do if you go on in this mad way. Do you ever see Mrs. Kavanagh or her
daughter do any of these things?"

Sheila had let go his hand: her eyes were still turned toward the
ground. She had fancied that a little of that emotion that had been
awakened in him by the story of the German mother and her son might
warm his heart toward herself, and render it possible for her to talk
to him frankly about all that she had been dimly thinking, and more
definitely suffering. She was mistaken: that was all.

"I will try to do better, and please you," she said; and then she went
away.



CHAPTER XV.

A FRIEND IN NEED.


Was it a delusion that had grown up in the girl's mind, and now held
full possession of it--that she was in a world with which she had no
sympathy, that she should never be able to find a home there, that
the influences of it were gradually and surely stealing from her her
husband's love and confidence? Or was this longing to get away
from the people and the circumstances that surrounded her but the
unconscious promptings of an incipient jealousy? She did not question
her own mind closely on these points. She only vaguely knew that she
was miserable, and that she could not tell her husband of the weight
that pressed on her heart.

Here, too, as they drove along to have tea with a certain Lady
Leveret, who was one of Lavender's especial patrons, and to whom he
had introduced Mrs. Kavanagh and her daughter, Sheila felt that
she was a stranger, an interloper, a "third wheel to the cart." She
scarcely spoke a word. She looked at the sea, but she had almost
grown to regard that great plain of smooth water as a melancholy and
monotonous thing--not the bright and boisterous sea of her youth, with
its winding channels, its secret bays and rocks, its salt winds and
rushing waves. She was disappointed with the perpetual wall of white
cliff, where she had expected to see something of the black and rugged
shore of the North. She had as yet made no acquaintance with the
sea-life of the place: she did not know where the curers lived;
whether they gave the fishermen credit and cheated them; whether the
people about here made any use of the back of the dog-fish, or could,
in hard seasons, cook any of the wild-fowl; what the ling and the cod
and the skate fetched; where the wives and daughters sat and spun
and carded their wool; whether they knew how to make a good dish of
cockles boiled in milk. She smiled to herself when she thought of
asking Mrs. Lorraine about any such things; but she still cherished
some vague hope that before she left Brighton she would have some
little chance of getting near to the sea and learning a little of the
sea-life down in the South.

And as they drove along the King's road on this afternoon she suddenly
called out, "Look, Frank!"

On the steps of the Old Ship Hotel stood a small man with a brown
face, a brown beard and a beaver hat, who was calmly smoking a wooden
pipe, and looking at an old woman selling oranges in front of him.

"It is Mr. Ingram," said Sheila.

"Which is Mr. Ingram?" asked Mrs. Lorraine with considerable interest,
for she had often heard Lavender speak of his friend. "Not that little
man?"

"Yes," said Lavender coldly: he could have wished that Ingram had had
some little more regard for appearances in so public a place as the
main thoroughfare of Brighton.

"Won't you stop and speak to him?" said Sheila with great surprise.

"We are late already," said her husband. "But if you would rather go
back and speak to him than go on with us, you may."

Sheila said nothing more; and so they drove on to the end of the
Parade, where Lady Leveret held possession of a big white house with
pillars overlooking the broad street and the sea.

But next morning she said to him, "I suppose you will be riding with
Mrs. Lorraine this morning?"

"I suppose so."

"I should like to go and see Mr. Ingram, if he is still there," she
said.

"Ladies don't generally call at hotels and ask to see gentlemen; but
of course you don't care for that."

"I shall not go if you do not wish me."

"Oh, nonsense! You may as well go. What is the use of professing
to keep observances that you don't understand? And it will be some
amusement for you, for I dare say both of you will immediately go and
ask some old cab-driver to have luncheon with you, or buy a nosegay of
flowers for his horse."

The permission was not very gracious, but Sheila accepted it, and
very shortly after breakfast she changed her dress and went out. How
pleasant it was to know that she was going to see her old friend
to whom she could talk freely! The morning seemed to know of her
gladness, and to share in it, for there was a brisk southerly breeze
blowing fresh in from the sea, and the waves were leaping white in the
sunlight. There was no more sluggishness in the air or the gray sky or
the leaden plain of the sea. Sheila knew that the blood was mantling
in her cheeks; that her heart was full of joy; that her whole frame
so tingled with life and spirit that, had she been in Borva, she would
have challenged her deer-hound to a race, and fled down the side of
the hill with him to the small bay of white sand below the house. She
did not pause for a minute when she reached the hotel. She went up the
steps, opened the door and entered the square hall. There was an odor
of tobacco in the place, and several gentlemen standing about rather
confused her, for she had to glance at them in looking for a waiter.
Another minute would probably have found her a trifle embarrassed, but
that, just at this crisis, she saw Ingram himself come out of a room
with a cigarette in his hand. He threw away the cigarette, and came
forward to her with amazement in his eyes.

"Where is Mr. Lavender? Has he gone into the smoking-room for me?" he
asked.

"He is not here," said Sheila. "I have come for you by myself."

For a moment, too, Ingram felt the eyes of the men on him, but
directly he said with a fine air of carelessness, "Well, that is very
good of you. Shall we go out for a stroll until your husband comes?"

So he opened the door and followed her outside into the fresh air and
the roar of the waves.

"Well, Sheila," he said, "this is very good of you, really: where is
Mr. Lavender?"

"He generally rides with Mrs. Lorraine in the morning."

"And what do you do?"

"I sit at the window."

"Don't you go boating?"

"No, I have not been in a boat. They do not care for it. And yesterday
it was a letter to papa I was writing, and I could tell him nothing
about the people here or the fishing."

"But you could not in any case, Sheila. I suppose you would like to
know what they pay for their lines, and how they dye their wool, and
so on; but you would find the fishermen here don't live in that way at
all. They are all civilized, you know. They buy their clothing in the
shops. They never eat any sort of sea-weed, or dye with it, either.
However, I will tell you all about it by and by. At present I suppose
you are returning to your hotel."

A quick look of pain and disappointment passed over her face as she
turned to him for a moment with something of entreaty in her eyes.

"I came to see you," she said. "But perhaps you have an engagement. I
do not wish to take up any of your time: if you please I will go back
alone to--"

"Now, Sheila," he said with a smile, and with the old friendly look
she knew so well, "you must not talk like that to me. I won't have it.
You know I came down to Brighton because you asked me to come; and my
time is altogether at your service."

"And you have no engagement just now?" said Sheila with her face
brightening.

"No."

"And you will take me down to the shore to see the boats and the nets?
Or could we go out and run along the coast for a few miles? It is a
very good wind."

"Oh, I should be very glad," said Ingram slowly. "I should be
delighted. But, you see, wouldn't your husband think it--wouldn't he,
you know--wouldn't it seem just a little odd to him if you were to go
away like that?"

"He is to go riding with Mrs. Lorraine," said Sheila quite simply. "He
does not want me."

"Of course you told him you were coming to see--you were going to call
at the Old Ship?"

"Yes. And I am sure he would not be surprised if I did not return for
a long time."

"Are you quite sure, Sheila?"

"Yes, I am quite sure."

"Very well. Now I shall tell you what I am going to do with you. I
shall first go and bribe some mercenary boatman to let us have one
of those small sailing boats committed to our own exclusive charge.
I shall constitute you skipper and pilot of the craft, and hold you
responsible for my safety. I shall smoke a pipe to prepare me for
whatever may befall."

"Oh no," said Sheila. "You must work very hard, and I will see if you
remember all that I taught you in the Lewis. And if we can have some
long lines, we might get some fish. Will they pay more than thirty
shillings for their long lines in this country?"

"I don't know," said Ingram. "I believe most of the fishermen here
live upon the shillings they get from passers-by after a little
conversation about the weather and their hard lot in life; so that one
doesn't talk to them more than one can help."

"But why do they need the money? Are there no fish?"

"I don't know that, either. I suppose there is some good fishing in
the winter, and sometimes in the summer they get some big shoals of
mackerel."

"It was a letter I had last week from the sister of one of the men of
the Nighean-dubh, and she will tell me that they have been very lucky
all through the last season, and it was near six thousand ling they
got."

"But I suppose they are hopelessly in debt to some curer or other up
about Habost?"

"Oh no, not at all. It is their own boat: it is not hired to them. And
it is a very good boat whatever."

That unlucky "whatever" had slipped out inadvertently: the moment she
had uttered it she blushed and looked timidly toward her companion,
fearing that he had noticed it. He had not. How could she have made
such a blunder? she asked herself. She had been most particular about
the avoidance of this word, even in the Lewis. The girl did not know
that from the moment she had left the steps of the Old Ship in company
with that good friend of hers she had unconsciously fallen into much
of her old pronunciation and her old habit of speech; while Ingram,
much more familiar with the Sheila of Borvabost and Loch Roag than
with the Sheila of Netting Hill and Kensington Gardens, did not
perceive the difference, but was mightily pleased to hear her talk in
any fashion whatsoever.

By fair means or foul, Ingram managed to secure a pretty little
sailing vessel which lay at anchor out near the New Pier, and when the
pecuniary negotiations were over Sheila was invited to walk down
over the loose stones of the beach and take command of the craft. The
boatman was still very doubtful. When he had pulled them out to the
boat, however, and put them on board, he speedily perceived that this
handsome young lady not only knew everything that had to be done in
the way of getting the small vessel ready, but had a very smart and
business-like way of doing it. It was very obvious that her companion
did not know half as much about the matter as she did; but he was
obedient and watchful, and presently they were ready to start. The man
put off in his boat to shore again much relieved in mind, but not a
little puzzled to understand where the young lady had picked up not
merely her knowledge of boats, but the ready way in which she put her
delicate hands to hard work, and the prompt and effectual fashion in
which she accomplished it.

"Shall I belay away the jib or reef the upper hatchways?" Ingram
called out to Sheila when they had fairly got under way.

She did not answer for a moment: she was still watching with a
critical eye the manner in which the boat answered to her wishes; and
then, when everything promised well and she was quite satisfied, she
said, "If you will take my place for a moment and keep a good lookout,
I will put on my gloves."

She surrendered the tiller and the mainsail sheets into his care, and,
with another glance ahead, pulled out her gloves.

"You did not use to fear the salt water or the sun on your hands,
Sheila," said her companion.

"I do not now," she said, "but Frank would be displeased to see my
hands brown. He has himself such pretty hands."

What Ingram thought about Frank Lavender's delicate hands he was not
going to say to his wife; and indeed he was called upon at this moment
to let Sheila resume her post, which she did with an air of great
satisfaction and content.

And so they ran lightly through the curling and dashing water on this
brilliant day, caring little indeed for the great town that lay away
to leeward, with its shining terraces surmounted by a faint cloud of
smoke. Here all the roar of carriages and people was unheard: the only
sound that accompanied their talk was the splashing of the waves at
the prow and the hissing and gurgling of the water along the boat. The
south wind blew fresh and sweet around them, filling the broad white
sails and fluttering the small pennon up there in the blue. It seemed
strange to Sheila that she should be so much alone with so great a
town close by--that under the boom she could catch a glimpse of the
noisy Parade without hearing any of its noise. And there, away to
windward, there was no more trace of city life--only the great
blue sea, with its waves flowing on toward them from out of the far
horizon, and with here and there a pale ship just appearing on the
line where the sky and ocean met.

"Well, Sheila, how do you like being on the sea again?" said Ingram,
getting out his pipe.

"Oh, very well. But you must not smoke, Mr. Ingram: you must attend to
the boat."

"Don't you feel at home in her yet?" he asked.

"I am not afraid of her," said Sheila, regarding the lines of the
small craft with the eye of a shipbuilder, "but she is very narrow in
the beam, and she carries too much sail for so small a thing I suppose
they have not any squalls on this coast, where you have no hills and
no narrows to go through."

"It doesn't remind you of Lewis, does it?" he said, filling his pipe
all the same.

"A little--out there it does," she said, turning to the broad plain of
the sea, "but it is not much that is in this country that is like the
Lewis: sometimes I think I shall be a stranger when I go back to the
Lewis, and the people will scarcely know me, and everything will be
changed."

He looked at her for a second or two. Then he laid down his pipe,
which had not been lit, and said to her gravely, "I want you to tell
me, Sheila, why you have got into a habit lately of talking about many
things, and especially about your home in the North, in that sad way.
You did not do that when you came to London first; and yet it was then
that you might have been struck and shocked by the difference. You had
no home-sickness for a long time--But is it home-sickness, Sheila?"

How was she to tell him? For an instant she was on the point of giving
him all her confidence; and then, somehow or other, it occurred to her
that she would be wronging her husband in seeking such sympathy from a
friend as she had been expecting, and expecting in vain, from him.

"Perhaps it is home-sickness," she said in a low voice, while she
pretended to be busy tightening up the mainsail sheet. "I should like
to see Borva again."

"But you don't want to live there all your life?" he said. "You know
that would be unreasonable, Sheila, even if your husband could manage
it; and I don't suppose he can. Surely your papa does not expect you
to go and live in Lewis always?"

"Oh, no," she said eagerly. "You must not think my papa wishes
anything like that. It will be much less than that he was thinking of
when he used to speak to Mr. Lavender about it. And I do not wish
to live in the Lewis always: I have no dislike to London--none at
all--only that--that--" And here she paused.

"Come, Sheila," he said in the old paternal way to which she had been
accustomed to yield up all her own wishes in the old days of their
friendship, "I want you to be frank with me, and tell me what is the
matter. I know there is something wrong: I have seen it for some time
back. Now, you know I took the responsibility of your marriage on
my shoulders, and I am responsible to you, and to your papa and to
myself, for your comfort and happiness. Do you understand?"

She still hesitated, grateful in her in-most heart, but still doubtful
as to what she should do.

"You look on me as an intermeddler," he said with a smile.

"No, no," she said: "you have always been our best friend."

"But I have intermeddled none the less. Don't you remember when I told
you I was prepared to accept the consequences?"

It seemed so long a time since then!

"And once having begun to intermeddle, I can't stop, don't you see?
Now, Sheila, you'll be a good little girl and do what I tell you.
You'll take the boat a long way out: we'll put her head round, take
down the sails, and let her tumble about and drift for a time, till
you tell me all about your troubles, and then we'll see what can be
done."

She obeyed in silence, with her face grown grave enough in
anticipation of the coming disclosures. She knew that the first plunge
into them would be keenly painful to her, but there was a feeling at
her heart that, this penance over, a great relief would be at hand.
She trusted this man as she would have trusted her own father. She
knew that there was nothing on earth he would not attempt if he
fancied it would help her. And she knew, too, that having experienced
so much of his great unselfishness and kindness and thoughtfulness,
she was ready to obey him implicitly in anything that he could assure
her was right for her to do.

How far away seemed the white cliffs now, and the faint green downs
above them! Brighton, lying farther to the west, had become dim
and yellow, and over it a cloud of smoke lay thick and brown in the
sunlight. A mere streak showed the line of the King's road and all its
carriages and people; the beach beneath could just be made out by the
white dots of the bathing-machines; the brown fishing-boats seemed to
be close in shore; the two piers were fore-shortened into small dusky
masses marking the beginning of the sea. And then from these distant
and faintly-defined objects out here to the side of the small
white-and-pink boat, that lay lightly in the lapping water, stretched
that great and moving network of waves, with here and there a sharp
gleam of white foam curling over amid the dark blue-green.

Ingram took his seat by Sheila's side, so that he should not have
to look in her downcast face; and then, with some little preliminary
nervousness and hesitation, the girl told her story. She told it to
sympathetic ears, and yet Ingram, having partly guessed how matters
stood, and anxious, perhaps, to know whether much of her trouble
might not be merely the result of fancies which could be reasoned and
explained away, was careful to avoid anything like corroboration. He
let her talk in her own simple and artless way; and the girl spoke to
him, after a little while, with an earnestness which showed how deeply
she felt her position. At the very outset she told him that her love
for her husband had never altered for a moment--that all the prayer
and desire of her heart was that they two might be to each other
as she had at one time hoped they would be, when he got to know her
better. She went over all the story of her coming to London, of her
first experiences there, of the conviction that grew upon her that her
husband was somehow disappointed with her, and only anxious now that
she should conform to the ways and habits of the people with whom
he associated. She spoke of her efforts to obey his wishes, and how
heartsick she was with her failures, and of the dissatisfaction which
he showed. She spoke of the people to whom he devoted his life, of
the way in which he passed his time, and of the impossibility of her
showing him, so long as he thus remained apart from her, the love she
had in her heart for him, and the longing for sympathy which that love
involved. And then she came to the question of Mrs. Lorraine; and
here it seemed to Ingram she was trying at once to put her husband's
conduct in the most favorable light, and to blame herself for her
unreasonableness. Mrs. Lorraine was a pleasant companion to him, she
could talk cleverly and brightly, she was pretty, and she knew a large
number of his friends. Sheila was anxious to show that it was the most
natural thing in the world that her husband, finding her so out of
communion with his ordinary surroundings, should make an especial
friend of this graceful and fascinating woman. And if at times it
hurt her to be left alone--But here the girl broke down somewhat, and
Ingram pretended not to know that she was crying.

These were strange things to be told to a man, and they were difficult
to answer. But out of these revelations--which rather took the form of
a cry than of any distinct statement--he formed a notion of Sheila's
position sufficiently exact; and the more he looked at it the more
alarmed and pained he grew, for he knew more of her than her husband
did. He knew the latent force of character that underlay all her
submissive gentleness. He knew the keen sense of pride her Highland
birth had given her; and he feared what might happen if this sensitive
and proud heart of hers were driven into rebellion by some--possibly
unintentional--wrong. And this high-spirited, fearless, honor-loving
girl--who was gentle and obedient, not through any timidity or
limpness of character, but because she considered it her duty to
be gentle and obedient--was to be cast aside and have her tenderest
feelings outraged and wounded for the sake of an unscrupulous,
shallow-brained woman of fashion, who was not fit to be Sheila's
waiting-maid. Ingram had never seen Mrs. Lorraine, but he had formed
his own opinion of her. The opinion, based upon nothing, was wholly
wrong, but it served to increase, if that were possible, his sympathy
with Sheila, and his resolve to interfere on her behalf at whatever
cost.

"Sheila," he said, gravely putting his hand on her shoulder as if she
were still the little girl who used to run wild with him about the
Borva rocks, "you are a good woman."

He added to himself that Lavender knew little of the value of the wife
he had got, but he dared not say that to Sheila, who would suffer no
imputation against her husband to be uttered in her presence, however
true it might be, or however much she had cause to know it to be true.

"And, after all," he said in a lighter voice, "I think I can do
something to mend all this. I will say for Frank Lavender that he is a
thoroughly good fellow at heart, and that when you appeal to him, and
put things fairly before him, and show him what he ought to do, there
is not a more honorable and straightforward man in the world. He has
been forgetful, Sheila. He has been led away by these people, you
know, and has not been aware of what you were suffering. When I put
the matter before him, you will see it will be all right; and I hope
to persuade him to give up this constant idling and take to his work,
and have something to live for. I wish you and I together could get
him to go away from London altogether--get him to take to serious
landscape painting on some wild coast--the Galway coast, for example."

"Why not the Lewis?" said Sheila, her heart turning to the North as
naturally as the needle.

"Or the Lewis. And I should like you and him to live away from hotels
and luxuries, and all such things; and he would work all day, and you
would do the cooking in some small cottage you could rent, you know."

"You make me so happy in thinking of that," she said, with her eyes
growing wet again.

"And why should he not do so? There is nothing romantic or idyllic
about it, but a good, wholesome, plain sort of life, that is likely to
make an honest painter of him, and bring both of you some well-earned
money. And you might have a boat like this."

"We are drifting too far in," said Sheila, suddenly rising. "Shall we
go back now?"

"By all means," he said; and so the small boat was put under canvas
again, and was soon making way through the breezy water.

"Well, all this seems simple enough, doesn't it?" said Ingram.

"Yes," said the girl, with her face full of hope.

"And then, of course, when you are quite comfortable together, and
making heaps of money, you can turn round and abuse me, and say I made
all the mischief to begin with."

"Did we do so before when you were very kind to us?" she said in a low
voice.

"Oh, but that was different. To interfere on behalf of two young folks
who are in love with each other is dangerous, but to interfere between
two people who are married--that is a certain quarrel. I wonder what
you will say when you are scolding me, Sheila, and bidding me get out
of the house? I have never heard you scold. Is it Gaelic or English
you prefer?"

"I prefer whichever can say the nicest things to my very good friends,
and tell them how grateful I am for their kindness to me."

"Ah, well, we'll see."

When they got back to shore it was half-past one.

"You will come and have some luncheon with us?" said Sheila when they
had gone up the steps and into the King's road.

"Will that lady be there?"

"Mrs. Lorraine? Yes."

"Then I'll come some other time."

"But why not now?" said Sheila. "It is not necessary that you will see
us only to speak about those things we have been talking over?"

"Oh no, not at all. If you and Mr. Lavender were by yourselves, I
should come at once."

"And are you afraid of Mrs. Lorraine?" said Sheila with a smile. "She
is a very nice lady, indeed: you have no cause to dislike her."

"But I don't want to meet her, Sheila, that is all," he said; and
she knew well, by the precision of his manner, that there was no use
trying to persuade him further.

He walked along to the hotel with her, meeting a considerable stream
of fashionably-dressed folks on the way; and neither he nor she seemed
to remember that his costume--a blue pilot-jacket, not a little worn
and soiled with the salt water, and a beaver hat that had seen a
good deal of rough weather in the Highlands--was a good deal more
comfortable than elegant. He said to her, as he left her at the hotel,
"Would you mind telling Lavender I shall drop in at half-past three,
and that I expect to see him in the coffee-room? I sha'n't keep him
five minutes."

She looked at him for a moment, and he saw that she knew what this
appointment meant, for her eyes were full of gladness and gratitude.
He went away pleased at heart that she put so much trust in him. And
in this case he should be able to reward that confidence, for Lavender
was really a good sort of fellow, and would at once be sorry for the
wrong he had unintentionally done, and be only too anxious to set it
right. He ought to leave Brighton at once, and London too. He ought to
go away into the country or by the seaside, and begin working hard,
to earn money and self-respect at the same time; and then, in this
friendly solitude, he would get to know something about Sheila's
character, and begin to perceive how much more valuable were these
genuine qualities of heart and mind than any social graces such as
might lighten up a dull drawing-room. Had Lavender yet learnt to
know the worth of an honest woman's perfect love and unquestioning
devotion? Let these things be put before him, and he would go and do
the right thing, as he had many a time done before, in obedience to
the lecturing of his friend.

Ingram called at half-past three, and went into the coffee-room. There
was no one in the long, large room, and he sat down at one of the
small tables by the windows, from which a bit of lawn, the King's road
and the sea beyond were visible. He had scarcely taken his seat when
Lavender came in.

"Hallo, Ingram! how are you?" he said in his freest and friendliest
way. "Won't you come up stairs? Have you had lunch? Why did you go to
the Ship?"

"I always go to the Ship," he said. "No, thank you, I won't go up
stairs."

"You are a most unsociable sort of brute?" said Lavender frankly.
"Will you take a glass of sherry?"

"No, thank you."

"Will you have a game of billiards?"

"No, thank you. You don't mean to say you would play billiards on such
a day as this?"

"It _is_ a fine day, isn't it?" said Lavender, turning carelessly to
look at the sunlit road and the blue sea. "By the way, Sheila tells
me you and she were out sailing this morning. It must have been very
pleasant, especially for her, for she is mad about such things. What a
curious girl she is, to be sure! Don't you think so?"

"I don't know what you mean by curious," said Ingram coldly.

"Well, you know, strange--odd--unlike other people in her ways and her
fancies. Did I tell you about my aunt taking her to see some friends
of hers at Norwood? No? Well, Sheila had got out of the house somehow
(I suppose their talking did not interest her), and when they went in
search of her they found her in the cemetery crying like a child."

"What about?"

"Why," said Lavender with a smile, "merely because so many people had
died. She had never seen anything like that before: you know the small
church-yards up in Lewis, with their inscriptions in Norwegian and
Danish and German. I suppose the first sight of all the white stones
at Norwood was too much for her."

"Well, I don't see much of a joke in that," said Ingram.

"Who said there was any joke in it?" cried Lavender impatiently.
"I never knew such a cantankerous fellow as you are. You are always
fancying I am finding fault with Sheila; and I never do anything of
the kind. She is a very good girl indeed. I have every reason to be
satisfied with the way our marriage has turned out."

"_Has she_?"

The words were not important, but there was something in the tone in
which they were spoken that suddenly checked Frank Lavender's careless
flow of speech. He looked at Ingram for a moment with some surprise,
and then he said, "What do you mean?"

"Well, I will tell you what I mean," said Ingram slowly. "It is an
awkward thing for a man to interfere between husband and wife, I
am aware--he gets something else than thanks for his pains
ordinarily--but sometimes it has to be done, thanks or kicks. Now,
you know, Lavender, I had a good deal to do with helping forward
your marriage in the North; and I don't remind you of that to claim
anything in the way of consideration, but to explain why I think I am
called on to speak to you now."

Lavender was at once a little frightened and a little irritated. He
half guessed what might be coming from the slow and precise manner
in which Ingram talked. That form of speech had vexed him many a time
before, for he would rather have had any amount of wild contention
and bandying about of reproaches than the calm, unimpassioned and
sententious setting forth of his shortcomings to which this sallow
little man was perhaps too much addicted.

"I suppose Sheila has been complaining to you, then?" said Lavender
hotly.

"You may suppose what absurdities you like," said Ingram quietly; "but
it would be a good deal better if you would listen to me patiently,
and deal in a common-sense fashion with what I have got to say. It
is nothing very desperate. Nothing has happened that is not of easy
remedy, while the remedy would leave you and her in a much better
position, both as regards your own estimation of yourselves and the
opinion of your friends."

"You are a little roundabout, Ingram," said Lavender, "and ornate. But
I suppose all lectures begin so. Go on."

Ingram laughed: "If I am too formal, it is because I don't want to
make mischief by any exaggeration. Look here! A long time before you
were married I warned you that Sheila had very keen and sensitive
notions about the duties that people ought to perform, about the
dignity of labor, about the proper occupations of a man, and so forth.
These notions you may regard as romantic and absurd, if you like, but
you might as well try to change the color of her eyes as attempt to
alter any of her beliefs in that direction."

"And she thinks that I am idle and indolent because I don't care what
a washerwoman pays for her candles?" said Lavender with impetuous
contempt. "Well, be it so. She is welcome to her opinion. But if she
is grieved at heart because I can't make hobnailed boots, it seems
to me that she might as well come and complain to myself, instead of
going and detailing her wrongs to a third person, and calling for his
sympathy in the character of an injured wife."

For an instant the dark eyes of the man opposite him blazed with a
quick fire, for a sneer at Sheila was worse than an insult to himself;
but he kept quite calm, and said, "That, unfortunately, is not what is
troubling her."

Lavender rose abruptly, took a turn up and down the empty room, and
said, "If there is anything the matter, I prefer to hear it from
herself. It is not respectful to me that she should call in a third
person to humor her whims and fancies."

"Whims and fancies!" said Ingram, with that dark light returning to
his eyes. "Do you know what you are talking about? Do you know that,
while you are living on the charity of a woman you despise, and
dawdling about the skirts of a woman who laughs at you, you are
breaking the heart of a girl who has not her equal in England? Whims
and fancies! Good God, I wonder how she ever could have--"

He stopped, but the mischief was done. These were not prudent words
to come from a man who wished to step in as a mediator between husband
and wife; but Ingram's blaze of wrath, kindled by what he considered
the insufferable insolence of Lavender in thus speaking of Sheila, had
swept all notions of prudence before it. Lavender, indeed, was much
cooler than he was, and said, with an affectation of carelessness, "I
am sorry you should vex yourself so much about Sheila. One would think
you had had the ambition yourself, at some time or other, to play the
part of husband to her; and doubtless then you would have made sure
that all her idle fancies were gratified. As it is, I was about to
relieve you from the trouble of further explanation by saying that I
am quite competent to manage my own affairs, and that if Sheila has
any complaint to make she must make it to me."

Ingram rose, and was silent for a moment.

"Lavender," he said, "it does not matter much whether you and I
quarrel--I was prepared for that, in any case--but I ask you to give
Sheila a chance of telling you what I had intended to tell you."

"Indeed, I shall do nothing of the sort. I never invite confidences.
When she wishes to tell me anything she knows I am ready to listen.
But I am quite satisfied with the position of affairs as they are at
present."

"God help you, then!" said his friend, and went away, scarcely daring
to confess to himself how dark the future looked.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



ENGLISH COURT FESTIVITIES


Americans have an impression that the English think it a considerable
distinction to be presented at court. But the ceremony of presentation
has entirely ceased to have any social significance in England. Any
young gentleman who imagines that the door of English society will
be thrown open to him on the publication of his appearance at a
drawing-room had better save the expense of a dress and carriage and
stay at home. If a lady be ambitious of a social success, the money
which a robe will cost might be expended to equal advantage anywhere
else in London. However, a lady's dress may be worn again, and men may
hire a court-suit for the day at a very small cost. Your tailor, if
you get a good deal of him, will patch you up something tolerable for
very little; so that sartorial expenses are comparatively light. One
can get for the afternoon a two-horse brougham, with a coachman and
footman, for a sum less than ten dollars. Still, going to court costs
something, and its only possible advantage is that the spectacle is a
fine and an interesting one. One has therefore to consider whether the
sight is worth the fee.

A presentation at court is of quite as little advantage to an
Englishman as to a foreigner coming to England. Almost anybody can be
presented, and of those who are precluded from presentation, a great
many occupy higher positions than many of those who have the privilege
of going to court. Any graduate of a university, any clergyman, any
officer in the army, is entitled to go. A merchant, an attorney, even
a barrister, cannot; and yet in England a barrister, or, for
that matter, a successful merchant, is apt to be a person of more
consequence than a curate or a poor soldier. The court has scarcely
any social significance in England. I once asked a young barrister if
presentation would help him in the least in making his way in society.
He said, "Not a bit."

In England the position of everybody is so well fixed that people
cannot well change it by wishing it to be changed. Thus, for a poor
East London curate to go to court would simply make him ridiculous.
The parsons in the West End do present themselves, but there is
no part of the British empire where clergymen are of such slight
consequence as in the West End of London. The clergymen, as they file
in along with the gayly-accoutred young guards-men, have a meek and
gentle air which makes one feel that they had better have stayed away.
They do not look half defiant enough. No person who is not already
in such a position as to need no pushing could becomingly make his
appearance at court. I remember in Shropshire to have heard a family
who went down to London to be presented made the target for the
ridicule of the whole neighborhood.

On a visit to London some years ago the writer was presented in the
diplomatic circle, went to several of the drawing-rooms and levees at
Buckingham and St. James's Palaces, and was invited to the court balls
and concerts. Invitations to the court festivities are given only
to those persons presented in the diplomatic circle. It must be
understood that there is at every court in Europe a select and elegant
and exclusive entrance, by which the diplomatists come in. Along with
them enter also the ministers of state and the household officers of
the Crown. The general circle, as it is called, includes everybody
else. Another entrance and staircase are provided for it, and in that
way all of British society, from a duke to a half-pay captain, gains
admittance to the sovereign. When one is in the inside of Buckingham
or St. James's Palace the same distinction exists. The room in which
the members of the royal family receive the public is occupied during
the entire ceremony by the diplomatic circle. Other persons, after
bowing to the queen, pass into an antechamber.

Though I say it is of but small social advantage to an Englishman to
be presented, yet undoubtedly the greatest people in the empire
attend court, and are to be seen at the ceremonials and festivities
at Buckingham and St. James's Palaces. At present the queen holds
drawing-rooms and levees at Buckingham Palace, and the prince of Wales
at St. James's Palace. The latter are attended only by gentlemen,
and, though not so grand as the queen's, are pleasanter. Trousers are
allowed, instead of the knee-breeches and stockings which must be worn
at all court ceremonials where there are ladies. At two o'clock--for
the prince is very punctual--the doors of the reception-room are
thrown open, and the diplomatists begin to file in. First come the
ambassadors. It must be remembered that there is a wide difference
between an ambassador and an envoy or minister plenipotentiary. The
original difference was that the ambassador was supposed, by a sort of
transubstantiation, to represent the person of his sovereign. He had
a right at any time to demand an audience with the king. An envoy must
see the foreign secretary. This, of course, has ceased to have any
practical significance in countries which have constitutions; and no
doubt a minister can at any time demand an interview of the sovereign.
It is still true, however, that an ambassador is accredited to
the king, while an envoy is accredited to the foreign secretary.
Practically, the difference is that an ambassador represents a bigger
country, has better pay, lives in a finer house, and gives more
parties and grander dinners. An ambassador has precedence of everybody
in the country in which he resides, except the royal family.

There are five countries which send ambassadors to England--Russia,
France, Germany, Austria and Turkey. These ambassadors enter the
reception-room at the prince's levee in the order of seniority of
residence. The Turkish ambassador, Musurus, who had been twenty
years in London, came first on the occasions I speak of, the
others following, I forget in what order. They were all persons of
distinguished appearance. One, in particular, was singularly wise and
dignified-looking, with an aspect which was either bland or severe,
one could scarcely say which. Another resembled strikingly the
typical diplomatist of romance, having a manner suave and infinitely
deferential, but oh! so under-handed and insidious and diabolical! The
duc de Broglie was the French ambassador in London at the time of my
visit, and of all the corps his person and countenance possessed much
the most distinction. His was a distinction of spirit and intellect:
the distinction of the other continental "swells" was usually one of
stomach and whiskers.

Behind each ambassador march the secretaries of the embassy. After the
ambassadors come the ministers. The whole diplomatic corps moves from
an anteroom into an apartment in which the prince of Wales awaits
them. The prince and several of his brothers, his cousins, the duke
of Cambridge and the prince of Teck, stand up in a row like an
old-fashioned spelling class. Next to the prince, on his right, stands
Viscount Sidney, the lord chamberlain, who calls off each detachment
as it approaches--"Austrian ambassador," "the Spanish minister," "the
United States minister," etc. The prince shakes hands with the head
of the embassy or mission, and bows to the secretaries. When the
diplomatists, cabinet ministers and household officers have all made
their bow, it is the turn of British society. The diplomatic
circle, and such as have the _entree_ to it, remain in the room: the
Englishmen pass out. The lord chamberlain in a loud voice calls off
the name of each person as he appears, so that each comer is, as it
were, labeled and ticketed. The observer learns quite as much as
if the lord chamberlain was the verger and was showing off his
collection.

One may often guess the rank or importance of the courtier by the
manner of his reception. If he shakes hands with the prince, you may
know he is somebody--if he shakes hands with all five or six of the
princes, you may know he is a very great person. But if he gives the
princes a wide berth, bows hastily and glances furtively at them, and
runs by skittishly, then you may know that he is some half-pay colonel
or insignificant civil servant. Something, too, may be inferred from
the length of time the lord chamberlain takes to decipher the name
of the comer on the slip of paper which is handed him. If he scans
it long and hard, and holds it a good way from him and says "Major
Te--e--e--bosh--bow," then in a loud voice, "Major Tebow," you will
be safe in thinking that Major Tebow is not one of the greatest of
warriors or largest of landed proprietors.

The ceremony lasts an hour and a half or two hours, and during the
whole of it the talk and hand-shaking among the diplomatists go on
very pleasantly. There is a great deal of _esprit de corps_ among
them, and perfect equality. Attachés, secretaries and ministers walk
about through the room and exchange greetings. The ambassadors are
rather statelier: these do not mix themselves with the crowd of
diplomatists, but stand up apart, all five in a row, leaning against
the wall, chatting easily, looking quite like another row of princes,
a sort of after-glow of the royalties.

At all other court entertainments ladies are present. Of course
there are a great many very pretty ones, and their brilliant toilets
increase the magnificence of the spectacle. The queen's levees are
very much longer than those of the prince of Wales. Then, at all
ceremonials where there are ladies, men are compelled to wear, as
I have said, silk stockings and knee-breeches, slippers and
shoe-buckles. One can support this costume in tolerable comfort in a
warm room, but in getting from the carriage to the door it is often
like walking knee-deep in a tub of cold water. A cold hall or a
draught from an open door will give very unpleasant sensations. In
many of the large rooms of the palaces huge fireplaces, with great
logs of wood, roar behind tall brass fenders. Once in front of one of
these, the courtier who isn't a Scotchman feels as if he would never
care to go away. Fortunately, most of these ceremonials are in summer,
but the first of them come in February, and London is often cool well
up into June.

The ceremony of a presentation to the queen is quite the same as that
at a prince of Wales's levee. The spelling-class of royal ladies stand
up in a rigid row. On the queen's right is the lord chamberlain, who
reads off the names. Next to the queen, on her left, is Alexandra,
then the queen's daughters and the Princess Mary of Cambridge. Next
to them stand the princes, and the whole is a phalanx which stretches
entirely across the room. Behind this line, drawn up in battle array,
stand three or four ranks of court ladies.

The act of presentation is very easy and simple. Formerly--indeed,
until within a few years--it must have been a very perilous and
important feat. The courtier (the term is used inaccurately, but there
is no noun to describe a person who goes to court for a single time)
was compelled to walk up a long room, and to back, bowing, out of the
queen's presence. For ladies who had trails to manage the ordeal must
have been a trying one. Now it has been made quite easy. There is
but one point in which a presentation to the queen differs from that
already described at the prince of Wales's levee. You may turn your
back to the prince, but after bowing to the queen you step off into
the crowd, still facing her. There (if you have had the good luck to
be presented in the diplomatic circle) you may stand and watch a most
interesting pageant. To the young royalties, perhaps, it is not very
amusing, though they evidently have their little joke afterward over
anything unusual that occurs. It is natural enough that they should,
of course, and the fatigue which they sustain entitles them to all the
amusement they can get out of what must be to them a very monotonous
and familiar spectacle. There is plenty in it to occupy and interest
the man who sees it for the first or second time. You do not have to
ask "Who is this?" and "Who is that?" The lord chamberlain announces
each person as he or she appears. You hear the most heroic and
romantic names in English history as some insignificant boy or wizened
old woman appears to represent them. They are not all, by any means,
insignificant boys and wizened old women. Many of the ladies are
handsome enough to be well worth looking at, whether their names be
Percy or Stanhope or Brown or Smith. The young slips of girls who come
to be presented for the first time, frightened and pale or flushed,
one admires and feels a sense of instinctive loyalty to.

The name of each is called out loudly by the lord chamberlain: "The
duchess of Fincastle," "The countess of Dorchester," "Lady Arabella
Darling on her marriage," etc. The ladies bow very low, and those to
whom the queen gives her hand to kiss nearly or quite touch their knee
to the carpet. No act of homage to the queen ever seems exaggerated,
her behavior being so modest and the sympathy with her so wide and
sincere; but ladies very nearly kneel in shaking hands with any member
of the royal family, not only at court, but elsewhere. It is not so
strange-looking, the kneeling to a royal lady, but to see a stately
mother or some soft maiden rendering such an act of homage to a chit
of a boy or a gross young gentleman impresses one unpleasantly. The
curtsy of a lady to a prince or princess is something between kneeling
and that queer genuflection one meets in the English agricultural
districts: the props of the boys and girls seem momentarily to be
knocked away, and they suddenly catch themselves in descending. It
astonished me, I remember, at a court party, to see one patrician
young woman--"divinely tall" I should describe her if her decided chin
and the evidently Roman turn of her nose and of her character had not
put divinity out of the question--shake hands with a not very imposing
young prince, and bend her regal knees into this curious and sudden
little cramp. I saw her, this adventurous maid, some days afterward in
a hansom cab (shade of her grandmother, think of it!), directing with
her imperious parasol the cabby to this and that shop. It struck me
she should have been a Roman damsel, and have driven a chariot with
three steeds abreast.

The levees and the drawing-rooms may be called the court ceremonials.
There are besides the court festivities, the balls and concerts
at Buckingham Palace. There are four or five of these given in a
season--two balls and two concerts. The balls are the larger and less
select, but much the more amusing. The ball-room of the palace is a
large rectangular apartment. At one end is the orchestra--at the other
a raised dais on which the royalties sit. On each side, running the
length of the hall, are three tiers of benches, which are for ladies
and such gentlemen as can get a seat. The tiers on the left of the
dais are for diplomatists. English society has the tiers upon the
other side. By ten the ball-room is usually filled with people waiting
for the appearance of the royalties. The band strikes up, and the line
of princes and princesses advances down the long hall leading to the
ball-room. The queen and Prince Albert used formerly to preside at
these balls. The queen does not come now: the prince and princess of
Wales take her place.

First enters a line of gentlemen bearing long sticks. Behind them come
the princesses, bowing on each hand. The princess of Wales advances
first, with a naïve, faltering, hesitating step, a strange and quite
delicious blending of timidity and child-like confidence in her
manner. Then come, walking by twos, some daughters of the queen. Then
approaches the princess of Teck (Mary of Cambridge), a large and very
jolly-looking person, with vast good-nature and a profuse smile, which
she seems to throw all over everybody. A German duchess or two
follow her. The curtsies of these German princesses are indeed quite
wonderful. After entering the hall one of them will espy (such, I
suppose, is the fiction) some persons to whom she wishes to bow, and
she then proceeds to execute a performance of some minutes' duration.
Before curtsying, she stops and seems to "shy," and looks at the
ladies as a frightened horse examines intently the object which alarms
him: she then sinks slowly backward almost to the ground, and recovers
herself with the same slowness. It would seem that such a genuflection
must be, of necessity, ridiculous. But it is not so in the least: it
is quite successful, and rather pleasing. After the ladies come the
prince of Wales and his suite. The royalties then all go upon the
stage, and after music the ball begins.

There are two sets of dancers. The princes and princesses open the
ball with the diplomatists and some of the highest nobility on the
space just in front of the dais. The rest of the hall is occupied by
the other dancers, who later in the evening find their way into the
diplomatic set. The dancing in the quadrilles and Lancers is of a
rather stately and ceremonious sort. In waltz or galop the English
always dance the same step, the _deux temps_, and the aim of the
dancing couple is to go as much like a spinning-top as possible.
They make occasional efforts to introduce puzzling novelties like the
_trois temps_, the Boston dip, etc., but, I am glad to say, without
any success. The result is, that once having learned to dance in
England, you are safe.

The great hall during the waltz is a brilliant spectacle. There are
many beautiful women, the toilets are dazzling, and all the men are
"flaming in purple and gold." There is every variety of magnificent
dress. Officers of a Russian body-guard are gold from head to foot.
Hungarians wear purple and fur-trimmed robes of dark crimson of
the utmost splendor. The young men of the Guards' clubs in gold and
scarlet coats, and in spurred boots which reach above their knees,
clank through the halls. Scotch lords sit about, and exhibit legs of
which they are justly proud. Here, with swinging gait, wanders the
queen's piper, a sort of poet-laureate of the bagpipes, arrayed in
plaid and carrying upon his arm the soft, enchanting instrument to the
music of which, no doubt, the queen herself dances. The music of the
orchestra is perfect, and he must be a dull man who does not feel the
festivity, the buoyancy and the elation of the scene.

Besides the ball-room, many handsome apartments are thrown open,
through which people promenade; and if you will but push aside the
curtains there are balconies where one can look down, by moonlight, on
the lakes and fountains of the gardens, "the watery ways of palaces."
I do not think the balconies are much occupied: they are a trifle too
romantic for British mammas. But there is plenty of flirting in
the halls and alcoves. One room I remember very pleasantly, the
refreshment-room, which was kept open during the evening till
supper-time. There one could get sandwiches, cold coffee, champagne,
sherry, etc., without having to hurry or be greedy in the least. I
can't say so much for the supper, though by waiting a little one could
always get something. The princes went first, then the diplomatists,
and then everybody else. The jostling was such that when young ladies
asked for a plate of soup you wished they had wanted ham and chicken.
A young American, I think, would very much dislike to go up to a table
and eat a solitary supper with ladies looking on, and young and pretty
ones, too. But I have seen a young guardsman, with an enormous helmet
and boots as big as himself, stand up at the table and "solitary and
alone" work his jaws with such effect as to shake and set trembling
the whole of his paraphernalia. Behind him pressed other hungry
courtiers, whom his gigantic helmet shut out from even the possibility
of supper, and who revenged themselves by sarcastic congratulations
aside upon the length and heartiness of his meal.

"Concert" is an expression which to a hungry man has a strong
suggestion of tea and maccaroons. But a court concert gives you such a
supper as only a night's dancing is ordinarily supposed to entitle
you to. The concerts are given in the ball-room of the palace, and are
much more select than the balls. The royalties occupy very slight gilt
chairs placed just before the orchestra. There they sit with grace and
an appearance of comfort through the whole of it, while happier
and humbler mortals may walk about and whisper, or seek the
refreshment-room, or look at the pictures. They have very good music,
the best singers are provided, and some pretty familiar songs, like
"Home, sweet home," are sung.

Before the royalties lead the way to supper they step forward to the
bar which divides the orchestra from the audience and say a few civil
things to each of the prominent artists, who in their turn bow and
look very much delighted. I wonder that singers who are almost queens
when they come to American cities, who have here any amount of praise
and attention entirely free from patronage, and who even in European
capitals may have excellent society, should be willing to put
themselves in such a position. While the social status of musical
artists has not been raised relatively in the last quarter of a
century, and while that of the theatrical profession has been indeed,
in London at least, relatively lowered, reason is gradually curing the
old societies of Europe of many of their savage and silly notions.
The cord stretched between the guests and the performers used to be a
feature of musical entertainments at private houses. Grisi went
once to sing at a concert given by the duke of Wellington at his
country-seat. The old man asked her when she would dine. "Oh, when
you do," she said. He saw her mistake and did not correct it; so it
happened that she dined at the same table with the guests, and the
incident, it is said, excited considerable horror among people of the
old sort. Think how barbarous, how savage, how utterly uncivilized, is
such an instinct! Women, of course, persecute each other, but it seems
inconceivable that a man and a gentleman could have entertained such a
sentiment.

Of course, a supper at a concert is just the same as at a ball, only
there are fewer people and more leisure. The prince of Wales, and to
a less degree the other royalties, move among the throng and make
a point of speaking to any one to whom they wish to be civil. "The
Prince," as he is commonly called, takes advantage of the suppers
at balls and parties to make himself agreeable. The rule is, let
me remind the reader, to wait until the prince addresses you before
speaking, and to wait also for him, when in conversation, to turn
away: it would be considered very rude to terminate the interview
yourself. A subject in talking with the prince is always expected
to call him "Sir." The queen is addressed as "Ma'am." It is not
understood in this country that to call a man "sir" is a confession
of your inferiority to him. But it is so in England, and the fact
illustrates the strong hold these absurd and uncomfortable egotisms
have upon the British mind. No gentleman in England says "sir"
to another, unless it be a very young person to an old one. [1] A
subordinate in an office might "sir" a superior, but he would not
"sir" a man of the same rank as his superior with whom he had no
connection. "Sir" is the term applied by any Englishman of whatever
rank to a member of the royal family. Our committees, when princes
visit America, usually address them in notes as "Your Royal Highness."
But "Your Royal Highness" is not a vocative: it can be used only
in the third person. However, the princes are then in America, and
perhaps we are under no obligation to know everything of their ways at
home. Should the reader ever meet a prince in that prince's country,
I should advise him to do just as other people do there. He will
probably question, and not unreasonably, if he should accept the
implied inferiority; but the best of all principles for extempore
action is to do what seems the usual thing, unless we have previously
decided from mature consideration to do the unusual thing. It is not
the prince's fault that he is a prince: he means to be civil to you,
and you can do no good by making him and yourself uncomfortable.
Indeed, a truculent person does not succeed in asserting his equality.
The prince has been so long in that kind of life that he probably has
thought through the mistake under which the republican stranger is
laboring, and considers him a goose. Moreover, an American may reflect
that he will probably have very little in life to do with princes, and
that his interview with a prince has been an "experience." It would be
about as foolish to assert one's dignity with the Mammoth Cave or the
Matterhorn.

Besides these balls and concerts there are yet the queen's and prince
of Wales's breakfasts or garden-parties, which come off about 3
P.M. These are the most exclusive and unattainable of all the court
entertainments. There are two or three of these in a season, and out
of all London society only a couple of hundred are invited. There are
certain persons who are always invited, and others who are eligible
and are invited occasionally. A large part of the diplomatic corps
are always present. Each ambassador or minister, with one or two
secretaries of legation, is invariably among the guests; but a queen's
breakfast is the highest point which a secretary of legation can
touch. No secretary ever dines with the queen: the minister himself
only goes once a year, and he "not without shedding of blood."

The dress worn by gentlemen at these breakfasts is a curious one, and
anything but pretty: it consists of a dress-coat and light trousers.
The dress which our diplomatic representatives are now compelled to
wear at the other court ceremonies and festivities needs a word of
mention. Our people in America are somewhat conceited, somewhat
prone to be confident, upon questions of which they know very little.
Congress, at a distance of many thousand miles from courts, thought
itself competent to decide what sort of court dress an American
diplomatist should wear. An able though crotchety man brought forward
a measure, and, once proposed, it was certain to go through,
because to oppose its passage would have been to be aristocratic
and un-American. Mr. Sumner's bill required Americans to go in the
"ordinary dress of an American citizen." There was no attempt to
indicate what that should be. Up to that time our diplomatists had
worn the uniform used by the non-military diplomatists of other
countries. This consists of a blue coat with more or less gold upon
it, white breeches, silk stockings, sword and chapeau.

An attempt or two had been made before by the State Department to
interfere with the trappings of its servants abroad. Marcy issued
a circular requesting American diplomatists to go to court without
uniform. This afforded James Buchanan an opportunity of making one of
the best speeches attributed to him. The circular of Mr. Marcy threw
consternation into the breasts of certain ancient functionaries of
the European courts, for shortly after its appearance the lord high
fiddlestick in waiting called upon Mr. Buchanan, who was then the
United States minister in London, and said that a certain very
distinguished person had heard of the recent wish which the American
government had expressed with regard to the costume of its agents,
and that while she would be happy to see Mr. Buchanan in any dress in
which he might choose to present himself, she yet hoped he would so
far consult her wishes as to consent to carry a sword. "Tell that very
distinguished personage," said Mr. Buchanan, "that not only will I
wear a sword, as she requests, but, should occasion require it, will
hold myself ready to draw it in her defence." This strikes me as in
just that tone of respectful exaggeration and playful acquiescence
which a gentleman in this country may very becomingly take toward
the whole question. Neither Mr. Buchanan nor any one else, I believe,
heeded the request of the Department, and Mr. Marcy himself, it is
said, subsequently repudiated it.

But what was only a request of the State Department in Mr. Marcy's
time is now a law. I had good opportunities to observe how very
uncomfortable our poor diplomatists were made by this piece
of legislation. Its object was, of course, to give them a very
unpretending and subdued appearance. The result is, that with the
exception of Bengalese nabobs, the son of the mikado of Japan, and the
khan of Khiva, the American legations are the most noticeable people
at any court ceremony or festivity in Europe. When everybody else
is flaming in purple and gold the ordinary diplomatic uniform is
exceedingly simple and modest; but the Yankee diplomats are the most
scrutinized and conspicuous persons to be seen. One of the secretaries
said to me: "I am afraid to wander off by myself among these ladies:
they inspect me as the maids of honor in the palace of Brobdingnag did
Gulliver. I feel toward Columbia as a cruel mother who won't dress
me like these other little boys." It would require more than ordinary
courage to attempt to dance in this rig. I should think that our
representatives would huddle together in the most unconspicuous
portion of a room, and never leave it. Said the secretary above
quoted: "I always feel here that I am of some use to my chief: I
am one more pair of legs with which to divide the gaze of British
society."

The dress in which our diplomats attend court at present is a plain
dress-coat and vest, with knee-breeches, black silk stockings,
slippers, etc. It is difficult to see in what sense this is the
"ordinary dress of an American citizen." The dress is not so ugly as
it would seem to be; indeed, with the help of a white vest and
liberal watch-chain, it might be made quite becoming were it not so
excessively conspicuous. An English cabinet minister at a party given
in his own house usually wears it, and all persons invited to the
Empress Eugenie's private parties came got up in that manner. But
in London it was not till recently that American diplomatists were
allowed to go to court even thus attired. Everywhere else in Europe
the legations were admitted in evening dress, the concession of
knee-breeches not having been required. But at Buckingham Palace there
are two or three very old men who were courtiers when Queen Victoria
was a baby, and who still control the court etiquette. These aged
functionaries, who can very well remember Waterloo, and whose fathers
remembered the American Revolution, put down their foot, and would
admit no Americans without the proper garments. The consequence was,
that our legation was compelled to stay at home. This state of things
continued until Reverdy Johnson came out, who arranged what was called
"the Breeches Protocol." Owing to the unreasonable state of the public
mind during his term of office, this was the only measure which that
good and able man succeeded in accomplishing. The compromise which Mr.
Johnson's good-humor and the friendly impulse of the British public
toward us at that time wrung from these ancient chamberlains and
gold-sticks (for you may say what you will, public opinion is
irresistible), was to allow the minister and the two secretaries of
legation to appear in the breeches above described. Americans who are
presented at court, and who get invitations to the festivities, are
all required to wear a court dress. Of what good compelling the poor
diplomatists to make scarecrows of themselves may be I do not know.
Mr. Sumner's proposition was just one of those absurdities to which
men are liable who have considerable conscience and no sense of humor.
Senators and Congressmen fell in with it because they feared to be
un-American, and because it is not their wont to be very dignified or
(in matters of this sort) very scrupulous.

[Footnote 1: The rule, more correctly stated, is, that "sir" is never
used except to indicate a difference of age or position so great as to
forbid familiarity or to be incompatible with social equality. It
may be employed by the elder in addressing the younger, and by the
superior in addressing the inferior, as well as _vice versa_. Hence
the saying, in English society, that only princes and servants are
spoken to as "sir."]



RAMBLES AMONG THE FRUITS AND FLOWERS OF THE TROPICS.


CONCLUDING PAPER.


An Arab vessel from Bombay, touching at Singapore on her way to
Bangkok, afforded us an opportunity we had been longing for to visit
the most splendid of Oriental cities.

Dining at the house of the Malayan rajah, we chanced to meet the
_nárcodah_ (supercargo), who was also the owner, of the Futtel Barrie.
He was a handsome, courtly, and intelligent Arab, glad always to
mingle with Europeans; and in response to our inquiry whether he
had room for passengers, he proffered us a free ticket to and from
Bangkok, with the use of his own cabin. We must be on board the next
day at noon, he said, and it was already verging toward sunset; so
we had small time for preparation. But with the migratory habits of
Oriental tourists it was easy to throw together a few indispensables;
and we were set down on the Barrie's quarterdeck, portmanteaus,
sketch-books, specimen-baskets and all, before the anchor was weighed.

The monsoon was favorable, and seven days' sail brought us to the
river's mouth, and a pull thence of thirty miles in the nárcodah's
boat to the "city of kings."

Siam is verily the queen of the tropics in regard to the abundance,
variety and unequaled lusciousness of her fruits. Here are found those
of China, greatly enriched in tint and flavor by being transplanted to
this warmer climate; and those of Western Asia, in this fruitful soil
far more productive than in the sterile regions of Persia and Arabia;
while numberless varieties from the Malayan and Indian archipelagoes,
united with the host of those indigenous to the country, complete a
list of some two hundred or more species of edible fruits. In this
clime of perennial freshness trees bear nearly the year round, and so
productive is the soil that the annual produce is almost incredible.
The tax on orchards alone yields to the Crown a revenue of some five
millions of dollars per annum, as I was informed by the late "second
king" of Siam. It is not unusual to find on a single branch the bud
and blossom, together with fruit in several different stages. Thus, at
the merest trifle of expense a table may be supplied during the entire
year with forty or fifty specimens of fresh, ripe fruit. Among these
are many varieties of oranges and pineapples, pumeloes, shaddocks,
pawpaws, guavas, bananas, plantains, durians, jack-fruit, melons,
grapes, mangoes, cocoa-nuts, pomegranates, soursaps, linchies,
custard-apples, breadfruit, cassew-nuts, plums, tamarinds,
mangosteens, rambustans, and scores of others for which we have no
names in our language. Tropical fruits are generally juicy, sweet with
a slight admixture of acid, luscious, and peculiarly agreeable in a
warm climate; and when partaken of with temperance and due regard
to quality they are highly promotive of health. For this reason
Booddhists regard the destruction of a fruit tree as quite an act of
sacrilege, and their sacred books pronounce a heavy malediction on
those who wantonly commit so great a crime. One who has tasted the
fruits of the tropics only at a distance from the soil that produces
them can form no conception of the real flavor of plums and grapes
that never felt the frosty atmosphere of our northern clime; of
oranges plucked ripe from the fragrant stem and eaten fresh while the
morning dew still glitters on their golden-tinted cheeks; of the rare,
rosy pomegranate juice, luscious as nectar.

After eating the fruits of all climes, I place the mangosteen at the
head of the list as absolutely perfect in flavor and fragrance. The
fruit is spherical in form, about the size of a small orange, of
a rich crimson-purple hue without, and filled with a succulent,
half-transparent pulp that melts in the mouth. There are three species
of the mangosteen tree, but of only one, the _Garania mangostina_, is
the fruit edible. The others are valuable for timber, and the bark
for the manufacture of a dye that resists the attacks of every sort of
insect.

Next to the mangosteen I should name the custard-apple (_Anona
squamosa_), a rich and delicate fruit of the form and dimensions of a
medium-sized quince, but made up of lesser cones, each with its apex
directed toward the centre, and each containing a smooth black seed.
The pulp is pure white, about the consistency of a baked custard, and
in flavor very like strawberries and cream.

The delicious soursap is very similar to the custard-apple, but of
larger size and slightly acid in taste. The bearded, rosy rambustan
(_Nephelium lappaceum_) looks like a mammoth strawberry, but when
the outer hairy covering has been removed a semi-transparent pulp is
revealed, in taste so similar to our best Malaga grapes that a blind
man would be unable to distinguish them.

Pineapples are good and abundant all over South-eastern Asia, but are
in their perfection at Singapore and Malacca, weighing frequently
four pounds or more. Passing, one warm afternoon, along the Singapore
bazaar, I noticed a Chinese fruit-dealer who had among other
delicacies outspread before him the largest and finest pineapples I
had ever seen. As I inquired the price, the Celestial, after a long
harangue on the extraordinary excellence of his wares, and the trouble
he had taken to obtain them, expressed a hope that he should not
be considered extortionate in selling them so very high, the price
demanded for a whole four-pound pineapple, peeled, sliced, and
ready for eating, being the equivalent of half a cent! The ordinary,
medium-sized fruit could be purchased, he knew, at one-fifth of that
sum, and his conscience, no doubt, was chiding him for extortion.

One of the most singular-looking fruits is the jack-fruit (_Artocarpus
integrifolia_), growing in all its immensity of thirty or forty pounds
weight directly out of the largest branches or on the stem of the huge
tree. Externally, it has a rough, pale-green coat: internally, it has
a luscious, golden-hued pulp, in which are embedded a dozen or more
smooth, oval seeds about the size of large chestnuts, which they
strikingly resemble in flavor.

The mango (_Mangifera Indica_) is a drupe of the plum kind, four or
five inches long, and three at least in diameter. Greenish-colored
outside, and not very inviting, you are most agreeably surprised at
the rare, rich flavor of the bright yellow pulp that adheres like the
clinging peach to a large flat seed.

The gamboge tree (_Stalagmitis Cambogioides_) grows luxuriantly in
Siam, and also in Ceylon. It has small narrow, pointed leaves, a
yellow flower, and an oblong, golden-colored fruit. Even the stem has
a yellow bark, like the gamboge it produces. The drug is obtained
by wounding the bark of the tree, and also from the leaves and young
shoots. The natives say that they have sold it to white foreigners
for hundreds of years past; and we know it was introduced into Europe
early in the seventeenth century.

The plantain (_Musa paradisaica_) is one of the best gifts of
Providence to the teeming multitudes of tropical lands, living, as
many of them do, without stated homes, and gathering food and drink
as they find them on the roadside and in the jungle. Under a friendly
palm the simple peasants find needed shelter from the sun by day and
the dews by night, while a bunch of plantains or bananas plucked fresh
from the tree will furnish an abundant meal, and the water of a green
cocoa-nut all the drink they desire. The plantain tree grows to about
twenty feet in height, its round, soft stem being composed of the
elongated foot-stalks of the leaves, and its cone of a nodding
flower-spike or cluster of purple blossoms that are very graceful and
beautiful. Like the palms, this tree has no branches, but its smooth,
glossy leaves are from six to eight feet in length and two or more in
breadth. At the root of a leaf a double row of fruit comes out half
around the stalk; the stem then elongates a few inches, and another
leaf is deflected, revealing another double row; and so on, till there
come to be some thirty rows containing about two hundred plantains,
weighing in all sixty or seventy pounds. This mammoth bunch is the
sole product of the tree for the time: after the fruit is plucked the
stalk is cut down, and another shoots up from the same root; and it
is thus constantly renewed for many successive years. The incalculable
blessing of such a tree in regions where the intolerable heat renders
all labor oppressive may be conceived from the estimate of Humboldt,
who reckons the surface of ground needed to the production of four
thousand pounds of ripe plantains to suffice for the raising of only
thirty-three pounds of wheat or ninety-nine pounds of potatoes. What
would induce the indolent East Indian to make the exchange of crops?

The cassew-nut (_Anacardium occidentale_) is remarkable as the only
known fruit of which the seed grows on the outside. A full-grown tree
is twenty feet high, with graceful form and widespread branches. The
leaves are oval, and the beautiful crimson flowers grow in clusters.
The fruit is pear-shaped, of a purplish color outside and bright
yellow within; and the seed, which is in the form of a crescent, looks
just as if it had been stuck on the bur end, instead of growing there.
When roasted the kernels are not unlike a very fine chestnut.

The guava (_Psidium pomiferum_), of which the noted Indian jelly
is made, is about the size and shape of our sugar pears--pale,
yellowish-green externally, and revealing, when opened, a soft,
rose-colored pulp studded with tiny seeds. Both taste and odor are
very peculiar, and are seldom liked by foreigners till after long use.

The tamarind tree (_Tamarindus Indicus_), a huge growth, with trunk a
hundred feet tall and fifteen or more in circumference, has branches
extending widely, and a dense foliage of bright green composite
leaves, very nearly resembling those of the sensitive plant. The
flowers, growing in clusters, are exquisite, of a rich golden tint
veined with red; while the fruit hangs pendent, like bean-pods strung
all over the branches of the mammoth tree. The diminutive leaves,
blossoms and fruit are so singularly opposed to the stately growth
as to appear almost ludicrous, yet the _tout ensemble_ is "a thing of
beauty" never to be forgotten.

It remained for us, on our return to Singapore, to see the spice
plantations, with the beautiful clove and nutmeg trees, about which
every new-comer goes into ecstasies. Mr. Princeps' estate, one of
the largest and finest on the island, occupies two hundred and fifty
acres, including three picturesque hills--Mount Sophia, Mount Emily
and Mount Caroline, each surmounted by a pretty bungalow--and from
these avenues radiate, intersecting every portion of the plantation.
Here were planted some five thousand nutmeg trees, and perhaps a
thousand of the clove, besides coffee trees, palms, etc. The nutmeg
is an evergreen of great beauty, conical in shape, and from twenty
to twenty-five feet in height, the branches thickly decorated with
polished, deep-green foliage rising from the ground to the summit.
Almost hidden among these emerald leaves grows the pear-shaped
fruit. As it ripens the yellow external tegument opens, revealing the
dark-red mace, that is closely enwrapped about a thin black shell.
This, in turn, encloses a fragrant kernel, the nutmeg of commerce.
Both leaf and blossom are marked by the same aromatic perfume that
distinguishes the fruit.

The clove tree, though somewhat smaller than the nutmeg, is quite
similar in appearance, and, if possible, even more graceful and
beautiful. The leaves are shaped like a lance, the blossoms pure white
and deliciously fragrant, and they cluster thickly on every branch and
twig almost to the summit of the tree. The cloves--"spice nails," as
they are often called--are not a fruit, but undeveloped buds, the stem
being the calyx, and the head the folded petals. Their dark color, as
we see them, is due to the smoking process through which they pass
in curing. The clove is a native of the Moluccas, and has been
transplanted to many parts of the East Indies; but nowhere, not even
in its picturesque Faderland, does it thrive better than in Singapore,
Pulo Penang and other islands of the Malayan Archipelago.

One singular-looking fruit that I saw in China I must not forget to
mention--the flat peach, called by the Chinese _ping taou_, or "peach
cake." It has the appearance of having been flattened by pressure at
the head and stalk, being something less than three-fourths of an
inch through the centre from eye to stem, and consisting wholly of the
stone and skin; while the sides, which swell around the centre, are
only an eighth of an inch in thickness. Its transverse diameter is
about two and a half inches.

The camphor tree (_Laurus camphora_) grows abundantly in China and
Japan, producing a very large proportion of the gum that supplies
the markets of Europe and our own country, as well as the trunks and
chests so universally esteemed as protectives against the ravages of
moths and the still more destructive white ant of the tropics. This
tree grows to the height of twenty feet, with a circumference of about
eighteen, and has luxuriant branches from seven to nine feet in girth.
In obtaining the gum, freshly-gathered branches are cut in small
pieces, and steeped in water for several days, after which they are
boiled, the liquid being constantly stirred until the gum, in the form
of a white jelly, begins to appear, when the whole is poured into
a glazed vessel, and becomes concreted in cooling. It is afterward
purified by means of sublimation, the gum attaching itself to a
conical cover placed over the boiling liquid while at its greatest
heat. There is another species of camphor tree (_Dryobalanops
camphora_) growing in Borneo; and a single tree is found on the island
of Sumatra, a very giant in dimensions, even amid the huge growth
of those dense forests. The gum yielded by this species is found
occupying portions of about a foot or a foot and a half in the heart
of the tree. The Malays and Bugis make a deep incision in the trunk
about fifteen inches from the ground with a _b'ling_ or Malayan axe,
in order to ascertain whether the gum is there; and when it is found
the tree is felled and the impregnated portion carefully extracted.
The same tree, while young, yields a liquid oily matter that has
nearly the same properties as the camphor, and is supposed to be the
first stage of its formation. Some eight China catties (eleven pounds)
of this oil may be obtained from a medium-sized tree, which, after
having been cut off for the purpose of abstracting the oil, will, if
left standing for a few years, produce abundantly an inferior article
of camphor.

In British India we saw whole fields of the opium poppy, stately,
beautiful plants four or five feet high, the stem of a sea-green
color, round, erect and smooth, and the gay blooms of ripe crimson
hue. The plant is an annual, the seed being sown in autumn and the
crop gathered in August. After the flowers have fallen circular
incisions are made close around the capsules of the plant, and from
these wounds exudes a white, milky juice, that is afterward concreted
by the heat of the sun into dark-brown masses. These constitute the
opium of commerce in its crude state; but to prepare it for smoking
the Chinese take it through quite a complicated process, boiling,
purifying and condensing till it assumes the appearance of a thick
gelatinous paste of a purplish-black color.

The habit of opium-smoking is unquestionably the direst curse under
which vast, populous China groans. One who has never visited an opium
shop can have no conception of the fatal fascination that holds its
victims fast bound--mind, heart, soul and conscience, all absolutely
dead to every impulse but the insatiable, ever-increasing thirst for
the damning poison. I entered one of these dens but once, but I
can never forget the terrible sights and sounds of that "place of
torment." The apartment was spacious, and might have been pleasant
but for its foul odors and still fouler scenes of unutterable woe--the
footprints of sin trodden deep in the furrows of those haggard faces
and emaciated forms. On all four sides of the room were couches
placed thickly against the walls, and others were scattered over
the apartment wherever there was room for them. On each of these lay
extended the wreck of what was once a man. Some few were old--all were
hollow-eyed, with sunken cheeks and cadaverous countenances; many were
clothed in rags, having probably smoked away their last dollar;
while others were offering to pawn their only decent garment for an
additional dose of the deadly drug. A decrepit old man raised
himself as we entered, drew a long sigh, and then with a half-uttered
imprecation on his own folly proceeded to refill his pipe. This he did
by scraping off, with a five-inch steel needle, some opium from the
lid of a tiny shell box, rolling the paste into a pill, and then,
after heating it in the blaze of a lamp, depositing it within the
small aperture of his pipe. Several short whiffs followed; then the
smoker would remove the pipe from his mouth and lie back motionless;
then replace the pipe, and with fast-glazing eyes blow the smoke
slowly through his pallid nostrils. As the narcotic effects of the
opium began to work he fell back on the couch in a state of silly
stupefaction that was alike pitiable and disgusting. Another smoker,
a mere youth, lay with face buried in his hands, and as he lifted his
head there was a look of despair such as I have seldom seen. Though so
young, he was a complete wreck, with hollow eyes, sunken chest and a
nervous twitching in every muscle. I spoke to him, and learned that
six months before he had lost his whole patrimony by gambling, and
came hither to quaff forgetfulness from these Lethean cups; hoping, he
said, to find death as well as oblivion. By far the larger proportion
of the smokers were so entirely under the influence of the stupefying
poison as to preclude any attempt at conversation, and we passed
out from this moral pest-house sick at heart as we thought of these
infatuated victims of self-indulgence and their starving families at
home. This baneful habit, once formed, is seldom given up, and
from three to five years' indulgence will utterly wreck the firmest
constitution, the frame becoming daily more emaciated, the eyes more
sunken and the countenance more cadaverous, till the brain ceases to
perform its functions, and death places its seal on the wasted life.

On "Araby's plains" I saw for the first time the beautiful wild palm,
the "lighthouse of the desert," always an object of intense desire to
the weary traveler as he traverses those sterile regions, for as it
looms up in the distance, sometimes in groups, but more generally
standing in solitary grandeur near a tiny bubbling spring, its waving
plumes tell him not only of shelter and needed rest, but of water also
to bathe his tired limbs and quench the burning thirst that oppresses
him almost to death. Should the friendly tree prove a date-palm, he
will find food also--a dainty repast of ripe, golden fruit, wholesome
and nourishing--ready prepared to his hand. But, after all, to a
traveler over those sterile regions water is the grand desideratum,
and this he is sure to find in the vicinity of the wild palm. The
Bedouins, who consider it beneath their dignity to sow or reap, gather
the date where they can find it growing wild; but the Arabs of the
plains cultivate the tree with great care and skill, thus improving
the size and flavor of the fruit, and producing some twenty or more
varieties. In some they have succeeded in doing away with the
seed altogether; and the seedless dates, being very large and
delicately-flavored, bring always the highest price in the market.
Date-honey is made by expressing the juice of the fresh fruit, and
the luxury of fresh dates may be enjoyed through the entire year
by keeping them in tight vessels, covered over with this honey.
Date-flour, made by exposing the ripe fruit to the heat of the sun
until sufficiently dry to be ground into fine powder, furnishes the
ordinary sustenance of the Arabs in their frequent journeys across the
deserts. This is food in its most condensed form, easily carried and
needing no cooking. It is simply moistened with a little water, and so
eaten. But the value of the date tree is by no means confined to the
fruit. An agreeable beverage, known as palm wine, is drawn from the
trunk by tapping; the trunks of the old trees make excellent timber;
the leaves are used for hats and baskets; and the fibrous part, when
stripped out, makes twine and ropes. Even the stones are of use--the
fresh ones for planting, and the dried are turned to account--in Egypt
for cattle-feed, in China for the manufacture of Indian ink, and in
Spain for making the tooth-powder known as "ivory black." The date is
indigenous to both Asia and Africa: it was introduced into Spain by
the Moors, and some few trees are still found even in the south
of France. But the most extensive forests are those of the Barbary
states, where they are sometimes miles in length. When growing thus in
groves the palms are very beautiful, their towering crests waving in
unison as they seem to form an immense natural temple, about which
vines and creepers wreath their graceful tendrils, while birds of
varied plumage sing their matin and vesper songs, plucking meanwhile
the golden fruit that grows in clusters at the very summit of the
tree. The Arabs' mode of gathering this fruit is odd enough. The
trunk, sixty feet high, has not, it must be remembered, a single
branch to hold on by or furnish a foothold; and, besides, the whole
stem is rough with thick scales or horny protuberances, not very
pleasant to the touch of fingers or palms. So a strong rope is passed
across the climber's back and under his armpits, and then, after being
passed around the tree, the two ends are knotted firmly together. The
rope is next placed over one of the notches left by the footstalk of
an old leaf, while the man slips the portion that is under his armpits
toward the middle of his back, so as to allow the lower part of the
shoulder-blades to rest upon it. Then with hands and knees he firmly
grasps the trunk, and raises himself a few inches higher; when, still
holding fast by knees and feet and one hand, he with the other slips
the rope a little higher up the tree, letting it rest on another of
these horny protuberances, and so on till the summit is gained. When
the fruit is reached it is easily plucked with one hand, while the
gatherer maintains his position with the other, and the clusters are
thrown down into a large cloth held at the corners by four persons.

The far-famed banian or Indian fig (_Ficus Indica_) is perhaps the
grandest of tropical trees--the most beautiful of Nature's products,
even in that fertile soil kissed ever by the sun's rays, where she
sports with such profusion and variety, clothing the earth in gorgeous
flowers, variegated mosses and feathery ferns, till it seems to
groan beneath the manifold treasures of beauty and fragrance lavished
thereon. This noble tree grows wild in many Eastern countries and
islands, and sometimes attains to a size and an extent that are
marvelous to contemplate. Shoots are everywhere thrown out toward the
ground from the horizontal branches, increasing in size as they tend
downward, till at last they strike into the ground and become stems.
From these shoot new branches, which in their turn extend and form
roots and new stems, till at length a solitary tree becomes the parent
of an extensive grove, appropriately characterized by the bard as
"a pillared shade high overarched." And as they are thus continually
increasing, seeming meanwhile almost exempt from the general law of
decay, a tiny sapling borne to the spot in an infant's hand may come
in time to cover thousands of feet of soil. Such a specimen is the
noted Cubber Burr, growing on a picturesque little island in the river
Nerbudda, near Baroach, in the province of Guzerat. This wonderful
tree, named after a venerated Hindoo saint, occupies a space that
exceeds two thousand feet in circumference. The principal stems number
three or four hundred, and the smaller ones more than three thousand,
though some have been destroyed by high floods, that have carried away
not only portions of the giant tree, but of the banks of the island
itself. The beauty and magnitude of the Cubber Burr are famous all
over the East. Indian armies have encamped beneath its sheltering
branches, and Hindoo festivals, to which thousands of votaries
repair, are often held under its leafy shadow. I was told that
_seven thousand_ people could find ample shelter under its widespread
branches; and we often knew of English gentlemen forming hunting or
shooting excursions to the island, and encamping for weeks together
beneath this delightful pavilion. Their only hosts were frolicsome
monkeys and whole colonies of doves, peacocks, wood-pigeons and
singing birds, that find a permanent abode among the thick foliage,
and plentiful sustenance from the small, scarlet-colored figs that
hang pendent from every branch. The banian tree may be regarded as a
natural temple in Oriental regions, and the Hindoos especially look
upon it with profound veneration. Tiny, fancifully-adorned temples
and pagodas are erected beneath its shadowy boughs, where are pleasant
walks and long vistas of umbrageous canopy, effectually shielded from
the fierce rays of the tropical sun. Many Brahmins spend their entire
lives within these quiet retreats, and all ranks and classes seek
them for rest and recreation. The banian is styled also "the tree
of councils," from the prevalent custom of assembling legislators,
magistrates and savants under its protecting canopy to deliberate on
civil affairs; while all around, ensconced in every niche, are the
tutelary gods and goddesses that make up the Hindoo mythology. It
is indeed a quaint, weird spot, full of the witchery of romance and
legendary lore; and though years have passed since I last sat under
the Cubber Burr's sheltering boughs with a merry party of picnicking
maidens, now grown to womanhood, imagination still loves to roam among
its shadows, and build fairy castles within the mazy windings of the
hoary banian of Nerbudda's isle.

FANNIE R. FEUDGE.



A LOTOS OF THE NILE.


It was nine o'clock on a night of clear July starlight. The heat
of the day had been intense, and all the guests of The Willows were
assembled on the lawn, intent upon the effort of keeping cool, if such
a thing were at all possible. A hopeless effort it seemed, however,
for the heavy foliage of the trees hung quite motionless, and the
fans which were plied unceasingly made the only possible approach to
a breeze. Everything was so still that the voice of the river was
distinctly audible as it fretted and surged along its rocky bed,
distant at least a mile. The scene was full of the dim, mysterious
look which makes summer starlight so fascinating. White dresses,
shadowy faces, suggestive outlines of form and head, now and then the
glimmer of an ornament: after one had looked long enough it was even
possible to tell who was who, but at first the voices were the only
clue to recognition. Behind the group rose the house, with light
streaming from its lace-draped windows, the pictures and globe-like
lamps of the deserted drawing-room making a charming effect.

Everybody had been silent for some time--that is, for half a
minute, which seems a long time under such circumstances--when Mrs.
Lancaster's voice broke the stillness. "Oh for a whiff of mountain-air
or a sea-breeze!" she said. "I came to spend two weeks with you, dear
Mrs. Brantley, and I have spent a month--who ever _did_ leave The
Willows when they meant to do so?--but I really must be thinking of
taking flight. Suppose we get up a party for the White Sulphur?--it
is always so tiresome to go away by one's self. Who will join it?
Eleanor, will you?"

"I am not going to the White Sulphur this year," answered Eleanor
Milbourne.

"Not going to the White Sulphur!" repeated Mrs. Lancaster in a tone of
surprise. Then she laughed. "How stupid I am!" she said. "Of course
I might have known that the temptation to break the pledge of total
abstinence from flirtation would be too great in that paradise of
flirtation. Besides, Mr. Brent's yacht is homeward bound, is it not?"

"I am not aware that there is any connection between Mr. Brent's yacht
and my decision about the White Sulphur," answered Miss Milbourne
haughtily. Then she turned to the person next her, a recumbent figure
lying at full length on the grass. "I don't know anything of which
one grows so weary as of watering-place life when one has seen much of
it," she said. "Its pettiness, its routine, its vapidity, its gossip,
all oppress one like a hideous nightmare. I don't think I shall ever
go to a watering-place again."

"Take care!" said the recumbent. "Don't make an abstinence pledge of
that kind: you will only be tempted to break it, for what will you do
with yourself in summer?"

"I should like to travel. I am possessed with an intense desire to see
the world and the wonders thereof."

"With a yacht such a desire would be easily gratified."

"But I have no yacht," said she with a sharp chord in her voice. It
was an expressive voice at all times, and doubly expressive in this
dim, mysterious starlight.

"Mr. Brent has, however, and I am sure he will be happy to place it at
your service."

"You are very kind to answer for Mr. Brent."

"I answer for him because I judge him by myself. If I had a fleet it
should be subject to your command."

"You are very generous," said she; and now there was a little ripple
as of pleasure in her tone.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Lancaster was calling over the roll of the company
like an orderly sergeant, intent upon beating up recruits for the
White Sulphur. "Major Clare!" she said at last: "where is Major
Clare?" Then, when the gentleman who had just offered Miss Milbourne
his airy fleet responded lazily, "Here!" she added, "_You_ will go,
will you not?"

"I regret to say that it is impossible," he answered. "I have danced
my last _galop_ at the White Sulphur. This time next month I shall
probably be _en route_ for Egypt."

"For Egypt!" she repeated; and a chorus of voices instantly echoed the
exclamation. "For Egypt! Nonsense! You are jesting."

"No, I am not jesting," said Victor Clare, lifting himself on one
elbow: "I am in earnest. I received a letter from ----" (naming a
distinguished officer) "to-day, offering me a position if I would join
him in Cairo. I say nothing about what the position is, because my
mind is not yet made up to accept it; and even if it were, such things
should not be published on the house-tops. But if anybody here has a
fancy for joining the army of the khedive, I may be able to give him a
few important particulars."

Nobody responded. The gentlemen seemed to prefer enlisting under Mrs.
Lancaster's banner for the White Sulphur. The ladies shrugged their
shoulders and said the idea was dreadful, Victor Clare sank back in
the grass and addressed himself to Miss Milbourne.

"There is nothing else for me to do," he said in an argumentative
tone. "I only waste money on the impoverished acres of that old place
of mine. The house itself is falling down over my head. What remains,
then, but to go forth and tempt Fortune to do her best--or worst? At
least the profession of arms has been in all ages the calling of a
gentleman."

For a minute Eleanor Milbourne did not speak. She sat in the starlight
a graceful, shadowy figure, furling and unfurling her fan with a
slightly nervous motion. Perhaps she was uncertain what to answer.
But at last she spoke in a very low tone: "Yet you said you had not
decided."

"No, I have not decided. In truth, I have been rooted in idleness and
indifference so long that I scarcely feel as if I cared enough about
myself to take advantage of the offer. Then I cannot bring myself to
think of selling Claremont, though I know that a penniless man has no
right to the luxury of sentimental attachments. If I were in Egypt
it would not matter to me that some upstart speculator owned the old
place."

"I think it would," said Miss Milbourne.

"No, it would _not_" was the obstinate reply. "I should take care
to find a lotos as soon as I reached the Nile. Whoever eats of that
forgets his past life, you know. I have scant reason for wishing to
remember mine," he added a little bitterly.

"Memory is certainly more often a sting than a pleasure," said Miss
Milbourne. "It is strange," she added, "that we should both have
thought of obtaining forgetfulness through the same means. When Mr.
Brent asked me what he should bring me from Egypt, I said a lotos of
the Nile. If he fulfills his promise I will share it with you."

"I am not sure that I care to be indebted even for forgetfulness to
Mr. Brent," said Victor Clare ungratefully.

He was sorry the moment after for having spoken so curtly, and would
have made amends by promising to accept a dozen lotoses if she desired
to bestow so many upon him; but Miss Milbourne had already turned to
her neighbor on the other side and plunged into conversation. "Is it
not strange that Egypt should be waking from her sleep of centuries?"
she said; and--while the gentleman whom she addressed took up the
theme readily--Mrs. Lancaster rose and sauntered round the group to
where Victor Clare was lying.

"Come, Monsieur Indolence, and take a walk," she said. "I think the
policeman's motto is right--'Keep moving.' When one stops to think
about anything, even about the heat, it makes it worse."

Now, however comfortable a man may be, if he is bidden to rise by a
pretty woman who stands imperiously over him, the chances are that he
obeys. So it was with Clare. He most assuredly did not want to go
with Mrs. Lancaster, and quite as assuredly he _did_ want to stay just
where he was, with the hem of Eleanor Milbourne's dress touching him
and a pervading sense of her presence near, even when she encouraged
stupid people to expose their ignorance on the Egyptian question.
Yet he found himself walking away with the pretty widow before five
minutes had passed.

"I know you are not obliged to me," she said when they had gone some
distance. "But your divinity is talking commonplaces, or listening to
them, which amounts to the same thing; so I fancied you might spare me
ten minutes. I want to know if that was a mere assertion for effect a
minute ago, or if you are in earnest in thinking of going to Egypt?"

"I never talk for effect," said Victor with a hauteur that was spoilt
by a slight touch of petulance. "I always mean what I say, and I
certainly am in earnest in thinking of going to Egypt."

"May I ask why?"

"I am surprised that you should need to ask. One's friends usually
know one's affairs at least as well as one's self--sometimes much
better. Everybody who knows me knows that I am a poor man."

"Not so poor that you need go to Egypt in search of a fortune,
however," said she, stopping short and looking at him keenly.
"Confess," she added, "that you are about to expatriate yourself in
this absurd fashion because Eleanor Milbourne means to marry Marston
Brent."

"Your acuteness has carried you too far," said he laughing, but not
quite naturally. "Miss Milbourne's matrimonial choice is nothing to
me. I have thought of this step for some time. General ----'s letter
is a reply to my application forwarded months ago. Yet now that the
answer has come," he went on, "I scarcely care to grasp the advantage
it offers. Indifference has infected me like a poison. I feel more
inclined to rust out on the old place than to sound 'Boots and saddle'
again."

"But why rust out?" she asked impetuously. "Are there not careers
enough open to you?" Then, after a minute, "Are there not other women
in the world besides Eleanor Milbourne?"

"Perhaps so," a little doggedly. "There are other stars in the heavens
besides Venus, but who sees them when she is above the horizon?"

"How kind and complimentary you are!" said Mrs. Lancaster with a
slight tone of bitterness in her voice.

"Forgive me," said he after a minute. "I am a fool on this subject,
and, like a fool, I always say more than I mean. No doubt there are
other women in the world even more beautiful and more charming than
Eleanor Milbourne, but they are nothing to me."

"In other words, you are determined to believe that the grapes above
your reach, instead of being sour, are the sweetest in existence."

"At least I harm only myself by such an hallucination, if it is an
hallucination."

"But you may harm yourself more than you imagine," said she with a
nervous cadence, in her voice. "For the sake of a hopeless passion for
a woman who has no more heart than my fan you will sacrifice more than
you are aware of--more, perhaps, than you can ever regain."

She laid her hand--a pretty, white hand, gleaming with jewels--on his
arm at the last words, and it was fortunate, perhaps, that she could
not tell with what an effort he restrained himself from shaking it
impatiently off. A quick feeling of repulsion came over him like an
electric shock. Hitherto he had been somewhat flattered, somewhat
amused, and only occasionally a little bored, by the favor which the
beautiful and wealthy young widow had so openly accorded him; but now
in a second he felt that thrill of disgust which always comes to a
sensitive man when he sees a woman step beyond the pale of delicate
womanhood. If he had been one shade less of a gentleman, he would have
said something which Mrs. Lancaster could never have forgotten. As it
was, he had sufficient command of himself to speak carelessly. "I was
never quick at reading riddles," he said. "I am unable to imagine what
sacrifice I should make by indulging the 'hopeless passion' for Miss
Milbourne with which you are kind enough to credit me."

"With which I credit you?" she repeated eagerly. "Am I wrong, then? If
you can tell me _that_, Victor--"

But he interrupted her quickly: "You ought to know, Mrs. Lancaster,
that this is a thing which a sensible man only tells to one woman;
but, since you seem to take an interest in the subject, there is
nothing which I need hesitate to acknowledge in the fact that, however
hopeless my passion for Eleanor Milbourne may be, it is the very
essence of my life, and can only end with my life."

"We all think that when we are young and foolish, and very much in
love," said Mrs. Lancaster coolly--whatever stab his words gave the
kindly darkness hid--"but I think you are more than usually mad. If
she is not already engaged to Marston Brent, she will be as soon as he
returns. I know that her family confidently expect the match, and in
any case" (emphatically) "Eleanor Milbourne is the last woman in the
world whom a penniless man need hope to win."

"I know that as well as you do," said Clare. "I have no hope of
winning her, and I am going to Egypt next month."

He uttered the last words as if he meant them to end the subject, but
it is doubtful whether they would have done so if they had not at
that moment found themselves close upon the house, having paid little
attention to the path which they were following. As they emerged from
the shrubbery they were both a little surprised to see a carriage
standing in the full glow of the light from the open hall door.

"Who can have arrived?" said Mrs. Lancaster, not sorry, perhaps, for a
diversion. "I did not know that Mrs. Brantley was expecting any one."

"Who has come, Ellis?" Victor said carelessly to a young man who
emerged from the house as they approached.

"Marston Brent," was the answer. "It seems the Clytie made a very
quick trip, and came into port yesterday; so of course her owner has
come at once to report his safe arrival at head-quarters."

Mrs. Lancaster, whose hand was still on Clare's arm, felt the quick
start which he gave at this information, but she was a discreet woman,
and she said nothing until they were standing on the verandah steps
and he had bidden her good-night, saying that he must ride back to
Claremont.

"I understand why you will not remain," she said; "but do not make any
rash resolution about Egypt--above all, do not _commit_ yourself to
anything." Then she bent forward and touched his hand lightly. "Tell
me when you come again that you will join my party for the White
Sulphur," she said softly. "It will be the wisest thing you can do."

The result of this disinterested advice was, that as soon as he
reached home, after a lonely, starlit ride of six miles, Clare sat
down and wrote to General ----, accepting the position he had offered,
and promising to report in Cairo as soon as possible.

After this it was several days before the future Egyptian soldier was
seen again at The Willows. What went on in that gay abode during this
interval he neither knew nor sought to know. He endeavored to banish
all memory of the place and the people whom it contained from his
mind. They were nothing to him, he told himself. It was impossible to
say whether he shrank most from the pain of meeting Eleanor Milbourne
with her accepted lover by her side, or from the thrill of disgust
with which the mere thought of Mrs. Lancaster inspired him. He buried
himself in listless idleness at Claremont for some time: then ordered
his horse one day, rode to a neighboring town and made arrangements
for the sale of his property with much the same feeling as if he had
ordered the execution of his mother. It was when he returned weary and
depressed from this excursion that he found a note from Mrs. Brantley
awaiting him.

"DEAR MAJOR CLARE" (it ran), "why have you forsaken us? We have looked
for you, wished for you and talked of you for days, but you seem to
have determined that we shall learn the full meaning of the verb 'to
disappoint.' Will you not come over to dinner to-day? I think you have
played hermit quite long enough.

"Truly yours, L.M.B."

To say that Clare declined this invitation would be equivalent to
saying that a moth of its own accord kept at a safe distance from the
glowing flame which enticed it. As he read the note his heart gave a
leap. He began to wonder and ask himself why he had remained away so
long. Was it not the sheerest folly and absurdity? What was Eleanor
Milbourne to him that he should banish himself on her account from the
only pleasant house within a radius of twenty miles? A man should have
some self-respect, he thought. He should not let every inquisitive
fool see when and how and where a shaft has wounded him. Why should
he not go? A heartache or two additional would not matter in Egypt.
As for Mrs. Lancaster, he could certainly keep at a safe distance from
_her_, even if she had not gone to the White Sulphur, as he hoped to
heaven she had.

This devout hope was destined to disappointment. The first person whom
he saw when he entered the well-filled drawing-room of The Willows was
the pretty widow, in radiant looks and radiant spirits, not to
mention a radiant toilette of the lightest possible and most becoming
mourning. Despite his previous resolutions, Clare found himself
gravitating to her side as soon as his respects had been paid to Mrs.
Brantley--a fact which may serve as a small proof of the weakness
of man's resolve, and his general inability to fight against fate,
especially when it is embodied in a woman's bright eyes.

"What have you been doing with yourself?" she asked after the first
salutations were over. "Have you been taking counsel with solitude on
the Egyptian question? Or have you decided like a sensible man to go
to the White Sulphur? Whatever has been the cause of your absence,
you have at least been charitable in furnishing us with a topic of
conversation. I scarcely know what we should have done without the
'Victor Clare disappearance,' as Mr. Ellis has called it, during the
last week."

"I am sure you ought to be obliged to me, then," Clare said, flushing
and laughing. "Assuredly I could not have furnished you with a topic
of conversation for a whole week if I had been present."

"Opinion has been divided concerning the mystery of your fate," she
went on. "One party has maintained that, rushing away in desperation
when you heard of Mr. Brent's arrival, you started the next day for
Suez; the other, that you were hanging about the grounds, armed to the
teeth, and only waiting an opportunity to dare your rival to deadly
combat."

"How kind one's friends are, to be sure, especially when they are
in the country, and have nothing in particular with which to amuse
themselves!"

"But what _have_ you been doing? I should like to know, if you do not
object to telling me."

"I have been very busy making my final arrangements for leaving the
country," answered he, stretching a point, it must be owned.

"You are really going, then?" she asked after a minute's silence--a
minute during which she was horribly conscious that her changing
countenance might readily have betrayed to any looker-on how deeply
she felt this unexpected blow.

"I wrote to General ---- on the night I saw you last, accepting his
offer," Clare answered. "Of course I am in duty bound, therefore, to
report in Cairo as soon as possible."

"And you will sell Claremont?"

"I have no alternative."

She said nothing more, but he saw her hand--the same white jeweled
hand that had gleamed on his arm in the starlight--go to her throat
with a quick, convulsive movement. Instead of the thrill of repulsion
which he had felt before, a sudden sense of pity and regret came over
him now. He was not enough of a puppy to feel a certain keen enjoyment
and gratified vanity in the realization of this woman's folly. He
appreciated, on the contrary, how entirely she had been a spoiled
child of fortune all her life--a queen-regnant, to whom all things
must submit themselves--and he felt how bitter must be this first
sharp proof of her own impotence to secure the toy on which she had
set her heart. It was these thoughts which made his voice almost
gentle when he spoke again: "You must not think that I am ungrateful
for your kind interest in my behalf. You can imagine, perhaps, how
much I hate to part with Claremont, which has been the seat of my
family for generations; but when a thing must be done there is no use
in making a moan over it. I cannot sacrifice my life to a tradition
of the past; and that would be what I should do if I clung to the old
place, instead of cutting loose with one sharp stroke and swimming
boldly out to sea."

"But you might stay if you would," said she with that tremulous accent
which the French call "tears in the voice."

"No, I could _not_ stay," said Clare resolutely. "I have no money, nor
any means of making any in America."

This ended the discussion. Even Mrs. Lancaster, fast and daring and
willful as she was, could not say, "_I_ have money--more than I know
what to do with: take it." Her eyes said as much, but Clare did not
look at her eyes. A minute longer passed in embarrassed silence. Then
somebody came up, and Victor was able to walk away. As he crossed the
room he saw Eleanor Milbourne for the first time since his arrival.
He had not even inquired if she was still at The Willows, and her
unexpected appearance, for he had begun to fear that she was gone,
filled him with a rush of feelings of which the first and most
prominent was delight. After all, did it matter whether or not she was
engaged to Marston Brent? Simply to look at her was enough to fill a
man's soul with pleasure, to steep him in that "dewlight of repose"
which only a few rare things on this earth of ours are capable of
inspiring. Did any sane person ever fly from the sight of Venus when
she held her court all alone in the lovely summer heaven, because he
could not possess her magic lustre for his own? The comparison was not
at all highflown to Clare, whatever it may seem to anybody else. He
had always entertained as much hope of winning the star as of winning
the woman; and as for an abstract question of beauty, he would have
held that Venus herself could not have surpassed Eleanor Milbourne.
She was an adorable goddess whom any man might be content to worship
from a distance, he thought; and he was preparing to go and sun
himself in the glance of her eyes, which seemed like bits of heaven in
their blueness and their fairness, when Mrs. Brantley touched his arm
and bade him take a newly-arrived piece of white muslin in to dinner.
Clare looked a little crestfallen, but against the decision of his
hostess on this important subject what civilized man was ever known
to revolt? He took the white muslin in to dinner, and had the
satisfaction of finding himself separated by the length of the table
from Miss Milbourne.

After dinner Mrs. Brantley claimed his attention. It seemed that
there was a plan under discussion for showing the sole lion of the
neighborhood--a hill of considerable eminence known as Farley's
Mount--to the guests of The Willows. But it was distant twelve miles,
What did Major Clare think of their starting early, breaking the ride
by rest and luncheon at Claremont, then going on to the mountain,
making the ascent, and returning by moonlight?

"It will not do at all," said Victor. "Twenty-four miles is too much
to be undertaken on a July day by a mere party of pleasure. You would
break yourselves down and see nothing. I propose an amendment: Take
two days instead of one, and spend a night on the mountain. If
you have never camped on a mountain, the novelty is well worth
experiencing, and these midsummer nights have scarcely any length,
you know. Then the sunrise is magnificent."

"That is exactly what we will do," cried Mrs. Brantley, clapping her
hands with childish glee. And the proposal, being submitted to the
company, was unanimously carried.

Meanwhile, Eleanor Milbourne was walking with Mr. Brent in the soft
summer twilight on the lawn.

"You should not press me so hard," she said as they paced slowly to
and fro. "I fear I can never give you what you desire, but I cannot
tell yet. Grant me a little time."

"A little time! But think how much time you have had!" the gentleman
urged, not without reason. "You said when I went abroad that you were
not sure enough of your heart to accept me then, but that you would
give me a final answer when I returned. You had all the months of my
absence to consider what this answer should be, and when I came for
it, spending not so much as an hour in tarrying on the road, I found
that it was not ready for me--that I had yet longer to wait. Eleanor,
is this kind? is it even just?"

"It is neither," said Eleanor, turning to him with a strange
deprecation on her fair proud face. "I know that you have been
everything that is patient and generous, and I am sorry--oh I am more
than sorry--to have seemed to trifle with you; but what can I do?
Remember that when I decide, it is for my whole life. You cannot doubt
that I will hold fast to my promise when it is once given."

"I do not doubt it, and therefore I desire that promise above all
things."

"But you would not desire the letter without the spirit?" said she
eagerly. "I dare not bind myself--I _dare_ not--until I am certain of
myself."

"But, good Heavens!" said Marston Brent, who, although usually the
most quiet and dignified of human beings, was now fairly driven to
vehemence, "when do you mean to be certain of yourself? Surely you
have had time enough. Can you not love me, Eleanor?" he asked a
little wistfully. "If that is it--if that is the doubt that holds you
back--say so, and let me go. Anything is better than suspense like
this."

But Eleanor was plainly not ready to say that. She stood still for
a moment, then turned to him with a sudden light of resolve in her
eyes. "You are right," she said. "This must end. I may be weak and
foolish, but I have no right to make you suffer for my weakness and
my folly. I pledge myself to tell you to-morrow night whether or not I
can be your wife. You will give me till then, will you not? It is the
last delay I shall ask."

"I wish you would understand that you could not ask anything which I
should not be glad to grant," said he, a little sadly. "For Heaven's
sake, do not think of me as your persecutor--do not force yourself to
answer me at any given time. I can wait."

"You _have_ waited," said she gratefully--"waited too long already.
Do not encourage me in my weakness. Believe that I will tell you
to-morrow night my final decision."

Later in the evening, Victor Clare was leaving the drawing-room as
Miss Milbourne entered it. They came face to face rather unexpectedly,
and while the gentleman fell back, the lady extended her hand.

"Have you stayed away so long that you have forgotten your friends,
Major Clare?" she said with a smile which was bright but rather
tremulous, like a gleam of sunshine on rippling water. "You have not
even said good-evening to me, and yet you have an air as if you had
said good-night to the rest of the company."

"So I have," answered Victor, smiling in turn, partly from the
pleasure of meeting her, partly from the sheer magnetism of her
glance, "but it is no fault of mine that I have not been able to speak
to you: I have found no opportunity."

"But I thought you always said that; people made opportunities when
they desired to do so?"

"Then the time has come for me to retract my assertion. As a general
rule, a man cannot make opportunities: he can only take advantage of
them when they come, as I hope to take advantage of the present," he
added smiling.

"But I thought you were going home?"

"I _was_ going home a minute ago, but so long as you will let me talk
to you I shall stay."

"It is a very small favor to grant," said Eleanor, blushing a little.
"But why were you leaving so early?"

"Partly because I had no hope of seeing you; partly because I am not
a 'young duke' to pencil a line to my steward and know that a princely
collation will be served at noon to-morrow for half a hundred, or even
for a dozen or two people."

"What do you mean?" she asked, for though she caught the allusion to
Disraeli's rose-colored romance, the application puzzled her.

"I see you have not heard of our gypsy plan," he answered, and at once
proceeded to detail it.

She was not so much delighted as he expected, but a pretty, lucid
gleam came into her eyes at the mention of Claremont.

"I shall be glad to see your home," she said quietly. "I have heard so
much of its beauty and its antiquity."

"It is pretty, and it is old," said he, "but it will not be mine much
longer. I am negotiating its sale now."

She started: "What! you were in earnest, then? You are really going to
Egypt?"

"Yes, I am going to Egypt. Why should I stay? What has life to offer
me here save vegetation? There, at least, I can find action."

She looked at him with a strange, wistful expression which struck and
startled him. He felt as if a prisoned soul suddenly sprang up and
gazed at him out of the clear blue depths of her eyes. "Oh what a good
thing it is to be a man!" she said. "How free you are! how able to do
what you please and go where you please--to seek action and to find
it! Oh, Major Clare, you ought to thank God night and day that He did
not make you a woman!"

"I am glad, certainly, that I am a man," said Victor honestly. "But
you are the last woman in the world from whom I should have expected
to hear such rebellious sentiments."

"I am not rebellious," said Eleanor more quietly. "What is the good of
it? All the rebellion in the world could not make me a man; and I have
no fancy to be an unsexed woman. But nobody was ever more weary of
conventional routine, nobody ever longed more for freedom and action
than I do."

It was on the end of Victor's tongue to say, "Then come with me to
Egypt," but he caught himself in time. Was he mad to imagine that "the
beautiful Miss Milbourne"--a woman at whose feet the most desirable
matches of "society" had been laid--would end her brilliant career
by marrying a soldier of fortune, and expatriating herself from her
country and her kindred? He gave a grim sort of smile which Eleanor
did not quite understand, as he said: "Where is your lotos? It ought
to make you more content with the things that be."

"I have it," Eleanor said with child-like simplicity. "Mr. Brent
remembered and brought it to me. I have not forgotten my promise to
share it with you."

"Take it to the mountain to-morrow night, then," said he quickly. "Let
us eat it together there. I should like to link _you_ even with my
farewell to the past."

And, since an interruption came just then, they parted with this
understanding.

The next day Major Clare was standing on the terrace of Claremont--a
stately, solidly-built old house, bearing itself with an air of
conscious pride and disdain of modern frippery, despite certain
significant signs of decay--when his guests arrived in formidable
procession. There was something of the "old school" in his manner of
welcoming them--a grace and courtesy which struck more than one of
them as at once very perfect and very charming.

"The man suits the house, does he not?" said Mrs. Brantley to Mrs.
Lancaster. "It is like a vintage of rare old wine in an old bottle.
We fancy that it has an aroma which it would lose in a new cut-glass
decanter."

"I always thought Major Clare had delightful manners," said Mrs.
Lancaster, who could not trust herself to say anything more. She
felt with a pang how much she would have liked to bring wealth and
prosperity and elegant hospitality back again to the old house, if its
owner had not been so madly blind to his own interest, so absurdly
in love with Eleanor Milbourne's statue-like face, so insanely intent
upon periling life and limb in the service of the viceroy of Egypt.
The pretty widow gave a sigh as she arranged her hair before the
quaint, old-fashioned mirror in the chamber to which the ladies had
been conducted. If he had only been reasonable, how different things
might be! She walked to a window which overlooked the garden with its
formal walks and terraces, its borders of box and summer-houses of
cedar. "He will change his mind before the month is out," she thought.
"A man cannot surrender all the associations of his past and the home
of his fathers without a struggle."

This consideration lost some of its consoling force, however, when,
a few minutes later, two people, walking slowly and evidently talking
earnestly, passed down the vista of one of the garden alleys, and
were lost to sight behind a tall, clipped hedge. Even at that distance
there was no mistaking the figure and bearing of Clare; neither was
there another woman who walked with that free, stately grace in a
riding-habit which Eleanor Milbourne possessed. "If she is engaged to
Marston Brent, he might certainly put an end to such open flirtation
as this," Mrs. Lancaster said between her teeth. "If he were not blind
or mad, he might see that she is so much in love with Victor that she
would go with him to Egypt to-morrow if he asked her to do so."

An old and sensible proverb with which we are all acquainted says that
it is never well to judge others by ourselves; and if Mrs. Lancaster
had possessed the invisible cap of the prince in the fairy-tale, and
had followed the pair who had just passed out of sight, she would have
received an immediate proof of the truth of this aphorism. They had
paused in a square near the heart of the garden--a green, shaded
spot, in the centre of which an empty basin bore witness to a departed
fountain, though no pleasant murmur of water had broken the stillness
for many a long day. Round the margin of this still ran a seat on
which Eleanor sat down. Victor remained standing before her. A lime
tree near by cast a soft, flickering shadow over them, and the tall
hedges of evergreen which enclosed the square made a sombre but
effective background.

"You see that ruin and decay are all that I have to offer you here,"
Victor was saying with a cadence of bitterness in his voice. "But if
you had courage enough to end the life which you despise, to cut loose
from all the ties which bind you in America, and go with me to Egypt,
_there_ I might have a future and a career for you to share--_there_
at least, you would find freedom and action and life."

A flush came to Eleanor's cheek, and a light gleamed suddenly in her
eyes, as if the very wildness of this proposal lent it fascination;
but she shook her head, smiling a little sadly. "You are of my world,"
she said: "you ought to know better than that. I am not so brave as
you think. I must do what is expected of me, and I am expected to
marry Marston Brent."

"Forget the world and come with me."

"That is impossible. If I had only myself to care for, I would; but
there are others of whom I must think." She was silent for a moment,
then looked up at him piteously. "They have sacrificed so much for me
at home," she said, "and they are so proud of me. They hope, desire,
count on this marriage: I cannot disappoint them. Mr. Brent himself
has been most kind and patient, and he does not expect very much. I am
a coward, perhaps, but what can I do?"

Again he said, "You can come with me."

Again she answered, "It is impossible. Do you not see that it is
impossible? Starting forth on a new career, it would be insane for you
to burden yourself with a wife. As for me, I am no more fit to marry a
poor man than to be a housemaid. Victor, it is hopeless. For Heaven's
sake, let us talk of it no longer! The only thing we can do is to
forget that we have ever talked of it at all."

"Will that be easy for you? I confess that nothing on earth could be
harder for me."

"No, it will not be easy, but I shall try with all my strength to do
it. God only knows," putting her hand suddenly to her face, "how I
shall live if I am _not_ able to do it." Then passionately, "Why did
you speak? Why did you make the misery greater by dragging it to the
light, so that we could face it, talk of it, discuss it? Oh why did
you do it?"

"Because I wanted to see if you were not made of braver stuff than
other women," said he almost sternly. "In my maddest hours I never
dreamed of speaking, until--what you said last night. Thinking of that
after I came home, I resolved to give you one opportunity to break
through the artificial trammels of your life, and find the freedom you
professed to desire. It was better to do this, I thought, than to be
tormented all my life by a regret, a doubt, lest I had lost happiness
where one bold stroke might have gained it."

"And now that you have found that I am _not_ brave, that I am like all
the other conventional women of my class, are you not sorry that you
have inflicted useless pain upon yourself?"

"Of myself I do not think at all, and even when I think of you I
cannot regret having spoken. Let the misery be what it will, it is
something to have faced it together--it is everything to know that you
love me, though you refuse to share my life."

"You must not say that," said she, starting and shrinking as if from
a blow. "How can I venture to acknowledge that I love you when I am
going to marry Marston Brent?"

"_Are_ you going to marry him?"

"Have I not told you so?"

He turned from her and took one short, quick turn across the square.
Like every man in his position, he felt outraged and indignant,
without pausing to consider how infinitely more inexorable the laws
of society are with regard to women than to men. _He_ could put
Mrs. Lancaster's fortune aside and go his way--to Egypt or to the
dogs--without anybody crying out against his criminal folly, his
criminal disregard of the duties and traditions of his class. But
if Eleanor Milbourne put Marston Brent's princely fortune aside and
disappointed all her friends, what remained to her but the bitter
condemnation of those friends in particular and of society in general?

When he came back she rose to meet him, making a picture worth
remembering as she stood in her graceful youth and picturesque habit
by the broken fountain, with the sombre cedar hedge behind and the
intense azure of the summer sky above.

"Let us go," she said. "By prolonging this we only give ourselves
useless pain. All is said that can be said. Nothing remains now but to
forget; and that can best be done in silence. Victor, let us go."

There was a tone of pathos, a tone as if she was not quite sure of
herself, in those last words, which made Clare refrain from answering
her. He turned silently, and they entered a green alley which led to
the foot of the terrace surrounding the house. As they walked along,
Marston Brent's figure appeared at the end of the vista, advancing
toward them, and it was this apparition which first made Clare speak:
"If you will not think me fanciful--I am sure you will not think me
presumptuous--promise me that before you give that man his answer
you will share the lotos with me of which you have spoken. I may be
superstitious, but I feel as if we shall gain new strength with which
to face the future after we have together renounced the past."

She shook her head. "I am not superstitious enough to think that it
will enable us to forget one pang," she said. "But if you desire it, I
promise."

When the afternoon shadows were lengthening the party from The Willows
set forth again, and reached the foot of the mountain a little before
sunset, making the ascent in time to see the day-god's last radiance
streaming over the fair, broad expanse of country beneath them. There
was a small cabin on the summit which was to be devoted to the
ladies, and round the camp-fire which was soon sparkling brightly the
gentlemen proposed to spend the night on the blankets with which they
were all plentifully provided. Meanwhile, the party, dividing into
groups and pairs, were soon scattered here and there, perched on the
highest points of rock, enjoying the cool, fresh air which came as a
message of love from the glowing west, and chattering like a chorus of
magpies.

When the evening collation was over--a gypsy-like repast for which
every one seemed to have an excellent appetite--Mr. Brent asked
Eleanor if she would not accompany him to the eastern side of the
mountain to see the moon rise. While she hesitated, uncertain what to
say, Clare's voice spoke quietly at her side. "Miss Milbourne has an
engagement with _me_," he said. "I fear you must defer the pleasure of
admiring the moon in her society for a little while, Mr. Brent." Then
to Eleanor, "Shall we go now?"

She assented, and they walked away. Mr. Brent, thus left behind,
naturally felt aggrieved, and turned to Mrs. Brantley with some slight
irritation stirring his usually courteous repose.

"It strikes me that Major Clare's manners decidedly lack polish," he
said with an air of grave reprehension. "Is it true, as I am told,
that he is going to sell that fine old place where we spent the day,
and emigrate to Egypt?"

"He is quite ready for a lunatic asylum," said Mrs. Lancaster, who
was standing near. "But, whatever his folly may be, I certainly do
not agree with you, Mr. Brent, in thinking that his manners need any
improvement."

Meanwhile, Eleanor was saying, "You should not have spoken so curtly
to Mr. Brent."

"If I can avoid it, I shall never speak to him again," Clare answered.
"Don't let us talk of him. I did not bring you away to discuss anybody
we have left behind, or anything of which we have talked before. We
are to be like immortals--to forget the past and live only in the
present."

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"Round to a point from whence we can overlook Claremont."

She said nothing more, and he led her to the eastern side of the
mountain, where, near the verge of an almost precipitous descent, they
sat down together under the shadow of a great gray rock. From this
point the view was more extensive than any they had commanded before.
The rolling country, with the sunset glory fading from it, lay like
a panorama at their feet--shadowy woods melting into blue distance,
streams glancing here and there into sight, fields rich with
cultivation bounded by fences that looked like a spider's thread.
To the left Claremont, seated above its terraces, made an imposing
landmark. Behind it the moon was rising majestically in a cloudless
sky. After they had been silent for some time, Clare turned and looked
at his companion. "How beautiful you are!" he said abruptly. "I wish
I had a picture of you as you sit there now. It would be worth
everything else in the world to me. But perhaps, after all, the best
pictures are those which are taken on the heart."

"You have forgotten," said Eleanor, trying to smile, "that we are
going to eat the lotos in order to efface all pictures."

"Nay," said he. "I thought it was to enable us to forget everything
but the present, and this _is_ the present."

"But it will be the past in a little while," said she, "and we must
forget it, like all the rest. Victor, we _must_ forget! They say that
all things are possible to resolution: let us resolve to do that."

For some time longer they sat silent. Then Clare said, with something
like a groan, "Would to God I could die here and now, or else that
there _was_ some spell by which one could make memory a blank!"

"Let us try the lotos," said Eleanor. "See, I brought it as you told
me."

From her pocket she drew a paper which, being opened, proved to
contain the dried petals of a flower, evidently an aquatic plant.
Yellow and lifeless as it was, Eleanor looked at it with wistful
reverence. "It came from Egypt," she said: then she added, "where you
are going."

"We will see if there is any magic in it," said Clare.

So, together they took the dried petals and began to eat them, smiling
a little sadly at each other as they did so.

"Herodotus says that when the Nile is full, 'and all the grounds round
it are a perfect sea, there grows a vast quantity of lilies which the
Egyptians call lotos, in the water,'" said Clare. "He adds that this
flower, especially the root of it, is very sweet. If this is the same,
it has certainly changed its flavor since that time."

"It is not disagreeable," said Eleanor. "But I fear we shall not find
the effect for which we have hoped. It is of the lotos fruit that
Homer and Tennyson have written."

"And the lotos flower of mythology is an East Indian, not an Egyptian,
aquatic; but since we desire to link _our_ fancy with the flower of
the Nile, we will ignore the poets and the Brahmins. After all, we
only desire it as a symbol of the renunciation of the past on which
we have agreed. Eleanor, what if we should indeed resolve to leave the
past behind us from this hour, and face our future together?"

He looked at her imploringly and passionately, but instead of replying
she put her hand to her head. "How strangely dizzy I am!" she said.
"Can it--do you think it can be the lotos?"

"Dizzy!" he repeated. "Then I must take you from the edge of this
precipice. Perhaps it is that which affects you. It could not have
been the lotos, or I should feel it too. Come, let me lead you round
the rock."

But when he attempted to rise he found that to him, too, a sudden
strange dizziness came. A constriction seemed gathering about his
heart, a mist seemed rising before his eyes. Before he had half risen
he sank back against the rock.

"Do you feel it too?" she asked quickly.

"Yes," he said slowly, putting his hand also to his head. "What can
it mean? Could there have been anything wrong in that plant? The lotos
itself is harmless, either flower or fruit. Eleanor, my darling!" he
cried with sudden alarm. "Good Heavens! what is the matter? How pale
you look!"

"I--I do not think it could have been the lotos. It must have been
some poisonous plant," said she faintly. "This giddiness and numbness
increase." Then she held out her hands tremulously. "Hold me," she
said. "The earth seems slipping away from me. Oh, Victor, what if it
should be fatal?"

"Do not imagine such a thing," he said. "It is impossible! The plant
has probably some narcotic property which affects you temporarily.
Lean on me until it is over. My God! how mad I was to have suffered
you to eat it!"

"Do not blame yourself," she said, clinging to him, her fair head
drooping heavily on his breast. "It was I who spoke of it--who sent
for it--"

She stopped, gasping a little, and pressing her hand to her heart,
where an iron clutch seemed arresting the circulation. A glance at her
face filled Clare with a terror which he had not felt before. Partly
this, partly his own sensations, told him that the poison of the plant
which they had shared between them _was_ fatal--one of the swift and
terrible agents of death which abound in the East--and a sense too
horrible to be dwelt upon came to him, warning him that aid, to avail
at all, must be summoned quickly.

But how? The summit of the mountain was large, the rest of the party
were far from them. He had purposely led his companion to this remote
spot, where, even if he had been able to raise his voice, there was
none to hear. As for leaving her, he doubted his own ability to walk
ten steps. He felt sure that if he succeeded in gaining his feet he
should reel and fall like a drunken man.

Still, the attempt must be made, and that instantly. Every second
lessened the hope of its success--with every pulse-beat he felt the
awful, reeling numbness increase. How much longer he could retain
his consciousness he could not tell. He saw plainly that Eleanor was
losing hers.

"My darling," he said, striving vainly to unclasp the arms that clung
to him, "I must go--I must call assistance: this may be more serious
than I thought. Try to rouse yourself, Eleanor: I must go!"

Alas! it was easy to say--it was awfully impossible to do. Even when
Eleanor relaxed her already half-unconscious embrace, and he strove
to rise, he found that not even desperation could give the requisite
power. He literally could not gain his feet. Every effort failed: he
sank back hopelessly.

Then he tried to raise his voice in a cry for help, but it refused
to obey his bidding. He was not able to speak above a broken whisper.
Finding this to be the case, he turned in an agony of despair to the
girl beside him--the girl whom, with a last effort, he drew to his
breast.

"Eleanor," he said, "it is hopeless. If this _is_ poison we must die!
Oh, my darling, can you forgive me? O my God, send us help! Eleanor,
can you hear me? Eleanor, will you not speak to me?"

For a minute all was silence. Then the fair head raised itself, and
the lids slowly and heavily lifted from the blue, flower-like eyes.
The moon, which had now risen high in the cloudless July heaven, shone
full on her face as she said, "Kiss me."

For the first time their lips met: when they parted both were cold.

       *       *       *       *       *

Still clinging together, they were found. At their feet lay a fragment
of the deadly-poisonous Egyptian river-plant which Marston Brent had
ignorantly plucked for a lotos.


CHRISTIAN REID.



ECHO.

FROM THE RUSSIAN OF PUSCHKTN.


  Roars there ever a beast in his forest den,
    Hear we thunder in heaven, a horn among men,
  On the hill sings a maiden now and then,--
          Sound what may,
  Answer through space thou mak'st again
          With small delay.
  Aware of the thunder's rattling roll,
  Of the winds and the waves when without control,
  Of the cries where the village shepherds stroll,
          Reply thou giv'st;
  Yet thou thyself, without one answering soul,
          A poet liv'st.

A.J.



OUR HOME IN THE TYROL.


CHAPTER IX.


Sometimes it was our simple hosts who led the conversation, which
then, especially as they became at ease with us, always drifted more
or less into the supernatural. Nor was this surprising, as the tales,
legends, old manners and customs amongst the Tyrolese are thoroughly
interwoven with threads of heathen mythology and with the occult
belief of the Middle Ages.

[Illustration: VALLEY AND BEEHIVES.]

Franz had a wonderful credence in lucky and unlucky days. Tuesday and
Thursday were witches' days, and Wednesday was also evil, seeing Judas
hanged himself on a Wednesday; therefore never drive cattle to the
Olm on that day. Moreover, he believed that when two persons sneezed
together a soul was loosed from purgatory. As for witches and ghosts,
he knew enough about them too. Did not the witches still dance every
night at eight o'clock on their meeting-place by Bad Scharst? His
brother Jörgel could have told us about that if he would. The pächter
Josef had likewise experiences which he might relate were he not so
shy. "Josef was returning through the Reinwald one Thursday night, and
had just crossed over the Giessbach when he met a black figure, whom
he greeted in God's name; but the figure moved on, making no answer as
a Christian would have done. He had not gone much farther up the wood
when he met a second black form. Crossing himself, Josef spoke out
boldly a 'God greet you!' but again silence. The figure had vanished.
Josef crossed himself and prayed. Nevertheless, he met a third, and,
waxing bold, not only greeted him, but turning round looked fixedly
at the black figure to see whether it were sorcerer, gypsy, ghost or
witch. And there, behold! it stood, grown as tall as a tree, grinning
at Josef until he thought it best to escape. Next day the black cow
went dry: otherwise you might say that Josef's hobgoblins were fir
trees."

Whilst Jakob laughed at Josef's phantoms, he could not help telling
us in his turn a tale which he considered much more noteworthy: "There
was no denying that one winter's night a huntsman, losing himself in
the deep snow, took refuge in a forsaken senner-hut. Content to suffer
hunger if only thus sheltered for the night, he was shortly surprised
by the entrance of a black man, who not only welcomed him to the
hut, but proposed cooking him some supper; an offer most thankfully
accepted. Upon this, the black man lighted a fire, suddenly produced
a frying-pan, which had been invisible before, and began cooking
strauben and cream pancakes from equally hidden stores. When supper
was ready the huntsman begged the good-natured black cook to sit down
and eat with him; and a very hearty meal he seemed to make, although,
to the surprise of the huntsman, the food turned as black as a cinder
before it entered his mouth. Both men lay down to rest; and after a
comfortable sleep the hunter, rising up to go, thanked the black man
for his kind hospitality, adding, 'May God reward you!' 'Oh,' replied
the other, uttering a great sigh of relief, 'may God in His mercy
equally reward you for those words! When I walked on the earth I
laughed at religion: I was therefore sent back in the spirit to toil
until some mortal should thank me in God's name for what I had done
for him. This you have done, and now I am free;' and so saying he
vanished."

"Yes," said Moidel, "these tales are as true as the gospel. You know
Nanni, the maid who sings so sweetly? Her father some years since went
on a pilgrimage with two other peasants to Maria Zell. Arriving
late one night at a solitary farm-house, they rapped at the door,
requesting a lodging. The bauer, however, excused himself: it was from
no evil intention, he said, but he could not take strangers in. The
three wanderers pleaded how ill would be their condition if left in
the fields all night. Still the bauer made no other reply, until, on
their pressing him, he finally declared, half in anger, that they must
themselves be responsible for their night's rest. He wished to treat
them well, but could offer them no better bed than the top of the oven
in the stube. This offer they willingly accepted, but hardly had
they lain down when a peasant-woman entered with a pail of water and
brushes. In spite of their entreaties, she scrubbed and scrubbed away
all night, and hardly had she finished when, the work not pleasing
her, she began scrubbing the floor and woodwork over again. Thus the
cleaning lasted the livelong night, until in the early morning the
maid-servant entered and the woman disappeared; the floor and walls
being, to their astonishment, as dry and dusty as the evening before.
Whereupon they spoke to the bauer of their troublesome visitor.
'Do not accuse me,' he replied 'of inhospitality: this is a strange
matter, from which I would fain have kept you. Intolerable as it has
been to you, it is still worse for me, knowing that the woman who thus
scrubs, and with so much din, is my poor dead wife. Her brain, when
she was alive, was quite turned about cleaning. She could not even go
to church with me and the neighbors, but must stay at home and clean.
So, being a bad manager, and not washing her soul white, she seems
unfit for heaven, and must needs come here every night to continue her
work. Even masses don't seem to help her.'"

Such tales were either related by the hut-fire on airy mountain or in
the fir woods. Moidel might have told us ghost-stories in the barn at
night, but there, in the solitary darkness, they appeared to her too
horribly real, especially with sleepy auditors, who might any moment
drop into unconsciousness, leaving her in a dismal fright over her own
tale.

One afternoon, accompanied by this faithful companion, we determined
to attack the summit of the mountain, which in a mantle of fir wood
rose immediately behind the huts. We were anxious to see what lay on
the other side, but after a hard though exhilarating climb we learned
that the mountain was but a huge overhanging shoulder, the rocky head
of the giant rising up in the midst of wide sweeping moors some six
miles distant. We changed, therefore, the object of our excursion,
determining to visit the highest Olm of the district, Ober Kofel.
Turning to the left, we pursued the moorland plateau until in half
an hour we had reached a solitary white cabin. The door was firmly
closed, but a pile of fire-wood and a rake, evidently flung recently
down, were sufficient signs of habitation. A more lonely scene could
not well be conceived. No trees nor flowers, only some yellow thistles
growing by the side of a murmuring brook, which had persistently gone
rushing on until it had worn the pebbles in its bed flat and thin.
Tawny, dun-colored mountains rose behind, but before the hut the
_trät_ or open space, covered with the greenest turf, extended to
a platform of rocks, where the glossy shrubs of the mountain
rhododendron grew, presenting a scene well worth the climb. The view
outward embraced the deep wooded gorge of the Giessbach, revealing far
beyond the black, sinuous lines of distant mountains, cutting across
the evening horizon. Black-brown crags some eight thousand feet high,
peaked with snow, rose to the right; but the great snow spectacle was
to the left. There the proud crests of the Hoch Gall, Wild Gall and
Schnebige Nock rose out of a vast white glittering amphitheatre, a
peculiar, bare, conical rock standing like an Alpine sphinx strangely
forth from this desert of snow.

We sat on our verdant patch enjoying the wild, grand scenery, the wind
playing around us in concert with a little calf which had just been
promoted to a bell. At length the figure of a tall young man flitted
in front of a distant cross, and advancing toward us proved to be the
solitary senner of Ober Kofel. As he was the lord of the domain, and
moreover acquainted with Moidel, it was not many minutes ere he sat
on the grass before us. After giving us a welcome, he began talking
to Moidel about the military exercises which were to begin again this
week.

"The Ausserkofers," he said, "went down for the drilling immediately
after their ascent of the Wild Gall: I am glad I was not drawn."

Then Moidel communicated to him that Jakob must leave on the morrow
for drill, and that Tilemaker Martin, Carpenter Barthel's son, would
arrive in the morning to take his place as herdsman.

The party now dropped into a dignified silence, which might have
lasted as long as we had remained had it not appeared pleasanter to
keep the senner intent on a story, rather than on each feature of our
several faces.

Speaking proper German, also proving to be understood by him, one
of the group began: "Of course you have heard of the clever Tyrolese
peasant, still living, Hans Jakob Fetz?"

Neither he nor Moidel had ever heard of him, and as they both pricked
up their ears, they learned the following: Fetz possesses a little
farm called the Pines. It has, however, the disadvantage of lying
on both sides of a wild rushing torrent, the Ache, a river given to
inundations in the spring, and over which there is no bridge in his
neighborhood. Thus, though Hans Jakob could sit at his door, and
almost count the ears of corn in his fields across the river, he must
make a circuit of five miles to reach them. Such an immense loss of
time and labor troubled him no little, and, as he had no desire to
sell his property, he determined by hook or by crook to remedy the
evil. Day and night he turned the perplexing problem over in his mind.
He might, to be sure, swim across, but then there were his tools to be
carried. At last it flashed upon him: Why not make an aërial car? He
bought for this purpose some very thick iron wire, stretched it in two
parallel lines across the river, fastening the four ends very firmly;
constructed a bench on iron rollers, which, sustained by the wire, ran
across the river in a trice, and his aërial car was a reality. Here,
indeed, was a triumph. It worked admirably, and the whole neighborhood
became excited and astonished about the air-railway, as they called
it. The news spreading, it brought finally some gentlemen from the
town of Dornbirn, who were wild to have a ride across the river. Hans
Jakob refused it: he doubted the strength being sufficient for more
than one passenger; but they persisting in their urgent demand, he at
last reluctantly consented. They would not, or else they could not,
go without him. So, the party being seated on the bench, he unfastened
the hook, when they should have been instantly whirled across. But,
alas! his fears proved true: the wire gave way, and down they
all went, plump into the wild rushing river. A great fright and
wetting--that was all, for the time being, until the gentlemen,
although they had promised not to say a word on the subject, having
whispered it to this friend and that, leaving no part uncolored, the
town of Dornbirn grew scandalized at a mad peasant's audacity. The
authorities took it in hand, and a solemn gendarme visited Hans Jakob
with strict orders from government to desist from such perilous,
hairbreadth inventions for the future. Poor Hans! he now regarded
himself not only as the laughing-stock of the whole country, but as
a ruined man. He had spent all his savings on his first venture; but
neither official reprimand nor loss of his money could keep his
busy, active brain from puzzling out an improved plan, which, having
perfected it in his mind, he boldly carried out. Instead of two simple
iron wires, he employed two double coils, with a single wire in the
centre and six feet higher. He stretched across two other strong
parallel wires. He then contrived a little car with two seats and a
cover against sun and rain. To the benches and the awning he fastened
rollers, so that the car was propelled across both above and below.
The weight which it would bear he proved to be fifteen hundredweight,
and unfastened from the iron hooks which kept it to the bank, the car
ran across in a few seconds with an easy, agreeable motion. Practice
and a close investigation proved it now a perfect success. All the
censures and ridicule were forgotten, and it proves at the present
time both convenient and amusing to the gentlemen, ladies and children
of the neighborhood. Hans Jakob willingly conveys them across the
river in his flying car. He will, however, receive no fixed payment.
He constructed it simply for his own use: were he to make a trade of
it, he must either take out a patent, or else make some concessions to
government, neither of which he has any inclination to do.

The senner and Moidel listened in astonishment. They had understood
every word. Although they had never heard of Hans Jakob before, there
was a full account of him in the Brixen calendar, an almanac which the
senner owned to having had by him for the last eight months--another
noticeable instance how tales and good advice in print are lost upon
a people who, hitherto quietly slumbering, find for their hearts and
minds enough to do in carrying on their slow agriculture and pattering
their prayers. I believe that popular lecturers conversant with the
dialect would be of infinite service in the rural districts of the
Tyrol.

The senner, after this entertainment, offered us the hospitality of
his hut. A lordly bowl of intensely rich cream was placed before us
in the sleeping-room, with the sole option of lapping like the men of
Gideon, seeing we were not sufficiently naturalized for each to carry
a horn spoon in her pocket, had not a little tin drinking mug been
fortunately remembered.

The next day the young tilemaker Martin, carrying his bundle, arrived
at about nine. He had left the Hof at three that morning, making
the whole journey of twenty-four miles on foot without a stop. Franz
therefore seized hold of the frying-pan, and we dined an hour earlier
than the usual time of ten. After coffee, Jakob had to initiate his
successor into the various advantages of the several Alpine pastures,
to point out the cattle and goat paths, and to introduce Martin to
Kohli, Kraunsi, Blasi, Zottel, Nageli and all the other cows, as well
as to Tiger, Schweiz and their fellow-oxen. We set out to accompany
them, but the cattle were too far away on distant heights for us to
continue long in the scramble. We therefore sat on a breezy mountain
platform watching the athletic young men grow ever smaller, more
indistinct, whilst Jakob's voice was borne to us on the rarefied air
as he called lovingly, "Krudeli, Krudeli" to the calves, and "Köss,
Köss" to the cows.

"It is a miracle," said Moidel, "how Martin, who was so weak and
consumed away by his accident, should thus have recovered."

"What accident?" asked we.

"Why, does not the Herrschaft know how last November, on his very
name-day, Martin was nearly killed? Young Niederberg--he who wears
the finest carnations on his hat, but who then, it being cold weather,
wore three cock's feathers gained in wrestling-matches--strutted
down the Edelsheim street, arm in arm with his great friend, the
fair-haired Hansel of Heinwiese, a rude young churl, praising each
other for their strength of limb and good looks. Martin at the time
was leaning against his father's door. 'The devil!' said Niederberg:
'why do you stay at your father's, when there is better wine and
company at the Blauen Bock?' Martin, however, replied that he was a
hard-working man, who could only spare time to see his old father and
sick sister on a festival. 'No,' said Heinwiese in anger, 'thou art
nothing but a miserable milk-sop, never at a wrestling-match, never
at a dance.' 'But,' put in Niederberg, 'we'll teach thee to dance
and sing;' and so saying, he suddenly plunged the blade of his big
pocket-knife below Martin's ribs.

"Why he had become their prey none could tell, unless they were lost
in drink. Great was the clamor in the usually quiet village. A doctor
was sent for, who at first declared Martin's wound to be mortal. Then
his young wife and little children were fetched with many tears from
the tileyard, and the priest came with the Holy Death Sacrament. But
the prayers and viaticum saved Martin. Still, for many months he had
a frightful illness, and even in March he was so weak you could have
knocked him down with a feather. Niederberg was immediately taken into
custody, and was sentenced to sit in Bruneck Castle till St. John the
Baptist's Day, fully six months, to pay the doctor's bill, and two
hundred gulden to Martin; but the latter sum, being an evil-minded
youth, though rich, he has never paid. He will leave that to
Heinwiese, he says, who put him up to the deed: besides, why pay a man
who had recovered? He would have stood the funeral and settled with
the widow. However, father talks of dealing with Niederberg, for he
must not thus despoil patient Martin."

Here, indeed, was a stabbing worthy of hot Italy, rather than cooler,
quieter Tyrol. It proved, too, that the serpent and old Adam still
moved in that garden of Eden, Edelsheim.

Jakob and the hero of the tragedy now returned, bright and brisk,
bearing armfuls of edelweiss, long sprays of stag-horn's moss, and
showing us with genuine pleasure roots of the edelraute, which they
had gathered on the high ledges for us. This is a little insignificant
plant, but called by the Tyrolese the noble rue, and prized by them
far more than the edelweiss; perhaps one reason being that when dried
it is said to emit a delicious scent, for which reason the housewives
place it amongst linen. Jakob looked like a mountain dryad, his
broad-brimmed beaver being completely covered with purple Michaelmas
daisies, glowing amongst sheaves of silvery edelweiss, falling round
in a soft gray woolen fringe. Aided by Jakob and Martin, we had the
gratification of gathering edelweiss ourselves, always a notable feat.
Martin really had most miraculously recovered. After those twenty-four
miles of hard walking, followed by a climb of several thousand feet,
we left him felling a pine tree as we bade Jakob adieu, for he was to
leave very early in the morning.

A comical scene ensued after our return to the barn. Visitors of
course we had none: Martin's arrival had been an immense event. Thus,
as we sat in the barn partaking of hot wine and cake, great masses
of shadow all around, with light breaking in only from the lantern,
forming altogether a perfect Rembrandt effect, we heard a cheerful
voice wishing us "Good-night and sweet repose" through the door.
Immediately, believing it to be the pächter's moidel, a young lady
usually engaged in cutting hay, one of the party rashly invited the
voice to enter--an invitation instantly accepted in the most perfect
good faith by either a mad woman or a tramp in a big, flapping straw
hat, who seated herself in the golden light of the lantern, adding
perhaps to the breadth and freedom of this Rembrandt picture, but
certainly not to its ease. Ravenously consuming some cake, she
attacked us with a continuous battery of God bless yous! Moidel,
however, was up to the occasion, and it was not long ere she managed
to get the unacceptable visitor outside the door, we begging her
to bolt and bar it well, for after this call we were afraid of more
lurking intruders. Moidel, however, bade us have no fears. The
woman was neither cracked nor a Welscher: she was only a very poor
_Bachernthalerin_, whose hut was generally under water. It was
accessible now, however, and the poor soul had been round begging milk
at the senner-huts.



CHAPTER X.


Life in the mountains was not half so ideal as we once foolishly
might have imagined. Still, the visit thither had surpassed our
expectations, and it was with no little regret that we bade farewell
to the familiar barn the following morning. We settled a bill with the
pächter at parting, including the dinner given to the knowing Ignaz.
It amounted to the sum of one gulden. Who would not stay up at an Olm?

Again we gave the day to the ten-mile walk, now a steep but pleasant
descent, choosing the village of Rein as our first halting-place. It
was still early, a lovely autumn morning, the mountains rising in all
their impressive majesty, but for a time all our powers of admiration
and enjoyment were suddenly marred by the sight of meek sheep led to
the shambles at the very window.

We would have hurried on, if we could, without stopping, but we had
rashly promised to write our names in the important visitors' book,
besides paying a small bill for wine. The landlord could not at all
perceive why, as meat had to be eaten, any one could object to a
preliminary exhibition, especially when the butcher could only make
his rounds at stated times, and it was so convenient by the kitchen
door. Indeed, so deadened in delicate perceptions were these people
that the landlord observing a rare plant in one of our hands, he
actually called the butcher in to tell us its name. The man, having
at that moment ended his first stroke of business, came in red-handed,
and proved a botanist. It was a _Woodsia hyperborea_--that was the
Latin name--and was rare in those parts, he said; but the Herrschaft
should come earlier for flowers. July was the month. Then there was
geum, and pale blue-fringed campanulas, and rich lilac asters, yellow
violets, the white scented wax-flower, arnica and yellow aconite, both
excellent medicines; there were thunder-flowers, and blood-drops, and
grass of Parnassus, and hundreds more, all cut down by the scythes.
There were four thousand plants and upward in the Tyrol; only, alas!
like the gentians, many species were being perfectly exterminated.

His energy interested us, and his hands were under the table. Frau
Anna expressed great disappointment at the various beautiful gentians,
common in Switzerland, being rare in the Tyrol.

"Ladies," replied the botanist with emphasis, "you know not the
reason? Why, there is hardly a species of gentian which is not torn
up by the roots for the making of schnapps. Schnapps is good when
rheumatism works in the bones: there is then no better lotion; and
a thimbleful of cheerfulness in the morning, and another of sleep at
night, are what I wish for our wirth, myself and every peasant daily;
but why need they pull up all the gentians, which were bits of heaven
scattered over the mountain-sides? I know that their roots are better
for schnapps distilling than those of other plants, or even than
bilberries or cranberries; but oh for a little moderation, cutting the
roots gently! for whilst a bit is left in the ground the plant springs
up again. 'Poor as a root-grubber' is the proverb. I'm glad it is.
For if they were not so wanton, they would not be so poor. They mostly
come from the Zillerthal. It's a special trade. The men climb the
mountains as soon as the snow melts. They build themselves rude huts,
and spend the summer searching for and digging up roots. Now, however,
as they have cut their own throats, so to speak, they must climb often
to high mountain-ledges, letting themselves down by ropes, to gather
fine roots, which they still sometimes find of the thickness of my
wrist. In the late autumn they collect their bundles of dried gentian
roots, which they carry to the distilling vats, where the _Enzian_, so
dear to the Tyroler, is made."

[Illustration: COWS COMING DOWN THE HILLSIDE BY A MOUNTAIN STREAM.]

And the butcher, who had grown quite pathetic over the gentians, rose
to return to his occupation. It was curious to observe the honorable
position which he held with landlord, landlady and Moidel. What a
surgeon or soldier would be in a higher class, that the butcher was
to them. In this case, too, we joined in respect--a feeling we might
entertain for many more of his trade, perhaps, had we the opportunity
of judging. But we must onward.

Ere long a young woman wearing a pointed black felt hat, ornamented
with yellow everlastings, overtook us and joined company with Moidel,
giving us, however, equally the benefit of her conversation, whilst
she insisted upon carrying a bag. She lived in Rein, she told us, and
had now to consult the doctor in Taufers a second time about perpetual
stitching pains in her throat. The doctor said it was quinsy, and
arose from cold. Perhaps, she said, if she could bring herself to
smoke a meerschaum, like other women in Rein, she might keep the
mischief out; but it struck her as a disgrace to a female, and it made
a great hole in the pocket. Those who were born in such a village
as Rein were in an evil plight. The cottages were badly built, the
kitchens reeked with smoke, and were so bitterly cold in winter,
though the fowls had to roost there, that water froze in them. In
fact, no one could stay in the kitchen in winter. Then all the family
must crowd into the stube, living and sleeping there. When Nanni
Muckhaus had the typhus she and her children and grandchildren must
lie down together; and then all the neighbors had to visit her, unless
they chose to pass as brutes; and so that was how the typhus spread.
Fortunately, her husband and she were alone: they had no burdens.
Still, life was hard--a vale of tears or a vale of snow. If the gentry
could see the Reinthal in the winter, choked up with avalanches, they
would say so. Her man had, however, enough to keep them. He had a
license for the shooting of gemsen and other game, which he might use
from holy Jakobi's Day to Candlemas. He had this year killed only
five gemsen so far. The Post at Taufers was greedy for gemsen now,
and bought up every ounce of the flesh at nineteen kreuzers the
pound--bought snow-hens, too, at forty kreuzers each, and would never
let her husband's gun be idle. When Candlemas came, and he could no
longer shoot, then he worked in their fields; for we might not think
it, but he, being a thrifty soul, had saved fifty gulden and bought
some land. But oh the labors, the toils to which a Reinthaler was
subjected! If his land lay on the mountain-side, he and his woman must
slave and toil like beasts of burden, for what would be the help of
horse or cow for riding, driving or ploughing on such steep, upright
land? "The holy watch-angels help us!" she said. "Look up there and
you will see, ladies, the truth of what I tell you."

Pointing with her finger, she drew our attention to the small figure
of a man working upon a dizzy height some three thousand feet above
us, his legs, like a pair of compasses, comically revealing a triangle
of blue sky between them, whilst we with difficulty made out the
figures of two women helping him.

"That's Seppl Mahlgruben and his daughters cutting down their green
oats, too tardy to ripen. Some years since Moidel, the eldest girl,
working on that precise point, knelt one inch too far over the
precipice and was hurled into eternity, where a better fortune, I pray
God, awaited her than the cruel trials of Reinthal."

Moidel told us afterward that she thought our informant took too
gloomy a view, probably occasioned by "her stitching pains." Still,
she owned to its being a toilsome, perilous life in every season of
the year save summer.

In a broad sylvan meadow at the end of the narrow defile, within sound
of the chief waterfall, we had the joy of seeing again the rest of our
party, who had made an afternoon excursion thither to meet us. At a
quiet, rural little inn just below, with an outside gallery possessing
a view of the still, deep gorge in front and softer meadows beyond,
kind hearts had already ordered coffee and rolls for nine. All were
unanimous, however, that the ample supply was sufficient for ten,
and the good woman of Rein was pressed to enter and partake. This she
gratefully declined, adding, however, that it would be friendly and
helpful of us to allow her to drink a cup of coffee there at six in
morning on her return journey to Rein. Not that she had expected the
least attention to be offered her, and hoped that it was not intended
as a different mode of payment for her carrying a lady's handbag.
Although we had felt that one good turn deserved another, we made her
mind easy on that score, and she went tripping forward.

For us there was still no hurry. The evening sky was brilliantly
clear, the mountain-summits and dark fir woods shone forth a burnished
gold, so that it seemed almost a sin to dive into the deep shadows of
the valley below. Besides, the inn possessed some beehive sheds, and
a view beyond which must not escape the pencil of the artists, who
busily sketched whilst the others rested, enjoying the great crimson
bars of sunset drawn across the dewy valley to the rippling sound of a
mad, merry little mill-brook.

How much sympathy and respect has been afforded in all ages and climes
to those serviceable creatures, bees!

  The little citizens create,
  And waxen cities build.

Unlike Virgil, the good Tyrolese, however, would call them monks
and nuns dwelling in cells, rather than "citizens." Formerly they
delighted in erecting the most ornamental dwellings which they could
devise for them, helping them in their constant toil by planting balmy
thyme and other sweet honey-yielding flowers around the hives. These
were constructed of wood, gayly painted with holy monograms and
devices to add a blessing and security to the provident labors of the
little inmates. They were, in fact, _beatified bees_, who had to be
solemnly invited to attend the death mass when the owner died, else
they would fly away, refusing to stay. If a swarm of bees hung to a
house, it was simply as a warning that fire would break out there.

The beehives at this little inn still stood fresh, compact, with
flowers blooming around them, the kindly woman evidently taking great
pride in her bees. This, however, is not always the case. The grand
beehives, like the grand old halls and castles of the Tyrol, are
falling into decay: in both instances the paintings on the walls are
peeling off or growing indistinct; the present generation has either
lost its love for honey or much of its reverence for the bees--a fact
difficult to define amongst a people with almost credulous veneration
and intense belief in old customs. Still, much of the freshness and
simplicity of the peasants is passing away with the discarding of
their picturesque costumes.

As a certain endurable routine had been arrived at within the walls
of the Elephant, we agreed, before retiring to rest, to remain still
several days there, availing ourselves of the splendid weather to
explore more thoroughly the beautiful, varied neighborhood of Taufers.

But, alas! the clear brilliant air and the deep rosy sunset had
deceived us. The next morning mists and clouds obstructed the
view, finally dissolving into a pitiless downfall, that detained us
prisoners in the house, which was silent as the grave but for the rain
steadily pattering against the casements.

Weary of the wet and without occupation, our disengaged minds,
wandering out into the mist and rain, dreamily contemplated a slow
band of pilgrims defiling along the distant hillside. Had the day
been bright and clear, we should have seen them as sheaves of corn or
clover stuck to dry upon light stakes with branching arms, the upper
bundle being placed aslant to act as shelter to the rest. As it was,
however, in the plashing rain it required no effort to believe them
tired, defenceless pilgrims ever wandering on. Some despondingly beat
their arms upon their breasts, others, heavy and exhausted, fell upon
their knees; here a woman defended her infant from the biting blast,
there an old man with rugged hair looked mournfully backward; but
these were only a few amongst the endless figures of the tragic band,
on a long, unceasing march.

Everywhere in the Tyrol, especially in the gloaming, whether in Alpine
meadow or arable land of the valley, such weird companies may be seen.
Bands of Indians, societies of cowled monks, ancient Italians fleeing
from a buried city, wandering Israelites,--such and many others are
the shapes which these drying sheaves of corn, hay or clover assume,
all combining to act as one vast funeral procession of the summer that
is no more.

[Illustration: A PROCESSION.]

In the afternoon a different company from these natural objects in the
distance came to occupy our minds for the time being. Gradually the up
stairs sitting-room, which we had foolishly perhaps imagined reserved
for our party of nine, became invaded by priests in long coats down
to their heels and muddy top-boots. We, the new-comers from the
mountains, now learnt that this was the daily occurrence, and really
the most unpleasant feature of the house, where the landlord and
landlady remained as sleepy and unimpressionable as ever. We were
soon, in fact, obliged to vacate the room, driven out not only by
the fumes of bad tobacco, but by the unsatisfactory stare which
was leveled at each intruder. The kellnerin, generally a slow,
incommunicative mortal, now passed, from cellar to sitting-room in a
flutter of excitement, her tongue, otherwise dormant, moving like a
mill-clapper in the enlivening society of her spiritual fathers. These
were the shepherds of the different adjoining parishes, whose custom
it was to derive mental and corporeal comfort in sipping their acid
wine and smoking their cheap tobacco in company. There might not have
been any great harm in it, but nevertheless it seemed an apparent
falling away from the singularly bright example which a good man, born
only ten minutes from the Elephant, in the village of Mühlen, had once
set them.

The priest Michael Feichter, at his death in 1832 the head of the
clerical seminary at Brixen, became for a time, through his extreme
goodness and grace, the unseen regenerator of the Church in the Tyrol.
A simple, guileless man, with intense love and cheerfulness, he acted
as if God his friend were ever by his side. The entire Bible, which he
had chiefly studied on his knees, he knew literally by heart. Birds,
flowers and stones gave him subjects for stirring sermons, and his
evening conversations with his pupils were fraught with the most
beneficent consequences through his intense sympathy and the power he
unwittingly possessed of diving deep into the conscience. Sorrows were
met invariably by him with a cheerful "Dominus providebit" or "parcat
Deus." Cheating and deceit pained him greatly, and he therefore
rejoiced to become acquainted with honest Jews, conscientious
officials and religious soldiers. Thoughts of wealth and station never
troubled him. He walked like a child through the world. When unable to
wear his scholastic gown he moved about, his serene face beaming with
cheerful urbanity from under the shadow of a broad-brimmed cocked hat,
his pride and delight, as it spared him both sunshade and umbrella.
His old coat of an antique cut still bore on the under side of a flap
the dyer's mark. His waistcoat and stockings were of black knitted
wool. On festive occasions, however, he fastened to the back of
his coat collar a fluttering band denoting his doctorate. There was
something humorous in his appearance: he knew it and laughed at it,
and yet, says one of his pupils, "though we joined in the laugh, his
whole person and demeanor touched us deeply: we knew that he was not
of this world."

Was it strange that we felt a great discrepancy between the memory of
this guileless man and some of the self-indulgent priests, once his
pupils, in the upper stube?

The next day, the rain promising still to detain us prisoners, Moidel,
fearing that her important services must be missed at the Hof, bravely
defied wet and mud and tramped resolutely home. In the afternoon,
utterly tired out, we too determined to shift our quarters to
Edelsheim, and, engaging a large jolting vehicle, were borne through
mire, rain and mist from the Elephant to the Hof.

Long before we reached the door we saw cheerful lights gleaming from
the long rows of windows. Anton, Moidel, the aunt, Uncle Johann were
at the door to receive us and our belongings. They felt sure, somehow,
that we should come.

The floors of our rooms had been scrubbed white as snow in our
absence, but we must not hesitate to enter with our damp shoes. Were
not the rooms our own? Letters and newspapers were carefully laid
according to their various directions, and with flowers and dainty
dishes covered the supper-table. Moro, the good house-dog, stood by
our chairs or caressed the hand of his favorite, E----. We felt that
we had come home--to our home in the Tyrol.

MARGARET HOWITT.

[TO BE CONTINUED]



COLORADO AND THE SOUTH PARK.


On the 15th of August, 1871, two brothers and a sister--Sepia, an
artist, Levell, an engineer, and Scribe, who is the narrator--left
Chicago by the North-western Railroad, bound for Denver in Colorado,
about eleven hundred miles west. The first day we were climbing the
gradual ascent from the Lakes to the Mississippi, which we crossed
at 4.30 P.M., at Clinton. The thirty years which had elapsed since I
first traversed this region had changed it from wild, unbroken
prairie to a well-cultivated country, full of corn-fields, cattle and
flourishing towns. Then I traveled in a wagon four miles an hour,
and had to find my own meat in the shape of a deer from the grove, a
grouse from the prairie or a duck from the river. Now we rushed across
the State in six hours, stopping fifteen minutes for dinner in a fine
brick hotel, metropolitan in charges, if not in fare. In 1840, when
we arrived at the great river, we waited two or three hours for the
ferry-boat, and finally had to cross in a "dug-out," which seemed but
a frail vessel to stem the rapid currents and whirling eddies of the
Mississippi. Now we crossed upon a railroad bridge of iron, which cost
more money than all Iowa contained in 1840. Still, I fancy that the
first method of traveling was the more interesting.

Through the still summer afternoon we rushed on over the rolling
prairies of Iowa, dotted with towns and villages and covered with
great corn- and wheat-farms. Here in 1840 was absolute wilderness:
we made our hunting-camp seventy-five miles west of the river, and
we were twenty miles away from any white settler. Wolves howled and
panthers screamed around our camp, we lived upon elk and deer meat,
and our only visitors in two weeks were some Sac and Fox Indians, who
disapproved of our intrusion upon their hunting-grounds.

At 9 A.M. on the 16th we arrived at Council Bluffs, and crossed
the turbid and furious Missouri in a steam ferry-boat to Omaha in
Nebraska. For many years Council Bluffs was one of the remotest
military posts: to go there was to be banished from the world. Now
it is a town of ten thousand inhabitants, struggling to overtake its
rival on the other bank, Omaha, which has sixteen thousand.

Here our baggage was rechecked for Denver, for at Omaha begins the
Union Pacific Railroad. A great road it is, and great are its charges.
On the North-western, as on most others, the charge is about four
cents per mile, but the Union Pacific, to which corporation Congress
gave the usual land-grant, and more than enough money to build the
road, cannot afford to carry you for less than ten. This may arise
from the custom which has prevailed of giving free passes to all
Congressmen, governors, editors and other privileged classes, so that,
half the passengers paying nothing, the others have to pay double. Not
only are the fares high, but you are charged for extra baggage. Like
the elephant, who can drag a cannon or pick up a pin, this great
corporation is able to give free passes to a whole legislature or to
charge me twenty-five cents for five pounds of extra baggage.

From Nebraska into Wyoming, and we are nearly out of the United
States, though the old flag still flies over us. The people here
talk about going to the "States." All the region hereabouts, from the
middle of Nebraska, lies in what used to be called by the French _Les
Mauvaises Terres_, or "Bad Lands," and was eloquently described by
Irving in _Astoria_ as the Great American Desert. "This region,"
he writes, "resembles one of the immeasurable steppes of Asia, and
spreads forth into undulating and treeless plains and desolate sandy
wastes, which are supposed by geologists to have formed the ancient
floor of the ocean countless ages ago, when its primeval waves beat
against the granite bases of the Rocky Mountains. It is a land where
no man permanently abides, for in certain seasons of the year there is
no food either for the hunter or his steed. The herbage is parched and
withered, the streams are dried up, the buffalo, the elk and the
deer have wandered to distant parts, leaving behind them a vast,
uninhabited solitude."

But this "land where no man permanently abides" is rapidly being
settled, and is found to be rendered very fertile by the simple
process of irrigation, which costs less than the manuring of Eastern
farms. So the Great American Desert recedes before the immigrant, and,
like the noble savage, is found to be a myth.

On the railroad midway between Cheyenne and Denver lies the new town
of Greeley. Although not on the maps in 1870, it now contains fifteen
hundred inhabitants, forty or fifty stores, six hotels, churches,
schools, and all the apparatus of civilization. This aspiring town,
4779 feet above the sea-level, is an example of those colony towns
so successful in the West, and on which we must depend for rebuilding
society in the South. Greeley is surrounded by fertile farms,
and every city lot looks fresh and green: all this is effected by
irrigation. Two canals have been dug from the head-waters of the
Platte--one twenty-six miles long, which will water fifty thousand
acres; the other ten miles long, to furnish water for the town and
five thousand acres. The prairie where it is not irrigated now, in
midsummer, looks burned up and covered with a parched herbage, which,
however unpromising to the eye, is really good sweet hay, dried and
preserved by the hand of Nature for the buffalo and antelope, and now
cropped by the flocks and herds of the white man.

Denver, the capital of the Territory, contains about eight thousand
inhabitants. It is a true specimen of a Western town which fully
believes in itself, and blows a loud trumpet from its elevation of
five thousand feet. It was said of old "that the meek shall inherit
the earth," but it was not by _that_ quality that the Denverites
obtained their location. Here are plenty of hotels, three banks and
a mint: five railroads centre here, bringing in ten thousand tons of
freight per month. Denver has schools and churches in satisfactory
numbers, and her merchants sell ten millions of dollars' worth of
goods per annum. Considering that the place was only settled in 1858,
and has in these fifteen years been destroyed both by fire and water,
and almost starved by an Indian blockade, it must be admitted to be a
pretty smart specimen of a Western city.

We ride in a 'bus, city fashion, to the Broadwell House, a
fatigued-looking structure of the earlier period, but probably no
worse than the others. Directly we begin to plan an excursion to the
South Park, seventy-five miles distant, and going out to look for
wagon and horses, we catch our first sight of the Rocky Mountains, a
line of dim, misty heights, with the more pronounced outline of the
foot-hills beneath. We engage a strong covered wagon, with a good pair
of horses and a driver, the latter only seventeen years old, but owner
of the team, and carrying himself man-fashion, with the precocity of
the Western youth. The wagon is brought to the hotel and loaded, so
as to be ready for an early start in the morning: we have a tent and
camp-equipage, with gun and fishing-rods for Levell and Scribe, and
the sketching-gear belonging to Sepia.

So on the 18th, at 8 A.M., we drive over the bridge which crosses
Cherry Creek, and then cross six miles of uninhabited prairie, seamed
with gulches, and brown with withered herbage and cactus--no verdure
except along the canals, where several species of _Artemisia_ and a
prickly poppy with a large white flower grow profusely. We then begin
to mount the bare foot-hills, among which are curious masses of red
rock as large as city churches, and washed by the storms of ages into
various fantastic forms. We then enter a ravine or cañon through which
flows Bear Creek, a tributary of the Platte.

Along Bear Creek are ranches where good crops of wheat are raised, and
butter and milk made for the Denver market. The grass in this region
makes the most delicious butter; indeed, I may say that I never tasted
poor butter in Colorado. In the month of August it is as sweet and
fragrant as the very best of our June butter in the States. The time
will come when the butter of Colorado will be sent to the Atlantic
cities: at present there is no surplus made.

We now began to ascend Bear Mountain by a road cut along its side: it
was smooth and easy of ascent, but only wide enough for one carriage,
with a precipice of several hundred feet on either side, so that
we shuddered to think of the consequences of our meeting a wagon.
Happily, we met with none, although we overtook one, and had to keep
behind it till we reached the summit. Then down the other side to a
strip of bottom-land on a creek, where we camped for the night, having
come twenty miles from Denver.

_August_ 19. Rose at five and breakfasted on fried pork, corn bread
and coffee. Started at ten, and drove fourteen miles to Omaha Ranch;
then to St. Louis Ranch, six miles, Roland's Ranch, five miles, and
Bailey's, five miles, on the North Fork of the South Fork of the
Platte. The weather was fine, and the air beautifully clear and
bracing. The road wound among the mountains, up a rocky ravine, down a
wooded cañon, then through little parks, surrounded by high hills and
set with magnificent sugar pines, and carpeted with fresh grass and
abundant flowers. In the ravines and on the mountain-sides the road
was narrow, but we were lucky and met nothing, although we frequently
overtook the immense wagons drawn by five or six yoke of oxen, and
driven by the most ferocious-looking teamsters whom I have ever seen,
brandishing enormous whips, which crack like rifle-shots in the woods.
We found, however, that, being civilly entreated, they would always
turn out of the road to let us pass. We were now at an elevation of
probably six thousand feet, having been constantly ascending since we
left Denver; and this evening we rose still higher, having climbed a
long mountain which overlooked the head-waters of the Platte.

Our last descent of fifteen hundred feet in three miles brought us to
the neat log tavern kept by W.L. Bailey, where we found a supper of
trout just from the river, together with mountain-raspberries and
delicious cream, and clean, comfortable beds. When we looked out next
morning everything appeared so pleasant in this sheltered valley, and
the house was so comfortable, that we determined to stay here a day
and enjoy some sketching and fishing. Sepia took her pencils and
ascended the hill behind the house, and we others got out our rods and
followed the example set us by Simon Peter.

The Platte, which ran through the meadow about a quarter of a mile
away, was a brown, shallow stream, twenty feet wide, fretting over a
rocky bed, with little pools and rapids which had a promising look; so
we looped on a red and a brown hackle and began to cast. Levell walked
down stream about a quarter of a mile before he began, so as to leave
a piece of water for the Scribe. The sun shone very bright and hot,
and only a few small trout answered my invitations. They were darker
and less brilliant in color than our _Salmo fontinalis_, and were, I
think, _Salmo Lewisii_, which inhabits these waters. The valley was
about half a mile wide, and shut in on each side by mountains of red
granite, crowned with pines. Bailey's people were making hay in the
valley, and I sat down on a fragrant haycock to await the return of
my companion. Presently I observed a horseman coming up the valley:
he was a hunter, followed by a couple of hounds, with the carcass of a
mountain-sheep, or bighorn (_Ovis montana_), on the saddle in front
of him. He told me he had killed it on the mountain behind us, and was
taking it to Bailey's for sale. It was an animal something in color
like a deer, and about as heavy, though shorter in the leg, with very
large curved horns, like those of a ram. He said they were numerous
in these mountains, and he had killed six of them in a day, but had to
lower them down the precipices with a lariat, which was hard work.
I asked if the story was true that these creatures would throw
themselves from high rocks, and, turning over in the air, pitch upon
their horns with safety. He said he had hunted them many years, but
never saw that performance. Being asked if he thought they could do
it, he replied that he reckoned they _could_, but would be smashed
if they did. Being interrogated on the subject of grizzly bears, he
replied that there _were_ grizzlies hereabouts, but that he never
hunted them: he had no use for grizzlies.

In a couple of hours Levell returned, having fished the stream for a
mile or more: he had got about twenty small trout. We found that
Sepia had been more successful than ourselves, for she had made some
effective water-color sketches of the scenery.

_Aug_. 21. We started this morning at seven, and drove up the Platte
Valley five miles to Slaight's, through a very picturesque region.
Passed some heavy wagons bound to the mines, and met the mail-stage
coming down the valley from Fairplay, with four horses at a gallop: we
were luckily able to draw off and let them pass, which they did in
a cloud of dust, through which could be dimly seen the long-bearded,
red-shirted miners. A saw-mill at Slaight's, with two houses and some
fields of oats. Then eight miles to Heffron's, at the forks of the
river, where there are a post-office and one house. Two miles beyond
we stopped to feed our horses in a lovely park-like bit of open forest
of sugar pines. This species resembles the yellow pine of the Southern
States, with the same rich purple trunk and widespreading branches.
Many of them had been girdled by the Indians to obtain the sweet inner
bark, which is a favorite luxury of the Utes. We see very few birds in
these mountains, which are too wild for the warblers and insect-eating
birds. We met with the mountain-grouse, a bird of about the size and
color of _Tetrao cupido_, and one or two hawks. We also saw in the
bushes at the roadside the mountain-rabbit (_Lepus artemisia_), which
from its large size we at first mistook for a fawn. From Heffron's we
continue to ascend for six miles, till just beyond a small lake we got
the first view of the Park: it lay before us like a vast basin, some
hundreds of feet below, surrounded with a rim of high mountains.

The Park itself is 9842 feet above the sea-level, or half as high
again as Mount Washington. The surrounding rim is some two thousand
feet higher, while in the distance, north, south and west, may be seen
the snowy summits, fourteen thousand feet high, of Gray's Peak, Pike's
Peak, Mount Lincoln, and

  Other Titans, without muse or name.

The South Park is sixty miles long and thirty wide, with a surface
like a rolling prairie, and contains hills, groves, lakes and streams
in beautiful variety. It formerly abounded with buffalo and other
game, and was a favorite winter hunting-ground of the Indians and the
white trappers, but since the great influx of miners the buffaloes
have mostly disappeared. Such, however, is the excellence of the
pasture that great herds of cattle are driven up here to feed during
the summer. Several towns and villages have sprung up around the mines
in this vicinity, such as Hamilton, Fairplay and Tarryall, to which a
stage-coach runs three times a week from Denver.

In our old atlases, forty years ago, we used to see the Rocky
Mountains laid down as a great central chain or back-bone of the
continent; but they are rather a congeries of groups scattered over
an area of six hundred miles in width and a thousand miles long: among
them are hundreds of these parks, from a few acres in extent to the
size of the State of Massachusetts. These mountains differ so entirely
from those usually visited and described by travelers, the Alps, the
Scottish Highlands and the White Mountains, that one can scarcely
believe that this warm air and rich vegetation exist ten thousand feet
above the sea. In climate the Colorado mountains approach more nearly
to the Andes, where the snow-line varies from fourteen thousand to
seventeen thousand feet. Here snow begins at twelve thousand feet,
and increases in quantity to the extreme height of the tallest peaks,
about fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty feet, though even these
are often bare in August. In these parks the cattle live without
shelter in winter, and the timber is large and plentiful at eleven
thousand feet elevation. Glaciers are wanting, but instead we have the
rich vegetation, the wide range of mountains, the pure, dry and balmy
atmosphere, and a variety, a depth and a softness of color which can
hardly be equaled on earth.

Having stopped an hour to enjoy the view from the brow of the mountain
which forms the rim of the Park, we were overtaken by one of the
sudden rains which occur here, and had to drive six miles along the
level bottom, till, crossing a brook, we found ourselves at sunset
near a large log cabin, where we were glad to be allowed to lie down
on the floor under shelter.

It was occupied by some young people named McLaughlin, two sisters and
a brother, who had come up from the Plains, where their family lived,
with a herd of cattle, from the milk of which the girls made one
hundred pounds of butter per week, for which they got fifty cents a
pound in the mines. In the fall they returned home, leaving the cattle
for the winter in certain sheltered regions called "the range." They
were stout, healthy young women, who did not fear to stay here all
alone for days at a time while their brother was galloping about the
Park on his broncho after his cattle. They did not keep tavern, but
were often obliged to take in benighted travelers like ourselves, to
whom they gave the shelter of their roof and the privilege of cooking
at their stove. The house was about forty by twenty feet, all in one
room, though one end was parted off by blankets, behind which they
admitted the lady of our party. Sometimes they were visited by Utes,
who are not unfriendly, though, like most Indians, they are audacious
beggars. "They try to scare us sometimes," said Jane: "they tell us,
'Bimeby Utes get all this country--then you my squaw,' but we don't
scare worth a cent." Their nearest neighbor is a sister four miles
away, who is the wife of Squire Lechner, innkeeper and justice of the
peace.

_Aug_. 23. Started this morning at eleven for Lechner's. Passed some
deserted mining-camps, where the surface had been seamed and scarred
by the diggers; then across a creek, where we saw ducks and a
red-tailed hawk. Squire Lechner has a large log tavern on the brow of
a hill: he was absent, but his wife took us in. Sepia went on the hill
to sketch, and we others drove off in search of a trout-brook of which
we heard flattering accounts. It was a very pretty stream, winding
through the prairie with the gentle murmur so loved by the angler and
poet, and lacked nothing but fish to make it perfect. It was rendered
somewhat turbid by the late rains, so that if the trout were there
they could not see our flies. We are told that trout are plenty on the
other side of the mountains. "Go to the Arkansas," they say, "and you
will find big ones."

  Man never is, but always to be, blest.

We found Mrs. Lechner a friendly person, like her sisters. She told us
that before her marriage her father kept this tavern. In 1864, most of
the men being away in the Union army, they found the house one morning
surrounded by a band of mounted rebels, who had come up from
Texas through New Mexico to make a raid on the mines. They were a
savage-looking band, about fifty in number, and were led by a man who
had formerly worked for her father, and whom she recognized. They took
what money and gold-dust was in the house, and seized all the
best horses about the place; but when she saw them taking away her
saddle-pony, she cried out, "Oh, Tom Smith! I didn't think you was
that mean, to rob me of my pony! Wasn't you always well treated here?"
He seemed to relent at this appeal, and not only restored her horse,
but two of her father's also. The people collected and pursued the
robbers, most of whom were captured or killed, but the leader escaped.
Mrs. Lechner said she was glad he got away. "Tom must have had some
good in him or he wouldn't have given me back my pony."

_Aug_. 24. Rose this morning at daybreak, and enjoyed the sight of
a sunrise among these snowy peaks. Nothing can surpass the delicate
tints of rose-color, silver gray, gold and purple which suffuse these
summits in early morning. I called Sepia to sketch them, but what
human colors can reproduce such glories? We left at seven, and drove
to Bailey's, thirty-five miles, before sunset, stopping an hour at
noon. On the top of a mountain, about 4 P.M., we were caught in a
furious squall, attended with rain, snow and hail, with terrific
thunder and lightning, which struck a tree close by. And here I must
pay my tribute to the admirable qualities of our horses--steady,
prompt and courageous; no mountain too steep for them to climb, no
precipice too abrupt to descend; and they stood the pelting of that
pitiless storm like four-legged philosophers. We found Bailey's house
apparently full, but they made room for us. A handsome buggy and pair
arrived soon after, from which descended a well-dressed gentleman
and lady, whom we found to be the superintendent of a silver-mine
at Hamilton and his wife. They told us that there was a very good
boarding-house at that place, with fine scenery all around, which we
ought to have seen. But in truth we had as much fine scenery as we
could contain: we were saturated with it, and a few mountains more
would have been wasted.

_Aug_. 25. A fine clear morning, and we started early, hoping to drive
through to Denver, forty-five miles, but in about fifteen miles one of
the horses lost a shoe, which it was thought necessary to replace,
the road being rocky; so we went slowly to the junction, where was
a blacksmith. He proved to be a mixture of tavern-keeper, farmer and
blacksmith, and it was considered a favor to be shod by a man of such
various talents. Deliberately he searched for a shoe: that found, he
looked for the hammer. Who had seen the hammer? It was remembered that
little Johnny had been playing with it. Johnny was looked for, and
finally brought, but was unable or unwilling to find the tool so
essential to our progress. "Look for it, Johnny," said the blacksmith;
and he looked, but to no purpose. After waiting an hour for reason to
dawn upon the mind of this infant, the blacksmith put on the shoe with
the help of a hatchet, and we proceeded; but so much time had been
lost night overtook us twelve miles from Denver. We tried at two
taverns, which were full of teamsters, and we were obliged to diverge
three miles down Bear's Creek Cañon to the house of Strauss. The
good woman, after a mild protest, admitted us and gave us a supper
of venison, with good beds. Strauss has a fine ranch along the creek,
where he raises forty bushels of wheat to the acre, and his wife milks
thirty-six cows and makes two hundred pounds of butter at a churning.
Besides this, she cultivates a flower-garden, with many varieties of
bloom, irrigated by a ditch from the creek.

Arrived at Denver at noon of the 26th, and found the mercury at 90°,
and were glad to leave the crowded hotel next morning for Chicago.

I have only described what we actually saw, which was but a small part
of the wonders and delights of Colorado. We were humble travelers,
unattached to any party of Congressmen or of railroad potentates: we
were not ushered into the Garden of the Gods, assisted up Gray's Park,
or introduced to the Petrified Forest; but we saw enough of the new
and beautiful to give us lasting recollections of Colorado and the
South Park.

S.C. CLARKE.



THE PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY.


"Do you know anything about this 'grange' business?" asked a lady
from the city the other day; and she added, "I can hardly take up a
magazine or newspaper without falling on the words 'grange,' 'Patrons
of Husbandry,' 'farmers' movement,' and all that."

"Why, I am a Patron myself," I replied.

"What! you have a _grange_ here in this little New Jersey sandbank?"
she exclaimed incredulously, and plied me with a storm of questions.

It was a quiet, rainy evening, and I devoted the whole of it to
answering her queries, reading documents from our head-quarters,
and quoting Mr. Adams's treatise on the _Railroad Systems_ and other
authorities to explain the present war between producers and carriers;
and, believing that there are many others who, like my friend, are
disposed to look into this "grange business," I will give them the
substance of our conversation. A great deal of that which has found
its way into the press touching our order is more characterized by
confidence than correctness of statement. In a late magazine article
it is stated that the organization known as the _Patrons of Husbandry_
"was originally borrowed from an association which for many years
had maintained a feeble existence in a community of Scotch farmers in
North Carolina." This statement has no foundation in fact. The
order is not the out-growth directly, or even indirectly, of any
pre-existing organization. It is the result, so far as it is possible
to trace impulses to their source, of the suggestion of a lady,
communicated some years ago to Mr. O.H. Kelley, the present secretary
of the National Grange, and the person who has done more than any
other to establish the order as it exists to-day. The suggestion was
in substance this: Why cannot the farmers protect themselves by a
national organization, as do other trades and professions? Mr. Kelley
seized the idea with enthusiasm, worked out the plan of a secret
society, and traveled over the country seeking to arouse the
farmers to organize for their mutual advantage. He met with constant
disappointment at first, and his family and friends implored him to
abandon a project which threatened to absorb every cent he possessed,
as it did all his time and energy. But he persevered against every
discouragement, and to-day he may well be proud of the results of his
devotion.

The first grange was organized in St. Paul, Minnesota, and called the
"North Star Grange," and it is one of the most efficient subordinate
granges in the country to this day. Another was organized in
Washington, one in Fredonia, New York, one in Ohio, another in
Illinois, and a few others during the same year in different places.
This was very nearly six years ago. Since that time they have been
constantly increasing--at first slowly, then with a rapidity unheard
of in the history of secret or any other organizations in this country
or the world. We can hardly count three years since the order fairly
began to grow, and now the granges are numbered by the thousand. Ten
States on the twenty-fifth of June last had over a hundred granges,
and seven of these between two and five hundred. Iowa to-day has
seventeen hundred and ten, and others in process of organization.
Thirty-one of the States and Territories had subordinate or both
subordinate and State granges, according to the June returns. There
were eight at that date in Canada, twenty-three in Vermont, five in
New York State, three in New Jersey, two in Pennsylvania, and one in
Massachusetts. Up to this time there has been little effort made to
extend the organization into the Eastern and Middle States, but at
present deputies from the National Grange are being sent to these
"benighted regions," and the leaven is working finely. To show how
rapidly the order is extending it will be only necessary to add that
seven hundred and one charters for new granges were issued during the
single month of May.

The discussion of party politics is excluded from the order by common
consent, as well as by the terms of its constitution. How much this
one wise provision tends to preserve harmony among those of different
sects and political parties needs no comment. We know that on one
or both of these rocks most great popular organizations have been
wrecked. So far, the Patrons of Husbandry have worked together with
great harmony, and the slight discords have been nothing more than the
surface ripples on a great onward-setting current. Men and women
are received on terms of absolute equality throughout all the seven
degrees. Four are degrees conferred in subordinate granges, and the
higher in the State granges or in the National Grange--the seventh
in the latter only, constituting a national senate and court of
impeachment, and having charge also of the secret work of the order.
All officers are chosen by ballot--those of the National Grange
for three years, of State granges for two years, and of subordinate
granges for one year. The names of the first four degrees are
respectively, for men and women, Laborer and Maid, Cultivator and
Shepherdess, Harvester and Gleaner, Husbandman and Matron; and the
initiations are not only exceedingly impressive and beautiful, but
really instructive. It may also be added that they are never tedious,
which will be agreeable information to those who, in entering secret
societies, have been dragged through long, meaningless rigmaroles,
conscious of being made a spectacle of, and preserving their temper
only by the most strenuous efforts.

Into the initiations of the order of the Patrons there enter as
machinery or symbols music and song, the expression of exalted
sentiments, ceremonies replete, without exception, with significance
and instruction, together with fruits and grains and flowers and
simple feasts. Two fundamental objects of the organization are social
and intellectual culture. The widespread realization of the importance
of these among the people is the first great step toward securing
them, and the first unmistakable sign that such step has already been
taken is the rebelling against pure drudgery. Said the Master of the
National Grange, Mr. Dudley W. Adams, in a late address: "It will
doubtless be a matter of surprise to them" (editors, lawyers,
politicians, etc.) "to learn that farmers may possibly entertain
some wish to enjoy life, and have some other object in living besides
everlasting hard work and accumulating a few paltry dollars by coining
them from their own life-blood and stamping them with the sighs of
weary children and worn wives. What we want in agriculture is a
new Declaration of Independence. We must do something to dispel old
prejudices and beat down old notions. That the farmer is a mere animal
to labor from morning till eve, and into the night, is an ancient but
abominable heresy."... "We have heard enough, ten times enough, about
the 'hardened hand of honest toil,' the supreme glory of 'the sweating
brow,' and how magnificent the suit of coarse homespun which covers
a form bent with overwork."... "I tell you, my brother-workers of the
soil, there is something worth living for besides hard work. We have
heard enough of this professional blarney. Toil in itself is not
necessarily glorious. To toil like slaves, raise fat steers, cultivate
broad acres, pile up treasures of bonds and lands and herds, and at
the same time bow and starve the god-like form, harden the hands,
dwarf the immortal mind and alienate the children from the homestead,
is a damning disgrace to any man, and should stamp him as worse than a
brute."

Thus the farmers have joined the great strike of labor against
drudgery, and it will never end until it is fully recognized that,
while every unproductive life is a dishonorable life, drudgery is no
less degrading than pure idleness. To be sure, the sages in all times
have taught that there was a time to sing and dance as well as a time
to labor, but it is not fifty years since it was generally accepted
by the masses that a person might spend every day of his adult life
in monotonous manual labor, and yet, other things being favorable,
be just as intelligent, just as polished in manner, and graceful
in bearing as if his occupation was varied and the more laborious
portions of it never continued long at a time. To-day this fallacy is
beginning to be generally recognized. Go into any farming district,
and you will find that the farmer's sons who are regularly engaged in
one kind of labor all day, as ploughing, planting, mowing, are
great, awkward, heavy-mannered youths, while his daughters are, in
comparison, easy in their movements and agreeable in their address;
and simply because, though their labor has been as unremitting, it has
been far less monotonous. As a general rule, they go from one thing to
another, and through a great variety of muscular exercises from hour
to hour.

It is no wonder, then, that the farmers' sons, to get rid of the
terrible monotony of farm-labor as now organized, find peddling
tin kettles an acceptable substitute, or turning somersets in a
third-class circus a fortunate escape. The reason why our country
youths are so impatient of farm-labor is not that they are less
virtuous than formerly, but that they are wiser; and the railroad has
opened a thousand fields for their ambitious daring undreamed of
as possibilities in the olden time. Not even the combination of
attractions afforded by the granges, with their libraries and
reading-rooms, their processions and picnics, the decoration of grange
halls in company with the ladies of the order, the working of degrees,
the music, social reunions, balls and concerts, can keep young men on
the farm unless something is done to render the labor less monotonous
and disagreeable.

One of the Patrons during a late discussion of these questions
predicted, from the growing intelligence of the people, and their
better understanding of the possibilities of organization, that within
a few years we shall see magnificent social palaces, something like
the famous one at Guise, in many places in this country; and he went
on to show how social and industrial life might be organized so as
to secure the most complete liberty of the individual or family,
magnificent educational advantanges, remunerative occupation and
varied amusements for all, with perfect insurance against want for
orphans, for the sick and the aged. Each palace was to be the centre
of a great agricultural district exploited in the most scientific
manner, and through the varied economies resulting from combination
all the luxuries of industry and all the conditions for high culture
were to be secured to all who were willing to labor even one-half
the hours that the farmer now does. It was a glowing picture, and
certainly very entertaining, whether a possibility of this, or, as one
of the company suggested, of some happier planet than ours.

But whatever dreams for the future may be entertained by some of the
Patrons, it is certain that they have work directly at hand, and that
they are grappling it with a will. The Iowa granges, through agents
appointed from among their members, now purchase their machinery and
farming implements direct from the manufacturer and by wholesale.
That State saved half a million during 1872 in this way, and Missouri,
through the executive committee of her State grange, has just
completed a contract in St. Louis for the same purpose. All members
of the granges are thus enabled to secure these articles at greatly
reduced prices; and as there are over three hundred and fifty granges,
with a larger membership than in many other States, this is a very
important item.

Now, in regard to the railroads, with which it is generally supposed
the Patrons of Husbandry are in fierce conflict. Certainly, to the
outside observer, the agriculturists of the South and West seem
to have most grievous burdens to bear. It costs the price of three
bushels of corn to carry one to the grain-marts by rail, and the whole
world knows that they have been burning their three-year old crops as
fuel in nearly all the Western States. Meanwhile, it seems clear that
there is not too much corn raised, since a great famine has just swept
over Persia, and others are threatening in different parts of the
world.

The present high rates of transportation were never anticipated by the
farmer. If in the beginning some great route charged high rates for
carrying, his dissatisfaction was soothed by the assurance that the
road had cost an enormous outlay of capital, and that as soon as
the company was partially reimbursed the rates would be lowered. The
sequel generally proved that the rates went up instead of down, and
the still angrier mood of the farmer was again quieted by a new hope:
a great competing railroad line was projected, and finally finished.
Competition would certainly bring down the prices. This was the
reasonable way to expect relief. Competition always had that effect.
Alas for the simple producer! He had borne his burdens long and
patiently only to learn the truth of George Stevenson's pithy
apothegm, that "where combination is possible competition is
impossible." The two great companies combined, became consolidated
into one, and, having their victim completely in their power, swindled
him without pity and divided the spoils between them.

The characteristic of the day is the tendency to consolidation. But
nothing can prevent the people from fearing the results of great
monopolies and "rings," or from organizing to circumvent their
schemes. Those who make no calculation for the growing intelligence
of industry are walking blindly. Never were the people so conscious of
their power--never so fully aware that in this country the machinery
for correcting abuses lies in the degree of concentration with which
public opinion can be brought to bear in a given direction. Once let
the people become fully aroused to the existence of an evil or abuse,
and there is no interest nor combination of interests that can
long hold out against them. The trouble heretofore has been the
multiplicity of conflicting opinions everywhere disseminated, and the
consequent difficulty of agreeing upon measures, and uniting a great
number of people in their adoption for the accomplishment of certain
ends. If we may rely upon the promise of the order of the Patrons of
Husbandry, now slowly and surely sweeping toward the eastern shores of
the country, and yet still widening and extending in the West, where
it rose, we may hope that this is the great moving army of the people
so long waited for, which is to work out the vexed problems of labor
and capital by a sudden but peaceful revolution.

The record of the vast work that the order of the Patrons has
accomplished for its members exists at present in a detached and
scattered form among the different granges, and in piles of yet unused
documents at the national head-quarters. The full history of the
movement is promised, and in good time will doubtless appear.

Since the first part of this paper was written the Iowa granges have
increased to over one thousand seven hundred and fifty. Twenty-nine
new ones were organized during the week ending July 24. Over one-third
of all the grain-elevators of the State are owned or controlled by
the granges, which had, up to December last, shipped over five
million bushels of grain to Chicago, besides cattle and hogs in vast
quantities; and the reports received from these shipments show an
increased profit to the producers of from ten to forty per cent.
over that of the old "middlemen" system; and by the complete buying
arrangements which the Western granges have effected it is calculated
that the members save on an average one hundred dollars a year each.
Large families find their expenses reduced by three or four hundred
dollars annually, aside from amounts saved on sewing-machines, pianos,
organs, reapers, mowers, corn-shellers and a hundred other costly
articles; all of which any member of any grange can obtain to-day at
a saving of from twenty-five to forty per cent. They are ordered in
quantity from the manufacturers by the agents of the State granges of
the West, and a single order even from a member of a new-formed
grange in Vermont will be incorporated in the general State order. The
granges of the Eastern and Middle States are as yet mostly engaged
in the work of organizing, and have not yet realized the pecuniary
advantages accruing to older granges. By this vast co-operative and
entirely cash system all parties are well satisfied except certain
unfortunate middlemen, who find their "occupation gone," and
themselves obliged to become producers or to enter into the sale of
the numerous small and low-priced articles not yet affected by the
movement.

MARIE ROWLAND.


[It is desirable that an organization which is assuming such
proportions and promising such results should be examined from every
point of view, and the foregoing article, written from that of
an enthusiastic member of the order, will, we may hope, assist in
throwing light upon the subject. If there is some degree of vagueness
in its statement of the aims and purposes with which the movement
has been set on foot, it is probable that this exactly represents the
state of mind of the great majority of those who are engaged in it.
The one tangible thing which it would seem to be accomplishing, a
combination of the farmers for the purchase of pianos and agricultural
implements at wholesale prices, is not of a very startling character;
and if this can be attained at no greater cost or trouble to the
individual "Patrons" than that of "decorating the granges" and taking
part in the singing and the symbolical rites, a considerable advantage
will no doubt have been gained. How the cost of transportation is
to be reduced, or why the railroads, by facilitating the exchange of
productions, should have become the _bête noire_ of the producers, are
points on which more definite information would seem to be required.
But "the people" being now "aroused," and the revolution in progress,
we have only to await events in that hopeful state of mind which such
announcements are calculated to inspire.--ED.]



ON THE CHURCH STEPS.


CHAPTER VI.


I had a busy week of it in New York--copying out instructions, taking
notes of marriages and intermarriages in 1690, and writing each day
a long, pleading letter to Bessie. There was a double strain upon me:
all the arrangements for my client's claims, and in an undercurrent
the arguments to overcome Bessie's decision, went on in my brain side
by side.

I could not, I wrote to her, make the voyage without her. It would be
the shipwreck of all my new hopes. It was cruel in her to have
raised such hopes unless she was willing to fulfill them: it made the
separation all the harder. I could not and would not give up the plan.
"I have engaged our passage in the Wednesday's steamer: say yes, dear
child, and I will write to Dr. Wilder from here."

I could not leave for Lenox before Saturday morning, and I hoped to be
married on the evening of that day. But to all my pleading came "No,"
simply written across a sheet of note-paper in my darling's graceful
hand.

Well, I would go up on the Saturday, nevertheless. She would surely
yield when she saw me faithful to my word.

"I shall be a sorry-looking bride-groom," I thought as I surveyed
myself in the little mirror at the office. It was Friday night, and we
were shutting up. We had worked late by gaslight, all the clerks had
gone home long ago, and only the porter remained, half asleep on a
chair in the hall.

It was striking nine as I gathered up my bundle of papers and thrust
them into a bag. I was rid of them for three days at least. "Bill, you
may lock up now," I said, tapping the sleepy porter on the shoulder.

"Oh, Mr. Munro, shure here's a card for yees," handing me a lady's
card.

"Who left it, Bill?" I hurriedly asked, taking it to the flaring
gaslight on the stairway.

"Two ladies in a carriage--an old 'un and a pretty young lady, shure.
They charged me giv' it yees, and druv' off."

"And why didn't you bring it in, you blockhead?" I shouted, for it
was Bessie Stewart's card. On it was written in pencil: "Westminster
Hotel. On our way through New York. Leave on the 8 train for the South
to-night. Come up to dinner."

The eight-o'clock train, and it was now striking nine!

"Shure, Mr. Charles, you had said you was not to be disturbed on no
account, and that I was to bring in no messages."

"Did you tell those ladies that? What time were they here?"

"About five o'clock--just after you had shut the dure, and the clerks
was gone. Indeed, and they didn't wait for no reply, but hearin' you
were in there, they druv' off the minute they give me the card. The
pretty young lady didn't like the looks of our office, I reckon."

It was of no use to storm at Bill. He had simply obeyed orders like
a faithful machine. So, after a hot five minutes, I rushed up to the
Westminster. Perhaps they had not gone. Bessie would know there was a
mistake, and would wait for me.

But they were gone. On the books of the hotel were registered in a
clear hand, Bessie's hand, "Mrs. M. Antoinette Sloman and maid; Miss
Bessie Stewart." They had arrived that afternoon, must have driven
directly from the train to the office, and had dined, after waiting a
little time for some one who did not come.

"And where were they going?" I asked of the sympathetic clerk, who
seemed interested.

"Going South--I don't know where. The elder lady seemed delicate, and
the young lady quite anxious that she should stay here to-night and go
on in the morning. But no, she would go on to-night."

I took the midnight train for Philadelphia. They would surely not go
farther to-night if Mrs. Sloman seemed such an invalid.

I scanned every hotel-book in vain. I walked the streets of the city,
and all the long Sunday I haunted one or two churches that my memory
suggested to me were among the probabilities for that day. They were
either not in the city or most securely hid.

And all this time there was a letter in the New York post-office
waiting for me. I found it at my room when I went back to it on Monday
noon.

It ran as follows:

  "WESTMINSTER HOTEL.

  "Very sorry not to see you--Aunt
  Sloman especially sorry; but she has
  set her heart on going to Philadelphia
  to-night. We shall stay at a private
  house, a quiet boarding-house; for aunt
  goes to consult Dr. R---- there, and
  wishes to be very retired. I shall not
  give you our address: as you sail so
  soon, it would not be worth while to
  come over. I will write you on the
  other side.

  B.S."

Where's a Philadelphia directory? Where is this Dr. R----? I find him,
sure enough--such a number Walnut street. Time is precious--Monday
noon!

"I'll transfer my berth to the Saturday steamer: that will do as well.
Can't help it if they do scold at the office."

To drive to the Cunard company's office and make the transfer took
some little time, but was not this my wedding holiday? I sighed as I
again took my seat in the car at Jersey City. On this golden Monday
afternoon I should have been slowly coming down the Housatonic Valley,
with my dear little wife beside me. Instead, the unfamiliar train, and
the fat man at my side reading a campaign newspaper, and shaking his
huge sides over some broad burlesque.

The celebrated surgeon, Dr. R----, was not at home in answer to my
ring on Monday evening.

"How soon will he be in? I will wait."

"He can see no patients to-night sir," said the man; "and he may not
be home until midnight."

"But I am an _im_patient," I might have urged, when a carriage dashed
up to the door. A slight little man descended, and came slowly up the
steps.

"Dr. R----?" I said inquiringly.

"Yes, sir."

"Just one minute, doctor, if you please. I only want to get an address
from you."

He scanned me from head to foot: "Walk into my office, young man."

I might have wondered at the brusqueness of his manner had I not
caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror over the mantelshelf.
Dusty and worn, and with a keen look of anxiety showing out of every
feature, I should scarcely have recognized myself.

I explained as collectedly as possible that I wanted the address of
one of his patients, a dear old friend of mine, whom I had missed
as she passed through New York, and that, as I was about to sail for
Europe in a few days, I had rushed over to bid her good-bye. "Mrs.
Antoinette Sloman, it is, doctor."

The doctor eyed me keenly: he put out his hand to the little silver
bell that stood on the table and tapped it sharply. The servant
appeared at the door: "Let the carriage wait, James."

Again the watchful, keen expression. Did he think me an escaped
lunatic, or that I had an intent to rob the old lady? Apparently the
scrutiny was satisfactory, for he took out a little black book from
his pocket, and turning over the leaves, said, "Certainly, here it
is--No. 30 Elm street, West Philadelphia."

Over the river, then, again: no wonder I had not seen them in the
Sunday's search.

"I will take you over," said Dr. R----, replacing the book in his
pocket again. "Mrs. Sloman is on my list. Wait till I eat a biscuit,
and I'll drive you over in my carriage."

Shrewd little man! thought I: if I am a convict or a lunatic with
designs on Mrs. Sloman, he is going to be there to see.

"Till he ate a biscuit?" I should think so. To his invitation, most
courteously urged, that I should come and share his supper--"You've
just come from the train, and you won't get back to your hotel for two
hours, at least"--I yielded a ready acceptance, for I was really very
hungry: I forget whether I had eaten anything all day.

But the biscuit proved to be an elegant little supper served in
glittering plate, and the doctor lounged over the tempting bivalves
until I could scarce conceal my impatience.

"Do you chance to know," he said carelessly, as at last we rose from
the table and he flung his napkin down, "Mrs. Sloman's niece, Miss
Stewart?"

"Excellently well," I said smiling: "in fact, I believe I am engaged
to be married to her."

"My dear fellow," said the doctor, bursting out laughing, "I am
delighted to hear it! Take my carriage and go. I saw you were a
lawyer, and you looked anxious and hurried; and I made up my mind
that you had come over to badger the old lady into making her will. I
congratulate you with all my soul--and myself, too," he added, shaking
my hand. "Only think! Had it not been for your frankness, I should
have taken a five-mile ride to watch you and keep you from doing my
patient an injury."

The good doctor quite hurried me into the carriage in the effusion of
his discovery; and I was soon rolling away in that luxurious vehicle
over the bridge, and toward Bessie at last.

I cannot record that interview in words, nor can I now set down any
but the mere outline of our talk. My darling came down to meet me with
a quick flush of joy that she did not try to conceal. She was natural,
was herself, and only too glad, after the _contretemps_ in New York,
to see me again. She pitied me as though I had been a tired child
when I told her pathetically of my two journeys to Philadelphia, and
laughed outright at my interview with Dr. R----.

I was so sure of my ground. When I came to speak of the journey--_our_
journey--I knew I should prevail. It was a deep wound, and she shrank
from any talk about it. I had to be very gentle and tender before she
would listen to me at all.

But there was something else at work against me--what was
it?--something that I could neither see nor divine. And it was not
altogether made up of Aunt Sloman, I was sure.

"I cannot leave her now, Charlie. Dr. R---- wishes her to remain in
Philadelphia, so that he can watch her case. That settles it, Charlie:
I must stay with her."

What was there to be said? "Is there no one else, no one to take your
place?"

"Nobody; and I would not leave her even if there were."

Still, I was unsatisfied. A feeling of uneasiness took possession of
me. I seemed to read in Bessie's eyes that there was a thought between
us hidden out of sight. There is no clairvoyant like a lover. I could
see the shadow clearly enough, but whence, in her outer life, had the
shadow come? _Between_ us, surely, it could not be. Even her anxiety
for her aunt could not explain it: it was something concealed.

When at last I had to leave her, "So to-morrow is your last day?" she
said.

"No, not the last. I have changed my passage to the Saturday steamer."

The strange look came into her face again. Never before did blue eyes
wear such a look of scrutiny.

"Well, what is it?" I asked laughingly as I looked straight into her
eyes.

"The Saturday steamer," she said musingly--"the Algeria, isn't it? I
thought you were in a hurry?"

"It was my only chance to have you," I explained, and apparently the
argument was satisfactory enough.

With the saucy little upward toss with which she always dismissed a
subject, "Then it isn't good-bye to-night?" she said.

"Yes, for two days. I shall run over again on Thursday."



CHAPTER VII.


The two days passed, and the Thursday, and the Friday's parting,
harder for Bessie, as it seemed, than she had thought for. It was hard
to raise her dear little head from my shoulder when the last moment
came, and to rush down stairs to the cab, whose shivering horse and
implacable driver seemed no bad emblem of destiny on that raw October
morning.

I was glad of the lowering sky as I stepped up the gangway to the
ship's deck. "What might have been" went down the cabin stairs with
me; and as I threw my wraps and knapsack into the double state-room I
had chosen I felt like a widower.

It was wonderful to me then, as I sat down on the side of the berth
and looked around me, how the last two weeks had filled all the future
with dreams. "I must have a genius for castle-building," I laughed.
"Well, the reality is cold and empty enough. I'll go up on deck."

On deck, among the piles of luggage, were various metal-covered trunks
marked M----. I remember now watching them as they were stowed away.

But it was with a curious shock, an hour after we had left the dock,
that a turn in my solitary walk on deck brought me face to face with
Fanny Meyrick.

"You here?" she said. "I thought you had sailed in the Russia! Bessie
told me you were to go then."

"Did she know," I asked, "that _you_ were going by this steamer?"

On my life, never was gallantry farther from my thoughts: my question
concerned Bessie alone, but Fanny apparently took it as a compliment,
and looked up gayly: "Oh yes: that was fixed months ago. I told her
about it at Lenox."

"And did she tell you something else?" I asked sharply.

"Oh yes. I was very glad to hear of your good prospect. Do be
congratulated, won't you?"

Rather an odd way to put it, thought I, but it is Fanny Meyrick's way.
"Good prospect!" Heavens! was that the term to apply to my engagement
with Bessie?

I should have insisted on a distincter utterance and a more flattering
expression of the situation had it been any other woman. But a
lingering suspicion that perhaps the subject was a distasteful one to
Fanny Meyrick made me pause, and a few moments after, as some one else
joined her, I left her and went to the smokestack for my cigar.

It was impossible, in the daily monotony of ship-life, to avoid
altogether the young lady whom Fate had thrown in my way. She was a
most provokingly good sailor, too. Other women stayed below or were
carried in limp bundles to the deck at noon; but Fanny, perfectly
poised, with the steady glow in her cheek, was always ready to amuse
or be amused.

I tried, at first, keeping out of her way, with the _Trois
Mousquetaires_ for company. But it seemed to me, as she knew of my
engagement, such avoidance was anything but complimentary to her.
Loyalty to her sex would forbid me to show that I had read her secret.
Why not meet her on the frank, breezy ground of friendship?

Perhaps, after all, there was no secret. Perhaps her feeling was only
one of girlish gratitude, however needless, for pulling her out of the
Hudson River. I did not know.

Nor was I particularly pleased with the companion to whom she
introduced me on our third day out--Father Shamrock, an Irish priest,
long resident in America, and bound now for Maynooth. How he had
obtained an introduction to her I do not know, except in the easy,
fatherly way he seemed to have with every one on board.

"Pshaw!" thought I, "what a nuisance!" for I shared the common
antipathy to his country and his creed. Nor was his appearance
prepossessing--one of Froude's "tonsured peasants," as I looked
down at the square shoulders, the stout, short figure and the broad
beardlessness of the face of the padre. But his voice, rich and
mellow, attracted me in spite of myself. His eyes were sparkling with
kindly humor, and his laugh was irresistible.

A perfect man of the world, with no priestly austerity about him, he
seemed a perpetual anxiety to the two young priests at his heels.
They were on their dignity always, and, though bound to hold him in
reverence as their superior in age and rank, his songs and his gay
jests were evidently as thorns in their new cassocks.

Father Shamrock was soon the star of the ship's company. Perfectly
suave, his gayety had rather the French sparkle about it than the
distinguishing Italian trait, and his easy manner had a dash of
manliness which I had not thought to find. Accomplished in various
tongues, rattling off a gay little _chanson_ or an Irish song, it was
a sight to see the young priests looking in from time to time at
the cabin door in despair as the clock pointed to nine, and Father
Shamrock still sat the centre of a gay and laughing circle.

He had rare tact, too, in talking to women. Of all the ladies on the
Algeria, I question if there were any but the staunchest Protestants.
Some few held themselves aloof at first and declined an introduction.
"Father Shamrock! An Irish priest! How _can_ Miss Meyrick walk with
him and present him as she does?" But the party of recalcitrants grew
less and less, and Fanny Meyrick was very frank in her admiration.
"Convert you?" she laughed over her shoulder to me. "He wouldn't take
the trouble to try."

And I believe, indeed, he would not. His strong social nature was
evidently superior to any ambition of his cloth. He would have made a
famous diplomat but for the one quality of devotion that was lacking.
I use the word in its essential, not in its religious sense--devotion
to an idea, the faith in a high purpose.

We had one anxious day of it, and only one. A gale had driven most
of the passengers to the seclusion of their state-rooms, and left
the dinner-table a desert. Alone in the cabin, Father Shamrock, Fanny
Meyrick, a young Russian and myself: I forget a vigilant duenna, the
only woman on board unreconciled to Father Shamrock. She lay prone
on one of the seats, her face rigid and hands clasped in an agony of
terror. She was afraid, she afterward confessed to me, to go to her
state-room: nearness and voices seemed a necessity to her.

When I joined the party, Father Shamrock, as usual, was the narrator.
But he had dropped out of his voice all the gay humor, and was talking
very soberly. Some story he was telling, of which I gathered, as he
went on, that it was of a young lady, a rich and brilliant society
woman. "Shot right through the heart at Chancellorsville, and he
the only brother. They two, orphans, were all that were left of the
family. He was her darling, just two years younger than she.

"I went to see her, and found her in an agony. She had not kissed him
when he left her: some little laughing tiff between them, and she
had expected to see him again before his regiment marched. She threw
herself on her knees and made confession; and then she took a holy
vow: if the saints would grant her once more to behold his body, she
would devote herself hereafter to God's holy Church.

"She gathered all her jewels together in a heap and cast them at my
feet. 'Take them, Father, for the Church: if I find him I shall not
wear them again--or if I do not find him.'

"I went with her to the front of battle, and we found him after a
time. It was a search, but we found his grave, and we brought him home
with us. Poor boy! beyond recognition, except for the ring he wore;
but she gave him the last kiss, and then she was ready to leave the
world. She took the vows as Sister Clara, the holy vows of poverty and
charity."

"But, Father," said Fanny, with a new depth in her eyes, "did she not
die behind the bars? To be shut up in a convent with that grief at her
heart!"

"Bars there were none," said the Father gently. "She left her vocation
to me, and I decided for her to become a Sister of Mercy. I
have little sympathy," with a shrug half argumentative, half
deprecatory--"but little sympathy with the conventual system for
spirits like hers. She would have wasted and worn away in the offices
of prayer. She needed _action_. And she had the full of it in her
calling. She went from bedside to bedside of the sick and dying--here
a child in a fever; there a widow-woman in the last stages of
consumption--night after night, and day after day, with no rest, no
thought of herself."

"Oh, I have seen her," I could not help interposing, "in a city car. A
shrouded figure that was conspicuous even in her serge dress. She read
a book of _Hours_ all the time, but I caught one glimpse of her eyes:
they were very brilliant."

"Yes," sighed the Father, "it was an unnatural brightness. I was
called away to Montreal, or I should never have permitted the
sacrifice. She went where-ever the worst cases were of contagion and
poverty, and she would have none to relieve her at her post. So, when
I returned after three months' absence, I was shocked at the change:
she was dying of their family disease. 'It is better, so,' she said,
'dear Father. It was only the bullet that saved Harry from it, and it
would have been sure to come to me at last, after some opera or
ball.' She died last winter--so patient and pure, and such a saintly
sufferer!"

The Father wiped his eyes. Why should I think of Bessie? Why should
the Sister's veiled figure and pale ardent face rise before me as if
in warning?

Of just such overwhelming sacrifice was my darling capable were her
life's purpose wrecked. Something there was in the portrait of the
sweet singleness, the noble scorn of self, the devotion unthinking,
uncalculating, which I knew lay hidden in her soul.

The Father warmed into other themes, all in the same key of mother
Church. I listened dreamily, and to my own thoughts as well.

He pictured the priest's life of poverty, renunciation, leaving the
world of men, the polish and refinement of scholars, to take the
confidences and bear the burdens of grimy poverty and ignorance.
Surely, I thought, we do wrong to shut such men out of our sympathies,
to label them "Dangerous." Why should we turn the cold shoulder? are
we so true to our ideals? But one glance at the young priests as they
sat crouching in the outer cabin, telling their beads and crossing
themselves with the vehemence of a frightened faith, was enough.
Father Shamrock was no type. Very possibly his own life would show but
coarse and poor against the chaste, heroic portraits he had drawn. He
had the dramatic faculty: for the moment he was what he related--that
was all.

Our vigilant duenna had gradually risen to a sitting posture, and
drawn nearer and nearer, and as the narrator's voice sank into silence
she said with effusion, "Well, _you_ are a good man, I guess."

But Fanny Meyrick sat as if entranced. The gale had died away, and, to
break the spell, I asked her if she wanted to take one peep on deck,
to see if there was a star in the heavens.

There was no star, but a light rising and falling with the ship's
motion, which was pronounced by a sailor to be Queenstown light, shone
in the distance.

The Father was to leave us there. "We shall not make it to-night,"
said the sailor. "It is too rough. Early in the morning the passengers
will land."

"I wish," said Fanny with a deep sigh, as if wakening from a dream,
"that the Church of Rome was at the bottom of the sea!"



CHAPTER VIII.


Arrived at our dock, I hurried off to catch the train for London. The
Meyricks lingered for a few weeks in Wales before coming to
settle down for the winter. I was glad of it, for I could make my
arrangements unhampered. So I carefully eliminated Clarges street from
my list of lodging-houses, and finally "ranged" myself with a neat
landlady in Sackville street.

How anxiously I awaited the first letter from Bessie! As the banker's
clerk handed it over the counter to me, instead of the heavy envelope
I had hoped for, it was a thin slip of an affair that fluttered away
from my hand. It was so very slim and light that I feared to open it
there, lest it should be but a mocking envelope, nothing more.

So I hastened back to my cab, and, ordering the man to drive to the
law-offices, tore it open as I jumped in. It enclosed simply a
printed slip, cut from some New York paper--a list of the Algeria's
passengers.

"What joke is this?" I said as I scanned it more closely.

By some spite of fortune my name was printed directly after the
Meyrick party. Was it for this, this paltry thing, that Bessie
has denied me a word? I turned over the envelope, turned it inside
out--not a penciled word even!

The shadow that I had seen on that good-bye visit to Philadelphia was
clear to me now. I had said at Lenox, repeating the words after Bessie
with fatal emphasis, "I am glad, very glad, that Fanny Meyrick is to
sail in October. I would not have her stay on this side for worlds!"
Then the next day, twenty-four hours after, I told her that I too was
going abroad. Coward that I was, not to tell her at first! She might
have been sorry, vexed, but not _suspicious_.

Yes, that was the ugly word I had to admit, and to admit that I had
given it room to grow.

My first hesitancy about taking her with me, my transfer from the
Russia to the later steamer, and, to crown all, that leaf from Fanny's
pocket-book: "I shall love him for ever and ever"!

And yet she _had_ faith in me. She had told Fanny Meyrick we were
engaged. _Had she not_?

My work in London was more tedious and engrossing than I had expected.
Even a New York lawyer has much to learn of the law's delay in those
pompous old offices amid the fog. Had I been working for myself, I
should have thrown up the case in despair, but advices from our office
said "Stick to it," and I stayed.

Eating out my own heart with anxiety whenever I thought of my home
affair, perhaps it was well for me that I had the monotonous, musty
work that required little thought, but only a persistent plodding and
a patient holding of my end of the clue.

In all these weeks I had nothing from Bessie save that first cruel
envelope. Letter after letter went to her, but no response came. I
wrote to Mrs. Sloman too, but no answer. Then I bethought me of Judge
Hubbard, but received in reply a note from one of his sons, stating
that his father was in Florida--that he had communicated with him,
but regretted that he was unable to give me Miss Stewart's present
address.

Why did I not seek Fanny Meyrick? She must have come to London long
since, and surely the girls were in correspondence. I was too proud.
She knew of our relations: Bessie had told her. I could not bring
myself to reveal to her how tangled and gloomy a mystery was between
us. I could explain nothing without letting her see that she was the
unconscious cause.

At last, when one wretched week after another had gone by, and we were
in the new year, I could bear it no longer. "Come what will, I must
know if Bessie writes to her."

I went to Clarges street. My card was carried into the Meyricks'
parlor, and I followed close upon it. Fanny was sitting alone, reading
by a table. She looked up in surprise as I stood in the doorway. A
little coldly, I thought, she came forward to meet me, but her manner
changed as she took my hand.

"I was going to scold you, Charlie, for avoiding us, for staying away
so long, but that is accounted for now. Why didn't you send us word
that you were ill? Papa is a capital nurse."

"But I have not been ill," I said, bewildered, "only very busy and
very anxious."

"I should think so," still holding my hand, and looking into my face
with an expression of deep concern. "Poor fellow! You do look worn.
Come right here to this chair by the fire, and let me take care of
you. You need rest."

And she rang the bell. I suffered myself to be installed in the soft
crimson chair by the fire. It was such a comfort to hear a friendly
voice after all those lonely weeks! When the servant entered with a
tray, I watched her movements over the tea-cups with a delicious sense
of the womanly presence and the home-feeling stealing over me.

"I can't imagine what keeps papa," she said, chatting away with
woman's tact: "he always smokes after dinner, and comes up to me for
his cup of tea afterward."

Then, as she handed me a tiny porcelain cup, steaming and fragrant, "I
should never have congratulated you, Charlie, on board the steamer if
I had known it was going to end in this way."

_This way_! Then Bessie must have told her.

"End?" I said stammering: "what--what end?"

"In wearing you out. Bessie told me at Lenox, the day we took that
long walk, that you had this important case, and it was a great thing
for a young lawyer to have such responsibility."

Poor little porcelain cup! It fell in fragments on the floor as I
jumped to my feet: "Was that _all_ she told you? Didn't she tell you
that we were engaged?"

For a moment Fanny did not speak. The scarlet glow on her cheek, the
steady glow that was always there, died away suddenly and left her
pale as ashes. Mechanically she opened and shut the silver sugar-tongs
that lay on the table under her hand, and her eyes were fixed on me
with a wild, beseeching expression.

"Did you not know," I said in softer tones, still standing by the
table and looking down on her, "that day at Lenox that we were
engaged? Was it not for _that_ you congratulated me on board the
steamer?"

A deep-drawn sigh as she whispered, "Indeed, no! Oh dear! what have I
done?"

"You?--nothing!" I said with a sickly smile; "but there is some
mistake, some mystery. I have never had one line from Bessie since I
reached London, and when I left her she was my own darling little wife
that was to be."

Still Fanny sat pale as ashes, looking into the fire and muttering to
herself. "Heavens! To think--Oh, Charlie," with a sudden burst, "it's
all my doing! How can I ever tell you?"

"You hear from Bessie, then? Is she--is she well? Where is she? What
is all this?" And I seated myself again and tried to speak calmly, for
I saw that something very painful was to be said--something that she
could hardly say; and I wanted to help her, though how I knew not.

At this moment the door opened and "papa" came in. He evidently
saw that he had entered upon a scene as his quick eye took in the
situation, but whether I was accepted or rejected as the future
son-in-law even his penetration was at fault to discover.

"Oh, papa," said Fanny, rising with evident relief, "just come and
talk to Mr. Munro while I get him a package he wants to take with
him."

It took a long time to prepare that package. Mr. Meyrick, a cool,
shrewd man of the world, was taking a mental inventory of me, I felt
all the time. I was conscious that I talked incoherently and like a
school-boy of the treaty. Every American in London was bound to
have his special opinion thereupon, and Meyrick, I found, was of
the English party. Then we discussed the special business which had
brought me to England.

"A very unpresentable son-in-law," I read in his eye, while he was
evidently astonished at his daughter's prolonged absence.

Our talk flagged and the fire grew gray in its flaky ashes before
Fanny again appeared.

"I know, papa, you think me very rude to keep Mr. Munro so long
waiting, but there were some special directions to go with the packet,
and it took me a long time to get them right. It is for Bessie,
papa--Bessie Stewart, Mr. Munro's dear little _fiancée_"

Escaping as quickly as possible from Mr. Meyrick's neatly turned
felicitations--and that the satisfaction he expressed was genuine I
was prepared to believe--hurried home to Sackville street.

My bedroom was always smothering in its effect on me--close draperies
to the windows, heavy curtains around the bed--and I closed the door
and lighted my candle with a sinking heart.

The packet was simply a long letter, folded thickly in several
wrappers and tied with a string. The letter opened abruptly:

"What I am going to do I am sure no woman on earth ever did before me,
nor would I save to undo the trouble I have most innocently made. What
must you have thought of me that day at Lenox, staying close all day
to two engaged people, who must have wished me away a thousand times?
But I did not dream you were engaged.

"Remember, I had just come over from Saratoga, and knew nothing of
Lenox gossip, then or afterward. Something in your manner once or
twice made me look at you and think that perhaps you were _interested_
in Bessie, but hers to you was so cold, so distant, that I thought it
was only a notion of my jealous self.

"Was I foolish to lay so much stress on that anniversary time? Do you
know that the year before we had spent it together, too?--September
28th. True, that year it was at Bertie Cox's funeral, but we had
walked together, and I was happy in being near you.

"For, you see, it was from something more than the Hudson River that
you had brought me out. You had rescued me from the stupid gayety of
my first winter--from the flats of fashionable life. You had given me
an ideal--something to live up to and grow worthy of.

"Let that pass. For myself, it is nothing, but for the deeper harm I
have done, I fear, to Bessie and to you.

"Again, on that day at Lenox, when Bessie and I drove together in the
afternoon, I tried to make her talk about you, to find out what you
were to her. But she was so distant, so repellant, that I fancied
there was nothing at all between you; or, rather, if you had cared for
her at all, that she had been indifferent to you.

"Indeed, she quite forbade the subject by her manner; and when she
told me you were going abroad, I could not help being very happy, for
I thought then that I should have you all to myself.

"When I saw you on shipboard, I fancied, somehow, that you had changed
your passage to be with us. It was very foolish; and I write it,
thankful that you are not here to see me. So I scribbled a little note
to Bessie, and sent it off by the pilot: I don't know where you were
when the pilot went. This is, as nearly as I remember it, what I
wrote:

"'DEAR BESSIE: Charlie Munro is on board. He must have changed his
passage to be with us. I know from something that he has just told
_me_ that this is so, and that he consoles himself already for your
coldness. You remember what I told you when we talked about him. I
shall _try_ now. F.M.'

"Bessie would know what that meant. Oh, must I tell you what a weak,
weak girl I was? When I found out at Lenox, as I thought, that Bessie
did not care for you, I said to her that once I thought you _had_
cared for me, but that papa had offended you by his manner--you
weren't of an old Knickerbocker family, you know--and had given you to
understand that your visits were not acceptable.

"I am sure now that it was because I wanted to think so that I put
that explanation upon your ceasing to visit me, and because papa
always looked so decidedly _queer_ whenever your name was mentioned.

"I had always had everything in life that I wanted, and I believed
that in due time you would come back to me.

"Bessie knew well enough what that pilot-letter meant, for here is her
answer."

Pinned fast to the end of Fanny's letter, so that by no chance should
I read it first, were these words in my darling's hand:

"Got your pilot-letter. Aunt is much better. We shall be traveling
about so much that you need not write me the progress of your romance,
but believe me I shall be most interested in its conclusion. BESSIE
S."

It was all explained now. My darling, so sensitive and spirited, had
given her leave "to try."



CHAPTER IX.


But was that all? Was she wearing away the slow months in passionate
unbelief of me? I could not tell. But before I slept that night I had
taken my resolve. I would sail for home by the next steamer. The case
would suffer, perhaps, by the delay and the change of hands: D----
must come out to attend to it himself, then, but I would suffer no
longer.

No use to write to Bessie. I had exhausted every means to reach her
save that of the detectives. "I'll go to the office, file my papers
till the next man comes over, see Fanny Meyrick, and be off."

But what to say to Fanny? Good, generous girl! She had indeed done
what few women in the world would have had the courage to do--shown
her whole heart to a man who loved another. It would be an
embarrassing interview; and I was not sorry when I started out that
morning that it was too early yet to call.

To the office first, then, I directed my steps. But here Fate lay
_perdu_ and in wait for me.

"A letter, Mr. Munro, from D---- & Co.," said the brisk young clerk.
They had treated me with great respect of late, for, indeed, our claim
was steadily growing in weight, and was sure to come right before
long. I opened and read:

"The missing paper is found on this side of the Atlantic--what you
have been rummaging for all winter on the other. A trusty messenger
sails at once, and will report himself to you."

"At once!" Well, there's only a few days' delay, at most. Perhaps it's
young Bunker. He can take the case and end it: anybody can end it now.

And my heart was light. "A few days," I said to myself as I ran up the
steps in Clarges street.

"Miss Fanny at home?" to the man, or rather to the member of
Parliament, who opened the door--"Miss Meyrick, I mean."

"Yes, sir--in the drawing-room, sir;" and he announced me with a
flourish.

Fanny sat in the window. She might have been looking out for me, for
on my entrance she parted the crimson curtains and came forward.

Again the clear glow in her cheek, the self-possessed Fanny of old.

"Charlie," she began impetuously, "I have been thinking over shipboard
and Father Shamrock, and all. You didn't think then--did you?--that I
cared so very much for you? I am so glad that the Father bewitched
me as he did, for I can remember no foolishness on my part to you,
sir--none at all. Can you?"

Stammering, confused, I seemed to have lost my tongue and my head
together. I had expected tears, pale cheeks, a burst of self-reproach,
and that I should have to comfort and be very gentle and sympathetic.
I had dreaded the _rôle_; but here was a new turn of affairs; and,
I own it, my self-love was not a little wounded. The play was played
out, that was evident. The curtain had fallen, and here was I, a
late-arrived hero of romance, the chivalric elder brother, with all
my little stock of property-phrases--friendship of a life, esteem,
etc.--of no more account than a week-old playbill.

For, I must confess it, I had rehearsed some little forgiveness scene,
in which I should magnanimously kiss her hand, and tell her that I
should honor her above all women for her courage and her truth; and
in which she would cry until her poor little heart was soothed and
calmed; and that I should have the sweet consciousness of being
beloved, however hopelessly, by such a brilliant, ardent soul.

But Mistress Fanny had quietly turned the tables on me, and I believe
I was angry enough for the moment to wish it had not been so.

But only for a moment. It began to dawn upon me soon, the rare tact
which had made easy the most embarrassing situation in, the world--the
_bravura_ style, if I may call it so, that had carried us over such a
difficult bar.

It _was_ delicacy, this careless reminder of the fascinating Father,
and perhaps there was a modicum of truth in that acknowledgment too.

I took my leave of Fanny Meyrick, and walked home a wiser man.

But the trusty messenger, who arrived three days later, was not, as
I had hoped, young Bunker or young Anybody. It was simply Mrs. D----,
with a large traveling party. They came straight to London, and
summoned me at once to the Langham Hotel.

I suppose I looked somewhat amazed at sight of the portly lady, whom
I had last seen driving round Central Park. But the twin Skye terriers
who tumbled in after her assured me of her identity soon enough.

"Mr. D---- charged me, Mr. Munro," she began after our first
ceremonious greeting, "to give this into no hands but yours. I have
kept it securely with my diamonds, and those I always carry about me."

From what well-stitched diamond receptacle she had extracted the paper
I did not suffer myself to conjecture, but the document was strongly
perfumed with violet powder.

"You see, I was coming over," she proceeded to explain, "in any
event, and when Mr. D---- talked of sending Bunker--I think it was
Bunker--with us, I persuaded him to let me be messenger instead.
It wasn't worth while, you know, to have any more people leave the
office, you being away, and--Oh, Ada, my dear, here is Mr. Munro!"

As Ada, a slim, willowy creature, with the _surprised_ look in her
eyes that has become the fashion of late, came gliding up to me, I
thought that the reason for young Bunker's omission from the party was
possibly before me.

Bother on her matrimonial, or rather anti-matrimonial, devices! Her
maternal solicitude lest Ada should be charmed with the poor young
clerk on the passage over had cost me weeks of longer stay. For
at this stage a request for any further transfer would have been
ridiculous and wrong. As easy to settle it now as to arrange for any
one else; so the first of April found me still in London, but leaving
it on the morrow for home.

"Bessie is in Lenox, I think," Fanny Meyrick had said to me as I bade
her good-bye.

"What! You have heard from her?"

"No, but I heard incidentally from one of my Boston friends this
morning that he had seen her there, standing on the church steps."

I winced, and a deeper glow came into Fanny's cheek.

"You will give her my letter? I would have written to her also, but it
was indeed only this morning that I heard. You will give her that?"

"I have kept it for her," I said quietly; and the adieus were over.

SARAH C. HALLOWELL.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



HOW THEY "KEEP A HOTEL" IN TURKEY.


The charity of Islam is an article of practice as well as of faith,
and manifests itself in ways astonishing to visitors from Christian
lands. Thus, the impunity--nay, the protection and sympathy--afforded
to the street-beggar, and the way in which the very poor divide their
crust with those still more poverty-stricken than themselves, surprise
the stranger who observes the scene in the open streets. Then, too,
the public fountains, which are charitable offerings from pious
persons, are more numerous in Constantinople than in any other city in
the world. Nor does the law of kindness restrict itself to man. Islam
has anticipated Mr. Bergh, and "The Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals" had as its founder in the Orient no less a
personage than Mohammed, whom "the faithful" revere as the Messenger
(Résoul) of God, and whom we improperly term Prophet. The Koran
specially inculcates kindness to the brute creation, and so thoroughly
does the Mussulman obey the mandate that the streets are filled with
homeless, masterless dogs, whose melancholy lives Moslem piety will
not abridge by water-cure, as in Western lands. This is the more
curious because the dog is an unclean animal, whose touch defiles the
true believer. Therefore no one keeps a dog, or harbors him, or does
more than throw him a bone or scraps of food.

Should a camel fall sick in the desert, or break a limb, his master
does not mercifully put him out of his pain, but leaves him there to
die "when it pleases Allah." The same sentiment runs through the
whole of Eastern life, and it is notably manifested in religious
foundations, which also serve as schools, and in khans or
caravansaries, which are the Eastern substitutes for hotels. The
khans had their origin in charity in the good old times of primitive
Mohammedanism, before its simplicity was lost by contact with other
creeds. They were wayside buildings intended for the use of commercial
travelers or pilgrims, affording shelter from storms and protection
from wild beasts, but no further accommodation. The hospitable doors
were ever open, but the apparition of "mine host," ready to offer you
board and lodging for a reasonable compensation, was undreamt of in
the early Turkish philosophy. Every traveler literally "took up his
bed and walked "--or rode--away in the morning, leaving the room he
had tenanted as bare as he found it. Everybody had to bring his own
cooking utensils, provender and materials for making a fire.

What in other countries is left for commercial enterprise to effect
for the sake of profit is accomplished here by pious people, who leave
legacies for the purpose, and never figure in newspapers, before or
after death, as the reward of their munificence or charity. Many a
wayworn traveler has blessed the memory of those truly religious men
or women on reaching the rugged walls of a khan after a long
day's ride under a Syrian sun or the pitiless down-pours of rain
characteristic of the same region.

Some of these khans on the road to Damascus or other large Eastern
cities are spacious buildings, and the scene presented within them
when some caravan stops overnight, or several parties of travelers
meet there, is picturesque in the extreme. Everybody wears
bright-colored garments and everybody is armed, and the grunt of the
camel and bray of the donkey make night, if not musical, certainly
most melancholy to the untrained ear.

But innovation has crept in, and the city khan is now a kind of
bastard hotel, with a rude host, who makes you pay for your own
lodging and the provender of your animal; and as part and parcel of
the establishment you also find a coffee-shop, coffee being the primal
necessity of Oriental well--being, taking precedence even of tobacco,
which, however, always accompanies it. There is always a bazaar close
by, at which you can purchase savory _kibabs_ of mutton and other
cooked food. Men are no more ashamed to eat in the street than they
are to pray there; so you may see multitudes taking their meals _al
fresco_ at the hours of morning, midday or sunset, after prayers.

Neither does the Mussulman need elaborate bed and bedding for his
repose. He does not undress as we do, but only loosens his garments,
without taking them off, and stretches himself on top of his bed or
rug, as the case may be. When the weather is cold, he takes off his
shoes, but wraps his head and the upper part of his person tightly
in his blanket or shawl, at apparent risk of suffocation. Keeping
the feet warm and the head cool, which is our great sanitary law,
is reversed by the Turk, for he keeps his head covered and his feet
uncovered as much as he possibly can. In the morning he gets up,
shakes himself, tightens his garments, performs his matutinal
ablutions, and his toilet is made for the day. Under these
circumstances it will be seen that many things which we should regard
as essential necessaries in our hostelry, would be pure superfluities
to our Turkish or Arab brother.

Of course, in these places you meet a great mixture of nationalities
and all classes and conditions, for the rich, in the absence of other
hotel accommodations, must use them as well as the poor; only, as
every man brings his own things with him, you find more luxury and
comfort in some of the arrangements than in others. You may see rich
merchants from Bagdad or Damascus sitting on piles of costly cushions,
attended by obsequious slaves, and smoking perfumed Shiraz out
of silver narghiles, whose long, snake-like tubes are tipped with
precious amber and encircled by rows of precious stones worth a
prince's ransom. Huddled together, in striking contrast to this
picture, you may see, crouched on their old rugs and smoking the
common clay chibouque, a bevy of street-beggars, also enjoying
themselves after their fashion.

These khans serve also as shops or bazaars for the traveling merchant,
Persian or Turk, who is ever ready to show you his wares, without
seeming to care much whether you buy or not.

The city khans are very simply built in a quadrangle, with small
rooms, like convent cells, running all round it. These are used both
as sleeping-rooms and shops. The stables for the animals and the
store-rooms are in a covered corridor beneath. As there are permanent
residents here, and valuable merchandise and other articles stored
away, there is a gate strongly bolted and barred, and often sheathed
in iron, and a gate-keeper, generally to be seen sleeping or smoking,
whose sole business is to prevent the entrance of improper or
suspicious persons.

The evenings at the khan used to be, and sometimes still are,
enlivened by the presence of the almés or dancing-girls, whose
ancestors may have danced the same wild and wanton dances before
Cleopatra. The singing-girls, monotonously chanting the same dolorous
and drowsy tunes, with imitation guitar accompaniment on the _sââb_
were also wont to wound the drowsy ear of night for the diversion
of the guests. Drowsier and more sleep-compelling still were the
interminable tales spun out by the professional story-teller, giving
ragged versions of the _Arabian Nights' Entertainments_ for the
delectation of the tireless native listeners.

In those old days, too, the khans used to be the resort of the
slave-merchants, who kept stowed safely away, for inspection and
purchase, Circassian, Georgian or more dingy beauties, to suit
all tastes. But civilization, in its encroachments on Turkey, has
compelled the cessation of open sales of either white or black slaves
in public places, though so long as the social and domestic system of
the East remains unchanged, the sale of women for the house or harem
will continue. It is conducted, however, with more privacy, and
Christians are not permitted the privilege of viewing the proceedings.
This restriction has taken away from the khans one of their former
great attractions.

To European or American travelers accustomed to the ease, luxury and
profusion of our modern hotels, where the guests enjoy more comforts
than most of them get at home, this kind of entertainment for man and
beast certainly does not seem attractive. Yet there is enjoyment in it
when the khan is tolerably free from fleas and "such small deer," and
one is accustomed "to roughing it," and blessed with a good appetite
and digestion.

Yet, truth to tell, it is more picturesque than pleasant at the
best--more gratifying to the eye than to the other senses, especially
to those of smell and hearing. For the odors arising from Turkish
or Arab cooking are not those of Araby the Blest; and the close
contiguity of the beasts of burden assails both the senses named more
pungently than pleasantly. Besides, the Oriental, generally making
it a rule to wrap up his head carefully in the covering, snores
stertorously throughout the night; so that silence, which we regard as
necessary for repose, does not rule over the khan; and when daybreak
comes, the startled traveler may imagine Babel has broken loose
again, since both men and animals rise with the dawn, and make most
diabolical noises to indicate that they have risen.

Enterprising Europeans have set up many hotels in Eastern cities,
but they are almost exclusively resorted to by strangers or Europeans
resident in the country. Even the high Turks, lapped in luxury and
sybaritic in their habits of personal ease, prefer their own hotel
system to ours, carrying all their comforts along with them, and a
retinue of servants to take charge of them. You will very rarely see
a Turkish gentleman, even if educated in Europe, stopping at Messeir's
or any of the great Eastern hotels on the European plan.

At Messeir's in Constantinople, or at Shepheard's hotel in
Cairo--places of historic interest almost, through the vivid
descriptions of travelers like the authors of _Eothen_ and _The
Crescent and the Cross_--a most motley medley of Western nationalities
may be encountered, the adventurers, tourists and wanderers of the
world congregated there during the winter months, and presenting a
panoramic view of all the peculiar phases and contrasts of European
civilization, more antagonistic there than elsewhere. There you see
the German savant with his round spectacles, round face and round
figure; the lean and restless Frenchman; the imperturbable Englishman,
drinking his bottled beer under the shadow of the Pyramids; and the
angular American, more curious, but more cosmopolite, than any of
them. The returning Englishman or Englishwoman who has spent twenty
years in India also presents an anomalous type, proving how climate
and mode of life may alter the original; for it is curious to contrast
the round, rosy faces of the fresh English girls outward bound with
the sharp, sallow faces and flashing, restless eyes which
characterize those who are returning. The babel of tongues at these
_tables-d'hôte_, where conversations are being carried on in every
European language, is most perplexing at first, though French and
English predominate. Altogether, for the student of character there
is no better field than one of these European hotels in the East--none
where the lines of difference can be found more sharply defined;
for travel and contact with strangers appear only to bring out the
contrasts more clearly, and produce a more direct antagonism, instead
of softening down or assimilating them, as one might expect.

Very few travelers see the city khans--fewer still ever venture to
pass a night within their walls. Even on the routes of desert-travel
the pilgrims for pleasure avoid them, substituting their own tents
for the stone walls, and confiding in the arrangements made by their
dragomen or guides, who contract to make the necessary provision for
all their wants for a stipulated sum--one-half usually in advance,
the balance payable at the expiration of the trip. To do these men
justice, as a rule they provide liberally and well in all respects,
their reputation and recommendations being their capital and stock in
trade for securing subsequent tourists. Yet it cannot be doubted that
this system has robbed the Eastern tour of some of its most salient
and striking peculiarities, and has deprived the traveler of much
opportunity for insight into the real life of the Oriental, only to be
seen while he is journeying from place to place, since his own house
is generally closed against the stranger, and it is only in the khan
that a glimpse of his mode of life can be obtained.

The khan, like the harem, is one of the peculiar institutions of the
East, and will probably so continue, in spite of the advancing tide of
European civilization; which, however it may affect the outer aspects
of that life, has as yet made little impression on its more essential
features. The men may wear the Frank dress (all but the hat, which
they will not accept), may smoke cigars instead of chibouques, and
drink "gaseous lemonade" (champagne), in defiance of the Prophet's
prohibition; the women may send from the high harems for French
fashions, and "fearfully and wonderfully" array themselves therein;
but in other respects the people will stubbornly adhere to their own
social system and habits of life.

It follows that the traveler who goes to the East to study the manners
and customs of its people will get only an imperfect and outside view
if he makes himself comfortable in one of the hybrid European hotels
we have described, instead of braving the picturesque discomforts of
the Oriental hotel or khan, which he will find endurable by taking a
few preliminary precautions easily suggested to him on the spot.

EDWIN DE LEON.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.

THE CALIFORNIAN AT VIENNA.


I am in bonds and fetters through not understanding the German tongue.
It is a weary torture to be a stupid, uncomprehended foreigner. I am
lost in a linguistic swamp. It is necessary to employ one man to talk
to another. The _commisionnaire_ does not understand more than half I
say. What might he not be interpreting to the other fellow? The most
trivial want costs me a world of anxiety and trouble. I desired some
blotting-paper. I went to a little stationery shop. I said, "Paper!
paper! für die blot, you know. Ich bin Englisher--er: ink no dry;
what you call um? Vas? vas? Hang it!" They took down all sorts of
paper--letter-paper, wrapping-paper, foolscap, foreign post. I tried
to make my want known by signs. I made myself simply ridiculous. The
shopkeeper stared at me in perplexity, disgust and despair. Then he
discussed the matter with his wife. I fretted, perspiring vigorously.
I went away. I went to a commissionnaire at my hotel. It required five
minutes to explain the matter to him. He discussed the matter with
the _portier_. The portier is quite buried under gold lace and brass
buttons. The commissionnaire returns to me. He thinks he knows what
I require, but is not quite certain. All this trouble for a bit of
blotting-paper! It is so with everything. Every little matter of
every-day life, which at home to think of and do are almost identical,
here costs so much time, labor and anxiety! My strength is all gone
when I have purchased a paper of pins and a bottle of ink. Breakfast
and dinner task me to the utmost. The slightest deviation from
established custom seems to act on the people at the restaurant like
a wrong figure in a table of logarithms. It required three days to
convince a stunted boy in a long-tailed coat that I did not wish beer
for dinner. He would bring beer. I would say, "I don't want beer!
I want my--some dinner." He would depart and take counsel with the
head-waiter, and I would feel as if I had been doing something for
which I ought to be corrected. The latter functionary approaches
and exclaims with domineering voice, "Vat you vants?" I reply with
meekness, "Dinner, sir, if you please." He brings me an elegantly
bound book containing the bill of fare. But it is in German: I look at
it knowingly: Sanscrit would be quite as intelligible. I put my
finger on a word which I suppose means soup. I look up meekly at the
functionary. He glowers contemptuously upon me. He recommends me to an
underling, and bustles off to guests more important. There are in the
dining-hall French, German, Italian, English and Japanese. Tongues,
plates, knives and forks clatter inside--wheels roll, rumble and
clatter over the stony pavement outside. I wait for my soup. Hours
seem to lag by. I appeal in vain to other waiters. Life is too busy
and important a matter with them to pay any attention to me.

The aristocratic German waiter is cool and indifferent. It is beneath
his dignity to approach you within half an hour after you sit down. He
knows you are hungry, and enjoys your pangs. He is sensible of every
signal, every expression of the eye with which you regard him. To
appear not to know is the chief business of his life. He will with
the minutest care arrange a napkin while a half dozen hungry men at
different tables are trying to arrest his attention. Before I met this
man my temper was mild and amiable: I believed in doing by my fellows
as I would be done by. Now I am changed. I never visit the Vienna
restaurant but I dwell in thought on battle, murder, pistols,
bowie-knives, blood, bullets and sudden death. After eating a meal it
requires another hour to pay for it. A nobleman, dressed _de rigueur_,
condescends to take my money after he has made me wait long enough.
There are two of these officials at the hotel. One in general manner
resembles a heavy dealer in bonds and government securities--the
other a modest, charming young clergyman of the Church of England.
One morning, when the atmosphere was very sultry, I ventured to open
a window. The dealer in government securities shut it immediately, and
gave me a look which humiliated me for the day. I said I wanted, if
possible, air enough to support life while eating my breakfast. He
said that was against the rules of the house: the windows must not be
opened. There was too much dust blowing in the street. What were a few
common lives compared to the advent of dust in that dining-room?

You must live here by rule. Novelty is treason. It is the unalterable
rule of life that because things have been done in a certain manner,
so must they ever be done. It requires almost a revolution to have an
egg boiled hard in Vienna. I said at my first meal, "Ein caffee und
egg mit hard." It may be seen that I speak German with the English
accent. The eggs came soft-boiled. I suppose that the nobleman who
attended on my table went to the prince in disguise who governed the
culinary department, and informed him of this new demand in the matter
of eggs. It is presumable that the prince pronounced against me, for
next morning my eggs were still soft-boiled. Then I braced myself up
and said, "See here! I want mine zwei eggs, you know, hard, hard! You
understand?" The nobleman looked at me with contempt. The eggs came
about one-tenth of a degree harder than the previous morning. I
resolved to gain my point. I saw how necessary it was to put more
force, vigor, spirit and savagery into my culinary instructions to the
nobleman. This despotism should not prevail against me. When the
free, easy and enlightened American among the effete and crumbling
monarchies of Europe shrieks for hard-boiled eggs, they must be
produced, though the House of Hapsburg should reel, stumble and
totter.

I said on the third morning, "Haben Sie ein hot Feuer in your
kitchen?" Ja. "And hot Wasser?" Ja. "And will you put this hot Feuer
under the said hot Wasser, and in that hot Wasser put the eggs and
keep them there zehn Minuten, zwanzig Minuten, or a day or a week--any
length of time, so that they are only boiled hard, just like stones,
brickbats, rocks, boulders or the gray granite crest of Yosemite? I
want mine eggs hard." Then I ground my teeth and looked wicked and
savage, and squirmed viciously in my chair. There was some improvement
in the eggs that morning, but they were not hard boiled.

The Viennese spend most of their time in the open air, drinking beer
and coffee, reading light newspapers, eating and smoking. In the
English and American sense they have neither politics nor religion.
The government and the Church provide these articles, leaving the
people little to do save enjoy themselves, float lazily down life's
stream, and die when their souls become too spiritualized to remain
longer in their bodies.

I am fast becoming German. I have my coffee at nine: it requires two
hours to drink it. Then I dream a little, smoke a cigar and drink a
glass of beer. At twelve comes dinner. This I eat at a café table on
the sidewalk, with more beer. At two I take a nap. At five I awake,
drink another glass of beer, and dream. From that time until nine is
occupied in getting hungry for supper. This occupies two hours. Then
more beer and tobacco. Some time in the night I retire. Sometimes I am
aware of the operation of disrobing, sometimes not. This is Viennese
life. One day merges into another in a vague, misty sort of way. Time
is not checked off into short, sharp divisions as in busy, bustling
America. From the windows opposite mine, on the other side of the
street, protrude Germans with long pipes. They sit there hour
after hour, those pipes hanging down a foot below the window-sill.
Occasionally they emit a puff of smoke. This is the only sign of life
about them.

The window-sills are furnished with cushions to lean on when you gaze
forth. The one in mine is continually dropping down into the
street below, and a man in a brass-mounted cap, who calls himself a
"Dienstmann," does a good business in picking it up and bringing it
up stairs at ten kreutzers a trip. The kreutzer is a copper coin
equivalent to an English farthing. Every day here seems a sort of
holiday, and in this respect Sunday stands pre-eminent.

The ladies, as a rule, are fine-looking, shapely, well-dressed and
particular as to the fit of their gaiters and hose--a most refreshing
sight to one for a year accustomed to the general dowdiness which in
this respect prevails in England. Most of the English girls seem to
have no idea that their feet should be dressed. The Viennese lady is
very tasteful. She is neither slipshod nor gaudy. I never beheld more
dainty toilettes. Everything about them, as a sailor would say, is cut
"by the lifts and braces."

Vienna abounds in great bath-houses. I have tested one. I wandered
about the establishment asking every one I met for a warm bath. Some
pointed in one direction, some in another, and after blundering
back and forth for a while, I found myself before a woman. For fifty
kreutzers she gave me a ticket. Then she called for Marie. Marie, a
black-eyed, bright German girl, came. She went to a shelf and burdened
herself with a quantity of linen. Then she signed for me to follow.
I did so in an expectant, wondering and rather anxious frame of mind.
Marie showed me into a neatly-furnished bath-room. She spread a linen
sheet in the tub, and turned on the water. I waited for the tub to
fill and Marie to depart. Marie seemed in no hurry. I pondered over
the possibilities involved in a German "Warm-bad." Perhaps Marie will
attempt to scrub me! Never! At last she goes. I remove my collar.
Suddenly Marie returns: it is to bring another towel. There is no
lock on the door--nothing with which to defend one's self. I bathe
in peace, however. On emerging I examine the pile of linen Marie has
left. There is a small towel, and two large aprons without strings,
long enough to reach from the shoulders to the knees. I study over
their possible use. I conclude they are to dry the anatomy with. On
subsequent inquiry I ascertained that they were to be worn while I
rang the bell and Marie came in to substitute hot water for cold.

The American commission to the exhibition occupies a bare,
disconsolate, shabby suite of rooms. They resemble much the editorial
offices of those ephemeral daily papers which, commencing with
very small capital, after a spasmodic career of a few months fall
despairingly into the arms of the sheriff. I had once occasion to
visit the commission on a little matter of business. What that was I
have forgotten: I recollect only the multiplicity of doors in those
apartments. When I turned to depart, I opened every door but the
proper one. I went into closets, private apartments and intricate
passages, and after making the entire round without discovering
egress, I made another tour of them, but still could not find where
I had entered. A solitary American was seated in the reading-room
looking weary and homesick, and I asked him if he could tell me the
right road out of the American commission. He said he hardly knew:
this was his first visit, but he'd try. So both of us went prospecting
around and opening all the doors we met, while a deaconish old
gentleman behind a desk looked on apparently interested, yet offering
nothing in the way of information or suggestion. I presume, however,
this is the only amusement the man has in this forlorn place. I
was beginning to think of descending by way of the windows when the
strange American at last found a door which led into the main entry,
and we both left at the same time, glad to escape.

I will do one side of the American department in the exhibition stern
justice. It commences with a long picture placed there by the Pork
Packers' Association of Cincinnati, descriptive of the processes which
millions of American hogs are subjected to while being converted into
pork. There are hogs going in long procession to be killed, and
going, too, in a determined sort of way, as if they knew it was their
business to be killed. Then come hogs killed, hogs scalded, hogs
scraped, hogs cut up into shoulders, hams, sides, jowls; hogs salted,
hogs smoked. Underneath this sketch are a number of unpainted buggy
and carriage wheels; next, a pile of pick-handles; not far off, a
little mound of grindstones; after the grindstones, a platoon of
clothes-wringers; next, a solitary iron wheel-barrow communing with a
patent fire-extinguisher; following these a crowd of green iron pumps,
with sewing-machines in full force. Such is a bit of the American
department.

It is the fashion here that every one should have a growl at the
general slimness and slovenliness of our department. Every one gives
our drooping eagle a kick. This is all wrong. We can't send our
greatest wonders and triumphs to Europe. There is neither room nor
opportunity in the building for showing off one of our political
torchlight processions, or a vigilance-committee hanging, or a Chicago
or Boston fire, or a steamboat blow-up, or a railway smash-up. Were
the present chief of the commission a man of originality and talent,
he might even now save the national reputation by bundling all the
pumps, churns, patent clothes-washers, wheel-barrows and pick-handles
out of doors, and converting one of the United States rooms into a
reservation for the Modocs, and the other into a corral for buffaloes
and grizzly bears. These, with a mustang poet or two from Oregon, a
few Hard-Shell Democrats, a live American daily paper, with a corps
of reporters trained to squeeze themselves through door-cracks
and key-holes, might retrieve the national honor, if shown up
realistically and artistically.

PRENTICE MULFORD.



GHOSTLY WARRIORS.


So strong a resemblance exists between a battle-scene of a mediaeval
Spanish poet and the culminating incidents of Lord Macaulay's _Battle
of the Lake Regillus_, as to justify somewhat extended citations. Of
the Spanish writer, Professor Longfellow says, in his note upon the
extract from the _Vida de San Millan_ given in the _Poets and Poetry
of Europe_, "Gonzalo de Berceo, the oldest of the Castilian poets
whose name has reached us, was born in 1198. He was a monk in the
monastery of Saint Millan, in Calahorra, and wrote poems on sacred
subjects in Castilian Alexandrines." According to the poem, the
Spaniards, while combating the Moors, were overcome by "a terror
of their foes," since "these were a numerous army, a little handful
those."

  And whilst the Christian people stood in this uncertainty,
  Upward toward heaven they turned their eyes and fixed their thoughts on high;
  And there two persons they beheld, all beautiful and bright,--
  Even than the pure new-fallen snow their garments were more white.

  They rode upon two horses more white than crystal sheen,
  And arms they bore such as before no mortal man had seen.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Their faces were angelical, celestial forms had they,--
  And downward through the fields of air they urged their rapid way;
  They looked upon the Moorish host with fierce and angry look,
  And in their hands, with dire portent, their naked sabres shook.

  The Christian host, beholding this, straightway take heart again;
  They fall upon their bended knees, all resting on the plain,
  And each one with his clenched fist to smite his breast begins,
  And promises to God on high he will forsake his sins.

  And when the heavenly knights drew near unto the battle-ground,
  They dashed among the Moors and dealt unerring blows around;
  Such deadly havoc there they made the foremost ranks among,
  A panic terror spread unto the hindmost of the throng.

  Together with these two good knights, the champions of the sky,
  The Christians rallied and began to smite full sore and high.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Down went the misbelievers; fast sped the bloody fight;
  Some ghastly and dismembered lay, and some half-dead with fright:
  Full sorely they repented that to the field they came,
  For they saw that from the battle they should retreat with shame.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Now he that bore the crosier, and the papal crown had on,
  Was the glorified Apostle, the brother of Saint John;
  And he that held the crucifix, and wore the monkish hood,
  Was the holy San Millan of Cogolla's neighborhood.

Turn now to the _Battle of the Lake Regillus_. In a series of
desperate hand-to-hand conflicts the Romans have on the whole been
worsted by the allied Thirty Cities, armed to reinstate the Tarquins
upon their lost throne. Their most vaunted champion, Herminius--"who
kept the bridge so well"--has been slain, and his war-horse, black
Auster, has barely been rescued by the dictator Aulus from the hands
of Titus, the youngest of the Tarquins.

  And Aulus the Dictator
    Stroked Auster's raven mane;
  With heed he looked unto the girths,
    With heed unto the rein.
  "Now bear me well, black Auster,
    Into yon thick array;
  And thou and I will have revenge
    For thy good lord this day."

  So spake he; and was buckling
    Tighter black Auster's band,
  When he was aware of a princely pair
    That rode at his right hand.
  So like they were, no mortal
    Might one from other know:
  White as snow their armor was:
    Their steeds were white as snow.
  Never on earthly anvil
    Did such rare armor gleam;
  And never did such gallant steeds
    Drink of an earthly stream.

       *       *       *       *       *

  So answered those strange horsemen,
    And each couched low his spear;
  And forthwith all the ranks of Rome
    Were bold and of good cheer:
  And on the thirty armies
    Came wonder and affright,
  And Ardea wavered on the left,
    And Cora on the right.
  "Rome to the charge!" cried Aulus;
    "The foe begins to yield!
  Charge for the hearth of Vesta!
    Charge for the Golden Shield!
  Let no man stop to plunder,
    But slay, and slay, and slay;
  The gods who live for ever
    Are on our side to-day."

  Then the fierce trumpet-flourish
    From earth to heaven arose;
  The kites know well the long stern swell
    That bids the Romans close.

       *       *       *       *       *

  And fliers and pursuers
    Were mingled in a mass:
  And far away the battle
    Went roaring through the pass.

The scene of the following stanza is at Rome, where the watchers at
the gates have learned from the Great Twin Brethren the issue of the
day:

  And all the people trembled,
    And pale grew every cheek;
  And Sergius, the High Pontiff,
    Alone found voice to speak:
  "The gods who live for ever
    Have fought for Rome to-day!
  These be the Great Twin Brethren
    To whom the Dorians pray!"

Of course, we are not to be understood as intimating that Macaulay was
consciously or otherwise guilty of a plagiarism. Indeed, he was at
the pains, in his preface to the poem in question, to point out how
certain of its features were designedly taken, and others might fairly
be conceived to have been taken, from ballads of an age long before
Livy, whom he cites in the matter of the Great Twin Brethren. He has
even detailed a circumstance, in reference to the legendary appearance
of the divine warriors, curiously relevant to the resemblance just
pointed out. "In modern times," he wrote, "a very similar story
actually found credence among a people much more civilized than the
Romans of the fifth century before Christ. A chaplain of Cortez,
writing about thirty years after the conquest of Mexico, ... had the
face to assert that, in an engagement against the Indians, Saint James
had appeared on a gray horse at the head of the Castilian adventurers.
Many of those adventurers were living when this lie was printed. One
of them, honest Bernal Diaz, wrote an account of the expedition....
He says that he was in the battle, and that he saw a gray horse with
a man on his back, but that the man was, to his thinking, Francesco de
Morla, and not the ever-blessed apostle Saint James. 'Nevertheless,'
Bernal adds, 'it may be that the person on the gray horse was the
glorious apostle Saint James, and that I, sinner that I am, was
unworthy to see him.'" Other striking instances of identity between
classical, Castilian and Saxon legends are detailed by Lord Macaulay
in the learned and interesting general preface to his _Lays of Ancient
Rome_. But the reappearance of this particular story in such remote
times and places, and with such marked similarities and variations,
would entitle it to a place among the indestructible popular legends
collated by Mr. Baring-Gould in his _Curious Myths of the Middle
Ages_.



A WARNING TO LOVERS.


"Metildy, you are the most good-for-nothin', triflin', owdacious,
contrary piece that ever lived."

"Oh, ma!" sobbed Matilda, "I couldn' help myself--'deed I couldn'."

"Couldn' help yourself? That's a pretty way to talk! Ain't he a nice
young man?"

"Yes'm."

"Got money?"

"Yes'm."

"And good kinfolks?"

"Yes'm."

"And loves you to destrackshun?"

"Yes'm."

"Well, in the name o' common sense, what did you send him home for?"

"Well, ma, if I must tell the truth, I must, I s'pose, though I'd
ruther die. You see, ma, when he fetcht his cheer clost to mine, and
ketcht holt of my hand, and squez it, and dropt on his knees, then
it was that his eyes rolled and he began breathin' hard, and _his
gallowses kept a creakin and a creakin'_, I till I thought in my soul
somethin' terrible was the matter with his in'ards, his vitals; and
that flustered and skeered me so that I bust out a-cryin'. Seein' me
do that, he creaked worse'n ever, and that made me cry harder; and the
harder I cried the harder he creaked, till all of a sudden it came
to me that it wasn't nothin' but his gallowses; and then I bust out a
laughin' fit to kill myself, right in his face. And then he jumpt
up and run out of the house mad as fire; and he ain't comin' back no
more. Boo-hoo, ahoo, boo-hoo!"

"Metildy," said the old woman sternly, "stop sniv'lin'. You've made
an everlastin' fool of yourself, but your cake ain't all dough yet. It
all comes of them no 'count, fashionable sto' gallowses--' 'spenders'
I believe they calls 'em. Never mind, honey! I'll send for Johnny,
tell him how it happened, 'pologize to him, and knit him a real nice
pair of yarn gallowses, jest like your pa's; and they never do creak."

"Yes, ma," said Matilda, brightening up; "but let _me_ knit 'em."

"So you shall, honey: he'll vally them a heap more than if I knit 'em.
Cheer up, Tildy: it'll all be right--you mind if it won't."

Sure enough, it proved to be all right. Tildy and Johnny were married,
and Johnny's gallowses never creaked any more.



NOTES.


Milton, in his famous description of the woman Delilah, sailing like a
stately ship of Tarsus "with all her bravery on, and tackle trim," is
particular to note "an amber scent of odorous perfume, her harbinger."
Perfume as an adjunct of feminine dress has been celebrated from the
days of the earliest poet, and probably will be to the latest; but
it was reserved for the modern toilet to project a regular theory of
harmony between odors and colors--a theory which might never have been
dreamed of in the studio of the painter, but is not unworthy of the
boudoir of the belle. It is the young Englishwomen at Vienna who, if
we may believe Eugène Chapus, have taken the initiative in this new
refinement of coquetry, which employs not only a greater variety and
quantity of perfume than in previous years, but employs it according
to a certain scientific system. At balls, perfumes are especially _de
rigueur_, and it is in her ball-dress that Araminta aims to establish
a species of relation between the nature of the perfume she carries
and the general character of the toilette she wears. That is to say,
gravely proceeds Monsieur Chapus, if pink predominates in the stuff
of her gown, the proper perfume will be essence of roses; if light
yellow, it will be Portugal water; if the color be réséda (which has
such a run at present for ladies' costumes), the chosen perfume
will be an essence of mignonette; and so on with the other flowers
corresponding to the shades commonly used in fresh ball-toilettes.
Undoubtedly to a Rimmel the relation between different odors and
different styles of personal beauty or personal traits would be
as obvious as is this newly-discovered harmony between perfume and
costume; but we fear that the new fashion is due to coquettish art
rather than aesthetic taste, and that, like many another whim of
the drawing-room, it will die out before the science is fairly
established.

       *       *       *       *       *

The _enfant terrible_ plays an important rôle in literature as in
society during these modern days, and although a little of him goes a
good way, yet it must be owned that his sayings are sometimes spicy.

A grandfather was holding Master Tom, a youth of five, on his knees,
when the youngster suddenly asked him why his hair was white. "Oh,"
says grandpapa, "that's because I'm so old. Why, don't you know that I
was in the ark?"

"In the ark?" cries Tommy: "why you aren't Noah, are you, grandpapa?"

"Oh no, I'm not Noah."

"Ah, then you're Shem."

"No, not Shem, either."

"Oh, then I suppose you're Japhet."

"No, you haven't guessed right: I'm not Japhet."

"Well, then, grandpapa," said the child, driven to the extremity of
his biblical knowledge, "you must be one of the beasts."

Not less critical was the comment of a lad who was taken to church one
Sunday for the first time.

"You see, Augustus," said his fond mamma, anxious to impress his
tender mind at such a moment with lasting remembrances, "how many
people come here to pray to God?"

"Yes, but not so many as go to the circus," says the practical lad.

Quite natural, also, was the reply of a little lady who was found
crying by her mother because one of her companions had given her a
slap.

"Well, I hope you paid her back?" cried the angry mother, her
indignation getting the better of her judgment.

"Oh yes, I paid her back _before-hand_!"

Another little girl, after attending the funeral of one of her
schoolmates, which ceremony had been conducted at the school, was
giving an animated account of the exercises on her return home.

"And I suppose you were all sobbing as if your hearts would break,
poor things!" says papa.

"Oh no," replies the child: "only the front row cried."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was one of the features of the shah-mania that British journalism
was overrun and surfeited with Persian topics, Persian allusions and
fragments of the Persian language and literature. Every pedant of
the press displayed an unexpected and astonishing acquaintance with
Persian history, Persian geography, Persian manners and customs.
Desperate cramming was done to get up Persian quotations for leading
articles, or at least a saying or two from Hafiz or Saadi of the sort
commonly found at the end of a lexicon or in some popular book of
maxims. Ludicrous disputes arose between morning papers as to the
comparative profundity of each other's researches into Persian lore;
but the climax was capped, we think, by one London journal, which
politely offered advice to Nasr-ed-Dîn about his conduct and his
reading. "Should Nasr-ed-Dîn be impressed by English flattery," said
this editor gravely, "with an exaggerated sense of his own importance,
His Majesty, as a corrective, may recall to mind the Persian fable of
'Ushter wa Dirâz-kush,' from the 'Baharistân' of Jaumy." In ordinary
times an explanation might be vouchsafed of what the said fable
is, but none was given in the present instance, it being taken for
granted, during the shah's visit, that the Baharistân of Jaumy was as
familiar to the average Englishman as Mother Goose. Upon the whole,
our country has not been wholly unfortunate in not seeing the shah.
Horace's famous "Persicos odi, puer, apparatus," has a very close
application in the "Persian stuff" with which British journalism has
lately been flooded.

  How various his employments whom the world
  Calls idle!

says Cowper. To describe the holiday amusement provided for the shah
in England as having been a grand "variety entertainment" would feebly
represent the mixture actually furnished him. One day, for example
(a Monday), His Majesty began by reviewing the Fire Brigade; and then
Captain Shaw was presented to the shah--likewise Colonel Hogg; and
then, according to the _Morning Advertiser_, "Joe Goss, Ned Donelly,
Alex. Lawson, and young Horn had the honor of appearing and boxing
before the shah and a small company, at which His Majesty seemed
highly delighted;" and next came deputations successively from
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Society for the
Promotion of Christian Knowledge, the Bible Society, the Church
Missionary Society, and the Evangelical Alliance; then a deputation
from the Mohammedans residing in London was presented, and Sir Moses
Montefiore had a private interview with His Majesty; and finally, to
wind up the day's programme, the shah, attended by many princes and
princesses, and an audience of 34,000 people, witnessed a performance
at the Crystal Palace expressly selected to suit his taste--namely,
gymnastic feats by Germans and Japanese, followed by "Signor Romah"
on the trapeze. All this was done before dinner; and the curious
combination of piety and pugilism, missionaries and acrobats, may be
supposed to have had the effect of duly "impressing" the illustrious
guest.

A French writer some time since informed his countrymen that in
America wooden hams were a regular article of manufacture. This is a
fact not generally known; but at any rate, according to Pierre Véron,
we have not yet quite outdone the Old World in the arts of commercial
fraud. Worthy Johnny Crapaud used to flatter himself that he outwitted
the grocers in buying his coffee unground, but now rogues make
artificial coffee-kernels in a mould, and the Paris police court
(which does not appreciate ingenuity of that sort) lately gave
six months in prison to some makers of sham coffee-grains, thus
interfering with a business which was earning twenty thousand dollars
a year. Some of the Paris pastry-cooks make balls for _vol-au-vent_
with a hash of rags allowed to soak in gravy; sham larks and
partridges for pâtés are constructed out of chopped-up meat, neatly
shaped to represent those birds; peddlers of sweet-meats sell
marshmallow paste made out of Spanish white; the fish-merchant inserts
the eyes of a fresh mackerel in a stale turbot, to trick his sharp
customers; and as to drinks, one dyer boldly puts over his door
"Burgundy Vintages!" They make marble of pasteboard and diamonds
of glass. Adulteration on adulteration, moans M. Véron, all is
adulteration!

       *       *       *       *       *

The problem of aërial navigation seems at present to be agitating as
many pseudo-scientific minds as did that of perpetual motion not many
years ago, or the philosopher's stone at a more remote period. It
possesses perhaps a still stronger attraction in the danger connected
with the experiments--the source, we suppose, of the eagerness shown
by Professor Wise and his associates to _fly_ to evils that they
know not of. Perpetual motion received its quietus from the blasts of
ridicule. Air-voyaging has a worse foe to encounter. It may survive
the attacks of gayety, but it will succumb, we fancy, to the
resistless force of _gravity_.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.


Scintillations from the Prose Works of Heinrich Heine. New York: Holt
& Williams.

The task formerly undertaken by Mr. Charles Godfrey Leland, in
adapting to our language the songs of Heine, is now well supplemented
with some versions from among his prose works by another Philadelphian
translator, Mr. Simon Adler Stern. Heine's prose, delicate in its
pellucid brightness as any of his poetry, cannot be held too precious
by the interpreter. The latter must have all his wits about him, or he
will not find English at once simple enough and distinguished enough
to stand for the original. To get at Heine's prose exactly in another
language must be almost as hard as to get at his poetry. The principal
selection made by Mr. Stern is a long rambling rhapsody called
"Florentine Nights," in which the author professes to pour into the
ears of a dying mistress the history of some of his former amours and
exaltations, the natural jealousy of the listener going for a stimulus
in the recital. His first love, however, is an idealization--a Greek
statue which he visits by moonlight, as Sordello in Browning's poem
does the

                          Shrinking Caryatides
  Of just-tinged marble, like Eve's lilied flesh.

This weird love-ballad in prose must have taxed the translator almost
as much as if it had been in rhyme; for although an interpreter of
poetry undeniably has the difficulties of form to struggle with, yet
there is, on the other hand, an inspiration and waft of feeling in the
metre which lends him wings and helps him on. If Mr. Stern does not
encumber his style with a betrayal of the difficulties he has got
over--if he does not give us pedantry and double-epithets, so common
in vulgar renderings from the German--he certainly shows no timidity
in turning the polished familiarity of Heine's prose into our
commonest vernacular. "What lots of pleasure I found on my arrival;"
"for the men, lots of patience:" trivialities of expression like these
are not rare in his version. If they are not quite what Heine would
have written if he had been writing in English, at least the fault
of familiarity is better than the fault of hardness; and these
translations are never at all hard or uncomfortable. When we add that
Mr. Stern gives us an index without showing what works the extracts
are taken from, and that he gives us an article on Heine without any
mention that we can discover of Heine's wife, we have vented about all
the objections we can make to this welcome publication; and they are
very few to find in a collection of hundreds of "scintillations."

The pleasures that remain for the reader are manifold: so liberally
and judiciously are the extracts chosen that we get a complete exhibit
of Heine's mind on nearly all the topics he occupied himself about. We
have his views on French and German politicians; on French, German and
English authors; on art and poetry; on his own soul and character; on
religion; besides a great deal of that persiflage, the most exquisite
persiflage surely that ever was heard, which flutters clear away from
the regions of sense and information, yet which only a man of sense
and information could have uttered.

Heine came to Paris in 1831, and saw all the sights and found
everything "charming." His wit is a little cheap, perhaps, when he
calls the Senate Chamber at the Luxembourg "the necropolis in which
the mummies of perjury are embalmed;" at least it becomes tiresome to
hear his constant disparagement of the politics which he chose to live
under, and which protected him so agreeably; but he is his own keen
self where he observes that the signs of the revolution of 1830,
what he calls the legend of _liberté, egalité, fraternité_ at the
street-corners, had "already been wiped away." Victor Hugo, for his
part, did not find it so: he says that the years 1831 and 1832 have,
in relation to the revolution of July, the aspect of two mountains,
where you can distinguish precipices, and that they embody "la
grandeur révolutionnaire." The cooler spectator from Hamburg inspects
at Paris "the giraffe, the three-legged goat, the kangaroos," without
much of the vertigo of precipices, and he sees "M. de La Fayette and
his white locks--at different places, however," for the latter were
in a locket and the hero was in his brown wig. Elsewhere he associates
"the virtuous La Fayette and James Watt the cotton-spinner." The age
of industry, commerce and the Citizen-King, in fact, was not quite
suited to the poet who celebrated Napoleon; yet was Heine's admiration
of Napoleon not such as an epic hero would be comfortable under:
"Cromwell never sank so low as to suffer a priest to anoint him
emperor," he says in allusion to the coronation. He respects Napoleon
as the last great aristocrat, and says the combined powers ought to
have supported instead of overturned him, for his defeat precipitated
the coming in of modern ideas. The prospect for the world after his
death was "at the best to be bored to death by the monotony of a
republic." Ardent patriots in this country need not go for sympathy to
the king-scorner Heine. For the theory of a commonwealth he had small
love: "That which oppresses me is the artist's and the scholar's
secret dread, lest our modern civilization, the laboriously achieved
result of so many centuries of effort, will be endangered I by the
triumph of Communism." We have drifted into the citation of these
sentiments because many conservatives think of Heine only as an
irreconcilable destroyer and revolutionist, and do not care to welcome
in him the basis of attachment to order which must underlie every
artist's or author's love of freedom. "Soldier in the liberation of
humanity" as he was, that liberation was to be the result of growth,
not of destruction. As for Communism, it talks but "hunger, _envy_
and death." It has but one faith, happiness on this earth; and the
millennium it foresees is "a single shepherd and a single flock, all
shorn after the same pattern, and bleating alike." Such passages are
the true reflection of Heine's keen but not great mind, miserably
bandied between the hopes of a republican future, that was to be the
death of art and literature, and the rags of a feudal present, whose
conditions sustained him while they disgusted him. If Heine fought,
scratched and bit with all his might among the convulsions of the
politics he was helpless to rearrange, he was equally mordant when
he turned his attention to society, and perhaps more frightfully
impartial. He hated the English for "their idle curiosity, bedizened
awkwardness, impudent bashfulness, angular egotism, and vacant delight
in all melancholy objects." As for the French, they are "les comédiens
ordinaires du bon Dieu;" yet "a blaspheming Frenchman is a spectacle
more pleasing to the Lord than a praying Englishman." And Germany:
"Germany alone possesses those colossal fools whose caps reach unto
the heavens, and delight the stars with the ringing of their bells."
Thus shooting forth his tongue on every side, Heine is shown "in
action" by this little cluster of "scintillations," and the whole
book is the shortest definition of him possible, for it makes the
saliencies of his character jut out within a close compass. It can be
read in a couple of hours, and no reading of the same length in any
of his complete writings would give such a notion of the most witty,
perverse, tender, savage, pitiable and inexcusable of men.

       *       *       *       *       *

Monographs, Personal and Social. By Lord Houghton. New York: Holt &
Williams.

Lord Houghton is one of those fortunate persons who seem to find
without trouble the exact niches in life which Nature has designed
them to fill. There probably never entered the world a man more
eminently made to appreciate the best kind of "high life" which London
has offered in the present century; and he has been able to avail
himself of it to his heart's content. The son of a Yorkshire squire in
affluent circumstances and of high character, Monckton Milnes was not
spoilt by finding, as he might have done had he been the heir to a
dukedom, the world at his feet; whilst at the same time all the good
things were within his reach by a little of that exertion which does
so much toward enhancing the enjoyment of them. From the period of his
entry upon London life he displayed that anxiety to know celebrities
which, though in a somewhat different way, was a marked feature of
his contemporary and acquaintance, Crabb Robinson; and the story
illustrative of this tendency which gained him the _sobriquet_ of "the
cool of the evening" will be always associated with the name he has
since merged in a less familiar title.

Lord Houghton has now passed through some sixty London seasons, during
which he has been more or less acquainted with nearly every social and
literary celebrity in the English metropolis. Having regard to this
circumstance, and the fact of his possessing a polished and graceful
style of expressing himself, one would naturally expect a great deal
from this volume of reminiscences. Nor will such expectations be
entirely disappointed. The monographs are eight in number, and will be
read with varying degrees of interest, according to the taste of
the reader, as well as the subjects and quality of the papers. The
portrait which will perhaps be the newest to American readers is that
of Harriet, Lady Ashburton, wife of the second Baring who bore that
title. Lady Ashburton was daughter of the earl of Sandwich, and Lord
Houghton says of her: "She was an instance in which aristocracy gave
of its best and showed at its best, although she may have owed little
to the qualities she inherited from an irascible race and to an
unaffectionate education"--a sentence reminding us of a remark in
the London _Times_, that "with certain noble houses people are apt
to associate certain qualities--with the Berkeleys, for instance, a
series of disgraceful family quarrels." Lady Ashburton appears to us
from this account to have been a brilliant spoilt child of fortune,
who availed herself of her great social position to do and say what,
had she remained Lady Harriet Montagu with the pittance of a poor
nobleman's daughter, she would hardly have dared to do or say. It
is one of the weak points of society in England that a woman who has
rank, wealth, and ability, and contrives to surround herself with men
of wit to whom she renders her house delightful, can be as hard and
rude as she pleases to the world in general. Fortunately, in most
cases native kindness of heart usually hurries to heal the wound that
"wicked wit" may have made. This would scarcely seem to have been so
with Lady Ashburton, for Lord Houghton tells us that "many who would
not have cared for a quiet defeat shrank from the merriment of her
victory," one of them saying, "I do not mind being knocked down, but
I can't stand being danced upon afterward." Lord Houghton,
however, defines this "jumping" as "a joyous sincerity that no
conventionalities, high or low, could restrain--a festive nature
flowing through the artificial soil of elevated life." And it must be
owned that there was at least nothing petty or rancorous in a nature
which showed so rare an appreciation of genius, and an equal capacity
for warm and disinterested friendship.

In contrast with this chapter is the one on the Berrys, which is
full of interesting details in regard to those remarkable women, and
reveals a pathetic history hardly to have been expected in connection
with the amusing gossip that has hitherto clustered around their
names.

But by far the most interesting paper is that on Heinrich Heine. A
letter from an English lady whom Heine had known and petted in her
childhood, and who visited the poet in his last days, when he himself,
wasted by disease, "seemed no bigger than a child under the sheet that
covered him," gives what is perhaps the most lifelike picture we
have ever had of a nature that seems equally to court and to baffle
comprehension. Lord Houghton has little to add, on this subject, from
his personal recollections; but his comments upon it evince perhaps
as close a study and sagacious criticism, if not as much subtlety of
thought, as Matthew Arnold's famous essay. The following passage, for
example, sums up very felicitously the social aspect of Germany, and
its influence on Heine: "The poem of 'Deutschland' is the one of his
works where his humor runs over into the coarsest satire, and the
malice can only be excused by the remembrance that he too had been
exposed to some of the evil influences of a servile condition. Among
these may no doubt be reckoned the position of a man of commercial
origin and literary occupation in his relation to the upper order of
society in the northern parts of Germany. ...Here there remained, and
after all the events of the last year there still remains, sufficient
element of discontent to justify the recorded expression of a
philosophic German statesman, that 'in Prussia the war of classes had
still to be fought out.'"

Of the other papers in the volume, those on Humboldt, Landor and
Sydney Smith, though readable, contain little to supplement the
biographies and correspondence that have long been before the world;
while the one on "Suleiman Pasha" (Colonel Selves) suggests a doubt
whether Lord Houghton has always taken pains to sift the information
he has so eagerly accumulated. When we find him stating that the siege
of Lyons occurred under the _Directory_--which it preceded by a year
or two; that his hero, then seven years old, "grew up," entered
the navy, was present at the battle of Trafalgar (1805), and,
_subsequently_ enlisted "in the Army of Italy, then flushed with
triumph, but glad to receive young and vigorous recruits"--language
indicating the campaign of 1796-97; that "soon after his enrollment in
the regiment it became necessary to instruct the cavalry soldiers
in infantry practice, and young Selves' knowledge of the exercise
[acquired apparently on shipboard] was of the greatest use and
_brought him into general notice_"--making him, we may infer, a
special favorite of Bonaparte;--we can easily believe that these
things were related, as he tells us they were, "with epic simplicity,"
and may even conclude that some other qualities of the epic would to
more cautious ears have been equally perceptible in the narration. Of
a like character, we suspect, is the statement that Selves, being on
the staff of Grouchy on the day of Waterloo, "urgently represented
to that general the propriety of joining the main body of the army as
soon as the Prussians, whom he had been sent to intercept, were out of
sight." Lord Houghton has evidently not read the best and most recent
criticisms on the Waterloo campaign, but he should at least have known
that Grouchy was sent, not to intercept, but to follow the Prussians
in their retreat from Ligny, and that, if he lost sight of them,
it was because, instead of falling back on their own line of
communication, as Napoleon had expected them to do, they turned off to
effect a junction with the English army.



_Books Received_.


Key to North American Birds: containing a concise account of every
species of living and fossil bird at present known from the continent
north of the Mexican and United States boundary. Illustrated by six
steel plates and upward of two hundred and fifty wood-cuts. By Elliott
Coues, Assistant Surgeon United States Army. Salem: Naturalists'
Agency.

Modern Diabolism, commonly called Modern Spiritualism, with New
Theories of Light, Heat, Electricity and Sound. By M.J. Williamson.
New York: James Miller.

The True Method of Representation in Large Constituencies. By C.C.P.
Clarke of Oswego, N.Y. New York: Baker & Godwin.

On the Eve: A Tale. By Ivan S. Turgénieff. Translated from the Russian
by C.E. Turner. New York: Holt & Williams.

The Prophecies of Isaiah: A New and Critical Translation. By Franz
Delitzsch, D.D. Philadelphia: The Lutheran Bookstore.

Harry Coverdale's Courtship and Marriage. By Frank E. Smedley.
Illustrated. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

Afoot and Alone: A Walk from Sea to Sea by the Southern Route.
Illustrated. Hartford: Columbian Book Company.





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Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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